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Risk analysis for a complex world

Tue, 11/18/2014 - 15:55
Developing adaptable systems for finance and international relations could help reduce the risk of major systemic collapses such as the 2008 financial crisis, according to a new analysis.

Software to improve sustainability in horticultural, grape and wine-growing, and sugar beet production

Tue, 11/18/2014 - 12:26
Scientists have developed software for horticultural, grape and wine-growing, and sugar beet production that allows the life-cycle of the products and their carbon and water footprint, among other things, to be analyzed. Its use will contribute towards improving the sustainability of the agricultural and agri-food sector and well as reducing the environmental impact of production to a minimum.

Computer model provides a new portrait of carbon dioxide

Mon, 11/17/2014 - 22:45
An ultra-high-resolution computer model has given scientists a stunning new look at how carbon dioxide in the atmosphere travels around the globe. Plumes of carbon dioxide in the simulation swirl and shift as winds disperse the greenhouse gas away from its sources. The simulation also illustrates differences in carbon dioxide levels in the northern and southern hemispheres and distinct swings in global carbon dioxide concentrations as the growth cycle of plants and trees changes with the seasons.

Physicians prescribe less brand name drugs when electronic health record default settings show generics first

Mon, 11/17/2014 - 22:43
Programming electronic health records to make generic drugs the default choice when physicians write prescriptions may offer one way to reduce unnecessary spending and improve health care value in the face of spiraling U.S. health expenditures, according to a new study.

Credit score can also describe health status

Mon, 11/17/2014 - 21:41
A credit score also says something about a person's health status, according to a new analysis from a long-term study of the physical and mental health of more than 1,000 New Zealanders. An international team of researchers has found a strong relationship between low credit scores and poor cardiovascular health. They conclude that personal attributes leading to poor credit scores can also contribute to poor health.

Engineers efficiently 'mix' light at the nanoscale

Mon, 11/17/2014 - 20:47
Researchers have engineered a nanowire system that could pave the way for photonic computing, combining two light waves to produce a third with a different frequency and using an optical cavity to amplify the intensity of the output to a usable level.

Hiding in plain sight: Elusive dark matter may be detected with GPS satellites

Mon, 11/17/2014 - 20:47
The everyday use of a GPS device might be to find your way around town or even navigate a hiking trail, but for two physicists, the Global Positioning System might be a tool in directly detecting and measuring dark matter, so far an elusive but ubiquitous form of matter responsible for the formation of galaxies.

Recommendations by other customers significantly influence Internet purchasing behavior

Mon, 11/17/2014 - 18:24
The online purchasing behavior of private individuals shopping in their leisure time is heavily influenced by recommendations made by other customers. Customer endorsements, in the form of Facebook 'Likes' for example, have a particularly marked influence on online buying behavior when consumers shop in the afternoon, evening, or at the weekend. There are certain economic theories concerning consumer attitudes to purchasing that, in the view of the researchers, can help explain this phenomenon.

New technique to help produce next generation photonic chips

Mon, 11/17/2014 - 17:58
Researchers have developed a new technique to help produce more reliable and robust next generation photonic chips. Photonic chips made from silicon will play a major role in future optical networks for worldwide data traffic. The high refractive index of silicon makes optical structures the size of a fraction of the diameter of a human hair possible. Squeezing more and more optical structures for light distribution, modulation, detection and routing into smaller chip areas allows for higher data rates at lower fabrication costs.

Engineers develop innovative process to print flexible electronic circuits

Mon, 11/17/2014 - 13:46
Engineers have successfully printed complex electronic circuits using a common t-shirt printer. The electronic circuits are printed using unique materials in layers on top of everyday flexible materials such as plastic, aluminum foil and even paper. Resistors, transistors and capacitors, the key components of a complex electronic circuit, are printed using non-toxic organic materials like silver nanoparticles, carbon and plastics.

Magic tricks created using artificial intelligence for the first time

Mon, 11/17/2014 - 02:10
Researchers working on artificial intelligence have taught a computer to create magic tricks. The researchers gave a computer program the outline of how a magic jigsaw puzzle and a mind reading card trick work, as well the results of experiments into how humans understand magic tricks, and the system created completely new variants on those tricks which can be delivered by a magician.

Poor-quality weight loss advice often appears first in an online search

Fri, 11/14/2014 - 19:09
More than 40 percent of U.S. Internet users use online search engines to seek guidance on weight loss and physical activity. A new study finds that high-quality weight loss information often appears after the first page of search engine results.

Model for evaluating product-recommendation algorithms suggests that trial and error get it right

Fri, 11/14/2014 - 18:11
A model for evaluating product-recommendation algorithms suggests that trial and error get it right. Researchers will present a paper that applies their model to the recommendation engines that are familiar from websites like Amazon and Netflix -- with surprising results.

Cutting-edge computer software helps pinpoint aggressiveness of breast cancer tumors

Fri, 11/14/2014 - 17:49
Cutting-edge genetic mutation-analysis software is being used to interpret mutations in tumor genomes that may provide insight into determining which breast cancer tumors are more likely spread to other parts of the body and which ones won't.

Trends in plant biodiversity data online

Fri, 11/14/2014 - 17:49
Today's herbaria, as well as all other collections-based environments, are now transitioning their collections data onto the web to remain viable in the smartphone-in-my-pocket age. A team of researchers has examined the importance of these online plant-based resources through the use of Google Analytics.

Smartphones team-up with QR codes for secure 3-D displays

Fri, 11/14/2014 - 17:47
Quick Response (QR) codes -- the box-shaped symbols that appear on signs, posters, and even business cards -- are a convenient and efficient way of accessing specific web pages with a smartphone or other mobile device. However, new research explains how QR codes can do much more.

New image for 'big data' tools

Fri, 11/14/2014 - 17:45
Big data represents both an opportunity and a challenge for scientists. The huge amount of data that can be generated by the latest scientific instruments could lead to important scientific discoveries, but only if scientists can efficiently process that data. This is especially true for analytical scientists studying biological materials using a fairly new technique known as mass spectrometry imaging (MSI). Help is now at hand, however, from a recent project which has come up with a range of new tools for efficiently processing MSI data.

Three-dimensional microtechnology with Origami folding art

Fri, 11/14/2014 - 13:58
Microtechnology has radically changed our lives, both in electronics and mechanics. Everyone encounters this every day and uses successful examples, such as the accelerometer in smartphones or the sensor in car airbags. However, enormous strides can still be made in microtechnology. The current applications are two-dimensional. Everything is placed on a thin layer of glass or silicon, which is used in pure form for the production of semiconductor chips, for example, in smartphones.

'Topological insulators' promising for spintronics, quantum computers

Fri, 11/14/2014 - 00:51
Researches have uncovered 'smoking-gun' evidence to confirm the workings of an emerging class of materials that could make possible 'spintronic' devices and practical quantum computers far more powerful than today's technologies.

Wearable tech for battlefield, people at risk for heart attacks

Thu, 11/13/2014 - 21:19
Wearable devices can count the steps you take and the calories you burn. But can they help soldiers in the field? Or prevent someone from having a heart attack? Researchers say yes.