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What your Clothes may say about You

Stories You Shouldn’t Miss — June 26-July 2

July 2, 2015 11:55 am | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | News | Comments

Heading into the Independence Day weekend, materials that compute — what your clothes may say about you; Sandia’s Z machine solving an 80-year-old puzzle; an amazing satellite view of the San Francisco Bay area; a monster black hole waking after 26 years; a tactical toss camera that sends panoramic images back to a smartphone; and breaking key barriers that limit the distance information can travel in fiber optic cables, are all top hits.

NASA Takes to the Skies to Study Nighttime Thunderstorms

July 2, 2015 9:16 am | by NASA | News | Comments

NASA has joined a multi-agency field campaign studying summer storm systems in the U.S. Great...

Galactic Pyrotechnics on Display

July 2, 2015 8:59 am | by NASA | News | Comments

A galaxy 23 million light-years away is the site of impressive, ongoing, fireworks. Rather than...

Can Computers be Creative?

July 2, 2015 8:24 am | by European Commission | News | Comments

The EU-funded What-if Machine (WHIM) project not only generates fictional storylines, but also...

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A robot developed by Toshiba is demonstrated at its laboratory in Yokohama, near Tokyo. As Japan struggles in the early stages of decades-long cleanup of the Fukushima nuclear crisis, Toshiba has developed the robot that raises its tail like a scorpion an

Nuclear Scorpion Robot will look into Fukushima Reactor, Collect Data

July 1, 2015 4:07 pm | by Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press | News | Comments

A new robot that raises its tail like a scorpion is scheduled to look at melted nuclear fuel inside one of the three wrecked Fukushima reactors in Japan. Toshiba, co-developer of the "scorpion" crawler, said the robot will venture into the Unit 2 reactor's primary containment vessel in August after a month of training for its handlers. Officials hope the robot can see the fuel in the pressure vessel in the middle of the reactor.

A 24-minute, high-resolution science documentary narrated Benedict Cumberbatch about the dynamics of the sun that features data-driven visualizations produced by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at U

Solar Superstorms show Highlights Extremely Powerful Computer Simulation, Visualization

July 1, 2015 3:35 pm | by NSF | News | Comments

A 24-minute, high-resolution science documentary narrated Benedict Cumberbatch about the dynamics of the sun that features data-driven visualizations produced by NCSA at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign debuted on June 30, 2015, at the Louisiana Art & Science Museum in Baton Rouge before rolling out to more than a dozen planetariums and science centers around the world.

Artist’s conception of a quantum frequency comb. Courtesy of Nicoletta Barolini

Quantum Entanglement Method Vastly Increases How Much Data can be carried in a Photon

July 1, 2015 3:03 pm | by Matthew Chin, UCLA | News | Comments

A team of researchers led by UCLA electrical engineers has demonstrated a new way to harness light particles, or photons, that are connected to each other and act in unison no matter how far apart they are — a phenomenon known as quantum entanglement. In previous studies, photons have typically been entangled by one dimension of their quantum properties — usually the direction of their polarization.

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Flying over an Aurora -- Courtesy of NASA – Click to enlarge

Flying over an Aurora

July 1, 2015 2:32 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) captured photographs and video of auroras from the International Space Station on June 22, 2015. Kelly wrote, "Yesterday's aurora was an impressive show from 250 miles up. Good morning from the International Space Station! #YearInSpace

Live Human Mesothelial Cell -- Courtesy of Nikon Small World -- 2014 Nikon Small World Honorable Mention -- Click to enlargeThis 600X image shows a live cultured human mesothelial cell activated to produce hyaluronan. It received an honorable mention in t

Live Human Mesothelial Cell

June 30, 2015 12:33 pm | News | Comments

This 600X image shows a live cultured human mesothelial cell activated to produce hyaluronan. It received an honorable mention in the 2014 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope and was taken using confocal microscopy.

