|Top Technology News -- ScienceDaily
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 15:04:01 EST
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.
Mars mission sheds light on habitability of distant planets
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 12:47:33 EST
Insights from NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, or MAVEN, mission about the loss of the Red Planet's atmosphere can help scientists understand the habitability of rocky planets orbiting other stars.
A single sand grain harbors up to 100,000 microorganisms from thousands of species
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 11:58:53 EST
Just imagine, you are sitting on a sunny beach, contentedly letting the warm sand trickle through your fingers. Millions of sand grains. What you probably can't imagine: at the same time, billions upon billions of bacteria are also trickling through your fingers. Between 10,000 and 100,000 microorganisms live on each single grain of sand, as revealed in a new study. This means that an individual grain of sand can have twice as many residents as, say, the city of Fairbanks, Alaska!
Laser-boron fusion now 'leading contender' for energy
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 10:49:41 EST
Scientists argue that the path to hydrogen-boron fusion is now viable, and may be closer to realization than other approaches, such as the deuterium-tritium fusion approach currently being pursued.
Cocktail effects of pesticides and environmental chemicals
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 10:49:38 EST
Researchers have addressed an international environmental problem by developing a model that can predict how certain chemicals amplify the effects of pesticides and other chemical compounds. Pesticide expert hopes that it will make environmental legislation easier.
Gecko adhesion technology moves closer to industrial uses
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 09:56:17 EST
While human-made devices inspired by gecko feet have emerged in recent years, enabling their wearers to slowly scale a glass wall, the possible applications of gecko-adhesion technology go far beyond Spiderman-esque antics. A researcher is looking into how the technology could be applied in a high-precision industrial setting, such as in robot arms used in manufacturing computer chips.
Nanotexturing creates bacteria-killing spikes on stainless steel surfaces
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 09:56:06 EST
By using an electrochemical etching process on a common stainless steel alloy, researchers have created a nanotextured surface that kills bacteria while not harming mammalian cells. If additional research supports early test results, the process might be used to attack microbial contamination on implantable medical devices and on food processing equipment made with the metal.
Thermal 'skin' designed to maintain temperature of satellites
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 09:55:58 EST
If a satellite's temperature is not maintained within its optimal range, its performance can suffer which could mean it could be harder to track wildfires or other natural disasters, your Google maps might not work and your Netflix binge might be interrupted. This might be prevented with a new material recently developed.
Does eclipse equal night in plant life?
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 09:55:42 EST
As the Aug. 21 eclipse approached, researchers prepared to understand plants' response to light and temperature. The varied results have left the researchers with interesting questions.
Stellar nursery blooms into view
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 09:55:40 EST
The OmegaCAM camera on ESO's VLT Survey Telescope has captured this glittering view of the stellar nursery called Sharpless 29. Many astronomical phenomena can be seen in this giant image, including cosmic dust and gas clouds that reflect, absorb, and re-emit the light of hot young stars within the nebula.
Health risks linked to electromagnetic field exposure
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 09:55:34 EST
A study of real-world exposure to non-ionizing radiation from magnetic fields in pregnant women found a significantly higher rate of miscarriage, providing new evidence regarding their potential health risks.
Humans can feel molecular differences between nearly identical surfaces
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 09:55:32 EST
How sensitive is the human sense of touch? Sensitive enough to feel the difference between surfaces that differ by just a single layer of molecules, a team of researchers has shown. Researchers say this fundamental knowledge will be useful for developing electronic skin, prosthetics that can feel, advanced haptic technology for virtual and augmented reality and more.
Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 09:55:16 EST
Researchers have developed a biosensor that enables creating a range of new easy-to-use health tests similar to home pregnancy tests. The plasmonic biosensor can detect diseased exosomes even by the naked eye. A rapid analysis by biosensors helps recognize inflammatory bowel diseases, cancer and other diseases rapidly and start relevant treatments in time. In addition to using discovery in biomedicine, industry may use advanced applications in energy.
North Sea water and recycled metal combined to help reduce global warming
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 09:55:13 EST
Scientists have used sea water collected from Whitby in North Yorkshire, and scrap metal to develop a technology that could help capture more than 850 million tons of unwanted carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Improving cyber security in harsh environments
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 09:53:59 EST
Many people don't worry about the security of their personal information until it's too late. And protecting data is even more important for military personnel, whose lives could be in danger if some types of information were to get into the wrong hands. Now, one group reports a new way to protect data, especially when it is subjected to extreme environmental conditions.
