Rabu, 02 Februari 2011

ScienceDaily Technology Headlines

for Wednesday, February 2, 2011

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Scientists customize a magnet's performance by strategically replacing key atoms (February 2, 2011) -- Scientists have strategically replaced key atoms in a gadolinium-germanium compound, causing changes in the resulting alloy's ferromagnetism. The discovery may eventually help as materials scientists search for new, exotic substances for use in today's and future generations of high-tech products. ... > full story

Computer-assisted diagnosis tools to aid pathologists (February 2, 2011) -- Researchers are leveraging powerful Ohio Supercomputer Center resources to develop computer-assisted diagnosis tools for diagnosing Follicular Lymphoma. Accurate grading of the pathological samples generally leads to a promising prognosis, but diagnosis depends solely upon a labor-intensive process that can be affected by fatigue, reader variation and bias. These computer-assisted procedures will provide pathologists grading cancerous Follicular Lymphoma samples with quicker, more consistently accurate diagnoses. ... > full story

Exotic phases on an atom chip (February 2, 2011) -- The development of modern technologies relies on the exquisite knowledge of transport properties. Electronic devices and computers are indeed based on the possibility to generate and control currents of electrons, elementary particles which abound in materials. By exploiting their electric charge and their response to electromagnetic fields, these particles are minutely guided along circuits composed of fine conducting materials. Thus, the information transport from which we benefit daily is associated to an intrinsic property of the electron: its charge. ... > full story

NASA's Stardust adjusts flight path for comet meetup (February 2, 2011) -- Just over two weeks before its flyby of comet Tempel 1, NASA's Stardust spacecraft fired its thrusters to help refine its flight path toward the comet. The Stardust-NExT mission will fly past comet Tempel 1 on Valentine's Day (Feb. 14, 2011). ... > full story

Early tests find nanoshell therapy effective against brain cancer (February 1, 2011) -- Researchers have successfully destroyed tumors of human brain cancer cells in the first animal tests of a minimally invasive treatment that zaps glioma tumors with heat. The researchers reported that four of seven mice that received the new treatment for glioma tumors had no signs of cancer more than three months after treatment. ... > full story

Giant radio telescope goes multi-national: First images from LOFAR (February 1, 2011) -- In the quest to discover more about our Universe and the birth of stars and galaxies, a new UK telescope connected for the first time to others across Europe has delivered its first 'radio pictures'. The images of the 3C196 quasar (a black hole in a distant galaxy) were taken in January 2011 by the International LOFAR Telescope (ILT). LOFAR (Low Frequency Array), which is co-ordinated by ASTRON in the Netherlands, is a network of radio telescopes designed to study the sky at the lowest radio frequencies accessible from the surface of the Earth with unprecedented resolution. ... > full story

Cluster encounters 'natural particle accelerator' above Earth's atmosphere: How northern and southern lights are generated (February 1, 2011) -- The European Space Agency's Cluster satellites have flown through a natural particle accelerator just above Earth's atmosphere. The data they collected are unlocking how most of the dramatic displays of the northern and southern lights are generated. ... > full story

Scientists model tiny rotors, key to future nanomachines (February 1, 2011) -- Researchers have created a molecular midway where atoms dip, dive and soar. Through molecular dynamics simulations, they have now defined the ground rules for the rotor motion of molecules attached to a gold surface. ... > full story

Clean streets and intact road surfaces help to keep the air clean (February 1, 2011) -- Road traffic is one of the main sources of fine particulate matter in the atmosphere, above all when the weather situation favors the creation of winter smog. Vehicle tailpipe emissions are responsible for just less than half of the fine particles, however. The majority of this pollutant is produced by mechanical wear and resuspension of dust due to air turbulence from passing vehicles, as a study by atmospheric scientists has shown. ... > full story

Metamaterials approach makes better satellite antennas (February 1, 2011) -- Cheaper, lighter and more energy-efficient broadband devices on communications satellites may be possible using metamaterials to modify horn antennas, according to engineers. ... > full story

