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Environmental cost of cryptocurrency mines

Computer screen listing cryptocurrencies (stock image). Credit: © Colin Cramm / Adobe Stock Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Monero -- the names of digital-based 'cryptocurrencies' are being heard more and more frequently. But despite having no physical representation, could these new methods of exchange actually be negatively impacting our planet? It's a question being asked by…

Achieving quantum supremacy

Quantum computing concept illustration (stock image). Credit: © vchalup / Adobe Stock Researchers in UC Santa Barbara/Google scientist John Martinis' group have made good on their claim to quantum supremacy. Using 53 entangled quantum bits ("qubits"), their Sycamore computer has taken on -- and solved -- a problem considered intractable for classical computers. "A computation…

Machine learning predicts behavior of biological circuits

Bacterial colonies in dish (stock image). Credit: © jarun011 / Adobe Stock Biomedical engineers at Duke University have devised a machine learning approach to modeling the interactions between complex variables in engineered bacteria that would otherwise be too cumbersome to predict. Their algorithms are generalizable to many kinds of biological systems. In the new study,…

Novel atomic clock design offers ‘tweezer’ control

Strontium element symbol (stock image). Credit: © andriano_cz / Adobe Stock JILA physicists have demonstrated a novel atomic clock design that combines near-continuous operation with strong signals and high stability, features not previously found together in a single type of next-generation atomic clock. The new clock, which uses laser "tweezers" to trap, control and isolate…

Nylon as a building block for transparent electronic devices?

Nylon thread (stock image). Credit: © zhang yongxin / Adobe Stock As the microelectronic industry is now shifting toward wearable electronic gadgets and electronic (e-)textiles, the comprising electronic materials, such as ferroelectrics, should be integrated with our clothes. Nylons, a family of synthetic polymers, were first introduced in the 1940s for women's stockings and are…

Beyond 1 and 0: Engineers boost potential for creating successor to...

Binary data concept. Credit: © gonin / Adobe Stock Computers and similar electronic devices have gotten faster and smaller over the decades as computer-chip makers have learned how to shrink individual transistors, the tiny electrical switches that convey digital information. Scientists' pursuit of the smallest possible transistor has allowed more of them to be packed…

How stress leads to Facebook addiction

Woman with smartphone. Credit: © DragonImages / Adobe Stock Friends on social media such as Facebook can be a great source of comfort during periods of stress. However, if they don't receive any support offline, stressed users are at risk of developing a pathological dependence on the social networking site -- the so-called Facebook addiction.…

New AI sees like a human, filling in the blanks

Artificial intelligence concept. Credit: © TanyaJoy / Adobe Stock Computer scientists at The University of Texas at Austin have taught an artificial intelligence agent how to do something that usually only humans can do -- take a few quick glimpses around and infer its whole environment, a skill necessary for the development of effective search-and-rescue…

New artificial synapse is fast, efficient and durable

An array of artificial synapses designed by researchers at Stanford and Sandia National Laboratories can mimic how the brain processes and stores information. Credit: Armantas Melianas and Scott Keene The brain's capacity for simultaneously learning and memorizing large amounts of information while requiring little energy has inspired an entire field to pursue brain-like -- or…

New robust device may scale up quantum tech

Researchers at various Microsoft Quantum lab sites, including the lab of Michael Manfra at Purdue University, collaborated to create a device that could bring more scalable quantum bits. Pictured here are Purdue researchers Candice Thomas (left) and Geoff Gardner. Credit: Microsoft Station Q Purdue photo Researchers have been trying for many years to build a…

Using the physics of airflows to locate gaseous leaks more quickly...

This robot can out the source of an ethanol leak in a clever way. Rather than just following the strongest scent, the robot plugs measurements of concentration and airflow into a complex partial differential equation and then decides where the most useful position to take another measurement is. By repeating this process, it can find…

Robots created with 3D printers could be caring for those in...

Purdue researchers have developed a new design method that will enable anyone to quickly design and fabricate soft robots using a 3D printer. Credit: Ramses Martinez/Purdue University The world's elderly population is booming. The number of older people -- those age 60 years or older -- is expected to more than double by 2050 and…

Questions in quantum computing: How to move electrons with light

The Quantum Dynamics Unit traps a 2D layer of electrons in liquid helium, held inside a sealed chamber and cooled to nearly absolute zero. Inside the chamber, a metal plate and spherical mirror on the top reflect microwave light (the red beam), and thus form a microwave cavity (resonator). The trapped microwaves interact with the…

Mathematical monotsukuri: Summing a constant may help to detect synchronized brain...

Summing a constant parameter c warps the phase ? into angle ?, according to a relationship that quickly becomes intricate (top). When this operation is applied to electroencephalogram signals, it seems to more clearly reveal the differences in synchronization while either resting or imagining to move a hand and while imagining to move either the…

Selfies to self-diagnosis: Algorithm ‘amps up’ smartphones to diagnose disease

Images of a diagnostic assay are captured using a smartphone camera. Regions of interest are extracted and are converted to HSV (hue, saturation, value) space. After the conversion process, the standard pixel intensity analysis is applied to the saturation channel and the values are used to determine absorbance and concentration of the sample automatically. Credit:…

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