Amphibian declines and extinctions around the world have been linked to an emerging fungal disease called chytridiomycosis, but new research from the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) shows that another pathogen, ranavirus, may also contribute.
The U.S. may be on the verge of an economy driven by methane, the primary component of natural gas, which burns cleaner than coal and is undergoing a production boom. It has poised the country as a top fuel producer globally, but recent research is casting serious doubts over just how climate-friendly it is, according to an article in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly news magazine of the American Chemical Society.
Quasiparticles can be used to explain physical phenomena in solid bodies even though they are not actual physical particles. Physicists in Innsbruck have now realized quasiparticles in a quantum system and observed quantum mechanical entanglement propagation in a many-body system. The researchers have published their work in Nature.
A crucial piece of the puzzle behind nature’s ability to split the water molecule during photosynthesis that could help advance the development of artificial photosynthesis for clean, green and renewable energy has been provided by an international collaboration of scientists led by researchers with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.
With grilling season upon us, many backyard cooks are turning to more healthful alternatives to their savored but fatty hot dogs. But low fat can sometimes mean low satisfaction. Now researchers are reporting new progress toward addressing the texture problem in low-fat wieners that are made with olive oil rather than pork fat. Their study was published in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
Bacterial infections usually announce themselves with pain and fever but often can be defeated with antibiotics—and then there are those that are sneaky and hard to beat. Now, scientists have built a new weapon against such pathogens in the form of tiny DNA pyramids. Published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, their study found the nanopyramids can flag bacteria and kill more of them than medicine alone.
The Georgia Tech Research Institute’s software-defined, electronically-reconfigurable Agile Aperture Antenna (A3) has now been tested on the land, sea and air.
An Agile Aperture Antenna is placed in a window of an aircraft for a recent test flight. The software-defined, electronically-reconfigurable antenna can change beam directions in a thousandth of a second. Its light weight and low power requirements make it ideal for use in UAVs. (GTRI photo)
Department of Defense representatives were in attendance during a recent event where two of the low-power devices, which can change beam directions in a thousandth of a second, were demonstrated in an aircraft during flight tests held in Virginia during February 2014. One device, looking up, maintained a satellite data connection as the aircraft changed headings, banked and rolled, while the other antenna looked down to track electromagnetic emitters on the ground.
“We were able to sustain communication with the commercial satellite in flight as the aircraft changed headings dramatically,” explained Matthew Habib, a GTRI research engineer. “The antenna was changing beam directions to compensate for the aircraft headings. At the same time, we were maintaining communication with a device on the ground.”
In addition to rapidly altering its beam direction, the antenna’s frequency and polarization can also be changed by switching active components. The prototype used in this test operates from 500 to 3000 MHz with a plus or minus 60-degree hemispherical view. The latest prototypes have been able to provide gain to 6 GHz, opening more communication options to the end user. For the flight test, GTRI collaborated with SR Technologies, Inc. (SRT), a Florida company specializing in wireless engineering products. SRT provides mobile communications hardware including L-Band mobile satellite, 802.11 (WiFi), and cellular solutions.
An Agile Aperture Antenna is shown in the window of an aircraft for a recent test flight. The software-defined, electronically-reconfigurable antenna can change beam directions in a thousandth of a second. Its light weight and low power requirements make it ideal for use in UAVs. (GTRI photo)
For this effort, the A3 was matched with an SRT software defined radio focused on the L-Band mobile satellite frequency range. GTRI also collaborated with Aurora Flight Sciences to fly the antennas on their Centaur optionally piloted aircraft.
Beyond its ability to be easily reconfigured, the low power consumption and flat form make the Agile Aperture Antenna ideal for aircraft such as UAVs that have small power supplies and limited surface area for integrating antennas.
“If you have a large ship or aircraft with lots of power, you can afford to use a phased-array or other type of steerable antenna,” noted Habib. “But when you are using small vehicles, especially robotic aircraft and self-sustaining vehicles that don’t include an operator, our antenna is a great solution.”
