|Top Technology News -- ScienceDaily
Mon, 25 Sep 2017 01:54:02 EDT
NASA'S OSIRIS-REx spacecraft slingshots past Earth
Fri, 22 Sep 2017 16:25:03 EDT
NASA's asteroid sample return spacecraft successfully used Earth's gravity on Friday to slingshot itself on a path toward the asteroid Bennu, for a rendezvous next August.
Enhancing the sensing capabilities of diamonds with quantum properties
Fri, 22 Sep 2017 12:29:41 EDT
When a nitrogen atom is next to the space vacated by a carbon atom, it forms what is called a nitrogen-vacancy center. Now, researchers have shown how they can create more NV centers, which makes sensing magnetic fields easier, using a relatively simple method that can be done in many labs.
A sustainable future powered by sea
Fri, 22 Sep 2017 09:40:47 EDT
Researchers develop turbines to convert the power of ocean waves into clean, renewable energy.
Assembly of nanoparticles proceeds like a zipper
Fri, 22 Sep 2017 09:40:39 EDT
It has always been the Holy Grail of materials science to describe and control the material's structure-function relationship. Nanoparticles are an attractive class of components to be used in functional materials because they exhibit size-dependent properties, such as superparamagnetism and plasmonic absorption of light. Furthermore, controlling the arrangement of nanoparticles can result in unforeseen properties, but such studies are hard to carry out due to limited efficient approaches to produce well-defined three-dimensional nanostructures.
Smartphone apps can reduce depression
Fri, 22 Sep 2017 09:09:49 EDT
New research has confirmed that smartphone apps are an effective treatment option for depression, paving the way for safe and accessible interventions for the millions of people around the world diagnosed with this condition.
Ultra-light aluminum: Chemist reports breakthrough in material design
Fri, 22 Sep 2017 09:09:42 EDT
Chemists report a new, metastable, ultra-light crystalline form of aluminum has been computationally designed using density functional calculations with imposing periodic boundary conditions.
The math of doughnuts: 'Moonshine' sheds light on elliptic curves
Fri, 22 Sep 2017 09:09:34 EDT
Mathematicians have opened a new chapter in the theory of moonshine, one which begins to harness the power of the pariahs -- sporadic simple groups that previously had no known application.
Positive, negative or neutral, it all matters: NASA explains space radiation
Fri, 22 Sep 2017 09:09:32 EDT
Charged particles may be small, but they matter to astronauts. NASA's Human Research Program (HRP) is investigating these particles to solve one of its biggest challenges for a human journey to Mars: space radiation and its effects on the human body.
New technique accurately digitizes transparent objects
Thu, 21 Sep 2017 16:12:58 EDT
A new imaging technique makes it possible to precisely digitize clear objects and their surroundings, an achievement that has eluded current state-of-the-art 3-D rendering methods.
'Labyrinth' chip could help monitor aggressive cancer stem cells
Thu, 21 Sep 2017 16:12:45 EDT
Inspired by the Labyrinth of Greek mythology, a new chip etched with fluid channels sends blood samples through a hydrodynamic maze to separate out rare circulating cancer cells into a relatively clean stream for analysis. It is already in use in a breast cancer clinical trial.
Dancing electrons lose the race
Thu, 21 Sep 2017 14:13:25 EDT
Ultrashort pulses of light were employed by physicists to start a race between electrons emitted from different initial states in a solid material. Timing this race revealed an unexpected result: the fastest electrons arrived in last place.
Detecting cosmic rays from a galaxy far, far away
Thu, 21 Sep 2017 14:12:57 EDT
Where do cosmic rays come from? Solving a 50-year-old mystery, a collaboration of researchers has discovered it's much farther than the Milky Way.
Breaking Coulomb's law: Scientists find a way around the rule that 'opposites attract'
Thu, 21 Sep 2017 13:43:35 EDT
Scientists have taken a big step towards creating the next generation of batteries, as well as more effective water treatment and better alternative energy after defying one of nature’s most fundamental rules on an atomic scale.
Quantum teleportation of patterns of light
Thu, 21 Sep 2017 12:11:47 EDT
Researchers have demonstrated entanglement swapping and teleportation of orbital angular momentum 'patterns' of light. This is a crucial step towards realizing a quantum repeater for high-dimensional entangled states.
Rapid imaging of granular matter
Thu, 21 Sep 2017 12:11:42 EDT
Granular systems such as gravel or powders can be found everywhere, but studying them is not easy. Researchers have now developed a method by which pictures of the inside of granular systems can be taken 10,000 times faster than before.
New analysis explains role of defects in metal oxides
Thu, 21 Sep 2017 12:11:37 EDT
Researchers have determined formulas to guide development of a promising new high-tech material, composed of insulating metal oxides known as alkaline-earth-metal binary oxides, that could lead to better computer memory chips, refrigeration systems, and other devices.
