Selasa, 25 Januari 2011

ScienceDaily Technology Headlines

for Tuesday, January 25, 2011

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Nanoscale transistors used to study single-molecule interactions (January 25, 2011) -- Researchers have figured out a way to study single-molecule interactions on very short time scales using nanoscale transistors. Researchers show how, for the first time, transistors can be used to detect the binding of the two halves of the DNA double helix with the DNA tethered to the transistor sensor. ... > full story

New mortgage design would minimize home foreclosures (January 25, 2011) -- With mortgage loan defaults on the rise yet again, two mortgage researchers are proposing a new type of mortgage contract that automatically resets the balance and the monthly payment based on the mortgaged home's market value. ... > full story

Sensors to detect explosives, monitor food being developed (January 25, 2011) -- Monitoring everything from explosives to tainted milk, materials for use in creating sensors for detection devices have been developed by a team of chemists. ... > full story

Runaway star plows through space (January 24, 2011) -- A massive star flung away from its former companion is plowing through space dust. The result is a brilliant bow shock, seen as a yellow arc in a new image from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE. The star, named Zeta Ophiuchi, is huge, with a mass of about 20 times that of our sun. In this image, in which infrared light has been translated into visible colors we see with our eyes, the star appears as the blue dot inside the bow shock. ... > full story

Nanoworld in color: Tiny lens arrays can record or project sharp images (January 24, 2011) -- Researchers in Germany have developed microscopically small nanostructured arrays of lenses that can record or project amazingly sharp images in brilliant colors. ... > full story

Salty evolution: Previously unknown central metabolic pathway in microorganisms discovered (January 24, 2011) -- Microbiologists in Germany have discovered a previously unknown central metabolic pathway in microorganisms. The life forms use this pathway to survive under extremely salty conditions, such as in the Dead Sea. ... > full story

Curved carbon for electronics of the future (January 24, 2011) -- A new scientific discovery could have profound implications for nanoelectronic components. Researchers have shown how electrons on thin tubes of graphite exhibit a unique interaction between their motion and their attached magnetic field -- the so-called spin. The discovery paves the way for unprecedented control over the spin of electrons and may have a big impact on applications for spin-based nanoelectronics. ... > full story

New math theories reveal the nature of numbers (January 24, 2011) -- Mathematicians are unveiling new theories that answer famous old questions about partition numbers, the basis for adding and counting. They have devised the first finite formula to calculate the partitions of any number. ... > full story

Light touch transforms material into a superconductor (January 24, 2011) -- A non-superconducting material has been transformed into a superconductor using light, researchers report. ... > full story

Thwarting attacks on cell phone mesh networks (January 24, 2011) -- A mobile ad hoc network (MANET) or cell phone mesh network uses software to transparently hook together numerous active cell phones in a location to provide greater bandwidth and better network connections by allowing users to share "spare" resources while they use their phones, making data transfers faster and smoother. However, the usefulness of such ad hoc networks can be offset by vulnerabilities. Now researchers have developed a computer algorithm that runs on the network and rapidly identifies when a DDoS is initiated based on the new, unexpected pattern of data triggered by an attack. ... > full story

Real-world graphene devices may have a bumpy ride (January 24, 2011) -- New measurements by researchers may affect the design of devices that rely on the high mobility of electrons in graphene -- they show that layering graphene on a substrate transforms its bustling speedway into steep hills and valleys that make it harder for electrons to get around. ... > full story

NASA's first solar sail NanoSail-D deploys in low-Earth orbit (January 24, 2011) -- Engineers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., have confirmed that the NanoSail-D nanosatellite deployed its 100-square-foot polymer sail in low-Earth orbit and is operating as planned. Actual deployment occurred on Jan. 20 at 10 p.m. EST and was confirmed with beacon packets data received from NanoSail-D and additional ground-based satellite tracking assets. NanoSail-D is designed to demonstrate deployment of a compact solar sail boom technology. This research demonstration could lead to further advances of this alternative solar sail propulsion and the critical need for new de-orbit technologies. ... > full story