Composed of printed circuit boards, the antenna components weigh just two or three pounds.
“It’s not just about the low power and weight,” said James Strates, also a GTRI research engineer. “The simplicity of the system, the low fabrication cost and the ability to retrofit the A3 to an existing system also make it attractive to operators.”
Beyond use on aircraft, ships and ground vehicles, the antenna concept could also find application in mobile devices, where the dynamic tunability could help cut through congestion on cellular networks, noted Ryan Westafer, a GTRI research engineer.
The Agile Aperture Antenna was flight tested on this Aurora Flight Sciences Centaur optionally piloted aircraft. One antenna was configured to point up to maintain communications with a satellite, while the other pointed down to track electromagnetic emitters on the ground. (GTRI photo)
“A small electronically tunable antenna could provide a lot of new opportunities for mobile devices,” he said.
As configured for the flight tests, the upward-looking A3 antenna had a beam 30 degrees wide that could be shifted up to 60 degrees in either direction to maintain contact with the satellite. For the downward-looking antenna, the beam was automatically adjusted to “stare” at a point on the ground, reducing the interference from nearby emitters, Westafer explained.
Because it doesn’t require mechanically moving a metal dish, the A3 can change beam direction 120 degrees in a thousandth of a second, which gives it a significant response time advantage over gimbaled antennas.
The A3’s weight and complexity are also much less than for a phased-array antenna with similar capabilities. The A3 antenna uses just one static feed point, while a phased-array must feed and control each element separately. Because of its low power consumption, the A3 requires no cooling system.
The Agile Aperture Antenna has also been tested on a Wave Glider autonomous ocean vehicle. Together with previous testing on a moving ground vehicle, the new evaluations demonstrate the operational flexibility of the antenna, Habib said. So far, the A3 has operated successfully at temperatures as low as 10 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, and as high as 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
To track the satellite, the antenna uses an inertial measurement unit to provide information about the aircraft’s pitch, roll and yaw – as well as its longitude, latitude and altitude. That information is sent to a controller that turns elements off and on to the change the beam direction to maintain communication. Before takeoff, the researchers had programmed into the device the location of the commercial satellite with which it was communicating.
The challenge ahead is to take advantage of the antenna’s unique capabilities – and to affect the way operators place antennas onto ground, air and sea vehicles.
“This is changing the way that we think about integrating antennas onto systems to provide new solutions,” Habib said. “Users have not had these capabilities before, and we are excited to see how our partners will be able to take full advantage of this antenna.”
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An attempted murder in Wisconsin is tied to Slender Man, a crowdsourced fictional character said to be a modern twist on the folklore once passed down orally.
The common frog is one of the amphibians with the highest distribution in the Iberian Peninsula. It reproduces preferably in permanent areas of water where it comes into contact with the red swamp crayfish, which preys on its larvae. Research carried out by the Spaniard Germán Orizaola from the University of Uppsala (Sweden) confirms that the larvae of these frogs have developed a defensive response to the invasive species. They also have deeper tails and larger bodies if they co-exist with the crayfish.
With over 100 diseases that can attack soybean crops, why would charcoal rot rise to the top of the most wanted list? University of Illinois scientists cite the earth’s changing climate as one reason that more research is needed on the fungus that causes charcoal rot.
Too cool and faint, many objects in the universe are impossible to detect with visible light. Now a Northwestern University team has refined a new technology that could make these colder objects more visible, paving the way for enhanced exploration of deep space.
A group of astronomers has been able to follow stardust being made in real time—during the aftermath of a supernova explosion. For the first time they show that these cosmic dust factories make their grains in a two-stage process, starting soon after the explosion, but continuing for years afterwards. The team used ESO’s Very Large Telescope in northern Chile to analyze the light from the supernova SN2010jl as it slowly faded.
