Τρίτη, 29 Απριλίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

Scientists create circuit board modeled on the human brain

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 10:40 AM PDT

Scientists have developed faster, more energy-efficient microchips based on the human brain -- 9,000 times faster and using significantly less power than a typical PC. This offers greater possibilities for advances in robotics and a new way of understanding the brain. For instance, a chip as fast and efficient as the human brain could drive prosthetic limbs with the speed and complexity of our own actions.

Neurologists report on promise of statins, estrogen, telemedicine in Parkinson's

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:14 AM PDT

New approaches to understanding, treating and potentially staving off Parkinson's disease are the focus of new research findings. Studies show that factors such as estrogen exposure and statin use have an impact on the onset of Parkinson's disease. And a new look at telemedicine demonstrates feasibility in providing care for Parkinson's patients using remote video visits to expand access and center care around the needs of Parkinson's patients.

Rare-earth-like magnetic properties in iron

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:14 AM PDT

Scientists have observed magnetic properties typically associated with those observed in rare-earth elements in iron. These properties are observed in a new iron based compound that does not contain rare earth elements, when the iron atom is positioned between two nitrogen atoms. The discovery opens the possibility of using iron to provide both the magnetism and permanence in high-strength permanent magnets, like those used in direct-drive wind turbines or electric motors in hybrid cars.

Smartphone sensors leave trackable fingerprints

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:14 AM PDT

Research has demonstrated that smartphone sensors -- not just the ones meant to track your location -- can leave real-time fingerprints unique to each individual device.

Flexible battery, no lithium required: Lab creates thin-film battery for portable, wearable electronics

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:13 AM PDT

Scientists have created a thin, flexible film that combines the best qualities of batteries and supercapacitors. Chemists developed a flexible material with nanoporous nickel-fluoride electrodes layered around a solid electrolyte to deliver battery-like supercapacitor performance that combines the best qualities of a high-energy battery and a high-powered supercapacitor without the lithium found in commercial batteries today.

3-D printing technique for making cuddly stuff: Printer uses needle to turn layers of wool yarn into loose felt

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:13 AM PDT

A new type of 3D printer can turn wool and wool blend yarns into fabric objects that people enjoy touching. The device looks something like a cross between a 3D printer and a sewing machine and produces 3D objects made of a form of loose felt.

Beyond graphene: Controlling properties of 2-D materials

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:12 AM PDT

Researchers have shown how they can control the properties of stacks of two-dimensional materials, opening up opportunities for new, previously-unimagined electronic devices. The next step is to combine several of these crystals in a 3D stack. This way, one can create 'heterostructures' with novel functionalities -- capable of delivering applications as yet beyond the imagination of scientists and commercial partners.

Paper-thin tablets and TV screens? How to create nanowires only three atoms wide with an electron beam

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:06 AM PDT

Scientists have used a focused beam of electrons to create some of the smallest nanowires ever made. The discovery gives a boost to efforts aimed at creating electrical circuits on mono-layered materials, raising the possibility of flexible, paper-thin tablets and television displays.

Weekly emails to hospital C-suite halt two decades of superbug outbreak

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 06:42 AM PDT

Efforts to reduce and stop the spread of infections caused by a highly resistant organism, carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii, at a large hospital proved ineffective until they added another weapon: weekly emails from the medical director of Infection Control to hospital leadership, according to a study. Prior to this, endemic rates of A. baumannii had been present at the institution for nearly two decades.

System detects global trends in social networks two months in advance

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 06:42 AM PDT

A new method of monitoring identifies what information will be relevant on social networks up to two months in advance. This may help predict social movements, consumer reactions or possible outbreaks of epidemics, according to a study. The system works using just 50,000 Twitter accounts, predicting what will "go viral" across the entire Internet. It can be used in real time, about different topics, in different languages and geographical areas, thus allowing for different contexts to be covered.

Collagen for the knee: Gel-like implant invented

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 04:46 AM PDT

Millions of people suffer cartilage damage to the knee every year. Cartilage injuries are not only painful; they can lead to osteoarthritis decades later. In the course of the disease, the protective shock absorbing cartilage that covers the bone within the joint slowly is removed until the bone is finally exposed, typically requiring an artificial joint replacement. A biotechnology company has developed a one-step minimally-invasive surgical procedure for the treatment of cartilage defects: a gel-like implant.

Green clouds on the horizon for computing

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 04:46 AM PDT

Small businesses could save up to 62% of energy costs by switching to a cloud computing system for their invoicing, according to research. The approach of integrating cloud computing and a more environmentally-aware approach to information technology also cuts carbon emissions, the team reports, and could work with many other services.

New record operation temperature for quantum-cascade lasers

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 04:44 AM PDT

For the observation of cold matter in the interstellar medium, astronomers need instruments for the detection of terahertz radiation. Specific high-resolution instruments are based on terahertz quantum-cascade lasers, but operate only at cryogenic temperatures. Physicists have now developed a terahertz quantum-cascade laser, which operates at significantly higher temperatures than previously achieved. The new development allows for the use of more compact cooling systems — also reducing the obstacles for many other applications.

Discovery of novel gold-based superconductor

Posted: 27 Apr 2014 04:07 PM PDT

A novel superconductor, SrAuSi3, which contains gold as a principal constituent element has been synthesized by researchers. Up until now, research on superconductivity with broken spatial inversion symmetry has mostly focused on compounds that contain a relatively heavy element M, such as rhodium (Rh), iridium (Ir), and platinum (Pt). However, using a high-pressure synthesis method, the team successfully synthesized for the first time a compound with the same general chemical formula but using gold (Au), which is even heavier, as element M.

Transistor for light to transform optical signal processing

Posted: 27 Apr 2014 04:07 PM PDT

A high-performance 'photonic transistor' that switches light signals instead of electronic signals could revolutionize optical signal processing. Electronic transistors, which act as miniature switches for controlling the flow of electrical current, underpin modern-day microelectronics and computers, however, wires and interconnects waste considerable energy as heat. Researchers' latest photonic transistor design is based on prevalent semiconductor technology and offers attractive attributes of high switching gain, low switching power and high operating speed.

More speed, less interference: Computing, improving electromagnetic interference

Posted: 27 Apr 2014 04:07 PM PDT

As electronic components on electronic circuit boards continue to shrink, problems of electromagnetic compatibility are arising. Such problems include unwanted 'noise' effects due to electromagnetic interference and susceptibility. "Electromagnetic interference is a critical problem for the electronics industry," explains one researcher. A semi-analytical model recently developed can compute electromagnetic interference on an electronic circuit board ten times faster than existing commercial software, new research shows.

Improving optical communications with new device

Posted: 27 Apr 2014 04:07 PM PDT

Computer modeling is assisting the design of optical modulators with low losses to improve optical communications. "Our device has a speed and optical losses comparable to existing technology such as lithium niobate," says Lim. "One reason for this high performance is because we used highly accurate computer codes developed in-house," explains one researcher.

Cartilage, made to order: Living human cartilage grown on lab chip

Posted: 27 Apr 2014 03:51 PM PDT

The first example of living human cartilage grown on a laboratory chip has been created by scientists. The researchers ultimately aim to use their innovative 3-D printing approach to create replacement cartilage for patients with osteoarthritis or soldiers with battlefield injuries. Osteoarthritis is marked by a gradual disintegration of cartilage, a flexible tissue that provides padding where bones come together in a joint. Causing severe pain and loss of mobility in joints such as knees and fingers, osteoarthritis is one of the leading causes of physical disability in the United States.

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