Tech

Researchers Discover Clue to How to Protect Neurons and Encourage Their Growth

By inhibiting a particular family of enzymes, it may be possible to develop new therapies for treating neurodegenerative diseases from glaucoma to Alzheimer’s December 14, 2020 | By Scott LaFee Many neurodegenerative conditions, from glaucoma to Alzheimer’s disease, are characterized by injury to axons — the long, slender projections that conduct electrical impulses from one nerve cell to another, facilitating cellular communications. Injury to axons often leads to neuronal impairment and cell death. Researchers know that inhibiting an enzyme called dual leucine zipper kinase (DLK) appears to robustly protect neurons…

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Physics professor advances research on black hole paradox

By Kate Blackwood |December 9, 2020  Do black holes emit information? For decades, physicists have theorized on this high-stakes question. At the heart of the so-called “black hole information paradox” is a fundamental incompatibility between the two pillar theories of theoretical physics: general relativity and quantum mechanics. But in the past two years, a series of breakthrough calculations by researchers – including Tom Hartman, associate professor of physics in the College of Arts and Sciences – have led to proclamations in the field of theoretical physics that “the most famous…

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Tech

Klarman fellow models black hole collisions, studies effects

By Kate Blackwood |October 13, 2020 -  New and extremely sensitive instruments are allowing scientists to use a novel source of information – gravitational waves – to understand fundamental principles of nature. “Gravitational waves are the signals that carry information about gravity,” said Vijay Varma, a Klarman Postdoctoral Fellow in physics, in the College of Arts and Sciences. “If two black holes are orbiting each other, for example, gravitational waves carry information about the masses and spins of the black holes and how the black holes may have formed.” Varma…

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Tech

Unveiling the Accuracy of Tsunami Predictions

New study validates accuracy in predicting the first wave, but weakness in forecasting ‘trailing’ waves Residents of coastal towns in Chile remember the catastrophic earthquakes that struck their country in 1960 and 2010, not always for the quakes themselves but for the tsunamis that followed. Those who survived the 9.5-magnitude 1960 quake told interviewers about the man in Maullin, Chile who, after the first wave of the tsunami, rushed into his dockside warehouse to retrieve possessions just as the second wave hit. The second wave swept the warehouse out to…

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Researchers identify new type of superconductor

By David Nutt |September 21, 2020 Until now, the history of superconducting materials has been a tale of two types: s-wave and d-wave. Now, Cornell researchers – led by Brad Ramshaw, the Dick & Dale Reis Johnson Assistant Professor in the College of Arts and Sciences – have discovered a possible third type: g-wave. Their paper, “Thermodynamic Evidence for a Two-Component Superconducting Order Parameter in Sr2RuO4,” published Sept. 21 in Nature Physics. The lead author is doctoral student Sayak Ghosh, M.S. ’19. Electrons in superconductors move together in what are…

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Tech

Robots to Help Children Touch the Outside World

UC team developing better telepresence robots, equipped with robotic arms By Ioana Patringenaru |Sep 17, 2020 A team of University of California researchers is working to improve telepresence robots and the algorithms that drive them to help children with disabilities stay connected to their classmates, teachers and communities. The effort is funded by a $1 million grant from the National Robotics Initiative at the National Science Foundation. The project is unique in that the team is working with telepresence robots equipped with an arm that will allow children at home…

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Artificial Intelligence Aids Gene Activation Discovery

By Mario Aguilera | UC San Diego Machine learning enables long-awaited code breakthrough with potential applications in biomedicine Scientists have long known that human genes spring into action through instructions delivered by the precise order of our DNA, directed by the four different types of individual links, or “bases,” coded A, C, G and T. Nearly 25% of our genes are widely known to be transcribed by sequences that resemble TATAAA, which is called the “TATA box.” How the other three-quarters are turned on, or promoted, has remained a mystery…

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Device tracks house appliances through vibration, AI

By Melanie Lefkowitz |September 9, 2020 To boost efficiency in typical households – where people forget to take wet clothes out of washing machines, retrieve hot food from microwaves and turn off dripping faucets – Cornell researchers have developed a single device that can track 17 types of appliances using vibrations. The device, called VibroSense, uses lasers to capture subtle vibrations in walls, ceilings and floors, as well as a deep learning network that models the vibrometer’s data to create different signatures for each appliance – bringing researchers closer to…

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Lost frogs rediscovered with environmental DNA

By Krishna Ramanujan | September 8, 2020 Scientists have detected signs of a frog listed extinct and not seen since 1968, using an innovative technique to locate declining and missing species in two regions of Brazil. The frog, Megaelosia bocainensis, was among seven total species – including four other declining species, and two that had disappeared locally for many years – that were detected. The findings appeared in a paper, “Lost and Found: Frogs in a Biodiversity Hotspot Rediscovered with Environmental DNA,” published in August in Molecular Ecology. In the…

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Tech World

A redesigned face mask that is comfortable and effective

Imagine a reusable face mask that protects wearers and those around them from SARS-CoV-2, is comfortable enough to wear all day, and stays in place without frequent adjustment. Based on decades of experience with filtration and textile materials, Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have designed a new mask intended to do just that — and are providing the plans so individuals and manufacturers can make it. The modular Georgia Tech mask combines a barrier filtration material with a stretchable fabric to hold it in place. Prototypes made for testing use…

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