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This July 11, 2014, aerial photo shows the coast of Barnegat Light, NJ, near where a plan to carry out seismic research on the ocean floor is being challenged by environmental and fishing groups. A federal appeals court on July 14, 2014, rejected New Jers

US Plans Wide Seismic Testing of Sea Floor

July 28, 2014 2:29 pm | by Wayne Parry, Associated Press | News | Comments

The federal government is planning to use sound blasting to conduct research on the ocean floor along most of the East Coast, using technology similar to that which spawned a court battle between environmentalists and researchers in New Jersey this summer. The U.S. Geological Survey plans this summer and next to map the outer limits of the continental shelf, and also study underwater landslides that would help predict tsunamis.

New Platform Enables Large-Scale Neuroscience

July 28, 2014 2:23 pm | by Howard Hughes Medical Institute | News | Comments

In an age of “big data,” a single computer cannot always find the solution a user wants....

Collecting Just the Right Data: When you can’t collect all you need, new algorithm tells you which to target

July 28, 2014 2:06 pm | by Larry Hardesty, MIT | News | Comments

Much artificial-intelligence research addresses the problem of making predictions based on large...

AI Reveals The Beatles’ Dramatic Musical Transformation

July 28, 2014 12:29 pm | by Lawrence Technological University | News | Comments

Music fans and critics know that the music of the Beatles underwent a dramatic transformation in...

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Recrystallized Sulfur -- Courtesy of Nikon Small World

Close-up: Recrystallized Sulfur

July 28, 2014 12:06 pm | News | Comments

This 100X photo of recrystallized sulfur received an Image of Distinction designation in the 2013 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope. It was taken by Dr. Edward Leighman Gafford in Richland, WA, using polarized light.

To celebrate Chandra's 15th anniversary, four new images of supernova remnants – the Crab Nebula, Tycho, G292.0+1.8, and 3C58 – are being released. These supernova remnants are very hot and energetic and glow brightly in X-ray light, which allows Chandra

NASA Chandra X-ray Observatory Celebrates 15th Anniversary

July 25, 2014 3:05 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

Fifteen years ago, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory was launched into space aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia. Since its deployment, Chandra has helped revolutionize our understanding of the universe through its unrivaled X-ray vision. Chandra, one of NASA's current "Great Observatories," along with the Hubble Space Telescope and Spitzer Space Telescope, is specially designed to detect X-ray emission from hot and energetic regions.

Using data from NASA's Kepler and Spitzer Space Telescopes, scientists have made the most precise measurement ever of the size of a world outside our solar system, as illustrated in this artist's conception. Courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech

Weird Worlds: Precisely Measuring an Alien World's Size

July 25, 2014 2:56 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

Thanks to NASA's Kepler and Spitzer Space Telescopes, scientists have made the most precise measurement ever of the radius of a planet outside our solar system. The size of the exoplanet, dubbed Kepler-93b, is now known to an uncertainty of just 74 miles (119 kilometers) on either side of the planetary body.

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Alan Turing in slate at Bletchley Park. Courtesy of Jon Callas

Can Machines Think? – Misidentification of Humans as Machines in Turing Test

July 25, 2014 2:09 pm | by Taylor & Francis | News | Comments

Alan Turing led a team of code breakers at Bletchley Park which cracked the German Enigma machine cypher during WWII  but that is far from being his only legacy. In the year of the 100th anniversary of his birth, researchers published a series of ‘Turing tests’ in the Journal of Experimental & Theoretical Artificial Intelligence; these entailed a series of five-minute conversations between human and machine or human and human.

Caribbean Sea Viewed from International Space Station -- Courtesy of NASA

Caribbean Sea Viewed from International Space Station

July 25, 2014 1:51 pm | News | Comments

From the Earth-orbiting International Space Station, flying some 225 nautical miles above the Caribbean Sea in the early morning hours of July 15, 2104, NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman photographed this north-looking panorama that includes parts of Cuba, the Bahamas and Florida, and even runs into several other areas in the southeastern US. The long stretch of lights to the left of center frame gives the shape of Miami.

A photograph of the biologically-inspired microphone taken under a microscope, providing a top-side view. The tiny structure rotates and flaps about the pivots (labeled), producing an electric potential across the electrodes (labeled). Courtesy of N.Hall/

Sound Detector Based on Freakishly Acute Fly Hearing

July 24, 2014 2:55 pm | by American Institute of Physics (AIP) | News | Comments

Even within a phylum so full of mean little creatures, the yellow-colored Ormia ochracea fly is distinguished among other arthropods for its cruelty — at least to crickets. Native to the southeastern U.S. states and Central America, the fly is a most predatory sort of parasite. It swoops onto the back of a singing male cricket, deposits a smear of larvae, and leaves its wicked brood to invade, kill and consume the cricket from inside out.

