Τρίτη, 20 Μαΐου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

Analyzing sun-like stars that eat Earth-like planets

Posted: 19 May 2014 06:50 PM PDT

Astronomers have developed a model that estimates the effect that ingesting large amounts of the rocky material from which 'terrestrial' planets like Earth, Mars and Venus are made has on a star's chemical composition and has used the model to analyze a pair of twin stars which both have their own planets.

Internet-mediated exercise program improves quality of life in COPD patients

Posted: 19 May 2014 03:45 PM PDT

A pedometer-based walking program supported by Internet-based instruction and support can improve health-related quality of life in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, according to a new study. "Low levels of physical activity among individuals with COPD can contribute to impaired quality of life and have been linked to higher risk of exacerbations, hospitalizations, and death. However, getting patients to change behavior and stick to an exercise program can be difficult," said the lead author.

Chemists discover structure of cancer drug candidate

Posted: 19 May 2014 03:45 PM PDT

Chemists have determined the correct structure of a highly promising anticancer compound approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for clinical trials in cancer patients. In the new study, scientists show that TIC10's structure differs subtly from a version published by another group last year, and that the previous structure associated with TIC10 in fact describes a molecule that lacks TIC10's anticancer activity.

Engineer invents a way to beam power to medical chips deep inside the body

Posted: 19 May 2014 01:07 PM PDT

Researchers have invented a way to wirelessly beam power to programmable devices deep inside the body. These medical chips could be as small as a grain of rice. They would sit alongside nerves, muscles and other tissues. The chips could be programmed for a wide variety of medical tasks. The wireless power recharging would enable them to be implanted once and repowered as need be. This is a platform technology to enable a new therapeutic category -- 'electroceutical' devices.

Chemists challenge conventional understanding of how photocatalysis works

Posted: 19 May 2014 01:07 PM PDT

Photocatalysts are most often semiconductors, with metals (platinum, gold) added to promote their activity. However, these metals (or 'promoters') are expensive; hence the quest for more economical alternatives. Now a team of chemists has come up with a model to explain this promoting effect that could shift the focus in the search for substitutes of the metals, and help identify better promoters for photocatalysis in the near future.

Is household debt a key cause of recession?

Posted: 19 May 2014 01:05 PM PDT

During the Great American Recession of the 21st century, more than 8 million people lost their jobs and more than 4 million homes were lost to foreclosure. In the years immediately preceding the recession, Americans doubled their household debt to $14 trillion. According to a new book these events were directly related.

Could texting and autocorrect affect kids' writing skills?

Posted: 19 May 2014 01:05 PM PDT

An English teacher sees the effects of students' growing up in an age when communication is done in an abbreviated text language and where they depend on autocorrect to automatically solve the "i before e" literary dilemma.

Site of mega-development project in Mexico is a biodiversity hotspot

Posted: 19 May 2014 10:48 AM PDT

Cabo Pulmo is a close-knit community in Baja California Sur, Mexico, and the best preserved coral reef in the Gulf of California. But the lands adjacent to the reef are under threat from a mega-development project, 'Cabo Dorado,' should construction go ahead. Scientists have published a report on the terrestrial biodiversity of the Cabo Pulmo region that shows the project is situated in an area of extreme conservation value.

Improved supercapacitors for super batteries, electric vehicles

Posted: 19 May 2014 09:25 AM PDT

Researchers have developed a novel nanometer scale ruthenium oxide anchored nanocarbon graphene foam architecture that improves the performance of supercapacitors, a development that could mean faster acceleration in electric vehicles and longer battery life in portable electronics.

Lab shows powerful, possible next step in electric motors

Posted: 19 May 2014 09:25 AM PDT

Scientists have demonstrated electric motors or generators that eliminate rare earth metals. Typical motors are powered through the electromagnetic interaction between a rotor, which contains rare earth metals and rotates, and another part known as a stator, which is stationary but houses electromagnetic sources. The new solution, called a double-stator switched reluctance machine (DSSRM), has two stators, one on either side of the rotor, that cause an electromagnetic reaction that produces power. This approach produces significantly greater power and torque at a given size and weight than traditional motor technologies without the use of permanent magnets.

