Australian fossil forces rethink on our ancestors' emergence onto land

Science Daily - Thu, 04/06/2015 - 2:08pm
A fossil's age raises the possibility that the first animals to emerge from the water to live on land were large tetrapods in Gondwana in the southern hemisphere, rather than smaller species in Europe.
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Research points to effective methods of freezing avian red blood cells

Science Daily - Thu, 04/06/2015 - 2:08pm
Birds, like people, can suffer from conditions where a blood transfusion is a necessary life-saving measure. But in many instances, unless an avian donor is readily available, accessing blood is impossible because of the challenges associated with storing the species' red blood cells. A substance called dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) shows promise as a potential cryopreservant for freezing avian blood, research shows.
Categories: Science

Air pollution below EPA standards linked with higher death rates

Science Daily - Thu, 04/06/2015 - 2:08pm
Death rates among people over 65 are higher in zip codes with more fine particulate air pollution (PM2.5) than in those with lower levels of PM2.5, researchers have found. The harmful effects from the particles were observed even in areas where concentrations were less than a third of the current standard set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
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Tumblr Finally Gives You the Power to Search for GIFs


Wired News - Thu, 04/06/2015 - 2:00pm

Starting today, Tumblr is introducing GIF search. The new tool can be found in the Tumblr dashboard.

The post Tumblr Finally Gives You the Power to Search for GIFs
 appeared first on WIRED.









Categories: Science

Cape Watch: Can We Get Suicide Squad Details for God’s Sake?

Wired News - Thu, 04/06/2015 - 2:00pm

Want to know who the new Spider-Man might be? Curious about the status of the Deadpool flick? Read on for this week's superhero movie news.

The post Cape Watch: Can We Get Suicide Squad Details for God’s Sake? appeared first on WIRED.









Categories: Science

Ex-Googlers Get Millions to Help You Build the Next Google

Wired News - Thu, 04/06/2015 - 2:00pm

After Spencer Kimball left Google, he found himself missing some of the custom-built software he used on the job. So he started building his own.

The post Ex-Googlers Get Millions to Help You Build the Next Google appeared first on WIRED.









Categories: Science

Linux Kernel 4.1 Will Be an LTS Release

Slashdot - Thu, 04/06/2015 - 1:36pm
New submitter prisoninmate writes: The Linux Foundation's LinuxLTSI (Long-Term Support Initiative) group has confirmed on Twitter that the next LTS version of the Linux kernel will be 4.1. The information has also been confirmed by Greg Kroah-Hartman, a renowned kernel developer who is currently maintaining several kernel branches, including a few LTS ones. When Linux kernel 4.1 is released, it will become the LTS version of 2015 and the most advanced long-term support release. This is significant because the LTSI releases are (or will be) everywhere, in a "Linux is everywhere" sense. As the initiative's page puts it, "The LTSI tree is expected to be a usable base for the majority of embedded systems, as well as the base for ecosystem players (e.g., semiconductor vendors, set-vendors, software component vendors, distributors, and system/application framework providers). ... The goal is to reduce the number of private trees currently in use in the CE industry and encourage more collaboration and sharing of development resources."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

Next-generation energy-efficient light-based computers

Kurzweil AI - Thu, 04/06/2015 - 1:08pm

Infrared light enters this silicon structure from the left. The cut-out patterns, determined by an algorithm, route two different wavelengths of this light into the two pathways on the right. (credit: Alexander Piggott)

Stanford University engineers have developed a new design algorithm that can automate the process of designing optical interconnects, which could lead to faster, more energy-efficient computers that use light rather than electricity for internal data transport.

Light can transmit more data while consuming far less power than electricity. According to a study by David Miller, the MIT W.M. Keck Foundation Professor of Electrical Engineering, up to 80 percent of microprocessor power is consumed by sending data over interconnects (wires that connect chips).

In addition, “for chip-scale links, light can carry more than 20 times as much data,” said Stanford graduate student Alexander Y. Piggott, lead author of a Nature Photonics article.

However, designing optical interconnects (using silicon fiber-optics cables) is complex and requires custom design for each interconnect. Given that thousands of interconnects are needed for each electronic system, optical data transport has remained impractical.

Optimized design of optical interconnects

Now the Stanford engineers believe they’ve broken that bottleneck by inventing what they call an “inverse design algorithm.” It works as the name suggests: the engineers specify what they want the optical circuit to do, and the software provides the details of how to fabricate a silicon structure to perform the task.

The wavelength demultiplexer developed by the Stanford team comprised one input waveguide, two output waveguides, and a chip for switching outputs based on incoming wavelengths (credit: Alexander Y. Piggott et al./Nature Photonics)

“We used the algorithm to design a working optical circuit and made several copies in our lab,” said Jelena Vuckovic, a Stanford professor of electrical engineering and senior author of the article.

The optical circuit they created was a silicon wavelength demultiplexer (which splits incoming light into multiple channels based on the wavelengths of the light). The device split 1,300 nm and 1,550 nm light from an input waveguide into two output waveguides.

(“Multiplexing” allows for multiple signals to be transmitted over a thin fiber-optic cable, which is how the Internet and cable television is able to transmit massive amounts of data, not possible with wires.)

The engineers note that once the algorithm has calculated the proper shape for the task, standard scalable industrial processes can be used to transfer that pattern onto silicon. The device footprint is only 2.8 x 2.8 micrometers, making this the smallest dielectric wavelength splitter to date.

The researchers envision other potential applications for their inverse design algorithm, including high-bandwidth optical communications, compact microscopy systems, and ultra-secure quantum communications.