NASA's salt-seeking instrument gets a silvery blanket (January 24, 2011) -- Technicians from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., completed the installation of thermal blankets on NASA's Aquarius instrument last week, as the Aquarius/Satelite de Aplicaciones Cientificas (SAC-D) spacecraft continued functional performance tests at Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (Laboratório de Integração e Testes -- Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais, or LIT-INPE) in Sáo José dos Campos. ... > full story

Light controls a worm's behavior: Scientists commandeer organism's nervous system without wires or electrodes (January 23, 2011) -- Physicists and bioengineers have developed an optical instrument allowing them to control the behavior of a worm just by shining a tightly focused beam of light at individual neurons inside the organism. ... > full story

Unlikely there will ever be a pure 'cyber war,' study suggests (January 23, 2011) -- Heavy lobbying, lurid language and poor analysis are inhibiting government planning for cyber protection, according to a new report. ... > full story

How to tame hammering water droplets (January 23, 2011) -- A water hammer can occur when a valve is suddenly opened or closed in a pipe carrying water or steam, causing a pressure wave to travel down the pipe with enough force that it can sometimes cause the pipes to burst. Now, new research shows that a similar effect takes places on a tiny scale whenever a droplet of water strikes a surface. ... > full story

New device may revolutionize computer memory (January 22, 2011) -- Researchers have developed a new device that represents a significant advance for computer memory, making large-scale "server farms" more energy efficient and allowing computers to start more quickly. ... > full story

With cloud computing, the mathematics of evolution may get easier to learn (January 22, 2011) -- An innovative, educational computing platform hosted by the cloud (remote, high-capacity, scalable servers) is helping university students understand parts of evolutionary biology on an entirely new level. Soon, high-school and middle-school students will benefit from the same tool as well. ... > full story

Single photon management for quantum computers (January 21, 2011) -- The quantum computers of tomorrow might use photons, or particles of light, to move around the data they need to make calculations, but photons are tricky to work with. Two new papers point to ways to build reliable sources of single photons for use in photon-based quantum computers. ... > full story

Swift survey finds 'missing' active galaxies (January 21, 2011) -- Seen in X-rays, the entire sky is aglow. Even far away from bright sources, X-rays originating from beyond our galaxy provide a steady glow in every direction. Astronomers have long suspected that the chief contributors to this cosmic X-ray background were dust-swaddled black holes at the centers of active galaxies. The trouble was, too few of them were detected to do the job. An international team of scientists using data from NASA's Swift satellite confirms the existence of a largely unseen population of black-hole-powered galaxies. ... > full story

Go figure: Math model may help researchers with stem cell, cancer therapies (January 21, 2011) -- Researchers have devised an algorithm to track the rates at which somatic and cancer stem cells divide. The method may rev up efforts to develop stem cell therapies for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other diseases. It may also help get to the root of the cancer-stem cell theory, which puts forth the idea that a tiny percentage of loner cancer cells gives rise to tumors. ... > full story

Learning science : Actively recalling information from memory beats elaborate study methods (January 21, 2011) -- Put down those science text books and work at recalling information from memory. That's the shorthand take away message of new research that says practicing memory retrieval boosts science learning far better than elaborate study methods. ... > full story

For robust robots, let them be babies first (January 21, 2011) -- In a first-of-its-kind experiment, a scientist created robots that, like tadpoles becoming frogs, change their body forms while learning how to walk. These evolving robots learned to walk more rapidly than robots with fixed bodies and developed a more robust gait. The research suggests that the quest for adaptive and resilient robots will arrive at better designs by encouraging co-evolution of a robot's body and "brain" (controller) at the same time. ... > full story

Simple, ingenious way to create lab-on-a-chip devices could become a model for teaching and research (January 21, 2011) -- With little more than a conventional photocopier and transparency film, anyone can build a functional microfluidic chip. A high school physics teacher invented the process; now, students will be able explore microfluidics and its applications. ... > full story

