Tech

A University of Washington computer scientist is calling on the international academic community and engineers working in industry to take a bolder approach when designing how people find information online.

In a two-page commentary titled "Search needs a shake-up," published in the Aug. 4 issue of the journal Nature, UW professor of computer science and engineering Oren Etzioni calls on experts to, literally, think outside the search box. The piece is being published on the 20-year anniversary of Tim Berners Lee unveiling his World Wide Web project.

U.S. production of ethanol for fuel has been rising quickly, topping 13 billion gallons in 2010. With the usual rail, truck and barge transport methods under potential strain, existing gas pipelines might be an efficient alternative for moving this renewable fuel around the country. But researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) caution that ethanol, and especially the bacteria sometimes found in it, can dramatically degrade pipelines.

Detergent-like compounds called saponins are best known for their cleansing properties, but U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists are studying these compounds' potential for helping protect plants from insect attack.

A novel therapy that reduces elevated blood levels of a potentially toxic protein in women with preeclampsia, a dangerous complication of pregnancy, may someday address the therapeutic dilemma posed by the condition – balancing life-threatening risks to the mother with the dangers that early delivery poses to an immature fetus. In a paper receiving online release in the journal Circulation, a team of U.S.

Dr Xiao-Qi Zhou and colleagues at the University of Bristol's Centre for Quantum Photonics and the University of Queensland, Australia, have shown that controlled operations — ones that are implemented on the condition that a "control bit" is in the state 1 — can be dramatically simplified compared to the standard approach.

A new robot using high-precision tactile sensors and flexible motor control technology has taken Japan one step closer to its goal of providing high-quality care for its growing elderly population. Developed by researchers at RIKEN and Tokai Rubber Industries (TRI), the new robot can lift a patient up to 80kg in weight off floor-level bedding and into a wheelchair, freeing care facility personnel of one of their most difficult and energy-consuming tasks.

For fruits, cereals and leguminous plants such as oranges, wheat, beans and olives to grow in hot and dry climates, they must be irrigated regularly. And very often the water used comes from deep wells. In Egypt, many farmers currently use diesel generators to water their fields.

Los Angeles, CA (AUGUST 2, 2011) The fastest growing group of students in America's K-12 schools are Latino. Evidence-based programs addressing the unique language and cultural needs of that population are successful in narrowing the traditional achievement gap, according to a recent study in Counseling Outcome Research and Evaluation (published by SAGE, on the behalf of the Association for Assessment in Counseling and Education).

TEMPLE — The Lampasas and Leon Rivers watersheds have been listed as impaired by the state due to high counts of E. coli and other bacteria taken in the late 1990s, but from whom, what and where the contamination originates is unclear, say Texas AgriLife Research experts.Because the watersheds are located in a landscape that is predominately rural and agricultural, there has been some conjecture that the sources of E. coli are livestock related, said Dr. June Wolfe, a AgriLife Research scientist.

Turning graphite oxide (GO) into full-fledged supercapacitors turns out to be simple. But until a laboratory at Rice University figured out how, it was anything but obvious.

Biomedical engineers at Johns Hopkins have developed a new liquid material that in early experiments in rats and humans shows promise in restoring damaged soft tissue relatively safely and durably. The material, a composite of biological and synthetic molecules, is injected under the skin, then "set" using light to form a more solid structure, like using cold to set gelatin in a mold. The researchers say the product one day could be used to reconstruct soldier's faces marred by blast injuries.

Electrical engineers at Duke University have developed a material that allows them to manipulate light in much the same way that electronics manipulate flowing electrons.

The researchers say the results of their latest proof-of-concept experiments could lead to the replacement of electrical components with those based on optical technologies. Light-based devices would enable faster and more efficient transmission of information, much in the same way that replacing wires with optical fibers revolutionized the telecommunications industry.

WASHINGTON, Aug. 1, 2011 — A new episode in the American Chemical Society's (ACS) award-winning "Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions" podcast series focuses on developing a so-called "green grid," a next-generation electric distribution system that would foster wider production of renewable electricity from the sun and wind.