Senin, 07 Maret 2011

ScienceDaily Technology Headlines

for Monday, March 7, 2011

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A misunderstanding leads to method for making nanowells (March 7, 2011) -- A safe, simple, and cheap method of creating perfectly etched micron and smaller size wells in a variety of substrates has been developed. Similar patterned surfaces are currently made using complex and expensive photolithography methods and etch processes under clean room conditions and used in the fabrication of many optical, electrical, and mechanical devices. ... > full story

The scars of impacts on Mars (March 7, 2011) -- ESA's Mars Express has returned new images of an elongated impact crater in the southern hemisphere of Mars. Located just south of the Huygens basin, it could have been carved out by a train of projectiles striking the planet at a shallow angle. ... > full story

Speedy generic approval may not benefit consumers as much as expected, mathematical model shows (March 7, 2011) -- Faster approval times for generic drugs will get them into consumers' hands quicker, but may not make the price any better, a pricing and marketing researcher has found. A mathematical model shows that fewer firms enter the marketplace because the chances of getting there first and commanding the best profits are dramatically smaller when drug approval times are shorter. ... > full story

Human cues used to improve computer user-friendliness (March 6, 2011) -- Researchers want computers to understand inputs from humans that go beyond the traditional keyboard and mouse. They have now developed ways to provide information to a computer based on where a user is looking as well as through gestures or speech. ... > full story

Cadmium in children’s jewelry: 100 times recommended maximum exposure if mouthed or swallowed (March 6, 2011) -- Young children who mouth or swallow jewelry containing cadmium may be exposed to as much as 100 times the recommended maximum exposure limit for the toxic metal, according to new research. The study measured bioavailability, or how much cadmium leached out of the jewelry. The research also found that damaged pieces of jewelry in some cases leached up to 30 times more cadmium than undamaged pieces. ... > full story

Fast laser could revolutionize data communications (March 6, 2011) -- Researchers have shown that a surface emitting laser – a cheaper and more energy-efficient type of laser for fiber optics than conventional lasers – can deliver error-free data at a record speed of 40 Gbit/s. The breakthrough could lead to faster Internet traffic, computers and mobile phones. ... > full story

New microscope produces dazzling 3-D movies of live cells (March 6, 2011) -- Scientists have invented a new microscope that uses an exquisitely thin sheet of light -- similar to that used in supermarket bar-code scanners -- to peer inside single living cells. The images they obtained reveal the three-dimensional shapes of cellular landmarks in unprecedented detail. ... > full story

Clean fuel worsens climate impacts for some vehicle engines (March 5, 2011) -- A pioneering program by one of the world's largest cities to switch its vehicle fleet to clean fuel has not significantly improved harmful vehicle emissions in more than 5,000 vehicles -- and worsened some vehicles' climate impacts -- a new study finds. ... > full story

New non-surgical autopsy technique set to revolutionize post-mortem practice (March 4, 2011) -- A new non-surgical post-mortem technique that has the potential to revolutionize the way autopsies are conducted around the world has been pioneered by forensic pathologists and radiologists. ... > full story

Nanotechnology: New 'frozen smoke' may improve robotic surgery, energy storage (March 4, 2011) -- A spongy substance that could be mistaken for packing material has the nanotechnology world buzzing. Scientists have engineered the world's lightest carbon material in such a way that it could be used to detect pollutants and toxic substances, improve robotic surgery techniques and store energy more efficiently. ... > full story

The dusty disc of NGC 247 (March 4, 2011) -- A new image of NGC 247 reveals the fine details of this highly inclined spiral galaxy and its rich backdrop. Astronomers say this highly tilted orientation, when viewed from Earth, explains why the distance to this prominent galaxy was previously overestimated. ... > full story

Scientists create cell assembly line: New technology synthesizes cellular structures from simple starting materials (March 4, 2011) -- Borrowing a page from modern manufacturing, scientists have built a microscopic assembly line that mass produces synthetic cell-like compartments. ... > full story

NASA's Glory satellite fails to reach orbit (March 4, 2011) -- NASA's Glory spacecraft launched aboard a Taurus XL rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California March 4, 2011 at 5:09:45 a.m. EST failed to reach orbit. Telemetry indicated the fairing, the protective shell atop the Taurus XL rocket, did not separate as expected about three minutes after launch. ... > full story

Risks of chemical exposure: Scientists call for 'swifter and sounder' testing of chemicals (March 4, 2011) -- Scientific societies representing 40,000 researchers and clinicians are asking that federal regulators tap a broader range of expertise when evaluating the risks of chemicals to which Americans are being increasingly exposed. ... > full story

Method developed to match police sketch, mug shot: Algorithms and software will match sketches with mugshots in police databases (March 4, 2011) -- Researchers have developed a set of algorithms and created software that will automatically match hand-drawn facial sketches to mug shots that are stored in law enforcement databases. ... > full story

Two languages in peaceful coexistence in one society (March 4, 2011) -- Physicists and mathematicians have shown that two languages can remain stable in one society in the long-term. This research refutes earlier research which sought to show how one of two languages would inevitably die out. ... > full story

