Claim: Internet surveillance predicts disease outbreak

The habit of Googling for an online diagnosis before visiting a GP can provide early warning of an infectious disease epidemic.

Study: Brain identifies images seen for as little as 13 milliseconds

Imagine seeing a dozen pictures flash by in a fraction of a second. You might think it would be impossible to identify any images you see for such a short time. However, a team of neuroscientists from MIT has found that the human brain can process entire images that the eye sees for as little as 13 milliseconds — the first evidence of such rapid processing speed.

BYU's smart object recognition algorithm doesn't need humans

If we’ve learned anything from post-apocalyptic movies it’s that computers eventually become self-aware and try to eliminate humans.

Two-proton bit controlled by a single copper atom

Just a single foreign atom located in the vicinity of a molecule can change spatial arrangement of its atoms. In a spectacular experiment, an international team of researchers was able to change persistently positions of the nuclei of hydrogen atoms in a porphycene molecule by approaching a single copper atom to the molecule.

NASA: Cracked sea ice stirs up Arctic mercury concern

Vigorous mixing in the air above large cracks in Arctic sea ice that expose seawater to cold polar air pumps atmospheric mercury down to the surface, finds a NASA field campaign. This process can lead to more of the toxic pollutant entering the food chain, where it can negatively affect the health of fish and animals who eat them, including humans.

Soil microbes alter DNA in response to warming

As scientists forecast the impacts of climate change, one missing piece of the puzzle is what will happen to the carbon in the soil and the microbes that control the fate of this carbon as the planet warms.

Quantum physics could make secure, single-use computer memories possible

Computer security systems may one day get a boost from quantum physics, as a result of recent research from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Computer scientist Yi-Kai Liu has devised away to make a security device that has proved notoriously difficult to build—a "one-shot" memory unit, whose contents can be read only a single time.

Why you shouldn't fear the dawn of the drones

In the not too distant future, you may hear the hum of a drone's rotors as it descends upon you and be filled with a sense of relief, not panic. After all, it's coming to save you, not harm you.

Key species of algae shows effects of climate change over time

A study of marine life in the temperate coastal waters of the northeast Pacific Ocean shows a reversal of competitive dominance among species of algae, suggesting that increased ocean acidification caused by global climate change is altering biodiversity.

Researchers reveal phrases that pay on Kickstarter

Researchers at Georgia Tech studying the burgeoning phenomenon of crowdfunding have learned that the language used in online fundraising hold surprisingly predictive power about the success of such campaigns.

Harnessing the sun’s energy during day for use at night

Solar energy has long been used as a clean alternative to fossil fuels such as coal and oil, but it could only be harnessed during the day when the sun’s rays were strongest. Now researchers led by Tom Meyer at the Energy Frontier Research Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have built a system that converts the sun’s energy not into electricity but hydrogen fuel and stores it for later use, allowing us to power our devices long after the sun goes down.

Report: Younger people have “high definition” memories

It’s not that younger people are able to remember more than older people. Their memories seem better because they are able to retrieve them in higher definition.

Weighing particles at the attogram scale

MIT engineers have devised a way to measure the mass of particles with a resolution better than an attogram — one millionth of a trillionth of a gram. Weighing these tiny particles, including both synthetic nanoparticles and biological components of cells, could help researchers better understand their composition and function.

New hybrid molecules could lead to materials that function at the nanoscale

Synthetic chemists today have the ability to construct molecules of almost any atomic composition, creating new materials with any number of promising applications that range from sustainable energy and environmental remediation, to high-performance electronics.

High levels of molecular chlorine found in arctic atmosphere

Scientists studying the atmosphere above Barrow, Alaska, have discovered unprecedented levels of molecular chlorine in the air, a new study reports.

'Superlens' extends range of wireless power transfer

Inventor Nikola Tesla imagined the technology to transmit energy through thin air almost a century ago, but experimental attempts at the feat have so far resulted in cumbersome devices that only work over very small distances. But now, Duke University researchers have demonstrated the feasibility of wireless power transfer using low-frequency magnetic fields over distances much larger than the size of the transmitter and receiver.

Eye-catching electronics

Researchers at ETH are developing electronic components that are thinner and more flexible than before. They can even be wrapped around a single hair without damaging the electronics. This opens up new possibilities for ultra-thin, transparent sensors that are literally easy on the eye.

Making silicon devices responsive to infrared light

Researchers have tried a variety of methods to develop detectors that are responsive to a broad range of infrared light — which could form imaging arrays for security systems, or solar cells that harness a broader range of sunlight’s energy — but these methods have all faced limitations. Now, a new system developed by researchers at five institutions, including MIT, could eliminate many of those limitations.

Report: Microalgae and aquatic plants can help to decrease radiopollution in the Fukushima area

After a huge earthquake caused severe damage to the Fukushima 1 Nuclear Power Plant in 2011, Japanese plant scientists have been working to determine the impact of radioactive contamination on wild and cultivated plants. In a special issue of Springer’s Journal of Plant Research, these experts examine the potential adverse effects of radioactivity on nature and society.

Battery development may extend range of electric cars

It's known that electric vehicles could travel longer distances before needing to charge and more renewable energy could be saved for a rainy day if lithium-sulfur batteries can just overcome a few technical hurdles.