Results from Sandia National Laboratories’ Z machine provides hard data for an 85-year-old theory that could correct mistaken estimates of the planet Saturn’s age. Courtesy of NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Sandia's Z Machine helps solve Saturn's 2-billion-year Age Gap

June 29, 2015 1:50 pm | by Sandia National Labs | News | Comments

Planets tend to cool as they get older, but Saturn is hotter than astrophysicists say it should be without some additional energy source. The unexplained heat has caused a 2-billion-year discrepancy for computer models estimating Saturn’s age. Experiments at Sandia’s Z machine verified an 80-year-old untested proposition that molecular hydrogen, normally an insulator, becomes metallic if squeezed by enough pressure...

 	http://www.scientificcomputing.com/sites/scientificcomputing.com/files/Stars_forming_in_the_Taurus_Molecular_Cloud.jpg

Stars forming in the Taurus Molecular Cloud

June 26, 2015 4:57 pm | by ESA | News | Comments

The intricate jumble depicted in this image from ESA’s Herschel space observatory shows the distribution of gas and dust in the Taurus Molecular Cloud, a giant stellar nursery about 450 light-years away in the constellation Taurus, the Bull. Dust is a minor but crucial ingredient in this diffuse mixture that provides the raw material for stars to form.

Are you a Tau-ist? Pi Day is Under Attack

Stories You Shouldn’t Miss — June 19-25

June 26, 2015 12:41 pm | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | News | Comments

As we entered our first week of summer, the week’s biggest hits included a strong bent toward several “lighter” mathematical topics: learning how math drives Formula 1 and launches Angry Birds, inspiring young minds at MoMATH, and Pi Day under attack. You also won’t want to miss molecules exhibiting strange, exotic states, hot lava flows on Venus, and some of the coolest experimental technology showcased at this year’s Paris Air Show.

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g officers and rescuers a safe glimpse into the unknown.

Tactical Toss Camera sends Panoramic Images Back to Smartphone

June 26, 2015 11:18 am | by Rob Matheson, MIT | News | Comments

Unseen areas are troublesome for police and first responders: Rooms can harbor dangerous gunmen, while collapsed buildings can conceal survivors. In July, a startup will release its first line of tactical spheres, equipped with cameras and sensors that can be tossed into potentially hazardous areas to instantly transmit panoramic images of those areas back to a smartphone, giving officers and rescuers a safe glimpse into the unknown.

Live Zebrafish Embryo -- Courtesy of Nikon Small World -- 2014 Nikon Small World Honorable Mention -- Click to enlarge

Live Zebrafish Embryo

June 26, 2015 10:33 am | News | Comments

The image shows an entire live zebrafish embryo at 22 hours post-fertilization and single-cell resolution, enabling an insightful view of its early morphogenetic development. The embryo’s cell nuclei were fluorescently labeled and imaged with a SiMView custom light-sheet microscope. Color encodes depth in the image.

Black hole with stellar companion

Monster Black Hole wakes after 26 Years

June 25, 2015 9:56 am | by ESA | News | Comments

Over the past week, ESA's Integral satellite has been observing an exceptional outburst of high-energy light produced by a black hole that is devouring material from its stellar companion. X-rays and gamma rays point to some of the most extreme phenomena in the Universe, such as stellar explosions, powerful outbursts and black holes feasting on their surroundings.

Developing so-called "materials that compute" addresses limitations inherent to the systems currently used by researchers to perform either chemical computing or oscillator-based computing, and the hybrid model points to the potential of designing synthet

What your Clothes may say about You

June 25, 2015 9:44 am | by University of Pittsburgh | News | Comments

Moving closer to the possibility of "materials that compute" and wearing your computer on your sleeve, researchers have designed a responsive hybrid material that is fueled by an oscillatory chemical reaction and can perform computations based on changes in the environment or movement, and potentially even respond to human vital signs. The material system is sufficiently small and flexible to ultimately be integrated into a fabric.

