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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.

Forcing the molecular bond issue

September 6, 2012 3:49 am | News | Comments

Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's Molecular Foundry developed a first-of-its-kind model for providing a comprehensive description of the way in which molecular bonds form and rupture. This model enables researchers to predict the "binding free energy" of a given molecular system, a key to predicting how that molecule will interact with other molecules.

Simulating the birth of a planet

September 5, 2012 7:51 am | News | Comments

Over the past few decades, the hunt for extrasolar planets has yielded incredible discoveries. Now, planetary researchers have a new tool—simulated models of how planets are born. A team of researchers at The University of Texas at Austin are using supercomputers to model and simulate the protostellar disks that precede the formation of planet.

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Space shuttle exhaust reveals behavior of atmospheric winds

August 29, 2012 11:45 am | by Karen C. Fox | News | Comments

When the Space Shuttle Atlantis took off from Cape Canaveral on its final flight more than a year ago, a research team took advantage of this opportunity to track the 350-ton plume of water vapor exhaust that it released shortly after launch. Crossing through the paths of seven separate sets of instruments, the vapor spread far faster than expected and quickly moved to the Arctic. Such information will be used to inform global circulation models.

Biologists create first predictive computational model of gene networks

August 29, 2012 4:04 am | News | Comments

As an animal develops from an embryo, its cells take diverse paths, eventually forming different body parts. In order for each cell to know what to do during development, it follows a genetic blueprint, which consists of complex webs of interacting genes called gene regulatory networks. Biologists at the California Institute of Technology have spent the last decade or so detailing how these gene networks control development in sea-urchin embryos and, for the first time, have built a computational model of one of these networks.

A new way to predict heat layer troublemaker in fusion research

August 22, 2012 5:47 am | News | Comments

A scientist at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory has developed a model for predicting the outflow of heat during fusion experiments, which may help overcome a key barrier to the fusion process. The model predicts the width of what physicists call the "scrape-off layer" in tokamaks.

Scientists move toward rational design of artificial proteins

August 21, 2012 9:38 am | News | Comments

Past efforts to predict the structure of proteins have met with limited success. But now a scientific team in collaboration with investigators from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have demonstrated that a computer modeling approach similar to one used to predict protein structures can accurately predict peptoid conformation as well.

Speeding the search for better carbon capture

August 21, 2012 3:46 am | News | Comments

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researchers helped develop the first computational model to accurately predict the interactions between flue gases and a special variety of the carbon dioxide-capturing molecular systems known as metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). This new model should greatly accelerate the search for new low-cost and efficient ways to burn coal without exacerbating global climate change.

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Researchers improve soil carbon cycling models

August 17, 2012 3:35 am | News | Comments

A new carbon cycling model developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory better accounts for the carbon dioxide-releasing activity of microbes in the ground, improving scientists' understanding of the role soil will play in future climate change.

Researchers reveal behaviors of the tiniest water droplets

August 15, 2012 9:58 am | News | Comments

A new study by researchers at the University of California, San Diego and Emory University has uncovered fundamental details about the hexamer structures that make up the tiniest droplets of water, the key component of life–and one that scientists still don’t fully understand.

Recreating a slice of the universe

August 15, 2012 9:07 am | News | Comments

Scientists at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and their colleagues at the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies have invented a new computational approach that can accurately follow the birth and evolution of thousands of galaxies over billions of years.

Modeling reveals climatic impacts of megapolitan expansion

August 13, 2012 9:12 am | News | Comments

In the first study to attempt to quantify the impact of rapidly expanding megapolitan areas on regional climate, a team of researchers from Arizona State University and the National Center for Atmospheric Research has established that local maximum summertime warming resulting from projected expansion of the urban Sun Corridor could approach 4 C.

3D facial reconstruction tools “shaves” faces virtually

August 13, 2012 4:48 am | News | Comments

Conventional face capturing is well established and widely utilized in the entertainment industry to capture a 3D model of an actor's face. However, up to now, no method was capable of reconstructing facial hair or even handling it appropriately. A new method developed at Disney Research in Switzerland captures individual strands of facial hair and stores them separately from the actual human face until added. Or “shaved” away.

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Computer models calculate systems-wide costs of gene expression

August 8, 2012 6:16 am | News | Comments

Bioengineers at the University of California, San Diego have developed a method of modeling, simultaneously, an organism’s metabolism and its underlying gene expression. In addition to serving as a platform for investigating fundamental biological questions, this technology enables far more detailed calculations of the total cost of synthesizing many different chemicals, including biofuels.

