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YouTube, social media play new role in presidential debate

Campaigns are gearing up to shape social media reactions in real time
October 3, 2012

YT_election_hub

The Internet will play an expanded role in tonight’s presidential debate.

YouTube has teamed up with ABC News and Yahoo News to stream the debate.

And as a sign of just how pervasive and crucial social media has become, in some states elected officials are only one degree of “friend” separation from nearly every Facebook account holder in that state, says JD Schlough, a… read more

Why we need a supercomputer on the Moon

October 3, 2012

lunar_supercomputer

Building a supercomputer on the moon would be a mammoth technical undertaking, but a University of Southern California graduate student thinks there’s a very good reason for doing it: help alleviate a coming deep-space network traffic jam that’s had NASA scientists worried for several years now.

Ouliang Chang floated his lunar supercomputer idea a few weeks ago at a space conference in Pasadena, California, read more

Acoustic cell-sorting chip may lead to cell-phone-sized medical labs

October 3, 2012

acoustic_cell_sorting_chip

A technique that uses acoustic waves to sort cells on a chip may create miniature medical analytic devices.

The device uses two beams of standing surface acoustic waves (SSAW) to act as acoustic tweezers to sort a continuous flow of cells on a dime-sized chip, said Tony Jun Huang, associate professor of engineering science and mechanics, Penn State.

By changing the frequency of the acoustic… read more

Making the Kinect ‘finger-precise’

October 3, 2012

A 3Gear pointing interface (credit: 3Gear Systems)

3Gear Systems has announced a software development kit for adding gestures to applications, using your entire hand (fingers, thumbs, wrists and all) for user interaction.

“This is especially useful when you’re doing something 3D, say assembling 3D parts in Computer Aided Design (CAD), flying through a medical 3D MRI scan, or playing 3D games.

“With the rise of 3D printing and the Maker community, we’re especially interested… read more

The cosmological supercomputer

How the Bolshoi simulation evolves the universe all over again
October 3, 2012

cosmic_web

Most of the ordinary matter in the universe — the stuff that makes up all the atoms, stars, and galaxies astronomers can see — is invisible, either sprinkled throughout intergalactic space in tenuous forms that emit and absorb little light or else swaddled inside galaxies in murky clouds of dust and gas, Joel R. Primack writes in IEEE Spectrum.

When astronomers look out into the night… read more

Smartphone technology acceptable for remote stroke diagnosis

October 3, 2012

stroke image

A new Mayo Clinic study confirms the use of smartphones medical images to evaluate stroke patients in remote locations through telemedicine.

“Essentially what this means is that telemedicine can fit in our pockets,” says Bart Demaerschalk, M.D., professor of Neurology, and medical director of Mayo Clinic Telestroke.

“For patients this means access to expertise in a timely fashion when they need it… read more

A new way to create ‘building blocks’ for drugs

October 3, 2012

synthetically_useful_byarils

A new way to prepare biaryls — compounds that are essential building blocks in the creation of drugs and many modern materials such as LEDs — using gold as a catalyst is described by University of Bristol researchers in Science.

Gold catalysis is easier, cheaper and more environmentally friendly than current methods that use palladium as a catalyst.

Biaryls, compounds containing two directly connected benzene… read more

Handheld 3D medical scanner to provide high-resolution 3D imaging in doctor’s offices

October 4, 2012

Handheld scanner with interchangeable tips for imaging various tissue sites

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) engineers have created a handheld scanner to enable primary care physicians to image conmon sites, such as bacterial colonies in the middle ear or the thickness and health of patients’ retinas.

In the operating room, surgeons can see inside the human body in real time using advanced imaging techniques, but primary care physicians haven’t commonly had access to the same technology — until now.… read more

High-capacity 3D transparent memory a step closer to reality

October 4, 2012

Transparent Memory

Rice University researchers led by chemist James Tour have just written a paper in the journal Nature Communications that describes transparent, non-volatile, heat- and radiation-resistant memory chips created in Tour’s lab from silicon oxide sandwiched between electrodes of graphene, the single-atom-thick form of carbon.

More than four years ago, they discovered it was possible to make bits of computer memory from silicon and carbon, but make them much smaller and perhaps better than anything… read more

Sub-nanometer graphene nanopores for low-cost DNA sequencing

Less costly ways of seqequencing DNA could open new possibilities for disease prevention
October 4, 2012

TEM image of shrinkage of nanopore in a graphene sheet

Engineers at the University of Texas at Dallas have used advanced techniques to make the material graphene small enough to read DNA by shrinking the size of a graphene pore to less than one nanometer — opening the possibility of using graphene as a low-cost tool to sequence DNA.

“Sequencing DNA at a very cheap cost would enable scientists and doctors to better predict and diagnose disease,… read more

Intelligence could not be linked to 12 specific genetic variants, contradicting studies

October 4, 2012

IQ_curve

Most of the specific genes long thought to be linked to intelligence probably have no bearing on one’s IQ, and new study by psychological scientist Christopher Chabris of Union College has revealed.

Chabris and David Laibson, a Harvard economist, led an international team of researchers that analyzed a dozen genes using large data sets that included both intelligence testing and genetic data.

In nearly every case, the researchers found… read more

Immune system can boost regeneration of peripheral nerves

Finding the master knob to turn on nerve repair
October 4, 2012

regrowth_nerve_tissue

Modulating immune response to injury could accelerate the regeneration of severed peripheral nerves, a new Georgia Tech study in an animal model has found. By altering activity of the macrophage cells that respond to injuries, researchers dramatically increased the rate at which nerve processes regrew.

Influencing the macrophages immediately after injury may affect the whole cascade of biochemical events that occurs after nerve damage, potentially eliminating… read more

Reality is a computer projection: physicists

What we call reality might actually be the output of a program running on a cosmos-sized quantum computer
October 4, 2012

princess_leia_star_wars

Whatever kind of reality you think you’re living in, you’re probably wrong. The universe is a computer, and everything that goes on in it can be explained in terms of information processing, speculates New Scientist in a special issue on What is reality?

“Quantum physics is almost phrased in terms of information processing,” says Vlatko Vedral of the University of Oxford. “It’s suggestive that you will… read more

Why artificial general intelligence has failed and how to fix it

October 4, 2012

(Credit: iStockphoto)

The field of “artificial general intelligence” or AGI has made no progress whatever during the entire six decades of its existence, says Oxford University physicist David Deutsch in this abridged version of an essay in aeon magazine. — Ed.

It is uncontroversial that the human brain has capabilities that are, in some respects, far superior to those of all other known objects in the cosmos. It is the… read more

A closed Android-based network to study cyber disruptions and help secure hand-held devices

October 4, 2012

Sandia builds self-contained, Android-based network to study cyber disruptions and help secure hand-held devices

As part of ongoing research to help prevent and mitigate disruptions to computer networks on the Internet, researchers at Sandia National Laboratories in California have turned their attention to smartphones and other hand-held computing devices.

Sandia cyber researchers linked together 300,000 virtual hand-held computing devices running the Android operating system so they could study large networks of smartphones and find ways to make them more reliable and… read more

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