Jumat, 01 April 2011

ScienceDaily Technology Headlines

for Friday, April 1, 2011

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Scientists reach beyond the clouds with a mobile phone app to explore the outer atmosphere (April 1, 2011) -- Engineering scientists have reached above the clouds in a first-of-its-kind experiment to develop new technologies that probe the stratosphere using an unmanned vehicle. ... > full story

Advance toward making biodegradable plastics from waste chicken feathers (April 1, 2011) -- In a scientific advance literally plucked from the waste heap, scientists have described a key step toward using the billions of pounds of waste chicken feathers produced each year to make one of the more important kinds of plastic. ... > full story

First non-trivial atom circuit: Progress toward an atom SQUID (March 31, 2011) -- Researchers have created the first non-trivial "atom circuit," a donut-shaped loop of ultracold gas atoms circulating in a current analogous to a ring of electrons in a superconducting wire. ... > full story

Astronomers take a look inside red giant stars (March 31, 2011) -- Astronomers have used data from NASA's Kepler spacecraft to see into the core of red giant stars. The scientists said the discovery will help astronomers learn more about red giants. Our sun will evolve into a red giant in about 5 billion years. ... > full story

Blood simple circuitry for cyborgs (March 31, 2011) -- Could electronic components made from human blood be the key to creating cyborg interfaces? Circuitry that links human tissues and nerve cells directly to an electronic device, such as a robotic limb or artificial eye might one day be possible thanks to the development of biological components. ... > full story

Engineer studies how to reduce impact of power tools vibrations (March 31, 2011) -- The study of work-vibrations exposure is a relatively new in North America, although it has been a subject of significance in Europe. ... > full story

Mysterious 'ribbon' of energy and particles that wrap around solar system's heliosphere isolated (March 31, 2011) -- Scientists have isolated and resolved the mysterious "ribbon" of energy and particles discovered in the heliosphere -- the huge bubble that surrounds our solar system and protects us from galactic cosmic rays. ... > full story

Astrophysicist: White dwarfs could be fertile ground for other Earths (March 31, 2011) -- Hundreds of planets have been discovered outside the solar system in the last decade. Now an astrophysicist is suggesting that the best place to look for planets that could support life is around dying stars called white dwarfs. ... > full story

Gesture-controlled microscope developed by Finnish researchers (March 31, 2011) -- Researchers in Finland have created a hand-and-finger gesture-controlled microscope. The method is a combination of two technologies: web-based virtual microscopy and a giant-size multitouch display. ... > full story

Fast-recharge, lithium-ion battery could be perfect for electric cars (March 31, 2011) -- The next-generation battery, like next-generation TV, may be 3-D, scientists say. They have described a new lithium-ion battery, already available in a prototype version, with a three-dimensional interior architecture that could be perfect for the electric cars now appearing in auto dealer showrooms. ... > full story

Seeing below the surface: Engineers devise a new way to inspect advanced materials used to build airplanes (March 31, 2011) -- Many airplane manufacturers have started building planes from advanced composite materials, which consist of high-strength fibers, such as carbon or glass, embedded in a plastic or metal matrix. Such materials are stronger and more lightweight than aluminum, but they are also more difficult to inspect for damage. A professor of aeronautics and astronautics has devised a new way to detect that internal damage, using a simple handheld device and heat-sensitive camera. ... > full story

Open-source software designed to minimize synthetic biology risks (March 31, 2011) -- A software package designed to minimize the potential risks of synthetic biology for the nation's defense and security is now available to the gene synthesis industry and synthetic biology community in an open-source format. ... > full story

'Spincasting' holds promise for creation of nanoparticle thin films (March 31, 2011) -- Researchers have investigated the viability of a technique called "spincasting" for creating thin films of nanoparticles on an underlying substrate -- an important step in the creation of materials with a variety of uses, from optics to electronics. ... > full story

Computerized systems reduce psychiatric drug errors, research suggests (March 31, 2011) -- Coupling an electronic prescription drug ordering system with a computerized method for reporting adverse events can dramatically reduce the number of medication errors in a hospital's psychiatric unit, new research suggests. ... > full story

Test after eye surgery: New halometer tests alterations in night vision (March 31, 2011) -- Researchers have developed a new tool to test night vision after eye surgery. ... > full story

Blocking carbon dioxide fixation in bacteria increases biofuel production (March 30, 2011) -- Reducing the ability of certain bacteria to fix carbon dioxide can greatly increase their production of hydrogen gas that can be used as a biofuel, researchers report. ... > full story

When is an asteroid not an asteroid? (March 30, 2011) -- On March 29, 1807, German astronomer Heinrich Wilhelm Olbers spotted Vesta as a pinprick of light in the sky. Two hundred and four years later, as NASA's Dawn spacecraft prepares to begin orbiting this intriguing world, scientists now know how special this world is, even if there has been some debate on how to classify it. ... > full story

