Τετάρτη, 11 Ιουνίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News


Charging portable electronics in 10 minutes: New architecture for lithium-ion battery anodes far outperform the current standard

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 11:47 AM PDT

Researchers have developed a three-dimensional, silicon-decorated, cone-shaped carbon-nanotube cluster architecture for lithium ion battery anodes that could enable charging of portable electronics in 10 minutes, instead of hours.

Snowballs to soot: The clumping density of many things seems to be a standard

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 11:47 AM PDT

Particles of soot floating through the air and comets hurtling through space have at least one thing in common: 0.36. That, reports a research group, is the measure of how dense they will get under normal conditions, and it's a value that seems to be constant for similar aggregates across an impressively wide size range from nanometers to tens of meters.

'All systems go' for a paralyzed person to kick off the World Cup

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 11:47 AM PDT

All systems are go for a bold demonstration of neuroscience and cognitive technology in action: on June 12, during the opening of the FIFA 2014 World Cup in Brazil, a paralyzed person wearing a brain-controlled robotic exoskeleton is expected to make the first kick. The system records electrical activity in the patient's brain and translates that to action. It also gives the patient tactile feedback using sensitive artificial skin.

Earth is around 60 million years older than previously thought -- and so is the moon, new research finds

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 11:46 AM PDT

The timing of the giant impact between Earth's ancestor and a planet-sized body occurred around 40 million years after the start of solar system formation. This means that the final stage of Earth's formation is around 60 million years older than previously thought, according to new research.

Innovative millimeter wave communications introduced

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 09:20 AM PDT

Wireless data connections that exploit millimeter wave radio spectrum (30GHz to 300GHz) are expected to be used in worldwide 5G networks from 2020. Millimeter wave radios use much higher carrier frequencies than those in current systems, such as 4G and Wi-Fi.

A life well spent: Consume now (in case you die early)

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 09:20 AM PDT

An early death constitutes a serious loss that should imply compensation to the deceased person. But how – when the person is dead? A team of economists argues that a 'life well spent' might entail consuming more and working less earlier in life. They construct a mathematical model to measure the economic losses associated with an early death.

New biometric watches use light to non-invasively monitor glucose, dehydration, pulse

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 09:20 AM PDT

Two new wearable devices have been developed that use scattered light to monitor biometrics: one tracks glucose and dehydration, and the other monitors pulse. The glucose sensor is the first wearable device that can measure glucose concentration directly but noninvasively. The new pulse monitor is an improvement over current watches in that it will be less sensitive to errors when the wearer is in motion.

Internet not responsible for dying newspapers, new study finds

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 09:19 AM PDT

We all know that the Internet has killed the traditional newspaper trade, right? After all, until the general population started interacting with the web in the mid-90s, the newspaper business was thriving -- offering readers top notch journalism and pages of ads. A new study finds assumptions about the decline of newspapers are based on three false premises.

High strength cellular aluminium foam for the automotive industry

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 09:18 AM PDT

Aluminum foam is used for applications that requires high level of energy and sound absorption characteristics. Researchers have developed an innovative process to make high strength cellular aluminum foam with help from some salt.

'Onion' vesicles for drug delivery developed

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 08:27 AM PDT

A certain kind of dendrimer, a molecule that features tree-like branches, offers a simple way of creating vesicles and tailoring their diameter and thickness, researchers report. Moreover, these dendrimer-based vesicles self-assemble with concentric layers of membranes, much like an onion.

Magnetic cooling enables efficient, 'green' refrigeration

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 08:23 AM PDT

Researchers have developed a promising novel approach for magnetic cooling that's far more efficient and 'greener' than today's standard fluid-compression form of refrigeration. One novel magnetic cooling approach relies on solid magnetic substances called magnetocaloric materials to act as the refrigerant in miniaturized magnetic refrigerators.

