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Technical (News/Activism)

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  • Hybrid copper-gold nanoparticles convert CO2 (To Hydrocarbons!)

    04/11/2012 8:26:05 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 59 replies
    http://phys.org ^ | 04-11-12 | Jennifer Chu - Provided by Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Copper -- the stuff of pennies and tea kettles -- is also one of the few metals that can turn carbon dioxide into hydrocarbon fuels with relatively little energy. When fashioned into an electrode and stimulated with voltage, copper acts as a strong catalyst, setting off an electrochemical reaction with carbon dioxide that reduces the greenhouse gas to methane or methanol. Various researchers around the world have studied copper’s potential as an energy-efficient means of recycling carbon dioxide emissions in powerplants: Instead of being released into the atmosphere, carbon dioxide would be circulated through a copper catalyst and turned into...
  • Microfluidic fuel cell powers forward

    04/10/2012 6:21:19 PM PDT · by neverdem · 9 replies
    Chemistry world ^ | 10 April 2012 | Andy Extance
    Researchers at Cornell University in the US have challenged prevailing fuel cell wisdom by throwing out three standard characteristics of today's mainstream systems to drive down their cost. Héctor Abruńa and Abraham Stroock's team changed the fuel and oxidant chemicals used and the cell design that keeps them apart, getting power densities above 0.25 W/cm2. 'What we attain is extraordinary for a device that simple,' Abruńa  tells Chemistry World.  'Fuel cells for automotive applications are typically around 1-2W/cm2. It's not that far off.'   The microfluidic fuel cell doesn't need an expensive Nafion membrane to keep the fuel and oxidant separate © Cornell...
  • Graphene puts wet chemistry under the microscope

    04/08/2012 12:54:35 PM PDT · by neverdem · 7 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 05 April 2012 | Simon Hadlington
    The list of remarkable applications for graphene grows ever longer. This time, scientists in the US and Korea have shown that the single-atom thick carbon membrane can be used as a cover slip for an electron microscope to allow atomic-resolution observations of wet chemistry - something that is notoriously tricky to achieve. The graphene cover slip allows researchers to watch liquid chemistry taking place in much greater detail © Image courtesy of Alivisatos, Lee and Zettl research groups, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and KAIST The researchers wanted to investigate how platinum nanocrystals form from solution. 'Seeing the crystals form at...
  • Brain imaging: fMRI 2.0

    04/08/2012 11:11:33 AM PDT · by neverdem · 10 replies
    Nature News ^ | 04 April 2012 | Kerri Smith
    Functional magnetic resonance imaging is growing from showy adolescence into a workhorse of brain imaging. The blobs appeared 20 years ago. Two teams, one led by Seiji Ogawa at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey, the other by Kenneth Kwong at Massachusetts General Hospital in Charlestown, slid a handful of volunteers into giant magnets. With their heads held still, the volunteers watched flashing lights or tensed their hands, while the research teams built the data flowing from the machines into grainy images showing parts of the brain illuminated as multicoloured blobs. The results showed that a technique called functional...
  • Plasma Flashlight Zaps Bacteria

    04/07/2012 11:17:23 PM PDT · by neverdem · 19 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 4 April 2012 | Jon Cartwright
    Enlarge Image Light therapy . A portable plasma flashlight can kill bacteria in minutes. (Credit: X. Pei et al., Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics) Credit: X. Pei et al., Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics (2012) Killing harmful bacteria in hospitals is difficult; out in the field, it can be an even bigger problem. Now, researchers may have a means for remote disinfection in a portable "flashlight" that shines a ray of cold plasma to kill bacteria in minutes. Medical scientists have high hopes for plasmas. Produced in electrical discharges, these gases of free electrons and ions have...
  • ScienceShot: Water Floats on Oil

    04/07/2012 10:37:07 PM PDT · by neverdem · 6 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 5 April 2012 | Jon Cartwright
    Credit: NASA; (inset) Chi M. Phan Two years ago, the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig covered hundreds of square miles of the Gulf of Mexico with oil (main image). The oil floated because it is less dense, and therefore lighter, than water. But now scientists say that water can sometimes float on oil—and their findings, which were published last month in Langmuir, could help to mop up oil slicks like the one created by the 2010 disaster. Using a theoretical model, the scientists calculated the forces acting on water when it is dripped onto an oil surface....
  • Ultrashort pulse laser surgery of the cornea and the sclera

