Top Technology News -- ScienceDaily
Sat, 20 Oct 2018 07:53:02 EDT

A new way to measure nearly nothing

Fri, 19 Oct 2018 19:19:42 EDT
Scientists have designed a vacuum gauge, based on ultracold trapped atoms, is small enough to deploy in commonly used vacuum chambers.
Producing defectless metal crystals of unprecedented size

Thu, 18 Oct 2018 15:11:00 EDT
Researchers have developed a new method to convert inexpensive polycrystalline metal foils to single crystals with superior properties. It is expected that these materials will find many uses in science and technology.
Pushing the (extra cold) frontiers of superconducting science

Thu, 18 Oct 2018 15:10:57 EDT
Scientists have developed a method to measure magnetic properties of superconducting and magnetic materials that exhibit unusual quantum behavior at very low temperatures in high magnetic fields.
3D printers have 'fingerprints,' a discovery that could help trace 3D-printed guns

Thu, 18 Oct 2018 15:10:44 EDT
Like fingerprints, no 3D printer is exactly the same. That's the takeaway from a new study that describes what's believed to be the first accurate method for tracing a 3D-printed object to the machine it came from. The advancement could help law enforcement and intelligence agencies track the origin of 3D-printed guns, counterfeit products and other goods.
Nanocages in the lab and in the computer: How DNA-based dendrimers transport nanoparticles

Thu, 18 Oct 2018 14:12:20 EDT
How to create nanocages, i.e., robust and stable objects with regular voids and tunable properties? Short segments of DNA molecules are perfect candidates for the controllable design of novel complex structures. Physicists investigated methodologies to synthesize DNA-based dendrimers in the lab and to predict their behavior using detailed computer simulations.
New data science method makes charts easier to read at a glance

Thu, 18 Oct 2018 14:12:14 EDT
Researchers have developed a new method -- 'Pixel Approximate Entropy' -- that measures the complexity of a data visualization and can be used to develop easier to read visualizations. 'In fast-paced settings, it is important to know if the visualization is going to be so complex that the signals may be obscured. The ability to quantify complexity is the first step towards automatically doing something about this.'
Superflares from young red dwarf stars imperil planets

Thu, 18 Oct 2018 14:12:04 EDT
Flares from the youngest red dwarfs surveyed are 100 to 1,000 times more energetic than when the stars are older. This younger age is when terrestrial planets are forming around their stars.
Researchers propose CRISPR as influencer of low genetic diversity in deadly bacteria

Thu, 18 Oct 2018 14:11:52 EDT
Scientists have shed light on the evolutionary history of a soil-borne bacteria that is so dangerous to grazing animals it is kept behind lock-and-key to prevent its spread.
Roadmap for quantum internet development

Thu, 18 Oct 2018 14:11:15 EDT
Researchers have published a comprehensive guide towards a quantum internet. It describes six phases, starting with simple networks of qubits that could already enable secure quantum communications -- a phase that could be reality in the near future. The development ends with networks of fully quantum-connected quantum computers. In each phase, new applications become available such as extremely accurate clock synchronization or integrating different telescopes on Earth in one virtual 'supertelescope.'
First proof of quantum computer advantage

Thu, 18 Oct 2018 14:11:07 EDT
Quantum computers promise to revolutionize the future of computing. Scientists have now demonstrated for the first time that quantum computers do indeed offer advantages over conventional computers. They developed a quantum circuit that can solve a problem that is unsolvable using any equivalent classical circuit.
3D-printed supercapacitor electrode breaks records in lab tests

Thu, 18 Oct 2018 14:11:02 EDT
Scientists have reported unprecedented performance results for a supercapacitor electrode. The researchers fabricated electrodes using a printable graphene aerogel to build a porous three-dimensional scaffold loaded with pseudocapacitive material. In laboratory tests, the novel electrodes achieved the highest areal capacitance (electric charge stored per unit of electrode surface area) ever reported for a supercapacitor.
Insight into how nanoparticles interact with biological systems

