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Hacking and computer security. Read today's research news on hacking and protecting against codebreakers. New software, secure data sharing, and more.
Updated: 1 hour 43 sec ago

Paving the way for cyborg moth 'biobots'

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 13:17
Researchers have developed methods for electronically manipulating the flight muscles of moths and for monitoring the electrical signals moths use to control those muscles. The work opens the door to the development of remotely-controlled moths, or 'biobots,' for use in emergency response.

Major step toward optical computing: Non-metallic metamaterial used to 'compress' and contain light

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 16:59
Engineering researchers are designing nano-optical cables small enough to replace the copper wiring on computer chips. The advance could result in radical increases in computing speeds and reduced energy use by electronic devices.

How worms crawl: mathematical model challenges traditional view

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 15:30
A new mathematical model for earthworms and insect larvae challenges the traditional view of how these soft bodied animals get around. Researchers say that there is a far greater role for the body's mechanical properties and the local nerves which react to the surface that the animal is traveling across.

First indirect evidence of so-far undetected strange baryons

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 15:30
New supercomputing calculations provide the first evidence that particles predicted by the theory of quark-gluon interactions but never before observed are being produced in heavy-ion collisions at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider.

Cloud computing: The last step towards technological globalization?

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 12:32
Cloud computing is not only the latest revolution in the ICT world, but a key enhancer of innovation and economic development. Within the framework of the project CLOUDS, Madrid-based researchers have made crucial scientific advances in the state-of-the-art of cloud computing.

Hybrid laminate material with magnetic and photoactive properties

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 12:32
Researchers confirm for the first time the possibility of modulating the magnetic properties of an inorganic material through organic photoactive molecules activated by light.

A new wireless energy transfer device can charge any device without using cables

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 12:32
Researchers have designed a new device for wireless energy transfer that will, for example, charge mobile phones or laptops without needing cables.

Most complete Antarctic map for climate research made public

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 00:41
A new satellite image of Antarctica has been made available to the public, and the imagery will help scientists all over the world gain new insight into the effects of climate change. Using Synthetic Aperture Radar with multiple polarization modes aboard the RADARSAT-2 satellite, the CSA collected more than 3,150 images of the continent in the autumn of 2008, comprising a single pole-to-coast map covering all of Antarctica. This is the first such map of the area since RADARSAT-1 created one in 1997.

New 'invisibility cloak': Octopus-inspired camouflage systems automatically read surroundings and mimic them

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 00:41
Researchers have developed a technology that allows a material to automatically read its environment and adapt to mimic its surroundings. Cunjiang Yu, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Houston and lead author of the paper, said the system was inspired by the skins of cephalopods, a class of marine animals which can change coloration quickly, both for camouflage and as a form of warning.

Research improves temperature modeling across mountainous landscapes

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 20:14
New research provides improved computer models for estimating temperature across mountainous landscapes. Accurate, spatially based estimates of historical air temperature within mountainous areas are critical as scientists and land managers look at temperature-driven changes to vegetation, wildlife habitat, wildfire and snowpack.

New tool makes online personal data more transparent

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 17:51
XRay is a new tool that reveals which data in a web account, such as emails, searches, or viewed products, are being used to target which outputs, such as ads, recommended products, or prices. Determined to provide checks and balances on data abuse, XRay is designed to be the first fine-grained, scalable personal data tracking system for the web.

Algorithm for reducing errors in transcriptome analysis

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 13:52
Researchers are proposing a new concept for signalome-wide analysis of changes in intracellular pathways, called OncoFinder, which allows for accurate and robust cross-platform analysis of gene expression data. This new technique will allow scientists to derive useful information from and compare the hundreds of thousands of data sets obtained using legacy equipment as well as data sets obtained from biological samples preserved in paraffin blocks and partially-degraded samples.

Surprising number of older adults weathered the 'great recession' without financial strain

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 05:22
The “Great Recession” may have put a dent in many older adults’ pocketbooks, but a new study finds that more than 40 percent reported a decrease in “financial strain” between 2006 and 2010.

How children's brains memorize math facts

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 02:01
As children learn basic arithmetic, they gradually switch from solving problems by counting on their fingers to pulling facts from memory. The shift comes more easily for some kids than for others, but no one knows why. Now, new brain-imaging research gives the first evidence drawn from a longitudinal study to explain how the brain reorganizes itself as children learn math facts.

'Cavity protection effect' helps to conserve quantum information

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 02:00
Two different quantum systems are being coupled by researchers to create a powerful hybrid quantum system. Using a strong coupling effect, the coherence time could now be considerably prolonged.

Giving credit where credit is due: Credit allocation among researchers determined by new algorithm

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 23:25
A new algorithm may help to accurately allocate credit to authors on multi-author papers across disciplines. Using the algo­rithm, the team revealed a new credit allo­ca­tion system based on how often the paper is co-cited with the other papers pub­lished by the paper's co-authors, cap­turing the authors' addi­tional con­tri­bu­tions to the field.

#FeelingSick: Can Twitter help better identify foodborne illness cases?

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 23:22
An estimated 55 million to 105 million people in the United States suffer from foodborne illnesses each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), resulting in costs of $2-$4 billion annually. What if Twitter could be used to track those cases and more quickly identify the source of the problem? A new analysis shows that new technology might better allow health departments to engage with the public to improve foodborne illness surveillance.

Laser makes microscopes way cooler, incredibly sensitive

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:23
Laser physicists have found a way to make atomic-force microscope probes 20 times more sensitive and capable of detecting forces as small as the weight of an individual virus. The technique hinges on using laser beams to cool a nanowire probe to -265 degrees Celsius. "The level of sensitivity achieved after cooling is accurate enough for us to sense the weight of a large virus that is 100 billion times lighter than a mosquito," said one researcher.

Researchers develop defense against cyberattacks

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:23
A group of journalists has reported the existence of the 'Hacienda' spy program. According to this report, five western intelligence agencies are using the Hacienda software to identify vulnerable servers across the world in order to control them and use them for their own purposes. Scientists have now developed free software that can help prevent this kind of identification and thus the subsequent capture of systems.

Possible extended symmetries of field theoretic systems

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:22
Many physical systems, from superfluids to pi mesons, are understood to be manifestations of spontaneous symmetry breaking, whereby the symmetries of a system are not realized by its lowest energy state. A consequence of spontaneous symmetry breaking is the existence of excitations known as Goldstone bosons, which account for the broken symmetries. Here the authors investigate systems with larger than usual amounts of broken symmetry.