Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, have developed an inexpensive method of growing thin films of a material prized in the photovoltaic and semiconductor industries, an achievement that could make high-end solar panels affordable to a much larger range of consumers.... Read more »
Kapadia R, Yu Z, Wang HH, Zheng M, Battaglia C, Hettick M, Kiriya D, Takei K, Lobaccaro P, Beeman JW.... (2013) A direct thin-film path towards low-cost large-area III-V photovoltaics. Scientific reports, 2275. PMID: 23881474
Researchers at Penn State’s Materials Research Institute came up with a way of using glass for energy storage. Apparently, an extremely thin glass—about one tenth the thickness of display glass—can be customized to store energy at high temperatures and for high power applications, such as electric car power electronics, wind turbines, grid-tied photovoltaics or geothermal exploration and drilling.... Read more »
Dr. Mohan Prasad Manoharan, Dr. Chen Zou, Dr. Eugene Furman, Dr. Nanyan Zhang, Douglas I. Kushner, Dr. Shihai Zhang, Dr. Takashi Murata, Prof. Michael T. Lanagan. (2013) Flexible Glass for High Temperature Energy Storage Capacitors. Energy Technology, 1(5-6), 313-318. DOI: 10.1002/ente.201300031
Nanoparticles heated by an alternating magnetic field could be used to treat cancers.... Read more »
Huang TE . (2013) Intravenous magnetic nanoparticle cancer hyperthermia. International Journal of Nanomedicine . DOI: 10.2147/IJN.S43770
Today, New York Times published an article with an interview to Harold “Sonny” White about NASA studies on warp drive (see here). This revamped the interest about what NASA is funding (with a really small budget being just $50,000) on this that have to be considered forefront research. For the readers that are not aware […]... Read more »
Miguel Alcubierre. (2000) The warp drive: hyper-fast travel within general relativity. Class.Quant.Grav.11:L73-L77,1994. arXiv: gr-qc/0009013v1
ERC awards the most important grants to researchers in Europe. For young researchers (2-7 years after PhD), the ERC has Starting Grants. The goal for these starting grants is for these young researchers to start their own group and line of research. This year results have been published (here) and of course, I checked which of these grants are related to medical imaging. There were 3329 applications and 287 researchers were successful. The ERC grants are divided in three big areas: 1) Physical Sciences and Engineering, 2) Life Sciences, 3) Social Sciences and Humanities. Medical imaging fits in Life Sciences and more concretely in LS7 - Diagnostic tools. There were 8 starting grants related to Medical Imaging:Daniela Thorwarth, Erlangen University, Germany - Biologically individualized, model-based radiotherapy on the basis of multi-parametric molecular tumour profiling.Julien Valette, CEA, France - Exploring brain intracellular space using diffusion-weighted NMR spectroscopy in vivoGalia Blum, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel - Protease Activated X-Ray Contrast Agents for Molecular Imaging of Vulnerable Atherosclerotic Plaques and Cancer Development using Spectral CT.Rachel Katz-Brull, Hadassah Medical Organization, Israel - Citicoline and deoxyglucose as new molecular imaging probes of DNP hyperpolarized MRI for cancer and neuroimagingNiv Papo, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel - Developing Multispecific Biological Agents thatTarget Tumor Neovasculature for Cancer Imaging and TherapyFrancesco Ricci, University of Rome "Tor Vergata", Italy - Nature-inspired theranostic nanodevices for tumor imaging, early diagnosis and targeted drug-releaseMangala Srinivas, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands - Clinical ultrasound platform for the quantitative and longitudinal imaging of theranostics and cellular therapyJaco Zwanenburg, University Medical Centre, Utrecht, The Netherlands - Towards understanding cerebral small vessel disease: Innovative, MRI-based, functional markers to discover the terra incognita between large vessels and macroscopic brain lesionsCongratulations to all the winners! But I still have a favorite grant and therefore, one of the papers related to that grant can be read here:Daniela Thorwarth, Susanne-Martina Eschmann, Frank Paulsen, Markus Alber. (2006). Hypoxia Dose Painting by Numbers: A Planning Study International Journal of Radiation Oncology * Biology * Physics DOI: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2006.11.061... Read more »
Daniela Thorwarth, Susanne-Martina Eschmann, Frank Paulsen, Markus Alber. (2006) Hypoxia Dose Painting by Numbers: A Planning Study . International Journal of Radiation Oncology * Biology * Physics. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2006.11.061
A team of researchers at the Monash University under the Australian Research Council (ARC) Center of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES) has developed an ionic liquid-based thermoelectrochemical cell that converts heat (temperature differences) directly into electrical energy.... Read more »
Theodore J. Abraham, Douglas R. MacFarlanea, Jennifer M. Pringleb. (2013) High Seebeck coefficient redox ionic liquid electrolytes for thermal energy harvesting. Energy . DOI: 10.1039/c3ee41608a
Scientists have developed an "intelligent knife" that can tell surgeons immediately whether the tissue they are cutting is cancerous or not.... Read more »
Sam Wong. (2013) "Intelligent knife" tells surgeon if tissue is cancerous. Imperial College of London. info:/
Every year, Siemens organizes a Medical Imaging Contest. The idea is to obtain the best CT image with minimal dose. This contest doesn't focus only on image quality, but also on the dose, which is displayed in top of every image.... Read more »
Tiny ocean plants, or phytoplankton, were long thought to be passive drifters in the sea — unable to defy even the weakest currents, or travel by their own volition. In recent decades, research has shown that many species of these unicellular microorganisms can swim, and do so to optimize light exposure, avoid predators or move closer to others of their kind.
