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Updated: 12 min 13 sec ago

Do CEOs deserve all the attention they get? New research provides answers

Wed, 05/20/2015 - 15:43
Media interest in CEOs has soared to stratospheric heights in recent years, with the likes of Jeff Bezos and Steve Jobs becoming household names. But do corporate top dogs deserve all that attention? New research shows that a CEO does indeed often have an outsized effect on firm performance.

Amazing microdroplet structures may lead to new technologies

Wed, 05/20/2015 - 15:42
Unexpected shapes of mesoscale atoms -- structures built of microdroplets encapsulated within microdroplets -- have now been created. The discovery was possible with a new method for precise control over placement of tiny segments of liquid, one in another. With further progress in innovative microfluidic systems, the method may find use in medicine and materials science.

Learning about massive open online courses

Wed, 05/20/2015 - 15:41
Over the past five years, massive open online courses (MOOCs) have become an important component of modern education disrupting many conventions and opening up a wide range of new approaches and possibilities. Now, computer scientists explain how expectations are high for what MOOCs can achieve in terms of opening access, widening participation and cost saving. They have studied the scientific literature surrounding MOOCs and find that there is little evidence of support and that currently MOOCs do not live up to those expectations.

Toward 'green' paper-thin, flexible electronics

Wed, 05/20/2015 - 14:06
The rapid evolution of gadgets has brought us an impressive array of 'smart' products from phones to tablets, and now watches and glasses. But they still haven't broken free from their rigid form. Now scientists are reporting a new step toward bendable electronics. They have developed the first light-emitting, transparent and flexible paper out of environmentally friendly materials via a simple, suction-filtration method.

New technology could fundamentally change future wireless communications

Wed, 05/20/2015 - 14:00
New technology is being developed that could fundamentally change radio design and could increase data rates and network capacity, reduce power consumption, create cheaper devices and enable global roaming.

Smarter algorithms ensure more secure chip cards

Wed, 05/20/2015 - 12:33
Scientists have succeeded in securing chip cards against leaking confidential information. Through the use of smart algorithms it is now possible to better secure, for instance, bank cards, public transport chip cards and electronic keys of buildings and cars against hackers.

Performance enhancing sensor ready for commercialization

Wed, 05/20/2015 - 12:32
A wearable device will provide real-time data analysis of fluid loss during exercise to enhance the performance of fitness enthusiasts and elite athletes.

Drought-induced tree mortality accelerating in forests

Tue, 05/19/2015 - 22:22
Drought and heat-induced tree mortality is accelerating in many forest biomes as a consequence of a warming climate, researchers report. To predict characteristics of plants that will survive and die during drought in future warmer climates, scientists used Darcy's Law, a core principle of vascular plant physiology. Darcy's Law is an equation that describes the flow of liquid through a porous medium, which is how trees take in water.

A virtual twin: Can virtual drivers resembling the user increase trust in smart cars?

Tue, 05/19/2015 - 17:27
Can the use of a virtual drivers programmed to resemble humans increase the level of trust and acceptance in smart cars?

Printing 3-D graphene structures for tissue engineering

Tue, 05/19/2015 - 17:26
Ever since single-layer graphene burst onto the science scene in 2004, the possibilities for the promising material have seemed nearly endless. With its high electrical conductivity, ability to store energy, and ultra-strong and lightweight structure, graphene has potential for many applications in electronics, energy, the environment, and even medicine. Now a new ink formulation has been created that allows for the 3-D printing of large, robust graphene structures with unique mechanical and biological properties.

'Redesigned' antibodies may control HIV

Tue, 05/19/2015 - 16:18
With the help of a computer program called “Rosetta,” researchers have “redesigned” an antibody that has increased potency and can neutralize more strains of the AIDS-causing human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) than can any known natural antibody.

Differences in tumor cell metabolism affect growth, invasion and response, say researchers

Tue, 05/19/2015 - 14:58
Cells within a tumor are not the same; they may have different genetic mutations and different characteristics during growth and throughout treatment. These differences make treating tumors extremely difficult and often lead to tumor recurrence dominated by more aggressive tumor cells. Researchers are now using mathematical modeling to characterize these differences within a tumor and hope that the results of their latest study will lead to better therapeutic treatments.

Laser technology advances microchip production

Tue, 05/19/2015 - 14:49
A new process for cutting silicon wafers could streamline the production of smaller and more powerful microchips for electronic devices.

Nerve tracts for the smart city

Tue, 05/19/2015 - 12:35
The Smart City is one of today's major hypes. Everything is to become more progressive, more efficient, cleaner. A lot of projects are working towards this goal. What is lacking, however, is a comprehensive platform that lets a broad range of municipal applications work together. A team of researchers is working to develop a prototype of such a platform. A key component of this platform is a service-oriented middleware that enables heterogeneous resources, devices and services to cooperate at the semantic level.

Text messages can help boost teen birth control compliance

Tue, 05/19/2015 - 12:33
Sending teen girls periodic text messages reminding them to follow through on their clinic appointments for periodic birth control injections can go a long way toward improving timing and adherence to contraception in an age group that is notoriously noncompliant, according to a small study.

44 percent of parents struggle to limit cell phone use at playgrounds

Mon, 05/18/2015 - 20:09
Cell phone use at playgrounds is a significant source of parental guilt, research shows. The study also noted that caregivers absorbed in their phones ignored children's requests for attention more than half the time.

Research community comes together to provide new 'gold standard' for genomic data analysis

Mon, 05/18/2015 - 16:18
Although genomic sequencing of tumor genomes is exploding, the mutations identified in a given genome can differ by up to 50 per cent just based on how the data is analyzed. Research teams were asked to analyze three in silico (computer simulated) tumor samples and publicly share their methods. When combined, the analyses provide a new ensemble algorithm that outperforms any single algorithm used in genomic data analysis to date.

Computing at the speed of light with ultracompact beamsplitter

Mon, 05/18/2015 - 16:11
Engineers have developed an ultracompact beamsplitter -- the smallest on record -- for dividing light waves into two separate channels of information. The device brings researchers closer to producing silicon photonic chips that compute and shuttle data with light instead of electrons.

Mobile phone bans lead to rise in student test scores

Mon, 05/18/2015 - 16:11
Banning cellphones in schools reaps the same benefits as extending the school year by five days, according to a study. By comparing student exam records and mobile phone policies from 2001 to 2013, researchers noted a significant growth in student achievement in classrooms that banned cellphones, with student test scores improving by 6.41 percent points of a standard deviation. This made them 2 percentage points more likely to pass the required exams at the end of high school, researchers explained.

First hidden, real-time, screen-camera communication

Mon, 05/18/2015 - 15:20
Opening the way for new applications of smart devices, researchers have created the first form of real-time communication that allows screens and cameras to talk to each other without the user knowing it.