Thu, 18 Oct 2018 14:10:33 EDT
Personal electronic devices are a growing source of the world's electronic waste. Many of these products use nanomaterials, but little is known about how nanoparticles interact with the environment. Now chemists have discovered that when certain coated nanoparticles interact with living organisms it results in new properties that cause the nanoparticles to become sticky. Nanoparticles with 5-nanometer diameters form long kelp-like structures that are microns in size. The impact on cells is not known.
Nanodiamonds as photocatalysts

Thu, 18 Oct 2018 12:52:10 EDT
Diamond nanomaterials are considered hot candidates for low-cost photocatalysts. They can be activated by light and can then accelerate certain reactions between water and CO2 and produce carbon-neutral 'solar fuels'. The EU project DIACAT has now doped such diamond materials with boron and shown at BESSY II how this could significantly improve the photocatalytic properties.
Unfolding secret stability of bendy straws

Thu, 18 Oct 2018 12:51:49 EDT
Collapsible dog bowls and bendable straws seem to work on a common principle, snapping into stable and useful states, but mechanisms have remained elusive. Now a team led by polymer scientists discuss how 'pre-stress' built into the structure helps them function.
New tool uses your smartphone camera to track your alertness at work

Thu, 18 Oct 2018 12:51:41 EDT
Our level of alertness rises and falls over the course of a workday, sometimes causing our energy to drop and our minds to wander just as we need to perform important tasks. To help understand these patterns and improve productivity, researchers have developed a tool that tracks alertness by measuring pupil size, captured through a burst of photographs taken every time users unlock their smartphones.
New material, manufacturing process use sun's heat for cheaper renewable electricity

Thu, 18 Oct 2018 12:51:38 EDT
Scientists have developed a new material and manufacturing process that would make one way to use solar power -- as heat energy -- more efficient in generating electricity.
The big problem of small data: A new approach

Thu, 18 Oct 2018 12:49:37 EDT
You've heard of 'big data' but what about small? Researches have crafted a modern approach that could solve a decades-old problem in statistics.
Extremely small magnetic nanostructures with invisibility cloak imaged

Thu, 18 Oct 2018 10:53:40 EDT
In novel concepts of magnetic data storage, it is intended to send small magnetic bits back and forth in a chip structure, store them densely packed and read them out later. The magnetic stray field generates problems when trying to generate particularly tiny bits. Now, researchers were able to put an 'invisibility cloak' over the magnetic structures. In this fashion, the magnetic stray field can be reduced in a fashion allowing for small yet mobile bits.
Biological invisibility cloak: Elucidating cuttlefish camouflage

Thu, 18 Oct 2018 10:53:37 EDT
Computational image analysis of behaving cuttlefish reveals principles of control and development of a biological invisibility cloak.
Scientists find unusual behavior in topological material

Thu, 18 Oct 2018 09:54:41 EDT
Scientists have identified a new class of topological materials made by inserting transition metal atoms into the atomic lattice of a well-known two-dimensional material.
Computer Security: Preventing attacks made possible by Meltdown/Spectre

Thu, 18 Oct 2018 08:27:07 EDT
Researchers have developed a new security system that has been shown to outperform Intel's own approach at preventing so-called 'timing attacks' made possible by vulnerabilities like Meltdown and Spectre.
Eliminating emissions in India and China could add years to people's lives

Wed, 17 Oct 2018 17:28:32 EDT
In a recent study, researchers wanted to know how replacing coal-fired powerplants in China and India with clean, renewable energy could benefit human health and save lives in the future. The researchers found that eliminating harmful emissions from powerplants could save an estimated annual 15 million years of life in China and 11 million years of life in India.
How does brain structure influence performance on language tasks?

Wed, 17 Oct 2018 14:21:40 EDT
The architecture of each person's brain is unique, and differences may influence how quickly people can complete various cognitive tasks. But how neuroanatomy impacts performance is largely an open question. To learn more, scientists are developing a new tool -- computational models of the brain -- to simulate how the structure of the brain may impact brain activity and, ultimately, human behavior.
New file type improves genomic data sharing while maintaining participant privacy

Wed, 17 Oct 2018 14:10:05 EDT
Based on an analysis of data leakages and opportunities to prevent the potential misuse of genetic information, researchers have developed a new file format for functional genomics data that enables data sharing while protecting the personal information of research participants.
Virtual reality can help make people more compassionate compared to other media

