|Top Technology News -- ScienceDaily
Sat, 15 Dec 2018 15:33:02 EST
Jiggly Jell-O to make powerful new hydrogen fuel catalyst
Sat, 15 Dec 2018 14:13:52 EST
A cheap and effective new catalyst can generate hydrogen fuel from water just as efficiently as platinum, currently the best -- but also most expensive -- water-splitting catalyst out there.The catalyst, which is composed of nanometer-thin sheets of metal carbide, is manufactured using a self-assembly process that relies on a surprising ingredient: gelatin, the material that gives Jell-O its jiggle.
Adhesives for biomedical applications can be detached with light
Fri, 14 Dec 2018 12:18:08 EST
Pulling off a little plastic bandage may soon get a lot less painful. Researchers have developed a new type of adhesive that can strongly adhere wet materials -- such as hydrogel and living tissue -- and be easily detached with a specific frequency of light. The adhesives could be used to attach and painlessly detach wound dressings, transdermal drug delivery devices, and wearable robotics.
Quantum chemical calculations on quantum computers
Fri, 14 Dec 2018 11:08:05 EST
A new quantum algorithm has been implemented for quantum chemical calculations such as Full-CI on quantum computers without exponential/combinatorial explosion, giving exact solutions of Schroedinger Equations for atoms and molecules, for the first time.
How complexity science can quickly detect climate record anomalies
Fri, 14 Dec 2018 11:07:58 EST
When making sense of the massive amount of information packed into an ice core, scientists face a forensic challenge: how best to separate the useful information from the corrupt. Tools from information theory, a branch of complexity science, can quickly flag which segments, in over a million data points, require further investigation.
A young star caught forming like a planet
Fri, 14 Dec 2018 09:38:27 EST
Astronomers have captured one of the most detailed views of a young star taken to date, and revealed an unexpected companion in orbit around it.
Mars InSight lander seen in first images from space
Thu, 13 Dec 2018 20:43:47 EST
On Nov. 26, NASA's InSight mission knew the spacecraft touched down within an 81-mile-long (130-kilometer-long) landing ellipse on Mars. Now, the team has pinpointed InSight's exact location using images from HiRISE, a powerful camera onboard another NASA spacecraft, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).
Computer chip vulnerabilities discovered
Thu, 13 Dec 2018 15:56:17 EST
A research team has uncovered significant and previously unknown vulnerabilities in high-performance computer chips that could lead to failures in modern electronics.
Collagen nanofibrils in mammalian tissues get stronger with exercise
Thu, 13 Dec 2018 15:56:01 EST
A recent experimental study on nanoscale collagen fibrils sheds light on reasons why collagen is such a resilient material.
Peeling off slimy biofilms like old stickers
Thu, 13 Dec 2018 14:22:13 EST
Slimy, hard-to-clean bacterial mats called biofilms cause problems ranging from medical infections to clogged drains and fouled industrial equipment. Now, researchers have found a way to cleanly and completely peel off these notorious sludges.
Shrinking objects to the nanoscale
Thu, 13 Dec 2018 14:21:28 EST
Researchers have invented a new way to fabricate nanoscale 3D objects of nearly any shape. They can also pattern the objects with a variety of useful materials, including metals, semiconducting quantum dots, and DNA.
Scientists maximize the effectiveness of platinum in fuel cells
Thu, 13 Dec 2018 14:15:37 EST
Scientists have identified a new catalyst that uses only about a quarter as much platinum as current technology by maximizing the effectiveness of the available platinum.
Machine learning to speed chemical discoveries, reduce waste
Thu, 13 Dec 2018 14:15:17 EST
Researchers have combined artificial neural networks with infrared thermal imaging to control and interpret chemical reactions with new precision and speed. Novel microreactors allow chemical discoveries to take place quickly and with far less environmental waste than standard large-scale reactions. The system can reduce the decision-making process about certain chemical manufacturing processes from one year to a matter of weeks, saving tons of chemical waste and energy in the process.
Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power
Thu, 13 Dec 2018 13:25:09 EST
Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and save power for smart devices, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved functionality in a super thin material.
Tangled magnetic fields power cosmic particle accelerators
Thu, 13 Dec 2018 13:12:42 EST
Magnetic field lines tangled like spaghetti in a bowl might be behind the most powerful particle accelerators in the universe. That's the result of a new computational study that simulated particle emissions from distant active galaxies.
How particles arrange themselves into complex structures
Thu, 13 Dec 2018 13:12:39 EST
Complexity in nature, whether in chlorophyll or in living organisms, often results from self-assembly and is considered particularly robust. Compact clusters of elemental particles can be shown to be of practical relevance, and are found in atomic nuclei, nano particles or viruses. Researchers have decoded the structure and the process behind the formation of one class of such highly ordered clusters. Their findings have increased understanding of how structures are formed in clusters.