Animation research could offer control of skeleton-free characters

August 3, 2012 7:45 am | News | Comments

While bipeds and quadrupeds have reigned supreme in CG animation, attempts to create and control their skeleton-free cousins using similar techniques has proved time-consuming and laborious. Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have found a possible solution to this challenge by developing a way to simulate and control movement of computer-generated characters without a skeletal structure, anything from starfish and earthworms to an elephant’s trunk or the human tongue.

The culprit that polluted the solar system

August 3, 2012 5:32 am | News | Comments

For decades it has been thought that a shock wave from a supernova explosion triggered the formation of our Solar System. Material from the exploding star generated cloud of dust and gas, which collapsed to form the Sun and its surrounding planets. New work from the Carnegie Institution provides the first fully 3D models for how this process could have happened.

Simulated: Worldwide increase of air pollution

August 3, 2012 5:00 am | News | Comments

Scientists in Europe have recently completed a study of global pollution levels by simulating the atmosphere using the chemical atmospheric model EMAC. The research is the first include all five major air pollutants known to negatively impact human health: nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter smaller than 2.5-?m. China, India, and the Middle East are shown to be especially at risk.

A 3D print “button” is created for animation software

August 1, 2012 4:08 am | News | Comments

A group of graphics experts led by computer scientists at Harvard have created an add-on software tool that translates video game characters—or any other 3D animations—into fully articulated action figures, with the help of a 3D printer. This tool achieves two things: it identifies the ideal locations for the action figure's joints, based on the character's virtual articulation behavior, and then it optimizes the size and location of those joints for the physical world.

Data visualization tool helps find the 'unknown unknowns'

July 26, 2012 3:30 am | News | Comments

A research team at the Georgia Tech Research Institute has developed a software tool that enables users to perform in-depth analysis of modeling and simulation data, then visualize the results on screen. The new data analysis and visualization tool offers improved ease of use compared to similar tools, the researchers say, and could be readily adapted for use with existing data sets in a variety of disciplines.

Supercomputer simulates cartilage in human knee joints

July 25, 2012 7:16 am | News | Comments

A Cleveland Clinic research team is developing virtual models of human knee joints to better understand how tissues and their individual cells react to heavy loads—virtual models that someday can be used to understand damage mechanisms caused by the aging process or debilitating diseases, such as osteoarthritis.

New model of disease contagion ranks U.S. airports by spreading influence

July 23, 2012 7:27 am | by Denise Brehm, Civil and Environmental Engineering | News | Comments

While epidemiologists and scientists who study complex network systems are working to create mathematical models that describe the worldwide spread of disease, to date these models have focused on the final stages of epidemics, examining the locations that ultimately develop the highest infection rates. But a new study shifts the focus to the first few days of an epidemic, determining how likely the 40 largest U.S. airports are to influence the spread of a contagious disease originating in their home cities.

Researchers produce first complete computer model of an organism

July 20, 2012 3:37 am | News | Comments

In a breakthrough effort for computational biology, the world's first complete computer model of an organism has been completed, Stanford University researchers report. A team led by Stanford bioengineering Professor Markus Covert used data from more than 900 scientific papers to account for every molecular interaction that takes place in the life cycle of Mycoplasma genitalium , the world's smallest free-living bacterium.

Researchers crack decades-old equation

July 19, 2012 5:45 am | News | Comments

A researcher at New York University's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences and two collaborators from University of Toronto have solved a decades-old equation that models several real-world systems, such as the development of cracks in materials, the formation of bacteria, and the growth of liquid crystals.

Biophysicists model behavior of protein critical to cell motion

July 16, 2012 4:00 am | News | Comments

Physicists at Lehigh University have created a mathematical model that could benefit researchers who study cell motion, including cancerous cell motion, tissue healing processes, and human embryonic development. Their model consists of partial-differential equations that describe the behavior of actin filaments at the cell's leading edge.

New simulation method avoids mesh generation, speeds process

July 15, 2012 3:28 pm | News | Comments

Computer simulations are indispensable, but standard finite element technology requires designers to carry out a time-consuming and often error-prone mesh generation step that transfers the computer-aided design (CAD) model into the simulation model. A student in Germany has just accelerated this process by directly integrating the CAD geometry into the finite element analysis, circumventing any mesh generation.

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