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Techonology, Engineering and Computer Science News

Transparent, electrically conductive network of encapsulated silver nanowires
(Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin fr Materialien und Energie) A team headed by Professor Silke Christiansen has developed a transparent electrode with high electrical conductivity for solar cells and other optoelectronic components -- that uses minimal amounts of material. It consists of a random network of silver nanowires that is coated with aluminium-doped zinc oxide. The novel electrode requires about 70 times less silver than conventional silver grid electrodes, but possesses comparable electrical conductivity.

New Smart Villages offgrid solutions for helping world's bottom billion
(Richard Hayhurst Associates) A new series of essays by leading experts maintains that the latest offgrid energy solutions can provide sustainable development for the world's bottom billion and meet upcoming Sustainable Development Goals

Protein machines make fluctuating flows unconsciously
(Hiroshima University) An international research group has demonstrated that protein machines, regardless of their specific functions, can collectively induce fluctuating hydrodynamic flows and substantially enhance the diffusive motions of particles in the cell.

Heating and cooling with light leads to ultrafast DNA diagnostics
(University of California - Berkeley) UC Berkeley researchers used LEDs and a thin film of gold to turbocharge the heating and cooling cycles of the PCR test so results are ready in minutes, not hours. The innovation greatly expands the clinical and research applications of a workhorse lab tool used in forensics, medical diagnostics and more.

Butterflies heat up the field of solar research
(University of Exeter) The humble butterfly could hold the key to unlocking new techniques to make solar energy cheaper and more efficient, pioneering new research has shown.

Stanford team's brain-controlled prosthesis nearly as good as one-finger typing
(Stanford School of Engineering) Brain-controlled prostheses sample a few hundred neurons to estimate motor commands that involve millions of neurons. Sampling errors can reduce the precision and speed of thought-controlled keypads. A Stanford-led technique can analyze this sample and make dozens of corrective adjustments in the blink of an eye to make thought-controlled cursors more precise.

Not Schrödinger's Cat: NIST PET phantoms bring new accuracy to medical scans
(National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)) Teaming with a medical equipment company, NIST researchers have demonstrated the first calibration system for Positron Emission Tomography scanners directly tied to national measurement standards. The new calibration capability can be used to fine-tune PET scanners that find cancers and track the progress of treatments, among other diagnostic applications. It will be used to ensure the accuracy of some of the newest scanners on the market.

Safeguarding the greater good
(Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard) Research teams from the Wyss Institute and University of California, San Diego -- the only two groups to have published work on RNA-guided CRISPR gene drives -- have proactively assembled an international group of 26 experts, including prominent genetic engineers and fruit fly geneticists, to unanimously recommend a series of preemptive measures to safeguard gene drive research.

Telescopes team up to find distant Uranus-sized planet through microlensing
(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii have made independent confirmations of an exoplanet orbiting far from its central star. The planet was discovered through a technique called gravitational microlensing.

Rotten tomatoes and 2 thumbs up
(Journal of Retailing at New York University) How online shoppers respond when faced with wide variations in online reviews can give retailers insights into how to display the reviews and what to expect.

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