Cosmic Slurp: Researchers Predict Signs of Black Holes Swallowing Stars

April 17, 2014 — Using a mix of theoretical and computer-based approaches, researchers are trying to predict the dynamics of events such as black holes devouring stars, a scenario also known as a “tidal disruption.”

Neuromorphic Computing “Roadmap” Envisions Analog Path to Simulating Human Brain

April 16, 2014 — Electrical engineers at the Georgia Institute of Technology recently published a “roadmap” that details innovative analog-based techniques that could make it possible to build a practical neuromorphic computer that mimics the brain’s operation.

Fish From Acidic Ocean Waters Less Able to Smell Predators

April 14, 2014 – Fish living on coral reefs where carbon dioxide seeps from the ocean floor were less able to detect predator odor than fish from normal coral reefs, according to a new study.

Seeing Double: New Study Explains Evolution of Duplicate Genes

April 7, 2013 – From time to time, living cells will accidentally make an extra copy of a gene during the normal replication process. Throughout the history of life, evolution has molded some of these seemingly superfluous genes into a source of genetic novelty, adaptation and diversity. A new study shows one way that some duplicate genes could have long-ago escaped elimination from the genome, leading to the genetic innovation seen in modern life.

Self-Assembled Silver Superlattices Create Molecular Machines with Hydrogen-Bond “Hinges” and Moving “Gears”

April 6, 2014 — A combined computational and experimental study of self-assembled silver-based structures known as superlattices has revealed an unusual and unexpected behavior: arrays of gear-like molecular-scale machines that rotate in unison when pressure is applied to them.

Heat-Conducting Polymer Cools Hot Electronic Devices at 200 Degrees C

March 30, 2014 — By harnessing an electropolymerization process to produce aligned arrays of polymer nanofibers, researchers have developed a thermal interface material able to conduct heat 20 times better than the original polymer — operating at temperatures of up to 200 degrees Celsius.

Engineered Bacteria Produce Biofuel Alternative for High-Energy Rocket Fuel

March 26, 2014 — Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Joint BioEnergy Institute have engineered a bacterium to synthesize pinene, a hydrocarbon produced by trees that could potentially replace high-energy fuels, such as JP-10, in missiles and other aerospace applications.

Robotic Arm Probes Chemistry of 3-D Objects by Mass Spectrometry

March 26, 2014 – A new robotic system at Georgia Tech’s Center for Chemical Evolution could soon let scientists better simulate and analyze the chemical reactions of early Earth on the surface of real rocks to further test the theory that catalytic minerals on a meteorite’s surface could have jump-started life’s first chemical reactions.

Microfluidic Device With Artificial Arteries Measures Drugs’ Influence on Blood Clotting

March 24, 2014 – A new microfluidic method for evaluating drugs commonly used for preventing heart attacks has found that while aspirin can prevent dangerous blood clots in some at-risk patients, it may not be effective in all patients with narrowed arteries. The study, which involved 14 human subjects, used a device that simulated blood flowing through narrowed coronary arteries to assess effects of anti-clotting drugs.

Fluorescent jungle gyms made of DNA

March 14, 2014 – A new paper in Science describes DNA-based polyhedral shapes that are larger and stronger than scientists have built before. Right now, these are just static shapes. But they provide the scaffolding on which scientists could build robot walkers, or cages with doors that open and close.