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EurekAlert! - Technology, Engineering and Computer Science



The premier online source for science news since 1996. A service of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.



Last Build Date: Sun, 21 Jan 2018 05:48:01 EST

Copyright: Copyright 2018 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); All rights reserved.
 



'Programmable droplets' could enable high-volume biology experiments

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Massachusetts Institute of Technology) MIT researchers have developed hardware that uses electric fields to move droplets of chemical or biological solutions around a surface, mixing them in ways that could be used to test thousands of reactions in parallel.



UTA researcher to examine cured-in-place pipe technology

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(University of Texas at Arlington) A University of Texas at Arlington expert in pipe technology is investigating whether steam sealing of repaired pipes release a noxious fume and how dangerous that is to people.



Thanks for the memory: NIST takes a deep look at memristors

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)) Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have now unveiled the long-mysterious inner workings of these semiconductor elements, which can act like the short-term memory of nerve cells.



Virtual reality goes magnetic

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf) The success of Pokémon GO made many people familiar with the concept of 'augmented reality': computer-generated perception blends into the real and virtual worlds. So far, these apps largely used optical methods for motion detection. Physicists from HZDR, IFW Dresden and the University Linz have now developed an ultrathin electronic magnetic sensor that can be worn on skin. Just by interacting with magnetic fields, the device enables a touchless manipulation of virtual and physical objects.



Piecework at the nano assembly line

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Technical University of Munich (TUM)) Scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have developed a novel electric propulsion technology for nanorobots. It allows molecular machines to move a hundred thousand times faster than with the biochemical processes used to date. This makes nanobots fast enough to do assembly line work in molecular factories. The new research results will appear as the cover story on 19th January in the renowned scientific journal Science.



Avangrid, UMass Lowell to collaborate on clean energy

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(University of Massachusetts Lowell) A new research partnership between Avangrid, its subsidiary Central Maine Power and UMass Lowell will expand the use of clean-energy technology -- in hydropower, wind energy, power grids, energy storage, data science and more -- benefiting consumers, students and the environment.



MIT Portugal is developing a compression sleeve for breast cancer patients

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(MIT Portugal Program) The project developed by the MIT Portugal Ph.D. Student at the University of Minho Carlos Gonçalves, was considered the most innovative of the nine projects incubated during 10 weeks by Startup Nano, a pioneer incubation and acceleration program for nanotechnology innovation promoted by Startup Braga in a partnership with the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory and the Centre for Nanotechnology and Smart Materials (CeNTI) both located in Braga.



Charge order and electron localization in a molecule-based solid

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids) Charge ordering in cationic mixed-valence compounds is of crucial importance for materials science. The prototypic example for a transition from a charge-disordered to a charge-ordered state has been magnetite, Fe3O4, where Evert Verwey observed a sudden jump in resistivity near -150°C. In the journal Science Advances now a research team of scientists from Germany and Slovenia reports a Verwey-type charge-ordering transition in a different class of mixed-valence compounds that is composed of negatively charged dioxygen molecules.



A stopwatch for nanofluids: NIST files provisional patent for microflowmeter

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)) The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has filed a provisional patent application for a microflow measurement system, about the size of a nickel, that can track the movement of extremely tiny amounts of liquids -- as small as nanoliters per minute. The invention is designed to fill an urgent need in the rapidly expanding field of microfluidics, in which precisely measuring tiny flow rates is critical.



Scientists discover how treating eczema could also alleviate asthma

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(VIB (the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology)) Scientists from VIB-UGent have discovered insights for a possible new therapy for eczema that also reduces the severity of asthma. The findings are an important next step in understanding the relationship between the two inflammatory diseases and to developing effective therapies. The results of the study are published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.



A nanophenomenon that triggers the bone-repair process

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona) Researchers at the Institut Català de Nanociència i Nanotecnologia have resolved one of the great unknowns in bone self-repair: how the cells responsible for forming new bone tissue are called into action. Their work reveals the role of an electromechanical phenomenon at the nanoscale, flexoelectricity, as a possible mechanism for stimulating the cell response and guiding it throughout the fracture repair process.



HKU quantum physicist Dr. Giulio Chiribella receives Croucher Senior Research Fellowship 2018

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(The University of Hong Kong) Dr. Giulio Chiribella is a leading expert of quantum information science and of the foundations of quantum mechanics. He investigates the counterintuitive laws of the quantum world and how they can be turned into working principles for future information technologies.



Thorium reactors may dispose of enormous amounts of weapons-grade plutonium

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Tomsk Polytechnic University) Scientists from Tomsk Polytechnic University are developing a new technology for multipurpose application of large amounts of weapons-grade plutonium accumulated in Russia and across the world. Instead of expensive storage of this nuclear material, TPU physicists propose to burn weapons-grade plutonium in reactors with thorium fuel, converting it into power and thermal energy. The units are capable of operating at low capacity (from 60 MW) at least 10-20 years.



Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(University of Innsbruck) On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.



2-D tin (stanene) without buckling: A possible topological insulator

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Nagoya University) An international research team led by Nagoya University synthesized planar stanene: 2-D sheets of tin atoms, analogous to graphene. Tin atoms were deposited onto the Ag(111) surface of silver. The stanene layer remained extremely flat, unlike in previous studies wherein stanene was buckled. This leads to the formation of large area, high quality samples. Stanene is predicted to be a topological insulator, with applications in quantum computing and nanoelectronics.



Alternatives to toxic phenol compounds are being developed

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland) Finnish softwood bark contains large amounts of water-soluble tannin-polyphenols, which can be used as renewable alternatives to the fossil and toxic phenol compounds widely used in glues.



More University of Toronto affiliated scientists to publish lab notes in real time

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(University of Toronto) About 20 scientists affiliated with a University of Toronto research organization have agreed to publish their lab notes in real time, a groundbreaking move aimed at hastening the discovery of new medical treatments.



Bio-renewable process could help 'green' plastic

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(University of Wisconsin-Madison) Plastics are often derived from petroleum, contributing to reliance on fossil fuels and driving harmful greenhouse gas emissions. To change that, Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) scientists are trying to take the pliable nature of plastic in another direction, developing new and renewable ways of creating plastics from biomass.



Real-world intercontinental quantum communications enabled by the Micius satellite

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(University of Science and Technology of China) A joint China-Austria team has performed quantum key distribution between the quantum-science satellite Micius and multiple ground stations located in Xinglong (near Beijing), Nanshan (near Urumqi), and Graz (near Vienna). Such experiments demonstrate the secure satellite-to-ground exchange of cryptographic keys with ?kHz rate during the passage of the satellite Micius over a ground station. Using Micius as a trusted relay, a secret key is created between China and Europe at locations separated up to 7,600 km on the Earth.



Let's make a deal: Could AI compromise better than humans?

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Brigham Young University) BYU researchers developed an algorithm that teaches machines not just to win games, but to cooperate and compromise -- and sometimes do a little trash-talking too.



Challenges and research for an evolving aviation system

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine) A comprehensive aviation safety system as envisioned by NASA would require integration of a wide range of systems and practices, including building an in-time aviation safety management system (IASMS) that could detect and mitigate high-priority safety issues as they emerge and before they become hazards, says a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.



How did a deadly tropical fungus get to the temperate environs of the Pacific Northwest?

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(The Translational Genomics Research Institute) In what is being described as 'The Teddy Roosevelt effect,' a deadly fungus in the Pacific Northwest may have arrived from Brazil via the Panama Canal, according to a new study led by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen). Cryptococcus gattii -- which until a 1999 outbreak in British Columbia's Vancouver Island was considered primarily a tropical fungus -- can cause deadly lung and brain infections in both people and animals.



Dr. Dobryakova of Kessler Foundation researches effect of feedback on cognitive fatigue

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Kessler Foundation) Ekaterina Dobryakova, Ph.D., research scientist in Traumatic Brain Injury Research at Kessler Foundation, received an award from the New Jersey Health Foundation to study how performance feedback influences cognitive fatigue levels in individuals with TBI. The goal is to see whether a behavioral intervention that is based on providing performance feedback can effectively reduce levels of cognitive fatigue, a finding that would have implications for individuals with other types of neurological conditions who are affected by disabling fatigue.



Method uses DNA, nanoparticles and lithography to make optically active structures

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Northwestern University) Northwestern University researchers have developed a first-of-its-kind technique for creating entirely new classes of optical materials and devices that could lead to light bending and cloaking devices -- news to make the ears of Star Trek's Spock perk up. Using DNA as a key tool, the scientists took gold nanoparticles of different sizes and shapes and arranged them in two and three dimensions to form optically active superlattices. The structures could be programmed to exhibit almost any color across the visible spectrum.



Advances in deep learning for biomarker development to be presented at the PMWC in Silicon Valley

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(InSilico Medicine, Inc.) The CEO and founder of Insilico Medicine, Alex Zhavoronkov, will chair the AI-driven Pre-clinical and Clinical Drug Design, Discovery, and Development Panel at Precision Medicine World Conference (PMWC) 2018 in Silicon Valley. The AI panel will focus on the latest advances in artificial intelligence for biomarker development and drug discovery. The session will cover different approaches and AI platforms, and how they impact the pharmaceutical industry and specifically, the drug discovery and development processes.