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Computers & Math News -- ScienceDaily
Computers & Math News -- ScienceDaily
Hacking and computer security. Read today's research news on hacking and protecting against codebreakers. New software, secure data sharing, and more.

New material for digital memories of the future
Scientists have developed the first material with conductivity properties that can be switched on and off using ferroelectric polarization.
For $1000, anyone can purchase online ads to track your location and app use
New research finds that for a budget of roughly $1000, it is possible for someone to track your location and app use by purchasing and targeting mobile ads. The team hopes to raise industry awareness about the potential privacy threat.
Nanoelectronics breakthrough could lead to more efficient quantum devices
Researchers have made a breakthrough that could help your electronic devices get even smarter. Their findings examine electron behavior within nanoelectronics, as outlined in a new article.
Art advancing science at the nanoscale
Could studying molecular biology ever be as fun as watching a Star Wars movie? Two scientists decided to create their own science film to entertain viewers, and ended up making new scientific discoveries in the process. The researchers-turned-filmmakers used a novel combination of computer animation and simulation softwares to create a scientific model that is accurate down to the atomic scale, and hope that their success inspires more scientists to approach their work like artists.
Wearables to boost security of voice-based log-in
A security-token necklace, ear buds or eyeglasses developed by researchers could eliminate vulnerabilities in voice authentication -- the practice of logging in to a device or service with your voice alone.
Flexible 'skin' can help robots, prosthetics perform everyday tasks by sensing shear force
Engineers have developed a flexible sensor 'skin' that can be stretched over any part of a robot's body or prosthetic to accurately convey information about shear forces and vibration, which are critical to tasks ranging from cooking an egg to dismantling a bomb.
Preservation for the (digital) ages
Researchers working with classicists and computer scientists have developed a method to preserve digital humanities databases. The preservation strategy allows scholars to re-launch a database application in a variety of environments -- from individual computers, to virtual machines, to future web servers -- without compromising its interactive features.
Assessment shows metagenomics software has much room for improvement
A recent critical assessment of software tools represents a key step toward taming the 'Wild West' nature of the burgeoning field of metagenomics.
Bringing the atomic world into full color
Scientists have developed a new way of visualizing the atomic world by turning data scanned by an atomic force microscope into clear color images. The newly developed method, which enables observation of materials and substances like alloys, semiconductors, and chemical compounds in a relatively short time, holds promise of becoming widely used in the research and development of surfaces and devices.
New techniques boost performance of non-volatile memory systems
Computer engineering researchers have developed new software and hardware designs that should limit programming errors and improve system performance in devices that use non-volatile memory technologies.
Need for speed makes genome editing efficient, if not better
Researchers have developed a computational model to quantify the mechanism by which CRISPR-Cas9 proteins find their genome-editing targets.
World first for reading digitally encoded synthetic molecules
For the first time ever, using mass spectrometry, researchers have successfully read several bytes of data recorded on a molecular scale using synthetic polymers. Their work sets a new benchmark for the amount of data -- stored as a sequence of molecular units (monomers) -- that may be read using this routine method. It also sets the stage for data storage on a scale 100 times smaller than that of current hard drives.
Shaping animal, vegetable and mineral
A new technique to grow any target shape from any starting shape has now been developed by researchers, outlines a new report.
Tweeting rage: How immigration policies can polarize public discourse
A study of tweets in the months before and after the 2010 passage of Arizona's "show me your papers" law, findings showed that the average tweet about Mexican immigrants and Hispanics, in general, became more negative. Researchers said the social media data was useful in determining whether people had changed their attitudes about immigrants as a result of the law or whether they had begun behaving differently.
Brain training shows promise for patients with bipolar disorder
Computerized brain training can result in improved cognitive skills in individuals with bipolar disorder, researchers have discovered for the first time.
