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Posts

April 22, 2014

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6:27 PM | Plasmonic Metamaterials Could Improve Solar Cell Performance
New plasmonic metamaterials that operate at high temperatures could radically improve solar cell performance and bring advanced computer data storage technology that uses heat to record information on a magnetic disk. Read more »

Guler, U., Boltasseva, A. & Shalaev, V. (2014). Refractory Plasmonics, Science, 344 (6181) 263-264. DOI:

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April 21, 2014

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11:52 PM | Blowing the Top Off a Mountain to Build a Telescope So Big It Can See Signs of Life On Other Planets
In a few short weeks, engineers in the Chilean Coastal Ranges of the Andes Mountains in South America will be blowing off the top of Cerro Armazones.  Standing at 10,000 feet, it’s one of the tallest peaks in the region. Here’s Gird Hudepohl, the head engineer for the project: “We will take about 80ft off the top of […]
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6:13 PM | Caterpillar Brings Expertise in STEM and Skilled Trades to Festival 2014 as a Major Sponsor!
Under the theme of “Start Your Journey,” Caterpillar, as a major Festival sponsor and leader in STEM and skilled trades, is set to wow audiences at the Expo this month with a dynamic array of interactive exhibits and presentations designed to demonstrate the breadth of opportunities that exist at Caterpillar and Cat Dealerships around the country in…
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6:00 PM | Born to Engineer - Biomedical bubbles with Eleanor Stride "If I...
Born to Engineer - Biomedical bubbles with Eleanor Stride "If I were to say that the complexity of what we do is the same as the complexity of designing a car, I wouldn’t be exaggerating." Since 2007 biomedical engineer Eleanor Stride has been designing a revolutionary new method of delivering drugs by injecting tiny microbubbles into the bloodstream. Traditional drug delivery through pills or injection send the active agent through the bloodstream meaning that a high percentage of cells […]
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4:30 PM | Pyrolysis Biofuel Production Process Simplified
Innovations at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are bringing researchers one step closer to developing “green” biofuel production systems farmers can use to meet on-farm energy needs, or to produce renewable fuels for commercial markets. Read more »

Pourhashem, G., Spatari, S., Boateng, A., McAloon, A. & Mullen, C. (2013). Life Cycle Environmental and Economic Tradeoffs of Using Fast Pyrolysis Products for Power Generation, Energy & Fuels, 27 (5) 2578-2587. DOI:

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3:30 PM | Springer fake paper tally up to 18
We have some updates on the case of more than 120 fake SCIgen conference proceedings papers that slipped into IEEE and Springer journals. A month ago, Springer said it would be retracting the 16 such papers it found, instead of just removing them: On 27 February, we said that we would *remove* the articles, not […]
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1:00 PM | Drones: The Newest Water-Saving Tool for Parched Farms
Farmers are looking to the sky for the latest water-saving tool. But will aviation authorities allow it?
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3:45 AM | Cross-validation in finance, psychology, and political science
A large chunk of machine learning (although not all of it) is concerned with predictive modeling, usually in the form of designing an algorithm that takes in some data set and returns an algorithm (or sometimes, a description of an algorithm) for making predictions based on future data. In terminology more friendly to the philosophy […]

Bailey, D., Borwein, J., de Prado, M.L. & Zhu, Q. (2014). Pseudo-Mathematics and Financial Charlatanism: The Effects of Backtest Overfitting on Out-of-Sample Performance, Notices of the American Mathematical Society, 61 (5) 458. DOI:

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April 18, 2014

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8:17 PM | Discover the STEM Power of Walmart — From Farm Production and Fleet Truck Design to Energy Efficiency and Skilled Trade Employment!
  Many people know Walmart as the largest corporate retailer in the world, but did you also realize it is a leading innovator and employer in STEM? At Festival Expo 2014, you’ll discover in unforgettable ways this other side of Walmart, which this year is serving as an Americum-level Sponsor of the Festival! Walmart’s imprint on STEM is…

April 17, 2014

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10:46 PM | Meet Elsie MacGill, a legend in aircraft design and production...
Meet Elsie MacGill, a legend in aircraft design and production and the first female aircraft designer in the world. In 1938 she became Chief Aeronautical Engineer at Canadian Car and Foundry where she led the production and redesign of several planes including the Hawker Hurricane – the plane responsible for the most British victories in WWII. Most of the employees in the factory were women and by the wars end they had produced 1,400 aircraft, a massive feat. Elsie had forged new […]
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7:17 PM | Danish Project to Make Polymer Solar Cells More Profitable
Project Megawatt intends to make polymer solar cells profitable enough to allow power generation from polymer solar cells to compete on market terms with traditional coal-fired power plants. Read more »

