Τετάρτη, 18 Ιουνίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

Move over, silicon, there's a new circuit in town

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 01:43 PM PDT

When it comes to electronics, silicon will now have to share the spotlight. Scientists have now overcome a major issue in carbon nanotube technology by developing a flexible, energy-efficient hybrid circuit combining carbon nanotube thin film transistors with other thin film transistors. This hybrid could take the place of silicon as the traditional transistor material used in electronic chips, since carbon nanotubes are more transparent, flexible, and can be processed at a lower cost.

Dynamic duo: 2-D electronic-vibrational spectroscopy technique provides unprecedented look into photochemical reactions

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 11:48 AM PDT

Researchers have developed a new technique called two-dimensional electronic-vibrational spectroscopy that can be used to study the interplay between electrons and atomic nuclei during a photochemical reaction. Photochemical reactions are critical to a wide range of natural and technological phenomena, including photosynthesis, vision, nanomaterials and solar energy.

Psychology researchers explore how engineers create: It's not so much 'eureka' moments as it's the sweat of one's brow

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 11:48 AM PDT

Simply put, engineers make things. But is finding that 'new' invention a massive mental leap from point A to point B, or are there scores of unnoticed intermediate steps in between?

Growing use of complex therapies for heart rhythm abnormalities

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 09:19 AM PDT

The White Book contains data on the use of cardiovascular implantable electronic devices including pacemakers, implantable cardiac defibrillators, cardiac resynchronization therapy devices, and lead extractions procedures in Europe. Its newest version has been recently launched.

Crowdsourcing the phase problem

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 08:22 AM PDT

Compared with humans, computers have the capacity to solve problems at much greater speed. There are many problems, however, where computational speed alone is insufficient to find a correct or optimal solution.

Sub-wavelength images to be made at radio frequencies

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 08:22 AM PDT

Imaging and mapping of electric fields at radio frequencies currently requires structures about the same size as the wavelength of the RF fields to be mapped. New theoretical and experimental work suggests an innovative method to overcome this limit. The new technique uses a pair of highly stable lasers and rubidium atoms as tunable resonators to map and potentially image electric fields at resolutions far below their RF wavelengths.

Surfing the Web in class? Bad idea

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 08:22 AM PDT

Even the smartest college students suffer academically when they use the Internet in class for non-academic purposes, finds new research. All students, regardless of intellectual ability, had lower exam scores the more they used the Internet for non-academic purposes such as reading the news, sending emails and posting Facebook updates, researcher report.

Unique greenhouse gas meter developed

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 08:20 AM PDT

Scientists have come up with a high-resolution meter to gauge the concentration of gases in the atmosphere with unparalleled precision. Tracking down carbon dioxide, methane and other gases with simultaneous determination of their concentrations at different altitudes is necessary, in particular, for research into global warming.

Scientists predict fermionic matter in a previously unknown state

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 08:20 AM PDT

Scientists have presented theoretical calculations which indicate the possible existence of fermionic matter in a previously unknown state -- in the form of a one-dimensional liquid, which cannot be described within the framework of existing models.

Novel nanoparticle production method could lead to better lights, lenses, solar cells

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 08:18 AM PDT

Researchers have come up with a way to make titanium-dioxide nanoparticles, which have a variety of uses in everything from solar cells to LEDs. Titanium-dioxide nanoparticles show great promise, but industry has largely shunned them in the past because they've been difficult and expensive to make.

Ultra-thin wires for quantum computing

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 08:18 AM PDT

Take a fine strand of silica fiber, attach it at each end to a slow-turning motor, torture it over a flame until it nearly reaches its melting point and then pull it apart. The middle will thin out like taffy until it is less than half a micron across, and that, according to researchers, is how you fabricate ultrahigh transmission optical nanofibers, a potential component for future quantum information devices.

