Πέμπτη, 3 Ιουλίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

Researchers invent 'meta mirror' to help advance nonlinear optical systems

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 02:00 PM PDT

Scientists have created a nonlinear mirror that could advance laser systems. The metamaterials were created with nonlinear optical response a million times as strong as traditional nonlinear materials.

Ocean on Saturn's moon Titan could be as salty as Earth's Dead Sea

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 01:55 PM PDT

Scientists analyzing data from NASA's Cassini mission have firm evidence the ocean inside Saturn's largest moon, Titan, might be as salty as Earth's Dead Sea. The new results come from a study of gravity and topography data collected during Cassini's repeated flybys of Titan during the past 10 years. Using the Cassini data, researchers presented a model structure for Titan, resulting in an improved understanding of the structure of the moon's outer ice shell.

Black hole fireworks in nearby galaxy

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 01:53 PM PDT

Celebrants this Fourth of July will enjoy the dazzling lights and booming shock waves from the explosions of fireworks. A similarly styled event is taking place in the galaxy Messier 106, as seen by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Herschel Space Observatory. Herschel is a European Space Agency mission with important NASA contributions.

Noninvasive advanced image analysis could lead to better patient care

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 12:39 PM PDT

Lung cancer patients could receive more precise treatment, and their progress could be better tracked, using a new high-tech method of non-invasive medical imaging analysis, according to a study. Genetic changes increasingly are recognized as driving cancer development. But obtaining evidence of these changes usually requires a biopsy, which can be problematic for sensitive regions of the body such as the lungs.

Hollow optical fibers for UV light

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 10:16 AM PDT

If you want to send light on a trip through optical fibers -- with as little loss as possible, you should opt for infrared light, as is the case, for example, in the telecommunication networks worldwide. For certain applications, such as spectroscopic investigations on ions or atoms, however, (laser) light in the ultraviolet range is required. But this type of light would quickly damage conventional optical fibers. Researchers have now tested a new type of optical fiber with a hollow core and have found out that this type of optical fiber was able to guide UV laser light without being damaged and with acceptable loss.

Martian salts must touch ice to make liquid water, study shows

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 10:16 AM PDT

In chambers that mimic Mars' conditions, researchers have shown how small amounts of liquid water could form on the planet despite its below-freezing temperatures. Liquid water is an essential ingredient for life as we know it. Mars is one of the very few places in the solar system where scientists have seen promising signs of it -- in gullies down crater rims, in instrument readings, and in Phoenix spacecraft self portraits that appeared to show wet beads on the lander's leg several years ago.

Inspired by nature, researchers create tougher metal materials

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 09:24 AM PDT

Drawing inspiration from the structure of bones and bamboo, researchers have found that by gradually changing the internal structure of metals they can make stronger, tougher materials that can be customized for a wide variety of applications -- from body armor to automobile parts.

Overcoming light scattering: New optical system sees deeper inside tissue

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 08:10 AM PDT

Optical imaging could become even more valuable if researchers could find a way for light to penetrate all the way through the body's tissues. Currently, passing through a fraction of an inch of skin is enough to scatter the light and scramble the image. Now researchers have developed a single-pixel optical system based on compressive sensing that can overcome the fundamental limitations imposed by this scattering.

Toward a new way to keep electronics from overheating

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 08:10 AM PDT

Computer technology has transformed the way we live, but as consumers expect ever more from their devices at faster speeds, personal computers as well as larger electronic systems can overheat. This can cause them to slow down, or worse, completely shut down. Now researchers are reporting that liquids containing nanoparticles could help devices stay cool and keep them running.

'Green buildings' have potential to improve health of low-income housing residents

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 08:10 AM PDT

The 'green building' trend is often associated with helping the environment by using eco-friendly materials and energy-saving techniques, but these practices are designed to improve people's health, too. Now scientists are reporting evidence that they can indeed help people feel better, including those living in low-income housing.

