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Astronomers create first realistic virtual universe

May 8, 2014

illustris-simulation

Astronomers have created the first realistic virtual universe using a computer simulation called “Illustris.”

Illustris can recreate 13 billion years of cosmic evolution in a cube 350 million light-years on a side with unprecedented resolution.

“Until now, no single simulation was able to reproduce the universe on both large and small scales simultaneously,” says lead author Mark Vogelsberger (MIT/Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics),… read more

Imaging global brain connectivity can predict how intelligent you are

'Global brain connectivity' with a part of the left lateral prefrontal cortex explains 10 percent of variance in individual intelligence
August 2, 2012

wustl_neural_connections

What factors distinguish the brains of exceptionally smart humans from those of average humans?

Overall brain size matters somewhat, accounting for about 6.7 percent of individual variation in intelligence.

More recent research has pinpointed the brain’s lateral prefrontal cortex, a region just behind the temple, as a critical hub for high-level mental processing, with activity levels there predicting another 5 percent of variation in individual intelligence.… read more

Self-assembled nanoparticles release chemotherapy drug and heat to treat cancer

October 21, 2012

gold nanorods

In new research from Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), researchers have invented self-assembled, multifunctional, near-infrared-light-responsive nanoparticles to treat cancer.

The nanoparticles can deliver a chemotherapy drug specifically targeted to cancer cells and selectively release the drug in response to an external beam of light. They can also create heat for synergistic thermo-chemo-mediated anti-tumor effects.

Excitement around the potential for targeted nanoparticles (NPs) that can be controlled… read more

Space elevator by 2050 planned, to include space solar power

February 22, 2012

space_elevator

Obayashi Corp., headquartered in Tokyo, has unveiled a project to build a space elevator by the year 2050 that would transport passengers to a station 36,000 kilometers above the Earth and transmit power to the ground.

A cable, made of carbon nanotubes, would be stretched up to 96,000 kilometers, or about one-fourth of the distance between the Earth and the moon. One end of… read more

Mysterious cloud spotted on Mars

March 25, 2012

Mars_cloud

Amateur astronomers are puzzling over a seemingly anomalous cloud that has shown up on images of Mars taken over the past few days, MSNBC Cosmic Log reports.

More: Exosky.net.

Toward achieving 1 million times increase in computing efficiency

July 11, 2012

Magnetoresistive spin-transistor

Northwestern University researchers may have found an alternative to CMOS (current computer processor chips) that would allow for highly efficient computer logic circuits that generate much less heat: an entirely new logic circuit family based on magnetic semiconductor devices that could lead to logic circuits up to 1 million times more power-efficient than today’s.

Background

Modern-day computers are based on logic circuits using semiconductor transistors.… read more

How to watch everything in 3D

August 3, 2012

3DVision

Gene Dolgoff has developed a converter called 3-D Vision that he claims will instantly transform any 2-D video content — from TV to video games — into 3-D, using algorithms that present stereoscopic image pairs and give the illusion of depth, PandoDaily reports.

His crowdsourced Fundable 3-D Vision project (for design of the box) has reached more than half of its $10,000 goal in only four… read more

New metamaterial lens focuses radio waves

Device could improve satellite and molecular imaging
November 15, 2012

The orientation of 4,000 S-shaped units forms a metamaterial lens that focuses radio waves with extreme precision, and very little energy lost (credit: Dylan Erb/MIT)

MIT researchers have fabricated a three-dimensional, lightweight metamaterial lens that focuses radio waves with extreme precision.

The concave lens exhibits a property called negative refraction, bending electromagnetic waves — in this case, radio waves — in exactly the opposite sense from which a normal concave lens would work.

Concave lenses typically radiate radio waves… read more

NASA Mars rover fully analyzes first soil samples

December 5, 2012

curiosity_trenches_mars

NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover has used its full array of instruments to analyze Martian soil for the first time, and found a complex chemistry within the Martian soil, including water and sulfur and chlorine-containing substances.

The rover’s laboratory includes the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) suite and the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instrument. SAM used three methods to analyze gases given off from the dusty… read more

Software predicts tomorrow’s news by analyzing today’s and yesterday’s

February 4, 2013

800px-World_newspapers_

Prototype software can give early warnings of disease or violence outbreaks by spotting clues in news reports.

Researchers have created software that predicts when and where disease outbreaks might occur, based on two decades of New York Times articles and other online data. The research comes from Microsoft and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, MIT Technology Review reports.

The system could someday help aid organizations and… read more

Handheld plasma flashlight rids skin of pathogens

April 6, 2012

portableplasmaflashlight

Imagine a handheld, battery-powered plasma-producing device that can rid skin of bacteria in an instant — no soap and water required.

It could be used in ambulance emergency calls, natural disaster sites, military combat operations, and wherever treatment is required in remote locations.

It’s called a “plasma flashlight.”

In an experiment, the plasma flashlight effectively inactivated a thick biofilm with 17 different layers of one of the most… read more

Water on the moon: it’s been there all along

February 21, 2013

Traces of water have been detected within the crystalline structure of mineral samples from the lunar highland upper crust obtained during the Apollo missions, according to a University of Michigan researcher and his colleagues.

The lunar highlands are thought to represent the original crust, crystallized from a magma ocean on a mostly molten early moon. The new findings indicate that the early moon was wet and that water there… read more

70% of American adults have high-speed broadband access at home

August 28, 2013

pew - internet

As of May 2013, 70% of American adults ages 18 and older have a high-speed broadband* connection at home, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.

Groups with the highest rates of home broadband adoption continue to be college graduates, adults under age 50, and adults living in households earning at least $50,000, as well as whites and adults living in… read more

Graphene superconducting property discovered

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory see electrons dancing in superconducting material, setting a foundation for future explorations
March 21, 2014

graphene_sheets_final_highres

Scientists at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have discovered how graphene  — a single layer of carbon atoms with great promise for future electronics — is superconducting in a graphene-calcium compound, meaning that graphene would carry electricity with 100 percent efficiency.

While it’s been known for nearly a decade that this combined material is superconducting, the new study offers the first… read more

Germany to tap brakes on high-speed trading

October 29, 2012

hft_chart

Germany is set to advance a bill Wednesday imposing a spate of new rules on high-frequency trading, escalating Europe’s sweeping response to concerns that speedy traders have brought instability to the markets.

The measure seeks to require traders to register with Germany’s Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, collect fees from those who use high-speed trading systems excessively, and force stock markets to install circuit breakers that can interrupt trading if… read more

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