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Scientists have discovered an invisible shield roughly 7,200 miles above Earth that blocks so-called “killer electrons,” which can fry satellites and degrade space systems during intense solar storms. Illustration by Andy Kale, University of Alberta.

Star Trek-like Invisible Shield Discovered Thousands of Miles above Earth

November 26, 2014 2:47 pm | by University of Colorado Boulder | News | Comments

Researchers have discovered an invisible shield some 7,200 miles above Earth that blocks so-called killer electrons, which whip around the planet at near-light speed and have been known to threaten astronauts, fry satellites and degrade space systems during intense solar storms. The barrier to the particle motion was discovered in the Van Allen radiation belts, two doughnut-shaped rings above Earth filled with high-energy electrons and...

New Device could make Large Biological Circuits Practical

November 26, 2014 1:49 pm | by David L. Chandler, MIT | News | Comments

Researchers have made great progress in recent years in the design and creation of biological...

Global Quantum Communications No Longer the Stuff of Fiction

November 26, 2014 1:40 pm | by University of Warsaw | News | Comments

Following years of tests in physics laboratories, the first quantum technologies are slowly...

Closeup: Microscopic Marine Waterbear

November 26, 2014 8:44 am | News | Comments

This 40X photo shows autofluorescence of the cuticle of a microscopic marine waterbear, or...

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The National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology and Innovation medals ready to be presented to awardees. Courtesy of Sandy Schaeffer, NSF

National Medals of Science, Technology and Innovation Presented

November 25, 2014 12:00 pm | by NSF | News | Comments

At a White House ceremony on November 20, 2014, President Obama presented the National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology and Innovation to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to science and engineering. The awards are the nation's highest honors for achievement and leadership in advancing the fields of science and technology.

Schematic of nanoparticle construction. Courtesy of Andrew Dunn

Inside job: Designer Nanoparticles Infiltrate Cancer Cells from Within

November 25, 2014 10:34 am | by Melanie Titanic-Schefft, University of Cincinnati | News | Comments

Conventional treatment seeks to eradicate cancer cells by drugs and therapy delivered from outside the cell, which may also affect — and potentially harm — nearby normal cells. In contrast, a research team has developed several novel designs for iron-oxide based nanoparticles that detect, diagnose and destroy cancer cells using photo-thermal therapy, using nanoparticles to focus light-induced heat energy only within the tumor

Fossilized Horsetail Plant -- Courtesy of Nikon Small World

Fossilized Horsetail Plant

November 25, 2014 9:51 am | News | Comments

This 100X photo shows a polished section of a fossilized permocarbonian horsetail, a family of vascular plants that reproduces by spores. 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 using reflected light.

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Ohio State's Adaptive Suspension Vehicle (AVS), nicknamed the "Walker." Developed by electrical engineer Robert McGhee and mechanical engineer Kenneth Waldron, along with a 60-member team of students and technical assistants, the 'Walker' was designed to

NSF Celebrates More than 40 Years Supporting US Robotics Research

November 24, 2014 4:14 pm | by Aaron Dubrow, NSF | News | Comments

The fundamental research in computing and engineering that enabled robotics to develop in the U.S. has been supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) since its inception. Yet despite these early investments in sensors, machine movement and computer vision, it wasn't until 1972 that the first grant with "robot" in the title was funded.

Young Juniper Shoot Cross-section -- Courtesy of Nikon Small World

Young Juniper Shoot Cross-section

November 24, 2014 2:33 pm | News | Comments

This 250X photo shows a cross-section of a young juniper shoot. 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 confocal microscopy.

Quantum physicist Andrei Derevianko, a professor in the College of Science, has contributed to the development of several novel classes of atomic clocks and now is proposing using networks of synchronized atomic clocks to detect dark matter. His paper on

Hiding in Plain Sight: Detecting Elusive Dark Matter with GPS

November 21, 2014 5:21 pm | by Mike Wolterbeek, University of Nevada, Reno | News | Comments

The everyday use of a GPS device might be to find your way around town or even navigate a hiking trail; but for two physicists, the Global Positioning System might be a tool in directly detecting and measuring dark matter, so far an elusive but ubiquitous form of matter responsible for the formation of galaxies.