54 beneficial compounds discovered in pure maple syrup (March 30, 2011) -- Researchers have discovered 34 new beneficial compounds in pure maple syrup and confirmed that 20 compounds discovered last year in preliminary research play a key role in human health. ... > full story

Physicists detect low-level radioactivity from Japan arriving in Seattle (March 30, 2011) -- Physicists are detecting radioactivity arriving in Seattle from Japanese nuclear reactors damaged in a tsunami following a mammoth earthquake, but the levels are far below what would pose a threat to human health. ... > full story

River water and salty ocean water used to generate electricity (March 30, 2011) -- Researchers have developed a rechargeable battery that uses freshwater and seawater to create electricity. Aided by nanotechnology, the battery employs the difference in salinity between fresh and saltwater to generate a current. A power station might be built wherever a river flows into the ocean. ... > full story

Antibiotics wrapped in nanofibers turn resistant disease-producing bacteria into ghosts (March 30, 2011) -- Encapsulating antibiotics inside nanofibers, like a mummy inside a sarcophagus, gives them the amazing ability to destroy drug-resistant bacteria so completely that scientists described the remains as mere "ghosts," according to a new report. ... > full story

MESSENGER sends back first image of Mercury from orbit (March 30, 2011) -- NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft has captured a historic image of the planet Mercury. The image is the first ever obtained from a spacecraft in orbit about the Solar System's innermost planet. Over the subsequent six hours, MESSENGER acquired an additional 363 images before downlinking some of the data to Earth. The MESSENGER team is currently looking over the newly returned data, which are still continuing to come down. ... > full story

Next-generation device developed to track world's air quality (March 30, 2011) -- A new air-quality measuring instrument that is more economical, more portable and more accurate than older technologies has just been developed. ... > full story

New media and eating habits: Computer has replaced the kitchen table as focal point of meals for college students (March 30, 2011) -- A new study has analyzed how new-media technology, including the Internet and smartphones, are changing college students' eating habits and their relationship to food. Findings indicate that individuals are more likely to have meals while sitting at the computer than at the kitchen table, and that they use social media as the main avenue to obtain recipe and nutritional information. ... > full story

Catching cancer with carbon nanotubes: New device to test blood can spot cancer cells, HIV on the fly (March 30, 2011) -- A bioengineer and an aeronautical engineer have together created a new device that can detect single cancer cells in a blood sample, potentially allowing doctors to quickly determine whether cancer has spread from its original site. ... > full story

'Bacterial dirigibles' emerge as next-generation disease fighters (March 30, 2011) -- Scientists have developed bacteria that serve as mobile pharmaceutical factories, both producing disease-fighting substances and delivering the potentially life-saving cargo to diseased areas of the body. They reported on this new candidate for treating diseases ranging from food poisoning to cancer -- termed "bacterial dirigibles." ... > full story

Waste ash from coal could save billions in repairing US bridges and roads (March 30, 2011) -- Coating concrete destined to rebuild America's crumbling bridges and roadways with some of the millions of tons of ash left over from burning coal could extend the life of those structures by decades, saving billions of dollars of taxpayer money, scientists report. A new coating material for concrete made from flyash is hundreds of times more durable than existing coatings and costs only half as much. ... > full story

Household bleach can decontaminate food prep surfaces in ricin bioterrorist attack (March 30, 2011) -- Help for a bioterrorist attack involving ricin, one of the most likely toxic agents, may be as close at hand as the laundry shelf, according to a new report. It concluded that ordinary household bleach appears to be an effective, low-cost, and widely available way to decontaminate food preparation surfaces in homes, restaurants, and processing plants that are tainted with ricin. ... > full story

Heavy metals open path to high temperature nanomagnets (March 30, 2011) -- A chemistry student has discovered a path to making molecular magnets work at exceptionally high temperatures. The solution? Build magnets using just a few atoms of heavy non-iron metals. ... > full story

Imaging the paintings under the paintings of the Old Masters (March 30, 2011) -- Gaze upon Rembrandt's "The Night Watch," or one of the great Dutch master's famous self-portraits. Scientists have taken art appreciation a step further and have now developed a technique to see the paintings under the paintings of Rembrandt, Caravaggio, Rubens, and other 17th Century Old Master painters. ... > full story

Deciphering hidden code reveals brain activity (March 29, 2011) -- By combining sophisticated mathematical techniques more commonly used by spies instead of scientists with the power and versatility of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), a neurologist has developed a new approach for studying the inner workings of the brain. A hidden pattern is encoded in the seemingly random order of things presented to a human subject, which the brain reveals when observed with fMRI. ... > full story

Key plant traits yield more sugar for biofuels (March 29, 2011) -- New clues about plant structure are helping researchers narrow down a large collection of poplar tree candidates and identify winners for future use in biofuel production. ... > full story

