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Acoustics Current Events and Acoustics News from Brightsurf

Acoustics Current Events and Acoustics News Events, Discoveries and Articles from Brightsurf

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The writing on the wall

Wed, 21 Feb 18 00:00:50 -0800

When and where did humans develop language? To find out, look deep inside caves, suggests an MIT professor.

What a handsome schnoz!

Wed, 21 Feb 18 00:05:20 -0800

Researchers find evidence supporting both male-male competition and female choice as factors in the evolution of the enlarged male nose in proboscis monkeys.

Snapping shrimp may act as 'dinner bell' for gray whales off Oregon coast

Tue, 13 Feb 18 00:02:50 -0800

Scientists have for the first time captured the sounds of snapping shrimp off the Oregon coast and think the loud crackling from the snapping of their claws may serve as a dinner bell for eastern Pacific gray whales, according to new research being presented at the Ocean Sciences Meeting here today.

USTC realizes strong indirect coupling in distant nanomechanical resonators

Mon, 29 Jan 18 00:12:50 -0800

USTC Guo's team realized strong coupling between distant phonon modes, by introducing a third resonator as a phonon cavity mode.

Fish and ships: Vessel traffic reduces communication ranges for Atlantic cod, haddock

Tue, 12 Dec 17 00:06:00 -0800

NOAA scientists studying sounds made by Atlantic cod and haddock at spawning sites in the Gulf of Maine have found that vessel traffic noise is reducing the distance over which these animals can communicate with each other. As a result, daily behavior, feeding, mating, and socializing during critical biological periods for these commercially and ecologically important fish may be altered, according to a study published in Nature Scientific Reports.

Is there a musical method for interpreting speech?

Thu, 07 Dec 17 00:07:30 -0800

Vocoded speech, or distorted speech that imitates voice transduction by a cochlear implant, is used throughout acoustic and auditory research to explore speech comprehension under various conditions. Researchers evaluated whether musicians had an advantage in understanding and reciting degraded speech as compared to nonmusicians, and they will present their work on the effect of musical experience on the ability to understand vocoded speech at the 174th ASA Meeting, Dec. 4-8, 2017.

Microwaved exploding eggs make for an unusual acoustic experiment

Wed, 06 Dec 17 00:03:40 -0800

If you have looked closely at a microwave's warnings or have experienced an accidental explosion, you know that certain foods pose a risk due to an increase in their internal pressure, and potatoes and hard-boiled eggs are among the most common culprits. Researchers from Charles M. Salter Associates will present their research on the sound pressures generated by exploding eggs at the 174th ASA Meeting, Dec. 4-8, 2017, in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Marine invertebrates have noisy human neighbors

Wed, 06 Dec 17 00:03:30 -0800

Marine invertebrates are impacted by the rising levels of underwater noise produced by humans, but the production of underwater noise is not only difficult to control, but the direct effect on marine invertebrates can be challenging to observe or measure. Researchers will present results on the use of a standing wave tube to simulate and measure the effects of anthropogenic noise on marine invertebrates at the 174th ASA Meeting, Dec. 4-8, 2017, in New Orleans.

Disorders of the voice can affect a politician's success

Wed, 06 Dec 17 00:03:20 -0800

The acoustics of political speech are known to be a powerful influencer of voter preferences, but vocal disorders can change the qualities of a person's speech, and voice scientists have found that this alters politicians' perceived charisma. The researchers examined two cases of politicians with vocal disorders -- Umberto Bossi and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva -- and will present the findings at the 174th ASA Meeting, Dec. 4-8, 2017, in New Orleans, La.

Alarming amounts of noise demand ways to silence noisy hospital environments

Wed, 06 Dec 17 00:03:10 -0800

Spending a night in the hospital is not only stressful, but also loud. The constant beeps, whirrs and alarms ascend to a cacophony that produces anything but a relaxing, restful environment. Researchers will summarize the limited number of studies available on hospital noise and discuss the different approaches health care facilities are taking to bring restful repose to patients across the country during the 174th ASA Meeting, Dec. 4-8, 2017, in New Orleans, La.

