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Mysterious cloud spotted on Mars

March 25, 2012


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.


Graphene superconducting property discovered

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


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

Why your memory is like the telephone game

Each time you recall an event, your brain distorts it
September 21, 2012

(Credit: iStockphoto)

Remember the telephone game where people take turns whispering a message into the ear of the next person in line? By the time the last person speaks it out loud, the message has radically changed. It’s been altered with each retelling.

Turns out your memory is a lot like that, according to a new Northwestern University Medicine study.

Every time you remember an event from the… read more

Getting enough sleep?

Johns Hopkins mobile app helps physicians identify common sleep disorders in patients
April 2, 2015

My Sleep101 ft.

Experts from the Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep hope to help patients get a better night’s sleep by providing health care staff members with a basic educational tool on their smartphones.

Called MySleep101, the mobile learning application offers providers who are not experts in sleep disorders information on how to screen and counsel patients experiencing sleepless nights. Doctors, nurses and other care providers can access basic information about the seven… read more

Google plans to test its new self driving vehicle prototypes on California roads

May 15, 2015

Our safety drivers will test fully self-driving vehicle prototypes like this one on the streets of Mountain View, Calif., this summer (credit: Google)

Google announced today (May 15) that it test a few of its new Volkswagen Beetle-like prototype self-driving vehicles on roads in Mountain View, Calif. this summer Unlike Google’s previous prototype test vehicles, these will have safety drivers aboard, and with a steering wheel, accelerator pedal, and brake pedal if needed.

These vehicles are designed for local driving, with speed capped at 25mph.

Google said the… read more

Walking in nature lowers risk of depression, scientists find in MRI study

Urbanization is associated with increased levels of mental illness
July 1, 2015

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A new study has found quantifiable evidence that supports the common-sense idea that walking in nature could lower your risk of depression.

The study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, found that people who walked for 90 minutes in a natural area, as opposed to participants who walked in a high-traffic urban setting (El Camino Real in Palo Alto, California, a noisy street with three to four… read more

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

February 4, 2013


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

Google wants to replace all your passwords with a ring

March 13, 2013


As part of research into doing away with typed passwords, Google has built rings that not only adorn a finger but also can be used to log in to a computer or online account, MIT Technology Review reports.

At the RSA security conference in San Francisco last month, Mayank Upadhyay, a principal engineer at Google,  said that using personal hardware to log in would remove the dangers of… read more

Machine learning rivals human skills in cancer detection

April 22, 2016

Samsung Medison RS80A ultrasound system (credit: Samsung)

Two announcements yesterday (April 21) suggest that deep learning algorithms rival human skills in detecting cancer from ultrasound images and in identifying cancer in pathology reports.

Samsung Medison, a global medical equipment company and an affiliate of Samsung Electronics, has just updated its RS80A ultrasound imaging system with a deep learning algorithm for breast-lesion analysis.

The “S-Detect for Breast” feature uses big data collected… read more

111 organizations call for synthetic biology moratorium

March 15, 2012


Synthetic biology needs more oversight, and the government needs to put in place regulations specific for this field, according to 111 environmental, watchdog, and other organizations, which have released a report with specific recommendations for managing new biological techniques for building and remaking organisms for research and commercial uses ranging from medicines to biofuels.

Calling synthetic biology “an extreme form of genetic engineering,” the report said… read more

How to grow a human liver in a dish

June 22, 2012


Japanese scientists have used induced stem cells to create a liver-like tissue in a dish.

The achievement could have big clinical implications — a significant advance in the ability to coax stem cells to self-organize into organs.

The work was presented by Yokohama City University stem-cell biologist Takanori Takebe at the annual meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Research in Yokohama.

“It blew my… read more

Wave energy costs should compare favorably to other energy sources

January 7, 2015

The Ocean Sentinel, one of the nation's first wave-energy testing devices, has been deployed off the Oregon Coast (credit: Pat Kight, Oregon Sea Grant)

Large-scale wave energy systems developed in the Pacific Northwest should be comparatively steady, dependable, and able to be integrated into the overall energy grid at lower costs than some other forms of alternative energy, including wind power, a new analysis suggests.

The findings, published in the journal Renewable Energy, confirm what scientists have expected — that wave energy will have fewer problems with variability than some energy sources and… read more

A 3D-printed navy?

May 23, 2013

The Northrop Grumman-built Triton unmanned aircraft system completed its first flight on May 22, 2013. Could a future version be 3D-printed? (Credit: Northrop Grumman by Bob Brown)

Instead a carrying spare parts, space-constrained U.S. Navy ships in the future might carry 3-D printers and bags of various powdered ingredients, and simply download the design files needed to print items as necessary, according to the Armed Forces Journal,

“Perhaps closer at hand is a distributed global production network in which sailors and Marines send an email with a digital scan or design for a

read more

Large-scale quantum chip validated

July 1, 2013


A team of scientists at USC has verified that quantum effects are indeed at play in the first commercial quantum optimization processor.

The team demonstrated that the D-Wave processor housed at the USC-Lockheed Martin Quantum Computing Center behaves in a manner that indicates that quantum mechanics has a functional role in the way it works. The demonstration involved a small subset of the… read more

Extending MRI to nanoscale resolution

October 2, 2013

Illustration of the experimental setup shows the two unique components of the teams novel MRI technique that was successful in producing a 2D MRI image with spatial resolution on the nanoscale

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Northwestern University researchers have devised a novel nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique that delivers about 10­ nanometers spatial resolution.

This represents a significant advance in MRI sensitivity. Current MRI techniques commonly used in medical imaging yield spatial resolutions on the millimeter length scale, with the highest-resolution experimental instruments giving spatial resolution of a few micrometers.

“Our approach… read more

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