Batteries: Catching radical molecules before they disappear
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 09:52:51 EST
Researchers have managed to stabilize short-lived radical ions which could be used for rechargeable batteries.
Engineers create artificial graphene in a nanofabricated semiconductor structure
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 18:41:31 EST
Experts at manipulating matter at the nanoscale have made an important breakthrough in physics and materials science. They have engineered "artificial graphene" by recreating, for the first time, the electronic structure of graphene in a semiconductor device.
Perking up and crimping the 'bristles' of polyelectrolyte brushes
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 18:41:22 EST
A molecular-sized brush that looks like a shoe brush has properties with great potential for the materials industry and medicine, but polyelectrolyte brushes can be sensitive, and getting them to work right tricky. New research shows what can make them break down, but also what can get them to systematically recover.
Shatter-proof mobile phone screens a step closer
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 18:39:55 EST
An international study on glass could lead to the development of shatter-proof mobile phone screens.
Bright areas on Ceres suggest geologic activity
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 17:10:36 EST
If you could fly aboard NASA's Dawn spacecraft, the surface of dwarf planet Ceres would generally look quite dark, but with notable exceptions. These exceptions are the hundreds of bright areas that stand out in images Dawn has returned. Now, scientists have a better sense of how these reflective areas formed and changed over time -- processes indicative of an active, evolving world.
Hubble's celestial snow globe
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 14:19:31 EST
It's beginning to look a lot like the holiday season in this Hubble Space Telescope image of a blizzard of stars, which resembles a swirling snowstorm in a snow globe. The stars are residents of the globular star cluster Messier 79 (also known as M79 or NGC 1904), located 41,000 light-years from Earth, in the constellation Lepus.
Using drones to estimate crop damage by wild boar
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 14:18:41 EST
Growing populations of wild boar (Sus scrofa L.) are causing more and more damage to agricultural land in Europe, requiring hundreds of thousands of Euros in compensation. A new drone-based method allows estimating crop damage in a fast, standardized and objective manner.
Electrical and chemical coupling between Saturn and its rings
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 14:17:48 EST
A Langmuir probe, flown to Saturn on the Cassini spacecraft, has made exciting discoveries in the atmosphere of the planet. They discovered that there is a strong coupling, both chemically and electrically, between the atmosphere of Saturn and its rings.
Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 14:17:46 EST
Scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Researchers make solid ground toward better lithium-ion battery interfaces
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 14:14:56 EST
New research has identified a major obstacle to advancing solid-state lithium-ion battery performance in small electronics: the flow of lithium ions across battery interfaces.
Life's building blocks observed in spacelike environment
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 12:54:43 EST
Where do the molecules required for life originate? It may be that small organic molecules first appeared on earth and were later combined into larger molecules, such as proteins and carbohydrates. But a second possibility is that they originated in space, possibly within our solar system. A new study shows that a number of small organic molecules can form in a cold, spacelike environment full of radiation.
Sweet spot for engineering better cellulose-degrading enzymes
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 12:54:09 EST
New insights have been gained into how glycosylation -- the natural attachment of sugars to proteins -- affects a key cellulase enzyme. This work could be used to improve enzyme performance to better break down biomass and convert waste plant matter to renewable fuels and products. Namely, the more effective the enzyme, the more efficient and economical the process will be.
Novel method produces renewable acrylonitrile
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 12:54:07 EST
A novel catalytic method has been created to produce renewable acrylonitrile using 3-hydroxypropionic acid (3-HP), which can be biologically produced from sugars. This hybrid biological-catalytic process offers an alternative to the conventional petrochemical production method and achieves unprecedented acrylonitrile yields.
Visualizing single molecules in whole cells with a new spin
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 12:54:02 EST
Scientists have adapted DNA-PAINT technology to microscopes that are widespread among cell biology laboratories, called confocal microscopes, and that are used by researchers to image whole cells and thicker tissues at lower resolution. They have demonstrated that the method can visualize a variety of different molecules, including combinations of different proteins, RNAs and DNA throughout the entire depth of whole cells at super-resolution.
3-D printed microfibers could provide structure for artificially grown body parts
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 12:51:04 EST
Much as a frame provides structural support for a house and the chassis provides strength and shape for a car, a team of engineers believes they have a way to create the structural framework for growing living tissue using an off-the-shelf 3-D printer.
Cancer imaging aid developed from horse chestnuts
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 12:47:22 EST
Cancer imaging can be simplified by a photonic process utilizing molecules derived from horse chestnuts, research shows.
