|Top Technology News -- ScienceDaily
Sat, 16 Dec 2017 11:24:01 EST
Easier paths to quantum-based techology
Fri, 15 Dec 2017 14:57:11 EST
Engineers have shown that a widely used method of detecting single photons can also count the presence of at least four photons at a time. The researchers say this discovery will unlock new capabilities in physics labs working in quantum information science around the world, while providing easier paths to developing quantum-based technologies.
A new theory to describe widely used material
Fri, 15 Dec 2017 14:33:00 EST
A new theoretical model explains the coupling between ions and electrons in the widely used conducting polymer PEDOT:PSS. The model has profound implications for applications in printed electronics, energy storage in paper, and bioelectronics.
Discovery could reduce cost, energy for high-speed Internet connections
Fri, 15 Dec 2017 14:32:55 EST
Researchers have developed an optical medium in which multiple beams of light can autocorrect their properties without affecting other beams. This could lead to a dramatic reduction in the cost and energy consumption of high-speed internet communications.
Artificial intelligence used to identify bacteria quickly and accurately
Fri, 15 Dec 2017 14:32:52 EST
Microscopes enhanced with artificial intelligence (AI) could help clinical microbiologists diagnose potentially deadly blood infections and improve patients' odds of survival, according to microbiologists.
Heavy-petroleum fuels raising vanadium emissions
Fri, 15 Dec 2017 12:10:52 EST
Human emissions of the potentially harmful trace metal vanadium into Earth's atmosphere have spiked sharply since the start of the 21st century due in large part to industry's growing use of heavy oils, tar sands, bitumen and petroleum coke for energy, a new Duke study finds. These emissions now exceed those from all natural sources combined. Growing evidence suggests exposure to vanadium-rich aerosols can impair respiratory functions and exacerbate conditions such as asthma or COPD.
Error-free into the quantum computer age
Fri, 15 Dec 2017 12:09:55 EST
Ion-trap technologies available today are suitable for building large-scale quantum computers, research shows. Scientists have introduced trapped-ion quantum error correction protocols that detect and correct processing errors.
3-D nanoscale imaging made possible
Fri, 15 Dec 2017 11:16:23 EST
Imaging at the nanoscale is important to a plethora of modern applications in materials science, physics, biology, medicine and other fields. Limitations of current techniques are, e.g. their resolution, imaging speed or the inability to look behind opaque objects with arbitrary shapes. Scientists have now demonstrated a method for meeting this challenge with stunning properties.
Real-time observation of collective quantum modes
Fri, 15 Dec 2017 11:16:07 EST
When symmetries in quantum systems are spontaneously broken, the collective excitation modes change in characteristic ways. Researchers have now directly observed such Goldstone and Higgs modes for the first time.
Shoe-box-sized chemical detector
Fri, 15 Dec 2017 11:15:59 EST
A chemical sensor prototype will be able to detect 'single-fingerprint quantities' of substances from a distance of more than 100 feet away, and its developers are working to shrink it to the size of a shoebox.
Martti, developed for adverse weather conditions, is the first Finnish robot car to challenge snow and ice
Fri, 15 Dec 2017 10:51:56 EST
Martti, the robot car developed in Finland, is the first automated car to have driven fully autonomously on a real snow-covered road.
More electronic materials opened up with new metal-organic framework
Fri, 15 Dec 2017 10:51:52 EST
More materials for electronic applications could be identified, thanks to the discovery of a new metal-organic framework (MOF) that displays electrical semiconduction with a record high photoresponsivity, by a global research collaboration.
Nanoparticles as a solution against antibiotic resistance?
Fri, 15 Dec 2017 09:44:56 EST
Scientists have succeeded in developing an efficient method to treat mucoviscidosis. Crucial are nanoparticles that transport the antibiotics more efficiently to their destination. First of all, the active particles need to have a certain size to be able to reach the deeper airways and not to bounce off somewhere else before. Ultimately, they have to penetrate the thick layer of mucus on the airways as well as the lower layers of the bacteria biofilm.
New catalyst meets challenge of cleaning exhaust from modern engines
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 18:46:58 EST
Researchers have created a catalyst capable of reducing pollutants at the lower temperatures expected in advanced engines.
Visitor patterns and emerging activities in Finish national parks revealed by social media posts
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 18:18:37 EST
Social media data provide a reliable information to support decision-making in national parks.
First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 18:18:26 EST
Researchers successfully constructed a first-of-its-kind chemical oscillator that uses DNA components. DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.