Abstract of Inverse design and demonstration of a compact and broadband on-chip wavelength demultiplexer

Integrated photonic devices are poised to play a key role in a wide variety of applications, ranging from optical interconnects and sensors to quantum computing. However, only a small library of semi-analytically designed devices is currently known. Here, we demonstrate the use of an inverse design method that explores the full design space of fabricable devices and allows us to design devices with previously unattainable functionality, higher performance and robustness, and smaller footprints than conventional devices. We have designed a silicon wavelength demultiplexer that splits 1,300 nm and 1,550 nm light from an input waveguide into two output waveguides, and fabricated and characterized several devices. The devices display low insertion loss (∼2 dB), low crosstalk (<−11 dB) and wide bandwidths (>100 nm). The device footprint is 2.8 × 2.8 μm2, making this the smallest dielectric wavelength splitter.

Categories: Science

Here’s What We Know About Apple’s Plans for Smart Homes

Wired News - Thu, 04/06/2015 - 1:00pm

As WWDC nears, Apple's smart home ambitions are becoming clearer.

The post Here’s What We Know About Apple’s Plans for Smart Homes appeared first on WIRED.









Categories: Science

Is It Really Better to Eat Vegetarian in a Drought?

Wired News - Thu, 04/06/2015 - 1:00pm

We can't tell you exactly what to eat during the drought, but this video should help you make the choice for yourself.

The post Is It Really Better to Eat Vegetarian in a Drought? appeared first on WIRED.









Categories: Science

Startup Unleashes Its Clone of Google’s ‘Knowledge Graph’

Wired News - Thu, 04/06/2015 - 1:00pm

Giving apps the power to comprehend the web the same way a human would.

The post Startup Unleashes Its Clone of Google’s ‘Knowledge Graph’ appeared first on WIRED.









Categories: Science

Facebook Sued In US Court For Blocking Page In India

Slashdot - Thu, 04/06/2015 - 12:54pm
itwbennett writes: Facebook has been sued in California by the non-profit organization Sikhs For Justice for blocking their page in India. The group has charged Facebook with engaging in 'a pattern of civil rights violation and blatant discriminatory conduct' by blocking its content in the whole of India. It has asked the court for a permanent injunction on further blocking of the page, access to Facebook's correspondence with the Indian government about the block, and an award of damages, besides other relief.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

Researcher finds rare Vietnamese rabbit

Science Daily - Thu, 04/06/2015 - 12:47pm
A rare and elusive rabbit has been found, held and photographed by a researcher. The Annamite striped rabbit, found in the forests of Laos and Vietnam, was first documented by rabbit expert Dr Diana Bell in 1999. It has rarely been seen since. A British researcher set out on a three-month expedition to track the recently discovered rabbit and study its habitat.
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Exiled stars explode far from home

Science Daily - Thu, 04/06/2015 - 12:47pm
Astronomers usually discover supernovae within large galaxies, where a star explodes perhaps once a century. Now a team of astronomers has used the sharp imaging capability of the Hubble Space Telescope to confirm that three exploding stars found in the empty regions between galaxies in a cluster were in fact lonely supernovae unattached to any galaxy at all. They were probably ripped from their host galaxies eons ago and exploded far from home.
Categories: Science

Low-cost weight loss program has long-term results, study shows

Science Daily - Thu, 04/06/2015 - 12:47pm
Clinically significant weight loss is defined as losing 5 percent or more of one's body weight, because weight-related medical conditions, such as diabetes, can improve with that level of weight loss. As America's obesity epidemic continues to grow, a new study shows that a low-cost, non-profit weight loss program offers the kind of long-term results that often elude dieters.
Categories: Science

Thirty years of AIDS data highlight survival gains, room for improvement

Science Daily - Thu, 04/06/2015 - 12:47pm
Although treatment advances have dramatically reduced deaths from opportunistic infections related to AIDS, a new study drawing on 30 years of data from more than 20,000 patients in San Francisco suggests there is still ample room to improve. About a third -- 35 percent -- of AIDS patients diagnosed with their first opportunistic infection from 1997 to 2012 in that city died within five years, according to the study.
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Seven new miniaturized frog species found in the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest

Science Daily - Thu, 04/06/2015 - 12:47pm
Following nearly five years of exploration in mountainous areas of the southern Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest, a team of researchers has uncovered seven new species of a highly miniaturized, brightly colored frog genus known as Brachycephalus. Each species is remarkably endemic, being restricted to cloud forests in one or a few adjacent mountaintops, thus making them highly vulnerable to extinction, particularly due to shifts in the distribution of cloud forest due to climate change.
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Ancient El Niños triggered Baja bunny booms

Science Daily - Thu, 04/06/2015 - 12:46pm
At times during the past 10,000 years, cottontails and hares reproduced like rabbits and their numbers surged when the El Niño weather pattern drenched the Pacific Coast with rain, according to an analysis of 3,463 bunny bones.
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Developing delirium in ICU linked to fatal outcomes

Science Daily - Thu, 04/06/2015 - 12:46pm
About one-third of patients admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) will develop delirium, a condition that lengthens hospital stays and substantially increases one’s risk of dying in the hospital, according to a new study.
Categories: Science

New tool brings standards to epigenetic studies

Science Daily - Thu, 04/06/2015 - 12:46pm
A new technique has been developed that calibrates a commonly-used tool in epigenetic experiments with an internal standard - dramatically improving accuracy and the development of therapeutics against diseases linked to epigenetic changes.
Categories: Science