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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.

Super-strong metal made for next tech frontier
Engineers have developed a strong, durable new material to help shape advanced MEMS sensors needed for the internet of things.
Engineers design a robotic gripper for cleaning up space debris
Researchers combined gecko-inspired adhesives and a custom robotic gripper to create a device for grabbing space debris. They tested their gripper in multiple zero gravity settings, including the International Space Station.
The multi-colored photons that might change quantum information science
With leading corporations now investing in highly expensive and complex infrastructures to unleash the power of quantum technologies, researchers have achieved a breakthrough in a light-weight photonic system created using on-chip devices and off-the-shelf telecommunications components. The team demonstrates that photons can become an accessible and powerful quantum resource when generated in the form of color-entangled quDits.
Swimming microbots can remove pathogenic bacteria from water
The lack of clean water in many areas around the world is a persistent, major public health problem. One day, tiny robots could help address this issue by zooming around contaminated water and cleaning up disease-causing bacteria, report scientists.
Image analysis and artificial intelligence will change dairy farming
An early detection method for cow lameness (hoof disease), a major disease of dairy cattle, has now been developed from images of cow gait with an accuracy of 99 percent or higher by applying human gait analysis. This technique allows early detection of lameness from cow gait, which was previously difficult. It is hoped that a revolution in dairy farming can be achieved through detailed observation by AI-powered image analysis.
Cheap, energy-efficient and clean reaction to make chemical feedstock
Combining experimental and computer chemistry, scientists find the conditions to break carbon-hydrogen bonds at low temperature with cheap titanium in place of rare metals.
Predicting eruptions using satellites and math
Volcanologists are beginning to use satellite measurements and mathematical methods to forecast eruptions and to better understand how volcanoes work, shows a new article.
Hacking the human brain: Lab-made synapses for artificial intelligence
One of the greatest challenges facing artificial intelligence development is understanding the human brain and figuring out how to mimic it. Now, one group reports that they have developed an artificial synapse capable of simulating a fundamental function of our nervous system -- the release of inhibitory and stimulatory signals from the same 'pre-synaptic' terminal.
Hey Siri, an ancient algorithm may help you grasp metaphors
Ask Siri to find a math tutor to help you 'grasp' calculus and she's likely to respond that your request is beyond her abilities. That's because metaphors like 'grasp' are difficult for Apple's voice-controlled personal assistant to, well, grasp. But new research suggests digital helpers could someday learn the algorithms that humans have used for centuries to create and understand metaphorical language.
Seeing the forest through the trees with a new LiDAR system
Researchers use gated digital holography methods to develop foliage penetrating LiDAR that can survey obscured ground.
Using mathematical methods to study complex biological networks
Complex biological processes, such as the metabolism, often involve thousands of different compounds coupled by chemical reactions. These process chains are described by researchers as chemical reaction networks. Researchers have developed new mathematical methods to study the energetic properties of these networks.
Adaptive cyber security decision support to prevent cyber attacks
Recognizing the complexity of cyber attacks and the multi-stakeholder nature of tackling cyber security are the key components of a new data-driven cyber security system currently being developed. The aim is to support organizations of all sizes in maintaining adequate levels of cyber security through a semi-automatic, regularly updated, organization-tailored security assessment of their digital infrastructures.
Graphene and terahertz waves could lead the way to future communication
By utilizing terahertz waves in electronics, future data traffic can get a big boost forward. So far, the terahertz (THz) frequency has not been optimally applied to data transmission, but by using graphene, researchers have come one step closer to a possible paradigm shift for the electronic industry.
Slow motion makes soccer referees more likely to give a red card
Video assistant refereeing in soccer has to be used with caution. Researchers have shown that refs are more likely to give red when they see a foul committed in slow motion, even when a yellow card is more justifiable. This is because fouls viewed in slow motion appear to be more serious.
Digital dating abuse especially bad for girls
Teens expect to experience some digital forms of abuse in dating, but girls may be suffering more severe emotional consequences than boys, according to a new study.
