Senin, 07 Februari 2011

ScienceDaily Technology Headlines

for Monday, February 7, 2011

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‘Cornell dots’ that light up cancer cells go into clinical trials (February 7, 2011) -- "Cornell Dots" -- brightly glowing nanoparticles -- may soon be used to light up cancer cells to aid in diagnosing and treating cancer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first clinical trial in humans of the new technology. It is the first time the FDA has approved using an inorganic material in the same fashion as a drug in humans. ... > full story

Engineers predict how fire spreads in warehouses (February 7, 2011) -- Engineers have made a breakthrough discovery that could help ease these situations by predicting where and how quickly initial fires spread in warehouses. ... > full story

NASA spacecraft prepares for Valentine's Day comet rendezvous (February 7, 2011) -- NASA's Stardust-NExT spacecraft is nearing a celestial date with comet Tempel 1 at approximately 8:37 p.m. PST (11:37 p.m. EST), on Feb. 14. The mission will allow scientists for the first time to look for changes on a comet's surface that occurred following an orbit around the sun. The Stardust-NExT, or New Exploration of Tempel, spacecraft will take high-resolution images during the encounter, and attempt to measure the composition, distribution, and flux of dust emitted into the coma, or material surrounding the comet's nucleus. Data from the mission will provide important new information on how Jupiter-family comets evolved and formed. ... > full story

First stars in universe were not alone (February 6, 2011) -- The first stars in the universe were not as solitary as previously thought. In fact, they could have formed alongside numerous companions when the gas disks that surrounded them broke up during formation, giving birth to sibling stars in the fragments. ... > full story

Rare meteorites reveal Mars collision caused water flow (February 6, 2011) -- Exactly a century after the first discovery of a rare meteorite sample, a research team has used it to reveal new insights into water on the red planet. Rare fragments of Martian meteorites have been investigated, revealing one of the ways water flowed near the surface of Mars. ... > full story

A loose grip provides better chemotherapy (February 5, 2011) -- Researchers have found that cancer patients may get a bigger bang and fewer side effects with a new take on a drug delivery system. By using noncovalent bonds to link light-activated anti-cancer drugs to coated gold nanoparticles, they were able to activate treatment in two hours instead of two days. The scientists expect the targeted delivery system will cut dosage by a factor of 10 or more. ... > full story

Nanoscale micorscopy and AFM positioning: Shining light on a needle in a haystack (February 5, 2011) -- Researchers report a neat solution to the "needle in a haystack" problem of nanoscale microscopy, but it's more like the difference between finding the coffee table in a darkened room either by walking around until you fall over it, or using a flashlight. Researchers found tiny assemblies of biomolecules for subsequent detailed imaging by combining precision laser optics with atomic force microscopy. ... > full story

New twist on the electron beam (February 5, 2011) -- Researchers have found a novel, and potentially widely applicable, method to expand the capabilities of conventional transmission electron microscopes by adding a new twist to their electron beams. ... > full story

Gas stations pollute their immediate surroundings, Spanish study finds (February 5, 2011) -- In Spain, it is relatively common to come across gas stations surrounded by houses, particularly in urban areas. Researchers have studied the effects of contamination at gas stations that is potentially harmful to health, which can be noted in buildings less than 100 meters from the service stations. ... > full story

New images show cloud exploding from Sun ripples like clouds on Earth (February 4, 2011) -- Physicists studying new images of clouds of material exploding from the Sun have spotted instabilities forming in that exploding cloud that are similar to those seen in clouds in Earth's atmosphere. ... > full story

New wave: Efficient source of terahertz radiation developed (February 4, 2011) -- Researchers have developed a laser-based source of terahertz radiation that is unusually efficient and less prone to damage than similar systems. The technology might be useful in applications such as detecting trace gases or imaging weapons in security screening. ... > full story

Quantum quirk: Scientists pack atoms together to prevent collisions in atomic clock (February 4, 2011) -- In a paradox typical of the quantum world, scientists have eliminated collisions between atoms in an atomic clock by packing the atoms closer together. The surprising discovery can boost the performance of experimental atomic clocks made of thousands or tens of thousands of neutral atoms trapped by intersecting laser beams. ... > full story

