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Jupiter’s Cratered Moon Callisto -- Courtesy of NASA/JPL/DLR

Jupiter’s Cratered Moon Callisto

January 26, 2015 11:08 am | by European Space Agency (ESA) | News | Comments

The speckled object depicted here is Callisto, Jupiter’s second largest moon. This image was taken in May 2001 by NASA’s Galileo spacecraft, which studied Jupiter and its moons from 1995 until 2003. Similar in appearance to a golf ball, Callisto is covered almost uniformly with pockmarks and craters across its surface, evidence of relentless collisions.

We're Two Minutes Closer to Doomsday

January 23, 2015 2:49 pm | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists says Earth is now closer to human-caused doomsday than it...

Predicting Concrete Flow Properties from Simple Measurements

January 23, 2015 2:44 pm | by NIST | News | Comments

Just because concrete is the most widely used building material in human history doesn’t mean it...

Optimizing Optimization Algorithms: How to Get the Best Results

January 23, 2015 2:36 pm | by Larry Hardesty, MIT | News | Comments

Optimization algorithms, which try to find the minimum values of mathematical functions, are...

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OnSight uses real rover data to create a 3-D simulation of the Martian environment where mission scientists can "meet" to discuss rover operations. Courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech

Holographic Computing will allow Scientists to Work on Mars

January 23, 2015 2:24 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

NASA and Microsoft have teamed up to develop software called OnSight, a new technology that will enable scientists to work virtually on Mars using wearable technology called Microsoft HoloLens. Developed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA, OnSight will give scientists a means to plan and, along with the Mars Curiosity rover, conduct science operations on the Red Planet.

The Brightest Comet in Earth's Sky -- Courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech

The Brightest Comet in Earth's Sky

January 23, 2015 1:55 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) is one of more than 32 comets imaged by NASA's NEOWISE mission from December 2013 to December 2014. This image combines a series of observations made in November 2013, when Lovejoy was 1.7 astronomical units from the sun. The image spans half of one degree. It shows the comet moving in a mostly west and slightly south direction.

In April 2014, researchers flew over a site in southwest Greenland to find that a sub-glacial lake had drained away. This photo shows the crater left behind, as well as a deep crack in the ice. Photo by Stephen Price, Los Alamos National Lab, courtesy of

Two Mysterious Lakes beneath Greenland Ice Sheet Gone within Weeks

January 22, 2015 2:38 pm | by Pam Frost Gorder, The Ohio State University | News | Comments

Researchers who are building the highest-resolution map of the Greenland Ice Sheet to date have made a surprising discovery: two lakes of meltwater that pooled beneath the ice and rapidly drained away. One lake once held billions of gallons of water and emptied to form a mile-wide crater in just a few weeks. The other lake has filled and emptied twice in the last two years.

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Micro Algae -- Courtesy of Nikon Small World

Close-up: Micro Algae

January 22, 2015 2:08 pm | News | Comments

This 40x photo of micro algae won 17th Place in the 2014 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope. It was taken by Rogelio Moreno of Panama using polarized light and lambda plate.

Princeton University researchers have built a rice grain-sized microwave laser, or "maser," powered by single electrons that demonstrates the fundamental interactions between light and moving electrons, and is a major step toward building quantum-computin

Rice-sized Laser, Powered One Electron at a Time, Bodes Well for Quantum Computing

January 21, 2015 1:19 pm | by Catherine Zandonella, Princeton University | News | Comments

Researchers have built a rice-grain-sized laser powered by single electrons tunneling through artificial atoms known as quantum dots. The tiny microwave laser, or "maser," is a demonstration of the fundamental interactions between light and moving electrons. The researchers built the device — which uses about one-billionth the electric current needed to power a hair dryer — while exploring how to use quantum dots.

Shubham Banerjee works on his lego robotics braille printer. Banerjee launched a company to develop a low-cost machine to print Braille materials for the blind based on a prototype he built with his Lego robotics kit. Last month, Intel invested in his sta

Eighth-grader Builds Braille Printer with Legos, Launches Company

January 21, 2015 1:02 pm | by Terence Chea, Associated Press | News | Comments

In Silicon Valley, it's never too early to become an entrepreneur. Just ask 13-year-old Shubham Banerjee. The California eighth-grader has launched a company to develop low-cost machines to print Braille, the tactile writing system for the visually impaired. Tech giant Intel recently invested in his startup, Braigo Labs.

Training for Spacewalks – Courtesy of ESA

Training for Spacewalks at NASA's Johnson Space Center

January 21, 2015 12:34 pm | News | Comments

European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Thomas Pesquet training for spacewalks at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, USA, with ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano. Pesquet will fly to the International Space Station in 2016. Parmitano finished his six-month Volare mission in November 2013.

