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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

Relationship among broadband performance, pricing, and demand worldwide

Posted: 14 Oct 2014 01:04 PM PDT

A longitudinal study of broadband Internet usage illuminates the relationship among services, performance, pricing, and demand in developed and developing countries.

Rediscovering Venus to find faraway Earths: Measuring gravitational pull of a planet should speed search

Posted: 14 Oct 2014 12:25 PM PDT

As the search for Earth-like planets wages on, a team of researchers may have found a way to speed up the process. The team is developing a new laser-based technology known as the green astro-comb to obtain information about the mass of a distant planet. Using this information, astronomers will be able to determine whether distant exoplanets are rocky worlds like Earth or less dense gas giants like Jupiter.

NASA mission provides its first look at Martian upper atmosphere

Posted: 14 Oct 2014 12:03 PM PDT

NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft has provided scientists their first look at a storm of energetic solar particles at Mars, produced unprecedented ultraviolet images of the tenuous oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon coronas surrounding the Red Planet, and yielded a comprehensive map of highly variable ozone in the atmosphere underlying the coronas.

Future computers could be built from magnetic 'tornadoes'

Posted: 14 Oct 2014 11:27 AM PDT

Computers of the future could be built from 'magnetic tornadoes,' according to new research into nanotechnology. Using computer simulations, the team have shown it is possible to create magnetic 'logic gates', the fundamental building blocks of a CPU, using magnetic materials.

Meteorite fragments discovered 20 years after bolide event in Czech Republic

Posted: 14 Oct 2014 11:27 AM PDT

Scientists have discovered meteorite fragments 20 years after the corresponding bolide was seen in the skies of the Czech Republic. This discovery was made possible by reanalyzing the trajectory, which moved the impact line by 330 meters. Interestingly, the meteorites found on the ground are of different types, pointing to a parent asteroid of heterogeneous composition.

Electric vehicle technology packs more punch in smaller package

Posted: 14 Oct 2014 11:23 AM PDT

Using 3-D printing and novel semiconductors, researchers have created a power inverter that could make electric vehicles lighter, more powerful and more efficient.

Discovery of cellular snooze button advances cancer, biofuel research

Posted: 14 Oct 2014 09:40 AM PDT

The discovery of a cellular snooze button has allowed a team of scientists to potentially improve biofuel production and offer insight on the early stages of cancer.

Scientists create new protein-based material with some nerve

Posted: 14 Oct 2014 09:39 AM PDT

Scientists have taken proteins from nerve cells and used them to create a 'smart' material that is extremely sensitive to its environment. The work could lead to new types of biological sensors, flow valves and controlled drug release systems, they report.

Academia can learn from Hollywood, researchers say

Posted: 14 Oct 2014 08:47 AM PDT

While science is increasingly moving in the direction of teamwork and interdisciplinary research, changes need to be made in academia to allow for a more collaborative model to flourish, according to experts.

Is matter falling into the massive black hole at the center of the Milky Way or being ejected from it?

Posted: 14 Oct 2014 08:47 AM PDT

Is matter falling into the massive black hole at the center of the Milky Way or being ejected from it? No one knows for sure, but astrophysicists are searching for an answer.

New light on the 'split peak' of alcohols

Posted: 14 Oct 2014 08:27 AM PDT

For scientists probing the electronic structure of materials using RIXS, a persistent question has been how to account for "split peak" spectra seen in some hydrogen-bonded materials, but now researchers have performed an investigation of several types of liquid alcohols with RIXS and brought new perspective to this long-lasting debate. Researchers now show that the split peaks are tied to dynamic motions produced in response to the scattering X-rays themselves.

Beyond LEDs: Brighter, new energy-saving flat panel lights based on carbon nanotubes

Posted: 14 Oct 2014 08:27 AM PDT

Scientists have developed a new type of energy-efficient flat light source based on carbon nanotubes with very low power consumption of around 0.1 Watt for every hour's operation -- about a hundred times lower than that of an LED.

Only 58 percent of votes cast on tamper-resistant systems counted

Posted: 14 Oct 2014 07:34 AM PDT

A study of tamper-resistant voting methods revealed that only 58 percent of ballots were successfully cast across three voting systems.

Charged graphene gives DNA a stage to perform molecular gymnastics

Posted: 14 Oct 2014 06:53 AM PDT

When researchers investigated a method to control how DNA moves through a tiny sequencing device, they did not know they were about to witness a display of molecular gymnastics. The researchers found that a positive charge applied to a graphene nanopore speeds up DNA movement, while a negative charge stops the DNA in its tracks. However, the DNA seemed to dance across the graphene surface, pirouetting into sequence-specific shapes they had never seen.

How to train a robot: Can we teach robots right from wrong?

Posted: 14 Oct 2014 05:38 AM PDT

From performing surgery and flying planes to babysitting kids and driving cars, today's robots can do it all. With chatbots such as Eugene Goostman recently being hailed as "passing" the Turing test, it appears robots are becoming increasingly adept at posing as humans. While machines are becoming ever more integrated into human lives, the need to imbue them with a sense of morality becomes increasingly urgent. But can we really teach robots how to be good?

Do cycle lanes increase safety of cyclists from overtaking vehicles?

Posted: 14 Oct 2014 05:38 AM PDT

Cycling is well known to improve individual health and fitness; it also benefits the wider population in terms of economy, road congestion and environmental impact. However, despite benefits outweighing the risks by 20:1, many consider the risk too great and fear of perceived danger on the road needs to be tackled.

Unique catalysts for hydrogen fuel cells synthesized in ordinary kitchen microwave oven

Posted: 14 Oct 2014 05:35 AM PDT

Researchers have shown how a unique nano-alloy composed of palladium nano-islands embedded in tungsten nanoparticles creates a new type of catalysts for highly efficient oxygen reduction, the most important reaction in hydrogen fuel cells.

New 3-D printer can use multiple materials, such as plastic or paste

Posted: 14 Oct 2014 05:35 AM PDT

Using different modules, the "3-D Modular" can print using several materials like plastic, paste or concrete.

Light-activated drug could reduce side effects of diabetes medication

Posted: 14 Oct 2014 05:35 AM PDT

Scientists have created a drug for type 2 diabetes that is switched on by blue light, which they hope will improve treatment of the disease. The drug would be inactive under normal conditions, but a patient could in theory switch it on using blue LEDs stuck to the skin. Only a small amount of light would need to penetrate the skin to change the drug's shape and turn it on. This change is reversible, so the drug switches off again when the light goes off.

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