Kamis, 17 Februari 2011

ScienceDaily Technology Headlines

for Thursday, February 17, 2011

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Security weaknesses in file-sharing methods used in clinical trials revealed (February 17, 2011) -- Patients who participate in clinical trials expect that their personal information will remain confidential, but a recent study found that the security practices used to transfer and share sensitive files were inadequate. ... > full story

Build your online networks using social annotations (February 16, 2011) -- Researchers at Toshiba are working on a way of finding clusters of like-minded bloggers and others online using "social annotations." Social annotations are the tags and keywords, the comments and feedback that users, both content creators and others associate with their content. Their three-step approach could help you home in on people in a particular area of expertise much more efficiently and reliably than simply following search engine results. The same tools might also be used in targeted marketing. ... > full story

US Secret Service moves tiny town to virtual tiny town: Teaching Secret Service agents and officers how to prepare a site security plan (February 16, 2011) -- With the help of the US Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology Directorate, the Secret Service is giving training scenarios a high-tech edge: moving from static tabletop models to virtual kiosks with gaming technology and 3-D modeling. ... > full story

Astronomers identify thick disc of older stars in nearby Andromeda galaxy (February 16, 2011) -- Astronomers have identified for the first time a thick stellar disc in the nearby Andromeda galaxy, a major result from a five-year investigation. Andromeda is our nearest large spiral neighbor, close enough to be visible to the unaided eye. ... > full story

Device enables remote explosion of improvised land mines (February 16, 2011) -- Researchers in Switzerland have developed a new tool to eliminate improvised land mines by using electromagnetic energy. ... > full story

New material provides 25 percent greater thermoelectric conversion efficiency (February 16, 2011) -- Automobiles, military vehicles, even large-scale power generating facilities may someday operate more efficiently thanks to a new alloy developed at the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory. A team of researchers at the Lab achieved a 25 percent improvement in the ability of a material to convert heat into electrical energy. ... > full story

Wireless device helps athletes get the most out of exercise (February 16, 2011) -- New research from the UK could help athletes train to their maximum potential without putting undue pressure on their muscles. A special wireless device -- called the iSense -- has been devised which is capable of predicting and detecting the status of muscles during training and can be adapted to any sport. ... > full story

Video games to enhance learning (February 16, 2011) -- It's a frustrating problem for many of today's parents: Little Jacob or Isabella is utterly indifferent to schoolwork during the day but then happily spends all evening engrossed in the latest video game. The solution isn't to banish the games, says one researcher. A far better approach, she says, is to make the learning experience more enjoyable by creating video games into which educational content and assessment tools have been surreptitiously added -- and to incorporate such games into school curricula. ... > full story

Atomic model of tropomyosin bound to actin (February 16, 2011) -- New research sheds light on the interaction between the semi-flexible protein tropomyosin and actin thin filaments. The study provides the first detailed atomic model of tropomyosin bound to actin and significantly advances the understanding of the dynamic relationship between these key cellular proteins. ... > full story

Herschel finds less dark matter but more stars (February 16, 2011) -- The European Space Agency's Herschel space observatory has discovered a population of dust-enshrouded galaxies that do not need as much dark matter as previously thought to collect gas and burst into star formation. ... > full story

Reconfigurable supercomputing outperforms rivals in important science applications (February 15, 2011) -- University of Florida researchers say their supercomputer, named Novo-G, is the world's fastest reconfigurable supercomputer and is able to perform some important science applications faster than the Chinese supercomputer touted as the world's most powerful. ... > full story

You are what you app: Choice of smartphone applications define your computing style (February 15, 2011) -- The applications you add to your smartphone can label you as a specific "appitypes," says a professor of science and technology studies. ... > full story

NASA releases images of human-made crater on comet (February 15, 2011) -- NASA's Stardust spacecraft returned new images of a comet showing a scar resulting from the 2005 Deep Impact mission. The images also showed the comet has a fragile and weak nucleus. ... > full story

Sentries in the garden shed: Plants that can detect environmental contaminants, explosives (February 15, 2011) -- Biologists have shown that plants can serve as highly specific sentries for environmental pollutants and explosives. How? By rewiring the plant's natural signaling processes. ... > full story

Science alone does not establish source of anthrax used in 2001 mailings, report finds (February 15, 2011) -- A US National Research Council committee asked to examine the scientific approaches used and conclusions reached by the Federal Bureau of Investigation during its investigation of the 2001 Bacillus anthracis mailings has determined that it is not possible to reach a definitive conclusion about the origins of the anthrax in letters mailed to New York City and Washington, D.C., based solely on the available scientific evidence. ... > full story

New wireless technology developed for faster, more efficient networks (February 15, 2011) -- A new technology that allows wireless signals to be sent and received simultaneously on a single channel has been developed. The research could help build faster, more efficient communication networks, at least doubling the speed of existing networks. ... > full story

Many consumers believe 36 months is longer than 3 years (February 15, 2011) -- Consumers often have a distorted view when they compare information that involves numbers, according to a new study. ... > full story

