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Computer Science / Engineering posts

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  • March 7, 2012
  • 05:37 AM

How do children learn and represent music?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

Last month the peer-reviewed online journal Visions of Research in Music Education published a tribute to Jeanne Bamberger. See here for more information. ... Read more »

Desain, P., & Honing, H. (1988) LOCO: A Composition Microworld in Logo. Computer Music Journal, 12(3), 30. DOI: 10.2307/3680334  

  • March 6, 2012
  • 05:36 PM

Rapid microfluidics-based measurements aid bitumen extraction

by Cath in Basal Science (BS) Clarified

Here’s a piece of engineering news to kick off Canada’s National Engineering month: A team of researchers led by Professor David Sinton of the University of Toronto’s Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department developed a process to analyze the behavior of bitumen (an extra heavy oil) using a microfluidic chip, a tool commonly used in the [...]... Read more »

  • March 2, 2012
  • 11:32 AM

5 Things to Know About SAMtools Mpileup

by Daniel Koboldt in Massgenomics

Next-generation sequencing instruments might be considered a disruptive technology. The incredible throughput of these machines, even 4-5 years ago, clearly mandated the development of a new generation of algorithms and data formats capable of storing, processing, and analyzing huge amounts of sequence data. One key achievement in next-generation sequencing bioinformatics was the specification of sequence [...]... Read more »

Li H, Handsaker B, Wysoker A, Fennell T, Ruan J, Homer N, Marth G, Abecasis G, Durbin R, & 1000 Genome Project Data Processing Subgroup. (2009) The Sequence Alignment/Map format and SAMtools. Bioinformatics (Oxford, England), 25(16), 2078-9. PMID: 19505943  

  • February 28, 2012
  • 11:06 PM

“Power Felt”–a thermoelectric fabric that uses body heat to power electronics

by Cath in Basal Science (BS) Clarified

Did you know that while you’re sitting down and reading this post, your body can provide about 4-6 watts of power? That’s enough power to run a clock radio. Humans store energy from the food they consumed and some of this energy is then emitted as body heat. This wasted heat can be recovered at [...]... Read more »

Hewitt, C., Kaiser, A., Roth, S., Craps, M., Czerw, R., & Carroll, D. (2012) Multilayered Carbon Nanotube/Polymer Composite Based Thermoelectric Fabrics. Nano Letters, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1021/nl203806q  

Snyder, G., & Toberer, E. (2008) Complex thermoelectric materials. Nature Materials, 7(2), 105-114. DOI: 10.1038/nmat2090  

  • February 22, 2012
  • 05:18 AM

Leaping lizards [video]

by GrrlScientist in Maniraptora

SUMMARY: Theropod dinosaurs used their long tails as counterbalances to stabilise rapid or irregular movements ... Read more »

Libby, T., Moore, T., Chang-Siu, E., Li, D., Cohen, D., Jusufi, A., & Full, R. (2012) Tail-assisted pitch control in lizards, robots and dinosaurs. Nature, 481(7380), 181-184. DOI: 10.1038/nature10710  

  • February 22, 2012
  • 04:28 AM

Leaping lizards [video] | @GrrlScientist

by GrrlScientist in GrrlScientist

Theropod dinosaurs used their long tails as a counterbalance to stabilise rapid or irregular movements ... Read more »

Libby, T., Moore, T., Chang-Siu, E., Li, D., Cohen, D., Jusufi, A., & Full, R. (2012) Tail-assisted pitch control in lizards, robots and dinosaurs. Nature, 481(7380), 181-184. DOI: 10.1038/nature10710  

  • February 21, 2012
  • 10:10 PM

Turning waste into energy

by Cath in Basal Science (BS) Clarified

One of the biggest concerns with converting biomass into usable energy has always been the amount of land and water used to obtain it. Crops grown exclusively for biofuel production are often in competition for land and water use in food and fibre production. To overcome this problem, a second-generation of biofuels made from non-food [...]... Read more »

Dang, T., Le, G., Giang Pham, T., Nguyen, T., Dao, D., Hong Vu, T., Thuy Hoang, T., Hoa Tran, T., & Vu, A. (2011) Synthesis of advanced materials for bio-oil production from rice straw by pyrolysis. Advances in Natural Sciences: Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, 2(4), 45012. DOI: 10.1088/2043-6262/2/4/045012  