Unexpected properties unveiled in superconducting material (January 21, 2011) -- Researchers report that an exotic new superconductor based on ytterbium appears to be the first material to exhibit quantum criticality in its natural state, without tuning. It could also be the first example of what physicists describe as a "strange" metallic phase of matter, manifesting itself intrinsically, without any tuning of the material's properties. It could change how scientists understand and create materials for superconductors and electronics. ... > full story

Highly ordered artificial spin ice created using nanotechnology (January 21, 2011) -- Scientists have created artificial spin ice in a state of thermal equilibrium for the first time, allowing them to examine the precise configuration of this important nanomaterial. ... > full story

Stretching the truth: Biophysicists help unravel DNA stretching mystery (January 21, 2011) -- Using a new experimental test structure, biophysicists have unraveled part of a 15-year mystery in the mechanics of DNA -- just how the molecule manages to suddenly extend to almost twice its normal length. ... > full story

NASA prepares to launch next Earth-observing satellite mission (January 21, 2011) -- NASA's newest Earth-observing research mission is nearing launch. The Glory mission will improve our understanding of how the sun and tiny atmospheric particles called aerosols affect Earth's climate. Glory also will extend a legacy of long-term solar measurements needed to address key uncertainties about climate change. ... > full story

Video games with imaginary steering wheel as the controller (January 21, 2011) -- Scientists have designed a communication system based on hand movement and position for virtual control of a videogame through a flight time camera, and are investigating applications for this sensor in medicine, biometrics, sports and emotional intelligence. ... > full story

Orion Nebula: Still full of surprises (January 21, 2011) -- This ethereal-looking image of the Orion Nebula was captured using the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope at the La Silla Observatory, Chile. This nebula is much more than just a pretty face, offering astronomers a close-up view of a massive star-forming region to help advance our understanding of stellar birth and evolution. ... > full story

Data matrix codes used to catalogue archaeological heritage (January 21, 2011) -- Researchers in Spain have implemented an innovative system to register archaeological artifacts that eliminates problems in manual markings, such as errors in writing or erosion of data. The system, based on direct labeling using bi-dimensional data matrix (DM) codes, has been used by the research team over the past two years, during which numerous artifacts and bone remains from sites in Spain and Africa were registered. ... > full story

No direct link between black holes and dark matter, scientists find (January 20, 2011) -- Massive black holes have been found at the centers of almost all galaxies, where the largest galaxies -- which are also the ones embedded in the largest halos of dark matter -- harbor the most massive black holes. This led to the speculation that there is a direct link between dark matter and black holes, i.e. that exotic physics controls the growth of a black hole. Scientists have now conducted an extensive study of galaxies to prove that black hole mass is not directly related to the mass of the dark matter halo but rather seems to be determined by the formation of the galaxy bulge. ... > full story

Better than the human eye: Tiny camera with adjustable zoom could aid endoscopic imaging, robotics, night vision (January 20, 2011) -- Researchers have developed a curvilinear camera, much like the human eye, with the significant feature of a zoom capability, unlike the human eye. The "eyeball camera" has a 3.5x optical zoom, takes sharp images, is inexpensive to make and is only the size of a nickel. The tunable camera holds promise for many applications, including night-vision surveillance, robotic vision and endoscopic imaging. ... > full story

Surgeons, CCTV & TV football gain from new video technology that banishes shadows and flare (January 20, 2011) -- Researchers have developed the world's first complete High Dynamic Range (HDR) video system, from video capture to image display, that will help a range of users including: surveillance camera operators, surgeons using video to conduct or record surgery, and camera crews following a football being kicked from sunshine into shadow. ... > full story

Sleep researchers apply fatigue model to fatal commuter air crash (January 20, 2011) -- Sleep researchers have determined that the air traffic controller in the crash of a Lexington, Ky., commuter flight was substantially fatigued when he failed to detect that the plane was on the wrong runway and cleared it for takeoff. Writing in a new study, the researchers say their findings suggest that mathematical models predicting fatigue could lead to schedules that reduce the risk of accidents by taking advantage of workers' sleep schedules and biological, or circadian, clocks. ... > full story