Scientists use quantum mechanics to show that glass will melt near absolute zero (February 4, 2011) -- By cooling glass to a temperature near absolute zero (-459.67 degrees Fahrenheit), a professor is demonstrating that, at the quantum level, glass exhibits a very different behavior than might be expected from traditional physics -- in fact, it melts. ... > full story

New model for how Nevada gold deposits formed may help in gold exploration (February 4, 2011) -- Researchers have devised a new model for how Nevada's gold deposits formed, which may help in exploration efforts for new gold deposits. ... > full story

Northern Mars landscape actively changing (February 4, 2011) -- Sand dunes in a vast area of northern Mars long thought to be frozen in time are changing with both sudden and gradual motions, as revealed by images from a high-resolution camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, or MRO. The new findings help scientists to better understand what features and landscapes on Mars can be explained by current processes and which require environmental conditions no longer present on the planet. ... > full story

Microbiologists aim to optimize bio-ethanol production (February 4, 2011) -- Researchers are working to resolve an emerging "food versus fuel" rivalry: they are investigating how to most effectively utilize residual field crop material for industrial production of bio-ethanol. Getting a handle on the full "toolbox" that soil bacteria use to transform cellulose into sugar could help to optimize combinations of enzymes for industrial use, potentially leading to development of a specialized degradation tool for every kind of plant waste containing cellulose. ... > full story

Same rules apply to some experimental systems regardless of scale (February 4, 2011) -- New experiments show that common scientific rules can apply to significantly different phenomena operating on vastly different scales. The results raise the possibility of making discoveries pertaining to phenomena that would be too large or impractical to recreate in the laboratory. ... > full story

Ionization by strong laser fields: Understanding the 'Ionization Surprise' (February 4, 2011) -- In 2009 researchers found an "ionization surprise" that defied explanation. Until that time, it had been commonly thought that the ionization of atoms by strong laser fields was well-understood, but novel experiments where rare gas atoms were ionized using relatively long (few-micrometers) wavelength laser light suddenly revealed an unexpected and universal low-energy feature that defied explanation. Now, scientists have provided an explanation. ... > full story

Effective search terms yield the right information (February 4, 2011) -- It does not matter how good a search engine is if the person doing a search does not ask for the desired information in the right way. So far, a great deal of the research on information retrieval has aimed to develop search algorithms and powerful search engines. Yet, a new doctoral thesis on natural language processing shows that it is also important to look at the terms people type into the search box. ... > full story

Proposed mission to Jupiter system achieves milestone (February 4, 2011) -- With input from scientists around the world, American and European scientists working on the potential next new mission to the Jupiter system have articulated their joint vision for the Europa Jupiter System Mission. The mission is a proposed partnership between NASA and the European Space Agency. The scientists on the joint NASA-ESA definition team agreed that the overarching science theme for the Europa Jupiter System Mission will be "the emergence of habitable worlds around gas giants." ... > full story

Missing link between young, old galaxies? Gas jet galaxy could explain how starforming galaxies become red and dead (February 3, 2011) -- Astronomers may have found the missing link between young, gas-filled, star-forming galaxies and older, gas-depleted galaxies typically characterized as "red and dead." New research finds that a long-known "early-type" galaxy, NGC 1266, is expelling molecular gas, mostly hydrogen, from its core. The unusual galaxy may help explain how gas-filled galaxies rid themselves of their molecular gas. ... > full story

Communication pathways within proteins may yield new drug targets to stop superbugs (February 3, 2011) -- A biophysicist has developed a new method to identify communication pathways connecting distant regions within proteins. With this tool, the researcher has identified a mechanism for cooperative behavior within an entire molecule, a finding that suggests that in the future it may be possible to design drugs that target anywhere along the length of a molecule's communication pathway rather than only in a single location as they do today. ... > full story

Energy-efficient intelligent house can monitor health, prototype shows (February 3, 2011) -- A prototype of an energy-efficient house which can send alerts if its residents are ill has been developed. ... > full story

Surprise hidden in Titan's smog: Cirrus-like clouds (February 3, 2011) -- Every day is a bad-air day on Saturn's largest moon, Titan. Blanketed by haze far worse than any smog belched out in Los Angeles, Beijing or even Sherlock Holmes's London, the moon looks like a dirty orange ball. Described once as crude oil without the sulfur, the haze is made of tiny droplets of hydrocarbons with other, more noxious chemicals mixed in. Gunk. Now thin, wispy clouds of ice particles, similar to Earth's cirrus clouds have also been discovered. ... > full story

