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A team of MIT neuroscientists has found that some computer programs can identify the objects in these images just as well as the primate brain. Courtesy of the researchers

Deep Computer Neural Networks Catch Up to Primate Brain

December 18, 2014 4:53 pm | by Anne Trafton, MIT | News | Comments

For decades, neuroscientists have been trying to design computer networks that can mimic visual skills such as recognizing objects. Until now, no computer model has been able to match the primate brain at visual object recognition during a brief glance. However, a new study from MIT neuroscientists has found that one of the latest generation of these so-called “deep neural networks” matches the primate brain.


December 18, 2014 4:41 pm | Product Releases | Comments

COMSOL Server was developed specifically for running applications built with the Application...

Caterpillar Proleg with Circle of Gripping Hooks

December 18, 2014 4:38 pm | News | Comments

This 20x photo of a caterpillar proleg with circle of gripping hooks in red won 4th...

Deep Learning Reveals Unexpected Genetic Roots of Cancers, Autism and Other Disorders

December 18, 2014 4:23 pm | by The University of Toronto | News | Comments

In the decade since the genome was sequenced, scientists and doctors have struggled to answer an...

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Sponge Spicules Found in Sand -- Courtesy of Nikon Small World

Sponge Spicules Found in Sand

December 18, 2014 12:31 pm | News | Comments

This 10x photo shows sponge spicules that once had stabilizing and predator deterring functions in sponges and can frequently be found in the sand from Raja Ampat, Indonesia. It received an Image of Distinction designation in the 2013 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope.

As the first humanoid robot to pay for a seat on a commercial flight, Athena travelled in style, dressed in a white T-shirt and fetching red shoes. © MPI for Intelligent Systems, Tübingen

Robotics in Disaster Response: Athena begins Autonomous Perception Training

December 18, 2014 12:23 pm | by Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems | News | Comments

Travelling from Los Angeles to Frankfurt onboard Lufthansa flight 457, the passenger arrived on December 16 with no signs of jet lag: this was no ordinary holidaymaker, but the first humanoid robot to take up a seat on a commercial flight. Athena made her way from LA to Tübingen in order to acquire many new skills: standing, balancing, walking — and various other meaningful activities, which she can use to assist people in daily life.

Geranium Seed -- Courtesy of Nikon Small World

Close-up: Geranium Seed

December 17, 2014 3:23 pm | News | Comments

This 10x photo of a Geranium (Geranium bohemica) seed 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 using a darkfield technique.

In theoretical math, the term "moonshine" refers to an idea so seemingly impossible that it seems like lunacy.

Mathematicians prove Umbral Moonshine Conjecture

December 17, 2014 3:08 pm | by Carol Clark, Emory University | News | Comments

Monstrous moonshine, a quirky pattern of the monster group in theoretical math, has a shadow — umbral moonshine. Mathematicians have proved this insight, known as the Umbral Moonshine Conjecture, offering a formula with potential applications for everything from number theory to geometry to quantum physics.

In this illustration, two protons collide at high energy, producing a Higgs boson that instantly decays, producing two tau particles. The rest of the energy from the collision sprays outward in two jets (pink cones). Measuring the angle between these jets

Is Higgs Boson a Piece of the Matter-Antimatter Puzzle?

December 17, 2014 3:00 pm | by SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory | News | Comments

Several experiments, including the BaBar experiment at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, have helped explain some — but not all — of the imbalance between matter and antimatter in the universe. Now, a SLAC theorist and his colleagues have laid out a possible method for determining if the Higgs boson is involved.

This artist's concept shows NASA's Voyager spacecraft against a backdrop of stars. The Voyager spacecraft were built and continue to be operated by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Interstellar Space: NASA Voyager in Midst of Tsunami Wave

December 17, 2014 2:43 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

A "tsunami wave" that NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft began experiencing earlier this year is still propagating outward. It is the longest-lasting shock wave that researchers have seen in interstellar space. A tsunami wave occurs when the sun emits a coronal mass ejection, throwing out a magnetic cloud of plasma from its surface. This generates a wave of pressure. When the wave runs into the interstellar plasma, a shock wave results.

For customers sending a package by MoonMail, there's no need for a return address. The items will remain on the moon in a pod that will be attached to the moon rover. Courtesy of Gregory H. Revera

Bang, Zoom ... Going Straight to the Moon!

December 16, 2014 12:47 pm | by AP | News | Comments

An outer-space delivery firm that is working with Carnegie Mellon University to put a privately-owned lunar rover on the moon is offering to "mail" personal keepsakes to the moon as a way to help fund the partnership's rocket launch. Astrobotic has launched a Web site where people can sign up to send their keepsakes in tiny MoonMail packages to the moon.