What gave early New Orleans jazz clarinets their unique sound?

Wed, 06 Dec 17 00:03:00 -0800

The hauntingly beautiful 'wailing' sounds of early New Orleans jazz clarinets, often featured in brass bands or jazz funerals, are one of the most distinctive instrument styles in American music. The unique sound begs the question: what's behind incredible their range of sound and tonal variety? During the 174th ASA Meeting, Dec. 4-8, 2017, Michael G. White will deliver a special presentation about the distinguishing characteristics of the clarinet in early New Orleans jazz.

Want to listen better? Lend a right ear

Wed, 06 Dec 17 00:02:40 -0800

Listening requires sensitive hearing and the ability to process information into cohesive meaning. Add everyday background noise and constant interruptions, and the ability to comprehend what is heard becomes that much more difficult. Audiology researchers at Auburn University have found that in such demanding environments, both children and adults depend more on their right ear for processing and retaining what they hear. They will present their work at the 174th ASA Meeting, Dec. 4-8.

Rooftop wiretap aims to learn what crows gossip about at dusk

Tue, 05 Dec 17 00:13:20 -0800

An interdisciplinary team is using a covert sound-based approach, worthy of an avian CSI, to study the link between crows' calls and their behavior.

Pop the bubbly and hear the quality

Tue, 05 Dec 17 00:15:40 -0800

The classic sparkling wine that has rung in countless new years with a bang may have more to its bubbles. Champagne is notable for its iconic cork popping, but the bubble acoustics also play a key role in determining how expensive that bottle should be. Investigators from the University of Texas at Austin, will be presenting their research the acoustical measurements of champagne bubbles during the 174th ASA Meeting, Dec. 4-8, 2017, in New Orleans.

Hearing hybrid and electric vehicles while quieting noise pollution

Tue, 05 Dec 17 00:15:30 -0800

Low-emission vehicles are considered too quiet for hearing-impaired pedestrians, so the European Union is mandating that they be equipped with acoustic vehicle alerting systems. With these alert systems would come a marked increase in the amount of noise on the roads across Europe. During the 174th ASA Meeting, Dec. 4-8, 2017, in New Orleans, researchers will present their work assessing the effectiveness of acoustic vehicle alerting systems and their downsides.

Submarine volcanoes add to ocean soundscape

Mon, 04 Dec 17 00:11:20 -0800

Most volcanoes erupt beneath the ocean, but scientists know little about them compared to what they know about volcanoes that eject their lava on dry land. Gabrielle Tepp of the USGS thinks that with improved monitoring, we can learn more about submarine eruptions, which alter the ocean soundscape. During the 174th ASA meeting, Dec. 4-8, 2017, Tepp will discuss the challenges and benefits of remote monitoring and what it can teach about submarine volcanoes.

Earplugs unavoidable for musicians in the orchestra and at home

Wed, 22 Nov 17 00:05:20 -0800

Many musicians suffer ear damage. Professional orchestras have therefore taken measures in recent years to reduce the sound levels. Studies now reveal that physical measures, like placing screens or creating more space, have little effect. This is due to one's own instrument contributing just as much to the sound level that reaches the ear as all the orchestra's instruments together. The only solution that really helps is earplugs, for professionals but also amateurs playing at home.

Quantum dots visualize tiny vibrational resonances

Mon, 30 Oct 17 00:16:10 -0700

When laser light is used to drive the motion of a thin, rigid membrane, the membrane vibrates in resonance with the light. The resulting patterns can be visualized through an array of quantum dots, where these tiny structures emit light at a frequency that responds to movement. The advance is reported this week in a cover article of Applied Physics Letters.

Scientists eavesdrop on little-known beaked whales to learn how deeply they dive

Wed, 11 Oct 17 00:05:30 -0700

Scientists have reported the first dive depths for Gervais' and True's beaked whales, two of the least known beaked whale species known as mesoplodonts. The study is also the first to use a towed linear hydrophone array to document dive depths for beaked whales, and researchers say it's a promising method to obtain dive depths for other beaked whale species.