Coating bacteria with electron-conducting polymer for microbial fuel-cells
Under anaerobic conditions, certain bacteria can produce electricity. This behavior can be exploited in microbial fuel cells, with a special focus on wastewater treatment schemes. A weak point is the dissatisfactory power density of the microbial cells. An unconventional solution: scientists coated live, electroactive bacteria with a conducting polymer and obtained a high-performance anode for microbial fuel cells.
Could this strategy bring high-speed communications to the deep sea?
A new strategy for sending acoustic waves through water could potentially open up the world of high-speed communications to divers, marine research vessels, remote ocean monitors, deep sea robots, and submarines. By taking advantage of the dynamic rotation generated as the acoustic wave travels, also known as its orbital angular momentum, researchers were able to pack more channels onto a single frequency, effectively increasing the amount of information capable of being transmitted.
New class of 'soft' semiconductors could transform HD displays
New research could help usher in a new generation of high-definition displays, optoelectronic devices, photodetectors, and more. They have shown that a class of “soft” semiconductors can be used to emit multiple, bright colors from a single nanowire at resolutions as small as 500 nanometers. The work could challenge quantum dot displays that rely upon traditional semiconductor nanocrystals to emit light.
Cloning thousands of genes for massive protein libraries
Discovering the function of a gene requires cloning a DNA sequence and expressing it. Until now, this was performed on a one-gene-at-a-time basis, causing a bottleneck. Scientists have invented a technology to clone thousands of genes simultaneously and create massive libraries of proteins from DNA samples, potentially ushering in a new era of functional genomics.
System of quadcopters that fly and drive suggest another approach to developing flying cars
Being able to both walk and take flight is typical in nature many birds, insects, and other animals can do both. If we could program robots with similar versatility, it would open up many possibilities: Imagine machines that could fly into construction areas or disaster zones that aren't near roads and then squeeze through tight spaces on the ground to transport objects or rescue people.
Beyond bananas: 'Mind reading' technology decodes complex thoughts
New research builds on the pioneering use of machine learning algorithms with brain imaging technology to "mind read."
Moisture-responsive 'robots' crawl with no external power source
Using an off-the-shelf camera flash, researchers turned an ordinary sheet of graphene oxide into a material that bends when exposed to moisture. They then used this material to make a spider-like crawler and claw robot that move in response to changing humidity without the need for any external power.
Colon cancer: Greater surgical precision using robotic surgery
Up until now, the removal of bowel tumors in the lesser pelvis (rectal cancers) involved a major, generally invasive operation. This operation can now be done in a much gentler way using an innovative procedure, robotic surgery. Thanks to a better three-dimensional view of the operating area and robotic instruments that allow highly accurate surgery to be performed in the anatomically constricted space of the lesser pelvis, surgical trauma and incisions for the operation can be kept to a minimum, while, at the same time, achieving excellent surgical results.
Twitter-monitoring system detects riots far quicker than police reports
Social media can be an invaluable source of information for police when managing major disruptive events, new research has shown.
Accelerating the quest for quicker, longer-lasting electronics
In the world of electronics, where the quest is always for smaller and faster units with infinite battery life, topological insulators (TI) have tantalizing potential. Scientists report they have created a TI film just 25 atoms thick that adheres to an insulating magnetic film, creating a 'heterostructure.'
Algorithm generates optimal origami folding patterns for any shape
A new algorithm generates practical paper-folding patterns to produce any 3-D structure.
Mathematical method for fair definition of electoral districts
For democratic elections to be fair, voting districts must have similar sizes. When populations shift, districts need to be redistributed -- a complex and, in many countries, controversial task when political parties attempt to influence redistricting. Mathematicians have now developed a method that allows the efficient calculation of optimally sized voting districts.
Origins of Sun's swirling spicules discovered
For the first time, a computer simulation -- so detailed it took a full year to run -- shows how spicules form, helping scientists understand how spicules can break free of the sun's surface and surge upward so quickly.
Flexible wearable electronics use body heat for energy
In a proof-of-concept study, engineers have designed a flexible thermoelectric energy harvester that has the potential to rival the effectiveness of existing power wearable electronic devices using body heat as the only source of energy.
