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  • December 7, 2013
  • 10:33 AM

That strange behavior of supersymmetry…

by Marco Frasca in The Gauge Connection

I am a careful reader of scientific literature and an avid searcher for already published material in peer reviewed journals. Of course, arxiv is essential to accomplish this task and to satisfy my needs for reading. In these days, I am working on Dyson-Schwinger equations. I have written on this a paper (see here) a […]... Read more »

Marc Bellon, Gustavo S. Lozano, & Fidel A. Schaposnik. (2007) Higher loop renormalization of a supersymmetric field theory. Phys.Lett.B650:293-297,2007. arXiv: hep-th/0703185v1

Markus Q. Huber, & Jens Braun. (2011) Algorithmic derivation of functional renormalization group equations and Dyson-Schwinger equations. Computer Physics Communications, 183(6), 1290-1320. arXiv: 1102.5307v2

Markus Q. Huber, & Mario Mitter. (2011) CrasyDSE: A framework for solving Dyson-Schwinger equations. arXiv. arXiv: 1112.5622v2

  • December 7, 2013
  • 04:14 AM

Augmenting Memory With A Neuroprosthesis

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

A new paper in the Journal of Neural Engineering describes Facilitation of memory encoding in primate hippocampus by a neuroprosthesis that promotes task-specific neural firing The research – from Sam Deadwyler’s team at Wake Forest University (and funded by DARPA) really is pretty amazing – if it pans out. Four Rhesus macaques were trained to […]The post Augmenting Memory With A Neuroprosthesis appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

  • December 5, 2013
  • 12:40 PM

Virtual Invisible Wall Can Stop Oil Spills

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

Researchers at the University of Missouri are working on a new technology to stop oil spills, using something they call a virtual wall. This technique has already allowed scientists to confine oily liquids to a certain area, aiding the study of these complex molecules.... Read more »

  • December 4, 2013
  • 10:27 PM

Recent Publication: The Skin Microbiome in Health and Disease

by Geoffrey Hannigan in Prophage

A couple of days ago, Elizabeth Grice (my research advisor) and I had a review published in this month's issue of Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine...... Read more »

  • December 4, 2013
  • 04:04 PM

Exotic Drops May Help Create All-Liquid Battery

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

Through the combination of water, oil and nanoparticle surfactants plus an external field water drops can be stabilized into non-equilibrium shapes that could find valuable uses as therapeutic delivery systems, biosensors, or possibly as the basis for an all-liquid battery.... Read more »

  • December 4, 2013
  • 12:13 PM

Tip of the Week: Creating an Electronic Informed Consent

by Trey in OpenHelix

Informed consent has been a foundation of research, and especially genetics research, in that last few decades though it’s taken quite some time to right past wrongs. And with genomics research and personal genomics generating huge amounts of data, informed consent becomes both more important and more complex. The National Human Genome Research Institute has […]... Read more »

Charles N Rotimi and Patricia A Marshall. (2010) Tailoring the process of informed consent in genetic and genomic research. Genome Medicine, 2(3). info:/doi:10.1186/gm141

  • December 3, 2013
  • 10:38 AM

Shapes of Things to Come

by Perikis Livas in Tracing Knowledge

Featured article
Shapes of Things to Come: Exotic Shapes for Liquid Drops Have Many Possible Uses
Berkeley Lab

Reference paper
Stabilizing Liquid Drops in Nonequilibrium Shapes by the Interfacial Jamming of Nanoparticles

Further reading
Polymer Scientists Jam Nanoparticles, Trapping Liquids into Useful Shapes
University of Massachusetts Amherst... Read more »

  • December 2, 2013
  • 11:56 AM

Learning to see through semantics

by neuroecology in Neuroecology

Humans have a visual bias: everything in vision seems easy and natural to us, and it can seem a bit of a mystery why computers are so bad at it. But there is a reason such a massive chunk (about 30%) of cortex is devoted to it. It’s really hard! To do everything that it […]... Read more »

Frome A, Corrado GS, Shlens J, Bengio S, Dean J, Ranzato M, & Mikolov T. (2013) DeViSE: A Deep Visual-Semantic Embedding Model. NIPS. info:/

Dean T, Ruzon MA, Segal M, Shlens J, Vijayanarasimhan S, & Yagnik J. (2013) Fast, Accurate Detection of 100,000 Object Classes on a Single Machine. Proceedings of IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition. DOI: 10.1109/CVPR.2013.237  