Strange physics turns off laser

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 07:29 AM PDT

Inspired by anomalies that arise in certain mathematical equations, researchers have demonstrated a laser system that paradoxically turns off when more power is added rather than becoming continuously brighter. The findings could lead to new ways to manipulate the interaction of electronics and light, an important tool in modern communications networks and high-speed information processing.

Solar photons drive water off the moon

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 06:40 AM PDT

New research indicates that ultraviolet photons emitted by the sun likely cause water molecules on the lunar surface to either quickly desorb or break apart. The fragments of water may remain on the lunar surface, but the presence of useful amounts of water on the sunward side is not likely.

Nanoshell shields foreign enzymes used to starve cancer cells from immune system

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 06:40 AM PDT

A nanoshell to protect foreign enzymes used to starve cancer cells as part of chemotherapy has been developed by nanoengineers. Enzymes are naturally smart machines that are responsible for many complex functions and chemical reactions in biology. However, despite their huge potential, their use in medicine has been limited by the immune system, which is designed to attack foreign intruders.

Does the moon affect our sleep? Research says no

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 06:40 AM PDT

No correlation between moon phases and human sleep has been found by researchers studying the topic. For centuries, people have believed that the moon cycle influences human health, behavior and physiology. Folklore mainly links the full moon with sleeplessness. "We could not observe a statistical relevant correlation between human sleep and the lunar phases," remarked researchers after a large study completed.

References resources find their place among open access and Google, study finds

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 06:38 AM PDT

How do open access sources, tightened budgets, and competition from popular technologies affect how librarians perceive and employ reference resources? How do librarians expect to utilize reference in the future? A new article finds that though the definition of reference is changing, this is in part because reference resources now look and feel like other information sources and because other information resources perform the traditional purpose of reference -- answering research questions.

MRI technique may help prevent ADHD misdiagnosis

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 06:38 AM PDT

Brain iron levels offer a potential biomarker in the diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and may help physicians and parents make better informed treatment decisions, according to new research. ADHD is a common disorder in children and adolescents that can continue into adulthood. Symptoms include hyperactivity and difficulty staying focused, paying attention and controlling behavior, and affects 3 to 7 percent of school-age children.

Geothermal: Hunting for heat energy, deep within Earth

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 06:37 AM PDT

Capturing green energy from deep in the Earth will bring competitive electricity and district heating – with help from Norway. Ever since Jules Verne's 1864 novel " A Journey to the Centre of the Earth", people have dreamt of capturing the heat of planet Earth. It exists in huge amounts, is completely renewable and emits no CO2.

With light echoes, the invisible becomes visible

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 06:32 AM PDT

Scientists have developed a novel camera system which can see around the corner without using a mirror. Using diffusely reflected light, it reconstructs the shape of objects outside of the field of view. A laser shines on the wall; a camera watches the scene. Nothing more than white ingrain wallpaper with a bright spot of light can be seen through the lens. A computer records these initially unremarkable images and as the data is processed further, little by little, the outlines of an object appear on a screen.

Chemical pollution of European waters is worse than anticipated

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 06:32 AM PDT

Substantial improvements in freshwater quality by 2015 have been a declared objective of the EU member states, manifesting itself by the requirements of the Water Framework Directive. A recent study shows that this target is unlikely to be met due to the high levels of toxicants in the water bodies. One of the reasons: current measures for the improvement of water quality do not account for the effects of toxic chemicals. The study demonstrates for the first time on a pan-European scale that the ecological risks posed by toxic chemicals are considerably greater than has generally been assumed.

Fuel cells utilized to produce electricity from process industry by-product hydrogen

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 06:28 AM PDT

Scientists have developed a pilot-scale power plant based on fuel cells that utilizes by-product hydrogen from the process industry. The system produces electricity from hydrogen generated as a by-product of a sodium chlorate process at a high electric efficiency and is the first of its kind in the Nordic Countries.

