Kamis, 10 Maret 2011

ScienceDaily Technology Headlines

for Thursday, March 10, 2011

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Toward real time observation of electron dynamics in atoms and molecules (March 10, 2011) -- Another step has been taken in matter imaging. By using very short flashes of light, researchers have obtained groundbreaking information on the electronic structure of atoms and molecules by observing for the first time ever electronic correlations using the method of high harmonic generation. ... > full story

High-volume portable music players may impair ability to clearly discriminate sounds (March 10, 2011) -- Listening to loud music through earphones for extended periods in noisy surroundings can cause neurophysiological changes related to clear discrimination of sounds, even if the hearing threshold is normal, new research shows. ... > full story

Intelligent microscopy: Software runs experiments on its own (March 10, 2011) -- Scientists in Germany have created new software that rapidly learns what researchers are looking for and automatically performs complex microscopy experiments. ... > full story

Open-source software is actually more secure for health care IT, study suggests (March 10, 2011) -- Globally the sale of health-care information systems is a multibillion dollar industry. The vast costs and frequent failed systems regularly attract media comment. However policy makers still shy away from a class of software, open source, that could address many of these problems, because of worries about the safety and security. Now new research finds that open-source software may actually be more secure than its often more expensive alternatives. ... > full story

Synthetic biology: Novel kind of fluorescent protein developed (March 9, 2011) -- Since the 1990s a green fluorescent protein known as GFP has been used in research labs worldwide. Protein designers have now taken it a step further: They have managed to incorporate a synthetic amino acid into the natural GFP and thus to create a new kind of chimeric fluorescent bio-molecule by means of synthetic biology. By exploiting a special physical effect, the fluorescent protein glows in turquoise and displays unmatched properties. ... > full story

NASA's Jupiter-bound spacecraft taking shape in Denver (March 9, 2011) -- NASA's Juno spacecraft is currently undergoing environmental testing at Lockheed Martin Space Systems near Denver. The solar-powered Juno spacecraft will orbit Jupiter's poles 33 times to find out more about the gas giant's origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere. The launch window for Juno from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida opens Aug. 5, 2011. ... > full story

New molecular robot can be programmed to follow instructions (March 9, 2011) -- Scientists have developed a programmable "molecular robot" -- a sub-microscopic molecular machine made of synthetic DNA that moves between track locations separated by 6nm. The robot, a short strand of DNA, follows instructions programmed into a set of fuel molecules determining its destination, for example, to turn left or right at a junction in the track. The report represents a step toward futuristic nanomachines and nanofactories. ... > full story

Medical microcamera the size of a grain of salt gives razor-sharp images, very inexpensively (March 9, 2011) -- There have been gloves and shavers for one-off use for a long time. In future, there will also be disposable endoscopes for minimally invasive operations on the human body. A new microcamera is what makes it possible. It is as large as a grain of salt, supplies razor-sharp pictures and can be manufactured very inexpensively. ... > full story

Report identifies priority missions for planetary science in the next decade (March 9, 2011) -- A new report from the U.S. National Research Council recommends a suite of planetary science flagship missions for the decade 2013-2022 that could provide a steady stream of important new discoveries about the solar system. However, if NASA's budget over that decade cannot support all of these missions, the agency should preserve smaller scale missions in its New Frontiers and Discovery programs first and delay some or all of the recommended large-scale missions, the report says. ... > full story

Ultrafast laser 'scribing' technique to cut cost, hike efficiency of solar cells (March 9, 2011) -- Researchers are developing a technology that aims to help make solar cells more affordable and efficient by using a new manufacturing method that employs an ultrafast pulsing laser. ... > full story

Real March Madness is relying on seedings to determine Final Four (March 9, 2011) -- Think picking all the top-seeded teams as the Final Four in your March Madness bracket is your best bet for winning the office pool? Think again. You're better off picking a seed combination of 1, 1, 2 and 3. A professor has integrated his statistical model into a user-friendly website to help March Madness fans evaluate their NCAA men's basketball tournament brackets and compare relative likelihood of two sets of seed combinations. ... > full story