Smart lasers could make cancer biopsies painless, help speed new drugs to market (February 1, 2011) -- Biopsies in the future may be painless and noninvasive, thanks to smart laser technology. To test for skin cancer, patients today must endure doctors cutting away a sliver of skin, sending the biopsy to a lab and anxiously awaiting the results. Using laser microscopes that deploy rapid, ultra-short pulses to identify molecules, doctors may soon have the tools to painlessly scan a patient's troublesome mole and review the results on the spot, new research suggests. ... > full story

Tracking the origins of speedy space particles (February 1, 2011) -- NASA's Time History of Events and Macroscale Interaction during Substorms (THEMIS) spacecraft combined with computer models have helped track the origin of the energetic particles in Earth's magnetic atmosphere that appear during a kind of space weather called a substorm. Understanding the source of such particles and how they are shuttled through Earth's atmosphere is crucial to better understanding the Sun's complex space weather system and thus protect satellites or even humans in space. ... > full story

Hunt for dark matter closes in at Large Hadron Collider (February 1, 2011) -- Physicists are closer than ever to finding the source of the Universe's mysterious dark matter, following a better than expected year of research at the Compact Muon Solenoid particle detector, part of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva. ... > full story

Nanotechnology: Detecting lethal diseases with rust and sand (February 1, 2011) -- The next big thing in medical diagnostics could be minutes particles of rust, iron oxide, coated with the material from which sand is formed, silicon dioxide. These magnetic nanoparticles, a mere 29 to 230 nanometers across, can be used to trap antibodies to the virus that causes cervical cancer and to the bacteria that causes potentially lethal diarrhea. ... > full story

Single molecule controlled at room temperature: Tiny magnetic switch discovered (February 1, 2011) -- Chemists have succeeded for the first time in directly controlling the magnetic state of a single molecule at room temperature. The switchable molecule could be used both in the construction of tiny electromagnetic storage units and in the medical imaging. ... > full story

Low-energy remediation with patented microbes: Naturally occurring microbes break down chlorinated solvents (February 1, 2011) -- Scientists have patented a consortium of microbes that have an appetite for chlorinated volatile organic compounds, similar to dry-cleaning fluid. ... > full story

New hardware boosts communication speed on multi-core chips (February 1, 2011) -- Computer engineers have developed hardware that allows programs to operate more efficiently by significantly boosting the speed at which the "cores" on a computer chip communicate with each other. ... > full story

Plasma stability made to measure (January 31, 2011) -- Researchers are working to develop a power plant that, like the sun, derives energy from fusion of atomic nuclei, but first they must overcome several obstacles. The compensation of edge instabilities in the ASDEX Upgrade are now successfully pointing the way for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER). Eight magnetic control coils on the wall of the plasma vessel of the ASDEX Upgrade fusion device have now succeeded in reducing perturbing instabilities of the plasma, so-called ELMs, to the level required. ... > full story

Physicists challenge classical world with quantum-mechanical implementation of 'shell game' (January 31, 2011) -- Inspired by the popular confidence trick known as "shell game," researchers have demonstrated the ability to hide and shuffle "quantum-mechanical peas" -- microwave single photons -- under and between three microwave resonators, or "quantized shells." ... > full story

Surf's up: New research provides precise way to monitor ocean wave behavior, shore impacts (January 31, 2011) -- Engineers have created a new type of "stereo vision" to use in studying ocean waves as they pound against the shore, providing a better way to understand and monitor this violent, ever-changing environment. ... > full story

Mussel power: Universal solvent no match for new self-healing sticky gel (January 31, 2011) -- Scientists can now manufacture a synthetic version of the self-healing sticky substance that mussels use to anchor themselves to rocks in pounding ocean surf and surging tidal basins. Potential applications include use as an adhesive or coating for underwater machinery or in biomedical settings as a surgical adhesive or bonding agent for implants. ... > full story

New transistors: An alternative to silicon and better than graphene (January 31, 2011) -- Smaller and more energy-efficient electronic chips could be made using molybdenite. This material has distinct advantages over traditional silicon or graphene for use in electronics applications. ... > full story

