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Army Ground Combat Systems adopts Sandia tool

May 21, 2013 11:35 am | News | Comments

Sandia National Laboratories has developed key components of a software tool to help the Army's PEO GCS analyze countless what-if scenarios that can be manipulated as technology advances and the global environment, the federal budget, or other factors change. Sandia calls this advanced combination of modeling, simulation, and optimization decision support software the Capability Portfolio Analysis Tool (CPAT).

Iron-platinum alloys show promise for next-generation hard drives

May 21, 2013 9:56 am | News | Comments

Meeting the demand for more data storage in smaller volumes means using materials made up of ever-smaller magnets, or nanomagnets. One promising material for a potential new generation of recording media is an alloy of iron and platinum with an ordered crystal structure.

Columbia University licenses 3D segmentation software to Varian

May 21, 2013 8:19 am | News | Comments

Columbia University has signed a licensing agreement with Varian Medical Systems for new imaging software that facilitates 3D segmentation, the process by which anatomical structures in medical images are distinguished from one another—an important step in the precise planning of cancer surgery and radiation treatments.

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Unusual testbed analyzes X-ray navigation technologies

May 21, 2013 8:10 am | by Lori Keesey, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center | News | Comments

Pulsars rotate rapidly, emitting powerful and regular beams of radiation that are seen as flashes of light, blinking on and off at intervals from seconds to milliseconds. Their predictability could be useful for future navigation systems. Built to test and validate next-generation X-ray navigation technology, the Goddard X-ray Navigation Laboratory Testbed will demonstrate the feasibility of this approach.

Inkjet-printed graphene may open doors to foldable electronics

May 20, 2013 3:15 pm | News | Comments

Northwestern University researchers have recently developed a graphene-based ink that is highly conductive and tolerant to bending, and they have used it to inkjet-print graphene patterns that could be used for extremely detailed, conductive electrodes. The resulting patterns are 250 times more conductive than previous attempts to print graphene-based electronic patterns and could be a step toward low-cost, foldable electronics.

Researchers perform fastest measurements ever made of ion channel proteins

May 20, 2013 3:08 pm | News | Comments

A team of researchers at Columbia Engineering has used miniaturized electronics to measure the activity of individual ion-channel proteins with temporal resolution as fine as one microsecond, producing the fastest recordings of single ion channels ever performed. Ion channels are biomolecules that allow charged atoms to flow in and out of cells, and they are an important work-horse in cell signaling, sensing, and energetics.

Computational tool simplifies complex data into 2D images

May 20, 2013 9:30 am | News | Comments

Researchers at Columbia University and Stanford University have developed a computational method that enables scientists to visualize and interpret "high-dimensional" data produced by single-cell measurement technologies such as mass cytometry. A sophisticated algorithm converts difficult-to-interpret data into visual representations similar to two-dimensional "scatter plots".

Competition in the quantum world

May 20, 2013 9:24 am | News | Comments

Using a new tool called a quantum simulator—based on a small-scale quantum computer—researchers in Austria have simulated physical phenomena a classical computer cannot investigate efficiently. Scientists there are the first to have simulated the competition between two rival dynamical processes at a new type of transition between two quantum mechanical orders

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Protected data cloud to analyze cancer data

May 20, 2013 9:16 am | News | Comments

The University of Chicago has recently  launched the first secure cloud-based computing system that enables researchers to access and analyze human genomic cancer information, such as the The Cancer Genome Atlas, without the costly and cumbersome infrastructure normally needed to download and store massive amounts of data.

Nanoantennas help improve infrared sensing

May 20, 2013 7:52 am | News | Comments

A team of University of Pennsylvania engineers has used a pattern of nanoantennas to develop a new way of turning infrared light into mechanical action, opening the door to more sensitive infrared cameras and more compact chemical analysis techniques.

Tiny camera in Illinois offers bug's eye view

May 17, 2013 9:47 am | News | Comments

A tiny new camera developed at an Illinois university is giving researchers a bug's eye view. The camera created by a research team at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is about the size of a penny and mimics insects' bulging eyes. It features 180 micro-lenses, giving it a panoramic field of view and the ability to focus simultaneously on objects at different depths.

Weather on the outer planets only goes so deep

May 16, 2013 12:31 pm | News | Comments

The planets Uranus and Neptune are home to extreme winds blowing at speeds of over 1,000 km/hour, hurricane-like storms as large around as Earth, immense weather systems that last for years, and fast-flowing jet streams. Researchers using a new method for analyzing the gravitational field of these planets have determined an upper limit for the thickness of the atmospheric layer, which limits the depth of stormy weather.