Liberating devices from their power cords

Posted: 19 May 2014 09:25 AM PDT

A new type of supercapacitor that can hold a charge when it takes a lickin' has been developed. It is the first "multi-functional" energy storage device that can operate while subject to realistic static and dynamic loads – advancing the day when everything from cell phones to electric vehicles will no longer need separate batteries.

Neutron beams reveal how antibodies cluster in solution

Posted: 19 May 2014 08:44 AM PDT

Results from neutron spin-echo analysis are an important advance towards enabling subcutaneous injections of concentrated biopharmaceuticals used to treat cancer and autoimmune disorders (e.g. arthritis, multiple sclerosis). The insights obtained could help drug companies reduce the viscosity and mitigate phase separation in injectable biopharmaceuticals, making them easier to manufacture and fluid enough to be self-administered in the home.

Earth organisms survive under Martian conditions: Methanogens stay alive in extreme heat and cold

Posted: 19 May 2014 08:42 AM PDT

New research suggests that methanogens -- among the simplest and oldest organisms on Earth -- could survive on Mars. Methanogens, microorganisms in the domain Archaea, use hydrogen as their energy source and carbon dioxide as their carbon source, to metabolize and produce methane, also known as natural gas. Methanogens live in swamps and marshes, but can also be found in the gut of cattle, termites and other herbivores as well as in dead and decaying matter.

Engineers find way to lower risk of midair collisions for small aircraft

Posted: 19 May 2014 08:03 AM PDT

Researchers have developed new modifications for technology that helps pilots of small aircraft avoid midair collisions. The modified tools significantly improved pilot response times in making decisions to avert crashes.

Solar energy prospects are bright for Scotland, experts say

Posted: 19 May 2014 08:01 AM PDT

Installing state-of-the-art solar panels on a quarter of a million roofs could meet one-sixth of Scotland's electricity demands, experts say. Scientists say the strategy could ease the plight of one in three Scottish households, which currently struggle to provide themselves with adequate heat and hot water. Researchers, business leaders and public sector experts have contributed to a report which sets out how Scotland could benefit from solar power.

Robot-assisted prostate cancer surgery as safe but more expensive as open surgery in older men

Posted: 19 May 2014 08:01 AM PDT

Minimally invasive robot-assisted surgery, which has become the main choice for surgically removing cancerous prostate glands during recent years, is as safe as open surgery for Medicare patients over age 65, a study shows. As of 2009, more than 60 percent of all radical prostatectomies in the U.S. were done robotically.

Robot suit helps paraplegic patients

Posted: 19 May 2014 06:22 AM PDT

For most paraplegic patients, being able to walk again remains a dream. The HAL robot suit can help them regain a certain degree of mobility and activity. A team of experts has been testing the exoskeleton that was originally developed in Japan since 2011, and have had excellent results. Paraplegia is essentially the result of damaged nerve structures in the spine. In order to perform a movement, the brain sends out a signal via the spinal cord and its surrounding nerves to a muscle. Due to his injury, a paraplegic patient's muscles operate with weakened signals, and the signal does not arrive in the leg or in the arm.

How surroundings influence theft in public transport stations

Posted: 19 May 2014 06:19 AM PDT

Scientists have explored the effect station surroundings have on the levels of crime within them. This piece of work takes into account a range of possible predictor variables of pick-pocketing, selected from both the internal design of stations and features of their nearby environments.

'Smoking gun' evidence for theory that Saturn's collapsing magnetic tail causes auroras

Posted: 19 May 2014 06:04 AM PDT

Researchers have captured stunning images of Saturn's auroras as the planet's magnetic field is battered by charged particles from the Sun.

Hybrid electric vehicles: Logged driving route can reduce energy consumption by 10 percent

Posted: 19 May 2014 06:04 AM PDT

For long distance driving, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles use the internal combustion engine more than necessary. A new method has now been developed to make the car remember the commuter routes and thereby make optimal use of the battery. The strategy can reduce fuel consumption by up to 10 percent compared to conventional methods.

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