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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

Controlling genes with your thoughts

Posted: 11 Nov 2014 08:13 AM PST

Researchers have constructed the first gene network that can be controlled by our thoughts. Scientists have developed a novel gene regulation method that enables thought-specific brainwaves to control the conversion of genes into proteins (gene expression). The inspiration was a game that picks up brainwaves in order to guide a ball through an obstacle course.

Space: The final frontier in silicon chemistry

Posted: 11 Nov 2014 08:11 AM PST

Silicon, which is one of the most common elements in Earth's crust, is also sprinkled abundantly throughout interstellar space. The only way to identify silicon-containing molecules in the far corners of the cosmos – and to understand the chemistry that created them – is to observe through telescopes the electromagnetic radiation the molecules emit.

Creating bright X-ray pulses in the laser lab

Posted: 11 Nov 2014 07:52 AM PST

To create X-rays -- short wave radiation -- scientists have started out with very long wavelengths -- infrared laser. Long wavelength laser pulses rip atoms out of metal and accelerate them, which leads to emission of X-rays.

Astronomers preparing for first-ever comet landing attempt

Posted: 11 Nov 2014 05:43 AM PST

Astronomers are preparing for the first ever landing by a spacecraft on an icy comet tomorrow. The Rosetta spacecraft was launched in 2004, and has spent a decade manoeuvring to rendezvous with the comet.

All the electronics that's fit to print

Posted: 11 Nov 2014 05:33 AM PST

New technology allows you to print electronic devices in the same way your inkjet printer prints a document or photo. Now researchers have used this technique to build a portable X-ray imager and small mechanical devices.

Playing action video games can boost learning, study finds

Posted: 10 Nov 2014 01:10 PM PST

A new study shows for the first time that playing action video games improves not just the skills taught in the game, but learning capabilities more generally.

Best evidence yet for galactic merger in distant protocluster

Posted: 10 Nov 2014 01:10 PM PST

Nestled among a triplet of young galaxies more than 12.5 billion light-years away is a cosmic powerhouse: a galaxy that is producing stars nearly 1,000 times faster than our own Milky Way. This energetic starburst galaxy, known as AzTEC-3, together with its gang of calmer galaxies may represent the best evidence yet that large galaxies grow from the merger of smaller ones in the early Universe, a process known as hierarchical merging.

Baby photos of a scaled-up solar system

Posted: 10 Nov 2014 12:09 PM PST

Astronomers have discovered two dust belts surrounded by a large dust halo around young star HD 95086. The findings provide a look back at what our solar system may have resembled in its infancy.

Asteroid's size revealed for the first time

Posted: 10 Nov 2014 12:09 PM PST

When the double asteroid Patroclus-Menoetius passed directly in front of a star on the night of Oct. 20, a team of volunteer astronomers across the U.S. was waiting. Observing the event, known as an occultation, from multiple sites where each observer recorded the precise time the star was obscured, yielded the first accurate determination of the two objects' size and shape.

Microbot muscles: Chains of particles assemble and flex

Posted: 10 Nov 2014 12:09 PM PST

In a step toward robots smaller than a grain of sand, researchers have shown how chains of self-assembling particles could serve as electrically activated muscles in the tiny machines.

Sweet music or sour notes? Test will tell

Posted: 10 Nov 2014 12:08 PM PST

Most people rarely sing publically outside of "Happy Birthday." And since that particular song is usually offered as a group performance, even the reluctant join in, hoping their individual shortcomings will be cloaked by the chorus. One psychologist believes that most people are not as bad at singing as they might think and he is collaborating on the development of an online test that will evaluate participants' ability to match specific tones and melodies.

A billion holes can make a battery

Posted: 10 Nov 2014 09:42 AM PST

Researchers have invented a single tiny structure that includes all the components of a battery that they say could bring about the ultimate miniaturization of energy storage components.

Lighter, cheaper radio wave device could transform telecommunications

Posted: 10 Nov 2014 09:41 AM PST

Researchers have achieved a milestone in modern wireless and cellular telecommunications, creating a radically smaller, more efficient radio wave circulator that could be used in cellphones and other wireless devices. The new circulator has the potential to double the useful bandwidth in wireless communications and transform the telecommunications industry, making communications faster and less expensive in a wide array of products.

Noise in a microwave amplifier is limited by quantum particles of heat

Posted: 10 Nov 2014 09:40 AM PST

Scientists have demonstrated how noise in a microwave amplifier is limited by self-heating at very low temperatures. The findings can be of importance for future discoveries in many areas of science such as quantum computers and radio astronomy. Many significant discoveries in physics and astronomy are dependent upon registering a barely detectable electrical signal in the microwave regime.

Good Vibrations Give Electrons Excitations That Rock an Insulator to Go Metallic

Posted: 10 Nov 2014 09:35 AM PST

Scientists have made an important advancement in understanding a classic transition-metal oxide, vanadium dioxide, by quantifying the thermodynamic forces driving the transformation.

On-demand conductivity for graphene nanoribbons

Posted: 10 Nov 2014 08:02 AM PST

Physicists have devised a theoretical model to tune the conductivity of graphene zigzag nanoribbons using ultra-short pulses. Physicists have, for the first time, explored in detail the time evolution of the conductivity, as well as other quantum-level electron transport characteristics, of a graphene device subjected to periodic ultra-short pulses. To date, the majority of graphene studies have considered the dependency of transport properties on the characteristics of the external pulses, such as field strength, period or frequency.

Successful implant of next-generation heart device marks Canadian first

Posted: 10 Nov 2014 08:02 AM PST

A surgical team in Toronto has successfully implanted a novel mechanical device, the HeartMate IIITM, into a patient with advanced heart failure. This is the first time this procedure has been conducted on Canadian soil.

'Big data' takes root in world of plant research

Posted: 10 Nov 2014 05:37 AM PST

Botanists have compiled and shared 48 years' worth of global plant data to help answer some of the most pressing environmental and evolutionary questions facing modern society. People invested in living plant collections in botanic gardens through the centuries to bring economic, medicinal and agricultural advantages of plants to people all over the world. The botanists' database is moving this gift into the digital age of 'Big Data'.

Wearable device to track diet under development

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 02:36 PM PST

A professor of electrical and computer engineering hopes to develop a sensor worn around the ear that would automatically track diet, giving medical professionals and consumers accurate information that can be missed with self-reporting.

Greater Use of Social Media Gets Science, Scientists Noticed, Study Says

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 12:23 PM PST

There is a connection between "h-index" — a measure of the quality of a researcher's work and influence — and whether the scientists interact with reporters and get mentioned on Twitter, a new study has shown.

Southern fried fuel: Professor 'gases' up with animal fat for cross-country drive

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 07:19 AM PST

An alternative fuels researcher is taking another cross-country journey using no gasoline, this time using a process to turn waste animal fat and waste vegetable oil into fuel. On this trip, a team of researchers will take a 1981 pickup truck across the U.S.

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