Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

NASA

Evolving Sun Cells 20

Posted by Soulskill
from the pretty-pictures dept.
An anonymous reader sends this quote from a NASA report: "One day in the fall of 2011, Neil Sheeley, a solar scientist at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., did what he always does — look through the daily images of the sun from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). But on this day he saw something he'd never noticed before: a pattern of cells with bright centers and dark boundaries occurring in the sun's atmosphere, the corona. ... The coronal cells occur in areas between coronal holes – colder and less dense areas of the corona seen as dark regions in images -- and "filament channels" which mark the boundaries between sections of upward-pointing magnetic fields and downward-pointing ones. Understanding how these cells evolve can provide clues as to the changing magnetic fields at the boundaries of coronal holes and how they affect the steady emission of solar material known as the solar wind streaming from these holes."
Medicine

McAfee Claims Successful Insulin Pump Attack 196

Posted by Soulskill
from the as-if-we-needed-more-biological-vulnerabilities dept.
judgecorp writes "Intel security subsidiary McAfee has claimed a successful wireless attack on insulin pumps that diabetics rely on to control blood sugar. While previous attempts to attack insulin pumps have met with mixed success, McAfee's Barnaby Jack says he has persuaded an insulin pump to deliver 45 days worth of insulin in one go, without triggering the pump's vibrating alert safety feature. All security experts still say that surgical implants are a benefit overall."
Hardware

Copper-Graphene Nanocomposite Cools Electronics Faster & Cheaper 56

Posted by Soulskill
from the miles-davis-of-nanocomposites dept.
samazon writes "North Carolina State University researcher Jag Kasichainula has developed a 'heat spreader' to cool electronics more efficiently using a copper-graphene composite, which is attached using an indium-graphene interface film. According to Kasichainula, the technique will cool 25% faster than pure copper and will cost less to produce than the copper plate heat spreaders currently used by most electronics (abstract). Better performance at a lower cost? Let's hope so."
Science

Intelligence Map Made From Brain Injury Data 102

Posted by Soulskill
from the he-got-punched-in-the-math dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this news out of the University of Illinois: "Scientists report that they have mapped the physical architecture of intelligence in the brain. Theirs is one of the largest and most comprehensive analyses so far of the brain structures vital to general intelligence and to specific aspects of intellectual functioning, such as verbal comprehension and working memory. Their study, published in Brain: A Journal of Neurology (abstract), is unique in that it enlisted an extraordinary pool of volunteer participants: 182 Vietnam veterans with highly localized brain damage from penetrating head injuries. ... The researchers took CT scans of the participants’ brains and administered an extensive battery of cognitive tests. They pooled the CT data to produce a collective map of the cortex, which they divided into more than 3,000 three-dimensional units called voxels. By analyzing multiple patients with damage to a particular voxel or cluster of voxels and comparing their cognitive abilities with those of patients in whom the same structures were intact, the researchers were able to identify brain regions essential to specific cognitive functions, and those structures that contribute significantly to intelligence."
Medicine

Dental X-Rays Linked To Common Brain Tumor 248

Posted by timothy
from the tradeoffs-are-everywhere dept.
redletterdave writes "A new study suggests people who had certain kinds of dental X-rays in the past may be at an increased risk for meningioma, the most commonly diagnosed brain tumor in the U.S. Dr. Elizabeth Klaus, the study's lead author and a professor at the Yale School of Medicine, discovered that dental X-rays are the most common source of exposure to ionizing radiation — which has been linked to meningiomas in the past — and that those diagnosed with meningiomas were more than twice as likely as a comparison group to report ever having had bitewing images taken. And regardless of the age when the bitewings were taken, those who had them yearly or more frequently were between 40 percent and 90 percent higher risk at all ages to be diagnosed with a brain tumor."
NASA

NASA Shuttle Discovery Set To Buzz Washington, DC 65

Posted by timothy
from the crane-your-neck dept.
coondoggie writes "Barring bad weather, NASA said the space shuttle Discovery mounted atop the space agency's 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft will make a series of low passes — 1,500 ft. — around parts of Washington DC on April 17 between 10-11 am eastern daylight time." Discovery will be on its way to the Smithsonian from Florida; this is a rare chance in the post-shuttle era for people to still see a shuttle in flight; I'm planning a marathon drive to reach the parking lot at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center for what NASA's calling Shuttle Fly-In Day, in hopes of catching a glimpse.
Science

Pockets In Graphene Layers Allow Viewing of Liquids With an Electron Microscope 32

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the the-emperor's-graphene-clothes dept.
slew writes "Looking at liquids with a transmission electron microscope to observe things like crystal growth has been difficult to do. This is because liquids need to be confined to a capsule to view them in a TEM (because the electrons are flying at the sample in a chamber near vaccuum pressures where liquids would evaporate or sublimate). Traditional capsules of Silicon Oxide or Silicon Nitride have been fairly opaque. A paper describes a new technique with a 'pocket' created between two graphene layers which can hold liquids for observation by a TEM and the graphene is apparently much more transparent than previous materials allowing a better view of the processes (like crystalization), taking place in the liquid. The BBC has a non-paywalled summary article."
Space