Monitoring the environment with artificial intelligence
Thu, 13 Dec 2018 13:12:29 EST
Microorganisms perform key functions in ecosystems and their diversity reflects the health of their environment. Researchers use genomic tools to sequence the DNA of microorganisms in samples, and then exploit this considerable amount of data with artificial intelligence. They build predictive models capable of establishing a diagnosis of the health of ecosystems and identify species that perform important functions. This new approach will significantly increase the observation capacity of large ecosystems.
New discovery improves use of optical tweezers
Thu, 13 Dec 2018 11:21:14 EST
This year's Nobel Prize in Physics, awarded for discoveries in laser physics, recognizes optical tweezers. Now researchers have developed a method that greatly simplifies and improves the use of optical tweezers.
Where did the hot Neptunes go? A shrinking planet holds the answer
Thu, 13 Dec 2018 10:13:25 EST
'Where did the hot Neptunes go?' This is the question astronomers have been asking for a long time, faced with the mysterious absence of planets the size of Neptune. Researchers have just discovered that one of these planets is losing its atmosphere at a frantic pace. This observation strengthens the theory that hot Neptunes have lost much of their atmosphere and turned into smaller planets called super-Earths.
For a longer battery life: Pushing lithium ion batteries to the next performance level
Thu, 13 Dec 2018 10:13:05 EST
Conventional lithium ion batteries have reached performance limits. Scientists have now developed a new nanostructured anode material for lithium ion batteries, which extends the capacity and cycle life of the batteries. Based on a mesoporous mixed metal oxide in combination with graphene, the material could provide a new approach how to make better use of batteries in large devices such as electric or hybrid vehicles.
New device could help answer fundamental questions about quantum physics
Thu, 13 Dec 2018 08:36:42 EST
Researchers have developed a new device that can measure and control a nanoparticle trapped in a laser beam with unprecedented sensitivity.
Ingestible capsule can be controlled wirelessly
Thu, 13 Dec 2018 08:36:39 EST
Researchers have designed an ingestible capsule that can be controlled using Bluetooth wireless technology. Their capsule, which can be customized to deliver drugs, sense environmental conditions, or a combination of those functions, can reside in the stomach for at least a month, transmitting information and responding to instructions from a user's smartphone.
An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes
Thu, 13 Dec 2018 08:36:28 EST
What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes -- while significantly reducing your electric bill and carbon footprint? Engineers have found a cost-effective way to make thin, durable heating patches by using intense pulses of light to fuse tiny silver wires with polyester. Their heating performance is nearly 70 percent higher than similar patches created by other researchers.
High-efficiency discovery drives low-power computing
Thu, 13 Dec 2018 08:36:26 EST
Challenge any modern human to go a day without a phone or computer, and you'd be hard pressed to get any takers. Our collective obsession with all things electronic is driving a dramatic daily drain on the world's power. In fact, if we continue on pace with our current ever-increasing energy consumption, by the year 2035, we will use all of the world's energy to run our computers - an impossible/unsustainable situation.
How unconventional metals behave, with an eye on high-temperature superconductors
Wed, 12 Dec 2018 16:01:24 EST
By trapping atoms in a lattice of light, researchers explore how unconventional metals conduct electricity, with an eye toward understanding high-temperature superconductors.
How deep learning is bringing automatic cloud detection to new heights
Wed, 12 Dec 2018 16:01:16 EST
Can deep learning -- a distinct subset of machine learning -- do a better job at identifying clouds in lidar data than the current physics-based algorithms? The answer: A clear 'yes.' A new model is much closer to the answers scientists arrive at but in just a fraction of the time.
Large population of potential young planets found in distant planetary systems
Wed, 12 Dec 2018 14:46:31 EST
Astronomers used the powerful ALMA telescope to discover that in other parts of the Milky Way Galaxy (seen here) there is potentially a large population of young planets -- similar in mass to Neptune or Jupiter -- at wide-orbit that are not detectable by other current planet searching techniques.
NASA's Juno mission halfway to Jupiter science
Wed, 12 Dec 2018 14:42:01 EST
On Dec. 21, NASA's Juno spacecraft will be 3,140 miles (5,053 kilometers) above Jupiter's cloud tops and hurtling by at a healthy clip of 128,802 mph (207,287 kilometers per hour). This will mark the solar-powered spacecraft's halfway point in data collection during its prime mission.
NASA's InSight takes its first selfie
Wed, 12 Dec 2018 14:39:31 EST
NASA's InSight lander used a camera on its robotic arm to take its first selfie -- a mosaic made up of 11 images. This is the same imaging process used by NASA's Curiosity rover mission, in which many overlapping pictures are taken and later stitched together.
