Internet searches, decade-old emails and on-demand video offerings help contribute to electricity consumption by America’s server farms and data centers amounting to more than 2 percent of the country’s annual total. Those data centers—which operate millions of drives and hold massive amounts of digital data—use some 70 billion kilowatt hours per year of energy. One [..]

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Researchers at China’s Tsinghua University have demonstrated a flexible, stretchable optical fiber that uses light signals from embedded upconversion nanoparticles to act as a biocompatible temperature sensor (Adv. Funct. Mater., doi: 10.1002/adfm.201902898). The team believes that the fiber could offer an interesting platform for the development of real-time wearable temperature sensors for personal health care, [..]

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A team of researchers at the Emory University School of Medicine (Atlanta, GA) has modified optogenetics (the application of light to control cell activity via encoded genes) to yield an approach they call “optochemogenetics,” which enables noninvasive, selective brain cell stimulation. The work could lead to a way to noninvasively control transplanted neural progenitor cells [..]

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A breakthrough imaging technique developed by Cornell researchers shows promise in decontaminating water by yielding surprising and important information about catalyst particles that can’t be obtained any other way. Peng Chen, the Peter J.W. Debye Professor of Chemistry, has developed a method that can image nonfluorescent catalytic reactions – reactions that don’t emit light – [..]

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Self-assembling materials called block copolymers, which are known to form a variety of predictable, regular patterns, can now be made into much more complex patterns that may open up new areas of materials design, a team of MIT researchers say. The new findings appear in the journal Nature Communications, in a paper by postdoc Yi [..]

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Researchers at the University of Michigan have detected microscopic twists in the internal structure of plant and animal tissue without using potentially harmful X-rays. The approach involves rotating terahertz radiation in real time, and is said to be the first successful implementation of this approach, potentially opening up new applications in medical imaging, encrypted communications [..]

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In a June 24, 2019 article from Sally Ward-Foxton, EET Asia reports “The Current Reality of Facial Recognition,” emphasizing that while technology has advanced, it still has a long way to go. The article begins by stating that “The UK is one of the most surveilled countries in the world, with closed-circuit televisions (CCTV) cameras [..]

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Researchers at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and physicians from the Rochester Regional Health System (RRHS) have developed a noninvasive, cost-effective method using infrared (IR) technology to locate hard-to-find breast cancer tumors. The system consists of an IR camera on a track mounted underneath a cushioned table. It is angled and can be adjusted as [..]

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A team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA) and the Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason (BRI; Seattle, WA) has combined a nanoscale microscopy method called expansion microscopy with virtual reality (VR) to enable enlarging, exploring, and analyzing cell structures beyond the capabilities of traditional light microscopy. The development aims to accelerate researchers’ [..]

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A team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA) and the Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason (BRI; Seattle, WA) has combined a nanoscale microscopy method called expansion microscopy with virtual reality (VR) to enable enlarging, exploring, and analyzing cell structures beyond the capabilities of traditional light microscopy. The development aims to accelerate researchers’ [..]

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The emerging field of photopharmacology aims to use light as an external stimulus to activate drug molecules, and do so with a high degree of control over the time and place where this happens – a conceptually straightforward task, which in fact requires an interdisciplinary effort across both chemical synthesis and light delivery technology. Unlike [..]

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Researchers have developed a new laser-based method that can detect electric charges and chemicals of interest with unprecedented sensitivity. The new approach could one day offer a way to scan large areas for radioactive material or hazardous chemicals for safety and security applications. The new technique, called mid-infrared picosecond laser-driven electron avalanche, detects extremely low [..]

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The past decade has seen significant progress in the development of novel mid-infrared (mid-IR) coherent light sources spanning a broad spectral bandwidth, and of new spectrometric techniques to make the most of them. Researchers now harness such light sources—based on mode-locked lasers and nonlinear frequency conversion, on frequency comb generators, on supercontinua and on chip-scale [..]

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A growing number of applications, including smartphone cameras, depend on microlens arrays to boost performance, for example by compensating for the “dead space” around detector pixels. However, although micro-optics are commercially available, they can be prohibitively expensive to fabricate and hard to add to existing devices. Even with traditional microlens fabrication methods such as photolithography, [..]

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Amoeba are unusual creatures that form when a dispersed population of cells spontaneously comes together and reorganizes itself into a multicellular macroscopic organism. To do this, a few leader cells emit chemical pulses that cause the other individual cells to move in the direction opposite to that of the traveling pulses, leading to the formation [..]

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MIT researchers have developed a novel “photonic” chip that uses light instead of electricity — and consumes relatively little power in the process. The chip could be used to process massive neural networks millions of times more efficiently than today’s classical computers do. Neural networks are machine-learning models that are widely used for such tasks [..]

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Researchers have developed a new way of operating miniature quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) to rapidly measure the absorption spectra of different organic molecules in the air simultaneously. The technique offers a sensitive method for detecting low concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), improving the ability to track how these compounds affect human health, industrial processes [..]

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