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Liquid metals normally form a spherical shape due to their large surface tension. By applying a small voltage to the metal in water, a surface oxide forms on the surface of the metal and lowers the surface tension. Reversing the bias can remove the oxide

Researchers Control Movement of Liquid Metals with Less than One Volt

September 19, 2014 4:56 pm | by North Carolina State University | News | Comments

Researchers have developed a technique for controlling the surface tension of liquid metals by applying very low voltages, opening the door to a new generation of reconfigurable electronic circuits, antennas and other technologies. The technique hinges on the fact that the oxide “skin” of the metal — which can be deposited or removed — acts as a surfactant, lowering the surface tension between the metal and the surrounding fluid.

NASA Technology Can Detect Heartbeats in Rubble

September 19, 2014 4:46 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

When natural disasters or human-made catastrophes topple buildings, search and rescue teams...

Shrink-wrapping: Spacesuits of the Future may Resemble Streamlined Second Skin

September 18, 2014 2:20 pm | by Jennifer Chu, MIT | News | Comments

For future astronauts, the process of suiting up may go something like this: Instead of climbing...

Real Success and Proven Approaches to HPC as a Service

September 17, 2014 3:50 pm | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | Blogs | Comments

On Tuesday, September 23, Scientific Computing will host a live panel discussion that...

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Graphic showing the intensity of the radio beams after twisting Courtesy of Alan Willner / USC Viterbi

Scientists Twist Radio Beams to Send Data, Reach Speeds of 32 Gibit/s

September 17, 2014 2:55 pm | by University of Southern California | News | Comments

Building on previous research that twisted light to send data at unheard-of speeds, scientists at University of Southern California (USC) have developed a similar technique with radiowaves, reaching high speeds without some of the hassles that can go with optical systems.

Once each company’s test program has been completed successfully and its system achieves NASA certification, each contractor will conduct at least two, and as many as six, crewed missions to the space station. Courtesy of NASA

NASA Chooses American Companies to Transport U.S. Astronauts to International Space Station

September 17, 2014 2:20 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

U.S. astronauts once again will travel to and from the International Space Station from the United States on American spacecraft under groundbreaking contracts NASA announced September 16, 2014. The agency unveiled its selection of Boeing and SpaceX to transport U.S. crews to and from the space station using their CST-100 and Crew Dragon spacecraft, respectively, with a goal of ending the nation’s sole reliance on Russia in 2017.

Rice researchers tune the color output of each array both by varying the length of the nanorods and by adjusting the length of the spaces between nanorods. Courtesy of J. Olson/Rice University

Full-color Camouflage Displays Sense Color, Automatically Blend In

September 16, 2014 2:27 pm | by Jade Boyd, Rice University | News | Comments

The quest to create artificial “squid skin” — camouflaging metamaterials that can “see” colors and automatically blend into the background — is one step closer to reality, thanks to a color-display technology unveiled by Rice University’s Laboratory for Nanophotonics. The new full-color display technology uses aluminum nanoparticles to create the vivid red, blue and green hues found in today’s top-of-the-line LCD televisions and monitors.

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The team recently took the MIT cheetah-bot for a test run, where it bounded across the grass at a steady clip.  Courtesy of Jose-Luis Olivares/MIT

Algorithm Enables Untethered Cheetah Robot to Run and Jump

September 16, 2014 2:14 pm | by Jennifer Chu, MIT | News | Comments

MIT researchers have developed an algorithm for bounding that they’ve successfully implemented in a robotic cheetah — a sleek, four-legged assemblage of gears, batteries and electric motors that weighs about as much as its feline counterpart. The team recently took the robot for a test run, where it bounded across the grass at a steady clip. The researchers estimate the robot may eventually reach speeds of up to 30 mph.