Two beaked whale species take very long, deep dives for their size

Wed, 11 Oct 17 00:13:30 -0700

Two relatively small beaked whale species took exceptionally long, deep dives while foraging in the Bahamas, confounding expectations that larger whales dive should be able to dive for longer than smaller whales, according to a study published Oct. 11, 2017 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Trevor Joyce from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, United States of America, and colleagues.

Asymmetric sound absorption lets in the light

Fri, 06 Oct 17 00:07:50 -0700

Many asymmetric absorbers are currently based on a single-port system, where sound enters one side and is absorbed before a rigid wall. In this design, however, light and air are unable to pass through the system. But new research shows that asymmetric absorption can be realized within a straight transparent waveguide. The waveguide allows light transmission and air flow through the absorber, and is described this week in Applied Physics Letters.

A beautiful wing design solution inspired by owl feathers

Tue, 26 Sep 17 00:13:50 -0700

Lehigh University researchers have formulated a mathematical solution that could help minimize noise, maximize aerodynamics in design of porous airfoils (2-D wings) to improve wind turbines and air vehicles. The work has been described in a paper to be published in Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences called

Nonlinear physics bridges thoughts to sounds in birdsong

Tue, 19 Sep 17 00:16:30 -0700

Physicist Gabriel Mindlin has been looking at the phenomena from what is one of the most unifying and potentially enlightening perspectives of the issue: the dynamical physics of birds' vocal organs. In his work, published this week in the journal Chaos, he explores the role of fundamental physics properties in the acoustic complexity of birdsong, and the relationship they have with neural instructions for their production.

Blood testing via sound waves may replace some tissue biopsies

Mon, 18 Sep 17 00:02:10 -0700

Scientists from MIT and other institutions have developed a microfluidic device that uses sound waves to isolate cellular packets called exosomes from blood samples, which could be used to diagnose diseases such as cancer or fetal abnormalities.

A-MUD: A method for automatically detecting mouse song

Fri, 08 Sep 17 00:11:40 -0700

Mice produce a remarkable repertoire of vocalizations across five octaves, which they emit during mating and other contexts. Analyses of mice song can provide important information about their social behavior and for research into neuropsychiatric disorders. But their songs are in the ultrasonic range and inaudible for humans. Researchers at Vetmeduni Vienna and the Acoustics Research Institute now developed a freely available method to automatically detect mouse vocalizations instead of manually.

Researchers create magnetic RAM

Tue, 22 Aug 17 00:16:10 -0700

A team of researchers has now developed a magnetoelectric random access memory (MELRAM) cell, which consists of two components: piezoelectric material and a layered structure characterized by a high magnetoelasticity. When a voltage is applied to the memory cell, the piezoelectric layer of the structure is deformed. Depending on the nature of the strain, magnetization assumes a particular orientation, storing information. The changing orientation of the magnetic field gives rise to increased voltage in the sample.

Whales turn tail at ocean mining noise

Wed, 16 Aug 17 00:02:20 -0700

A new international study has measured the effect of loud sounds on migrating humpback whales as concern grows as oceans become noisier. University of Queensland School of Veterinary Science's Dr Rebecca Dunlop said one of the main sources of ocean noise was oil and gas exploration, due to geologists firing off loud acoustic air guns to probe the structure of the ocean floor in search of fossil fuels.

Biomechanical acoustics study sheds light on running injuries

Thu, 29 Jun 17 00:14:10 -0700

Devoted runners suffer from a surprisingly high rate of injury. One reason for these injuries is that runners endure many shocks from the impact, and these cause vibrations that travel from the foot throughout the entire body. Delphine Chadefaux, a researcher who focuses on acoustics and biomechanics, studies these repetitive shocks and investigates how runners adapt their running patterns, and will share some of the insights from her research during Acoustics '17 Boston.