  • February 21, 2012
  • 03:22 PM

What is the relation between language and cognition?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

What is the relation between language and cognition? On the one hand, researchers like Noam Chomsky thought of language as an independent function with its own rules. However, other people thought that language as a system is embedded in cognition and subject to all models of cognition. ... Read more »

Hauser MD, Chomsky N, & Fitch WT. (2002) The faculty of language: what is it, who has it, and how did it evolve?. Science (New York, N.Y.), 298(5598), 1569-79. PMID: 12446899  

  • February 18, 2012
  • 09:00 PM

Does performance matter?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

A nice example of how a single score can give rise to an enormous variety of intriguing performances. ... Read more »

  • February 17, 2012
  • 10:46 AM

A Scientist’s Worst Nightmare

by Neurobonkers in Neurobonkers

A detailed analysis of a new infographic dealing with the issue of falsification in scientific research.... Read more »

  • February 13, 2012
  • 04:55 PM

An edible food sensor that warns you of spoiling food

by Cath in Basal Science (BS) Clarified

Sometimes I find myself standing in front of a stall for ages trying to pick the “perfect” watermelon. How do you pick your produce? Do you smell it, lightly tap it, or maybe even weigh it in your hands? It may soon get easier for clueless shoppers like me to grocery shop. A team of [...]... Read more »

Tao, H., Brenckle, M., Yang, M., Zhang, J., Liu, M., Siebert, S., Averitt, R., Mannoor, M., McAlpine, M., Rogers, J.... (2012) Silk-Based Conformal, Adhesive, Edible Food Sensors. Advanced Materials. DOI: 10.1002/adma.201103814  

  • February 8, 2012
  • 02:36 PM

Dating in the Digital Age

by APS Daily Observations in Daily Observations

The report card is in, and the online dating industry won’t be putting this one on the fridge. A new scientific report concludes that although online dating offers users some ... Read more »

Finkel, E. J., Eastwick, P.W., Karney, B. R., Reis, H.T., & Sprecher, S. (2012) Online Dating: A Critical Analysis From the Perspective of Psychological Science. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 13(1). info:/

  • February 8, 2012
  • 12:44 PM

Bio-heat transfer simulation of retinal laser irradiation

by Arunn in nOnoScience (a.k.a. Unruled Notebook)

From 2008, we have been investigating the effects of (human) retinal laser irradiation, a specific project of the general bio-thermo-fluids problem of laser interaction with tissues irrigated by blood flow.  The work was done with suitable and timely input from (Dr. Lingam Gopal, then Chairman of) the research division of Shankar Nethralaya, a Chennai-based leading [...]... Read more »

  • February 7, 2012
  • 02:58 PM

Plant with anti-intoxication properties now found to reduce alcoholism

by Char in Basal Science (BS) Clarified

Researchers at the University of California have isolated a flavonoid from the plant Hovenia Dulcis that can counter the effects of alcohol, relieve symptoms of hangover, and is shown to be a likely cure for alcohol withdrawal and dependence (Shen et al., 2012). The plant Hovenia Dulcis, also known as the oriental raisin tree, has [...]... Read more »

  • February 6, 2012
  • 11:40 AM

Exome-based Copy Number Analysis with VarScan 2

by Daniel Koboldt in Massgenomics

Now online at Genome Research is the publication of VarScan 2, our in-house algorithm for simultaneous detection of somatic mutations and copy number alterations using exome sequence data from matched tumor-normal pairs. There are a number of reasons why exome-based copy number alteration (CNA) detection should not work. The hybridization process introduces biases, both between [...]... Read more »

Koboldt DC, Zhang Q, Larson DE, Shen D, McLellan MD, Lin L, Miller CA, Mardis ER, Ding L, & Wilson RK. (2012) VarScan 2: Somatic mutation and copy number alteration discovery in cancer by exome sequencing. Genome research. PMID: 22300766  

  • February 6, 2012
  • 01:49 AM

What Young Adults Say About Mental Health

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

Buffer The problem: young adults have a high prevalence of mental health problems (up to 25% in a year), the usually don’t tend to seek help for these problems. About 78% of American young adults look online for information about health. 18-39% of young adults write blogs or an online journal. A recent article was [...]
No related posts.... Read more »

Marcus, M., Westra, H., Eastwood, J., Barnes, K., & , . (2012) What Are Young Adults Saying About Mental Health? An Analysis of Internet Blogs. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 14(1). DOI: 10.2196/jmir.1868  

  • February 2, 2012
  • 02:30 PM

A Case for Oral Diagnostics with Microfluidics

by Hector Munoz in Microfluidic Future

What’s So Great About Oral Diagnostics?

