The computer program that's seen your type before

The Times UK | December 30, 2013

The ironic moustache, the painfully skinny jeans and the plaid shirt are all strong clues that the person before you is a hipster. The fixed-gear bike tends to serve as final confirmation. Now computer scientists have designed an algorithm to identify a person's subculture by analysing their photographs. The various "urban tribes" the program can identify include biker, surfer, hipster and Goth. Times readers might be more likely to find themselves in the "formal" category. Full Story


Plant-based magnetic microswimmers to deliver drugs more precisely

Gizmag | December 23, 2013

If you remember the 1966 science fiction film Fantastic Voyage, you'll recall how miniaturized government agents traveled through blood vessels in a tiny submarine, in their attempt remove a blood clot from a scientist's brain. Synthetic nanomotors that can do the same job have been the subject of numerous research efforts and now University of California, San Diego (UCSD) researchers report that they've created powerful biodegradable "microswimmers" that can deliver drugs more precisely Full Story


Computer Sees Your Hipster Haircut, Sells You a Plaid Shirt

LiveScience.com | December 18, 2013

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, are developing an algorithm that aims to identify whether you're a hipster, a goth or a punk, just from the cut of your social media jib. The team has been analysing pictures of groups of people in an attempt to place them within one of eight sub-cultures according to their appearance. These included hipsters, goths, surfers and bikers. Full Story


Study: computer algorithm sorts hipsters from goths by analysing group photos

Wired, UK | December 16, 2013

Computer scientists from the University of California, San Diego are developing an algorithm that can determine what subculture you belong to by analysing photos of you. Among the various "urban tribes" the algorithm can identify you as being a member of are the categories of biker, surfer, punk, hipster or goth. Full Story


UCSD Fainman lab: Developing nano lasers for telecommunication applications

SPIE Newsroom | December 13, 2013

The Ultrafast and Nanoscale Optics Group aims for chip-scale integration in several areas of nanophotonics. Full Story


This Computer algorithm cal tell if you're a hipster

Smithsonian.org | December 13, 2013

Image recognition software is used for all sorts of things, from tagging people in photos to security surveillance to identifying species. Now, researchers are attempting to tweak those algorithms to recognize hipsters, goths and other "social tribes." The Financial Express explains the motivations behind designing such a platform: An algorithm able to identify people's urban tribes would have a wide range of applications, from generating more relevant search results and ads, to allowing social Full Story


Using Tiny Sponges to Fight MRSA

National Institutes of Health | December 12, 2013

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, commonly known as MRSA, pose a serious public health threat, causing more than 80,000 skin, lung, and blood infections and killing about 11,000 people annually in the United States [1]. This microbe wreaks its devastation by secreting a toxin, alpha-hemolysin, that punches holes in the membrane of cells, essentially causing them to leak to death. Full Story


2013: The Year in Robots

Government Technology | December 12, 2013

A new robot that detects cracks in tunnel walls could save governments money on inspection crews, and represents yet another invention in a series of robots released in recent years. Full Story


Computers can now automatically stereotype 'hipsters' and 'bikers'

Atlantic Cities | December 12, 2013

Admit it, you've done this: You've stereotyped the mustachioed guy in thick-rimmed glasses as a "hipster," the girl in excessive black eyeliner as a "goth," the beefy guy in leather as a "biker." These terms are all admittedly obnoxious. But the fact that we often wear our social identity in our accessories speaks to the reality that cities are made up of myriad subcultures. Sociologists call them "urban tribes." Full Story


Computer program that can tell if you're a hipster

ABC News | December 11, 2013

Hipsters are similar to pornography. They're both difficult to define, but people recognize it when they see it. Can a piece of software do the same thing? According to Serge Belongie, a professor of computer science at University of California, San Diego, it's entirely possible for computers to identify hipsters based on their photos. Full Story


Computers may place you in your 'urban tribe' based on your picture

UPI | December 11, 2013

Computers may soon be able to tell from your photo which "urban tribe" -- hipsters, bikers, surfers, etc. -- you belong to, U.S. researchers say. An algorithm able to identify people's tribe "membership" would have a wide range of applications on the Internet from generating more relevant search results and ads to allowing social networks to provide better recommendations and content, computer scientists at the University of California, San Diego reported Tuesday. Full Story


Nanosponge vaccine fights MRSA toxin

Vaccine News Daily | December 5, 2013

Liangfang Zhang, a nanoengineering professor from the University of California San Diego, published a new study on Sunday in Nature Nanotechnology that showed a toxin produced by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus can be absorbed by nanosponges. Zhang said that when the toxin is absorbed by the "nanosponge vaccine," the immune system was able to block the adverse effects of the toxin within the bloodstream and on the skin. Full Story


Caged toxin for safer, better bacterial vaccines

Chemistry World | December 3, 2013

A team led by Liangfang Zhang at the University of California, San Diego, created the new vaccine by coating nanoparticles of the polymer PFGA with the membrane from red blood cells. They then exposed these membrane-encased particles to a model toxin, α-haemolysin from the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. Toxin proteins become embedded and trapped within the membrane. Tests on mice showed that the toxin-nanoparticle conjugate is not harmful Full Story


UCSD scientists invent MRSA 'nanosponge' vaccine

U~T | December 1, 2013

UCSD scientists have created a vaccine for the deadly MRSA infection, using 'nanosponge' technology they previously used to soak up MRSA toxins and other poisons and venoms. The vaccine is effective in mice, they showed in a study; and their goal is to get it into human clinical trials.The nanosponges are built on a polymer core wrapped with membranes from red blood cells that seize the toxins. They were first loaded with the MRSA toxins and injected into mice. Full Story


Six UCSD scholars named AAAS Fellows

U~T | November 28, 2013

Six UCSD scholars named AAAS Fellows Full Story


Bitcoin Black Friday Encourages Holders To Actually Spend Their Virtual Currency

International Business Times | November 27, 2013

For holiday shoppers looking to score deals, there's Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and now, Bitcoin Black Friday. In a bid to make the popular virtual currency mainstream and encourage the actual spending of the units, a bitcoin entrepreneur has organized the second annual Bitcoin Black Friday. Bitcoin value has skyrocketed in recent months and topped $1,000 early Wednesday -- not exactly encouraging people to use bitcoin for its intended purpose as an everyday currency. Full Story


Company wins grant for a better condom

U~T | November 26, 2013

A Mira Mesa medical device company is one of 11 winners from more than 800 applicants to receive a prestigious Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant. Apex Medical Technologies competed against more than 800 proposals and was awarded $100,000 for a public health solution that could save lives around the world. Full Story


NEES @ UCSD LHPOST

PopSci | November 26, 2013

Seismic tests usually involve either a scale simulation of an earthquake or a computer-generated one, neither of which can fully replicate the kind of shaking a real tremor dishes out. When engineers want to test a new joint, a connector, or a foundation piling against the violence of seismic activity, they can now plop the real thing onto UC San Diego?s Large High Performance Outdoor Shake Table. Full Story


University Of California, San Diego Skysweeper

PopSci | November 26, 2013

Skysweeper inches along live power lines scouting for bad splices, frays, tangled branches, and other trouble spots. Developed by engineers at the University of California at San Diego, it will be the most affordable and versatile power-line monitoring tool. Production versions of this will have induction coils to grab power from the lines and cameras and sensors to beam information to an inspection crew. Full Story


Strangers log on to help satellite search for missing schooner

Fox News | November 25, 2013

An American family and crew aboard a 69-foot vintage sailboat last heard from in June could still be alive, according to relatives, who have turned to satellite images and strangers to scour the vast Tasman Sea.David Dyche, an experienced sailor who works for a U.S. shipping company, was sailing the Nina from New Zealand to Australia with his wife, teenage son and four-member crew when they hit rough weather in June. Full Story


Here's who (probably) did that massive $150,000,000 Bitcoin transaction

Washington Post | November 23, 2013

One of the unique things about Bitcoin is that every transaction on its network is publicly available for anyone to examine. Any time a user sends a payment to another user, that transaction is reflected in the "blockchain," a global, permanent ledger of Bitcoin transactions. You can examine every Bitcoin transaction that has ever occurred at a site called blockchain.info. And that site says that a truly massive Bitcoin transaction occurred yesterday: Full Story


Future Tech - Mind Reading

Discovery Channel Canada | November 20, 2013

Future Tech - Mind Reading Video Full Story


The 2013 Best of What's New

e! Science News | November 11, 2013

Sandia National Laboratories Fiber Optic Network Each year, the editors of Popular Science search all corners of the material world--cars, skyscrapers, drones, phones--to find the 100 innovations that are reshaping the future right before our eyes. Best of What's New winners make our world and our lives safer, more efficient, and straight-up better than we thought possible. These innovations make the stuff of science fiction--restoring sight to the blind, conversing with computers Full Story


The 2013 Best of What's New

PopSci | November 11, 2013

Each year, the editors of Popular Science search all corners of the material world--cars, skyscrapers, drones, phones--to find the 100 innovations that are reshaping the future right before our eyes. Full Story


NOVA Making Stuff Safer

PBS | November 6, 2013

Host David Pogue examines groundbreaking research that aims to keep us out of harm's way. Full Story


Fast and Spacious Helium-Filled Hard Drives Ready for Liftoff

Technology Review | November 5, 2013

Data-storage company HGST has begun making a six-terabyte hard drive that has a 50 percent greater storage capacity and uses about 20 percent less power than conventional hard drives. The secret to this leap forward in performance? Pumping the drives full of helium.Helium reduces friction, vibration, and other mechanical issues that limit the storage density of conventional hard drives. It also makes hard drives less power hungry. Full Story


Qualcomm in Talks to Fund Robotics Initiative at UC San Diego

Xconomy | November 1, 2013

San Diego-based Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) and Brain Corp., the Qualcomm-backed startup developing technology that emulates the human brain, are in talks to provide funding for a broadly based initiative in robotics at UC San Diego. "We are working on building a robotics institute, robotics lab, and (more importantly) a robotics incubator," writes Eugene Izhikevich, Brain Corp.'s founding chairman and CEO, in an e-mail. "All this effort is to create a consumer robotics ecosystem in San Diego." Full Story


San Diegans delayed at LAX: 'It was insane'

U~T | November 1, 2013

North Park resident Caitlin Bigelow was looking forward to her first trip to Tokyo Friday, never imagining that the 12-hour flight out of Los Angeles would be delayed for hours because of a fatal airport shooting. Or that she and her boyfriend would spend hours hanging out in a parking garage with hundreds of stranded travelers, constantly checking for online news and airport updates. Full Story


UCSD wants to make a robot for you

U~T | October 31, 2013

UC San Diego might partner with Qualcomm and other companies to create an institute that would develop small robots meant to affect every aspect of life, from mundane tasks such as doing the laundry to having sentries guard cars in darkened parking lots. The decision hinges on whether the University of California San Diego can raise tens of millions of dollars from industry to underwrite research and hire elite scientists across many disciplines. Full Story


South American Arapaima Fish Has Scales That Resist Piranha Bites

UPI | October 25, 2013

University of California scientist Marc Meyers tested the arapaima's toughness by mounting some of the fish's scales on a rubbery surface meant to simulate flesh, and then attacked them with piranha teeth attached to an industrial-strength hole-puncher. The teeth barely penetrated the scales and cracked before they reached the rubber. Full Story


Students tackle rocket science

U~T | October 18, 2013

Making future space exploration less costly is the ultimate goal of a group of engineering students at UC San Diego who have created a working metal rocket engine from a 3-D printer. Ten students spent about eight months designing and analyzing the 7-inch-long engine, which they tested in the Mojave Desert in early October. Much to their delight, it worked. Full Story