Krebs, F., Espinosa, N., Hösel, M., Søndergaard, R. & Jørgensen, M. (2014). 25th Anniversary Article: Rise to Power - OPV-Based Solar Parks, Advanced Materials, 26 (1) 29-39. DOI:

Sommer-Larsen, P., Jørgensen, M., Søndergaard, R., Hösel, M. & Krebs, F. (2013). It is all in the Pattern-High-Efficiency Power Extraction from Polymer Solar Cells through High-Voltage Serial Connection, Energy Technology, 1 (1) 15-19. DOI:

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7:17 PM | Danish Project to Make Polymer Solar Cells More Profitable
Project Megawatt intends to make polymer solar cells profitable enough to allow power generation from polymer solar cells to compete on market terms with traditional coal-fired power plants. Read more »

Krebs, F., Espinosa, N., Hösel, M., Søndergaard, R. & Jørgensen, M. (2014). 25th Anniversary Article: Rise to Power - OPV-Based Solar Parks, Advanced Materials, 26 (1) 29-39. DOI:

Sommer-Larsen, P., Jørgensen, M., Søndergaard, R., Hösel, M. & Krebs, F. (2013). It is all in the Pattern-High-Efficiency Power Extraction from Polymer Solar Cells through High-Voltage Serial Connection, Energy Technology, 1 (1) 15-19. DOI:

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April 16, 2014

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5:30 PM | 6 of The Most Breathtaking Yet Terrifying Bridges You Could Ever Cross (Pictures)
Click any of the images to enlarge them. 1. Capilano Suspension Bridge- North Vancouver, Canada Height: 70m (230ft); Length: 137m (449ft)- This simple suspension bridge crosses the Capilano River in the Canadian province of British Columbia. 2. Hanging Bridge of Ghasa- Kushma, Nepal Height: 70m (443ft); Length: 137m (1,128ft)- This bridge was created in the hopes of […]
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2:15 PM | A New Perch For Wireless Research
A 19-and-a-half-foot antenna just got the best view on Drexel University’s campus. Mounted atop the 205-foot Millennium Hall dormitory, the mast designed by a group of electrical engineers from Drexel, will give researchers a perfect vantage point to test out theories of wireless networking that could do much more than boost your cellular reception. The … Continue reading →
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2:00 PM | Self-Healing Composites- The Trick is Biology
Let’s face it, things wear out. Car tires go bye-bye, seals get worn, and Jets need constant upkeep to make sure that cracks in the fuselage [the main body of […]

Patrick J.F., Hart K.R., Krull B.P., Diesendruck C.E., Moore J.S., White S.R. & Sottos N.R. (2014). Continuous Self-Healing Life Cycle in Vascularized Structural Composites, Advanced Materials, n/a-n/a. DOI:

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2:00 PM | Self-Healing Composites- The Trick is Biology
Let’s face it, things wear out. Car tires go bye-bye, seals get worn, and Jets need constant upkeep to make sure that cracks in the fuselage [the main body of […]

Patrick J.F., Hart K.R., Krull B.P., Diesendruck C.E., Moore J.S., White S.R. & Sottos N.R. (2014). Continuous Self-Healing Life Cycle in Vascularized Structural Composites, Advanced Materials, n/a-n/a. DOI:

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2:00 PM | Self-Healing Composites- The Trick is Biology
Let’s face it, things wear out. Car tires go bye-bye, seals get worn, and Jets need constant upkeep to make sure that cracks in the fuselage [the main body of […]

Patrick J.F., Hart K.R., Krull B.P., Diesendruck C.E., Moore J.S., White S.R. & Sottos N.R. (2014). Continuous Self-Healing Life Cycle in Vascularized Structural Composites, Advanced Materials, n/a-n/a. DOI:

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2:00 PM | Self-Healing Composites- The Trick is Biology
Let’s face it, things wear out. Car tires go bye-bye, seals get worn, and Jets need constant upkeep to make sure that cracks in the fuselage [the main body of […]

Patrick J.F., Hart K.R., Krull B.P., Diesendruck C.E., Moore J.S., White S.R. & Sottos N.R. (2014). Continuous Self-Healing Life Cycle in Vascularized Structural Composites, Advanced Materials, n/a-n/a. DOI:

Citation
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2:00 PM | Self-Healing Composites- The Trick is Biology
Let’s face it, things wear out. Car tires go bye-bye, seals get worn, and Jets need constant upkeep to make sure that cracks in the fuselage [the main body of […]

Patrick J.F., Hart K.R., Krull B.P., Diesendruck C.E., Moore J.S., White S.R. & Sottos N.R. (2014). Continuous Self-Healing Life Cycle in Vascularized Structural Composites, Advanced Materials, n/a-n/a. DOI:

