Παρασκευή, 23 Μαΐου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

NASA Mars weathercam helps find big new crater

Posted: 22 May 2014 01:29 PM PDT

Researchers have discovered on the Red Planet the largest fresh meteor-impact crater ever firmly documented with before-and-after images. The images were captured by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The crater spans half the length of a football field and first appeared in March 2012. The impact that created it likely was preceded by an explosion in the Martian sky caused by intense friction between an incoming asteroid and the planet's atmosphere.

NASA's WISE findings poke hole in black hole 'doughnut' theory

Posted: 22 May 2014 01:23 PM PDT

A survey of more than 170,000 supermassive black holes, using NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), has astronomers reexamining a decades-old theory about the varying appearances of these interstellar objects. The unified theory of active, supermassive black holes, first developed in the late 1970s, was created to explain why black holes, though similar in nature, can look completely different. Some appear to be shrouded in dust, while others are exposed and easy to see.

New 'T-ray' tech converts light to sound for weapons detection, medical imaging

Posted: 22 May 2014 12:05 PM PDT

A device that essentially listens for light waves could help open up the last frontier of the electromagnetic spectrum -- the terahertz range. So-called T-rays, which are light waves too long for human eyes to see, could help airport security guards find chemical and other weapons. They might let doctors image body tissues with less damage to healthy areas. And they could give astronomers new tools to study planets in other solar systems. Those are just a few possible applications.

Not all diamonds are forever: Researchers see nanodiamonds created in coal fade away in seconds

Posted: 22 May 2014 11:14 AM PDT

Scientists show that some diamonds are not forever. Through the creation of nanodiamonds in treated coal scientists also show that some microscopic diamonds only last seconds before fading back into less-structured forms of carbon under the impact of an electron beam.

New details on microtubules and how the anti-cancer drug Taxol works

Posted: 22 May 2014 10:34 AM PDT

Images of microtubule assembly and disassembly have been produced by researchers at the unprecedented resolution of 5 angstroms, providing new insight into the success of the anti-cancer drug Taxol and pointing the way to possible improvements. "This is the first experimental demonstration of the link between nucleotide state and tubulin conformation within the microtubules and, by extension, the relationship between tubulin conformation and the transition from assembled to disassembled microtubule structure," says a biophysicist on the study.

Computer models helping unravel the science of life? How cells of the fruit fly react to changes in the environment

Posted: 22 May 2014 09:35 AM PDT

Scientists have developed a sophisticated computer modelling simulation to explore how cells of the fruit fly react to changes in the environment. The model shows how cells of the fruit fly communicate with each other during its development.

Safe alternatives to BPA: New technology may help identify

Posted: 22 May 2014 09:34 AM PDT

Numerous studies have linked exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) in plastic, receipt paper, toys, and other products with various health problems from poor growth to cancer, and the FDA has been supporting efforts to find and use alternatives. But are these alternatives safer? Researchers have developed new tests that can classify such compounds' activity with great detail and speed. The advance could offer a fast and cost-effective way to identify safe replacements for BPA.

Putting a number on opinion dynamics in a population

Posted: 22 May 2014 08:58 AM PDT

Opinion formation in a large population is influenced by both endogenous factors, such as interaction with one's peers, as well as exogenous factors, such as the media. In a recent paper, authors use a mathematical model to study the process of information assimilation in a population resulting from such exogenous inputs.

Screening for autism: There's an app for that

Posted: 22 May 2014 08:57 AM PDT

Software to help interpret videotaped behaviors of infants during autism screening tests has been developed by researchers. The program's accuracy proved equal to autism experts and better than both non-expert medical clinicians and students in training. "The great benefit of the video and software is for general practitioners who do not have the trained eye to look for subtle early warning signs of autism," said one researcher involved in the study.

Drug-target database lets researchers match old drugs to new uses

Posted: 22 May 2014 07:51 AM PDT

There are thousands of drugs that silence many thousands of cancer-causing genetic abnormalities. Some of these drugs are in use now, but many of these drugs are sitting on shelves or could be used beyond the disease for which they were originally approved. Repurposing these drugs depends on matching drugs to targets. A study recently published describes a new database and pattern-matching algorithm that allows researchers to evaluate rational drugs and drug combinations, and also recommends a new drug combination to treat drug-resistant non-small cell lung cancer.

Medical students may benefit from social media guidance

Posted: 22 May 2014 07:51 AM PDT

Medical students use social media extensively, but medical schools may need to offer more guidance in potential pitfalls, according researchers. "We assessed how medical students engage with social media platforms like Facebook and found that they have a pretty sophisticated understanding of its risks and benefits," said one researcher. Two reports outline findings from a survey of 2,109 medical students.

Fossil avatars are transforming palaeontology

Posted: 22 May 2014 07:51 AM PDT

New techniques for visualizing fossils are transforming our understanding of evolutionary history. Palaeontology has traditionally proceeded slowly, with individual scientists labouring for years or even decades over the interpretation of single fossils. The introduction of X-ray tomography has revolutionized the way that fossils are studied, allowing them to be virtually extracted from the rock in a fraction of the time necessary to prepare specimens by hand and without the risk of damaging the fossil.

First broadband wireless connection ... to the moon: Record-shattering Earth-to-Moon uplink

Posted: 22 May 2014 07:49 AM PDT

Scientists have prepared new details and the first comprehensive overview of the on-orbit performance of their record-shattering laser-based communication uplink between the moon and Earth, which beat the previous record transmission speed last fall by a factor of 4,800.

Atomic-level protection for drivers

Posted: 22 May 2014 04:44 AM PDT

A new window on the world of atoms will make future vehicles safer in collisions. Scientists have set out on an unusual journey – into the interior of certain materials. They are about to build a mathematical model of tiny but vital zones in aluminum vehicle bumper systems. The research group will use this virtual "mini-laboratory" to study the chaos we create when we crash a car.

Bending helps to control nanomaterials

Posted: 22 May 2014 04:44 AM PDT

A new remedy has been found to tackle the difficulty of controlling layered nanomaterials. Control can be improved by simply bending the material. Bending decreases interaction between layers, making the material merely a stack of independent atomic layers.

Liquid crystal as lubricant

Posted: 22 May 2014 04:44 AM PDT

Thanks to a new lubricant, small gears can run with virtually no friction. Made from liquid crystalline fluid, these lubricants drastically reduce friction and wear.

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