A new discovery will make it possible to create pixels just a few hundred nanometres across that could pave the way for extremely high-resolution and low-energy thin, flexible displays for applications such as ‘smart’ glasses, synthetic retinas, and foldable screens.
Nanoscale sheets of a unique alloy can take on different hues with the flick of a switch, offering a way to make full-colour displays for wearable computers
A new Yale-led study quantifies for the first time the primary causes of the "urban heat island" (UHI) effect, a common phenomenon that makes the world’s urban areas significantly warmer than the surrounding countryside and may increase health risks for city residents.
The warm beauty of amber was captivating and mysterious enough to inspire myths in ancient times, and even today, some of its secrets remain locked inside the fossilized tree resin. But for the first time, scientists have now solved at least one of its puzzles that had perplexed them for decades. Their report on a key aspect of the gemstone’s architecture appears in the ACS journal Analytical Chemistry.
Chemists at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum have made a decisive step towards more cost-efficient regenerative fuel cells and rechargeable metal-air batteries. They developed a new type of catalyst on the basis of carbon, which can facilitate two opposite reactions: electrolysis of water and combustion of hydrogen with oxygen. A catalyst of this kind might make the storage of wind and solar energy and the manufacture of cost-efficient batteries, for example for electric cars, possible. The team published their report in the "International Edition" of the magazine Angewandte Chemie.
The new agreement, according to the state’s attorney general’s office, would cap Uber’s surge prices during “abnormal disruptions of the market,” typically citywide emergencies.
Not even geckos and spiders can sit upside down forever. Nanophysics makes sure of that. Mechanics researchers at Linköping University have demonstrated this in an article just published in Physical Review E. Knowledge that can be of great industrial benefit.
An audit of subscriptions can help a consumer find services that are duplicated or unneeded, or that have even been forgotten.
Scientists searching for new drug and vaccine targets to stop transmission of one of the world’s deadliest diseases believe they are closer than ever to disrupting the life-cycle of this highly efficient parasite.
The Conversation organised a public question-and-answer session on Reddit in which David Waltham, reader in mathematical geology at Royal Holloway in London, explained what makes Earth so special and what life might look like beyond the Blue Planet.
Google has chosen five charities to develop ideas using Web-connected Google Glass to enhance their work.
An encouraging report by the International Game Developers Association recently found that women now make up 22% of the computer game workforce. This is a massive improvement from the previous figure of just 4% of the UK industry in 2009.
Since the 1960s, theatergoers have shelled out for crude 3-D glasses, polarized glasses, and shutter glasses to enhance their viewing experience. These basic devices, used to trick the brain into perceiving an artificial three-dimensional reality, may soon be rendered obsolete with the introduction of new holography technology developed by Tel Aviv University researchers.
(Phys.org) —A trio of researchers in Belgium has found that if red ants are prevented from removing dead ants from inside of their nest, survival rates go down. In their paper published in the journal Biology Letters, Lise Diez, Philippe Lejeune and Claire Detrain describe a study they conducted where they restricted red ants from removing their dead and the impact it had on their survival rates.
In some countries, a region that can lay claim to being the birthplace of a country’s political leader is likely to get preferential treatment – bias that shines out when the intensity of night lights is compared with that in other regions.
In January, Haruko Obokata and colleagues published two papers in the journal Nature suggesting that a simple acid bath can convert differentiated cells back to a stem-cell-like state. This finding, if true, would be revolutionary. Last week, however, after five months of debate among peers, the papers have been retracted.
(Phys.org) —Liquid crystals are widely known for their use in LCD TVs, in which quickly changing electrical fields are used to control the molecular order of the liquid crystals. This in turn changes how light is transmitted through the liquid crystals to make the pictures change on the TV screen.
When a cell divides, it must first make a copy of its DNA, a fundamental step in the life cycle of cells that occurs billions of times a day in the human body. While scientists have had an idea of the molecular tools that cells use to replicate DNA—the enzymes that unzip the double-stranded DNA and create "daughter" copies—they did not have a clear picture of how the process works.
