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Saturday, November 8, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

New research lights the way to super-fast computers

Posted: 07 Nov 2014 06:14 AM PST

New research has demonstrated how glass can be manipulated to create a material that will allow computers to transfer information using light. This development could significantly increase computer processing speeds and power in the future.

Astronomers peer into galaxies' star-forming centers

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 01:51 PM PST

Astronomers provide data from a new instrument, offering the most precise picture yet of events 4 billion years ago at the centers of distant, dust-cloaked galaxies.

Thermomagnetic processing method provides path to new materials

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 12:23 PM PST

For much the same reason LCD televisions offer eye-popping performance, a thermomagnetic processing method can advance the performance of polymers.

Mystery sea of stars? Rocket experiment finds surprising cosmic light

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 11:37 AM PST

Using an experiment carried into space on a NASA suborbital rocket, astronomers have detected a diffuse cosmic glow that appears to represent more light than that produced by known galaxies in the universe. The discovery suggests that many such previously undetected stars permeate what had been thought to be dark spaces between galaxies, forming an interconnected sea of stars.

New laws threaten Brazil's unique ecosystems

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 11:37 AM PST

Brazil's globally significant ecosystems could be exposed to mining and dams if proposals currently being debated by the Brazilian Congress go ahead, according to new research.

Astronomy: Debris-strewn exoplanetary construction yards

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 11:35 AM PST

Over the past few years, astronomers have found an incredible diversity in the architecture of exoplanetary systems, as well as the planets themselves. A survey using the sharp view of the Hubble Space Telescope has uncovered a similar diversity in the debris systems that coincide with the formation of exoplanets. These circumstellar dusty disks are likely generated by collisions between objects left over from planet formation around stars. The survey's results suggest that there is some sort of interdependence between a planet and the accompanying debris system.

Transitions between states of matter: It’s more complicated, scientists find

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 11:35 AM PST

The seemingly simple process of phase changes -- those transitions between states of matter -- is more complex than previously known. New work reveals the need to rethink one of science's building blocks and, with it, how some of the basic principles underlying the behavior of matter are taught in our classrooms.

Synthetic biology for space exploration

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 10:23 AM PST

Synthetic biology may hold the key to long-termed manned explorations of Mars and the Moon. Researchers have shown that biomanufacturing based on microbes could to make travel to and settlement of extraterrestrial locations more practical and bearable.

Images of a nearly invisible mouse

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 10:18 AM PST

A method that combines tissue decolorization and light-sheet fluorescent microscopy has been developed to take extremely detailed images of the interior of individual organs and even entire organisms. The work opens new possibilities for understanding the way life works -- the ultimate dream of systems biology -- by allowing scientists to make tissues and whole organisms transparent and then image them at extremely precise, single-cell resolution.

New model to study epidemics developed

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 08:33 AM PST

For decades, scientists have been perfecting models of how contagions spread, but newly published research takes the first steps toward a model that includes the interaction between individual human behavior and the behavior of the epidemic itself. The highly complex model accounts for the speed of modern communication and travel, both of which change contagion probability. The team hopes the model will more accurately guide travel restrictions and who should be vaccinated and isolated.

The dodo: New insights into an old bird

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 08:32 AM PST

The dodo is among the most famous extinct creatures, and a poster child for human-caused extinction events. Despite its notoriety, and the fact that the species was alive during recorded human history, little is known about how it lived, looked, and behaved. A new study of the only known complete skeleton from a single bird takes advantage of modern 3-D laser scanning technology to open a new window into the life of this famous extinct bird.

Panel-powered car under development

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 07:42 AM PST

A car powered by its own body panels could soon be driving on our roads after a recent breakthrough in nanotechnology research. Researchers have developed lightweight 'supercapacitors' that can be combined with regular batteries to dramatically boost the power of an electric car.

Golden approach to high-speed DNA reading

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 07:42 AM PST

High-speed reading of the genetic code should get a boost with the creation of the world's first graphene nanopores -- pores measuring approximately 2 nanometers in diameter -- that feature a "built-in" optical antenna. Researchers have invented a simple, one-step process for producing these nanopores in a graphene membrane using the photothermal properties of gold nanorods.

U.S.: State, federal role in electric utilities' labor issues should be reexamined

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 07:42 AM PST

As energy reliance grows, it may be time to re-examine the role of public utility commissions and the effect of the National Labor Relations Act in labor disputes regarding electric utilities, a researcher suggests in a new study.

Diagnostic exhalations could inform treatments

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 07:42 AM PST

By analyzing carbon dioxide in the breath, an algorithm could help determine how to treat patients. The algorithm determines whether a patient is suffering from emphysema or heart failure based on readings from a capnograph -- a machine that measures the concentration of carbon dioxide in a patient's exhalations.

Cockroach cyborgs use microphones to detect, trace sounds

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 07:40 AM PST

Researchers have developed technology that allows cyborg cockroaches, or biobots, to pick up sounds with small microphones and seek out the source of the sound. The technology is designed to help emergency personnel find and rescue survivors in the aftermath of a disaster.

Jets, bubbles and bursts of light in Taurus

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 07:40 AM PST

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has snapped a striking view of a multiple star system called XZ Tauri, its neighbour HL Tauri, and several nearby young stellar objects. XZ Tauri is blowing a hot bubble of gas into the surrounding space, which is filled with bright and beautiful clumps that are emitting strong winds and jets. These objects illuminate the region, creating a truly dramatic scene.

Manipulating complex molecules by hand

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 07:40 AM PST

Scientists have developed a new control technique for scanning probe microscopes that enables the user to manipulate large single molecules interactively using their hands. Until now, only simple and inflexibly-programmed movements were possible. To test their method, the researchers 'stenciled' a word into a molecular monolayer by removing 47 molecules. The process opens up new possibilities for the construction of molecular transistors and other nanocomponents.

Engineers propose new approach to single-ventricle heart surgery for infants

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 07:40 AM PST

Engineers are proposing a new surgical intervention for children born with a single ventricle in their heart -- instead of the usual two. The new approach would potentially reduce the number of surgeries the patients have to undergo in the first six months of life from two to just one. If successful, it would also create a more stable circuit for blood to flow.

Sustainability, astrobiology illuminate future of life in the universe and civilization on Earth

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 07:17 AM PST

Two astrophysicists argue that questions about the future of life on Earth and beyond may soon be resolvable scientifically, thanks to new data about the Earth and about other planets in our galaxy, and by combining the earth-based science of sustainability with the space-oriented field of astrobiology.

Tiger mosquito found in Andalusia thanks to a collaborative citizens' project

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 05:26 AM PST

Thanks to a mobile phone app, the tiger mosquito has been discovered for the first time to be present in Andalusia. The insect transmits diseases like chikungunya and dengue fever. This was made possible by public participation via the "" app and subsequent verification by entomologists collaborating in the project.

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