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  • October 3, 2013
  • 02:02 PM

Lithium-Ion Batteries Improved With Germanium Nanowires

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

New research led by an electrical engineer at the University of California, San Diego is aimed at improving lithium-ion batteries through possible new electrode architectures with precise nano-scale designs.... Read more »

  • October 2, 2013
  • 04:14 PM

New Metabolic Pathway Could Lead to 50% Increase In Biofuel Production

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

UCLA chemical engineering researchers have created a new synthetic metabolic pathway for breaking down glucose that could lead to a 50 percent increase in the production of biofuels.... Read more »

  • October 2, 2013
  • 10:21 AM

We Have the Technology…

by Roli Roberts in PLOS Biologue

“Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to make the world’s first bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man. Better than he was before. Better…stronger…faster.”

Readers of a certain age will tingle with recognition at those words, intoned over the intro to ’70s TV series “The Six Million Dollar Man“, promising the bodily reconstruction of a seriously injured astronaut. Back then it was distant science fiction, but fast-forward 30 years to 2003, and a very shiny new PLOS Biology published a paper in its second ever issue that did indeed “have the technology”...... Read more »

Carmena JM, Lebedev MA, Crist RE, O'Doherty JE, Santucci DM, Dimitrov DF, Patil PG, Henriquez CS, & Nicolelis MA. (2003) Learning to control a brain-machine interface for reaching and grasping by primates. PLoS biology, 1(2). PMID: 14624244  

  • October 2, 2013
  • 08:45 AM

Programming language for biochemistry

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

Computer scientists that think of nature as literally computing, often take the stance that biological organisms are nothing more than protein interaction networks. For example, this is the stance that Leslie Valiant (2009) takes when defining ecorithms: biology is just a specialization of computer science focused on evolvable circuits. User @exploderator summarized the realist computational […]... Read more »

Chen, Y.J., Dalchau, N., Srinivas, N., Phillips, A., Cardelli, L., Soloveichik, D., & Seelig, G. (2013) Programmable chemical controllers made from DNA. Nature nanotechnology. PMID: 24077029  

  • October 1, 2013
  • 10:00 PM

Limits on efficient minimization and the helpfulness of teachers.

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

Two weeks ago, I lectured on how we can minimize and learn deterministic finite state automata. Although it might not be obvious, these lectures are actually pretty closely related since minimization and learning often go hand-in-hand. During both lectures I hinted that the results won’t hold for non-deterministic finite state automata (NFA), and challenged the […]... Read more »

Angluin, D., & Kharitonov, M. (1995) When Won't Membership Queries Help?. Journal of Computer and System Sciences, 50(2), 336-355. DOI: 10.1006/jcss.1995.1026  

  • October 1, 2013
  • 11:25 AM

Hydraulic Fracturing Sites Can Be Used For Greenhouse Gas Storage

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

A University of Virginia engineering professor has proposed a novel approach for keeping waste carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.... Read more »

  • September 30, 2013
  • 11:30 PM

Bounded rationality: systematic mistakes and conflicting agents of mind

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

Before her mother convinced her to be a doctor, my mother was a ballerina. As a result, whenever I tried to blame some external factor for my failures, I was met with my mother’s favorite aphorism: a bad dancer’s shoes are always too tight. “Ahh, another idiosyncratic story about the human side of research,” you […]... Read more »

  • September 30, 2013
  • 09:15 AM

Electric Versus Diesel: A Study of Electric Trucks in Urban Delivery Applications Published

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

According to a study by Georgia Tech researchers, the advantages of electric versus diesel depend largely on how the trucks will be used—the frequency of stops and average speeds—and the source of electricity for charging batteries. In city driving with frequent stops, the electric trucks clearly outperform diesel vehicles, while diesel vehicles show better efficiency in suburban routes.... Read more »

  • September 25, 2013
  • 09:29 AM

Computer Simulations Reveal War Drove the Rise of Civilisations

by Akshat Rathi. in United Academics

According to British historian Arnold Toynbee, “History is just one damned thing after another.” Or is it? That is the question Peter Turchin of the University of Connecticut in Storrs tries to answer in a new study just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. He and his colleagues show history may be deterministic, at least to a certain extent. Their computer simulations show that warfare may have been the main driver behind the formation of empires, bureaucracies and religions.... Read more »

Peter Turchin et al. (2013) War, space, and the evolution of Old World complex societies. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America PNAS, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1308825110  

  • September 24, 2013
  • 09:30 PM

How teachers help us learn deterministic finite automata

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

Many graduate students, and even professors, have a strong aversion to teaching. This tends to produce awful, one-sided classes that students attend just to transcribe the instructor’s lecture notes. The trend is so bad that in some cases instructors take pride in their bad teaching, and at some institutions — or so I hear around […]... Read more »

  • September 23, 2013
  • 06:35 PM

Hydrophobic Surfaces Will Improve Steam Condenser Efficiency

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

About 90% of all electricity is generated using steam as the working fluid, nearly all by steam turbines. In electric generation, steam is typically condensed at the end of its expansion cycle, and returned to the boiler for re-use. A technology that improves steam condenser efficiency could have a large impact on global electricity generation. Now a team of scientists from MIT has found a way to do this.... Read more »

