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Prescribed oceanic patterns are useful for predicting large weather anomalies. Prolonged dry or wet spells over certain regions can reliably tell you whether, for instance, North America will undergo an oceanic weather pattern such as the El Nino or La Ni

Time Machine Reveals Global Precipitation Role in Major Weather Events

October 16, 2014 2:53 pm | by Michael Price, San Diego State University | News | Comments

During the 1930s, North America endured the Dust Bowl, a prolonged era of dryness that withered crops and dramatically altered where the population settled. Land-based precipitation records from the years leading up to the Dust Bowl are consistent with the telltale drying-out period associated with a persistent dry weather pattern, but they can’t explain why the drought was so pronounced and long-lasting.

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A 500-million-year-old fossil used by Australian researchers to make their discovery about vetulicolians. These marine creatures had a rod through their tail similar to a backbone, which places them as distant cousins of vertebrate animals. Courtesy of Un

Bizarre Ancient Fossils Confirmed as Strange Human Cousins

October 16, 2014 2:50 pm | by University of Adelaide | News | Comments

More than 100 years since they were first discovered, some of the world's most bizarre fossils have been identified as distant relatives of humans. The fossils belong to 500-million-year-old blind water creatures, known to scientists as "vetulicolians" (pronounced: ve-TOO-lee-coal-ee-ans).

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Patient mockup of surgical robot designed to treat epilepsy by entering the brain through the cheek. (Laboratory for the Design and Control of Energetic Systems / Vanderbilt)

Minimally Invasive Brain Surgery Performed by Pneumatic Robot

October 16, 2014 2:38 pm | by David Salisbury, Vanderbilt University | News | Comments

For those most severely affected, treating epilepsy means drilling through the skull deep into the brain to destroy the small area where the seizures originate — invasive, dangerous and with a long recovery period. Five years ago, a team of Vanderbilt engineers wondered: Is it possible to address epileptic seizures in a less invasive way?

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Urika-XA System for Big Data Analytics

Cray Urika-XA System for Big Data Analytics

October 16, 2014 9:53 am | Cray Inc. | Product Releases | Comments

The Cray Urika-XA System is an open platform for high-performance big data analytics, pre-integrated with the Apache Hadoop and Apache Spark frameworks. It is designed to provide users with the benefits of a turnkey analytics appliance combined with a flexible, open platform that can be modified for future analytics workloads.

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Winning NVIDIA’s 2014 Early Stage Challenge helped GPU-powered startup Map-D bring interactivity to big data in vivid ways.

Hot Young Startups Vie for $100,000 GPU Challenge Prize

October 16, 2014 9:24 am | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | News | Comments

NVIDIA is looking for a dozen would-be competitors for next year’s Early Stage Challenge, which takes place as part of its Emerging Companies Summit (ECS). In this seventh annual contest, hot young startups using GPUs vie for a single $100,000 grand prize.

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Milky Way Glitters Brightly -- Courtesy of ESO/B. Tafreshi

Milky Way Glitters Brightly over Chile

October 16, 2014 8:46 am | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | News | Comments

The Milky Way glitters brightly over the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array’s (ALMA) antennas, in this image taken by the ESO Ultra High Definition Expedition team as they capture the site in 4K quality. Currently under construction in the thin, dry air of northern Chile's Atacama desert at an altitude of 5,000 meters above sea level, ALMA will initially be composed of 66 high-precision antennas

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10/40/56 Gigabit Ethernet Switches for Hyperscale and Cloud Data Centers

10/40/56 Gigabit Ethernet Switches for Hyperscale and Cloud Data Centers

October 15, 2014 3:53 pm | Mellanox Technologies, Inc. | Product Releases | Comments

SX1400, SX1700 and SX1710 Ethernet switches are top-of-rack Open Ethernet software-defined networking (SDN) 10/40/56 Gigabit switches. Based on Mellanox’s SwitchX-2 switch ICs, they provide enhanced control plane capabilities and allow for the design of hyperscale data center networks and control-intensive cloud applications.

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The new technology merges a proven, wearable computer system with situational awareness capabilities to create an enhanced real-time view of the battlefield for commanders and their troops.

