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Friday, November 7, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

Space enthusiasts are being given the rare opportunity to name a planet

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 05:26 AM PST

Several organizations are eligible to name one of 20 to 30 planets, and their host stars, in a unique competition organized by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). The scheme gives members of the public the chance to name the newly discovered ExoWorlds (which have all been identified and confirmed since 2008).

How to make mobile batteries last longer by controlling energy flows at nano-level

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 05:26 AM PST

Electronic devices waste a lot of energy by producing useless heat. This is one of the main reasons our mobiles use up battery power so quickly. Researchers have now made a leap forward in understanding how this happens and how this waste could be reduced by controlling energy flows at a molecular level. This would make our technology cheaper to run and more durable.

The world’s most advanced bionic hand

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 05:26 AM PST

A prosthetic hand, which provides a sense of touch acute enough to handle an egg, has been completed and is now exploited by the NEBIAS project after 10 years of research. The world's most advanced bionic hand was tested with the help of amputee Dennis Aabo Sørensen who was able to grasp objects intuitively and identify what he was touching, while blindfolded.

3-d printed heart created

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 05:24 AM PST

New 3D printed heart technology has been developed. New frontiers in cardiovascular imaging will be explored through presentations on three-dimensional imaging.

Scientists developing a device to automatically send an alarm if wearer takes a fall

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 05:24 AM PST

A new system will make life safer for older people and those at risk of falling. And the prototype is surprisingly simple – a mobile phone attached to a hip belt that can be programmed and connected to a fall algorithm. The hip belt is attached to the person requiring the alarm, and the alarm is triggered automatically as soon as the wearer takes a fall.

Machine vision for catch quality assurance

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 05:24 AM PST

Robots equipped with machine vision enable us to classify catches on board vessels with high levels of accuracy – saving fishing crews time and money. When pelagic fish such as herring and mackerel are coming to market, auctions are hectic and time is short. Price is determined by the volume of the catch and its weight distribution.

Birth of planets revealed in astonishing detail in ALMA’s 'best image ever'

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 05:20 AM PST

Astronomers have captured the best image ever of planet formation around an infant star as part of the testing and verification process for the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array's (ALMA) new high-resolution capabilities.

'Direct writing' of diamond patterns from graphite a potential technological leap

Posted: 05 Nov 2014 05:35 PM PST

What began as research into a method to strengthen metals has led to the discovery of a new technique that uses a pulsing laser to create synthetic nanodiamond films and patterns from graphite, with potential applications from biosensors to computer chips.

European satellite Gaia could discover thousands of planets in Milky Way galaxy

Posted: 05 Nov 2014 05:35 PM PST

A recently launched European satellite could reveal tens of thousands of new planets within the next few years, and provide scientists with a far better understanding of the number, variety and distribution of planets in our galaxy, according to researchers.

Secure genetic data moves into fast lane of discovery

Posted: 05 Nov 2014 05:35 PM PST

A new web-based platform called GWATCH provides visualization tools for identifying disease-associated genetic markers from privacy-protected human data without risk to patient privacy. This dynamic online tool facilitates disease gene discovery via automation presented with intuitive data visualization tools: results are shown in three dimensions via a scrolling (Guitar Hero-like) chromosome highway. GWATCH provides an extremely useful, visually appealing bird's-eye view of positive disease-association results, while all sensitive information remain secure behind firewalls.

New research shows vulnerability in mobile phones’ applications offering voice communication security

Posted: 05 Nov 2014 05:33 PM PST

Researchers have identified problems with secure voice communication over the Internet. They are explaining why there are concerns with the end-to-end security of an increasingly popular means of communication, and what users can do to defend against potential threats.

Direct brain interface between humans

Posted: 05 Nov 2014 12:45 PM PST

Researchers have successfully replicated a direct brain-to-brain connection between pairs of people as part of a scientific study following the team's initial demonstration a year ago. In the newly published study, which involved six people, researchers were able to transmit the signals from one person's brain over the Internet and use these signals to control the hand motions of another person within a split second of sending that signal.