New kinds of superconductivity? Physicists demonstrate coveted 'spin-orbit coupling' in atomic gases (March 4, 2011) -- Physicists have for the first time caused a gas of atoms to exhibit an important quantum phenomenon known as spin-orbit coupling. Their technique opens new possibilities for studying and better understanding fundamental physics and has potential applications to quantum computing, next-generation "spintronics" devices and even "atomtronic" devices built from ultracold atoms. ... > full story

Nanofabrication tools may make silicon optical chips more accessible (March 4, 2011) -- In an effort to make it easier to build inexpensive, next-generation silicon-based electro-optical chips, which allow computers to move information with light and electricity, scientists are developing design tools and using commercial nanofabrication tools. ... > full story

Taking the heat: Silver-diamond composite offers unique capabilities for cooling powerful defense microelectronics (March 4, 2011) -- Researchers are developing a solid composite material to help cool small, powerful microelectronics used in defense systems. The material, composed of silver and diamond, promises an exceptional degree of thermal conductivity compared to materials currently used for this application. ... > full story

Ultrasound and algorithms could lead to better breast cancer screening (March 4, 2011) -- New research holds the promise of becoming a powerful new weapon in the fight against breast cancer. His complex computational research has led to a fast, inexpensive new method for using ultrasound and advanced algorithms to differentiate between benign and malignant tumors with a high degree of accuracy. ... > full story

Oldest objects in solar system indicate a turbulent beginning (March 3, 2011) -- Scientists have found that calcium, aluminum-rich inclusions (CAIs), some of the oldest objects in the solar system, formed far away from our sun and then later fell back into the mid-plane of the solar system. The findings may lead to a greater understanding of how our solar system and possibly other solar systems formed and evolved. ... > full story

Easy, accurate way to predict food allergies developed, study suggests (March 3, 2011) -- An on-line calculator that predicts, within seconds, the presence of the three major food allergies in children has been developed. The new calculator gives 96% accuracy compared to current methods that are 61% -81% accurate. ... > full story

Scalable method for making graphene (March 3, 2011) -- New research demonstrates a more consistent and cost-effective method for making graphene, the atomic-scale material that has promising applications in a variety of fields, and was the subject of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics. ... > full story

New developments in quantum computing (March 3, 2011) -- Quantum computers are computers that exploit the weird properties of matter at extremely small scales. Many experts believe that a full-blown quantum computer could perform calculations that would be hopelessly time consuming on classical computers, but so far, quantum computers have proven hard to build. Researchers have planned an experiment that, if it worked, would offer strong evidence that quantum computers can do things that classical computers can't. Although building the experimental apparatus would be difficult, it shouldn't be as difficult as building a fully functional quantum computer. ... > full story

Using artificial, cell-like 'honey pots' to entrap deadly viruses (March 3, 2011) -- Researchers have designed artificial "protocells" that can lure, entrap and inactivate a class of deadly human viruses -- think decoys with teeth. ... > full story

Who's the best tennis player of all time? Ranking of top male tennis players produces some surprises (March 3, 2011) -- Fans may think of Jimmy Connors as an "old school" tennis player, but according to a new ranking system developed using network analysis, Connors is best player in the history of the game. ... > full story

New observations of the giant planet orbiting beta Pictoris (March 3, 2011) -- New observations have been made of the giant planet around beta Pictoris. Discovered in 2009, this planet, called beta Pictoris b, has now been detected again with the NaCo instrument on the VLT. Astronomers find that the planet is moving around the star. They have also measured the mass and the effective temperature of beta Pic b. ... > full story

Turning bacteria into butanol biofuel factories: Transplanted enzyme pathway makes E. coli churn out n-butanol (March 3, 2011) -- While ethanol is today's major biofuel, researchers aim to produce fuels more like gasoline. Butanol is the primary candidate, now produced primarily by Clostridium bacteria. Chemists have now transplanted the enzyme pathway from Clostridium into E. coli, replaced two of five genes with enzymes from other microbes, and gotten the bacteria to churn out 10 times more n-butanol than competing microbes, close to the level needed for industrial scale production. ... > full story

Solving the riddle of nature’s perfect spring (March 3, 2011) -- Scientists have unravelled the shape of the protein that gives human tissues their elastic properties in what could lead to the development of new synthetic elastic polymers. ... > full story

Black holes: A model for superconductors? (March 3, 2011) -- Black holes are some of the heaviest objects in the universe. Electrons are some of the lightest. Now physicists have shown how charged black holes can be used to model the behavior of interacting electrons in unconventional superconductors. ... > full story

'A little off the top' helps map cells with submicrometer resolution (March 3, 2011) -- In an effort to identify the early-onset, subtle chemical changes occurring in a cell heading toward malignancy, researchers have developed a technique that slices off the top of a cell and makes the structures accessible to spectroscopic examination of their chemical "signatures." ... > full story

Clouds amplify ecological light pollution (March 3, 2011) -- The brightness of the nightly sky glow over major cities has been shown to depend strongly on cloud cover. In natural environments, clouds make the night sky darker by blocking the light of the stars but around urban centers, this effect is completely reversed, according to a new study. ... > full story

