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Chance meeting creates celestial diamond ring

April 9, 2014 9:02 am | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Most stars with masses similar to that of our Sun will end their lives as white dwarfs — small, very dense, and hot bodies that slowly cool down over billions of years. On the way to this final phase of their lives the stars throw their atmospheres out into the space....

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Passwords vulnerable after security flaw found

April 9, 2014 8:59 am | by MICHAEL LIEDTKE and ANICK JESDANUN AP, Technology Writers | Comments

An alarming lapse in Internet security has exposed millions of passwords, credit card numbers and other sensitive bits of information to potential theft by computer hackers who may have been secretly exploiting the problem before its discovery....

Clinton urges tech leaders to invest in training

April 9, 2014 8:52 am | by LISA LEFF, Associated Press | Comments

Hillary Rodham Clinton said Tuesday that if Silicon Valley executives want to persuade Congress to let them hire more high-skilled professionals from abroad, they would have a better case if they also funded college-based training programs for U.S. workers....

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Smartphone trial judge annoyed by phones in court

April 9, 2014 3:10 am | by Martha Mendoza - AP National Writer - Associated Press | Comments

So far one of the biggest problems for the federal judge overseeing a patent battle between the world's largest smartphone makers isn't about stolen ideas. It's getting the roomful of smartphone devotees to turn off their devices. U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh has become increasingly frustrated...

Cryptography could add privacy protections to NSA phone surveillance

April 9, 2014 12:11 am | by MIT Technology Review | Comments

Cryptography could enforce limits on data collected for surveillance data while still permitting agencies to do their jobs, argues a Microsoft researcher.Since several large-scale U.S. surveillance programs were revealed in documents leaked by Edward Snowden last summer, many companies and...

Seeing double: New study explains evolution of duplicate genes

April 8, 2014 2:18 pm | by Georgia Institute of Technology | Comments

From time to time, living cells will accidently make an extra copy of a gene during the normal replication process. Throughout the history of life, evolution has molded some of these seemingly superfluous genes into a source of genetic novelty, adaptation and...

Cheap solar power—at night

April 8, 2014 2:12 pm | by MIT Technology Review | Comments

New solar thermal technologies could address solar power’s intermittency problem.When the world’s largest solar thermal power plant—in Ivanpah, California—opened earlier this year, it was greeted with skepticism. The power plant is undeniably impressive....

Photos of the Day: 'Electronic skin' can store and deliver medicine

April 8, 2014 1:22 pm | by ECN Staff | Comments

Researchers from the University of Texas in Austin have developed a wearable device known as “electronic skin” that can store and transmit data and release drugs into the skin. The device is a bit like an electronic parfait — layers of stretchable nanomaterials in a tiny package....

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Climate meeting to discuss future of fossil fuels

April 7, 2014 4:42 pm | by FRANK JORDANS, Associated Press | Comments

After concluding that global warming almost certainly is man-made and poses a grave threat to humanity, the U.N.-sponsored expert panel on climate change is moving on to the next phase: what to do about it. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, will meet next week....

Watching for a black hole to gobble up a gas cloud

April 7, 2014 4:30 pm | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Right now a doomed gas cloud is edging ever closer to the supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy. These black holes feed on gas and dust all the time, but astronomers rarely get to see mealtime in action. Northwestern University's Daryl Haggard has been closely watching the little cloud....

Iowa State scientist developing materials, electronics that dissolve when triggered

April 7, 2014 4:27 pm | by EurekAlert! | Comments

A medical device, once its job is done, could harmlessly melt away inside a person's body. Or, a military device could collect and send its data and then dissolve away, leaving no trace of an intelligence mission. Or, an environmental sensor could collect climate information, then wash away in the rain....

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To bridge LEDs' green gap, scientists think small ... really small

April 7, 2014 4:19 pm | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Nanostructures half the breadth of a DNA strand could improve the efficiency of light emitting diodes (LEDs), especially in the "green gap," a portion of the spectrum where LED efficiency plunges, simulations at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) have shown....

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Identify strategies for cultivating microalgae more efficiently to produce biodiesel

April 7, 2014 4:16 pm | by EurekAlert! | Comments

The Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development, Neiker-Tecnalia, the public body that reports to the Sub-ministry for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Policy of the Government of the Basque Autonomous Community, has coordinated a research project to cultivate microalgae....

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New algorithm aids in both robot navigation and scene understanding

April 7, 2014 4:12 pm | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Suppose you're trying to navigate an unfamiliar section of a big city, and you're using a particular cluster of skyscrapers as a reference point. Traffic and one-way streets force you to take some odd turns, and for a while you lose sight of your landmarks....

Helium ions may provide superior, better-targeted treatment in pediatric radiotherapy

April 7, 2014 4:10 pm | by EurekAlert! | Comments

For the first time, researchers have been able to demonstrate that the use of helium ions in radiation therapy could provide accurate treatment to tumours while helping to spare healthy organs. A treatment planning study to be presented at the ESTRO 33 congress today....

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