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Brain Research Sheds Light on Navigation

December 18, 2014 2:00 pm | by Univ. College London | News | Comments

It has long been known that some people are better at navigating than others, but until now it has been unclear why. A new study shows that the strength and reliability of “homing signals” in the human brain vary among people and can predict navigational ability.

Physics of Champagne Key to Meeting Future Energy Needs

December 18, 2014 2:00 pm | by American Institute of Physics | News | Comments

Uncork a bottle of champagne, and as the pressure of the liquid is abruptly removed, bubbles...

Holiday Decorations Light Up Space

December 18, 2014 7:00 am | by NASA | Videos | Comments

Satellite data shows that around many major U.S. cities, nighttime lights shine 20 to 50 percent...

Predicting the Lab of the Future

December 17, 2014 10:17 am | by Michelle Taylor, Editor-in-Chief | Articles | Comments

Hypothesizing about the lab of the future in the next decade unveils specific technologies that...

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2014: Celebrating the Year of Women in Science

December 17, 2014 10:15 am | by Michelle Taylor, Editor-in-Chief | Blogs | Comments

The media is often accused of being perpetrators of bad news—that is, it takes every opportunity to report negative news. Take your local news channel, for example. I’d bet that on any given night, negative news reports outweigh positive reports by a ratio of 10:1. But, with the year coming to a close, I want to take time to highlight some of the positive strides society, specifically women in science, have made in 2014.

Stability vs. Efficiency in Ultra-low Freezer Design

December 17, 2014 9:51 am | by Joe LaPorte, Director of Product Management, Panasonic Healthcare North America, Wood Dale, Ill. | Articles | Comments

One day, hopefully sooner rather than later, a truly energy-efficient ultra-low temperature (ULT) freezer will reach the market. Unfortunately for now, no technology exists that provides significant gains in efficiency, without compromising unit stability. Energy efficiency should always be considered in today’s green world, but don’t ignore other important long-term considerations.

Seven School Districts to Add Computer Science in Gov’t Deal

December 17, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Josh Lederman, Kimberly Hefling | News | Comments

Smartphones and laptops have become essential tools for today's teenagers. But learning how these devices work has often taken a backseat to other priorities in U.S. schools. The White House wants to help change that direction. It announced that the seven largest school districts in the U.S. are joining more than 50 others to start offering introductory computer science to all their students.

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TV Series Showcases Girls in STEM

December 17, 2014 7:00 am | by National Science Foundation | News | Comments

Richard Hudson and his team at Twin Cities Public Television are putting middle school girls in front of a national audience on the PBS series "SciGirls." This is the first television science series designed specifically for girls, ages eight to 12, to inspire and empower them to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Young Scientists Must Be Seen, Heard

December 17, 2014 7:00 am | by The Conversation, David Riglar, Douglas Hilton | News | Comments

Postdoctoral scientists are the engines of biomedical research. As early career researchers, they conduct the most experiments and are responsible for sculpting how we treat disease in decades to come. But, as a major stakeholder in discussions about the future of biomedical research, their views are often overlooked.

STEM Postdocs are Highly, But Incorrectly, Trained

December 17, 2014 7:00 am | by The Conversation, Gary McDowell | News | Comments

The STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics supposedly suffer from a shortage of graduates. But, there are plenty of STEM graduates; the U.S. is just training them the wrong way. It’s true there are many professional STEM vacancies but there are also many STEM grads who could fill them. The problem is the current training pipeline doesn’t direct graduates to these non-academic jobs.

Study Sheds Light on How Greenland’s Ice is Vanishing

December 17, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. at Buffalo | Videos | Comments

New research provides what the authors think is the first comprehensive picture of how Greenland’s ice is vanishing. It suggests that current ice sheet modeling studies are too simplistic to accurately predict future sea level rise, and that Greenland may lose ice more rapidly in the near future than previously thought.

Higgs Boson May Be Piece of Matter-antimatter Puzzle

December 16, 2014 2:00 pm | by SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory | News | Comments

Several experiments have helped explain some– but not all– of the imbalance between matter and antimatter in the universe. Now, a theorist and his colleagues have laid out a possible method for determining if the Higgs boson is involved.

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Teens Use e-Cigs More than Traditional

December 16, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Lauran Neergaard | News | Comments

Electronic cigarettes have surpassed traditional smoking in popularity among teens, the government's annual drug use survey finds. Even as tobacco smoking by teens dropped to new lows, use of e-cigarettes reached levels that surprised researchers.

Brain-like Circuits Mimic Pavlov's Dogs

December 16, 2014 2:00 pm | by Inside Science News Service, Charles Choi | News | Comments

Artificial electronic circuits that mimic the pathways connecting neurons in the brain can learn, unlearn and store memories, researchers have reported. These inventions could not only help researchers better understand how the brain works, but could also lead to advanced new computers.

All-electric Cars May Be Worse for Environment

December 16, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Seth Borenstein | News | Comments

People who own all-electric cars where coal generates the power may think they are helping the environment. But, a new study finds their vehicles actually make the air dirtier, worsening global warming. Ethanol isn't so green, either.

