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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.

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...

ONET FT-NIR Networking Software

December 18, 2014 12:45 pm | Product Releases | Comments

ONET networking software is for the setup, administration and control of large FT-NIR...

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...

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The species used in a Rice University genetic study of mice were collected from 15 locations in Europe and Africa. The green region indicates the range of Mus spretus, the Algerian mouse, while the blue region indicates the range of Mus musculus domesticu

Big Data Analysis Reveals Shared Genetic Code between Species

December 18, 2014 11:32 am | by Mike Williams, Rice University | News | Comments

Researchers have detected at least three instances of cross-species mating that likely influenced the evolutionary paths of “old world” mice, two in recent times and one in the distant past. They think these instances of introgressive hybridization are only the first of many needles waiting to be found in a very large genetic haystack. The finding suggests that hybridization in mammals may not be an evolutionary dead end.

This image illustrates possible ways methane might be added to Mars' atmosphere (sources) and removed from the atmosphere (sinks). NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has detected fluctuations in methane concentration in the atmosphere, implying both types of act

Rover Finds Active, Ancient Organic Chemistry on Mars

December 18, 2014 10:48 am | by NASA | News | Comments

NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has measured a tenfold spike in methane, an organic chemical, in the atmosphere around it and detected other organic molecules in a rock-powder sample collected by the robotic laboratory’s drill. Researchers used Curiosity’s onboard Sample Analysis at Mars laboratory a dozen times in a 20-month period to sniff methane in the atmosphere. During two of those months, four measurements averaged seven ppb.

Watson will make it possible for VHA physicians to interact with medical data in natural language, process millions of pages of patient information and medical literature to uncover patterns and insights, and learn from each interaction.

VA Clinical Reasoning System Based on Watson Cognitive Capabilities

December 17, 2014 3:45 pm | News | Comments

IBM announced that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is using Watson technology in a pilot to assist physicians in helping accelerate the process of evidence-based medical decision making. The VA joins leading healthcare organizations that are working with IBM Watson to help improve efficiency and quality of care being delivered. The VHA will also work with Watson for a clinical focus supporting veterans with PTSD.

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Big Data and genetic complexity: HotNet2 helps define the terrain for complex genetic associations involved in cancer. “The next step,” says researcher Ben Raphael, “is translating all of this information from cancer sequencing into clinically actionable

Big Data v. Cancer: Algorithm Identifies Genetic Changes across Cancers

December 15, 2014 4:00 pm | by Brown University | News | Comments

Using a computer algorithm that can sift through mounds of genetic data, researchers from Brown University have identified several networks of genes that, when hit by a mutation, could play a role in the development of multiple types of cancer. The algorithm, called Hotnet2, was used to analyze genetic data from 12 different types of cancer assembled as part of the pan-cancer project of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA).

For the family of bee-eaters (on the photo Merops bullocki), the study revealed a close relationship to oscine birds, parrots, and birds of prey. Courtesy of Peter Houde

Bird Tree of Life Reproduced using Gene Analysis, Supercomputing

December 15, 2014 1:57 pm | by Karlsruhe Institute of Technology | News | Comments

About 95 percent of the more than 10,000 bird species known only evolved upon the extinction of dinosaurs about 66 million years ago. According to computer analyses of the genetic data, today's diversity developed from a few species at a virtually explosive rate after 15 million years. Scientists designed the algorithms for the comprehensive analysis of the evolution of birds; a computing capacity of 300 processor-years was required.

Michael Boruta is Optical Spectroscopy Product Manager at ACD/Labs

Accessibility of Data and Application of Algorithms to Provide Insights in Predictive Analytics

December 15, 2014 11:56 am | by Michael Boruta, ACD/Labs | Blogs | Comments

Although there are a diverse range of applications for predictive analytics in R&D, two common basic requirements are data and insight. Data may be generated by running experiments/analyses, or re-applied from previous work when available. Insights come from application of knowledge — both explicitand tacit. There are a variety of roles for informatics in predictive analytics...

Duke researchers led by associate professor of neurobiology Erich Jarvis, left, did most of the DNA extraction from bird tissue samples used in the Avian Phylogenomics Consortium. (l-r: Carole Parent, Nisarg Dabhi, Jason Howard). Courtesy of Les Todd, Duk

Mapping the "Big Bang" of Bird Evolution

December 12, 2014 6:04 pm | by Kelly Rae Chi, Duke University | News | Comments

The genomes of modern birds tell a story of how they emerged and evolved after the mass extinction that wiped out dinosaurs and almost everything else 66 million years ago. That story is now coming to light, thanks to an ambitious international collaboration that has been underway for four years. The first findings of the Avian Phylogenomics Consortium are being reported nearly simultaneously in 28 papers.

