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Entropy can lead to order, paving the route to nanostructures

July 26, 2012 10:42 am | News | Comments

Researchers trying to herd tiny particles into useful ordered formations have found an unlikely ally: entropy, a tendency generally described as "disorder." Computer simulations by University of Michigan scientists and engineers show that the property can nudge particles to form organized structures. By analyzing the shapes of the particles beforehand, they can even predict what kinds of structures will form.

Generation X is surprisingly unconcerned about climate change

July 17, 2012 6:08 am | News | Comments

As the nation suffers through a summer of record-shattering heat, a University of Michigan report finds that Generation X is lukewarm about climate change—uninformed about the causes and unconcerned about the potential dangers.

Nuclear weapons' surprising contribution to climate science

July 13, 2012 8:47 am | News | Comments

Nuclear weapons testing may at first glance appear to have little connection with climate change research. But key Cold War research laboratories and the science used to track radioactivity and model nuclear bomb blasts have today been repurposed by climate scientists.


Dark matter scaffolding of universe detected for first time

July 9, 2012 11:31 am | News | Comments

Scientists have, for the first time, directly detected part of the invisible dark matter skeleton of the universe, where more than half of all matter is believed to reside. The discovery, led by a University of Michigan physics researcher, confirms a key prediction in the prevailing theory of how the universe's current web-like structure evolved.

SwRI to build eight NASA nanosatellites

June 21, 2012 11:25 am | News | Comments

NASA has selected a team including Southwest Research Institute to develop the Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS), which will provide better prediction capabilities for extreme weather events, particularly the intensification of hurricanes.

Carbon emissions: U.S. fares better when considering climate

June 14, 2012 11:02 am | News | Comments

The U.S. has long been among the world's worst emitters of carbon dioxide, but when accounting for climate in addition to GDP, it is nowhere near the bottom of that list, according to University of Michigan researchers.

Vehicle fuel economy falls again in May

June 7, 2012 9:57 am | News | Comments

For the second straight month, fuel economy of all new vehicles sold in the United States fell by 0.2 mpg—likely reflecting a slight drop in gas prices, say researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

Stem cell-growing surface enables bone repair

May 25, 2012 6:05 am | News | Comments

University of Michigan researchers have proven that a special surface, free of biological contaminants, allows adult-derived stem cells to thrive and transform into multiple cell types. Their success brings stem cell therapies another step closer.


A wake-up call for manufacturing

May 24, 2012 6:42 am | News | Comments

U.S. factories produce about 75% of what the country consumes, but the right decisions by both business and political leaders could push that to 95%, say University of Michigan researchers.

Cell network security holes revealed

May 21, 2012 7:59 am | News | Comments

Popular firewall technology designed to boost security on cellular networks can backfire, unwittingly revealing data that could help a hacker break into Facebook and Twitter accounts, a new study from the University of Michigan shows. The researchers also developed an Android app that tells phone users when they're on a vulnerable network.

Study: Texting ups truthfulness

May 16, 2012 12:06 pm | News | Comments

Text messaging is a surprisingly good way to get candid responses to sensitive questions, according to a new study to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Public Opinion Research.

Twist on ancient math problem could improve medicine, microelectronics

May 10, 2012 6:22 pm | News | Comments

A hidden facet of a math problem that goes back to Sanskrit scrolls has just been exposed by nanotechnology researchers, who say we've been missing a version of the famous "packing problem,” which seeks the best way to cover the inside of an object with a particular shape.

Researchers identify potential target for anthrax drug

May 9, 2012 6:10 am | News | Comments

Researchers at the University of Michigan have identified new targets for drugs that could potentially treat anthrax, the deadly infection caused by Bacillus anthracis . The team found a new way to block the bacteria's ability to capture iron, which is vital to its survival and its disease-causing properties.


Smart gas sensors for better chemical detection

May 1, 2012 10:35 am | News | Comments

Portable gas sensors can allow you to search for explosives, diagnose medical conditions through a patient's breath, and decide whether it's safe to stay in a mine. These devices do all this by identifying and measuring airborne chemicals, and a new, more sensitive, smart model is under development at the University of Michigan.