Wed, 17 Oct 2018 14:09:52 EDT
Researchers found that people who underwent a virtual reality experience, called 'Becoming Homeless,' were more empathetic toward the homeless and more likely to sign a petition in support of affordable housing than other study participants.
Dandelion seeds reveal newly discovered form of natural flight

Wed, 17 Oct 2018 14:09:42 EDT
A study of dandelion seeds in motion has revealed a form of flight not seen before, and explains why the plant is among nature's best fliers.
Unprecedented look at electron: Size limit for undiscovered subatomic particles determined

Wed, 17 Oct 2018 14:09:28 EDT
A new study suggests that many theorized heavy particles, if they exist at all, do not have the properties needed to explain the predominance of matter over antimatter in the universe. If confirmed, the findings would force significant revisions to several prominent theories posed as alternatives to the Standard Model of particle physics, which was developed in the early 1970s.
Astronomers find a cosmic Titan in the early universe

Wed, 17 Oct 2018 11:10:36 EDT
Astronomers have discovered a titanic structure in the early universe, just two billion years after the Big Bang. This galaxy proto-supercluster, nicknamed Hyperion, is the largest and most massive structure yet found at such a remote time and distance.
Bursting the clouds for better communication

Wed, 17 Oct 2018 11:10:33 EDT
We live in an age of long-range information. Research is turning towards the use of lasers which have several advantages. However, this new technology faces a major problem: clouds. Due to their density, clouds stop the laser beams and scramble the transfer of information. Researchers have now devised an ultra-hot laser that creates a temporary hole in the cloud, which lets the laser beam containing the information pass through.
3D-printed lithium-ion batteries

Wed, 17 Oct 2018 11:10:30 EDT
Electric vehicles and most electronic devices, such as cell phones and laptop computers, are powered by lithium-ion batteries. Until now, manufacturers have had to design their devices around the size and shape of commercially available batteries. But researchers have developed a new method to 3D print lithium-ion batteries in virtually any shape.
Taking steps toward a wearable artificial kidney

Wed, 17 Oct 2018 11:10:25 EDT
There just aren't enough kidney transplants available for the millions of people with renal failure. Aside from a transplant, the only alternative for patients is to undergo regular dialysis sessions to clear harmful cellular waste from their bodies. Now, scientists report a new urea sorbent that could accelerate progress toward the development of a lightweight, wearable artificial kidney with the potential to make dialysis more convenient, comfortable and effective.
Double dust ring test could spot migrating planets

Wed, 17 Oct 2018 11:10:14 EDT
Astrophysicist now have a way of finally telling whether newly forming planets are migrating within the disc of dust and gas that typically surrounds stars or whether they are simply staying put in the same orbit around the star.
New imaging tool captures how sound moves through the chinchilla ear

Wed, 17 Oct 2018 11:10:11 EDT
Researchers have developed a new device that can be used to visualize how sound-induced vibrations travel through the ear.
Plant hormone makes space farming a possibility

Wed, 17 Oct 2018 09:49:40 EDT
With scarce nutrients and weak gravity, growing potatoes on the Moon or on other planets seems unimaginable. But the plant hormone strigolactone could make it possible, plant biologists have shown. The hormone supports the symbiosis between fungi and plant roots, thus encouraging plants' growth -- even under the challenging conditions found in space.
School students identify sounds caused by solar storm

Wed, 17 Oct 2018 09:49:37 EDT
School students have successfully identified sounds caused by a solar storm in the Earth's magnetic shield. The group of students identified a series of waves whose pitch decreased over the course of several days. They found that this event occurred after a Coronal Mass Ejection or 'solar storm' caused a great disturbance to Earth's space environment.
Electrical enhancement: Engineers speed up electrons in semiconductors

Wed, 17 Oct 2018 09:24:41 EDT
Researchers have sped up the movement of electrons in organic semiconductor films by two to three orders of magnitude. The speedier electronics could lead to improved solar power and transistor use across the world, according to the scientists.
Supermassive black holes and supercomputers

Wed, 17 Oct 2018 08:08:07 EDT
The universe's deep past is beyond the reach of even the mighty Hubble Space Telescope. But a new review explains how creation of the first stars and galaxies is nevertheless being mapped in detail, with the aid of computer simulations and theoretical models -- and how a new generation of supercomputers and software is being built that will fill in the gaps.
Controlling organic semiconductor band gaps by electron-acceptor fluorination