DNA study shows stethoscopes loaded with bacteria, including staphylococcus
Wed, 12 Dec 2018 13:50:44 EST
Stethoscopes carried by health care practitioners are loaded with diverse bacteria, including some that can cause healthcare-associated infections, according to a study. The research also reviewed the effectiveness of cleaning methods, finding a standardized approach to be superior for removing bacteria compared with various approaches employed by health care practitioners.
Obtaining polyester from plant oil
Wed, 12 Dec 2018 13:50:38 EST
Chemists have developed a new catalysis concept for obtaining polyester from castor oil.
Bose-Einstein condensates cannot currently detect gravitational waves
Wed, 12 Dec 2018 13:50:30 EST
The gravitational waves created in the depths of space indeed reach Earth. Their effects, however, are so small that they could only be observed so far using kilometer-long measurement facilities. Physicists therefore discuss whether Bose-Einstein condensates with their ordered quantum properties could also detect these waves. Astronomers have now looked at these suggestions and have soberly determined that such evidence is far beyond the reach of current methods.
Crashes increase when speed limits dip far below engineering recommendation
Wed, 12 Dec 2018 13:50:21 EST
Speed limits set only five miles per hour below engineering recommendations produce a statistically significant decrease in total, fatal and injury crashes, and property-damage-only crashes, according to a group of researchers.
First sensor package that can ride aboard bees
Wed, 12 Dec 2018 13:44:35 EST
Farmers can already use drones to soar over huge fields and monitor temperature, humidity or crop health. But these machines need so much power to fly that they can't get very far without needing a charge. Now, engineers have created a sensing system that is small enough to ride aboard a bumblebee.
Scientists identify new minerals for carbon capture
Wed, 12 Dec 2018 13:44:30 EST
Research confirms new minerals are capturing and storing carbon. The minerals, members of the hydrotalcite group, are the first outside of the carbonate family to naturally capture atmospheric CO2 in mine waste, important as society continues to forge ways to lower our carbon emissions and combat climate change.
Earth's cobalt deposits formed much later than previously believed
Wed, 12 Dec 2018 13:44:24 EST
Cobalt deposits in the Democratic Republic of Congo, one of Earth's largest cobalt-mining regions, are 150 million years younger than previously thought, according to a new study. The study provides critical insight into exploration for cobalt, an important component in rechargeable batteries.
Professor models system using baking soda filled capsules to capture CO2 emissions
Wed, 12 Dec 2018 13:44:13 EST
Coal and natural gas represent the majority of the US energy supply. Even with pollution controls, burning these fossil fuels for energy releases a tremendous amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Research uses microcapsule technology that may make post-combustion carbon capture cheaper, safer, and more efficient.
Clue to epidemics in 'bursty' social behavior
Wed, 12 Dec 2018 13:44:10 EST
Researchers have developed a mathematical model that could cure the potential to underestimate how quickly diseases spread. The team discovered that current predictive models may miss the influence of a critical aspect of the social behavior of individuals called 'burstiness.'
The epoch of planet formation, times twenty
Wed, 12 Dec 2018 13:43:52 EST
A team of astronomers has conducted ALMA's first large-scale, high-resolution survey of protoplanetary disks, the belts of dust and gas around young stars.
New research questions the 'Glass Cliff' and corroborates the persistent 'Glass Ceiling'
Wed, 12 Dec 2018 12:18:48 EST
Are women more likely to be appointed to leadership positions in crisis situations when companies are struggling with declining profits?
Low-cost catalyst boosts hydrogen production from water
Wed, 12 Dec 2018 12:18:45 EST
A future powered by carbon-free fuel depends on our ability to harness and store energy from renewable but intermittent sources, such as solar and wind. Now, a new catalyst gives a boost to a number of clean energy technologies that depend on producing hydrogen from water.
Deep-learning technique reveals 'invisible' objects in the dark
Wed, 12 Dec 2018 10:46:39 EST
Small imperfections in a wine glass or tiny creases in a contact lens can be tricky to make out, even in good light. In almost total darkness, images of such transparent features or objects are nearly impossible to decipher. But now, engineers have developed a technique that can reveal these "invisible" objects, in the dark.
The stiffest porous lightweight materials ever
Wed, 12 Dec 2018 10:46:28 EST
Researchers have developed and manufactured a family of architectures that maximizes the stiffness of porous lightweight materials. It's practically impossible to develop stiffer designs.
Light-induced modification of a carboxylic acid with an aminocyclopropenone
Wed, 12 Dec 2018 10:46:21 EST
Researchers report that carboxylic acids, functional groups contained in biomolecules, drugs, and materials can be readily modified by light-induced organic reactions using an aminocyclopropenone. This discovery opens up new pathways for carboxylic acid modification with potential applications including determination of drug target proteins, elucidation of protein function, and synthesis of functionalized polymer materials.