Milestone in path to large-scale quantum computing reached: New level of quantum control of light (February 15, 2011) -- An important milestone toward the realization of a large-scale quantum computer, and further demonstration of a new level of the quantum control of light, were just accomplished. ... > full story

Physicists isolate bound states in graphene-superconductor junctions (February 15, 2011) -- Researchers have documented the first observations of some unusual physics when two prominent electric materials are connected: superconductors and graphene. When sandwiched between superconductors, graphene can adopt superconducting capacity because paired electrons from the superconductor are translated to Andreev bound states (ABS) in the graphene. The researchers isolated and manipulated individual ABS by confining them to a graphene quantum dot, which could be used as a qubit for quantum computing. ... > full story

Jewel-toned organic phosphorescent crystals: A new class of light-emitting material (February 15, 2011) -- Pure organic compounds that glow in jewel tones could potentially lead to cheaper, more efficient and flexible display screens, among other applications. ... > full story

Scientists develop control system to allow spacecraft to think for themselves (February 15, 2011) -- The world's first control system that will allow engineers to program satellites and spacecraft to think for themselves has been developed. ... > full story

How plants near Chernobyl shrug off radiation (February 15, 2011) -- Scientists are reporting discovery of the biological secrets that enable plants growing near the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant to adapt and flourish in highly radioactive soil -- legacy of the 1986 nuclear disaster in the Ukraine. ... > full story

Comet hunter's first images of Tempel 1 (February 15, 2011) -- Mission controllers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory have begun receiving the first of 72 anticipated images of comet Tempel 1 taken by NASA's Stardust spacecraft. ... > full story

NASA's Stardust spacecraft completes comet flyby (February 15, 2011) -- Mission controllers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., watched as data downlinked from the Stardust spacecraft indicated it completed its closest approach with comet Tempel 1. An hour after closest approach, the spacecraft turned to point its large, high-gain antenna at Earth. ... > full story

X-rays show why van Gogh paintings lose their shine (February 14, 2011) -- Scientists using synchrotron X-rays have identified the chemical reaction in two van Gogh paintings that alters originally bright yellow colors into brown shades. This process is observed in many 19th century paintings. Microsamples of period paint samples and of the two paintings were analyzed, revealing how the chrome yellow pigments are covered by a brown shade under the influence of sunlight. ... > full story

Culling can't control deadly bat disease, mathematical model shows (February 14, 2011) -- Culling will not stop the spread of a deadly fungus that is threatening to wipe out hibernating bats in North America, according to a new mathematical model. ... > full story

Next-generation electronic devices: Conduction, surface states in topological insulator nanoribbons controlled (February 14, 2011) -- In recent years, topological insulators have become one of the hottest topics in physics. These new materials act as both insulators and conductors, with their interior preventing the flow of electrical currents while their edges or surfaces allow the movement of a charge. Perhaps most importantly, the surfaces of topological insulators enable the transport of spin-polarized electrons while preventing the "scattering" typically associated with power consumption, in which electrons deviate from their trajectory, resulting in dissipation. Because of such characteristics, these materials hold great potential for use in future transistors, memory devices and magnetic sensors that are highly energy efficient and require less power. ... > full story

Training for walking on Mars (February 14, 2011) -- Three crewmembers of the Mars500 virtual flight to Mars have 'landed' on their destination planet and two of them took their first steps on the simulated martian terrain. ... > full story

Delving into manganite conductivity (February 14, 2011) -- Chemical compounds called manganites have been studied for many years since the discovery of colossal magnetoresistance, a property that promises important applications in the fields of magnetic sensors, magnetic random access memories and spintronic devices. However, understanding -- and ultimately controlling -- this effect remains a challenge, because much about manganite physics is still not known. This new research marks an important breakthrough in our understanding of the mysterious ways manganites respond when subjected to intense pressure. ... > full story

Massive flux of gas, in addition to liquid oil, at BP well blowout in Gulf (February 14, 2011) -- A new study that is the first to examine comprehensively the magnitude of hydrocarbon gases released during the Gulf of Mexico oil discharge has found that up to 500,000 tons of gaseous hydrocarbons were emitted. The authors conclude that such a large gas discharge could result in small-scale zones of "extensive and persistent depletion of oxygen." ... > full story

The recycled port? An alternative to dumping at sea (February 14, 2011) -- In search of a sustainable alternative to dumping at sea or disposal on land, researchers blended contaminated sediment with a special mix of binders to produce a safe construction material for use in ports and harbors. ... > full story

Fleeting fluctuations in superconductivity disappear close to transition temperature (February 14, 2011) -- As part of an ongoing effort to uncover details of how high-temperature superconductors carry electrical current with no resistance, scientists have measured fluctuations in superconductivity that disappear 10-15 Kelvin (K) above the transition temperature. The findings suggest that the transition to the non-superconducting state is driven by a loss of coherence among electron pairs. ... > full story

U.S. security experts help Kazakhstan safely transport, store Soviet-era bomb materials (February 14, 2011) -- U.S. experts helped reach a major milestone in the nation's nuclear nonproliferation efforts by working with the Central Asian country of Kazakhstan to move nuclear materials -- enough to build an estimated 775 nuclear weapons -- to safety. ... > full story