Funky ferroelectric properties probed with X-rays

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 08:23 AM PDT

Ferroelectric materials like barium titanate, a ceramic used in capacitors, are essential to many electronic devices. Typical ferroelectric materials develop features called domain walls with unusual properties -- such as lines of electrical conduction completely different from the surrounding material. These properties are technologically useful but poorly understood. Now scientists have demonstrated the ability of a powerful imaging tool to provide new insight into the mystery of why domain walls behave in their peculiar ways.

Compact proton therapy for fight against cancer

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 07:37 AM PDT

The future face of modern-day anti-cancer therapy based on charged particles like protons could potentially involve using laser accelerators. However, these facilities will need to be reduced in terms of both size and cost compared to conventional ones. A medical physicist is the first to present a new design for the entire complex machine – from the accelerator to the radiation site. In the process, he has successfully cut the facility's size in half.

New low friction coating allows grease-free lubrication and corrosion protection

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 07:18 AM PDT

Machine parts wear, if there is friction between their metal surfaces. Lubricants and functional oils help prevent this. They attract dirt, debris and dust, and over time form lumps  or become resinous. Machine parts then have to be intensively cleaned and regreased, which leads to more frequent maintenance, greater consumption of resources, polluting waste or machine breakdowns. Researchers have now developed a functional coating which lubricates without grease and protects against corrosion at the same time. It is suitable as a coating for metals and metal alloys such as steel, aluminum or magnesium.

Switchable adhesion principle enables damage-free handling of sensitive devices even in vacuum

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 07:18 AM PDT

Components with highly sensitive surfaces are used in automotive, semiconductor and display technologies as well as for complex optical lens systems. During the production process, these parts are transferred in between many process steps. Each pick-up and release with conventional gripping systems involves the risk of either contamination of the surfaces with residues from transportation adhesives, or damaging due to mechanical gripping.

Sopcawind, a multidisciplinary tool for designing wind farms

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 07:18 AM PDT

The SOPCAWIND tool is a piece of software that facilitates the design of wind farms, bearing in mind not only the aspects of energy productivity but also the possible impact the wind farm may have on the environment, radars or other telecommunications systems in the vicinity. It also assesses acoustic noise, the effect of shadow on nearby housing, and applies criteria for heritage protection or clearance from transport networks and certain facilities.

Anti-microbial coatings with a long-term effect for surfaces

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 07:18 AM PDT

Researchers have now produced antimicrobial abrasion-resistant coatings with both silver and copper colloids with a long-term effect that kill germs reliably and at the same time prevent germs becoming established.

First atlas of Inuit Arctic trails launched

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 07:13 AM PDT

A new digital resource brings together centuries of cultural knowledge for the first time, showing that networks of trails over snow and sea ice, seemingly unconnected to the untrained eye, in fact span a continent – and that the Inuit have long-occupied one of the most resource-rich and contested areas on the planet.

Viewing plant cells in 3-D (no glasses required)

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 05:57 PM PDT

Focused ion beam-scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM) has been used in both materials science and in the study of animal tissue, but has not previously been used in plant imaging. Researchers now have modified existing FIB-SEM protocols and optimized these for plant tissue and cellular studies, shedding new light on plant cell architecture.

Cell phones negatively affect male fertility, new study suggests

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 05:56 PM PDT

Men who keep a cell phone in their pant pocket could be inadvertently damaging their chances of becoming a father, according to a new study. Previous research has suggested that radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation (RF-EMR) emitted by the devices can have a detrimental effect on male fertility. Most of the global adult population own mobile phones, and around 14% of couples in high and middle income countries have difficulty conceiving.

How 'living roofs' help build better cities

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 05:50 PM PDT

With more people moving into cities, architects need tools to make good decisions about green roofs. An architectural researcher said with weather extremes becoming unpredictable, vegetated roofs build resilience into a changing world.

Game technology teaches mice, men to hear better in noisy environments

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 12:34 PM PDT

A new type of game has been programmed that trained both mice and humans to enhance their ability to discriminate soft sounds in noisy backgrounds. Their findings suggest new therapeutic options for clinical populations that receive little benefit from conventional sensory rehabilitation strategies.

