|Top Technology News -- ScienceDaily
Thu, 18 Apr 2019 10:43:02 EDT
Giving robots a better feel for object manipulation
Wed, 17 Apr 2019 17:10:40 EDT
A new learning system improves robots' abilities to mold materials into target shapes and make predictions about interacting with solid objects and liquids. The system, known as a learning-based particle simulator, could give industrial robots a more refined touch -- and it may have fun applications in personal robotics, such as modelling clay shapes or rolling sticky rice for sushi.
Why lightning often strikes twice
Wed, 17 Apr 2019 13:27:28 EDT
Scientists have used the LOFAR radio telescope to study the development of lightning flashes in unprecedented detail. Their work reveals that the negative charges inside a thundercloud are not discharged all in a single flash, but are in part stored alongside the leader channel at Interruptions, inside structures which the researchers have called needles. This may cause a repeated discharge to the ground.
Mercury has a solid inner core: New evidence
Wed, 17 Apr 2019 13:00:07 EDT
Scientists have long known that Earth and Mercury have metallic cores. Like Earth, Mercury's outer core is composed of liquid metal, but there have only been hints that Mercury's innermost core is solid. Now, in a new study, scientists report evidence that Mercury's inner core is indeed solid and that it is very nearly the same size as Earth's solid inner core.
Decoding the movement patterns of tsunami-like solitary waves
Wed, 17 Apr 2019 13:00:05 EDT
A study of solitary tsunami-style wave clusters shows how they move in harmony with and through each other.
Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our Sun
Wed, 17 Apr 2019 12:00:41 EDT
A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our Sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter.
New deep-learning approach predicts protein structure from amino acid sequence
Wed, 17 Apr 2019 11:14:32 EDT
A scientist has used a form of artificial intelligence known as deep learning to predict the 3D structure of effectively any protein based on its amino acid sequence. This new approach for computationally determining protein structure achieves accuracy comparable to current state-of-the-art methods but at speeds upward of a million times faster.
Powerful particles and tugging tides may affect extraterrestrial life
Wed, 17 Apr 2019 10:28:40 EDT
Two new studies, one on high-energy particles and the other on tidal forces, may bring into question the habitability of TRAPPIST-1 exoplanets.
Green plastic production made easy
Wed, 17 Apr 2019 10:28:35 EDT
A one-step method enables scalable and more environmentally friendly production of plant-derived plastic monomers, paving the way towards the mass production of a sustainable alternative to petroleum-based materials.
World-record quantum computing
Wed, 17 Apr 2019 10:28:25 EDT
A world-record result in reducing errors in semiconductor electron 'spin qubits', a type of building block for quantum computers, has been achieved.
Solar panel demand causing spike in worldwide silver prices
Wed, 17 Apr 2019 10:27:50 EDT
Rising demand for solar panels is having a major effect on the worldwide price of silver, which could lead to solar panel production costs becoming far higher in the future, new research has demonstrated.
Five planets revealed after 20 years of observation
Wed, 17 Apr 2019 10:27:47 EDT
To confirm the presence of a planet, it is necessary to wait until it has made one or more revolutions around its star. This can take from a few days for the closest to the star to decades for the furthest away. Only a telescope dedicated to the search for exoplanets can carry out such measurements over such long periods of time, which is the case of the EULER telescope of UNIGE.
Biosensor 'bandage' collects and analyzes sweat
Wed, 17 Apr 2019 10:27:37 EDT
Like other biofluids, sweat contains a wealth of information about what's going on inside the body. However, collecting the fluid for analysis, usually by dripping or absorbing it from the skin's surface, can be time-consuming and messy. Now, researchers have developed a bandage-like biosensor that both collects and -- in conjunction with a smart phone -- analyzes sweat. The device could someday help diagnose diseases.
New way to improve cybersecurity
Wed, 17 Apr 2019 10:27:34 EDT
Researchers may have identified a new way to improve network security.
Lessons learnt from the drift analysis of MH370 plane crash debris
Wed, 17 Apr 2019 10:27:31 EDT
The Boeing 777 of Malaysia Airlines (MH370) has been missing for over five years. The extensive, costly, but unsuccessful search operations have stopped. Scientists have helped by providing insights on the most probable crash site based on debris from the aircraft. In a new study, scientists synthesize what they have learnt and propose strategies for optimizing future interdisciplinary work of this kind.
