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Latest National Institute of Standards and Technology Stories

2012-05-30 11:19:41

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released a new standard reference material (SRM) to aid in the detection of two explosive compounds that are known to be used by terrorists. Researchers designed the new test samples to simulate the size and behavior of residues that remain after handling the explosives PETN (pentaerythritol tetranitrate) and TATP (triacetone triperoxide). Instrument developers, academic researchers and government labs can use the SRM to test,...

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...


Word of the Day
malpais
  • The ragged surface of a lava-flow.
'Malpais' translates from Spanish as 'bad land.'