Switchable DNA mini-machines store information
Biomedical engineers have built simple machines out of DNA, consisting of arrays whose units switch reversibly between two different shapes. The arrays' inventors say they could be harnessed to make nanotech sensors or amplifiers. Potentially, they could be combined to form logic gates, the parts of a molecular computer.
Video games offer active military, veterans coping mechanism for stress
While most research on the topic focuses on gaming’s role in clinical settings, new research seeks to understand how everyday gameplay can provide military and veterans self-directed coping strategies to manage their physical and psychological stressors.
Moth eyes inspire new screen coating, making reading in sunlight a lot easier
Screens on even the newest phones and tablets can be hard to read outside in bright sunlight. Inspired by the nanostructures found on moth eyes, researchers have developed a new antireflection film that could keep people from having to run to the shade to look at their mobile devices.
Stereotypes still affect females' career aspirations in STEM topics
Study investigates the impact of stereotypes and the role of family, school and society on the self-concept of females already studying these scientific subjects and found that these stereotypes do impact the self-concept of females already studying these scientific subjects.
Mathematical confirmation: Rewiring financial networks reduces systemic risk
A proposed tax on systemically risky financial transactions could reduce the risk of financial system crashes by spurring financial networks to reshape in more resilient ways, suggests a new report.
Video games can change your brain
Scientists have collected and summarized studies looking at how video games can shape our brains and behavior. Research to date suggests that playing video games can change the brain regions responsible for attention and visuospatial skills and make them more efficient. The researchers also looked at studies exploring brain regions associated with the reward system, and how these are related to video game addiction.
Negative tweets can trash TV programs for other viewers
Negative social media comments about a television show tend to lower enjoyment for other viewers, while positive comments may not significantly boost their enjoyment, according to researchers.
System detects, translates sarcasm on social media
Researchers have developed a machine translation system for interpreting sarcastic statements in social media. It could one day help people on the autism spectrum, who often have difficulty interpreting sarcasm, irony and humor.
Text messaging effective support in treatment of HIV and tuberculosis
Mobile phone text messaging is a powerful tool for improving quality of care, researchers show. A new study has developed and tested a method in Mozambique, helping patients with severe diseases to follow through with their treatments.
Recognition technology a step closer to use in courtroom
Brain-based memory recognition technology may be one step closer to court. A report suggests American jurors can appropriately integrate the evidence in their evaluations of criminal defendants, which could ultimately lead to an additional expert witness on the stand.
Selfies: We love how we look and we're here to show you
Nearly 52 percent of all selfies fell into the appearance category: pictures of people showing off their make-up, clothes, lips, etc. Pics about looks were two times more popular than the other 14 categories combined, research found.
Chemical solution to shrink digital data storage
Chemists have found that commonly used polymer films containing two dyes can optically store data in a quaternary (four-symbol) code, potentially requiring about half as much space as binary code storage.
Common water treatments could damage DNA
A water treatment widely used in developing countries could be damaging the DNA of those drinking it, warn scientists. Despite poor evidence of their effectiveness as a water disinfectant, colloidal silver and silver nanoparticles are increasingly being promoted for treating potentially contaminated drinking water in low income countries.
New 3-D display takes the eye fatigue out of virtual reality
A new type of 3-D display could solve the long-standing problem eye fatigue when using VR and AR equipment by greatly improving the viewing comfort of these wearable devices.
Clear view on stem cell development
Today, tracking the development of individual cells and spotting the associated factors under the microscope is nothing unusual. However, impairments like shadows or changes in the background complicate the interpretation of data. Now, researchers have developed a software that corrects images to make hitherto hidden development steps visible.
State-of-the-art text mining technologies for chemistry
The first exhaustive revision of the state-of-the-art methodologies underlying chemical search engines, named entity recognition and text mining systems, has now been published by researchers.
Screen time or story time? E-books better for toddler learning
A new study analyses toddler's reading and learning habits through electronic books compared to print books.
Most people 'aren't as happy as their friends' on social media
A study led by computer scientists has found that people with the most connections on social media are also happier. This may cause most social media users to not only regard themselves as less popular than their friends but also less happy.
