New research by Peter Ralph of USC Dornsife has confirmed that everyone on Earth is related to everyone else on the planet. So the Trojan Family is not just a metaphor. Turns out, we’re also linked by genetics more closely than previously thought.
The reflectivity of Arctic sea ice, or albedo, regulates the solar radiation balance. A diminishing albedo affects the melt rate of Arctic sea ice.
China Unicom Ltd., one of the country’s three big state-owned phone companies, said first half profit jumped by more than half as it signed up more third-generation users and customers increased their usage of mobile data services.
A promising new technology designed to achieve efficiencies in cold transport vehicles is currently being developed as a cost-competitive alternative to standard air-conditioning. By making better use of waste heat, the project could help cut emissions and save businesses money.
Microsoft’s Windows 8 app ecosystem badly needs a jolt to make it competitive with iOS and Android on tablets, an analyst said today.And it’s looking like that won’t happen anytime soon.
Deployments in thin-and-light notebooks and hybrid PC tablets resulted in a huge boost in shipments of solid-state drives (SSDs) in the first quarter of 2013, according to a report from the market-research firm IHS. IHS reports that SSD shipments more than tripled in the January-to-March 2013 timeframe, compared to the same period in 2012.
Optimists see the new resource as a cheap, clean "bridging fuel" to a low-carbon future. The true picture might not be so simple, says Michael Brooks
Siemens is stabilizing the power grid of the Swiss railroad company Schweizerische Bundesbahnen (SBB) by providing it with the world’s first mobile units that compensate for reactive power. The overhead conductor, as well as some trains, need reactive power as well as active power. The trains draw both kinds of power from the railroad electric grid. The reactive power in particular may fluctuate greatly at the local level, for example when many older trains are starting up at the same time. In such cases there is a risk that the grid will be overloaded and will break down. For this reason, the new systems are designed to make reactive power available in the specific situations where it is needed. Of the three units in total, two will go into operation at the end of 2015 on the south side of the Simplon Tunnel. The third unit will be used for the Neuhausen am Rheinfall grid district. The special feature of the new systems is their mobility. They are housed in standard containers and thus can be transported. This enables the SBB to stabilize its electric grid in exactly the places where stability is needed.
Coastal research community suggests ways to deal with severe storms, coastal erosion and climate change
(Phys.org) —Global sea level is rising at an accelerated rate in response to climate change, and to ensure a sustainable future, society must learn to anticipate and adapt to the dynamics of a rapidly evolving coastal system, according to a new article from the international coastal research community.
(Phys.org) —Scientists and entrepreneurs of old spent millennia trying to transmute lead into gold. Today, a new and more intellectually rigorous kind of alchemy has begun to produce important benefits for an economy that still relies heavily on fossil fuels.
An especially energy-efficient production process for sheet steel is now being used in China. Siemens is providing a Chinese steel manufacturer with two plants that work according to the Arvedi-ESP (Endless Strip Production) process. They produce high-quality ultrathin hot-rolled strips with widths of up to 1.6 meters and minimal thicknesses as small as 0.8 millimeters. The Arvedi-ESP process requires up to 45 percent less energy than the conventional process, which consists of separate casting and rolling steps. It therefore generates significantly smaller amounts of CO2.
It can take months, even years, for me to share photos from a trip. The more shots I take, the more I dread going through them to delete bad shots and perform tweaks such as brightening dark shots. So I was intrigued when Google promised to automate much of this photo editing as part of enhancements to its Google Plus social network.
(Phys.org) —ASML develops technology for high-tech lithography machines for the semiconductor industry. The company, based in The Netherlands, manufactures equipment that is used to transfer circuit patterns onto wafers. For them and their customers, EUV, or extreme ultraviolet, is a significant term that comes down to producing wafers in a better way. The chip industry has long hoped to use the short-wavelength light to make circuits that are cheaper and denser. The company, according to IEEE Spectrum’s detailed report, has announced its work with extreme ultraviolet and related goals, and that its EUV machines will by 2015 be bright enough for commercial production.
Coastal waters off California are getting more acidic. Fall-run chinook salmon populations to the Sacramento River are on the decline. Conifer forests on the lower slopes of the Sierra Nevada have moved to higher elevations over the past half century.
Scientists from IBM today unveiled a breakthrough software ecosystem designed for programming silicon chips that have an architecture inspired by the function, low power, and compact volume of the brain. The technology could enable a new generation of intelligent sensor networks that mimic the brain’s abilities for perception, action, and cognition.
The city has become an archaeological site, with thousands of artifacts such as an 18th-century bone toothbrush with animal hair bristles and wine and champagne bottles corked centuries ago unearthed to prove it.