Hope to discover sure signs of life on Mars? New research says look for the element vanadium
Thu, 21 Sep 2017 11:06:54 EDT
A new article suggests NASA and others hunting for proof of Martian biology in the form of 'microfossils' could use the element vanadium in combination with Raman spectroscopy to confirm traces of extraterrestrial life.
Better rechargeable batteries coming soon?
Thu, 21 Sep 2017 10:17:54 EDT
Novel lithium electrodes coated with indium could be the basis for more powerful, longer-lasting, rechargeable batteries. The coating hinders undesirable side-reactions between the electrode and electrolyte, provide a more uniform deposition of lithium when charging, and augments storage in the lithium anode via alloying reactions between lithium and indium. Their success stems from the good diffusion of lithium ions along the interfacial layer.
Astonishing time limit for ultrafast perovskite solar cells set
Thu, 21 Sep 2017 10:17:35 EDT
Researchers have quantified the astonishingly high speeds at which future solar cells would have to operate in order to stretch what are presently seen as natural limits on their energy conversion efficiency.
Diamonds show Earth still capable of ‘superhot’ surprises
Thu, 21 Sep 2017 09:55:11 EDT
Diamonds may be ‘forever’ but some may have formed more recently than geologists thought. A study of 26 diamonds, formed under extreme melting conditions in the Earth’s mantle, found two populations, one of which has geologically ‘young’ ages. The results show that certain volcanic events on Earth may still be able to create super-heated conditions previously thought to have only existed early in the planet’s history before it cooled. The findings may have implications for diamond prospecting.
Solar eruption ‘photobombed’ Mars encounter with Comet Siding Spring
Thu, 21 Sep 2017 09:50:30 EDT
When Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) passed just 140,000 kilometers from Mars on 19th October 2014, depositing a large amount of debris in the Martian atmosphere, space agencies coordinated multiple spacecraft to witness the largest meteor shower in recorded history. It was a rare opportunity, as this kind of planetary event occurs only once every 100,000 years.
Football helmet smartfoam signals potential concussions in real time, study suggests
Thu, 21 Sep 2017 09:03:13 EDT
While football-related concussions have been top of mind in recent years, people have struggled to create technology to accurately measure them in real time. Engineers have now developed and tested a nano composite smartfoam that can be placed inside a football helmet (and pads) to more accurately test the impact and power of hits.
Precisely defined polymer chains now a reality
Thu, 21 Sep 2017 09:03:01 EDT
The materiality exhibited by humanmade polymers currently relies on simple chemical bonds and the sequence order taken by molecules in the polymer chain. We now no longer need to rely on fate to determine such materiality with this new technique for precisely defining polymer-chain order. This system uses highly specific 'grabber' ends on each molecule that bond with only one type of 'pin' end on another molecule.
Mathematics predicts a sixth mass extinction
Wed, 20 Sep 2017 18:21:16 EDT
Scientists have analyzed significant changes in the carbon cycle over the last 540 million years, including the five mass extinction events. They have identified 'thresholds of catastrophe' in the carbon cycle that, if exceeded, would lead to an unstable environment, and ultimately, mass extinction.
Bio-inspired approach to RNA delivery
Wed, 20 Sep 2017 15:50:14 EDT
A team of chemical engineers, inspired by the way that cells translate their own mRNA into proteins, has designed a synthetic delivery system that is four times more effective than delivering mRNA on its own.
Unique type of object discovered in our solar system
Wed, 20 Sep 2017 14:47:24 EDT
Astronomers have observed the intriguing characteristics of an unusual type of object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter: two asteroids orbiting each other and exhibiting comet-like features, including a bright coma and a long tail. This is the first known binary asteroid also classified as a comet.
New biomaterial could replace plastic laminates, greatly reduce pollution
Wed, 20 Sep 2017 14:47:04 EDT
An inexpensive biomaterial that can be used to sustainably replace plastic barrier coatings in packaging and many other applications has been developed by researchers, who predict its adoption would greatly reduce pollution.
Wave Glider surfs across stormy Drake Passage in Antarctica
Wed, 20 Sep 2017 14:46:58 EDT
A hardy ocean drone made a first-ever attempt to surf across Antarctica's stormy Drake Passage gathering data about ocean mixing.
Automatic code reuse: System automatically modifies code for transfer to other programs
Wed, 20 Sep 2017 14:46:51 EDT
Researchers have developed a new system that allows programmers to transplant code from one program into another. The programmer can select the code from one program and an insertion point in a second program, and the system will automatically make modifications necessary -- such as changing variable names -- to integrate the code into its new context.
New concept of terrestrial planet formation
Wed, 20 Sep 2017 13:17:47 EDT
Scientists are proposing a new way of understanding the cooling and transfer of heat from terrestrial planetary interiors and how that affects the generation of the volcanic terrains that dominate the rocky planets.