How to defend the Earth from asteroids
Wed, 17 Apr 2019 08:46:07 EDT
The Chelyabinsk meteor caused extensive ground damage and numerous injuries when it exploded on impact with Earth's atmosphere in 2013; to prevent another such impact, scientists plan to use a simple yet ingenious way to spot tiny near-Earth objects.
Need more energy storage? Just hit 'print'
Wed, 17 Apr 2019 08:45:56 EDT
Researchers have developed a conductive ink made from a special type of material they discovered, called MXene, that was used by the researchers to print components for electronic devices. The ink is additive-free, which means it can print the finished devices in one step without any special finishing treatments.
New software tool could provide answers to some of life's most intriguing questions
Wed, 17 Apr 2019 08:45:16 EDT
A researcher has spearheaded the development of a software tool that can provide conclusive answers to some of the world's most fascinating questions.
New algorithm allows for faster, animal-free chemical toxicity testing
Tue, 16 Apr 2019 17:09:18 EDT
The use of animals to test the toxicity of chemicals may one day become outdated thanks to a low-cost, high-speed algorithm.
Want black women students to stay in STEM? Help them find role models who look like them
Tue, 16 Apr 2019 17:09:14 EDT
Representation matters for Black women college students when it comes to belonging in rigorous science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs, according to a new study. Having role models who share their racial identity is vital to signaling a sense of belonging for women of color college students.
Smart antioxidant-containing polymer responds to body chemistry, environment
Tue, 16 Apr 2019 15:23:00 EDT
Oxidants found within living organisms are byproducts of metabolism and are essential to wound-healing and immunity. However, when their concentrations become too high, inflammation and tissue damage can occur. Engineers have now developed and tested a new drug-delivery system that senses high oxidant levels and responds by administering just the right amount of antioxidant to restore this delicate balance.
Potential effects of large-scale projects designed to offset Earth's changing climate
Tue, 16 Apr 2019 14:52:19 EDT
Climate engineering research is too focused on specific aspects of individual projects, argues an expert. She believes broader studies about the impacts of these efforts will have on other Earth system variables.
A novel data-compression technique for faster computer programs
Tue, 16 Apr 2019 14:52:13 EDT
A novel technique rethinks hardware data compression to free up more memory used by computers and mobile devices, allowing them to run faster and perform more tasks simultaneously.
New form of laser for sound
Tue, 16 Apr 2019 14:37:30 EDT
The optical laser has grown to a $10 billion global technology market since it was invented in 1960, and has led to Nobel prizes for Art Ashkin for developing optical tweezing and Gerard Mourou and Donna Strickland for work with pulsed lasers. Now scientists have created a different kind of laser -- a laser for sound, using the optical tweezer technique invented by Ashkin.
NASA's Cassini reveals surprises with Titan's lakes
Tue, 16 Apr 2019 14:35:50 EDT
On its final flyby of Saturn's largest moon in 2017, NASA's Cassini spacecraft gathered radar data revealing that the small liquid lakes in Titan's northern hemisphere are surprisingly deep, perched atop hills and filled with methane.
CubeSats prove their worth for scientific missions
Tue, 16 Apr 2019 13:21:37 EDT
Only a few years ago, the astronomy and heliophysics communities were skeptical about whether CubeSats could reliably obtain scientific data. But these breadloaf-size satellites have proven their ability to return useful data.
Roadmap for AI in medical imaging
Tue, 16 Apr 2019 13:21:34 EDT
Researchers are examining applications for diagnostic medical imaging, identifying knowledge gaps and developing a roadmap to prioritize research needs.
Astronomers discover third planet in the Kepler-47 circumbinary system
Tue, 16 Apr 2019 09:37:53 EDT
Astronomers have discovered a third planet in the Kepler-47 system, securing the system's title as the most interesting of the binary-star worlds. Using data from NASA's Kepler space telescope, a team of researchers detected the new Neptune-to-Saturn-size planet orbiting between two previously known planets.
Sleep Apnea: Oral appliance could help you (and your partner) sleep better
Tue, 16 Apr 2019 09:37:29 EDT
Researchers measured a novel treatment for sleep apnea and found positive results. By measuring patients lying down flat, the researchers stimulated sleep conditions and measured the patient's airways using 3D imaging. The study confirmed that the treatment is effective at opening the airways and warrants further collaboration between dentists and doctors in treatment of sleep apnea.