They are amongst the most numerous inhabitants of the sea: tiny haptophytes of the type Emiliania huxleyi. Not visible to the naked eye, when they are in bloom in spring, they form square kilometer sized patches, they are even visible on satellite images. "Together with other phytoplankton, Emiliania huxleyi is responsible for approximately half of the global photosynthesis output," states Prof. Dr. Georg Pohnert of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Germany). In the process the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide – CO2 – is extracted from the atmosphere and oxygen is set free. "Additionally the microalgae use CO2 to produce tiny calcified discs which re-enforce their outer skin," the chair for Instrumental Analysis and Bio-organic Analysis continues. Thus the unicellular algae are a decisive factor for a stable world climate.
(Phys.org) —To fully understand something, it is often instructive to view it at its extremes. How do materials behave when their bits are forced much closer together than is comfortable? How do electrons accommodate proximity? What normal behaviors break down?
The most successful wearable devices will be ones that can work without a phone, and AT&T will have at least one of them by the end of this year, the man who manages the carrier’s partnerships said. "It needs to be an independent device. It needs to do something different for the end-user, for people to buy it en masse," said Glenn Lurie, AT&T’s president of emerging enterprises and partnerships.
Earlier this year, the Russian Federal Space Agency received a hand-luggage-sized delivery from the UK. It came with a request to launch the contents aboard a rocket, along with the Russian three-tonne meteorological satellite. The tiny British package was successfully launched into space on July 8, and it contains a nanosatellite called UKube-1.
A report for the United Nations released today shows how the major emitting countries can cut their carbon emissions by mid-century in order to prevent dangerous climate change. The report, produced cooperatively by leading research institutes in 15 countries, is the first global cooperative program to identify practical pathways to a low-carbon economy by 2050. The Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP) interim report was presented in a briefing today to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, and will presented later this week to the French government, as host of the 2015 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) climate conference. The interim report supports the UN Climate Summit on September 23, 2014. The full DDPP report will be presented in the spring of 2015.
A knowledge exchange network led by the University of York, which aims to increase the use of scientific evidence to guide oil palm policy, has produced its first science for policy report. The report – ‘Change in carbon stocks arising from land-use conversion to oil palm plantations’ – focuses on identifying low carbon stock landcover types which could be converted to oil palm production.
(Phys.org) —NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has reached another development milestone with the completion of static load testing of its primary mirror backplane support structure (PMBSS) moving the telescope one step closer to its 2018 launch.
Researcher pushes the limits of light to improve performance in communication, fabrication, and medical imaging
The fields of data communication, fabrication, and ultrasound imaging share a common challenge when it comes to improving speed and efficiency: light’s diffraction limit. Nicholas Fang thinks his group at MIT might have found a solution.
The Mediterranean is in need of uniform criteria and methods for delineating its coastlines, according to Professor Rachelle Alterman of the EU-funded Mare Nostrum project. Professor Alterman is calling on the governments of EU countries to establish a task force that will work towards achieving greater legal and cadastral coordination among EU countries on coastal issues.
In the last five years, the number of observed osprey – fish-eating birds of prey – in the Cayuga Lake basin have increased sevenfold, including a new nest this year near Game Farm Road on university athletic fields near Cornell’s campus.
Amazon suggested it would give Hachette’s authors all the revenue from their e-book sales on Amazon. Hachette’s response on Tuesday was to suggest that the retailer was trying to make it commit suicide.
The United Nations recently released a report finding that the number of refugees in the world has climbed to more than 50 million – the highest number since the post-World War II era.
(Phys.org) —CT scans of two newborn woolly mammoths recovered from the Siberian Arctic are revealing previously inaccessible details about the early development of prehistoric pachyderms. In addition, the X-ray images show that both creatures died from suffocation after inhaling mud.
A preschool boy has a vacation. And his father finds a way to spend time with him and still get his work done.