This artist's rendering provided by the European Space Agency shows the Beagle-2 lander. The spacecraft went missing on Christmas Day, 2003, when it was supposed to land on Mars and start transmitting data back to Earth. On Friday, Jan. 16, 2015, more tha

Mystery Solved: Missing Beagle-2 Finally Located on Mars, Deployment Failed in Final Stage

January 20, 2015 2:47 pm | by Gregory Katz, Associated Press | News | Comments

It turns out the Beagle has landed after all — but it never called home. The gone-but-not-forgotten spacecraft Beagle-2 went AWOL on Christmas Day, 2003, when it was supposed to land on Mars and start transmitting data back to Earth. Instead, the British-built craft went dark. After several months, it was declared lost — presumed to have been destroyed during its approach or while trying to land on the red planet.

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Venus’ south pole -- Courtesy of ESA/VIRTIS/INAF-IASF/Obs. de Paris-LESIA/Univ. Oxford

Venus Express Snaps Swirling Vortex

January 20, 2015 2:09 pm | by ESA | News | Comments

This ghostly puff of smoke is actually a mass of swirling gas and cloud at Venus’ south pole, as seen by the Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer aboard ESA’s Venus Express spacecraft. Venus has a very choppy and fast-moving atmosphere — although wind speeds are sluggish at the surface, they reach dizzying speeds of around 400 km/h at the altitude of the cloud tops, some 70 km above the surface.

Mouse Brain Vasculature -- Courtesy of Nikon Small World

Mouse Brain Vasculature

January 16, 2015 2:14 pm | News | Comments

This 2x photo of mouse brain vasculature won 14th Place in the 2014 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope. It was taken using light-sheet fluorescent microscopy.

The University of Texas at Austin took home top honors with a new app called CallScout, designed to give Texas residents fast and easy access to information about social services in their area.

IBM Watson Group Awards UT Austin $100K to Bring Social Services App to Residents

January 16, 2015 2:08 pm | by IBM | News | Comments

IBM has announced the first winner of its Watson University Competition, part of the company's partnership with top universities through its cognitive computing academic initiative. The winning team of student entrepreneurs from the University of Texas at Austin will receive $100,000 in total in seed funding to help launch a business based on their Watson app, which offers the promise of improved citizen services.

Billboards of the future could show astonishing 3-D effects — due to a new technology developed in Austria. Courtesy of TriLite

Huge 3-D Displays can be seen without 3-D Glasses

January 16, 2015 10:53 am | by Vienna University of Technology | News | Comments

Public screenings have become an important part of major sports events. In the future, we will be able to enjoy them in 3-D, thanks to a new invention. A sophisticated laser system sends laser beams into different directions. Therefore, different pictures are visible from different angles. The angular resolution is so fine that the left eye is presented a different picture than the right one, creating a 3-D effect

Two particles are positioned between highly reflective mirrors and entangled with one another by means of a laser. Additional lasers encode quantum information in the ions and then transfer the information to a single photon. Courtesy of U. Innsbruck

Optimizing Information Transfer for a Quantum Internet

January 15, 2015 12:28 pm | by University of Innsbruck | News | Comments

A quantum network requires efficient interfaces over which information can be transferred from matter to light and back. Physicists have shown how this information transfer can be optimized by taking advantage of a collective quantum phenomenon. The collective interaction between the particles and the resonator can now be tuned in order to enhance the creation of single photons.

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Developing a more efficient vision system for household robots. Courtesy of Christine Daniloff and Jose-Luis Olivares/MIT

MIT Algorithm Helps Household Robots Identify Items Concealed in Clutter

January 15, 2015 9:49 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT | News | Comments

For household robots to be practical, they need to be able to recognize the objects they’re supposed to manipulate. While object recognition is one of the most widely studied topics in AI, even the best detectors still fail much of the time. Researchers believe the robots should take advantage of their mobility, imaging objects from multiple perspectives. Matching up objects in the different images, however, poses computational challenges.

Jewel Beetle Carapace -- Courtesy of Nikon Small World

Jewel Beetle Carapace

January 15, 2015 9:08 am | News | Comments

This 45x photo shows a jewel beetle (Chrysochroa buqueti) carapace near the eye. It won 15th Placein the 2014 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope, and was taken using diffused and reflected illumination.

Rendering of the LSST camera. SLAC is leading the construction of the 3,200-megapixel camera, which will be the size of a small car and weigh more than 3 tons. The digital camera will be the largest ever built, allowing LSST to create an unprecedented arc

World's Most Powerful Camera Receives DOE Funding Approval

January 14, 2015 11:56 am | by Brookhaven National Laboratory | News | Comments

Plans for the construction of the world's largest digital camera at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have reached a major milestone. The 3,200-megapixel centerpiece of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, which will provide unprecedented details of the universe and help address some of its biggest mysteries, has received key "Critical Decision 2" approval from the DOE.

