|Top Technology News -- ScienceDaily
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 18:06:01 EDT
Chemists ID catalytic 'key' for converting CO2 to methanol
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 14:14:17 EDT
Results from experiments and computational modeling studies that definitively identify the 'active site' of a catalyst commonly used for making methanol from CO2 will guide the design of improved catalysts for transforming this pollutant to useful chemicals.
Milky Way-like galaxies in early universe embedded in 'super halos'
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 14:14:05 EDT
Astronomers have directly observed a pair of Milky Way-like galaxies seen when the universe was only eight percent of its current age. These progenitors of today's giant spiral galaxies are surrounded by 'super halos' of hydrogen gas that extend many tens-of-thousands of light-years beyond their dusty, star-filled disks.
Most cancer mutations are due to random DNA copying 'mistakes'
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 14:14:03 EDT
Scientists report data from a new study providing evidence that random, unpredictable DNA copying 'mistakes' account for nearly two-thirds of the mutations that cause cancer. Their research is grounded on a novel mathematical model based on DNA sequencing and epidemiologic data from around the world.
Designer proteins fold DNA: Biophysicists construct complex hybrid structures using DNA and proteins
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 14:13:26 EDT
Scientists have developed a new method that can be used to construct custom hybrid structures using DNA and proteins. The method opens new opportunities for fundamental research in cell biology and for applications in biotechnology and medicine.
Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 13:26:27 EDT
Astronomers have uncovered a supermassive black hole that has been propelled out of the center of the distant galaxy 3C 186. The black hole was most likely ejected by the power of gravitational waves.
Hand-held X-ray sources
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 08:50:34 EDT
Electronic oscillations in graphene could make a tabletop — or even handheld — source of X-rays a reality, report researchers.
A tough coat for silicon
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 08:44:03 EDT
Supercritical carbon dioxide delivers protective molecules to semiconductor surfaces, report researchers in a new article.
New portal to unveil the dark sector of the universe
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 08:39:04 EDT
Once upon a time, the Universe was just a hot soup of particles. In those days, together with visible particles, other particles to us hidden or dark might have formed. Billions of years later scientists catalogued 17 types of visible particles, with the most recent one being the Higgs boson, creating the 'Standard Model'. However, they are still struggling to detect the hidden particles, the ones that constitute the dark sector of the Universe.
Tracing aromatic molecules in the early Universe
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 15:27:50 EDT
A molecule found in car engine exhaust fumes that is thought to have contributed to the origin of life on Earth has made astronomers heavily underestimate the amount of stars that were forming in the early Universe, a study has found. That molecule is called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon. On Earth it is also found in coal and tar. In space, it is a component of dust.
Humans, smartphones may fail frequently to detect face morph photos
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 15:27:44 EDT
Both humans and smartphones show a degree of error in distinguishing face morph photos from their 'real' faces on fraudulent identity cards, new research has found.
Scientists evade the Heisenberg uncertainty principle
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 14:32:33 EDT
Researchers report the discovery of a new technique that could drastically improve the sensitivity of instruments such as magnetic resonance imagers (MRIs) and atomic clocks. The study reports a technique to bypass the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. This technique hides quantum uncertainty in atomic features not seen by the instrument, allowing the scientists to make very high precision measurements.
Use of mobile app reduces number of in-person follow-up visits after surgery
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 14:32:17 EDT
Patients who underwent ambulatory breast reconstruction and used a mobile app for follow-up care had fewer in-person visits during the first 30 days after the operation without affecting complication rates or measures of patient-reported satisfaction, according to a study.
Molecular 'treasure maps' to help discover new materials
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 14:31:56 EDT
Scientists have developed a new method which has the potential to revolutionise the way we search for, design and produce new materials.
Light used to remotely control curvature of plastics
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 14:31:42 EDT
Researchers have developed a technique that uses light to get flat, plastic sheets to curve into spheres, tubes or bowls.
3-D printing turns nanomachines into life-size workers
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 13:21:24 EDT
Researchers have unlocked the key to transforming microscopic nanorings into smart materials that perform work at human-scale.
Machine learning lets scientists reverse-engineer cellular control networks
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 13:21:14 EDT
Researchers have used machine learning on the Stampede supercomputer to model the cellular control network that determines how tadpoles develop. Using that model, they reverse-engineered a drug intervention that created tadpoles with a form of mixed pigmentation never before seen in nature. They plan to use the method for cancer therapies and regenerative medicine.