The origami robot folds itself up from a flat sheet of plastic when heated. Courtesy of Christine Daniloff/MIT

Centimeter-long Origami Robot Climbs Inclines, Swims, Carries Loads Twice its Weight

June 25, 2015 8:46 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT | News | Comments

At the recent International Conference on Robotics and Automation, researchers presented a printable origami robot that folds itself up from a flat sheet of plastic when heated and measures about 1 cm from front to back. Weighing only a third of a gram, the robot can swim, climb an incline, traverse rough terrain, and carry a load twice its weight. Other than the self-folding plastic sheet, the only component is a permanent magnet.

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Jill M. Hruby was named the next president and director of Sandia National Laboratories, the country’s largest national lab, on June 22, 2015. When she steps into her new role July 17, she will be the first woman to lead a national security laboratory. A

Jill Hruby will be First Woman to Lead National Security Lab

June 25, 2015 8:34 am | by Sandia National Laboratories | News | Comments

Jill Hruby was named the next president and director of Sandia National Laboratories, the country’s largest national lab. When she steps into her new role July 17, she will be the first woman to lead a national security laboratory. A Sandia staff member and manager for the past 32 years, Hruby most recently oversaw Sandia efforts in nuclear, biological and chemical security, homeland security, counterterrorism and energy security.

Wandering Jew Leaf Stomata -- Courtesy of Nikon Small World -- 2014 Nikon Small World Honorable Mention -- Click to enlarge

Wandering Jew Leaf Stomata

June 25, 2015 8:20 am | News | Comments

This 40x image of wandering jew leaf stomata — pores found in the epidermis that control gas exchange — received an honorable mention in the 2014 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope. The photograph was taken using brightfield, epi illumination and image stacking.

From his hospital bed, a disabled patient is capable of controlling a telepresence robot and interacting with people he meets over Skype. Courtesy of Alain Herzog / EPFL

Quadriplegics Pilot Telepresence Robot Remotely with Thoughts

June 24, 2015 2:15 pm | by EPFL | News | Comments

For someone suffering from paralysis or limited mobility, visiting with other people is extremely difficult. Researchers have been working on a revolutionary brain-machine approach to restore a sense of independence to the disabled. The idea is to remotely control a robot from home with one's thoughts. The research, involving numerous subjects located in different countries, produced excellent results in both human and technical terms.

LISA Pathfinder Electrode Housing Box -- Courtesy of CGS SpA -- Click to enlarge

Best Free-fall Ever: LISA Pathfinder Electrode Housing Box

June 24, 2015 1:56 pm | by ESA | News | Comments

This photo, suggestive of an old-fashioned lift cage, shows a much smaller enclosure: an electrode housing box that will fly on ESA’s LISA Pathfinder mission. The inside measures 5.5 centimeters on each side. The mission is a technology demonstrator that will pave the way for future space-based observatories measuring gravitational waves — ripples in the fabric of space-time predicted by Einstein’s general theory of relativity.

Following their collaboration a year ago to develop a cognitive computing cooking app and test it with home cooks as part of a beta program, IBM and Bon Appetit have opened up the web app to anyone interested in expanding his or her imagination in the kit

Cognitive Computing App Taps 10,000 Bon Appétit Recipes, Suggests Creative Flavor Combinations

June 24, 2015 11:12 am | by IBM Watson | News | Comments

IBM and Bon Appétit have introduced a one-of-a-kind Chef Watson cognitive computing cooking app that is open to anyone interested in expanding his or her imagination in the kitchen. Created through a collaboration with Bon Appétit, the app inspires home cooks everywhere to discover unexpected flavor combinations to address everyday mealtime challenges in creative ways and bring new ideas to the kitchen.

Satellite View of San Francisco Bay Area -- Courtesy of USGS/ESA – click to enlarge

Satellite View of San Francisco Bay Area

June 23, 2015 10:25 am | by ESA | News | Comments

Landsat-8 captured this image of the San Francisco Bay Area in California on March 5, 2015. The city of San Francisco is on a peninsula in the center left of the image. In the upper-central portion, we can see the delta of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers with brown, sediment-filled water flowing down into the larger bay. Starting in the top-left corner of the image and running diagonally to the south is the San Andreas Fault.

