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Updated: 5 hours 57 min ago

Computer simulations visualize ion flux

Tue, 09/02/2014 - 15:49
Pharmacologists have investigated how ion flux through a voltage gated sodium ion channel works in detail. Since this process is incredibly fast -- up to 100 million ions per seconds -- computer simulations were performed to visualize sodium flux 'in slow motion.'

Can a stack of computer servers survive an earthquake?

Tue, 09/02/2014 - 15:42
In high-seismic regions, new facilities often are engineered with passive protective systems that provide overall seismic protection. But often, existing facilities are conventional fixed-base buildings in which seismic demands on sensitive equipment located within are significantly amplified. In such buildings, sensitive equipment needs to be secured from these damaging earthquake effects.

Quantum control of molecules for ultra-fast computers: Single laser stops molecular tumbling motion instantly

Tue, 09/02/2014 - 13:34
In the quantum world, making the simple atom behave is one thing, but making the more complex molecule behave is another story. Now scientists have figured out an elegant way to stop a molecule from tumbling so that its potential for new applications, such as quantum computing, can be harnessed: shine a single laser on a trapped molecule and it instantly cools to the temperature of outer space, stopping the rotation of the molecule.

Rainfall monitoring: Mobile phones are taking over

Tue, 09/02/2014 - 13:32
Agriculture, water resource management, drought and flood warnings, etc.: rainfall monitoring is vital in many areas. But the observation networks remain insufficient. This is not the case for antennas for mobile telephones, which cover 90% of the world's inhabited areas. Besides transmitting radio signals, they record signal disturbances, which are partly due to precipitation, in order to monitor the quality of networks.

Mechanical ventilation a key indicator for pre-term children's maths problems

Tue, 09/02/2014 - 13:29
Both the length of time spent in hospital after birth and the use of mechanical ventilation are key indicators of reduced mathematical ability in preterm children, researchers report. Impairments in mathematic abilities are common in very preterm children. Earlier studies of children who are born very preterm (before 32 weeks of gestational age) have shown that they have a 39.4% chance of having general mathematic impairment, compared to 14.9% of those born at term (39 to 41 weeks).

Family dinners good for teens' mental health, could protect from cyberbullying

Tue, 09/02/2014 - 01:15
Cyberbullying was associated with mental health and substance use problems in adolescents, a new study shows, but family dinners may help protect teens from the consequences of cyberbullying and also be beneficial for their mental health.

Can YouTube save your life?

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 14:34
Only a handful of CPR and basic life support videos available on YouTube provide instructions which are consistent with recent health guidelines, according to a new study. Only 11.5% of the analyzed videos were found to be completely compatible with 2010 CPR guidelines with regard to sequence of interviews. "Although well-designed videos can create awareness and be useful as tools in training, they can never replace hands-on instruction from a properly qualified health practitioner," said one author.

'Face time' for the diagnoses of cardiac disease

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 14:34
To the careful observer, a person's face has long provided insight into what is going on beneath the surface. Now, with the assistance of a web camera and software algorithms, the face can also reveal whether or not an individual is experiencing atrial fibrillation, a treatable but potentially dangerous heart condition.

Assortativity signatures of transcription factor networks contribute to robustness

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 14:32
The type and number of connections in transcription factor networks (TFNs) have been studied to evaluate the role assortativity plays on robustness. The study found that the assortativity signature contributes to a network’s resilience against mutations. Transcription factors (TFs) are proteins that initiate and regulate the expression of a gene. To achieve their genetic mission, TFs also regulate one another’s expression.

Breakthrough in light sources for new quantum technology

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 12:42
One of the most promising technologies for future quantum circuits are photonic circuits, i.e. circuits based on light (photons) instead of electrons (electronic circuits). First, it is necessary to create a stream of single photons and control their direction. Researchers have now succeeded in creating a steady stream of photons emitted one at a time and in a particular direction.

Real tremors, or drug-seeking patient? New app can tell

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 12:42
A new smartphone uses data from built-in accelerometer to measure the frequency of alcohol withdrawal tremors. Withdrawal is a potentially fatal condition that is easily treated with benzodiazepine drugs, a class of sedatives used to treat alcohol withdrawal, anxiety, seizures, insomnia and more. But physicians are often reluctant to prescribe them because they're frequently abused and can be dangerous when mixed with other drugs, especially alcohol and opiates.

Cellphone addiction harming academic performance is 'an increasingly realistic possibility'

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 22:47
Women college students spend an average of 10 hours a day on their cellphones, with men college students spending nearly eight hours, according to a study on cellphone activity. "As cellphone functions increase, addictions to this seemingly indispensable piece of technology become an increasingly realistic possibility," researchers noted.

Socially-assistive robots help kids with autism learn by providing personalized prompts

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 21:00
Children with autism spectrum disorders showed improved or maintained performance in learning imitative behavior by interacting with humanoid robots that provided graded cueing, an occupational therapy technique that shapes behavior by providing increasingly specific cues to help a person learn new skills.

A new, tunable device for spintronics

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 17:53
An international team of scientists has developed a tunable spin-charge converter made of GaAs. Spin-charge converters are important devices in spintronics, an electronic which is not only based on the charge of electrons but also on their spin and the spin-related magnetism. Spin-charge converters enable the transformation of electric into magnetic signals and vice versa.

Computer games give a boost to English

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 17:53
If you want to make a mark in the world of computer games you had better have a good English vocabulary. It has now also been scientifically demonstrated that someone who is good at computer games has a larger English vocabulary.

New tool aids stem cell engineering for medical research

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 17:52
An online analytic tool that will speed up and enhance the process of re-engineering cells for biomedical investigation has been developed by researchers. CellNet is a free-use Internet platform that uses network biology methods to aid stem cell engineering.

Together, humans and computers can figure out plant world

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 15:53
Recent research applying bioinformatics and biometrics to the study of plant form and function is presented in a special issue of a journal. The methods presented in the issue include automated classification and identification, a new online pollen database with semantic search capabilities, geometric morphometrics, and skeleton networks, and present a picture of a renaissance in morphometric approaches that capitalize on recent technological advances.

Inter-dependent networks stress test

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 15:52
A new study relies on a complex systems modelling approach to analyze inter-dependent networks and improve their reliability in the event of failure. Energy production systems are good examples of complex systems. Their infrastructure equipment requires ancillary sub-systems structured like a network-including water for cooling, transport to supply fuel, and ICT systems for control and management.

Doing more with less: New technique uses fraction of measurements to efficiently find quantum wave functions

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 15:01
Just two years ago, with the advent of a technique called direct measurement, scientists discovered they could reliably determine a system’s wave function by “weakly” measuring one of its variables (e.g. position) and “strongly” measuring a complementary variable (momentum). Researchers have now taken this method one step forward by combining direct measurement with an efficient computational technique.

Avatars make the Internet sign to deaf people

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 13:12
It is challenging for deaf people to learn a sound-based language, since they are physically not able to hear those sounds. Hence, most of them struggle with written language as well as with text reading and comprehension. Therefore, most website content remains inaccessible for them. Computer scientists want to change the situation by means of a method they developed: animated online characters display content in sign language. In the long term, deaf people would be able to use the technique to communicate on online platforms via sign language.