Citation

April 14, 2014

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7:59 PM | Airborne Wind Turbines Have Significant Potential, Study Finds
Airborne wind turbines hovering high in the air and tethered to the ground, like kites, have the potential to generate huge amounts of electricity, based on a recent wind availability study led by the University of Delaware. Read more »

Archer, C., Delle Monache, L. & Rife, D. (2014). Airborne wind energy: Optimal locations and variability, Renewable Energy, 64 180-186. DOI:

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11:34 AM | Not Good Enough.
Ed Yong is one of the English language’s better science writers. He often weighs in on issues facing academia, in addition to reporting science. One of the biggest issues facing academia right now is the pipeline problem: too many PhDs are graduating compared with the number of professorships that will ever be available for them. […]
Editor's Pick
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3:45 AM | Big data, prediction, and scientism in the social sciences
Much of my undergrad was spent studying physics, and although I still think that a physics background is great for a theorists in any field, there are some downsides. For example, I used to make jokes like: “soft isn’t the opposite of hard sciences, easy is.” Thankfully, over the years I have started to slowly […]

Lazer, D., Kennedy, R., King, G. & Vespignani, A. (2014). Big data. The parable of Google Flu: traps in big data analysis., Science, 343 (6176) 1203-1205. PMID:

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3:45 AM | Big data, prediction, and scientism in the social sciences
Much of my undergrad was spent studying physics, and although I still think that a physics background is great for a theorists in any field, there are some downsides. For example, I used to make jokes like: “soft isn’t the opposite of hard sciences, easy is.” Thankfully, over the years I have started to slowly […]

Lazer, D., Kennedy, R., King, G. & Vespignani, A. (2014). Big data. The parable of Google Flu: traps in big data analysis., Science, 343 (6176) 1203-1205. PMID:

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2:33 AM | Married to my work
In the past two weeks, I have been introduced as Mike’s spouse twice in professional settings. I usually view this as something akin to the Kiss of Death: the person receiving this news is likely to consider me an appendage to my spouse and therefore rather useless.  It’s not that I mind people know I […]

April 13, 2014

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1:58 AM | This title isn’t nearly innovative enough
I’ve been pondering a question…and asking a few people, as well. What do you consider innovative? In particular, I’m wondering if people say it is only innovative to have a new idea that no one has thought of before.  What about a different scenario: would you consider it innovative if you came up with a viable […]

April 11, 2014

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12:00 PM | The Guardians In Our Gut- Using Bacteria to Sense Disease
You’re sitting there, reading this post, and your skin should be crawling. Well it practically is, along with your nostrils, lungs, gut and any of your mucus-covered surfaces. You’re crawling with […]

Kotula JW, Kerns SJ, Shaket LA, Siraj L, Collins JJ, Way JC & Silver PA (2014). Programmable bacteria detect and record an environmental signal in the mammalian gut., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111 (13) 4838-43. PMID:

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12:00 PM | The Guardians In Our Gut- Using Bacteria to Sense Disease
You’re sitting there, reading this post, and your skin should be crawling. Well it practically is, along with your nostrils, lungs, gut and any of your mucus-covered surfaces. You’re crawling with […]

Kotula JW, Kerns SJ, Shaket LA, Siraj L, Collins JJ, Way JC & Silver PA (2014). Programmable bacteria detect and record an environmental signal in the mammalian gut., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111 (13) 4838-43. PMID:

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6:45 AM | Oh No! Is Math All Wrong?
We all use math in our daily lives. Whether we’re counting objects, adding up money to pay for goods or dividing up food among friends, math is all around us. But what if someone suddenly revealed some proof that 1=2 or that 1=-1 or something like that. Math would be completely ruined! Unless… It’s been […]

April 10, 2014

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7:47 PM | Building robots to land on Saturn’s moons Landing an unmanned...
Building robots to land on Saturn’s moons Landing an unmanned robot on another planet can be quite a feat and can end up being quite a complex process.  Scientists want to make this process easier but also allow us to explore worlds that are currently too difficult to land on. UC Berkeley professor Alice Agogino is working with doctoral students to build what are known as tensegrity robots.  Essentially, these are robots built with a series of rods and tension wires that protect […]
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1:38 PM | Flexible Plastics Turn Vibrations Into Electrical Energy
Kui Yao and co-workers from the A*STAR Institute of Materials Research and Engineering in Singapore have discovered a way to give lightweight polymer vibration harvesters a hundredfold boost in energy output—a finding that may help to eliminate manual battery recharging in microsensors and mobile devices. Read more »

Lei Zhang, ., Oh, S., Ting Chong Wong, ., Chin Yaw Tan, . & Kui Yao, . (2013). Piezoelectric polymer multilayer on flexible substrate for energy harvesting, IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control, 60 (9) 2013-2020. DOI:

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