Up in arms: Insect-inspired arm technology aims to improve drones
Tue, 16 Apr 2019 08:14:34 EDT
Insect-inspired arm technology aims to improve drones to handle larger payloads.
A biosynthetic dual-core cell computer
Tue, 16 Apr 2019 08:14:16 EDT
Researchers have integrated two CRISPR-Cas9-based core processors into human cells. This represents a huge step towards creating powerful biocomputers.
New discovery makes fast-charging, better performing lithium-ion batteries possible
Tue, 16 Apr 2019 08:14:00 EDT
Creating a lithium-ion battery that can charge in a matter of minutes but still operate at a high capacity is possible. This development has the potential to improve battery performance for consumer electronics, solar grid storage, and electric vehicles.
Solar evaporator offers a fresh route to fresh water
Tue, 16 Apr 2019 08:13:57 EDT
Researchers have demonstrated a successful prototype of one critical component for affordable small-scale desalination: an inexpensive solar evaporator, made of wood.
New microscopy technique peers deep into the brain
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 17:21:42 EDT
Using new imaging technology, researchers can now record the activity of large populations of brain cells with unprecedented speed, and at new depths.
Physicists improve understanding of heat and particle flow in the edge of a fusion device
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 16:39:39 EDT
Physicists have discovered valuable information about how plasma flows at the edge inside doughnut-shaped fusion devices. The findings mark an encouraging sign for the development of machines to produce fusion energy for generating electricity without creating long-term hazardous waste.
Google searches reveal popular bird species
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 16:39:36 EDT
Cross-referencing a decade of Google searches and citizen science observations, researchers have determined which of 621 North American bird species are currently the most popular and which characteristics of species drive human interest.
Best in snow: New scientific device creates electricity from snowfall
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 16:08:20 EDT
Researchers have designed a new device that creates electricity from falling snow, a first. The device is inexpensive, small, thin and flexible like a sheet of plastic.
Blockchain protocol to prevent counterfeit pharmaceutical sales
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 15:46:51 EDT
Researchers want to prevent counterfeit pharmaceuticals from flooding the market.They have recently published a blockchain protocol that could do just that.
Computer games for fish uncover why some prey lead and others follow
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 15:46:42 EDT
For the first time, researchers have shed new light on the evolution of different social roles within animal groups by exploring how fish predators target and attack groups of virtual prey. The study found leaders in groups of animals are more vulnerable to attack from predators.
Leveraging scientists' perceptions for successful interactions with policy makers
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 14:39:58 EDT
Creating new policies that deal with important issues like climate change requires input from geoscientists. Policy makers, media outlets, and the general public are interested in hearing from experts, and scientists are put under increasing amounts of pressure to effectively engage in policy decisions.
Graphene gives a tremendous boost to future terahertz cameras
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 14:39:30 EDT
Scientists have developed a novel graphene-enabled photodetector that operates at room temperature, is highly sensitive, very fast, has a wide dynamic range and covers a broad range of THz frequencies.
Time is money, especially when it comes to giving
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 14:39:28 EDT
Would you be more likely to donate to charity if you could report the gift sooner on your taxes? According to a new article, the answer is yes. Researchers found that changing the deadline for donations closer to tax time increased donations by nine per cent.
New compound allows bacterial communication to be controlled by light
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 14:39:25 EDT
Scientists have succeeded in incorporating a light-controlled switch into a molecule used by bacteria for quorum sensing -- a process by which bacteria communicate and subsequently control different cellular processes. With the molecule described, it is possible to either inhibit or stimulate communication, making it a useful tool for research into bacterial communication and its influence on different genetic pathways.
Astronomers take first, high-resolution look at huge star-forming region of Milky Way
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 12:23:21 EDT
A team of astronomers used a newly commissioned radio telescope in South Korea to make the first high-resolution observations of the molecular clouds within a star-forming region of the Milky Way. The first good look at the galactic region indicated large molecular clouds about 180 light years across with a mass equal to about 100,000 masses of our sun.
Meteoroid strikes eject precious water from moon
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 12:23:15 EDT
Streams of meteoroids striking the Moon infuse the thin lunar atmosphere with a short-lived water vapor, according to researchers using data from NASA's LADEE spacecraft. The findings will help scientists understand the history of lunar water.