After a year in orbit, the three Swarm satellites have provided a first glimpse inside Earth and started to shed new light on the dynamics of the upper atmosphere — all the way from the ionosphere about 100 kilometers above, through to the outer reaches o

Swarm Satellites begin to Untangle Magnetic Complexity

June 23, 2015 10:18 am | by ESA | News | Comments

After a year in orbit, the three Swarm satellites have provided a first glimpse inside Earth and started to shed new light on the dynamics of the upper atmosphere — all the way from the ionosphere through to the outer reaches of our protective magnetic shield. Swarm is tasked with measuring and untangling the different magnetic signals that stem from Earth’s core, mantle, crust, oceans, ionosphere and magnetosphere.

This graphic representation shows how three active sources cloak an incoming circular wave (like ripples from a stone dropped in water), creating a quiet zone for the object to be cloaked. This is just for one frequency. Courtesy of Fernando Guevara Vasqu

Mathematicians Play Key Role in Developing Multi-Frequency Cloaking

June 23, 2015 9:47 am | by NSF | News | Comments

The idea of cloaking and rendering something invisible hit the small screen in 1966 when a Romulan Bird of Prey made an unseen, surprise attack on the Starship Enterprise. Not only did it make for a good storyline, it inspired budding scientists, offering a window of technology's potential. Today, pop culture has embraced the idea of hiding behind force fields, and mathematicians are looking at transforming science fiction into science.

Hot Lava Flows Discovered on Venus

June 23, 2015 9:34 am | by ESA | News | Comments

Some models of planetary evolution suggest that Venus was resurfaced in a cataclysmic flood of lava around half a billion years ago. But whether Venus is active today has remained a hot topic in planetary science. ESA’s Venus Express, which completed its eight-year study of the planet last year, conducted a range of observations at different wavelengths to address this important question.

Night-shining Clouds -- Courtesy of NASA Earth Observatory map by Joshua Stevens, using Polar Mesospheric Cloud data from the University of Colorado Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics – click to enlarge

Night-shining Clouds created when Ice Crystals form on Meteor Dust

June 20, 2015 9:51 am | by Mike Carlowicz, NASA | News | Comments

In the late spring and summer, unusual clouds form high in the atmosphere above the polar regions of the world. As the lower atmosphere warms, the upper atmosphere gets cooler, and ice crystals form on meteor dust and other particles high in the sky. The result is noctilucent or “night-shining” clouds — electric blue wisps that grow on the edge of space.

Researchers used high-resolution microscopy to examine owl feathers in fine detail. They observed that the flight feathers on an owl’s wing have a downy covering, which resembles a forest canopy when viewed from above. In addition to this fluffy canopy, o

How Owls could help make Computer Fans Quieter

June 20, 2015 9:46 am | by University of Cambridge | News | Comments

A newly-designed material, which mimics the wing structure of owls, could help make wind turbines, computer fans and even planes much quieter. Early wind tunnel tests of the coating have shown a substantial reduction in noise without any noticeable effect on aerodynamics.

Planes you can park in your garage. Satellites that fit in your backpack.  Some of the coolest experimental technology showcased at this year’s Paris Air Show is about thinking small — though it's easy to get distracted by the huge aircraft performing ove

Hits at Paris Air Show: Vertical Lift-off, Tiny Satellites

June 20, 2015 9:18 am | by Maggy Donaldson, Associated Press | News | Comments

Planes you can park in your garage. Satellites that fit in your backpack. Some of the coolest experimental technology showcased at this year’s Paris Air Show is about thinking small — though it's easy to get distracted by the huge aircraft performing overhead, from thundering fighter jets to the surprising near-vertical liftoff of a Boeing passenger jet. These innovative ideas may change the way we travel, wage wars or explore space.

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