Jumat, 25 Februari 2011

ScienceDaily Technology Headlines

for Friday, February 25, 2011

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Migrating cells flow like glass: Research advances understanding of wound healing, cancer metastasis, and embryonic development (February 25, 2011) -- By studying cellular movements at the level of both the individual cell and the collective group, applied physicists have discovered that migrating tissues flow very much like colloidal glass. ... > full story

Catalogue of sustainable design resources developed (February 25, 2011) -- A new catalog of eco-friendly materials for use in the construction industry has been developed. ... > full story

Designing a city for safe protests (February 25, 2011) -- Recent events in Egypt proved that large urban spaces are essential to the healthy expression of civil dissent. Architects and city planners should design useful and effective spaces to allow for widespread assembly and civil participation, experts say. ... > full story

Metallic molecules to nanotubes: Ruthenium complexes dissolve nanotubes, add functionality (February 24, 2011) -- A lab has stepped forward with an efficient method to disperse nanotubes in a way that preserves their unique properties -- and adds more. The new technique allows inorganic metal complexes with different functionalities to remain in close contact with single-walled carbon nanotubes while keeping them separated in a solution. ... > full story

Planet formation in action? Astronomers may have found first object clearing its path in natal disc surrounding a young star (February 24, 2011) -- Astronomers have now studied the short-lived disc of material around a young star that is in the early stages of making a planetary system. For the first time a smaller companion could be detected that may be the cause of the large gap found in the disc. Future observations will determine whether this companion is a planet or a brown dwarf. ... > full story

How nature's patterns form (February 24, 2011) -- When people on airplanes ask Alan Newell what he works on, he tells them "flower arrangements." He could also say "fingerprints" or "sand ripples" or "how plants grow." "Most patterns you see, including the ones on sand dunes or fish or tigers or leopards or in the laboratory – even the defects in the patterns – have many universal features," he says. ... > full story

Green chemistry offers route towards zero-waste production (February 24, 2011) -- Novel green chemical technologies will play a key role helping society move towards the elimination of waste while offering a wider range of products from biorefineries, according to one expert. ... > full story

New stretchable solar cells will power artificial electronic 'super skin' (February 24, 2011) -- "Super skin" is what one researcher wants to create. She's already developed a flexible sensor that is so sensitive to pressure it can feel a fly touch down. Now she's working to add the ability to detect chemicals and sense various kinds of biological molecules. She's also making the skin self-powering, using polymer solar cells to generate electricity. And the new solar cells are not just flexible, but stretchable -- they can be stretched up to 30 percent beyond their original length and snap back without any damage or loss of power. ... > full story

Bedside ultrasound becomes a reality (February 24, 2011) -- Clinicians have often referred to ultrasound technology as the "stethoscope of the future," predicting that as the equipment shrinks in size, it will one day be as common at the bedside as that trusty tool around every physician's neck. According to a new report, that day has arrived. ... > full story

Quantum simulator becomes accessible to the world (February 24, 2011) -- Experimental physicists have put a lot of effort in isolating sensitive measurements from the disruptive influences of the environment. In an international first, Austrian quantum physicists have realized a toolbox of elementary building blocks for an open-system quantum simulator, where a controlled coupling to an environment is used in a beneficial way. This offers novel prospects for studying the behavior of highly complex quantum systems. ... > full story

New transmission concept for wind turbines: Higher energy yield with torque vectoring gears (February 24, 2011) -- Wind turbines have a problem: Depending on the wind's force, the rotational speed of the turbine and thus of the generator changes. However, alternating current must be fed into the grid with precisely 50 (or 60) hertz. Typically the generated alternating current is first rectified and then transformed back to alternating current of the required frequency. Scientists have now developed an active transmission that makes this double transformation superfluous. ... > full story

Quantum hot potato: Researchers entice two atoms to swap smallest energy units (February 24, 2011) -- Physicists have for the first time coaxed two atoms in separate locations to take turns jiggling back and forth while swapping the smallest measurable units of energy. By directly linking the motions of two physically separated atoms, the technique has the potential to simplify information processing in future quantum computers and simulations. ... > full story