Auto-fix tool gets more programmers to upgrade code, study finds
Failure to make necessary upgrades to software code can have dire consequences, such as the major data breach at Equifax. A recent study finds that auto-fix tools are effective ways to get programmers to make the relevant upgrades -- if programmers opt to use them.
Marketing study examines what types of searches click for car buyers
A new study examines how consumers allocated their time when searching offline and on the internet as they shopped for a new automobile, and what the outcomes were for price satisfaction.
Detailed look at 2-D structure of turbulence in tokamaks
A key hurdle for fusion researchers is understanding turbulence, the ripples and eddies that can cause the superhot plasma that fuels fusion reactions to leak heat and particles and keep fusion from taking place. Comprehending and reducing turbulence will facilitate the development of fusion as a safe, clean and abundant source of energy for generating electricity from power plants around the world.
Spin current detection in quantum materials unlocks potential for alternative electronics
A new method that precisely measures the mysterious behavior and magnetic properties of electrons flowing across the surface of quantum materials could open a path to next-generation electronics. A team of scientists has developed an innovative microscopy technique to detect the spin of electrons in topological insulators, a new kind of quantum material that could be used in applications such as spintronics and quantum computing.
DISTRO: Researchers create digital objects from incomplete 3D data
Depth sensors, such as those of the Microsoft Kinect, are very powerful, but unfortunately they do not work equally well on all materials, which leads to noisy data or even missing measurements.
Tweets can help predict the outcome of soccer matches
Twitter activity can help predict the result of soccer matches when combined with betting market prices, new study shows. The tone of Twitter posts can predict when a team is more likely to win and soccer bets are mispriced, the study found.
Using Facebook data as a real-time census
A new study is believed to be the first to demonstrate how present-day migration statistics can be obtained by compiling the same data that advertisers use to target their audience on Facebook, and by combining that source with information from the Census Bureau.
A better understanding of space, via helicopter
An algorithm that helps engineers design better helicopters may help astronomers more precisely envision the formation of planets and galaxies. Researchers have created a new model for understanding how black holes, planets, and galaxies emerge from the vortex-rich environments of space.
Study reveals need for better modeling of weather systems for climate prediction
A team of researchers discovered persistent dry and warm biases in the central U.S. that was caused by poor modeling of atmospheric convective systems. Their findings call for better calculations with global climate models.
Virtual humans work better than current ways to identify post-traumatic stress in soldiers
Researchers find that soldiers are more likely to open up about post-traumatic stress when interviewed by a virtual interviewer, reports a new study. Virtual interviewers can combine the rapport-building skills of human interviewers with feelings safety provided by anonymous surveys to help soldiers to reveal more about their mental health symptoms.
Ultraflat magnets: Atom-thick alloys with unanticipated magnetic properties
Adding rhenium to a two-dimensional alloy induced a structural phase transition in its crystalline order and, surprisingly, a magnetic signature.
Future smartwatches could sense hand movement using ultrasound imaging
New research has shown future wearable devices, such as smartwatches, could use ultrasound imaging to sense hand gestures.
New software speeds origami structure designs
Researchers have developed a new computer-aided approach that streamlines the design process for origami-based structures, making it easier for engineers and scientists to conceptualize new ideas graphically while simultaneously generating the underlying mathematical data needed to build the structure in the real world.
No dark side to using LED lights to supplement WiFi
Energy-saving Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) could help meet demand for wireless communications without affecting the quality of light or environmental benefits they deliver, new research has shown.
Study shows untapped creativity in workforce
With the U.S. economy less reliant on manufacturing, creativity and innovation are of increasing value. Arts graduates, and others who have developed and honed their creative skills, can be critical assets.
Scientists develop machine-learning method to predict the behavior of molecules
A team of scientists has come up with a machine-learning method that predicts molecular behavior, a breakthrough that can aid in the development of pharmaceuticals and the design of new molecules that can be used to enhance the performance of emerging battery technologies, solar cells, and digital displays.
