Rabu, 06 April 2011

ScienceDaily Technology Headlines

for Wednesday, April 6, 2011

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Electron microscopy: New type of genetic tag illuminates life in never-before-seen detail (April 6, 2011) -- By modifying a protein from a plant that is much favored by science, researchers have created a new type of genetic tag visible under an electron microscope, illuminating life in never-before-seen detail. ... > full story

Scientists develop new technology for stroke rehabilitation (April 6, 2011) -- Devices which could be used to rehabilitate the arms and hands of people who have experienced a stroke have been developed by researchers in the UK. ... > full story

Toward a solution to nerve agent exposure: Chemist uses supercomputers to test reagents for new treatments (April 5, 2011) -- A chemist is harnessing the power of supercomputing systems to help develop a new drug that will regenerate a critical enzyme in the human body that "ages" after a person is exposed to deadly organophosphorus nerve agents. ... > full story

Cost-effective manure management, thanks to computer-simulated farms (April 5, 2011) -- Scientists have used computer-simulated farms with the support of field research to compare the environmental impact and economic efficacy of using alternative manure application methods in farming systems. ... > full story

Economics, physics are roadblocks for mass-scale algae biodiesel production, study finds (April 5, 2011) -- Companies looking to engineer an eco-friendly diesel fuel have more red lights in their path. According to researchers, making petroleum diesel completely green would not only bend the laws of physics, it would cost too much green. ... > full story

Invisibility cloaks and more: Force of acoustical waves tapped for metamaterials (April 5, 2011) -- A very simple bench-top technique that uses the force of acoustical waves to create a variety of 3-D structures will benefit the rapidly expanding field of metamaterials and their myriad applications -- including "invisibility cloaks." ... > full story

History of nuclear power needs to be addressed, expert says (April 5, 2011) -- The long-standing conflicts over nuclear power and the risks of radiation exposure are nothing new -- in fact, the debate over the damaged Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant in Japan are similar to arguments happening between scientists, governmental agencies and the public since 1945, according to an expert on the history of science. ... > full story

Scientists find new type of mineral in historic meteorite (April 5, 2011) -- Researchers have found a new mineral named "Wassonite" in one of the most historically significant meteorites recovered in Antarctica in December 1969. ... > full story

Nanoparticles improve solar collection efficiency (April 5, 2011) -- Using minute graphite particles 1,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair, mechanical engineers hope to boost the efficiency -- and profitability -- of solar power plants. ... > full story

Device enables computer to identify whether user is male or female (April 5, 2011) -- Researchers in Spain have developed a system that analyses a video signal in real time and calculates the gender of the faces pictured in the images. This way, a computer can determine whether the faces pictured in the images or videos belong to a man or a woman. ... > full story

Air France wreckage located nearly 2.5 miles below surface of Atlantic Ocean (April 5, 2011) -- A search team has located the wreckage of Air France Flight 447 some 3,900 meters, or nearly 2.5 miles, below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean off Brazil's northeastern coast. ... > full story

Vibrant colors in vertical silicon nanowires: Surprising phenomenon may lead to greater sensitivity in image sensor devices (April 5, 2011) -- Engineers may soon be singing, "I'm going to wash that gray right out of my nanowires," thanks to a colorful discovery by a team of researchers. In contrast to the somber gray hue of silicon wafers, the scientists demonstrated that individual, vertical silicon nanowires can shine in all colors of the spectrum. ... > full story

Self-cooling observed in graphene elctronics (April 5, 2011) -- With the first observation of thermoelectric effects at graphene contacts, researchers have found that graphene transistors have a nanoscale cooling effect that reduces their temperature. Using an AMF tip to measure temperature, they found that thermoelectric cooling effects can be stronger at graphene contacts than resistive heating, so graphene transistors are self-cooling. ... > full story

Oxygen sensor invention could benefit fisheries to breweries (April 5, 2011) -- Monitoring oxygen levels in water has applications for oil spills, fish farming, brewing beer and more -- and a researcher is poised to help supply that need. The concept of oxygen sensors isn't new. The challenge, however, has been manufacturing one that can withstand fluctuations in temperature, salinity, carbon dioxide, phosphates and biological wastes. Physicist Ruby Ghosh was able to overcome those obstacles as well as build one that provides real-time data and is relatively inexpensive. ... > full story

Mars in Spain: Subterranean springs in central pre-Pyrenees of Catalonia pose new questions for planetary geomorphology (April 5, 2011) -- A new study on the origin and evolution of peculiar morphologies created by ancient subterranean springs in the central pre-Pyrenees of Catalonia (Spain) pose new questions for planetary geomorphology research. Similar to small volcanoes, these formations until now had only been described in Australia and closely resemble gigantic forms found on Mars. The study may shed new light on the origin of these formations and the search for water on the Red Planet. ... > full story

