Τρίτη, 17 Ιουνίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

Researchers use virus to reveal nanopore physics

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 12:15 PM PDT

Nanopores could provide a new way to sequence DNA quickly, but the physics involved isn't well understood. That's partly because of the complexities involved in studying the random, squiggly form DNA takes in solution. Researchers have simplified matters by using a stiff, rod-like virus instead of DNA to experiment with nanopores. Their research has uncovered previously unknown dynamics in polymer-nanopore interactions.

Bioscavengers: New discoveries could help neutralize chemical weapons

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 12:15 PM PDT

Researchers are a step closer to creating a prophylactic drug that would neutralize the deadly effects of the chemical weapons used in Syria and elsewhere. Scientists are trying to engineer enzymes -- called bioscavengers -- so they work more efficiently against chemical weapons.

Quantum theory reveals puzzling pattern in how people respond to some surveys

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 12:13 PM PDT

Researchers used quantum theory -- usually invoked to describe the actions of subatomic particles -- to identify an unexpected and strange pattern in how people respond to survey questions.

In managing boundaries between work, home, technology can be both 'friend' and 'foe'

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 11:15 AM PDT

When it comes to managing boundaries between work and home life, technology is neither all good nor all bad, according to ongoing research. Technology, specifically mobile technology, can be alternately used to maintain, erase or manage home and work boundaries along a spectrum, researchers report.

High-quality 3-D metal parts using additive manufacturing

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 11:15 AM PDT

Researchers have developed a new and more efficient approach to a challenging problem in additive manufacturing -- using selective laser melting, namely, the selection of appropriate process parameters that result in parts with desired properties.

Fuel cells developed for increased airplane efficiency

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 11:15 AM PDT

Researchers have developed the first fuel cell that can directly convert fuels, such as jet fuel or gasoline, to electricity, providing a dramatically more energy-efficient way to create electric power for planes or cars.

Cryoprobes better than traditional forceps for obtaining certain lung biopsies

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 10:41 AM PDT

Cryoprobes, which are tools that apply extreme cold to tissues, are better than conventional forceps for performing so-called transbronchial lung biopsies in patients who are being assessed for certain lung conditions, a randomized controlled trial has found. Cryoprobes allowed for improved diagnosis of interstitial lung diseases because they collected larger sized samples that were of higher quality.

Early detection of extreme financial events: Market crashes are anomalous features in financial data fractal landscape

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 10:07 AM PDT

Due to their previously discovered fractal nature, financial data patterns are self-similar when scaling up. New research shows that the most extreme events in financial data dynamics-reflected in very large price moves-are incompatible with multi-fractal scaling. Understanding the multi-fractal structure of financially sound markets could, ultimately, help in identifying structural signs of impending extreme events.

Hubble to begin search beyond Pluto for a New Horizons mission target

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 10:03 AM PDT

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope will be used to search for a suitable Kuiper Belt object that NASA's New Horizons space probe could visit. It would be our first and perhaps last look at such a remote relic from the distant past. The search is very challenging even for Hubble's sharp vision. It has to find something the size of Manhattan Island, as black as charcoal, and embedded against a snowstorm of background stars.

Trapping light: A long lifetime in a very small place

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 10:03 AM PDT

Physicists have created a silicon nanocavity that allows light to be trapped longer than in other similarly-sized optical cavities. An innovative design approach, which mimics evolutionary biology, allowed them to achieve a 10-fold improvement on the performance of previous nanocavities.

Ice in fuel cells displayed directly for the first time

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 07:24 AM PDT

Researchers have succeeded in imaging the distribution of frozen and liquid water in a hydrogen fuel cell directly for the first time. They applied a new imaging technique that uses two beams with different neutron energies to distinguish between areas with liquid water and those with ice extremely reliably. The method therefore opens up the prospect of studying one of the main problems of using fuel cells to power vehicles: ice can clog the pores in the fuel cells and affect their performance.

Seeking reality in the future of aeronautical simulation

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 07:16 AM PDT

NASA aeronautical innovators are helping to design future airliners that will cut fuel consumption, reduce polluting emissions and fly more quietly. Yet in computational fluid dynamics, or CFD, the design tools that helped give us the modern airliners flying today are not expected to be up to the challenge in the future without some serious upgrades.

Decontamination system to up research on space station

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 07:13 AM PDT

Just like eating, drinking and even trying to wash your hair aboard the International Space Station, conducting science experiments in space is not a simple task for astronauts. There are so many more factors for crews to consider than scientists on Earth have to worry about. If not contained, microgravity can turn gasses, dust, fluids and sharp objects into a floating nightmare.

