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  • January 9, 2015
  • 10:09 AM
  • 742 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 interesting... 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
  • 740 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
  • 1,050 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
  • 635 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
  • 667 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
  • 925 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 fabrication of molecular optoelectronic devices.... Read more »

  • December 7, 2014
  • 03:23 AM
  • 922 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
  • 791 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
  • 1,076 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
  • 679 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
  • 1,000 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
  • 850 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
  • 601 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
  • 748 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
  • 608 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://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2014.09.023Bozkurt A., 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© Do You Believe in Dog? 2014... 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  

  • November 21, 2014
  • 04:54 PM
  • 600 views

The impact of powered prosthetic failures on the user

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Prosthetics have come a long way in a relatively short amount of time. With the ongoing wars in the middle east the need for better prosthetics technologies has become more apparent, to this end we now have prosthetics that will allow a person to "feel", we even have motorized prosthetics that will help allow a more fluid walk, but while powered lower limb prosthetics hold promise for improving the mobility of amputees, errors in the technology may also cause some users to stumble or fall. Because of this, new research examines exactly what happens when these technologies fail, with the goal of developing a new generation of more robust powered prostheses.... Read more »

  • November 12, 2014
  • 08:08 AM
  • 551 views

Video Tip of the Week: UpSet about genomics Venn Diagrams?

by Mary in OpenHelix

Who can forget the Banana Venn? It was one of the most talked-about visualizations in genomics that I’m aware of. A new concept in data visualization: the Venn/banana diagram. MT @phylogenomics http://t.co/xjitNDNl — Iddo Friedberg (@iddux) July 19, 2012 Banana? RT @phylogenomics: Perhaps the best genomics Venn diagram ever #Bananas #NotSureWhatItMeansButDontCare http://t.co/xMV25GBG — Brian Kent […]... Read more »

D’Hont Angélique, Jean-Marc Aury, Franc-Christophe Baurens, Françoise Carreel, Olivier Garsmeur, Benjamin Noel, Stéphanie Bocs, Gaëtan Droc, Mathieu Rouard, & Corinne Da Silva. (2012) The banana (Musa acuminata) genome and the evolution of monocotyledonous plants. Nature, 488(7410), 213-217. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature11241  

Lex Alexander , Gehlenborg Nils , Strobelt Hendrik , Vuillemot Romain Vuillemot, & Pfister Hanspeter . (2014) UpSet: Visualization of Intersecting Sets. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (InfoVis '14). info:other/TBD

Gibbs Richard A., Michael L. Metzker, Donna M. Muzny, Erica J. Sodergren, Steven Scherer, Graham Scott, David Steffen, Kim C. Worley, Paula E. Burch, & Geoffrey Okwuonu. (2004) Genome sequence of the Brown Norway rat yields insights into mammalian evolution. Nature, 428(6982), 493-521. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature02426  

  • November 5, 2014
  • 12:34 PM
  • 804 views

What is the most instantly recognisable song?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

Everyone knows a hook when they hear one, but scientists don’t know why. By playing the Hooked on Music game you are exploring the science of songs and helping us to unlock what makes music catchy.

Last weekend the preliminary outcome of the online game was announced in Manchester, UK at the MOSI, answering the question: What is the most instantly recognisable song? Interestingly, numerous media started to report on this. A small media hype?... Read more »

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:/

  • November 3, 2014
  • 05:55 PM
  • 543 views

Reshaping the Limits of Synthetic Biology

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Ever think you could have built something better if you had a hand in the design? Sometimes people just have a desire to make, after all the maker movement is huge for a reason. Well geneticists have a new toy tool to play with —dubbed “the telomerator”—that could redefine the limits of synthetic biology and advance how successfully living things can be engineered or constructed in the laboratory based on an organism’s genetic, chemical base-pair structure. How cool is that?!... Read more »

J. Boeke et al. (2014) Circular permutation of a synthetic eukaryotic chromosome with the telomerator. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. info:/10.1073/pnas.1414399111

  • October 24, 2014
  • 04:27 AM
  • 610 views

Collective Structures in Software Projects

by Jörg Friedrich in Software Engineering Economics

To understand the social dynamics of complex software development processes, it is necessary to analyze in which structures the persons involved and how this involvement affected their work. Damian Tamburri has in recent years identified the relevant social structures in a number of publications, analyzed and graded on their effect. He first distinguishes four basic […]... Read more »

Tamburri, D., Lago, P., & Vliet, H. (2013) Organizational social structures for software engineering. ACM Computing Surveys, 46(1), 1-35. DOI: 10.1145/2522968.2522971  

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