Dr. Julia Bryant, a research fellow with the ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO), in the School of Physics at the University of Sydney, installing SAMI.

Researchers Pioneer Google Street View of Galaxies

July 24, 2014 2:40 pm | by University of Sydney | News | Comments

A new home-grown instrument based on bundles of optical fibers is giving Australian astronomers the first 'Google street view' of the cosmos — incredibly detailed views of huge numbers of galaxies. Developed by researchers at the University of Sydney and the Australian Astronomical Observatory, the optical-fiber bundles can sample the light from up to 60 parts of a galaxy, for a dozen galaxies at a time.

The GAO report put the current shortfall at $400 million, but did say NASA was "making solid progress" on the rocket program design.

Audit: NASA Doesn't Have the Money for Big Rockets

July 24, 2014 2:31 pm | by AP | News | Comments

NASA doesn't have enough money to get its new, $12 billion rocket system off the ground by the end of 2017 as planned, federal auditors say. The GAO issued a report saying NASA's Space Launch System is at "high risk of missing" its planned initial test flight. The post-space shuttle program would build the biggest rockets ever — larger than the Saturn V rockets which sent men to the moon — to send astronauts to asteroids and Mars.

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Vorticella Protozoa -- Courtesy of Nikon Small World

Close-up: Vorticella Protozoa

July 24, 2014 12:57 pm | News | Comments

This 20X photo of the protozoa Vorticella sp. received an Image of Distinction designation in the 2013 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope. It was taken by Mr. Frank Fox ofKonz, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany, using a darkfield technique.

Dr Grimes derived equations describing how string bending, vibrato and whammy bars change the pitch of a note. He found that the properties of the strings had a big effect on the change in pitch – in particular the Young's modulus. Courtesy of Feliciano G

The Physics of Lead Guitar Playing

July 23, 2014 6:36 pm | by University of Oxford | News | Comments

String bends, tapping, vibrato and whammy bars are all techniques that add to the distinctiveness of a lead guitarist's sound, whether it's Clapton, Hendrix, or BB King. Now, guitarist and physicist Dr. David Robert Grimes has described the physics underlying these techniques.

2014 marks the 75th anniversary of NASA Ames Research Center.

NASA Ames Research Center to host First Open House in 17 Years

July 23, 2014 3:24 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

Maybe you’ve sat on the lawn, even hung out on the flightline. Now, for the first time since 1997, NASA Ames Research Center is opening their house. An announcement posted on NASA.gov states: “For our 75th anniversary, we're inviting all of the Bay Area and Silicon Valley to come inside the gates and get to know NASA's center in Silicon Valley. Take a two-mile walking tour through the center and visit with Ames engineers and scientists..."

Getting a Grip on Robotic Grasp

July 23, 2014 3:16 pm | by Jennifer Chu, MIT | News | Comments

Twisting a screwdriver, removing a bottle cap, and peeling a banana are just a few simple tasks that are tricky to pull off single-handedly. Now, a new wrist-mounted robot can provide a helping hand — or rather, fingers. Researchers at MIT have developed a robot that enhances the grasping motion of the human hand.

Richard Hendrickson, 101, shows equipment he uses to collect temperature and precipitation data for the National Weather Service on Monday, July, 21, 2014, in Bridgehampton, NY. Hendrickson is being honored as the longest serving volunteer weather data co

Celebrating More than 80 years of Continuous Data from a Single Source

July 23, 2014 3:12 pm | by AP | News | Comments

It takes only a couple of minutes, twice a day, but 101-year-old Richard Hendrickson is fiercely proud that he has done the same thing for his country and community nearly every day since Herbert Hoover was in the White House in 1930. The retired chicken and dairy farmer has been recording daily readings of temperature and precipitation on eastern Long Island longer than any volunteer observer in the history of the National Weather Service.

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Breakthrough Laser May Play Crucial Role in Development of Quantum Computers

July 23, 2014 3:09 pm | by Joseph Blumberg, Dartmouth College | News | Comments

A team of Dartmouth scientists and their colleagues have devised a breakthrough laser that uses a single artificial atom to generate and emit particles of light — and may play a crucial role in the development of quantum computers, which are predicted to eventually outperform even today’s most powerful supercomputers.

Crab Nebula -- Courtesy of NASA/CXC/SAO

Chandra Celebrates 15th Anniversary: Crab Nebula

July 23, 2014 1:32 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

In 1054 AD, Chinese astronomers and others around the world noticed a new bright object in the sky. This “new star” was, in fact, the supernova explosion that created what is now called the Crab Nebula. At the center of the Crab Nebula is an extremely dense, rapidly rotating neutron star left behind by the explosion.