    04/03/2012 7:49:33 PM PDT · by muawiyah · 9 replies
    Journal of Optics ^ | JULY 2010 | K Plamann
    REVIEW ARTICLE The strongly localized interaction process of ultrashort laser pulses with tissue makes femtosecond lasers a powerful tool for eye surgery. These lasers are now routinely used in refractive surgery and other forms of surgery of the anterior segment of the eye. Several clinical laser systems also offer options for corneal grafting and the potential use of ultrashort pulse lasers in glaucoma surgery has been the object of several recent studies which have shown promising results.While devices aimed for interventions in clear tissue may be based on available solid state or fibre laser technology, the development of tools for...
  • Flying car a 'step closer': Terrafugia (Update)

    04/03/2012 11:29:32 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 21 replies
    http://www.physorg.com ^ | 04-03-2012 | by Andrew Beatty
    Drivers hoping to slip the surly -- and traffic congested -- bonds of Earth moved a step closer to realizing their dream, as a US firm said it had successfully tested a street-legal plane. Massachusetts-based firm Terrafugia said their production prototype "Transition" car-plane had completed an eight-minute test flight, clearing the way for it to hit the market within a year. "With this flight, the team demonstrated an ability to accomplish what had been called an impossible dream," said founder Carl Dietrich. The two-seater craft, which has the rounded features of a Fiat 500 and collapsible wings, is on presale...
  • Dutch 'flying car' takes to the skies

    04/03/2012 11:22:06 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 39 replies
    http://www.physorg.com ^ | 04-03-2012 | Staff
    Is it a flying car or a driving aircraft? Either way, the Personal Air and Land Vehicle, or PAL-V for short, has just proved it can handle the skies as well as the highway, both at up to 180 kilometres (112 miles) per hour, its Dutch developers said Tuesday. The PAL-V is a gyrocopter that can fly as far as 500 kilometres (315 miles) at an altitude of up to 4,000 feet (1,200 metres). When it lands, it tucks away its rotor-blades and turns into a road-legal three-wheeled vehicle with a range of 1,200 kilometres. "In future, you will be...
  • More combined Arctic and Antarctic sea ice than 30 year average.

    04/02/2012 11:41:37 AM PDT · by Kinsingmonster · 9 replies
    University of Ilinois ^ | April 2, 2012 | Universtity of Ilinois
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/global.daily.ice.area.withtrend.jpg
  • Make Technology--and the World--Frictionless

    04/01/2012 12:15:28 PM PDT · by ShadowAce · 19 replies
    Scientific American ^ | 21 March 2012 | David Pogue
    A few months back I was at the main Apple Store in New York City. I wanted to buy a case for my son’s iPod touch—but it was December 23. The crowds were so thick, I envied sardines. Fortunately, I knew something that most of these people didn’t: I could grab an item off the shelf, scan it with my iPhone and walk right out. Thanks to the free Apple Store app, I didn’t have to wait in line or even find an employee. The purchase was instantly billed to my Apple account. I was in and out of there...
  • Warned of an Attack on the Internet, and Getting Ready

    03/31/2012 5:33:43 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 40 replies
    The New York Times ^ | March 30, 2012 | By SOMINI SENGUPTA
    On a quiet Sunday in mid-February, something curious attracted the attention of the behind-the-scenes engineers who scour the Internet for signs of trouble. There, among the ubiquitous boasts posted by the hacking collective Anonymous, was a call to attack some of the network’s most crucial parts. The message called it Operation Global Blackout, and rallied Anonymous supporters worldwide to attack the Domain Name System. It declared when the attack would be carried out: March 31. And it detailed exactly how: by bombarding the Domain Name System with junk traffic in an effort to overwhelm it altogether.
  • Scientists Manipulate Electrons Into Material Never Seen on Earth

    03/29/2012 9:51:24 PM PDT · by neverdem · 10 replies
    gizmodo.com ^ | Mar 14, 2012 | Kristen Philipkoski
    Stanford scientists have created designer electrons that behave as if they were exposed to a magnetic field of 60 Tesla—a force 30 percent stronger than anything ever sustained on Earth. The work could lead to a revolution in the materials that make everything from video displays to airplanes to mobile phones. "The behavior of electrons in materials is at the heart of essentially all of today's technologies," said Hari Manoharan, associate professor of physics at Stanford and a member of SLAC's Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Sciences, who led the research. "We're now able to tune the fundamental properties...
  • James Cameron Reaches Deepest Spot on Earth

