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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

New transparent nanoscintillators for radiation detection developed

Posted: 29 Sep 2014 03:05 PM PDT

Tadiation detection properties have been identified in a light-emitting nanostructure made in a new way from two of the least expensive rare earth elements. The new material is made from two of the least expensive rare earth elements, so it is cost-effective, estimated at a little over $7 per cm3.

Adding uncertainty to improve mathematical models

Posted: 29 Sep 2014 03:05 PM PDT

Mathematicians have introduced a new element of uncertainty into an equation used to describe the behavior of fluid flows. While being as certain as possible is generally the stock and trade of mathematics, the researchers hope this new formulation might ultimately lead to mathematical models that better reflect the inherent uncertainties of the natural world.

Software for automated sorting of genomes of individual microbial species through metagenomes

Posted: 29 Sep 2014 03:04 PM PDT

Microbes -- the single-celled organisms that dominate every ecosystem on Earth -- have an amazing ability to feed on plant biomass and convert it into other chemical products. Tapping into this talent has the potential to revolutionize energy, medicine, environmental remediation and many other fields. The success of this effort hinges in part on metagenomics, the emerging technology that enables researchers to read all the individual genomes of a sample microbial community at once. However, given that even a teaspoon of soil can contain billions of microbes, there is a great need to be able to cull the genomes of individual microbial species from a metagenomic sequence. Enter MaxBin. MaxBin is an automated software program for binning the genomes of individual microbial species from metagenomic sequences.

At the interface of math and science: Using mathematics to advance problems in the sciences

Posted: 29 Sep 2014 03:03 PM PDT

In popular culture, mathematics is often deemed inaccessible or esoteric. Yet in the modern world, it plays an ever more important role in our daily lives and a decisive role in the discovery and development of new ideas -- often behind the scenes.

Nitrogen fingerprint in biomolecules could be from early sun

Posted: 29 Sep 2014 12:45 PM PDT

The pattern of nitrogen in biomolecules like proteins, which differ greatly from that seen in other parts of the solar system, could have been generated by the interactions of light from the early sun with nitrogen gas in the nebula, long before Earth formed.

Glaciers in the Grand Canyon of Mars?

Posted: 29 Sep 2014 12:42 PM PDT

For decades, planetary geologists have speculated that glaciers might once have crept through Valles Marineris, the 2000-mile-long chasm that constitutes the Grand Canyon of Mars. Using satellite images, researchers have identified features that might have been carved by past glaciers as they flowed through the canyons; however, these observations have remained highly controversial and contested.

How things coil: Simulation technology designed for Hollywood to predict understanding fundamental engineering problems

Posted: 29 Sep 2014 12:39 PM PDT

Researchers have combined computer simulations designed for Hollywood with precision model experiments to examine the mechanics of coiling. Their study, which bridges engineering mechanics and computer graphics, impacts a variety of engineering applications, from the fabrication of nanotube serpentines to the laying of submarine cables and pipelines.

In-flight sensor tests a step toward structural health monitoring for safer flights

Posted: 29 Sep 2014 09:39 AM PDT

A flight test program is underway on nine commercial aircraft flying regular routes that are carrying sensors to monitor their structural health, alongside their routine maintenance. The flight tests are part of a Federal Aviation Administration certification process that will make the sensors widely available to U.S. airlines.

Cassini watches mysterious feature evolve in hydrocarbon sea on Saturn's moon Titan

Posted: 29 Sep 2014 09:32 AM PDT

NASA's Cassini spacecraft is monitoring the evolution of a mysterious feature in a large hydrocarbon sea on Saturn's moon Titan. The feature covers an area of about 100 square miles (260 square kilometers) in Ligeia Mare, one of the largest seas on Titan. It has now been observed twice by Cassini's radar experiment, but its appearance changed between the two apparitions.

From diamonds to super computers

Posted: 29 Sep 2014 08:45 AM PDT

By exchanging specific atoms inside the mineral structure, quantum bits, required to process complex operations faster, could be stabilized.

Revolutionary hamstring tester will keep more players on the field

Posted: 29 Sep 2014 07:54 AM PDT

Elite sporting stars can assess and reduce their risk of a hamstring injury thanks to a breakthrough in research. "We showed, for the first time, that hamstring injury risk can be quantified by measuring an athlete's hamstring strength when they're performing the Nordic hamstring curl exercise,"one researcher said.

