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Tool to evaluate genome sequencing method developed

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Jan. 2, 2013 — Advances in bio-technologies and computer software have helped make genome sequencing much more common than in the past. But still in question are both the accuracy of different sequencing methods and the best ways to evaluate these efforts. Now, computer scientists have devised a tool to better measure the validity of genome sequencing.

The method, which is described in the journal PLOS One, allows for the evaluation of a wide range of genome sequencing procedures by tracking a small group of key statistical features in the basic structure of the assembled genome. Such sequence-assembly algorithm lays out the individual short reads (strings of DNA's four nucleic acid bases sampled from the target genome) to...

Teenagers without Internet access at home are educationally disadvantaged, UK study suggests

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Dec. 30, 2012 — A major in-depth study examining how teenagers in the UK are using the internet and other mobile devices says the benefits of using such technologies far outweigh any perceived risks.

The findings are based on a large-scale study of more than 1,000 randomly selected households in the UK, coupled with regular face-to-face interviews with more than 200 teenagers and their families between 2008 and 2011.

While the study reflects a high level of parental...

Physicists take photonic topological insulators to the next level

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Dec. 21, 2012 — Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have designed a simulation that for the first time emulates key properties of electronic topological insulators.

Their simulation, which was described this week in Nature Materials, is part of a rapidly moving scientific race to understand and exploit the potential of topological insulators, which are a state of matter that was only discovered in the past decade. These insulators may enable dramatic advances in...

Armchair science: Bag and tag glowing galactic clouds

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This is a screen shot from the Clouds game, a new addition to the Milky Way Project, where everyone can help astronomers sort and measure our galaxy. (Credit: Copyright 2010-2012 Zooniverse)

Dec. 20, 2012 — A new galactic game launches today that lets citizen scientists identify the glowing clouds where future stars will be born. The online experience, called Clouds, is a new addition to the Milky Way Project, where everyone can help astronomers to sort and measure...

On-demand synaptic electronics: Circuits that learn and forget

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(a): Volatile (short-term) memory property of two terminal Pt/WO3-x/Pt device before the forming process. Current change observed by applying sequence of positive voltage pulses at intervals of 40 s and widths of 0.5 s. Read voltage was 0.5 V. (b): Non-volatile (long-term) memory property in the device after forming process following application of sequence of positive and negative pulses with widths of 0.1 ms. Read voltage was 0.1 V. (c): Schematic illustration of the device...