Computational strategies overcome obstacles in peptide therapeutics development
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 16:40:34 EST
Recently developed computational strategies could help realize the promise of peptide-based drugs. Researchers were able to sample the diverse landscape of shapes that peptides can form as a guide for designing the next generation of stable, potent, selective drugs. They compiled a library of peptide scaffolds upon which drug candidates might be designed. Their methods also can be used to design additional custom peptides with arbitrary shapes on demand.
Better way to weigh millions of solitary stars
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 16:40:30 EST
Astronomers have come up with a new and improved method for measuring the masses of millions of solitary stars, especially those with planetary systems.
Six-decade-old space mystery solved with shoebox-sized satellite called a CubeSat
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 16:32:38 EST
A 60-year-old mystery about the source of energetic, potentially damaging particles in Earth's radiation belts has been solved using data from a shoebox-sized satellite built and operated by students. The satellite is called a CubeSat.
Computer systems predict objects' responses to physical forces
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 15:33:41 EST
New research examines the fundamental cognitive abilities that an intelligent agent requires to navigate the world: discerning distinct objects and inferring how they respond to physical forces.
One in five materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 15:33:36 EST
Can companies rely on the results of one or two scientific studies to design a new industrial process or launch a new product? In at least one area of materials chemistry, the answer may be yes -- but only 80 percent of the time.
National MagLab's latest magnet snags world record, marks new era of scientific discovery
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 15:33:29 EST
The Florida State University-headquartered National High Magnetic Field Laboratory has shattered another world record with the testing of a 32-tesla magnet -- 33 percent stronger than what had previously been the world's strongest superconducting magnet used for research and more than 3,000 times stronger than a small refrigerator magnet.
Scrap the stethoscope: engineers create new way to measure vital signs with radio waves
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 14:45:36 EST
Engineers have demonstrated a method for gathering blood pressure, heart rate and breath rate using a cheap and covert system of radio-frequency signals and microchip 'tags,' similar to the anti-theft tags department stores place on clothing and electronics.
Nanoparticle staircase: Atomic blasting creates new devices to measure nanoparticles
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 14:45:30 EST
A standard machining technique has been used to fabricate a 'nanofluidic staircase' that allows precise measurement of the size of nanoparticles in a liquid, report scientists.
Falling faster: The surprising leap of Felix Baumgartner
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 14:45:25 EST
Five years ago the Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner broke the sound barrier during his free fall from an altitude of almost 39 kilometers. Now researchers have analyzed the fluid dynamics of his descent. The surprising result: Baumgartner, with his irregularly shaped equipment, fell faster than a smooth, symmetrical body would have.
Software enables robots to be controlled in virtual reality
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 14:45:17 EST
Researchers have developed software that lets users control robots over the internet with off-the-shelf virtual reality hardware.
Artificial intelligence helps accelerate progress toward efficient fusion reactions
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 14:45:09 EST
Before scientists can effectively capture and deploy fusion energy, they must learn to predict major disruptions that can halt fusion reactions and damage the walls of doughnut-shaped fusion devices called tokamaks. Timely prediction of disruptions, the sudden loss of control of the hot, charged plasma that fuels the reactions, will be vital to triggering steps to avoid or mitigate such large-scale events. Today, researchers are employing artificial intelligence to improve predictive capability.
Drug discovery could accelerate hugely with machine learning
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 14:44:42 EST
Drug discovery could be significantly accelerated thanks to a new high precision machine-learning model.
Newly declassified nuclear test videos released
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 14:21:32 EST
Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) released 62 newly declassified videos today of atmospheric nuclear tests films that have never before been seen by the public.
Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 14:19:23 EST
While engineers have had success building tiny, insect-like robots, programming them to behave autonomously like real insects continues to present technical challenges. Engineers have recently been experimenting with a new type of programming that mimics the way an insectís brain works, which could soon have people wondering if that fly on the wall is actually a fly.
The peculiar cranial anatomy of howler monkeys
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 14:18:06 EST
A new study analyzes the peculiar cranial structure and variability of the best-known species of South American howler monkey, Alouatta seniculus, using geometric models in three dimensions and multivariate statistics.
Artificial intelligence, NASA data used to discover eighth planet circling distant star
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 14:14:16 EST
Our solar system now is tied for most number of planets around a single star, with the recent discovery of an eighth planet circling Kepler-90, a Sun-like star 2,545 light years from Earth. The planet was discovered in data from NASA's Kepler Space Telescope.
Tracking planned experiments online could spot ways to improve animal testing
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 14:09:10 EST
An online database of study summaries could be systematically evaluated to uncover new information about animal testing, including potential targets for efforts to minimize harm to lab animals.
