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Thursday, November 13, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

Jupiter's Great Red Spot is likely a sunburn, not a blush

Posted: 12 Nov 2014 10:32 AM PST

The ruddy color of Jupiter's Great Red Spot is likely a product of simple chemicals being broken apart by sunlight in the planet's upper atmosphere, according to a new analysis of data from NASA's Cassini mission. The results contradict the other leading theory for the origin of the spot's striking color -- that the reddish chemicals come from beneath Jupiter's clouds.

All 'quantum weirdness' may be caused by interacting parallel worlds, physicist theorizes

Posted: 12 Nov 2014 10:19 AM PST

A new theory of quantum mechanics was developed by Bill Poirier, a chemical physicist. The theory discusses parallel worlds' existence and the quantum effects observed in nature.

Touchdown! Rosetta’s Philae probe lands on comet

Posted: 12 Nov 2014 09:48 AM PST

The European Space Agency's Rosetta mission has soft-landed its Philae probe on a comet, the first time in history that such an extraordinary feat has been achieved. After a tense wait during the seven-hour descent to the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the signal confirming the successful touchdown arrived on Earth at 16:03 GMT (17:03 CET).

Stock market models help researchers predict animal behavior

Posted: 12 Nov 2014 09:01 AM PST

Modeling used to forecast fluctuations in the stock market has been discovered to predict aspects of animal behavior. The movement of zebrafish when mapped is very similar to the stochastic jump process, a mathematical model used by financial engineers. The model could improve the effectiveness of experiments, minimize the number of fish used, and allow researchers to make better use of their data following experiments.

Rosetta's singing comet

Posted: 11 Nov 2014 08:11 AM PST

A set of instruments on the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft has picked up a mysterious "song" from Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. On Wednesday, Nov. 12, Rosetta will attempt the first-ever soft landing on a comet when it dispatches its Philae lander to the surface of comet 67P.

Rosetta mission selfie at 10 miles

Posted: 12 Nov 2014 08:42 AM PST

The Philae lander of the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission took a self-portrait of the spacecraft on Oct. 7, 2014, at a distance of 10 miles (16 kilometers) from comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The image, taken with Philae's CIVA camera, captures the side of the Rosetta spacecraft and one of Rosetta's 46-foot-long (14-meter-long) solar wings, with the comet in the background.

A twisted world: Chemists build a molecular banister

Posted: 12 Nov 2014 07:27 AM PST

Chemists have succeeded in twisting a molecule by combining molecular strands of differing lengths. The longer strand winds around a central axis like a staircase banister, creating a helical structure that exhibits special physical properties.

Electronic 'tongue' to ensure food quality

Posted: 12 Nov 2014 07:26 AM PST

An electronic 'tongue' could one day sample food and drinks as a quality check before they hit store shelves. Or it could someday monitor water for pollutants or test blood for signs of disease. With an eye toward these applications, scientists are reporting the development of a new, inexpensive and highly sensitive version of such a device.

Artificial retina could someday help restore vision

Posted: 12 Nov 2014 07:25 AM PST

The loss of eyesight, often caused by retinal degeneration, is a life-altering health issue for many people, especially as they age. But a new development toward a prosthetic retina could help counter conditions that result from problems with this crucial part of the eye.

Predicting dengue fever outbreaks in China using internet searches

Posted: 12 Nov 2014 06:31 AM PST

The habit of searching online for a diagnosis before visiting the doctor can be a powerful predictor of infectious diseases outbreaks, researchers have found. Now studies show that combining information from monitoring internet search metrics such as Baidu (China's equivalent of Google), with a web-based infectious disease alert system from reported cases and environmental factors hold the key to improving early warning systems and reducing the deadly effects of dengue fever in China.

New materials for more powerful solar cells

Posted: 12 Nov 2014 06:31 AM PST

Applying a thin film of metallic oxide significantly boosts the performance of solar panel cells. Researchers have developed a new class of materials comprising elements such as bismuth, iron, chromium, and oxygen. These 'multiferroic' materials absorb solar radiation and possess unique electrical and magnetic properties.

Virtual reality speeds up rehabilitation: Integrating force feedback into therapies for impaired hands

Posted: 12 Nov 2014 06:30 AM PST

A novel training program uses haptic technology for impaired hands that cannot function normally. This program is unique as it provides force feedback, which creates a true sense of weight to the user through the control device.

'Nudges' try to help college students live healthier

Posted: 12 Nov 2014 06:30 AM PST

Here's one way to try to get college students to live healthier lifestyles: They log onto their computer and get lessons and emails, telling them why they should eat better, exercise and sleep right. That's what researchers at 13 universities discovered.