Measuring side-channel signals2: Georgia Tech researcher Alenka Zajic measures electromagnetic emissions from various components of a desktop computer. The researchers have studied emissions from desktop and laptop computers, as well as cellphones.

Countering Side-channel Hacker Attacks

January 14, 2015 11:35 am | by Georgia Institute of Technology | News | Comments

If you’re sitting in a coffee shop, tapping away on your laptop, feeling safe from hackers because you didn’t connect to the shop’s Wi-Fi, think again. The bad guys may be able to see what you’re doing just by analyzing the low-power electronic signals your laptop emits, even when it’s not connected to the Internet. Side-channel signals could provide hackers with another way to see what the devices are doing.

DVD Reader Circuitry -- Courtesy of Nikon Small World

DVD Reader Circuitry

January 14, 2015 11:21 am | News | Comments

This 100x photo shows the circuitry in a DVD reader. It won 7th Place in the 2014 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope, and was taken using cross-polarized microscopy.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has created a fictional Exoplanet Travel Bureau that is sure to add fuel to your daydreams. A new exoplanet travel series, posted on the PlanetQuest Web site, features “travel posters” of several planets

The Grass is always Redder on the Other Side

January 14, 2015 10:18 am | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | Blogs | Comments

Have you ever dreamed about vacationing on another planet? Or wondered what it would be like to explore “strange new worlds”? If so, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has created a fictional Exoplanet Travel Bureau that is sure to add fuel to your daydreams. A new exoplanet travel series features travel posters of several planets that the folks at NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration Program think you just might want to check out...

Jumping Spider Eyes -- Courtesy of Nikon Small World

Jumping Spider Eyes

January 13, 2015 11:29 am | News | Comments

This 20x photo shows jumping spider eyes. It won 3rd Placein the 2014 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope, and was taken by Noah Fram-Schwartz of Greenwich, CT, using reflected light.

The Chern-number measurement using an external force

Magic Numbers of Quantum Matter Revealed by Cold Atoms

January 13, 2015 11:19 am | by Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics | News | Comments

Topology, a branch of mathematics classifying geometric objects, has been exploited by physicists to predict and describe unusual quantum phases: the topological states of matter. These intriguing phases, generally accessible at very low temperature, exhibit unique conductivity properties, which are particularly robust against external perturbations, suggesting promising technological applications.

IBM broke the U.S. patent record in 2014, becoming the first company to exceed 7,000 patents in a single year. More than 8,500 IBM inventors around the world, including researcher Stacy Hobson (pictured), produced 7,534 patents for IBM in 2014.

IBM Breaks U.S. Patent Record

January 13, 2015 10:35 am | by IBM | News | Comments

IBM has announced that it received a record 7,534 patents in 2014 — marking the 22nd consecutive year that the company topped the annual list of U.S. patent recipients. IBM inventors earned an average of more than 20 patents per day in 2014, propelling the company to become the first to surpass more than 7,000 patents in a single year.

The results show that, by mining Facebook Likes, the computer model was able to predict a person's personality more accurately than most of their friends and family.

AI: Computers Know the Real You Better than Friends, Family

January 13, 2015 10:01 am | by University of Cambridge | News | Comments

Researchers have found that, based on enough Facebook Likes, computers can judge your personality traits better than your friends, family and even your partner. Using a new algorithm, researchers have calculated the average number of Likes artificial intelligence (AI) needs to draw personality inferences about you as accurately as your partner or parents.

Experiment and theory by comparison: the PSI researchers’ Dutch colleagues were able to illustrate the magnetic structures generated by laser beams effectively in computer simulations.

Bat Signal Lights Way to Extremely Fast, Precise Data Storage

January 12, 2015 11:58 am | by Laura Hennemann, Paul Scherrer Institute | News | Comments

Researchers have succeeded in switching tiny, magnetic structures using laser light and tracking the change over time. In the process, a nanometer-sized area bizarrely reminiscent of the Batman logo appeared. The research results could render data storage on hard drives faster, more compact and more efficient.

Map of diffuse interstellar bands Courtesy of T.W. Lan, G. Zasowski, B. Ménard, SDSS and 2MASS/UMass/IPAC-Caltech/NASA/NSF

Astronomers Map Mysterious Molecules in our Galaxy

January 12, 2015 10:20 am | by Phil Sneiderman, Johns Hopkins University | News | Comments

By analyzing the light of hundreds of thousands of celestial objects, astronomers have created a unique map of enigmatic molecules in our galaxy that are responsible for puzzling features in the light from stars, called diffuse interstellar bands. DIBs have been a mystery ever since they were discovered in 1922 — exactly which of the many thousands of possible molecules are responsible for these features?

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