Well, a lot of things, but let’s start with the basics. In order to use a microfluidic device, you need some type of fluid right? Sure if you had some powder or fine material you could suspend it in a fluid, but for simplicity sake, let’s look at fluids as our test material. If you wanted to run a health-related diagnostic, you only have so many bodily fluids available before you have to get creative and very invasive:


Out of all those fluids, blood (or serum) has been the preferred liquid. It is extremely rich in information and can expose a lot about a systemic condition or report on ailments located deep within the body. You have to filter it if you don’t want the blood cells in your sample, but it’s just a needle prick away. Other ‘fluids’ like mucus or saliva require a bit more work because of how thick and viscous they are, plus you need to filter out the debris floating around in your mouth. If blood is so great, why do we need anything else? Although blood is a great global fluid, sometimes you can get more detailed information by going closer to the source of the problem and choosing a more local fluid, but perhaps one of the greatest reasons is because the process to obtain the blood is still invasive. In the ideal microfluidics world of the future, we would need very small sample sizes and pin pricks wouldn’t be that bad. For now, spitting into a cup is still easier than and more enjoyable than getting stuck. Plus, exposed blood is always a health concern, and should definitely be avoided if possible.... Read more »

Giannobile, W., McDevitt, J., Niedbala, R., & Malamud, D. (2011) Translational and Clinical Applications of Salivary Diagnostics. Advances in Dental Research, 23(4), 375-380. DOI: 10.1177/0022034511420434  

Hart, R., Mauk, M., Liu, C., Qiu, X., Thompson, J., Chen, D., Malamud, D., Abrams, W., & Bau, H. (2011) Point-of-care oral-based diagnostics. Oral Diseases, 17(8), 745-752. DOI: 10.1111/j.1601-0825.2011.01808.x  

  • January 31, 2012
  • 06:00 AM

Correcting presbyopia with corneal inlays: ¿reinventing the wheel or the advantages of simplicity?

by Pablo Artal in Optics confidential

A simple method to correct for presbyopia is evaluated...... Read more »

Tabernero, J., Schwarz, C., Fernandez, E., & Artal, P. (2011) Binocular Visual Simulation of a Corneal Inlay to Increase Depth of Focus. Investigative Ophthalmology , 52(8), 5273-5277. DOI: 10.1167/iovs.10-6436  

  • January 31, 2012
  • 05:36 AM

Neil harbisson, the world's first cyborg.

by United Academics in United Academics

Neil Harbisson, aged 29, considers himself a cyborg. Affected from birth by achromatopsia, he is unable to perceive colours, just black and white. Since 2004, he wears an eyeborg, a device that allows him to recognize colours through sound waves... Read more »

Warwick, K. (2011) Future Issues with Robots and Cyborgs. Studies in Ethics, Law, and Technology, 4(3). DOI: 10.2202/1941-6008.1127  

  • January 30, 2012
  • 05:02 PM

An X-ray laser—sounds cool, but what is it?

by Cath in Basal Science (BS) Clarified

You may have noticed there was a lot of coverage on lasers last week. Some of the headlines really caught my attention: “X-Ray Laser Turns Up the Heat to 3.6 Million Degrees” or “World’s Most Powerful X-Ray Laser Super-Heats Aluminum Foil to 3.6 Million Degrees”. Sounds like an impressive laser, right? I wondered what an [...]... Read more »

Vinko, S., Ciricosta, O., Cho, B., Engelhorn, K., Chung, H., Brown, C., Burian, T., Chalupský, J., Falcone, R., Graves, C.... (2012) Creation and diagnosis of a solid-density plasma with an X-ray free-electron laser. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature10746  

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