BOSS: The Universe's Most Precise Measurement 128

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the you-are-a-meaningless-dot dept.
Cazekiel writes "Observing the primordial sound waves created 30,000 years after the Big Bang, physicists on the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey have determined our universe's most precise measurements: 13.5 billion years old. The article detailing the study reports: '"We've made precision measurements of the large-scale structure of the universe five to seven billion years ago — the best measure yet of the size of anything outside the Milky Way," says David Schlegel of the Physics Division at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, BOSS's principal investigator. "We're pushing out to the distances when dark energy turned on, where we can start to do experiments to find out what's causing accelerating expansion."'"
The Military

New Tech Makes Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Verifiable 93

Posted by Soulskill
from the except-our-super-secret-stealth-nukes dept.
Harperdog writes "In 1999, Senate Republicans rejected the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty on the grounds that it wasn't verifiable. The National Academy of Sciences feels this is no longer true, due to new technology. Quoting: 'Technologies for detecting clandestine testing in four environments — underground, underwater, in the atmosphere, and in space — have improved significantly in the past decade. In particular, seismology, the most effective approach for monitoring underground nuclear explosion testing, can now detect underground explosions well below 1 kiloton in most regions. A kiloton is equivalent to 1,000 tons of chemical high explosive. The nuclear weapons that were used in Japan in World War II had yields in the range of 10 to 20 kilotons.'"
Space

Search For Earth-Like Worlds Focuses On Sun's Siblings 64

Posted by Soulskill
from the all-in-the-family dept.
astroengine writes "The search for 'Earth-like' worlds just became even more Earth-like. Researchers from the University of Turku, Finland, have begun the search for the Sun's siblings in the hope that they may play host to exoplanets. Since these stars 'grew up' in close proximity to our Sun inside a stellar nursery some 4.5 billion years ago, they may have shared more than just star-building materials. Through the biology-spreading hypothesis 'panspermia,' they may have also shared the basic building blocks for life. Two sibling candidates have now been found and the researchers hope to survey the two stars — which contain similar metals and are of a similar age to our Sun — for bona fide Earth-like worlds. Could these worlds have life? If they do, extraterrestrial life may have more in common with us than we ever imagined."
Space

High School Juniors Create 'Flavor Strips' For Astronauts 23

Posted by samzenpus
from the tastes-like-space dept.
Cazekiel writes "The sense of taste for astronauts is dulled by microgravity, but four high schoolers participating in the Spirit of Innovation Challenge have come up with a solution: Flavor Strips. They put a little more kick into space-food; from simple salt-and-pepper to Asian spices, astronauts get to add more taste to their meals without the space traveler, as Myra Halpin, a chemistry and research instructor at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics says of one tale told to her, 'spinning himself around to get the hot sauce out of the bottle.'"
Medicine

Photoacoustic Imaging Uses Sight, Sound For Cancer Detection 15

Posted by timothy
from the do-these-rays-make-my-tumor-fluoresce? dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A new imaging technique combines light and sound to create detailed, color pictures of tumors deep inside the body. It's hoped the technology, called photoacoustic tomography, will help doctors diagnose cancer earlier than is now possible and to more precisely monitor the effects of cancer treatment — all without the radiation involved in X-rays and CT scans or the expense of MRIs. By combining sounds and light, the technology can penetrate the body's tissues to visualize tumors at depths never before possible."
Earth

Colony Collapse Disorder Linked To Pesticide, High-Fructose Corn Syrup 398

Posted by timothy
from the eat-your-vegetables-honey dept.
hondo77 writes "Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health '...have re-created the mysterious Colony Collapse Disorder in several honeybee hives simply by giving them small doses of a popular pesticide, imidacloprid.' This follows recently-reported studies also linked the disorder to neonicotinoid pesticides. What is really interesting is the link to when the disorder started appearing, 2006. 'That mechanism? High-fructose corn syrup. Many bee-keepers have turned to high-fructose corn syrup to feed their bees, which the researchers say did not imperil bees until U.S. corn began to be sprayed with imidacloprid in 2004-2005. A year later was the first outbreak of Colony Collapse Disorder.'"
Education

Ask Slashdot: Advice For Budding Scientist? 279

Posted by timothy
from the keep-quiet-about-the-reanimation dept.
New submitter everithe writes "Dear Slashdot, I am nearing the end of my undergraduate years and hoping to continue on in academia, probably focusing on condensed matter physics. Recently I've noticed some alarming pessimism among Slashdotters about the state of science — that fraud is rampant and that people honestly trying to do science are less likely to be recognized and obtain tenure. Obviously I am very interested in doing real and useful science, but am worried that this could conflict with my ability to put food on the table. My question is, how bad is it really, and do you have any advice for how one just starting out might survive in such an environment?"
Math

How To Share a Cake Over the Internet 123

Posted by timothy
from the first-you-divide-it-into-bits dept.
mikejuk writes "The problem to be solved sounds trivial — cut up a cake so that each person thinks they get a fair share. This classical problem gets even more difficult if the 'players' can't all see what is going on at the same time — for example because they are negotiating via the internet. Now there is an asynchronous algorithm that is guaranteed to be fair and it all depends on using an encrypted auction. The new algorithm is simple and easy to use, and might be the solution to any number of difficult situations where people need to share things so that everyone comes away happy."

The economy depends about as much on economists as the weather does on weather forecasters. -- Jean-Paul Kauffmann

Working...