Wed, 17 Oct 2018 08:08:05 EDT
Researchers synthesized a fluorinated electron-acceptor for use in organic semiconductors. The high electronegativity of the fluorine substituents enhanced the electron-accepting properties of the widely used electron-acceptor. The power conversion efficiency of a thin film solar cell based on the fluorinated product was shown to be significantly higher than that of a cell containing an unmodified analogue. The synthesized material could be applied in thin film organic solar cell devices.
New method to address deep-seated biases in science

Tue, 16 Oct 2018 15:07:25 EDT
A new statistical method that tests for equivalence, rather than difference, has a role to play in dismantling gender and publication biases in science. The authors believe the technique has broad applicability across disciplines and can help remove publication bias against ''negative results,'' opening the door to a broader investigation of natural phenomena.
When it comes to smartphone lifespan, brand name matters more than hardware

Tue, 16 Oct 2018 14:24:34 EDT
The environmental costs of smartphones are often exacerbated by the relatively short lifespans of these globally ubiquitous devices. When it comes to extending the lifespan of these products, brand name might be more important than repairability, a new study finds.
Renewable energy is common ground for Democrats and Republicans

Tue, 16 Oct 2018 14:24:31 EDT
While conservatives and liberals tend to disagree on many environmental issues, they both view the development of solar power and other forms of renewable energy as financially savvy and a step towards self-sufficiency.
New, durable catalyst for key fuel cell reaction may prove useful in eco-friendly vehicles

Tue, 16 Oct 2018 13:20:35 EDT
A new catalyst exceeds Department of Energy targets for performing the oxygen reduction reaction, a key step in generating an electric current in a hydrogen fuel cell.
Looking and listening for signals of navy test explosions off Florida coast

Tue, 16 Oct 2018 13:20:30 EDT
Underwater explosions detonated by the US Navy to test the sturdiness of ships' hulls have provided seismologists with a test opportunity of their own: how much can we know about an underwater explosion from the seismic and acoustic data it generates?
All in the family: Kin of gravitational wave source discovered

Tue, 16 Oct 2018 13:20:24 EDT
According to new research, an object named GRB150101B -- first reported as a gamma-ray burst in 2015 -- shares remarkable similarities with GW170817, the neutron star merger discovered by LIGO and observed by multiple light-gathering telescopes in 2017. The new analysis suggests that these two separate objects may in fact be directly related.
Public opinion on GMOs might impact similar technologies in stores

Tue, 16 Oct 2018 13:20:12 EDT
Researchers have found that an individual's perception of genetically modified organisms might impact their judgments about whether or not nanotechnology-enabled products should be labeled in stores.
Simple stickers may save lives of patients, athletes and lower medical costs

Tue, 16 Oct 2018 13:20:09 EDT
Researchers have created wearable medical electronic devices that someone can easily attach to their skin. The devices are made out of paper to lower the cost of personalized medicine.
New memristor boosts accuracy and efficiency for neural networks on an atomic scale

Tue, 16 Oct 2018 13:19:47 EDT
Hardware that mimics the neural circuitry of the brain requires building blocks that can adjust how they synapse. One such approach, called memristors, uses current resistance to store this information. New work looks to overcome reliability issues in these devices by scaling memristors to the atomic level. Researchers demonstrated a new type of compound synapse that can achieve synaptic weight programming and conduct vector-matrix multiplication with significant advances over the current state of the art.
New reservoir computer marks first-ever microelectromechanical neural network application

Tue, 16 Oct 2018 13:19:40 EDT
A group of researchers reports the construction of the first reservoir computing device built with a microelectromechanical system. The neural network exploits the nonlinear dynamics of a microscale silicon beam to perform its calculations. The group's work looks to create devices that can act simultaneously as a sensor and a computer using a fraction of the energy a normal computer would use.
Automated system identifies dense tissue, a risk factor for breast cancer, in mammograms

