Τετάρτη, 30 Απριλίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News


The intergalactic medium unveiled

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 03:50 PM PDT

Astronomers have taken unprecedented images of the intergalactic medium -- the diffuse gas that connects galaxies throughout the universe -- with the Cosmic Web Imager. Until now, the structure of the IGM has mostly been a matter for theoretical speculation. However, with observations from the Cosmic Web Imager, deployed on the Hale 200-inch telescope at Palomar Observatory, astronomers are obtaining our first three-dimensional pictures of the IGM.

Search for extraterrestrial life more difficult than thought

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 03:50 PM PDT

A new study suggests the search for life on planets outside our solar system may be more difficult than previously thought. The study finds the method used to detect biosignatures on such planets, known as exoplanets, can produce a false positive result.

Herschel discovers mature galaxies in the young Universe

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 03:36 PM PDT

New Herschel results have given us a remarkable insight into the internal dynamics of two young galaxies. Surprisingly, they have shown that just a few billion years after the Big Bang, some galaxies were rotating in a mature way, seemingly having completed the accumulation of their gas reservoirs.

Information technology can simplify weight-loss efforts; social support still important for success

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 12:37 PM PDT

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 69 percent of adults in the United States are currently overweight or obese, which puts these individuals at increased risk for chronic health problems. Although weight loss decreases this risk, statistics show that dieters often fail multiple times before meeting their goals. Now, researchers have found that information technology, such as smartphone applications, can help dieters integrate healthy behavior changes into their daily lives.

Researchers develop harder ceramic for armor windows

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 12:37 PM PDT

The Department of Defense needs materials for armor windows that provide essential protection for both personnel and equipment while still having a high degree of transparency. To meet that need, scientists have developed a method to fabricate nanocrystalline spinel that is 50 percent harder than the current spinel armor materials used in military vehicles.

Mathematicians trace source of Rogers-Ramanujan identities, find algebraic gold

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 09:58 AM PDT

Mathematicians have found a framework for the celebrated Rogers-Ramanujan identities and their arithmetic properties, solving another long-standing mystery stemming from the work of Indian math genius Srinivasa Ramanujan. The findings yield a treasure trove of algebraic numbers and formulas to access them.

Graphene very mobile in lakes: Risks of negative environmental impacts if released

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 09:58 AM PDT

In a first-of-its-kind study of how a material some think could transform the electronics industry moves in water, researchers found that graphene oxide nanoparticles are very mobile in lakes or streams and therefore may well cause negative environmental impacts if released.

Brain tumor cells penetrated by tiny, degradable particles carrying genetic instructions

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 09:58 AM PDT

Tiny, biodegradable 'nanoparticles' able to carry DNA to brain cancer cells in mice have been developed by engineers and neurosurgeons working together. The team says the results of their proof of principle experiment suggest that such particles loaded with 'death genes' might one day be given to brain cancer patients during neurosurgery to selectively kill off any remaining tumor cells without damaging normal brain tissue.

How laws need to change to catch up with algorithmic stock trading

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 09:55 AM PDT

High speed algorithms have so revolutionized the design and functioning of our stock markets that they are fast tearing up the rule book in how these markets are regulated, according to a researcher.

Label-free, sequence-specific, inexpensive fluorescent DNA sensors

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 09:55 AM PDT

Using principles of energy transfer more commonly applied to designing solar cells, scientists have developed a new highly sensitive way to detect specific sequences of DNA, the genetic material unique to every living thing. The method is considerably less costly than other DNA assays and has widespread potential for applications in forensics, medical diagnostics, and the detection of bioterror agents.

Fridges cooled by magnetism? Newly identified 'universal' property of metamagnets may lead to everyday uses

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 09:55 AM PDT

A new physics discovery may lead to more efficient refrigerators, heat pumps and airport scanners, among many possible uses –- perhaps within a decade.The refrigerator of 2024 may be cooled not by chemical refrigerants, but by magnetism, thanks to the work of a team of physicists and materials scientists.

Proving uncertainty: New insight into old problem

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 09:54 AM PDT

Nearly 90 years after Werner Heisenberg pioneered his uncertainty principle, a group of researchers from three countries has provided substantial new insight into this fundamental tenet of quantum physics with the first rigorous formulation supporting the uncertainty principle as Heisenberg envisioned it.

Plasma flows in laboratory used to understand how beam-like jets may form in space

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 07:51 AM PDT

Streaming jets of high-speed matter produce some of the stunning objects seen in space. Astronomers have seen them shooting out of young stars just being formed, X-ray binary stars and supermassive black holes at the centers of large galaxies. Theoretical explanations for what causes those beam-like jets have been around for years, but now an experiment using extremely high-powered lasers offers experimental verification of one proposed mechanism for creating them.

Talking to kids about money: Study highlights importance of parents discussing financial matters with children

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 06:25 AM PDT

A new study finds that children pay close attention to issues related to money, and that parents should make an effort to talk with their children to ensure that kids don't develop misconceptions about finance. The children reported that some subjects were largely "off-limits," including family finances, parental income, investments and debt.

Submarine: 'Virtual periscope' sees above-surface/airborne objects from underwater view

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 06:25 AM PDT

Researchers have developed an underwater imaging system that allows submariners to view objects above the water's surface - without a periscope. The unique technology gets around the inevitable distortion caused by the water-surface waves when using a submerged camera because of the sharp refractive differences between water and air, random waves at the interface present distortions that are worse than the distortion atmospheric turbulence creates for astronomers peering into space.

