Πέμπτη, 5 Ιουνίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

No evidence of the double nature of neutrinos

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 10:38 AM PDT

After two years of searching for a special radioactive decay that would provide an indication of new physics beyond the standard model, an experiment deep under ground near Carlsbad has so far found no evidence of its existence. If this decay indeed exists, its half-life must be more than a million-billion times longer than the age of the universe.

Surprisingly strong magnetic fields can match black holes' pull: Long-neglected magnetic fields have an unexpected presence

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 10:38 AM PDT

A new study of supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies has found magnetic fields play an impressive role in the systems' dynamics. In fact, in dozens of black holes surveyed, the magnetic field strength matched the force produced by the black holes' powerful gravitational pull.

Astronomers discover first Thorne-Zytkow object, a bizarre type of hybrid star

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 08:51 AM PDT

In a discovery decades in the making, scientists have detected the first of a 'theoretical' class of stars first proposed in 1975 by physicist Kip Thorne and astronomer Anna Zytkow. Thorne-Zytkow objects are hybrids of red supergiant and neutron stars that superficially resemble normal red supergiants, such as Betelguese in the constellation Orion. They differ, however, in their distinct chemical signatures that result from unique activity in their stellar interiors.

NASA should maintain long-term focus on Mars as 'horizon goal' for human spaceflight

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 08:51 AM PDT

Arguing for a continuation of the nation's human space exploration program, a new congressionally mandated report from the National Research Council concludes that the expense of human spaceflight and the dangers to the astronauts involved can be justified only by the goal of putting humans on other worlds.

Emotion drives customers to use smartphones with bigger screens

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 07:55 AM PDT

Bigger smartphone screen size may be better for more than just practical reasons, according to researchers. Participants in a study on smartphones indicated that emotional reasons might influence their decision to buy smartphones with bigger screens even more than practical ones.

Searching for acoustic evidence of MH370

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 07:55 AM PDT

Researchers have been examining a low-frequency underwater sound signal that could have resulted from Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370. The signal, which was picked up by underwater sound recorders off Rottnest Island just after 1:30 am UTC on the 8th March, could have resulted from Flight MH370 crashing into the Indian Ocean but could also have originated from a natural event, such as a small earth tremor.

Light from huge explosion 12 billion years ago reaches Earth

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 07:55 AM PDT

Intense light from the enormous explosion of a star 12.1 billion years ago -- shortly after the Big Bang -- recently reached Earth and was observed by a robotic telescope. Known as a gamma-ray burst, these rare, high-energy explosions are the catastrophic collapse of a star at the end of its life. Astronomers can analyze the observational data to draw further conclusions about the structure of the early universe.

Understanding mussels' stickiness could lead to better surgical and underwater glues

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 07:55 AM PDT

Mussels might be a welcome addition to a hearty seafood stew, but their notorious ability to attach themselves to ships' hulls, as well as to piers and moorings, makes them an unwelcome sight and smell for boaters and swimmers. Now, researchers report a clearer understanding of how mussels stick to surfaces, which could lead to new classes of adhesives that will work underwater and even inside the body.

Quantum criticality observed in new class of materials

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 07:55 AM PDT

Quantum criticality, the strange electronic state that may be intimately related to high-temperature superconductivity, is notoriously difficult to study, but the first findings of a 'quantum critical point' in a category of materials known as 'oxypnictides' could lead to a broader understanding of the quantum phenomenon.

Black hole 'batteries' keep blazars going and going

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 06:41 AM PDT

Astronomers studying two classes of black-hole-powered galaxies have found evidence that they represent different sides of the same cosmic coin. By unraveling how these objects, called blazars, are distributed throughout the universe, the scientists suggest that apparently distinctive properties defining each class more likely reflect a change in the way the galaxies extract energy from their central black holes.

App paired with sensor measures stress, delivers advice to cope in real time

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 06:41 AM PDT

A system that combines a mobile application and sensor to detect stress in parents has been developed by computer scientists. It delivers research-based strategies to help decrease parents' stress during emotionally charged interactions with their children. The system was initially tested on a small group of parents of children with ADHD.

Ice cream sensations graphed on computer, may help to build better tasting food

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 06:35 AM PDT

Changes in coldness, creaminess or texture that we experience in the mouth while we are eating an ice cream can be visualized on a screen using colored curves. Graphs help manufacturers improve product quality, researchers suggest. In the last five years a technique known as 'Temporal Dominance of Sensations' has become popular, used to analyze how consumer impressions evolve from the moment they taste a product.

Diabetes app developed for smartphone

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 06:35 AM PDT

An app for smartphones automatically calculates the carbohydrate content of a meal. The program called "GoCARB" enables diabetics to better plan their meals and to control their blood glucose easier. Approximately 366 million people worldwide -- and counting -- are affected by diabetes mellitus. According to estimates by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), it shall be 500 million people worldwide by 2030.

First light for SPHERE exoplanet imager: Revolutionary new VLT instrument installed

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 06:33 AM PDT

SPHERE -- the Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet REsearch instrument -- has been installed on ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the Paranal Observatory in Chile and has achieved first light. This powerful new facility for finding and studying exoplanets uses multiple advanced techniques in combination. It offers dramatically better performance than existing instruments and has produced impressive views of dust discs around nearby stars and other targets during the very first days of observations.

Proton beam therapy model policy issued

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 06:27 AM PDT

A new Model Policy for proton beam therapy (PBT) that details which cancer diagnoses meet evidence-based standards and should be covered by private insurers and Medicare has been released for use. PBT is neither a new nor an experimental technology for treating cancer with radiation. It utilizes proton radiation particles to deliver highly conformal radiation therapy to a specific tumor target area while giving a much lower dose to the normal tissues in the proton beam's path of entry and exit.

