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Breaking the million-core supercomputer barrier

January 30, 2013

A floor view of the newly installed Sequoia supercomputer at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories (credit: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories)

Stanford Engineering‘s Center for Turbulence Research (CTR) has set a new record in computational science by successfully using a supercomputer with more than 1.5 million computing cores to solve a complex fluid dynamics problem: the prediction of noise generated by a supersonic jet engine.

Joseph Nichols, a research associate in the center, worked on the newly installed Sequoia IBM Bluegene/Q system at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories (LLNL)… read more

Artificial pancreas and algorithm improve treatment for type 1 diabetes

January 30, 2013

External artificial pancreas: continual glucose monitor (left), pump worn on the belt that injects insulin under the patient’s skin (right), and a controller (here, a handheld smart phone) (credit: Ahmad Haidar et al./Institut de recherches cliniques de Montreal)

The first trial comparing a new dual-hormone “artificial pancreas” with conventional diabetes treatment using an insulin pump has been completed by researchers at IRCM (Institut de Recherches Cliniques) of Montreal, led by endocrinologist Dr. Rémi Rabasa-Lhoret. It showed improved glucose levels and lower risks of hypoglycemia.

How it works

The artificial pancreas developed at IRCM is an automated system that simulates the normal pancreas by… read more

Army Corps of Engineers using 3D printers to create dam models

January 30, 2013

Sacramento District commander Col. Bill Leady shows off a 1/240-scale 3D-printed model of the Folsom Dam auxiliary spillway in Folsom, Calif., during a site visit in May 2012 (credit: Michael J. Nevins)

About 25 miles northeast of Sacramento, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District construction crews are working to complete one of the Corps’ biggest projects — a new spillway at Folsom Dam, designed to help reduce the risk of flooding throughout the Sacramento region.

With an estimated project cost of more than $750 million, it’s important to be able to show and describe how the project will… read more

A safer way to vaccinate

Polymer film that gradually releases DNA coding for viral proteins could offer a better alternative to traditional vaccines
January 29, 2013

Vaccines usually consist of inactivated viruses that prompt the immune system to remember the invader and launch a strong defense if it later encounters the real thing. However, this approach can be too risky with certain viruses, including HIV.

In recent years, many scientists have been exploring DNA as a potential alternative vaccine. About 20 years ago, DNA coding for viral proteins was found to induce strong immune responses… read more

First 3D ghost images from a single pixel

January 29, 2013

3D ghost imaging

Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics in China physicists have designed and built a remote-sensing “ghost imaging” device that uses a single pixel to record three-dimensional images, MIT Technology Review reports.

Ghost imaging is the extraordinary technique of bouncing a laser beam off an object and making high quality images from the reflected light using a single pixel. This single pixel is used to record data… read more

DeltaMaker: an elegant personal 3D printer

January 29, 2013

delta_maker_kickstarter

The DeltaMaker team  has launched a Kickstarter  project to develop an elegant personal 3D printer

“We will provide our backers with a 3D printer that runs faster, looks better, and is just more fun to watch. With the help of our Kickstarter supporters, we will put DeltaMakers on as many desktops, and inside as many classrooms, as we can.

Product Performance: The DeltaMaker prints big and… read more

DARPA looking for technology to create ‘transient electronics’ devices

January 29, 2013

VAPR_image

The sophisticated electronics used by warfighters in everything from radios, remote sensors and even phones can now be made at such a low cost that they are pervasive throughout the battlefield. But it is almost impossible to track and recover every device.

These electronics are often found scattered across the battlefield and might be captured by the enemy and repurposed or studied to compromise DoD’s strategic technological advantage.… read more

Magnetically levitated tissues could speed toxicity tests

January 29, 2013

Rice University spinoff company Nano3D Biosciences uses magnetic levitation to grow three dimensional cell cultures. The technology uses inert, nontoxic nanoparticles and magnets to lift and suspend cells as they grow and divide. (credit: Nano3D Biosciences)

In a development that could lead to faster and more effective toxicity tests for airborne chemicals, scientists from Rice University and the Rice spinoff company Nano3D Biosciences have used magnetic levitation to grow some of the most realistic lung tissue ever produced in a laboratory.

