June 24, 2015

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How Laser Frequency Combs Transformed Basic Scientific Research

Precision rulers of light (laser frequency combs) span millions of frequencies of light, and can operate from the mid-infrared through the visible to the extreme ultraviolet. They are at the heart of new technologies such as optical atomic clocks, molecular fingerprinting and a noninvasive breath analyzer.

Although most people have never heard of laser frequency combs, they have become essential to advancing important light-based research and have been instrumental to the development of new technologies over a wide range of applications. It almost sounds like a riddle: What tool has transformed basic scientific research and led to new technologies in so […]

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June 24, 2015

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New Drug to Quiet Brain, Relieving Epilepsy and Tinnitus

New Drug to Quiet Brain, Relieve Epilepsy and Tinnitus

Overly excited nerve cells cause problems like epilepsy and tinnitus. A new drug that selectively affects potassium channels promises relief with fewer side effects. A new drug may treat epilepsy and prevent tinnitus by selectively affecting potassium channels in the brain, UConn neurophysiologist Anastasios Tzingounis and colleagues report in the 10 June Journal of Neuroscience. […]

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June 24, 2015

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Breakthrough Technique Accurately Detects the ‘Handedness’ of Molecules

Breakthrough Technique Accurately Detects the Handedness of Molecules

A new technique that can determine whether a molecule is present in a left- or right-handed form may have a multitude of practical applications, potentially leading to new and improved drugs, diagnosis methods, and pesticides. Scientists have demonstrated for the first time the ability to rapidly, reliably and simultaneously identify the ‘handedness’ of different molecules […]

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June 24, 2015

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New Model Explores Exploding Growth in Global Transportation Connectivity

According to a study at MIT using a new model that determines regional connectivity via air travel, global connectivity increased 140% between 1990 and 2012, fueled by intense growth in Europe and Asia. Every time you’ve seen a plane take off or land at a hub airport, you’ve seen the world growing more connected, according […]

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June 23, 2015

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Flying Over An Aurora NASA Image of the Day

Flying Over An Aurora

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) captured photographs and video of auroras from the International Space Station on June 22, 2015. Kelly wrote, “Yesterday’s aurora was an impressive show from 250 miles up. Good morning from the International Space Station! ‪#‎YearInSpace‬” Image: NASA

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June 23, 2015

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NASA’s Chandra Captures Largest and Brightest Rings Ever from X-ray Light Echoes

NASA's Chandra Captures Largest and Brightest Rings Ever from X-ray Light Echoes

NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory has captured x-ray echoes from a neutron star, allowing astronomers to pinpoint the distance to Circinus X-1 from Earth. Astronomers using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory have discovered the largest and brightest set of rings from X-ray light echoes ever observed. These extraordinary rings, produced by an intense flare from a neutron […]

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June 23, 2015

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Astronomers Solve Mystery of Unusually Hot Blue Stars

Artist's impression of a protostellar disc disrupted by a collision.

New research by an international team of astronomers solves the mystery of hot blue stars, which despite their smaller size are especially luminous. Astronomers have solved a mystery over small, unusually hot blue stars, 10 times hotter than our Sun, that are found in the middle of dense star clusters. The international team found the […]

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June 23, 2015

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Tiny Dracula Ants: New Species of Subterranean Hunters

Tiny Dracula Ants: New Species of Subterranean Hunters

Six new species of subterranean ants from the genus Prionopelta have been discovered in Madagascar and the islands of Seychelles. Dubbed Dracula ants by these researchers, this group of ants live underground and engage in strange behavior. Researchers from the California Academy of Sciences (Rick Overson and Brian Fisher) have described six new species of […]

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June 23, 2015

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Demise of Laurentide Ice Sheet Due to Sudden Shift in “Radiative Forcing”

A study of the demise of the Laurentide Ice Sheet that once covered Canada may help scientists better understand shrinking ice fields today - like this melting ice margin in Greenland.

Researchers at Oregon State University studied the cause of the demise of the massive Laurentide Ice Sheet during the last ice age, looking for clues as to how a warming climate may impact ice sheets on Greenland and Antarctica. A new study has found that the massive Laurentide ice sheet that covered Canada during the […]

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June 23, 2015

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More Than 80% Efficiency Attained in New Ultralow-power Circuit

The MIT researchers' prototype for a chip measuring 3 millimeters by 3 millimeters. The magnified detail shows the chip's main control circuitry, including the startup electronics; the controller that determines whether to charge the battery, power a device, or both; and the array of switches that control current flow to an external inductor coil. This active area measures just 2.2 millimeters by 1.1 millimeters.