  • November 30, 2013
  • 05:00 AM

A baby porcupine and her apple | video | @GrrlScientist

by GrrlScientist in GrrlScientist

To celebrate caturday today, we check in with a baby pincushion, erm, porcupine, and her apple.... Read more »

Cho W. K., Ankrum J. A., Guo D., Chester S. A., Yang S. Y., Kashyap A., Campbell G. A., Wood R. J., Rijal R. K., & Karnik R. (2012) Microstructured barbs on the North American porcupine quill enable easy tissue penetration and difficult removal. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(52), 21289-21294. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1216441109  

  • November 21, 2013
  • 05:13 AM

New Deep Brain Stimulation System Measures Neurotransmitter Release

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

Wireless Instantaneous Neurotransmitter Concentration Sensing System (WINCS) Patient Module printed circuit board & sterilizable case. (Fig. 1, Kimble et al. 2009). Last month, the New York Times reported that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) will spend $70 million to further the development of technologies that use deep brain stimulation (DBS), which has been highly successful in treating Parkinson's Disease (PD). The SUBNETS program (Systems-Based Neurotechnology for Emerging Therapies) is part of the BRAIN Initiative that aims to "revolutionize our understanding of the human mind."DARPA issued their call for proposals on October 25. My original take was that the goals were overly ambitious and nearly impossible to achieve within the specified time frame:To elaborate, over a 5 year period, the successful applicants must conduct clinical trials in human patients with 7 specified psychiatric and neurological disorders (not including PD), some of which have never been treated with DBS. The successful teams will use devices that both stimulate and record neural activity, and provide real-time data that can be decoded as reflecting a particular behavioral state... basically, a futuristic implant that can adjust its own stimulation parameters based on how the patient is doing. At least, that's how I interpret it.  How close are we to seeing a DBS implant that not only stimulates neural tissue, but also records electrical or chemical signals and then uses this information to adjust the stimulation parameters? Closer than I originally suspected. A recent Nature News article reported on the Mayo Clinic's efforts to develop a DARPAesque, state-of-the-art implant that aims to track brain signals in real time:Researchers hope that the device will identify the electrical and chemical signals in the brain that correlate in real time with the presence and severity of symptoms, including the tremors experienced by people with Parkinson’s disease. This information could help to uncover where and how DBS exerts its therapeutic effects on the brain, and why it sometimes fails, says Kendall Lee, a neurosurgeon at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, who is leading the project.. . ....Using a method called fast-scan cyclic voltammetry, the device applies a localized voltage change in the brain. This transiently pulls electrons off certain neurotransmitters — the brain chemicals that activate or inhibit neurons — giving rise to electrical currents that can be measured. Each neurotransmitter molecule produces a different electrochemical signature, which can be used to identify it and estimate its concentration every 10 milliseconds.Studies in awake behaving rats have used fast-scan cyclic voltammetry to measure phasic dopamine release associated with burst firing (Robinson et al., 2003).Fig, 3 (Robinson et al., 2003). Heterogeneity of electrically evoked dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens of a freely moving rat.Further information about the device is provided in this article from the Mayo Clinic, which indicates that the WINCS has already been tested in 15 human patients with Parkinson's disease or essential tremor. The study registered in is described as an Efficacy Study whose primary purpose is basic science:Neurotransmitter Measurements Using Wireless Instantaneous Neurotransmitter Concentration System (WINCS) During Deep Brain Stimulation NeurosurgeryIn this study, the investigators will monitor extracellular neurotransmitter levels using a probe that is able to perform real time electrochemical detection during deep brain stimulation surgery. The overall question this study is designed to answer is: Are there neurotransmitters released during deep brain stimulation? Interestingly, the primary outcome measure is adenosine1 release recorded by WINCS, and the secondary outcome measure is dopamine release (pre-, during, and post-DBS, over a time frame of 30 min). Adenosine A2A antagonists may extend the duration of action of L-dopa, a primary treatment for PD. Preliminary studies in rats were able to detect subsecond dopamine and adenosine release at an implanted sensor in the striatum during high-frequency stimulation of ascending fibers (Kimble et al., 2009). It seems the early results in patients were also successful in measuring neurotransmitter release.The WINCS will be integrated with another device, the MINCS (Mayo Investigational Neuromodulation Control System), which is optically linked to WINCS. The entire system is being tested in animal models to deliver brain stimulation wirelessly. Fig 1B (Chang et al., 2013). Photograph of the MINCS-WINCS hardware showing relative size, optical connection, and recording and stimulating electrode leads. ADC = analog-to-digital converter; DAC = digital-to-analog converter; LPF = low-pass filter; MC = microcontroller; TIA = transimpedance amplifier; V/I Sense = voltage/current sense. Numbers 1 and 4 indicate the microcontrollers; 2 and 3 are the Bluetooth modules.These developments in DBS devices for Parkinson's disease are very impressive indeed, but DARPA wants to go 7 steps further by developing similar clos... Read more »

