Finding hidden circles may improve social network privacy settings

Creating a computer program to find relationships in networks, such as Google Plus and Facebook, may help users more easily set up and maintain privacy settings, according to researchers.

Inexpensive 'nano-camera' can operate at the speed of light

A $500 "nano-camera" that can operate at the speed of light has been developed by researchers in the MIT Media Lab. The three-dimensional camera, which was presented last week at Siggraph Asia in Hong Kong, could be used in medical imaging and collision-avoidance detectors for cars, and to improve the accuracy of motion tracking and gesture-recognition devices used in interactive gaming.

Demonstrating how losing information can benefit quantum computing

Suggesting that quantum computers might benefit from losing some data, physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have entangled—linked the quantum properties of—two ions by leaking judiciously chosen information to the environment.

Claim: Even if emissions stop, carbon dioxide could warm Earth for centuries

Even if carbon dioxide emissions came to a sudden halt, the carbon dioxide already in Earth's atmosphere could continue to warm our planet for hundreds of years, according to Princeton University-led research published in the journal Nature Climate Change. The study suggests that it might take a lot less carbon than previously thought to reach the global temperature scientists deem unsafe.

Report: Acid raid, ozone depletion contributed to ancient extinction

Around 250 million years ago, at the end of the Permian period, there was a mass extinction so severe that it remains the most traumatic known species die-off in Earth's history. Some researchers have suggested that this extinction was triggered by contemporaneous volcanic eruptions in Siberia.

Glacier melting rate helps forecast sea level rise

Predictions of sea level rise could become more accurate, thanks to new insight into how glacier movement is affected by melting ice in summer. Studies of the Greenland ice sheet, including during a record warm summer, are helping scientists better understand how summer conditions affect its flow. This is important for predicting the future contribution made by melting glaciers to sea level rise.

Report: Playing computer games makes brains feel and think alike

It's well known that people who communicate face-to-face will start to imitate each other. People adopt each other's poses and gestures, much like infectious yawning. What is less known is that the very physiology of interacting people shows a type of mimicry – which we call synchrony or linkage, explains Michiel Sovijärvi-Spapé.

Will 2-D tin be the next super material?

A single layer of tin atoms could be the world’s first material to conduct electricity with 100 percent efficiency at the temperatures that computer chips operate, according to a team of theoretical physicists led by researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University.

When graphene meets semiconductor

For all the promise of graphene as a material for next-generation electronics and quantum computing, scientists still don't know enough about this high-performance conductor to effectively control an electric current.

Searching for cosmic accelerators with IceCube

n our universe there are particle accelerators 40 million times more powerful than the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. Scientists don’t know what these cosmic accelerators are or where they are located, but new results being reported from “IceCube,” the neutrino observatory buried at the South Pole, may show the way. These new results should also erase any doubts as to IceCube’s ability to deliver on its promise.

A breakthrough for marine biofuel production

Researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego have developed a method for greatly enhancing biofuel production in tiny marine algae. As reported in this week’s online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Scripps graduate student Emily Trentacoste led the development of a method to genetically engineer a key growth component in biofuel production.

Carnegie Mellon computer searches web 24/7 to analyze images and teach itself common sense

A computer program called the Never Ending Image Learner (NEIL) is running 24 hours a day at Carnegie Mellon University, searching the Web for images, doing its best to understand them on its own and, as it builds a growing visual database, gathering common sense on a massive scale.

Researchers break a theoretical time barrier on bouncing droplets

Those who study hydrophobic materials — water-shedding surfaces such as those found in nature and created in the laboratory — are familiar with a theoretical limit on the time it takes for a water droplet to bounce away from such a surface. But MIT researchers have now found a way to burst through that perceived barrier, reducing the contact time by at least 40 percent.

Enhancing battery performance with cathode material

The ever-increasing market for portable electronic devices such as laptops, cell phones and MP3 players has resulted in an equally heavy demand for secondary batteries -- more commonly known as rechargeable batteries -- Lithium-ion (Li-ion) being among the most popular.

After 84 years, von Neumann-Day math problem finally solved

A famous math problem that has vexed mathematicians for decades has met an elegant solution by Cornell University researchers. Graduate student Yash Lodha, working with Justin Moore, professor of mathematics, has described a geometric solution for the von Neumann-Day problem, first described by mathematician John von Neumann in 1929.

Chaotic physics in ferroelectrics hints at brain-like computing

Unexpected behavior in ferroelectric materials explored by researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory supports a new approach to information storage and processing.

Single-atom bit forms smallest memory in the world

One atom equals one bit: According to this design principle, we would like to construct magnetic data memories in the future. Presently, a compound of several million atoms is needed to stabilize a magnetic bit in a way that hard disk data are secure for several years.

The evolution of the Earth's atmosphere

An international team of researchers led by Ralf Tappert, University of Innsbruck, reconstructed the composition of the Earth's atmosphere of the last 220 million years by analyzing modern and fossil plant resins.

Scientists invent self-healing battery electrode

Researchers have made the first battery electrode that heals itself, opening a new and potentially commercially viable path for making the next generation of lithium ion batteries for electric cars, cell phones and other devices.

New hologram technology created with tiny nanoantennas

Researchers have created tiny holograms using a "metasurface" capable of the ultra-efficient control of light, representing a potential new technology for advanced sensors, high-resolution displays and information processing.