New high-performance lithium-ion battery 'top candidate' for electric cars (February 24, 2011) -- Scientists are reporting development of an advanced lithium-ion battery that is ideal for powering the electric vehicles now making their way into dealer showrooms. The new battery can store large amounts of energy in a small space and has a high rate capacity, meaning it can provide current even in extreme temperatures. ... > full story

A semantic sommelier: Wine application highlights the power of Web 3.0 (February 24, 2011) -- In the restaurant of the future, you will always enjoy the perfect meal with that full-bodied 2006 cabernet sauvignon, you will always know your dinner companions' favorite merlot, and you will be able to check if the sommelier's cellar contains your favorite pinot grigio before you even check your coat. These feats of classic cuisine will come to the modern dinner through the power of Semantic Web technology. ... > full story

Secret society connecting through the Internet feeds eating disorders, researchers say (February 24, 2011) -- Researchers reveal a new social support group that's emerging on the Web -- a secretive society to encourage negative behaviors associated with eating disorders. ... > full story

UV-transparent coating for image sensors (February 24, 2011) -- Image sensors as used in cell phones are partially color-blind. This is because of their coating, which prevents UV light from passing through. CMOS chips have as a result not been suitable for spectroscopy up to now. A new production process makes the coating transparent -- and the sensors suitable for special applications. ... > full story

What should be the US role in cybersecurity and cyber-spying? (February 24, 2011) -- A new article calls on the intelligence community to jointly create a policy on cybersecurity and determine the degree to which the US should protect intellectual property and national infrastructure of other nations. The author also comments on how aggressive the United States should be in its proactive cyber-spying activities. ... > full story

Versatile Ultra-low Power Biomedical Signal Processor (February 24, 2011) -- Researchers have developed a versatile ultra-low power biomedical signal processor, CoolBioTM, meeting the requirements of future wearable biomedical sensor systems. The biomedical signal processor consumes only 13pJ/cycle when running a complex ECG (electrocardiogram) algorithm at 1MHz and 0.4V operating voltage. This C-programmable chip is voltage and performance scalable supporting a frequency range of 1MHz up to 100MHz with an operating voltage from 0.4 to 1.2V. ... > full story

Innovative SAW-less reconfigurable transceiver developed (February 24, 2011) -- Researchers have developed a highly-linear reconfigurable transceiver, eliminating the need of surface acoustic wave (SAW) filters. The unique approach is a major breakthrough towards fully reconfigurable radios by relaxing the requirements of the antenna filters, which suffered today from limited flexibility due to the high filtering specs. The fully reconfigurable transceiver 'Scaldio' is compatible with multiple wireless standards including the fourth generation mobile broadband standard 3GPP-LTE. ... > full story

Lasers ID deadly skin cancer better than doctors (February 23, 2011) -- High-resolution images from a new laser-based tool could help doctors better diagnose melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, while potentially saving thousands of lives and millions of dollars in unnecessary health care costs each year. ... > full story

Paper archives reveal pollution's history (February 23, 2011) -- A new source of climate records is as close as the nearest university library: Back issues of magazines reveal the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels. ... > full story

Bizarre friction-free 'superfluid' found in neutron star's core (February 23, 2011) -- NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has discovered the first direct evidence for a superfluid, a bizarre, friction-free state of matter, at the core of a neutron star. Superfluids created in laboratories on Earth exhibit remarkable properties, such as the ability to climb upward and escape airtight containers. The finding has important implications for understanding nuclear interactions in matter at the highest known densities. ... > full story

3-D nanoparticle in atomic resolution (February 23, 2011) -- For the first time, scientists have managed to measure the atomic structure of individual nanoparticles. The technique could help better understand the properties of nanoparticles in future. ... > full story

'Fingerprints' match molecular simulations with reality (February 23, 2011) -- A theoretical technique is bringing supercomputer simulations and experimental results closer together by identifying common "fingerprints." The method reconciles the different signals between experiments and computer simulations to strengthen analyses of molecules in motion. ... > full story