E-games for kids: How to avoid the dangers

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 05:53 AM PDT

Children's access to e-games has increased exponentially in recent years. Diversification of platform; tablets, handheld games consoles, and smartphones give kids opportunity for exposure almost all the time in any setting.  In developed countries kids spend a shocking 4-8 hours per day using screen based electronic media.  What are the risks attached to such high usage?  Are there any benefits? What should parents, health and education professionals and the industry be doing about it? 

New fluorescent hybrid material changes color according to direction of light

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 05:53 AM PDT

Scientists have developed a highly fluorescent hybrid material that changes color depending on the polarization of the light that it is illuminated by. The aim with respect to hybrid materials with one organic component and another inorganic one is to combine the best attributes of each one into a single system.

Cheap, environmentally-friendly method for making transparent conductive films for laptops, smartphones, solar cells

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 05:53 AM PDT

Transparent conductive films are now an integral part of our everyday lives. Whether in smartphones, tablets, laptops, flat screens or (on a larger scale) in solar cells. Yet they are expensive and complex to manufacture. Now, researchers have succeeded in developing a method of producing such TCO films, as they are known, that is not only cheaper, but also simpler and more environmentally friendly.

Smart home programming: Easy as 'if this, then that'

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 12:58 PM PDT

The idea of a smart home sounds promising enough -- who doesn't want a house full of automated gadgets, from light switches to appliances to heating systems, that know exactly when to turn on, turn off, heat up or power down? -- but how will users make sure all those automated devices are doing what they're supposed to do? Researchers have shown that a programming model quite well for smart home applications.

Cyberspace scholarship nets higher grades, better thinking for class Facebook group

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 12:58 PM PDT

University students who used a Facebook group as part of a large sociology class did better on course assignments and felt a stronger sense of belonging, researchers have found. The study has implications for the challenge of teaching large classes, a growing concern for higher education. "Although some teachers may worry that social media distracts students from legitimate learning, we found that our Facebook group helped transform students from anonymous spectators into a community of active learners -- and this has important consequences for student performance," said a co-author of the study.

Fluorescent-based tool reveals how medical nanoparticles biodegrade in real time

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 12:48 PM PDT

A unique, noninvasive method measures the disassembly of biodegradable nanoparticles that can be used to deliver medicines to patients. The technique is a necessary stop in translating nanoparticles into clinical use. "Nanoparticles could be formulated with contrast agents for diagnostic imaging, or could deliver anticancer drugs to a tumor," one researcher said. "Our measuring tool can help researchers to develop and optimize their nanomedicine formulations for a range of medical uses."

New type of defibrillator for patients at risk for sudden cardiac death

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 12:48 PM PDT

A new device called a subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator (S-ICD) prevents sudden cardiac death with an electric shock. A conductor wire is implanted just under the skin, rather than going into the heart. In carefully selected patients, a S-ICD can reduce the risk of bleeding, blood clots and bloodstream infections, compared with a defibrillator with leads that go into the heart. In carefully selected patients, a S-ICD can reduce the risk of bleeding, blood clots and bloodstream infections, compared with a defibrillator with leads that go into the heart,

A glassy look for manganites: Scientists observe glass-like behavior in electron-spins of PCMO crystals

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 11:33 AM PDT

Researchers have discovered a glass-like re-ordering of electron-spin states as manganite crystals recovered from a photo-excited conductor state back to an insulator state. The discovery holds promise for future ultrafast electronic switching and memory devices.

Bringing fiber optics to electronic components

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 10:37 AM PDT

Fiber optics increased the speed and quantity of information that can be transmitted through the Internet by transforming electrical signals into pulsating light. The same can be done within laptops and other devices by using organic materials containing chromophore as an active compound, according to a materials chemist. Components made from this organic material can provide a larger bandwidth and draw less power.

Scientists track ripples in freestanding graphene for first time

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 10:37 AM PDT

Scientists have tracked the dynamic movement of ripples in freestanding graphene at the atomic level. Freestanding graphene could emerge as a replacement for silicon and other materials in microprocessors and next-generation energy devices, but much remains unknown about its mechanical and thermal properties.

Imaging gives clearer picture of cancer drugs' chances of success

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:12 AM PDT

The quest for new cancer treatments could be revolutionized by advances in technology that can visualize living cells and tissues, scientists claim. Leading edge imaging techniques will make it easier to identify which are the most promising new drugs to take forward for patient testing, a review of the technology suggests.

Multilayer, microscale solar cells enable ultrahigh efficiency power generation

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:11 AM PDT

A printing approach allows manipulation of ultrathin, small semiconductor elements that can be stacked on top of one another to yield an unusual type of solar cell capable of operating across the entire solar spectrum at exceptionally high efficiency.

Bacteria combat dangerous gas leaks

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:07 AM PDT

New research shows bacteria combat dangerous gas leaks. Bacteria could mop up naturally-occurring and human-made leaks of natural gases before they are released into the atmosphere and cause global warming, according to new research.

Who are the aggressive stars of closed circuit television?

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 04:46 AM PDT

A computer program can analyze closed circuit television (CCTV) images and spot aggressive human behavior nine times out of ten, according to new research. The research is an important step forward in intelligent security systems that could raise an alarm without requiring constant human vigilance.

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