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  • January 27, 2015
  • 07:30 AM
  • 37 views

Star Date: Pretty Darn Soon

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

Star Trek celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2016. In preparation for the celebrations, we’re checking in on how close we are to making Star Trek technology a reality. The replicator made food and recycled trash, and later was used to make parts for the Enterprise. A machine fabricated what they needed on the spot. We have that now on the space station! Do you know how 3-D printing works and how we print parts, food, and even living tissue? Here’s how.... Read more »

  • January 25, 2015
  • 09:19 PM
  • 57 views

Coding Responsibly Part I: Version Control

by Geoffrey Hannigan in Prophage

As a result of the growing number of resources allowing everyone to learn how to code, as well as numerous other awesome educational efforts, programming is steadily growing in popularity and accessibility...... Read more »

Perkel, J. (2011) Coding your way out of a problem. Nature Methods, 8(7), 541-543. DOI: 10.1038/nmeth.1631  

  • January 13, 2015
  • 02:01 PM
  • 82 views

Publishing to Keep up with Ebola

by Roli Roberts in PLOS Biologue

As you read this, thread-like viruses less than one micron in length are spreading through human populations in West Africa, taking lives, wrecking communities and generally creating havoc in the countries affected. Infection with the Ebola virus results in an … Continue reading »The post Publishing to Keep up with Ebola appeared first on PLOS Biologue.... Read more »

Drake JM, Kaul RB, Alexander LW, O’Regan SM, Kramer AM, Pulliam JT, Ferrari MJ, Park AW. (2015) Ebola Cases and Health System Demand in Liberia. PLoS Biology, 13(1). info:/10.1371/journal.pbio.1002056

  • January 13, 2015
  • 08:00 AM
  • 103 views

Delicate Arteries Of Energy

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

As dependent on electricity as America is, it is surprising how easily it could be taken away. Do you know how electricity comes to your house? Here is the national electrical grid easily explained and the points at which it can be vulnerable to sun, weather, and terrorism.... Read more »

Paul W. Parfomak. (2014) Physical Security of the U.S. Power Grid: High-Voltage Transformer Substations . Congressional Research Service Reports. info:/

  • January 12, 2015
  • 05:14 AM
  • 139 views

Why do some people see ghosts?

by Isabel Torres in Science in the clouds

For most people ghosts and spirits are part of the imaginary, but a few are truly convinced they can sometimes feel a strange presence near them. These individuals are not experiencing a paranormal phenomenon—they’re having an illusion. Schizophrenics, for instance, consistently report hearing voices or feeling someone—a ‘shadow’ or a ‘man’—close to them. Scientists have long known that illusions have a neurological cause, but they haven’t managed to pinpoint exactly ........ Read more »

Blanke Olaf, Masayuki Hara, Lukas Heydrich, Andrea Serino, Akio Yamamoto, Toshiro Higuchi, Roy Salomon, Margitta Seeck, Theodor Landis, & Shahar Arzy. (2014) Neurological and Robot-Controlled Induction of an Apparition. Current Biology, 24(22), 2681-2686. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2014.09.049  

  • January 9, 2015
  • 10:09 AM
  • 118 views

Memo to Carmakers: This Fish Is a Bad Model

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish



In 2005, Mercedes-Benz revealed a concept car with a strange shape. Called the Bionic, the cartoonishly snub-nosed vehicle was modeled after Ostracion cubicus, the yellow boxfish. Car manufacturers aren't the only ones to take inspiration from this weird coral dweller. But researchers now say engineers who mimicked the boxfish might have been misled.

Shaping the car like a boxfish was supposed to make it aerodynamic. And the fish's allegedly low drag underwater wasn't its only interest........ Read more »

Van Wassenbergh S, van Manen K, Marcroft TA, Alfaro ME, & Stamhuis EJ. (2015) Boxfish swimming paradox resolved: forces by the flow of water around the body promote manoeuvrability. Journal of the Royal Society, Interface / the Royal Society, 12(103). PMID: 25505133  

  • January 6, 2015
  • 11:45 PM
  • 143 views

Cataloging a year of blogging: cancer and biology

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

Welcome to 111101111. Another year has come to an end, and it is time to embrace tradition and reflect on the past twelve months. In fact, I will try to do one better and start a new tradition: cataloging a year of blogging. Last year, I split up the 83 content heavy posts of 2013 […]... Read more »

Kaznatcheev, A., Scott, J.G., & Basanta, D. (2014) Edge effects in game theoretic dynamics of spatially structured tumours. arXiv. arXiv: 1307.6914v2

