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Updated: 8 hours 37 min ago

Surprise: Biological microstructures light up after heating

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 14:25
Physicists have investigated tubular biological microstructures that showed unexpected luminescence after heating. Optical properties of bioinspired peptides, like the ones investigated, could be useful for applications in optical fibers, biolasers and future quantum computers.

Singing the same tune: Scientists develop novel ways of separating birdsong sources

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 13:51
A new study could greatly improve current methods of localizing birdsong data. The study demonstrates the validity of using approximate maximum likelihood (AML) algorithms to determine the direction of arrival (DOA) of birdsong sources.

Giving emotions to virtual characters

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 13:46
Researchers were able to simulate human facial expressions in virtual characters and use them in order to create better environments within a virtual communication.

Fear of losing money, not spending habits, affects investor risk tolerance

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 18:10
Scientists analyzed the causes of risk tolerance and found that loss aversion, or the fear of losing money, is the primary factor that explains investors' risk tolerance.

Innovative scientists update old-school pipetting with new-age technology

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 17:24
A team researchers is bringing new levels of efficiency and accuracy to one of the most essential albeit tedious tasks of bench science: pipetting. Dubbed “iPipet,” the system converts an iPad or any tablet computer into a “smart bench” that guides the execution of complex pipetting protocols.

Finding quantum 'lines of desire': Physicists track quantum system's wanderings through quantum state space

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 17:24
What paths do quantum particles, such as atoms or photons, follow through quantum state space? Scientists have used an "artificial atom" to continuously and repeatedly record the paths through quantum state space. From the cobweb of a million paths, a most likely path between two quantum states emerged, much as social trails emerge as people round off corners or cut across lawns between buildings.

Money talks when it comes to acceptability of 'sin' companies, study reveals

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 16:02
Companies who make their money in the 'sin' industries such as the tobacco, alcohol and gaming industries typically receive less attention from institutional investors and financial analysts. But new research shows social norms and attitudes towards these types of businesses are subject to compromise when their share price looks to be on the rise.

Spin-based electronics: New material successfully tested

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 13:40
Spintronics is a new field of electronics, using electron spin rather than motion. This technology requires insulating components that can control this quantum property. Scientists have shown experimentally that a novel material shows all the required properties.

Numerical learning disability: Dyscalculia linked to difficulties in reading and spelling

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 13:38
Between three and six percent of schoolchildren suffer from an arithmetic-related learning disability. Researchers now show that these children are also more likely to exhibit deficits in reading and spelling than had been previously suspected.

Good news for couch potatoes: 3-D TV may be the victim of negative preconceptions

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 13:38
An academic led a lab-based research, involving 433 viewers of ages from 4 to 82 years, in which participants were asked to watch Toy Story in either 2-D or 3-D (S3D) and report on their viewing experience. The objective of the study was to investigate visual discomfort in relation to 3-D display technologies, as well as to determine the impact of people’s preconceptions on their experience of 3D TV. It’s no secret that the format hasn’t taken off in the way many had anticipated.

Short sellers not to blame for 2008 financial crisis

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 20:47
Contrary to widespread media reports, the collapse of several financial firms during the 2008 economic crisis was not triggered by unsettled stock trades, according to new research.

Vision-correcting display makes reading glasses so yesterday

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 19:29
Researchers are developing vision-correcting displays that can compensate for a viewer's visual impairments to create sharp images without the need for glasses or contact lenses. The technology could potentially help those who currently need corrective lenses to use their smartphones, tablets and computers, and could one day aid people with more complex visual problems.

Pediatric preventive care guidelines need retooling for computerized format

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 16:38
Substantial work lies ahead to convert the American Academy of Pediatrics' Bright Future's guidelines into computerized prompts for physicians, researchers report, but the payoff has the potential to significantly benefit patients from birth to age 21. "A major advantage would be the ability to generate clinical decision prompts using a child's age and gender and track what services have already been delivered to the child and which have not," researchers say.

Optimum inertial self-propulsion design for snowman-like nanorobot

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 15:53
A new study investigates the effects of small but finite inertia on the propulsion of micro and nano-scale swimming machines. Scale plays a major role in locomotion. Swimming microorganisms, such as bacteria and spermatozoa, are subjected to relatively small inertial forces compared to the viscous forces exerted by the surrounding fluid. Such low-level inertia makes self-propulsion a major challenge. Now, scientists have found that the direction of propulsion made possible by such inertia is opposite to that induced by a viscoelastic fluid.

Kill switch in cell phones could save consumers more than $3.4 billion annually

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 15:51
A new study shows consumer savings from the Kill Switch legislation exceed initial projections and now points to well over $3 billion. This savings to consumers comes at the expense of insurance and wireless industry profits.

Vaccine website could increase uptake

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 13:32
Giving parents access to a dedicated website on the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine is the most cost-effective way to increase uptake, say experts. "A website is a simple solution but one that could make a real difference to vaccination uptake. This is a much more convenient way for parents to get information they need about the safety of the MMR vaccine for their children," one expert said.

Reinventing biology labs by turning smartphones into microscopes

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 13:26
With nothing more than a smartphone and less than $10 of trinkets and hardware supplies, students can build their own microscopes. The DIY microscopes can magnify samples up to 175 times with a single laser pointer lens, or nearly 400 times when stacking two lenses.

Using TV, videos or a computer game as a stress reducer after a tough day at work can lead to feelings of guilt and failure

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 11:36
It seems common practice: After a long day at work, most people sometimes just want to turn on the TV or play a video or computer game to calm down and relax. However, in a new study researchers found that people who were highly stressed after work did not feel relaxed or recovered when they watched TV or played computer or video games. Instead, they tended to show increased levels of guilt and feelings of failure.

Electronic screening tool to triage teenagers and risk of substance misuse

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 20:23
An electronic screening tool that starts with a single question to assess the frequency of substance misuse appears to be an easy way to screen teenagers who visited a physician for routine medical care.

Booming mobile health app market needs more FDA oversight for consumer safety, confidence

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 16:38
While the mobile health apps market offers tremendous potential, several health law experts say that more oversight is needed by the US Food and Drug Administration to ensure consumer confidence and safety. Out of 100,000 mHealth apps on the market, only about 100 have been cleared by the FDA, which opponents see as a deterrent to innovation and profit. But it doesn't have to be.