Squid sucker ring teeth material could aid reconstructive surgery, serve as eco-packaging

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 08:10 AM PDT

Squid tentacles are loaded with hundreds of suction cups, or suckers, and each sucker has a ring of razor-sharp 'teeth' that help these mighty predators latch onto and take down prey. Researchers report that the proteins in these teeth could form the basis for a new generation of strong, but malleable, materials that could someday be used for reconstructive surgery, eco-friendly packaging and many other applications.

Censorship? Researchers develop 'Encore' to monitor Web access

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 08:10 AM PDT

Researchers have created a tool to monitor the accessibility of Web pages around the world that can be installed by adding a single line of code to a web page. The tool, Encore, runs when a user visits a website where the code is installed and then discreetly collects data from potentially censored sites. The researchers hope the data they collect will allow them to determine the wheres, whens and hows of what's blocked, as well as identify ways to get around restricted access.

Japanese gold leaf artists worked on a nanoscale: X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy is a non-destructive way to date artwork

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 08:09 AM PDT

Ancient Japanese gold leaf artists were truly masters of their craft. An analysis of six ancient Namban paper screens show that these artifacts are gilded with gold leaf that was hand-beaten to the nanometer scale. Researchers believe that the X-ray fluorescence technique they used in the analysis could also be used to date other artworks without causing any damage to them.

Revolutionary device makes machining composites as easy as ‘cutting through butter’

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 08:09 AM PDT

Researchers have developed a device which could revolutionize the way cutting, drilling and milling is done in manufacturing.

3-D printer to aid the visually impaired students in their educational endeavors

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 07:26 AM PDT

New technology has been developed to make tactile objects with ease thanks to the convergence technology of 3-D printing and 3-D thermal reflow treatment, which can be denoted as the revolution in manufacturing technology. Using the technology, not only braille books, but also braille picture books and teaching materials can be made with greater flexibility in color, height and size. It is also harmless to human body since it does not require UV coating or harmful chemical treatment.

Making graphene from plastic?

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 07:24 AM PDT

Graphene is gaining heated attention, dubbed a "wonder material" with great conductivity, flexibility and durability. However, graphene is hard to come by due to the fact that its manufacturing process is complicated and mass production has not been possible. A carbon material has now been developed without artificial defects commonly found during the production process of graphene while maintaining its original characteristics.

One of world's thinnest piezoelectric materials identified

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 06:36 AM PDT

There are a handful of naturally occurring materials, known as piezoelectric materials, that generate electricity if you bend, stretch or apply another mechanical force to them, and vice versa -- if you apply a voltage across them, they'll deform accordingly. These materials are currently the subject of intense research for their potential applications in energy harvesting, artificial muscles and sensors, among others. These materials are also used in everyday devices, such as loudspeakers, which rely on piezoelectrics to convert electrical signals to mechanical vibrations which create sound waves to produce the desired acoustic signal. Mechanical engineers have now identified one of the thinnest possible piezoelectric materials on the planet -- graphene nitride.

Research could lead to dramatic energy savings at data farms

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 06:36 AM PDT

Computer scientists have developed a wireless network on a computer chip that could reduce energy consumption at huge data farms by as much as 20 percent.

Superconducting-silicon qubits: Using a bottom-up approach to make hybrid quantum devices

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 06:36 AM PDT

Theorists propose a way to make superconducting quantum devices such as Josephson junctions and qubits, atom-by-atom, inside a silicon crystal. Such systems could combine the most promising aspects of silicon spin qubits with the flexibility of superconducting circuits.

'Deep learning' makes search for exotic particles easier: New computing techniques could aid hunt for Higgs bosons

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 06:36 AM PDT

Fully automated 'deep learning' by computers greatly improves the odds of discovering particles such as the Higgs boson, beating even veteran physicists' abilities, according to new findings.