Precision nanomaterials may pave new way to selectively kill cancer cells
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 11:48:13 EST
Researchers have succeeded in taking the next step toward using human-made nanoscale compounds in the fight against cancer. A recent proof-of-concept study showed that dendrimers -- which were first introduced in the 1980s -- may be used to introduce compounds that essentially trick cancer cells into performing self-destructive tasks.
Faster, more accurate cancer detection using nanoparticles
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 11:29:43 EST
Using light-emitting nanoparticles, scientists have invented a highly effective method to detect tiny tumors and track their spread, potentially leading to earlier cancer detection and more precise treatment. The technology could improve patient cure rates and survival times.
New instrument identifies unexploded artillery shells
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 10:57:38 EST
Society faces threats through the malicious use of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and/or explosive (CBRNE) materials. The detection of illicit trafficking or other criminal acts, as well as many security and safety applications, call for novel material analysis techniques and instruments. These detection systems should be non-destructive but still be able to detect and identify the threat objects, even from inside a shielding or masking enclosure. Active interrogation methods that use penetrative particle beams can reveal the presence of CBRNE materials.
Pokémon Go could help people who struggle socially
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 10:22:03 EST
Video games may have a reputation for attracting introverts, but when it comes to augmented reality games like Pokémon Go, extroverts tend to be better players. That's the key finding of a new psychology study, the first to look at the impact of players' personalities, social competence and social anxiety when playing the hit mobile game.
Action games expand the brain's cognitive abilities, study suggests
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 10:21:58 EST
The human brain learns and adapts. Numerous research studies have focused on the impact of action video games on the brain by measuring cognitive abilities, such as perception and reaction time. An international team of psychologists has assembled data from the last fifteen years to quantify how action video games impact cognition. The research has resulted in two meta-analyses, which reveal a significant improvement in the cognitive abilities of gamers.
Computer scientists develop a simple tool to tell if websites suffered a data breach
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 10:20:56 EST
Computer scientists have built and successfully tested a tool designed to detect when websites are hacked by monitoring the activity of email accounts associated with them. The researchers were surprised to find that almost 1 percent of the websites they tested had suffered a data breach during their 18-month study period, regardless of how big the companies' reach and audience are.
Water without windows: Capturing water vapor inside an electron microscope
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 10:20:48 EST
Scientists were able to demonstrate another way of viewing biological samples at high resolution, explains a new report.
Telescopes team up to study giant galaxy
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 09:10:57 EST
Astronomers have used two Australian radio telescopes and several optical telescopes to study complex mechanisms that are fuelling jets of material blasting away from a black hole 55 million times more massive than the Sun.
Hot vibrating gases under the electron spotlight
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 09:05:55 EST
Scientists have studied the vibration of four gases using electron microscopy and spectroscopy. Combined with simulations, they measured the increased vibration at 1,000°C compared with room temperature. O2 and CH4 showed significant excitation, although the vibration of hot O2 was overestimated by the simulations. N2 and CO showed no increase in vibration, because of rigid bonds. The method can be used to design efficient gaseous reactions.
Scientists discover path to improving game-changing battery electrode
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 09:05:36 EST
A comprehensive picture has now been gained of how the same chemical processes that give cathodes their high capacity are also linked to changes in atomic structure that sap performance.
Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake
Mon, 11 Dec 2017 19:27:54 EST
Engineers have developed a realistic proposition for creating a water cloak that moves water around an object by applying forces on dissolved ions through a carefully designed electromagnetic field.
Simpler way to deposit magnetic iron oxide onto gold nanorods
Mon, 11 Dec 2017 19:27:48 EST
Researchers have found a simpler way to deposit magnetic iron oxide (magnetite) nanoparticles onto silica-coated gold nanorods, creating multifunctional nanoparticles with useful magnetic and optical properties.
How errors affect credibility of online reviews
Mon, 11 Dec 2017 19:27:45 EST
Shoppers increasingly consult online reviews before making holiday purchases. But how do they decide which reviewers to trust? Consumer trust in online reviews is influenced by spelling errors and typos, research shows. But how much those errors influence each consumer depends on the type of error and that consumer's general tendency to trust others.
Two holograms in one surface
Mon, 11 Dec 2017 19:27:22 EST
Engineers have developed a way to encode more than one hologram in a single surface with no loss of resolution.