Plant inspiration could lead to flexible electronics
Versatile, light-weight materials that are both strong and resilient are crucial for the development of flexible electronics, such as bendable tablets and wearable sensors. Aerogels are good candidates for such applications, but until now, it's been difficult to make them with both properties. Now, researchers report that mimicking the structure of the 'powdery alligator-flag' plant has enabled them to make a graphene-based aerogel that meets these needs.
Mathematical biology tackles destructive plant virus
Plant diseases pose a serious threat to global food security, especially in developing countries, where millions of people depend on consuming what they harvest. In sub-Saharan Africa, one plant disease in particular -- maize lethal necrosis -- is ravaging one of the region's preferred crops for food, feed and income. But understanding its biology in order to manage the disease is difficult because the disease arises from two viruses interacting -- which is where mathematics comes into play.
Computer scientists repurpose laparoscopy video for medical training
A new system has been developed that can efficiently search through hundreds of hours of video for events and visual features that correspond to a few training examples. The researchers trained their system to recognize different stages of an operation, such as biopsy, tissue removal, stapling, and wound cleansing.
Cow herd behavior is fodder for complex systems analysis
With closer inspection, researchers have recognized that what appears to be a randomly dispersed herd peacefully eating grass is in fact a complex system of individuals in a group facing differing tensions. A team of mathematicians and a biologist has now built a mathematical model that incorporates a cost function to behavior in such a herd to understand the dynamics of such systems.
Illuminating a better way to calculate excitation energy
Researchers have demonstrated a new method to calculate excitation energies. They used a new approach based on density functional methods, which use an atom-by-atom approach to calculate electronic interactions. By analyzing a benchmark set of small molecules and oligomers, their functional produced more accurate estimates of excitation energy compared to other commonly used density functionals, while requiring less computing power.
Older dads have 'geekier' sons
Sons of older fathers are more intelligent, more focused on their interests and less concerned about fitting in, all characteristics typically seen in 'geeks,' suggests new British research.
A unique data center for cosmological simulations
Scientists have established 'Cosmowebportal', a unique data center for cosmological simulations. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
Developing a new balance for the new kilogram
In 2018 when the kilogram will be redefined, scientists will have developed the balance which is required for measuring: the Planck balance. This highly precise electronic weighing balance does not measure, as up to now, on the basis of the original kilogram using weights but refers to the fundamental physical constant: the Planck's constant. The balance will be used worldwide for calibrating other scales or balances so that those correspond to the system with this new method as required.
Diagnosing obesity by mathematically estimating abdominal fat
Abdominal obesity, or fat that accumulates around one's stomach and abdomen, has long been considered to pose a high health risk in individuals. Hence, measurement of abdominal fat helps predict propensity to disorders caused by excess weight in the abdominal area. In a new paper, researchers propose a new technique to evaluate abdominal obesity by estimating the thickness of subcutaneous fat.
Enhanced photocatalytic activity by Cu2O nanoparticles integrated H2Ti3O7 nanotubes
Compositing Cu2O nanoparticles with H2Ti3O7 nanotubes provides an effective strategy to reduce the bandgap energy and the recombination of photo-generated electrons and holes. There is an obvious synergistic effect between guest nanoparticles and host nanotubes due to the interaction to form heterojunction struction, which will enhance photocatalytic oxidation performance for removal of EM due to the stronger visible spectral response and wider absorbance in the long visble light region.
Figuring out the 3-D shape of molecules with a push of a button
A team of researchers has developed a program that automates the process of figuring out a molecule's three-dimensional structure. The technique compresses a process that usually takes days into minutes and could shorten the pipeline of drug discovery by reducing human error.
Old school meets new school: Flight deck Ouija boards go digital
The Office of Naval Research's (ONR) TechSolutions program has sponsored the development of the Deployable Ship Integration Multitouch System -- DSIMS, for short -- to make the jobs of aircraft handlers easier.
Building a better alligator: Advanced 3-D models of bite data
The ability to bite hard is critical for crocodilians to eat their food such as turtles, wildebeest and other large prey; therefore, their anatomy is closely studied by veterinarians and paleontologists who are interested in animal movements and anatomy. Now, researchers have developed three-dimensional models of the skull of the American alligator using cutting-edge imaging and computational tools.

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