Kamis, 24 Maret 2011

ScienceDaily Technology Headlines

for Thursday, March 24, 2011

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Self-strengthening nanocomposite created (March 24, 2011) -- Researchers have created a synthetic material that gets stronger from repeated stress much like the body strengthens bones and muscles after repeated workouts. ... > full story

New computer-based method to detect epileptic seizures (March 24, 2011) -- Researchers have pioneered a computer-based method to detect epileptic seizures as they occur -- a new technique that may open a window on the brain's electrical activity. ... > full story

Rapid etching X-rayed: Physicists unveil processes during fast chemical dissolution (March 24, 2011) -- Researchers in Europe have achieved a breakthrough in the study of chemical reactions during etching and coating of materials. The scientists have uncovered for the first time just what happens in manufacturing processes, used for the formation of metal contacts thinner than a human hair in modern consumer electronics, such as flat-screen television. ... > full story

New method for preparation of high-energy carbon-carbon double bonds (March 23, 2011) -- Researchers report they've developed a new catalytic chemical method for the synthesis of a large and important class of carbon-carbon double bonds. ... > full story

Cassini finds Saturn sends mixed signals (March 23, 2011) -- Like a petulant adolescent, Saturn is sending out mixed signals. Recent data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft show that the variation in radio waves controlled by the planet's rotation is different in the northern and southern hemispheres. Moreover, the northern and southern rotational variations also appear to change with the Saturnian seasons, and the hemispheres have actually swapped rates. ... > full story

New scientific field will study ecological importance of sounds (March 23, 2011) -- Researchers are aiming to create a new scientific field that will use sound as a way to understand the ecological characteristics of a landscape and to reconnect people with the importance of natural sounds. ... > full story

New imaging technique provides rapid, high-definition chemistry (March 23, 2011) -- With intensity a million times brighter than sunlight, a new synchrotron-based imaging technique offers high-resolution pictures of the molecular composition of tissues with unprecedented speed and quality. The new technique employs multiple beams of synchrotron light to illuminate a state-of-the-art camera, instead of just one beam. It could have broad applications in a wide array of fields from medicine and forensics to biofuel production and advanced materials. ... > full story

Good-bye, blind spot: Always keeping robots and humans in view in industrial settings (March 23, 2011) -- Particular care must be taken in a production hall where robots and people work together, where even minor carelessness could result in serious accidents or stop production. Researchers are introducing a new prototype for intelligent safety monitoring in industrial workplaces. ... > full story

Nanomodified surfaces seal leg implants against infection (March 23, 2011) -- Researchers have created nanoscale surfaces for implanted materials that mimic the contours of natural skin. The surfaces attract skin cells that, over time, are shown to build a natural seal against bacterial invasion. The group also created a molecular chain that allows an implant surface to be covered with skin cell-growing proteins, further accelerating skin growth. ... > full story

The importance of clarifying language in mathematics education (March 23, 2011) -- The way in which teachers and textbooks use language and different metaphors in mathematics education determines how pupils develop their number sense, according to new research from Sweden. ... > full story

Webb Telescope sunshield is like an umbrella on the shores of the universe (March 23, 2011) -- The James Webb Space Telescope has a unique shield to protect its sensitive instruments from the heat and light of the sun. The sunshield is like an umbrella popping open on the shores of the cosmos that allows the instruments beneath it to see far into the universe. ... > full story

Carbon capture and storage: Carbon dioxide pressure dissipates in underground reservoirs (March 23, 2011) -- The debate surrounding carbon capture and storage intensifies as scientists examine the capacity for storing carbon dioxide underground, in a new study. ... > full story

NASA's Juno spacecraft completes thermal vacuum chamber testing (March 23, 2011) -- NASA's Juno spacecraft has completed its thermal vacuum chamber testing. The two-week-long test, which concluded on March 13, 2011, is the longest the spacecraft will undergo prior to launch. ... > full story

Only the weak survive? Self-healing materials strengthened by adding more 'give' (March 22, 2011) -- Scientists have developed a new model of how self-repairing materials function and show that materials with a certain number of easily breakable bonds can absorb more stress, a natural trick found in the resilient abalone shell. The team's findings reveal the previously unknown mechanics and ideal structure of self-healing materials. ... > full story

Cheap catalyst made easy (March 22, 2011) -- Catalysts made of carbon nanotubes dipped in a polymer solution equal the energy output and otherwise outperform platinum catalysts in fuel cells, a team of engineers has found. ... > full story

Simulating tomorrow's accelerators at near the speed of light (March 22, 2011) -- Borrowing a page from Albert Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity, scientists have perfected a way to accelerate modeling of laser-plasma wakefield accelerators up to a million times faster. While "tabletop" laser-plasma accelerators promise high energies in short spaces, 3-D simulation of electron acceleration by a laser beam moving through a plasma has presented a computational challenge that until now has been beyond practical solution by supercomputers. ... > full story

