Τετάρτη, 14 Μαΐου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

Novel technique enables air-stable water droplet networks

Posted: 13 May 2014 01:16 PM PDT

A simple new technique to form interlocking beads of water in ambient conditions could prove valuable for applications in biological sensing, membrane research and harvesting water from fog.

Techniques from natural-language processing enable computers to efficiently search video for actions

Posted: 13 May 2014 11:21 AM PDT

With the commodification of digital cameras, digital video has become so easy to produce that human beings can have trouble keeping up with it. Among the tools that computer scientists are developing to make the profusion of video more useful are algorithms for activity recognition -- or determining what the people on camera are doing when.

Radiation from early universe found key to answer major questions in physics

Posted: 13 May 2014 10:27 AM PDT

Astrophysicists have measured the minute gravitational distortions in polarized radiation from the early universe and discovered that these ancient microwaves can provide an important cosmological test of Einstein's theory of general relativity.

New implanted devices may reshape medicine: Researchers create transistors that wrap around tissues

Posted: 13 May 2014 10:27 AM PDT

Scientists have create flexible transistors that can grip large tissues, nerves and blood vessels without losing their electronic properties. These biologically adaptive, flexible transistors might one day help doctors learn more about what is happening inside the body, and stimulate the body for treatments.

Ultrafast laser technique developed to observe electron action

Posted: 13 May 2014 08:36 AM PDT

Physicists have developed a new ultrafast light source for observing electron motion in molecules -- made up of nuclei and electrons -- at the point before the nuclei start to move. By being able to observe what actually happens, scientists can begin to understand how an electron interacts with other electrons, which may help improve the efficiency of solar cells.

MEMS nanoinjector for genetic modification of cells

Posted: 13 May 2014 08:32 AM PDT

The ability to transfer a gene or DNA sequence from one animal into the genome of another plays a critical role in a wide range of medical research—including cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and diabetes. But the traditional method of transferring genetic material into a new cell, called "microinjection," has a serious downside. It involves using a small glass pipette to pump a solution containing DNA into the nucleus of an egg cell, but the extra fluid can cause the cell to swell and destroy it -- resulting in a 25 to 40 percent cell death rate.

The physics of ocean undertow: Creating more robust and sustainable beaches

Posted: 13 May 2014 08:32 AM PDT

People standing on a beach often feel the water tugging the sand away from under their feet. This is the undertow, the current that pulls water back into the ocean after a wave breaks on the beach. Large storms produce strong undertows that can strip beaches of sand. By predicting how undertows interact with shorelines, researchers can build sand dunes and engineer other soft solutions to create more robust and sustainable beaches.

Odd planet, so far from its star: Gas giant 155 light years from our solar system

Posted: 13 May 2014 08:31 AM PDT

A gas giant has been added to the short list of exoplanets discovered through direct imaging. It is located around GU Psc, a star three times less massive than the Sun and located in the constellation Pisces.

Boats offer solution for urban congestion

Posted: 13 May 2014 06:23 AM PDT

A solution for traffic congestion in many cities might lie in one of the most ancient modes of transportation available: the boat. Looking at how water-buses could be integrated into Stockholm's mass transit system, researchers have a come up with a strong case for a maritime complement to trains and buses -- and not just in Sweden.

Physicists measure second Efimov resonance of three particles in an ultracold quantum gas

Posted: 13 May 2014 06:16 AM PDT

Some years ago, quantum physicists provided experimental proof of Efimov states -- a phenomenon that until then had been known only in theory. Now they have also measured the second Efimov resonance of three particles in an ultracold quantum gas, thus proving the periodicity of this universal physical phenomenon experimentally.

Mechanisms as minds: Creating a tensegrity robot that can move

Posted: 13 May 2014 06:11 AM PDT

Before a signal even reaches your brain, your fingers can adjust the tension required to lift an object with their tendons. It's a mechanism (fingers) acting as a mind -- a phenomenon called morphological computation that scientists are exploring with tensegrity robots.

Brain may never fully recover from exposure to paint, glue, degreasers

Posted: 12 May 2014 06:37 PM PDT

People who are exposed to paint, glue or degreaser fumes at work may experience memory and thinking problems in retirement, decades after their exposure, according to a new study. Researchers assessed the workers' lifetime exposure to chlorinated solvents, petroleum solvents, and benzene, including the timing of last exposure and lifetime dosage. Benzene is used to make plastics, rubber, dye, detergents and other synthetic materials. Chlorinated solvents can be found in dry cleaning solutions, engine cleaners, paint removers and degreasers. Petroleum solvents are used in carpet glue, furniture polishes, paint, paint thinner and varnish.

Multifunctional nanoparticles for cheaper, cleaner biofuel

Posted: 12 May 2014 12:53 PM PDT

Scientists have created a faster, cleaner biofuel refining technology that not only combines processes, it uses widely available materials to reduce costs. They have developed a nanoparticle that is able to perform two processing functions at once for the production of green diesel, an alternative fuel created from the hydrogenation of oils from renewable feedstocks like algae.

Online buzz forecasts new product performance months before product release

Posted: 12 May 2014 12:53 PM PDT

Companies can significantly improve the forecasting accuracy of forthcoming products' performance by mining online consumer buzz prior to product release, according to a new study. Social media attention to a firm's forthcoming products also influences its stock price, the study shows.

Multilayer nanofiber face mask helps to combat pollution

Posted: 12 May 2014 11:22 AM PDT

Researchers have developed a ground-breaking filter technology that guards against the finest pollutants in the air. Haze is usually composed of pollutants in the form of tiny suspended particles or fine mists/droplets emitted from vehicles, coal-burning power plants and factories. Continued exposure increases the risk of developing respiratory problems, heart diseases and lung cancer. Can we avoid the unhealthy air?

Graphene and painkiller receptor combined into scalable chemical sensor

Posted: 12 May 2014 08:25 AM PDT

Researchers have created an artificial chemical sensor based on one of the human body's most important receptors, one that is critical in the action of painkillers and anesthetics. In these devices, the receptors' activation produces an electrical response rather than a biochemical one, allowing that response to be read out by a computer.

Plastics to dust: Easy-to-compost plastic bags move closer to mainstream

Posted: 12 May 2014 07:12 AM PDT

Bags meet requirements of disintegrating to particles less than 2 millimeters in size in 180 days. Since the bags are made of all-natural components, they can be composted just like any other plant-based material.

Fate of methane following Deepwater Horizon spill examined by researchers

Posted: 11 May 2014 01:55 PM PDT

The 2010 Deepwater Horizon blowout discharged roughly five million gallons of oil and up to 500,000 tons of natural gas into Gulf of Mexico offshore waters over a period of 84 days. In the face of a seemingly insurmountable cleanup effort, many were relieved by reports following the disaster that naturally-occurring microbes had consumed much of the gas and oil.

Hijacking bacteria's natural defences to trap, reveal pathogens

Posted: 11 May 2014 01:54 PM PDT

Bad bacteria could soon have no place left to hide, thanks to new materials that turn the cell's own defenses against them. Scientists have developed a technique that could locate the potential source of an infection by hijacking the normal processes of pathogens, thus revealing their location. And by using fluorescent markers to tag these cells, they have even been able to detect them by using a simple mobile phone camera.

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