Bioengineers imagine the future of vaccines and immunotherapy
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 14:09:05 EST
In the not-too-distant future, nanoparticles delivered to a cancer patient's immune cells might teach the cells to destroy tumors. A flu vaccine might look and feel like applying a small, round bandage to your skin. These are examples of how innovative biomaterials could enhance vaccines against HIV and other infectious diseases and immunotherapies for patients with cancer or dampen responses in autoimmune disorders, allergies and transplanted organ recipients.
'Bet hedging' explains the efficacy of many combination cancer therapies
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 14:08:34 EST
The efficacy of many FDA-approved cancer drug combinations is not due to synergistic interactions between drugs, but rather to a form of "bet hedging," according to a new study.
An ultradilute quantum liquid made from ultra-cold atoms
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 14:08:28 EST
Researchers have created a novel type of liquid one hundred million times more dilute than water and one million times thinner than air. The experiments exploit a fascinating quantum effect to produce droplets of this exotic phase of matter.
Charting how brain signals connect to neurons
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 14:08:22 EST
Scientists have used supercomputers to create an atomic scale map that tracks how the signaling chemical glutamate binds to a neuron in the brain. The findings, say the scientists, shed light on the dynamic physics of the chemical's pathway, as well as the speed of nerve cell communications.
Children's screen-time guidelines too restrictive, according to new research
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 14:08:10 EST
Digital screen use is a staple of contemporary life for adults and children, whether they are browsing on laptops and smartphones, or watching TV. Pediatricians and scientists have long expressed concerns about the impact of overusing technology on people's wellbeing. However, new research suggests that existing guidance managing children's digital media time may not be as beneficial as first thought.
New insight into battery charging supports development of improved electric vehicles
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 14:07:39 EST
A new technique provides a unique insight into how the charging rate of lithium ion batteries can be a factor limiting their lifetime and safety.
Dawn of a galactic collision
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 14:07:27 EST
A riot of color and light dances through this peculiarly shaped galaxy, NGC 5256. Its smoke-like plumes are flung out in all directions and the bright core illuminates the chaotic regions of gas and dust swirling through the galaxy's center. Its odd structure is due to the fact that this is not one galaxy, but two -- in the process of a galactic collision.
Spaghetti-like, DNA 'noodle origami' the new shape of things to come for nanotechnology
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 14:03:21 EST
Scientists have invented a major new advance in DNA nanotechnology. Dubbed 'single-stranded origami,' their new strategy uses one long, thin noodle-like strand of DNA, or its chemical cousin RNA, that can self-fold -- without even a single knot -- into the largest, most complex structures to date. The strands forming these structures can be made inside living cells, opening up the potential for nanomedicine.
The wet road to fast and stable batteries
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 10:18:03 EST
An international team of scientists has discovered an anode battery material with superfast charging and stable operation over many thousands of cycles.
New material lowers the energy consumption associated with ethylene production
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 10:15:25 EST
Researchers are developing a zeolite which will allow users to separate ethylene using 25 per cent less energy than with current methods.
DNA: Supercoiling pushes molecular handcuffs along chromatin fibres
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 10:13:52 EST
As it squeezes down the chromatin fiber, the cohesin protein complex extrudes a growing loop of DNA -- a bit like the quick-lacing system of trail-running shoes. But what is powering the movement of the protein? A team of scientists has found that the driving force could be the supercoiling of upstream DNA. Their research is thereby adding a key piece to the puzzle of gene expression regulation.
Bicycles reacting to speed for stable cycling
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 10:12:49 EST
A Dutch consortium has developed an electrical bicycle that prevents elderly people from falling. The smart Assistive Bicycle, called SOFIE, increases stability by, amongst others, a drive off assistance and by automatically lowering the saddle at low speeds.
Hydrogen production: protein environment makes catalyst efficient
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 10:12:13 EST
The interaction of protein shell and active center in hydrogen-producing enzymes is crucial for the efficiency of biocatalysts. A team specifically analyzed the role of hydrogen bonds in certain enzymes from green algae, the hydrogenases.
Doing without dark energy
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 10:08:59 EST
Three mathematicians have a different explanation for the accelerating expansion of the universe that does without theories of 'dark energy.' Einstein's original equations for General Relativity actually predict cosmic acceleration due to an 'instability,' they argue in a new paper.
Robotics researchers track autonomous underground mining vehicles
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 10:08:45 EST
Robotics researchers have developed new technology to equip underground mining vehicles to navigate autonomously through dust, camera blur and bad lighting.