In the cat and mouse game, a Pac-Man-shaped cat must eat scurrying mice (disks) that have lines oriented in the same way as the cat.

Pac-Man Replaces Patch: Video Games Help Improve Lazy Eye, Depth Perception

November 21, 2014 5:11 pm | by Emily Caldwell, Ohio State University | News | Comments

Scientists have created video games that add an important element of fun to the repetitive training needed to improve vision in people — including adults — with a lazy eye and poor depth perception. The training tools, including a Pac-Man-style “cat and mouse” game and a “search for oddball” game, have produced results in pilot testing: Weak-eye vision improved to 20/20 and 20/50 in two adult research participants.

The Turing Test — originally called the Imitation Game — was proposed by computing pioneer Alan Turing in 1950. Courtesy of Juan Alberto Sánchez Margallo

Alternative to Turing Test Proposed

November 21, 2014 4:39 pm | by Georgia Institute of Technology | News | Comments

A Georgia Tech professor recently offered an alternative to the celebrated “Turing Test” to determine whether a machine or computer program exhibits human-level intelligence. The Turing Test — originally called the Imitation Game — was proposed by computing pioneer Alan Turing in 1950. In practice, some applications of the test require a machine to engage in dialogue and convince a human judge that it is an actual person.

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flower stamen -- Courtesy of Nikon Small World

Close-up: Flower Stamen

November 21, 2014 3:43 pm | News | Comments

This photo shows a flower stamen magnified 40X. 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 reflected light.

New observations with ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile have revealed alignments over the largest structures ever discovered in the Universe. A European research team has found that the rotation axes of the central supermassive black holes in a sample o

Spooky Alignment of Quasars Crosses Billions of Light-years

November 20, 2014 3:39 pm | by ESO | News | Comments

New observations with ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile have revealed alignments over the largest structures ever discovered in the Universe. A European research team has found that the rotation axes of the central supermassive black holes in a sample of quasars are parallel to each other over distances of billions of light-years.

This 100x image of Titanium Shavings received an Image of Distinction designation in the 2013 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope. The photographer was Bert Siegel of

Shaved Titanium

November 20, 2014 2:56 pm | News | Comments

This 100x image of Titanium Shavings received an Image of Distinction designation in the 2013 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope. The photographer was Bert Siegel of Zittau/Görlitz University of Applied Sciences.

The Soyuz TMA-13M crew, European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Alexander Gerst, Roscosmos cosmonaut Max Suraev, and NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman, in their Soyuz spacecraft that will fly them back to Earth after almost six months on the International Space S

Snug Ride Home from ISS

November 19, 2014 2:32 pm | News | Comments

The Soyuz TMA-13M crew, European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Alexander Gerst, Roscosmos cosmonaut Max Suraev, and NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman, in their Soyuz spacecraft that will fly them back to Earth after almost six months on the International Space Station.

Moleculomics’s core business is focused on developing new computational tools (known as pipelines) that take genetic information (in the form of DNA sequences) and automatically convert this into detailed three-dimensional models of all of the proteins wi

High Performance Computing for All (Yes, You Too…)

November 19, 2014 1:34 pm | by Gilad Shainer, HPC Advisory Council | Blogs | Comments

High-performance computing can help a business to become more efficient and more productive. And, for a small business, HPC can be a game changer, helping it leapfrog ahead of the competition by reducing its costs and dramatically improving its time to market.

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This 4x image of Aphaenogaster senilis (ant worker) received an Image of Distinction designation in the 2013 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope. The photo was compose

Ant at Work

November 18, 2014 3:33 pm | News | Comments

This 4x image of Aphaenogaster senilis (ant worker) received an Image of Distinction designation in the 2013 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope. The photo was composed using image stacking by Dimitri Seeboruth of Paris, France.

Nexio simulation is a French SME located in Toulouse and specialized in electromagnetic simulation software for marine, space, defense and aeronautics domains applications.

HPC Innovation Excellence Award: Nexio

November 17, 2014 6:19 pm | Award Winners

Nexio simulation is a French SME located in Toulouse and specialized in electromagnetic simulation software for marine, space, defense and aeronautics domains applications.