Fish That can Survive Piranha Bites Inspire New Types of Body Armor

The Telegraph, UK | October 16, 2013

Fish that live in piranha infested waters have evolved scales to protect them from the predator's fearsome teeth and are being used to develop new types of body armour Full Story


Fish With Piranha-Proof Scales Inspire New Body Armour Designs

Yahoo! News Canada | October 16, 2013

There's a large, ponderous species of fish swimming in the Amazon River, called Arapaima gigas, that's already earned a reputation both as one of the largest freshwater fish in the world, and as a living fossil. However, what's particularly interesting to some researchers is the fact that this species has survived this long swimming alongside the piranha. Full Story


Amazon Fish Wears Armor to Repel Vicious Piranha Bites

NBC News | October 15, 2013

A freshwater Amazonian fish has evolved scales with microscopic armorlike structures specially designed to resist a piranha's piercing bite, new research shows. Arapaima gigas is the largest -- and evolutionarily, one of the oldest -- fish species living within the lakes of the Amazon River basin. A team of researchers based at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory interested in determining how this fish evolved to coexist so successfully with the vicious predatory piranha Full Story


This Giant Fish Has Adaptable Piranha-Proof Armor

National Geographic | October 15, 2013

A piranha's jaws contain rows of triangular teeth, which interlock like rows of flesh-shearing scissors. They're powered by huge muscles that take up most of the space in the fish's head, giving it the strongest bite (for its body weight) of any back-boned animal. But the arapaima doesn't care. This giant South American fish has evolved piranha-proof armour, allowing it to happily share water with schools of these fearsome predators. Full Story


UCSD students test fire 3D-printed metal rocket engine

Gizmag | October 12, 2013

Like something out of a Robert Heinlein novel, students at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) have built a metal rocket engine using a technique previously confined to NASA. Earlier this month, the UCSD chapter of the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) at the Jacobs School of Engineering conducted a hot fire test for a 3D-printed metal rocket engine at the Friends of Amateur Rocketry launch site in California's Mojave Desert. Full Story


UCSD raises $150.3 million

U~T | October 11, 2013

UC San Diego raised $150.3 million in private support last fiscal year, a 15 percent increase from the previous year, including a sizable gift from a university graduate. The university said it took in more than 30,200 donations from individuals and foundations to support its research and academic activities. The money will be used to fund endowed faculty chairs, teaching labs, provide support for graduate students and expanded mentoring and tutoring programs for undergraduates, officials said. Full Story


Silk Road drug crackdown broadens

San Francisco Chronicle | October 9, 2013

The San Francisco man accused of running the extensive online drug marketplace known as Silk Road was ordered Wednesday to be transferred to New York to face a trial that his attorney suggested would turn on whether his client was in fact "Dread Pirate Roberts" - the virtual figure who has taken credit for the shadowy enterprise. U.S. prosecutors allege that Ross William Ulbricht, 29, assumed the pseudonym to run the now-shuttered website, where users anonymously bought and sold heroine... Full Story


3-D-printed rocket engine built by students passes hot-fire test

NBC News | October 9, 2013

A small 3-D-printed rocket engine designed and built by a team of university students flared to life in a hot-fire test in the Mojave Desert on Saturday in a major first for additive manufacturing. A video of the 3-D-printed rocket engine test up shows it was successfully tested at the Friends of Amateur Rocketry launch site on Saturday. The feat marks the first time a university-led group has designed, printed and tested a 3-D-printed rocket engine Full Story


New Optics Can Capture Wide Fields in Exquisite Detail

Spectrum IEEE | October 9, 2013

Compared to traditional camera lenses, the small, monocentric lens in the photo above doesn't look very impressive. The lens itself is a glass sphere the size of a jumbo school-yard marble. It's held in a tear-drop shaped collet perched at the end of a machined rod. It looks very much like a crustacean's eyestalk, and most photographers would instantly dismiss claims that this 20-mm-diameter, 16-gram crystal ball could outperform a highly engineered... Full Story


Students Test 3-D Printed Rocket Engine

Discovery Channel Canada | October 7, 2013

Students Test 3-D Printed Rocket Engine Full Story


Silk Road arrest exposes a hidden Internet

the Baltimore Sun | October 6, 2013

The end came quickly for Silk Road, when federal agents crept in to nab the alleged kingpin of the secret $1.2 billion online drug marketplace as he sat at his laptop in the sci-fi section of a San Francisco public library. Within hours, though, many vendors and customers who said they used the "Deep Web" bazaar were back in action -- moving to similar websites like Sheep Marketplace, which advertises marijuana, LSD and a multitude of prescription pills for sale Full Story


The Magic of Bitcoin Turns FBI's Seized Booty Into Government Protest

Wired | October 4, 2013

The FBI seized over $3.3 million in digital currency after busting up the online drug market known as The Silk Road, and on Friday morning, someone spotted what is likely the online address where the feds are keeping all that money. The seized funds are in the form of bitcoins, the world's most popular digital currency, and bitcoin addresses are public things. You can't take the money, but you can see it. Full Story


Hit men, drugs and the fall of Ross Ulbricht, the Silk Road 'mastermind'

Telegraph, UK | October 4, 2013

It was an unlikely setting for the arrest of an alleged international criminal mastermind. But after months of tracking their man through cyberspace the FBI eventually found him sitting in the science fiction section of a small public library above a grocery store in San Francisco. Full Story


Silk Road Clones Ensure No One Has To Go A Day Without Drugs

Huffington post | October 3, 2013

One day after the FBI shut down Silk Road, the infamous so-called "eBay for drugs," hundreds of vendors and customers who previously used the site scrambled to answer a pressing question: Where do we do business now? On Thursday, they met in online forums and swapped links to sites like "Black Market Reloaded," "DeepBay" and "Sheep Marketplace" as alternative places to buy and sell everything from cannabis and crystal meth to prescription drugs and "uncut Peruvian cocaine." Full Story


The black market moves to the deep web

Al Jazeera America | October 3, 2013

FBI officials say the website 'Silk Road' let users buy or sell drugs anonymously using digital currency Full Story


Part 4 October 3rd, 2013 - The Bob Rivers Show

KJR Seattle (Talk Show) | October 3, 2013

Professor Michael B Taylor on the end of Silk Road. Full Story


Silk Road Bust Could Slow Bitcoin Economy

MIT Technology Review | October 2, 2013

News today that the FBI had arrested a man on suspicion of running the notorious online marketplace Silk Road, where bitcoins were traded for illegal drugs, sent many people scurrying to watch how the value of the bitcoin reacted. After an initial 20 percent plunge in the value, the currency soon recovered?which some virtual-currency enthusiasts saw as proof that the bitcoin economy could easily handle the bad press and loss of Silk Road. Full Story


If This Doesn't Kill Bitcoin, What Will?

Bloomberg | October 2, 2013

The alleged operator of the Bitcoin-based online marketplace Silk Road was arrested in San Francisco yesterday on money-laundering and narcotics-trafficking charges. You can see a copy of the complaint against Ross W. Ulbricht here, and the allegations make for "Whoah!" reading. They go way, way beyond what you might guess. In addition to the predictable charges above, there's an allegation of a murder-for-hire plot. No, scratch that. The FBI says there wasn't just a plot... Full Story


End of Silk Road for drug users as FBI shuts down illicit website

LA Times | October 2, 2013

For two years, the FBI tracked the elusive founder of Silk Road, an Internet site that peddled heroin, ecstasy and every known type of prescription medication. The manhunt ended with the arrest of an unlikely suspect: Ross William Ulbricht, a 29-year-old former physics student from San Francisco Full Story


Band-Gap Engineering of Nanowires Could Boost Batteries

Spectrum IEEE | October 1, 2013

The reason for replacing graphite in the electrodes of the ubiquitous lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery is clear to anyone who uses a smartphone: The batteries run out of charge in just a few hours under regular use. Full Story


Nanowires help lithium ion batteries from cracking up

the Engineer UK | October 1, 2013

New research led by an electrical engineer at the University of California, San Diego aims to improve lithium-ion batteries through possible new electrode architectures with precise nanoscale designs. Full Story


UCSD Working on Mini Wide-Angle Lens

Pop Photo | September 30, 2013

Researchers at the UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering are creating a totally new take on a wide-angle lens, one that's small enough to fit on a smartphone, but has the optical potential to rival anything you strap to an SLR. The prototype device, shown above next to a Canon 8-15 mm fisheye lens, has a 12mm focal length. The breakthrough in this technology is twofold. Firstly, the system uses perfectly spherical monocentric lenses made of concentric glass shells. Full Story


UCSD gets surprise gift of $6 million

U~T | September 19, 2013

The UC San Diego Foundation has received a surprise gift of $6 million from the estate of Cubic Corp. founder Walter J. Zable and his wife, Betty Zable, that will be used to support faculty positions and student scholarships. The university learned of the bequest as attorneys were settling Zable's estate. Walter Zable had died in June 2012 at the age of 97. Betty Zable had died in 2007. Full Story


For Virtual Prospectors, Life in the Bitcoin Mines Gets Real

Wall Street Journal | September 19, 2013

Aubrey McIntosh has taken up mining in his spare time, and he's finding it hard and hot -- even if it's prospecting for a virtual currency and a computer is doing all of the work. Mr. McIntosh, a semiretired chemistry professor in Morris, Minn., is among the growing ranks of enthusiasts who use powerful computers to "mine," in insider parlance, "bitcoins," an unregulated digital currency. Full Story


Can You Feel Me Now? Smartphones May Get a New Touch

San Diego Business Journal | September 16, 2013

Smartphones are good at conveying sights and sounds. But touch? Not good at all. Not yet. Soon, however, there may be a way to send a rudimentary sensation of touch through Internet-connected devices. Deli Wang -- a professor at the University of California, San Diego -- and 14 other scientists, mostly from UC San Diego also, have been looking into the issue. *Subscription required Full Story


Hackers find weaknesses in car computer systems

Salt Lake City Tribune | September 6, 2013

As cars become more like PCs on wheels, what's to stop a hacker from taking over yours? In recent demonstrations, hackers have shown they can slam a car's brakes at freeway speeds, jerk the steering wheel and even shut down the engine -- all from their laptop computers. The hackers are publicizing their work to reveal vulnerabilities present in a growing number of car computers. All cars and trucks contain anywhere from 20 to 70 computers. Full Story


Mapping the Bitcoin Economy Could Reveal Users' Identities

MIT Tech Review | September 5, 2013

The digital currency Bitcoin has a reputation for providing privacy. But a new analysis of the public log of all bitcoin transactions suggests it could be surprisingly easy for a law enforcement agency to identify many users of the currency. Popular uses for bitcoins include illicit gambling and making purchases at an online marketplace called Silk Road, where illegal drugs are traded openly. Full Story


Follow The Bitcoins: How We Got Busted Buying Drugs On Silk Road's Black Market

Forbes | September 5, 2013

To be clear, we weren't caught by law enforcement--so far at least, our experiment last month in ordering small amounts of marijuana from three different Bitcoin-based online black markets hasn't resulted in anyone getting arrested. But a few weeks after those purchases, I asked Sarah Meiklejohn, a Bitcoin-focused computer science researcher at the University of California at San Diego, to put the privacy of our black market transactions Full Story


Hackers hijack cars in tests to show software weaknesses

the Detroit News | September 4, 2013

As cars become more like PCs on wheels, what's to stop a hacker from taking over yours? In recent demonstrations, hackers have shown they can slam a car's brakes at freeway speeds, jerk the steering wheel and even shut down the engine -- all from their laptop computers. The hackers are publicizing their work to reveal vulnerabilities present in a growing number of car computers. They control everything from the brakes to acceleration to the windows, and are connected to an internal network. Full Story


