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Analysis of data from the Kepler space telescope has shown that roughly half of the dayside of the exoplanet Kepler-7b is covered by a large cloud mass. Statistical comparison of more than 1,000 atmospheric models show that these clouds are most likely ma

Cloudy, with a High of 1,700 Kelvins: Analyzing Clouds around Exoplanets

March 3, 2015 4:25 pm | by Helen Knight, MIT | News | Comments

Meteorologists sometimes struggle to accurately predict the weather here on Earth, but now we can find out how cloudy it is on planets outside our solar system. MIT Researchers describe a technique that analyzes data from NASA’s Kepler space observatory to determine the types of clouds on planets that orbit other stars. Their models indicate that the clouds on Kepler-7b are most likely made from liquid rock.

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An Ant’s Eye -- Courtesy of Nikon Small World -- 2014 Nikon Small World Honorable Mention -- Click to enlarge

An Ant’s Eye

March 3, 2015 3:00 pm | News | Comments

This 20x photo of an ant eye received an honorable mention in the 2014 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope. It was taken by Noah Fram-Schwartz of Greenwich, CT, using reflected light.

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Southern Tip of Phlegra Montes on Mars -- Courtesy of ESA/DLR/FU Berlin, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO – click to enlarge

Southern Tip of Phlegra Montes on Mars

March 3, 2015 11:21 am | News | Comments

This color image shows the southernmost portion of Phlegra Montes on Mars, a complex system of isolated hills, ridges and small basins that spans over 1400 kilometers from the Elysium volcanic region at about 30ºN and deep into the northern lowlands at about 50°N.

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Familiar crowd patterns emerged from the new simulations: people walking on an on-coming collision course veer well in advance, but people traveling in the same direction tend to walk close together. Courtesy of Yoshikazu Takada

Predicting Human Crowds with Statistical Physics

March 3, 2015 10:36 am | by American Physical Society | News | Comments

For the first time, researchers have directly measured a general law of how pedestrians interact in a crowd. This law can be used to create realistic crowds in virtual reality games and to make public spaces safer. People intuitively know how to navigate through crowds in a way that both minimizes distance traveled and avoids collisions. But the 'force' that governs human interactions has been previously unknown.

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A NASA spacecraft is about to reach the end of a nearly eight-year journey and make the first rendezvous with a dwarf planet.  The Dawn craft will slip into orbit around Ceres, a dwarf planet the size of Texas, on March 6, 2015. Unlike robotic landings or

NASA Spacecraft Making First Visit to Dwarf Planet Ceres

March 3, 2015 10:26 am | by Alicia Chang, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

A NASA spacecraft is about to reach the end of a nearly eight-year journey and make the first rendezvous with a dwarf planet. The Dawn craft will slip into orbit around Ceres, a dwarf planet the size of Texas, on March 6, 2015. Unlike robotic landings or other orbit captures, the arrival won't be a nail-biter. Still, Dawn had to travel some three billion miles to reach the largest object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

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Using a two-camera system, the researchers can capture images in stereo. That is, if you look at the center of the image and unfocus your eyes, the two images merge into one, creating the illusion of a three dimensional ice crystal. Courtesy of Cale Fallg

Incredible Snowflake Imaging Technology may Help Improve Road Safety

March 3, 2015 10:18 am | by National Science Foundation | News | Comments

The technology behind the camera that revealed the intricate, imperfect beauty of snowflakes is now able to expose their potential danger. About three years ago, a new high-speed camera captured free-falling ice crystals so well it might as well be yelling "freeze!" Now, a less expensive, hardier version with the same incredible capability has been designed for use by departments of transportation to anticipate road conditions.

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives for a press conference at the Mobile World Congress, the world's largest mobile phone trade show in Barcelona, Spain, March 2, 2015. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

Google, Facebook Update Contrasting Plans to Connect World

March 3, 2015 9:25 am | by Joseph Wilson, Associated Press | News | Comments

Sci-fi solutions or making friends one at a time? Google and Facebook are taking different routes to expanding Internet use and access among the unconnected in developing countries. The two Internet giants gave updates on their efforts — and differing approaches — at the Mobile World Congress wireless show in Barcelona on March 2, 2015.

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Colorized scanning electron micrograph of filamentous Ebola virus particles (green) attached to and budding from a chronically infected VERO E6 cell (blue) (25,000x magnification). Courtesy of NIAID

Combatting the World’s Deadliest Ebola Outbreak

March 2, 2015 4:37 pm | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | Blogs | Comments

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the 2014 Ebola epidemic is the largest in history, affecting multiple countries in West Africa. As of February 26, 2015, the CDC had tracked 23,816 cases, and Ebola had already claimed nearly 10,000 lives. 

