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Thursday, February 5, 2015

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

Scientists predict Earth-like planets around most stars

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 03:44 PM PST

Planetary scientists have calculated that there are hundreds of billions of Earth-like planets in our galaxy which might support life, by applying a 200 year old idea to the thousands of exo-planets discovered by the Kepler space telescope.

Bioengineered miniature structures could prevent heart failure

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 11:46 AM PST

The delivery of tiny biodegradable microstructures to heart tissue damaged by heart attack may help repair the tissue and prevent future heart failure.

HIV and syphilis biomarkers: Smartphone, finger prick, 15 minute diagnosis

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 11:45 AM PST

Medical researchers have developed a low-cost smartphone accessory that can perform a point-of-care test that simultaneously detects three infectious disease markers -- HIV and syphilis -- from a finger prick of blood in just 15 minutes. The device replicates, for the first time, all mechanical, optical, and electronic functions of a lab-based blood test without requiring any stored energy: all necessary power is drawn from the smartphone.

Cheap and abundant chemical outperforms precious metals as a catalyst

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 10:41 AM PST

Chemists have discovered that a cheap, safe, and abundant potassium compound can be used instead of rare precious metals as a catalyst in the production of chemicals important for drug discovery, agricultural science, medical imaging, and the creation of new materials.

Catalyst uses light to convert nitrogen to ammonia: Potential for environmentally friendly fertilizer

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 08:20 AM PST

Scientists have developed a catalyst that can perform a remarkable feat found only in nature: take nitrogen from the air and turn it into ammonia under natural conditions. No high temperatures or pressure required. Driven by light, the new method offers promise for a more environmentally friendly fertilizer. Ammonia is the critical component in fertilizer.

Programming safety into self-driving cars: Better AI algorithms for semi-autonomous vehicles

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 08:19 AM PST

For decades, researchers in artificial intelligence, or AI, worked on specialized problems, developing theoretical concepts and workable algorithms for various aspects of the field. Computer vision, planning and reasoning experts all struggled independently in areas that many thought would be easy to solve, but which proved incredibly difficult.

Groundbreaking technique developed to measure oxygen in deep-sited tumor, brain

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 07:25 AM PST

A novel Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) oximetry technique will help clinicians directly measure oxygen and schedule treatments at times of high oxygen levels in cancer and stroke patients to improve outcomes, researchers have found.

New nanoparticle gene therapy strategy effectively treats deadly brain cancer in rats

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 06:01 AM PST

Nanoparticles have been used to successfully deliver a new therapy to cancer cells in the brains of rats, prolonging their lives, scientists report. Previous research on mice found that nanoparticles carrying genes can be taken up by brain cancer cells, and the genes can then be turned on. However, this is the first time these biodegradable nanoparticles have effectively killed brain cancer cells and extended survival in animals.

Structurally reinforced hydrogel material developed using electrostatic repulsive force between nanosheets

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 06:01 AM PST

A newly created material withstands vertical loads applied in the direction perpendicular to its layers while distorting in the horizontal direction. It is promising as a vibration-damping material.

Noble metal nanoparticles coated with silica by a simple process that does not employ alcohol

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 06:01 AM PST

Noble metal nanoparticles can be coated with silica by a simple, environmentally friendly process that does not employ alcohol.

Security: Protecting customers charging electric vehicles on smart electricity grids

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 06:01 AM PST

As electricity grids become more sophisticated, grid administrators can collect instantaneous data on consumer and supplier behavior. The 'smart grid' then learns to improve the reliability, costs and sustainability of electricity distribution. However, smart grids present new security challenges, especially for mobile systems such as electric vehicles (EVs), which can be attacked both electronically and physically.

Full-color moving holograms in high resolution

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 06:01 AM PST

Three-dimensional (3D) movies, which require viewers to wear stereoscopic (i.e. Related to the technique of creating an impression of depth by showing two slightly offset flat images to each eye) glasses, have become very popular in recent years. However, the 3D effect produced by the glasses cannot provide perfect depth cues. Furthermore, it is not possible to move one's head and observe that objects appear different from different angles -- a real-life effect known as motion parallax. Now, researchers have developed a new way of generating high-resolution, full-color, 3D videos that uses holographic technology.

VISTA stares right through the Milky Way, sees Trifid Nebula in a new light

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 04:53 AM PST

A new image taken with ESO's VISTA survey telescope reveals the Trifid Nebula in a new light. By observing in infrared light, astronomers can see right through the central parts of the Milky Way and spot many previously hidden objects. In one of the VISTA surveys, astronomers have discovered very distant Cepheid variable stars. They are the first such stars found that lie in the central plane of the Milky Way beyond its central bulge.

Inhospitable climate fosters gold ore formation

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 04:52 AM PST

The Witwatersrand Basin in South Africa holds the world's largest gold deposits across a 200-km long swathe. Individual ore deposits are spread out in thin layers over areas up to 10 by 10 km and contain more gold than any other gold deposit in the world. Some 40% of the precious metal that has been found up to the present day comes from this area, and hundreds of tons of gold deposits still lie beneath the earth. The manner in which these giant deposits formed is still debated among geologists. Geologists are now trying to reconcile the contradictions of two previously published theories.

Progress toward the understanding of the galactic structure

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 04:52 AM PST

Researchers are studying the evolution and formation of hundreds of near galaxies. Galaxies are made up of millions of stars and their structures depend on the evolving process in which they have been subjected, including interactions with other nearby galaxies. Galaxies are a key element on cosmology, since the understanding of their structure is an approach to the phenomena that govern the formation of the universe.

Artificially intelligent robot scientist 'Eve' could boost search for new drugs

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 05:44 PM PST

Eve, an artificially intelligent 'robot scientist' could make drug discovery faster and much cheaper, say researchers writing in the Royal Society journal Interface. The team has demonstrated the success of the approach as Eve discovered that a compound shown to have anti-cancer properties might also be used in the fight against malaria.

Machine learning offers insights into evolution of monkey faces, researchers find

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 05:42 PM PST

Computers are able to use monkey facial patterns not only to correctly identify species, but also distinguish individuals within species, a team of scientists has found. Their findings, which rely on computer algorithms to identify guenon monkeys, suggest that machine learning can be a tool in studying evolution and help to identify the factors that have led to facial differentiation in monkey evolution.

Handheld sensor to sniff out fish fraud

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 09:34 AM PST

Researchers have developed a handheld sensor capable of debunking fraudulent seafood species claims, helping to ensure that consumers are get what they pay for.

Range of options, prices brings in the crowdfunding bucks

Posted: 02 Feb 2015 06:24 PM PST

It doesn't work in the traditional marketplace, but in the world of crowdfunding, giving consumers options and the choice to pay more for essentially the same product makes sense, new research confirms.

Worms lead way to test nanoparticle toxicity

Posted: 02 Feb 2015 11:48 AM PST

Scientists use roundworm populations in low-cost, high-throughput toxicity tests for a range of nanoparticles. The tests could cut the cost of determining which nanoparticles should be studied further for applications and for their effects on the environment.

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