Silicon Nanocrystals in Silicon Dioxide -- Courtesy of Nikon Small World

Silicon Nanocrystals in Silicon Dioxide

December 16, 2014 11:49 am | News | Comments

This 20x photo of silicon nanocrystals in silicon dioxide 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 using widefield reflection and false colors.

The NORAD Tracks Santa Web site features a mobile version, a holiday countdown, and new games and daily activities.

NORAD Ready to Track Santa’s Flight

December 16, 2014 11:19 am | by North American Aerospace Defense Command | News | Comments

The North American Aerospace Defense Command is once again ready to track Santa’s yuletide journey. It all started in 1955 when a local media advertisement directed children to call Santa direct — only the number was misprinted. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone rang through to the Crew Commander on duty at the Continental Air Defense Command Operations Center. Thus began the tradition, which NORAD has carried on since 1958.

SFU computer scientist Richard Zhang holds a Christmas tree, left, that was 3D-printed in the traditional manner, and the same tree, right, printed with assistance from a new algorithm he developed with Ph.D. student Ruizhen Hu. The Christmas tree on the

New Algorithm Prints with Zero Material Waste

December 16, 2014 11:09 am | by Diane Luckow, Simon Fraser University | News | Comments

Just in time for Christmas, Richard Zhang reveals how to print a 3-D Christmas tree efficiently and with zero material waste, using the world’s first algorithm for automatically decomposing a 3-D object into what are called pyramidal parts. The algorithm promises to become a big deal in the world of 3-D printing, and also has applications for designing molds and for casting.

NASA flight engineer Roy Roper (left) reviews laptop displays showing the ASTAR data with Boeing principal investigator Gabe Brewer during a ground simulation. Courtesy of Boeing

NASA Software May Help Increase Flight Efficiency, Decrease Aircraft Noise

December 16, 2014 11:03 am | by NASA | News | Comments

NASA researchers began flight tests of computer software that shows promise in improving flight efficiency and reducing environmental impacts of aircraft, especially on communities around airports. Known as ASTAR, or Airborne Spacing for Terminal Arrival Routes, the software is designed to give pilots specific speed information and guidance so that planes can be more precisely spaced, enabling pilots to fly a "follow the leader" approach.

Illustration of the concept of Baryonic Acoustic Oscillations. Courtesy of Chris Blake & Sam Moorfield

Real Data used for First Time to Measure Cosmos

December 15, 2014 4:21 pm | by Francesca Davenport, Imperial College London | News | Comments

For the first time, researchers have measured large distances in the Universe using data, rather than calculations related to general relativity. The team used data from astronomical surveys to measure a standard distance that is central to our understanding of the expansion of the universe. Previously the size of this standard ruler has only been predicted from theoretical models that rely on general relativity to explain gravity.

Quantum computers could in principle communicate with each other by exchanging individual photons to create a quantum internet.

Controlling Light Particle Shape Opens Way to Quantum Internet

December 15, 2014 4:07 pm | by Eindhoven University of Technology | News | Comments

In the same way as we now connect computers in networks through optical signals, it could also be possible to connect future quantum computers in a quantum internet. The optical signals would then consist of individual light particles or photons. One prerequisite for a working quantum internet is control of the shape of these photons. Researchers have succeeded for the first time in getting this control within the required short time. 

Stink Bug -- Courtesy of Nikon Small World

Close-up: Stink Bug

December 15, 2014 12:26 pm | News | Comments

This photo of a stink bug 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 Kurt Wirz of Basel-Stadt, Switzerland, using image stacking.

EPFL scientists have picked up an atypical photon emission in X-rays coming from space, and say it could be evidence for the existence of a particle of dark matter.

Atypical Photon Emission a Possible Signal from Dark Matter

December 12, 2014 5:40 pm | by Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne | News | Comments

Could there finally be tangible evidence for the existence of dark matter in the Universe? After sifting through reams of X-ray data, scientists at EPFL and Leiden University believe they could have identified the signal of a particle of dark matter. This substance, which up to now has been purely hypothetical, is run by none of the standard models of physics other than through the gravitational force. 

Dried Egg White -- Courtesy of Nikon Small World

Dried Egg White

December 12, 2014 4:14 pm | News | Comments

This 25X photo 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 Nomarski Differential Interference Contrast.

Comprised of four images taken with the navigation camera on Rosetta, this image shows comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on November 17, 2014, from a distance of 26 miles from the center of the comet. (AP Photo/ESA)

Mystery Deepens: Where Did Earth's Water Come From?

