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Techonology, Engineering and Computer Science News

Getting bot responders into shape
(DOE/Sandia National Laboratories) Sandia National Laboratories is tackling one of the biggest barriers to the use of robots in emergency response: energy efficiency. Through a project supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Sandia is developing technology that will dramatically improve the endurance of legged robots, helping them operate for long periods while performing the types of locomotion most relevant to disaster response scenarios.

Switching to spintronics
(DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) Berkeley Lab researchers used an electric field to reverse the magnetization direction in a multiferroic spintronic device at room temperature, a demonstration that points a new way towards spintronics and smaller, faster and cheaper ways of storing and processing data.

Big data may be fashion industry's next must-have accessory
(Penn State) Big data may be the next new thing to hit the fashion industry's runways, according to a team of researchers.

Study: 49 percent of patients withhold clinically sensitive information
(Clemson University) In the first real-world trial of the impact of patient-controlled access to electronic medical records, almost half of the patients who participated withheld clinically sensitive information in their medical records from some or all of their health care providers.

NASA's sun watching observatory sees mid-level solar flare on Dec. 16, 2014
(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 11:50 p.m. EST on Dec. 16, 2014. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun constantly, captured an image of the event.

NOAA/NASA satellite sees holiday lights brighten cities
(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) Even from space, holidays shine bright. With a new look at daily data from the NOAA/NASA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite, a NASA scientist and colleagues have identified how patterns in nighttime light intensity change during major holiday seasons -- Christmas and New Year's in the United States and the holy month of Ramadan in the Middle East.

Lens-free microscope can detect cancer at the cellular level
(University of California - Los Angeles) UCLA researchers have developed a lens-free microscope that can be used to detect the presence of cancer or other cell-level abnormalities with the same accuracy as larger and more expensive optical microscopes.

ORNL microscopy pencils patterns in polymers at the nanoscale
(DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory) Scientists have used advanced microscopy to carve out nanoscale designs on the surface of a new class of ionic polymer materials for the first time.

New conversion process turns biomass 'waste' into lucrative chemical products
(Purdue University) A new catalytic process is able to convert what was once considered biomass waste into lucrative chemical products that can be used in fragrances, flavorings or to create high-octane fuel for racecars and jets.A team of researchers from a DOE Energy Frontier Research Center has developed a process that uses a chemical catalyst and heat to spur reactions that convert lignin into valuable chemical commodities.

'Draw me a picture,' say scientists: Computer may respond
(University of Illinois at Chicago) The National Science Foundation has awarded a $300,000 grant to the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Hawaii to take the first steps towards developing a computer that can take data and produce meaningful visualizations based on natural language requests, accompanied by common gestures like pointing.

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