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When you look at this photograph, what colors are the dress?

Stories You Shouldn’t Miss — May 15-21

May 22, 2015 11:56 am | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | News | Comments

In case you haven’t caught them yet, here's a recap of this week's most popular stories. Looking at the universe as a hologram; diesel fuel from carbon dioxide and water; first observations of a rare subatomic process; a big data history of music charts; secrets of colossal, invisible waves; perceptions of dress colors; and more are among the top hits.

Playing Graphics-intensive Fast-Action Games in the Cloud without Guzzling Gigabytes

May 21, 2015 9:50 am | by Duke University | News | Comments

Gamers might one day be able to enjoy the same graphics-intensive fast-action video games they...

Close-up: Twisted-wing Parasite

May 21, 2015 9:13 am | News | Comments

This 10x photo shows a ventral view of the head of the twisted-wing parasite Myrmecolax sp...

Dassault Systèmes Announces Commercial Availability of Its First Simulated Human Heart

May 20, 2015 1:58 pm | by Dassault Systèmes | News | Comments

Dassault Systèmes announced that the first heart model from its “Living Heart Project” will be...

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Now, engineers and physicists at the University of Pennsylvania have shown how liquid crystals can be employed to create compound lenses similar to those found in nature. Taking advantage of the geometry in which these liquid crystals like to arrange them

Liquid-crystal-based Compound Lenses work like Insect Eyes

May 19, 2015 5:01 pm | by University of Pennsylvania | News | Comments

Compound eyes found in insects and some sea creatures are marvels of evolution. There, thousands of lenses work together to provide sophisticated information without the need for a sophisticated brain. Human artifice can only begin to approximate these naturally self-assembled structures. Taking advantage of the geometry in which liquid crystals like to arrange themselves, researchers can grow compound lenses with controllable sizes.

Star Formation and Magnetic Turbulence in the Orion Molecular Cloud -- Courtesy of ESA and the Planck Collaboration – click to enlarge

Star Formation and Magnetic Turbulence in the Orion Molecular Cloud

May 19, 2015 3:17 pm | by ESA | News | Comments

With blue hues suggestive of marine paradises and a texture evoking the tranquil flow of sea waves, this image might make us daydream of sandy beaches and exotic holiday destinations. Instead, the subject of the scene is intense and powerful, because it depicts the formation of stars in the turbulent billows of gas and dust of the Orion Molecular Cloud.

Close-up: Common Wasp Stinger

May 18, 2015 11:51 am | News | Comments

This 5x photo of a common wasp (Vespula vulgaris) stinger received an honorable mention in the 2014 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope. The photograph was taken using reflected light and focus stacking.

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Three papers discuss why this dress image is seen differently by different observers. Courtesy of Cecilia Bleasdale

What Colors are the Dress? Three Perspectives on Why the Image is seen Differently

May 15, 2015 3:57 pm | by Cell Press | News | Comments

When you look at this photograph, what colors are the dress? Some see blue and black stripes, others see white and gold stripes. This striking variation took the Internet by storm in February; now Current Biology is publishing three short papers on why the image is seen differently by different observers, and what this tells us about the complicated workings of color perception.

Autonomous Car Prototype Folds, Shrinks, Drives Sideways

Recap: The Week's Top Stories — May 8-14

May 15, 2015 2:34 pm | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | News | Comments

In case you missed it, here's another chance to catch this week's biggest hits. Writing like a genius; the largest individual structure ever identified by humanity; imaging fascinating, wild and unpredictable thunder; a car prototype that folds, shrinks and drives sideways; a high-efficiency laser system to remove space debris from orbit; and more are among the latest top stories.

Mapping World Air Traffic from Space -- Courtesy of ESA/DLR/SES – click to enlarge

Detecting and Mapping World Air Traffic from Space

May 15, 2015 9:51 am | by ESA | News | Comments

Aircraft positions are picked up by the Proba-V mini-satellite, using an experimental ADS-B receiver. These signals are regularly broadcast from aircraft, giving flight information such as speed, position and altitude. Proba-V has picked up upwards of 25 million positions from more than 15,000 separate aircraft. The team has identified more than 22,000 unique call signs, identifying more than 15,000 aircraft.

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has developed a novel computer-aided detection system for acute stroke using computer intelligence technology. Reading 80 to 100 computer images, the system is able to detect whether the patient was struck by i

Novel Computer Intelligence System Detects Acute Strokes

May 14, 2015 12:06 pm | by Hong Kong Polytechnic University | News | Comments

PolyU has developed a novel computer-aided detection system for acute stroke using computer intelligence technology. Reading 80 to 100 computer images, the system is able to detect whether the patient was struck by ischemic stroke or haemorrhagic stroke. The detection accuracy is 90 percent, which is as high as that conducted by specialists, but at a much reduced time from 10 to 15 minutes to just three minutes.