Forensics: Overweight people really are big-boned (March 22, 2011) -- One of the blind spots in forensic science, particularly in identifying unknown remains, is the inability of experts to determine how much an individual weighed based on his or her skeleton. New research moves us closer to solving this problem by giving forensic experts valuable insight into what the shape of the femur can tell us about the weight of an individual. ... > full story

Dawn opens its eyes, checks its instruments (March 22, 2011) -- After a hibernation of about six months, the framing cameras on board NASA's Dawn spacecraft have again ventured a look into the stars. The spacecraft also powered up its visible and infrared mapping spectrometer, which investigates surface mineralogy, and the gamma ray and neutron detector, which detects elemental composition. The reactivation prepares the instruments for the May approach and July arrival at Vesta, Dawn's first port of call in the asteroid belt. ... > full story

Is that 911 call a real emergency? Emotion detector made for call centers (March 22, 2011) -- A system for emergency call centers that can assess a caller's stress levels or emotional state, and hence the urgency of the call, could reduce the impact of any given crisis and improve the emergency response. Scientists have now just developed one. ... > full story

Engineers make breakthrough in ultra-sensitive sensor technology (March 22, 2011) -- Researchers have invented an extremely sensitive sensor that opens up new ways to detect a wide range of substances, from tell-tale signs of cancer to hidden explosives. ... > full story

How the lily blooms: Ruffling at the edge of each petal drives the delicate flower to open (March 22, 2011) -- The "lily white" has inspired centuries' worth of rich poetry and art, but when it comes to the science of how and why those delicately curved petals burst from the bud, surprisingly little is known. Mathematics has now revealed that differential growth and ruffling at the edges of each petal -- not in the midrib, as commonly suggested -- provide the driving force behind the blooming of the lily. The research contradicts earlier theories regarding growth within the flower bud. The findings explain the blooming process both theoretically and experimentally. ... > full story

Seeing in stereo: Engineers invent lens for 3-D microscope (March 22, 2011) -- Engineers have invented a lens that enables microscopic objects to be seen from nine different angles at once to create a 3-D image. Other 3-D microscopes use multiple lenses or cameras that move around an object; the new lens is the first single, stationary lens to create microscopic 3-D images by itself. ... > full story

Alternatives have begun in bid to hear from NASA's Spirit Mars rover (March 22, 2011) -- Hopes for reviving NASA's Spirit Mars rover dimmed further with passage of the point at which the rover's locale received its maximum sunshine for the Martian year. ... > full story

Templated growth technique produces graphene nanoribbons with metallic properties (March 22, 2011) -- A new "templated growth" technique for fabricating nanoribbons of epitaxial graphene has produced structures just 15 to 40 nanometers wide that conduct current with almost no resistance. These structures could address the challenge of connecting graphene devices made with conventional architectures -- and set the stage for a new generation of devices that take advantage of the quantum properties of electrons. ... > full story

Madrid event marks Spain's role in next Mars mission (March 22, 2011) -- Spain is providing a key science instrument and the high-gain antenna communication subsystem for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission, on track for launch this year. ... > full story

Teenagers, parents and teachers unaware of social networking risks (March 22, 2011) -- A report into the legal risks associated with the use of social networking sites has found that while 95 percent of students surveyed in years 7 to 10 use social networking sites, nearly 30 percent did not consider social networking to hold any risks. ... > full story

Spacebound bacteria inspire earthbound remedies (March 21, 2011) -- Recent research aboard the Space Shuttle is giving scientists a better understanding of how infectious disease occurs in space and could someday improve astronaut health and provide novel treatments for people on Earth. ... > full story

Overfertilizing corn undermines ethanol: Researchers find feeding crops too heavily bad for biofuel, environment (March 21, 2011) -- Scientists have found that when growing corn crops for ethanol, more means less. A new paper shows how farmers can save money on fertilizer while they improve their production of feedstock for ethanol and alleviate damage to the environment. ... > full story

Stars gather in 'downtown' Milky Way (March 21, 2011) -- The region around the center of our Milky Way galaxy glows colorfully in a new version of an image taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. ... > full story

The drive toward hydrogen vehicles just got shorter (March 21, 2011) -- Researchers have revealed a new single-stage method for recharging the hydrogen storage compound ammonia borane. The breakthrough makes hydrogen a more attractive fuel for vehicles and other transportation modes. ... > full story

Organic nanoparticle uses sound and heat to find and treat tumors (March 21, 2011) -- Scientists have created an organic nanoparticle that is completely non-toxic, biodegradable and nimble in the way it uses light and heat to treat cancer and deliver drugs. ... > full story

Next Mars rover gets a test taste of Mars conditions (March 21, 2011) -- A space-simulation chamber at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., is temporary home for the Curiosity rover, which will land on Mars next year. ... > full story

