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Both whales and dolphins have pelvic (hip) bones, evolutionary remnants from when their ancestors walked on land more than 40 million years ago. Common wisdom has long held that those bones are simply vestigial, slowly withering away like tailbones on hum

Whale Hip Bones are Still Useful for Something

September 9, 2014 | by Robert Perkins, University of Southern California | Comments

Both whales and dolphins have pelvic (hip) bones, evolutionary remnants from when their ancestors walked on land more than 40 million years ago. Common wisdom has long held that those bones are simply vestigial. But new research flies directly in the face of that assumption, finding that not only do those pelvic bones serve a purpose, but their size and possibly shape are influenced by the forces of sexual selection.

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Richard Lamb, right, discusses artificial neural networks with WSU College of Education colleague Andy Cavagnetto.

Video Games could Dramatically Streamline Education Research

September 19, 2014 4:59 pm | by C. Brandon Chapman, Washington State University | Comments

“Seeking educational curriculum researchers. Humans need not apply.” A Washington State University professor has figured out a dramatically easier and more cost-effective way to do research on science curriculum in the classroom — and it could include playing video games. Called “computational modeling,” it involves a computer “learning” student behavior and then “thinking” as students would.

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Liquid metals normally form a spherical shape due to their large surface tension. By applying a small voltage to the metal in water, a surface oxide forms on the surface of the metal and lowers the surface tension. Reversing the bias can remove the oxide

Researchers Control Movement of Liquid Metals with Less than One Volt

September 19, 2014 4:56 pm | by North Carolina State University | Comments

Researchers have developed a technique for controlling the surface tension of liquid metals by applying very low voltages, opening the door to a new generation of reconfigurable electronic circuits, antennas and other technologies. The technique hinges on the fact that the oxide “skin” of the metal — which can be deposited or removed — acts as a surfactant, lowering the surface tension between the metal and the surrounding fluid.

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Researchers performed a test of the Finding Individuals for Disaster and Emergency Response (FINDER) prototype technology — which can locate individuals buried in disasters — at the Virginia Task Force 1 Training Facility in Lorton, VA. The device uses ra

NASA Technology Can Detect Heartbeats in Rubble

September 19, 2014 4:46 pm | by NASA | Comments

When natural disasters or human-made catastrophes topple buildings, search and rescue teams immediately set out to find victims trapped beneath the wreckage. During these missions, time is imperative, and the ability to quickly detect living victims greatly increases the chances of rescue and survival.

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Whirligig Beetle -- Courtesy of Nikon Small World

Whirligig Beetle Swimming Leg

September 19, 2014 3:19 pm | Comments

This 25X photo shows the swimming leg of a whirligig beetle (Gyrinus sp.). 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 by David Linstead.

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The ISC Cloud Conference will be offering attendees an Amazon Web Services tutorial on launching high performance computing clusters in the AWS Cloud.

Amazon Tutorial at ISC Cloud

September 19, 2014 3:10 pm | by ISC | Comments

For the first time, the ISC Cloud Conference is offering attendees an Amazon Web Services tutorial on launching high performance computing clusters in the AWS Cloud. The presenter, Dougal Ballantyne, is a HPC solutions architect at Amazon Web Services. This workshop is free-of-charge for attendees and will provide an introduction to cfncluster, a framework for launching HPC clusters on AWS.

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Online reconstructed event from High Level Trigger, showing tracks from the Inner Tracking System and the Time Projection Chamber of ALICE. Courtesy of CERN

CERN Articles in American Physical Society Collection to be Open Access

September 18, 2014 2:43 pm | by CERN | Comments

The American Physical Society and CERN announced a partnership to make all CERN-authored articles published in the APS journal collection to be open access. Articles in APS' Physical Review Letters, Physical Review D, and Physical Review C in 2015 and 2016 will be covered by this agreement. All physics results from CERN will benefit from this partnership, in theoretical physics and experimental physics.

