Today’s video tip of the week is on MapMi. This tool is found at EBI and was developed by the Enright lab. The purpose of this tool is a computational system for mapping of miRNAs within and across species. As the abstract of their recent paper says: Currently miRBase is their primary repository, providing annotations [...]... Read more »
Fed up with re-charging your smart phone every single day? Good news: batteries for phones and laptops will soon be able to recharge ten times faster than they are today. Furthermore, these batteries hold a charge ten times larger than current technology allows.... Read more »
Xin Zhao, Cary M. Hayner, Mayfair C. Kung, & Harold H. Kung. (2011) In-Plane Vacancy-Enabled High-Power Si–Graphene Composite Electrode for Lithium-Ion Batteries. Advanced Energy Materials, 1(6), 1079-1084. info:/10.1002/aenm.201100426
More is better, right? Bigger telescopes and bigger surveys are both undoubtedly good things, but to make the best use of these advances we need to be able to handle the corresponding increase in data flow, and subsequent pressure on the astronomical archives which are going to have to cope with it. This is a [...]... Read more »
G. Bruce Berriman, & Steven L. Groom. (2011) How Will Astronomy Archives Survive The Data Tsunami?. ACM Queue. arXiv: 1111.0075v1
by Arnab Bhattacharyya About a month ago, Ankur Moitra dropped by my office. We started chatting about what each of us was up to. He told me a story about a machine learning problem that he was working on with Sanjeev Arora, Rong Ge, and Ravi Kannan. On its face, it was not even [...]... Read more »
Alfred Tarski. (1951) A Decision Method for Elementary Algebra and Geometry. Rand Corporation. info:/
Does what it says on the tin.... Read more »
Agarwal S, Yu H, & Kohane I. (2011) BioNOT: A searchable database of biomedical negated sentences. BMC bioinformatics, 12(1), 420. PMID: 22032181
How would you detect a heart attack? There are some symptoms that might tell you that you are very likely having a heart attack. Although you might feel pain in the chest, shortness of breath or other known physical symptoms, that doesn’t mean you in are actually having one. Conversely, you may not experience these symptoms but an attack is well on its way. In addition to painful symptoms, an electrocardiogram can be used to further indicate if you’re having a heart attack, but it also isn’t always accurate. But what if you could detect a heart attack by monitoring cardiac specific biomarkers in the blood or saliva? Those attempts are well underway.... Read more »
Du, N., Chou, J., Kulla, E., Floriano, P., Christodoulides, N., & McDevitt, J. (2011) A disposable bio-nano-chip using agarose beads for high performance immunoassays. Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 28(1), 251-256. DOI: 10.1016/j.bios.2011.07.027
Need an extra hand?
Mindful of the ageing population in Japan, engineers are motivated to develop robots that could one day assist the elderly in their daily tasks. Developing a robotic hand that shows dexterity and variable pressure capabilities is the first step in creating robots that will be able to perform everyday tasks.
In the October issue of Smart Materials and Synthesis (doi:10.1088/0964-1726/20/10/105015), Dr. Nagase of Kwansei Gakuin University and his colleagues describe their design for a new robotic hand that mimics the dexterity and grasping abilities of a human hand. Not only does the hand perform similarly to a human hand, its size and weight are almost identical to the average adult hand.... Read more »
Nagase, J., Wakimoto, S., Satoh, T., Saga, N., & Suzumori, K. (2011) Design of a variable-stiffness robotic hand using pneumatic soft rubber actuators. Smart Materials and Structures, 20(10), 105015. DOI: 10.1088/0964-1726/20/10/105015
Yes, I know its only got 4 legs, but you can’t say it doesn’t look a little bit spidery. Built by scientists from the Korea Institute of Industrial Technology, this quadruped robot scans and analyses its immediate surroundings. Like a daredevil rockclimber, each surface is scrutinised for the potential to be the next foot or handhold. While one wrong move could mean certain death for a climber 1000ft up, the robot’s actions are a little less hardcore. In the video above, you can see it traversing a not-so-dangerous world full of stacks of paper. ... Read more »
Loc, V., Koo, I., Tran, D., Park, S., Moon, H., & Choi, H. (2011) Improving traversability of quadruped walking robots using body movement in 3D rough terrains. Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 59(12), 1036-1048. DOI: 10.1016/j.robot.2011.08.007
Dry eye is a condition affecting millions of people. Surprisingly there is a lack of objective methods to evaluate tear film quality. A new optical method is described here, discussing implications and more...... Read more »
Benito, A., Pérez, G., Mirabet, S., Vilaseca, M., Pujol, J., Marín, J., & Artal, P. (2011) Objective optical assessment of tear-film quality dynamics in normal and mildly symptomatic dry eyes. Journal of Cataract , 37(8), 1481-1487. DOI: 10.1016/j.jcrs.2011.03.036
SUMMARY: Engineers finally succeed at building a robot that climbs smooth walls with ease and shuffles across ceilings without crashing to earth -- just like a gecko! ... Read more »
J Krahn, Y Liu, A Sadeghi, & C Menon. (2011) A tailless timing belt climbing platform utilizing dry adhesives with mushroom caps. . Smart Materials and Structures, 20(11), 115021. info:/10.1088/0964-1726/20/11/115021
