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Latest National Institute of Standards and Technology Stories

2012-05-29 10:06:46

Successful test at PTB of optical magnetometer with potential applications in brain imaging for neurological diagnostics and in basic research. In future a new magnetic sensor the size of a sugar cube might simplify the measurement of brain activity. In the magnetically shielded room of Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) the sensor has passed an important technical test: Spontaneous as well as stimulated magnetic fields of the brain were detected. This demonstrates the potential...

2012-05-04 21:09:59

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a prototype bioreactor–a device for culturing cells to create engineered tissues–that both stimulates and evaluates tissue as it grows, mimicking natural processes while eliminating the need to stop periodically to cut up samples for analysis. Tissue created this way might someday be used to replace, for example, damaged or diseased cartilage in the knee and hip. Conventional methods for...

2012-05-04 14:29:56

A new study by a team including scientists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) indicates that thin polymer films can have different properties depending on the method by which they are made. The results suggest that deeper work is necessary to explore the best way of creating these films, which are used in applications ranging from high-tech mirrors to computer memory devices. Thin films spread atop a surface have many applications in industry. Inexpensive...

2012-05-04 13:46:03

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a novel way of producing light pulses that are "superluminal"–in some sense they travel faster than the speed of light. The technique, called four-wave mixing, reshapes parts of light pulses and advances them ahead of where they would have been had they been left to travel unaltered through a vacuum. The new method could be used to improve the timing of communications signals and to investigate the...

2012-05-04 13:44:51

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed and published a new protocol for communicating with biometric sensors over wired and wireless networks–using some of the same technologies that underpin the web. The new protocol, called WS-Biometric Devices (WS-BD), allows desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones to access sensors that capture biometric data such as fingerprints, iris images and face images using web services. Web services...

Researchers Find Reducing Fishmeal Hinders Growth Of Farmed Fish
2012-05-03 09:48:42

When it comes to the food used to raise fish in aquaculture "farms," it seems that you may get what you pay for. In a new study,* researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) looked at the health effects of raising farmed fish on a diet incorporating less than the usual amount of fishmeal–a key but expensive component of current commercial fish food products. They learned that reduced fishmeal...

NIST Physicists Benchmark Quantum Simulator With Hundreds Of Qubits
2012-04-25 11:32:05

Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have built a quantum simulator that can engineer interactions among hundreds of quantum bits (qubits)–10 times more than previous devices. As described in the April 26 issue of Nature*, the simulator has passed a series of important benchmarking tests and scientists are poised to study problems in material science that are impossible to model on conventional computers. Many important problems in...

Iris Recognition Report Evaluates 'Needle in Haystack' Search Capability
2012-04-18 10:05:08

Identifying people by acquiring pictures of their eyes is becoming easier, according to a new report* from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). NIST researchers evaluated the performance of iris recognition software from 11 different organizations and found that some techniques produced very rapid results–though this speed was often at the cost of accuracy. Iris recognition, a form of biometric identification based on noncontact imaging of the complex texture in...


Word of the Day
Cthulhu
  • A gigantic fictional humanoid alien god being described with a head resembling an octopus and dragon wings and claws, around whom an insane cult developed.
  • Pertaining to the mythos of Cthulhu and additional otherworldly beings created by H. P. Lovecraft or inspired by his writings and imitators.
This word was invented in 1926 by H.P. Lovecraft for his short story, 'The Call of Cthulhu.' 'Cthulhu' may be based on the word 'chthonic,' which in Greek mythology refers to the underworld.
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