A US appeals court on Wednesday revived an Apple smartphone patent complaint against Motorola Mobility.
In sports, cheerleading has the highest rate of catastrophic injury, with some studies reporting approximately six percent of total injuries as concussions. Return-to-play guidelines have relied on athletes’ self-reports; however, this has led to concerns about the ability of athletes to truly recognize their own symptoms and recovery. In a new study scheduled for publication in The Journal of Pediatrics, researchers evaluate the accuracy of neurocognitive testing compared with self-reported symptoms of concussions in cheerleaders.
Results from a clinical trial of eteplirsen, a drug designed to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy, suggest that the therapy allows participants to walk farther than people treated with placebo and dramatically increases production of a protein vital to muscle growth and health. The study, led by a team in The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, is the first of its kind to show these results from an exon-skipping drug.
Apple’s share of global smartphone shipments declined to 13.2 percent in the second quarter, while both Android and Windows Phone registered slight increases, IDC said Wednesday. The decline in iPhone market share can be traced to the lack of a new model since the iPhone 5 came out nearly a year ago, IDC analyst Ramon Llamas said. Earlier this week, IDC reported that the iPad tablet has lost market share for similar reasons.
Splunk, a specialist in operational intelligence, and business intelligence platform provider Pentaho have formed an alliance designed to bring Splunk’s machine-generated data out from the IT department and make it available to business users.
Research findings published today in PLOS ONE report that the setting in which a scientific peer review panel evaluates grant applications does not necessarily impact the outcome of the review process. However, the research found that the average amount of discussion panelists engage in during the review is reduced. The investigation examined more than 1,600 grant application reviews coordinated by the American Institute of Biological Sciences Scientific Peer Advisory and Review Services (AIBS SPARS) on behalf of a federal agency over a four-year period.
Dogs yawn contagiously when they see a person yawning, and respond more frequently to their owner’s yawns than to a stranger’s, according to research published August 7 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Teresa Romero and colleagues from the University of Tokyo.
"When the sun hits the ground and the owl’s been around, veeries nary make a sound." It’s a familiar quotation you’ve never heard before, but one buoyed up as a modern truism thanks to recent research conducted in part by a biologist at Texas Tech University.
One of the world’s longest migrations of zebras occurs in the African nation of Botswana, but predicting when and where zebras will move has not been possible until now. Using NASA rain and vegetation data, researchers can track when and where arid lands begin to green, and for the first time anticipate if zebras will make the trek or, if the animals find poor conditions en route, understand why they will turn back.
NASA’s TRMM satellite peered into the clouds of Hurricane Henriette as is continues moving through the Eastern Pacific Ocean, and found powerful thunderstorms that topped 10 miles high.
Tropical Storm Mangkhut had some strong thunderstorms around its center as it began making landfall in northern Vietnam on Aug. 7. Infrared data from NASA’s Aqua satellite showed very cold cloud top temperatures of those strong thunderstorms as it passed overhead.
High pressures and temperatures cause materials to exhibit unusual properties, some of which can be special. Understanding such new properties is important for developing new materials for desired industrial uses and also for understanding the interior of Earth, where everything is hot and squeezed.
As cloud tops fall, their temperature rises, and infrared data from NASA’s Aqua satellite saw that happening as Tropical Storm Gil weakened.
On July 26, 2013, thunderstorms passed over southern Oregon, and lightning ignited dozens of difficult-to-control wildfires. Persistently dry weather since the beginning of 2013 had primed forests to burn, and nearly all of southern Oregon was in a state of severe or moderate drought. In early August, forecasters were expecting the situation to worsen.
You can’t always believe what you read, claims a new Forrester Research survey on enterprise application usage and deployments.Forrester’s report was based on data collected in a survey of 2,444 IT decision-makers in the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, and the U.K., conducted in November and December 2012.
Google rolled out load balancing features to its public cloud service today, allowing customers to automatically scale up and down virtual machines to accommodate unexpected spikes in demand. The rollout comes just a few months after Microsoft improved its Azure cloud service with new auto-scaling features. Both companies are effectively playing catch-up with leading IaaS provider Amazon Web Services, which already offers such features.
Developers can now submit Web apps and offer them alongside native Android-based programs on Amazon’s Appstore. The change will make it easier for developers to distribute HTML5-based apps via Amazon’s store without having to convert them to Android-specific versions.
Smartphones powered by Google’s Android software increased their global market share as iPhones lost ground in the absence of new models being unleashed by Apple, the International Data Corporation reported Wednesday.
Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center, working with their collaborators at the Hospital for Special Surgery, have created a fleet of molecular "robots" that can home in on specific human cells and mark them for drug therapy or destruction.
Satellite images have laid bare the suffering inflicted on Syria’s largest city, a London-based rights group said Wednesday, cataloguing hundreds of damaged or destroyed houses and more than 1,000 roadblocks.
Japan’s prime minister Wednesday said Tokyo would get more involved in cleaning up the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, as he described as "urgent" a battle to stop radioactive water from leaking into the ocean.
The first wolf found in the Netherlands in over 140 years walked there freely from eastern Europe, scientists said Wednesday, dismissing allegations its body had been dumped as joke.
Call it the Goldilocks Principle—animals can survive and reproduce only if the temperature is just right. Too hot and they will overheat. Too cold and they will freeze.
Ice ages and warm periods have alternated fairly regularly in the Earth’s history: the Earth’s climate cools roughly every 100,000 years, with vast areas of North America, Europe and Asia being buried under thick ice sheets. Eventually, the pendulum swings back: it gets warmer and the ice masses melt. While geologists and climate physicists found solid evidence of this 100,000-year cycle in glacial moraines, marine sediments and arctic ice, until now they were unable to find a plausible explanation for it.
Life is not a walk in the park for the world’s largest bacteria, that live as soft, noodle-like, white strings on the bottom of the ocean depths. Without being able to fend for themselves, they get invaded by parasitic microorganisms that steal the nutrition, that they have painstakingly retreived. This newly discovered bizarre deep ocean relationship may ultimately impact ocean productivity, report researchers from University of Southern Denmark now in the scientific journal Nature.
A new system could tell you how likely it is for you to become ill if you visit a particular restaurant by ‘listening’ to the tweets from other restaurant patrons.
Mystery fans know that the best way to solve a mystery is to revisit the scene where it began and look for clues. To understand the mysteries of our universe, scientists are trying to go back as far they can to the Big Bang. A new analysis of cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation data by researchers with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has taken the furthest look back through time yet – 100 years to 300,000 years after the Big Bang – and provided tantalizing new hints of clues as to what might have happened.
For the first time, twin microsatellites will let budget-conscious people on Earth design and program their own space experiments
iCub robot demonstrates that intelligent behaviour can spontaneously develop if we build machines based on living brains
Although librarians adopted Internet technology quickly, they initially dismissed search engines, which duplicated tasks they considered integral to their field. Their eventual embrace of the technology required a reinvention of their occupational identity, according to a study by University of Oregon researchers.
Scientists have created a powerful micro-supercapacitor, just nanometres thick, that could help electronics companies develop mobile phones and cameras that are smaller, lighter and thinner than ever before. The tiny power supply measures less than half a centimetre across and is made from a flexible material, opening up the possibility for wearable electronics.
(Phys.org) —Most of what scientists know of Jupiter’s moon Europa they have gleaned from a dozen or so close flybys from NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft in 1979 and NASA’s Galileo spacecraft in the mid-to-late 1990s. Even in these fleeting, paparazzi-like encounters, scientists have seen a fractured, ice-covered world with tantalizing signs of a liquid water ocean under its surface. Such an environment could potentially be a hospitable home for microbial life. But what if we got to land on Europa’s surface and conduct something along the lines of a more in-depth interview? What would scientists ask? A new study in the journal Astrobiology authored by a NASA-appointed science definition team lays out their consensus on the most important questions to address.
A new cost-effective polymer membrane can decrease the cost of alkaline batteries and fuel cells by allowing the replacement of expensive platinum catalysts without sacrificing important aspects of performance, according to Penn State researchers.
Tiny sensors and motors are everywhere, telling your smartphone screen to rotate and your camera to focus. Now, a team of researchers at Tel Aviv University has found a way to print biocompatible components for these micro-machines, making them ideal for use in medical devices, like bionic arms.
An international team of researchers has described a new physical effect that could be used to develop more efficient magnetic chips for information processing. The quantum mechanical effect makes it easier to produce spin-polarized currents necessary for the switching of magnetically stored information. The research findings were published online on 28 July in the high-impact journal Nature Nanotechnology.
A person’s math ability can range from simple arithmetic to calculus and abstract set theory. But there’s one math skill we all share: a primitive ability to estimate and compare quantities without counting, like when choosing a checkout line at the grocery store.
There may be more kinds of stuff than we thought. A team of researchers has reported possible evidence for a new category of solids, things that are neither pure glasses, crystals, nor even exotic quasicrystals. Something else.