While Hurricane Arthur was still a hurricane, the new Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory flew over the storm last week and captured its structure in 3-D. This was a good test of the new satellite, which is supposed to help NASA track these Atlantic storms to better precision than before.
For his semester project in mechanical engineering, Eliott Guenat studied the best way to recuperate waste heat from a car’s engine. The challenge is figuring out how to incorporate the heat exchangers micro-turbomachines.
Researchers from around the world now have access to expert instruction for an emerging simulation method to study seismic effects on structures and to design buildings that better withstand strong earthquakes.
With sustainability a constant and global concern, the present-day users of both non-renewable and potentially renewable resources must take into account what will be left over for future generations. In a study in the July 11 issue of Nature, researchers devise an ‘Intergenerational Goods Game’ to determine what mechanisms can maintain cooperation with the future. Louis Putterman, chair and professor of economics, explains the study in a "News and Views" column in that issue.
The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee approved Tuesday a cybersecurity bill that would pave the way for sharing of information between government and the private sector on security threats. Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California, and Vice Chairman Saxby Chambliss, a Republican from Georgia, said that the committee had approved the bill in a 12-3 vote.
Facebook said police in Greece made two arrests last week in connection with a little-known spamming botnet called "Lecpetex," which used hacked computers to mine the Litecoin virtual currency. As many as 50,000 Facebook accounts were affected, and as many as 250,000 computers worldwide, primarily in Greece, Poland, Norway, India, Portugal, and the United States, according to a blog post on Tuesday from Facebook’s Threat Infrastructure team.
A new pepper variety has been developed with a high capsinoid content to make it less pungent while maintaining all the natural health benefits of the fruit, according to researchers with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the University of Maine.
With a chemical "trick", scientists at Heidelberg University have succeeded in isolating a stable gold carbene complex. Chemist Prof. Dr. Bernd F. Straub and his team are the first to have created the basis for directly examining the otherwise unstable gold-carbon double bond. Prof. Straub explains that highly reactive gold carbene molecules play an important role in landmark catalysing processes taking place at high speed. The research findings have been published in the German and the international edition of Angewandte Chemie, a journal on applied and fundamental chemistry.
The rapid rise of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) to global notoriety has taken observers of Middle East politics by surprise. All of a sudden, a new Islamist political movement has stunningly upstaged former global public enemy number one al-Qaeda and establishes an Islamic state, a caliphate encompassing lands in both Iraq and Syria.
Mark Karpeles, CEO of the now-bankrupt Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, is auctioning off Bitcoins.com, a site Karpeles launched last year to provide information around the digital currency. The domain will be sold July 24 by the U.S.-based auction house Heritage Auctions, with an opening bid set at $185,000. The sale is expected to fetch as much as $750,000.
The Department of Defense announced a $40 million investment in direct brain recording. The aim is to develop new, memory-aiding treatments for traumatic brain injury, the signature wound of the wars in Iraq and in Afghanistan.
ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst is sharing his incredible views from 400 km above on the International Space Station. In the last week the six astronauts witnessed Hurricane Arthur terrorise the US east coast, beautiful auroras and super typhoon Neoguri as it approached Japan.
Microsoft started shipping the brand-spanking-new i5-based Surface Pro 3 on June 19. That same day, Microsoft released a firmware update for the Surface Pro 3.
It’s enough to send gardeners into conniptions. Crape myrtle, a tree adored for its bright flowers that scream summer, care-free maintenance and even its colorful bark, now has a disease problem – although so far, only in the commercial nursery setting.
Scientists from NASA’s InSight mission to Mars have been checking out the lowest vibration sites across the UK in order to find somewhere quiet enough to calibrate the seismometer that will be travelling to the Red Planet in 2016.
Agencies should do more to support and build trust with victims of domestic violence in same sex relationships
Mainstream agencies dealing with heterosexual victims of Domestic Violence and Abuse (DVA) must do more to support and build trust with victims in same sex relationships, researchers of a new book recommend.