Upper part of Earth’s magnetic field reveals details of a dramatic past
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 12:28:34 EDT
Satellites have been mapping the upper part of the Earth magnetic field by collecting data for three years and found some amazing features about the Earth’s crust. The result is the release of highest resolution map of this field seen from space to date. This ‘lithospheric magnetic field’ is very weak and therefore difficult to detect and map from space. But with the Swarm satellites it has been possible.
Self-sustaining bacteria-fueled power cell created
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 12:26:27 EDT
Researchers have developed the next step in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) with the first micro-scale self-sustaining cell, which generated power for 13 straight days through symbiotic interactions of two types of bacteria.
Ultrafast measurements explain quantum dot voltage drop
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 12:26:24 EDT
Solar cells and photodetectors could soon be made from new types of materials based on semiconductor quantum dots, thanks to new insights based on ultrafast measurements capturing real-time photoconversion processes.
Fledgling stars try to prevent their neighbors from birthing planets
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 11:09:50 EDT
Stars don't have to be massive to evaporate material from around nearby stars and affect their ability to form planets, a new study suggests.
Method speeds testing of new networking protocols
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 11:09:47 EDT
Researchers present a system for testing new traffic management protocols that requires no alteration to network hardware but still works at realistic speeds -- 20 times as fast as networks of software-controlled routers.
'Super sponge' promises effective toxic clean-up of lakes and more
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 11:09:44 EDT
Mercury is very toxic and can cause long-term health damage, but removing it from water is challenging. To address this growing problem scientists have created a sponge that can absorb mercury from a polluted water source within seconds.
'Lab-on-a-glove' could bring nerve-agent detection to a wearer's fingertips
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 10:37:08 EDT
There's a reason why farmers wear protective gear when applying organophosphate pesticides. The substances are very effective at getting rid of unwanted bugs, but they can also make people sick. Related compounds -- organophosphate nerve agents -- can be used as deadly weapons. Now researchers have developed a fast way to detect the presence of such compounds in the field using a disposable 'lab-on-a-glove.'
Single-angle ptychography allows 3D imaging of stressed materials
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 10:08:05 EDT
Scientists have used a new X-ray diffraction technique called Bragg single-angle ptychography to get a clear picture of how planes of atoms shift and squeeze under stress.
Caught on camera: Chemical reactions 'filmed' at the single-molecule level
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 09:45:16 EDT
Scientists have succeeded in ‘filming’ inter-molecular chemical reactions – using the electron beam of a transmission electron microscope (TEM) as a stop-frame imaging tool. They have also discovered that the electron beam can be simultaneously tuned to stimulate specific chemical reactions by using it as a source of energy as well as an imaging tool.
Universe's ultraviolet background could provide clues about missing galaxies
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 09:24:11 EDT
Astronomers have developed a way to detect the ultraviolet background of the universe, which could help explain why there are so few small galaxies in the cosmos.
Quadruped robot exhibits spontaneous changes in step with speed
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 09:24:00 EDT
A research group has demonstrated that by changing only its parameter related to speed, a quadruped robot can spontaneously change its steps.
Visualizing nuclear radiation
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 09:23:47 EDT
Extraordinary decontamination efforts are underway in areas affected by the 2011 nuclear accidents in Japan. The creation of total radioactivity maps is essential for thorough cleanup, but the most common methods do not 'see' enough ground-level radiation.
Comet 67P full of surprises: Growing fractures, collapsing cliffs and rolling boulders
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 09:22:34 EDT
Images returned from the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission indicate the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko was a very active place during its most recent trip through the solar system, says a new study.
Rare-earths become water-repellent only as they age
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 09:21:23 EDT
Surfaces that have been coated with rare earth oxides develop water-repelling properties only after contact with air. Even at room temperature, chemical reactions begin with hydrocarbons in the air. Researchers report that it is these reactions that are responsible for the hydrophobic effect.
New software tool powers up genomic research
Tue, 21 Mar 2017 14:55:35 EDT
A group of computational biological researchers has developed a new software tool, Salmon — a lightweight method to provide fast and bias-aware quantification from RNA-sequencing reads.
People afraid of robots are much more likely to fear losing their jobs and suffer anxiety-related mental health issues, study finds
Tue, 21 Mar 2017 12:50:07 EDT
“Technophobes” — people who fear robots, artificial intelligence and new technology that they don’t understand — are much more likely to be afraid of losing their jobs due to technology and to suffer anxiety-related mental health issues, a researcher says.