'Hello, world!' NASA beams video from space station via laser

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 11:09 AM PDT

The high-definition video via laser transmission from space to ground, stating 'Hello, World!' was the first of its kind for the Optical Payload for Lasercomm Science from the International Space Station.

Nanoparticle thin films that self-assemble in one minute

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 11:09 AM PDT

A technique whereby self-assembling nanoparticle arrays can form a highly ordered thin film over macroscopic distances in one minute has been designed by scientists. Nanoparticles function as artificial atoms with unique optical, electrical and mechanical properties. If nanoparticles can be induced to self-assemble into complex structures and hierarchical patterns, similar to what nature does with proteins, it would enable mass-production of devices a thousand times smaller those used in today's microtechnology.

Humanitarian liking on Facebook

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 11:09 AM PDT

'Liking' a page on the social networking site Facebook is a new form of civic engagement and humanitarian support, researchers conclude. According to the paper's authors, social motives and an emotional response underpinned users' inclination to like, or follow, a page, rather than their simply seeking information and news.

Designing ion 'highway systems' for batteries

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 11:09 AM PDT

Researchers have married two traditional theories that advance the understanding of plastics for battery application. Since the early 1970s, lithium has been the most popular element for batteries: it's the lightest of all metals and has the greatest electrochemical potential. But a lithium-based battery has a major disadvantage: it's highly flammable, and when it overheats, it can burst into flames. For years, scientists have searched for safer battery materials that still have the same advantages as lithium.

Presurgical SPECT/CT shows more cancer than current standard

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 11:09 AM PDT

Sentinel node imaging is more effectively accomplished with hybrid functional imaging with single photon emission computed tomography and computed tomography than with another molecular imaging technique called lymphoscintigraphy. This has been demonstrated through startling data from an international multi-center trial focused on melanoma, breast carcinoma, and malignancies of the pelvis, such as prostate and cervical cancer.

Molecular breast imaging protocol unmasks more cancer

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 11:08 AM PDT

Patients with advanced breast cancer that may have spread to their lymph nodes could benefit from a more robust dose of a molecular imaging agent called Tc-99m filtered sulfur colloid when undergoing lymphoscintigraphy, a functional imaging technique that scouts new cancer as it begins to metastasize. Best results also indicate that imaging could be improved by injecting the agent the day prior to surgical resection, according to research.

Molecular imaging finds novel way to knock down breast cancer

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 11:08 AM PDT

Molecular imaging techniques that visualize hormonally active breast cancer cells -- specifically those testing positive for human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 -- have been under development for years. A recent innovation in breast cancer biomarkers seeks the HER3 receptor instead, which could mean more comprehensive breast cancer imaging and potential treatments, say experts.

REM sleep disturbance signals future neurodegenerative disease

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 11:08 AM PDT

How many millions of people suffer from sleep disturbance? One sleep disorder in particular, called REM behavior disorder, could be a sign of impending neurodegenerative disease, including Parkinson's and dementia, say scientists. In order to gauge the relationship between the REM sleep disorder and neurodegeneration, scientists performed molecular neuroimaging using a technique called single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), which allows clinicians to evaluate bodily functions instead of focusing on structure, the forte of conventional radiology.

Molecular imaging gets to the root of rheumatoid arthritis

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 11:08 AM PDT

SPECT, PET systems and respective imaging agents have been used in a study to detect the inflammation involved in the ongoing pathology of osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis causes chronic pain for almost half of adults by the time they retire, the researchers claim. It is not well understood why this autoimmune disorder develops.

Enzyme-inhibition could revolutionize molecular imaging

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 11:08 AM PDT

The prominent role a single enzyme plays in cancer imaging has eluded researchers for years, but not anymore. This discovery could pave new avenues in nuclear medicine. The enzyme, called neutral endopeptidase, has a way of breaking down most radiopeptide imaging agents in the body. Researchers have developed an elegant new concept that improves molecular imaging, according to study results.