Scientists studying the impact of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill on the health of fish in the Gulf of Mexico have found strong evidence that an outbreak of skin lesions and oil residue signatures discovered in fishes a year after the spill may be related to the catastrophe.
Brazil’s record defeat at the hands of Germany in the World Cup semi-final sent social networks into overdrive, with Twitter and Facebook beating previous marks of activity for sporting events.
(Phys.org) —Dinosaur footprints in Central Queensland’s Lark Quarry were not all caused by a dinosaur stampede, as previously thought.
America’s cities are dividing themselves into two distinct groups, with college-educated workers increasingly clustering in desirable places that less-educated people cannot afford, according to new Stanford research.
Ever wonder why Disney’s Marvel superhero machine keeps audiences coming back for more? The recent follow up with "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" after "Thor: The Dark World" satisfied a large swathe of movie audiences. Is there something behind the demand phenomenon besides humanities’ love of good conquering evil? New research by SMU Cox ITOM Professor Tom Tan and co-authors reveals why popular movie titles keep getting more popular. The new findings run counter to the trendy "long tail" effect that captured the imaginations of researchers, product developers and marketers.
(Phys.org) —Biofuels researchers are increasingly thinking about how the energy market is changing, which challenges them to balance the basic science of new fuels with a more holistic view of the most commercially viable ways to produce them. So when a group of University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers began looking at how to make jet fuel from biomass, they also strived to create a "techno-economic" framework that would illuminate the entire biofuels field.
The analysis of 139 land mammals’ dietary preferences has led researchers to call for a new classification system, as many diets were varied beyond the current understanding of herbivore, carnivore, or omnivore.
Scientists from the Particle Physics Research Group at the University of Bristol are currently working on upgrades to the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the particle accelerator and collider located at CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) near Geneva, ahead of its restart in 2015.
Through high resolution scanning tunneling microscopy measurements and first principles Density Functional Theory based calculations, a novel atomic scale edge structure was shown to be stable for graphene islands grown on cobalt surfaces. The low-coordinated carbon atom at the Klein edge structure is stabilized by interaction with the cobalt surface. This is the first demonstration, combining experiment and theory, that the interaction of the carbon atoms with a metal substrate stabilizes the low coordinated carbon edge atoms. In models for the growth of graphene on metal substrates, such low coordinated atoms at the growing edge play a special role. These results, which demonstrate such stability, will play a significant role in further development of these models and will help guide future strategies to grow graphene nanostructures with atomic scale control of edge structure.
A new study of satellite sea ice measurements shows that over the last 35 years there have been dramatic changes in sea ice cover around the world.
Nice. You have decided to give your old Android phone a second life more noble than the junkheap and so you delete all your files and wish the phone well with its new owners. Reality alert. Read the new AVAST study first. Every day Americans are selling away their identity by selling their smartphones, found the study. Sending an older phone off for resale or to charity is a frequent practice but the phone’s data wipe tools might not do the job. That is the news from Prague-based security software company AVAST, which did a study announced Tuesday. The test was able to demonstrate the risk people take when selling their used smartphone. The AVAST team recovered, from just 20 phones they bought online, some 40,000 pieces of information that included personal photos and emails and, in some cases, even the identities of the sellers. Jude McColgan, president of mobile at AVAST, said that the company, in obtaining various Android devices from U.S. sellers, used "readily available recovery software" to dig up information on the phones,
Adobe Flash, the plug-in that refuses to die despite
Amazon wants to put money in authors’ pockets while the online retail titan battles with Hachette over terms of selling books handled by the publishing powerhouse.
New plant species from the heart of Texas: Wrongly identified since 1974, only three specimens are known
Collectors found the first two specimens of the prickly plant in 1974 and 1990 in west Texas. Then, for two decades, the 14-inch-tall plant was identified wrongly as one species, then another and then a third.
Shiny butterfly wings yield tech surprises