Tue, 16 Oct 2018 13:19:33 EDT
Researchers have developed an automated model that assesses dense breast tissue in mammograms -- which is an independent risk factor for breast cancer -- as reliably as expert radiologists. This marks the first time a deep-learning model of its kind has successfully been used in a clinic on real patients, according to the researchers. With broad implementation, the researchers hope the model can help bring greater reliability to breast density assessments across the nation.
A stabilizing influence enables lithium-sulfur battery evolution

Tue, 16 Oct 2018 11:01:23 EDT
A new approach to making the sulfur cathodes in lithium-sulfur batteries, could preserve their impressive energy density -- clearing a significant hurdle that had blocked their widespread use for more than a decade.
Exploring new spintronics device functionalities in graphene heterostructures

Tue, 16 Oct 2018 11:01:02 EDT
Graphene Flagship researchers have shown how heterostructures built from graphene and topological insulators have strong, proximity induced spin-orbit coupling which can form the basis of novel information processing technologies.
Guidelines for a standardized data format for use in cross-linguistic studies

Tue, 16 Oct 2018 09:44:25 EDT
An international team of researchers has set out a proposal for new guidelines on cross-linguistic data formats, in order to facilitate sharing and data comparisons between the growing number of large linguistic databases worldwide. This format provides a software package, a basic ontology and usage examples.
Technique quickly identifies extreme event statistics

Mon, 15 Oct 2018 15:06:49 EDT
Engineers have developed an algorithm that quickly pinpoints the types of extreme events that are likely to occur in a complex system, such as an ocean environment, where waves of varying magnitudes, lengths, and heights can create stress and pressure on a ship or offshore platform. The researchers can simulate the forces and stresses that extreme events -- in the form of waves -- may generate on a particular structure.
High entropy alloys hold the key to studying dislocation avalanches in metals

Mon, 15 Oct 2018 14:15:11 EDT
For decades researchers have studied materials from structures to see why and how they fail. Before catastrophic failure, there are individual cracks or dislocations that form, which are signals that a structure may be weakening. While researchers have studied individual dislocations in the past, a team has now made it possible to understand how dislocations organize and react at nanoscale.
Applying auto industry's fuel-efficiency standards to agriculture could net billions

Mon, 15 Oct 2018 12:09:07 EDT
Adopting benchmarks similar to the fuel-efficiency standards used by the auto industry in the production of fertilizer could yield $5-8 billion in economic benefits for the U.S. corn sector alone, researchers have concluded.
New model helps define optimal temperature and pressure to forge nanoscale diamonds

Mon, 15 Oct 2018 12:09:04 EDT
To forge nanodiamonds, which have potential applications in medicine, optoelectronics and quantum computing, researchers expose organic explosive molecules to powerful detonations in a controlled environment. These explosive forces, however, make it difficult to study the nanodiamond formation process. To overcome this hurdle, researchers recently developed a procedure and a computer model that can simulate the highly variable conditions of explosions on phenomenally short time scales.
New smart watch algorithms can help identify why you are sleeping poorly

Mon, 15 Oct 2018 12:08:59 EDT
New algorithms take advantage of multiple smart watch sensors to accurately monitor wearers' sleep patterns. As well as obtaining rich information on wearers' sleep, the software, called SleepGuard, can estimate sleep quality and provide users with practical advice to help them get a better night's snooze.
Finding better drug 'fits,' avoiding medication tragedies like thalidomide

Mon, 15 Oct 2018 12:08:56 EDT
Researchers, including chemistry professor and Nobel Prize winner Ei-ichi Negishi, have developed technology to create a new chemical process to synthesize drug-like molecules with ultra-high purity.
Discovery of an atomic electronic simulator

Mon, 15 Oct 2018 12:08:53 EDT
Targeting applications like neural networks for machine learning, a new discovery is paving the way for atomic ultra-efficient electronics, the need for which is increasingly critical in our data-driven society. The key to unlocking untold potential for the greenest electronics? Creating bespoke atomic patterns to in turn control electrons.
The state of the early universe: The beginning was fluid

Mon, 15 Oct 2018 11:35:45 EDT
Scientists recently collided Xenon nuclei, in order to gain new insights into the properties of the Quark-Gluon Plasma (the QGP). The QGP is a special state consisting of the fundamental particles, the quarks, and the particles that bind the quarks together, the gluons. The result was obtained using the ALICE experiment at the superconducting Large Hadron Collider.