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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

Deepwater Horizon spill: Much of the oil at bottom of the sea

Posted: 27 Oct 2014 03:29 PM PDT

Due to its unprecedented scope, the damage assessment caused by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico has been a challenge. One unsolved puzzle is the location of 2 million barrels of submerged oil thought to be trapped in the deep ocean.

Ultrafast electron diffraction experiments open a new window on the microscopic world

Posted: 27 Oct 2014 03:22 PM PDT

Researchers have succeeded in simultaneously observing the reorganizations of atomic positions and electron distribution during the transformation of the "smart material" vanadium dioxide from a semiconductor into a metal – in a timeframe a trillion times faster than the blink of an eye.

Physicists closer to understanding balance of matter, antimatter in universe

Posted: 27 Oct 2014 11:50 AM PDT

Physicists have made important discoveries regarding Bs meson particles -- something that may explain why the Universe contains more matter than antimatter.

Citizen science network produces accurate maps of atmospheric dust

Posted: 27 Oct 2014 09:03 AM PDT

Measurements by thousands of citizen scientists in the Netherlands using their smartphones and the iSPEX add-on are delivering accurate data on dust particles in the atmosphere that add valuable information to professional measurements. The research team analyzed all measurements from three days in 2013 and combined them into unique maps of dust particles above the Netherlands. The results match and sometimes even exceed those of ground-based measurement networks and satellite instruments.

Ultrasound guides tongue to pronounce 'R' sounds

Posted: 27 Oct 2014 08:57 AM PDT

Using ultrasound technology to visualize the tongue's shape and movement can help children with difficulty pronouncing "r" sounds, according to a small study. The ultrasound intervention was effective when individuals were allowed to make different shapes with their tongue in order to produce the "r" sound, rather than being instructed to make a specific shape.

Emergent behavior lets bubbles 'sense' environment

Posted: 27 Oct 2014 07:05 AM PDT

Tiny, soapy bubbles can reorganize their membranes to let material flow in and out in response to the surrounding environment, according to researchers. This behavior could be exploited in creating microbubbles that deliver drugs or other payloads inside the body -- and could help us understand how the very first living cells on Earth might have survived billions of years ago.

Tremendously bright pulsar may be one of many

Posted: 27 Oct 2014 07:04 AM PDT

A newly found pulsar, the brightest ever seen, raises questions about a mysterious category of cosmic objects called ultraluminous X-ray sources. A member of the team that announced the discovery now discusses the likelihood of additional ultra-bright pulsars and considers how astrophysicists will align this new find with their understanding of how pulsars work.

Insightful mathematics for an optimal run

Posted: 27 Oct 2014 07:04 AM PDT

Sure, we can become better runners by hydrating well, eating right, cross training, and practice. But getting to an optimal running strategy with equations? That's exactly what a pair of mathematicians propose in a new paper.

A GPS from the chemistry set

Posted: 27 Oct 2014 07:03 AM PDT

You don't always need GPS, a map or a compass to find the right way. What demands a tremendous amount of computational power from today's navigation computers can also be achieved by taking advantage of the laws of physical chemistry and practicing so-called "chemical computing". The trick works as follows: A gel mixed with acid is applied at the exit of a labyrinth – i.e. the destination – filled with alkaline liquid. Within a shorttime, the acid spreads through the alkaline maze, although the majority of it remains together with the gel at the exit. When an alkaline solution mixed with dyes is now added to the other end of the maze, i.e. the entrance, it automatically seeks the way to the exit – the point with the highest acidity. 

Zero gravity experiments on the International Space Station shed some light on thermodiffusion effects

Posted: 27 Oct 2014 07:03 AM PDT

Thermodiffusion, also called the Soret effect, is a mechanism by which an imposed temperature difference establishes a concentration difference within a mixture. Two studies now provide a better understanding of such effects.

Organizational needs often forgotten in developing countries’ IT education

Posted: 27 Oct 2014 05:53 AM PDT

A shortage of skilled IT service management professionals constitutes an obstacle for the efficient use of information and communication technology, and is a particular challenge for the least developed countries, such as Tanzania. Tanzanian universities offer a high level of education in, for example, computer science and software design, but not in information technology.

Record data transmission over a specially fabricated fiber demonstrated

Posted: 27 Oct 2014 05:52 AM PDT

Researchers report the successful transmission of a record high 255 Terabits/s over a new type of fibre allowing 21 times more bandwidth than currently available in communication networks. This new type of fiber could be an answer to mitigating the impending optical transmission capacity crunch caused by the increasing bandwidth demand.

New nanodevice to improve cancer treatment monitoring

Posted: 27 Oct 2014 05:52 AM PDT

In less than a minute, a miniature device can measure a patient's blood for methotrexate, a commonly used but potentially toxic cancer drug. Just as accurate and ten times less expensive than equipment currently used in hospitals, this nanoscale device has an optical system that can rapidly gauge the optimal dose of methotrexate a patient needs, while minimizing the drug's adverse effects.

Feathers in flight inspire anti-turbulence technology

Posted: 27 Oct 2014 05:52 AM PDT

Inspired by nature's own anti-turbulence devices – feathers – researchers have developed an innovative system that could spell the end of turbulence on flights.

How cells know which way to go

Posted: 27 Oct 2014 05:50 AM PDT

Amoebas aren't the only cells that crawl: Movement is crucial to development, wound healing and immune response in animals, not to mention cancer metastasis. In two new studies, researchers answer long-standing questions about how complex cells sense the chemical trails that show them where to go — and the role of cells' internal "skeleton" in responding to those cues.

Turning loss to gain: Cutting power could dramatically boost laser output

Posted: 26 Oct 2014 04:53 PM PDT

Re-examining longstanding beliefs about the physics of lasers, engineers have shown that carefully restricting the delivery of power to certain areas within a laser could boost its output by many orders of magnitude.

New evidence for an exotic, predicted superconducting state

Posted: 26 Oct 2014 04:53 PM PDT

Physicist have produced new evidence for an exotic superconducting state, first predicted a half-century ago, that can arise when a superconductor is exposed to a strong magnetic field.

Breakthrough in molecular electronics paves way for new generation of DNA-based computer circuits

Posted: 26 Oct 2014 04:52 PM PDT

Scientists have announced a significant breakthrough toward developing DNA-based electrical circuits. Molecular electronics, which uses molecules as building blocks for the fabrication of electronic components, has been seen as the ultimate solution to the miniaturization challenge. However, to date, no one has actually been able to make complex electrical circuits using molecules. Now scientists report reproducible and quantitative measurements of electricity flow through long molecules made of four DNA strands, signaling a significant breakthrough towards the development of DNA-based electrical circuits.

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