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Illustration of the concept of Baryonic Acoustic Oscillations. Courtesy of Chris Blake & Sam Moorfield

Real Data used for First Time to Measure Cosmos

December 15, 2014 4:21 pm | by Francesca Davenport, Imperial College London | News | Comments

For the first time, researchers have measured large distances in the Universe using data, rather than calculations related to general relativity. The team used data from astronomical surveys to measure a standard distance that is central to our understanding of the expansion of the universe. Previously the size of this standard ruler has only been predicted from theoretical models that rely on general relativity to explain gravity.

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Quantum computers could in principle communicate with each other by exchanging individual photons to create a quantum internet.

Controlling Light Particle Shape Opens Way to Quantum Internet

December 15, 2014 4:07 pm | by Eindhoven University of Technology | News | Comments

In the same way as we now connect computers in networks through optical signals, it could also be possible to connect future quantum computers in a quantum internet. The optical signals would then consist of individual light particles or photons. One prerequisite for a working quantum internet is control of the shape of these photons. Researchers have succeeded for the first time in getting this control within the required short time. 

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Big Data and genetic complexity: HotNet2 helps define the terrain for complex genetic associations involved in cancer. “The next step,” says researcher Ben Raphael, “is translating all of this information from cancer sequencing into clinically actionable

Big Data v. Cancer: Algorithm Identifies Genetic Changes across Cancers

December 15, 2014 4:00 pm | by Brown University | News | Comments

Using a computer algorithm that can sift through mounds of genetic data, researchers from Brown University have identified several networks of genes that, when hit by a mutation, could play a role in the development of multiple types of cancer. The algorithm, called Hotnet2, was used to analyze genetic data from 12 different types of cancer assembled as part of the pan-cancer project of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA).

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For the family of bee-eaters (on the photo Merops bullocki), the study revealed a close relationship to oscine birds, parrots, and birds of prey. Courtesy of Peter Houde

Bird Tree of Life Reproduced using Gene Analysis, Supercomputing

December 15, 2014 1:57 pm | by Karlsruhe Institute of Technology | News | Comments

About 95 percent of the more than 10,000 bird species known only evolved upon the extinction of dinosaurs about 66 million years ago. According to computer analyses of the genetic data, today's diversity developed from a few species at a virtually explosive rate after 15 million years. Scientists designed the algorithms for the comprehensive analysis of the evolution of birds; a computing capacity of 300 processor-years was required.

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Stink Bug -- Courtesy of Nikon Small World

Close-up: Stink Bug

December 15, 2014 12:26 pm | News | Comments

This photo of a stink bug received an Image of Distinction designation in the 2013 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope. It was taken by Kurt Wirz of Basel-Stadt, Switzerland, using image stacking.

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Michael Boruta is Optical Spectroscopy Product Manager at ACD/Labs

Accessibility of Data and Application of Algorithms to Provide Insights in Predictive Analytics

December 15, 2014 11:56 am | by Michael Boruta, ACD/Labs | Blogs | Comments

Although there are a diverse range of applications for predictive analytics in R&D, two common basic requirements are data and insight. Data may be generated by running experiments/analyses, or re-applied from previous work when available. Insights come from application of knowledge — both explicitand tacit. There are a variety of roles for informatics in predictive analytics...

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Duke researchers led by associate professor of neurobiology Erich Jarvis, left, did most of the DNA extraction from bird tissue samples used in the Avian Phylogenomics Consortium. (l-r: Carole Parent, Nisarg Dabhi, Jason Howard). Courtesy of Les Todd, Duk

Mapping the "Big Bang" of Bird Evolution

December 12, 2014 6:04 pm | by Kelly Rae Chi, Duke University | News | Comments

The genomes of modern birds tell a story of how they emerged and evolved after the mass extinction that wiped out dinosaurs and almost everything else 66 million years ago. That story is now coming to light, thanks to an ambitious international collaboration that has been underway for four years. The first findings of the Avian Phylogenomics Consortium are being reported nearly simultaneously in 28 papers.

