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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

Online photos provide evidence for value of clean water

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 01:01 PM PST

A novel approach to calculating the value of clean water has been developed by scientists. Analyzing photos posted to the online photo-sharing site Flickr, researchers found Minnesota and Iowa lakes with greater water quality receive more visits than dirtier lakes, and that users are willing to travel farther to visit those clean, clear lakes.

One-atom-thin silicon transistors hold promise for super-fast computing

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 01:01 PM PST

Researchers have created the first transistors out of silicene, the world's thinnest silicon material. This new 'wonder material' could make computers and other electronics more efficient.

Astronomers find new details in first known spiral galaxy: Plumes

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 12:59 PM PST

Astronomers have discovered faint plumes extending from the northeast and south of the nearby spiral galaxy M51a, also called the 'Whirlpool Galaxy,' by taking what is essentially a photograph made by a 20-hour exposure.

Rediscovering spontaneous light emission

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 12:59 PM PST

LEDs could replace lasers for short-range optical communications with the use of an optical antenna that enhances the spontaneous emission of light from atoms, molecules and semiconductor quantum dots.

Penta-graphene, a new structural variant of carbon, discovered

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 11:23 AM PST

Researchers have discovered a new structural variant of carbon called 'penta-graphene' -- a very thin sheet of pure carbon that has a unique structure inspired by a pentagonal pattern of tiles found paving the streets of Cairo.

Rarely understood ammonium carbonate monohydrate

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 10:32 AM PST

New structural studies of the superficially simple ammonium carbonate monohydrate could shed light on industrial processes, biochemistry and even the interstellar building blocks of life.

Physicists observe motion of skyrmions

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 10:31 AM PST

Small magnetic whirls may revolutionize future data storage and information processing if they can be moved rapidly and reliably in small structures. Scientists have now been able to investigate the dynamics of these whirls experimentally. The skyrmions, as these tiny whirls are called after the British nuclear physicist Tony Skyrme, follow a complex trajectory and even continue to move after the external excitation is switched off. This effect will be especially important when one wants to move a skyrmion to a selected position as necessary in a future memory device.

If Facebook use causes envy, depression could follow

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 09:34 AM PST

Facebook use can lead to symptoms of depression if the social networking site triggers feelings of envy among its users, research shows. "Facebook can be a fun and healthy activity if users take advantage of the site to stay connected with family and old friends and to share interesting and important aspects of their lives," an author said. "However, if Facebook is used to see how well an acquaintance is doing financially or how happy an old friend is in his relationship--things that cause envy among users--use of the site can lead to feelings of depression."

Neurologists Find Movement Tracking Device Helps Assess Severity of Parkinson's Disease

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 09:31 AM PST

A device that measures movement and balance can effectively help assess and track the progression of Parkinson's disease, even when medications are used to reduce Parkinson's symptoms, researchers report.

Artificial blood vessels: Tri-layered artificial blood vessels for first time

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 08:19 AM PST

By combining micro-imprinting and electro-spinning techniques, researchers have developed a vascular graft composed of three layers for the first time. This tri-layered composite has allowed researchers to utilize separate materials that respectively possess mechanical strength and promote new cell growth - a significant problem for existing vascular grafts that have only consisted of a single or double layer.

Industrial pump inspired by flapping bird wings

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 08:19 AM PST

Researchers have taken inspiration from avian locomotion strategies and created a pump that moves fluid using vibration instead of a rotor.

The future of holographic video

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 08:18 AM PST

Holographic video displays, featuring 3-D images, are about to "go large" and become a lot more affordable at the same time.

Seeing the knee in a new light: Fluorescent probe tracks osteoarthritis development

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 07:29 AM PST

A harmless fluorescent probe injected into a joint may make it easier to diagnose and monitor osteoarthritis, leading to better patient care. A new study led by biomedical researchers reports that such a probe successfully tracked the development of early to moderate osteoarthritis in male mice.

Developing smart services in the cloud

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 06:43 AM PST

Cloud-based platform helps systematically design and implement smart services. More and more manufacturing companies are looking to build on their success by expanding their core business to include services. Particularly promising are smart services, which provide intelligent ways of connecting people, things and data.

Potential for graphene and other 2D crystals in the energy sector

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 06:43 AM PST

Graphene has many potential applications, among them energy generation, conversion and storage. Graphene – a single layer of carbon atoms – and related two-dimensional crystals combine high electrical conductivity with physical flexibility and a huge surface to weight ratio. Such qualities make them suitable for storing electric charge in batteries and supercapacitors, and as catalysts in solar and fuel-cell electrodes.

How is noise produced by wind power plants experienced?

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 06:43 AM PST

The disruptiveness of the noise generated by wind power plants in Finland is the focus of a new study that combines the measurement of the noise produced by wind power with the noise experienced by humans in relation to sound pressure levels and the time and frequency behavior of sound.  

Josephson junctions generated in atomic-layered superconductors

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 06:41 AM PST

In an atomic-scale thick superconductor formed on a silicon surface, a single-atom difference in height between atomic layers (atomic step) acts as a Josephson junction that controls the flow of supercurrent.

Faster first aid for catastrophe victims

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 06:41 AM PST

A new system aims to speed up the triage of victims during mass casualty incidents: Instead of colored paper tags, first responders use colored electronic wristbands. These serve to locate victims and transmit vital data to emergency response control centers. An app for Android smartphones also lets victims buried alive under a collapsed building contact rescue teams even though mobile phone networks are down.

Magnetic sense for humans? Electronic skin with magneto-sensory system enables 'sixth sense'

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 06:41 AM PST

Scientists from Germany and Japan have developed a new magnetic sensor, which is thin, robust and pliable enough to be smoothly adapted to human skin, even to the most flexible part of the human palm. The achievement suggests it may be possible to equip humans with magnetic sense.

A third industrial revolution for Norway

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 06:41 AM PST

Norway's wealth and prosperity over the last four decades has been built on oil, but a futurist and social and economic thinker, says it's time for the country to change. The Third Industrial Revolution is coming, and Norway needs to abandon fossil fuels and move towards a greener future that relies on renewable energy, shared transport and ultra-efficient housing, he says.

Singapore's first 3-D-printed concept car

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 06:41 AM PST

University students have built Singapore's first urban solar electric car with an innovative 3D-printed body shell that has 150 parts. Mounted on a carbon fibre single shell chassis, the NTU Venture (NV) 8 will race in the Urban Concept category at this year's Shell Eco-marathon Asia.

New technique doubles the distance of optical fiber communications

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 06:41 AM PST

A new way to process fibre optic signals could double the distance at which data travels error-free through transatlantic sub-marine cables. The new method has the potential to reduce the costs of long-distance optical fibre communications as signals wouldn't need to be electronically boosted on their journey, which is important when the cables are buried underground or at the bottom of the ocean.

Quest for efficiency in thermoelectric nanowires

Posted: 02 Feb 2015 06:21 PM PST

Reseachers have developed a single electroforming technique that tailored key factors to better thermoelectric performance: crystal orientation, crystal size and alloy uniformity.

Five ways to put tiny targets in front of an x-ray laser

Posted: 02 Feb 2015 06:21 PM PST

X-ray devices have long been used to see the inner structure of things, from bone breaks in the human body to the contents of luggage at airport security checkpoints. But to see life's chemistry and exotic materials at the scale of individual atoms, you need a far more powerful X-ray device.

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