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Friday, October 17, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

NASA spacecraft provides new information about sun's atmosphere

Posted: 16 Oct 2014 03:54 PM PDT

NASA's Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) has provided scientists with five new findings into how the sun's atmosphere, or corona, is heated far hotter than its surface, what causes the sun's constant outflow of particles called the solar wind, and what mechanisms accelerate particles that power solar flares.

Tiny 'nanoflares' might heat the Sun's corona

Posted: 16 Oct 2014 02:06 PM PDT

Why is the Sun's million-degree corona, or outermost atmosphere, so much hotter than the Sun's surface? This question has baffled astronomers for decades. Today, a team led by Paola Testa is presenting new clues to the mystery of coronal heating. The team finds that miniature solar flares called 'nanoflares' -- and the speedy electrons they produce -- might partly be the source of that heat, at least in some of the hottest parts of the Sun's corona.

Journey to the center of the Earth: Geochemist uses helium and lead isotopes to gain insight into makeup of planet’s deep interior

Posted: 16 Oct 2014 11:40 AM PDT

A geochemist studying Samoan volcanoes has found evidence of the planet's early formation still trapped inside Earth. Known as hotspots, volcanic island chains such as Samoa can ancient primordial signatures from the early solar system that have somehow survived billions of years.

Modeling tumor dormancy: What makes a tumor switch from dormant to malignant?

Posted: 16 Oct 2014 11:40 AM PDT

A new computational model may help illuminate the conditions surrounding tumor dormancy and the switch to a malignant state. The so-called cellular automaton model simulated various scenarios of tumor growth leading to tumor suppression, dormancy or proliferation.

Protons hog the momentum in neutron-rich nuclei

Posted: 16 Oct 2014 11:37 AM PDT

Protons and neutrons that have briefly paired up in the nucleus have higher-average momentum, leaving less for non-paired nucleons. Researchers have now shown for the first time that this phenomenon exists in nuclei heavier than carbon, including aluminum, iron and lead and also surprisingly allows a greater fraction of protons than neutrons to have high momentum in these neutron-rich nuclei, contrary to long-accepted theories and with implications for ultra-cold atomic gas systems and neutron stars.

Cosmic jets of young stars formed by magnetic fields

Posted: 16 Oct 2014 11:37 AM PDT

Astrophysical jets are counted among our universe's most spectacular phenomena: From the centers of black holes, quasars, or protostars, these rays of matter sometimes protrude several light years into space. Now, for the first time ever, an international team of researchers has successfully tested a new model that explains how magnetic fields form these emissions in young stars.

Wobbling of a Saturn moon hints at what lies beneath

Posted: 16 Oct 2014 11:36 AM PDT

Using instruments aboard the Cassini spacecraft to measure the wobbles of Mimas, the closest of Saturn's regular moons, an astronomer has inferred that this small moon's icy surface cloaks either a rugby ball-shaped rocky core or a sloshing sub-surface ocean.

Hubble finds extremely distant galaxy through cosmic magnifying glass

Posted: 16 Oct 2014 11:08 AM PDT

Using the Hubble Space Telescope and the lensing power of giant galaxy cluster Abell 2744, astronomers may have made the most reliable distance measurement yet of an object that existed in the very early universe. The galaxy, estimated to be over 13 billion light-years away, is one of the farthest, faintest, and smallest galaxies ever seen.

Engineers find a way to win in laser performance by losing

Posted: 16 Oct 2014 11:08 AM PDT

Engineers have shown a new way to reverse or eliminate loss by, ironically, adding loss to a laser system to actually reap energy gains. To help laser systems overcome loss, operators often pump the system with an overabundance of photons, or light packets, to achieve optical gain. But now engineers have shown a new way to reverse or eliminate such loss by, ironically, adding loss to a laser system to actually reap energy gains. In other words, they've invented a way to win by losing.

Cadavers beat computers for learning anatomy

Posted: 16 Oct 2014 09:36 AM PDT

Despite the growing popularity of using computer simulation to help teach college anatomy, students learn much better through the traditional use of human cadavers, according to new research.

Dispelling a misconception about Mg-ion batteries

Posted: 16 Oct 2014 09:36 AM PDT

Researchers used supercomputer simulations to dispel a popular misconception about magnesium-ion batteries that should help advance the development of multivalent ion battery technology.

Light bending material facilitates the search for new particles

Posted: 16 Oct 2014 09:33 AM PDT

Particle physicists have a hard time identifying all the elementary particles created in their particle accelerators. But now researchers have designed a material that makes it much easier to distinguish the particles.

The social web of things: Smart cars, appliances and people

Posted: 16 Oct 2014 07:03 AM PDT

The familiar interfaces of online social networking sites might be adapted to allow us to interact more efficiently with our networked devices such as cars, domestic appliances and gadgets. The concept would also extend to the idea of those devices connecting with each other as necessary to improve efficiency of heating and lighting, make our home entertainment systems smarter and much more.

