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Scientists teach computers how to analyze brain cells

Thu, 04/12/2018 - 18:10
In the early days of neuroscience research, scientists painstakingly stained brain cells and drew by hand what they saw in a microscope. Fast forward to 2018 and machines may be able to learn how to do that work. According to a new study, it may be possible to teach machines how to pick out features in neurons and other cells that have not been stained or undergone other damaging treatments.

Computer the size of a pinhead? Combination for small data storage and tinier computers

Thu, 04/12/2018 - 17:38
It may sound like a futuristic device out of a spy novel, a computer the size of a pinhead, but according to new research it might be a reality sooner than once thought. Researchers have discovered that using an easily made combination of materials might be the way to offer a more stable environment for smaller and safer data storage, ultimately leading to miniature computers.

Student develops gaming technology for scientific research

Thu, 04/12/2018 - 14:28
Scientists have developed a new method and software for using computer game technology for complex scientific and engineering simulations.

How social media helps scientists get the message across

Thu, 04/12/2018 - 12:57
Analyzing the famous academic aphorism 'publish or perish' through a modern digital lens, a group of emerging ecologists and conservation scientists wanted to see whether communicating their new research discoveries through social media -- primarily Twitter -- eventually leads to higher citations years down the road. Turns out, the tweets are worth the time investment.

New aspects of superconductivity and related phenomena

Wed, 04/11/2018 - 21:40
Discovered accidentally over a century ago, the phenomenon of superconductivity continues to inspire a technological revolution. In 1911, while studying the behavior of solid mercury supercooled to 4 K (-269 °C), Dutch physicist Heike Kamerlingh Onnes (1853-1926) observed for the first time that certain materials conducted electricity with neither resistance nor losses at temperatures in the vicinity of absolute zero. Scientist are further exploring the exotic behaviors displayed by organic compounds subjected to low temperatures.

Digital addiction increases loneliness, anxiety and depression

Wed, 04/11/2018 - 20:13
A new study finds that smartphone use can be similar to other types of substance use.

How to catch a fish genome with big data

Wed, 04/11/2018 - 17:17
If you eat fish in the U.S., chances are it once swam in or near another country. That's because the U.S. imports over 80 percent of its seafood, according to estimates by the United Nations. New genetic research could help make farmed fish more palatable and bring America's wild fish species to dinner tables. Scientists have used big data and supercomputers to catch a fish genome, a first step in its sustainable aquaculture harvest.

New quantum method generates really random numbers

Wed, 04/11/2018 - 17:16
Researchers have developed a method for generating numbers guaranteed to be random, through the use of quantum mechanics. The experimental technique surpasses all previous methods for ensuring the unpredictability of its random numbers and may enhance security and trust in cryptographic systems.

Darker emoji skin tones promote diversity, Twitter study shows

Wed, 04/11/2018 - 15:10
Emoji characters with modified skin tones are used positively and are rarely abused, a study of Twitter posts has shown.

The thermodynamics of computing

Wed, 04/11/2018 - 15:10
Information processing requires a lot of energy. Energy-saving computer systems could make computing more efficient, but the efficiency of these systems can't be increased indefinitely, as physicists show.

Tiny injectable sensor could provide unobtrusive, long-term alcohol monitoring

Tue, 04/10/2018 - 20:11
Engineers have developed a tiny, ultra-low power chip that could be injected just under the surface of the skin for continuous, long-term alcohol monitoring. The chip is powered wirelessly by a wearable device such as a smartwatch or patch. The goal of this work is to develop a convenient, routine monitoring device for patients in substance abuse treatment programs.

Making computer animation more agile, acrobatic -- and realistic

Tue, 04/10/2018 - 20:11
Animation in film and video games is hard to make realistic: each action typically requires creating a separate controller, while deep reinforcement learning has yet to generate realistic human or animal motion. Computer scientists have now developed an algorithm that uses reinforcement learning to generate realistic simulations that can even recover realistically, after tripping, for example. The same algorithm works for 25 acrobatic and dance tricks, with one month of learning per skill.

Smallest volume, most efficient wireless nerve stimulator

Tue, 04/10/2018 - 20:10
Engineers have taken their neural dust invention a step forward by building the smallest volume, most efficient wireless nerve stimulator to date.

Mini toolkit for measurements: New chip hints at quantum sensors of the future

Tue, 04/10/2018 - 17:28
Researchers have created a chip on which laser light interacts with a tiny cloud of atoms to serve as a miniature toolkit for measuring important quantities such as length with quantum precision. The design could be mass-produced with existing technology.

Diamond-based circuits can take the heat for advanced applications

Tue, 04/10/2018 - 15:09
When power generators transfer electricity, they lose almost 10 percent of the generated power. To address this, scientists are researching new diamond semiconductor circuits to make power conversion systems more efficient. Researchers have now successfully fabricated a key circuit in power conversion systems using hydrogenated diamond. These circuits can be used in diamond-based electronic devices that are smaller, lighter and more efficient than silicon-based devices.

Gecko-inspired adhesives help soft robotic fingers get a better grip

Tue, 04/10/2018 - 15:09
Researchers have developed a robotic gripper that combines the adhesive properties of gecko toes and the adaptability of air-powered soft robots to grasp a much wider variety of objects than the state of the art.

Digital penicillin production

Tue, 04/10/2018 - 14:35
Microorganisms are often used to produce chemicals. These processes are usually very complicated. It is hard to completely understand every detail of the process, when living organisms are involved. Therefore, bioreactors are often seen as 'black boxes' that can only be effectively exploited with a lot of experience. Scientists have succeeded in completely analyzing the penicillin production process, simulating it on the computer and making it predictable -- a paradigm shift for bioprocesses.

Everything we know about Internet gaming disorder

Tue, 04/10/2018 - 14:34
An analysis of articles on Internet gaming disorder (IGD) notes that the condition has a complex psychosocial background, and many personal, neurobiological, familial, and environmental factors may put certain individuals at increased risk.

Paralyzed patient feels sensation again

Tue, 04/10/2018 - 12:42
Using a tiny array of electrodes implanted in the brain's somatosensory cortex, scientists have induced sensations of touch and movement in the hand and arm of a paralyzed man.

New device modulates light and amplifies tiny signals

Mon, 04/09/2018 - 18:16
Researchers have for the first time created a plasmomechanical oscillator, a nanometer-scale device that is no bigger than a red blood cell but has myriad technological applications.