What we have learnt from Martian probes
Antiferromagnetic interaction created between potassium atoms
For the first time, scientists working at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have demonstrated a new type of lens that bends and focuses ultraviolet (UV) light in such an unusual way that it can create ghostly, 3D images of objects that float in free space. The easy-to-build lens could lead to improved photolithography, nanoscale manipulation and manufacturing, and even high-resolution three-dimensional imaging, as well as a number of as-yet-unimagined applications in a diverse range of fields.
Research conducted at Curtin University in Perth has enabled significant increases in image quality in a widely used 3D printing technique that is more than 100 years old.
(Phys.org) —The Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory has begun delivery of germanium-76 detectors to an underground laboratory in South Dakota in a team research effort that might explain the puzzling imbalance between matter and antimatter generated by the Big Bang.
(Phys.org) —In a study that evaluated some of the latest in automatic facial recognition technology, researchers at Michigan State University were able to quickly identify one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects from law enforcement video, an experiment that demonstrated the value of such technology.
PayPal is doubling down on efforts to bring the mobile payment platform to brick-and-mortar stores and restaurants, offering new pay-from-your-smartphone services that threaten to make the physical wallet obsolete.
My experience with Windows 8 has been limited to a few devices, including the Microsoft Surface, so I was happy to get the opportunity to review the Hewlett-Packard Pavilion Sleekbook 15, a fairly inexpensive laptop.
For many people, backing up their computers is like getting exercise or eating more vegetables: They know it’s the right thing to do, but they just can’t seem to get around to it. I know, because I’m like that.
Apple Inc. Chief Executive Tim Cook disclosed during a Senate hearing this week that the tech giant will invest more than $100 million to build a factory in the Lone Star State, where it will assemble a line of Mac computers.
On any given day inside Mercy San Juan Medical Center’s neuro-intensive care unit, a 5-foot-6-inch-tall robot with a computer screen can be seen roaming the halls.
(Phys.org) —In order to better understand how the laws governing the quantum and classical regimes are related to one another, physicists have performed an experiment allowing them to observe a quantum-to-classical transition in a simple closed quantum system. The results suggest that classical behavior may be an innate property of certain isolated quantum systems such as the one studied here, and can emerge from quantum physics under certain conditions.
It’s 1.7 miles long. Its surface is covered in a sticky black substance similar to the gunk at the bottom of a barbecue. If it impacted Earth it would probably result in global extinction. Good thing it is just making a flyby.
In the ocean off Coronado, a Navy team has discovered a relic worthy of display in a military museum: a torpedo of the kind deployed in the late 19th century, considered a technological marvel in its day.
The latest version of Google’s sophisticated anti-spam algorithm, dubbed Penguin 2.0, was announced yesterday in an official blog post from the company’s well-known webspam czar, Mike Cutts. The 2.0 label was applied, according to Cutts, because the update is a major one — it includes changes to the underlying algorithms used to evaluate whether a website is spammy or not, not just the dataset Google uses. About 2.3 percent of queries in U.S. English will be visibly affected by the changes.
Amateur observations have bested a measurement made by the Hubble telescope, shoring up the leading explanation for the process that lights up the most common type of black hole
SAP has abruptly reorganized its development strategy, with SuccessFactors CEO and cloud strategy chief Lars Dalgaard leaving the company and executive board member Vishal Sikka now tapped to lead a single software development unit. Sikka has been a champion of SAP’s HANA in-memory database platform, which has been positioned as the future convergence point for all of SAP’s technologies. After Friday’s announcement, those plans may speed up. All SAP development staffers will report to Sikka as of June 1.
(Phys.org) —A large team of researchers, most of which are based in Korea, has succeeded in extending the process of galvanic replacement reactions to ionic compounds. In their paper published in the journal Science, the team describes how they used preformed nanocrystals to serve as a template to produce hollow box-shaped nanocrystals.
(Phys.org) —A team of Harvard University physicists has proposed the possible existence of a type of dark matter not described by current physics models. In their paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters, the team suggests it’s possible that not all dark matter is cold and collision-less.
Detection of the cosmic gamma ray horizon: Measures all the light in the universe since the Big Bang
(Phys.org) —How much light has been emitted by all galaxies since the cosmos began? After all, every photon (particle of light) from ultraviolet to far infrared wavelengths ever radiated by all galaxies that ever existed throughout cosmic history is still speeding through the Universe today. If we could carefully measure the number and energy (wavelength) of all those photons—not only at the present time, but also back in time—we might learn important secrets about the nature and evolution of the Universe, including how similar or different ancient galaxies were compared to the galaxies we see today.
(Phys.org) —A trio of German space scientists has worked out a way to use pulsars as navigation aids for space vehicles traveling in the solar system. As they describe in their paper uploaded to the preprint server arXiv, the method relies on reading information from at least three pulsars to triangulate location information.
While folk wisdom has its place, the "folks" may not be so wise when it comes to shopping for airline tickets, say researchers at Texas A&M University.