Asteroid deflection: What if a huge asteroid was going to slam into Earth? (January 31, 2011) -- What could happen if a 25-million-ton chunk of rock slammed into Earth? When something similar happened 65 million years ago, the dinosaurs and other forms of life were wiped out. Lasers aimed from a space probe positioned near an NEO could help determine its surface composition. Using that information, solar sail technology could more accurately focus the sun's rays to penetrate the asteroid's surface to the proper depth, heating it to the correct degree for generating a jet stream that would redirect the asteroid. ... > full story

Cheap, clean ways to produce hydrogen for use in fuel cells? A dash of disorder yields a very efficient photocatalyst (January 30, 2011) -- A little disorder goes a long way, especially when it comes to harnessing the sun's energy. Scientists have jumbled the atomic structure of the surface layer of titanium dioxide nanocrystals, creating a catalyst that is both long lasting and more efficient than all other materials in using the sun's energy to extract hydrogen from water. ... > full story

GRIN plasmonics: A practical path to superfast computing, ultrapowerful optical microscopy and invisibility carpet-cloaking devices (January 30, 2011) -- Researchers have carried out the first experimental demonstration of GRIN plasmonics, a hybrid technology that opens the door to a wide range of exotic applications in optics, including superfast photonic computers, ultra-powerful optical microscopes and "invisibility" carpet-cloaking devices. ... > full story

New glasses change lens color on the fly (January 29, 2011) -- New protective eyewear will eliminate the need for warfighters to stop to change out colored lenses to accommodate differences in light levels. ... > full story

Global eruption rocks the Sun: Scientists re-evaluate ideas about solar storms (January 28, 2011) -- On August 1, 2010, an entire hemisphere of the sun erupted. Filaments of magnetism snapped and exploded, shock waves raced across the stellar surface, billion-ton clouds of hot gas billowed into space. Astronomers knew they had witnessed something big. It was so big, it may have shattered old ideas about solar activity. ... > full story

Cow rumen enzymes for better biofuels (January 28, 2011) -- When it comes to breaking down plant matter and converting it to energy, the cow has it all figured out. Its digestive system allows it to eat more than 150 pounds of plant matter every day. Now researchers report that they have found dozens of previously unknown microbial enzymes in the bovine rumen -- the cow's primary grass-digestion chamber -- that contribute to the breakdown of switchgrass, a renewable biofuel energy source. ... > full story

Unlocking the secrets of DNA (January 28, 2011) -- Neutron scattering has provided the first experimental data showing how DNA structure changes as it 'melts'. This knowledge is a step towards technological applications of DNA, such as computer components. ... > full story

Social networking provides insights into leadership, trust and mobility (January 28, 2011) -- Computer scientists provide insights into how the analysis of our social networking interactions could discover things like the emergence or decline of leadership, changes in trust over time, and migration and mobility within particular communities online. ... > full story

Touchscreens made of carbon (January 28, 2011) -- Touchscreens are in – although the technology still has its price. The little screens contain rare and expensive elements. This is the reason why researchers are coming up with an alternative display made of low-priced renewable raw materials available all over the world. Researchers have now made prototype touchscreens that contain carbon nanotubes. ... > full story

A mix of tiny gold and viral particles, and the DNA ties that bind them (January 28, 2011) -- Scientists have created a diamond-like lattice composed of gold nanoparticles and viral particles, woven together and held in place by strands of DNA. The structure -- a distinctive mix of hard, metallic nanoparticles and organic viral pieces known as capsids, linked by the very stuff of life, DNA -- marks a remarkable step in scientists' ability to combine an assortment of materials to create infinitesimal devices. ... > full story

New transistor for plastic electronics exhibits the best of both worlds (January 28, 2011) -- Researchers have developed a transistor with excellent stability and performance for use on plastic electronics. In addition, it can be manufactured at relatively low temperatures in a regular atmosphere. ... > full story

New training instrument allows surgeon to feel grasp force in keyhole surgery (January 28, 2011) -- The number of complications following keyhole surgery can be reduced by giving the surgeons a better feeling of how hard they are grasping the tissue with their operating instruments. This is made possible by designing the instrument in such a way that it sends tangible feedback signals to the handle held by the surgeon. ... > full story

Nanowires exhibit giant piezoelectricity (January 28, 2011) -- Researchers have reported that piezoelectricity in GaN and ZnO nanowires is enhanced by as much as two orders of magnitude as the diameter of the nanowires decrease. ... > full story