3-D movies on your cell phone (February 14, 2011) -- Researchers have combined the new mobile radio standard LTE-Advanced with a video coding technique. The technology promises to put 3-D movies on your cell phone. ... > full story

Deep interior of moon resembles Earth's core (February 13, 2011) -- The moon has long been studied to help us better understand our own planet. Of particular interest is the lunar interior, which could hold clues to its ancient origins. In an attempt to extract information on the very deep interior of the moon, researchers applied new technology to old data. Apollo seismic data was reanalyzed using modern methodologies and detected what many scientists have predicted: the moon has a core. ... > full story

Nanoparticles may enhance circulating tumor cell detection (February 12, 2011) -- Tiny gold particles can help doctors detect tumor cells circulating in the blood of patients with head and neck cancer, researchers have found. ... > full story

3-D digital dinosaur track download: A roadmap for saving at-risk natural history resources (February 12, 2011) -- Portable laser scanning technology allows researchers to tote a fossil discovery from field to lab in the form of digital data on a laptop. But standard formats to ensure data accessibility of these "digitypes" are needed, say paleontologists. They field-scanned a Texas dinosaur track, then back at the lab created an exact 3-D facsimile to scale. ... > full story

Superhalogens: New class of magic atomic clusters discovered (February 12, 2011) -- An international team of researchers has discovered a new class of magnetic superhalogens -- a class of atomic clusters able to exhibit unusual stability at a specific size and composition, which may be used to advance materials science by allowing scientists to create a new class of salts with magnetic and super-oxidizing properties not previously found. ... > full story

Scientists hope to cut years off development time of new antibiotics (February 12, 2011) -- Eliminating tens of thousands of manual lab experiments, researchers are working toward a method to cut the development time of new antibiotics. A computerized modeling system they're developing will speed up the often decade-long process. Pharmacy professors and engineering professors are focusing on dosing regimens to reveal which ones are most likely to be effective in combating infection and which are not worth pursuing. ... > full story

New view of family life in the North American nebula (February 11, 2011) -- Stars at all stages of development, from dusty little tots to young adults, are on display in a new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. This cosmic community is called the North American nebula. In visible light, the region resembles the North American continent, with the most striking resemblance being the Gulf of Mexico. But in Spitzer's infrared view, the continent disappears. Instead, a swirling landscape of dust and young stars comes into view. ... > full story

Making a point: Method prints nanostructures using hard, sharp 'pen' tips floating on soft polymer springs (February 11, 2011) -- Researchers have developed a new technique for rapidly prototyping nanoscale devices and structures that is so inexpensive the "print head" can be thrown away when done. Hard-tip, soft-spring lithography rolls into one method the best of scanning-probe lithography -- high resolution -- and the best of polymer pen lithography -- low cost and easy implementation. The new method could be used in the areas of electronics, medical diagnostics and pharmaceuticals, among others. ... > full story

LED products billed as eco-friendly contain toxic metals, study finds (February 11, 2011) -- Those light-emitting diodes marketed as safe, environmentally preferable alternatives to traditional light bulbs actually contain lead, arsenic and a dozen other potentially hazardous substances, according to new research. ... > full story

Metaknowledge: Powerful new ways to electronically mine research (February 11, 2011) -- The Internet has become not only a tool for disseminating knowledge through scientific publications, but it also has the potential to shape scientific research through expanding the field of metaknowledge -- the study of knowledge itself. The new possibilities for metaknowledge include developing a better understanding of science's social context and the biases that can affect research findings and choices of research topic. ... > full story

Exercise helps overweight children think better, do better in math (February 11, 2011) -- Regular exercise improves the ability of overweight, previously inactive children to think, plan and even do math, researchers report. They hope the findings in 171 overweight 7- to 11-year-olds -- all sedentary when the study started - gives educators the evidence they need to ensure that regular, vigorous physical activity is a part of every school day. ... > full story

Study of volcanoes in the outer solar system produces unexpected bonus for nanotechnology (February 11, 2011) -- Mysterious expanding ice crystals in the moons of Saturn and Neptune may be of interest to future developers of microelectronics. Neutron scattering has discovered that methanol crystals that may be found in outer solar system ‘ice lavas’ have unusual expansion properties. The unexpected finding by a planetary geologist will interest developers of ‘nano-switches’ – single atom thick valves used in ‘micro-electronics’ at the nano scale. ... > full story

How much information is there in the world? (February 11, 2011) -- Think you're overloaded with information? Not even close. A new study calculates how much information humankind can handle. ... > full story

New method for reporting solar data (February 11, 2011) -- A straightforward new way to calculate, compile, and graphically present solar radiation measurements in a format that is accessible to decision makers and the general public has been developed. ... > full story

Two-timing spacecraft has date with another comet (February 11, 2011) -- NASA's Stardust spacecraft, equipped with the University of Chicago's Dust Flux Monitor Instrument, is hurtling at more than 24,000 miles an hour toward a Valentine's Day encounter with comet Tempel 1. ... > full story

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