Multiple factors, not just mental illness, associated with gun possession, violence among youths

Posted: 05 Nov 2014 11:07 AM PST

A new study applies the latest computational methodologies to nationally representative data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System. Researchers identified more than 40 different behavioral factors other than mental illness that are strongly associated with gun possession. These include heroin use, substance use on school property, having been injured in a fight, and having been a victim of sexual violence.

Clearing a path for electrons in polymers: Closing in on the speed limits

Posted: 05 Nov 2014 10:19 AM PST

A new class of low-cost polymer materials, which can carry electric charge with almost no losses despite their seemingly random structure, could lead to flexible electronics and displays which are faster and more efficient.

Milestone in accelerating particles with plasma: Technique is powerful, efficient enough to drive future particle accelerators

Posted: 05 Nov 2014 10:19 AM PST

Scientists have shown that a promising technique for accelerating electrons on waves of plasma is efficient enough to power a new generation of shorter, more economical accelerators. This could greatly expand their use in areas such as medicine, national security, industry and high-energy physics research.

Engineered for tolerance, bacteria pump out higher quantity of renewable gasoline

Posted: 05 Nov 2014 09:20 AM PST

An international team of bioengineers has boosted the ability of bacteria to produce isopentenol, a compound with desirable gasoline properties. The finding is a significant step toward developing a bacterial strain that can yield industrial quantities of renewable bio-gasoline.

Measuring nano-vibrations

Posted: 05 Nov 2014 08:26 AM PST

Researchers have fabricated carbon nanotube mechanical resonators capable of exhibiting the highest quality factors to date.

Live images from the nano-cosmos: Scientists watch layers of football molecules grow

Posted: 05 Nov 2014 08:26 AM PST

Using ultrabright X-rays, researchers have observed in real-time how football-shaped carbon molecules arrange themselves into ultra-smooth layers. Together with theoretical simulations, the investigation reveals the fundamentals of this growth process for the first time in detail. This knowledge will eventually enable scientists to tailor nanostructures for certain applications from these carbon molecules, which play an increasing role in the promising field of plastic electronics.

Renewable energy support programs: New studies examine how and when they work

Posted: 05 Nov 2014 08:23 AM PST

Scientists have quantitatively analyzed the effects of various schemes to support renewable energy generation and, consequently, to reduce carbon emissions and end fossil fuel dependence.

Powerful imaging for optical point-of-care diagnostics

Posted: 05 Nov 2014 07:13 AM PST

A new handheld probe could give doctors powerful new imaging capabilities right in the palms of their hands. The imaging system shrinks a technology that once filled a whole lab bench down to a computer screen and a small probe about the size of a stapler.

Breaking down BPA and similar pollutants with sunlight, nanoparticles and graphene

Posted: 05 Nov 2014 07:13 AM PST

Many pollutants with the potential to meddle with hormones -- with bisphenol A, better known as BPA, as a prime example -- are already common in the environment. In an effort to clean up these pollutants found in the soil and waterways, scientists are now reporting a novel way to break them down by recruiting help from nanoparticles and light.

Longhorn beetle inspires ink to fight counterfeiting

Posted: 05 Nov 2014 07:12 AM PST

From water marks to colored threads, governments are constantly adding new features to paper money to stay one step ahead of counterfeiters. Now a longhorn beetle has inspired yet another way to foil cash fraud, as well as to produce colorful, changing billboards and art displays. Researchers report a new kind of ink that mimics the beetle's color-shifting ability in a way that would be long-lasting and difficult to copy.

Scientists prove possibility of 'impossible' dust transition in turbulent flow

Posted: 05 Nov 2014 07:12 AM PST

Researchers have predicted the possibility of negative turbophoresis, a phenomenon where impurity particles inside a turbulent flow move in an 'impossible' direction.

X-ray vision of photosynthesis: New technique facilitates analysis of biomolecules in a near-natural state

Posted: 05 Nov 2014 07:12 AM PST

Photosynthesis is one of the most important processes in nature. The complex method by which all green plants harvest sunlight and thereby produce the oxygen in our air is still not fully understood. Researchers have used DESY's X-ray light source PETRA III to investigate a photosynthesis subsystem in a near-natural state.