Online Attack Leads to Peek Into Spam Den

NY Times | September 2, 2013

Stefan Savage, a professor in the systems and networking group at the University of California, San Diego, studied the Festi scheme, in part by making test purchases. Full Story


Bitcoin offers privacy -- as long as you don't cash out or spend it

Good Gear Guide | August 28, 2013

On the surface, Bitcoin seems to be a great way to hide cash. Actually, it's a terrible way to launder money. That's the conclusion of a new academic study that analyzed Bitcoin's blockchain, or the public ledger that records bitcoin transactions. The ledger shows how bitcoins move from one person to another, represented by 34-character alphanumeric addresses. It's a sea of numbers without names. Full Story


Bitcoin offers privacy -- as long as you don't cash out or spend it

Good Gear Guide | August 28, 2013

On the surface, Bitcoin seems to be a great way to hide cash. Actually, it's a terrible way to launder money. That's the conclusion of a new academic study that analyzed Bitcoin's blockchain, or the public ledger that records bitcoin transactions. The ledger shows how bitcoins move from one person to another, represented by 34-character alphanumeric addresses. It's a sea of numbers without names. But researchers from the University of California at San Diego and George Mason University found Full Story


Preparing for Solar Storms

HPC Wire | August 26, 2013

In the absence of the sun, life as we know it would not exist. In addition to providing just the right amount of heat and light for third planet inhabitants, the sun is responsible for circadian rhythms, vitamin D production and photosynthesis. However, this life-sustaining orb also carries the potential for severe destruction. Via a phenomenon known as solar wind, the sun ejects a sea of protons, electrons and ionized atoms in all directions at speeds of a million miles per hour or more. Full Story


Students' Aha Moments

Sierra Club | August 20, 2013

How a professor, a class, even a PowerPoint presentation, can change a life Full Story


Giant Shake Table Helps Design Quake-Proof California Homes

Gizmodo | August 19, 2013

Located at the Jacobs School's Structural Engineering Department eight miles east of the main UC San Diego campus, this 25-foot x 40-foot open air shake table will be the largest such device in America and the single largest outdoor system on the planet--only the 40 x 60-foot E-Defense (Earth-Defense) indoor shake table in Miki City, Japan has a bigger footprint. UCSD's $5.9 million table is hydraulically driven with six degrees of freedom and enough power to vibrate at 6 feet per second Full Story


Video: Quake engineers topple building

U~T | August 19, 2013

Engineers who are trying to learn more about how large earthquakes affect so-called "soft story" buildings simulated a magnitude 6.7 shaker over the weekend at UC San Diego's big shake table in Scripps Ranch, causing a four-story wood frame structure to collapse, as planned. The experiment was carried out by Colorado State University, which subjected the building to a series of quakes, culminating in Saturday's event. Full Story


Engineers test building retrofits, work to improve how structures survive shaking

10news | August 18, 2013

A 4-story building built to be destroyed came crashing down Saturday and a group of engineers working at UC San Diego is celebrating that collapse. The project was to test just how much shaking would bring a structure down Full Story


Shake table experiment brings down the house

CBS 8 News | August 17, 2013

Have you ever wondered how safe your home is when it comes to being in an earthquake? Well researchers at UC San Diego, along with four other universities, have been working on an experiment to test just that. And the results, they say, could help save lives. There isn't a foolproof way to know when an earthquake will hit. But, that wasn't the case Saturday during a planned experiment at UC San Diego. Full Story


The Most Realistic Renderings Of Cloth We've Ever Seen

Pop Sci | August 14, 2013

A new technique makes for some very comfy-looking pillows, which could be useful in video games and animation. Full Story


Computer graphics researchers crack realistic fabric

Gizmag | August 14, 2013

Computer scientists have come up with a new simple, accurate way to simulate the appearance of fabric that could change the way artists and animators in the film and computer game industries go about the business of rendering computer-generated clothing and other materials. Full Story


Nueva técnica para lograr tejidos realistas en los videojuegos

El Pais (in Spanish) | August 13, 2013

El tejido, ya sea un vestido, un mantel o una cortina, supone un quebradero de cabeza para los diseñadores de videjuegos o de películas de animación por ordenador porque los modelos informáticos disponibles hasta ahora o son demasiado simplistas o demasiado complejos y costosos para resultar prácticos al generar telas en movimiento, argumentan unos investigadores de la Universidad de California en San Diego. Full Story


Computer model can render cloth for animated movies, computer games

UPI.com | August 12, 2013

U.S. scientists say they can simulate cloth on a computer with unprecedented accuracy to make it look more realistic in animated movies and computer games. Existing computer models are either too simplistic and produce unrealistic results or are too complex and costly for practical use, they said. Researchers say their model is based on a novel approach simulating the interaction of light with cloth based on how each thread scatters light, then uses that information to create a particular fabric Full Story


Robots could be firefighters in the near future

MSN.com | August 9, 2013

Robots that see through smoke, look for fire victims, sniff out flammable compounds like gasoline and propane gas and create three-dimensional maps of burning buildings could be riding the fire trucks of the near future. "It's pretty cool," said Rusty Sailors, a fire chief who is working with Thomas Bewley, a mechanical engineering professor at the University of California-San Diego, to develop a prototype robot. Full Story


Hackers switch to new digital currency after Liberty Reserve

Reuters | August 9, 2013

Idan Aharoni, the head of cyber intelligence at EMC Corp's RSA security division, said that some online scam artists and thieves are using Perfect Money's digital currency to launder money and conceal profits in much the same way they allegedly did with Liberty Reserve's currency. On behalf of their clients, which include major financial institutions, Aharoni and his team monitor Internet forums that hackers use to sell stolen credit card information. Full Story


Robot scouts to fight fires, patrol power lines

Fox News | August 8, 2013

A new firefighting robot scout will create 3D virtual versions of fires giving those rushing into harm?s way a detailed picture before entering a burning building. The small Segway-like robotic vehicles use new image processing techniques and can be deployed to quickly explore, map and photograph and provide critical information on burning interiors. While cruising around the scene, it builds a virtual reality picture that includes a 3D map and temperature data. Full Story


3D printed robots on horizon

Investors.com | August 8, 2013

Combining two leading-edge technologies, robotics and 3D printing, UC San Diego researchers invented a simple prototype robot that may cut energy costs. Made of off-the-shelf parts on a low-cost 3D printer, SkySweeper is a V-shaped bot that uses a small motor to scoot along a power line. Drawing energy from the line, it searches for damage. Equipped with a camera, the bot could allow line inspection without sending someone to the location. No word on whether it will be produced commercially. Full Story


Watch This Adorable Robot Scoot Down Utility Lines Searching for Damage

the Atlantic Cities | August 7, 2013

Nick Morozovsky's above invention, the SkySweeper, has at least two brilliant benefits: The acrobatic robot can shimmy down cables and power lines, inspecting them for damage and beaming data back to utility workers, at considerably less cost than your average unmanned helicopter. And in the process, the colorful little guy promises to make the maddening state of power outages a bit more entertaining. Full Story


UCSD Engineers 3D-Print Robot For Power Line Inspection

KPBS | August 7, 2013

Think about the miles of power lines criss-crossing our modern world. Inspecting them all for signs of wear and tear can be a complicated and expensive process. That's why a group of crafty UC San Diego engineers built SkySweeper, an elegant little 3D printed robot that could make power line inspection a lot simpler. SkySweeper looks sort of like a pair of scissors slicing its way down a tightrope. It consists of two adjustable clamps fixed to arms that join at a single motor. Full Story


University of California-San Diego Names UC-Berkeley's Al Pisano as engineering school dean

ENR.com | August 6, 2013

The University of California, San Diego, has named Albert P. "Al"Pisano dean of the Jacobs School of Engineering, effective Sept. 1. A professor of mechanical, electrical and computer engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, he also served as engineering dean. Pisano will replace Juan C. Lasheras, a UCSD professor who was interim dean since 2012. Pisano also will teach engineering and continue research, including development of a sensor system to predict landslides, says UCSD. Full Story


Low-cost SkySweeper inspection robot scoots along power lines

CNet.com | August 6, 2013

You only need to experience another blackout for a reminder of the importance of power grid maintenance. Robots that crawl along and inspect power lines could save utilities a bundle in preventive checks. We've seen a few designs for machines that can take on this dangerous and tricky job, such as Hydro-Quebec's LineScout, but they can still cost tens of thousands of dollars. Full Story


Solar dilemma: Wash rooftop panels?

U~T | August 5, 2013

It is a question gnawing at people who live and toil beneath rooftop solar panels: To wash or not to wash away accumulating dust? The answer is don't bother hiring a panel washer to let in the sunshine, according a study by a team of engineers at the University of California San Diego. You are highly unlikely to earn your money back in electricity. "The vast majority of solar-energy systems certainly get some dirt, but it has a fairly low impact on how much energy they produce," said Kleissl Full Story


Rosalind: Bioinformatics, step by step

Russia-beyond the headlines | August 2, 2013

In March 2012 the world followed James Cameron's dive to the deepest point on Earth: the bottom of the Mariana Trench. In addition to having set the world record and reached a depth of almost 11 kilometers, the Hollywood director brought unique deep-water bacteria samples to the surface. Studies on the samples were conducted by specialists at the University of California, San Diego and at algorithmic biology labs in the St. Petersburg Academic University, headed by Nobel laureate Zhores Alferov Full Story


Researchers Find Dirt Has Minimal Impact On Solar Panel Effectiveness

KPBS | August 1, 2013

Engineers in San Diego say it may not make financial sense to spend money washing down rooftop solar panels. Researchers at the UC Jacobs School of Engineering studied solar output of more than 185 solar panel systems in California in 2010. They found that dust did impact the panels' ability to produce electricity. However, lead researcher Jan Kliessl said the reduction wasn't enough to warrant spending money on a thorough washing. Full Story


Track Thyself

The Scientist | August 1, 2013

Meet Larry Smarr, a UC San Diego computer scientist who records several facets of his physiology, on the hunt for signs of present or future health problems. Full Story


How A San Diego Researcher Helped Foil A Cybercriminal's Heroin Set-Up

KPBS | August 1, 2013

Call it an occupational hazard. When you shed light on the shadowy world of international cybercrime as well as Brian Krebs does, hackers are bound to take notice. They may even try to make your life a living hell. Krebs, a former Washington Post reporter, is an influential security blogger. His writing exposes how tech-savvy bad guys knock people offline, gain access to their bank accounts and hijack their debit cards. Full Story


Wash your solar panels for more energy? Not worth it, experts say

UPI.com | July 31, 2013

Cleaning solar panels is often not worth the cost if trying to improve their efficiency, scientists at the University of California, San Diego, say. They found panels that hadn't been cleaned, or rained on, for 145 days during a summer drought in California lost only 7.4 percent of their efficiency, the university reported Wednesday. For a typical residential solar system of 5 kilowatts, washing panels halfway through the summer would translate into a mere $20 gain in electricity production Full Story


Tensions Flare in the Push for More 'D' in R&D

Voice of San Diego | July 30, 2013

After a lifetime of research, the traditional yields of academia aren't as lustrous as they once were for Geert Schmid-Schönbein, a UC San Diego bioengineering researcher. "My dean couldn't care less if I publish another paper," he said. Schmid-Schönbein has spent his whole career understanding processes in cells and the human body. "I've very much enjoyed it. I hope I never have to stop," he said. "But after a couple of years you ask yourself, 'So what?' Full Story


Engineering Students Build a 'Firebot'

Gov Tech | July 30, 2013

Whether it's an extra set of hands on a delicate medical procedure, or an additional eye surveying the area during a covert military mission, robotic technology use is spreading like wildfire throughout the world. So what's the next step in the evolution of robotics? Firefighting. A team of engineering graduate students at the University of California, San Diego, has designed a small, two-wheeled prototype robot that eventually can be tossed into a burning building and relay critical info Full Story