Kimble CJ, Johnson DM, Winter BA, Whitlock SV, Kressin KR, Horne AE, Robinson JC, Bledsoe JM, Tye SJ, Chang SY.... (2009) Wireless Instantaneous Neurotransmitter Concentration Sensing System (WINCS) for intraoperative neurochemical monitoring. Conference proceedings: Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society., 4856-9. PMID: 19963865  

  • November 19, 2013
  • 08:11 AM

Electric Car With 4 Motors but No Transmission Under Development

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

Junmin Wang, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Ohio State University, and his team are designing an unconventional four-wheel independently-actuated electric car.... Read more »

  • November 18, 2013
  • 02:26 PM

Researchers Create Better Transmitter Coils for Dynamic Wireless Charging

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed new technology and techniques for dynamic wireless charging moving engineers closer to their goal of creating highway “stations” that can recharge electric vehicles wirelessly as the vehicles drive by.... Read more »

  • November 3, 2013
  • 10:21 AM

Tales of Neuro-Terror

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

At this time of year, people are fond of telling scary tales – generally involving ghosts, ghouls, and other frightening creatures. Neuroscientists have their own horror stories, however – more niche, perhaps, but no less terrifying. Picture the scene: a group of PhD students are gathered around a flickering MRI console. The elder of the […]The post Tales of Neuro-Terror appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

Gallichan D, Scholz J, Bartsch A, Behrens TE, Robson MD, & Miller KL. (2010) Addressing a systematic vibration artifact in diffusion-weighted MRI. Human brain mapping, 31(2), 193-202. PMID: 19603408  

  • October 30, 2013
  • 04:00 PM

Serious Gaming, Serious Fun?

by Nura Rutten in United Academics

Serious gaming is big business. Many organizations – companies, schools, NGO’s – use games for training purposes, to engage customers, to advertise and to simulate important and critical situations. It is likely that you have been playing a game that was designed with the purpose of teaching you something, getting you to drink more milk or training your cooperative skills.

Researchers Liu, Li, and Santhanam have studied the way in which different digital games impact the behavior and emotion responses of the players. Their study addresses one key element of gaming: competition. Players seem to favor opportunities to compete with each other and games where there is a challenge. Therefore, their research attempts to analyze the influence of competition on the effort that participants put into their play and their enjoyment.... Read more »

Liu, D., Li, X., & Santhanam, R. (2013) Digital Games and Beyond: What Happens When Players Compete?. MIS Quarterly. info:/

  • October 30, 2013
  • 09:33 AM

Video Tip of the Week: VectorEditor

by Mary in OpenHelix

For this week’s video tip of the week, I’ll give you a quick tour of the VectorEditor software. It’s a handy tool that you can install locally, or use on the web, to edit and display features of your DNA constructs. It’s got all of the key features that you might want–annotations, graphics, sequence, restriction […]... Read more »

  • October 29, 2013
  • 09:51 AM

Hydrogel implant enables light-based communication with cells inside the body

by Perikis Livas in Tracing Knowledge

Research enables development of novel therapies based on polymer hydrogel patches that are capable of supporting living cells and guiding light.These hydrogels are used to perform in-vivo optical sensing and therapy in living mice.
This post includes the original report of the Massachusetts General Hospital, links to the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and to the Harvard’s Medical School report, the reference paper from Nature Photonics and two quite explanatory articles from Bio News Texas and Photonics Media.
___ΤΚ... Read more »

Myunghwan Choi, Jin Woo Choi, Seonghoon Kim, Sedat Nizamoglu, Sei Kwang Hahn, & Seok Hyun Yun. (2013) Light-guiding hydrogels for cell-based sensing and optogenetic synthesis in vivo. Nature Photonics. DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2013.278  

  • October 27, 2013
  • 07:29 PM

Ordinary chemical with an extraordinary property to be used in quantum computation

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

Main Point:

Researchers have reported that a common blue pigment, copper phthalocyanine (CuPc), could be used potentially in the making of quantum computer.

