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Flipping the switch

April 21, 2014 12:35 pm | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Harvard researchers have succeeded in creating quantum switches that can be turned on and off using a single photon, a technological achievement that could pave the way for the creation of highly secure quantum networks. Built from single atoms, the first-of-their-kind switches could one day be networked....

MRI, on a molecular scale

April 21, 2014 12:31 pm | by EurekAlert! | Comments

For decades, scientists have used techniques like X-ray crystallography and nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMR) to gain invaluable insight into the atomic structure of molecules, but such efforts have long been hampered by the fact that they demand large quantities of a specific molecule....

Computational method dramatically speeds up estimates of gene expression

April 21, 2014 12:27 pm | by EurekAlert! | Comments

With gene expression analysis growing in importance for both basic researchers and medical practitioners, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Maryland have developed a new computational method that dramatically speeds up estimates of gene activity from RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) data....

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A new key to unlocking the mysteries of physics? Quantum turbulence

April 21, 2014 12:25 pm | by EurekAlert! | Comments

The recent discovery of the Higgs boson has confirmed theories about the origin of mass and, with it, offered the potential to explain other scientific mysteries. But, scientists are continually studying other, less-understood forces that may also shed light on matters not yet uncovered....

New material coating technology mimics nature's lotus effect

April 21, 2014 12:23 pm | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Ever stop to consider why lotus plant leaves always look clean? The hydrophobic – water repelling – characteristic of the leaf, termed the "Lotus effect," helps the plant survive in muddy swamps, repelling dirt and producing beautiful flowers. Of late, engineers have been paying more and more attention to nature's efficiencies....

Study: Fuels from corn waste not better than gas

April 21, 2014 12:08 pm | by DINA CAPPIELLO, Associated Press | Comments

Biofuels made from the leftovers of harvested corn plants are worse than gasoline for global warming in the short term, a study shows, challenging the Obama administration's conclusions that they are a much cleaner oil alternative and will help combat climate change. A $500,000 study paid for by the federal government...

NASA: Engineer vital to moon landing success dies

April 21, 2014 12:04 pm | by Associated Press | Comments

John C. Houbolt, an engineer whose contributions to the U.S. space program were vital to NASA's successful moon landing in 1969, has died. He was 95. Houbolt died Tuesday at a nursing home in Scarborough, Maine, of complications from Parkinson's disease, his son-in-law Tucker Withington, of Plymouth, Mass., confirmed Saturday....

Fifth generation Army tank cartridge reports loudly for duty

April 21, 2014 8:17 am | by U.S. Army | Comments

The U.S. Army fired the first of a new fifth-generation tank cartridge, the M829E4, from an Abrams tank at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., March 18, 2014, as part of a series of critical trials preceding the cartridge's entry into the Army's inventory....

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Airport security officers at TSA gaining insight from Sandia human behavior studies

April 21, 2014 7:14 am | by Sandia National Laboratories | Comments

A recent Sandia National Laboratories study offers insight into how a federal transportation security officer’s thought process can influence decisions made during airport baggage screening, findings that are helping the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) improve the...

A Dropbox for the Internet of Things

April 21, 2014 1:12 am | by MIT Technology Review | Comments

Amid a wide range of new platforms to manage streams of data from the Internet of things, a simple version emerges that anyone can use.With the advent of the Internet of things, potentially billions of devices will report data about themselves, making it possible to create new applications in areas...

5 features an Amazon phone might offer

April 18, 2014 2:10 pm | by Mae Anderson - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | Comments

Rumors of an Amazon smartphone reached a fever pitch this week, with several tech blogs speculating that the device could be due out this year. Amazon hasn't confirmed that it has plans for a smartphone, and it isn't clear what such a device might offer in the way of distinctive features. Some...

Better thermal-imaging lens from waste sulfur

April 18, 2014 1:44 pm | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Sulfur left over from refining fossil fuels can be transformed into cheap, lightweight, plastic lenses for infrared devices, including night-vision goggles, a University of Arizona-led international team has found. The team successfully took thermal images of a person through a piece of the new plastic....

Bright points in sun's atmosphere mark patterns deep in its interior

April 18, 2014 1:40 pm | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Like a balloon bobbing along in the air while tied to a child's hand, a tracer has been found in the sun's atmosphere to help track the flow of material coursing underneath the sun's surface. New research that uses data from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, to track bright points in the solar atmosphere...

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Photos of the Day: Helicat 22 looks like hybrid between helicopter and boat

April 18, 2014 1:16 pm | by ECN Staff | Comments

The HeliCat 22 is a catamaran that looks like a helicopter but glides like a decadent boat. It’s able to cruise 0-30 mph in whitecap waves at 5 mpg. It features two independent motor/fuel/electrical systems for redundancy. The HeliCat 22 burns only 4-13 gph, getting 5 to 3.5 miles per gallon....

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First Earth-size planet is discovered in another star's habitable zone

April 18, 2014 12:53 pm | by EurekAlert! | Comments

A team of astronomers that includes Penn State scientists has discovered the first Earth-size planet orbiting a star in the "habitable zone" -- the distance from a star where liquid water might pool on the surface of an orbiting planet. The discovery was made with NASA's Kepler Space Telescope....

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