Tech

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Most polymers — materials made of long, chain-like molecules — are very good insulators for both heat and electricity. But an MIT team has found a way to transform the most widely used polymer, polyethylene, into a material that conducts heat just as well as most metals, yet remains an electrical insulator.

Electromagnetic pulses significantly decrease pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis of the knee, according to Henry Ford Hospital researchers.

In the double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled study, 34 patients used a portable battery-operated device that emits a low-intensity pulsating electromagnetic frequency and experienced more than 40 percent pain relief on their first day.

A multi-disciplinary team of Oklahoma State University scientists and practitioners is riding herd on one of the most challenging concerns of Oklahoma's $4.6 billion cattle industry: Bovine Respiratory Disease.

BRD is the most common disease among feedlot cattle in the United States, accounting for approximately 75 percent of feedlot morbidity and 50 percent to 70 percent of all feedlot deaths. BRD causes between $800 million to $900 million annually in economic losses from death, reduced feed efficiency and antimicrobial treatment costs.

There's an epidemic in progress, and it has nothing to do with the flu. A ground-breaking study published in the March 2010 Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found an astonishing 59 per cent of study subjects had too little Vitamin D in their blood. Nearly a quarter of the group had serious deficiencies (less than 20 ng/ml) of this important vitamin. Since Vitamin D insufficiency is linked to increased body fat, decreased muscle strength and a range of disorders, this is a serious health issue.

A team of engineers from the University of Seville (US) has created a system for monitoring historical monuments by remote control and detecting possible damage. Five years ago the researchers placed various sensors on the Giraldillo, the sculpture that crowns the Giralda, and now they are publishing the results in the journal Structural Health Monitoring.

Recent research findings indicate a possible connection between virus infections, the immune system and the onset of gluten intolerance, also known as coeliac disease. A research project in the Academy of Finland's Research Programme on Nutrition, Food and Health (ELVIRA) has brought new knowledge on the hereditary nature of gluten intolerance and identified genes that carry a higher risk of developing the condition.

Seventy-five per cent of the world's heather moorlands are in the UK. However, pollution, overgrazing and wild fires have damaged large areas. Several organisations in the Peak District National Park are trying to restore and conserve the moorland habitat.

Innovative sound-mapping software based on human hearing has been developed to help architects design out unwanted noise.

The new software generates audibility maps of proposed room designs.

The EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) project has been developed at Cardiff University.

These maps show hotspots where conversations would not be intelligible if the room were busy. Architects can then adjust their designs to reduce reverberation until the hotspots are eliminated and audibility is maximised.

Washington, DC, USA – Today, during the 39th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research, convening at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC, lead researcher M. Tong, The Ohio State University, will present a poster of a study titled "Epithelial-to-Endothelial Transition: An Epithelial Phenotypic Modulation Facilitating Oral-Squamous-Cell Carcinoma Progression." Tong and a team of researchers have reported that oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) cells endogenously produce exceptionally high levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF).

UPTON, NY — An international team of scientists studying high-energy collisions of gold ions at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), a 2.4-mile-circumference particle accelerator located at Brookhaven National Laboratory, has published evidence of the most massive antinucleus discovered to date. The new antinucleus, discovered at RHIC's STAR detector, is a negatively charged state of antimatter containing an antiproton, an antineutron, and an anti-Lambda particle. It is also the first antinucleus containing an anti-strange quark.

Keeping an infrared telescope at very cold operating temperatures isn't an option, it's an absolute necessity. For the James Webb Space Telescope to see the traces of infrared light generated by stars and galaxies billions of light years away, it must be kept at cryogenic temperatures of under 50 Kelvin (-370°F). Otherwise, sunlight would warm the telescope and this heat from the telescope itself will swamp the very faint astronomical signals, effectively blinding the telescope's eye. The job of the huge, five-layer sunshield is to keep that from happening.

By accurately re-creating the jumbled wireless signal environment of a city business district in a special indoor test facility, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have shown how the wireless industry could lop hours off the process of testing the capabilities of new cellular phones. The NIST techniques also could simulate complex real-world environments for design and test of other wireless equipment.

Solar cells made from silicon are projected to be a prominent factor in future renewable green energy equations, but so far the promise has far exceeded the reality. While there are now silicon photovoltaics that can convert sunlight into electricity at impressive 20 percent efficiencies, the cost of this solar power is prohibitive for large-scale use. Researchers with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), however, are developing a new approach that could substantially reduce these costs. The key to their success is a better way of trapping sunlight.

If harnessing the unlimited solar power of the sun were easy, we wouldn't still have the greenhouse gas problem that results from the use of fossil fuel. And while solar energy systems work moderately well in hot desert climates, they are still inefficient and contribute only a small percentage of the general energy demand. A new solution may be coming from an unexpected source ― a source that may be on your dinner plate tonight.

Blacksburg, Va. -- Students at Virginia Tech's Unmanned Systems Laboratory are perfecting an autonomous helicopter they hope will never be used for its intended purpose. Roughly six feet long and weighing 200 pounds, the re-engineered aircraft is designed to fly into American cities blasted by a nuclear weapon or dirty bomb.

The helicopter's main mission would be to assist military investigators in the unthinkable: Enter an American city after a nuclear attack in order to detect radiation levels, map and photograph damage.