Scientists develop tool which can predict coastal erosion and recovery in extreme storms
Coastal scientists have developed a computerized model which goes some way to answering their subject's 'holy grail' -- how to use existing data to confidently forecast annual coastal erosion and accretion.
Average wages for all workers, men and women, have increased as a result of women joining the workforce
Economists are continually examining the effect of the economy on women, but this male-dominated field seems to be failing to ask what impact women in turn have on the economy? Researchers have examined how women's participation in the workforce has affected economic growth and productivity in cities across the US. They estimate that every 10% increase in female labor force participation rates increases average real wage growth in cities by approximately 5%.
Raging Bull: First study to find link between testosterone and stock market instability
In the U.S. today, the majority of professional stock market traders are young males and new evidence suggests biology strongly influences their trading behavior. According to a new study this could be a significant contributor to fluctuations in the market, as high testosterone levels can cause these traders to overestimate future stock values and change their trading behavior, leading to dangerous prices bubbles and subsequent crashes.
Changes in perspective may affect how useful drones really are
Users have trouble utilizing images from unmanned aerial systems (UASs), or drones, to find the position of objects on the ground, research shows. This finding highlights challenges facing the use of UAS technology for emergency operations and other applications, while offering guidance for future technology and training development.
Machine learning translates 'hidden' information to reveal chemistry in action
Scientists have developed a new way to capture the details of chemistry choreography as it happens. The method -- which relies on computers that have learned to recognize hidden signs of the steps -- should help them improve the performance of catalysts to drive reactions toward desired products faster.
Forget about it: A material that mimics the brain
Inspired by human forgetfulness -- how our brains discard unnecessary data to make room for new information -- scientists conducted a recent study that combined supercomputer simulation and X-ray characterization of a material that gradually 'forgets.' This could one day be used for advanced bio-inspired computing.
A self-propelled catheter with earthworm-like peristaltic motion
A research team has developed a mechanism of a self-propelled catheter capable of generating peristaltic motion just like an earthworm by applying pneumatic pressure inside only one tube. The goal is to develop an AutoGuide robot that propels itself inside bronchi, automatically reaching the target lesion within the lungs, and can take a lesion sample and provide treatment.
Electrons surfing on a laser beam
The largest particle accelerator in the world - the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland -- has a circumference of around 26 kilometers. Researchers are now attempting to go to the other extreme by building the world's smallest machine of this kind -- a particle accelerator that fits on a microchip.
This soft robotic gripper can screw in your light bulbs for you
How many robots does it take to screw in a light bulb? The answer: just one, assuming you're talking about a newly created robotic gripper. The engineering team has designed and built a gripper that can pick up and manipulate objects without needing to see them and needing to be trained.
Seeing the next dimension of computer chips
Researchers used a scanning tunneling microscope to image the side-surfaces of 3-D silicon crystals for the first time. The pictures, captured with atomic-level of resolution, can help semiconductor manufacturers build the next generation of computer chips with three-dimensional features.
Computer program detects differences between human cells
'How many different cell types are there in a human body? And how do these differences develop? Nobody really knows.' But thanks to a new method, that may be about to change.
Novel circuit design boosts wearable thermoelectric generators
Using flexible conducting polymers and novel circuitry patterns printed on paper, researchers have demonstrated proof-of-concept wearable thermoelectric generators that can harvest energy from body heat to power simple biosensors for measuring heart rate, respiration or other factors.
Digital services collect unnecessary personal information
Digital services that require users to log in with a personal account often collect more information about users than is needed. Certain policies may encroach on our privacy.
Energy against the current on a quantum scale, without contradicting the laws of physics
In a classical thermodynamic system, the heat current flows from the hotter body to the colder one, or electricity from the higher voltage to the lower one. The same thing happens in quantum systems, but this state can be changed, and the flow of energy and particles can be reversed if a quantum observer is inserted into the system.
Sensitivity to time improves performance at remotely controlling devices
A new study finds that people who are more sensitive to the passage of time are better at accounting for the latency -- or time lag -- inherent in remotely controlling robots or other tools.
