Senin, 22 November 2010

ScienceDaily Technology Headlines

for Monday, November 22, 2010

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Enhancing the efficiency of wind turbines (November 22, 2010) -- New ideas for enhancing the efficiency of wind turbines have been developed. These include a new type intelligent system for turbines operating under many different wind conditions and a way to reduce drag on turbine blades by covering them with tiny grooves. ... > full story

Getting bubbles out of fuel pumps (November 22, 2010) -- When vapor bubbles form and collapse in fluids moving swiftly over steel objects such as those inside fuel pumps, they can damage them. Now researchers detail the results of the first detailed experiments aimed at preventing cavitation damage in jet fuel pumps, which are essential components in modern aircraft. ... > full story

Improving ammonia synthesis could have major implications for agriculture and energy (November 22, 2010) -- Scientists are working on ways to improve the efficiency of the ammonia synthesis process. With between 3-5 percent of the world's natural gas used to create artificial fertilizers, the new research could have major implications for both the agricultural and energy sectors. ... > full story

Painless needles? Self-adminstered skin patches for vaccines under development (November 21, 2010) -- Scientists are developing painless 'needles' self-administration of flu vaccine using patches containing tiny microneedles that dissolve into the skin. ... > full story

Online undergrads learn well without strong class bond, study finds (November 21, 2010) -- No cohesion, community spirit, trust or interaction? No problem. Online college students said they felt less connected and had a smaller sense of classroom community than those who took the same classes in person, but that didn't keep them from performing just as well as their in-person counterparts. ... > full story

WISE image reveals strange specimen in starry sea: Dying star surrounded by fluorescing gas, unusual rings (November 21, 2010) -- A new image from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer shows what looks like a glowing jellyfish floating at the bottom of a dark, speckled sea. In reality, this critter belongs to the cosmos -- it's a dying star surrounded by fluorescing gas and two very unusual rings. ... > full story

Cement-like creation could help the environment (November 21, 2010) -- Researchers have developed a cement-like substance that could help with stormwater management while potentially keeping millions of plastic bottles out of landfills. ... > full story

Conductor paths for marvelous light (November 21, 2010) -- Organic light-emitting diodes are seen as the basis for a new generation of lamps: Large-area lamps that can be randomly shaped and flexibly integrated into interior design. But the "illuminated glass" is still very expensive. Researchers want to optimize the lamps of the future and reduce the price by a new manufacturing process. ... > full story

Hubble captures new star birth in an ancient galaxy (November 20, 2010) -- Elliptical galaxies were once thought to be aging star cities whose star-making heyday was billions of years ago. But new observations with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope are helping to show that elliptical galaxies still have some youthful vigor left, thanks to encounters with smaller galaxies. ... > full story

Orangutans count on stats for survival (November 20, 2010) -- Orangutans threatened with extinction could be brought back from the brink with help from an Australian statistician, who is part of a study to guide efforts for saving the Indonesian primate. ... > full story

Physicists demonstrate a four-fold quantum memory (November 20, 2010) -- Researchers have demonstrated quantum entanglement for a quantum state stored in four spatially distinct atomic memories. ... > full story

Mathematical problems recast as physics questions, provide new tools for old quandaries (November 20, 2010) -- A scientist with an interdisciplinary bent has taken two well-known problems in mathematics and reformulated them as a physics question, offering new tools to solve challenges relevant to a host of subjects ranging from improving data compression to detecting gravitational waves. ... > full story

First successful salivary stone removal with robotics (November 19, 2010) -- Doctors report the first use of a surgical robot guided by a miniature salivary endoscope to remove a 20mm salivary stone and repair the salivary duct of a patient. Giant stones have traditionally required complete removal of the salivary gland. This technique not only saves the salivary gland, but reduces blood loss, scarring, and hospital stay. ... > full story

Physicists study behavior of enzyme linked to Alzheimer's, cancer (November 19, 2010) -- Physicists are using complex computer simulations to illuminate the workings of a crucial protein that, when malfunctioning, may cause Alzheimer's and cancer. Their hope is to one day contribute to developing medication that not only can precisely recognize and target a key that causes Alzheimer's or cancer inside a crowded cell, but also then switch a sick cell like that back to its healthy form of interaction at a molecular level. ... > full story

Most powerful supercomputers rated for capabilities using tough new system (November 19, 2010) -- Nine supercomputers have been tested, validated and ranked by the new "Graph500" challenge. The machines were tested for their ability to solve complex problems involving random-appearing graphs, rather than for their speed in solving a basic numerical problem, today's popular method for ranking top systems. ... > full story

Enigma of missing stars in local group of galaxies may be solved (November 19, 2010) -- In the local group of galaxies that includes the Andromeda Nebula and our Milky Way, there are about 100 billion stars. According to astronomers' calculations, there should be many more. Now, physicists may have found an explanation for this discrepancy. ... > full story