Chemists produce first high-resolution RNA 'nano square' (April 4, 2011) -- Chemists have produced the first high resolution structure of a nano-scale square made from ribonucleic acid, or RNA. ... > full story

'In-depth' radar: Seeing what lies beneath the surface (April 4, 2011) -- Where do the water pipes and electric cables lie? Could valuable cultural artefacts be hidden here? And how high is the salt concentration on the road today? A georadar can reveal what lies below the surface, providing information that can be extremely useful to industry. A Norwegian researcher wants to evaluate how georadar could be utilized. ... > full story

The Art of Making Stars (April 4, 2011) -- It might look like an abstract painting, but this splash of colors is in fact a busy star-forming complex called Rho Ophiuchi. NASA's Wide-field Infrared Explorer, or WISE, captured the picturesque image of the region, which is one of the closest star-forming complexes to Earth. ... > full story

Formaldehyde: Poison could have set the stage for the origins of life (April 4, 2011) -- Formaldehyde, a poison and a common molecule throughout the universe, is likely the source of the solar system's organic carbon solids -- abundant in both comets and asteroids. Scientists have long speculated about the how organic, or carbon-containing, material became a part of the solar system's fabric. New research shows that these complex organic solids were likely made from formaldehyde in the primitive solar system. ... > full story

Twitter analysis provides stock predictions (April 4, 2011) -- Economists have developed a website that predicts individual stock trends. To this end, economists are using automatic text analysis methods to evaluate thousands of daily Twitter microblog messages, so-called "tweets". ... > full story

Physicists create tap-proof waves (April 4, 2011) -- Scientists in Austria have developed a method to steer waves on precisely defined trajectories, without any loss. This way, sound waves could be sent directly to a target, avoiding possible eavesdroppers. ... > full story

New type of particle accelerator beams its way to a world first (April 4, 2011) -- A new technology that promises a range of applications from treating cancer to powering safer nuclear reactors has reached another world first in its development. Scientists have successfully started up the pioneering EMMA accelerator, which is set to impact fundamental science and change the way such particle accelerators across the world are designed and built in the future. ... > full story

Researchers electrify polymerization (April 4, 2011) -- Scientists are using electricity from a battery to drive atom transfer radical polymerization, a widely used method of creating industrial plastics. The environmentally friendly approach represents a breakthrough in the level of control scientists can achieve over the ATRP process, which will allow for the creation of even more complex and specialized materials. ... > full story

Search for advanced materials aided by discovery of hidden symmetries in nature (April 4, 2011) -- A new way of understanding the structure of proteins, polymers, minerals, and engineered materials has been discovered. The discovery, a new type of symmetry in the structure of materials, greatly expands the possibilities for discovering or designing materials with desired properties. The research is expected to have broad relevance in many development efforts involving physical, chemical, biological, or engineering disciplines, including the search for advanced ferroelectric ferromagnet materials for next-generation ultrasound devices and computers. ... > full story

Microreactors: Small scale chemistry could lead to big improvements for biodegradable polymers (April 4, 2011) -- Using a small block of aluminum with a tiny groove carved in it, scientists are developing an improved "green chemistry" method for making biodegradable polymers. A prime example of the value of microfluidics, a technology more commonly associated with inkjet printers and medical diagnostics, to process modeling and development for industrial chemistry. ... > full story

Stellar nursery: The rose-red glow of star formation (April 4, 2011) -- The vivid red cloud in a new image from the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope is a region of glowing hydrogen surrounding the star cluster NGC 371. This stellar nursery lies in our neighboring galaxy, the Small Magellanic Cloud. ... > full story

Getting the point: Real-time monitoring of atomic-microscope probes adjusts for wear (April 4, 2011) -- Scientists have developed a way to measure the wear and degradation of the microscopic probes used to study nanoscale structures in situ and as it's happening. Their technique can both dramatically speed up and improve the accuracy of the most precise and delicate nanoscale measurements done with atomic force microscopy. ... > full story

A measurement first: 'Noise thermometry' system measures Boltzmann Constant (April 4, 2011) -- Researchers have for the first time used an apparatus that relies on the "noise" of jiggling electrons to make highly accurate measurements of the Boltzmann constant, an important value for many scientific calculations. The technique is simpler and more compact than other methods for measuring the constant and could advance international efforts to revamp the world's scientific measurement system. ... > full story

