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'Honeybee' robots replicate swarm behavior

Thu, 09/18/2014 - 15:11
Computer scientists have created a low-cost, autonomous micro-robot which in large numbers can replicate the behavior of swarming honeybees.

Crowdsourcing could lead to better water in rural India

Thu, 09/18/2014 - 13:07
A novel environmental crowdsourcing technique for assessing water quality in India is being evaluated by a three-continent research consortium. The technique relies on 53-cent test kits and the nation’s ubiquitous mobile phone service.

Oxides could advance memory devices

Wed, 09/17/2014 - 17:18
The quest for the ultimate memory device for computing may have just taken an encouraging step forward. Researchers have discovered new complex oxides that exhibit both magnetic and ferroelectric properties.

Math model designed to replace invasive kidney biopsy for lupus patients

Wed, 09/17/2014 - 17:16
Mathematics might be able to reduce the need for invasive biopsies in patients suffering kidney damage related to the autoimmune disease lupus. The model could also be used to monitor the effectiveness of experimental treatments for inflammation and fibrosis, researchers say.

Physicists heat freestanding graphene to control curvature of ripples

Wed, 09/17/2014 - 17:16
Physicists have discovered that heating can be used to control the curvature of ripples in freestanding graphene. The finding provides fundamental insight into understanding the influence temperature exerts on the dynamics of freestanding graphene. This may drive future applications of the flexible circuits of consumer devices such as cell phones and digital cameras.

'Smart material' chin strap harvests energy from chewing

Wed, 09/17/2014 - 11:32
A chin strap that can harvest energy from jaw movements has been created by a group of researchers in Canada. It is hoped that the device can generate electricity from eating, chewing and talking, and power a number of small-scale implantable or wearable electronic devices, such as hearing aids, cochlear implants, electronic hearing protectors and communication devices.

Flying robots will go where humans can't

Wed, 09/17/2014 - 11:31
There are many situations where it’s impossible, complicated or too time-consuming for humans to enter and carry out operations. Think of contaminated areas following a nuclear accident, or the need to erect structures such as antennae on mountain tops. These are examples of where flying robots could be used.

Computerized emotion detector

Tue, 09/16/2014 - 18:15
Face recognition software measures various parameters in a mug shot, such as the distance between the person's eyes, the height from lip to top of their nose and various other metrics and then compares it with photos of people in the database that have been tagged with a given name. Now, new research looks to take that one step further in recognizing the emotion portrayed by a face.

First water-based nuclear battery can be used to generate electrical energy

Tue, 09/16/2014 - 17:25
For the first time using a water-based solution, researchers have created a long-lasting and more efficient nuclear battery that could be used for many applications such as a reliable energy source in automobiles and also in complicated applications such as space flight.

Scientists twist radio beams to send data: Transmissions reach speeds of 32 gigibits per second

Tue, 09/16/2014 - 17:25
Researchers twist four radio beams together to achieve high data transmission speeds. The researchers reached data transmission rates of 32 gigabits per second across 2.5 meters of free space in a basement lab. For reference, 32 gigabits per second is fast enough to transmit more than 10 hour-and-a-half-long HD movies in one second and is 30 times faster than LTE wireless.

For electronics beyond silicon, a new contender emerges

Tue, 09/16/2014 - 16:37
Using a quantum material called a correlated oxide, researchers have achieved a reversible change in electrical resistance of eight orders of magnitude, a result the researchers are calling 'colossal.' In short, they have engineered this material to perform comparably with the best silicon switches.

Ebola outbreak 'out of all proportion' and severity cannot be predicted, expert says

Tue, 09/16/2014 - 16:29
A mathematical model that replicates Ebola outbreaks can no longer be used to ascertain the eventual scale of the current epidemic, finds new research.

The future face of molecular electronics

Tue, 09/16/2014 - 15:17
The emerging field of molecular electronics could take our definition of portable to the next level, enabling the construction of tiny circuits from molecular components. In these highly efficient devices, individual molecules would take on the roles currently played by comparatively bulky wires, resistors and transistors. A team of researchers has identified a potential candidate for use in small-scale electronics: a molecule called picene.

Making quantum dots glow brighter

Tue, 09/16/2014 - 15:17
Researchers have found a new way to control the properties of quantum dots, those tiny chunks of semiconductor material that glow different colors depending on their size. Quantum dots, which are so small they start to exhibit atom-like quantum properties, have a wide range of potential applications, from sensors, light-emitting diodes, and solar cells, to fluorescent tags for biomedical imaging and qubits in quantum computing.

Is the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for policing effective?

Tue, 09/16/2014 - 14:20
Police agencies are using Geographic Information Systems for mapping crime, identifying crime 'hot spots,' assigning officers, and profiling offenders, but little research has been done about the effectiveness of the technology in curbing crime, according to a study.

Judging a fish by its color: For female bluefin killifish, love is a yellow mate

Tue, 09/16/2014 - 14:19
Researchers used male replicas of bluefin killifish and controlled their movement with robotic arms to improve repeatability in experiments designed to determine how fertile female fish would respond to male courtship. The surprising result: The females preferred males with yellow fins, contrary to existing research that indicated a preference to blue and red.

'Squid skin' metamaterials project yields vivid color display

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 20:52
The quest to create artificial 'squid skin' -- camouflaging metamaterials that can 'see' colors and automatically blend into the background -- is one step closer to reality, thanks to a breakthrough color-display technology just unveiled.

Number-crunching could lead to unethical choices, says new study

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 19:39
Calculating the pros and cons of a potential decision is a way of decision-making. But repeated engagement with numbers-focused calculations, especially those involving money, can have unintended negative consequences.

Web-based training can reduce campus rape, study concludes

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 19:36
Web-based training targeted at college-aged men is an effective tool for reducing the number of sexual assaults on U.S. campuses, according to a researcher. The RealConsent program reduced sexually violent behavior and increased the likelihood a male student would intervene to prevent a sexual assault, said one author.

In wake of uproar over Facebook’s emotional manipulation study, bioethics scholars say new rules are 'moral imperative'

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 18:09
Using the recent debate over the Facebook-Cornell "emotional contagion" study as a starting point, an international team of research ethics scholars begin mapping the ethics terrain of large-scale social computing research in a new article.