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Saturday, February 7, 2015

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

Lifting the veil on a dark galaxy

Posted: 06 Feb 2015 09:53 AM PST

A cluster of young, pulsating stars discovered in the far side of the Milky Way may mark the location of a previously unseen dark-matter dominated dwarf galaxy hidden behind clouds of dust. A team used data collected by the ESO's VISTA to find four young stars approximately 300,000 light years away. These young stars are Cepheid variables, the most distant found close to the plane of the Milky Way.

A picture is worth 1000 words, but how many emotions?

Posted: 06 Feb 2015 09:52 AM PST

Researchers have come up with a more accurate way than currently possible to train computers to be able to digest data that comes in the form of images and extract the emotions they convey.

Physicists working to understand how and why matter came about

Posted: 06 Feb 2015 09:51 AM PST

Physicists are engaged in a series of neutrino experiments, called NOvA, now under way at Fermilab to help answer how and why matter came about.

Precision growth of light-emitting nanowires

Posted: 06 Feb 2015 08:17 AM PST

A novel approach to growing nanowires promises a new means of control over their light-emitting and electronic properties. Researchers demonstrated a new growth technique that uses specially engineered catalysts. These catalysts have given scientists more options than ever in turning the color of light-emitting nanowires.

Nanoscale solution to big problem of overheating in microelectronic devices

Posted: 06 Feb 2015 08:17 AM PST

Currently, microelectronic device manufacturers must rely on simulations alone to understand the temperatures inside individual devices. Researchers have now developed a way to determine actual temperatures within these devices by using material within them as its own thermometer.

Settling for 'Mr. Right Now' better than waiting for 'Mr. Right', shows model of digital organisms

Posted: 06 Feb 2015 08:16 AM PST

Evolutionary researchers have determined that settling for 'Mr. Okay' is a better evolutionary strategy than waiting for 'Mr. Perfect.' When studying the evolution of risk aversion using a computational model of digital organisms, researchers found that it is in our nature -- traced back to the earliest humans -- to take the safe bet when stakes are high, such as whether or not we will mate.

Astronomers breathe new life into venerable instrument

Posted: 06 Feb 2015 08:16 AM PST

Astronomers has revived the HPOL Spectropolarimeter, an instrument that measures polarized light from distant astronomical objects. HPOL began operating at the University of Wisconsin's Pine Bluff Observatory in 1989, but was retired in 2004 following equipment failures. The consortium relocated the instrument to the University of Toledo and upgraded several of its components. The new HPOL now operates at Ritter Observatory in Toledo, where it is obtaining higher-quality data than its predecessor.

Why 'baking powder' doubles or triples efficiency of plastic solar cells

Posted: 06 Feb 2015 04:12 AM PST

The efficiency of plastic solar cells can be doubled or tripled if an extra solvent is added during the production process, comparable with the role of baking powder in dough mixture. Exactly how this works has been unclear for the last ten years. But now researchers have come up with the answer in a publication in Nature Communications. This new understanding will now enable focused development of plastic solar cells.

Nano-hydrogels that attack cancer cells

Posted: 05 Feb 2015 11:11 AM PST

Hydrogels are materials that are commonly used in everyday objects such as contact lenses or diapers, in order to control humidity. However, chemical engineers have now developed a new technology based on thermosensitive nanoparticles (nano-hydrogels) to use these materials in the field of biomedicine, as an alternative to achieve controlled release of anticancer drugs.

When scientists play with Lego: A new creative version of pinned insect manipulator

Posted: 05 Feb 2015 09:31 AM PST

Who said scientists are not creative? Biologists have proved such statements wrong with the invention of a creative, functional and most importantly quite cheap pinned insect manipulator made entirely of Lego pieces to help them face the challenges of mass digitization of museum specimens.

Closer look at flawed studies behind policies used to promote 'low-carbon' biofuels

Posted: 05 Feb 2015 09:27 AM PST

Nearly all of the studies used to promote biofuels as climate-friendly alternatives to petroleum fuels are flawed and need to be redone, according to a researcher who reviewed more than 100 papers published over more than two decades.

Turing also present at the nanoscale

Posted: 05 Feb 2015 08:16 AM PST

In the world of single atoms and molecules governed by chaotic fluctuations, is the spontaneous formation of Turing patterns possible -- the same ones that are responsible for the irregular yet periodic shapes of the stripes on zebras' bodies? A team of physicists has for the first time demonstrated that such a process can not only occur, but can also be used for potentially very interesting applications.

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