Now scientists at MIT and Oxford University have shown that the motility of phytoplankton also helps them determine their fate in ocean turbulence. Rather than acting to distribute them evenly — as physics would demand of small particles mixed into a fluid — the individual vortices that make up ocean turbulence are like social mixers for phytoplankton, bringing similar cells into close proximity, potentially enhancing sexual reproduction and other ecologically desirable activities.... Read more »
Denise Brehm. (2013) Phytoplankton social mixers. MIT News Office. info:/
Parallel tempering is one of my favourite sampling algorithms to improve MCMC mixing times. This algorithm seems to be used exclusively on distributed memory architectures using MPI and remains unexploited on shared memory architectures such as our office computers, which have up to eight cores. I’ve written parallel tempering algorithms in MPI and Rmpi but never in OpenMP. It turns out that the latter has substantial advantages. I guess when people think of parallel tempering they think of processors communicating with each other via MPI and swapping parameters directly. If you are on a shared memory device, however, you can have processor A simply write to a shared array and have processor B read therefrom, which really saves a lot of aggro fiddling around with message numbers, blocking/non-blocking calls and deadlocks etc. Moreover, with OpenMP you can spawn more threads than you have processors, which translates to more parallel MCMC chains in the present context, whereas this becomes troublesome with MPI due to the danger of deadlocks. OpenMP is also much easier to use than MPI, with one line you can fork a serial thread into a desired and hardware-independent number of parallel threads.... Read more »
Earl David J., & Deem Michael W. (2005) Parallel tempering: Theory, applications, and new perspectives. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 7(23), 3910. DOI: 10.1039/b509983h
A team of engineers has designed a telescopic contact lens that can switch between normal and magnified vision by using slightly modified off-the-shelf 3D television glasses. The researchers, led by Joseph Ford, a professor of electrical engineering at the University of California, San Diego, built a prototype of the lens and tested it on a mechanical eye. Researchers report their findings in the June 27 online issue of Optics Express, an open-access journal of the Optical Society.... Read more »
Ioana Patringenaru. (2013) Telescopic Contact Lens Could Improve Eyesight for the Visually Impaired. UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering. info:/
When I started studying biomedical engineering and I learned a lit bit about programming, my ingenuity made me think that one day we could build programs that don't need medical doctors. WRONG! Nevertheless, we can still to provide better algorithms and results to medical doctors which make the hard clinical decisions. One of the most challenging tasks for a doctor is to analyze mammograms to find microcalcifications and evaluate the malignity of a lesion. It takes years of experience to be a very good analyst of these images. This is where we can hope to help the medical doctors.Computer Aided Diagnosis (CADx) and Computer Aided Detection (CAD) are important tools for the medical doctors and a lot of these tools are being investigated and evaluated in the context of breast imaging using mammograms. At the moment, there is still no method which proved to be accurate enough to be brought to clinical practice. More about this can be read in this review:Ganesan K, Acharya UR, Chua CK, Min LC, Abraham KT, & Ng KH (2013). Computer-aided breast cancer detection using mammograms: a review. IEEE reviews in biomedical engineering, 6, 77-98 PMID: 23247864... Read more »
Ganesan K, Acharya UR, Chua CK, Min LC, Abraham KT, & Ng KH. (2013) Computer-aided breast cancer detection using mammograms: a review. IEEE reviews in biomedical engineering, 77-98. PMID: 23247864
As wave and tidal energy technologies are reaching a point they are ready to be used commercially, a growing number of studies is looking into the tidal energy potential of the specific regions. According to the most recent one, tidal turbines stretched across the Pentland Firth, which separates the Orkney Islands from mainland Scotland, could generate up to 1.9 gigawatts (GW) of power—equivalent to almost half of Scotland’s electricity needs.... Read more »
Thomas A. A. Adcock1, Scott Draper, Guy T. Houlsby, Alistair G. L. Borthwick and Sena Serhadlıoğlu1. (2013) The available power from tidal stream turbines in the Pentland Firth. Proceedings of the Royal Society A, 469(2157). DOI: 10.1098/rspa.2013.0072
There have been many attempts to use both wave and tidal energy for at least a century now, however, until recent times, this technologies have remained largely experimental. During the last few month we have seen several ocean energy projects ranging from experimental turbine design tests to full-scale commercial applications. There was also a number of theoretical works on various aspects of tidal power.... Read more »