Research questions the educational possibilities of some TV and computer games (April 4, 2011) -- There is a considerable amount of interest among researchers, educationalists and from the games industry in the educational possibilities offered by video and computer games. Some of the arguments about this educational potential are about so called open-ended games, games where the players set their own goals or plans and chooses which way the game goes. Now research from Sweden reveals that as a mean to challenge pupils' ideas and values, then these open-ended games are not appropriate. ... > full story

Mobile with electricity (April 4, 2011) -- Electric cars are cleaner, quieter and more efficient than gasoline- or diesel-powered vehicles. Even so, they have not yet caught on. Now, however, a new era is beginning: the era of electric mobility. ... > full story

Smartphones: Delivering seamless, secure exchange of data across multiple platforms (April 4, 2011) -- Applications dominate today's smartphone market. In the future, internet-capable televisions, tablet and desktop PCs, and cars will all run apps, which can, for example, help plan and book a ski trip. To allow web applications run on four screens, the webinos project consortium creates a full open source code base. The tagerted technology will allow different devices and applications to work together, securely, seamlessly and interoperably. Most recentely, the consortium has summarized the first research results in four reports covering use cases, security, technical requirments and industry landscape. ... > full story

How do neurons in the retina encode what we 'see'? (April 3, 2011) -- The moment we open our eyes, we perceive the world with apparent ease. But the question of how neurons in the retina encode what we "see" has been a tricky one. A key obstacle to understanding how our brain functions is that its components -- neurons -- respond in highly nonlinear ways to complex stimuli, making stimulus-response relationships extremely difficult to discern. Now a team of physicists has developed a general mathematical framework that makes optimal use of limited measurements, bringing them a step closer to deciphering the "language of the brain." ... > full story

Next-generation computers: Advance in microchannel manufacturing opens new industry applications (April 3, 2011) -- Engineers have invented a new way to use surface-mount adhesives in the production of low-temperature, microchannel heat exchangers - an advance that will make this promising technology much less expensive for many commercial applications - including next-generation computers, lasers, consumer electronics, automobile cooling systems, fuel processors, miniature heat pumps and more. ... > full story

Optical transistor advance: Physicists rotate beams of light with semiconductor (April 2, 2011) -- Physicists have managed to control the rotation of light by means of a ultra thin semiconductor. The advance could potentially be used to create a transistor that works with light instead of electrical current. ... > full story

New nanomaterial can detect and neutralize explosives (April 2, 2011) -- Scientists have described the development and successful initial tests of a spray-on material that both detects and renders harmless the genre of terrorist explosives responsible for government restrictions on liquids that can be carried onboard airliners. It is an ink-like explosive detector/neutralizer. ... > full story

Novel nanowires boost fuel cell efficiency (April 1, 2011) -- Engineers have created a new fuel cell catalyst system using nanowires made of a novel material that boosts long-term performance by 2.4 times compared to today's technology. The nanowires are made of a metal alloy known as a bulk metallic glass and have high surface areas, thereby exposing more of the catalyst. They also maintain their activity longer than traditional fuel cell catalyst systems. ... > full story

World first: Calculations with 14 quantum bits (April 1, 2011) -- Quantum physicists have now achieved controlled entanglement of 14 quantum bits (qubits) and, thus, realized the largest quantum register that has ever been produced. With this experiment the scientists have not only come closer to the realization of a quantum computer but they also show surprising results for the quantum mechanical phenomenon of entanglement. ... > full story

Sugar-grain sized meteorites rocked the climates of early Earth and Mars, according to new study (April 1, 2011) -- Bombardments of 'micro-meteorites' on Earth and Mars four billion years ago may have caused the planets' climates to cool dramatically, hampering their ability to support life, according to new research. ... > full story

Getting to know the strong force: One of the four fundamental forces of the universe (April 1, 2011) -- In new work, high-energy physicists have observed two long-sought quantum states in the bottomonium family of sub-atomic particles. The result will help researchers better understand one of the four fundamental forces of the universe -- the strong force -- that helps govern the interactions of matter. ... > full story

Mysteries of Jupiter and Saturn rings: Forensic sleuthing ties ring ripples to impacts (April 1, 2011) -- Like forensic scientists examining fingerprints at a cosmic crime scene, scientists working with data from NASA's Cassini, Galileo and New Horizons missions have traced telltale ripples in the rings of Saturn and Jupiter back to collisions with cometary fragments dating back more than 10 years ago. ... > full story

Professor uses math analytics to project 2011 Major League Baseball winners (April 1, 2011) -- For over a decade, a math professor has applied mathematical analysis to compute winning games for each Major League Baseball Team. ... > full story

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

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