Τρίτη, 27 Μαΐου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

From chaos to order: How ants optimize food search

Posted: 26 May 2014 03:27 PM PDT

Ants are capable of complex problem-solving strategies that could be widely applied as optimization techniques. An individual ant searching for food walks in random ways. Yet the collective foraging behavior of ants goes well beyond that, a mathematical study reveals: The animal movements at a certain point change from chaos to order. This happens in a self-organized way. Understanding the ants could help analyze similar phenomena -- for instance how humans roam the Internet.

Robot warriors pose ethical dilemma

Posted: 26 May 2014 07:18 AM PDT

With the increasing use of drones in military operations, it is perhaps only a matter of time before robots replace soldiers. Whether fully automated war is on the immediate horizon, one researcher says it's not too early to start examining the ethical issues that robot armies raise.

Molecules do the triple twist

Posted: 26 May 2014 07:16 AM PDT

Scientists have managed to make a triple-Möbius annulene, the most twisted fully conjugated molecule to date. An everyday analogue of a single twisted Möbius molecule is a Möbius strip. It can be made easily by twisting one end of a paper strip by 180 degrees and then joining the two ends.

New perspectives to the design of molecular cages

Posted: 26 May 2014 07:16 AM PDT

Researchers report a new method of building molecular cages. The method involves the exploitation of intermolecular steric effects to control the outcome of a self-assembly reaction. Molecular cages are composed of organic molecules (ligands) which are bound to metal ions during a self-assembly process. Depending on the prevailing conditions, self-assembly processes urge to maximize the symmetry of the system and thus occupy every required metal binding site. The research group developed a method in which sterically hindered ligands are used to seemingly disrupt the self-assembly process. This new strategy allows a ligand to occupy only two of the four potential binding sites of the metal.

Cost-effective filtration system to efficiently combat indoor air pollution

Posted: 26 May 2014 07:16 AM PDT

Researchers have invented a cost-effective filtration system to efficiently combat indoor air pollution. The new system is more effective than standard air purifier, is capable of removing particles almost 10 times smaller than the PM2.5 standard, and helps to remove the smell associated with haze.

Outdoor lighting using wind-solar hybrid renewable energy sources

Posted: 25 May 2014 05:47 PM PDT

As an outcome from the continuous hybrid renewable energy research, an innovative outdoor lighting system powered by a shroud-augmented wind turbine and a solar panel was installed in the Kuala Lumpur campus of University of Malaya (UM).

DNA nanotechnology places enzyme catalysis within an arm's length

Posted: 25 May 2014 12:53 PM PDT

Using molecules of DNA like an architectural scaffold, scientists have developed a 3-D artificial enzyme cascade that mimics an important biochemical pathway that could prove important for future biomedical and energy applications. In the latest breakthrough, the research team took up the challenge of mimicking enzymes outside the friendly confines of the cell. These enzymes speed up chemical reactions, used in our bodies for the digestion of food into sugars and energy during human metabolism, for example.

New molecule for high-resolution cell imaging

Posted: 25 May 2014 12:53 PM PDT

Cells have their own tiny skeletons that are responsible for many important cellular functions. Scientists have developed novel fluorescent probes for imaging these important structures easily and with unprecedented resolution. The scientists believe that they can extend their work into other types of proteins and tissues. "Up to now, no probes were available that would allow you to get high quality images of microtubules and microfilaments in living cells without some kind of genetic modification," one researcher notes. "With this work, we provide the biological community with two high-performing, high-contrast fluorogenic probes that emit in the non-phototoxic part of the light spectrum, and can be even used in tissues like whole-blood samples."

From separation to transformation: Metal-organic framework shows new talent

Posted: 22 May 2014 08:57 AM PDT

Measurements show why a material already known to be good at separating components of natural gas also can do something trickier: help convert one chemical to another, a process called catalysis. The discovery is a rare example of a laboratory-made material easily performing a task that biology usually requires a complex series of steps to accomplish.

Crowding has big effects on biomolecules

Posted: 22 May 2014 08:57 AM PDT

Crowding has notoriously negative effects at large size scales, blamed for everything from human disease and depression to community resource shortages. But relatively little is known about the influence of crowding at the cellular level. A new study shows that a crowded environment has dramatic effects on individual biomolecules.

Adhesive bonding with pre-applied adhesives

Posted: 22 May 2014 04:44 AM PDT

In industrial production, bonding plays an increasingly important role. Researchers have now succeeded in separating the processes of applying the adhesive and the actual joining, which opens up a new world of applications.

The digital film reel

Posted: 22 May 2014 04:44 AM PDT

Instead of heavy rolls of film, digital film copies are sent to movie theaters these days. With the easyDCP software, these digital packages can be easily created in the required standard so that the digital film can run in any theater.

Inspecting letters with terahertz waves

Posted: 22 May 2014 04:44 AM PDT

Is it a harmless parcel or a bomb, an innocent letter or a drug shipment? A new terahertz scanner is capable of detecting illicit drugs and explosives sent by post without having to open suspicious packages or envelopes.

Artificial pancreas being pioneered in new clinical trial

Posted: 22 May 2014 04:44 AM PDT

in order to study the efficiency of an artificial pancreas, one of the latest advances in healthcare technology, researchers have initiated a clinical trial. The artificial pancreas is a device based on a control mathematical algorithm that calculates the optimal dose of insulin according to the needs of any patient at any time. It consists of providing the insulin pumps used by type 1 diabetes mellitus patients with an additional system (control algorithm) able to indicate the exact quantity of insulin needed by a patient at any time.

Privacy compliance for big data systems automated: Search engine code is moving target that eludes manual audits

Posted: 21 May 2014 10:38 AM PDT

Web services companies, such as Facebook, Google and Microsoft, all make promises about how they will use personal information they gather. Scientists have now automated the method to ensure that large codebases are operating in compliance with those promises and has deployed a prototype automated system on the data analytics pipeline of Bing, Microsoft's search engine.

Image fusion-guided biopsy significantly improves accuracy of prostate cancer diagnosis

Posted: 21 May 2014 10:38 AM PDT

Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in men with an elevated prostate specific antigen (PSA) resulted in a prostate cancer detection rate that was twice as high as data reported that analyzed men undergoing the standard 12-core biopsy with an elevated PSA. Physicians in the recent trial used a targeted approach to evaluate prostate cancer that combines MR imaging and transrectal ultrasound fusion guided prostate biopsy.

Faster track to finding the tools that track disease

Posted: 21 May 2014 10:37 AM PDT

A direct method to single enantiomer PET tracers has been developed by scientists. These radioactive small molecules are used in PET scans to help doctors visualize the progression of disease. Ultimately the goal is to use this chemistry to identify a completely novel PET radiotracer for imaging.

A new solution for storing hydrogen fuel for alternative energy

Posted: 21 May 2014 10:37 AM PDT

Turning the 'hydrogen economy' concept into a reality, even on a small scale, has been a bumpy road, but scientists are developing a novel way to store hydrogen to smooth out the long-awaited transition away from fossil fuels. A new solid, stable material can pack in a large amount of hydrogen, according to recent research.

Paper-based diagnostics, made with a scrapbooking tool, could curb hepatitis C pandemic

Posted: 21 May 2014 10:37 AM PDT

To the relief of patients diagnosed with hepatitis C, the US Food and Drug Administration approved two new treatments late last year, and a few more are on the way. Now scientists are solving another side of the disease's problem: identifying the millions more who have the virus but don't know it -- and unwittingly pass it on. A new report describes a novel, scrapbook-inspired test that does just that.

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