Acoustic scientist sounds off about the location of cave paintings

Thu, 29 Jun 17 00:06:00 -0700

One popular theory about the Paleolithic cave paintings proposes that sites were chosen based on the acoustics in the caves. The originators of the theory reported a causal connection between the 'points of resonance' in three French caves and the position of Paleolithic cave paintings. David Lubman, an acoustic scientist and fellow of ASA, will share some of the insights from his research during Acoustics '17 Boston, held June 25-29, in Boston, Mass.

Talking science

Mon, 26 Jun 17 00:05:20 -0700

In 22 years, Karin Heineman has been behind the camera for hundreds of scientific stories. By bringing a plethora of scientists into the world of media, she has garnered unique expertise in bridging the communication gap between those in and out of the lab. During Acoustics '17 Boston, Heineman, executive producer of Inside Science TV, will share some of her experience and highlight important elements of capturing the stories of science with video.

Creating a personalized, immersive audio environment

Mon, 26 Jun 17 00:05:50 -0700

The way you hear and interpret the sounds around you changes as you move. That's how sound in the real world works. Now imagine if it worked that way while you were listening to a recording of a concert or playing a video game in virtual reality. During Acoustics '17 Boston, Ivan J. Tashev and Hannes Gamper, with Microsoft's Audio and Acoustics Research Group, will explain how they are using head related transfer functions (HRTF) to create an immersive sound environment.

Ultrasound imaging of the brain and liver

Mon, 26 Jun 17 00:10:20 -0700

Ultrasound is commonly used in diagnostic imaging of the body's soft tissues, including muscles, joints, tendons and internal organs. A technology called high-intensity focused ultrasound is also being explored for therapeutic uses including the removal of uterine fibroids and the destruction of tumors. A suite of noninvasive, adaptive focusing techniques -- that allow ultrasonic beams to be focused through the rib cage and skull -- will be described during Acoustics '17 Boston.

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

Mon, 26 Jun 17 00:16:30 -0700

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, Berkeley Lab researchers were able to pack more channels onto a single frequency, effectively increasing the amount of information capable of being transmitted.

Seeing with your ears

Sun, 25 Jun 17 00:14:20 -0700

Paris' Cathedral of Notre Dame has a ghost orchestra that is always performing, thanks to a sophisticated, multidisciplinary acoustics research project that will be presented during Acoustics '17 Boston. 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.

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

Sun, 25 Jun 17 00:14:10 -0700

People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate safely through the environment using echolocation. Bo Schenkman, from KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, will present a summary of some aspects of his work on human echolocation during Acoustics '17 Boston.

Tiny bubbles offer sound solution for drug delivery

Sun, 25 Jun 17 00:14:30 -0700

The blood-brain barrier protects the brain and central nervous system from harmful chemicals circulating in the blood but also prevents delivery of drugs that could help treat patients with brain cancers and diseases. With recent advances in technology, the blood-brain barrier can now be opened safely, noninvasively and in a targeted manner using ultrasound. One of the newest approaches aiming to advance this research will be presented during Acoustics '17 Boston.

The friendly honk

Sun, 25 Jun 17 00:14:40 -0700

Sound permeates the human experience and gets our attention, sometimes traumatically so. Consider the car horn. It is a widespread practical application of this noise-trauma-alert principle -- and an increasing source of noise pollution worldwide as the global traffic population grows. It also is the subject of new noise pollution research to be presented during Acoustics '17 Boston. The study introduces a new pedestrian-friendly car-horn sound identified through the Mean Option Score.

Using body noise to improve cancer detection

Sun, 25 Jun 17 00:14:50 -0700

In passive elastography, the elasticity of tissue is measured using the body's own propagation of shear waves, which enables more effective imaging deeper inside the body in an even more noninvasive way than traditional elastography and may be used for cancer detection. Stefan Catheline, researcher at the University at Lyon will discuss this and other elastography advances during Acoustics '17 Boston.

