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Video gamers really do see more

June 12, 2013 9:24 am | News | Comments

Hours spent at the video gaming console not only train a player's hands to work the buttons on the controller, they probably also train the brain to make better and faster use of visual input, according to Duke Univ. researchers.

With brain-computer interface, tasks become as simple as waving a hand

June 11, 2013 6:07 pm | by Michelle Ma, University of Washington | News | Comments

Small electrodes placed on or inside the brain allow patients to interact with computers or control robotic limbs simply by thinking about how to execute those actions. Researchers have recently shown the brain can adapt to this brain-computer interface technology. Their work shows that it behaves much like it does when completing simple motor skills such as kicking a ball, typing, or waving a hand.

Mass spectrometry solutions improve identification, quantitation for biological research

June 11, 2013 4:40 pm | News | Comments

AB SCIEX has unveiled three new solutions for biological researchers to improve identification and quantitation of proteins, peptides, metabolites and lipids. The company extended the applicability of SelexION technology, SWATH Acquisition and ProteinPilot software for academic research in the field of systems biology.

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Agilent introduces advanced mass spec software

June 11, 2013 4:15 pm | News | Comments

Agilent Technologies Inc. has introduced two applications that further enhance its MassHunter Workstation software and LC-MS, GC-MS and ICP-MS instruments. These new applications empower users to rapidly create targeted screening methods for food safety and forensic analysis, and to characterize intact proteins and biosimilars for biopharmaceutical research.

Air bubbles could be the secret to artificial skin

June 11, 2013 2:01 pm | by Sarah Perrin, EPFL | News | Comments

Using foam substrates, researchers in Switzerland have made a flexible electronic circuit board. In experiments using various deformable materials, the team discovered a new kind of platform upon which to build circuits: elastomeric foams. These foams, used in packaging materials, serve as a substrate for metallic materials and can be stretched without disrupting electrical conductivity. The breakthrough could progress on electronic skin.

Cloud computing user privacy in need of reform

June 11, 2013 12:25 pm | News | Comments

When Web surfers sign up for a new online service or download a Web application for their smartphone or tablet, the service typically requires them to click a seemingly innocuous box and accept the company’s terms of service and privacy policy. But agreeing to terms without reading them beforehand can adversely affect a user’s legal rights, says a new paper by a Univ. of Illinois expert in technology and legal issues.

Mismatched materials can be tough enough

June 11, 2013 8:20 am | News | Comments

Rice Univ. researchers have for the first time detailed the molecular mechanism that makes a particular combination of cement and polymer glue so tough. The theoretical research led to a fine picture of how hydrogen bonds control the properties of hybrid organic-inorganic materials. The finding has implications for understanding the interface bonding that is often a roadblock to improved composite properties.

Researchers move closer to low-cost, implantable electronics

June 10, 2013 1:37 pm | News | Comments

New technology under development at Ohio State Univ. is paving the way for low-cost electronic devices that work in direct contact with living tissue inside the body. The first planned use of the technology is a sensor that will detect the very early stages of organ transplant rejection.

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How do you feed 9 billion people?

June 10, 2013 9:23 am | News | Comments

An international team of scientists has developed crop models to better forecast food production to feed a growing population—projected to reach 9 billion by mid-century—in the face of climate change. The team recently unveiled an all-encompassing modeling system that integrates multiple crop simulations with improved climate change models.

Securing the cloud

June 10, 2013 7:21 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | News | Comments

A team of researchers has developed a new encryption scheme, known as a functional-encryption scheme, that solves a major problem with homomorphic encryption. The scheme would let the cloud server to run a single, specified computation on the homomorphically encrypted result, without being able to extract any other information about it.

U.S. intelligence chief backs Internet spy program

June 8, 2013 11:53 pm | by JIM KUHNHENN - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

The top U.S. intelligence official stressed Saturday that a previously undisclosed program for tapping into Internet usage is authorized by Congress, falls under strict supervision of a secret court and cannot intentionally target an American citizen. He decried the revelation of that and another intelligence-gathering program as reckless.

Study: Earthquake acoustics can indicate if a massive tsunami is imminent

June 7, 2013 12:07 pm | by Bjorn Carey, Stanford University | News | Comments

On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9.0 undersea earthquake occurred 43 miles off the shore of Japan. It generated an unexpectedly massive tsunami that washed over eastern Japan roughly 30 minutes later. Scientists at Stanford University have identified key acoustic characteristics of this quake that indicated it would cause a large tsunami.

Whispering light hears liquids talk

June 7, 2013 12:02 pm | News | Comments

Ever been to a whispering gallery—a quiet, circular space underneath an old cathedral dome that captures and amplifies sounds as quiet as a whisper? Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Michigan are applying similar principles in the development optomechanical sensors that will help unlock vibrational secrets of chemical and biological samples at the nanoscale.

