Κυριακή, 25 Μαΐου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News


Tiny muscles help bats fine-tune flight, stiffen wing skin

Posted: 23 May 2014 11:53 AM PDT

Bats appear to use a network of hair-thin muscles in their wing skin to control the stiffness and shape of their wings as they fly, according to a new study. The finding provides new insight about the aerodynamic fine-tuning of membrane wings, both natural and human-made.

Straw from oilseed as a new source of biofuels

Posted: 23 May 2014 11:53 AM PDT

Straw from crops such as wheat, barley, oats and oilseed rape is seen as a potential source of biomass for second generation biofuel production. Currently the UK produces around 12 million tonnes of straw. Although much is used for animal bedding, mushroom compost and energy generation, there still exists a vast surplus. Preliminary lab findings are pointing at ways that the process of turning straw from oilseed rape into biofuel could be made more efficient, as well as how the straw itself could be improved.

Breakthrough method for making Janus or patchy capsules

Posted: 23 May 2014 11:53 AM PDT

An easy method for making small hollow capsules with two or more patches with different chemical or physical properties has been found. These capsules, called Janus or patchy capsules, have potential applications in fields as varied as medicine and the food industry.

Measuring fine dust concentration via smartphone

Posted: 23 May 2014 11:52 AM PDT

Big cities in the smog: Photos from Beijing and, more recently, Paris clearly illustrate the extent of fine dust pollution. But what about our direct environment? What is the pollution concentration near our favorite jogging route? Scientists are developing a sensor that can be connected easily to smartphones. In the future, users are to take part in drawing up a pollution map via participatory sensing. The precision of the map will be the higher, the more people will take part.

Electricity use slashed with efficiency controls for heating, cooling

Posted: 23 May 2014 11:51 AM PDT

Commercial buildings could cut their heating and cooling electricity use by an average of 57 percent with advanced energy-efficiency controls, according to a year-long trial of the controls at malls, grocery stores and other buildings across the country.

New phase in iron-based superconductors discovered

Posted: 23 May 2014 06:43 AM PDT

A previously unknown phase in a class of superconductors called iron arsenides has been discovered by scientists. This sheds light on a debate over the interactions between atoms and electrons that are responsible for their unusual superconductivity. "This new magnetic phase, which has never been observed before, could have significant implications for our understanding of unconventional superconductivity," said Ray Osborn, a physicist and coauthor on the paper.

Pulsed electrical fields destroy antibiotic-resistant bacteria infecting burn injuries

Posted: 21 May 2014 03:00 PM PDT

Application of a technology currently used to disinfect food products may help to get around one of the most challenging problems in medicine today, the proliferation of bacteria resistant to antibiotics and other antimicrobial drugs. About 500,000 individuals are treated for burn injuries in the U.S. each year. Standard burn treatment involves removal of burned tissue, skin grafts, and the application of antiseptic and antimicrobial dressings to prevent and treat infection. The growing prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is behind the frequent failure of antibiotic treatment, necessitating novel approaches to eliminate infecting pathogens.

Radiofreqeuncy ablation, complete endoscopic resection equally effective for dysplastic Barrett's esophagus

Posted: 21 May 2014 03:00 PM PDT

Radiofrequency ablation and complete endoscopic resection are equally effective in the short-term treatment of dysplastic Barrett's esophagus, according to a new systematic review article, but adverse event rates are higher with complete endoscopic resection. Barrett's esophagus is a condition in which the lining of the esophagus changes and becomes more like the lining of the small intestine. It is believed that Barrett's esophagus (BE) occurs because of chronic inflammation resulting from long-standing Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.

Managing diabetes: How can online games help patients make healthier choices?

Posted: 21 May 2014 10:34 AM PDT

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease of global relevance. Due to the fear that comes with the long-term bodily degenerative processes, people with the disease often do not actively seek information on the health risks. According to a new study, modern day technologies like interactive games and virtual reality platforms can help people with Type 2 diabetes make better choices and monitor their health on a regular basis.

Cancer avatars for personalized medicine help researchers find genomic signatures of cancers

Posted: 21 May 2014 10:31 AM PDT

Computer simulations of cancer cells – cancer avatars – have been used by researchers to identify drugs most likely to kill cancer cells isolated from patients' brain tumors. The findings may help researchers stratify cancer patients for clinical trials according to their cancers' genomic signatures and predicted sensitivities to different cancer drugs.

Massive cost savings in high-tech pathogen-identification method

Posted: 20 May 2014 09:29 AM PDT

Using a new method for identifying bacteria and fungi in patient specimens led to a 92 percent cost reduction in the reagents needed to run clinical microbiology tests. "I don't like to use the word 'revolutionize,' but this technology has revolutionized our lab. We can diagnose infection more efficiently and treat patients much quicker, both of which help decrease health care costs," the lead investigator said.

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