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Thursday, October 9, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

Drug-infused nanoparticle is right for sore eyes

Posted: 08 Oct 2014 05:40 PM PDT

For the millions of sufferers of dry eye syndrome, their only recourse to easing the painful condition is to use drug-laced eye drops three times a day. Now, researchers have developed a topical solution containing nanoparticles that will combat dry eye syndrome with only one application a week.

Plant scientist discovers basis of 'evolution' in violins

Posted: 08 Oct 2014 05:40 PM PDT

A scientist has quantified the refined shapes of violins allowing us to hone our skills to describe the complexity and diversity among plant species, and to use its genetic basis for crop improvement.

Reproducibility score for SNPs associated with human disease in GWAS

Posted: 08 Oct 2014 12:36 PM PDT

Nine traits that are not dependent on P values to predict single nucleotide polymorphisms reproducibility in genome-wide association studies and reduce false positives have been identified by researchers. Te empirical model can be used to select SNPs for validation and prioritization, one expert said.

Amputees discern familiar sensations across prosthetic hand

Posted: 08 Oct 2014 12:36 PM PDT

Patients connected to a new prosthetic system said they 'felt' their hands for the first time since they lost them in accidents. In the ensuing months, they began feeling sensations that were familiar and were able to control their prosthetic hands with more -- well -- dexterity.

Mind-controlled prosthetic arms that work in daily life are now a reality

Posted: 08 Oct 2014 12:36 PM PDT

For the first time, robotic prostheses controlled via implanted neuromuscular interfaces have become a clinical reality. A novel osseointegrated (bone-anchored) implant system gives patients new opportunities in their daily life and professional activities.

Astronomers see right into heart of exploding star

Posted: 08 Oct 2014 11:11 AM PDT

Astronomers have been able to see into the heart of an exploding star, by combining data from telescopes that are hundreds or even thousands of kilometers apart. 

International collaborations produce more influential science, analysis finds

Posted: 08 Oct 2014 11:09 AM PDT

A new analysis calculating the scientific impact of 1.25 million journal articles finds that papers with authors from multiple countries are cited more often and more likely to both appear in prestigious journals, and provides a new perspective on the changing global landscape of scientific influence.

Impossibly bright dead star: X-ray source in the Cigar Galaxy is the first ultraluminous pulsar ever detected

Posted: 08 Oct 2014 10:34 AM PDT

Astronomers working with NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) have found a pulsating dead star beaming with the energy of about 10 million suns. The object, previously thought to be a black hole because it is so powerful, is in fact a pulsar -- the incredibly dense rotating remains of a star.

Smartphone understands hand gestures

Posted: 08 Oct 2014 10:16 AM PDT

Computer scientists have developed a new app enabling users to operate their smartphone with gestures. This development expands the range of potential interactions with such devices.

Country's economy plays role in Internet file-sharing patterns

Posted: 08 Oct 2014 10:16 AM PDT

Peer-to-peer file sharing over the Internet is a popular alternative approach for people worldwide to get the digital content they want. But little is known about these users and systems because data is lacking. Now, in an unprecedented study of BitTorrent users, a research team has discovered two behavior patterns: most users are content specialists -- sharing music but not movies, for example; and users in countries with similar economies tend to download similar types of content.

Dynamic motion of HIV as it readies an attack: Seen in real time, for the first time

Posted: 08 Oct 2014 10:14 AM PDT

Technologies that allow investigators, for the first time, to watch what they call the 'dance' of HIV proteins on the virus' surface, which may contribute to how the virus infects human immune cells, have been developed by scientists. The new technology platform opens new possibilities for devising an approach to prevent HIV infection, note researchers

Hungry black hole eats faster than thought possible

Posted: 08 Oct 2014 10:13 AM PDT

Astronomers have discovered a black hole that is consuming gas from a nearby star 10 times faster than previously thought possible. The black hole -- known as P13 -- lies on the outskirts of the galaxy NGC7793 about 12 million light years from Earth and is ingesting a weight equivalent to 100 billion billion hot dogs every minute.

