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New approach needed to detect dark matter

August 20, 2015 7:34 am | by Birgitte Svennevig, Univ. of Southern Denmark | Comments

Physicists suggest a new way to look for dark matter: They believe that dark matter particles annihilate into so-called dark radiation when they collide. If true, then we should be able to detect the signals from this radiation. The majority of the mass in the universe remains unknown.

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New model of gas giant planet formation

August 19, 2015 6:00 pm | by Chris Armes, Queen's Univ. | Comments

Queen’s Univ. researcher Martin Duncan has co-authored a study that solves the mystery of how gas giants such as Jupiter and Saturn formed in the early solar system. In a paper published in Nature, the team explains how the cores of gas giants formed through the accumulation of small, centimeter- to meter-sized, “pebbles."

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Algorithm interprets breathing difficulties to aid in medical care

August 19, 2015 5:00 pm | by Matt Shipman, News Services, North Carolina State Univ. | Comments

Researchers from North Carolina State Univ. have developed an efficient algorithm that can interpret the wheezing of patients with breathing difficulties to give medical providers information about what’s happening in the lungs. The research is part of a larger, ongoing project to develop wearable smart medical sensors for monitoring, collecting and interpreting personal health data.

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Wired for habit

August 19, 2015 4:00 pm | by Elizabeth Dougherty | McGovern Institute for Brain Research | Comments

We are creatures of habit, nearly mindlessly executing routine after routine. Some habits we feel good about; others, less so. Habits are, after all, thought to be driven by reward-seeking mechanisms that are built into the brain. It turns out, however, that the brain’s habit-forming circuits may also be wired for efficiency.

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China’s carbon emissions less than previously thought

August 19, 2015 3:00 pm | by Univ. of East Anglia | Comments

China's carbon emissions have been substantially over estimated by international agencies for more than 10 years, according to research co-led by the Univ. of East Anglia. From 2000 to 2013 China produced 2.9 gigatons less carbon than previous estimates of its cumulative emissions.

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Firefly protein enables visualization of roots in soil

August 19, 2015 2:00 pm | by Carnegie Institute of Science | Comments

Plants form a vast network of below-ground roots that search soil for needed resources. The structure and function of this root network can be highly adapted to particular environments, such as desert soils where plants like Mesquite develop tap roots capable of digging 50 m deep to capture precious water resources.

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Study shows potential for using ultrasound to detect early signs of preterm labor

August 19, 2015 1:00 pm | by Matt Shipman, News Services, North Carolina State Univ. | Comments

Researchers have conducted a proof-of-concept study that raises the possibility of using ultrasound techniques to detect cervical stiffness changes that indicate an increased risk of preterm labor in pregnant women. While additional work needs to be done, it may ultimately give doctors a new tool for determining when to provide treatment that can prevent preterm birth.

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Algae nutrient recycling is a triple win

August 19, 2015 12:00 pm | by Patti Koning, Sandia National Laboratories | Comments

Nitrogen and phosphate nutrients are among the biggest costs in cultivating algae for biofuels. Sandia National Laboratories molecular biologists Todd Lane and Ryan Davis have shown they can recycle about two-thirds of those critical nutrients, and aim to raise the recycling rate to close to 100%. Recycling nitrogen and phosphate has benefits that go far beyond cost.

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Unusual magnetic behavior observed at a material interface

August 19, 2015 10:00 am | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office | Comments

An exotic kind of magnetic behavior, driven by the mere proximity of two materials, has been analyzed by a team of researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and elsewhere using a technique called spin-polarized neutron reflectometry. They say the new finding could be used to probe a variety of exotic physical phenomena, and could ultimately be used to produce key components of future quantum computers.

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New technology can expand LED lighting

August 19, 2015 9:00 am | by American Chemical Society | Comments

Highly efficient, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) could slash the world's electricity consumption. They are already sold in stores, but more widespread adoption of the technology has been hindered by high costs due to limited availability of raw materials and difficulties in achieving acceptable light quality. But researchers report they have overcome these obstacles and have developed a less expensive, more sustainable white LED.

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Setting ground rules for nanotechnology research

August 19, 2015 8:00 am | by Ken Kingery, Duke Univ. | Comments

In two new studies, researchers from across the country spearheaded by Duke Univ. faculty have begun to design the framework on which to build the emerging field of nanoinformatics. Nanoinformatics is, as the name implies, the combination of nanoscale research and informatics.

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Engineers identify how to keep surfaces dry underwater

August 18, 2015 5:30 pm | by Megan Fellman, Northwestern Univ. | Comments

Imagine staying dry underwater for months. Now Northwestern Univ. engineers have examined a wide variety of surfaces that can do just that, and, better yet, they know why. The research team is the first to identify the ideal "roughness" needed in the texture of a surface to keep it dry for a long period of time when submerged in water.

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Researchers produce first demonstration of matter wave technique that could cool molecules

August 18, 2015 4:30 pm | by Univ. of Southampton | Comments

Researchers from the Univ. of Southampton have demonstrated, for the first time, a new laser cooling method, based upon the interference of matter waves, that could be used to cool molecules. Our ability to produce samples of ultra-cold atoms has revolutionized experimental atomic physics, giving us devices from atomic clocks (the core of GPS) and enabling a range of quantum devices, including the possibility of a quantum computer.

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Shedding light on century-old biochemical mystery

August 18, 2015 3:30 pm | by Bill Hathaway, Yale Univ. | Comments

Given plenty of glucose and oxygen, yeast and cancer cells do not burn it all to produce energy, but convert much of it to the byproducts ethanol and lactate, respectively. In the 1920s Nobel laureate Otto Heinrich Warburg asked why these cells were so wasteful of energy. He suggested that this seemingly inefficient cellular use of resources was a root cause of cancer, a hypothesis that has been the subject of research ever since.

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Viral comparisons

August 18, 2015 2:30 pm | by Morgan McCorkle, Oak Ridge National Laboratory | Comments

Viruses are tiny, but what they lack in size, they make up in quantity. This universe of viruses is largely unexplored, even as new viruses are regularly identified in metagenomic studies that sample and sequence different viral species. Scientists use advanced genetic sequencing methods to sequence hundreds of viral genomes in a matter of hours. But making sense of the data is a challenge.

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