Predicting insect feeding preferences after deforestation
Understanding how parasitoids and hosts interact, and how their interactions change with human influence, is critically important to understanding ecosystems. New research finds mathematical models can predict complex insect behavioral changes using a simple description of insect preferences.
Exotic quantum particle observed in bilayer graphene
Physicists have definitively observed an intensely studied anomaly in condensed matter physics -- the even-denominator fractional quantum Hall state -- via transport measurement in bilayer graphene.
Engineers invent breakthrough millimeter-wave circulator IC
Researchers continue to break new ground in developing magnet-free non-reciprocal components in modern semiconductor processes. They have built the first magnet-free non-reciprocal circulator on a silicon chip that operates at millimeter-wave frequencies, enabling circulators to be built in conventional semiconductor chips and operate at millimeter-wave frequencies, enabling full-duplex or two-way wireless.
New technology uses mouth gestures to interact in virtual reality
Researchers have developed a new technology that allows users to interact in a virtual reality environment using only mouth gestures.
Simulating a brain-cooling treatment that could one day ease epilepsy
Using computer simulation techniques, scientists have gained new insights into the mechanism by which lowering the temperature of specific brain regions could potentially treat epileptic seizures.
Scientists enlist supercomputers, machine learning to automatically identify brain tumors
Researchers have developed a brain tumor identification method that combines biophysical models of tumor growth with machine learning algorithms.
'Body-on- a-chip' system to accelerate testing of new drugs
Being able to test new drugs in a 3-D model of the body has the potential to speed up drug discovery, reduce the use of animal testing and advance personalized medicine.
Paper-based supercapacitor uses metal nanoparticles to boost energy density
Using a simple layer-by-layer coating technique, researchers have developed a paper-based flexible supercapacitor that could be used to help power wearable devices. The device uses metallic nanoparticles to coat cellulose fibers in the paper, creating supercapacitor electrodes with high energy and power densities -- and the best performance so far in a textile-based supercapacitor.
Computer model unravels knotty problems in DNA
If you've ever tried to untangle a pair of earbuds, you'll understand how loops and cords can get twisted up. DNA can get tangled in the same way, and in some cases, has to be cut and reconnected to resolve the knots. Now a team of mathematicians, biologists and computer scientists has unraveled how E. coli bacteria can unlink tangled DNA by a local reconnection process. The math behind the research could have implications far beyond biology.
Teleoperating robots with virtual reality: Making it easier for factory workers to telecommute
Many manufacturing jobs require a physical presence to operate machinery. But what if such jobs could be done remotely? Researchers have now presented a virtual-reality (VR) system that lets you teleoperate a robot using an Oculus Rift headset.
Light-activated nanoparticles can supercharge current antibiotics
Light-activated nanoparticles, also known as quantum dots, can provide a crucial boost in effectiveness for antibiotic treatments used to combat drug-resistant superbugs such as E. coli and Salmonella, new research shows.
Tungsten offers nano-interconnects a path of least resistance
As microchips become smaller, the shrinking size of their copper interconnects leads to increased electrical resistivity at the nanoscale. Finding a solution to this technical bottleneck is a problem for the semiconductor industry; one possibility involves reducing the resistivity size effect by altering the crystalline orientation of interconnect materials. Researchers conducted electron transport measurements in epitaxial single-crystal layers of tungsten as one potential solution.
Smart pump: small but powerful
Particulate matter harms the heart and lungs. In the future, a smartphone with an inbuilt gas sensor could be used to warn of heavy exposure. To help the sensor respond quickly and provide accurate measurements, researchers have developed a powerful micro diaphragm pump for delivering ambient air to the sensor.
What is STEM education?
Everyone needs a good teacher -- including teachers. Two new studies show how digging deeper into what STEM education means and strategically designing online classrooms can enhance teaching science, technology, engineering, and math.

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