Some ingredients in 'green' products come from petroleum rather than natural sources (March 29, 2011) -- With more and more environmentally conscious consumers choosing "green" products, scientists have now reported that the first reality check has revealed that the ingredients in those product may come from a surprising source -- petroleum, rather than natural plant-based sources. ... > full story

New 'nanodrug' breaks down barriers to attack breast cancer cells from the inside out (March 29, 2011) -- Unlike other drugs that target cancer cells from the outside with minimal effect, this "transport vehicle" carries multiple drugs that spare healthy cells, accumulate in tumor cells and strike cancer-specific molecular targets inside. ... > full story

Researchers make first perovskite-based superlens for the infrared (March 29, 2011) -- Researchers have fabricated a superlens from perovskite oxides that are ideal for capturing light in the mid-infrared range, opening the door to highly sensitive biomedical detection and imaging. It may also be possible to turn the superlensing effect on/off, opening the door to highly dense data writing and storage. ... > full story

New device uses submarine technology to diagnose stroke quickly (March 29, 2011) -- A medical device developed by retired US Navy sonar experts, using submarine technology, is a new paradigm for the detection, diagnosis and monitoring of stroke, says a team of interventional radiologists. ... > full story

Chemists' biosensor may improve food, water safety and cancer detection (March 29, 2011) -- A new nanotechnology-based biosensor under development may allow early detection of both cancer cells and pathogens, leading to increased food safety and reduced health risks. ... > full story

Next-generation chemical mapping on the nanoscale (March 29, 2011) -- Scientists have pioneered a new chemical mapping method that provides unprecedented insight into materials at the nanoscale. These new maps will guide researchers in deciphering molecular chemistry and interactions that are critical for artificial photosynthesis, biofuels production and light-harvesting applications such as solar cells. ... > full story

From crankcase to gas tank: New microwave method converts used motor oil into fuel (March 29, 2011) -- That dirty motor oil that comes out of your car or truck engine during oil changes could end up in your fuel tank, according to a new report. It described development of a new process for recycling waste crankcase oil into gasoline-like fuel -- the first, they said, that uses microwaves and has "excellent potential" for going into commercial use. ... > full story

Researchers close in on technology for making renewable petroleum (March 29, 2011) -- Researchers are a key step closer to making renewable petroleum fuels using bacteria, sunlight and carbon dioxide. ... > full story

Predicting serious drug side effects before they occur (March 29, 2011) -- All medications have side-effects from common aspirin to herbal remedies and from standard anticancer drugs to experimental immunosuppressants. However, predicting important side effects, serious adverse drug reactions, ADRs, is with current understanding almost impossible. However, a neural network technology trained with past data could give drug companies and healthcare workers a new tool to spot the potential for ADRs with any given medication. ... > full story

First applications of Europe's Galileo satellite nagivation system showcased (March 29, 2011) -- The first satellites of the the European navigation system Galileo are to be in position in the year 2012 and start their work. Fraunhofer Galileo Labs are showcasing the first applications that use new, improved possibilities provided by satellite navigation. ... > full story

First practical nanogenerator produces electricity with pinch of the fingers (March 29, 2011) -- After six years of intensive effort, scientists are reporting development of the first commercially viable nanogenerator, a flexible chip that can use body movements -- a finger pinch now en route to a pulse beat in the future -- to generate electricity. They described boosting the device's power output by thousands times and its voltage by 150 times to finally move it out of the lab and toward everyday life. ... > full story

Chemists play important roles as advisers for science-based television shows, movies (March 28, 2011) -- Producers and writers for several popular medical and science fiction television shows like House, Breaking Bad, and Zula Patrol -- major sources of information about science and technology for millions of people -- say they do strive for scientific accuracy. ... > full story

Cancer risk of backscatter airport scanners is low, analysis suggests (March 28, 2011) -- Calculations by researchers estimate that the cancer risk associated with one type of airport security scanners is low based on the amount of radiation these devices emit, as long as they are operated and function correctly. ... > full story

Twinkle, twinkle, quantum dot: New particles can change colors and tag molecules (March 28, 2011) -- Engineers have invented a new kind of nano-particle that shines in different colors to tag molecules in biomedical tests. These tiny plastic nano-particles are stuffed with even tinier bits of electronics called quantum dots. Like little traffic lights, the particles glow brightly in red, yellow, or green, so researchers can easily track molecules under a microscope. ... > full story

New trash-to-treasure process turns landfill nuisance into plastic (March 28, 2011) -- With billions of pounds of meat and bone meal going to waste in landfills after a government ban on its use in cattle feed, scientists have described development of a process for using that so-called meat and bone meal to make partially biodegradable plastic that does not require raw materials made from oil or natural gas. ... > full story

Blocking ship-borne bioinvaders before they dock (March 28, 2011) -- The global economy depends on marine transportation. But in addition to cargo, the world's 50,000-plus commercial ships carry tiny stowaways that can cause huge problems for the environment and economy. A new model will facilitate accurate screening of vessels for dangerous species before they unload. ... > full story

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