Using autonomous vehicles to improve traffic flow

Posted: 08 Oct 2014 10:12 AM PDT

With autonomous vehicles entering our roadways as soon as with the next decade, researchers are developing strategies for the future use of autonomous vehicles in improving traffic flow.

Fusion reactor concept could be cheaper than coal

Posted: 08 Oct 2014 10:11 AM PDT

Engineers have designed a concept for a fusion reactor that, when scaled up to the size of a large electrical power plant, would rival costs for a new coal-fired plant with similar electrical output.

Robotic surgery: More complications, higher expense for some conditions

Posted: 08 Oct 2014 09:19 AM PDT

For benign gynecologic conditions, robot-assisted surgery involves more complications during surgery and may be significantly more expensive than conventional laparoscopic surgery, according to a study.

How metallic alloys reorganize during microscale laser melting processes: Elements of successful connections

Posted: 08 Oct 2014 07:12 AM PDT

High-power lasers that can selectively cut and join metallic products are becoming increasingly important in today's manufacturing industry. Now scientists have developed a technique that reveals exactly how molten elements vaporize and move about inside a laser-generated surface 'plume'1 -- findings that can advance additive manufacturing techniques used to print three-dimensional (3D) objects.

2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry: Super-resolved fluorescence microscopy

Posted: 08 Oct 2014 05:54 AM PDT

The 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to Eric Betzig of Janelia Farm Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Stefan W. Hell of Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry and the German Cancer Research Center; and William E. Moerner of Stanford University "for the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy."

Smallest world record has ‘endless possibilities’ for bio-nanotechnology

Posted: 08 Oct 2014 05:35 AM PDT

Scientists have taken a crucial step forward in bio-nanotechnology, a field that uses biology to develop new tools for science, technology and medicine. The new study demonstrates how stable 'lipid membranes' -- the thin 'skin' that surrounds all biological cells -- can be applied to synthetic surfaces. Importantly, the new technique can use these lipid membranes to 'draw' -- akin to using them like a biological ink -- with a resolution of 6 nanometres (6 billionths of a meter), which is much smaller than scientists had previously thought was possible.

Quantum probe enhances electric field measurements

Posted: 07 Oct 2014 03:42 PM PDT

Scientists have demonstrated a technique based on the quantum properties of atoms that directly links measurements of electric field strength to the International System of Units. The new method could improve the sensitivity, precision and ease of tests and calibrations of antennas, sensors, and biomedical and nano-electronic systems and facilitate the design of novel devices.

Laser comb system maps 3-D surfaces remotely for manufacturing, forensics

Posted: 07 Oct 2014 03:42 PM PDT

Researchers have demonstrated a laser-based imaging system that creates high-definition 3-D maps of surfaces from as far away as 10.5 meters. The method may be useful in diverse fields, including precision machining and assembly, as well as in forensics.

Researchers pump up oil accumulation in plant leaves

Posted: 07 Oct 2014 01:14 PM PDT

A series of detailed genetic studies points scientists to a new way to dramatically increase the accumulation of oil in plant leaves, an abundant source of biomass for fuel production.

Low-carbon energy future is clean, feasible

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 12:21 PM PDT

A future where electricity comes mostly from low-carbon sources is not only feasible in terms of material demand, but will significantly reduce air pollution, a study says.

Atmospheric chemistry hinges on better physics model

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 05:51 AM PDT

Theoretical physics models could help us better grasp the atmospheric chemistry of ozone depletion. Indeed, understanding photoabsorption of nitrous oxide -- a process which involves the transfer of the energy of a photon to the molecule -- matters because a small fraction of nitrous oxide reacts with oxygen atoms in the stratosphere to produce among others nitric oxide (NO). The latter participates in the catalytic destruction of ozone. Now, new theoretical work unveils the actual dynamic of the photoabsorption of nitrous oxide molecules.

Demanding ITER operation successful: Fusion reactor cassette collecting impurities replaced via remote control method

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 05:49 AM PDT

Engineers have reached an important objective in the development of ITER fusion reactor remote control, when the divertor cassette was replaced for the first time using remote control in the research facility for remote controlled maintenance. This operation is one of the most demanding measures in the forthcoming ITER fusion reactor, the construction of which is proceeding rapidly in Gadarache, Southern France.

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