Gas mileage, CAFE performance up 20% since late 2007

April 10, 2012 10:57 am | News | Comments

Fuel economy of all new vehicles sold in the United States has topped 24 mpg for the first time ever, say researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

Scientists capture first full image of vitamin B12 in action

March 27, 2012 8:11 am | News | Comments

Researchers from the University of Michigan Health System and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology report they have created the first full 3-D images of B12 and its partner molecules twisting and contorting as part of a crucial reaction called methyltransfer. The reaction is crucial to biological systems and has implications for fuel development.

Biologists find potential drug that speeds cellular recycling

March 13, 2012 9:53 am | News | Comments

A University of Michigan cell biologist and his colleagues have identified a potential drug that speeds up trash removal from the cell's recycling center, the lysosome. The finding suggests a new way to treat rare inherited metabolic disorders and common neurodegenerative diseases.

Liquid-like copper ion material aids conversion of heat to electricity

March 13, 2012 4:32 am | News | Comments

Scientists from the Chinese Academy of Science's Shanghai Institute of Ceramics, in collaboration with scientists from Brookhaven National Laboratory, the University of Michigan, and the California Institute of Technology, have identified a new class of high-performance thermoelectric materials. In their study, liquid-like copper ions carry electric current around a solid selenium crystal lattice.

Nerve gas litmus test could sense airborne chemical weapons

March 12, 2012 9:21 am | News | Comments

Nerve gases are colorless, odorless, tasteless, and deadly. While today's soldiers carry masks and other protective gear, they don't have reliable ways of knowing when they need them in time. That could change, thanks to a new litmus-like paper sensor made at the University of Michigan, which are designed to change color from blue to pink within 30 sec of exposure to trace amounts of nerve gas.

Heart-powered pacemaker could eliminate battery-replacement surgery

March 5, 2012 3:18 am | News | Comments

A new power scheme for cardiac pacemakers turns to an unlikely source: vibrations from heartbeats themselves. Engineering researchers at the University of Michigan designed a device that harvests energy from the reverberation of heartbeats through the chest and converts it to electricity to run a pacemaker or an implanted defibrillator.

Researchers help rethink smartphone design with computational sprinting

February 28, 2012 9:07 am | News | Comments

Computational sprinting is a new approach to smartphone power and cooling that could give users dramatic, brief bursts of computing capability to improve current applications and make new ones possible. Its developers at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Michigan are pushing mobile chips beyond their sustainable operating limits, much like a sprinter who runs extremely fast for a relatively short distance.

Fastest wind from stellar-mass black hole discovered

February 22, 2012 11:25 am | News | Comments

The fastest wind ever discovered blowing off a disk around a stellar-mass black hole has been observed by a team of astronomers. Using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory they clocked the record-breaking super wind at about 20 million mph, or about 3% of the speed of light.

Energy-recycling computer technology goes global

February 21, 2012 6:21 am | News | Comments

An energy-recycling computer circuit born at the University of Michigan will enable a new generation of power-efficient laptop PCs and servers. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) announced that the company's forthcoming 64-bit processor core, dubbed Piledriver, incorporates the technology.

Research initiative will study best approaches for quantum memories

February 16, 2012 4:49 am | News | Comments

The United States Air Force Office of Scientific Research has awarded $8.5 million to a consortium of seven U.S. universities that will work together to determine the best approach for generating quantum memories based on interaction between light and matter. The team will consider three different approaches for creating entangled quantum memories that could facilitate the long-distance transmission of secure information.

U-M human embryonic stem cell line placed on national registry

February 15, 2012 5:58 am | News | Comments

The University of Michigan's first human embryonic stem cell line will be placed on the U.S. National Institutes of Health's registry, making the cells available for federally funded research. It is the first of the stem cell lines derived at the University of Michigan to be placed on the registry.

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