Bee buzzes could help determine how to save their decreasing population

Wed, 07 Jun 17 00:10:00 -0700

Widespread and effective monitoring of bees could lead to better management of populations; however, tracking bees is tricky and costly. Now, a research team led by the University of Missouri has developed an inexpensive acoustic listening system using data from small microphones in the field to monitor bees in flight. The study, published today in PLOS ONE, shows how farmers could use the technology to monitor pollination and increase food production.

Magnetoelectric memory cell increases energy efficiency for data storage

Tue, 30 May 17 00:08:20 -0700

A team of researchers has now developed a magnetoelectric random access memory (MELRAM) cell that has the potential to increase power efficiency, and thereby decrease heat waste, by orders of magnitude for read operations at room temperature. The research could aid production of devices such as instant-on laptops, close-to-zero-consumption flash drives, and data storage centers that require much less air conditioning. The research team reported their findings this week in Applied Physics Letters.

Nano fiber feels forces and hears sounds made by cells

Mon, 15 May 17 00:05:30 -0700

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a miniature device that's sensitive enough to feel the forces generated by swimming bacteria and hear the beating of heart muscle cells. The device is a nano-sized optical fiber that detects forces down to 160 femtonewtons and sound levels down to -30 decibels. Applications include measuring bio-activity at the single cell level, or ultra-sensitive mini stethoscopes to monitor cellular acoustics in vivo.

First underwater carpet cloak realized, with metamaterial

Thu, 04 May 17 00:02:50 -0700

Researchers at the Institute of Acoustics (IOA) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have designed and fabricated an underwater acoustic carpet cloak using transformation acoustics, a scientific first. The research was published online in Scientific Reports on April 6.

New method heats up ultrasonic approach to treating tumors

Tue, 28 Mar 17 00:15:10 -0700

High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) is a breakthrough therapeutic technique used to treat tumors. The principle of this noninvasive, targeted treatment is much like that of focusing sunlight through a lens, using an ultrasonic transducer like a convex lens to concentrate ultrasound into a small focal region. Researchers have now designed a transducer for potential application in HIFU that can generate a steady, standing-wave field with a subwavelength-scale focal region and extremely high ultrasound intensity.

Sound-shaping super-material invented

Mon, 27 Feb 17 00:13:10 -0800

A super-material that bends, shapes and focuses sound waves that pass through it has been invented by scientists.

Tracking the movement of cyborg cockroaches

Mon, 27 Feb 17 00:03:00 -0800

New research offers insights into how far and how fast cyborg cockroaches -- or biobots -- move when exploring new spaces. The work moves researchers closer to their goal of using biobots to explore collapsed buildings and other spaces in order to identify survivors.

NASA's Webb Telescope team prepares for earsplitting acoustic test

Fri, 24 Feb 17 00:04:20 -0800

Inside NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., the James Webb Space Telescope team completed the environmental portion of vibration testing and prepared for the acoustic test on the telescope.

New mechanical metamaterials can block symmetry of motion, findings suggest

Mon, 13 Feb 17 00:00:30 -0800

Engineers and scientists at The University of Texas at Austin and the AMOLF institute in the Netherlands have invented the first mechanical metamaterials that easily transfer motion effortlessly in one direction while blocking it in the other.

Are drones disturbing marine mammals?

Mon, 13 Feb 17 00:01:00 -0800

Marine researchers have made sure that their research drones aren't disturbing their research subjects, shows a report in Frontiers in Marine Science. And they're hoping that others will follow their example to help protect wildlife in the future.

NASA restarts rigorous vibration testing on the James Webb Space Telescope

Wed, 25 Jan 17 00:08:40 -0800

Testing on the James Webb Space Telescope successfully resumed last week at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, in Greenbelt, Md.

New 'printone' tool allows users to create 3-D printed wind instruments in any shape or form

Mon, 05 Dec 16 00:09:20 -0800

A research team from Autodesk and Dartmouth College has developed a new interactive design tool called 'Printone,' which provides users with the ability to create functional 3-D printed wind instruments in any shape or form using interactive sound simulation feedback. The team designed 16 free-form wind instruments to play different melodies, including: a snowman that can play