Cassini finds Saturn's moon Enceladus is a powerhouse (March 9, 2011) -- Heat output from the south polar region of Saturn's moon Enceladus is much greater than was previously thought possible, according to a new analysis of data collected by NASA's Cassini spacecraft. ... > full story

New instrument for analyzing viruses: Sensitive 'PING' device (March 9, 2011) -- Scientists in Israel and California have developed an instrument for rapidly analyzing molecular interactions that take place viruses and the cells they infect. By helping to identify interactions between proteins made by viruses like HIV and hepatitis and proteins made by the human cells these viruses infect, the device may help scientists develop new ways of disrupting these interactions and find new drugs for treating those infections. ... > full story

Ultra fast photodetectors out of carbon nanotubes (March 9, 2011) -- Single-walled carbon nanotubes are promising building blocks for future optoelectronic devices. But conventional electronic measurements were not able to resolve the ultra fast optoelectronic dynamics of the nanotubes. Now scientists have found a way to directly measure the dynamics of photo-excited electrons in nanoscale photodetectors. ... > full story

Engineers demonstrate use of proteins as raw material for biofuels, biorefining (March 9, 2011) -- Researchers demonstrate for the first time the feasibility of using proteins, one of the most abundant biomolecules on earth, as a significant raw material for biorefinery and biofuel production. ... > full story

Receiving work-related communication at home takes greater toll on women, study finds (March 9, 2011) -- Communication technologies that help people stay connected to the workplace are often seen as solutions to balancing work and family life. However, a new study suggests there may be a "dark side" to the use of these technologies for workers' health -- and these effects seem to differ for women and men. ... > full story

Some of Mars' missing carbon dioxide may be buried (March 9, 2011) -- Rocks on Mars dug from far underground by crater-blasting impacts are providing glimpses of one possible way Mars' atmosphere has become much less dense than it used to be. At several places where cratering has exposed material from depths of about 5 kilometers (3 miles) or more beneath the surface, observations by a mineral-mapping instrument on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter indicate carbonate minerals. ... > full story

Enzymes from garden compost could favour bioethanol production (March 9, 2011) -- Today, bioethanol is primarily made from glucose. If xylose – which is found in straw, willow and other fast-growing plant species – could also be used efficiently, then ethanol production could increase significantly. A researcher in applied microbiology is well on the way to making this a reality. ... > full story

NASA develops light microscope for International Space Station (March 9, 2011) -- NASA has begun testing a new multi-capability microscope on the International Space Station. It will help scientists study the effects of the space environment on physics and biology aboard the orbiting laboratory. The microscope is isolated from vibrations on the station, allowing it to obtain clear, high-resolution images. Using high-resolution magnification, scientists can examine microorganisms and individual cells of plants and animals, including humans. ... > full story

Intelligence analysts need not fear 'Watson,' study shows (March 9, 2011) -- A new study on the future of predictive analytics, which examined the outlook for intelligence analysis in the computerized age, shows machines not yet capable of detecting deliberately deceptive data. ... > full story

Extremely fast magnetic random access memory (MRAM) computer data storage within reach (March 9, 2011) -- Magnetic random access memory (MRAM) is the most important new module on the market of computer storage devices. Like the well known USB sticks, they store information into static memory, but MRAM offers short access times and unlimited writing properties. Commercial MRAMs have been on the market since 2005. They are, however, still slower than the competitors they have among the volatile storage media. An invention made by researchers in Germany changes this situation: A special chip connection, in association with dynamic triggering of the component, reduces the response from - so far - 2 ns to below 500 ps. This corresponds to a data rate of up to 2 GBit (instead of the approx. 400 MBit so far). ... > full story

Graphene oxide’s solubility disappears in the wash (March 9, 2011) -- Graphene oxide has had a scrum of researchers fall upon it as it retains much of the properties of the highly valued super material pure graphene, but it is much easier, and cheaper, to make in bulk quantities; easier to process; and its significant oxygen content appears to make it soluble in water. However new research has found that that last assumption is incorrect and unfortunately graphene oxide's solubility literally comes out in the wash. ... > full story