'Tall order' sunlight-to-hydrogen system works, neutron analysis confirms (February 3, 2011) -- Researchers have developed a biohybrid photoconversion system -- based on the interaction of photosynthetic plant proteins with synthetic polymers -- that can convert visible light into hydrogen fuel. ... > full story

Future surgeons may use robotic nurse, 'gesture recognition' (February 3, 2011) -- Surgeons of the future might use a system that recognizes hand gestures as commands to control a robotic scrub nurse or tell a computer to display medical images of the patient during an operation. ... > full story

Small snack for Milky Way: Astrophysicists find new remnants of neighboring galaxy in our own (February 3, 2011) -- An international team of astronomers has discovered a new stream of stars in our Milky Way: the "Aquarius Stream", named after the constellation of Aquarius. The stream of stars is a remnant of a smaller galaxy in our cosmic neighborhood, which has been pulled apart by the gravitational pull of the Milky Way about 700 million years ago. The discovery is a result of the measurement of the velocities of 250,000 stars with the RAVE Survey based at the Australian Astronomical Observatory's UK Schmidt Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory, NSW, Australia. ... > full story

Internet out of space? Development of the next generation of Internet addresses needs to speed up, academic warns (February 3, 2011) -- As the original Internet address system reaches its end, an academic warns that deployment of the next generation of addresses needs to speed up to maintain Internet services. With the Internet likely to reach a major milestone this Thursday at 3 pm, when the very last Internet addresses using the original Internet protocol, called IPv4 (Internet Protocol version 4) are allocated to Regional Registries and ISPs, computer scientists say that careful planning by developers and engineers, dating back to the mid-1990s, has provided the capability for the Internet to continue to grow beyond the depletion of the original addressing system. ... > full story

Taking unpleasant surprises out of cosmetic surgery (February 3, 2011) -- New software aims to improve the outcome of cosmetic surgery. Scientists have built a tool that generates a far more anatomically accurate after-surgery image than ever before. The research will permit surgeons to avoid unexpected results and determine the most favorable outcome for their patients. ... > full story

Giant virus, tiny protein crystals show X-ray laser's power and potential (February 3, 2011) -- Two new studies demonstrate how the unique capabilities of the world's first hard X-ray free-electron laser could revolutionize the study of life. In one study, researchers used the laser to demonstrate a shortcut for determining the 3-D structures of proteins. In a separate paper, the same team reported making the first single-shot images of intact viruses, paving the way for snapshots and movies of molecules, viruses and live microbes in action. ... > full story

Picture-perfect pure-disc galaxy (February 3, 2011) -- The bright galaxy NGC 3621, captured in a new image using the Wide Field Imager on the 2.2-meter telescope at the European Southern Observatory's La Silla Observatory in Chile, appears to be a fine example of a classical spiral. But it is in fact rather unusual: it does not have a central bulge and is therefore described as a pure-disc galaxy. ... > full story

Ice dome made using novel construction method (February 3, 2011) -- Civil engineers have built an ice dome 10 meters in diameter in Obergurgl, in the Austrian Alps, using an ingenious construction method. ... > full story

Exploring an 'island of inversion,' physicists find new clues to element synthesis in supernovae (February 3, 2011) -- A new discovery, and the questions is raises, could help explain in greater detail how elements are synthesized in the explosion of stars. Although theory predicted a spherical arrangement in the nucleus of magnesium-32, experiments had only revealed a configuration shaped like an American football. Now, through experiments at CERN, physicists have confirmed the existence of a spherical magnesium-32 nucleus, formed at a much lower than predicted energy level. ... > full story

Current use of biodiesel no more harmful than regular diesel, Norwegian study finds (February 3, 2011) -- Up to 7 percent biodiesel blended in regular diesel will presumably not cause greater health risks for the population than the use of pure fossil diesel, according to a new Norwegian assessment. ... > full story

Europe's Automated Transfer Vehicle space ferry ready for launch (February 3, 2011) -- ESA's latest Automated Transfer Vehicle is ready for launch to the International Space Station on Feb. 15 from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. The unmanned spaceship will deliver essential supplies and reboost the Station during its mission lasting three and half months. ... > full story