Researchers at MIT developed a new ultralow-power circuit that improves efficiency of energy harvesting to more than 80 percent. This can lead the way to tiny, solar-powered sensors. The latest buzz in the information technology industry regards “the Internet of things” — the idea that vehicles, appliances, civil-engineering structures, manufacturing equipment, and even livestock would […]

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June 23, 2015

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High-Fat, High-Sugar Diets Causes Bacterial Changes Related to Loss of Cognitive Function

High-Fat, High-Sugar Diets Causes Bacterial Changes Related to Loss of Cognitive Function

Changes in bacteria making up the gut microbiome caused by high-fat and high-sugar diets appear related to a loss of cognitive function according to a study at Oregon State University. A study at Oregon State University indicates that both a high-fat and a high-sugar diet, compared to a normal diet, cause changes in gut bacteria […]

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June 23, 2015

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Rapid Fabrication of Nanoscale Geometric Grids Using Lasers

Rapid Fabrication of Nanoscale Geometric Grids Using Lasers

Rapid creation of multi-layered, self-assembled nanoscale grids with fully customizable shapes and compositions is possible using new technique developed by scientists at Brookhaven Lab. Down at the nanoscale, where objects span just billionths of a meter, the size and shape of a material can often have surprising and powerful electronic and optical effects. Building larger […]

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June 23, 2015

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Triple Crescent Moon Image From Cassini

PIA18322: Triple Crescents

This image taken by the Cassini spacecraft shows three of Saturn’s moons: Titan, Mimas, and Rhea. A single crescent moon is a familiar sight in Earth’s sky, but with Saturn’s many moons, you can see three or even more. The three moons shown here — Titan (3,200 miles or 5,150 kilometers across), Mimas (246 miles […]

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June 22, 2015

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Everyday Chemicals in Our Environment Cause Cancer When Combined

Everyday Chemicals in Our Environment Cause Cancer When Combined

According to new research from a global taskforce, fifty chemicals the public are exposed to on a daily basis have been shown to trigger cancer when combined. A global taskforce of 174 scientists from leading research centres across 28 countries studied the link between mixtures of commonly encountered chemicals and the development of cancer. The […]

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June 22, 2015

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Half Price Lithium-ion Batteries With Improved Performance and Recyclability

A pilot manufacturing plant at 24M's headquarters in Cambridge has produced thousands of test batteries to demonstrate the efficiency of the new design.

MIT spinoff company 24M has reinvented the manufacturing process for lithium-ion batteries to reduce cost, improve performance, and make them easier to recycle. An advanced manufacturing approach for lithium-ion batteries, developed by researchers at MIT and at a spinoff company called 24M, promises to significantly slash the cost of the most widely used type of […]

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June 22, 2015

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Engineers Develop Micro-tentacles So Tiny Robots Can Handle Delicate Objects

Engineers Develop Micro-tentacles So Tiny Robots Can Handle Delicate Objects

Engineers at Iowa State University developed spiraling microrobotic tentacles that can gently grip delicate objects. The tiny tube circled an ant’s thorax, gently trapping the insect and demonstrating the utility of a microrobotic tentacle developed by Iowa State University engineers. “Most robots use two fingers and to pick things up they have to squeeze,” said […]

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June 22, 2015

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Ceres Spots Remain a Mystery in Latest Dawn Images

Ceres Spots Remain a Mystery in Latest Dawn Images

Although new images from the Dawn spacecraft provide more clues, the unusual bright spots on Ceres continue to mystify. The closer we get to Ceres, the more intriguing the distant dwarf planet becomes. New images of Ceres from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft provide more clues about its mysterious bright spots, and also reveal a pyramid-shaped peak […]

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June 22, 2015

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Smartphones Can Disrupt Pacemakers and Cause Painful Shocks

Smartphones Can Disrupt Pacemakers

Electromagnetic interference from smartphones can disrupt pacemaker function and cause implantable cardioverter defibrillators to deliver painful shocks. Cardiac device wearers are advised to keep a safety distance of 15 to 20 cm between their device and their mobile phone. Cardiac device wearers should keep a safe distance from smartphones to avoid unwanted painful shocks or […]

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