Temporary tattoo warns athletes of "the wall"

LA Times | July 27, 2013

If you're a marathoner, you've probably heard of the dreaded "wall" -- the sudden, overwhelming fatigue that turns taut muscle to jelly, typically around the 20-mile mark. A similar fate can befall competitive cyclists, swimmers and other extreme athletes. Thanks to a group of researchers at UC San Diego, a temporary tattoo could help warn athletes when they're about to hit "the wall" before they actually do. Full Story


UCSD Students Light Fires In Zero Gravity For Science

KPBS | July 25, 2013

Try setting fire to biofuel on a commercial flight, and you'd probably get taken in by Homeland Security. But try the same thing on a jet simulating the weightlessness of space and it's called science. "I'm very shocked actually, that they let us do this," said Sam Avery, a UC San Diego mechanical and aerospace engineering major who just got back from NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. "Every time I've talked to anyone, they've said, 'You're actually blowing something up on a plane. Full Story


UCSD stokes rise of the micro machines

U~T | July 21, 2013

What would you pay for a smartphone app that gives you 10 seconds' notice that an earthquake is about to hit? It's a question consumers may soon face. Scientists are developing smaller, better and cheaper sensors to monitor ground motion, raising the chances that they'll be able to create an earthquake warning system. And that's just for starters. There's a revolution going on in sensor technology. Call it the rise of the micromachines. Full Story


Students spark zero-gravity fires during wild weightless ride

NBC News | July 21, 2013

Student engineers Daneesha Kenyon, Jack Goodwin and Sam Avery with the UCSD Microgravity Team study biofuel fires in weightlessness during a NASA Microgravity University experiment on a Zero-G flight based out of Houston's Ellington Field on Friday. NASA astronaut Mike Fossum and Space.com's Tariq Malik observe the experiment. Full Story


Student Engineers Spark Zero-Gravity Fires on Weightless Wild Ride

Space.com | July 20, 2013

Gravity, we have defied you. Seven university student teams from across the United States escaped the pull of Earth's gravity -- if only for a few seconds -- on a NASA microgravity flight to see how fire, liquids and magnets behave in weightlessness. The students flew with NASA's Microgravity University Program Friday (July 19) aboard a Zero Gravity Corporation Boeing 727 jet modified to fly up and down on a parabolic path to create up to 30 seconds of zero gravity Full Story


UC BERKELEY ENGINEER NAMED DEAN AT UCSD ENGINEERING

U~T | July 16, 2013

A prize-winning designer of tiny machines and motors used to improve human health and spot natural disasters has been named dean of UC San Diego's Jacobs School of Engineering, one of the highest-ranked programs of its kind in the country. Albert Pisano, 59, is moving to San Diego from UC Berkeley, where he's been an engineering professor for 29 years. He also served as interim dean of engineering at UC Berkeley, which is deeply involved in Pisano's main field, microelectromechanical systems Full Story


Albert P. Pisano Named Dean of Jacobs School of Engineering

San Diego Business Journal | July 16, 2013

The Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego has named Albert P. Pisano as its dean. Pisano is a professor at UC Berkeley and a mechanical engineer who specializes in MEMS, or microelectromechanical systems. The term refers to technology developed at the micro and nano scale for a wide range of applications, including medicine, energy and communications. He will take the job Sept. 1. Pisano previously served as acting dean of Berkeley's engineering school. Full Story


Campus professor named dean of UC San Diego engineering school

The Daily Californian | July 16, 2013

Albert Pisano, a professor of mechanical engineering for 30 years at UC Berkeley, will become the dean of the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering on Sept. 1. According to an announcement by the Jacobs School on Monday, Pisano will succeed Frieder Seible, a professor of mechanical engineering at UC San Diego, who served as dean for 10 years before retiring in April. "Personally, I see San Diego as a very good fit, and it's very exciting to be offered a dean position," Pisano said. Full Story


UC San Diego names new dean of Jacobs School of Engineering

San Diego Daily Transcript | July 15, 2013

The University of California, San Diego has named professor Al Pisano, a mechanical engineer from UC Berkeley, as the next dean of the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. Pisano's appointment begins Sept. 1, 2013. The appointment follows an international search for a prominent research engineer to lead the Jacobs School of Engineering, which ranks No. 12 in the world, according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities Full Story


Berkeley star to lead UCSD engineering

U~T | July 12, 2013

UCSD says Pisano will takeover as dean on Sept. 1, succeeding Frieder Seible, who left to take a similar position at Monash University in Australia. Pisano said in a phone interview that he accepted the deanship "because I really fit in at UCSD. It's public university that's concerned with the public good. And the engineering school not only has a strong grasp of the fundamentals, but the motivation to apply its research. It's not an ivory tower where people just think deep thoughts, Full Story


UCSD develops telescopic contact lenses

FOX5 News, San Diego | July 9, 2013

Superhuman vision may be closer to reality now that researchers at University of California San Diego are working on special contact lenses that could double vision by blinking. UCSD scientists have developed a prototype for telescopic contact lenses. The scientific breakthrough could be a huge help to the elderly and others suffering from degenerative eye diseases. "We've built a small, very low magnification telescope," Electrical & Computer Engineering Professor Joseph Ford said. Full Story


UCSD Team is developing telescopic contact lenses

CBS News | July 3, 2013

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego have developed a prototype for telescopic contact lenses. Funded by a grant from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), UCSD and a team of collaborators recently completed the first clinical trial on a lens that magnifies vision by 2.8 times. They expect the lenses to help seniors with age-related vision loss, or macular degeneration. Full Story


The contact lenses that can give you telescopic vision like SUPERMAN

Daily Mail, UK | July 3, 2013

A new range of contact lenses gives wearers telescopic vision like comic book hero Superman. Researchers from San Diego and Switzerland fitted a traditional contact lens with a magnifying ring which, when worn with a pair of Samsung 3D glasses, can magnify scenes by 2.8 times. The lens-glasses combination was designed to help restore the sight of people suffering from age-related macular degeneration, or blindness. Full Story


The contact lenses that can give you telescopic vision like SUPERMAN

Daily Mail, UK | July 3, 2013

A new range of contact lenses gives wearers telescopic vision like comic book hero Superman. Researchers from San Diego and Switzerland fitted a traditional contact lens with a magnifying ring which, when worn with a pair of Samsung 3D glasses, can magnify scenes by 2.8 times. The lens-glasses combination was designed to help restore the sight of people suffering from age-related macular degeneration, or blindness. Full Story


An Up-Close Look at the World's First Zoomable Contact Lens

KPBS | July 3, 2013

"Having a telescope through your eye--that's as old as Galileo," says UC San Diego engineering professor Joseph Ford. The dream of having zoom vision may be centuries old, but the technology that makes it possible arrived just this week. In a new paper, Ford and his international team of collaborators unveiled their design for the world's first telescopic contact lenses. This Terminator-esque technology allows users to magnify their field of vision by almost three times. Full Story


Contact lenses bestow telescopic vision

BBC News | July 2, 2013

Researchers have created contact lenses which, when paired with special spectacles, bestow telescopic vision on their wearers. The contact-lens-and-spectacles combination magnifies scene details by 2.8 times. Polarising filters in the spectacles allow wearers to switch between normal and telescopic vision. The telescopic sight system has been developed to help people suffering age-related blindness. Full Story


Telescopic Contact Lens Enables Magnified Vision, Allows Users To Zoom In And Out (PHOTOS)

Huffington Post | July 2, 2013

Superman-like vision may not be so far off. A team of researchers revealed a design for the world's first telescopic contact lens in a study published in peer-reviewed online journal Optics Express Tuesday. The 1.17 mm-thick prototype contains two separate optical paths: one for 2.8x magnified vision and one for regular vision. Wearers will be able see normally through the central region, while selective blocking makes it possible for the user to switch between the two types of view. Full Story


Telescopic contact lenses could give superhero vision

CNET | July 2, 2013

Many superheroes come equipped with special seeing abilities, like X-ray vision or night vision. Superman even sports telescopic vision, the ability to see over long distances. Researchers are working on a contact lens that bestows telescopic vision, though it won't let you spy on faraway planets. The lens experiment came about through DARPA-funded research into vision enhancement devices for soldiers. What the researchers developed could become a solution for people suffering Full Story


These Contact Lenses Give You Telescopic Vision

Popular Science | July 2, 2013

So this is pretty much one of those things you've always wanted from the future, right? Researchers have created a prototype contact lens-and-glasses system that lets you zoom in on something to 2.8X magnification. The lenses do the zooming, while the glasses let you switch between normal and magnified vision. Right now, the lens' engineers, a team with members from California and Switzerland, are designing it for people with age-related macular degeneration Full Story


These Contact Lenses Can Zoom In and Out, Give You Telescopic Vision

Smithsonian | July 2, 2013

Putting in your contact lenses can sometimes feel like you're donning a pair of telescopes, snapping distant blurs into sharp focus. A new, experimental set of contact lenses makes that feeling that much more real: these lenses zoom vision in and out by a factor of 2.8. Designed by a team of engineers lead by the University of California, San Diego's Eric Tremblay, the contact lenses are being billed as a possible cure for macular degeneration. Full Story


Telescopic Contact Lens Gives You Terminator Vision

Mashable | July 2, 2013

A new contact lens is being developed that would allow wearers to zoom in and zoom out on focal points, just like the Terminator. The telescopic lens is just over a millimeter thick and is composed of a central unmagnified optical path, surrounded by a ring of movable components that magnify the view 2.8 times. Although it doesn't compute the facial structure of potential targets -- at least not yet-- a liquid crystal shutters does allow the user switch between normal and magnified vision. Full Story


New Firefighting Technologies: Drones, Super Shelters

National Geographic | July 2, 2013

The 19 firefighters who died in a blaze in Arizona on Sunday belonged to a profession where technologies are tested rigorously and tools are adopted slowly. But there are a slew of new innovations that are in development or on the drawing board that have the potential to transform how wildfires are fought. We asked experts about how these advances might help firefighters deal with challenging, wind-driven wildfires like the fatal blaze in Yarnell Hill, Arizona. Full Story


Telescopic Contact Lens Gives Terminator Vision

Discovery | July 2, 2013

A new contact lens is being developed that would allow wearers to zoom in and zoom out on focal points, just like the Terminator. The telescopic lens is just over a millimeter thick and is composed of a central unmagnified optical path, surrounded by a ring of movable components that magnify the view 2.8 times. Although it doesn't compute the facial structure of potential targets-- at least not yet-- a liquid crystal shutters does allow the user switch between normal and magnified vision. Full Story


Video: Robot Searches Burning Buildings

Design News | June 28, 2013

A Segway-like robot has joined the list of devices developed to assist firefighters. Researchers at the University of California-San Diego designed the semi-autonomous Firefighting Robot (FFR) to map the interiors of residential and commercial buildings and take temperature readings to give firefighters a clearer picture of a fire before they enter a burning building. Full Story


A Telescope For Your Eye: New Contact Lens Design May Improve Sight of Patients with Macular Degeneration

The Wall Street Journal | June 27, 2013

Contact lenses correct many people's eyesight but do nothing to improve the blurry vision of those suffering from age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness among older adults in the western world. That's because simply correcting the eye's focus cannot restore the central vision lost from a retina damaged by AMD. Full Story


This New Contact Lens Basically Turns Your Eye Into a Telescope

Gizmodo | June 27, 2013

Contact lenses are great if your only issue is near or farsightedness, but for those struggling with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness among older adults, those flimsy little lenses ain't going to cut it--or at least not the kind of contact lenses you're used to. But soon, AMD-sufferers could see their vision vastly improving thanks to a slim, adjustable telescope that sits right in the middle of their eye. Full Story