Raytheon Unveils Wearable Computers for Tactical Edge in Battlefield Intelligence Ops

October 15, 2014 3:44 pm | by Raytheon Company | News | Comments

Raytheon Company has unveiled its wearable computing Intel-Ops solution at the AUSA 2014 Meeting and Exposition. The new technology merges a proven, wearable computer system with situational awareness capabilities to create an enhanced real-time view of the battlefield for commanders and their troops.

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Female Flower of a Madwort -- Courtesy of Nikon Small World

Female Flower of a Madwort

October 15, 2014 3:37 pm | News | Comments

This 10X photo shows the female flower of a madwort. It received an Image of Distinction designation in the 2013 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope, and was taken using epi-illumination.

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This artist's concept shows NASA's Mars orbiters lining up behind the Red Planet for their "duck and cover" maneuver to shield them from comet dust that may result from the close flyby of comet Siding Spring. Courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech

Science Fleet Prepares for Mars Comet Encounter

October 15, 2014 3:24 pm | by NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory | News | Comments

NASA's extensive fleet of science assets, particularly those orbiting and roving Mars, have front row seats to image and study a once-in-a-lifetime comet flyby on October 19, 2014. Comet C/2013 A1, also known as comet Siding Spring, will pass within about 87,000 miles (139,500 kilometers) of the Red Planet — less than half the distance between Earth and our moon and less than one-tenth the distance of any known comet flyby of Earth.

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The University of Washington’s current fusion experiment, HIT-SI3. It is about one-tenth the size of the power-producing dynomak concept. Courtesy of U of Washington

Fusion Reactor could be Cheaper than Coal

October 15, 2014 3:19 pm | by Michelle Ma, University of Washington | News | Comments

Fusion energy almost sounds too good to be true — zero greenhouse gas emissions, no long-lived radioactive waste, a nearly unlimited fuel supply. Perhaps the biggest roadblock to adopting fusion energy is that the economics haven’t penciled out. University of Washington engineers hope to change that.

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Leonardo Sagnotti, standing, and coauthor Giancarlo Scardia collecting a sample for paleomagnetic analysis.

Earth’s Magnetic Field could Flip within a Human Lifetime

October 15, 2014 3:09 pm | by Robert Sanders, University of California, Berkeley | News | Comments

Imagine the world waking up one morning to discover that all compasses pointed south instead of north. It’s not as bizarre as it sounds. Earth’s magnetic field has flipped — though not overnight — many times throughout the planet’s history. A new study demonstrates that the last magnetic reversal 786,000 years ago actually happened very quickly, in less than 100 years — roughly a human lifetime.

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IBM is focusing its storage business on a new model for enterprise data storage that is optimized for interoperability across hardware and software solutions.

Software Defined Storage a Tipping Point in Taming Big Data Deluge

October 14, 2014 4:57 pm | by IBM | News | Comments

In a keynote speech at IBM Enterprise, Jamie Thomas, General Manager, Storage and Software Defined Systems at IBM, unveiled a bold strategy for the company’s storage business. Building upon the Software Defined Storage portfolio announced last May, IBM is focusing its storage business on a new model for enterprise data storage that is optimized for interoperability across hardware and software solutions.

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Quail Embryo -- Courtesy of Nikon Small World

Close-up: Quail Embryo

October 14, 2014 4:34 pm | News | Comments

This 0.17X photo shows a quail embryo at embryonic day 13. It received an Image of Distinction designation in the 2013 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope.

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Phylogenetic tree constructed with the BEAST software and built on a subset of both contemporary and ancient samples. Courtesy of Oxford University Press

Treasure Trove of Ancient Genomes Helps Recalibrate Human Evolutionary Clock

October 14, 2014 4:18 pm | by Molecular Biology and Evolution, Oxford University Press | News | Comments

To improve the modeling and reading of the branches on the human tree of life, researchers compiled the most comprehensive DNA set to date, a new treasure trove of 146 ancient (including Neanderthal and Denisovian) and modern human full mitochondrial genomes (amongst a set of 320 available worldwide).

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