Your own energy 'island'? Microgrid could standardize small, self-sustaining electric grids

Posted: 05 Nov 2014 07:11 AM PST

When researchers talk about "islanding," or isolating, from the grid, they are discussing a fundamental benefit of microgrids -- small systems powered by renewables and energy storage devices. The benefit is that microgrids can disconnect from larger utility grids and continue to provide power locally.

The Peres conjecture is false, experts say

Posted: 05 Nov 2014 06:34 AM PST

Since 1999, the conjecture by Asher Peres, who invented quantum teleportation, has piqued the interest of many scientists in the field. According to his hypothesis, the weakest form of quantum entanglement can never result in the strongest manifestation of the phenomenon. Today, scientists have proven this conjecture to be false, thus solving one of the most famous problems in quantum information physics.

Performance of micromachining improved with femtosecond lasers: Reduces production time and costs

Posted: 05 Nov 2014 06:33 AM PST

Since the 90s, femtosecond lasers have enabled the treatment of materials at nanoscale and microscale with high precision, but their production is still slow and expensive. Researchers have now developed an original parallel-processing technique that enables to multiply the production capacity of these lasers, thus improving their performance, reducing the time and cost of manufacturing and optimizing the use of laser energy.

Synthetic fish measures wild ride through dams

Posted: 05 Nov 2014 06:33 AM PST

A synthetic fish is helping existing hydroelectric dams and new, smaller hydro facilities become more fish-friendly. The latest version of the Sensor Fish – a small tubular device filled with sensors that analyze the physical stresses fish experience – measures more forces, costs about 80 percent less and can be used in more hydro structures than its predecessor, according to a new article.

Diagnosing prostate cancer quickly, safely

Posted: 05 Nov 2014 05:47 AM PST

Distinguishing between benign and malignant prostate tissue is difficult. A new device facilitates the diagnosis for doctors: Through a visual analysis, they can reliably determine if they are dealing with carcinoma within a minute-and-a-half, developers report.

Endoscopy with panoramic view

Posted: 05 Nov 2014 05:47 AM PST

Whether physicians examine or operate on the bladder wall with an endoscope, they can catch a glimpse of only a miniscule section of the organ – their viewpoint is like that of someone looking through a keyhole. But soon, however, this perspective could be broadened to a panorama. 'Endorama', a new software program, assembles this panorama from all the images acquired, researchers report.

New techniques to control cork stoppers

Posted: 05 Nov 2014 05:45 AM PST

The application of infrared spectroscopy techniques can enhance the control of parameters that determine the cork performance in a bottle, researchers report. Cork is the main non-timber forest product in the Mediterranean region, and its usage is essential to preserve thousands of hectares of cork oak in southern European and Maghreb countries. In order to adapt the product to the wine industry, the cork stopper undergoes a wide range of control processes including physical, chemical, microbiological and organoleptic parameters and classification by image analysis and traceability.

Simple but extremely sensitive magnetometer developed

Posted: 05 Nov 2014 05:44 AM PST

An innovative magnetometer that can replace conventional technology in applications such as neuroimaging, mineral exploration and molecular diagnostics has been developed by scientists. Its manufacturing costs are between 70 and 80 per cent lower than those of traditional technology, and the device is not as sensitive to external magnetic fields as its predecessors. The design of the magnetometer also makes it easier to integrate into measuring systems.

Back to basics: Scientists of the past profoundly illuminated our understanding of nature without supercomputers

Posted: 05 Nov 2014 05:44 AM PST

Is there still is a place in science in modern times for the interpretation of results using rational numbers or simple ratios? In a time where supercomputers dominate scientific analysis, one expert argues that there is not enough attention being paid to the basic approaches to science of the past, which were able to profoundly illuminate our understanding of the natural world through the simplification of very complex topics and systems.

Jet-fueled electricity at room temperature: Fuel cell can run without high heat

Posted: 05 Nov 2014 05:37 AM PST

Engineers have now developed the first room-temperature fuel cell that uses enzymes to help jet fuel produce electricity without needing to ignite the fuel. These new fuel cells can be used to power portable electronics, off-grid power and sensors.

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