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Updated: 11 min 15 sec ago

Scientist uses physics (again) to fight cancer

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 14:03
Researchers describe how they applied their "Master Equations of Cancer" to pancreatic cancer. It’s an application that will soon help oncologists use the mathematical model to develop treatment plans for all cancer patients.

Turing's theory of chemical morphogenesis validated 60 years after his death

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 19:21
Sixty years after Alan Turing's death, researchers have provided the first experimental evidence that validates Turing's theory of chemical morphogenesis in cell-like structures. This research could impact not only the study of biological development, and how similar patterns form in nature, but materials science as well. Turing's model could help grow soft robots with certain patterns and shapes.

Scientists build thinnest-possible LEDs to be stronger, more energy efficient

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 18:10
Scientists have built the thinnest-known LED that can be used as a source of light energy in electronics. The LED is based off of two-dimensional, flexible semiconductors, making it possible to stack or use in much smaller and more diverse applications than current technology allows.

Doctors often uncertain in ordering, interpreting lab tests

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 15:17
A survey of primary care physicians suggests they often face uncertainty in ordering and interpreting clinical laboratory tests. Physicians have developed their own strategies for ordering and interpreting lab tests, such as asking a physician colleague or specialist, consulting a text or electronic reference, or calling the laboratory. But physicians reported they would welcome better decision-support software embedded in electronic medical records and direct access to lab personnel through lab hotlines.

Two-dimensional material shows promise for optoelectronics: LEDs, photovoltaic cells, and light detectors

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 15:17
Team creates LEDs, photovoltaic cells, and light detectors using novel one-molecule-thick material. Researchers have used a novel material that's just a few atoms thick to create devices that can harness or emit light. This proof-of-concept could lead to ultrathin, lightweight, and flexible photovoltaic cells, light emitting diodes (LEDs), and other optoelectronic devices, they say.

Synthetic biologists shine light on genetic circuit analysis

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 15:17
In a significant advance for the growing field of synthetic biology, bioengineers have created a toolkit of genes and hardware that uses colored lights and engineered bacteria to bring both mathematical predictability and cut-and-paste simplicity to the world of genetic circuit design.

Computer system simulates the behavior of tax evaders

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 15:17
Researchers have developed a computer model which, in different situations, simulates the behavior of taxpayers when faced with the possibility of committing tax evasion. The simulator analyzes the factors motivating tax evasion and allows to determine which measures are effective in reducing it, such as an improvement in tax inspections by increasing their frequency and efficacy.

Mapping behavior of charges in correlated spin-orbit coupled materials: Electronic disruption prods Mott insulator's conversion to metallic state

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 13:09
Physicists have mapped the inner atomic workings of a compound within the mysterious class of materials known as spin-orbit Mott insulators. The findings confirm the properties that theorists predict could lead to discoveries in superconductivity, the topological phases of matter and new forms of magnetism.

New bioinformatics tool to visualize transcriptomes

Sun, 03/09/2014 - 19:05
ZENBU, a new, freely available bioinformatics tool enables researchers to quickly and easily integrate, visualize and compare large amounts of genomic information resulting from large-scale, next-generation sequencing experiments. Next-generation sequencing has revolutionized functional genomics.

Can the blind 'hear' colors, shapes? Yes, show researchers

Sun, 03/09/2014 - 19:04
What if you could “hear” colors? Or shapes? These features are normally perceived visually, but using sensory substitution devices (SSDs) they can now be conveyed to the brain noninvasively through other senses. SSDs are non-invasive sensory aids that provide visual information to the blind via their existing senses. For example, using a visual-to-auditory SSD in a clinical or everyday setting, users wear a miniature camera connected to a small computer (or smart phone) and stereo headphones. The images are converted into "soundscapes," using a predictable algorithm, allowing the user to listen to and then interpret the visual information coming from the camera.

The dark side of fair play: Why would evolution let spite stick around?

Fri, 03/07/2014 - 21:59
We often think of playing fair as an altru­istic behavior. We're sac­ri­ficing our own poten­tial gain to give others what they deserve. What could be more self­less than that? But new research sug­gests another, darker origin behind the kindly act of fairness. An expert in the evolution of spite has investigated possible explanations for fair behavior that hadn't been considered before.

Volume of notifiable disease reporting may double with required electronic lab reporting

Fri, 03/07/2014 - 16:11
Public health departments nationwide are already feeling the strain from budget cuts. But their case report volumes are forecasted to double when federal requirements for automated electronic laboratory reporting of notifiable diseases go into effect next year, according to a new study.

Smartphones become 'eye-phones' with low-cost devices

Fri, 03/07/2014 - 16:10
Researchers have developed two inexpensive adapters that enable a smartphone to capture high-quality images of the front and back of the eye. The adapters make it easy for anyone with minimal training to take a picture of the eye and share it securely with other health practitioners or store it in the patient's electronic record.

Software analyzes apps for malicious behavior

Fri, 03/07/2014 - 13:40
Apps on web-enabled mobile devices can be used to spy on their users. Computer scientists have developed software that shows whether an app has accessed private data. To accomplish this, the program examines the “bytecode” of the app in question.

Public could virtually 'travel' to space for $90 through new project

Fri, 03/07/2014 - 13:38
Researchers have launched a unique campaign that will enable the public to ‘travel’ to space for the cost of a pair of trainers. Virtual Ride to Space will use cutting-edge virtual technology and a specially designed spacecraft to deliver a three-dimensional, immersive experience, allowing everyone to see what astronauts experience on an ascent to space.

Squeezing light into metals: Engineers control conductivity with inkjet printer

Fri, 03/07/2014 - 13:37
Using an inexpensive inkjet printer, electrical engineers produced microscopic structures that use light in metals to carry information. This new technique, which controls electrical conductivity within such microstructures, could be used to rapidly fabricate superfast components in electronic devices, make wireless technology faster or print magnetic materials.

Computer science students help singers learn their vowels

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 21:32
Voice students who want to perfect how they sing their vowels could get help from a new simple, free application developed by a group of students who developed it as part of their Human-Computer Interaction computer science class.

Crystals ripple in response to light: First propagating surface phonon polaritons in a van der Waals crystal

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 19:27
Minuscule waves that propagate across atom -- thin layers of crystal could carry information, light, and heat in nanoscale devices. For the first time, the frequency and amplitude of these waves, called surface phonon polaritons, can be tuned by altering the number of layers of crystals, and they travel far making practical applications for these signals feasible.

Future electronics with super-efficient hard drives: Electricity controls magnetism

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 19:27
Researchers have demonstrated how a magnetic structure can be altered quickly in novel materials. The effect could be used in efficient hard drives of the future. Data on a hard drive is stored by flipping small magnetic domains. Researchers have now changed the magnetic arrangement in a material much faster than is possible with today's hard drives. The researchers used a new technique where an electric field triggers these changes, in contrast to the magnetic fields commonly used in consumer devices. This method uses a new kind of material where the magnetic and electric properties are coupled. Applied in future devices, this kind of strong interaction between magnetic and electric properties can have numerous advantages.

Are you smarter than a 5-year-old? Preschoolers can do algebra

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 18:00
Millions of high school and college algebra students are united in a shared agony over solving for x and y, and for those to whom the answers don't come easily, it gets worse: Most preschoolers and kindergarteners can do some algebra before even entering a math class. A new study finds that most preschoolers and kindergarteners, or children between 4 and 6, can do basic algebra naturally.