How can robots get our attention? (March 8, 2011) -- Researchers have found that they can program a robot to understand when it gains a human's attention and when it falls short. ... > full story

Identifying 'anonymous' email authors (March 8, 2011) -- Researchers have developed an effective new technique to determine the authorship of anonymous emails. Tests showed their method has a high level of accuracy -- and unlike many other methods of ascertaining authorship, it can provide presentable evidence in courts of law. ... > full story

Rare observation of cosmic explosion (March 8, 2011) -- Astronomers have discovered a new cosmic explosion: a gamma-ray burst and its associated supernova. Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are the most powerful blasts in the Universe, and are thought to be created in the deaths of the most massive stars. ... > full story

Student innovation transmits data and power wirelessly through submarine hulls (March 8, 2011) -- Steel walls are no match for one doctoral student. He has developed and demonstrated an innovative new system that uses ultrasound to simultaneously transmit large quantities of data and power wirelessly through thick metal walls, like the hulls of ships and submarines. ... > full story

Teaching robots to move like humans (March 8, 2011) -- Researchers find people can better understand robot movements when robots move in a more human way. ... > full story

Researchers hunt for green catalysts (March 8, 2011) -- Scientists are looking for cleaner, greener and cheaper catalysts. They are turning to biology for some ideas. And they're developing high-throughput approaches to quickly test a reaction using up to a hundred trillion different catalysts. ... > full story

Microbial forensics used to solve the case of the 2001 anthrax attacks (March 8, 2011) -- Researchers working with the FBI have published the first scientific paper based on their investigation into the anthrax attacks of 2001. The case was groundbreaking in its use of genomics and microbiology in a criminal investigation, a new field called microbial forensics. More than 20 people contracted anthrax from spores mailed in letters in 2001, and five people died. ... > full story

New mathematical model of information processing in the brain accurately predicts some of the peculiarities of human vision (March 8, 2011) -- The human retina -- the part of the eye that converts incoming light into electrochemical signals -- has about 100 million light-sensitive cells. So retinal images contain a huge amount of data. High-level visual-processing tasks -- like object recognition, gauging size and distance, or calculating the trajectory of a moving object -- couldn't possibly preserve all that data: The brain just doesn't have enough neurons. So vision scientists have long assumed that the brain must somehow summarize the content of retinal images, reducing their informational load before passing them on to higher-order processes. ... > full story

New interpretation of Antarctic ice cores: Prevailing theory on climate history expanded (March 8, 2011) -- Climate researchers have expanded a prevalent theory regarding the development of ice ages. Physicists have completed new calculations on the connection between natural insulation and long-term changes in global climate activity. Up to now the presumption was that temperature fluctuations in Antarctica, which have been reconstructed for the last million years on the basis of ice cores, were triggered by the global effect of climate changes in the northern hemisphere. The new study shows, however, that major portions of the temperature fluctuations can be explained equally well by local climate changes in the southern hemisphere. ... > full story

Drug delivery with nanoparticles (March 8, 2011) -- Researchers are able to produce medicine encapsulated in nanoparticles the size of viruses, but new research has shown another great challenge in nanomedicine -- the immune system -- and the importance of the coating polymers on the nanoparticle surface. ... > full story

Preparing for the unexpected (March 8, 2011) -- How can you plan for an emergency the nature of which you don't know? Researchers in Germany are working on strategies and technologies that would help to predict and improve the response to crises. ... > full story

NASA studies the body's ability to fight infection (March 7, 2011) -- Why do some people get sick while others stay healthy? Since space shuttle Discovery launched into orbit Feb. 24, 2011, it has brought NASA scientists one step closer to helping astronauts and the public discover ways to battle and prevent serious illness and infection. ... > full story

Relaxation leads to lower elasticity: Model system delivers vital clues on the aging processes of elastic polymers (March 7, 2011) -- As they age, many materials exhibit changes in their properties. Although such phenomena crop up in many domains, the underlying processes are oftentimes not fully understood. Particularly interesting in this context are polymer materials found in plastics and in biological systems. A group of physicists in Germany has developed a model system casting light on essential aspects of these processes. ... > full story