Tiny 'on-chip detectors' count individual photons (March 21, 2011) -- A team of researchers has integrated tiny detectors capable of counting individual photons on computer chips. These detectors, called "single-photon avalanche diodes," act like mini Geiger counters, producing a "tick" each time a photon is detected. ... > full story

Poorly presented risk statistics could misinform health decisions (March 21, 2011) -- Choosing the appropriate way to present risk statistics is key to helping people make well-informed decisions. A new systematic review found that health professionals and consumers may change their perceptions when the same risks and risk reductions are presented using alternative statistical formats. ... > full story

Batteries charge quickly and retain capacity, thanks to new structure (March 21, 2011) -- Scientists have developed a three-dimensional nanostructure for battery cathodes that allows for dramatically faster charging and discharging without sacrificing energy storage capacity. Such batteries could be useful for quick-charge consumer electronics, electric vehicles, medical devices, lasers and military applications. ... > full story

Tiny gems take big step toward battling cancer (March 21, 2011) -- Researchers have now demonstrated the significance and translational potential of nanodiamonds in the treatment of chemotherapy-resistant cancers. In studies of liver and breast cancer models in vivo, the team found that a normally lethal amount of a chemotherapy drug when bound to nanodiamonds significantly reduced the size of tumors in mice. Survival rates also increased and no toxic effects on tissues and organs were observed. ... > full story

Silk moth's antenna inspires new nanotech tool with applications in Alzheimer's research (March 21, 2011) -- By mimicking the structure of the silk moth's antenna, researchers led the development of a better nanopore -- a tiny tunnel-shaped tool that could advance understanding of a class of neurodegenerative diseases that includes Alzheimer's. ... > full story

Potential 'game changer' for pathologists (March 21, 2011) -- A technique aims to make computer-aided tissue analysis better, faster and simpler. ... > full story

Miniature lasers could help launch new age of the Internet (March 21, 2011) -- A new laser device could make high-speed computing faster and more reliable, opening the door to a new age of the Internet. ... > full story

Can bees color maps better than ants? (March 21, 2011) -- In mathematics, you need at most only four different colors to produce a map in which no two adjacent regions have the same color. Utah and Arizona are considered adjacent, but Utah and New Mexico, which only share a point, are not. The four-color theorem proves this conjecture for generic maps of countries, but actually of more use in solving scheduling problems, scheduling, register allocation in computing and frequency assignment in mobile communications and broadcasting. ... > full story

Natural clay as a potential host rock for nuclear waste repositories (March 21, 2011) -- Nuclear chemists in Germany have studied natural claystone in the laboratory for more than four years in order to determine how the radioactive elements plutonium and neptunium react with this rock. ... > full story

Mercury-bound instruments aboard MESSENGER arrive at target (March 21, 2011) -- As the MESSENGER spacecraft begins its science operations above the surface of Mercury, NASA instruments are gearing up to help unveil the planet's mysteries. ... > full story

Spintronics: Enhancing the magnetism (March 20, 2011) -- Researchers have enhanced the spontaneous magnetization in a special form of the popular multiferroic bismuth ferrite. What's more, they can turn this magnetization "on/off" through the application of an external electric field, a critical ability for the advancement of spintronic technology. ... > full story

'Pruned' microchips are faster, smaller, more energy-efficient (March 20, 2011) -- Computing experts from the United States, Switzerland and Singapore have unveiled a technique for doubling the efficiency of computer chips by trimming away rarely used circuits. While these "pruned" microchips make a few calculation errors, tests show that cleverly managing the errors can yield chips that are two times faster, consume about half the energy and take up about half the space of traditional microchips. ... > full story

Is space like a chessboard? (March 20, 2011) -- Unveiling a concept that is at once novel and deceptively simple, physicists have found that two-valued spin can arise from having two types of tiles -- light and dark -- in a chessboard-like space. And they found this model working on a surprisingly practical problem, how to make better transistors out of a new material called graphene. ... > full story

Tests on century-old equipment show how far X-rays have come (March 20, 2011) -- Researchers recently tested first-generation x-ray equipment from 1896 and found that it produced radiation doses and exposure times that were vastly higher than those of today's systems, according a new study. ... > full story

Are whole-body image scanners used for U.S. airport security safe? (March 20, 2011) -- The Transportation Security Administration has begun to use whole-body imaging scanners as a primary screening measure on travelers passing through airport security checkpoints. One type of scanner currently deployed at airports uses backscatter X-rays that expose the individual being screened to very low levels of ionizing radiation. Two new articles address the question of what potential long-term public health threats backscatter X-ray systems pose. ... > full story

Scientists use light to move molecules within living cells (March 20, 2011) -- Using a light-triggered chemical tool, scientists report that they have refined a means of moving individual molecules around inside living cells and sending them to exact locations at precise times. This new tool, they say, gives scientists greater command than ever in manipulating single molecules, allowing them to see how molecules in certain cell locations can influence cell behavior and to determine whether cells will grow, die, move or divide. ... > full story

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