Παρασκευή, 25 Απριλίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News


Cosmic illusion revealed: Gravitational lens magnifies supernova

Posted: 24 Apr 2014 11:36 AM PDT

Astronomers have announced the discovery of a galaxy that magnified a background, Type Ia supernova thirty-fold through gravitational lensing. This first example of strong gravitational lensing of a supernova confirms the team's previous explanation for the unusual properties of this supernova.

Breakthrough harnesses light for controlled chemical reaction

Posted: 24 Apr 2014 11:36 AM PDT

One catalyst supplies electrons, other one controls position of raw material. Reactions are powered by visible light, not UV. Technique could allow creation of novel molecules for pharmaceuticals.

Astronomical forensics uncover planetary disks in NASA's Hubble archive

Posted: 24 Apr 2014 11:09 AM PDT

Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have applied a new image processing technique to obtain near-infrared scattered light photos of five disks observed around young stars in the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes database. These disks are telltale evidence for newly formed planets.

'Double-duty' electrolyte enables new chemistry for longer-lived batteries

Posted: 24 Apr 2014 08:33 AM PDT

Researchers have developed a new and unconventional battery chemistry aimed at producing batteries that last longer than previously thought possible. Researchers have challenged a long-held assumption that a battery's three main components -- the positive cathode, negative anode and ion-conducting electrolyte -- can play only one role in the device.

Spiders in space weave a web of scientific inspiration for Spider-Man fans

Posted: 24 Apr 2014 08:30 AM PDT

While spiders were busy spinning webs in space, researchers on Earth weaved their knowledge of this activity into educational materials to inspire and motivate students. Now, this free, Web-based guide is being re-released through Scholastic and Sony Pictures as curriculum for educators to leap on the excitement surrounding the release of the film, "The Amazing Spider-Man 2."

Equipped with new sensors, Morpheus preps to tackle landing on its own

Posted: 24 Apr 2014 08:27 AM PDT

A test flight later this week will challenge a set of sensors to map out a 65-yard square of boulder-sized hazards and pick out a safe place to land. Mounted to an uncrewed prototype lander called Morpheus that flies autonomously several hundred feet above the ground, the sensor system will have 10 seconds to do its work: six seconds really, as it will take four seconds to map the area before choosing a landing site. The sensor system is a 400-pound set of computers and three instruments called ALHAT, short for Autonomous Landing and Hazard Avoidance Technology.

NASA aeronautics set to premiere high-flying sequel

Posted: 24 Apr 2014 08:22 AM PDT

For the second time in as many years, NASA researchers beginning in early May will take to the skies with a DC-8 and other aircraft to conduct a series of flight tests designed to study the effects on emissions and contrail formation of burning alternative fuels in jet engines. This year's Alternative Fuel Effects on Contrails and Cruise Emissions flight tests, known as ACCESS II for short, will feature new science instruments and new flight profiles to follow.

A step up for NASA’s robonaut: Ready for climbing legs

Posted: 24 Apr 2014 08:20 AM PDT

Getting your "space legs" in Earth orbit has taken on new meaning for NASA's pioneering Robonaut program. Thanks to a successful launch of the SpaceX-3 flight of the Falcon 9/Dragon capsule on Friday, April 18, the lower limbs for Robonaut 2 (R2) are aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Safely tucked inside the Dragon resupply vehicle, R2's legs are to be attached by a station crew member to Robonaut's torso already on the orbiting outpost.

NASA tests Orion’s parachute performance over Arizona while work progresses in Florida

Posted: 24 Apr 2014 08:18 AM PDT

The team designing the parachute system for NASA's Orion spacecraft has demonstrated almost every parachute failure they could imagine. But on April 23, they tested how the system would perform if the failure wasn't in the parachutes.

Your T-shirt's ringing: Printable tiny flexible cell phones for clothes?

Posted: 24 Apr 2014 07:28 AM PDT

A new version of 'spaser' technology being investigated could mean that mobile phones become so small, efficient, and flexible they could be printed on clothing. A spaser is effectively a nanoscale laser or nanolaser. It emits a beam of light through the vibration of free electrons, rather than the space-consuming electromagnetic wave emission process of a traditional laser.

Take notes by hand for better long-term comprehension

Posted: 24 Apr 2014 07:28 AM PDT

Dust off those Bic ballpoints and college-ruled notebooks: research shows that taking notes by hand is better than taking notes on a laptop for remembering conceptual information over the long term. "Our new findings suggest that even when laptops are used as intended -- and not for buying things on Amazon during class -- they may still be harming academic performance," says a psychological scientist involved in the study.

Using antineutrinos to monitor nuclear reactors

Posted: 24 Apr 2014 07:28 AM PDT

When monitoring nuclear reactors, the International Atomic Energy Agency has to rely on input given by the operators. In the future, antineutrino detectors may provide an additional option for monitoring. However, heretofore the cumulative antineutrino spectrum of uranium 238 fission products was missing. Physicists have now closed this gap using fast neutrons.

