Τρίτη, 22 Απριλίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News


God of the Gap: Pan keeps Encke gap open in Saturn's rings

Posted: 21 Apr 2014 07:37 AM PDT

Saturn's moon Pan, named for the Greek god of shepherds, rules over quite a different domain: the Encke gap in Saturn's rings. Pan keeps the Encke gap open through its gravitational influence on the ring particles nearby.

Quantum turbulence: New key to unlocking the mysteries of physics?

Posted: 21 Apr 2014 06:39 AM PDT

The recent discovery of the Higgs boson has confirmed theories about the origin of mass and, with it, offered the potential to explain other scientific mysteries. But, scientists are continually studying other, less-understood forces that may also shed light on matters not yet uncovered. Among these is quantum turbulence.

Cardiothoracic surgeon launches research into space

Posted: 21 Apr 2014 06:37 AM PDT

When an unmanned supply mission launched into space today, bound for the International Space Station, it meant something extraordinary to Dr. Peter Lee, a cardiothoracic surgeon. That's because his research experiment is on board.

New material coating technology mimics nature's lotus effect

Posted: 21 Apr 2014 06:37 AM PDT

Ever stop to consider why lotus plant leaves always look clean? The hydrophobic -- water repelling -- characteristic of the leaf, termed the "Lotus effect," helps the plant survive in muddy swamps, repelling dirt and producing beautiful flowers. Of late, engineers have been paying more and more attention to nature's efficiencies, such as the Lotus effect, and studying its behavior in order to make advances in technology. As one example, learning more about swarming schools of fish is aiding in the development of unmanned underwater vehicles. Other researchers are observing the extraordinary navigational abilities of bats that might lead to new ways to reconfigure aviation highways in the skies.

Exoplanets soon to gleam in the eye of NESSI

Posted: 21 Apr 2014 06:05 AM PDT

The New Mexico Exoplanet Spectroscopic Survey Instrument (NESSI) will soon get its first "taste" of exoplanets, helping astronomers decipher their chemical composition. Exoplanets are planets that orbit stars beyond our sun. NESSI got its first peek at the sky on April 3, 2014. It looked at Pollux, a star in the Gemini constellation, and Arcturus, in the Boötes constellation, confirming that all modes of the instrument are working.

Dragon delivers science, station supplies

Posted: 21 Apr 2014 06:03 AM PDT

The Expedition 39 crew welcomed nearly two and a half tons of supplies and scientific payloads to the International Space Station with the arrival of the third SpaceX Dragon commercial cargo spacecraft Sunday.

How a security officer's thought process influences airport security: Study offers insight

Posted: 21 Apr 2014 04:41 AM PDT

A recent study offers insight into how a federal transportation security officer's thought process can influence decisions made during airport baggage screening, findings that are helping the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) improve the performance of its security officers.

Climate benefit of biofuels from corn residue: Researchers cast doubt

Posted: 20 Apr 2014 10:18 AM PDT

Biofuels made from corn stover -- stalks, leaves and cobs that remain after harvest -- appear to emit more carbon dioxide over their life cycle than federal standards allow, according to new research. The findings cast doubt on whether corn residue can be used to meet federal mandates to ramp up ethanol production and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Bulletproof nuclei? Stem cells exhibit unusual absorption property

Posted: 20 Apr 2014 10:18 AM PDT

Stem cells -- the body's master cells -- demonstrate a bizarre property never before seen at a cellular level, according to a study. The property -- known as auxeticity -- is one which may have application as wide-ranging as soundproofing, super-absorbent sponges and bulletproof vests. Most materials when stretched will contract. The opposite is also true: squeeze a material and it will expand. However, material scientists have begun to explore auxeticity, an unusual property which has the opposite effect -- squeeze it and it will contract, stretch it and it will expand. This means that auxetic materials act as excellent shock absorbers or sponges, a fact that is being explored for various uses.

Computational method dramatically speeds up estimates of gene expression

Posted: 20 Apr 2014 10:18 AM PDT

With gene expression analysis growing in importance for both basic researchers and medical practitioners, researchers have developed a new computational method that dramatically speeds up estimates of gene activity from RNA sequencing data. With the new method, dubbed Sailfish after the famously speedy fish, estimates of gene expression that previously took many hours can be completed in a few minutes, with accuracy that equals or exceeds previous methods.

People think about their health early in the week, according to Google searches

Posted: 18 Apr 2014 11:11 AM PDT

A new study analyzing weekly patterns in health-related Google searches reveals a recurring pattern that could be leveraged to improve public health strategies. Investigators analyzed 'healthy' Google searches originating in the US from 2005 to 2012 and found that on average, searches for health topics were 30 percent more frequent at the beginning of the week than on days later in the week.

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