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Saturday, November 1, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

Universe may face a darker future: Is dark matter swallowing up dark energy?

Posted: 31 Oct 2014 05:20 AM PDT

New research offers a novel insight into the nature of dark matter and dark energy and what the future of our Universe might be. Scientists have found hints that dark matter, the cosmic scaffolding on which our Universe is built, is being slowly erased, swallowed up by dark energy.

Lord of the microrings

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 12:08 PM PDT

Researchers report a significant breakthrough in laser technology with the development of a unique microring laser cavity that can produce single-mode lasing on demand. This advance holds ramifications for a wide range of optoelectronic applications including metrology and interferometry, data storage and communications, and high-resolution spectroscopy.

Biology meets geometry: Geometry of a common cellular structure explored

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 11:22 AM PDT

Architecture imitates life, at least when it comes to those spiral ramps in multistory parking garages. Stacked and connecting parallel levels, the ramps are replications of helical structures found in a ubiquitous membrane structure in the cells of the body.

Harnessing error-prone chips

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 11:22 AM PDT

As transistors get smaller, they also grow less reliable. Increasing their operating voltage can help, but that means a corresponding increase in power consumption. With information technology consuming a steadily growing fraction of the world's energy supplies, some researchers and hardware manufacturers are exploring the possibility of simply letting chips botch the occasional computation. In many popular applications -- video rendering, for instance -- users probably wouldn't notice the difference, and it could significantly improve energy efficiency.

Oceans arrived early to Earth; Primitive meteorites were a likely source of water, study finds

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 11:22 AM PDT

Earth is known as the Blue Planet because of its oceans, which cover more than 70 percent of the planet's surface and are home to the world's greatest diversity of life. While water is essential for life on the planet, the answers to two key questions have eluded us: Where did Earth's water come from and when? While some hypothesize that water came late to Earth, well after the planet had formed, findings from a new study significantly move back the clock for the first evidence of water on Earth and in the inner solar system.

Planet discovered that won't stick to a schedule

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 10:33 AM PDT

For their latest discovery, astronomers have found a low-mass, low-density planet with a punctuality problem. The new planet, called PH3c, is located 2,300 light years from Earth and has an atmosphere loaded with hydrogen and helium. Its inconsistency kept it from being picked up by automated computer algorithms that search stellar light curves and identify regular dips caused by objects passing in front of stars.

Hubble sees 'ghost light' from dead galaxies

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 10:29 AM PDT

The universe is an infinite sea of galaxies, which are majestic star-cities. When galaxies group together in massive clusters, some of them can be ripped apart by the gravitational tug of other galaxies. Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope to probe the massive galaxy cluster Abell 2744 — nicknamed Pandora's Cluster — have found forensic evidence of galaxies torn apart long ago. It's in the form of a phantom-like faint glow filling the space between the galaxies. This glow comes from stars scattered into intergalactic space as a result of a galaxy's disintegration.

Together we are strong -- or insufferable

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 08:49 AM PDT

Everyone can have an impact on the dynamics of a group, particularly if they join forces with others, experts say. "What interested us most, however, was how the individual can contribute to the development of stable cooperation within the group," they say of their research, which was actually able to calculate mathematically which strategies promote cooperation.

Active, biodegradable packaging for oily products

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 08:48 AM PDT

The increase in the presence of plastic in our lives is an unstoppable trend due to the versatility of this material. So innovation in the packaging industry has been focusing on the development of new, more sustainable, economically viable materials with enhanced properties and which also perform the functions required by this sector: to contain, protect and preserve the product, to inform the consumer about it and to facilitate the distribution of it. Now, a single-layer, biodegradable container from agro-industrial by-products suitable for both liquid and solid oily products has been developed by researchers.

Adapative 'nowcasting' key to accurate flu data trends using Google search terms

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 08:48 AM PDT

Google search data really can provide a more accurate real time picture of current flu infections, researchers have found. Official reports of influenza infection rates are produced with a delay of at least one week. Yet researchers from Google and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that data on searches for influenza related terms could be used to provide a real time estimate of the number of people with flu infections, with almost no delay.

Device developed for running shoes that prevents injuries

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 08:48 AM PDT

A prototype running shoe has been designed with an integrated device that improves training management and prevents injuries. The device consists of a microelectronic measuring system capable of gathering biomechanical parameters that characterize the runner's technique during a race. This information is wirelessly transmitted to the runner's mobile phone and a mobile phone application provides real-time feedback, including level of performance and suggestions to change the running pattern or to stop running in case of detecting a high risk of injury.

Ion adsorption matter in biology

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 07:28 AM PDT

Biological membranes are mainly composed of lipid bilayers. Gaining a better understanding of adsorption of solution ions onto lipid membranes helps clarify functional processes in biological cells. A new study provides a quantitative description of the equilibria between lipid membranes and surrounding solution ions. In addition to shedding some light on biological processes, these results could also have implications for, among other things, the future development of medical diagnostics.

'Nanomotor lithography' answers call for affordable, simpler device manufacturing

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 07:16 AM PDT

What does it take to fabricate electronic and medical devices tinier than a fraction of a human hair? Nanoengineers recently invented a new method of lithography in which nanoscale robots swim over the surface of light-sensitive material to create complex surface patterns that form the sensors and electronics components on nanoscale devices.

Scientists propose existence and interaction of parallel worlds: Many Interacting Worlds theory challenges foundations of quantum science

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 07:16 AM PDT

Academics are challenging the foundations of quantum science with a radical new theory on parallel universes. Scientists now propose that parallel universes really exist, and that they interact. They show that such an interaction could explain everything that is bizarre about quantum mechanics.

