A tiny circular racetrack for light can rapidly detect single molecules

An optical sensor that can detect individual molecules promises early detection of diseases and environmental contamination.

Judith Su, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Optical Sciences, University of Arizona • conversation
Oct. 22, 2020 ~5 min

Tags: engineering chemistry covid-19 photonics sars-cov-2 quick-reads research-brief sensors biochemistry biomedical-research biomedical-engineering biosensors biological-sensor

Neuronlike circuits bring brainlike computers a step closer

Artificial brains are far in the future, but computer chips that work like brains could keep computers advancing when today's silicon transistor chips reach their limit.

R. Stanley Williams, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Texas A&M University • conversation
Oct. 5, 2020 ~5 min

Tags: neurons quick-reads research-brief computers biomimicry transistors future-of-computers computer-chip moores-law

Women equal men in computing skill, but are less confident

The gender gap in computing performance has dramatically narrowed, but a confidence gap remains.

William Wagner, Associate Professor of Accountancy & Information Systems, Villanova University • conversation
Sept. 28, 2020 ~4 min

Tags: computing computer-science employment women stem bias quick-reads research-brief technology sexism careers confidence workplace workforce men performance gender-gap young-women

Scientists don't share their findings for fun – they want their research to make a difference

A survey of over a thousand scientists reveals that their goal when communicating about their work is to help the rest of us make evidence-based decisions that draw on scientific findings.

John C. Besley, Ellis N. Brandt Professor of Public Relations, Michigan State University • conversation
Sept. 21, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: science-communication quick-reads research-brief evidence-based evidence-based-medicine science-of-science-communication public-engagement science-advice communication-skills evidence-based-policy evidence-based-healthcare

When hurricanes temporarily halt fishing, marine food webs recover quickly

Hurricane Harvey destroyed the fishing infrastructure of Aransas Bay and reduced fishing by 80% over the following year. This removed humans from the trophic cascade and whole food webs changed.

Joseph W. Reustle, SPIRE Postdoctoral Scholar, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • conversation
Sept. 15, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: environment fish ecology hurricane fishing food-webs research-brief marine-biology ecosystems texas cyclones gulf-coast trophic-cascade oyster-reefs

Clever chemistry turns ordinary bricks into electricity storage devices

Bricks turn out to be useful for storing electricity thanks to their porousness and red pigment.

Julio M. D'Arcy, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Washington University in St Louis • conversation
Aug. 11, 2020 ~5 min

Tags: chemistry innovation energy nanotechnology electricity research-brief buildings energy-storage

Parents with children forced to do school at home are drinking more

The stress of having children do distance learning at home during the pandemic is linked to an increase in alcohol consumption among parents, a new survey finds.

Elyse R. Grossman, Policy Fellow, Department of Health, Behavior and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health • conversation
July 29, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: covid-19 stress quick-reads research-brief k-12-education distance-learning k-12-online-learning pandemic-school-closures

Mobile technology may support kids learning to recognize emotions in photos of faces

Understanding others' emotions is a crucial social skill. Counter to concerns about screen time stunting kids' development, one study suggests they're getting better at recognizing emotion on screen.

Yalda T. Uhls, Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Scholars & Storytellers and Assistant Adjunct Professor in Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles • conversation
June 2, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: emotion child-development research-brief emotions screen-time adolescents adolescence smart-phones screens ipad tablet-computing tablets screentime videochat

AI tool searches thousands of scientific papers to guide researchers to coronavirus insights

The scientific community is churning out vast quantities of research about the coronavirus pandemic – far too much for researchers to absorb. An AI system aims to do the heavy lifting for them.

John Dagdelen, Graduate Student Researcher, Persson Group, University of California, Berkeley • conversation
May 12, 2020 ~5 min

Tags: machine-learning artificial-intelligence covid-19 coronavirus science new-coronavirus research-brief research biomedical-research scientific-inquiry search

Lasers could speed up coronavirus diagnostics

A team of physicists, virologists and computer scientists are seeking to develop a coronavirus diagnostic tool that could deliver rapid results.

Mauricio Terrones, Professor of Physics, Pennsylvania State University • conversation
May 7, 2020 ~7 min

Tags:  innovation  covid-19  coronavirus  lasers  covid-19-testing  research-brief  invention  medical-test

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