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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

How to control fruit flies by putting designer drugs in their food

Don't tell Alex Jones about this, whatever you do!
September 9, 2013

Drosophila melanogaster aka fruit fly (credit: Mr.checker/ Wikimedia Commons)

So scientists at LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans have figured out how to control fruit-fly behavior and physiology by spiking their food with a designer drug called (we’re not making this up) DREADD (Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs).

The idea is to give them Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cancer, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, epilepsy, ALS, and mental illness.

That’s all we need, crazed… read more

Nutrient mixture and varied brain activities improve memory in patients with early Alzheimer’s

A mixture of choline, uridine and the omega-3 fatty acid DHA -- precursors to the lipid molecules in brain-cell membranes -- help overcome loss of connections between brain cells, and diversifying the mental space that you explore may also decrease your risk
July 16, 2012

mit_alzheimer_synapse

A clinical trial of an Alzheimer’s disease treatment developed at MIT has found that the nutrient cocktail can improve memory in patients with early Alzheimer’s.

The results confirm and expand the findings of an earlier trial of the nutritional supplement, which is designed to promote new connections between brain cells.

Alzheimer’s patients gradually lose synapses, leading to memory loss and other cognitive impairments. The… read more

Chronic 2000-04 drought, worst in 800 years, may be the ‘new normal’

July 31, 2012

Pinyon pine forests near Los Alamos, N.M., had already begun to turn brown from drought stress in the image at left, in 2002, and another photo taken in 2004 from the same vantage point, at right, show them largely grey and dead. (Photo by Craig Allen, U.S. Geological Survey)

The chronic drought that hit western North America from 2000 to 2004 left dying forests and depleted river basins in its wake and was the strongest in 800 years, scientists have concluded, but they say those conditions will become the “new normal” for most of the coming century.

Such climatic extremes have increased as a result of global warming, a group of 10 researchers reported Sunday in Nature Geoscience. And… read more

Titan supercomputer capable of 20 petaflops peak performance

October 30, 2012

Titan_ornl

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has launched a new era of scientific supercomputing today with Titan, a system capable of more than 20,000 trillion calculations each second — or 20 petaflops — peak performance by employing a family of processors called graphic processing units (GPUs) first created for computer gaming.

Titan is now one of the world’s fastest supercomputers,… read more

Solar achieves grid parity in India and Italy, others to follow in 2014

April 8, 2013

Solar panels

Analysts at Deutsche Bank have predicted that the global solar PV sector will transition from a subsidized market to a sustainable market within a year, citing the arrival of “grid parity” in a number of key markets, unexpectedly strong demand and rebounding margins, reports Renew Economy.

The Deutsche Bank team said key markets such as India, China and the U.S. are experiencing strong demand and solar… read more

Controlled atomic-layer crystal growth is ‘breakthrough’ for solar-cell efficiency

October 30, 2013

InGaN-GaN

Arizona State University and Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have developed a new approach to growing indium gallium nitride (InGaN) crystals, promising “record-breaking” photovoltaic solar cell efficiencies.

Researchers previously found that the atomic separation of the crystal layers of the InGaN alloy varies, which can lead to high levels of strain, breakdowns in growth, and fluctuations in the alloy’s chemical composition.

“Being able to ease… read more

Quantum Computing Playground lets you run a simulated quantum computer

May 27, 2014

Quantum Computing Playground (credit: Google)

Google engineers have developed a simulated quantum computer called Quantum Computing Playground that allows you to write, run, and debug software using quantum algorithms.

Quantum Computing Playground runs in a Chrome browser with a simple interactive interface. A scripting language called QScript includes debugging and 3D quantum-state visualization features.

You can efficiently simulate quantum registers up to 22 qubits and run Grover’s and Shor’s algorithms. There’s also a… read more

‘Bi-Fi’ — the biological Internet

September 28, 2012

bio_internet_stanford

Using the innocuous M13 bacterial virus, bioengineers at Stanford have created a biological mechanism to send genetic messages from cell to cell — which they term the “biological Internet,” or “Bi-Fi.”

The system greatly increases the complexity and amount of data that can be communicated between cells and could lead to greater control of biological functions within cell communities.

The advance could prove a boon to bioengineers looking… read more

How ‘bullet time’ will revolutionize exascale computing

The filming technique used in The Matrix will change the way we access the huge computer simulations of the future, say computer scientists
February 12, 2013

( Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

The exascale computing era is almost upon us and computer scientists are already running into difficulties. 1 exaflop is 10^18 floating point operations per second, that’s a thousand petaflops. The current trajectory of computer science should produce this kind of  capability by 2018 or so.

How do humans access and make sense of the exascale data sets?

The answer, of course, is to find some way to compress… read more

Patent awarded for treating obesity and related conditions [exclusive]

December 3, 2013

Obese vs. normal mouse (unrelated to the experiment) (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

U.S. Patent No. 8,598,150 was awarded today (Dec. 3) for the use of an antioxidant compound called MnTBAP* for treatment of obesity and obesity-related conditions, such as insulin resistance or pre-diabetes.

The patent was filed by two Skidmore College researchers: Jonathan R. Brestoff Parker and professor Thomas H. Reynolds, IV.

In unpublished mouse experiments, they found that the compound decreases obesity by promoting triglyceride breakdown… read more

‘Electronic tongue’ identifies brands of beer with 81.9% accuracy

February 4, 2014

beer

Spanish researchers have managed to distinguish between different varieties of beer using an “electronic tongue,” with an accuracy of 81.9%.

Scientists at the Autonomous University of Barcelona used an array of 21 sensors formed from ion-selective electrodes, including some with response to cations (ammonium, sodium), others with response to anions (nitrate, chloride, etc.), and electrodes with generic (unspecified) responses.

The authors recorded the multidimensional response generated by the… read more

First arrest captured on Google Glass

July 8, 2013

glass-sighted arrest

On July 4th, documentary filmmaker named Chris Barrett captured the first fight and subsequent arrest using the Google Glass extended video recording option on the Jersey Shore boardwalk,  Barrett told Venture Beat.

“This video is proof that Google Glass will change citizen journalism forever,” Barrett claims.

“That’s nothing we haven’t seen before caught on ‘tape’ by a videocamera or a mobile phone camera, but the fact… read more

New benchtop sequencers shipping; sequence genome in under a day

September 14, 2012

oxford_nanopore_technologies

Life Technologies began shipments of its new Ion Proton benchtop sequencing instrument on Thursday, but the sequencing race is still on.

Illumina and Oxford Nanopore have also promised new machines by the end of the year, each capable of sequencing a human genome in less than a day, Nature News Blog reports.

The Ion Proton machine costs $150,000 and performs 4-hour sequencing runs using $1,000 disposable… read more

Moderate exercise enhances memory and preserves gray matter

Exercise can improve your memory and preserve brain cells, researchers find
November 28, 2012

Jogging_young_female

A short burst of moderate exercise enhances the consolidation of memories in both healthy older adults and those with mild cognitive impairment, scientists with UC Irvine’s Center for the Neurobiology of Learning & Memory have discovered.

In their study, post-doctoral researcher Sabrina Segal and neurobiologists Carl Cotman and Lawrence Cahill had people 50 to 85 years old with and without memory deficits view… read more

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