A Star Is Born At The Googleplex

Forbes: A Star is Born at the Googleplex | June 27, 2013

Yesterday, I had the honor of coaching a small group of startups that had been selected as finalists for a pitch contest at the LATISM/Latino2 event held at Google for Entrepreneurs in Mountain View. As always -- I have coached at events like this before -- it was a fun and meaningful experience, and I found myself both nervous and excited for each of the contestants. For most, it was their first time pitching in front of big-time VCs (there were several in attendance). Full Story


Study Shows Many iPhone Apps Defy Apple's Privacy Advice

MIT Tech Review | June 25, 2013

In 2011, Apple advised that iPhone and iPad apps should stop logging the unique identifiers of users' devices, a practice that can be exploited to build up profiles for ad-targeting purposes. But a new study by researchers at the University of California, San Diego, suggests that many apps still do so. At the MobiSys conference in Taiwan this week, the researchers will present data gathered from 225,000 apps installed on 90,000 ordinary iPhones. Full Story


Many iPhone Apps Defy Apple's Privacy Advice

Mashable | June 25, 2013

Apple advised iPhone and iPad apps to stop logging the unique identifiers of users' devices in 2011. It's a practice that can be exploited to build up profiles for ad-targeting purposes. But a new study by researchers at the University of California, San Diego, suggests that many apps still do so. Full Story


Nearly Half of iOS Apps Violate Apple's Privacy Policy

Techilicious | June 25, 2013

Earlier this year, Apple set a May 1 deadline for applications to stop using your unique device ID (UDID) -- a 40-character long serial number appearing on iPhones, iPads and iPod touches -- as a way of identifying you for advertising and other purposes. But a recent study by the University of California, San Diego suggests that nearly half of all iOS applications still use UDIDs in violation of Apple's own privacy policy. Full Story


Almost Half Of iPhone Apps Peek At Your Private Stuff

Red Orbit | June 20, 2013

According to a new study, more than 13 percent of apps access an iPhone's physical location while six percent access the device's address book.Computer scientists at the University of California, San Diego discovered that nearly half of the mobile apps running on Apple's iOS operating system have gained access to private data. These findings are based on a study of 130,000 users of jailbroken iOS devices, where uses have removed restrictions that keep apps from accessing the Full Story


UCSD's pizza idea: Drone delivers

U~T | June 18, 2013

Yeah, but could it deliver your order in 30 minutes or less? A handful of UC San Diego engineering students hungry to get in on the movement to design drones that can do something other than spy on people drafted plans for an autonomous vehicle that's meant to deliver hot pizza to customers up to five miles away."We want to deliver pizza faster, and to reduce the amount of gas that's now burned by delivery trucks and cars," says Humberto Sainz Full Story


Scientists come to grips with seahorse armor

Reuters TV | June 17, 2013

Scientists are developing a new type of gripping arm for medical and engineering applications, using the the flexible armor of seahorses as a model. A team at the University of California San Diego says the creature's natural armor plating provides a degree of strength and flexibility that does not exist outside nature. Tara Cleary reports. Full Story


Scientists Come to Grips with Seahorse Armor

Scientific American | June 17, 2013

Scientists at the University of California San Diego are developing a new type of gripping arm for medical and engineering applications, using the the flexible armor of seahorses as a model. Full Story


Scientists come to grips with seahorse armor

MSN News | June 17, 2013

Scientists are developing a new type of gripping arm for medical and engineering applications, using the the flexible armor of seahorses as a model. A team at the University of California San Diego says the creature's natural armor plating provides a degree of strength and flexibility that does not exist outside nature. Tara Cleary reports. Full Story


Reputation vs. Cash Rewards: How To Inspire Good Behavior

TIME | June 14, 2013

The mere suggestion that others are watching can put people on their best behavior, and a new study finds that concern for reputation is more powerful than cash payments in getting neighbors to do the right thing. Researchers collaborated with Pacific Gas and Electric, a California natural gas and electricity provider, to understand how best to increase participation in a program to prevent blackouts. Full Story


UC San Diego Computer Science and Engineering Department Receives $18.5 Million Gift

Philanthropy News Digest | June 12, 2013

The University of California, San Diego has announced an $18.5 million gift to its Department of Computer Science and Engineering from an alumnus who wishes to remain anonymous. Full Story


'Dark Matter' of Life: Mysterious Bacteria Captured

Yahoo News! | June 10, 2013

The genome of mysterious bacteria that lurk in hospital drains has been sequenced. Low levels of the bacteria, known only as candidate phylum TM6, have been found in water systems around the world, yet because they could not be cultured in the lab, almost nothing was known about them. The new research, detailed today (June 10) in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could be the first step in understanding exactly what these bacteria do Full Story


Segway-like robots designed to help firefighters and save lives

Gizmag | June 7, 2013

"Quick, send in the robots!" Far-fetched as it may sound, fire-fighting robots are indeed coming closer and closer to common use. While some of them are intended to actually put out the flames, others are designed more to scout out structures before human firefighters enter, letting those people know how to safely get around and where to concentrate their efforts. One of the latest machines in the second category is the self-balancing Firefighting Robot (FFR), being developed at the UCSD. Full Story


Firefighting Robot Will Work Alongside Humans (Hopefully You'll Never Have To See One)

Huffington Post, UK | June 6, 2013

This cool little Segway-esque machine could one day save your life. Working alongside human firefighters its makers hope that it could be a crucial tool in helping to locate people in fires and other disaster situations. Inside its little frame it contains a sophisticated set of cameras - one infra-red and two RGB - that create a 3D scene which can be viewed by rescuers. The little blighter can even climb stairs (watch the video for a demonstration of its pretty ingenious technique). Full Story


Robot Scout Finds Fires With 3D Thermal Imaging

IEEE Spectrum | June 6, 2013

We hear about lots of robots that could potentially be used for "search and rescue" or "disaster relief," because that's kind of what you say when you've made a robot that doesn't have a commercial or military application but you still need to come up with some task that it might be useful for. It's much rarer that we see these robots actually performing search and rescue or disaster relief tasks, which is why it's especially nice to see this firefighting robot from UCSD Full Story


Firefighting Robot Paints 3D Image for Rescuers

Live Science | June 6, 2013

Recent headlines regarding autonomous robots suggest that smart machines have a license to kill. But a new project from engineers at the University of California, San Diego suggests a different reality. The UC engineers have built a pack of tiny autonomous robots that could help save the lives of both fire victims and firefighters. These lifesaving robots, which look a lot like small Segways, were designed for mobility, agility and reconnaissance. Full Story


Gift to transform UCSD computer science

U~T San Diego | June 5, 2013

An anonymous donor has given UC San Diego the largest-ever financial gift by an alumnus -- $18.5 million that will help the school cope with the explosive growth it's experiencing in the job-rich field of computer science. The money comes from a graduate of the department of computer science and engineering, which is expected to have about 2,200 students this fall, a record high and more than double its enrollment in 2007. Full Story


Segway-like robot helps fight fires with 3D, thermal imaging

CNet | June 5, 2013

Thank goodness for robots. A new one out of the University of California, San Diego, may soon help first responders survey a fiery scene with its ability to enter a burning building and immediately transmit data on the state and location of the fire, the building's structural integrity, and the presence of any volatile gases -- all while on the lookout for survivors. Full Story


Gift to transform UCSD computer science

U~T San Diego | June 5, 2013

An anonymous donor has given UC San Diego the largest-ever financial gift by an alumnus ? $18.5 million that will help the school cope with the explosive growth it's experiencing in the job-rich field of computer science.The money comes from a graduate of the department of computer science and engineering, which is expected to have about 2,200 students this fall, a record high and more than double its enrollment in 2007. The department is scrambling to meet soaring demand from industry Full Story


Microsampling Air Pollution

NY Times | June 3, 2013

Near the corner of Tillary and Jay Streets in Brooklyn, Michael Heimbinder stood near a blue mailbox, head down, poking at his smartphone. A graph appeared: a single line plotting ambient carbon monoxide exposure in the neighborhood. Minutes later, he ran over to an idling Honda Pilot and held a small, black sensor to its tailpipe. On his phone, carbon monoxide levels, predictably, jumped off the chart. A woman opened the car door and said, "Can I help you out?" Full Story


Top UCSD center named Qualcomm Institute

U~T San Diego | May 24, 2013

A University of California San Diego research institute that's emerged as a leader in finding better ways for people to communicate, stay healthy and protect the environment was named Friday after its largest benefactor, chipmaker Qualcomm. Qualcomm founder Irwin Jacobs and his son Paul, the company's chief executive officer, have funneled $26 million in largely unrestricted money to the institute over the past 12 years to promote innovation. Full Story


Solar umbrella a winner in UCSD competition

U~T San Diego | May 23, 2013

Need to plug in at an outdoor cafe? A team of mechanical engineering students may be able to help you out eventually. A trio who designed a solar umbrella that can provide electrical outlets at outdoor cafes won the grand prize at UC San Diego's Zahn Prize Competition last week. The team, made up of seniors Sara Taghizadeh, Austin Steussy and Faizan Masood, won the $6,000 prize to help bring their product to market. Full Story


Can a pulsating watch lower your stress?

U~T San Diego | May 20, 2013

Can a pulsating watching train you to be less stressed out? Maybe. UC San Diego is testing just a system. It involves a wearable heart monitor that causes an Android wristwatch to produce a soft, gentle buzz when a person is relaxed. The system operates with software developed Ramesh Rao, the engineer who directs the Qualcomm Institute, a test bed for technology. Additional information is displayed on an Android tablet. Full Story


Would you want an electronic tattoo that could read your mind?

Tech Radar | May 13, 2013

There's a time in most of our lives when we surrender to an overwhelming need to be part of the zeitgeist and get a painful, nondescript, instantly regrettable tattoo. There's also a subsequent time when you have three fifths of a second to lie to your mum about what that 'Māori looking smudge' is on the back of your neck. Now, thanks to researchers at the University of California, you'll have the completely believable response of 'it's a brain-reading, wireless, electronic temporary Full Story


Flexible Armor: Mysterious Seahorse Astounds Scientists

ABC News | May 12, 2013

The curious seahorse, a tiny fish that swims in a vertical position and looks a lot like a miniature horse, has astounded researchers by its ability to withstand crushing forces that would destroy nearly every other living creature. And it just may help the researchers borrow from the world of biology to solve some really tough problems in the world of engineering. The seahorse is the latest in a growing list of organisms in the relatively new field of biomimetics. Full Story


The Tiny Seahorse's Tail Could Help Create A New Type of Armor

Gizmodo | May 12, 2013

According to engineers at UCSD's Jacobs School of Engineering, the Hippocampus could one day lead to the creation of a robot that can mimic the seahorse's tail for use in hostile situations while withstanding incredible amounts of pressure. Or maybe some next level armature. "The tail is the seahorse's lifeline, because it allows the animal to anchor itself to corals or seaweed and hide from predators," said Michael Porter, a Ph.D. student in materials science at the Jacobs School Full Story


Why Even Google Will Embrace Cellphone Chips in the Data Center

Wired | May 9, 2013

Jason Mars is a rarity. He's an outsider with regular access to Google's data centers.Mars is a professor of computer science at the University of California, San Diego, and about five years ago, during a conference for computer science researchers, he met a Googler named Robert Hundt. Among so many other things, Hundt is responsible for a set of tools that track the performance of Google's massive computing facilities - widely regarded as the most advanced on the internet Full Story


Seahorse's Armor Gives Engineers Insight Into Robotics Designs

Space Daily | May 9, 2013

The tail of a seahorse can be compressed to about half its size before permanent damage occurs, engineers at the University of California, San Diego, have found. The tail's exceptional flexibility is due to its structure, made up of bony, armored plates, which slide past each other. Researchers are hoping to use a similar structure to create a flexible robotic arm equipped with muscles made out of polymer, which could be used in medical devices, underwater exploration Full Story


