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Key: Meeting Journal Funder
Public Release: 17-Apr-2014
International Journal of Electronic Marketing and Retailing
Newlyweds, be careful what you wish for
A statistical analysis of the gift 'fulfillments' at several hundred online wedding gift registries suggests that wedding guests are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to buying an appropriate gift for the happy couple.

Contact: Albert Ang
Inderscience Publishers

Public Release: 16-Apr-2014
Progress in the fight against quantum dissipation
Scientists at Yale have confirmed a 50-year-old, previously untested theoretical prediction in physics and improved the energy storage time of a quantum switch by several orders of magnitude. They report their results in the April 17 issue of the journal Nature.
National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, European Union, Yale

Contact: Eric Gershon
Yale University

Public Release: 16-Apr-2014
Physical Review Letters
At the origin of cell division
Movement and the ability to divide are two fundamental traits of living cells. The origin of these abilities could rely on very simple physical mechanisms, which have been simulated by scientists of the International School for Advanced Studies of Trieste in a study just published in Physical Review Letters. Luca Giomi and Antonio DeSimone have reproduced motility in their models, by acting on a single parameter until they caused the 'cells' to divide spontaneously without the action of external forces.

Contact: Federica Sgorbissa
International School of Advanced Studies (SISSA)

Public Release: 16-Apr-2014
International Journal of Knowledge and Web Intelligence
Ant colonies help evacuees in disaster zones
An escape route mapping system based on the behavior of ant colonies could give evacuees a better chance of reaching safe harbor after a natural disaster or terrorist attack by building a map of showing the shortest routes to shelters and providing regular updates of current situations such as fires, blocked roads or other damage via the smart phones of emergency workers and those caught up in the disaster.

Contact: Albert Ang
Inderscience Publishers

Public Release: 16-Apr-2014
International Journal of Modern Physics C
Researchers propose network-based evaluation tool to assess relief operations feasibility
A Singapore-based team of scientists from the Institute of High Performance Computing, A*STAR and The Logistics Institute-Asia Pacific has presented a model that looks into the logistics of disaster relief using open data and tools and measures developed in the field of network science.
Singapore Agency for Science, Technology and Research Complex Systems Programme, Agency for Science, Technology and Research Science and Engineering Research Center grant

Contact: Jason Lim Chongjin
65-646-65775 x247
World Scientific

Public Release: 16-Apr-2014
Researchers see hospitalization records as additional tool
By comparing hospitalization records from Massachusetts hospitals with data reported to local boards of health found a more accurate way to monitor how well communities track disease outbreaks.
National Institutes of Health

Contact: Alex Reid
Tufts University

Public Release: 16-Apr-2014
Scientists explain how memories stick together
Scientists at the Salk Institute have created a new model of memory that explains how neurons retain select memories a few hours after an event. This new framework provides a more complete picture of how memory works, which can inform research into disorders liked Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, post-traumatic stress and learning disabilities.

Contact: Chris Emery
Salk Institute

Public Release: 15-Apr-2014
International Supercomputing Conference -- ISC'14
Earthquake simulation tops 1 quadrillion flops
A team of computer scientists, mathematicians and geophysicists at Technische Universitaet Muenchen and Ludwig-Maximillians Universitaet Muenchen have -- with the support of the Leibniz Supercomputing Center of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities (LRZ) -- optimized the SeisSol earthquake simulation software on the SuperMUC high performance computer at the LRZ to push its performance beyond the 'magical' one petaflops mark -- one quadrillion floating point operations per second.
Volkswagen Foundation, KONWIHR, German Research Foundation, Leibniz-Rechenzentrum, European Union

Contact: Dr. Andreas Battenberg
Technische Universitaet Muenchen

Public Release: 15-Apr-2014
Researchers help Boston Marathon organizers plan for 2014 race
After experiencing a tragic and truncated end to the 2013 Boston Marathon, race organizers were faced not only with grief but with hundreds of administrative decisions, including plans for the 2014 race -- an event beloved by Bostonians and people around the world.

Contact: Thania Benios
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Public Release: 15-Apr-2014
Journal of Applied Physics
Sensitive detection method may help impede illicit nuclear trafficking
According to a new study in the Journal of Applied Physics, coupling commercially available spectral X-ray detectors with a specialized algorithm can improve the detection of uranium and plutonium in small, layered objects such as baggage. This approach may provide a new tool to impede nuclear trafficking.
US Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration

Contact: Jason Socrates Bardi
American Institute of Physics

Public Release: 11-Apr-2014
Marketing Science
Facial selection technique for ads can increase buyers by 15 percent: INFORMS Marketing Science
Merely changing the face of a model in an ad increases the number of potential purchasers by as much as 15 percent (8 percent on average), according to a study being published by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences.