  • September 21, 2013
  • 08:27 AM

Ending and consequences of Terry Tao’s criticism

by Marco Frasca in The Gauge Connection

Summer days are gone and I am back to work. I thought that Terry Tao’s criticism to my work was finally settled and his intervention was a good one indeed. Of course, people just remember the criticism but not how the question evolved since then (it was 2009!). Terry’s point was that the mapping given […]... Read more »

Marco Frasca. (2007) Infrared Gluon and Ghost Propagators. Phys.Lett.B670:73-77,2008. arXiv: 0709.2042v6

Marco Frasca. (2009) Mapping a Massless Scalar Field Theory on a Yang-Mills Theory: Classical Case. Mod. Phys. Lett. A 24, 2425-2432 (2009). arXiv: 0903.2357v4

Attilio Cucchieri, & Tereza Mendes. (2007) What's up with IR gluon and ghost propagators in Landau gauge? A puzzling answer from huge lattices. PoS LAT2007:297,2007. arXiv: 0710.0412v1

  • September 19, 2013
  • 10:31 AM

Mammals, Machines and Mind Games. Who’s the Smartest?

by David Dowe in United Academics

We’re all familiar with the idea of an IQ test, and we might know where we stand on the IQ scale – but what about the rest of the animal world? And how smart are machines becoming? At present, it’s hard to tell.... Read more »

David L. Dowe. (2005) A computer program capable of passing I.Q. tests. School of Computer Science and Software Engineering. info:/

  • September 18, 2013
  • 11:15 PM

Minimizing finite state automata

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

Computer science is a strange mix of engineering, science, and math. This is captured well by the historic roots of deterministic finite state automata (DFAs). The first ideas that can be recognized as a precursor to DFAs can be found with Gilberth & Gilberth (1921) introducing flow process charts into mechanical and industrial engineering. Independently, […]... Read more »

McCulloch, Warren S., & Pitts, Walter. (1943) A logical calculus of the ideas immanent in nervous activity. Bulletin of Mathematical Biophysics, 115-133. DOI: 10.1007/BF02478259  

  • September 18, 2013
  • 06:39 PM

‘Wired Microbes’ Act as Power Plants, Converting Sewage to Energy

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

Engineers at Stanford have devised a new way to convert sewage to energy, using naturally occurring “wired microbes” as mini power plants, producing electricity as they digest plant and animal waste.... Read more »

Xing Xie, Meng Ye, Po-Chun Hsu, Nian Liu, Craig S. Criddle, Yi Cui. (2013) Microbial battery for efficient energy recovery. PNAS. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1307327110  

  • September 17, 2013
  • 12:51 PM

Computer Model to Help Manage Hydropower in Kenya

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

The largest share of Kenya’s electricity supply comes from hydroelectric stations at the dams along the upper Tana River, as well as the Turkwel Gorge Dam in the west. And to keep the lights on, Kenyan authorities want to know how much water they can expect in upcoming rainy seasons. A multi-university research team have developed a computer model to help manage the hydropower in Kenya.... Read more »

  • September 12, 2013
  • 03:15 PM

Semi-smooth fitness landscapes and the simplex algorithm

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

As you might have guessed from my strange and complicated name, I’m Russian. One of the weird features of this is that even though I have never had to experience war, I still feel a strong cultural war-weariness. This stems from an ancestoral memory of the Second World War, a conflict that had an extremely […]... Read more »

  • September 10, 2013
  • 01:12 AM

Connection Between Solar Cells That Handles Energy of 70,000 Suns Developed

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

North Carolina State University researchers have come up with a new method for improving the connections between stacked solar cells, which should improve the efficiency of solar energy devices and reduce the cost of solar energy.... Read more »

Joshua P. Samberg, C. Zachary Carlin, Geoff K. Bradshaw, Peter C. Colter, Jeff Harmon, J.B. Allen, John R. Hauser, S.M. Bedair. (2013) Effect of GaAs interfacial layer on the performance of high bandgap tunnel junctions for multijunction solar cells. Applied Physics Letters, 103(10). DOI: 10.1063/1.4819917  

  • September 9, 2013
  • 03:15 AM

What can theoretical computer science offer biology?

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

If there is anything definitive that can be said about biology then it is that biology is messy and complicated. The stereotypical image of a biology major is in the library memorizing volumes of loosely (at best) related facts only to have them overturned in the next semester. Concepts are related only vaguely, to the […]... Read more »

  • September 7, 2013
  • 07:57 AM

The biggest microscope

by Perikis Livas in Tracing Knowledge

Fermions and bosons. Mesons and baryons. Electrons and protons. Researchers of the subatomic world must know the identity and understand the behavior of dozens of different kinds of particles. However, not all particles are equal. While all are interesting in their own ways, certain ones have a more widespread utility. One such particle is the muon.... Read more »

Don Lincoln. (2013) The biggest microscope. Fermilab Today. DOI: arXiv:1306.6905v1  

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