Critical to the recovery efforts following the devastating effects of the 2011 tsunami on Japan’s Fukushima reactor is the ability to assess damage within the reactor’s core. A study in the journal AIP Advances by a team of scientists from Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) shows that muon imaging may offer the best hope of assessing damage to the reactor cores and locating the melted fuel.
The nation’s 28 National Estuarine Research Reserves (NERR) are experiencing the negative effects of human and climate-related stressors according to a new NOAA research report from the National Ocean Service.
After years of wariness, universities and industry scientists are forging new partnerships that are reinvigorating academic science departments, preparing students for careers and giving corporations better access to fundamental research. That 21st century alliance is the topic of the cover story in the current edition of Chemical & Engineering News. C&EN is the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society.
Organic solar cells that convert light to electricity using carbon-based molecules have shown promise as a versatile energy source but have not been able to match the efficiency of their silicon-based counterparts.
One of the many counterintuitive and bizarre insights of quantum mechanics is that even in a vacuum—what many of us think of as an empty void—all is not completely still. Low levels of noise, known as quantum fluctuations, are always present. Always, that is, unless you can pull off a quantum trick. And that’s just what a team led by researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) has done. The group has engineered a miniature silicon system that produces a type of light that is quieter at certain frequencies—meaning it has fewer quantum fluctuations—than what is usually present in a vacuum.
A newly discovered fossil reveals the evolutionary adaptations of a 165-million-year-old proto-mammal, providing evidence that traits such as hair and fur originated well before the rise of the first true mammals. The biological features of this ancient mammalian relative, named Megaconus mammaliaformis, are described by scientists from the University of Chicago in the Aug 8 issue of Nature.
One of the most basic and intensively studied processes in biology—one which has been detailed in biology textbooks for decades—has gained a new level of understanding, thanks to the application of simple math to a problem that scientists never before thought could benefit from mathematics.
Chances are you’ve never heard of Alliance Data Systems Corp. But it’s probably heard about you. Every time you swipe a credit card, your purchase is captured by a database somewhere. The question is: Who’s holding that information hostage, and what do they do with it?
Options are growing for SAP ERP (enterprise resource planning) customers that want to snazz up the system’s screens, both for the enjoyment of end-users and improved productivity. SAP recently rolled out version 2.0 of Screen Personas, which gives users the ability to personalize their SAP based screens based on preference and job role. The update introduces a new version of Personas’ Microsoft Silverlight-based client as well as an HTML version.
For the first time, twin microsatellites will let budget-conscious people on Earth design and program their own space experiments
On the third floor of the historic Folgers Coffee Co. building, just blocks from the city’s famed Embarcadero waterfront, Target Corp. is brewing up a storm, and it has nothing to do with caffeinated beverages.
(Phys.org) —The applications of gene therapy and genetic engineering are broad: everything from pet fish that glow red to increased crop yields worldwide to cures for many of the diseases that plague humankind. But realizing them always starts with solving the same basic scientific question—how to "transfect" a cell by inserting foreign DNA into it. Many methods already exist for doing this, but they tend to be clumsy and destructive, not allowing researchers to precisely control how and when they insert the DNA or requiring them to burn through large numbers of cells before they can get it into one.
(Phys.org) —Quasars are active black holes—primarily from the early universe. Using a special method where you observe light that has been bent by gravity on its way through the universe, a group of physics students from the Niels Bohr Institute have observed a quasar whose light has been deflected and reflected in six separate images. This is the first time a quasar has been observed with so many light reflections. The results are published in the scientific journal, Astrophysical Journal.
One of the rare scientific reports on the rarest form of lightning—ball lightning—describes better ways of producing this mysterious phenomenon under the modern laboratory conditions needed to explain it. The new study on a phenomenon that puzzled and perplexed the likes of Aristotle 2,300 years ago and Nikola Tesla a century ago appears in ACS’ The Journal of Physical Chemistry A.
Researchers at the University of Southampton, in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Cambridge, have developed a technique to help treat fatal diseases more effectively. Dr Sumeet Mahajan and his group at the Institute for Life Sciences at Southampton are using gold nanoprobes to identify different types of cells, so that they can use the right ones in stem cell therapies.
Search engine companies like Google, Microsoft and, to a lesser extent, Apple are trying their best to get users to stop typing in queries and to start using their voices to ask more conversational questions to perform searches and call up useful information.
(Phys.org) —A team of researchers led by Prof. Young-Tae Chang from National University of Singapore and Prof. Yoon-Kyoung Cho from Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), Korea, developed a fluorescent caffeine detector and a detection kit that lights up like a traffic light when caffeine is present in various drinks and solutions.