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Researchers make DNA data storage a reality: Every film and TV program ever created -- in a teacup

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Nick Goldman of EMBL-EBI, looking at synthesised DNA. (Credit: EMBL Photolab)

Jan. 23, 2013 — Researchers at the EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) have created a way to store data in the form of DNA – a material that lasts for tens of thousands of years. The new method, published January 23 in the journal Nature, makes it possible to store at least 100 million hours of high-definition video in about a cup of DNA.

There is a lot of digital information in the world – about three zettabytes’ worth (that’s 3000 billion billion bytes) – and the constant influx of new digital content poses a real challenge for archivists. Hard disks are expensive and require a constant supply of...

Biometrics using internal body parts: Knobbly knees in competition with fingerprints

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Jan. 23, 2013 — Forget digital fingerprints, iris recognition and voice identification, the next big thing in biometrics could be your knobbly knees. Just as a fingerprints and other body parts are unique to us as individuals and so can be used to prove who we are, so too are our kneecaps. Computer scientist Lior Shamir of Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Michigan, has now demonstrated how a knee scan could be used to single us out.

The approach based on MRI...

Residents near Chinese e-waste site face greater cancer risk

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Chemist Staci Simonich examines a vial containing air pollutants at her lab at Oregon State University. She co-authored a study that found that residents in an rural Chinese village near an electronic waste dump are 1.6 times more likely to develop lung cancer than their peers in the heavily polluted Chinese city of Guangzhou. (Credit: Photo by Tiffany Woods)

Jan. 22, 2013 — Residents living near an e-waste recycling site in China face elevated risks of lung cancer...

Software package for all types of imaging

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Signal reconstruction with NIFTY in one, two and spherical dimensions (upper, middle and lower rows). In each row, the original signal is shown on the left, the noisy data in the center and the signal reconstruction from the data on the right. The same NIFTY code generated all three examples. (Credit: Image courtesy of Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik (MPA))

Jan. 23, 2013 — Signal reconstruction algorithms can now be developed more elegantly because...

Quantum States Between Order and Disorder

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Jan. 23, 2013 — With his research on quantum states in the realm between order and disorder, Professor Jörg Schmiedmayer's work has raised quite a stir; ultra cold atom clouds with a high degree of order approach a disordered thermal equilibrium. During this transition they spend some time in an astonishingly stable intermediate state. With a new ERC Grant, Schmiedmayer will now dig deeper into the physics of non-equilibrium phenomena in many-particle quantum systems.

How do...

Disease outbreaks trackable with Twitter

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This flu season you've probably seen a number of friends on social media talking about symptoms. New research says such posts on Twitter could actually be helpful to health officials looking for a head start on outbreaks. (Credit: Image courtesy of Brigham Young University)

Jan. 22, 2013 — This flu season you've probably seen a number of friends on social media talking about symptoms. New research from Brigham Young University says such posts on Twitter could...

Novel gene-searching software improves accuracy in disease studies

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Jan. 22, 2013 — A novel software tool, developed at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, streamlines the detection of disease-causing genetic changes through more sensitive detection methods and by automatically correcting for variations that reduce the accuracy of results in conventional software. The software, called ParseCNV, is freely available to the scientific-academic community, and significantly advances the identification of gene variants associated with genetic...

SEC-mandated XBRL data at risk of being irrelevant to investors and analysts

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Jan. 22, 2013 — In 2009, the Securities and Exchange Commission mandated that public companies submit portions of annual (10-K) and quarterly (10-Q) reports -- in a digitized format known as eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL). The goal of this type of data was to provide more relevant, timely, and reliable "interactive" data to investors and analysts. The XBRL-formatted data is meant to allow users to manipulate and organize the financial information according to their own...

Unique software supports behavioural intervention programs

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Jan. 21, 2013 — The internet offers users a cost-effective way of accessing information and advice on any health problem, 24-hours a day. A group of social scientists has taken advantage of this by developing software which enables other researchers to easily create interactive internet-based intervention programmes to support behavioural change. The software, known as LifeGuide, is being used in intervention programmes, for example to quit smoking or manage weight...