Tuning graphene film so it sheds water (February 2, 2011) -- Windshields that shed water so effectively that they don't need wipers. Ship hulls so slippery that they glide through the water more efficiently than ordinary hulls. These are some of the potential applications for graphene, one of the hottest new materials in the field of nanotechnology. ... > full story

Cassini sends back postcards of Saturn's moons (February 2, 2011) -- On Jan. 31, 2011, NASA's Cassini spacecraft passed by several of Saturn's intriguing moons, snapping images along the way. Cassini passed within about 60,000 kilometers (37,282 miles) of Enceladus and 28,000 kilometers (17,398 miles) of Helene. It also caught a glimpse of Mimas in front of Saturn's rings. In one of the images, Cassini is looking at the famous jets erupting from the south polar terrain of Enceladus. ... > full story

Crowd workers are not online Shakespeares, but research shows they can write (February 2, 2011) -- Writing can be a solitary, intellectual pursuit, but researchers have shown that the task of writing an informational article also can be accomplished by dozens of people working independently online. ... > full story

New nanoparticles make blood clots visible (February 2, 2011) -- For almost two decades, cardiologists have searched for ways to see dangerous blood clots before they cause heart attacks. Now, researchers report that they have designed nanoparticles that find clots and make them visible to a new kind of X-ray technology. ... > full story

New tumor-tracking technique for radiotherapy spares healthy tissue, could improve cancer treatment (February 2, 2011) -- Medical physicists have demonstrated a new real-time tumor-tracking technique that can help minimize the amount of radiation delivered to surrounding healthy tissue in a patient -- up to 50 percent less in some cases -- and maximize the dose the tumor receives. ... > full story

Possible path to creating next-generation computer chips (February 2, 2011) -- Researchers have made a breakthrough in the use of visible light for making tiny integrated circuits. Though their advance is probably at least a decade from commercial use, they say it could make it possible to continue the decades long tread of making ever smaller, faster and cheaper computer chips. ... > full story

NASA finds Earth-size planet candidates in habitable zone, six planet system (February 2, 2011) -- NASA's Kepler mission has discovered its first Earth-size planet candidates and its first candidates in the habitable zone, a region where liquid water could exist on a planet's surface. Five of the potential planets are near Earth-size and orbit in the habitable zone of smaller, cooler stars than our sun. ... > full story

'Air laser' may sniff bombs, pollutants from a distance (February 2, 2011) -- Engineers have developed a new laser sensing technology that may allow soldiers to detect hidden bombs from a distance and scientists to better measure airborne environmental pollutants and greenhouse gasses. ... > full story

NASA's NEOWISE completes scan for asteroids and comets a family portrait (February 2, 2011) -- NASA's NEOWISE mission has completed its survey of small bodies, asteroids and comets, in our solar system. The mission's discoveries of previously unknown objects include 20 comets, more than 33,000 asteroids in the main belt between Mars and Jupiter, and 134 near-Earth objects (NEOs). The NEOs are asteroids and comets with orbits that come within 45 million kilometers (28 million miles) of Earth's path around the sun. ... > full story

Internet addresses: An inevitable shortage, but an uneven one (February 2, 2011) -- As Internet authorities prepare to announce that they have handed over all of the available addresses, a research group that monitors address usage has completed the latest in its series of Internet censuses, mapping and analyzing the dimensions of usage and shortage. ... > full story

Video games are good for girls, if parents play along (February 2, 2011) -- Researchers have conducted a study on video games and children between 11 and 16 years old. They found that girls who played video games with a parent enjoyed a number of advantages. Those girls behaved better, felt more connected to their families and had stronger mental health. ... > full story

Forensic breakthrough: Recovering fingerprints on fabrics could turn clothes into silent witnesses (February 2, 2011) -- Forensic experts in Scotland are leading the way in the research of new ground-breaking forensic techniques within the field of fingerprints. The new research seeks to recover fingerprint ridge detail and impressions from fabrics -- a technique that has up until now proved difficult. It is the first time in more than 30 years that fingerprints on fabrics have been a major focus for research and the team have already had a number of successes. ... > full story

First mission to Mercury (February 2, 2011) -- As the team of scientists behind NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft eagerly awaits the craft’s entry into Mercury’s orbit on 17 March, we could soon get answers to questions about the origin, composition, interior structure and geological history of this mysterious planet. ... > full story

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