A Week in Review: 8/17/14 – 8/23/14

Aug. 21, 2014

JILA team finds first direct evidence of ‘spin symmetry’ in atoms
JILA physicists led by theorist Ana Maria Rey and experimentalist Jun Ye have observed the first direct evidence of symmetry in the magnetic properties—or nuclear “spins”—of atoms. The advance could spin off practical benefits such as the ability to simulate and better understand exotic materials exhibiting phenomena such as superconductivity (electrical flow without resistance) and colossal magneto-resistance (drastic change in electrical flow in the presence of a magnetic field). http://www.colorado.edu/news/releases/2014/08/21/jila-team-finds-first-direct-evidence-%E2%80%98spin-symmetry%E2%80%99-atoms

Aug. 18, 2014

Bacterial nanowires not what scientists thought they were
For the past 10 years, scientists have been fascinated by a type of “electric bacteria” that shoots out long tendrils like electric wires, using them to power themselves and transfer electricity to a variety of solid surfaces. A team led by scientists at USC has now turned the study of these bacterial nanowires on its head, discovering that the key features in question are not pili, as previously believed, but rather extensions of the bacteria’s outer membrane equipped with proteins that transfer electrons called “cytochromes.”

A Week in Review: 6/15/14 – 6/21/14

June 19, 2014

Cybersecurity center earns DHS, NSA designation
Kansas State University’s cybersecurity center is receiving national recognition for its dedication to cutting-edge research. The university’s Center for Information and Systems Assurance has been redesignated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense Research. The designation is from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency and is effective from 2014 to 2019.

June 17, 2014

Displaying content by popularity encourages ‘irrational herding,’ study finds
To explore user experience, a recent study determined what kind of content users prefer and then evaluated how position on a webpage affects collective judgments about content. Published in the peer-reviewed online journal PLOS ONE, study co-authors Kristina Lerman, a computer science professor at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and a project leader at USC Viterbi’s Information Sciences Institute, and Tad Hogg, a research fellow at the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing in Palo Alto, California, evaluated some popular peer recommendation strategies and their ability to identify interesting content.

June 16, 2014

New Insight Into How Bats Conquer the Air
Now, in experiments at Brown University with Jamaican fruit bats, Jorn Cheney, a graduate student in ecology and evolutionary biology, and others, including Kenny Breuer and Sharon Swartz, have found signs that the muscles do indeed contract on the downstroke when bats are flying.