New catalyst could improve biofuels production

Posted: 16 Oct 2014 07:03 AM PDT

Researchers have developed a new catalyst that could lead to making biofuels cheaply and more efficiently. The researchers mixed inexpensive iron with a tiny amount of rare palladium to make the catalyst.

Magnetic mirrors enable new technologies by reflecting light in uncanny ways

Posted: 16 Oct 2014 07:03 AM PDT

Scientists have demonstrated, for the first time, a new type of mirror that forgoes a familiar shiny metallic surface and instead reflects infrared light by using an unusual magnetic property of a non-metallic metamaterial. Using nanoscale antennas, researchers are able to capture and harness electromagnetic radiation in ways that have tantalizing potential in new classes of chemical sensors, solar cells, lasers, and other optoelectronic devices.

Simple and versatile way to build 3-D materials of the future

Posted: 16 Oct 2014 05:58 AM PDT

Researchers have developed a novel yet simple technique, called 'diffusion driven layer-by-layer assembly,' to construct graphene into porous three-dimensional structures for applications in devices such as batteries and supercapacitors.

Even the latest malware detection systems can be bypassed

Posted: 16 Oct 2014 05:56 AM PDT

Unwanted intruders are finding it more and more difficult to hack computer systems and networks thanks to today's advanced detection technologies. With the help of emulation-based technologies, many attacks can be detected at an early stage. However, even these technologies are not watertight.

Turning humble seaweed into biofuel

Posted: 16 Oct 2014 05:56 AM PDT

The sea has long been a source of Norway's riches, whether from cod, farmed salmon or oil. Now one researcher hopes to add seaweed to this list as he refines a way to produce "biocrude" from common kelp. "What we are trying to do is to mimic natural processes to produce oil," he said. "However, while petroleum oil is produced naturally on a geologic time scale, we can do it in minutes."

Inexplicable signal from unseen universe provides tantalizing clue about one of astronomy's greatest secrets - dark matter

Posted: 16 Oct 2014 05:54 AM PDT

The first potential indication of direct detection of Dark Matter – something that has been a mystery in physics for over 30 years -- has been attained. Astronomers found what appears to be a signature of 'axions', predicted 'Dark Matter' particle candidates.

Making measurements when a comet passes close to Mars

Posted: 16 Oct 2014 05:54 AM PDT

On Sunday 19 October at 20:29 CET a comet will pass close to the planet Mars. At the same time the Swedish instrument ASPERA-3 is on board the European satellite Mars Express orbiting Mars and ready to make measurements.

e-healthcare may help reverse trend of high cardiovascular disease, obesity in China

Posted: 15 Oct 2014 06:08 PM PDT

The use of electronic health care services (versus more traditional methods) to reduce the high incidence of heart disease in China will be debated by leading cardiologists from around the world. "Clearly there is an urgent need to do something to reverse the trend in China where one in five people have cardiovascular disease and smoking and obesity are major issues," said one expert.

Brain surgery, by robot, through the cheek

Posted: 15 Oct 2014 12:25 PM PDT

Engineers have developed a surgical robot designed to perform brain surgery by entering through the cheek instead of the skull that can operate on a patient in an MRI scanner. Additionally, the engineers have designed the system so that much of it can be made using 3-D printing in order to keep the price low.

Better prosthesis: Sensor invented to learn about, improve fit

Posted: 15 Oct 2014 07:15 AM PDT

Researchers have been working to make prostheses more comfortable in a twofold approach: sensors that detect how the prosthesis fits and a system to make the fit better, pointing out that it doesn't matter how high-tech a prosthesis is if it's not comfortable.

Technical feasibility of proposed Mars One mission assessed

Posted: 14 Oct 2014 02:08 PM PDT

In 2012, the "Mars One" project, led by a Dutch nonprofit, announced plans to establish the first human colony on the Red Planet by 2025. The mission would initially send four astronauts on a one-way trip to Mars, where they would spend the rest of their lives building the first permanent human settlement. It's a bold vision -- particularly since Mars One claims that the entire mission can be built upon technologies that already exist.

New drug-coated balloon catheter to open blocked leg arteries used in U.S. for first time

Posted: 14 Oct 2014 12:24 PM PDT

The Mount Sinai Hospital is first in the United States to use the first and only FDA-approved, drug-coated balloon to open blocked arteries in the leg. The device is used during an angioplasty procedure in the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory for patients with peripheral arterial disease who have severely blocked femoro-popliteal arteries, major arteries that supply blood throughout the legs.

Bias in transportation system design exposed

Posted: 14 Oct 2014 10:04 AM PDT

America's streets are designed and evaluated with an inherent bias toward the needs of motor vehicles, ignoring those of bicyclists, pedestrians, and public transit users, according to a new study.

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