TESS finds its first Earth-sized planet
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 12:23:09 EDT
A nearby system hosts the first Earth-sized planet discovered by NASA's Transiting Exoplanets Survey Satellite, as well as a warm sub-Neptune-sized world. This milestone sets the path for finding smaller planets around even smaller stars, and those planets may potentially be habitable.
Tiny fragment of a comet found inside a meteorite
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 11:38:28 EDT
Astronomers have made a surprising discovery that gives clues to how solar system formed.
Asteroids help scientists to measure the diameters of faraway stars
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 11:38:25 EDT
Using the unique capabilities of telescopes specialized on cosmic gamma rays, scientists have measured the smallest apparent size of a star on the night sky to date. The measurements reveal the diameters of a giant star 2,674 light-years away and of a sun-like star at a distance of 700 light-years.
High-speed 'electron camera' films molecular movie in HD
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 11:38:19 EDT
With an extremely fast 'electron camera,' researchers have made the first high-definition 'movie' of ring-shaped molecules breaking open in response to light. The results could further our understanding of similar reactions with vital roles in chemistry, such as the production of vitamin D in our bodies.
Engineering 'hairpins' increases CRISPR accuracy
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 11:38:10 EDT
Biomedical engineers have developed a method for improving the accuracy of the CRISPR genome editing technology by an average of 50-fold. The approach adds a short tail to the guide RNA that folds back and binds onto itself, creating a 'lock' that can only be undone by the targeted DNA sequence.
Scientists lead the way to produce tools for engineering biomolecules
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 11:38:05 EDT
Scientists have discovered how to build novel synthetic biomolecule complexes that they believe are a critical step towards biotemplated advanced materials.
Light from exotic particle states
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 10:50:33 EDT
In ultra thin materials, exotic bound states of particles can be created which are then converted into light. Scientists at TU Wien (Vienna) have now succeeded in using this effect to create a novel kind of light-emitting diode.
New theory derived from classical physics predicts how economies respond to major disturbances
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 10:50:10 EDT
Understanding economies in times of crises? Modern macroeconomics failed so far. Researchers are now proposing a novel method that makes the effects of shocks on out-of-equilibrium economies computable for the first time.
Power to the people: How everyday acts of defiance can shape and change markets
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 10:50:07 EDT
Subtle, hidden and everyday acts of resistance and defiance by people with limited resources could have an impact on markets in societies where state and religion is all-powerful. These are the key findings of a new study which shows consumers and individuals can help markets to evolve in societies where they cannot freely and openly participate in them.
Laser processing method to increase efficiency of optoelectronic devices
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 10:49:53 EDT
Researchers discover new method to passivate defects in next generation optical materials.
Scientists print first 3D heart using patient's biological materials
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 10:22:42 EDT
In a major medical breakthrough, researchers have 'printed' the world's first 3D vascularised engineered heart using a patient's own cells and biological materials.
Travel through wormholes is possible, but slow
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 09:08:53 EDT
A physicist has shown that wormholes can exist: tunnels in curved space-time, connecting two distant places, through which travel is possible. But don't pack your bags for a trip to other side of the galaxy yet; although it's theoretically possible, it's not useful for humans to travel through, said the author of the study.
'Snowball chamber' helps researchers use supercooled water to search for dark matter
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 08:20:08 EDT
After watching YouTube videos of people supercooling water in a bottle and then triggering it to freeze by banging it, something about this concept solidified for a researcher, especially when he saw it again during the Disney movie 'Frozen.' He has now described how this inspired him to explore whether a subatomic particle like dark matter can trigger the freezing of supercooled water.
The discrete-time physics hiding inside our continuous-time world
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 08:20:04 EDT
Physicists have shown that Markov processes, widely used to model complex systems, must unfold over a larger space than previously assumed.
Abundance of information narrows our collective attention span
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 08:19:59 EDT
A new study finds increasingly narrow peaks of collective attention over time, supporting a 'social acceleration' occurring across different domains.
Characterization of 'hidden' dioxins from informal e-waste processing
Sun, 14 Apr 2019 11:15:03 EDT
The composition of mixed brominated/chlorinated dibenzofurans (PXDFs) and diphenyl ethers in soils from an e-waste site in Ghana suggests a formation of PXDFs through condensation of the flame retardant PBDEs and subsequent bromine-to-chlorine exchange. PXDFs were substantial contributors of toxic equivalents among dioxins from e-waste burning.