Social media trends can predict tipping points in vaccine scares
Mon, 11 Dec 2017 15:28:19 EST
Analyzing trends on Twitter and Google can help predict vaccine scares that can lead to disease outbreaks, according to a study from the University of Waterloo.
The force is strong: Amputee controls individual prosthetic fingers
Mon, 11 Dec 2017 15:16:40 EST
Luke Skywalker's bionic hand is a step closer to reality for amputees in this galaxy. Researchers have created an ultrasonic sensor that allows amputees to control each of their prosthetic fingers individually. It provides fine motor hand gestures that aren't possible with current commercially available devices.
Artificial intelligence and supercomputers to help alleviate urban traffic problems
Mon, 11 Dec 2017 14:59:15 EST
Researchers have developed a tool that uses artificial intelligence to recognize objects in raw traffic camera footage and characterize how those objects move and interact. This information can then be analyzed and queried by traffic engineers and officials to improve the safety and performance of the city's transportation network.
Scientists pioneer new way to analyze ancient artwork
Mon, 11 Dec 2017 14:59:12 EST
Scientists have used a combination of three advanced imaging techniques to produce a highly detailed analysis of a second century Egyptian painting. They are the first to use the specific combination -- which they termed "macroscale multimodal chemical imaging" -- to examine an ancient work of art.
Glass with switchable opacity could improve solar cells and LEDs
Mon, 11 Dec 2017 14:57:31 EST
Researchers have created glass that lets through a large amount of light while appearing hazy, a combination of properties that could help boost the performance of solar cells and LEDs.
How social networking keeps people healthy
Mon, 11 Dec 2017 14:57:17 EST
Microblogging may be a valuable online tool for reducing negative emotions for people who experience social anxiety, suggests new research.
New satellite-based global drought severity index unveiled by researchers
Mon, 11 Dec 2017 14:09:00 EST
Just in time for the holidays, researchers are rolling out a new satellite-based drought severity index for climate watchers worldwide.
Battery research could triple range of electric vehicles
Mon, 11 Dec 2017 14:08:45 EST
New research could lead to the development of batteries that triple the range of electric vehicles, report scientists.
A diamond as the steppingstone to new materials, using plasma physics technology
Mon, 11 Dec 2017 14:08:40 EST
Physicists have taken the first step in a five-year effort to create novel compounds that surpass diamonds in heat resistance and nearly rival them in hardness. Reserachers investigated how the addition of boron, while making a diamond film via plasma vapor deposition, changed properties of the diamond material.
More effective photothermal tumor therapy with infrared light
Mon, 11 Dec 2017 14:08:37 EST
Nanorods made of bismuth sulfide kill tumor cells with heat when they are irradiated with near-infrared light (NIR). Scientists are now making these weapons more powerful by remodeling the defect state of the nanorod crystal lattice by adding gold nanodots. This could be a good basis for more effective photothermal treatment of tumors.
New world standard in nano generators
Mon, 11 Dec 2017 14:04:30 EST
Engineers have developed a new way to produce electrical power that can charge handheld devices or sensors that monitor anything from pipelines to medical implants. The discovery sets a new world standard in triboelectric nanogenerators by producing a high-density DC current -- a vast improvement over low-quality AC currents produced previously. The devices can transform mechanical energy such as wind or vibrations into electricity.
Midwife and signpost for photons
Mon, 11 Dec 2017 14:04:20 EST
Targeted creation and control of photons: This should succeed thanks to a new design for optical antennas.
Graphene spin transport takes a step forward towards applications
Mon, 11 Dec 2017 14:04:01 EST
Researchers have predicted and demonstrated a giant spin anisotropy in graphene, paving the way for new spintronic logic devices.
Bacteria development marks new era in cellular design
Mon, 11 Dec 2017 14:03:55 EST
Scientists have built a miniature scaffold inside bacteria that can be used to bolster cellular productivity, with implications for the next generation of biofuel production. Because there is a growing need for agricultural or renewable production of biofuels and other commodity chemicals to move away from fossil fuels, scientists have long sought to enhance the internal organization of bacteria and improve the efficiency of the cells for making nutrients, pharmaceuticals and chemicals.
Asphalt-based filter now advanced to sequester greenhouse gas at wellhead
Mon, 11 Dec 2017 14:03:52 EST
Adding a bit of water to asphalt-derived porous carbon greatly improves its ability to sequester carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, at natural gas wellheads, report scientists. The filter is highly selective for carbon dioxide while letting methane pass through.