Close-ups of an experiment conducted by John Bush and his student Daniel Harris, in which a bouncing droplet of fluid was propelled across a fluid bath by waves it generated. Courtesy of Dan Harris

Fluid Mechanics: New Math Suggests Alternative to Quantum Orthodoxy

September 15, 2014 3:43 pm | by Larry Hardesty, MIT | News | Comments

The central mystery of quantum mechanics is that small chunks of matter sometimes seem to behave like particles, sometimes like waves. For most of the past century, the prevailing explanation of this conundrum has been what’s called the “Copenhagen interpretation” — which holds that, in some sense, a single particle really is a wave, smeared out across the universe, which collapses into a determinate location only when observed.

Researchers tested the robot in snow, submerged it in water, walked it through flames, and even ran it over with a car. After each experiment, it emerged unscathed.

From Harvard Engineers, a Machine that Can Walk through Flames

September 15, 2014 3:32 pm | by Peter Reuell, Harvard University | News | Comments

When it comes to soft robots, researchers have finally managed to cut the cord. Developers from Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have produced the first untethered soft robot — a quadruped that can stand up and walk away from its designers.

Observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope reveal new information about the structure of 2011 MD, a small asteroid being considered by NASA for its proposed Asteroid Redirect Mission, or ARM. Courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA Inspector Blasts Asteroid Protection Program

September 15, 2014 3:24 pm | by Marcia Dunn, AP Aerospace Writer | News | Comments

NASA's effort to identify potentially dangerous space rocks has taken a hit. On September 15, 2014, the space agency's inspector general released a report blasting NASA's Near Earth Objects program, which is meant to hunt and catalog comets, asteroids and relatively large fragments of these objects that pass within 28 million miles of Earth. The purpose is to protect the planet against their potential dangers.

On the right, an artificial atom generates sound waves consisting of ripples on the surface of a solid. The sound, known as a surface acoustic wave (SAW) is picked up on the left by a "microphone" composed of interlaced metal fingers. According to theory,

Sound of an Atom Captured

September 12, 2014 3:16 pm | by Johanna Wilde and Martin Gustafsson, Chalmers University of Technology | News | Comments

The interaction between atoms and light is well-known and has been studied extensively in the field of quantum optics. However, to achieve the same kind of interaction with sound waves has been a more challenging undertaking. In collaboration between experimental and theoretical physicists, Chalmers University of Technology researchers have succeeded in making acoustic waves couple to an artificial atom.

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Scaffolded DNA origami utilizes numerous chemically synthesized, short DNA strands (staple strands) to direct the folding of a larger, biologically derived strand of DNA (scaffold strand). Molecular recognition (base pairing, i.e., A binds to T and G bind

Researchers Create World’s Largest DNA Origami

September 11, 2014 4:48 pm | by North Carolina State University | News | Comments

Researchers from North Carolina State University, Duke University and the University of Copenhagen have created the world’s largest DNA origami, which are nanoscale constructions with applications ranging from biomedical research to nanoelectronics. The standard for DNA origami has long been limited to a scaffold strand that is made up of 7,249 bases. The research team has now created DNA origami consisting of 51,466 bases

It is extremely rare to come across with a phenomenon that bridges materials science, particle physics, relativity and topology.

New Species of Electrons Can Lead to Better Computing

September 11, 2014 4:18 pm | by The University of Manchester | News | Comments

Electrons that break the rules and move perpendicular to the applied electric field could be the key to delivering next generation, low-energy computers, a collaboration of scientists from The University of Manchester and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found. They report a material in which electrons move at a controllable angle to applied fields, similar to sailboats driven diagonally to the wind.

Space Launch System Takes Flight -- Courtesy of NASA/MSFC

Space Launch System Takes Flight

September 11, 2014 2:39 pm | News | Comments

Artist concept of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) 70-metric-ton configuration launching to space. SLS will be the most powerful rocket ever built for deep space missions, including to an asteroid and ultimately to Mars. The first SLS mission — Exploration Mission 1 — will launch an uncrewed Orion spacecraft to a stable orbit beyond the moon.