The research is part of an international trend in biomedical engineering to create laboratory techniques for growing tissues… read more

Google Glass patent applications: bone conduction, laser-projected keyboard, more

January 29, 2013

laser-projected keyboard.-featured

Recent patent applications related to Google Glass are providing insight into the hardware behind the Glasses.

Bone conduction for covert audio. This would allow more privacy so that no one can overhear a conversation; a vibration transducer allows the technology to work without a direct connection. U.S. patent application

 

A laser projector can be used to project an interface onread more

How to squeeze large molecules into cells

By deforming cells, researchers can deliver RNA, proteins and nanoparticles for many applications
January 28, 2013

squeezed_cells

Living cells are surrounded by a membrane that tightly regulates what gets in and out of the cell. This barrier is necessary for cells to control their internal environment, but it makes it more difficult for scientists to deliver large molecules such as nanoparticles for imaging, or proteins that can reprogram them into pluripotent stem cells.

Researchers from MIT have now found a safe and… read more

A hydrogel that destroys superbugs and drug-resistant biofilms

Novel antimicrobial hydrogel prevents antibiotic-resistant microbes from forming on wounds, medical devices and implants
January 28, 2013

Biofilm after treatment (credit: IBN)

The first-ever antimicrobial hydrogel that can break apart biofilms and destroy multidrug-resistant superbugs upon contact has been developed by researchers from the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) and IBM Research.

Tests have demonstrated the effectiveness of this novel synthetic material in eliminating various types of bacteria and fungi that are leading causes of microbial infections, and preventing them from developing antibiotic resistance.

This… read more

FDA clears first autonomous telemedicine robot for hospitals

Now doctors can provide patient care from anywhere in the world via a telemedicine solution. But what happens to nursing jobs, and how will patients react to a giant robotic machine?
January 28, 2013

Robot-for-hospitals

iRobot Corp., a leader in delivering robotic solutions, has announced that its RP-VITA Remote Presence Robot has received 510(k) clearance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in hospitals. RP-VITA is the first autonomous navigation remote presence robot to receive FDA clearance.

RP-VITA is a joint effort between iRobot and InTouch Health. The robot combines the latest in autonomous navigation and mobility… read more

Big medical data

At the intersection of medicine and computer science, researchers look for clinically useful correlations amid mountains of information
January 28, 2013

If the relationships between data can be thought of as lines connecting points — or “graphs” — then machine learning is a matter of inferring the lines from the points. MIT researchers have shown that graphs shaped like stars and chains establish, respectively, the worst- and best-case scenarios for computers doing pattern recognition. (Credit: Christine Daniloff)

Recent new research has the potential to reshape medicine and health care through new scientific knowledge, novel treatments and products, better management of medical data, and improvements in health-care delivery.

At the end of 2012, the National Public Radio show “Fresh Air” featured a segment in which its linguistics commentator argued that “big data” should be the word of the year.

The term refers not only… read more

‘Big data’ and cloud computing empower smart machines to do human work, take human jobs

January 28, 2013

The "bookBots" in the Hunt Library on Centennial Campus at NC State University will house over 2 million volumes of books. The Hunt Library will be one of the most high-tech, innovative libraries around the world. (Credit: NC State - College of Design)

From giant corporations to university libraries to start-up businesses, employers are using rapidly improving technology to do tasks that humans used to do.

That means millions of workers are caught in a competition they can’t win against machines that keep getting more powerful, cheaper and easier to use, the Washington Post reports.

To better understand the impact of technology on jobs, The Associated Press analyzed employment… read more

DARPA’s plan to recruit military dogs: scan their brains

January 28, 2013

Military Working Dogs

According to a new research solicitation from DARPA, the FIDOS (Functional Imaging to Develop Outstanding Service-Dogs) project touts the idea of using magnetic image resonators (MRIs) to “optimize the selection of ideal service dogs” by scanning their brains to find the smartest candidates, Wired Danger Room reports.

Last year, Emory University neuroscientist Greg Berns and his colleagues trained dogs to sit unrestrained inside an MRI machine,… read more

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