Ethanol and heterogeneous catalysts for biodiesel production

Posted: 12 Nov 2014 05:42 AM PST

Biodiesel is an alternative fuel to conventional fossil ones. The EU policies of boosting biodiesel have achieved its implementation in the transport fuels market and increasingly its sustainable nature is being taken into account. Thus, up to 86 % of the biofuels used in the EU in 2013 achieved the certificate of sustainability, in accordance with the Community norms.

Fewer surgeries with degradable implants

Posted: 12 Nov 2014 05:42 AM PST

Until now, in cases of bone fracture, doctors have used implants made of steel and titanium, which have to be removed after healing. To spare patients burdensome interventions, researchers are working on a bone substitute that completely degrades in the body. Towards this end, material combinations of metal and ceramic are being used.

European spacecraft set to harpoon a comet

Posted: 11 Nov 2014 08:11 AM PST

Early tomorrow morning (Nov. 12), the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft will deploy its comet lander, "Philae." A little over seven hours later (8 a.m. PST/11 a.m. EST), the experiment-laden, harpoon-firing Philae is scheduled to touch down on the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. It will be the first time in history that a spacecraft has attempted a soft landing on a comet. Rosetta is an international mission led by the European Space Agency (ESA), with instruments provided by its member states, and additional support and instruments provided by NASA.

Using 3-D printers to print out self-learning robots

Posted: 12 Nov 2014 05:41 AM PST

On the third floor of the Department of Informatics in a university in Norway a there is a robotics laboratory which looks like a playroom. This is where researchers are testing how their robots can figure out how to move past barriers and other obstacles. The robotics team are currently comparing the performance of five robots which in theory should be equally good. Three of the five robots have four legs, one has three, another has six. The fewer legs, the less energy is consumed. One of the robots is fitted with single-joint legs. The others have legs with two joints.

The great digital divide in healthcare: Older Americans may be left behind

Posted: 12 Nov 2014 05:38 AM PST

When it comes to the benefits of electronic health records, older Americans may be left behind, new study says. Less than a third of Americans age 65 and over use the Web for health information and barely 10 percent of those with low health literacy -- or ability to navigate the health care system -- go online for health-related matters, according to the nationally-representative study.

Rosetta and Philae separation confirmed

Posted: 12 Nov 2014 04:59 AM PST

The Philae lander has separated from the Rosetta orbiter, and is now on its way to becoming the first spacecraft to touch down on a comet.

Rosetta and Philae Go for separation

Posted: 12 Nov 2014 04:57 AM PST

Following a night of critical Go/NoGo decisions, Rosetta and Philae are cleared for separation, despite a problem onboard the lander. The mission is set to become the first in history to touch down on a comet.

Twisted light waves sent across Vienna

Posted: 11 Nov 2014 04:22 PM PST

A group of researchers from Austria have sent twisted beams of light across the rooftops of Vienna. It is the first time that twisted light has been transmitted over a large distance outdoors, and could enable researchers to take advantage of the significant data-carrying capacity of light in both classical and quantum communications.

'Forests' of carbon nanotubes grown on 3-D substrates

Posted: 11 Nov 2014 02:01 PM PST

Researchers are growing vertically aligned "forests" of carbon nanotubes on three-dimensional (3-D) conductive substrates to explore their potential use as a cathode in next-gen lithium batteries.

Novel molecular imaging drug offers better detection of prostate cancer

Posted: 11 Nov 2014 09:40 AM PST

A novel study demonstrates the potential of a novel molecular imaging drug to detect and visualize early prostate cancer in soft tissue, lymph nodes and bone. The research compares the biodistribution and tumor uptake kinetics of two Tc-99m labeled ligands, MIP-1404 and MIP-1405, used with SPECT and planar imaging.

Tumor-analysis technology enables speedier treatment decisions for bowel cancer patients

Posted: 11 Nov 2014 08:16 AM PST

Technology helps hospitals make earlier and more accurate treatment decisions and survival assessments for patients with bowel cancer. A novel medical imaging technology, TexRAD, which analyses the texture of tumors, has been shown in trials to enable early diagnosis of those bowel cancer patients not responding to the standard cancer therapy better than other available tumor markers.

Tail discovered on long-known asteroid

Posted: 11 Nov 2014 08:13 AM PST

Astronomers have discovered a new active asteroid, called 62412, in the Solar System's main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. It is the first comet-like object seen in the Hygiea family of asteroids.

Bending but not breaking: In search of new materials

Posted: 10 Nov 2014 01:10 PM PST

Researchers have chemically engineered a new, electrically conductive nanomaterial that is flexible enough to fold, but strong enough to support many times its own weight. They believe it can be used to improve electrical energy storage, water filtration and radiofrequency shielding in technology from portable electronics to coaxial cables.

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