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Making sense of patterns in the Twitterverse

June 7, 2013 7:34 am | News | Comments

If you think keeping up with what's happening via Twitter, Facebook and other social media is like drinking from a fire hose, multiply that by 7 billion—and you'll have a sense of what Court Corley wakes up to every morning. Corley, a data scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, has created a powerful digital system capable of analyzing billions of tweets and other social media messages in just seconds.

Multiphysics in the Design of Lithium-Ion Batteries

June 6, 2013 12:37 pm | by Tim Studt | Articles | Comments

New technologies, new materials, and more sophisticated modeling systems have made lithium-ion (Li-ion)-based systems the battery of choice for many designers looking to implement high-energy advanced electric power systems. For these systems, Li-ion systems have replaced nickel-metal hydride systems.

Swiss Army CFD

June 6, 2013 12:31 pm | by Paul Livingstone and Kerem Karakoc, Mechanical Designer, and Eric Chen, Structural Engineer, Kawa Engineering Ltd. | Articles | Comments

The first successful modeling of fluid and gas flows was accomplished by the aerospace industry, which recognized the advantages such understanding could have for successful aircraft design. Now, the once exotic application of Navier-Stokes equations for the modeling of flows is performed on just about anything, from the world’s largest hydropower plant to a mundane rear-view mirror on a car.

A Symbolic Release

June 6, 2013 12:26 pm | by Paul Livingstone | Articles | Comments

A number of major software companies are approaching milestones typically associated with far older industries. Microsoft, for instance, will celebrate its 40th anniversary in a couple of years. Apple will observe the same anniversary just a year later. Maplesoft, a Canadian-based maker of symbolic computation and mathematical software for scientists and engineers, is younger than these veteran companies, but not by a lot.

New Multi Multiphysics

June 6, 2013 12:21 pm | by Comsol, Burlington, Mass. | News | Comments

Just last month, Comsol released the latest version of its Multiphysics, version 4.3b which contains five new application-specific modules and expanded modeling and analysis tools. The five new modules include: Multibody Dynamics Module, Wave Optics Module, Molecular Flow Module, Semiconductor Module, and Electrochemistry Module.

FEI, University of Oklahoma collaborate to develop unconventional oil, gas resources

June 6, 2013 12:14 pm | News | Comments

A research collaboration agreement has been formed between imaging company FEI and the University of Oklahoma to establish an oil and gas center of excellence. Called the FEI-OU Pore Scale Characterization Laboratory, the center will focus on the development of routine quantitative methods to classify shales in the economic assessment of tight oil and gas plays.

Software Takes Driver’s Seat in Test Systems

June 6, 2013 11:45 am | by Adri Kruger, Applications Engineer, National Instruments, Austin, Texas, and Paul Livingstone | Articles | Comments

For over 50 years, test engineers have taken a PC-based approach to automating standalone instrumentation. With so much investment tied up in capital assets for test equipment, engineers and management teams need reassurance that they can satisfy current and future testing needs. This is why engineers and scientists often stay with a known software platform for many years, even after it’s become obsolete.

Study suggests second life for possible spintronic materials

June 6, 2013 11:01 am | News | Comments

Ten years ago, scientists were convinced that a combination of manganese and gallium nitride could be a key material to create spintronics, the next generation of electronic devices that operate on properties found at the nanoscale. But researchers grew discouraged when experiments indicated that the two materials were as harmonious as oil and water. A new study suggests that scientists should take another look at this materials duo.

Firefighting robot paints 3-D thermal imaging picture for rescuers

June 6, 2013 8:58 am | News | Comments

Engineers in California have developed new image processing techniques for rapid exploration and characterization of structural fires by small Segway-like robotic vehicles. Thermal data recorded by the robot’s small infrared camera is maps it onto a 3-D scene created by a pair of stereo cameras, producing a virtual reality picture that can be used by first responders as the robot navigates a building.

Metamaterial flexible sheets could transform optics

June 6, 2013 8:38 am | News | Comments

New ultrathin, planar, lightweight and broadband polarimetric photonic devices and optics could result from recent research by a team of Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists. The advances would boost security screening systems, infrared thermal cameras, energy harvesting and radar systems.

Observation of spin Hall effect in quantum gas is step toward "atomtronics"

June 6, 2013 8:20 am | News | Comments

Researchers at NIST have reported the first observation of the spin Hall effect in a Bose-Einstein condensate, a cloud of ultracold atoms acting as a single quantum object. As one consequence, they made the atoms, which spin like a child's top, skew to one side or the other, by an amount dependent on the spin direction. The phenomenon is a step toward applications in "atomtronics".

Hyperpolarized diamond nuclei increase NMR/MRI sensitivity

June 6, 2013 7:38 am | by Lynn Yarris, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | News | Comments

Signals that generate imagery using magnetic resonance (MRI) or nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) depend upon a majority of nuclear spins being polarized to point in one direction. The greater the polarization, the stronger the signal. Researchers have reported on a technique for hyperpolarizing carbon-13 nuclear spins in diamond that enhances the sensitivity of NMR/MRI by many orders of magnitude above what is ordinarily possible.

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