Reddish Bands on Europa -- Courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/SETI Institute

Reddish Bands on Europa

July 22, 2014 3:33 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

This colorized image of Jupiter's moon Europa is a product of clear-filter grayscale data from one orbit of NASA's Galileo spacecraft, combined with lower-resolution color data taken on a different orbit. The blue-white terrains indicate relatively pure water ice, whereas the reddish areas contain water ice mixed with hydrated salts, potentially magnesium sulfate or sulfuric acid.

Heat records in June broke on every continent but Antarctica, especially in New Zealand, northern South America, Greenland, central Africa and southern Asia.

World Breaks Monthly Heat Record Twice in a Row

July 22, 2014 3:30 pm | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

The globe is on a hot streak, setting a heat record in June. That's after the world broke a record in May. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced July 21, 2014, that last month's average global temperature was 61.2 degrees, which is 1.3 degrees higher than the 20th century average. It beat 2010's old record by one-twentieth of a degree.

On the left, a representative structure for localization of heat; the cross section of structure and temperature distribution. On the right, a picture of enhanced steam generation by the DLS structure under solar illumination. Courtesy of the researchers

New Spongelike Structure Converts Solar Energy into Steam

July 22, 2014 3:28 pm | by Jennifer Chu, MIT | News | Comments

A new material structure developed at MIT generates steam by soaking up the sun. The structure — a layer of graphite flakes and an underlying carbon foam — is a porous, insulating material structure that floats on water. When sunlight hits the structure’s surface, it creates a hotspot in the graphite, drawing water up through the material’s pores, where it evaporates as steam. The brighter the light, the more steam is generated.

Astronauts to Test Free-flying “Housekeeper” Robots

July 21, 2014 2:30 pm | by Maria Alberty, NASA's Ames Research Center | News | Comments

Inspired by science fiction, three bowling ball-size free-flying Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) have been flying inside the International Space Station since 2006. These satellites provide a test bed for development and research, each having its own power, propulsion, computer, navigation equipment, and physical and electrical connections for hardware and sensors for various experiments.

Birdsongs Automatically Decoded by Computer Scientists

July 21, 2014 2:25 pm | by Queen Mary University of London | News | Comments

Scientists from Queen Mary University of London have found a successful way of identifying bird sounds from large audio collections, which could be useful for expert and amateur bird-watchers alike. The analysis used recordings of individual birds and of dawn choruses to identify characteristics of bird sounds. It took advantage of large datasets of sound recordings provided by the British Library Sound Archive, and online sources.

The Eagle Prepares to Land

July 21, 2014 2:00 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

The Apollo 11 Lunar Module Eagle, in a landing configuration was photographed in lunar orbit from the Command and Service Module Columbia. Inside the module were Commander Neil A. Armstrong and Lunar Module Pilot Buzz Aldrin. The long rod-like protrusions under the landing pods are lunar surface sensing probes. Upon contact with the lunar surface, the probes sent a signal to the crew to shut down the descent engine.

Peering into Giant Planets: Diamond vaporized in less than 10 billionths of a second

July 21, 2014 11:39 am | by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory | News | Comments

Scientists for the first time have experimentally re-created the conditions that exist deep inside giant planets, such as Jupiter, Uranus and many of the planets recently discovered outside our solar system. Researchers can now re-create and accurately measure material properties that control how these planets evolve over time. This study focused on carbon, which has an important role in many types of planets ...

Computer Models Reveal Quantum Effects in Biological Oxygen Transport

July 18, 2014 3:41 pm | by Trinity College | News | Comments

Physicists have created a unique combination of computer models, based on the theory of quantum mechanics, and applied them to a previously well-characterized protein found in muscle to develop a new picture of how biomolecules transport and store oxygen (O2). In doing so, the team has shown how the process of respiration, which is fundamental in humans and other vertebrates, exploits quantum mechanical effects working on tiny scales.

Deep-sea Amphipod

July 18, 2014 3:29 pm | News | Comments

This photo of a deep-sea amphipod received an Image of Distinction designation in the 2013 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope. It was taken by Mr. David Forest and Alison Sweeney ofUC Santa Barbara, Neuroscience Research Institute in Santa Barbara, CA, using a brightfield technique.

Buzz Aldrin: Where were you when I Walked on Moon?

July 17, 2014 2:19 pm | by Marcia Dunn, AP Aerospace Writer | News | Comments

On July 20, 1969, Buzz Aldrin was "out of town" when the world united and rejoiced in a way never seen before or since. He and Neil Armstrong were on the moon. They missed the whole celebration 45 years ago this Sunday. So did Michael Collins, orbiting solo around the moon in the mother ship.

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