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Updated: 12 min 38 sec ago

Could this strategy bring high-speed communications to the deep sea?

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 22:10
A new strategy for sending acoustic waves through water could potentially open up the world of high-speed communications to divers, marine research vessels, remote ocean monitors, deep sea robots, and submarines. By taking advantage of the dynamic rotation generated as the acoustic wave travels, also known as its orbital angular momentum, researchers were able to pack more channels onto a single frequency, effectively increasing the amount of information capable of being transmitted.

New class of 'soft' semiconductors could transform HD displays

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 22:10
New research could help usher in a new generation of high-definition displays, optoelectronic devices, photodetectors, and more. They have shown that a class of “soft” semiconductors can be used to emit multiple, bright colors from a single nanowire at resolutions as small as 500 nanometers. The work could challenge quantum dot displays that rely upon traditional semiconductor nanocrystals to emit light.

Cloning thousands of genes for massive protein libraries

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 16:46
Discovering the function of a gene requires cloning a DNA sequence and expressing it. Until now, this was performed on a one-gene-at-a-time basis, causing a bottleneck. Scientists have invented a technology to clone thousands of genes simultaneously and create massive libraries of proteins from DNA samples, potentially ushering in a new era of functional genomics.

System of quadcopters that fly and drive suggest another approach to developing flying cars

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 16:43
Being able to both walk and take flight is typical in nature many birds, insects, and other animals can do both. If we could program robots with similar versatility, it would open up many possibilities: Imagine machines that could fly into construction areas or disaster zones that aren't near roads and then squeeze through tight spaces on the ground to transport objects or rescue people.

Beyond bananas: 'Mind reading' technology decodes complex thoughts

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 14:57
New research builds on the pioneering use of machine learning algorithms with brain imaging technology to "mind read."

Moisture-responsive 'robots' crawl with no external power source

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 14:57
Using an off-the-shelf camera flash, researchers turned an ordinary sheet of graphene oxide into a material that bends when exposed to moisture. They then used this material to make a spider-like crawler and claw robot that move in response to changing humidity without the need for any external power.

Colon cancer: Greater surgical precision using robotic surgery

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 13:43
Up until now, the removal of bowel tumors in the lesser pelvis (rectal cancers) involved a major, generally invasive operation. This operation can now be done in a much gentler way using an innovative procedure, robotic surgery. Thanks to a better three-dimensional view of the operating area and robotic instruments that allow highly accurate surgery to be performed in the anatomically constricted space of the lesser pelvis, surgical trauma and incisions for the operation can be kept to a minimum, while, at the same time, achieving excellent surgical results.

Improving virtual reality and exploring ear shape effects on 3-D sound

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 13:36
Paris' Cathedral of Notre Dame has a ghost orchestra that is always performing, thanks to a sophisticated, multidisciplinary acoustics research. In the project, computer models use recordings from a live concert held at the cathedral and detailed room acoustic simulations to produce a novel type of audience experience: a virtual recreation of the live performance using spatial audio and virtual reality.

Twitter-monitoring system detects riots far quicker than police reports

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 13:35
Social media can be an invaluable source of information for police when managing major disruptive events, new research has shown.

Accelerating the quest for quicker, longer-lasting electronics

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 19:55
In the world of electronics, where the quest is always for smaller and faster units with infinite battery life, topological insulators (TI) have tantalizing potential. Scientists report they have created a TI film just 25 atoms thick that adheres to an insulating magnetic film, creating a 'heterostructure.'

Algorithm generates optimal origami folding patterns for any shape

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 17:15
A new algorithm generates practical paper-folding patterns to produce any 3-D structure.

Mathematical method for fair definition of electoral districts

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 15:05
For democratic elections to be fair, voting districts must have similar sizes. When populations shift, districts need to be redistributed -- a complex and, in many countries, controversial task when political parties attempt to influence redistricting. Mathematicians have now developed a method that allows the efficient calculation of optimally sized voting districts.

Origins of Sun's swirling spicules discovered

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 21:14
For the first time, a computer simulation -- so detailed it took a full year to run -- shows how spicules form, helping scientists understand how spicules can break free of the sun's surface and surge upward so quickly.

Flexible wearable electronics use body heat for energy

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 18:31
In a proof-of-concept study, engineers have designed a flexible thermoelectric energy harvester that has the potential to rival the effectiveness of existing power wearable electronic devices using body heat as the only source of energy.

Switchable DNA mini-machines store information

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 18:29
Biomedical engineers have built simple machines out of DNA, consisting of arrays whose units switch reversibly between two different shapes. The arrays' inventors say they could be harnessed to make nanotech sensors or amplifiers. Potentially, they could be combined to form logic gates, the parts of a molecular computer.

Video games offer active military, veterans coping mechanism for stress

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 16:27
While most research on the topic focuses on gaming’s role in clinical settings, new research seeks to understand how everyday gameplay can provide military and veterans self-directed coping strategies to manage their physical and psychological stressors.

Moth eyes inspire new screen coating, making reading in sunlight a lot easier

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 14:40
Screens on even the newest phones and tablets can be hard to read outside in bright sunlight. Inspired by the nanostructures found on moth eyes, researchers have developed a new antireflection film that could keep people from having to run to the shade to look at their mobile devices.

Stereotypes still affect females' career aspirations in STEM topics

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 14:39
Study investigates the impact of stereotypes and the role of family, school and society on the self-concept of females already studying these scientific subjects and found that these stereotypes do impact the self-concept of females already studying these scientific subjects.

Mathematical confirmation: Rewiring financial networks reduces systemic risk

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 14:39
A proposed tax on systemically risky financial transactions could reduce the risk of financial system crashes by spurring financial networks to reshape in more resilient ways, suggests a new report.

Video games can change your brain

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 14:38
Scientists have collected and summarized studies looking at how video games can shape our brains and behavior. Research to date suggests that playing video games can change the brain regions responsible for attention and visuospatial skills and make them more efficient. The researchers also looked at studies exploring brain regions associated with the reward system, and how these are related to video game addiction.