Possible benefits of brain stimulation on hand, arm movement following stroke

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 06:27 AM PDT

Researchers are studying whether stimulating the brain before rehabilitation could yield greater gains in motor function for people recovering from stroke. The technology is akin to a more advanced version of constraint-induced therapy in which clinicians physically tie down a patient's good arm, which forces the patient to use the injured side. With this non-invasive device, researchers are using electromagnetism to slow activity in portions of the healthy brain hemisphere that control the uninjured arm, similarly forcing the brain to use its injured half.

Astronomers discover two new worlds orbiting ancient star next door: One may be warm enough to have liquid water

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 04:40 PM PDT

Astronomers have discovered two new planets orbiting a very old star that is near to our own sun. One of these planets orbits the star at the right distance to allow liquid water to exist on its surface, a key ingredient to support life. Kapteyn's Star, named after the Dutch astronomer, Jacobus Kapteyn, who discovered it at the end of the 19th century, is the second fastest-moving star in the sky and belongs to the Galactic halo, an extended group of stars orbiting our Galaxy on very elliptical orbits. With a third of the mass of the Sun, this red-dwarf can be seen with an amateur telescope in the southern constellation of Pictor.

Discovering a hidden source of solar surges

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 03:26 PM PDT

Cutting-edge observations with the 1.6-meter telescope at Big Bear Solar Observatory in California have taken research into the structure and activity of the Sun to new levels of understanding. The telescope at Big Bear is the most powerful ground-based instrument dedicated to studying the sun. A group of astronomers has analyzed the highest- resolution solar observations ever made.

Solving sunspot mysteries: Multi-wavelength observations of sunspots

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 03:26 PM PDT

Multi-wavelength observations of sunspots with the 1.6-meter telescope at Big Bear Solar Observatory in California and aboard NASA's IRIS spacecraft have produced new and intriguing images of high-speed plasma flows and eruptions extending from the sun's surface to the outermost layer of the solar atmosphere, the corona.

Investigating unusual three-ribbon solar flares with extreme high resolution

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 03:26 PM PDT

The 1.6 meter telescope at Big Bear Solar Observatory in California has given researchers unparalleled capability for investigating phenomena such as solar flares. The BBSO instrument is the most powerful ground-based telescope dedicated to studying the star closest to Earth.

First fully 2-D field effect transistors: 2-D transistors promise a faster electronics future

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 03:26 PM PDT

Researchers have unveiled the world's first fully two-dimensional field-effect transistor, using new device architecture that provides high electron mobility even under high voltages and scaled to a monolayer in thickness.

New device isolates most aggressive cancer cells

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 03:25 PM PDT

Not all cancer cells are created equal: some stay put in the primary tumor, while others move and invade elsewhere. A major goal for cancer research is predicting which cells will metastasize, and why. A cancer research team is taking a new approach to screening for these dangerous cells, using a microfluidic device they invented that isolates only the most aggressive, metastatic cells.

Search engine identifies functionally linked genes

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 01:19 PM PDT

Scientists have designed a search engine that identifies genes that are functionally linked. The discovery may lead to ways to treat diseases that have a genetic component, such as cancer or Alzheimer's.

Toxic computer waste in the developing world

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 08:43 AM PDT

As the developing world continues to develop, standards of living and access to technology increases. Unfortunately, as personal computers, laptops and mobile phones become increasingly common so the problem of recycling and disposal of such devices when they become technologically obsolete rises too, according to new research.

Social media garden is first step in creating 'emotional' buildings

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 08:42 AM PDT

A Twitter-reactive garden could provide a prototype for the future development of 'smart' buildings that can adapt to our emotional state. A new research project, which involves computer scientists and architects, is exploring whether architecture is able to reflect and map human emotions.

Violent, complex scene of colliding galaxy clusters

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 06:25 AM PDT

Astronomers have viewed a fascinating, complex scene where clusters of galaxies are violently colliding. Observations show a complex region more than 5 billion light-years from Earth where the collisions are triggering a host of phenomena that scientists still are working to understand.

Gravity-defying ultrasonic tweezers could lead to life-changing medical advances

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 06:22 AM PDT

Researchers have developed pioneering 'tweezers' that use ultrasound beams to grip and manipulate tiny clusters of cells, which could lead to life-changing medical advances, such as better cartilage implants that reduce the need for knee replacement operations. Using ultrasonic sound fields, cartilage cells taken from a patient's knee can be levitated for weeks in a nutrient-rich fluid.

Enhancing safety of domestic solar power storage

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 06:22 AM PDT

Lithium-ion battery-based energy storage systems have already demonstrated efficiency and reliability in commercial electric vehicles. These high standards now also have to be transferred to battery-based storage systems for private photovoltaics facilities.

New technology successfully removes heavy metals from water

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 06:22 AM PDT

The methods traditionally used to remove heavy metals from wastewater have limitations because they only withdraw a certain percentage and the remaining amount is very difficult to remove. New technology capable of removing such contaminants at low cost and with an efficiency has now been developed.

Laser device can detect alcohol in cars: External device detects presence of alcohol vapors inside of a moving car

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 12:59 PM PDT

An external laser device can detect the present of alcohol vapors in passing vehicles. The use of the device is simple: The laser system is set up on the side of the road to monitor each car that passes by. If alcohol vapors are detected in the car, a message with a photo of the car including its license plate is sent to a police officer waiting down the road. Then, the police officer stops the car and checks for signs of alcohol using conventional tests.

Public health often ignored in transportation policy, study shows

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 08:58 AM PDT

Public health issues are often ignored in many transportation projects, especially when major roads are built through lower-income neighborhoods, a recent study concludes. Air pollution, crime and numerous traffic hazards, the study said, point to a serious and persistent gap between public health and planning.

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