Παρασκευή, 6 Ιουνίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

Demographics drive fitness partner decisions online, study finds

Posted: 05 Jun 2014 03:36 PM PDT

Participants in an online fitness program ignored the fitness aptitude of their potential partners, instead choosing partners based on age, gender and BMI. The findings suggest that although people in online health programs are beckoned with the possibilities of meeting healthier people who can provide them with information about new kinds of exercises and better strategies for getting healthy, they self-select into networks that look very similar to the kinds of networks that people typically have offline.

Short nanotubes target pancreatic cancer

Posted: 05 Jun 2014 12:58 PM PDT

Short, customized carbon nanotubes have the potential to deliver drugs to pancreatic cancer cells and destroy them from within, according to researchers. Pristine nanotubes produced through a new process can be modified to carry drugs to tumors through gaps in blood-vessel walls that larger particles cannot fit through. The nanotubes may then target and infiltrate the cancerous cells' nuclei, where the drugs can be released through sonication -- that is, by shaking them.

Turbulent black holes: Fasten your seatbelts ... gravity is about to get bumpy!

Posted: 05 Jun 2014 12:57 PM PDT

Gravitational fields around black holes might eddy and swirl. Fasten your seatbelts -- gravity is about to get bumpy. Of course, if you're flying in the vicinity of a black hole, a bit of extra bumpiness is the least of your worries. But it's still surprising. The accepted wisdom among gravitational researchers has been that spacetime cannot become turbulent. New research though, shows that the accepted wisdom might be wrong.

Investors' risk tolerance decreases with the stock market

Posted: 05 Jun 2014 11:19 AM PDT

Scientists analyzed investors' 'risk tolerance,' or willingness to take risks, and found that it decreased as the stock market faltered. Experts say this is a very counterproductive behavior for investors who want to maximize their investment returns.

New isotopic evidence supporting moon formation via Earth collision with planet-sized body

Posted: 05 Jun 2014 11:15 AM PDT

A new series of measurements of oxygen isotopes provides increasing evidence that the moon formed from the collision of the Earth with another large, planet-sized astronomical body, around 4.5 billion years ago.

A new way to make laser-like beams using 1,000 times less power

Posted: 05 Jun 2014 11:01 AM PDT

With precarious particles called polaritons that straddle the worlds of light and matter, researchers have demonstrated a new, practical and potentially more efficient way to make a coherent laser-like beam.

Making artificial vision look more natural

Posted: 05 Jun 2014 11:00 AM PDT

In laboratory tests, researchers have used electrical stimulation of retinal cells to produce the same patterns of activity that occur when the retina sees a moving object. Although more work remains, this is a step toward restoring natural, high-fidelity vision to blind people.

Interactive teaching methods help students master tricky calculus

Posted: 05 Jun 2014 08:37 AM PDT

The key to helping students learn complicated math is to understand how to apply it to new ideas and make learning more interactive, according to a new study. Pre-class assignments, small group discussions and clicker quizzes improve students' ability to grasp tricky first-year calculus concepts.

Overcoming barriers to successful use of autonomous unmanned aircraft

Posted: 05 Jun 2014 08:37 AM PDT

While civil aviation is on the threshold of potentially revolutionary changes with the emergence of increasingly autonomous unmanned aircraft, these new systems pose serious questions about how they will be safely and efficiently integrated into the existing civil aviation structure, says a new report.

Continuous terahertz sources at room temperature demonstrated by scientists

Posted: 05 Jun 2014 08:37 AM PDT

A room-temperature, compact, continuous terahertz radiation source has been developed for the first time by a team of scientists. This discovery will make terahertz radiation more accessible for experiments, potentially leading to advances in biosensing, homeland security, and space research.