Insights into how materials transfer heat could lead to improved electronics

May 16, 2013 10:50 am | News | Comments

University of Toronto engineering researchers, working with colleagues from Carnegie Mellon University, have published new insights into how materials transfer heat, which could lead eventually to smaller, more powerful electronic devices.

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Computer research project shows shift in English language

May 16, 2013 7:38 am | News | Comments

University of Illinois English professor Ted Underwood recently wrapped up a research project involving more than 4,200 books. Since that work revealed dramatic shifts in the English language between the 18th and 19th centuries, he’s now expanding his research to include more than 470,000 books—almost every English language book written during that era and preserved in a university library.

Engineers monitor heart health using paper-thin flexible 'skin'

May 15, 2013 3:21 pm | News | Comments

Engineers combine layers of flexible materials into pressure sensors to create a wearable heart monitor thinner than a dollar bill. The skin-like device could one day provide doctors with a safer way to check the condition of a patient's heart.

Cells must use their brakes moderately for effective speed control

May 15, 2013 11:34 am | News | Comments

All living cells have a regulatory system similar to what can be found in today's smartphones. Just like our phones process a large amount of information that we feed them, cells continuously process information about their outer and inner environment. Researchers have recently modeled how cells regulate this processing function.

Sulfate aerosols cool climate less than assumed

May 15, 2013 10:47 am | News | Comments

Sulfur dioxide has been pegged as a significant cooling element in atmospheric climate models because of its ability to form sulfate aerosol particles that reflect sunlight. Recent findings from a team suggest that it is likely most models overestimate the cooling effect of these particles. The reason is a largely disregarded reaction pathway catalyzed by mineral dust within clouds.

Making frequency-hopping radios practical

May 15, 2013 7:45 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | News | Comments

The way in which radio spectrum is currently allocated to different wireless technologies can lead to gross inefficiencies. Cognitive radio serves as a solution. Different proposals for cognitive radio place different emphases on hardware and software, but the chief component of many hardware approaches is a bank of filters that can isolate any frequency in a wide band. Researchers have developed a new method for manufacturing such filters.

First precise MEMS output measurement technique unveiled

May 14, 2013 1:06 pm | News | Comments

Researchers in Europe have developed a new experimental system to gain accurate information on mechanical values and properties of any microelectromechanical (MEMS) device through electrical measurement. The technique works by applying a current across the device with a varying frequency and analyzes the harmonic content of the output voltage of the component parts.

Software spots, isolates cyberattacks to protect networked control systems

May 14, 2013 11:06 am | News | Comments

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a software algorithm that detects and isolates cyberattacks on networked control systems—which are used to coordinate transportation, power, and other infrastructure across the United States.

Feynman's double-slit experiment preserved

May 13, 2013 8:05 am | News | Comments

Described as the "most beautiful experiment in physics," Richard Feynman emphasized how the diffraction of individual particles at a grating is an unambiguous demonstration of wave-particle duality and contrary to classical physics. A research team recently used carefully made fluorescent molecules and nanometric detection accuracy to provide clear and tangible evidence of the quantum behavior of large molecules in real time.

Nano-breakthrough: Solving the case of the herringbone crystal

May 13, 2013 7:54 am | News | Comments

Leading nanoscientists created beautiful, tiled patterns with flat nanocrystals, but they were left with a mystery: Why did some sets of crystals arrange themselves in an alternating, herringbone style? To find out, they turned to experts in computer simulation at the University of Michigan and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Revising Darwin's sinking-island theory

May 13, 2013 7:41 am | by Genevieve Wanucha, Oceans at MIT | News | Comments

The three different formations of South Pacific coral-reef islands, fringing, barrier, and atoll, have long fascinated geologists. The question of how reefs develop into these shapes over evolutionary time produced an enduring conflict between two hypotheses, one from Charles Darwin and the other from Reginald Daly. But in a recently published paper, researchers use modern measurements and computer modeling to resolve this old conundrum.

Small electric UAV shatters endurance record

May 10, 2013 12:53 pm | News | Comments

Researchers at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) recently flew their fuel cell powered Ion Tiger UAV for 48 hours and 1 minute on April 16-18 by using liquid hydrogen fuel in a new, NRL-developed, cryogenic fuel storage tank and delivery system. This flight shatters their previous record of 26 hours and 2 minutes set in 2009 using the same vehicle, but with gaseous hydrogen stored at 5000 psi.

Mathematics of popping bubbles in a foam

May 10, 2013 7:42 am | News | Comments

Bubble baths and soapy dishwater and the refreshing head on a beer: These are foams, beautiful yet ephemeral as the bubbles pop one by one. Now, a team of researchers has described mathematically the successive stages in the complex evolution and disappearance of foamy bubbles, a feat that could help in modeling industrial processes in which liquids mix or in the formation of solid foams such as those used to cushion bicycle helmets.

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