Thomas, K., Grabbe, M., Yuen, K., & Leijon, M. (2012) A Permanent Magnet Generator for Energy Conversion from Marine Currents: No Load and Load Experiments. ISRN Renewable Energy, 1-7. DOI: 10.5402/2012/489379
Lalander, E., Grabbe, M., & Leijon, M. (2013) On the velocity distribution for hydro-kinetic energy conversion from tidal currents and rivers. Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, 5(2), 23115. DOI: 10.1063/1.4795398
PET (Positron Emission Tomography) is the image modality in which I have put most of my sweat and tears, so I am always interested to know the latest findings using this modality. The most recent question PET tries to answer is: "Does Cannabis make you lazy?"To study this, the researchers used "radio-labelled dopamine" ([18F]-DOPA) in a group of cannabis smokers and a group of controls. Dopamine is the chemical in the brain that controls pleasure and motivation (read here). The study found that cannabis smokers (3xweek) had decreased levels of dopamine. Since these levels are decreased, researchers think this will contribute to the lack of "pleasure" of the cannabis smoker and therefore, the smoker will be make less effort to obtain something. And that is why cannabis can make you lazy! This is probably what inspired this song: The study can be found here.Bloomfield MA, Morgan CJ, Egerton A, Kapur S, Curran HV, & Howes OD (2013). Dopaminergic Function in Cannabis Users and Its Relationship to Cannabis-Induced Psychotic Symptoms. Biological psychiatry PMID: 23820822... Read more »
Bloomfield MA, Morgan CJ, Egerton A, Kapur S, Curran HV, & Howes OD. (2013) Dopaminergic Function in Cannabis Users and Its Relationship to Cannabis-Induced Psychotic Symptoms. Biological psychiatry. PMID: 23820822
If there is life on Mars, it’s not too farfetched to believe that such Martian species may share genetic roots with life on Earth.
More than 3.5 billion years ago, a blitz of meteors ricocheted around the solar system, passing material between the two fledgling planets. This galactic game of pingpong may have left bits of Earth on Mars, and vice versa, creating a shared genetic ancestry between the two planets.
Such a theory holds great appeal for Christopher Carr, a research scientist in MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences. Working with Gary Ruvkun at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Maria Zuber, the E.A. Griswold Professor of Geophysics and MIT’s vice president for research, Carr is building a DNA sequencer that he hopes will one day be sent to Mars, where it can analyze soil and ice samples for traces of DNA and other genetic material. ... Read more »
Jennifer Chu. (2013) Detecting DNA in space. MIT News Office. info:/
A process combining copper zinc tin sulfide (CZTS)—a semiconducting compound composed of only abundant and non-toxic elements—and the same antifreeze that keeps an automobile radiator from freezing in cold weather may be the key to making solar cells that cost less and avoid toxic compounds, while further expanding the use of solar energy.... Read more »
Flynn, B., Braly, I., Glover, P. A., Oleksak, R. P., Durgan, C., . (2013) Continuous flow mesofluidic synthesis of Cu2ZnSnS4 nanoparticle inks. Materials Letters, 214-217. DOI: 10.1016/j.matlet.2013.06.023
A new design of floating offshore turbines that is being developed by scientists at Texas A&M University may be a cost-effective answer to that challenge.... Read more »
Sweetman B., Wang L. (2012) Floating Offshore Wind Turbine Dynamics: Large-Angle Motions in Euler-Space. Journal of Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering. DOI: 10.1115/1.4004630
by Max Hartshorn in Evolutionary Games Group
Running an agent based simulation really isn’t that complex. While there’s no shortage of ready-made software packages for ABM (like Repast and NetLogo), all you really need is a good, high-level programming language and a code editor. As you may have noticed from other blog posts, we have spent quite a bit of time studying […]... Read more »
Hartshorn, M., Kaznatcheev, A., & Shultz, T. (2013) The Evolutionary Dominance of Ethnocentric Cooperation. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, 16(3). info:/
The question of storing surplus electrical power during the times when its production exceeds its consumption was always essential to ensure the efficient and economical operation of the power generation facilities. However, the power output of the fuel-based power plants (i.e. coal, natural gas or oil) can be adjusted with relative ease. Now, when more and more renewable energy sources are being connected to the electrical grid, our ability to store energy efficiently and reliably becomes truly crucial. While pumped-storage hydroelectricity remains the undisputed leader in the field, a number of new energy storage technologies is also being developed.... Read more »
Yang, Y., Zheng, G., & Cui, Y. (2013) A membrane-free lithium/polysulfide semi-liquid battery for large-scale energy storage. Energy , 6(5), 1552. DOI: 10.1039/C3EE00072A
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