Inner Eye: Retinal Whole Mount -- Courtesy of Nikon Small World -- 2014 Nikon Small World Honorable Mention -- Click to enlargeThis 40x image of a retinal whole mount, showing ganglion cell bodies and their axon bundles (red), astrocytes (green), and vasc

Inner Eye: Retinal Whole Mount

May 14, 2015 11:19 am | News | Comments

This 40x image of a retinal whole mount, showing ganglion cell bodies and their axon bundles (red), astrocytes (green), and vasculature (blue), received an honorable mention in the 2014 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope. The photograph was taken using confocal microscopy.

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BigNeuron, a new project led by the Allen Institute for Brain Science, aims to streamline scientist’s ability to create 3-D digital models of neurons. Courtesy of Allen Institute for Brain Science

Digitizing Neurons: Project will convert 2-D Microscope Images into 3-D Models

May 14, 2015 9:46 am | by Oak Ridge National Laboratory | News | Comments

A new initiative designed to advance how scientists digitally reconstruct and analyze individual neurons in the human brain will receive support from the supercomputing resources at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Led by the Allen Institute for Brain Science, the BigNeuron project aims to create a common platform for analyzing the three-dimensional structure of neurons.

Cloudy Earth -- NASA Earth Observatory image by Jesse Allen and Kevin Ward, using data provided by the MODIS Atmosphere Science Team, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center – click to enlarge

Cloudy Earth: Observation Averages from July 2002 to April 2015

May 13, 2015 2:31 pm | by Adam Voiland, with information from Steve Platnick and Tom Arnold, NASA | News | Comments

Decades of satellite observations and astronaut photographs show that clouds dominate space-based views of Earth. One study, based on nearly a decade of satellite data, estimated that about 67 percent of Earth’s surface is typically covered by clouds. This is especially the case over the oceans, where other research shows less than 10 percent of the sky is completely clear of clouds at any one time.

Clockwise, photo of the prototype device; schematic of the eight-terminal magnonic holographic memory prototype; collection of experimental data obtained for two magnonic matrixes.

Magnonic Holographic Memory Device could Greatly Improve Speech and Image Recognition Hardware

May 12, 2015 2:25 pm | by Sean Nealon, University of California, Riverside | News | Comments

Researchers have successfully demonstrated pattern recognition using a magnonic holographic memory device, a development that could greatly improve speech and image recognition hardware. Pattern recognition focuses on finding patterns and regularities in data. The uniqueness of the demonstrated work is that the input patterns are encoded into the phases of the input spin waves.

Close-up: Adhesive Bandage Pad -- Courtesy of Nikon Small World -- 2014 Nikon Small World Honorable Mention -- Click to enlarge

Close-up: Adhesive Bandage Pad

May 12, 2015 9:08 am | News | Comments

This 20x photo of an adhesive bandage pad received an honorable mention in the 2014 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope. The photograph was taken using confocal microscopy.

Close-up: Ant Nymph -- Courtesy of Nikon Small World -- 2014 Nikon Small World Honorable Mention -- Click to enlarge

Close-up: Ant Nymph

May 11, 2015 11:40 am | News | Comments

This 10x photo of an ant nymph received an honorable mention in the 2014 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope. The photograph was taken using image stacking and stitching.

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SwRI scientists compared long-exposure optical photographs of two different triggered lightning events (on top) with acoustically imaged profiles of the discharge channel (below), corrected for sound speed propagation and atmospheric absorption effects. T

Fascinating, Wild and Unpredictable: Scientists Image Thunder for the First Time

May 11, 2015 11:32 am | by Southwest Research Institute | News | Comments

For the first time, scientists have imaged thunder, visually capturing the sound waves. Although people see it as a flashing bolt, lightning begins as a complex process of electrostatic charges churning around in storm clouds. By studying the acoustic power radiated from different portions of the lightning channel, researchers can learn more about the origins of thunder as well as the energetic processes associated with lightning.

NASA Infrared Telescope Facility above the clouds on Mauna Kea in Hawaii

Scientists at Work: Most Days in the Life of an Astronomer aren’t spent at Telescopes

May 11, 2015 10:38 am | by Nicole Estefania Cabrera Salazar, Georgia State University | Articles | Comments

On a telescope at the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii, it’s not easy to put in a full night of work. At 14,000 feet, you’re operating at only 60 percent of the oxygen available at sea level, which makes concentrating difficult. Top that off with a shift that begins at 6:30 pm and ends at 6:30 am, and it becomes hard to imagine astronomers working like that year-round. Luckily, most of us don’t have to.