  • January 6, 2015
  • 08:00 AM
  • 129 views

What It Takes To Kill A Watt

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

Do you have any idea where your home's electricity comes from? Sure, people have all heard of solar power, wind power, and fossil fuels, but they know very little about how electricity is most often generated. Is fossil fuel the most important natural resource for electricity production – nope, it’s water.... Read more »

  • January 4, 2015
  • 02:43 PM
  • 143 views

Outsmarting superbugs’ countermoves to antibiotics

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

With drug-resistant bacteria on the rise, even common infections that were easily controlled for decades — such as pneumonia or urinary tract infections — are proving trickier to treat with standard antibiotics. New drugs are desperately needed, but so are ways to maximize the effective lifespan of these drugs.... Read more »

Reeve SM, Gainza P, Frey KM, Georgiev I, Donald BR, & Anderson AC. (2014) Protein design algorithms predict viable resistance to an experimental antifolate. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 25552560  

  • December 30, 2014
  • 12:04 PM
  • 175 views

Margaret Oakley Dayhoff, going on #ThatOtherShirt.

by Mary in OpenHelix

I’ve been a fan of Margaret Oakley Dayhoff for a long time. One of the most popular posts on this blog is the one linked in this tweet below. I can tell when students have been assigned a project to read up on her, because suddenly I see an influx of hits to the page. […]... Read more »

  • December 12, 2014
  • 02:13 PM
  • 203 views

A new type of memory storage on the horizon

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

For those of us old enough to remember the days of the Apple II, you know that storage has exponentially increased. Even just 10 years ago 20+ gigs of data seemed huge, now my cellphone has 64 gigs. Yet we still need more data storage and we are looking for new ways to get it. Now a way to use weak molecular bonding interactions to create well-ordered and stable metal–organic monolayers with optoelectronic properties has been found. The development could form the basis for the scalable fabrica........ Read more »

  • December 7, 2014
  • 03:23 AM
  • 185 views

Building the Best Computer

by Viputheshwar Sitaraman in Draw Science

The American spy/intelligence agency, IARPA, is working to address the shortcomings of existing supercomputers through its program, C3. [Infographic]... Read more »

Holmes, D., Ripple, A., & Manheimer, M. (2013) Energy-Efficient Superconducting Computing—Power Budgets and Requirements. IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity, 23(3), 1701610-1701610. DOI: 10.1109/TASC.2013.2244634  

  • December 5, 2014
  • 03:58 PM
  • 242 views

Move over solar pannels, introducing spray-on solar cells

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Solar panels, they are big, heavy, cannot flex, and are still very inefficient. While efficiency isn’t the big issue, flexibility has relegated solar panels to rooftops and solar farms. Well that is until now, researchers have just invented a new way to spray solar cells onto flexible surfaces using miniscule light-sensitive materials known as colloidal quantum dots (CQDs)—a major step toward making spray-on solar cells easy and cheap to manufacture.... Read more »

Kramer, I., Moreno-Bautista, G., Minor, J., Kopilovic, D., & Sargent, E. (2014) Colloidal quantum dot solar cells on curved and flexible substrates. Applied Physics Letters, 105(16), 163902. DOI: 10.1063/1.4898635  

Carey GH, Kramer IJ, Kanjanaboos P, Moreno-Bautista G, Voznyy O, Rollny L, Tang JA, Hoogland S, & Sargent EH. (2014) Electronically active impurities in colloidal quantum dot solids. ACS nano, 8(11), 11763-9. PMID: 25376698  

Kramer, I., Minor, J., Moreno-Bautista, G., Rollny, L., Kanjanaboos, P., Kopilovic, D., Thon, S., Carey, G., Chou, K., Zhitomirsky, D.... (2014) Efficient Spray-Coated Colloidal Quantum Dot Solar Cells. Advanced Materials. DOI: 10.1002/adma.201403281  

  • December 4, 2014
  • 02:21 PM
  • 200 views

ALMA Japan: Hi-Def Imaging of Spiral Gas Arms from Twin Baby Stars (w/video)

by DJ Busby in Astronasty

We know that about half the the stars out there (with sizes close to that of our sun) are binary systems. However, for a long time we've been lacking information on how they develop, since it's not been easy to get a whole lot of data from surrounding scattered mass that's so damned far away! Congrats to all involved!... Read more »

Shigehisa Takakuwa, Masao Saito, Kazuya Saigo, Tomoaki Matsumoto, Jeremy Lim, Tomoyuki Hanawa, & Paul T. P. Ho. (2014) Angular Momentum Exchange by Gravitational Torques and Infall in the Circumbinary Disk of the Protostellar System L1551 NE. The Astrophysical Journal. arXiv: 1409.4903v1

  • December 4, 2014
  • 12:34 PM
  • 170 views

Hoe komt het dat een liedje in je hoofd blijft hangen? [Dutch]