Sea horse tails inspire robot armor, medical devices

MSN News | May 8, 2013

Researchers from the University of California, San Diego, who studied sea horse tails think the tails' natural armor could inspire future robotics. heir study, in Acta Biomaterialia, looked at the bony, agile plates of a sea horse's tail. "Upon compression, the overlapping bony plates slide past each other, allowing the tail to be compressed to nearly 50 percent its original length before any permanent damage occurs," the study says. Full Story


FOSTERING RESEARCH

U~T San Diego | May 7, 2013

There's so much innovation happening in San Diego, including new ways to treat HIV/AIDS and Alzheimer's disease, as well as programs that offer free medical care to Tijuana's poor. Encinitas resident Sandra A. Brown oversees many of those projects. As the vice chancellor for research at UC San Diego, she helps scholars and scientists earn grants, set up their research and put those discoveries out in the real world. Full Story


Seahorse Tails Inspire Robotic Armor

Discovery | May 7, 2013

he seahorse -- whimsical-looking creature of fairytale and myth - is now providing bio-engineers with the inspiration to build a rugged robot arm that could one day rescue sailors who have fallen overboard, grasp medical tools or load equipment in outer space. That's because it turns out that the seahorse's tail is super-strong. Its overlapping armored plates can be squeezed more than 50 percent without damaging the nerves underneath, according to new research at the UC San Diego. Full Story


Seahorses Inspire New Armor Designs

Smithsonian | May 6, 2013

If you had to pick the toughest animal in the sea, you'd probably go for the great white shark. Or maybe the giant squid. You probably wouldn't pick the seahorse - a delicate, awkward little creature that clings to the seafloor. But the seahorse is exactly where armor designers are looking for new insights into building robots. Full Story


Seahorse tails may hold key to flexible robotic tentacles

Gizmag | May 6, 2013

The meaning of the word biomimicry is being devalued and inflated, to the point that any technology or design with the vaguest resemblance to something in the natural world tends to have the word unthinkingly applied to it. PR people in the automotive and architectural fields are now particularly fond of the word. So it's refreshing to be able to report on some research that has taken a detailed look at a natural phenomenon, the armor of a seahorse Full Story


Week in Ideas column by Daniel Akst. Saved by Tiny Sponges

Wall Street Journal | April 26, 2013

Engineers at the University of California have invented a new way to clean the blood of toxins from bacteria and venom. Video courtesy of the Jacobs School Communications Team. Full Story


UCSD SEEKING BIG PART IN BRAIN RESEARCH PROJECT

U~T San Diego | April 26, 2013

With an intensity rarely seen on campus, scientists at UC San Diego are racing to figure out the roles they might play in President Barack Obama's proposed BRAIN Initiative. They hope to position the school to compete for tens of million of dollars in research money. Full Story


Nanosponges soak up antibiotic resistant bacteria and toxins

IEEE Spectrum | April 25, 2013

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, have developed a nanoparticle that mimics a human blood cell so that it can circulate through our bloodstream soaking up bacterial infections and toxins. These so-called 'nanosponges' are expected to be particularly effective in treating bacterial infections that have developed an immunity to antibiotic treatments-and also for treating venoms from snake bites. Full Story


Inching SkySweeper robot provides cheap way to inspect power lines

Gizmag | April 21, 2013

If you look up at a power line in a few years and see something skittering along the wires, it (hopefully) won't be a mutant crab monster, but a powerline inspection robot costing less than US$1,000. A prototype of such a robot, called SkySweeper, was presented this month at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) Jacobs School of Engineering's Research Expo. The robot was built with off-the-shelf electronics and plastic parts printed on an inexpensive 3D printer. Full Story


UCSD Engineers invent nanosponges to absorb toxins

UCSD Guardian | April 18, 2013

This toxin-independent treatment would allow doctors and hospitals to carry out one general treatment rather than multiple toxin-specific treatments. "This is a new way to remove toxins from the bloodstream," Liangfang Zhang, a nanoengineering professor at the UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering, said in a press release on April 14. "Instead of creating specific treatments for individual toxins, we are developing a platform that can neutralize toxins caused by a wide range of pathogens." Full Story


Nanosponges to remove toxins from bloodstream

Ziptrials Medical News | April 17, 2013

A team of engineers from the University of California, San Diego are currently testing new technology designed to rid the bloodstream of dangerous toxins. Researchers say it's capable of targeting antibiotic-resistant bacteria and E. coli, as well as toxins from poisonous snakes and bees. At the center of the research is something called a nanosponge, which absorbs these dangerous pore-forming toxins. Full Story


Nanosponge mops up MRSA Toxin in Bloodstream

Medical News Today | April 17, 2013

Scientists in the US have developed tiny sponges made from nanoparticles disguised as red blood cells that can soak up a broad range of dangerous toxins in the blood, such as from bacteria like MRSA and E. coli, and even snake and bee venom. They suggest their technology, which so far has been shown to work in mice, offers a new way to remove toxins caused by a wide range of pathogens. Full Story


Nanosponges in your blood Could Soak up Infactions and Poison

PopSci | April 17, 2013

A newly invented "nanosponge," sheathed in armor made of red blood cells, can safely remove a wide range of toxins from the bloodstream. Scientists at the University of California-San Diego inoculated some mice with their nanosponge, and then gave the animals otherwise lethal doses of a toxin--and the mice survived. This is especially interesting because a nanosponge can work on entire classes of toxins. Full Story


Absorbing toxins with nanosponges in disguise

Science Omega | April 17, 2013

Nanoengineers from Jacobs School of Engineering at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) have developed a means of safely removing from the bloodstream many of the toxins released by bacterial infections and venomous animal bites. The so-called 'nanosponges' are 3,000 times smaller than a red blood cell and are capable of effectively soaking up the pore-forming toxins produced by poisonous snakes and bees and pathogens such as E. coli and MRSA. Full Story


New Nanosponges Help Fight Infection, Animal Poison

Daily Tech | April 15, 2013

Bit by a snake? Nanosponges might soon be what the doctor orders.A large variety of animal venoms share a class of dangerous compounds called pore-forming toxins. Bee stings, the bites of some venomous snakes, and even the drug-resistant "super-bug" MRSA (an infectious bacteria) all contain chemicals of this class, which can cause death in mammals in sufficient doses. The toxins puncture cell membranes causing an influx of ions and cell death. Full Story


CodeSpells lets you have fun, be a wizard and learn how to program Java

The Gaming Vault | April 15, 2013

Known as 'CodeSpells', the game was originally tested on a group of 10-to-12 year old girls who had no previous experience of programming. After sixty minutes of gameplay had elapsed, the study revealed that the children had already mastered some of the foundation components of Java; something, my dear readers, that is far and beyond above my current understanding already. Full Story


Nanosponge soaks up toxins in blood

Los Angeles Times | April 15, 2013

Researchers at UCSD have invented a microscopic sponge that can mop up toxins, including a drug-resistant staph bacterium and even snake venom. The so-called nanosponge was tested only on mice. It worked well when injected into healthy mice that then were infected with the toxin from a strain of Staphylococcus aureus that has become resistant to multiple antibiotics. About 89% survived the lethal doses. Fewer than half, or 44%, survived when the nanosponge was injected after the infection. Full Story


Nanosponges used to soak up toxins in the bloodstream

Gizmag | April 15, 2013

If you've seen many old westerns, then you'll likely have watched a few scenes where one cowboy has to suck rattlesnake venom out of another one's leg. Things would have been much easier for those cowboys if nanosponges had been around at the time. Developed by scientists at the University of California, San Diego, the tiny sponges mimic red blood cells, and are able to soak up lethal toxins - including snake venom and bacteria - from the bloodstream. Full Story


Nanosponges may remove toxins from the bloodstream

UPI | April 15, 2013

U.S. engineers say they've develop a "nanosponge" that can remove a number of toxins -- including E. coli and bee or snake venom -- from the human bloodstream. Researchers at the University of California say the nanosponges, which have been used in studies with mice, can neutralize "pore-forming toxins" which destroy cells by poking holes in their cell membranes. Full Story


Nanosponges could soak up deadly infections like MRSA from your bloodstream

The Verge | April 15, 2013

Researchers have developed biomimetic nanosponges that could prove an effective way of dealing with antibiotic-resistant infections. Each nanosponge is a tiny polymer-based particle measuring 85nm (around one 300,000th of an inch) across that's been wrapped in a red blood cell membrane. When scientists injected the material into mice, toxic proteins attached themselves to the nanosponges and were harmlessly transported to the liver for removal. Full Story


Nanoparticle Disguised as a Blood Cell Fights Bacterial Infection

Technology Review | April 14, 2013

A nanoparticle wrapped in a red blood cell membrane can remove toxins from the body and could be used to fight bacterial infections, according to research published today in Nature Nanotechnology. The results demonstrate that the nanoparticles could be used to neutralize toxins produced by many bacteria, including some that are antibiotic-resistant, and could counteract the toxicity of venom from a snake or scorpion attack, says Liangfang Zhang, a professor of nanoengineering at UC San Diego. Full Story


Nanosponges To Suck Up Toxins

Discovery | April 14, 2013

Bacteria are becoming more resistant to the best weapon we have against them: antibiotics. But what if we could live together in peace? Instead of killing the germs, there may be a way to render them harmless to the body using nanosponges to soak up the toxins that make us sick.Could nanosponges become the next universal antidote? Bioengineer Che-Ming "Jack" Hu of the University of California, San Diego says there is potential. Full Story


Toxin-absorbing 'nanosponges' invented at UCSD

U~T San Diego | April 14, 2013

Nanosponges" that can absorb a wide range of venoms and toxins from bacteria such as MRSAhas been invented by UCSD researchers.The nanosponges soak up pore-forming toxins. This property could make nanosponges a generic therapy for such toxins and venom from snake bites and bee stings. Full Story


Code Spells - Teaching Java to Kids

I Programmer | April 14, 2013

Computer scientists at the University of California, San Diego, have developed an immersive, first-person player video game designed to teach students in elementary to high school how to program in Java.Code Spells is the creation of PhD students Sarah Esper and Stephen Foster who have built their game on the metaphor that Code is magical. The player is a magician who has lost their memory, their goal is to remember their spells (programs) and learn to make and execute new ones. Full Story


Savvy SoCal Students Bring Their Take On Laser Tag To Kickstarter

Tech Crunch | April 14, 2013

I was fortunate enough to spend a solid chunk of my adolescence strapped into an ill-fitting vest and shooting lasers at friends of mine, but a group of technically minded youngsters and their mentors in southern California didn't just want to play laser tag.No, the crew at San Diego-based ThoughtSTEM wanted to whip up a (slightly) more subtle laser tag system of their own, and they're just about there - now they've kicked off a Kickstarter campaign to help bring it to market. Full Story


Students Learning Programming Like Magic

KPBS | April 12, 2013

Across the country, there's a drive to give students more hands-on experiences with science and technology. Some University City fourth graders got to test-drive a video game that teaches computer programming basics. One of them was 9-year-old Jade Climo, who said she enjoyed her second chance to play the game called "CodeSpells" Friday morning. "I think that it's fun to give spells and be chased by monsters and levitate and stuff." Full Story


Experimental Videogame Teaches Kids How to Program Java

Wired | April 11, 2013

Many videogames let you cast your very own magic spells. Usually, this involves pressing the right button on your mouse. But in an experimental game called CodeSpells, performing acts of magic requires a bit more brain power. All spells must be written in Java code. Designed by academics at University of California, San Diego, CodeSpells is a way for young students to learn the art of programming. Full Story