Chemicals' study pinpoints threat to workers' lungs (November 19, 2010) -- Tiny particles used in a range of everyday products from computers to shampoo can adversely affect the lungs in very different ways, a study has shown. Research suggests that industrial manufacturers using nanoparticles should be aware of the risks that different types of nanoparticles pose to workers who handle them. ... > full story

Controlling cursors with thoughts: Faster, simpler, and more accurately; advance helps people regulate their own brain response, with therapeutic implications (November 19, 2010) -- Using a new brain-computer training approach, 14 volunteers learned in only six minutes how to move a screen cursor with their thoughts. Near-instant feedback helped the people quickly master some of their own brain responses. ... > full story

Surprise link between weird quantum phenomena: Heisenberg uncertainty principle sets limits on Einstein's 'spooky action at a distance' (November 19, 2010) -- Researchers have uncovered a fundamental link between two defining properties of quantum mechanics. This link constitutes a dramatic breakthrough in our understanding of nature. Non-locality, also described as "spooky action at a distance," is in fact limited by the uncertainty principle. ... > full story

Spacecraft flew through 'snowstorm' on encounter with comet Hartley 2 (November 19, 2010) -- On its recent trip by comet Hartley 2, the Deep Impact spacecraft took the first pictures of, and flew through, a storm of fluffy particles of water ice being spewed out by carbon dioxide jets coming from the rough ends of the comet. The resulting images and data shed new light on the nature and composition of comets. ... > full story

US falls behind other nations in reducing traffic fatalities and injuries (November 19, 2010) -- The United States is missing significant opportunities to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries, and could save lives by implementing a more rigorous, comprehensive program that adopts successful safety practices from other countries, says a new report. ... > full story

Well-known molecule may be behind alcohol's benefits to heart health (November 19, 2010) -- Many studies support the assertion that moderate drinking is beneficial when it comes to cardiovascular health, and for the first time scientists have discovered that a well-known molecule, called notch, may be behind alcohol's protective effects. Down the road, this finding could help scientists create a new treatment for heart disease that mimics the beneficial influence of modest alcohol consumption. ... > full story

Pushing black-hole mergers to the extreme: Scientists achieve 100:1 mass ratio in simulation (November 19, 2010) -- Scientists have simulated, for the first time, the merger of two black holes of vastly different sizes, with one mass 100 times larger than the other. This extreme mass ratio of 100:1 breaks a barrier in the fields of numerical relativity and gravitational wave astronomy. ... > full story

Where's George? Researchers follow the money to define communities in US (November 19, 2010) -- When travel was local, borders and communities were easy to define, but now our connectivity is more complex. Researchers have taken a look at human mobility and redrawn the borders within the United States, showing the country's most connected areas. Some of the borders in this new map are familiar, but many are not. They used data generated by, a website that tracks dollar bills spent across the country. ... > full story

New breed of space vehicle: Researchers developing conceptual design for a Mars 'hopper' (November 18, 2010) -- Scientists and engineers in the UK are developing a conceptual motor design for a Mars 'hopping' vehicle which should lead to a greater understanding of the Red Planet. ... > full story

What if we used poetry to teach computers to speak better? (November 18, 2010) -- A better understanding of how we use acoustic cues to stress new information and put old information in the background may help computer programmers produce more realistic-sounding speech. ... > full story

One-touch make-up -- for our cells (November 18, 2010) -- A new technique enables scientists to introduce up to 15 fluorescent markers to a mammalian cell in one go, and could help speed up drug development and screening. ... > full story

Planet from another galaxy discovered: Galactic cannibalism brings an exoplanet of extragalactic origin within astronomers' reach (November 18, 2010) -- An exoplanet orbiting a star that entered our Milky Way from another galaxy has been detected by a European team of astronomers using the MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile. The Jupiter-like planet is particularly unusual, as it is orbiting a star nearing the end of its life and could be about to be engulfed by it, giving tantalizing clues about the fate of our own planetary system in the distant future. ... > full story

Social networking extends mobile battery life (November 18, 2010) -- A new approach to social networking for mobile devices, such as tablet PCs and smart phones could improve the user experience and boost battery life by up to 70% by exploiting shared data between users in the same location. ... > full story

Nanoscale probe reveals interactions between surfaces and single molecules (November 18, 2010) -- Scientists have developed a tool to study nanoscale interactions. The device is a dual scanning tunneling and microwave-frequency probe that is capable of measuring the interactions between single molecules and the surfaces to which the molecules are attached. The information provided by the probe focuses on what the limits of nanoscale electronics will be, rather than targeting devices for production. ... > full story

Rare earth elements in US not so rare, report finds (November 18, 2010) -- Approximately 13 million metric tons of rare earth elements (REE) exist within known deposits in the United States, according to the first-ever nationwide estimate of these elements. ... > full story

Machine learning technique designed to improve consumer medical searches (November 18, 2010) -- Researchers have created a machine-learning model that enables the medical sites to "learn" dialect and other medical vernacular, thereby improving their performance for users who use such language themselves. ... > full story

