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'Memristors' based on transparent electronics offer technology of the future

September 14, 2012 9:33 am | News | Comments

The transparent electronics that were pioneered at Oregon State University may find one of their newest applications as a next-generation replacement for some uses of non-volatile flash memory, a multi-billion dollar technology nearing its limit of small size and information storage capacity.

Physicists patent nuclear waste-burning technology

September 14, 2012 5:50 am | News | Comments

University of Texas at Austin physicists have been awarded a U.S. patent for an invention that could someday be used to turn nuclear waste into fuel, thus removing the most dangerous forms of waste from the fuel cycle. The researchers have patented the concept for a novel fusion-fission hybrid nuclear reactor that would use nuclear fusion and fission together to incinerate nuclear waste.

Researchers introduce method for imaging defects in magnetic nanodevices

September 14, 2012 5:24 am | News | Comments

An international team of researchers have demonstrated a microscopy method to identify magnetic defects in an array of magnetic nanostructures. The method represents an important step towards identifying, measuring, and correcting the magnetic properties of defective devices in future information storage technologies.

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Vanadium oxide bronze: A new material for the computing industry?

September 14, 2012 5:00 am | News | Comments

Few modern materials have achieved the fame of silicon, a key element of computer chips. The next generation of computers, however, may not rely so much on silicon. University at Buffalo researchers are among scientists working to identify materials that could one day replace silicon to make computing faster. Their latest find: A vanadium oxide bronze whose unusual electrical properties could increase the speed at which information is transferred and stored.

Nanoengineers can print 3D microstructures in mere seconds

September 13, 2012 11:53 am | News | Comments

Nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego have developed a novel technology that can fabricate, in mere seconds, microscale 3D structures out of soft, biocompatible hydrogels. Near term, the technology could lead to better systems for growing and studying cells, including stem cells, in the laboratory. Long-term, the goal is to be able to print biological tissues for regenerative medicine.

Engineers mine big data to faster assess carbon footprints

September 13, 2012 11:28 am | News | Comments

Researchers at Columbia University have developed a new software that can simultaneously calculate the carbon footprints of thousands of products faster than ever before. The software complies with the latest product LCA guidelines sponsored by the World Resources Institute, and any carbon footprint it calculates can easily be audited against this standard.

Information theory helps unravel DNA's genetic code

September 13, 2012 6:39 am | News | Comments

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology have used techniques from information theory to identify DNA introns and exons an order-of-magnitude faster than previously developed methods. The researchers were able to achieve this breakthrough in speed by looking at how electrical charges are distributed in the DNA nucleotide bases.

No more bubbles when boiling

September 13, 2012 3:53 am | News | Comments

A theoretical physicist from Swinburne University of Technology and colleagues from Saudi Arabia and the U.S. have discovered a specialty-engineered surface that allows liquids to boil without bubbling. To suppress bubbling while boiling, the team of researchers used a highly water-repellent surface to control the boiling state of a liquid.

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Radiation-enabled computer chip for low-cost security imaging systems

September 13, 2012 3:39 am | News | Comments

A professor from Tel Aviv University is reconfiguring existing complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) chips designed for computers and turning them into high-frequency circuits. The ultimate goal of this project is to produce chips with radiation capabilities that are able to see through packaging and clothing to produce an image of what may be hidden beneath.

Climate change likely to increase Lake Erie algae blooms and 'dead zones'

September 12, 2012 7:45 am | News | Comments

Climate change is expected to increase the frequency of intense spring rain storms in the Great Lakes region throughout this century and will likely add to the number of harmful algal blooms and "dead zones" in Lake Erie, unless additional conservation actions are taken, according to a University of Michigan aquatic ecologist.

Body heat, fermentation drive drug-delivery micropump

September 12, 2012 6:03 am | News | Comments

Purdue University researchers have created a new type of miniature pump activated by body heat that could be using in drug-delivery patches powered by fermentation. The micropump contains Baker's yeast and sugar in a small chamber, and when water is added and the patch is placed on the skin, the body heat and added water causes the yeast and sugar to ferment, generating a small amount of carbon dioxide gas, which pushes against a membrane and has been shown to pump for several hours.

How to clean up oil spills

September 12, 2012 3:38 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers have developed a new technique for magnetically separating oil and water that could be used to clean up oil spills. They believe that, with their technique, the oil could be recovered for use, offsetting much of the cleanup cost.

