Research by Professor Yoshihiro Kubozono at Okayama University has potential for innovative applications of solid picene and organic superconductors, graphene and other functional materials.

7"We are using chemistry to produce new physics," says Professor Yoshihiro Kubozono at the Department of Chemistry of Okayama University. "Our recent discovery that solid picene—a wide-bandgap semiconducting hydrocarbon—doped with potassium becomes superconducting at 7 K and 18 K is a good example because physicists are investigating the role of alkali dopants in organic compounds. We are the only group in the world focusing on superconducting picene." These results may find applications in the development of superconducting devices that dissipate extremely low energy. 

Other areas of research being pursued by Kubozono and his group includes electrostatic carrier doping in two-dimensional  such as graphene, and liquid ammonia based synthesis of metal intercalated FeSe . Electrostatic carrier doping enables the control of electrons or holes at the interface between an 'ionic liquid gate' and the underlying material—analogous to the control of carrier channels in semiconducting gated field effect transistors.

Women have long been underrepresented among undergraduates in computer science and engineering for a complex variety of reasons.

science girlsA new study by University of Washington researchers identifies a main culprit for that disparity: inaccurate stereotypes depicting computer scientists and engineers as geeky, brilliant and socially awkward males. And they say broadening those stereotypes is key to attracting more girls to the two fields.

cubrobot.jpgInserm and CNRS researchers and the Université Lyon 1 have succeeded in developing an “artificial neuronal network” constructed on the basis of a fundamental principle of the workings of the human brain, namely its ability to learn a new language. The model was developed after years of research in the Inserm 846 Unit of the Institut de recherche sur les cellules souches et cerveau, through studying the structure of the human brain and understanding the mechanisms used for learning.

One of the most remarkable aspects of language-processing is the speed at which it is performed. For example, the human brain processes the first words of a sentence in real time and anticipates what follows, thus improving the speed with which humans process information. Still in real time, the brain continually revises its predictions through interaction between new information and a previously created context. The region inside the brain linking the frontal cortex and the striatum plays a crucial role in this process.

BrainAlgorithms.jpgWhen a paralyzed person imagines moving a limb, cells in the part of the brain that controls movement still activate as if trying to make the immobile limb work again. Despite neurological injury or disease that has severed the pathway between brain and muscle, the region where the signals originate remains intact and functional. 

In recent years, neuroscientists and neuroengineers working in prosthetics have begun to develop brain-implantable sensors that can measure signals from individual neurons, and after passing those signals through a mathematical decode algorithm, can use them to control computer cursors with thoughts. The work is part of a field known as neural prosthetics.

Brain_Simulation.jpgA new computer simulation of the brain can count, remember and gamble. And the system, called Spaun, performs these tasks in a way that’s eerily similar to how people do.

Short for Semantic Pointer Architecture Unified Network, Spaun is a crude approximation of the human brain. But scientists hope that the program and efforts like it could be a proving ground to test ideas about the brain.

graphics.jpgImage-processing software is a hot commodity: Just look at Instagram, a company built around image processing that Facebook is trying to buy for a billion dollars. Image processing is also going mobile, as more and more people are sending cellphone photos directly to the Web, without transferring them to a computer first.

At the same time, digital-photo files are getting so big that, without a lot of clever software engineering, processing them would take a painfully long time on a desktop computer, let alone a cellphone. Unfortunately, the tricks that engineers use to speed up their image-processing algorithms make their code almost unreadable, and rarely reusable. Adding a new function to an image-processing program, or modifying it to run on a different device, often requires rethinking and revising it from top to bottom.

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