Jumat, 18 Februari 2011

ScienceDaily Technology Headlines

for Friday, February 18, 2011

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New method for unraveling molecular structures (February 18, 2011) -- Chemists in Germany have introduced a new method for identifying chemical compounds. The approach they used is an improvement on nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) measurements -- for decades one of the most successful methods for determining the chemical structure of organic molecules. The results show a sophisticated approach to structural data when classical methods of analysis fail. ... > full story

Toward an optical atomic clock: Physicists develop atomic frequency standard for one of world’s most precise clocks (February 18, 2011) -- Polish physicists have been aiming to build an optical atomic clock, an extremely precise device with an accuracy of one second in a few dozen billion years, since 2008. The last of the three key components of the clock: an atomic frequency standard based on cold strontium atoms has just been developed. The clock itself will be assembled already this year. ... > full story

3-D video without the goggles (February 18, 2011) -- High-quality video communications capable of supporting flawless video conferencing and home entertainment without goggles could become a reality. Researchers in the UK are working on systems to support telepresence with the aid of three-dimensional 'Avatar-style' stereoscopic video and audio communications. ... > full story

Flocculent spiral has relatively low star formation rate (February 17, 2011) -- The galaxy NGC 2841 -- shown in a new Hubble Space Telescope image -- currently has a relatively low star formation rate compared to other spirals. It is one of several nearby galaxies that have been specifically chosen for a new study in which a pick 'n' mix of different stellar nursery environments and birth rates are being observed. ... > full story

Getting cars onto the road faster (February 17, 2011) -- Auto manufacturers are looking for shorter production times, faster logistics processes, new materials and technologies. A novel software platform will help companies to achieve these goals by reducing not only the development times but also the development costs. ... > full story

Insects hold atomic clues about the type of habitats in which they live (February 17, 2011) -- Scientists have discovered that insects contain atomic clues as to the habitats in which they are most able to survive. The research has important implications for predicting the effects of climate change on the insects, which make up three-quarters of the animal kingdom. ... > full story

Neurologists develop software application to help identify subtle epileptic lesions (February 17, 2011) -- Researchers have identified potential benefits of a new computer application that automatically detects subtle brain lesions in MRI scans in patients with epilepsy. ... > full story

Mobile phone use not related to increased brain cancer risk, UK study suggests (February 17, 2011) -- Radio frequency exposure from mobile phone use does not appear to increase the risk of developing brain cancers by any significant amount, a new study suggests. ... > full story

Scientists elevate warfighter readiness against invisible threats (February 17, 2011) -- In asymmetric warfare, early detection and identification of trace level chemical and biological agents and explosive compounds is critical to rapid reaction, response, and survivability. ... > full story

Physicists propose beaming laser at atmospheric sodium to measure global magnetic field (February 17, 2011) -- Oil and mineral companies, climatologists and geophysicists all rely on expensive satellites to measure the Earth's magnetic field, but there may be a cheaper option. A physicist proposes shining a pulsed orange laser on the layer of sodium atoms 90 km above the Earth to directly read the local magnetic field. All that's needed is a simple laser like those used to produce laser guide stars for telescopes, plus a telescope detector. ... > full story

Innovative virtual reality exposure therapy shows promise for returning troops (February 17, 2011) -- A new study is one of the first to provide evidence of the effectiveness of exposure therapy with active duty military service members suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The study shows that virtual reality exposure therapy resulted in significant reductions in PTSD symptoms after an average of seven treatment sessions. Additionally, 62 % of patients reported clinically meaningful, reliable change in PTSD symptoms. ... > full story

Herschel measures dark matter for star-forming galaxies (February 17, 2011) -- The Herschel Space Observatory has revealed how much dark matter it takes to form a new galaxy bursting with stars. The findings are a key step in understanding how dark matter, an invisible substance permeating our universe, contributed to the birth of massive galaxies in the early universe. ... > full story

'Periodic table of shapes' to give a new dimension to math (February 17, 2011) -- Mathematicians are creating their own version of the periodic table that will provide a vast directory of all the possible shapes in the universe across three, four and five dimensions, linking shapes together in the same way as the periodic table links groups of chemical elements. The three-year project should provide a resource that mathematicians, physicists and other scientists can use for calculations and research in a range of areas, including computer vision, number theory, and theoretical physics. The researchers are aiming to identify all the shapes across three, four and five dimensions that cannot be divided into other shapes. ... > full story

Reflected glory: New image of nebula shows brilliant starlight as it ricochets off dust particles (February 17, 2011) -- The nebula Messier 78 takes center stage in this image taken with the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile, while the stars powering the bright display take a backseat. The brilliant starlight ricochets off dust particles in the nebula, illuminating it with scattered blue light. Igor Chekalin was the overall winner of ESO's Hidden Treasures 2010 astrophotography competition with his image of this stunning object. ... > full story

New probe of proton spin structure: How quarks of different flavors contribute to spin (February 17, 2011) -- Scientists hoping to unravel the mystery of proton spin at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), a 2.4-mile-circumference particle accelerator at Brookhaven National Laboratory, have a new tool at their disposal -- the first to directly explore how quarks of different types, or "flavors," contribute to the overall spin of the proton. ... > full story

Storms, soccer matches hidden in seismometer noise (February 17, 2011) -- Who knew? The chance discovery that spikes in seismometer noise recorded in Africa corresponded with soccer matches has led to the discovery that there's a lot more buried in the noise, including a signal from the famous storms of the Southern Atlantic Ocean, the bane of ships of sail. ... > full story

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

Europe's space freighter: ATV Johannes Kepler operating flawlessly (February 17, 2011) -- Following a spectacular launch on Feb. 16, Europe's space freighter is now in its planned orbit. Mission controllers are preparing to match its trajectory with that of the International Space Station, where it will dock seven days from now. ... > 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

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