Hot spots for molecules: Ultra-high sensitivity molecular detection

Posted: 05 Jun 2014 08:33 AM PDT

The accurate placement of molecules into gaps between gold nanoantennas enables ultra-high sensitivity molecular detection. The ability to detect tiny quantities of molecules is important for chemical sensing as well as biological and medical diagnostics. In particular, some of the most challenging and advanced applications involve rare compounds for which only a few molecules may be present at a time. The most promising devices for achieving ultrahigh-precision detection are nanoscale sensors, where molecules are placed in tiny gaps between small gold plates.

Design of self-assembling protein nanomachines starts to click: A nanocage builds itself from engineered components

Posted: 05 Jun 2014 06:33 AM PDT

Biological systems produce an incredible array of self-assembling protein tools on a nanoscale, such as molecular motors, delivery capsules and injection devices. Inspired by sophisticated molecular machines naturally found in living things, scientists want to build their own with forms and functions customized to tackle modern day challenges. A new computational method, proven to accurately design protein nanomaterials that arrange themselves into a symmetrical, cage-like structure, may be an important step toward that goal.

Effect of Bilbao atmosphere on Chillida's sculptures

Posted: 05 Jun 2014 06:31 AM PDT

Weathering steel is a steel specially designed to resist exposure to the open air. Yet in Bilbao some of the sculptures produced in this material, like Eduardo Chillida's Besarkada XI and Begirari IV, have not been preserved as was anticipated and have sustained some degradation. As explained by a research group, this degradation to due to the fact that the protective layer that is usually developed by this material has not been properly formed.

New ball to showcase talent in World Cup

Posted: 05 Jun 2014 06:31 AM PDT

Physics experts believe the new soccer ball created for the 2014 FIFA World Cup starting next week is a "keepers' ball". The new ball, called Brazuca, should be much more predictable than the 2010 World Cup ball, Jabulani, which was less-than-affectionately labelled a 'beach ball' because of its sometimes erratic flight path.

Looking for the best strategy? Ask a chimp

Posted: 05 Jun 2014 05:35 AM PDT

If you're trying to outwit the competition, it might be better to have been born a chimpanzee, according to a new study which found that chimps consistently outperform humans in simple contests drawn from game theory.

Intelligent machines for tomorrow's factory

Posted: 05 Jun 2014 05:29 AM PDT

Mass production of industrial goods, such as furniture, clothing or ball pens, is inexpensive. In the future, even small series of individualized products might be manufactured rapidly and efficiently by means of intelligent machines that communicate with each other. To this end, researchers coordinate a project that is aimed at finding innovative solutions to considerably reduce changeover times in the production process.

Molecular self-assembly scales up from nanometers to millimeters

Posted: 05 Jun 2014 05:29 AM PDT

To ensure the survival of Moore's law and the success of the nanoelectronics industry, alternative patterning techniques that offer advantages beyond conventional top-down patterning are aggressively being explored. Can self-assembly based technologies offer advantages beyond conventional top-down lithography approaches?

Are squiggly lines the future of password security?

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 05:32 PM PDT

As more people use smart phones and tablets to store personal information and perform financial transactions, the need for robust password security is more critical than ever. A new study shows that free-form gestures -- sweeping fingers in shapes across the screen -- can be used to unlock phones and grant access to apps. These gestures are less likely to be observed and reproduced by 'shoulder surfers' who spy on users to gain unauthorized access.

New app collects wildlife-vehicle collision data

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 05:30 PM PDT

A new app used to report wildlife-vehicle collisions increased efficiency and accuracy when compared to manual methods. Wildlife-vehicle collisions (WVC) endanger both humans and wildlife. Understanding when and where these collisions occur is essential to mitigating risks, but collecting this information requires an efficient and accurate system. Because data is currently gathered manually scientists aimed to develop and test a smartphone-based system for reporting, collecting, and managing WVC data that is improved over the manual method.

Passwords No More? Mechanisms Enables Users to Log in Securely Without Passwords

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 05:29 PM PDT

Passwords are a common security measure to protect personal information, but they don't always prevent hackers from finding a way into devices. Researchers are working to perfect an easy-to-use, secure login protection that eliminates the need to use a password -- known as zero-interaction authentication. An innovative solution for safeguarding personal information relies on your proximity instead of your memory.