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At their heart, the simulations are akin to modeling chemical reactions taking place between different elements and, in this case, we have four states a person can be in — human, infected, zombie or dead zombie — with approximately 300 million people. Cou

Statistical Mechanics Reveal Ideal Hideout to Save your Brains from the Undead

March 2, 2015 2:26 pm | by American Physical Society | News | Comments

Researchers focusing on a fictional zombie outbreak as an approach to disease modeling suggest heading for the hills, in the Rockies, to save your brains from the undead. Reading World War Z: An Oral History of the First Zombie War, and taking a graduate statistical mechanics class inspired a group of Cornell University researchers to explore how an "actual" zombie outbreak might play out in the U.S.

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According to Chief Research Officer Christopher Willard, Ph.D. “2015 will see increased architectural experimentation. Users will test both low-cost nodes and new technology strategies in an effort to find a balance between these options that delivers the

Top 6 Predictions for High Performance Computing in 2015

March 2, 2015 12:41 pm | by Intersect360 Research | Blogs | Comments

The drive toward exascale computing, renewed emphasis on data-centric processing, energy efficiency concerns, and limitations of memory and I/O performance are all working to reshape HPC platforms, according to Intersect360 Research’s Top Six Predictions for HPC in 2015. The report cites many-core accelerators, flash storage, 3-D memory, integrated networking, and optical interconnects as just some of the technologies propelling future...

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Living Green Algae (Micrasterias) -- Courtesy of Nikon Small World -- 2014 Nikon Small World Honorable Mention -- Click to enlarge

Close–up: Living Green Algae

March 2, 2015 12:20 pm | News | Comments

This 100x photo of living green algae in interference phase contrast received an honorable mention in the 2014 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope. It was taken using a light microscope and Interphako contrast.

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A representation of a 9-nanometer azotosome, about the size of a virus, with a piece of the membrane cut away to show the hollow interior. Courtesy of James Stevenson

Life 'Not as We Know It' Possible on Saturn's Moon Titan

March 2, 2015 11:31 am | by Anne Ju, Cornell University | News | Comments

Liquid water is a requirement for life on Earth. But in other, much colder worlds, life might exist beyond the bounds of water-based chemistry. Taking a simultaneously imaginative and rigidly scientific view, chemical engineers and astronomers offer a template for life that could thrive in a harsh, cold world — specifically Titan, the giant moon of Saturn.

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A 3.15 mm QR code storing an encrypted and compressed image shown placed on an integrated circuit and an image of the QR code placed next to a dime. Courtesy of Adam Markman/Brhram Javidi

Ordinary QR Code Transformed into High-End Cybersecurity Application

March 2, 2015 11:21 am | by Colin Poitras, University of Connecticut | News | Comments

QR codes have been used to convey information about everything from cereals to cars and new homes. But researchers think the codes have a greater potential: protecting national security. Using advanced 3-D optical imaging and extremely low light photon counting encryption, researchers have taken the ordinary QR code and transformed it into a high-end cybersecurity application to protect the integrity of computer microchips.

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Future applications of the optical lattice clock: Measuring the different time delays produced by varied driving routes for a motor vehicle carrying an optical lattice clock allows gravitational potential to be mapped. Anomalies in gravitational potential

Cryogenically Cooled Clocks Keep Time for 16 Billion Years

March 2, 2015 11:01 am | by RIKEN | News | Comments

We all like to know our watches keep the time well, but researchers are taking precision to an entirely new dimension. The group demonstrated two cryogenically cooled optical lattice clocks that can be synchronized to a tremendous one part in 2.0 x 10-18 — meaning that they would only go out of synch by a second in 16 billion years. This is nearly 1,000 times more precise than the current international standard cesium atomic clock.

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The University of Chicago’s Research Computing Center is helping linguists visualize the grammar of a given word in bodies of language containing millions or billions of words. Courtesy of Ricardo Aguilera/Research Computing Center

Billions of Words: Visualizing Natural Language

February 27, 2015 3:14 pm | by Benjamin Recchie, University of Chicago | News | Comments

Children don’t have to be told that “cat” and “cats” are variants of the same word — they pick it up just by listening. To a computer, though, they’re as different as, well, cats and dogs. Yet it’s computers that are assumed to be superior in detecting patterns and rules, not four-year-olds. Researchers are trying to, if not to solve that puzzle definitively, at least provide the tools to do so.

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