Professor Tandy Warnow developed a new statistical method that sorts genetic data to construct better species trees detailing genetic lineage. Courtesy of L. Brian Stauffer

Sophisticated New Statistical Technique helps Map Species' Genetic Heritage

December 12, 2014 5:50 pm | by Liz Ahlberg, University of Illinois | News | Comments

Where did the songbird get its song? What branch of the bird family tree is closer to the flamingo — the heron or the sparrow? These questions seem simple, but are actually difficult for geneticists to answer. A new, sophisticated statistical technique can help researchers construct more accurate species trees detailing the lineage of genes and the relationships between species.

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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.

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.

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.

World Community Grid enables anyone with a computer, smartphone or tablet to donate their unused computing power to advance cutting-edge scientific research on topics related to health, poverty and sustainability.

Donate Processing Time to Fight Ebola

December 10, 2014 3:15 pm | by Brandon Bailey, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Scientists at Scripps Research Institute have teamed with IBM on a project that aims to combine the power of thousands of small computers to help analyze various compounds to see which might be effective in attacking the Ebola virus and also to help with a longer-term effort to understand how Ebola proteins change shape over time.

Watson's Nobel prize for the discovery of the structure of DNA sold at Christie's in a New York auction for $4.7 million, a world auction record for any Nobel.

Tycoon buys Watson's Nobel Prize, Gives it Back

December 10, 2014 2:25 pm | by AP | News | Comments

Russia's richest man says he has bought James D. Watson's Nobel Prize medal at Christie's in order to return it to the scientist. The 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded jointly to Francis Harry Compton Crick, James Dewey Watson and Maurice Hugh Frederick Wilkins "for their discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material."

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This is an early draft of the title page for what would become On the Origin of Species.  Darwin Manuscripts Project

Digitizing Darwin’s Writings: Over 12,000 Pages Released Online

December 9, 2014 1:53 pm | by American Museum of Natural History | News | Comments

Tracing the evolution of Charles Darwin’s thoughts about evolution is becoming an increasingly accessible project, thanks to a growing cache of publicly available digitized Darwin manuscripts on the American Museum of Natural History’s Web site. By June 2015, the Museum will host more than 30,000 digitized documents written by Darwin between 1835 and 1882.

This 6x image of myxomycete sp. (slime mold) received an Image of Distinction   designation in the 2013 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition,   which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope. the   photo was taken us

Slime Mold is Not Fungi

December 4, 2014 4:59 pm | News | Comments

This 6x image of myxomycete sp (slime mold) received an Image of Distinction designation in the 2013 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope. the photo was taken using episcopic illumination by Philippe Verrees of Knokke-Heist, Belgium.

This photo of the ventral side of Lepidozia reptans (a leafy liverwort, bryophyte plant) received an Image of Distinction designation in the 2013 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the opti

A Leafy Liverwort

December 3, 2014 4:25 pm | News | Comments

This photo of the ventral side of Lepidozia reptans (a leafy liverwort, bryophyte plant) received an Image of Distinction designation in the 2013 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope. The image was captured by Magdalena Turzańska of the University of Wroclaw, Institute of Experimental Biology, Department of Developmental Plant Biology in Wrocław, Poland.

Geckos have fascinated people for hundreds of years. Scientists have been especially intrigued by these lizards, and have studied a variety of features such as the adhesive toe pads on the underside of gecko feet with which geckos attach to surfaces with

Geckos are Effortlessly Sticky

December 3, 2014 4:07 pm | by Iqbal Pittalwala, University of California, Riverside | News | Comments

Geckos have fascinated people for hundreds of years. Scientists have been especially intrigued by these lizards, and have studied a variety of features such as the adhesive toe pads on the underside of gecko feet with which geckos attach to surfaces with remarkable strength. One question that has captivated researchers is: Is the strength of this adhesion determined by the gecko or is it somehow intrinsic to the adhesive system?

Biological engineers have created a new computer model that allows them to design the most complex three-dimensional DNA shapes ever produced, including rings, bowls, and geometric structures such as icosahedrons that resemble viral particles.