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

De hele dag dat ene hitje in je hoofd: een oorwurm! Muziekproducenten kunnen het zich niet beter wensen. Wat maakt dat liedje nou zo makkelijk te onthouden? En hoe kan het dat je dat ene nummer zo snel herkent? Muziekwetenschapper prof. dr. Henkjan Honing (UvA) legt uit wat de ingrediënten zijn voor het maken van een ware muziekhit en waardoor luisteraars zo ‘Hooked on Music’ zijn…... Read more »

Gjerdingen, R., & Perrott, D. (2008) Scanning the Dial: The Rapid Recognition of Music Genres. Journal of New Music Research, 37(2), 93-100. DOI: 10.1080/09298210802479268  

J.A. Burgoyne, D. Bountouridis, J. van Balen, & H. Honing. (2013) Hooked: A Game for Discovering What Makes Music Catchy. Proceedings of the 14th International Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference , 245-250. info:/

Salimpoor, V., van den Bosch, I., Kovacevic, N., McIntosh, A., Dagher, A., & Zatorre, R. (2013) Interactions Between the Nucleus Accumbens and Auditory Cortices Predict Music Reward Value. Science, 340(6129), 216-219. DOI: 10.1126/science.1231059  

  • December 3, 2014
  • 08:00 AM
  • 203 views

How Slime Molds Our World

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Fungus-like protists have amazing tales to tell. One phylum has been shown to ranch bacteria and hire cowhands to guard them. One phylum has slime mold that can find its way through a maze and is used to model mathematics for video games. Finally, one phylum is responsible for the glut of Irish priests and policeman in late 1800’s America.... Read more »

Goss, E., Tabima, J., Cooke, D., Restrepo, S., Fry, W., Forbes, G., Fieland, V., Cardenas, M., & Grunwald, N. (2014) The Irish potato famine pathogen Phytophthora infestans originated in central Mexico rather than the Andes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(24), 8791-8796. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1401884111  

Tero, A., Takagi, S., Saigusa, T., Ito, K., Bebber, D., Fricker, M., Yumiki, K., Kobayashi, R., & Nakagaki, T. (2010) Rules for Biologically Inspired Adaptive Network Design. Science, 327(5964), 439-442. DOI: 10.1126/science.1177894  

Toshiyuki Nakagaki, Hiroyasu Yamada . (2000) Intelligence: Maze-solving by an amoeboid organism. Nature, 407(470). info:/

Brock, D., Douglas, T., Queller, D., & Strassmann, J. (2011) Primitive agriculture in a social amoeba. Nature, 469(7330), 393-396. DOI: 10.1038/nature09668  

  • November 30, 2014
  • 06:36 AM
  • 174 views

Graphene is the New Kevlar

by Viputheshwar Sitaraman in Draw Science

Graphene is twice as strong as kevlar, extremely light, and can absorb mach 9 impacts with atom-thick layers. [Infographic]... Read more »

  • November 26, 2014
  • 09:35 AM
  • 214 views

Illusion Makes People Speak with the Voice of Their Avatar

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

Think you’re in control of your own body? A simple virtual-reality session could not only make you feel like an avatar’s body is your own, but make you speak more like the digital character. First there was the rubber-hand illusion, a classic experiment that showed syncing up someone’s touch perceptions with what they see happening […]The post Illusion Makes People Speak with the Voice of Their Avatar appeared first on Inkfish.... Read more »

  • November 25, 2014
  • 05:17 PM
  • 208 views

Blu-ray solar power

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

So here’s something you don’t see everyday. Blu-ray disks, you know the stuff we use for video games or DVDs also improve the performance of solar cells—suggesting a second use for unwanted discs—according to new research from Northwestern University. As surprising as this was, there is even better news, we know why they improve performance.... Read more »

  • November 21, 2014
  • 06:39 PM
  • 222 views

Dogtober = Canine science in October

by Cobb & Hecht in Do You Believe In Dog?

What a BOOMING month for dogs and science October was! We've captured the links to all the latest blogs, research and news that caught out attention throughout Dog-tober.Thanks to Storify (click here if the you can't see the collection of links below) you can make sure you didn't miss out too.[View the story "Do You Believe in Dog? [01-31 October 2014]" on Storify] Further reading:Bradshaw J.W.S. & Nicola J. Rooney (2014). Why do adult dogs ‘play’?, Behavioural Processes, DOI: http:/........ Read more »

Bozkurt Alper, Barbara Sherman, Rita Brugarolas, Sean Mealin, John Majikes, Pu Yang, & Robert Loftin. (2014) Towards Cyber-Enhanced Working Dogs for Search and Rescue. IEEE Intelligent Systems, 1-1. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/mis.2014.77  

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