Cell phone use may have effect on brain activity, but health consequences unknown (February 23, 2011) -- In a preliminary study, researchers found that 50-minute cell phone use was associated with increased brain glucose metabolism (a marker of brain activity) in the region closest to the phone antenna, but the finding is of unknown clinical significance. ... > full story

Toward computers that fit on a pen tip: New technologies usher in the millimeter-scale computing era (February 23, 2011) -- A prototype implantable eye pressure monitor for glaucoma patients is believed to contain the first complete millimeter-scale computing system. ... > full story

MIT engineers design new nanoparticle that could lead to vaccines for HIV, malaria, other diseases (February 23, 2011) -- Engineers have designed a new type of nanoparticle that could safely and effectively deliver vaccines for diseases such as HIV and malaria. ... > full story

Using EEGs to diagnose autism spectrum disorders in infants: Machine-learning system finds differences in brain connectivity (February 23, 2011) -- A computational physicist and a cognitive neuroscientist have come up with the beginnings of a noninvasive test to evaluate an infant's autism risk. ... > full story

Liquid metal key to simpler creation of electrodes for microfluidic devices (February 23, 2011) -- Researchers have developed a faster, easier way to create microelectrodes, for use in microfluidic devices, by using liquid metal. Microfluidic devices manipulate small amounts of fluid and have a wide variety of applications, from testing minute blood samples to performing advanced chemical research. ... > full story

Roots of the solar system: Astronomers observe planets in the making (February 23, 2011) -- Planets form in disks of dust and gas that surround young stars. A look at the birth places means a journey into the past of Earth and its siblings. Now, astronomers have been able to obtain detailed images of the protoplanetary disks of two stars using the Subaru telescope in Hawaii. This is the first time that disk structures comparable in size to our own solar system have been resolved this clearly, revealing features such as rings and gaps that are associated with the formation of giant planets. The observations are part of a systematic survey to search for planets and disks around young stars using a state-of-the-art high-contrast camera designed specifically for this purpose. ... > full story

Proteins find their way with address label and guide (February 23, 2011) -- Most newly produced proteins in a cell need to be transported to the proper place before they can be put to work. For proteins to find their way, they have a built-in signal linked to them, a kind of address label. Moreover, they are helped by a particle that guides them to the cell membrane. In a new study, researchers in Sweden show how this interaction works. ... > full story

Satellite to examine how sun's brightness impacts climate change (February 22, 2011) -- A new instrument developed to study changes in the sun's brightness and its impact on Earth's climate is one of two primary payloads on NASA's Glory mission set to launch on Feb. 23. ... > full story

Drinking water: Nanomembranes could filter bacteria (February 22, 2011) -- Nanomaterials research could lead to new solutions for an age-old public health problem: how to separate bacteria from drinking water. ... > full story

Nanoparticles increase survival after blood loss, study suggests (February 22, 2011) -- In an advance that could improve battlefield and trauma care, scientists have used tiny particles called nanoparticles to improve survival after life-threatening blood loss. Nanoparticles containing nitric oxide were infused into the bloodstream of hamsters, where they helped maintain blood circulation and protect vital organs. ... > full story

World's smallest magnetic field sensor: Researchers explore using organic molecules as electronic components (February 22, 2011) -- Further development of modern information technology requires computer capacities of increased efficiency at reasonable costs. In the past, integration density of the relevant electronic components was increased constantly. In continuation of this strategy, future components will have to reach the size of individual molecules. Researchers have now come closer to reaching this target. ... > full story

Waiter, there's metal in my moon water (February 22, 2011) -- Bring a filter if you plan on drinking water from the moon. Water ice recently discovered in dust at the bottom of a crater near the moon's south pole is accompanied by metallic elements like mercury, magnesium, calcium, and even a bit of silver. Now you can add sodium to the mix, according to scientists. ... > full story

Dry copper kills bacteria on contact (February 22, 2011) -- Metallic copper surfaces kill microbes on contact, decimating their populations, according to new research. They do so literally in minutes, by causing massive membrane damage after about a minute's exposure, says the study's corresponding author, Gregor Grass of the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. This is the first study to demonstrate this mechanism of bacteriocide. ... > full story