Producing radioisotopes for medical imaging, disease treatment
Tue, 21 Mar 2017 12:42:37 EDT
Accelerators built to explore the building blocks of matter help to feed the nation's need for certain critical radioisotopes used to diagnose, track, and treat disease.
A new model for capillary rise in nano-channels offers insights into improved hydraulic fracturing (fracking)
Tue, 21 Mar 2017 12:40:37 EDT
With fracking, scientists have calculated the expected level of capillary rise with the Lucas-Washburn equation, a mathematical model whose earliest parameters were first devised nearly a century ago. The challenge, however, is that that the equation has not been completely accurate in predicting the actual rise observed in nano-capillary laboratory experiments.
Spintronic technology advances with newly designed magnetic tunnel junctions
Tue, 21 Mar 2017 12:40:35 EDT
Magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) have played a central role in spintronic devices, and researchers are working to improve their performance. A prominent achievement that accelerated the technology's practical applications was the realization of giant tunnel magnetoresistance (TMR) ratios by using rock-salt type MgO crystalline barrier. Researchers have now succeeded in applying MgGa2O4 to a tunnel barrier, the core part of an MTJ, as an alternative material to more conventional insulators.
Revealing the microscopic mechanisms in perovskite solar cells
Tue, 21 Mar 2017 12:40:33 EDT
In just a few years, researchers have achieved remarkable power conversion efficiency with materials with perovskite crystal structure, comparable with the best photovoltaic materials available. Now, researchers have revealed the physics for how an important component of a perovskite solar cell works -- a finding that could lead to improved solar cells or even newer and better materials.
Estimating the glass transition temperature for polymers in 'confined geometries'
Tue, 21 Mar 2017 12:40:31 EDT
Polystyrene has a glass transition temperature of about 100 C -- at room temperature it behaves like a solid material. But as its temperature approaches the glass transition temperature, polystyrene’s mechanical properties change drastically. This makes the ability to approximate glass transitions for confined geometries in polymers highly desirable. And now, as researchers report that they’ve developed a simple formula to do just that.
Manipulating magnetic textures
Tue, 21 Mar 2017 12:40:28 EDT
While the ability to easily control the magnetic properties of small electronic systems is highly desirable for future small electronics and data storage, an effective solution has proven to be extremely elusive. But now, a group of researchers reports a simple way to gain control of magnetism that starts by controlling the shape of the systems.
Looking for signs of the Big Bang in the desert
Tue, 21 Mar 2017 12:39:10 EDT
The silence of an immense desolate land in which to search for reverberations coming from the time at which everything began. The Simons Observatory will be built in the Chilean Atacama desert at an altitude of several thousand meters for the purposes of studying primordial gravitational waves which originated in the first instants of the Big Bang.
World's most efficient, environment-friendly solar cells
Tue, 21 Mar 2017 12:38:25 EDT
In the future, solar cells can become twice as efficient by employing a few smart little nano-tricks, suggest investigators in a new report.
Having a laugh with recruitment
Tue, 21 Mar 2017 12:36:43 EDT
Can humour on social media help managers find the most appropriate candidates for the job vacancies they hope to fill? Researchers suggest that humorous recruitment campaigns can increase exposure for a given job ad but conversely the approach might lead to flippant applications at which point it might be difficult to separate the serious candidate from an inappropriate one. The team also suggests that choosing a particular social media channel over another may skew the type of applicants they receive for a given job, for better or worse.
Transparent silver: Tarnish-proof films for flexible displays, touch screens
Tue, 21 Mar 2017 12:26:01 EDT
The thinnest, smoothest layer of silver that can survive air exposure could change the way touchscreens and flat or flexible displays are made.
Does the universe have a rest frame?
Tue, 21 Mar 2017 12:25:45 EDT
Physics is sometimes closer to philosophy when it comes to understanding the universe. Physicists are now attempting to elucidate whether the universe has a resting frame.
Comet 67P is constantly undergoing a facelift
Tue, 21 Mar 2017 12:25:29 EDT
Changes that the Rosetta spacecraft discovered on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, including the collapse of entire cliffs, were likely driven by seasonal events, according to a new study.
Organic electronics can use power from socket
Tue, 21 Mar 2017 11:03:48 EDT
Organic light-emitting devices and printed electronics can be connected to a socket in the wall by way of a small, inexpensive organic converter.
When helium behaves like a black hole
Tue, 21 Mar 2017 11:03:44 EDT
A team of scientists has discovered that a law controlling the bizarre behavior of black holes out in space -- is also true for cold helium atoms that can be studied in laboratories. This finding may be a step toward a long-sought quantum theory of gravity and new advances in quantum computing.