Model explains why HIV prevention dosing differs by sex

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 07:15 AM PDT

A mathematical model predicts that women must take the antiretroviral medication Truvada daily to prevent HIV infection via vaginal sex, whereas just two doses per week can protect men from HIV infection via anal sex. This finding helps explain why two large clinical trials testing HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, in women failed to show efficacy.

High air pollution levels near unconventional oil and gas production sites

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 07:15 AM PDT

Research suggests air pollutants released by unconventional oil and gas production are well over recommended levels in the US. High levels of benzene, hydrogen sulfide and formaldehyde were found. The study is the first to be based on community sampling by people who live near production sites and could be used to supplement official air-quality monitoring programs.

Could copper prevent spread of Ebola?

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 07:12 AM PDT

Copper could help to prevent the spread of Ebola, researchers have found. While hand washing, disinfectants and quarantine procedures alone have been found to be insufficient to contain the spread of the virus, research has offered promising evidence that antimicrobial copper - engineering materials with intrinsic hygiene benefits - could be a valuable addition to these existing measures.

When did galaxies settle down?

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 07:12 AM PDT

Astronomers have long sought to understand exactly how the universe evolved from its earliest history to the cosmos we see around us in the present day. In particular, the way that galaxies form and develop is still a matter for debate. Now a group of researchers have used the collective efforts of the hundreds of thousands of people that volunteer for the Galaxy Zoo project to shed some light on this problem. They find that galaxies may have settled into their current form some two billion years earlier than previously thought.

Physicists pave the way for quantum interfaces

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 07:12 AM PDT

Researchers have controlled interplay of light and matter at the level of individual photons emitted by rubidium.

Dazzlingly sharp images on curved screens

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 07:07 AM PDT

Projecting images on curved screens poses a dilemma. The sharper the image, the darker it is. A novel optical approach brings brightness and sharpness together for the first time on screens of any curvature – and additionally allows about 10,000-times faster projection rates.

Game technology can make emergency robots easier to control

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 07:07 AM PDT

A method borrowed from video gaming can make remote-controlled emergency response robots easier to use -- enabling the operator to focus more on the dangerous situations they face.

Economical process for micro energy harvesting

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 07:07 AM PDT

The trend toward energy self-sufficient probes and ever smaller mobile electronics systems continues unabated. They are used, for example, to monitor the status of the engines on airplanes, or for medical implants. They gather the energy they need for this from their immediate environment - from vibrations, for instance. Researchers have now developed a process for the economical production of piezoelectric materials.

Line camera makes magnetic field lines visible in 3-D and real time

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 07:07 AM PDT

Scientists have developed a high-resolution magnetic line camera to measure magnetic fields in real time. Field lines in magnetic systems such as generators or motors, which are invisible to the human eye, can be made visible using this camera. It is especially suitable for industrial applications, for example in quality assurance during the manufacture of magnets.

Functional nanomaterials to advance vehicle battery tech

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 07:05 AM PDT

Toyota scientists will collaborate with Brookhaven Lab experts and use world-leading electron microscopes to explore the real-time electrochemical reactions in promising new batteries.

3-D printing incorporates quasicrystals for stronger manufacturing products

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 07:03 AM PDT

Researchers say that quasicrystals, a type of complex metal alloy with crystal-like properties, can be useful in the design of new composite materials.

Technology Provides Improved Access for Disabled Voters

Posted: 29 Oct 2014 05:39 PM PDT

A researcher's desire to provide citizens with disabilities the same opportunity to vote as everyone else could serve as the catalyst for revolutionizing voter access across America.

Plump turtles swim better: First models of swimming animals

Posted: 29 Oct 2014 05:37 PM PDT

Bigger is better, if you're a leatherback sea turtle. For the first time, researchers have measured the forces that act on a swimming animal and the energy the animal must expend to move through the water.

Planck 2013 results: Special feature describes data gathered over 15 months of observations

Posted: 29 Oct 2014 06:54 AM PDT

Astronomy & Astrophysics is publishing a special feature of 31 articles describing the data gathered by Planck over 15 months of observations and released by ESA and the Planck Collaboration in March 2013. This series of papers presents the initial scientific results extracted from this first Planck dataset.

Modeling Cancer: Researchers Prove Models Can Predict Cellular Processes

Posted: 28 Oct 2014 06:38 PM PDT

Mathematical models to predict the dynamics of cell transitions have been developed by researchers who compared their results with actual measurements of activity in cell populations. The results could inform efforts to treat cancer patients.

Sensors used to monitor dangerous hits on football field

Posted: 28 Oct 2014 06:38 PM PDT

In football, a tackle can supply 100 G's of force or more, well above the amount that can cause a concussion and more than 10 times the force of an F-16 jet roll maneuver. Now, researchers are using the helmets of Gator football players to help measure the force of on-field hits as part of ongoing efforts to better understand and prevent concussions and treat them before they cause lasting damage.

Are 'flops' a success in basketball?

Posted: 28 Oct 2014 11:57 AM PDT

With regard to basketball, "the defender improves his chances of drawing an offensive foul to some extent by falling intentionally vs. standing,' a researcher explains. 'However professional players and coaches should be expected to make a broader assessment of their decisions and refrain form myopic thinking that flops are the right course of action.' With the 2014 NBA season starting next week, Morgulev believes that flopping should receive a more significant fine or punishment.

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