New computer tool for elderly and disabled (January 28, 2011) -- Disabled and elderly people could find it easier to navigate around town and city centers with a new hand-held computer being developed by a geographical information systems. ... > full story

Physics for financial markets (January 27, 2011) -- When regulating financial markets, physics may help. As a result of the financial crisis, many countries are trying to regulate their financial markets. Recently the heated debates about bonus taxes, a permanent levy on banks' balance sheets and a ban on short sales have taken another turn, with France's President Nicolas Sarkozy promoting a transaction tax. But are policy-makers doing the right thing? Or will they obstruct the self-regulating forces of the markets? ... > full story

First large-scale, physics-based space weather model transitions into operation (January 27, 2011) -- The first large-scale, physics-based space weather prediction model is transitioning from research into operation. ... > full story

NASA comet hunter spots its Valentine (January 27, 2011) -- NASA's Stardust spacecraft has downlinked its first images of comet Tempel 1, the target of a flyby planned for Valentine's Day, Feb. 14. The images were taken on Jan. 18 and 19 from a distance of 26.3 million kilometers (16.3 million miles), and 25.4 million kilometers (15.8 million miles) respectively. On Feb. 14, Stardust will fly within about 200 kilometers (124 miles) of the comet's nucleus. ... > full story

Graphene and 'spintronics' combo looks promising (January 27, 2011) -- A team of physicists in China has taken a big step toward the development of useful graphene spintronic devices. ... > full story

New lab-on-chip advance uses low-cost, disposable paper strips (January 27, 2011) -- Researchers have invented a technique that uses inexpensive paper to make "microfluidic" devices for rapid medical diagnostics and chemical analysis. The innovation represents a way to enhance commercially available diagnostic devices that use paper-strip assays. ... > full story

Getting more anti-cancer medicine into the blood (January 27, 2011) -- Scientists are reporting successful application of the technology used in home devices to clean jewelry, dentures, and other items to make anticancer drugs like tamoxifen and paclitaxel dissolve more easily in body fluids, so they can better fight the disease. The process can make other poorly soluble materials more soluble, and has potential for improving the performance of dyes, paints, rust-proofing agents and other products. ... > full story

Agave fuels excitement as a bioenergy crop (January 27, 2011) -- Agave, currently known for its use in the production of alcoholic beverages and fibers, thrives in semi-arid regions where it is less likely to conflict with food and feed production. Agave is a unique feedstock because of its high water use efficiency and ability to survive without water between rainfalls. Scientists found that in 14 independent studies, the yields of two Agave species greatly exceeded the yields of other biofuel feedstocks, such as corn, soybean, sorghum, and wheat. ... > full story

World can be powered by alternative energy, using today's technology, in 20-40 years, experts say (January 27, 2011) -- A new study analyzing what is needed to convert the world's energy supplies to clean and sustainable sources says that it can be done with today's technology at costs roughly comparable to conventional energy. But converting will be a massive undertaking on the scale of the moon landings. What is needed most is the societal and political will to make it happen. ... > full story

Key enzyme that affects radiation response identified (January 27, 2011) -- Cancer researchers have discovered that targeting an enzyme called uroporphyrinogen decarboxylase can sensitize diseased tissue to radiation and chemotherapy, which could mean fewer side effects for individuals with head and neck cancer. ... > full story

Soap films help to solve mathematical problems (January 27, 2011) -- Soap bubbles and films have always fascinated children and adults, but they can also serve to solve complex mathematical calculations. This is shown by a study carried out by two professors who have succeeded in solving classic problems using just such an innovative procedure. ... > full story

How strong is the weak force? New measurement of the muon lifetime (January 27, 2011) -- A new measurement of the muon lifetime - the most precise determination of any lifetime - provides a high-accuracy value for a crucial parameter determining the strength of weak nuclear force. ... > full story

Hardware, software advances help protect operating systems from attack (January 27, 2011) -- The operating system (OS) is the backbone of your computer. If the OS is compromised, attackers can take over your computer -- or crash it. Now researchers have developed an efficient system that utilizes hardware and software to restore an OS if it is attacked. ... > full story

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