'Cinco de Mayo' Solar Flare -- Courtesy of NASA/SDO/Wiessinger – click to enlarge

Solar Dynamics Observatory Sees 'Cinco de Mayo' Solar Flare

May 8, 2015 10:02 am | by NASA | News | Comments

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun constantly, captured these images of a significant solar flare — as seen in the bright flash on the left — peaking at 6:11 p.m. EDT on May 5, 2015. Each image shows a different wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light that highlights a different temperature of material on the sun.

Astrophysicist Phil Marshall (Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology at Stanford)

Write Like a Genius: New Font Released on Centennial of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity

May 7, 2015 2:50 pm | by Harald Geisler | News | Comments

Is thinking related to movement, such as the movement of your hand as you write? An unusual collaboration plays tongue-and-cheek with this possibility by creating a font based on the handwriting of one of science’s ultimate thinkers, Albert Einstein.

A peek inside the Oculus Rift

First Look at the Rift, Shipping Q1 2016

May 7, 2015 9:16 am | by Oculus VR | Blogs | Comments

Since the earliest days of the Oculus Kickstarter, the Rift has been shaped by gamers, backers, developers, and enthusiasts around the world. Today, we’re incredibly excited to announce that the Oculus Rift will be shipping to consumers in Q1 2016, with pre-orders later this year.

10-Engine Electric Plane Prototype Takes Off -- Courtesy of NASA Langley/David C. Bowman – click to enlarge

10-Engine Electric Plane Prototype Takes Off

May 6, 2015 12:38 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

A team at NASA's Langley Research Center is developing a concept of a battery-powered plane that has 10 engines and can take off like a helicopter and fly efficiently like an aircraft. The prototype, called Greased Lightning or GL-10, is currently in the design and testing phase. This photograph captures the GL-10 prototype taking off in hover mode like a helicopter.

The surface of rendered objects in computer games often looks unrealistic. A new method creates much more realistic images, imitating the complex scattering processes under the surface. Left: the new method, top right: without subsurface scattering, botto

New Mathematical Method makes Computer Game Surface Rendering Much More Realistic

May 5, 2015 12:24 pm | by TU Wien (Vienna) | News | Comments

Overturning cars, flying missiles and airplanes speeding across the screen — on modern computers, 3-D objects can be calculated in a flash. However, many surfaces still look unnatural. Whether it is skin, stone or wax — on the computer screen, all materials look alike, as if the objects had all been cut out of the same opaque material. A new mathematical method takes into account light scattering that occurs below the surface...

Saturn’s Sponge-like Moon Hyperion -- Courtesy of NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute – click to enlarge

Saturn’s Sponge-like Moon Hyperion

May 5, 2015 12:08 pm | by ESA | News | Comments

The subject of this image bears a remarkable resemblance to a porous sea sponge, floating in the inky black surroundings of the deep sea. Indeed, the cold, hostile and lonely environment of deep water is not too far removed from deep space, the actual setting for this image in which one of Saturn’s outer moons, Hyperion, can be seen in incredible detail.

Subjects in the study viewed images while wearing an EEG headset. Courtesy of Neuromatters

Computer Vision, Brain-computer Interface Speed Mine Detection

May 5, 2015 9:44 am | by University of California - San Diego | News | Comments

Computer scientists at the University of California, San Diego, have combined sophisticated computer vision algorithms and a brain-computer interface to find mines in sonar images of the ocean floor. The study shows that the new method speeds detection considerably, when compared to existing methods — mainly visual inspection by a mine detection expert.

Researchers have developed an algorithm for generating panoramic video from unstructured camera arrays. Courtesy of Disney Research

Algorithm Combines Videos from Unstructured Camera Arrays into Panoramas

May 4, 2015 4:14 pm | by Disney Research | News | Comments

Even non-professionals may someday be able to create high-quality video panoramas using multiple cameras with the help of an algorithm developed by a team of Disney researchers. Their method smooths out the blurring, ghosting and other distortions that routinely occur when video feeds from unstructured camera arrays are combined to create a single panoramic video.

Bed Bug -- Courtesy of Nikon Small World -- 2014 Nikon Small World Honorable Mention -- Click to enlarge

Close-up: Bed Bug

May 4, 2015 2:09 pm | News | Comments

This 50x photo of a bed bug (Cimex lectularius) received an honorable mention in the 2014 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope.

See Flower Cells in 3-D — No Electron Microscopy Required

May 1, 2015 9:17 am | by Botanical Society of America | News | Comments

Scientists require high-resolution imaging of plant cells to study everything from fungal infections to reproduction in maize. These images are captured with scanning electron microscopy (SEM), where an electron microscope focuses beams of electrons to increase magnification of objects. SEM is a common technique for all fields of science.

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