NASA Mars rover will check for ingredients of life (January 20, 2011) -- One of the jobs for the biggest science instrument on NASA's next Mars rover will be to check for the carbon-based molecular building blocks of life. ... > full story

Beating the competition: Scientists discover how the size of networks can skyrocket (January 20, 2011) -- A single new connection can dramatically enhance the size of a network -- no matter whether this connection represents an additional link in the Internet, a new acquaintance within a circle of friends or a connection between two nerve cells in the brain. ... > full story

Little evidence to support most eHealth technologies, such as electronic patient records, study shows (January 20, 2011) -- Despite the wide endorsement of and support for eHealth technologies, such as electronic patient records and e-prescribing, the scientific basis of its benefits -- which are repeatedly made and often uncritically accepted -- remains to be firmly established. ... > full story

Fundamental property of how water and other liquids move at different temperatures (January 20, 2011) -- In a finding that has been met with surprise and some controversy in the scientific community, researchers have discovered a basic property that governs the way water and many other liquids behave as their temperature changes. ... > full story

Wave-generated 'white hole' boosts hawking radiation theory, physicists find (January 20, 2011) -- A team of physicists and engineers has designed a experiment featuring a trough of flowing water to help bolster a 35-year-old theory proposed by eminent physicist Stephen Hawking. ... > full story

Challenging the limits of learning: Linguist measures the human mind against the yardstick of a machine (January 20, 2011) -- Most theoretical linguists argue that people have little more than a "language organ" -- an inherent capacity for language that's activated during early childhood. However, a linguistics professor insists that what humans can actually learn is still an open question -- and he has built a computer program to try and find an answer. ... > full story

Nanoscale rope: Complex nanomaterials that assemble themselves (January 20, 2011) -- Scientists have coaxed polymers to braid themselves into wispy nanoscale ropes that approach the structural complexity of biological materials. ... > full story

Scientists create injector for generating megawatt-class laser beams for US Navy's next-generation weapon system (January 20, 2011) -- Scientists have achieved a breakthrough with the Office of Naval Research's Free Electron Laser (FEL) program, demonstrating an injector capable of producing the electrons needed to generate megawatt-class laser beams for the US Navy's next-generation weapon system. ... > full story

Scientists view genome as it turns on and off inside cells (January 20, 2011) -- Researchers have developed a new approach to decoding the vast information embedded in an organism's genome, while shedding light on exactly how cells interpret their genetic material to create RNA messages and launch new processes in the cell. ... > full story

Secrets of mysterious metal hotspots uncovered by new single molecule imaging technique (January 20, 2011) -- The secrets behind the mysterious nano-sized electromagnetic "hotspots" that appear on metal surfaces under a light are being revealed with the help of a BEAST. The results hold promise for solar energy and chemical sensing among other technologies. ... > full story

Converting 2-D photo into 3-D face for security applications and forensics (January 20, 2011) -- It is possible to construct a 3-D face from flat 2-D images, according to new research. The discovery could be used for biometrics in security applications or in forensic investigations. ... > full story

Mars sliding behind sun after rover anniversary (January 20, 2011) -- The team operating NASA's Mars rover Opportunity will temporarily suspend commanding for 16 days after the rover's seventh anniversary next week, but the rover will stay busy. For the fourth time since Opportunity landed on Mars on Jan. 25, 2004, Universal Time (Jan. 24, Pacific Time), the planets' orbits will put Mars almost directly behind the sun from Earth's perspective. ... > full story

Astronomers release the largest color image of the sky ever made (January 19, 2011) -- Astronomers have produced the largest-ever map of the sky. This survey has made it possible to build an image from which a source catalog of unprecedented quality covering a large fraction of the sky has been extracted in five colors (sky cover, depth and precision of luminosity measurements). This catalog, which contains around 470 million objects (galaxies, stars, quasars, etc.), is now being published. ... > full story

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