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Professor Tandy Warnow developed a new statistical method that sorts genetic data to construct better species trees detailing genetic lineage. Courtesy of L. Brian Stauffer

Sophisticated New Statistical Technique helps Map Species' Genetic Heritage

December 12, 2014 5:50 pm | by Liz Ahlberg, University of Illinois | News | Comments

Where did the songbird get its song? What branch of the bird family tree is closer to the flamingo — the heron or the sparrow? These questions seem simple, but are actually difficult for geneticists to answer. A new, sophisticated statistical technique can help researchers construct more accurate species trees detailing the lineage of genes and the relationships between species.

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EPFL scientists have picked up an atypical photon emission in X-rays coming from space, and say it could be evidence for the existence of a particle of dark matter.

Atypical Photon Emission a Possible Signal from Dark Matter

December 12, 2014 5:40 pm | by Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne | News | Comments

Could there finally be tangible evidence for the existence of dark matter in the Universe? After sifting through reams of X-ray data, scientists at EPFL and Leiden University believe they could have identified the signal of a particle of dark matter. This substance, which up to now has been purely hypothetical, is run by none of the standard models of physics other than through the gravitational force. 

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Madhu Sudan and his colleagues have begun to describe theoretical limits on the degree of imprecision that communicating computers can tolerate, with very real implications for the design of communication protocols. Courtesy of Jose-Luis Olivares/MIT

New Theory could Yield More Reliable Communication Protocols

December 12, 2014 5:23 pm | by Larry Hardesty, MIT | News | Comments

Communication protocols for digital devices are very efficient but also very brittle: They require information to be specified in a precise order with a precise number of bits. If sender and receiver — say, a computer and a printer — are off by even a single bit relative to each other, communication between them breaks down entirely.

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ISC High Performance is the only yearly international HPC forum that introduces over 300 hand-picked speakers to their attendees.

ISC High Performance Program to Offer Greater Diversity

December 12, 2014 4:32 pm | by ISC | News | Comments

Celebrating its 30th conference anniversary, ISC High Performance has announced that the 2015 program’s technical content “will be strikingly broad in subject matter, differentiated and timely.” Over 2,600 attendees will gather in Frankfurt, from July 12 to 16, to discuss their organizational needs and the industry’s challenges, as well as learn about the latest research, products and solutions.

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Dried Egg White -- Courtesy of Nikon Small World

Dried Egg White

December 12, 2014 4:14 pm | News | Comments

This 25X photo 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 Nomarski Differential Interference Contrast.

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Comprised of four images taken with the navigation camera on Rosetta, this image shows comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on November 17, 2014, from a distance of 26 miles from the center of the comet. (AP Photo/ESA)

Mystery Deepens: Where Did Earth's Water Come From?

December 11, 2014 4:32 pm | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

The mystery of where Earth's water came from got murkier on December 10, 2014, when some astronomers essentially eliminated one of the chief suspects: comets. Over the past few months, the European Space Agency's Rosetta space probe closely examined the type of comet that some scientists theorized could have brought water to our planet 4 billion years ago. It found water, but the wrong kind.

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Results of large-scale simulations showing the Alnico alloy separates into FeCo-rich and NiAl-rich phases at low temperatures and is a homogenized phase at high temperatures.

Solving the Shaky Future of Super-strong Rare Earth Magnets

December 11, 2014 4:15 pm | by Katie Elyce Jones, Oak Ridge National Laboratory | News | Comments

The US Department of Energy is mining for solutions to the rare earth problem — but with high-performance computing instead of bulldozers. Researchers are using the hybrid CPU-GPU, 27-petaflop Titan supercomputer managed by the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to discover alternative materials that can substitute for rare earths.

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The Simula SpringerBriefs on Computing series will provide introductory volumes on the main topics within Simula’s expertise, including communications technology, software engineering and scientific computing.

New Open Access Book Series Introduces Essentials of Computing Science

December 11, 2014 3:58 pm | by Springer | News | Comments

Springer and Simula have launched a new book series, which aims to provide introductions to select research in computing. The series presents both a state-of-the-art disciplinary overview and raises essential critical questions in the field. All Simula SpringerBriefs on Computing are open access, allowing for faster sharing and wider dissemination of knowledge.

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