Tech

Unwanted blooms of Cladophora algae throughout the Baltic and in other parts of the world are not entirely without a positive side. A group of researchers at the Ångström Laboratory at Uppsala University have discovered that the distinctive cellulose nanostructure of these algae can serve as an effective coating substrate for use in environmentally friendly batteries. The findings have been published in an article in Nano Letters.

A NOAA-led research mission has located and identified the final resting place of the YP-389, a U.S. Navy patrol boat sunk approximately 20 miles off the coast of Cape Hatteras, NC, by a German submarine during World War II.

Six sailors died in the attack on June 19, 1942. There were 18 survivors. The wreck is located in about 300 feet of water in a region off North Carolina known as the "Graveyard of the Atlantic," home to U.S. and British naval vessels, merchant ships, and German U-boats sunk during the Battle of the Atlantic.

Berkeley, CA - In a development that holds much promise for the future of solar cells made from nanocrystals, and the use of solar energy to produce clean and renewable liquid transportation fuels, researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have reported a technique by which the electrical conductivity of nanorod crystals of the semiconductor cadmium-selenide was increased 100,000 times.

"Salt-loving algae could be the key to the successful development of biofuels as well as being an efficient means of recycling atmospheric carbon dioxide", Professor John Cushman of the University of Nevada told the Society for General Microbiology meeting at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, today (10 September).

A new robot has spent most of July traveling across the muddy ocean bottom, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) off the California coast. This robot, the Benthic Rover, has been providing scientists with an entirely new view of life on the deep seafloor. It will also give scientists a way to document the effects of climate change on the deep sea. The Rover is the result of four years of hard work by a team of engineers and scientists led by MBARI project engineer Alana Sherman and marine biologist Ken Smith.

While computers can replicate many aspects of human behavior, they do not possess our ability to recognize distorted images, according to a team of Penn State researchers.

"Our goal is to seek a better understanding of the fundamental differences between humans and machines and utilize this in developing automated methods for distinguishing humans and robotic programs," said James Z. Wang, associate professor in Penn State's College of Information Sciences and Technology.

If you wanted to know whether or not your child had a fever if that the roast in the oven was thoroughly cooked, you would, of course, use a thermometer. However, it isn't that simple for researchers who need to measure temperatures in microfluidic systems—tiny, channel-lined devices used in medical diagnostics, DNA forensics and "lab-on-a-chip" chemical analyzers—as their current "thermometer" can only be precisely calibrated for one reference temperature.

Two publications from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) describe new capabilities for authentication systems using smart cards or other personal security devices within and outside federal government applications. A report describes a NIST-led international standard, ISO/IEC 24727, which defines a general-purpose identity application programming interface (API). The other is a draft publication on refinements to the Personal Identity Verification (PIV) specification.

WASHINGTON – A policy paper that identifies and analyzes the key drivers of health care costs was released today by the American College of Physicians (ACP). Controlling Health Care Costs While Promoting the Best Possible Health Outcomes provides nearly four dozen recommendations to achieve better quality care to more people.

ACP is particularly concerned that the high cost of health care in the United States is not correlated with high quality and efficiency in the delivery of services or improved health outcomes.

Advances by the Rice University lab of James Tour have brought graphite's potential as a mass data storage medium a step closer to reality and created the potential for reprogrammable gate arrays that could bring about a revolution in integrated circuit logic design.