A new satellite map from Google and Digital Globe shows just-released satellite imagery of the damage from the tornado that struck the area of Moore, Oklahoma on May 20, 2013. It’s been called one of the most powerful and destructive tornadoes ever recorded—determined to be an EF5 tornado, the strongest rating for a tornado—and the destruction is heartbreaking. In the screenshot above, you can see how some houses were left undamaged, while others were completely destroyed.
There was chaos on the streets of Halajba in March 1988. In this corner of Iraq, at the time Iraqi Kurdistan, people had suddenly started experiencing cold-like symptoms – tight chest and nasal congestion. Within a few minutes, those effects morphed into feeling dizzy and sick. Many started vomiting and some lost control of their bladders and bowels. Finally there were severe convulsions, as muscles that control breathing were paralysed, before succumbing to death.
(Phys.org) —More effective detection and diagnosis of oral cancer could result from an advance in noninvasive imaging of epithelial tissue by a Texas A&M University researcher who says her research has the potential to change the way doctors initially look for precancerous and cancerous areas in a patient’s mouth.
(Phys.org) —Three NASA-built instruments that are integral components of the next in a series of U.S./European ocean altimetry satellites have arrived in France for integration with their spacecraft in preparation for a 2015 launch. Jason-3 will extend the two-decade series of satellites that are tracking global sea level changes and enabling more accurate weather, ocean and climate forecasts.
This morning at 05:45 CEST, the earth trembled beneath the Okhotsk Sea in the Pacific Northwest. The quake, with a magnitude of 8.2, took place at an exceptional depth of 605 kilometers. Because of the great depth of the earthquake a tsunami is not expected and there should also be no major damage due to shaking.
The mine of the future is coming. It will be digital, more constrained, and it will require a greater investment in leading edge technology.
University of Delaware researchers are developing sensors that they hope will allow real-time, in situ detection of water and air pollutants in an inexpensive and environmentally friendly manner.
(Phys.org) —Using only biomolecules (such as DNA and enzymes), scientists at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have developed and constructed an advanced biological transducer, a computing machine capable of manipulating genetic codes, and using the output as new input for subsequent computations. The breakthrough might someday create new possibilities in biotechnology, including individual gene therapy and cloning. The findings appear today (May 23, 2013) in Chemistry & Biology (Cell Press).
Leonardo DiCaprio is going to get closer to stars of a different kind as he heads into space aboard the Virgin Galactic, and a well-heeled bidder at the Cannes Film Festival has paid 1.2 million euros (1.5 million) to be his travel buddy.
A new study by archaeologists at the University of York challenges evolutionary theories behind the development of our earliest ancestors from tree dwelling quadrupeds to upright bipeds capable of walking and scrambling.
Nearly all of the member countries of the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC) will attend the week-long workshop to further cooperation and understanding on international ocean forecasting capabilities and needs in the Indian Ocean. Australia’s ocean forecasting system, BLUElink which is used to predict sub-surface ocean conditions for environmental and industrial applications, will be a guide for the meeting.
The welcome sight of snowdrops and daffodils coming into flower in the late winter herald the promise of spring warmth just around the corner. These plants are adapted to flower early in the year to take advantage of the limited sunlight that reaches the woodland understorey before trees come in to leaf. A consequence of this behaviour is that flowering is prolonged and seed development occurs especially slowly because of the cold temperatures.
Researchers from the National Institute of Materials Science (NIMS) have used Lorentz electron microscopy to show that magnetic skyrmions are spontaneously formed as nanomagnetic clusters in a ferromagnetic manganese oxide with centrosymmetry.
Bacteria can move electrons at least half a millimeter across a scaffolding made by themselves, of themselves, even under starving conditions. This new finding by EMSL staff and users challenges conventional wisdom, which held that electrical resistance within bacterial biofilms—robust structures held together by a strong matrix—would restrict long-range electron transfer. At the center of this study is Geobacter sulfurreducens, a biofilm-forming, metal-reducing bacterium. Like other metal-reducing bacteria, Geobacter give away their electrons as part of a series of electron exchanges that drives energy, or ATP, production. Understanding bacteria-metal electron exchange is important because it provides insight into how metals behave in their environment and how electrons might be captured to produce electricity.
There has been great interest in recent years in using tiny particles called quantum dots to produce low-cost, easily manufactured, stable photovoltaic cells. But, so far, the creation of such cells has been limited by the fact that in practice, quantum dots are not as good at conducting an electric charge as they are in theory.
(Phys.org) —As President Obama gives a speech on national security—including defending U.S. use of drones to combat terrorism—Leila Sadat, JD, international law expert and professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis, argues that such targeted killing by unmanned planes may violate international humanitarian law. Legalities aside, she also questions whether it promotes U.S. interests abroad. Sadat wrote about the subject in her article, "America’s Drone Wars," published in the Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law.
(Phys.org) —Super-high-energy galactic gamma rays have trillions of times more energy than visible light, and they disappear in the atmosphere before they hit the Earth’s surface. So if you want to detect these mysterious phenomena, a regular telescope isn’t much help.
(Phys.org) —Studying complex systems like ecosystems can get messy, especially when trying to predict how they interact with other big unknowns like climate change.