Is March Madness always the same? (March 7, 2011) -- Why is it that the same teams seem to dominate the annual men's collegiate basketball tournament? For that matter, why does the same small group of institutions seem to top annual best-college rankings? ... > full story

'Nano-Velcro' technology used to improve capture of circulating cancer cells (March 7, 2011) -- Researchers have announced the successful demonstration of a 2nd-generation CTC enrichment technology, capable of effectively identifying and capturing circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in blood samples collected from prostate cancer patients. This new approach could be even faster and cheaper than existing methods and captures a greater number of CTCs. ... > full story

Removing arsenic from drinking water (March 7, 2011) -- Pioneering technology which is transforming the lives of millions of people in Asia is now being used to create safer drinking water in the United States. ... > full story

Web use doesn't encourage belief in political rumors, but e-mail does (March 7, 2011) -- Despite the fears of some, a new study suggests that use of the internet in general does not make people more likely to believe political rumors. However, one form of internet communication -- e-mail -- does seem to have troubling consequences for the spread and belief of rumors. ... > full story

Stretchable balloon electronics get to the heart of cardiac medicine (March 7, 2011) -- Cardiologists may soon be able to place sensitive electronics inside their patients' hearts with minimal invasiveness, enabling more sophisticated and efficient diagnosis and treatment of arrhythmias. Scientists have successfully integrated stretchable electronics technology with standard endocardial balloon catheters. The balloon device can both map and ablate over large areas of the heart simultaneously, using integrated arrays of multifunctional sensors and ablation electrodes. ... > full story

Japanese scientists use alcoholic drinks to induce superconductivity (March 7, 2011) -- Japanese researchers have been immersing iron-based compounds in hot alcoholic beverages such as red wine, sake and shochu to induce superconductivity. Scientists have found that immersing pellets of an iron-based compound in heated alcoholic beverages for 24 hours greatly increase their superconducting ability. ... > full story

New camera makes seeing the 'invisible' possible (March 7, 2011) -- The science similar to the type used in airport body scanners could soon be used to detect everything from defects in aerospace vehicles or concrete bridges to skin cancer, thanks to new research. ... > full story

Food science challenges for NASA missions to Mars (March 7, 2011) -- Space food for astronauts tastes better and is now healthier than ever before due to significant food science developments. However, a new study highlights the challenges that need to be addressed so that astronauts can travel to Mars and beyond. ... > full story

'Elephant trunks' in space: WISE captures image of star-forming cloud of dust and gas (March 7, 2011) -- NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, captured this image of a star-forming cloud of dust and gas, called Sh2-284, located in the constellation of Monoceros. Lining up along the edges of a cosmic hole are several "elephant trunks" -- or monstrous pillars of dense gas and dust. ... > full story

NASA light technology successfully reduces cancer patients painful side effects from radiation and chemotherapy (March 7, 2011) -- A NASA technology originally developed for plant growth experiments on space shuttle missions has successfully reduced the painful side effects resulting from chemotherapy and radiation treatment in bone marrow and stem cell transplant patients. ... > full story

Spitzer captures infrared rays from 'Sunflower' galaxy (March 7, 2011) -- The various spiral arm segments of the Sunflower galaxy, also known as Messier 63, show up vividly in a new image taken in infrared light by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Infrared light is sensitive to the dust lanes in spiral galaxies, which appear dark in visible-light images. Spitzer's view reveals complex structures that trace the galaxy's spiral arm pattern. ... > full story

Probing atomic chicken wire: Mounting graphene on boron nitride dramatically improves electronic properties (March 7, 2011) -- Graphene -- a sheet of carbon atoms linked in a hexagonal, chicken wire structure -- could someday make electronic devices smaller, faster and more energy-efficient. Researchers have demonstrated that mounting graphene on boron nitride instead of silicon oxide dramatically improves its electronic properties. ... > full story

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

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