Harvesting energy from walking around: Shoe insole charges AAA and watch batteries

Posted: 29 Sep 2014 07:52 AM PDT

A device that fits inside a pair of shoes harvests the energy left-over when someone walks. This energy is then stored in AAA or watch batteries.

Smart, eco-friendly new battery made of seeds and pine resin

Posted: 29 Sep 2014 06:40 AM PDT

Present-day lithium batteries are efficient but involve a range of resource and environmental problems. Using materials from alfalfa (lucerne seed) and pine resin and a clever recycling strategy, researchers have now come up with a highly interesting alternative.

Scientists make droplets move on their own

Posted: 29 Sep 2014 06:38 AM PDT

Droplets are simple spheres of fluid, not normally considered capable of doing anything on their own. But now researchers have made droplets of alcohol move through water. In the future, such moving droplets may deliver medicines.

Predicting landslides with light

Posted: 29 Sep 2014 06:38 AM PDT

A team of researchers in Italy are expanding the reach of optical fiber sensors 'to the hills' by embedding them in shallow trenches within slopes to detect and monitor both large landslides and slow slope movements.

'Autotune' software to make it quicker, easier and cheaper to model energy use of buildings

Posted: 29 Sep 2014 06:37 AM PDT

Building Energy Modeling uses computer simulations to estimate energy use and guide the design of new buildings as well as energy improvements to existing buildings.

Simulations reveal an unusual death for ancient stars

Posted: 29 Sep 2014 06:05 AM PDT

Certain primordial stars -- between 55,000 and 56,000 times the mass of our sun, or solar masses -- may have died unusually. In death, these objects -- among the universe's first generation of stars -- would have exploded as supernovae and burned completely, leaving no remnant black hole behind.

Remote healthcare for an aging population

Posted: 29 Sep 2014 06:03 AM PDT

An aging population and an increased incidence of debilitating illnesses such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease means there is pressure on technology to offer assistance with healthcare - monitoring and treatment. Research points to remote monitoring as offering a way to improve patient care and even accelerate medical research.

Ultra-fast semiconductor nano-lasers turn on and off faster than any before

Posted: 29 Sep 2014 06:03 AM PDT

Physicist have develop ultra-fast semiconductor nano-lasers. One thousand billion operations per second – this peak value has now been achieved by semiconductor nano-lasers.

Mimicking brain cells to boost computer memory power

Posted: 29 Sep 2014 06:03 AM PDT

Researchers have brought ultra-fast, nano-scale data storage within striking reach, using technology that mimics the human brain. The researchers have built a novel nano-structure that offers a new platform for the development of highly stable and reliable nanoscale memory devices.

'Cloaking' device uses ordinary lenses to hide objects across range of angles

Posted: 29 Sep 2014 05:52 AM PDT

Inspired perhaps by Harry Potter's invisibility cloak, scientists have recently developed several ways -- some simple and some involving new technologies -- to hide objects from view. The latest effort not only overcomes some of the limitations of previous devices, but it uses inexpensive, readily available materials in a novel configuration.

High-throughput cell-sorting method can separate 10 billion bacterial cells in 30 minutes

Posted: 26 Sep 2014 07:10 AM PDT

A new, high-throughput method for sorting cells has been developed, capable of separating 10 billion bacterial cells in 30 minutes. The finding has already proven useful for studying bacterial cells and microalgae, and could one day have direct applications for biomedical research and environmental science -- basically any field in which a large quantity of microbial samples need to be processed.

Skin pigment renders sun's UV radiation harmless using projectiles

Posted: 26 Sep 2014 05:58 AM PDT

The pigment of the skin protects the body from the sun's dangerous UV rays, but researchers have not until recently known how this works. Now they report that skin pigment converts the UV radiation into heat through a rapid chemical reaction that shoots protons from the molecules of the pigment.

Replacing the wheelchair

Posted: 25 Sep 2014 11:10 AM PDT

The Movi chair is a replacement of the old-fashioned wheelchair. It is designed for use in a hospital or skilled-nursing facility, or even in the home as a mobility aid. It has been designed with the safety and comfort of patients and care givers in mind.

CHICA system improves developmental delay screening, surveillance

Posted: 25 Sep 2014 10:26 AM PDT

A computerized clinical decision support system, which was developed to automate pediatric care guidelines, significantly increased the number of children screened for developmental delay at 9, 18 and 30 months of age, a study shows.

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