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NTU launches two new home-grown satellites

July 7, 2014 11:16 am | by EurekAlert! | Comments

The nation's latest satellites, VELOX-I and VELOX-PIII, were launched into space on India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV C-23 at 9.52 am (12.21 pm Singapore time), on Monday, 30 June 2014. Designed and built by students and researchers at the NTU Satellite Research Centre, the VELOX-I is a nano-satellite....

Power consumption of robot joints could be 40 perecnt less, according to a laboratory study

July 7, 2014 11:13 am | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Let us imagine, for a moment, the arm of a robot that lifts a cup of coffee to its "lips" over and over again. The joint of this robotic arm needs a certain flexibility plus an electric motor to drive the upward and downward movements. So orders have to be sent to the motor so that the joint can perform the corresponding movements....

Fruit fly immunity fails with fungus after (space)flight

July 7, 2014 11:09 am | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Before you swat away the next fruit fly, consider instead just how similar its biological complexities are to our own. In a study published in PLOS ONE, researchers led by Deborah Kimbrell, Ph.D., at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) and their collaborators, studied how microorganisms may alter fruit flies' immunity....

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Hollow-fiber membranes could cut separation costs, energy use

July 7, 2014 11:06 am | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Researchers have developed a microfluidic technique for fabricating a new class of metal-organic framework (MOF) membranes inside hollow polymer fibers that are just a few hundred microns in diameter. The new fabrication process, believed to be the first to grow MOF membranes inside hollow fibers ...

Columbia researchers observe tunable quantum behavior in bilayer graphene

July 7, 2014 11:03 am | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Columbia researchers have observed the fractional quantum Hall effect in bilayer graphene and shown that this exotic state of matter can be tuned by an electric field. The fractional quantum Hall effect, which can occur when electrons confined to thin sheets are exposed to large magnetic fields ...

With 'ribbons' of graphene, width matters

July 7, 2014 11:00 am | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Using graphene ribbons of unimaginably small widths – just several atoms across – a group of researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) has found a novel way to "tune" the wonder material, causing the extremely efficient conductor of electricity to act as a semiconductor....

As TV makers exit plasma, can they make up for it with LCD?

July 7, 2014 10:17 am | by DisplaySearch | Comments

The recent announcement by Samsung SDI that it will end plasma display panel (PDP) manufacturing this year also speculated that LG Electronics will shut its PDP business due to low demand, which would leave COC (Changhong) as the sole remaining plasma TV manufaturer....

From pencil marks to quantum computers

July 7, 2014 9:39 am | by EurekAlert! | Comments

One of the hottest materials in condensed matter research today is graphene. Graphene had an unlikely start: it began with researchers messing around with pencil marks on paper. Pencil "lead" is actually made of graphite, which is a soft crystal lattice made of nothing but carbon atoms....

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How knots can swap positions on a DNA strand

July 7, 2014 9:34 am | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Physicists of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and the Graduate School of Excellence "Materials Science in Mainz" (MAINZ) have been able with the aid of computer simulations to confirm and explain a mechanism by which two knots on a DNA strand can interchange their positions....

High-res images of inner ear could lead to new hearing loss therapies

July 7, 2014 9:20 am | by Texas A&M University | Comments

Understanding how hearing works has long been hampered by challenges associated with seeing inside the inner ear, but technology being developed by a team of researchers that includes a biomedical engineer from Texas A&M University is generating some of the most detailed images of the inner ...

A young star's age can be gleamed from nothing but sound waves

July 7, 2014 9:00 am | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Determining the age of stars has long been a challenge for astronomers. In experiments published in the journal Science, researchers at KU Leuven's Institute for Astronomy show that 'infant' stars can be distinguished from 'adolescent' stars by measuring the acoustic waves they emit....

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Study: Just thinking by yourself isn't much fun

July 7, 2014 8:54 am | by MALCOLM RITTER, AP Science Writer | Comments

Wouldn't you love to escape this busy world and just spend some time alone with your thoughts? Maybe not, says a study of volunteers who actually tried it. Some even started giving themselves electric shocks as the minutes ticked by. "I think many of them were trying to shock themselves out of boredom," said psychologist Timothy Wilson....

Cosmic masquerade: Habitable planet isn't planet

July 7, 2014 8:50 am | by Associated Press | Comments

A new study says a planet outside our solar system thought to be in the so-called Goldilocks zone is not even a real planet, but a cosmic masquerade. Four years ago, scientists proclaimed they found what could be the first planet outside our solar system in the habitable zone around its star....

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Journal expresses 'concern' over Facebook study

July 7, 2014 8:46 am | by Associated Press | Comments

The scientific journal that published a study by Facebook and two U.S. universities examining people's online mood swings regrets how the social experiment was handled. In a note of contrition, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences concluded that the decision to manipulate the content ...

Germany summons US envoy over spy case

July 7, 2014 8:42 am | by GEIR MOULSON, Associated Press | Comments

German-U.S. relations are facing a new test over a German intelligence employee who reportedly spied for the U.S., with Germany's president saying if the allegations are true, that kind of spying on allies must stop. Prosecutors say a 31-year-old German was arrested last week on suspicion of spying for foreign intelligence services....

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