Πέμπτη, 22 Μαΐου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News


Coffee bean roasting acoustics

Posted: 21 May 2014 01:29 PM PDT

People around the world are drawn to coffee's powerful allure -- for its beloved smell, and taste, and for the caffeine boost it provides. As you enjoy your coffee beverage, however, odds are good you're probably not thinking about the coffee bean roasting process behind it. But for some the love of coffee runs so deep that they go so far as to roast their own coffee beans.

Oil, gas development homogenizing core-forest bird communities

Posted: 21 May 2014 11:24 AM PDT

Conventional oil and gas development in northern Pennsylvania altered bird communities, and the current massive build-out of shale-gas infrastructure may accelerate these changes, according to researchers. The commonwealth's Northern Tier -- one of the largest blocks of Eastern deciduous forest in the entire Appalachian region -- is an important breeding area for neotropical migrant songbirds. These diminutive, insect-eating creatures, which breed in Pennsylvania and winter in Central and South America, contribute greatly to the health of forests.

New, fossil-fuel-free process makes biodiesel sustainable

Posted: 21 May 2014 10:38 AM PDT

A new fuel-cell concept will allow biodiesel plants to eliminate the creation of hazardous wastes while removing their dependence on fossil fuel from their production process. The platform, which uses microbes to glean ethanol from glycerol and has the added benefit of cleaning up the wastewater, will allow producers to reincorporate the ethanol and the water into the fuel-making process.

Weak chemical forces combined to strengthen novel imaging technology

Posted: 21 May 2014 10:38 AM PDT

Increasing the effectiveness of certain contrast agents is often used for imaging blood vessels and internal bleeding by associating them with nanoparticles, biomedical researchers report. The contrast agent being used is packaged inside or bonded to the surface of microscopic particles, which can be designed to target certain regions of the body or prolong the agent's activity.

Very distant galaxy cluster confirmed

Posted: 21 May 2014 10:37 AM PDT

The structures and star populations of massive galaxies appear to change as they age, but much about how these galaxies formed and evolved remains mysterious. Many of the oldest and most massive galaxies reside in clusters, enormous structures where numerous galaxies are found concentrated together. Galaxy clusters in the early universe are thought to be key to understanding the lifecycles of old galaxies, but to date astronomers have located only a handful of these rare, distant structures.

A new way to harness waste heat: Electrochemical approach has potential to efficiently turn low-grade heat to electricity

Posted: 21 May 2014 10:36 AM PDT

Vast amounts of excess heat are generated by industrial processes and by electric power plants; researchers around the world have spent decades seeking ways to harness some of this wasted energy. Now researchers have found a new alternative for low-temperature waste-heat conversion into electricity.

Violent stellar explosion: Stellar behemoth self-destructs in a Type IIb supernova

Posted: 21 May 2014 10:35 AM PDT

For the first time, astronomers have direct confirmation that a Wolf-Rayet star -- sitting 360 million light years away -- died in a violent explosion known as a Type IIb supernova. Using the iPTF pipeline, researchers caught supernova SN 2013cu within hours of its explosion.

Drones present may legal, ethical concerns, experts say

Posted: 21 May 2014 10:33 AM PDT

The use of so-called drones - unmanned aircraft - for domestic security purposes, surveillance of citizens and putative criminals and organizations raises many legal and ethical concerns particularly with regard to the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution, Council of Europe instruments, and the EU Data Protection Framework, according to a research paper.

Device for stopping uncontrolled seizures implanted in patient

Posted: 21 May 2014 07:18 AM PDT

Last month the first hospital outside of a clinical trial site implanted a pacemaker-like device in the brain of a patient. This may be a game-changer for patients with epilepsy. The device, called the RNS System, was implanted April 17, 2014 in a patient with seizures that previously could not be controlled with medication, or intractable epilepsy. The patient has recovered completely from the surgery.

Researcher aids understanding of collective excitations in MoS2

Posted: 21 May 2014 06:51 AM PDT

The large direct band gap in a monolayer of MoS2 leads to the appearance of the interband dipolar mode which couples to the intraband plasmon. This result is useful for our understanding of the collective excitations in MoS2. The renormalized dipolar mode is close to its bare value, while coupling suppresses the plasmon mode.

