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'Body-on- a-chip' system to accelerate testing of new drugs

Thu, 10/05/2017 - 16:10
Being able to test new drugs in a 3-D model of the body has the potential to speed up drug discovery, reduce the use of animal testing and advance personalized medicine.

Paper-based supercapacitor uses metal nanoparticles to boost energy density

Thu, 10/05/2017 - 16:10
Using a simple layer-by-layer coating technique, researchers have developed a paper-based flexible supercapacitor that could be used to help power wearable devices. The device uses metallic nanoparticles to coat cellulose fibers in the paper, creating supercapacitor electrodes with high energy and power densities -- and the best performance so far in a textile-based supercapacitor.

Computer model unravels knotty problems in DNA

Thu, 10/05/2017 - 14:27
If you've ever tried to untangle a pair of earbuds, you'll understand how loops and cords can get twisted up. DNA can get tangled in the same way, and in some cases, has to be cut and reconnected to resolve the knots. Now a team of mathematicians, biologists and computer scientists has unraveled how E. coli bacteria can unlink tangled DNA by a local reconnection process. The math behind the research could have implications far beyond biology.

Teleoperating robots with virtual reality: Making it easier for factory workers to telecommute

Wed, 10/04/2017 - 18:27
Many manufacturing jobs require a physical presence to operate machinery. But what if such jobs could be done remotely? Researchers have now presented a virtual-reality (VR) system that lets you teleoperate a robot using an Oculus Rift headset.

Light-activated nanoparticles can supercharge current antibiotics

Wed, 10/04/2017 - 18:26
Light-activated nanoparticles, also known as quantum dots, can provide a crucial boost in effectiveness for antibiotic treatments used to combat drug-resistant superbugs such as E. coli and Salmonella, new research shows.

Tungsten offers nano-interconnects a path of least resistance

Wed, 10/04/2017 - 14:14
As microchips become smaller, the shrinking size of their copper interconnects leads to increased electrical resistivity at the nanoscale. Finding a solution to this technical bottleneck is a problem for the semiconductor industry; one possibility involves reducing the resistivity size effect by altering the crystalline orientation of interconnect materials. Researchers conducted electron transport measurements in epitaxial single-crystal layers of tungsten as one potential solution.

Smart pump: small but powerful

Wed, 10/04/2017 - 13:53
Particulate matter harms the heart and lungs. In the future, a smartphone with an inbuilt gas sensor could be used to warn of heavy exposure. To help the sensor respond quickly and provide accurate measurements, researchers have developed a powerful micro diaphragm pump for delivering ambient air to the sensor.

What is STEM education?

Wed, 10/04/2017 - 13:51
Everyone needs a good teacher -- including teachers. Two new studies show how digging deeper into what STEM education means and strategically designing online classrooms can enhance teaching science, technology, engineering, and math.

Two intelligent vehicles are better than one

Wed, 10/04/2017 - 12:49
Researchers are working to improve the reliability and fault tolerance of intelligent vehicle systems by combining the data they gather with that from other vehicles. This can, for example, extend the field of view of a car that is behind another car. Using simulators and road tests, the team has developed a flexible software framework for networking intelligent vehicles so that they can interact.

Visualizing life in silico

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 18:45
Programming a molecular biology experiment can be similar to playing Sudoku; both are simple if you're working with only a few molecules or a small grid, but explode in complexity as they grow. Now, researchers have made it far easier for molecular biologists to make complex biological models.

An algorithm that explains how ants create and repair trail networks

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 13:40
Observing ants in the trees of a tropical forest, researchers recorded how, without a plan, the ants make and maintain their networks -- and how they repair the network when it is ruptured.

Genre may impact cognitive training using video games

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 13:39
Video games are quickly becoming a hot topic in cognitive training. Many see them as a potential tool to help patients improve their performance and memory, yet little is known about how different types of video games may affect white matter in the brain and cognition.

Scientists pinpoint the singularity for quantum computers

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 13:39
Super-powerful quantum computers, which scientists and engineers across the world are racing to build, need to be even more powerful than previously thought before they can beat today's ordinary PCs, researchers have discovered.

Fast-moving magnetic particles could enable new form of data storage

Mon, 10/02/2017 - 18:50
Researchers have shown that virtual particles known as skyrmions, discovered just a few years ago, hold promise as a new way of storing data -- one that could overcome fundamental limits that might otherwise be signaling the end of 'Moore's Law.'

New 'building material' points toward quantum computers

Mon, 10/02/2017 - 15:27
It is possible to produce 'Majorana particles' in a new 'building material,' new research indicates. The study paves the road for new types of experiments -- and at the same time represents an important contribution to the construction of the information circuits of tomorrow.

Superconductivity found in thin films of titanium oxide

Mon, 10/02/2017 - 15:27
Many of us are familiar with titanium dioxide, a whitener commonly used in sunscreens and paints such as the white lines seen on tennis courts. Less well known are other higher titanium oxides -- those with a higher number of titanium and oxygen atoms than TiO -- that are now the subject of intensifying research due to their potential use in next-generation electronic devices.

International competition benchmarks metagenomics software

Mon, 10/02/2017 - 15:23
Communities of bacteria live everywhere: inside our bodies, on our bodies and all around us. The human gut alone contains hundreds of species of bacteria that help digest food and provide nutrients, but can also make us sick. Scientists use metagenomics -- the study of DNA from an environmental sample -- to study these bacterial communities.

A deeper understanding of a surface phenomenon

Mon, 10/02/2017 - 13:34
Phenomena involving surface tension are extremely complex and have applications in our everyday lives, and researchers are tackling the complicated mathematics behind the physics.

Body energy as a power source

Mon, 10/02/2017 - 12:56
Smartphones, MP3 players, sports electronics devices such as pulse meters or trackers, medical equipment such as tonometers, pacemakers of the heart, or insulin pumps: An increasing number of electronic companions make daily life easier for us. But as useful these smart helpers may be: Their constant hunger for electricity is a problem. The solution: power supply by means of energy produced by body movements.

A sea of spinning electrons

Mon, 10/02/2017 - 12:48
Picture two schools of fish swimming in clockwise and counterclockwise circles. It's enough to make your head spin, and now scientists have discovered the 'chiral spin mode' -- a sea of electrons spinning in opposing circles.