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Stepping stones to NASA's missions beyond low-Earth orbit

January 22, 2015 9:07 am | by EurekAlert! | Comments

"That's one small step for (a) man; one giant leap for mankind." When Neil Armstrong took his first steps on the moon, many strides came before to achieve that moment in history. The same is true for a human mission to Mars. One step towards that journey begins ...

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Getting the best results when solving complex engineering problems

January 22, 2015 9:04 am | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Optimization algorithms, which try to find the minimum values of mathematical functions, are everywhere in engineering. Among other things, they're used to evaluate design tradeoffs, to assess control systems, and to find patterns in data....

Doubt cast on global firestorm generated by dino-killing asteroid

January 22, 2015 8:59 am | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Pioneering new research has debunked the theory that the asteroid that is thought to have led to the extinction of dinosaurs also caused vast global firestorms that ravaged planet Earth. A team of researchers from the University of Exeter, University of Edinburgh ...

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Developer has plans to preserve Westinghouse atom smasher

January 22, 2015 8:54 am | by Associated Press | Comments

A developer has knocked over the Westinghouse atom smasher east of Pittsburgh but plans to preserve the structure no matter what happens to the property it was on. The brick building at the base of the five-story, lightbulb-shaped atom smasher was ...

Reports: Google planning to sell wireless phone service

January 22, 2015 8:46 am | by Associated Press | Comments

Google is planning to sell wireless phone service directly to consumers using the networks of Sprint and T-Mobile, according to reports published Wednesday. If everything falls into place, Google Inc. could offer discounted wireless data plans that would ...

Video-based therapy might benefit babies at risk of autism

January 22, 2015 4:10 am | by The University of Manchester | Comments

Researchers at The University of Manchester have, for the first time, shown that video-based therapy for families with babies at risk of autism improves infants’ engagement, attention and social behaviour, and might reduce the likelihood of such children ...

Atoms can be in 2 places at the same time

January 21, 2015 1:13 pm | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Can a penalty kick simultaneously score a goal and miss? For very small objects, at least, this is possible: according to the predictions of quantum mechanics, microscopic objects can take different paths at the same time. The world of macroscopic objects follows other ...

Today in Engineering History: Supersonic airliner takes flight

January 21, 2015 12:56 pm | by Melissa Fassbender, Editor, PD&D, @melfass | Comments

On this day in history, 1977, the first Concordes with commercial passengers took flight from London's Heathrow Airport and Orly Airport outside Paris. The aircraft were 12 years in the making, a project that pitted English and French engineers against the USSR to ...

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Engineers to fine-tune 'cold spray,' the next-gen 3-D printing and manufacturing technology

January 21, 2015 12:46 pm | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Engineers from Trinity College Dublin are leading a four-year, €500,000 European Space Agency (ESA) project to fine-tune 'Cold Spray,' (CS) - a revolutionary, environmentally friendly technology that deposits materials onto engineering components. The fruits of their labours ...

Light replaces the needle for blood samples

January 21, 2015 12:23 pm | by EurekAlert! | Comments

One in twelve children are born prematurely in Switzerland. If hypoglycemia develops in these premature babies and persists for over an hour, it can affect brain development. In order to prevent this, the babies' blood sugar levels need to be measured at ...

Smart keyboard cleans and powers itself -- and can tell who you are

January 21, 2015 12:18 pm | by EurekAlert! | Comments

In a novel twist in cybersecurity, scientists have developed a self-cleaning, self-powered smart keyboard that can identify computer users by the way they type. The device, reported in the journal ACS Nano, could help prevent unauthorized users ...

Decorative and flexible solar panels become part of interior design

January 21, 2015 11:56 am | by EurekAlert! | Comments

VTT Technical Centre of Finland has developed and utilized a mass production method based on printing technologies allowing the manufacturing of decorative, organic solar panels. Design freedom improves the range of applications of the panels on the ...

Buying cars: Do product features matter more than brands?

January 21, 2015 11:51 am | by EurekAlert! | Comments

It is a popular belief among marketers that online searches for brand names are good indicators of which products consumers plan to buy. But a new study in the Journal of Marketing suggests that searches for specific features may be far more telling....

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Do ambient fragrances make consumers purchase more?

January 21, 2015 11:49 am | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Do consumers make different choices based on the fragrance surrounding them? A new study in the Journal of Marketing shows for the first time that the "temperature" of scents in a store atmosphere may have a powerful effect on what and how much customers buy....

Self-assembled nanotextures improve conversion of sunlight to electricity

January 21, 2015 11:47 am | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Reducing the amount of sunlight that bounces off the surface of solar cells helps maximize the conversion of the sun's rays to electricity, so manufacturers use coatings to cut down on reflections. Now scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory ...

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