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Unraveling the mysteries of exotic superconductors

June 25, 2012 9:10 am | Comments

Scientists at Ames Laboratory are using specialized techniques to help unravel the mysteries of a new type superconductor. The group was part of an international collaboration that found that magnetism may be helping or even responsible for superconductivity in iron-based superconductors.


Graph500 adds new measurement of supercomputing performance

June 25, 2012 8:15 am | Comments

Supercomputing performance is getting a new measurement with the Graph500 executive committee's announcement of specifications for a more representative way to rate the large-scale data analytics at the heart of high-performance computing. An international team announced the single-source shortest-path specification to assess computing performance at the International Supercomputing Conference in Hamburg, Germany.


Brewing the world's hottest Guinness

June 25, 2012 6:49 am | Comments

Brookhaven National Laboratory's Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) smashes particles together to recreate the incredible conditions that only existed at the dawn of time. The 2.4-mile underground atomic "racetrack" at RHIC produces fundamental insights about the laws underlying all visible matter. But along the way, its particles also smashed a world record.


Computer science tackles 30-year-old economics problem

June 25, 2012 5:44 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | Comments

Nobel winner Roger Myerson's work on single-item auctions was groundbreaking research, but his question regarding the best way to organize an auction in which bidders are competing for multiple items has remained unanswered for decades. Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers have developed an algorithm to generalize this problem.


Nanosandwich technique slims down solar cells

June 25, 2012 5:15 am | Comments

Researchers from North Carolina State University have found a way to create much slimmer thin-film solar cells without sacrificing the cells' ability to absorb solar energy. Making the cells thinner should significantly decrease manufacturing costs for the technology.


Researchers use computer model to probe mysteries of human immune system

June 25, 2012 4:21 am | Comments

A new computational model developed by a team of Virginia Tech researchers provides a framework to better understand responses of macrophage cells of the human immune system. The Virginia Tech team used the Metropolis algorithm, a computer simulation technique widely used in physics and chemistry, to enumerate possible molecular mechanisms giving rise to priming and tolerance.


Easier separation of liquids, gases

June 25, 2012 4:09 am | Comments

In what may prove to be a significant boon for industry, separating mixtures of liquids or gases has just become considerably easier. Using a new process they describe as "reverse fossilization," scientists at Kyoto University have succeeded in creating custom-designed porous substances capable of low-cost, high-efficiency separation.


Discovery of material with amazing properties

June 25, 2012 3:52 am | Comments

Normally a material can be either magnetically or electrically polarized, but not both. Now researchers at the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen have studied a material that is simultaneously magnetically and electrically polarizable. This opens up new possibilities, for example, for sensors in technology of the future.


New accelerator to examine heavy-ion beam approach to inertial fusion power

June 25, 2012 3:29 am | Comments

The U.S. Department of Energy's Heavy Ion Fusion Science Virtual National Laboratory has recently completed a new accelerator designed to study an alternate approach to inertial fusion energy. Housed at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, NDCX-II is a compact machine designed to produce a high-quality, dense beam that can rapidly deliver a powerful punch to a solid target.


Mercury rising

June 22, 2012 10:58 am | Comments

A groundbreaking new study led by University of California, Los Angeles climate expert Alex Hall shows that climate change will cause temperatures in the Los Angeles region to rise by an average of 4 to 5 F by the middle of this century, tripling the number of extremely hot days in the downtown area and quadrupling the number in the valleys and at high elevations.


Revealing the invisible

June 22, 2012 9:15 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | Comments

Researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a software that amplifies variations in successive frames of video that are imperceptible to the naked eye. The software works in real time and displays both the original video and the altered version of the video, with changes magnified.


Scientists gain understanding of self-cleaning gecko foot hair

June 22, 2012 6:54 am | Comments

Imagine the money you'd save if you bought a roll of duct tape and could use it over and over again without having to toss it in the garbage after one use. Wall-climbing robots, bioadhesives, or other sticky substances can benefit greatly from a recent discovery about the self-cleaning and reuse abilities of a gecko's foot hair.


Sniffing out a solution to smelly clothes

June 22, 2012 6:33 am | Comments

University of Alberta scientists are using smelly gym clothes to understand how to build a better, odor-free garment. Using techniques for molecular separations in a University of Alberta chemistry laboratory to analyze a pile of sweaty T-shirts worn and washed by 18 study participants, researchers joined forces to tackle the problem of stinky workout gear.


Bringing down the cost of fuel cells

June 22, 2012 5:56 am | Comments

Engineers at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee have identified a catalyst that provides the same level of efficiency in microbial fuel cells as the currently used platinum catalyst, but at 5% of the cost. Since more than 60% of the investment in making microbial fuel cells is the cost of platinum, the discovery may lead to much more affordable energy conversion and storage devices.


Discovery of 'master molecule' could improve treatment for heart attacks

June 22, 2012 5:41 am | Comments

Johns Hopkins University researchers have discovered that a single protein molecule may hold the key to turning cardiac stem cells into blood vessels or muscle tissue, a finding that may lead to better ways to treat heart attack patients.



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