E-cigs heavily marketed on Twitter, study finds

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 06:20 AM PDT

One third of commercial tweets offer coupons or discounts to purchase electronic-cigarette (e-cigs) products, a study has found. While advertising for conventional cigarettes has long been prohibited, e-cigarettes are advertised routinely in traditional media (print, television and radio) and social media. The researchers collected tweets and metadata related to e-cigarettes during a two month period in 2012. Using novel statistical methodology and carefully chosen keywords, they captured more than 70,000 tweets related to e-cigs.

Discovery of Earth's northernmost perennial spring

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 05:45 PM PDT

Scientists have discovered the highest latitude perennial spring known in the world. This high-volume spring demonstrates that deep groundwater circulation through the cryosphere occurs, and can form gullies in a region of extreme low temperatures and with morphology remarkably similar to those on Mars. The 2009 discovery raises many new questions because it remains uncertain how such a high-volume spring can originate in a polar desert environment.

Commuting times stay constant even as distances change

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 05:42 PM PDT

How much commuting can you tolerate? A new study shows that across countries, people assess their commutes by the time it takes them to complete the trip, generally independent of the distance they have to travel -- as long as they have a variety of commuting options to chose from.

Moly 99 reactor could lead to U.S. supply of isotope to track disease

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 05:40 PM PDT

An Albuquerque startup company has licensed a Sandia National Laboratories technology that offers a way to make molybdenum-99, a key radioactive isotope needed for diagnostic imaging in nuclear medicine, in the United States.

Quantum biology: Algae evolved to switch quantum coherence on and off

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 12:15 PM PDT

Scientists have discovered how algae that survive in very low levels of light are able to switch on and off a weird quantum phenomenon that occurs during photosynthesis. The function in the algae of this quantum effect, known as coherence, remains a mystery, but it is thought it could help them harvest energy from the sun much more efficiently. Working out its role in a living organism could lead to advances such as better organic solar cells.

The games genes play: Algorithm helps explain sex in evolution

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 12:15 PM PDT

Computer theorists have identified an algorithm to describe the strategy used by genes during sexual recombination. In doing so, they address the dueling evolutionary forces of survival of the fittest and of diversity. "The key to this work is the making of a connection between three theoretical fields: algorithms, game theory and evolutionary theory," said one researcher. "This new bridge is an uncommon advance that opens up possibilities for cross-fertilization between the fields in the future."

Hunt for extraterrestrial life gets massive methane boost

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 12:15 PM PDT

A powerful new model to detect life on planets outside of our solar system more accurately than ever before has been developed by researchers. The new model focuses on methane, the simplest organic molecule, widely acknowledged to be a sign of potential life. The new model has been tested and verified by successfully reproducing in detail the way in which the methane in failed stars, called brown dwarfs, absorbs light.

Computation leads to better understanding of influenza virus replication

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 12:13 PM PDT

Computer simulations that reveal a key mechanism in the replication process of influenza A may help defend against future deadly pandemics. Treating influenza relies on drugs that are becoming less and less effective due to viral evolution. But scientists have published computational results that may give drug designers the insight they need to develop the next generation of effective influenza treatment.

Strokefinder quickly differentiates bleeding strokes from clot-induced strokes

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 11:15 AM PDT

The results from the initial clinical studies involving the microwave helmet Strokefinder confirm the usefulness of microwaves for rapid and accurate diagnosis of stroke patients. Strokefinder enables earlier diagnosis than current methods, which improves the possibility to counteract brain damage.

Portable brain scanners in every locker room, military base will change everything we know about concussions

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 11:13 AM PDT

A portable imaging tool could change the way the medical community analyzes and understands the long-term effects of sports-related concussions. Research has played a significant role in demonstrating the usefulness of computerized neurocognitive testing in determining the extent of the effects of concussion on cognition and performance among student athletes and military personnel.

Optimizing photonic crystal nanocavities: Faster path to optical circuits

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 10:09 AM PDT

A fast and effective method for optimizing photonic crystal nanocavities has been developed by scientists. The method has led to the design of new-generation structures that may advance the future of optical circuits.

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