How video games stretch the limits of our visual attention (November 18, 2010) -- They are often accused of being distracting, but recent research has found that action packed video games like Halo and Call of Duty can enhance visual attention, the ability that allows us to focus on relevant visual information. This growing body of research suggests that action based games could be used to improve military training, educational approaches, and certain visual deficits. ... > full story

Laser system shows promise for cataract surgery (November 18, 2010) -- A new system for femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery is not only safe but also cuts circles in lens capsules that are 12 times more precise than those achieved by the traditional method, as well as leaving edges that are twice as strong in the remaining capsule, which serves as a pocket in which the surgeon places the plastic replacement lens, new research suggests. ... > full story

New method for studying molecules discovered (November 18, 2010) -- Researchers have discovered the method for studying oxygen in large molecular systems. The findings will help in the study of proteins, DNA, RNA and other molecular structures. ... > full story

Sonar inspired by dolphins: New kind of underwater device can detect objects through bubble clouds (November 18, 2010) -- Scientists have developed a new kind of underwater sonar device that can detect objects through bubble clouds that would effectively blind standard sonar. ... > full story

Magnetic trapping will help unlock the secrets of anti-matter (November 18, 2010) -- A clearer understanding of the Universe, its origins and maybe even its destiny is a significant step closer, thanks to new research. As part of a major international experiment called ALPHA, based at CERN in Switzerland, researchers have helped to achieve trapping and holding atoms of 'anti-hydrogen', which has not previously been possible. ... > full story

A new twist for nanopillar light collectors (November 17, 2010) -- Researchers have created unique dual-diameter nanopillars -- narrow at the top, broad at the bottom -- that absorb light as well or even better than commercial thin-film solar cells, using far less semiconductor material and without the need for anti-reflective coating. ... > full story

Deepwater Horizon: Not managing danger, not learning from 'near misses' (November 17, 2010) -- The numerous technical and operational breakdowns that contributed to the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and spill from the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico suggest the lack of a suitable approach for managing the inherent risks, uncertainties, and dangers associated with deepwater drilling operations and a failure to learn from previous "near misses," says an interim report. ... > full story

Antimatter atoms stored for the first time (November 17, 2010) -- Researchers have trapped and stored atoms of antihydrogen for the first time. While the number of trapped anti-atoms is far too small to fuel the Starship Enterprise's matter-antimatter reactor, this advance brings closer the day when scientists will be able to make precision tests of the fundamental symmetries of nature. ... > full story

Smoke from fireworks is harmful to health, study suggests (November 17, 2010) -- The metallic particles in the smoke emitted by fireworks pose a health risk, particularly to people who suffer from asthma, new research shows. ... > full story

Baking soda dramatically boosts oil production in algae (November 17, 2010) -- Researchers have discovered that baking soda can dramatically increase algae's production of the key oil precursors for biodiesel. ... > full story

Imaging tool may aid nanoelectronics by screening tiny tubes (November 17, 2010) -- Researchers have demonstrated a new imaging tool for rapidly screening structures called single-wall carbon nanotubes, possibly hastening their use in creating a new class of computers and electronics that are faster and consume less power than today's. ... > full story

Artificial black holes made with metamaterials: Design for human-made light trapping device could help harvest light for solar cells (November 17, 2010) -- While our direct knowledge of black holes in the universe is limited to what we can observe from thousands or millions of light years away, a team of Chinese physicists has proposed a simple way to design an artificial electromagnetic black hole in the laboratory. ... > full story

'Chaogates' hold promise for the semiconductor industry (November 17, 2010) -- In a move that holds great significance for the semiconductor industry, scientists have created an alternative to conventional logic gates, demonstrated them in silicon, and dubbed them "chaogates." ... > full story

Bioengineers provide adult stem cells with simultaneous chemical, electrical and mechanical cues (November 17, 2010) -- Bioengineers have achieved the "Triple Crown" of stem cell culture -- they created an artificial environment for stem cells that simultaneously provides the chemical, mechanical and electrical cues necessary for stem cell growth and differentiation. Building better microenvironments for nurturing stem cells is critical for realizing the promises of stem-cell-based regenerative medicine, including cartilage for joint repair, cardiac cells for damaged hearts, and healthy skeletal myoblasts for muscular dystrophy patients. ... > full story

New device detects insects in stored wheat (November 17, 2010) -- A laboratory milling device for improving stored grain management has been developed by agricultural scientists. The system, called the "insect-o-graph," can detect internal insects in wheat that are not visible to the eye or that cannot be detected by usual grading methods. ... > full story

How do folded structures form? (November 16, 2010) -- What do the convolutions of the brain, the emergence of wrinkles, the formation of mountain chains, and fingerprints have in common? All these structures, albeit very different, result from the same process: the compression of a 'rigid membrane'. Scientists have now shed light on one of the mysteries underlying the formation of such folded structures. This work will make it possible to better understand and thus predict their emergence. ... > full story

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