License plate readers are important police tool, but hurdles remain, study finds

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 06:36 AM PDT

A new study outlines some of the issues law enforcement officials must address if use of license plate readers can reach their full potential. Researchers say probably the biggest issues that must be addressed are how to address privacy issues.

2013 Media Barometer survey: The time devoted to both conventional and social media each day is growing; digital divides are widening

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 06:24 AM PDT

Smartphones have made it far easier for people to find and exchange information and to make their views heard. In 2010, 14 per cent of the people of Sweden had access to a smartphone; three years later, in 2013, the figure is 67 per cent. More time is devoted to both online editions of traditional media and social media. And, for the first time in several years total time spent with media has increased in the entire population, to an average 6 hours and 18 minutes.

Reinterpreting dark matter: Could dark matter be regarded as a very cold quantum fluid?

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 06:23 AM PDT

Astronomers have explored cold dark matter in depth and proposes new answers about the formation of galaxies and the structure of the Universe. These predictions are being contrasted with fresh data provided by the Hubble space telescope. It is estimated that only a minute fraction of the matter in the Universe is baryonic matter, which forms stars, planets and living organisms. The rest, comprising over 80%, is dark matter and energy.

Accurate information on people's behavior helps to improve retail design

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 06:23 AM PDT

Scientists have been developing an advanced tracking system based on depth cameras that provides accurate information on how people move about and behave in various spaces. The system can be applied, for example, to improving customer service in retail shops, optimization of the use of office facilities, or as an assisting tool for independent living of the elderly.

A stellar womb shaped and destroyed by its ungrateful offspring

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 06:23 AM PDT

The little-known cloud of cosmic gas and dust called Gum 15 is the birthplace and home of hot young stars. Beautiful and deadly, these stars mould the appearance of their mother nebula and, as they progress into adulthood, will eventually also be the death of her.

How does your garden grow? 3-D root imaging in real time

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 04:32 PM PDT

Growing plants in a microscope is helping scientists to view roots developing in 3-D and in real time. Scientists already know that lateral roots in plants develop from cells deep within the main root, so that the emerging roots must force through multiple layers of tissue to reach the soil. Until now, capturing the cell-division events behind this process has proved exceptionally difficult.

Online bullying creates off-line fear at school

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 07:14 AM PDT

Cyberbullying creates fear among students about being victimized at school, a recent study found. While traditional bullying still creates the most fear among students, cyberbullying is a significant factor for fear of victimization at school among students who have experienced bullying or disorder at school, such as the presence of gangs. The fear from cyberbullying is most prominent in minority populations.

Scientists engineer nanoparticles to prevent bone cancer, strengthen bones

Posted: 30 Jun 2014 01:41 PM PDT

Nanomedicine technologies have been utilized to develop a drug-delivery system that can precisely target and attack cancer cells in the bone, as well as increase bone strength and volume to prevent bone cancer progression. "We engineered and tested a bone-targeted nanoparticle system to selectively target the bone microenvironment and release a therapeutic drug in a spatiotemporally controlled manner, leading to bone microenvironment remodeling and prevention of disease progression," a co-lead study author said.

Clot-building nanoparticles raise survival rate following blast trauma

Posted: 30 Jun 2014 01:41 PM PDT

In preclinical tests, artificial platelets, called 'hemostatic nanoparticles,' when injected after blast trauma increased survival rates to 95 percent from 60 percent, and showed no signs of interfering with healing or causing other complications weeks afterward. Explosions account for 79 percent of combat-related injuries and are the leading cause of battlefield deaths.

First pediatric autism study conducted entirely online

Posted: 30 Jun 2014 01:40 PM PDT

The first Internet-based clinical trial for children with autism has been conducted by researchers, establishing it as a viable and cost effective method of conducting high-quality and rapid clinical trials in this population. "Recruitment for clinical trials in children with autism is one of the biggest challenges we face in studying potential treatments, and we found that process to be accelerated and streamlined by using existing online communities for enrollment," said the lead author.

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