research

Stanford computer processor uses moving water drops

Stanford computer processor uses moving water drops

Two things that don’t mix well are computers and water. Spill a glass of water on your notebook and odds are you will be in the market for a new notebook. Normal computers rely on electricity to power all the magic inside the processor to make the computer do what you want it to from playing games to crunching numbers for your budget.

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GE’s ecoROTR wind turbine has a dome for increased efficiency

GE’s ecoROTR wind turbine has a dome for increased efficiency

There are a huge number of wind turbines in use around the world. Here in the US a large number of wind turbines stand tall in and around a small city called Tehachapi located on the edge of the Mojave Desert in California. The majority of the wind turbines standing in the city all look the same. GE has a new experimental wind turbine being tested that has a very different look.

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Einstein ring holds gargantuan galaxy at the edge of the Universe

Einstein ring holds gargantuan galaxy at the edge of the Universe

Japanese researchers have discovered a new galaxy so far away, it is in the outskirts of the charted Universe. To precisely map this galaxy the scientists turned to the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope and used the gravitational lensing of a foreground galaxy, which created a "natural telescope," bending and magnifying light from the hidden, background galaxy, SDP.81. As the natural telescope magnifies SDP.81, the image loses focus and becomes smeared. The team of scientists was able to create a mathematical model to account for lens distortion and bring obscured details to light. In a way, the model is like correcting galactic astigmatism.

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NASA finds glass on Mars, could hold signs of life

NASA finds glass on Mars, could hold signs of life

Every mark on a planet's surface details its history. Mars is long suspected of being home to signs of life, so its history is of particular interest to researchers. NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has found glass deposits sitting at the nadir of some impact craters on Mars. Previous scientific inquiries into impact glass on earth have been led by Peter Schultz from Brown University. While working on an expedition in Argentina he discovered ancient plant matter and organic material embedded in glass that was formed by an impact from millions of years ago. He proposed that the similar impacts could preserve signs of life on other planets. If they could isolate glass deposits on Mars, there is a chance they could detect and analyze the biosignatures.

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Here are the big winners in DARPA’s Robotics Challenge

Here are the big winners in DARPA’s Robotics Challenge

A South Korean team has won DARPA's Robotic Challenge Finals, besting US rivals and taking home $2m after demonstrating its disaster-response 'bot. The robot, DRC-HUBO, beat out 22 other teams, each rising to the US government agency's challenge to create a machine able to enter hazardous areas - such as the radioactive zone left by the Fukushima nuclear explosion in 2011 - and carry out tasks that would normally demand human dexterity.

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Google’s self-driving cars are getting a monthly report card

Google’s self-driving cars are getting a monthly report card

Google will release monthly reports on the progress of its self-driving cars, including detailing any incidents or crashes the vehicles are involved in. The move for greater transparency follows Google co-founder Sergey Brin's earnest plea to shareholders to continue to support "moonshot" projects earlier this week, which was closely followed by the revelation that its autonomous cars had been involved in their twelfth incident. In addition to listing accidents, however, Google will also use the monthly summaries as an opportunity to flag its cars' intelligence on the road.

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Astonishing new test could expose your entire virus history

Astonishing new test could expose your entire virus history

Worried you won't be able to remember every virus you've been infected with in the event you have to fill out a detailed medical history? Don't be. Scientists have come up with a new type of blood test that can determine every virus to have entered your body. Traces of antibodies generated by your body to fight infections can remain in your bloodstream for decades, so that's what the new test, dubbed VirScan, analyzes in order to come up with a list of previous attackers.

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HP compromises to get groundbreaking Machine to market

HP compromises to get groundbreaking Machine to market

HP expects to have its groundbreaking Machine up and running in 2016, but its ambitious plans for the computer have been tempered from the original promises. Announced last year alongside an aggressive scheme to introduce memristors - chips that straddle volatile RAM and non-volatile storage - commercially, HP Machine was billed as the future of everything from servers to smartphones. Speaking at the HP Discover event this week, however, HP Labs' director Martin Fink conceded that the first-generation Machine won't be quite as revolutionary as initially hoped.

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Brainprints may replace passwords for securing systems

Brainprints may replace passwords for securing systems

A group of researchers has published a research paper that outlines a new biometric security procedure that might one day be used to replace passwords, retinal scans, and fingerprint data for securing systems. The paper is called "Brainprint" and according to the study, the way your brain reacts to certain words could be used to replace passwords in the future. The study was conducted by researchers from Binghamton University.

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Seven new frog species discovered in Brazil

Seven new frog species discovered in Brazil

Researchers have discovered seven new frog species on seven different mountains in southeastern Brazil. This region is known for having what scientists call "cloud forests" that have unique climates. Each of the cloud forests are separated by warmer valleys that isolate the mountain peaks as if they were islands. The isolated cloud forests have so far led to the discovery of 21 species of Brachycephalus frogs.

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