Tech

Scientists at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) are developing a new technology for use in underwater acoustics. The new technology uses flashes of laser light to remotely create underwater sound. The new acoustic source has the potential to expand and improve both Naval and commercial underwater acoustic applications, including undersea communications, navigation, and acoustic imaging. Dr. Ted Jones, a physicist in the Plasma Physics Division, is leading a team of researchers from the Plasma Physics, Acoustics, and Marine Geosciences Divisions in developing this acoustic source.

Stereo, Dolby Digital, 5.1 or surround sound – music lovers have to accommodate an increasing number of loudspeakers in their rooms in order to obtain the most perfect sound. Good sound reproduction takes space, at least in the speakers. The loudspeaker membrane must have room to vibrate in order to maintain unimpaired enjoyment. Flat panel loudspeakers can be integrated almost invisibly into the surroundings to keep the multitude of loudspeakers from dominating the room. However, the quality of the sound in conventional models suffers if speakers are installed on walls or in furniture.

A team of scientists has analyzed 29 esparto fields from Guadalajara to Murcia and has concluded that perennial vegetation cover is an efficient early warning system against desertification in these ecosystems. The study has been published in the Ecology magazine.

Giving critically ill hospital patients a daily bath with a mild, soapy solution of the same antibacterial agent used by surgeons to "scrub in" before an operation can dramatically cut down, by as much as 73 percent, the number of patients who develop potentially deadly bloodstream infections, according to a new study by patient safety experts at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and five other institutions.

For example, among the most mature ideas in the field of computational photography is the idea of extending a camera's "dynamic range," or its ability to handle a wide range of lighting in a single frame. The process of high-dynamic-range imaging is to capture pictures of the same scene with different exposures and then to combine them into a composite image in which every pixel is optimally lit. Until now, this trick could be done only with images in computers. Levoy wants cameras to do this right at the scene, on demand.

BOULDER--Arctic temperatures in the 1990s reached their warmest level of any decade in at least 2,000 years, new research indicates. The study, which incorporates geologic records and computer simulations, provides new evidence that the Arctic would be cooling if not for greenhouse gas emissions that are overpowering natural climate patterns.

Researchers from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie have, in cooperation with colleagues from Dresden, St. Andrews, La Plata and Oxford, for the first time observed magnetic monopoles and how they emerge in a real material. They publish this result in the journal Science within the Science Express web site on Sept. 3.

LINCOLN, NE—Just like the rest of us, golf courses show their age—especially on putting greens, which experience more foot traffic than anywhere else on golf courses. Putting greens, which comprise only about 1.6% of the total area on most courses, require more intensive management than any other part of the course. To keep putting greens in top form, turfgrass experts study ways to provide proper nutrients to the root zone, a critical area for maintaining healthy turf.

Results from the first swine-flu vaccine trials taking place in Leicester reveal a strong immune response after just one dose.

The pilot study, run by the University of Leicester and Leicester Hospitals, was trialled with 100 healthy volunteers, aged between 18 and 50.

Dr Iain Stephenson, who led the trial at the Leicester Royal Infirmary, said: "The clinical trial of Novartis MF59-adjuvanted cell-based A (H1N1) vaccine indicates that the "swine flu" vaccine elicits a strong immune response and is well-tolerated.

When the first cases of H1N1 Influenza (swine flu) were reported in Mexico in April, UQ researchers got to work developing a test to diagnose the virus.

In less than two weeks, Dr David Whiley and a team of five scientists were able to provide Pathology Queensland with two detection methods, one of which was used to diagnose Australia's first swine flu case.

The tests have since been implemented by the Townsville Hospital and Royal Darwin Hospital, and were also used to detect the first case of swine flu in the Northern Territory.