    03/25/2012 6:02:22 PM PDT · by anymouse · 51 replies · 3+ views
    Hollywood icon James Cameron has made it to Earth's deepest point. The director of "Titanic," ''Avatar" and other films used a specially designed submarine to dive nearly seven miles, completing his journey a little before 8 a.m. Monday local time, according to Stephanie Montgomery of the National Geographic Society. He plans to spend about six hours exploring and filming the Mariana Trench, about 200 miles southwest of the Pacific island of Guam. "All systems OK," were Cameron's first words upon reaching the bottom, according to a statement. His arrival at a depth of 35,756 feet came early Sunday evening on...
  • New device invisible to magnetic fields

    03/24/2012 11:19:51 PM PDT · by U-238 · 26 replies · 1+ views
    Defense Talk ^ | 3/24/2012 | Defense Talk
    European researchers said Thursday they have created a device invisible to a static magnetic field that could have practical military and medical applications. Fedor Gomory and colleagues in Slovakia and Spain designed a cloak for a direct current, or dc, magnetic field that is static and produced by a permanent magnet or coil carrying a direct current. DC magnetic fields are used in MRI imaging devices, in hospitals and in security systems, such as those in airports. The researchers' device, described in a study in Friday's edition of the journal Science, features a cylinder with two concentric layers. While the...
  • The Moon’s Long Lost Twin Found

    03/24/2012 12:57:47 AM PDT · by U-238 · 79 replies · 2+ views
    International Business Times ^ | 8/11/2011 | International Business Times
    The moon maybe palely alone in the night sky today but according to scientists it is possible that the there was a second, smaller moon 4.4 billion years ago. A paper published in the journal Nature theorized that there was a smaller moon created in the same impact that created the moon. Astronomers, Martin Jutzi and Erik Asphaug of the University of California at Santa Cruz have long wondered why the moon had two incongruous sides, one smooth with flat plains and another side full of rugged mountains and craters. The astronomers started thinking that the mountainous region had been...
  • Congress seeks more U.S. aid for Iron Dome

    03/23/2012 7:36:46 PM PDT · by U-238 · 5 replies
    UPI ^ | 3/23/2012 | UPI
    Key leaders of the U.S. Congress want U.S. President Barack Obama to provide funds to help Israel, should it request it, to produce more batteries of the Iron Dome counter-rocket system. Israel's air force has three batteries deployed to protect cities in the southern Negev Desert against rockets fired by Palestinian militants in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip but budget problems mean it can't fund more batteries needed to shield the rest of the country. Iron Dome, which racked up a 90 percent kill rate against Palestinian Qassam and Grad rockets in recent weeks, was developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems...
  • USAF fields first upgraded F-22 Raptors

    03/23/2012 7:27:03 PM PDT · by U-238 · 17 replies
    Flight Global ^ | 3/23/2012 | Dave Mujumdar
    The US Air Force has begun to deploy Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptors upgraded with enhanced air-to-ground strike capabilities to the operational fleet, starting with the 3rd Wing at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska. "The 525th Fighter Squadron was the first Combat Air Forces squadron to receive an [Increment] 3.1 modified aircraft," says squadron commander Lt Col Paul "Max" Moga. "The capabilities this incremental upgrade brings are a complete game-changer for the F-22, making it even more lethal and survivable in combat." The unit's flagship, tail number 4115, is the first aircraft to be equipped with the modifications, which add a...
  • Lockheed welcomes Norway backing of F-35 fighter

    03/23/2012 7:22:44 PM PDT · by U-238
    Baltimore Sun ^ | 3/23/2012 | Andrea Shalal-Esa
    Lockheed Martin Corp on Friday welcomed news that Norway planned to increase its order for F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets by four planes, and was considering pulling forward the delivery of two initial training jets by one year to 2015. Lockheed said the move showed the Norwegian government's "trust and confidence" in the F-35 program, and pledged to work closely with the Norwegian government to accommodate and implement its revamped plans. Lockheed is developing three variants of the radar-evading new fighter for the U.S. military and the eight partner countries that are helping fund its development: Britain, Norway, Canada, Denmark,...
  • TEAR JERKER! Dead Daughter's Voicemails Erased by Phone Company

    03/23/2012 12:06:48 PM PDT · by US Navy Vet · 50 replies · 1+ views
    ABC News ^ | March 23, 2012 | By ASHLEY JENNINGS
    For 51-year-old Faron Butler, the thing he cherished most after his daughter's death was being able to hear her voice. "Every time I had a bad day or just wanted to listen to her I'd go through my old voicemails," Butler told ABCNews.com through tears. "I had one that I'd play over and over again. She'd be saying 'Daddy, I love you and I miss you.'" He said he was shocked when a few weeks ago he went to hear that familiar voice, only to find out the voicemail had been erased