Electrons used to control ultrashort laser pulses
Tue, 21 Mar 2017 11:03:34 EDT
We may soon get better insight into the microcosm and the world of electrons. Researchers have developed a tool that makes it possible to control extreme UV light -- light with much shorter wavelengths than visible light. The new method uses strong laser pulses to direct the short bursts of light.
New approach uses ultrasound to measure fluid in the lungs
Tue, 21 Mar 2017 11:03:29 EDT
A team of engineering and medical researchers has found a way to use ultrasound to monitor fluid levels in the lung, offering a noninvasive way to track progress in treating pulmonary edema -- fluid in the lungs -- which often occurs in patients with congestive heart failure. The approach, which has been demonstrated in rats, also holds promise for diagnosing scarring, or fibrosis, in the lung.
Astronomers hazard a ride in a 'drifting carousel' to understand pulsating stars
Tue, 21 Mar 2017 11:03:23 EDT
What sounds like a stomach-turning ride at an amusement park might hold the key to unraveling the mysterious mechanism that causes beams of radio waves to shoot out from pulsars -- super-magnetic rotating stars in our galaxy.
Breaking the supermassive black hole speed limit
Tue, 21 Mar 2017 11:03:07 EDT
A new computer simulation helps explain the existence of puzzling supermassive black holes observed in the early universe. The simulation is based on a computer code used to understand the coupling of radiation and certain materials.
New gel-like coating beefs up the performance of lithium-sulfur batteries
Tue, 21 Mar 2017 11:03:02 EDT
Scientists have developed an ultra-thin coating material that has the potential to extend the life and improve the efficiency of lithium-sulfur batteries, one of the most promising areas of energy research today.
Numerosity in humans, birds and fish based in brain's subcortex
Tue, 21 Mar 2017 11:02:57 EDT
A cognitive neuroscience, through study, has addressed basic research questions about how our brains process number and magnitude and how such processes give rise to more complex mathematical thinking, answering the question: where in the brain is numerical quantity evaluation processed?
Electrocrystallization: Breakthrough in gold nanoparticle research
Tue, 21 Mar 2017 10:03:32 EDT
A research team as published a research study that demonstrates how it is possible to obtain very high quality crystals formed of gold nanoparticles.
Mars volcano, Earth's dinosaurs went extinct about the same time
Tue, 21 Mar 2017 09:27:44 EDT
Arsia Mons produced one new lava flow at its summit every 1 to 3 million years during the final peak of activity, about 50 million years ago. The last volcanic activity there ceased about 50 million years ago -- around the time of Earth's Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction, when large numbers of our planet's plant and animal species (including dinosaurs) went extinct.
Does Mars have rings? Not right now, but maybe one day
Tue, 21 Mar 2017 09:27:34 EDT
Researchers have developed a model that suggests that debris that was pushed into space from an asteroid or other body slamming into Mars around 4.3 billion years ago and alternates between becoming a planetary ring and clumping up to form a moon.
Research spotlights early signs of disease using infrared light: New research
Tue, 21 Mar 2017 09:27:21 EDT
Researchers have used infrared spectroscopy to spotlight changes in tiny cell fragments called microvesicles to probe their role in a model of the body's immunological response to bacterial infection.
Quantum dots illuminate transport within the cell
Tue, 21 Mar 2017 09:26:54 EDT
Biophysicists have developed a strategy for using light-emitting nanocrystals as a marker in living cells. By recording the movements of these quantum dots, they can clarify the structure and dynamics of the cytoskeleton.
Finding the 'ghost particles' might be more challenging than what we thought
Tue, 21 Mar 2017 09:26:28 EDT
Results from the NEOS experiment on sterile neutrinos differ partly from the theoretical expectations.
Less radiation in inner Van Allen belt than previously believed
Tue, 21 Mar 2017 09:26:17 EDT
The inner Van Allen belt has less radiation than previously believed, according to a recent study. Observations from NASA's Van Allen probes show the fastest, most energetic electrons in the inner radiation belt are actually much rarer and harder to find than scientists expected. This is good news for spacecraft that are orbiting in the region and can be damaged by high levels of radiation.
NASA's Swift mission maps a star's 'death spiral' into a black hole
Mon, 20 Mar 2017 16:23:13 EDT
Astronomers measured the light produced when a sun-like star wandered too close to a 3-million-solar-mass black hole similar to the one at the center of our own galaxy.