The software (the SAFE Project) uses artificial intelligence to allow a computer to perceive sounds like a human being.

Training Computers to Understand the Language of Musicians

September 10, 2014 4:07 pm | by Birmingham City University | News | Comments

New software launched by researchers at Birmingham City University aims to reduce the long periods of training and expensive equipment required to make music, while also giving musicians more intuitive control over the music that they produce. The developed software, showcased at the British Science Festival, trains computers to understand the language of musicians when applying effects to their music.

Astronaut's View from Space -- Courtesy of NASA/Reid Wiseman (@astro_reid)

An Astronaut's View from Space

September 10, 2014 3:02 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman tweeted this photo from the International Space Station on Tuesday morning, September 2, 2014. "My favorite views from #space – just past #sunrise over the ocean," the Expedition 40 astronaut tweeted. The Expedition 40 crew has been busy aboard the Space Station, recently performing health checks and humanoid robot upgrades.

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The top image shows how the new algorithm is able to identify an area (in red) where stress has created a weak spot in a small piece of plastic wrap. The older method (shown in the bottom half of the picture) is unable to pinpoint the place where the plas

Identifying Tiny Strains in Body Tissues before Injuries Occur

September 9, 2014 3:14 pm | by Jim Dryden, Washington University in St. Louis | News | Comments

Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have developed algorithms to identify weak spots in tendons, muscles and bones prone to tearing or breaking. The technology one day may help pinpoint minor strains and tiny injuries in the body’s tissues long before bigger problems occur.

Pressure retarded osmosis (PRO) is a method of producing renewable energy from two streams of a different salinity. Courtesy of Jose-Luis Olivares/MIT

Renewable Energy: The Power of Salt

August 26, 2014 4:27 pm | by Jennifer Chu, MIT | News | Comments

Where the river meets the sea, there is the potential to harness a significant amount of renewable energy, according to a team of mechanical engineers at MIT. The researchers evaluated an emerging method of power generation called pressure retarded osmosis, in which two streams of different salinity are mixed to produce energy. In principle, a PRO system would take in river water and seawater on either side of a semi-permeable membrane.

Akselos' software running in a Web browser for 2.01x. This app shows the stresses in the landing gear for a solar-powered airplane. Courtesy of Akselos

Simulation Software Drastically Increases Speed of 3-D Engineering Simulations

August 25, 2014 12:40 pm | by Rob Matheson, MIT | News | Comments

MIT spinout Akselos has developed novel software, based on years of research at the Institute, which uses precalculated supercomputer data for structural components — like simulated “Legos” — to solve FEA models in seconds. Hundreds of engineers in the mining, power-generation, and oil and gas industries are now using Akselos software.

Once installed, the sensors would provide information about the condition of bridges that cannot be obtained by visual inspection alone and would allow authorities to identify and focus on bridges that need immediate attention. Courtesy of USchick

Wireless Sensors and Flying Robots Monitor Deteriorating Bridges

August 22, 2014 12:45 pm | by Tufts School of Engineering | News | Comments

As a report from the Obama administration warns that one in four bridges in the United States needs significant repair or cannot handle automobile traffic, Tufts University engineers are employing wireless sensors and flying robots that could have the potential to help authorities monitor the condition of bridges in real time.

MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory has released a data-visualization tool that lets users highlight aberrations and possible patterns in the graphical display; the tool then automatically determines which data sources are respon

Visual Control of Big Data: Recomputing Visualizations without Aberrant Results

August 20, 2014 10:44 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT | News | Comments

In the age of big data, visualization tools are vital. With a single glance at a graphic display, a human being can recognize patterns that a computer might fail to find even after hours of analysis. But what if there are aberrations in the patterns? Or what if there’s just a suggestion of a visual pattern that’s not distinct enough to justify any strong inferences? Or what if the pattern is clear, but not what was to be expected?

