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NEWS RELEASES - via EurekAlert!

Unconventional superconductor may be used to create quantum computers of the future

( Chalmers University of Technology) With their insensitivity to decoherence what are known as Majorana particles could become stable building blocks of a quantum computer. The problem is that they only occur under very special circumstances. Now researchers at Chalmers University of Technology have succeeded in manufacturing a component that is able to host the sought-after particles.

Computers aid discovery of new, inexpensive material to make LEDs with high color quality

( University of California - San Diego) Computers have helped researchers develop a new phosphor that can make LEDs cheaper and render colors more accurately. Researchers predicted the new phosphor using supercomputers and data mining algorithms, then developed a simple recipe to make it in the lab. Unlike many phosphors, this one is made of inexpensive, earth-abundant elements and can easily be made using industrial methods. As computers predicted, the new phosphor performed well in tests and in LED prototypes.

In living color: Brightly-colored bacteria could be used to 'grow' paints and coatings

( University of Cambridge) Researchers have unlocked the genetic code behind some of the brightest and most vibrant colors in nature. The paper, published in the journal PNAS, is the first study of the genetics of structural color -- as seen in butterfly wings and peacock feathers -- and paves the way for genetic research in a variety of structurally colored organisms.

Fake news 'vaccine': Online game may 'inoculate' by simulating propaganda tactics

( University of Cambridge) A new experiment, launching today online, aims to help 'inoculate' against disinformation by providing a small dose of perspective from a "fake news tycoon". A pilot study has shown some early success in building resistance to fake news among teenagers.

Real-time Captcha technique improves biometric authentication

( Georgia Institute of Technology) A new login authentication approach could improve the security of current biometric techniques that rely on video or images of users' faces. Known as Real-Time Captcha, the technique uses a unique 'challenge' that's easy for humans -- but difficult for attackers who may be using machine learning and image generation software to spoof legitimate users.

Pausing evolution makes bioproduction of chemicals affordable and efficient

( Technical University of Denmark) Circumventing evolution in cell factories can pave the way for commercializing new biobased chemicals to large-scale.

Electric eel-inspired device reaches 110 volts

( Biophysical Society) In an effort to create a power source for future implantable technologies, a team of researchers developed an electric eel-inspired device that produced 110 volts from gels filled with water, called hydrogels. Their results show potential for a soft power source to draw on a biological system's chemical energy. Anirvan Guha will present the research during the 62nd Biophysical Society Annual Meeting, Feb. 17-21.

The new bioenergy research center: building on ten years of success

( University of Wisconsin-Madison) The Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC), led by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, recently embarked on a new mission: to develop sustainable alternatives to transportation fuels and products currently derived from petroleum.

Why bees soared and slime flopped as inspirations for systems engineering

( Georgia Institute of Technology) Honeybees gathering nectar inspired an algorithm that eased the burden of host servers handling unpredictable traffic by about 25 percent. Nature can inspire some great engineering, but it can also lead to some flops. Take slime mold: Standard algorithms beat it hands down to model connectivity. AAAS annual meeting presentation by systems researcher Craig Tovey.

Research team uncovers hidden details in Picasso Blue Period painting

( Northwestern University) A partnership of the Northwestern University/Art Institute of Chicago Center for Scientific Studies in the Arts, the Art Gallery of Ontario and the National Gallery of Art has used multiple modes of light to uncover details hidden beneath the visible surface of Pablo Picasso's painting 'La Miséreuse accroupie', a major work from the artist's Blue Period. The researchers found images connected to other works by Picasso as well as a landscape -- likely by another Barcelona painter -- underneath Picasso's painting.


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