Computer Model Enables Design of Complex DNA Shapes

December 3, 2014 3:45 pm | by Anne Trafton, MIT | News | Comments

Biological engineers have created a new computer model that allows them to design the most complex three-dimensional DNA shapes ever produced, including rings, bowls, and geometric structures such as icosahedrons that resemble viral particles. 

In 1997, IBM’s Deep Blue computer beat chess wizard Garry Kasparov. This year, a computer system developed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison equaled or bested scientists at the complex task of extracting data from scientific publications and placing

Computer Equal To or Better Than Humans at Cataloging Science

December 2, 2014 2:53 pm | by David Tenenbaum, University of Wisconsin-Madison | News | Comments

In 1997, IBM’s Deep Blue computer beat chess wizard Garry Kasparov. This year, a computer system developed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison equaled or bested scientists at the complex task of extracting data from scientific publications and placing it in a database that catalogs the results of tens of thousands of individual studies.

This fluorescent image shows primary rat brain astrocytes cultured in a SynVivo BBB device. Ashley M. Smith of CFD Research Corporation, Huntsville, Alabama produced the 10x photo, which received an Image of Distinction designation in the 2013 Nikon Small

Rat Brain Astrocytes

December 1, 2014 5:06 pm | Product Releases | Comments

This fluorescent image shows primary rat brain astrocytes cultured in a SynVivo BBB device. Ashley M. Smith of CFD Research Corporation, Huntsville, Alabama produced the 10x photo, which received an Image of Distinction designation in the 2013 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope.

Left to right: Ron Weiss, professor of biological engineering; Domitilla Del Vecchio, associate professor of mechanical engineering; and Deepak Mishra, MIT graduate student in biological engineering. Courtesy of Brian Teague

New Device Could Make Large Biological Circuits Practical

November 26, 2014 1:49 pm | by David L. Chandler, MIT | News | Comments

Researchers have made great progress in recent years in the design and creation of biological circuits — systems that, like electronic circuits, can take a number of different inputs and deliver a particular kind of output. But, while individual components of such biological circuits can have precise and predictable responses, those outcomes become less predictable as more such elements are combined.

The Gecko has good sticking power thanks to the van der Waals force.

Van der Waals Force Re-measured, may Help Improve Fundamental Simulation Methods

November 26, 2014 10:16 am | by Forschungszentrum Jülich | News | Comments

Van der Waals forces act like a sort of quantum glue on all types of matter. Using a new measuring technique, scientists from Forschungszentrum Jülich experimentally determined for the first time all of the key details of how strongly the single molecules bind to a surface. With an atomic force microscope, they demonstrated that the forces do not just increase with molecular size, but that they even grow disproportionately fast.

IBM is investing in Pathway to position both companies on the cutting edge of offering truly personalized wellness information.

Evidence-based Medicine: Bringing Big Data to Healthcare Consumers

November 26, 2014 9:31 am | by Kalorama Information | News | Comments

The IBM Watson Group's investment in Pathway Genomics is a model for the types of partnerships that are bringing Big Data to the healthcare consumer marketplace. IBM hopes to use Watson, their cognitive technology, and Big Data — enormous medical datasets — to transform the quality and speed of care delivered to individuals through individualized, evidence-based medicine.

The National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology and Innovation medals ready to be presented to awardees. Courtesy of Sandy Schaeffer, NSF

National Medals of Science, Technology and Innovation Presented

November 25, 2014 12:00 pm | by NSF | News | Comments

At a White House ceremony on November 20, 2014, President Obama presented the National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology and Innovation to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to science and engineering. The awards are the nation's highest honors for achievement and leadership in advancing the fields of science and technology.

Schematic of nanoparticle construction. Courtesy of Andrew Dunn

Inside job: Designer Nanoparticles Infiltrate Cancer Cells from Within

November 25, 2014 10:34 am | by Melanie Titanic-Schefft, University of Cincinnati | News | Comments

Conventional treatment seeks to eradicate cancer cells by drugs and therapy delivered from outside the cell, which may also affect — and potentially harm — nearby normal cells. In contrast, a research team has developed several novel designs for iron-oxide based nanoparticles that detect, diagnose and destroy cancer cells using photo-thermal therapy, using nanoparticles to focus light-induced heat energy only within the tumor

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