Montanans who plan to spray noxious weeds this spring should take preliminary steps when spraying to reduce nontarget injury toward nearby sensitive crops, aquatic areas, trees and/or ornamentals, says Montana State University Pesticide Education Specialist Cecil Tharp.
(Phys.org) —In humans, a polymer called melanin determines skin, eye and hair color—the darker the skin, the more melanin in a person’s body. For insects, melanin is a major aspect of their immune defense systems—their blood darkens in response to pathogens.
(Phys.org) —Minuscule crystals that glow different colors may be the missing ingredient for white LED lighting that illuminates homes and offices as effectively as natural sunlight.
Though the price makes you wince, you might just buy that bottle of your favorite olive oil anyway. Perhaps it’s exactly what you want for the salad dressing you’re making tonight and for your special stir-fry on the weekend.
(Phys.org) —How our bodies break down the common drugs ibuprofen, diclofenac and warfarin is the subject of a new study from the University of Bristol, published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. The research should ultimately help predict how new drugs will be metabolized in the body, potentially helping avoid adverse drug reactions in future.
Thin clients introduced this week by Dell and Hewlett-Packard have faster processor than existing thin clients as well as high-definition graphics capabilities, so they could be alternatives to traditional PCs as computing continues moving to the cloud. The desk-side thin clients also have advanced virtualization features for virtual desktops to host multiple applications in one session. They were announced at the Citrix Synergy conference in Los Angeles.
The first television screens that are laced with quantum dots can produce a far greater range of colours than any previous screens
Physicist Pawel Sikorski and his group are making beds of nails on a miniature scale – a plate covered in nano-needles designed to puncture individual cells.
The vision of a society in which each inhabitant of the earth manages to consume only 2000 watts has already been around for 15 years. During this time, there has been a steady increase in environmental awareness in the West. Technology has become more efficient and there appears to be very little standing in the way of a sustainable lifestyle. However, as a study by Empa and the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich now shows, Mr and Mrs Swiss are still a long way from achieving this.
According to She Figures 2012, which analyses gender equality in research, in 2010 women accounted for only 10 % of university rectors in Europe and 15.5 % were heads of institutions of the higher education sector. Although, the research has shown that the number of PhD graduates in general is getting closer to gender balance.
Scientists determine activation barrier in ammonia-sulfuric acid clusters that could lead to cloud formation
(Phys.org) —Ammonia must overcome an energy barrier to join sulfuric acid and water to create clusters that can lead to cloud formation, according to scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the University of Delaware.
(Phys.org) —The first-ever estimate of how fast frogs, toads and salamanders in the United States are disappearing from their habitats reveals they are vanishing at an alarming and rapid rate.
Technology that’s used in smartphones and other electronic devices also is being used by veterinarians at the University of Illinois to help horses recover safely from anesthesia.
European researchers have developed and tested a light-weight device capable of detecting extremely minute quantities of explosives from up to 20 metres away, providing an invaluable law-enforcement tool in the fight against bomb attacks.
Stronger warning labels on slug and snail baits containing metaldehyde may have led to a huge drop in calls to a national pesticide hotline about possible dog poisonings, according to Oregon State University.
While Google Glass is currently being viewed as a consumer technology, IT shops and mobile workers are likely already champing at the bit to be able to use a hands-free technology to do their jobs. "The same way that tablets followed smartphones into the enterprise on the backs of employees bearing the cost, Google Glass will also flow the same way," said Chris Hazelton, research director for Mobile & Wireless at 451 Research. "This will also drive acceptance. So, you may see tools that will directly manage Google Glass."
A majority of consumer and small business Windows 8 PC users launch fewer than one "Metro" app a day, signaling that they’re spending most of their time on the classic Windows 7-style Desktop, according to data released this week.
In a study, Assistant Professor Sonia Ghumman from the UH Mānoa Shidler College of Business found that Hijabis (Muslim women who wear headscarfs) encountered discrimination when seeking employment.
(Phys.org) —In malaria-ridden parts of Africa, mosquito netting protects people from being infected while they sleep; now, a University of Florida entomologist wants to improve the netting by coating it with insecticide toxic only to mosquitoes.
Everybody who has tried to stack oranges in a box knows that a regular packing of spheres in a flat layer naturally leads to a hexagonal pattern, where each sphere is surrounded by six neighbours in a honeycomb-like fashion. In an article just published on-line in PNAS, researchers from Wageningen University report an exception to this rule: when small, micrometer-sized particles are placed on a curved oil-water surface, they arrange in a square pattern, as on a chessboard.
The International Energy Agency said Friday that Germany must shield its consumers from paying too much of the cost of its ambitious switch from nuclear power and fossil fuels toward renewable energy.
Credit: venimo Mobile applications are becoming the principal focus of corporate software development efforts, according to a survey by PHP tools vendor Zend Technologies.
Seeking to pad its billion(ish)-dollar Azure business with yuan, yen, and
The US International Trade Commission sided with Microsoft in a patent dispute with Google-owned Motorola Mobility that could have led to Xbox 360 videogame consoles being banned from import.