New foldable drone flies through narrow holes in rescue missions
Wed, 12 Dec 2018 10:46:18 EST
A research team has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.
Researchers reverse engineer way pine trees produce green chemicals worth billions
Wed, 12 Dec 2018 10:46:16 EST
Researchers have reverse engineered the way a pine tree produces a resin, which could serve as an environmentally friendly alternative to a range of fossil-fuel based products worth billions of dollars.
How plants can generate electricity to power LED light bulbs
Wed, 12 Dec 2018 09:33:08 EST
Researchers have discovered that living plants are literally 'green' power source: they can generate, by a single leaf, more than 150 Volts, enough to simultaneously power 100 LED light bulbs. Researchers also showed that an 'hybrid tree' made of natural and artificial leaves can act as an innovative 'green' electrical generator converting wind into electricity.
Novel technique may significantly reduce breast biopsies
Tue, 11 Dec 2018 19:21:53 EST
A novel technique that uses mammography to determine the biological tissue composition of a tumor could help reduce unnecessary breast biopsies, according to a new study.
Sun-soaking device turns water into superheated steam
Tue, 11 Dec 2018 19:21:50 EST
Engineers have built a device that soaks up enough heat from the sun to boil water and produce 'superheated' steam hotter than 100 degrees Celsius, without any expensive optics.
New models sense human trust in smart machines
Tue, 11 Dec 2018 19:00:18 EST
New 'classification models' sense how well humans trust intelligent machines they collaborate with, a step toward improving the quality of interactions and teamwork.
Taming turbulence: Seeking to make complex simulations a breeze
Tue, 11 Dec 2018 16:15:22 EST
Previously intractable problems for designing fusion experiments, improving weather models, and understanding astrophysical phenomena such as star formation will be more easily addressed without the need for expensive supercomputers using a new model.
Shape-shifting cell breakthrough
Tue, 11 Dec 2018 12:24:39 EST
A new computational model gives a clearer picture of the structure and mechanics of soft, shape-changing cells that could provide a better understanding of cancerous tumor growth, wound healing, and embryonic development.
Perovskite solar cells: cheaper production and high efficiency
Tue, 11 Dec 2018 11:30:20 EST
A team of chemists and physicists is offering a novel approach for the selective layer formation in perovskite solar cells. The molecule assembles itself into a monolayer, which can cover a variety of surfaces and can function as a hole transporting material in a perovskite solar cell.
Custom-made artificial mother-of-pearl
Tue, 11 Dec 2018 11:30:13 EST
Researchers developed an imitation comparable to mother-of-pearl, the physical properties of which can be specifically adjusted.
New tool for understanding enzymes -- Google
Tue, 11 Dec 2018 11:30:08 EST
Chemistry professors used the Google algorithm PageRank to identify key amino acids in the regulation of a bacterial enzyme essential for most microorganisms.
ICESat-2 reveals profile of ice sheets, sea ice, forests
Tue, 11 Dec 2018 11:30:00 EST
With each pass of the ICESat-2 satellite, the mission is adding to datasets tracking Earth's rapidly changing ice.
52 million tree stories more accessible to science
Tue, 11 Dec 2018 11:29:58 EST
The world's primary archive of tree ring data, which holds more than 52 million cost-free records spanning 8,000 years of history, has gotten a makeover by scientists from four countries committed to making science more accessible. The International Tree Ring Data Bank, developed in 1974 and populated by hundreds of contributing scientists and agencies, had only been used for a handful of studies at a global scale due to inconsistent data accessibility and formatting.
Copper compound as promising quantum computing unit
Tue, 11 Dec 2018 11:29:55 EST
Chemists have now synthesized a molecule that can perform the function of a computing unit in a quantum computer.
Chemical engineers develop new theory to build improved nanomaterials
Tue, 11 Dec 2018 11:29:46 EST
Researchers have developed a new theory to better predict how nanoclusters will behave when a given metal is introduced to their structure.
Did supernovae kill off large ocean animals at dawn of Pleistocene?
Tue, 11 Dec 2018 11:29:41 EST
The effects of a supernova -- and possibly more than one -- on large ocean life like school-bus-sized Megalodon 2.6 million years ago are detailed in a new article.
Terahertz laser for sensing and imaging outperforms its predecessors
Tue, 11 Dec 2018 11:29:36 EST
A new terahertz laser is the first to reach three key performance goals at once -- high constant power, tight beam pattern, and broad electric frequency tuning -- and could thus be valuable for a wide range of applications in chemical sensing and imaging.