Research Key to 'Valleytronics'

December 16, 2014 7:00 am | by MIT, David Chandler | News | Comments

New findings could provide a pathway toward a kind of two-dimensional microchip that would make use of a characteristic of electrons other than their electrical charge, as in conventional electronics. The new approach is dubbed “valleytronics,” because it makes use of properties of an electron that can be depicted as a pair of deep valleys on a graph of their traits.

Brain Stimulation May Help Anxiety

December 16, 2014 7:00 am | by The Univ. of Western Australia | News | Comments

Researchers have found that brain stimulation may help retrain unhelpful cognitive habits associated with anxiety and depression. The study revealed that around 20 minutes of targeted electrical stimulation to a region of the frontal cortex could dramatically improve the effectiveness of a computer-based task designed to retrain unhelpful patterns of attention that are known to maintain high levels of anxiety.

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App Triggers Horrible Traffic for Locals

December 15, 2014 8:27 am | by Associated Press, John Rogers | News | Comments

When the people whose houses hug the narrow warren of streets paralleling the busiest urban freeway in America began to see bumper-to-bumper traffic crawling by their homes a year or so ago, they were baffled. When word spread that the explosively popular new smartphone app Waze was sending many of those cars through their neighborhood in a quest to shave five minutes off a daily rush-hour commute, they were angry and ready to fight back.

Logic, Memory Combine for 'High-rise' Chip

December 15, 2014 7:00 am | by Stanford School of Engineering | News | Comments

For decades, the mantra of electronics has been smaller, faster, cheaper. Today, engineers add a fourth word— taller. A team is revealing how to build “high-rise” chips that could leapfrog the performance of the single-story logic and memory chips on today's circuit cards.

Today in Lab History: Gustave Eiffel

December 15, 2014 7:00 am | by Lily Barback, Associate Editor | News | Comments

Gustave Eiffel, born Dec. 15, 1832, was a French civil engineer and architect, most famous for the Eiffel Tower, built as the entrance arch for the 1889 World’s Fair in Paris. However, he started his career, in 1855, working as an unpaid assistant is his brother-in-law’s foundry.

Computer Failure Shut Down London's Airspace Today

December 12, 2014 2:58 pm | by Associated Press, Danica Kirka, Gregory Katz | News | Comments

The airspace over London was briefly closed Friday afternoon because of what authorities said was a computer failure at one of Britain's two air traffic control centers. The British government demanded an investigation into the "unacceptable" disruption. The 35-minute shutdown caused flight delays in and out of London and flight slowdowns in other parts of Europe that officials said would linger into Saturday.

Real Data, Not Theory, Used to Measure Cosmos

December 12, 2014 2:00 pm | by 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.

Pluto-sized Objects Create Dust around Adolescent Star

December 12, 2014 7:00 am | by Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics | News | Comments

Astronomers may have detected the dusty hallmarks of an entire family of Pluto-size objects swarming around an adolescent version of our own Sun. By making detailed observations of the protoplanetary disk surrounding the star, the astronomers detected an unexpected increase in the concentration of millimeter-size dust grains in the disk's outer reaches.

Gift Guide: Tech is Small, Smart

December 11, 2014 2:24 pm | by Associated Press, Ron Harris | News | Comments

If you were naughty this year, you might end up with something big and boring, like a vacuum cleaner. If you were good, you might ask for one of these little high-tech gems instead.

Berners-Lee: Internet Access is Human Right

December 11, 2014 2:12 pm | by Associated Press, Sylvia Hui | News | Comments

The computer scientist credited with inventing the World Wide Web says affordable access to the Internet should be recognized as a human right, as a report showed that billions of people still cannot go online and government surveillance and censorship are increasing.

Citizen Scientists to Tackle Climate in NASA Challenge

December 11, 2014 2:00 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

NASA, in partnership with the USGS, is offering more than $35,000 in prizes to citizen scientists for ideas that make use of climate data to address vulnerabilities faced by the U.S. in coping with climate change. The Climate Resilience Data Challenge kicks off Monday, Dec. 15, and runs through March 2015.

Biomonitor Helps Kids with Asthma

December 11, 2014 7:00 am | by Tel Aviv Univ. | News | Comments

A groundbreaking diagnostic technique developed for Ground Zero workers that can identify hazardous particles in the lungs is moving to the playground to help asthmatic children.

Modification Simplifies Standard Model of Physics

December 11, 2014 7:00 am | by UC San Diego | News | Comments

The Standard Model of particle physics is a powerful mathematical model that has guided physicists to the discovery of the Higgs boson and other particles before it. Now, scientists have found a simplified mathematical description that is entirely consistent with the mathematics of the Standard Model but is an add-on that accounts for small deviations in the expected behavior of low mass particles.

App puts Chemistry in the Palm of Your Hand

December 11, 2014 7:00 am | by Beckman Institute at the Univ. of Illinois | Videos | Comments

A new app brings molecules to life in a handheld device. Through the app, people can use up to 11 fingers to examine in great detail more than 350 molecules, which they can also twist, turn and tie into knots.

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