December 11, 2014 4:32 pm | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

The mystery of where Earth's water came from got murkier on December 10, 2014, when some astronomers essentially eliminated one of the chief suspects: comets. Over the past few months, the European Space Agency's Rosetta space probe closely examined the type of comet that some scientists theorized could have brought water to our planet 4 billion years ago. It found water, but the wrong kind.

Results of large-scale simulations showing the Alnico alloy separates into FeCo-rich and NiAl-rich phases at low temperatures and is a homogenized phase at high temperatures.

Solving the Shaky Future of Super-strong Rare Earth Magnets

December 11, 2014 4:15 pm | by Katie Elyce Jones, Oak Ridge National Laboratory | News | Comments

The US Department of Energy is mining for solutions to the rare earth problem — but with high-performance computing instead of bulldozers. Researchers are using the hybrid CPU-GPU, 27-petaflop Titan supercomputer managed by the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to discover alternative materials that can substitute for rare earths.

Researchers will track the lives of people with multiple sclerosis (MS) in unprecedented detail in OPTIMISE — a project to improve the evaluation of treatments.

Big Data Project Captures Multiple Sclerosis Patient Experience

December 11, 2014 3:43 pm | by Francesca Davenport, Imperial College London | News | Comments

MS affects more than two million people worldwide. Symptoms are different for everyone but commonly include fatigue, tingling, speech problems and difficulties with walking and balance. To gain a better understanding of MS and its treatments, there is a need for a system to collect comprehensive data that provides an in-depth picture of the experiences of MS patients across a large population.

A black hole as depicted in the movie Interstellar -- Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

A Supermassive Black Hole Comes to the Big Screen

December 11, 2014 3:34 pm | by University of Arizona | News | Comments

What does a black hole look like up close? As the sci-fi movie Interstellar wows audiences with its computer-generated views of one of most enigmatic and fascinating phenomena in the universe, University of Arizona (UA) astrophysicists Chi-kwan Chan, Dimitrios Psaltis and Feryal Ozel are likely nodding appreciatively and saying something like, "Meh, that looks nice, but check out what we've got."

Bamboo Stem Cross Section -- Courtesy of Nikon Small World

Bamboo Stem Cross Section

December 11, 2014 2:17 pm | News | Comments

This 200X photo of a bamboo stem cross section 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 autofluorescence.

Galactic gas from the Feedback in Realistic Environments (FIRE) simulation. Represented here is a Milky Way mass halo, with colors denoting different densities.

Interstellar Mystery Solved by Supercomputer Simulations

December 10, 2014 4:25 pm | by Jorge Salazar, Texas Advanced Computing Center | News | Comments

An interstellar mystery of why stars form has been solved thanks to the most realistic supercomputer simulations of galaxies yet made. Theoretical astrophysicist Philip Hopkins led research that found that stellar activity — like supernova explosions or even just starlight — plays a big part in the formation of other stars and the growth of galaxies.

Professor Stephen Hawking using his Intel-powered communication system in his library at home.

Intel Provides Open Access to Hawking’s Advanced Communications Platform

December 10, 2014 4:09 pm | by Intel | News | Comments

Intel demonstrated for the first time with Professor Stephen Hawking a new Intel-created communications platform to replace his decades-old system, dramatically improving his ability to communicate with the world. The customizable platform will be available to research and technology communities by January of next year. It has the potential to become the backbone of a modern, customizable system other researchers and technologists can use.

Cassini’s view of Jupiter’s southern hemisphere -- Courtesy of NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Cassini’s View of Jupiter’s Southern Hemisphere

December 10, 2014 10:09 am | by European Space Agency (ESA) | News | Comments

This Cassini image shows Jupiter from an unusual perspective. If you were to float just beneath the giant planet and look directly up, you would be greeted with this striking sight: red, bronze and white bands encircling a hazy south pole. The multicolored concentric layers are broken in places by prominent weather systems such as Jupiter’s famous Great Red Spot, visible towards the upper left, chaotic patches of cloud and pale white dots.

The ancient Antikythera relic was rescued from a shipwreck. Courtesy of Giovanni Dall Orto

World's Oldest Computer, Ancient Greek Antikythera Mechanism, 100 Years Older than Previously Believed

December 9, 2014 2:10 pm | by University of Puget Sound | News | Comments

An ancient Greek astronomical puzzle has one more piece in place. The new evidence results from research by James Evans, professor of physics at University of Puget Sound, and Christián Carman, history of science professor at University of Quilmes, Argentina. The two researchers published a paper advancing our understanding of the Antikythera Mechanism, an ancient Greek mechanism that modeled the known universe of 2,000 years ago. 

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