Radioluminescence tells story of single cells

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 11:08 AM PDT

With a new molecular imaging system powerful enough to peer down to 20-micrometer resolution, researchers can now use radioluminescence to examine the characteristics of single, unconnected cells. The result is a fascinating picture of diversity among cells previously assumed to behave the same, revealed researchers.

Opti-SPECT/PET/CT: Five different imaging systems now combined

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 11:08 AM PDT

Taking their pick, biomedical researchers can now conduct five different imaging studies in one scan with a state-of-the-art preclinical molecular imaging system, revealed scientists. The imaging device allows single photon emission tomography (SPECT), positron emission tomography (PET), X-ray computed tomography, fluorescence and bioluminescence imaging -- powerful imaging techniques that provide different information about anatomy and physiological processes happening within the body.

Best treatment for low back pain revealed

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 11:08 AM PDT

Low back pain is not only excruciating but also debilitating for countless sufferers. Unfortunately, not everyone responds to treatment. A molecular imaging scan in addition to a conventional bone scan can provide the necessary information about the physiological health of the spine to select the most appropriate pain-killing treatment protocol, say researchers.

PET/MR is superior for verifying coronary arterial disease

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 11:08 AM PDT

Ischemic heart disease, a narrowing of the arteries supplying blood to the heart, is a leading cause of death throughout the world. A hybrid molecular imaging technique called positron emission tomography and magnetic resonance imaging, which tells doctors vital information about cardiac and arterial function, has been found to be an effective molecular imaging tool for detecting coronary artery disease, say researchers.

Newly-approved wireless heart failure monitor implanted in patient

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 11:07 AM PDT

Doctors at one American hospital are the first in the country to begin treating some heart failure patients with a new wireless, implantable hemodynamic monitor that was just approved by the FDA. "I consider this to be the first major breakthrough in heart failure management in more than a decade," one expert said. "For the first time, cardiologists can directly manage a patient's pulmonary pressures rather than managing their symptoms or weight gain."

Text messaging program benefits pregnant women, study finds

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 11:04 AM PDT

The leading mobile health service in the nation, Text4baby, was found to significantly benefit pregnant women, according to a new study. The pilot study examined several things including the short-term effects of Text4baby exposure four weeks post enrollment on attitudes, beliefs and behaviors targeted by the text messages.

Connecting dead ends increases power grid stability

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 09:21 AM PDT

Climate change mitigation strategies such as the German Energiewende require linking vast numbers of new power generation facilities to the grid. As the input from many renewable sources is rather volatile, depending on how much the wind blows or the sun shines, there's a higher risk of local power instabilities and eventually blackouts. Scientists have found that connecting dead ends can significantly increase power grid stability.

Stem cells a soft touch for nano-engineered biomaterials

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 09:20 AM PDT

Stem cell behavior can be modified by manipulating the nanoscale properties of the material they are grown on -- improving the potential of regenerative medicine and tissue engineering as a result, researchers report. In this study, the researchers used tiny material patches known as nanopatches to alter the surface of the substrate and mimic the properties of a softer material.

How solar wind can break through Earth's magnetic field

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 09:20 AM PDT

Space is not empty. A wind of charged particles blows outwards from the Sun, carrying a magnetic field with it. Sometimes this solar wind can break through the Earth's magnetic field. Researchers now have an answer to one of the questions about how this actually occurs. When two areas with plasma (electrically charged gas) and magnetic fields with different orientations collide, the magnetic fields can be "clipped off" and "reconnected" so that the topology of the magnetic field is changed, they explain.

Seeing how a lithium-ion battery works

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 08:34 AM PDT

The inner workings of a type of electrode widely used in lithium-ion batteries has been revealed through new observations by researchers. The new findings explain the unexpectedly high power and long cycle life of such batteries, the researchers say.

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