New visions for robots and Laser Tag on Kickstarter

Yahoo News! Digital crave blog | April 10, 2013

Inventors continue to tinker with robots and Laser Tag technology. These two inherently cool creations appeal to kids of all ages. What if they built a robot that played Laser Tag with you? That would be awesome. Sadly, they don't exist. In the meantime, check out these new Kickstarter projects that aim to change what it means to play Laser Tag or build a robot. Full Story


Video game teaches Java programming language to players

Gizmag | April 9, 2013

They say that one of the most effective ways of teaching someone a skill is to turn it into a game. Well, that's just what a team at the University of California, San Diego have done with their CodeSpells video game - it teaches its players how to use the Java programming language. CodeSpells was developed by a group of graduate students led by computer scientist William Griswold, and is intended for elementary to high school-aged students. Full Story


This Laser Tag Game Uses Everyday Objects As 'Guns'

Mashable.com | April 9, 2013

When you think of laser tag, you probably think of guns and targets. One Kickstarter project is trying to change that by introducing a new range of equipment, including targets that fit underneath everyday clothing and weapons that can be placed in everyday objects. Meant to be used in environments such as schools and coffee shops where you wouldn't want to pull out a gun of any kind, the project's small 'guns' can be hidden up a shirtsleeve, placed in a boot or even deployed as a trap. Full Story


Computer Scientists Develop First-person Player Video Game that Teaches How to Program in Java

ScienceBlog.com | April 8, 2013

Computer scientists at the University of California, San Diego, have developed an immersive, first-person player video game designed to teach students in elementary to high school how to program in Java, one of the most common programming languages in use today.The researchers tested the game on a group of 40 girls, ages 10 to 12, who had never been exposed to programming before. They detailed their findings in a paper they presented at the SIGCSE conference in March in Denver. Full Story


Improved hospital "superbug" detection demonstrated hospital

U~T San Diego | April 5, 2013

Dangerous microbes in hospitals can be detected in levels low as just one cell, according to a study led by J. Craig Venter Institute scientists. While the study is at the research stage, it could eventually help hospitals identify deadly "superbugs" such as MRSA and CRE before they gain a firm foothold.Hospitals have been frustrated in stopping superbug invasions because most bacteria don't grow well in cell cultures hospitals use to detect them, said Dr. David Brenner Full Story


Nanofoam could lead to new body armor, UC San Diego researchers say

Fox News.com | April 2, 2013

Could foam be the ideal body armor? The Army's research and development arm has funded a three-year research program at University of California, San Diego investigating nanofoam for protection -- the first foam armor endeavor ever, the college said. "We're developing nanofoams that help disperse the force of an impact over a wider area," explained UC San Diego professor of structural engineering Yu Qiao. "They will appear to be less rigid but will actually be more resistant than ordinary..." Full Story


Nanofoam Works As Body Armor

Discovery | April 2, 2013

The Army's research and development arm has funded a three-year research program at University of California, San Diego investigating nanofoam for protection -- the first foam armor endeavor ever, the college said."We're developing nanofoams that help disperse the force of an impact over a wider area," explained UC San Diego professor of structural engineering Yu Qiao. "They will appear to be less rigid but will actually be more resistant than ordinary foams." Full Story


Engineers Develop Nanofoams for Better Body Armor

ScienceBlog.com | March 28, 2013

Engineers at the University of California, San Diego are developing nanofoams that could be used to make better body armor; prevent traumatic brain injury and blast-related lung injuries in soldiers; and protect buildings from impacts and blasts. It's the first time researchers are investigating the use of nanofoams for structural protection. Full Story


Robot skateboard used to demonstrate engineering to students

San Diego Reader | March 27, 2013

The Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego has enlisted the help of a robot skateboard to promote the idea that 'science is cool,' at last week's San Diego Science and Engineering Festival held on the university's campus.The robot is essentially a pair of springs mounted to the deck of a skateboard compressed using a car jack. UCSD students, with the assistance of faculty members Raymond de Callafon and Nate Delson, designed the springs to replicate human legs... Full Story


Nanofoams could find use in better body armor

Gizmag | March 26, 2013

Given that scientists are already looking to sea sponges as an inspiration for body armor, perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that foam is also being considered... not just any foam, though. Unlike regular foam, specially-designed nanofoams could someday not only be used in body armor, but also to protect buildings from explosions. Led by professor of structural engineering Yu Qiao, a team at the University of California, San Diego... Full Story


Nanofoams could create better body armor

UPI.com | March 26, 2013

U.S. researchers say new nanofoam materials could be used in body armor to prevent traumatic brain injury and blast-related lung injuries in soldiers.Such materials could also protect buildings from impacts and blasts, they said."We are developing nanofoams that help disperse the force of an impact over a wider area," Yu Qiao, a professor of structural engineering at the University of California, San Diego, said. Full Story


The Flexible Seahorse

Science 360/NSF | March 20, 2013

Seahorses get their exceptional flexibility from the structure of their bony plates, which form its external armor. The plates slide past each other as the creature moves. Shown at left is an image from a micro CT-scan of the animal, revealing the seahorse's skeleton, as well as its bony plates. The structure, lightness and strength of many materials in nature are inspiring scientists and engineers to create new "bio-mimetic" materials that could lead to better body armor lighter aircraft... Full Story


Skating Through Physics Class

U~T San Diego | March 19, 2013

To better understand skateboarding tricks and use them in physics classes, UC San Diego engineering students built a robotic skateboard that can perform an "Ollie," basically jumping over another object. At right, UCSD students Ryan Meeks (left) and David Quintanilla work on the Bunny Hop in the UCSD gym. Above, Luck Hammes, 10, a student at Grant Elementary School, tries to compress a heavy spring after the university students' presentation. Full Story


Smartphone Sensors Record Timely, Accurate Air Quality

Live Science | March 18, 2013

Computer scientists at the University of California, San Diego have built a small fleet of portable pollution sensors with which users can monitor air quality in real time -- on their smart phones. The sensors which are called CitiSense, may be particularly useful to people who suffer from chronic conditions, such as asthma, and must avoid exposure to pollutants. Full Story


San Diego Earthquake Tests Show Risks Inside Buildings

KPBS | March 18, 2013

Newly published research finds fire is a serious threat in earthquake damaged buildings. Last year's tests on UCSD's outdoor shaking table provided the insight. Researchers built a five story building on top of the outdoor earthquake simulator. Scientists subjected the structure to several strong earthquakes and then started a fire inside the building. Cracks in walls and ceilings can let fire spread. Jammed elevator doors can block escape routes and allow smoke to move through a structure. Full Story


Quake test exposes big fire threat

U~T San Diego | March 16, 2013

The powerful earthquake simulations that UC San Diego ran on a five-story building last spring caused damage that allowed fire and smoke to spread in ways that could have prevented people from escaping if the event had been real, says a review of one of the largest seismic tests in American history. The experiment reaffirmed that fire can be a horrific after affect of an earthquake... Full Story


Coastkeeper App

KUSI: Tech Tuesday | March 15, 2013

Coastkeeper App Full Story


Image of the Day: Limber Seahorse

The Scientist | March 14, 2013

CT scans of a seahorse show its bony plates, which slide past each other as the animal bends, allowing it to be hard and yet flexible. Full Story


Solved! How to make Google's cloud 20 percent more efficient

InfoWorld | March 12, 2013

In my days as CTO of a technology company, I often received outside advice as to how I could improve my technology. A new set of eyes is a good thing, and often the recommendations were solid ideas I implemented to improve the product. Full Story


Recon 2: The Google map of the human body

CNet | March 7, 2013

An international group of researchers hopes their map of the human metabolism will allow them to peer into the human body as if in "street view." Full Story


The human body in 'Google map' form

cnn.com | March 7, 2013

Curious about how a disease gets started? Researchers may soon be able to "street view" the inner workings of the human body. An international group of researchers have successfully created the most comprehensive map of the human metabolism, called Recon 2, which details how the body's converts food into energy, and assembles all of the hormones and proteins that contribute to a normal day's work for cells and tissues. Full Story


Researchers Create A 'Google Map' Of The Human Metabolism

PopSci.com | March 5, 2013

An international team of researchers has debuted what they're calling a "Google map" of the human metabolism -- the most expansive virtual model of human metabolism to date, called Recon 2. Metabolism, the blanket term for all the physical and chemical processes that your body employs to convert food into energy, plays an important role in health and disease. More comprehensive biological modeling of our metabolism can help us compute and predict how our bodies will respond to drugs... Full Story


The Human Body-In 'Google Map' Form

Time.com | March 5, 2013

Curious about how a disease gets started? Researchers may soon be able to 'street view' the inner workings of the human body. An international group of researchers have successfully created the most comprehensive map of the human metabolism, called Recon 2, which details how the body's converts food into energy, and assembles all of the hormones and proteins that contribute to a normal day's work for cells and tissues. Full Story


Bioengineers produce 'Google Map' of human metabolism

Wired Science UK | March 4, 2013

A "Google Map" model of human metabolism has been produced by an international team of bioengineers, offering "improved predictive capability" over its predecessor. Recon 2 forms a community-driven expansion of the earlier Recon 1 metabolic map emerging from a number of metabolic jams. The jams were held to focus attention on the project in order to refine the representation and bring together biochemical information from pre-existing models and literature. Full Story


Scientists build a 'Google Map' of human metabolism

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | March 4, 2013

Metabolism, the catalog of chemical reactions inside us that help maintain life, has been the subject of a large-scale mapping effort by an international team of scientists.The work, published in the journal Nature Biotechnology, attempts to reconstruct human metabolism, an effort researchers believe could lead to finding causes and treatments for cancer, diabetes and psychiatric and brain disorders. Full Story


Scientists build a 'Google Map' of human metabolism

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | March 4, 2013

Metabolism, the catalog of chemical reactions inside us that help maintain life, has been the subject of a large-scale mapping effort by an international team of scientists. The work, published in the journal Nature Biotechnology, attempts to reconstruct human metabolism, an effort researchers believe could lead to finding causes and treatments for cancer, diabetes and psychiatric and brain disorders. Full Story


Researchers Create Virtual Map Of Human Metabolism In Health And Disease

Red Orbit | March 4, 2013

An international team of researchers have produced what they are dubbing the "Google Maps" of human metabolism - the most comprehensive virtual recreation of the cellular chemical transformation ever crafted. The model is known as Recon 2, and according to the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - one of the institutes behind the research - it could potentially be used to locate the causes of cancer, diabetes, and neurodegenerative diseases. Full Story


Virtual 'Google Map' of Human Metabolism Created: New Ways to Treat Disease

Science World Report | March 4, 2013

There's a new way to look at the human metabolism--a comprehensive computer "map" that could allow scientists to find biomarkers of metabolic diseases. Likened to Google maps by researchers, the tool could allow them to better understand and predict unwanted side effects that occur from drugs that treat cancers. Full Story


Google Map of Human Metabolism to Cure Lethal Diseases

Top News | March 4, 2013

International team of bioengineers has produced a "Google Map" that represents the model of human metabolism. The Google map is the most virtual form of the cellular chemical transformation ever produced by the bioengineers. According to University of California, San Diego the model is named Recon 2 and will be very useful in finding the causes for cancer, diabetes, and neurodegenerative diseases. Moreover, the treatments for these lethal diseases are likely to be developed using the metabolism Full Story


Study maps human metabolism in health and disease

Medical Xpress | March 3, 2013

Scientists have produced an instruction manual for the human genome that provides a framework to better understand the relationship between an individual's genetic make-up and their lifestyle. The international team of researchers say their study - published in Nature Biotechnology - provides the best model yet to explain why individuals react differently to environmental factors such as diet or medication. Full Story