Bake your own droplet lens: Cheap, high-quality lenses made from droplets of transparent silicone

Posted: 24 Apr 2014 07:28 AM PDT

Researchers have created a new type of lens that costs less than a penny to make, and can be used in a 3-D printed attachment that turns a Smartphone into a dermascope, a tool to diagnose skin diseases like melanoma. Normal dermascopes can cost $500 or more, but this version costs a mere $2 and is slated to be commercially available in just a few months.

New ultrasound device may add in detecting risk for heart attack, stroke

Posted: 24 Apr 2014 07:26 AM PDT

A new ultrasound device that could help identify arterial plaque that is at high risk of breaking off and causing heart attack or stroke has been developed by researchers. The prototype device has performed well in laboratory testing, but the researchers say they are continuing to optimize the technology. They hope to launch pre-clinical studies in the near future.

When things get glassy, molecules go fractal

Posted: 24 Apr 2014 07:24 AM PDT

School children learn the difference between liquids and gases, but centuries of scholarship have failed to produce consensus about how to categorize glass. Now, combining theory and numerical simulations, researchers have resolved an enduring question in the theory of glasses, showing that their energy landscapes are far rougher than previously believed. The new model shows that molecules in glassy materials settle into a fractal hierarchy of states.

Critical vulnerabilities in TLS implementation for Java

Posted: 24 Apr 2014 07:23 AM PDT

In January and April 2014, Oracle has released critical Java software security updates. They resolve vulnerabilities that affected the "Java Secure Socket Extension" (JSSE), a software library implementing the "Transport Layer Security" protocol (TLS). TLS is used to encrypt sensitive information transferred between browsers and web servers, such as passwords and credit card data, for example.

How do liquid foams completely block sound?

Posted: 24 Apr 2014 07:22 AM PDT

Liquid foams have a remarkable property: they completely block the transmission of sound over a wide range of frequencies. Physicists have studied how sound is attenuated in liquid foams. Their findings open the way to the development of tools called acoustic probes that could be used to monitor the quality of foams used in industry, especially in the mining and petroleum sectors.

Asteroids made easy: 'Patch of asteroid' being built inside a satellite

Posted: 24 Apr 2014 07:21 AM PDT

A dozen astronauts have walked on the moon, and several rovers have been piloted on Mars, giving us a good understanding of these off-world environments. But when it comes to asteroids, scientists enter uncharted territory. Landing on an asteroid is notoriously difficult. Scientists are now looking to mitigate risk involved in landing on an asteroid by building a "patch of asteroid" inside of a small, spinning satellite.

It's a bubble, but not as we know it

Posted: 23 Apr 2014 07:16 PM PDT

Multi-sensory technology that creates soap bubbles, which can have images projected onto them or when the bubbles are burst release a scent, is being unveiled at an international conference. The research could be used in areas such as gaming or education and encourage a new way of thinking about multi-sensory technologies.

'Off-the-shelf' equipment used to digitize insects in 3-D: Model insects useful for studying, sharing specimens

Posted: 23 Apr 2014 07:14 PM PDT

Scientists have developed a cost-effective, off-the-shelf system to obtain natural-color 3-D models of insects. Scientists studying insects rely on collected specimens that are often shared between scientists through written descriptions, diagrams, and images. These 2D tools are important in understanding and sharing specimens, but they often lack the precise detail of the actual 3D specimen. The authors of this study, interested in understanding the feasibility of digitizing insects for research purposes, created a cost-effective prototype to produce 3D naturally colored digital models of medium-to-large insects (3 to 30mm in length), using off-the-shelf equipment and software.

New shape discovered using rubber bands

Posted: 23 Apr 2014 07:12 PM PDT

While setting out to fabricate new springs to support a cephalopod-inspired imaging project, a group of researchers stumbled upon a surprising discovery: the hemihelix, a shape rarely seen in nature. This made the researchers wonder: Were the three-dimensional structures they observed randomly occurring, or are there specific factors that control their formation? The scientists answered that question by performing experiments in which they stretched, joined, and then released rubber strips.

Wind turbine movement can generate lightning

Posted: 23 Apr 2014 06:47 AM PDT

Under favorable atmospheric conditions any elevated structure can generate upward lightning flashes. Even aircraft can do so —- in fact, height and movement are two of the factors that contribute to this phenomenon. The tips of wind turbine blades move at speeds of several tens of meters per second. However, no one had previously demonstrated the relationship between this movement and the triggering of electrical discharges.

Tracking oxygen in the body: MRI sensor could aid cancer diagnosis and treatment

Posted: 23 Apr 2014 06:45 AM PDT

An MRI sensor that enables long-term monitoring of oxygen levels could aid cancer diagnosis and treatment, developers say. Measuring tumors' oxygen levels could help doctors make decisions about treatments, but there's currently no reliable, noninvasive way to make such measurements. However, a new sensor could change that: A research team has invented an injectable device that reveals oxygen levels over several weeks and can be read with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

New heart assist pump allows minimally invasive approach

Posted: 22 Apr 2014 05:20 PM PDT

Sometimes smaller is better. This is especially true of left ventricular assist devices, the mechanically operated heart pumps that are implanted in heart failure patients to bridge them to transplantation. The HVAD Pump is a miniaturized, full output device designed to be implanted in the pericardial space. It sits inside the chest and connects directly to the heart. No abdominal dissection is required in the implant procedure.

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