Testing Electric Propulsion -- Courtesy of NASA Langley/David C. Bowman

Greased Lightning Tests Electric Propulsion

August 20, 2014 9:35 am | by NASA | News | Comments

On August 19, 2014, National Aviation Day, a lot of people reflected on how far aviation has come in the last century. Could this be the future — a plane with many electric motors that can hover like a helicopter and fly like a plane, and that could revolutionize air travel?

The Kilobots, a swarm of one thousand simple but collaborative robots. Courtesy of Mike Rubenstein and Science/AAAS

AI: Self-organizing Thousand-robot Swarm Forms Vast, Complex Shapes

August 18, 2014 12:03 pm | by Caroline Perry, Harvard SEAS | News | Comments

The first thousand-robot flash mob has assembled at Harvard University. Instead of one highly-complex robot, a “kilo” of robots collaborate, providing a simple platform for the enactment of complex behaviors. Called Kilobots, these extremely simple robots are each just a few centimeters across and stand on three pin-like legs.

A picokeystone extracted from an aerogel tile from the Stardust interstellar dust collector. Scientists said seven microscopic particles collected by NASA's comet-chasing spacecraft, Stardust, appear to have originated outside our solar system. The dust c

Specks Returned from Space may be Alien Visitors

August 15, 2014 2:28 pm | by Marcia Dunn, AP Aerospace Writer | News | Comments

There may be itsy-bitsy aliens among us. Scientists say seven microscopic particles collected by NASA's comet-chasing spacecraft, Stardust, appear to have originated outside our solar system. If confirmed, this would be the world's first sampling of contemporary interstellar dust.

Users can use the tool to focus on images in which President Obama appears over Stephen Colbert’s shoulder, and then observe Colbert’s typical body posture among those results. Courtesy of Jun-Yan Zhu, Yong Jae Lee and Alexei Efros, UC Berkeley

Single Picture worth 1000 — and More — Images

August 15, 2014 12:38 pm | by Sarah Yang, UC Berkeley | News | Comments

A photo is worth a thousand words, but what if the image could also represent thousands of other images? New software seeks to tame the vast amount of visual data in the world by generating a single photo that can represent massive clusters of images. This tool can give users the photographic gist of a kid on Santa’s lap or housecats. It works by generating an image that literally averages the key features of the other photos.

Advanced techniques such as "structured placement," shown here and developed by Markov's group, are currently being used to wring out optimizations in chip layout. Different circuit modules on an integrated circuit are shown in different colors. Algorithm

Reviewing Frontier Technologies to Determine Fundamental Limits of Computer Scaling

August 15, 2014 12:31 pm | by NSF | News | Comments

Igor Markov reviews limiting factors in the development of computing systems to help determine what is achievable, identifying loose limits and viable opportunities for advancements through the use of emerging technologies. He summarizes and examines limitations in the areas of manufacturing and engineering, design and validation, power and heat, time and space, as well as information and computational complexity.​

With an emphasis on HPC applications in science, engineering and large-scale data analytics; the Gordon Bell Prize tracks the overall progress in parallel computing.

Finalists Compete for Coveted ACM Gordon Bell Prize in High Performance Computing

August 13, 2014 12:01 pm | by SC14 | News | Comments

With five technical papers contending for one of the highest honored awards in high performance computing (HPC), the Association for Computing Machinery’s (ACM) awards committee has four months left to choose a winner for the prestigious 2014 Gordon Bell Prize. The winner of this prize will have demonstrated an outstanding achievement in HPC that helps solve critical science and engineering problems.

SOLIDWORKS Education Edition 2014-2015

SOLIDWORKS Education Edition 2014-2015

August 12, 2014 3:51 pm | Dassault Systems | Product Releases | Comments

SOLIDWORKS Education Edition 2014-2015 is an integrated applications portfolio that includes tools and enhancements designed to improve teacher efficiency, shorten student design processes, increase team collaboration and enable educational productivity across numerous areas.

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