ALMA upgrade to supercharge event horizon telescope, astronomy's 'killer app'

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 05:29 PM PDT

Scientists recently upgraded the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) by installing an ultraprecise atomic clock at ALMA's Array Operations Site, home to the observatory's supercomputing correlator. This upgrade will eventually allow ALMA to synchronize with a worldwide network of radio astronomy facilities collectively known as the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT).

Drones give farmers an eye in the sky to check on crop progress

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 12:17 PM PDT

This growing season, crop researchers are experimenting with the use of drones -- unmanned aerial vehicles -- on their farms. A crop sciences educator is using two drones to take aerial pictures of crops growing in research plots on the farms.

Cleaning the air with roof tiles

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 11:13 AM PDT

Engineering students have created a roof tile coating that when applied to an average-sized residential roof breaks down the same amount of smog-causing nitrogen oxides per year as a car driven 11,000 miles makes. They also calculated it would cost only about $5 for enough titanium dioxide to coat an average-sized residential roof.

How to tell when a sewage pipe needs repair -- before it bursts

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 07:55 AM PDT

The nation's sewer system is a topic most people would prefer to avoid, but its aging infrastructure is wearing out, and broken pipes leaking raw sewage into streets and living rooms are forcing the issue. To better predict which pipes need to be fixed, scientists report that certain conditions in the pipes can clue utilities in to which ones need repair -- before it's too late.

Preserving bread longer: A new edible film made with essential oils

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 07:54 AM PDT

Essential oils have boomed in popularity as more people seek out alternatives to replace their synthetic cleaning products, anti-mosquito sprays and medicines. Now scientists are tapping them as candidates to preserve food in a more consumer-friendly way. They have developed new edible films containing oils from clove and oregano that preserve bread longer than commercial additives.

Shaken, not stirred: Control over complex systems consisting of many quantum particles

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 06:41 AM PDT

Superpositions of different quantum states are often used for high precision measurements. Usually, states of single particles are used, but scientists have found a way to control superpositions of the collective motion of a Bose Einstein condensate. Hundreds of atoms form a single matter wave, the superposition of different waves is controlled by tailored electromagnetic pulses.

60-year-old prediction of atomic behavior confirmed: New experimental path to superfast quantum computing

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 06:39 AM PDT

Researchers have used a super-cold cloud of atoms that behaves like a single atom to see a phenomenon predicted 60 years ago and witnessed only once since. The phenomenon takes place in the seemingly otherworldly realm of quantum physics and opens a new experimental path to potentially powerful quantum computing.

Battery design could reduce electric car weight

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 06:35 AM PDT

Battery weight has long vexed engineers designing electric cars for the mass market. Bigger batteries are needed to power a car for longer distances, but their weight in turn requires the car to expend more energy. But what if the body of the car itself was a battery?

Odds-on Brazil to win the 2014 FIFA World Cup, statisticians predict

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 06:33 AM PDT

After 36 years the FIFA World Cup competition returns to South America. And as in all previous South American FIFA World Cup events, a South American team is again expected to take home the victory -- this time, the host Brazil, according to a new study carried out by statisticians.

When the soil slips away: Mathematical models help understand natural disasters

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 06:33 AM PDT

An estimated 600 people worldwide die every year due to landslides, rock avalanches and mudslides. The underlying physical processes are complex and almost impossible to measure. Researchers are studying the flow behavior of granular-fluid mixtures using mathematical models.

New proactive approach unveiled to detect malicious software in networked computers and data

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 06:27 AM PDT

Cybercrime comes in all forms these days. One recent headline told of the creepware or silent computer snooping that resulted in the arrest of some 90 people in 19 countries. Miss Teen USA was among the victims. Her computer had been turned into a camera and used to spy on her in her own bedroom. Computer scientists have now developed a unique anomaly protection security approach for the detection of malicious activities on networked computers.

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