Brittle Stars inspire new generation of robots able to adapt to physical damage
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 10:08:40 EST
The invention of a robot made to adapt to unexpected physical damage is a significant breakthrough for machines made to function in tough environments.
Tailgating doesn't get you there faster: Study
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 09:23:19 EST
We've all experienced "phantom traffic jams" that arise without any apparent cause. Researchers recently showed that we'd have fewer if we made one small change to how we drive: no more tailgating.
Synthetic protein packages its own genetic material and evolves
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 09:23:11 EST
Scientists have created computationally designed protein assemblies, that display some functions normally associated with living things, in the search for ways to transport therapeutic cargo into specific types of cells without using viruses as vehicles. These encapsulate their own RNA genomes and evolve new traits in complex environments. They are synthetic versions of the protein shells that viruses use to protect and deliver materials. The synthetic proteins evolved better RNA packaging, resistance against degrading enzymes in blood and longer circulation time.
Climate conditions affect solar cell performance more than expected
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 14:37:25 EST
Researchers can now predict how much energy solar cells will produce at any location worldwide. Surprisingly, they identified that two types of solar cells can vary in energy output by 5 percent or more in tropical regions. This gap occurs because solar energy can shift depending on local temperature and water in the atmosphere. Their work emphasizes that solar products may behave differently depending on their environment.
A lithium-ion battery inspired by safety glass
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 14:37:22 EST
Researchers have modified the design of lithium-ion batteries to include slits along the electrodes, a feature which may mitigate the risk of battery failure during automobile accidents. The prototype could allow manufacturers to scale down the housing materials that commonly protect batteries in electric cars from mechanical damage, improving the overall energy density and cost.
Micro-grippers may be able to navigate unstructured environments
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 14:37:17 EST
Micro-grippers may be able to navigate unstructured environments and could help reduce risk during surgeries, according to a new study.
World e-waste rises 8 percent by weight in 2 years as incomes rise, prices fall: UN-backed report
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 14:37:14 EST
The world's e-waste -- discarded products with a battery or plug -- reached a staggering 44.7 million metric tonnes in 2016 -- up 3.3 Mt or 8 percent from 2014. In 2016 world e-waste -- everything from end-of-life refrigerators and television sets to solar panels, mobile phones and computers -- equaled in weight almost nine Great Pyramids of Giza, or 1.23 million fully loaded 18-wheel 40-ton trucks, enough to form a line from New York to Bangkok and back.
Electricity, eel-style: Soft power cells could run tomorrow's implantables
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 14:37:06 EST
Inspired by the electric eel, a flexible, transparent electrical device could lead to body-friendly power sources for implanted health monitors and medication dispensers, augmented-reality contact lenses and countless other applications.
Accelerating the self-assembly of nanoscale patterns for next-generation materials
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 13:04:15 EST
Scientists have come up with a way to massively speed up the ordering process for self-assembling materials. The resulting ultra-small, well-ordered patterns could be used in the fabrication of microelectronics, antireflective surfaces, magnetic data storage systems, and fluid-flow devices.
Sorghum cultivars can produce thousands of gallons of ethanol
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 13:04:13 EST
Sweet sorghum is not just for breakfast anymore. Although sorghum is a source for table syrup, scientists see a future in which we convert sorghum to biofuel, rather than relying on fossil fuel.
Converting waste water from dairies to animal feed and aviation fuel
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 12:49:14 EST
Scientists have developed a bioprocess that enables conversion of acid whey, a dairy by-product, without the use of additional chemicals. Scientists used microbiome cultures similar to those in the human gut. The new bio-oil can be used in animal feed or, after further refinement, as a fuel for airplanes.
A metallopeptide targets and disrupts mitochondrial function in breast cancer stem cells
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 12:47:51 EST
Killing malignant mitochondria is one of the most promising approaches in the development of new anticancer drugs. Scientists have now synthesized a copper-containing peptide that is readily taken up by mitochondria in breast cancer stem cells, where it effectively induces apoptosis. The study also highlights the powerful therapeutic potential of the metallopeptides.
Advance in light filtering technology has implications for LCD screens, lasers and beyond
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 12:47:42 EST
Vector polarizers are a light filtering technology hidden behind the operation of many optical systems. They can be found, for instance, in sunglasses, LCD screens, microscopes, microprocessors, laser machining and more. A newly proposed design is a major advance in polarization technology because it enables flexible filtering of a wide range of light sources and generation of new light states.