Antifungal compound found on tropical seaweed has promising antimalarial properties (February 22, 2011) -- A group of chemical compounds used by a species of tropical seaweed to ward off fungus attacks may have promising antimalarial properties for humans. The compounds are part of a unique chemical signaling system that seaweeds use to battle enemies -- and that may provide a wealth of potential new pharmaceutical compounds. ... > full story

Practice more important than child's age in learning to use computer mouse (February 22, 2011) -- Children as young as five years old can learn how to use a computer mouse, new research suggests. While age is an important component in determining how well a child controls a mouse, the study also found that how frequently a child practices may be even more important. ... > full story

Engineering atomic interfaces for new electronics (February 22, 2011) -- Most people cross borders such as doorways or state lines without thinking much about it. Yet not all borders are places of limbo intended only for crossing. Some borders, like those between two materials that are brought together, are dynamic places where special things can happen. For an electron moving from one material toward the other, this space is where it can join other electrons, which together can create current, magnetism or even light. Researchers have made fundamental discoveries at the border regions, called interfaces, between oxide materials. ... > full story

Climate and aerosols: NASA's Glory satellite promises new view of perplexing particles (February 22, 2011) -- Climatologists have known for decades that airborne particles called aerosols can have a powerful impact on the climate. However, pinpointing the magnitude of the effect has proven challenging because of difficulties associated with measuring the particles on a global scale. Soon a new NASA satellite -- Glory -- should help scientists collect the data needed to provide firmer answers about the important particles. In California, engineers and technicians at Vandenberg Air Force Base are currently prepping Glory for a Feb. 23 launch. ... > full story

E-health must be a priority, Canadian researchers say; System would bolster chronic disease management and improve access to care (February 22, 2011) -- An e-health record system should be the backbone of health care reform in Canada and more must be done to speed up the implementation of this initiative across the country. Furthermore for this system to be put in place effectively, doctors and front line health care workers and administrators must be encouraged to play a more active role. These are the findings of an innovative new study assessing the effectiveness Canada Health Infoway's e-health plan. ... > full story

Brain-machine interfaces make gains by learning about their users, letting them rest, and allowing for multitasking (February 21, 2011) -- You may have heard of virtual keyboards controlled by thought, brain-powered wheelchairs, and neuro-prosthetic limbs. But powering these machines can be downright tiring, a fact that prevents the technology from being of much use to people with disabilities, among others. Researchers in Switzerland have a solution: engineer the system so that it learns about its user, allows for periods of rest, and even multitasking. ... > full story

Better way to diagnose pneumonia (February 21, 2011) -- Researchers have created a new sampling device that could prevent thousands of people worldwide from dying of pneumonia each year. ... > full story

Scientists steer car with the power of thought (February 21, 2011) -- Computer scientists have developed a system making it possible to steer a car with your thoughts. Using new commercially available sensors to measure brain waves -- sensors for recording electroencephalograms (EEG) -- the scientists were able to distinguish the bioelectrical wave patterns for control commands such as "left," "right," "accelerate" or "brake" in a test subject. ... > full story

Advanced NASA instrument gets close-up on Mars rocks (February 21, 2011) -- NASA's Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, will carry a next generation, onboard "chemical element reader" to measure the chemical ingredients in Martian rocks and soil. The instrument is one of 10 that will help the rover in its upcoming mission to determine the past and present habitability of a specific area on the Red Planet. Launch is scheduled between Nov. 25 and Dec. 18, 2011, with landing in August 2012. ... > full story

Can WISE find the hypothetical 'Tyche' planet at edge of our solar system? (February 21, 2011) -- Two astrophysicists recently proposed the existence of a binary companion to our sun, larger than Jupiter, in the long-hypothesized "Oort cloud" -- a faraway repository of small icy bodies at the edge of our solar system. The researchers use the name "Tyche" for the hypothetical planet. Their paper argues that evidence for the planet would have been recorded by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). ... > full story

Plants that can move inspire new adaptive structures (February 21, 2011) -- The Mimosa plant, which folds its leaves when they're touched, is inspiring a new class of adaptive structures designed to twist, bend, stiffen and even heal themselves. ... > full story

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