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Common Orange Lichen -- Courtesy of Nikon Small World

Close-up: Common Orange Lichen

September 18, 2014 2:26 pm | Comments

This 4X photo shows a close-up of common orange lichen (Xanthoria parietina), a partnership between a fungus and a green alga. 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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The MIT BioSuit, a skintight spacesuit that offers improved mobility and reduced mass compared to modern gas-pressurized spacesuits. Courtesy of Jose-Luis Olivares/MIT

Shrink-wrapping: Spacesuits of the Future may Resemble Streamlined Second Skin

September 18, 2014 2:20 pm | by Jennifer Chu, MIT | Comments

For future astronauts, the process of suiting up may go something like this: Instead of climbing into a conventional, bulky, gas-pressurized suit, an astronaut may don a lightweight, stretchy garment, lined with tiny, muscle-like coils. She would then plug in to a spacecraft’s power supply, triggering the coils to contract and essentially shrink-wrap the garment around her body.

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Researchers have developed a math model that can predict the progression from nephritis — kidney inflammation — to interstitial fibrosis, scarring in the kidney that current treatments cannot reverse. Courtesy of Piotr Michał Jaworski

Math Model Replaces Invasive Kidney Biopsy for Lupus Patients

September 18, 2014 2:11 pm | by Emily Caldwell, Ohio State University | Comments

Mathematics might be able to reduce the need for invasive biopsies in patients suffering kidney damage related to the autoimmune disease lupus. Researchers have developed a math model that can predict the progression from kidney inflammation to scarring in the kidney that current treatments cannot reverse.

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Is there life on Mars? Researchers say that life as we know it, in the form of bacteria, for example, could be there, although we haven’t found it yet. Courtesy of NASA/JPL/MSSS

Martian Meteorite Yields More Evidence of the Possibility of Life on Mars

September 18, 2014 2:05 pm | by University of Manchester | Comments

A tiny fragment of Martian meteorite 1.3 billion years old is helping to make the case for the possibility of life on Mars, say scientists. The finding of a ‘cell-like’ structure, which investigators now know once held water, came about as a result of collaboration between scientists in the UK and Greece. These findings are significant because they add to increasing evidence that Mars does provide all the conditions for life to have formed.

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Graphic showing the intensity of the radio beams after twisting Courtesy of Alan Willner / USC Viterbi

Scientists Twist Radio Beams to Send Data, Reach Speeds of 32 Gibit/s

September 17, 2014 2:55 pm | by University of Southern California | Comments

Building on previous research that twisted light to send data at unheard-of speeds, scientists at University of Southern California (USC) have developed a similar technique with radiowaves, reaching high speeds without some of the hassles that can go with optical systems.

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The team has taken a three-phase approach to a software emotion detector. Preliminary tests gave a 94 percent success rate. Courtesy of Steven Depolo

Emotion Detector: Software Accurately Classifies Facial Expressions

September 17, 2014 2:27 pm | by Inderscience Research | Comments

Face recognition software measures various parameters in a mug shot, such as the distance between the person’s eyes, the height from lip to top of their nose and various other metrics and then compares it with photos of people in the database that have been tagged with a given name. Now, research looks to take that one step further in recognizing the emotion portrayed by a face.

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Once each company’s test program has been completed successfully and its system achieves NASA certification, each contractor will conduct at least two, and as many as six, crewed missions to the space station. Courtesy of NASA

NASA Chooses American Companies to Transport U.S. Astronauts to International Space Station

September 17, 2014 2:20 pm | by NASA | Comments

U.S. astronauts once again will travel to and from the International Space Station from the United States on American spacecraft under groundbreaking contracts NASA announced September 16, 2014. The agency unveiled its selection of Boeing and SpaceX to transport U.S. crews to and from the space station using their CST-100 and Crew Dragon spacecraft, respectively, with a goal of ending the nation’s sole reliance on Russia in 2017.

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Florida to Louisiana  -- Courtesy of NASA

Florida to Louisiana Viewed from International Space Station

September 17, 2014 1:43 pm | by NASA | Comments

NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman captured this image of Florida to Louisiana just before dawn, taken from the International Space Station, and posted it to social media on Friday, September 12, 2014. Wiseman, Commander Max Suraev and Flight Engineer Alexander Gerst began their first full workweek Monday, September 15, as a three-person crew aboard the space station

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This small device developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory uses the truly random spin of light particles as defined by laws of quantum mechanics to generate a random number for use in a cryptographic key that can be used to securely transmit informatio

Secure Computing for the Everyman: Quantum Computing goes to Market

September 17, 2014 1:40 pm | by Los Alamos National Laboratory | Comments

The largest information technology agreement ever signed by Los Alamos National Laboratory brings the potential for truly secure data encryption to the marketplace after nearly 20 years of development at the nation's national-security science laboratory.

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