Published in:


Study Further:

Copper phthalocyanine (CuPc):

It is also known as Phthalocyanine Blue BN, Monastral blue and phthalo blue. It is a semiconductor and is similar to the light harvesting part of the chlorophyll molecule.

It is commonly used in paints and dyes. It is also used in the £5 note.

It is usually resistant to alkalies and acids.

Phthalocyanine thin film on a flexible plastic substrate, showing the coexistence of long-lived "0" and "1" qubits on the copper spin (Credit: Credit: Phil Bushell, Sandrine Heutz and Gabriel Aeppli)

Quantum computing:

Quantum computing is the form of computing in which the atomic and subatomic particles do not obey the laws of classical Newtonian physics.

Most important aspect of the quantum computing is the process of “superposition” in which the electrons have the ability to remain in two states at once, i.e. qubits, instead of normal one state of the two that are “0” and “1”, i.e. classical ordinary bits.

Longer time in superposition shows the stability of quantum computing.

"In theory, a quantum computer can easily solve problems that a normal, classical, computer would not be able to answer in the lifetime of the universe. We just don't know how to build one yet,” said lead author Marc Warner from the London Centre for Nanotechnology.

Present Research:

Researchers, in the present study, have found that the electrons in CuPc can remain in superposition for significantly longer times.

“Fundamental quantities in spintronics are the population relaxation time (T1) and the phase memory time (T2): T1 measures the lifetime of a classical bit, in this case embodied by a spin oriented either parallel or antiparallel to an external magnetic field, and T2 measures the corresponding lifetime of a quantum bit, encoded in the phase of the quantum state. Here we establish that these times are surprisingly long for a common, low-cost and chemically modifiable organic semiconductor, the blue pigment copper phthalocyanine,” Researchers wrote in the paper.

"Our research shows that a common blue dye has more potential for quantum computing than many of the more exotic molecules that have been considered previously," Dr Warner said.

Moreover, CuPc is found to have other properties that could increase its potential to be used in quantum computing such as its strong ability to absorb visible light and its easy chemical and physical modification enabling scientists to control its magnetic and electrical properties.

"The properties of copper phthalocyanine make it of interest for the emerging field of quantum engineering, which seeks to exploit the quantum properties of matter to perform tasks like information processing or sensing more effectively than has ever been possible,” Dr Warner added.


New material for quantum computing discovered out of the blue - Eurekalert (

Marc Warner et al. (2013). Potential for spin-based information processing in a thin-film molecular semiconductor Nature DOI: 10.1038/nature12597... Read more »

  • October 27, 2013
  • 05:59 AM

Philippine language relations: Reply to comments…

by nath in Imprints of Philippine Science

First, a big thanks to everybody for being engaged in what I thought was just a simple map to visualize relationships …Continue reading »... Read more »

Bouchard-Côté A, Hall D, Griffiths TL, & Klein D. (2013) Automated reconstruction of ancient languages using probabilistic models of sound change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110(11), 4224-9. PMID: 23401532  

Atkinson, Q.D. (2013) The descent of words. PNAS, 4159-4160. info:/10.1073/pnas.1300397110

  • October 25, 2013
  • 11:49 AM

Researchers Study Performance of Solar Panels in Cold Climate

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

Despite the obvious idea of building solar farms in sunny places, the feasibility of solar energy projects in northern climates is also being studied. Michigan Technological University’s Keweenaw Research Center (KRC) is now a part of a two-year study that aims to gauge how snow affects solar panels’ power generation and determine the best ways to overcome any losses.... Read more »

  • October 24, 2013
  • 05:58 PM

Scientists Build ‘Impossible’ Silicon Supercapacitor

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

Researchers at the Vanderbilt University in Nashville propose a novel silicon supercapacitor design. Such supercapacitor can be, theoretically, integrated into a silicon chip, opening some interesting options for energy storage.... Read more »

Oakes L, Westover A, Mares JW, Chatterjee S, Erwin WR, Bardhan R, Weiss SM, & Pint CL. (2013) Surface engineered porous silicon for stable, high performance electrochemical supercapacitors. Scientific Reports, 3020. PMID: 24145684  

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