High-temperature superconductivity induced in semiconductor with tape

September 11, 2012 11:30 am | News | Comments

An international team led by University of Toronto physicists has developed a simple new technique using Scotch poster tape that has enabled them to induce high-temperature superconductivity in a semiconductor for the first time. The method paves the way for novel new devices that could be used in quantum computing and to improve energy efficiency.

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Sliding metals show fluid-like behavior, new clues to wear

September 11, 2012 11:10 am | News | Comments

Purdue University researchers have discovered a swirling, fluid-like behavior in a solid piece of metal sliding over another, providing new insights into the mechanisms of wear and generation of machined surfaces that could help improve the durability of metal parts.

More accurate method for predicting hurricane activity

September 11, 2012 7:37 am | News | Comments

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a new method for forecasting seasonal hurricane activity that is 15% more accurate than previous techniques. The method, called the "network motif-based model", evaluates historical data for all variables in all places at all times in order to identify those combinations of factors that are most predictive of seasonal hurricane activity.

Electron's magnetic moment calculated to new precision

September 11, 2012 3:36 am | by Anne Ju, Cornell University | News | Comments

An electron, as well as other subatomic particles with an electric charge, is actually a little magnet—it spins like a top, giving it its own magnetic moment. It's the subtle change in this magnetic moment caused by emission and reabsorption of photons, a quantum phenomenon called the anomalous magnetic moment, that has interested a Cornell University professor. And now, a team at Cornell has calculated the value of the anomalous magnetic moment of the electron and muon to the most precise degree known to physics.

Deciphering the language of transcription factors

September 11, 2012 3:25 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | News | Comments

A new, Massachusetts Institute of Technology-developed analytical method identifies the precise binding sites of transcription factors—proteins that regulate the production of other proteins—with 10 times the accuracy of its predecessors.

Predicting wave power could double marine-based energy

September 10, 2012 10:36 am | News | Comments

A team of researchers has developed a control algorithm that, when used in conjunction with previously developed wave prediction technology, helps wave energy converters calculate the correct amount of force needed to collect the maximum energy possible, allowing the device to respond to each wave individually.

NC State signs research agreement with Eastman Chemical Co.

September 10, 2012 7:32 am | News | Comments

In a move signaling a new, innovative approach to multidisciplinary research with university partners, North Carolina State University has entered into a multiyear agreement with Eastman Chemical Co. to conduct joint cutting-edge research in chemistry, materials science, and other scientific disciplines.

Scientists cast doubt on the uncertainty principle

September 10, 2012 5:21 am | News | Comments

Researchers at the University of Toronto have demonstrated that theoretical physicist Werner Heisenberg was too pessimistic in 1927 when formulating his famous uncertainty principle. The Heisenberg uncertainty principle is one of the cornerstones of quantum mechanics; and in its most familiar form, it says that it is impossible to measure anything without disturbing it. The principle has bedeviled quantum physicists for nearly a century, until recently, when the researchers demonstrated the ability to directly measure the disturbance.

Researchers craft program to stop cloud computing problems

September 10, 2012 5:02 am | News | Comments

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a new software tool to prevent performance disruptions in cloud computing systems by automatically identifying and responding to potential anomalies before they can develop into problems.

Enough wind to power global energy demand

September 10, 2012 4:03 am | News | Comments

There is enough energy available in winds to meet all of the world's demand. Atmospheric turbines that convert steadier and faster high-altitude winds into energy could generate even more power than ground- and ocean-based units, according to a Carnegie Institution of Science study.

Researchers make first all-optical nanowire switch

September 10, 2012 3:48 am | News | Comments

Computers may be getting faster every year, but those advances in computer speed could be dwarfed if their 1s and 0s were represented by bursts of light, instead of electricity. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have made an important advance in this frontier of photonics, fashioning the first all-optical photonic switch out of cadmium sulfide nanowires.

Computer chip developed from sea squirt molecules

September 10, 2012 3:29 am | News | Comments

Scientists from the University of Aberdeen's Marine Biodiscovery Center and the University of St Andrews presented their work on the components of a new type of computer chip created using molecules from a sea squirt sourced from the bottom of the Great Barrier Reef.

Study finds how BPA affects gene expression

September 7, 2012 7:15 am | News | Comments

New research led by researchers at North Carolina State University shows that exposure to the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) early in life results in high levels of anxiety by causing significant gene expression changes in a specific region of the brain called the amygdala. The researchers also found that a soy-rich diet can mitigate these effects.

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