To heat fusion plasmas to the millions of degrees Celsius needed for fusion reactions scientists inject megawatts of electromagnetic energy from carefully engineered radiofrequency antennas. The generated electromagnetic waves interact with the fusion pla

HPC Innovation Excellence Award: Tech-X Corporation

November 17, 2014 5:23 pm | Award Winners

To heat magnetically confined plasmas to the millions of degrees needed for fusion reactions, scientists inject megawatts of electromagnetic energy from carefully engineered radiofrequency antennas. The generated electromagnetic waves interact with the plasma in complex ways.

This 100x image of Polypodium virginianum (fern) sorus received an Image of Distinction designation in the 2013 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope. The confocal image

What’s On a Fern

November 17, 2014 3:46 pm | News | Comments

This 100x image of Polypodium virginianum (fern) sorus received an Image of Distinction designation in the 2013 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope. The confocal image was taken by Dr. Igor Siwanowicz of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Janelia Farm Research Campus in Ashburn, Virginia.

Pollen -- Courtesy of Nikon Small World

Pollen Close-up

November 14, 2014 2:43 pm | News | Comments

This 40X photo shows a close-up of pollen. 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 Shamuel Silberman ofNeve Monosson, Israel, using reflected light and fiber optic illumination.

Steve Conway is Research VP, HPC at IDC.

Small and Medium Enterprises Enter the Limelight

November 14, 2014 11:43 am | by Steve Conway | Articles | Comments

A decade of close scrutiny has shed much more light on the technical computing needs of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), but they are still shrouded in partial darkness. That’s hardly surprising for a diverse global group with millions of members ranging from automotive suppliers and shotgun genomics labs to corner newsstands and strip mall nail salons.

IBM and Pathway Genomics are aiming to revolutionize the health and wellness industry by leveraging the natural language processing and cognitive capabilities of Watson. For the first time consumers will be able to ask the Pathway Panorama app questions t

IBM Watson Group Invests in Pathway Genomics

November 13, 2014 2:28 pm | by IBM | News | Comments

Cognitive apps are in market today and continue to change the way professionals and consumers make decisions. To help accelerate this transformation, the IBM Watson Group announced an investment in Pathway Genomics, a clinical laboratory that offers genetic testing services globally, to help deliver the first-ever cognitive consumer-facing app based on genetics from a user’s personal makeup.

Microscopic Clam Larva -- Courtesy of Nikon Small World

Microscopic Clam Larva

November 13, 2014 1:47 pm | News | Comments

This 60X photo shows microscopic clam larva (glochidia). 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 confocal microscopy and autofluorescence.

John Joyce is a laboratory informatics specialist based in Richmond, VA.

Holiday Shopping? 25 Gifts Sheldon and Friends would Love

November 13, 2014 8:40 am | by John R. Joyce, Ph.D. | Blogs | Comments

Welcome to Scientific Computing's annual holiday gift guide. In this section, we've focused on identifying gifts suitable for the true Geeks out there. However, I believe everyone has a little geek in them, it just needs to be properly nurtured for it to catch fire.

Specific bits of a digital image file that have been replaced with the bits of a secret steganographic payload permit a covert agent to post top-secret documents on their Facebook wall by simply uploading what appear to be cute images of kittens on any ty

Leading the Eyewitness: Digital Image Forensics in a Megapixel World

November 12, 2014 3:42 pm | by William Weaver, Ph.D. | Articles | Comments

Current research in the area of digital image forensics is developing better ways to convert image files into frequencies, such as using wavelet transforms in addition to more traditional cosine transforms and more sensitive methods for determining if each area of an image belongs to the whole.

By using a technique called ion doping, the team of researchers have discovered a material that could use light to bring together different computing functions into one component, leading to all-optical systems.

Lighting the Way for Super-fast Computers

November 12, 2014 3:28 pm | by University of Surrey | News | Comments

Findings demonstrate how glass can be manipulated to create a material that will enable computers to transfer information using light. This development could significantly increase computer processing speeds and power in the future. The findings show that it’s possible to change the electronic properties of amorphous chalcogenides, a glass material integral to data technologies such as CDs and DVDs.

Buckling Hydrogel Bilayer -- Courtesy of Nikon Small World

Close-up: Buckling Hydrogel Bilayer

November 12, 2014 3:23 pm | News | Comments

This 10X photo shows the buckling of a hydrogel bilayer due to swelling. 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 fluorescence.

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