Mimicking Nature

U~T San Diego | March 1, 2013

For all things humans have learned to fabricate, nature still beats us in design and construction. Full Story


Temporary tattoos that can measure brain signals wirelessly

MSN.com | February 25, 2013

If you're considering getting a tattoo, think long and hard. New, temporary ink could pick up on those brain waves and turn them into more than wishful revelries.Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have collaborated on "epidermal electronics" - temporary tattoos that can wirelessly measure brain signals. Full Story


Student Cliques Determine Who Does Well in Class

The Guardian | February 24, 2013

In the college classroom, it isn't about how smart you are- it's about how smart you seem. UCSD researcher Manuel Cebrian says the trend exists because academic success in college is largely based on inclusion in elite "study cliques": groups of students who pick new members based on perceived intelligence rather than an actual metric of performance, like GPA. Full Story


Finally, Tattoos That Let You Control Objects with Your Mind

Time | February 22, 2013

Science hasn't been easy on the paranormal, routinely deflating fantastic claims by hucksters purporting psychic abilities. So wouldn't it be ironic if scientists were on the verge of making paranormal-like abilities a reality? Imagine controlling an object with your mind. Or don't, because you probably already have. I did when I was a (pretty little) kid. It never worked, of course, but boy did I stare daggers at several unsuspecting flower pots, pencils and sticks of chalk. Full Story


New Injectable Gel Repairs Muscle Damage After a Heart Attack

Healthline News | February 22, 2013

A new injectable hydrogel capable of repairing heart tissue after a heart attack has been deemed safe by bioengineers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and is ready for clinical testing in humans this year, according to a recent study published in Science Translational Medicine. Full Story


Injectable Hydrogel First Treatment to Repair Heart Damage After Stroke

Science World Report | February 22, 2013

Bioengineers from the University of California, San Diego have demonstrated a new injectable hydrogel that can repair damage from heart attacks, help the heart grow new tissue and blood vessels, and get the heart moving closer to how a healthy heart should in a study in pigs. The gel is injected through a catheter without requiring surgery or general anesthesia -- a less invasive procedure for patients. Full Story


These Temporary Tats Could Let You Move Objects With Your Mind

Beta Beat | February 21, 2013

Remember how jealous you were that the title character in the movie Matilda could move stuff with her mind? She could float candy to her mouth and turn the record player on and off and exact elementary school revenge on mean headmasters, all by scrunching up her nose and thinking really hard. We?re not quite there, but science is getting close: soon, temporary tattoos attached to your forehead could make you telepathic and telekinetic. Full Story


Researchers Develop Injectable Gel to Repair Damaged Hearts

Voice of America | February 21, 2013

People who suffer heart attacks are at increased risk of having a second and potentially fatal occurrence because of the damage the heart attack does to cardiac muscle tissue. Now scientists at the University of California San Diego have developed a new biomaterial - an injectable hydrogel - that can repair the damage from heart attacks, and help promote the growth of new heart tissue Full Story


Temporary tattoos could make electronic telepathy and telekinesis possible

io9 | February 20, 2013

Temporary electronic tattoos could soon help people fly drones with only thought and talk seemingly telepathically without speech over smartphones, researchers say. Electrical engineer Todd Coleman at the University of California at San Diego is devising noninvasive means of controlling machines via the mind, techniques virtually everyone might be able to use. Full Story


Injected 'Hydrogel' May Help Repair Failing Hearts

US News | February 20, 2013

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, demonstrated that they could inject the hydrogel into the hearts of pigs two weeks after a heart attack and prevent the loss of cardiac muscle and other changes that can eventually lead to heart failure. Full Story


Preventing heart failure post attack in pigs

The Hindu | February 20, 2013

A study published today (February 21) in Science Translational Medicine journal holds the promise that one day people who have suffered a heart attack (myocardial infarction) may not progress to a stage where the heart's ability to pump blood to meet the body's requirement gets compromised (heart failure). Full Story


Un gel regenera el corazón tras un infarto

ABC Salud | February 20, 2013

Un gel capaz de reparar el daño cardiaco producido por un infarto, seguro y eficaz, está ya preparado para ser utilizado en humanos. El hidrogel, desarrollado por el equipo de Sonya Seif-Naraghi, de la Universidad de California-San Diego (EE.UU.), está hecho de células cardiacas del propio paciente y genera un material poroso y fibroso que, una vez inyectado, fabrica un andamio celular en el tejido cardiaco dañado. Full Story


Ventrix plans heart regeneration trials for Europe

U~T San Diego | February 20, 2013

Following a successful animal study of its heart-regenerating gel, Ventrix Inc. says it plans to start human tests in heart attack patients by the end of this year.Working in pigs, the San Diego-based biotech company tested the "hydrogel" in heart attack models. A study released Wednesday in Science Translational Medicine indicated that pigs treated with the hydrogel recovered more function with less scarring than pigs in a control group. Full Story


Pig Gel Cuts Animal Heart Failure With Human Tests Next

Bloomberg | February 20, 2013

Muscle damaged by heart attacks can be repaired by an injectable gel that forms scaffolding, attracting stem cells and blood vessels in a study that may lead to a new method for reducing heart failure.The technique, studied in animals such as pigs, will be tested in humans in Europe in the second half of the year, said Karen Christman, study author and assistant bioengineering professor at the University of California, San Diego. Full Story


Injectable gel repairs damage after heart attack in pigs

Nature Medicine | February 20, 2013

As you read this sentence, on average at least one person in the US will have started to clutch her chest. The blood flow to her heart will become blocked and cardiac muscle cells will start to die off and get replaced with scar tissue. This person has just suffered a heart attack and most likely will go on to develop heart failure, a weakening of the heart's ability to pump blood and oxygen. In five years time, there's a 50/50 chance she'll be dead. Full Story


Electronic Telekinesis from Temporary Tattoo

Discovery | February 19, 2013

Electronic devices are getting smaller, thinner and more flexible ? taking them into areas other electronics can?t go. One place is the mind. Electrical engineer Todd Coleman at the University of California at San Diego, for example, is using super-thin flexible electronic ?tattoos? to read brain wave activity in a non-invasive way and use that data to control machines. Full Story


Temporary Tattoos Could Make Electronic Telepathy, Telekinesis Possible

Tchnologist | February 19, 2013

Temporary electronic tattoos could soon help people fly drones with only thought and talk seemingly telepathically without speech over smartphones, researchers say.Commanding machines using the brain is no longer the stuff of science fiction. In recent years, brain implants have enabled people to control robotics using only their minds, raising the prospect that one day patients could overcome disabilities using bionic limbs or mechanical exoskeletons. Full Story


How neuroscientists are hacking into brain waves to open new frontiers

NBC News | February 17, 2013

Neuroscientists are following through on the promise of artificially enhanced bodies by creating the ability to "feel" flashes of light in invisible wavelengths, or building an entire virtual body that can be controlled via brain waves."Things that we used to think were hoaxes or science fiction are fast becoming reality," said Todd Coleman, a bioengineering professor at the University of California at San Diego. Full Story


Brain research faces ethical issues

Irish Times | February 17, 2013

Research advances in building brain-machine interfaces have the potential to change lives in rehabilitation medicine, yet the area is bristling with difficult ethical issues. It opens the potential to control one's environment with the power of thought alone, but it also raises questions about what it means to be human and how far we should go with this technology, and what would happen if a hacker or a computer virus got into the interface? Full Story


Social College Students May Receive Higher Grades

U.S. News University | February 4, 2013

In college, some students like to find a quiet spot on campus and study alone, while others prefer to prepare for an upcoming exam with a few classmates. Based on the results of a new study, those who are more comfortable studying and completing course work with their peers may do a lot better academically than those who work in solitude, according to a press release from the University of California, San Diego's (UCSD) Jacobs School of Engineering Full Story


Students Working Together Get Better Grades

Huffington Post, France | February 2, 2013

Les élèves qui travaillent en groupe et qui interagissent en ligne seraient plus susceptibles de réussir leurs cursus au collège. Du moins, c'est ce qui ressort de l'étude publiée le 30 janvier dans la revue scientifique Nature Rapports et menée par Manuel Cebrian, un chercheur en informatique à la Jacobs School of Engineering de l'Université de Californie à San Diego. Full Story


Working alone won't get you good grades

the Times of India | February 1, 2013

College students who work together and interact online are more likely to be successful in their exams, according to a new study. Manuel Cebrian, a computer scientist at the Jacobs School of Engineering at the University of California San Diego and colleagues analyzed 80,000 interactions between 290 students in a collaborative learning environment for college courses. The major finding was that a higher number of online interactions was usually an indicator of a higher score in the class. Full Story


UCSD bioengineering professor makes big strides with tiny sensors

San Diego Daily Transcript | January 29, 2013

Dr. Todd Coleman is getting big attention for his work with wireless sensors the size of tiny temporary tattoos. Coleman is an associate professor of bioengineering at the University of California, San Diego. His neural interaction lab is looking at the various applications of wearable technology. Flexible sensors applied to the skin are being considered to help monitor at-risk pregnancies, to watch the brain signals of soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder... Full Story


Self-eating' enzymes key to organ failure, research suggests

BBC News | January 24, 2013

The study undertaken in rats looks closely at why the body starts to shut down when facing overwhelming illness. And this research could help explain why vital organs often fail during sepsis and shock, University of California researchers say. But more work is needed before firm conclusions can be drawn, experts say. Shock, overwhelming infections and multi-organ failure are terminal conditions that are commonly seen in intensive care. Full Story


Shock treatment: Blocking digestive enzymes increases survival

U~T San Diego | January 23, 2013

UCSD researchers have greatly increased survival from septic shock and other kinds of shock, according to a new study. They appear to have also solved an old biotech mystery about why other drugs for shock failed. Working in rats, the researchers increased long-term survival rates from about 16 percent to 86 percent by administering digestion-blocking enzymes into their intestines. Full Story


Digestive juices implicated in shock

Science News | January 23, 2013

The new study, in the Jan. 23 Science Translational Medicine, suggests that digestive enzymes play a role in this crisis. The enzymes normally help break down food, but they need to be confined to the ducts in the pancreas, where they are made, or the small intestine, where they digest food. If not, the enzymes can digest a person's own tissue. Full Story


How Google and Facebook Will Make the Leap to Lightspeed

Wired | January 15, 2013

One early morning in 2011, somewhere behind the curtain at the world?s most popular social network, a Facebook engineer pressed a single button and brought down the entire operation.This unnamed engineer didn't necessarily make a mistake. He just decided to run the kind of software task the social networking giant runs all the time. He ran a 'Hadoop job,' a way of analyzing data. Full Story


Black Market Pharmacies And The Big Business Of Spam

npr | January 11, 2013

An apparent feud between two black market pharmacies has shed light on a shady global industry. "Rx-Promotion and SpamIt probably are responsible for upward of 50 or 60 percent of spam that you and I got in our inboxes over the last five years," said Brian Krebs, a cyber-security reporter who chronicled the alleged feud on his . "It's just a ridiculous amount of problems that these two guys cause for everybody." Full Story


Eye on Science: Six La Jolla researchers to watch in 2013

La Jolla Light | January 8, 2013

Eye on Science: Six La Jolla researchers to watch in 2013: Natasha Balac, Phil Baran, Napoleone Ferrara, Ramamohan Paturi, Karen Pierce, Erica Ollmann Saphire Full Story


Pollution Levels At Your Fingertips

Discovery | January 4, 2013

Pollution is invisible and knowing how much is around you is not always easy. But a new system called Citisense, which consists of a mobile air quality sensor and smartphone app, could one day give people real-time information about the air around them. "Asthmatics, who number in the millions, would find this valuable to their immediate health," said William Griswold, a computer science professor at UC San Diego, who lead the group that developed the system. Full Story