Factors in vehicle burglary rates uncovered by new analysis method

Posted: 21 May 2014 06:51 AM PDT

A mathematical model technique in examining vehicle thefts has been refined by a researcher who found that home values, vacancy rates and proximity to a highway play big roles in the crime. The researcher used eigenvector spatial filtering to determine whether there were significant links between socioeconomic and physical environments and vehicle burglaries.

Scientists have identified for the first time what kind of explosive was used after detonation

Posted: 21 May 2014 06:47 AM PDT

There are objects we cannot see within the range of the visible but which we can with imaging systems that use the terahertz (THz) wavelength. Within this range we can detect, for example, not only a foreign body hidden under clothing, but also determine what material it is made of. Scientists have now been able to identify explosive components not only in their pure state, but also, and for the first time, after the detonation has taken place.

Astronomy: Revealing the complex outflow structure of binary UY Aurigae

Posted: 21 May 2014 06:47 AM PDT

Astronomers have revealed a complicated outflow structure in the binary UY Aur (Aurigae). The team observed the binary using the Gemini North"s NIFS (Near-Infrared Integral Field Spectrometer) with the Altair adaptive optics system. They found that the primary star has a wide, open outflow, while the secondary star has a well-collimated jet.

Fungi clean oil-polluted soil, study shows

Posted: 21 May 2014 06:47 AM PDT

Fungi can be harnessed to clean polluted soil which cannot be cleaned using traditional composting, researchers have found, demonstrating that soil that has been polluted by organic pollutants such as oil can be treated by composting. However, it is not effective against many other organic pollutants such as polyaromatic hydrocarbons and dioxins. Soil polluted with other organic pollutants than oil accounts for as much as 45% of excavated contaminated soil.

Microsatellites: Making light work of orbit and attitude control

Posted: 21 May 2014 06:45 AM PDT

Microsatellites have to be very light – every gram counts. The same applies to the gyroscopes used to sense the satellite's orientation when in orbit. A novel prototype is seven times lighter and significantly smaller than earlier systems.

Circuits and sensors direct from the printer

Posted: 21 May 2014 06:45 AM PDT

Printers are becoming more and more versatile. Now they can even print sensors and electronic components on 2D and 3D substrates. A new, robot-assisted production line allows the process to be automated.

Shaping ultrashort laser pulses: Laser light needs more bass

Posted: 21 May 2014 06:45 AM PDT

They shed light on atomic and molecular processes: ultrashort laser pulses are required to study extremely fast quantum phenomena. For years, scientists have been trying to tune the shape of light waves so as to, for instance, steer an electron on exactly the right path. An extraordinarily powerful new method to influence the shape of the laser light wave has now been developed.

A star cluster in the wake of Carina

Posted: 21 May 2014 06:44 AM PDT

This colorful new image from the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile shows the star cluster NGC 3590. These stars shine brightly in front of a dramatic landscape of dark patches of dust and richly hued clouds of glowing gas. This small stellar gathering gives astronomers clues about how these stars form and evolve — as well as giving hints about the structure of our galaxy's pinwheeling arms.

Making better medicines with handful of chemical building blocks

Posted: 19 May 2014 09:25 AM PDT

Soon, making and improving medical drugs could be as easy for chemists as stacking blocks is for a child. A chemist has pioneered a technique that constructs complex molecules from simple chemical 'building blocks.' Further, this research team has found that thousands of compounds in a class of molecules called polyenes -- many of which have great potential as drugs -- can be built simply and economically from a scant one dozen different building blocks.

Technology: improving quality of life for dependent elderly adults?

Posted: 19 May 2014 06:04 AM PDT

Western populations are aging. As a result, there is an increase in elderly adults living in specialized institutions. A 'paradoxical side effect' of this is a feeling of solitude and isolation. Can information and computer technologies prevent this and work to improve the quality of life for such adults? New research suggests it can.

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