Contact: Barry List
Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences

Public Release: 11-Apr-2014
Nobel prize candidates wait often over 20 years to win their prize
Candidates for a Nobel prize often have to wait more than 20 years to receive this highest of scientific accolades. According to a Correspondence by Santo Fortunato of Aalto University in Finland and colleagues, such nail-biting delays are becoming the norm -- to the point that aspiring laureates may themselves have expired by the time the medal is due to be presented.

Contact: Santo Fortunato
Aalto University

Public Release: 10-Apr-2014
PLOS Computational Biology
'Body hack' app by math researchers shortcuts jet-lag recovery
A different kind of jet-lag mobile app released today by University of Michigan mathematicians reveals previously unknown shortcuts that can help travelers snap their internal clocks to new time zones as efficiently as possible.

Contact: Nicole Casal Moore
University of Michigan

Public Release: 10-Apr-2014
PLOS Computational Biology
Using mathematics to beat jetlag effectively
Our 'internal clock' is predicted to shift more rapidly than previously thought. In a study published in PLOS Computational Biology on April 10, researchers present schedules of light exposure that may shift our circadian clock in the minimum time, simply by adjusting the timing of the beginning and end of each day.
Air Force Office of Scientific Research

Contact: Daniel Forger

Public Release: 10-Apr-2014
Notices of the American Mathematical Society
Pseudo-mathematics and financial charlatanism
'Backtest overfitting' is a dubious yet common practice in finance. Its perils are dissected in 'Pseudo-Mathematics and Financial Charlatanism: The Effects of Backtest Overfitting on Out-of-Sample Performance,' to appear in the Notices of the American Mathematical Society. The authors write: 'We strongly suspect that ... backtest overfitting is a large part of the reason why so many algorithmic or systematic hedge funds do not live up to the elevated expectations generated by their managers.'

Contact: Mike Breen
American Mathematical Society

Public Release: 9-Apr-2014
New 'switch' could power quantum computing
A light lattice that traps atoms may help scientists build networks of quantum information transmitters.

Contact: Abby Abazorius
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Public Release: 9-Apr-2014
Physical Review Letters
Technical tests of biodiversity
A team of physicists from SISSA and the Polytechnic University of Turin has developed and analysed a model that simulates the effect of migration on the genetic biodiversity of populations, and discovered that the effect is all but trivial.

Contact: Federica Sgorbissa
International School of Advanced Studies (SISSA)

Public Release: 8-Apr-2014
New epidemiology model combines multiple genomic data
Data about DNA differences, gene expression, or methylation can each tell epidemiologists something about the link between genomics and disease. A new statistical model that can integrate all those sources provides a markedly improved analysis, according to two new papers.
National Institutes of Health, Brown University

Contact: David Orenstein
Brown University

Public Release: 8-Apr-2014
Journal of Fluid Mechanics
How coughs and sneezes float farther than you think
A novel study uncovers the way coughs and sneezes stay airborne for long distances.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Abby Abazorius
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Public Release: 8-Apr-2014
Is the power grid too big?
Researchers are asking whether there is a 'right' size for the US power grid; they believe that smaller grids would reduce the likelihood of severe outages, such as the 2003 Northeast blackout, likening the grid behavior to sandpiles: 'Sandpiles are stable until you get to a certain height. Then you add one more grain and the whole thing starts to avalanche.'

Contact: Jason Socrates Bardi
American Institute of Physics

Public Release: 8-Apr-2014
Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
'RoboClam' hits new depths as robotic digger
A digging robot inspired by the unique mechanisms employed by the Atlantic razor clam has been created by a group of researchers in the US.

Contact: Michael Bishop
Institute of Physics

Public Release: 4-Apr-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Math modeling integral to synthetic biology research
A long-standing challenge in synthetic biology has been to create gene circuits that behave in predictable and robust ways. Mathematical modeling experts from the University of Houston collaborated with experimental biologists at Rice University to create a synthetic genetic clock that keeps accurate time across a range of temperatures. Funded by the National Institutes of Health, the findings were published in a recent issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
National Institutes of Health

Contact: Lisa Merkl
University of Houston

Public Release: 4-Apr-2014
IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
New algorithm aids in both robot navigation and scene understanding
An algorithm for determining the orientation of objects could aid robots in navigation, scene understanding.

Contact: Abby Abazorius
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Public Release: 4-Apr-2014
International Journal of Fracture
New risk factors for avalanche trigger revealed
The amount of snow needed to trigger an avalanche in the Himalayans can be up to four times smaller than in the Alps, according to a new model from a materials scientist at Queen Mary University of London.

Contact: Neha Okhandiar
Queen Mary, University of London

Public Release: 3-Apr-2014
Cassini reports sub-surface ocean on Enceladus
New results from the Cassini spacecraft, which has been among Saturn's moons for the past 10 years, show that Enceladus -- one of the planet's smaller moons -- harbors an ocean of water beneath 18 to 24 miles (30 to 40 kilometers) of ice.

Contact: Natasha Pinol
American Association for the Advancement of Science