Giant telescopes pair up to image near-Earth asteroid

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 07:07 AM PDT

NASA scientists using Earth-based radar have produced sharp views of a recently discovered asteroid as it slid silently past our planet. Captured on June 8, 2014, the new views of the object designated "2014 HQ124" are some of the most detailed radar images of a near-Earth asteroid ever obtained.

Herschel sees budding stars and a giant, strange ring

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 06:57 AM PDT

The Herschel Space Observatory has uncovered a weird ring of dusty material while obtaining one of the sharpest scans to date of a huge cloud of gas and dust, called NGC 7538. The observations have revealed numerous clumps of material, a baker's dozen of which may evolve into the most powerful kinds of stars in the universe. Herschel is a European Space Agency mission with important NASA contributions.

Bionic pancreas controls blood sugar levels in adults, adolescents with type 1 diabetes

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 06:36 AM PDT

The latest version of a bionic pancreas device has been successfully tested in two five-day clinical trials -- one in adults, the other in adolescents -- that imposed minimal restrictions on patient activities.

Nanoscale composites improve MRI: Magnetic particles merged to detect, fight disease

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 06:36 AM PDT

Submicrometer particles that contain even smaller particles of iron oxide could make magnetic resonance imaging a far more powerful tool to detect and fight disease. Medical researchers are creating composite particles that can be injected into patients and guided by magnetic fields. Once in position, the particles may be heated to kill malignant tissues or trigger the release of drugs at the site. The "nanoconstructs" should fully degrade and leave the body within a few days, they reported.

Wind turbine payback: Environmental lifecycle assessment of 2-megawatt wind turbines

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 06:33 AM PDT

Researchers have carried out an environmental lifecycle assessment of 2-megawatt wind turbines mooted for a large wind farm in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. They conclude that in terms of cumulative energy payback, or the time to produce the amount of energy required of production and installation, a wind turbine with a working life of 20 years will offer a net benefit within five to eight months of being brought online.

Nanoparticles aid microscopic detection of protein relevant for cancer

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 06:32 AM PDT

Assemblies of proteins have important functions in cells. But because they are very small, their composition from subunits can only be determined indirectly or with extreme time-effort. Scientists are currently developing a novel microscopy technology for the direct detection of such individual subunits of protein complexes in the cell membrane of intact cells. The methodology is applied to investigate a protein complex acting as a calcium channel in the cell membrane. The channel plays an important role in prostate cancer.

What's the role robotics could play in future food production?

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 05:21 AM PDT

A team of computer scientists is co-organizing an international workshop on recent advances in agricultural robotics. Recent information confirms that robots, machines and systems are rapidly achieving intelligence and autonomy, mastering more and more capabilities such as mobility and manipulation, sensing and perception, reasoning and decision making.

Glucose monitoring for diabetes made easy with a blood-less method

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 05:21 AM PDT

Treating diabetes – a major scourge of humanity bothering millions of people – requires a constant monitoring of the human blood for glucose concentrations. While current schemes employ electrochemical methods, they require extraction of blood samples. By using glucose-sensitive dyes and a nano-plasmonic interferometer, a research team has shown how to achieve much higher sensitivities in real-time measurements while using only saliva instead of blood.

High-mass stars are rarely solitary: Binary stars are more common than thought

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 05:21 AM PDT

High-mass stars are rarely solitary, according to new research. For several years, astronomers observed 800 celestial objects that are up to one hundred times heavier than our sun. More than 90 per cent have turned out to be multiple systems. These data support the theory that heavy stars are already formed as twins.

Western Amazon under threat from oil pollution

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 06:25 PM PDT

A new study of pollution records indicates that the Western Amazon, an area of unparalleled biological and cultural diversity, may have been contaminated by widespread oil pollution over a 30-year period. researchers have compiled a database of chemical analyses taken from the western Amazon area, over the 1983 to 2013 period. These analyses come from a variety of sources, including Peruvian public agencies and oil companies. Though the results need to be reinforced by further study, they raise some significant concerns.

Smartphone apps carry higher infection risk than online dating sites or clubs

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 06:25 PM PDT

Phone dating apps used by gay men to find a sexual partner carry a higher risk of getting common sexually transmitted infections than meeting online or in bars and clubs, suggests research. Smartphone apps tended to be favored by younger (under 40) well educated men, and those of white or Asian ethnic backgrounds. App users were also more likely to use recreational drugs, including cocaine and ecstasy.

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