Whether you’ve been learning about microfluidics here at Microfluidic Future or somewhere else, you’ve undoubtedly come across the elastomer poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS). PDMS has radically changed the capabilities of microfluidics (and its price tag) since it was first brought into microfluidics by George Whitesides in 1998. PDMS has effectively replaced glass and silicon which were borrowed from existing micromachining industries. PDMS has great resolution and can contain sub-0.1 µm features. But how is PDMS used, and what makes it so great? Hopefully you’ll have these answers by the end of this post.... Read more »
McDonald, J., & Whitesides, G. (2002) Poly(dimethylsiloxane) as a Material for Fabricating Microfluidic Devices. Accounts of Chemical Research, 35(7), 491-499. DOI: 10.1021/ar010110q
This article introduces the use of Fan Beam Emission Tomography (FBET) to visualize the flame structure of a solid propellant plume. Direct measurement of the scalar values is not feasible...... Read more »
Sivathanu, Y., Lim, J., Reinhart, L., & Bowman, R. (2007) Structure of Plumes from Burning Aluminized Propellant Estimated Using Fan Beam Emission Tomography. AIAA Journal, 45(9), 2259-2266. DOI: 10.2514/1.28742
by Bruce Lieberman in Beaker
If you have cancer today, finding out how advanced the tumor has become often requires an invasive biopsy and precious time to prepare and analyze cancerous cells in the lab. Sanford-Burnham’s Dr. Masanobu Komatsu sees another way to rapidly diagnose what’s happening deep inside you. Someday, he envisions, your doctor will simply administer a solution [...]... Read more »
Wang X, Morales AR, Urakami T, Zhang L, Bondar MV, Komatsu M, & Belfield KD. (2011) Folate receptor-targeted aggregation-enhanced near-IR emitting silica nanoprobe for one-photon in vivo and two-photon ex vivo fluorescence bioimaging. Bioconjugate chemistry, 22(7), 1438-50. PMID: 21688841
Researchers reconstruct movies from brain activity... Read more »
Nishimoto, S., Vu, A., Naselaris, T., Benjamini, Y., Yu, B., & Gallant, J. (2011) Reconstructing Visual Experiences from Brain Activity Evoked by Natural Movies. Current Biology, 21(19), 1641-1646. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2011.08.031
Since the launch of Sputnik in 1957 we’ve launched tonnes of stuff (literally) into space. We’ve not kept things very tidy up there either, so we now have hundreds of thousands of pieces of junk orbiting around us, threatening to crash into important things like the International Space Station. Or the satellite that handles your [...]... Read more »
Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer related mortality among women. Like many diseases, there is a stark difference in survival rates depending on detection times. When ovarian cancer is detected at stage I, there is a 90% 5 year survival rate. Compare that with the 33% 5 year survival rate when the ovarian cancer is detected in stage III and IV. This disease is unfortunately asymptomatic at early stages, drastically eliminating the odds of discovery with enough time to make a difference.... Read more »
Wang, S., Zhao, X., Khimji, I., Akbas, R., Qiu, W., Edwards, D., Cramer, D., Ye, B., & Demirci, U. (2011) Integration of cell phone imaging with microchip ELISA to detect ovarian cancer HE4 biomarker in urine at the point-of-care. Lab on a Chip, 11(20), 3411. DOI: 10.1039/C1LC20479C
Living tissues are complex structures made primarily of tissue and blood. The tissue is supposedly solid, while in reality, it is a mix of solid constituents and stagnant blood. The blood part is assumed capable of flowing, through arteries, veins and smaller capillaries that irrigate the tissue. A bio-material is, in principle, any material that can interact with biological systems. … Continue reading …... Read more »
Chen, M., & Holmes, K. (1980) MICROVASCULAR CONTRIBUTIONS IN TISSUE HEAT TRANSFER. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 335(1 Thermal Chara), 137-150. DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.1980.tb50742.x
File this one under “applications of population density”. Researchers working for Nippon Telephone and Telegraph—better known as NTT—discovered they could use an area’s population density to predict telecommunications equipment failure due to lighting strikes. Telecommunications is an expensive business. Like other infrastructure, it requires a lot of manpower and capital to expand and maintain. But [...]... Read more »
X. Zhang, A. Sugiyama, & H. Kitabayashi. (2011) Estimating telecommunication equipment failures due to lightning surges by using population density. 2011 IEEE International Conference on Quality and Reliability (ICQR) , 182-185. info:/10.1109/ICQR.2011.6031705
The restoration of oil paintings is always a delicate process. Decades and centuries of dust and grime on the surface of a painting are difficult to remove, as the dirt sticks firmly to the painting’s oil paints and varnish. There is always the danger that a thorough physical cleaning and restoration may alter a painting’s original appearance. A solution [...]... Read more »
Palomero, C., & Soriano, M. (2011) Digital cleaning and “dirt” layer visualization of an oil painting. Optics Express, 19(21), 21011. DOI: 10.1364/OE.19.021011
In today’s post, I will discuss a little-known combinatorics paper by E.N. Gilbert from 1965, in which he independently discovered the “logarithmic Welch” construction of Costas arrays. Costas arrays are named after the late IEEE fellow John Costas, whose seminal … Continue reading →... Read more »
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