World's first 'molecular robot' capable of building molecules
Wed, 20 Sep 2017 13:17:44 EDT
Scientists have created the world's first 'molecular robot' that is capable of performing basic tasks including building other molecules.
Scientists make atoms-thick 'Post-It notes' for solar cells and circuits
Wed, 20 Sep 2017 13:17:01 EDT
A new study describes an innovative method to make stacks of semiconductors just a few atoms thick. The technique offers scientists and engineers a simple, cost-effective method to make thin, uniform layers of these materials, which could expand capabilities for devices from solar cells to cell phones.
Unique property of critical methane-producing enzyme discovered
Wed, 20 Sep 2017 11:53:03 EDT
An unexpected discovery has given a group of scientists a greater understanding of an important methane-producing enzyme called methyl-coenzyme M reductase, or MCR. Their findings overturn what was previously believed to be true in the field: that a set of unique modifications present in MCR were essential to how the enzyme functions.
Spinning a lighter, safer electrode
Wed, 20 Sep 2017 11:35:59 EDT
A fabric-like material electrode has been created that could help make energy storage devices -- batteries and supercapacitors -- faster and less susceptible to leaks or disastrous meltdowns. Their design for a new supercapacitor, which looks something like a furry sponge infused with gelatin, offers a unique alternative to the flammable electrolyte solution that is a common component in these devices.
Straining the memory: Prototype strain engineered materials are the future of data storage
Wed, 20 Sep 2017 11:34:11 EDT
Researchers have strain-engineered a data storage material to store data by exploiting a process of avalanche atomic switching. Memory cells using this material substantially outperform state-of-the-art phase change memory devices.
Mathematicians ask: What's in a ripple?
Wed, 20 Sep 2017 11:34:02 EDT
When a fluid or a gas experiences a sudden disturbance, it often gives rise to a phenomenon known as an undular bore, which consists of a series of rapid oscillations that propagate and spread. But how to describe what transpires? New mathematics research brings us closer to finding an answer.
Is the Milky Way an 'outlier' galaxy? Studying its 'siblings' for clues
Wed, 20 Sep 2017 11:33:52 EDT
The most-studied galaxy in the universe -- the Milky Way -- might not be as 'typical' as previously thought, according to a new study. Early results from the Satellites Around Galactic Analogs (SAGA) Survey indicate that the Milky Way's satellites are much more tranquil than other systems of comparable luminosity and environment. Many satellites of those 'sibling' galaxies are actively pumping out new stars, but the Milky Way's satellites are mostly inert.
Real or fake? Creating fingers to protect identities
Wed, 20 Sep 2017 11:33:49 EDT
Biometric experts for the first time have designed and created a fake finger containing multiple key properties of human skin. Commonly called a spoof, this fake finger has been used to test two of the predominant types of fingerprint readers to help determine their resilience to spoof attacks.
Mathematical simulations shed new light on epilepsy surgery
Wed, 20 Sep 2017 10:43:43 EDT
Results from an unexpected quarter is could help neurologists to identify which brain region to remove to eliminate an epilepsy patient’s symptoms. Mathematicians have shown that it is sensible to examine the interconnections between different brain regions closely, instead of searching for abnormal regions only.
Naked molecules dancing in liquid become visible
Wed, 20 Sep 2017 10:42:02 EDT
Moving, vibrating and leaping molecules make up our world. However, capturing their movement is not an easy task. Scientists were able to see the movement of molecules stored inside a graphene pocket without the need to stain them. This study paves the way for observing the dynamics of life building blocks, like proteins and DNA, as well as the self-assembly of other materials.
Gravity waves influence weather and climate
Wed, 20 Sep 2017 10:00:43 EDT
Gravity waves form in the atmosphere as a result of destabilizing processes. The effects of gravity waves can only be taken into consideration by including additional special components in the models.
Halogen bonding-mediated metal-free controlled cationic polymerization
Wed, 20 Sep 2017 10:00:36 EDT
Chemists report a metal-free method to control cationic polymerization that provides a new framework for higher quality industrial polymers. The reaction depends on weak halogen bonding and the addition of a small amount of ammonium salt to produce long, homogeneous polymers.
Getting to the heart of the matter: Nanogels for heart attack patients
Wed, 20 Sep 2017 10:00:08 EDT
Heart disease and heart-related illnesses are a leading cause of death around the world, but treatment options are limited. Now, one group reports that encapsulating stem cells in a nanogel could help repair damage to the heart.
Risks vary widely in drone-human impacts
Tue, 19 Sep 2017 16:03:46 EDT
New research suggests there's wide variation in the risk that unmanned aircraft pose to people on the ground.
Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers
Tue, 19 Sep 2017 16:03:40 EDT
Whispering gallery mode resonators rely on a phenomenon similar to an effect observed in circular galleries, and the same phenomenon applies to light. When light is stored in ring-shaped or spherical active resonators, the waves superimpose in such a way that it can result in laser light. Investigators now report a new type of dye-doped WGM micro-laser that produces light with tunable wavelengths.
Security cameras vulnerable to attacks using infrared light
Tue, 19 Sep 2017 16:02:28 EDT
Researchers have demonstrated that security cameras infected with malware can receive covert signals and leak sensitive information from the very same surveillance devices used to protect facilities.
Clear tactics, but few easy solutions, for hospitals combating ransomware
Tue, 19 Sep 2017 14:48:21 EDT
Hospitals facing the prospect of ransomware attacks like the one that afflicted British hospitals in May can take many concrete steps to better protect themselves, but some of the most important measures -- such as a national policy not to pay ransoms -- may be tougher to formulate.
Wikipedia used to give AI context clues
Tue, 19 Sep 2017 14:04:24 EDT
A team of computer scientists is teaching artificial intelligence agents how to interact with the world in a way that makes sense.
Political polarization? Don't blame the web
Tue, 19 Sep 2017 14:04:21 EDT
Despite the popular narrative that the web is to blame for rising political polarization, a study by economists has found that recent growth in polarization is greatest for demographic groups in which individuals are least likely to use the internet and social media. This means that data does not support the claim that the internet is the most significant driver of partisanship.
Mercury's poles may be icier than scientists thought
Tue, 19 Sep 2017 12:31:29 EDT
A new study identifies three large surface ice deposits near Mercury's north pole, and suggests there could be many additional small-scale deposits that would dramatically increase the planet's surface ice inventory.
Advanced lithium-ion and metal-air batteries
Tue, 19 Sep 2017 12:31:26 EDT
Engineers are developing energy storage technologies that are cheaper, safer and more efficient.
UK oil and gas reserves may last only a decade, study suggests
Tue, 19 Sep 2017 12:31:18 EDT
The UK has low oil and gas resources and limited prospects for fracking, according to a new analysis by scientists, who recommend a shift towards greater use of renewable, clean energy.
One-way track for microwaves based on mechanical interference
Tue, 19 Sep 2017 12:31:06 EDT
Researchers use interference in the motion of a micrometer-size drum to route microwave signals in a single direction.
Rogue wave analysis supports investigation of the El Faro sinking
Tue, 19 Sep 2017 11:12:42 EDT
A new analysis done to support the investigation into the 2015 sinking of the El Faro cargo ship has calculated the likelihood of a massive rogue wave during Hurricane Joaquin in October of that year – and demonstrated a new technique for evaluating the probability of rogue waves over space and time.
Fluorescence microscopy on a chip: no lenses required
Tue, 19 Sep 2017 11:11:24 EDT
Fluorescence microscopy gives researchers incredible power to illuminate the tiniest structures and capture the real-time activities of live cells by tagging biological molecules with a veritable rainbow of fluorescent dyes. This power comes at a cost: The technology can be expensive and time-consuming and, so far, has resisted attempts at automation.
Nonlinear physics bridges thoughts to sounds in birdsong
Tue, 19 Sep 2017 11:05:22 EDT
The beautiful sound of birdsongs emerging from the trees is a wonderful example of how much nature can still teach us, even as much about their origins are still mysterious to us. About 40 percent of bird species learn to vocalize when they are exposed to a tutor, a behavior of interest to many neurologists and neurobiologists. The other 60 percent can vocalize instinctually in isolation. The variety across species, and the relationship between the nervous system and biomechanics makes birdsong production a complex process to unravel and understand.
Cost effective quantum moves a step closer
Tue, 19 Sep 2017 10:26:03 EDT
Researchers have taken an important step towards enabling quantum networks to be cost-effective and truly secure from attack. The experiments prove the viability of a measurement-device-independent quantum key distribution (QKD) system, based on readily available hardware.
A dream of foam: better concrete, beer froth and ice cream
Tue, 19 Sep 2017 10:25:41 EDT
Researchers have discovered a new method to design stable foams. Their findings could make beer froth and ice cream last longer -- and revolutionize construction materials such as concrete.
Novel strategy for chirality controlled synthesis of single-walled carbon nanotubes
Tue, 19 Sep 2017 10:25:33 EDT
Researchers have developed a novel strategy for controlling chirality of single-walled carbon nanotubes.
Size matters in the detection of exoplanet atmospheres
Tue, 19 Sep 2017 09:26:27 EDT
A group-analysis of 30 exoplanets orbiting distant stars suggests that size, not mass, is a key factor in whether a planet’s atmosphere can be detected. The largest population-study of exoplanets to date successfully detected atmospheres around 16 ‘hot Jupiters’, and found that water vapor was present in every case.