New software 'lowers the stress' on materials problems (March 3, 2011) -- Before you can build that improved turbojet engine, before you can create that longer-lasting battery, you have to ensure all the newfangled materials in it will behave the way you want. Now computer scientists have improved software that can take much of the guesswork out of tough materials problems like these. ... > full story

New brain training app for research into aging minds (March 3, 2011) -- Researchers are taking the first step towards discovering the true effectiveness of brain training exercises with the release of their own app aimed at those over 50. The Brain Jog application is available to download free for iPhone, iPod or iPad. ... > full story

New kind of optical fiber developed: Made with a core of zinc selenide (March 2, 2011) -- Scientists have developed the very first optical fiber made with a core of zinc selenide -- a light-yellow compound that can be used as a semiconductor. The new class of optical fiber, which allows for a more effective and liberal manipulation of light, promises to open the door to more versatile laser-radar technology. Such technology could be applied to the development of improved surgical and medical lasers, better countermeasure lasers used by the military, and superior environment-sensing lasers such as those used to measure pollutants and to detect the dissemination of bioterrorist chemical agents. ... > full story

Combined molecular study techniques reveal more about DNA proteins (March 2, 2011) -- Researchers have combined two molecular imaging technologies to create an instrument with incredible sensitivity that provides new, detailed insight into dynamic molecular processes. Two physics professors combined their expertise in single-molecule biophysics -- fluorescence microscopy and optical traps -- to create a unique instrument that measures both a DNA-regulating protein's motion and conformational changes as it acts. ... > full story

Effectiveness of wastewater treatment may be damaged during a severe flu pandemic (March 2, 2011) -- Existing plans for antiviral and antibiotic use during a severe influenza pandemic could reduce wastewater treatment efficiency prior to discharge into receiving rivers, resulting in water quality deterioration at drinking water abstraction points, according to a new article. ... > full story

Solar mystery of missing sunspots explained (March 2, 2011) -- The sun has been in the news a lot lately because it's beginning to send out more flares and solar storms. Its recent turmoil is particularly newsworthy because the sun was very quiet for an unusually long time. Astronomers had a tough time explaining the extended solar minimum. New computer simulations imply that the sun's long quiet spell resulted from changing flows of hot plasma within it. ... > full story

Hair dyeing poised for first major transformation in 150 years (March 2, 2011) -- Technological progress may be fast-paced in many fields, but one mundane area has been almost left in the doldrums for the last 150 years: The basic technology for permanently coloring hair. That's the conclusion of an analysis of almost 500 articles and patents on the chemistry of permanent hair dyeing, which foresees much more innovation in the years ahead, including longer lasting, more-natural-looking dyes and gene therapy to reverse the gray. ... > full story

Facing the Facebook mirror can boost self-esteem (March 2, 2011) -- A new study has found that Facebook can have a positive influence on the self-esteem of college students. ... > full story

New 'thermometer' helps scientists accurately measure rock formation (March 2, 2011) -- Researchers have used magnesium isotopes to determine the temperature at which rocks form, which will allow scientists to better study the formation of Earth's crust and mantle as well as the formation of meteorites. ... > full story

Cements that self-repair cracks and store latent heat energy? (March 2, 2011) -- Cement (and derivatives thereof) is one of the materials most commonly used in construction, given its good performance at low cost. Over recent years, one part of scientific and technological research is aimed at incorporating additional functions into these materials. Researchers have studied the possibility of adding capacities to the cement such as the self-repair of cracks as well as the storing of latent heat energy. ... > full story

Just like me: Online training helpers more effective when they resemble students (March 2, 2011) -- Opposites don't always attract. A new study shows that participants are happier -- and perform better -- when the electronic helpers used in online training programs resemble the participants themselves. ... > full story

World's most powerful optical microscope: Microscope could 'solve the cause of viruses' (March 2, 2011) -- Scientists have produced the world's most powerful optical microscope, which could help us understand the causes of many viruses and diseases. ... > full story

Fluorescent peptides help nerves glow in surgery (March 2, 2011) -- Accidental damage to thin or buried nerves during surgery can have severe consequences, from chronic pain to permanent paralysis. Scientists may have found a remedy: injectable fluorescent peptides that cause hard-to-see peripheral nerves to glow, alerting surgeons to their location even before the nerves are encountered. ... > full story

Nanotechnology used to prolong machine and engine life (March 2, 2011) -- Scientists have discovered a way to use nanotechnology to reduce friction in automobile engines and machines. ... > full story

Scientists unravel the mysterious mechanics of spider silk (March 2, 2011) -- Scientists now have a better understanding of why spider silk fibers are so incredibly strong. Recent research describes the architecture of silk fibers from the atomic level up and reveals new information about the molecular structure that underlies the amazing mechanical characteristics of this fascinating natural material. ... > full story

Plug-and-play multi-core voltage regulator could lead to 'smarter' smartphones, slimmer laptops and energy-friendly data centers (March 2, 2011) -- To promote energy-efficient multitasking, a graduate student has developed and demonstrated a new device with the potential to reduce the power usage of modern processing chips. The advance could allow the creation of "smarter" smartphones, slimmer laptops and more energy-friendly data centers. ... > full story

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