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Simple Urine Test Could Diagnose HCV

November 17, 2015 | by Ryan Bushey, Associate Editor | Comments

This method could significantly reduce the time and cost it takes to accurately diagnose the disease, thanks to a technology known as an enzyme immunoassay.

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R&D Daily

Scientists Observe Hungry Black Hole Eating Star

November 27, 2015 11:55 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

In a galaxy 300 million light-years away, a star, roughly the size of the sun, felt the overwhelming gravitational pull of a supermassive black hole. It was sucked in, swallowed by the void, before being ejected as jets of matter, traveling nearly the speed of light.


Star’s Mysterious Dimming Likely Caused by Comets

November 27, 2015 9:57 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

About one month ago, a group of scientists floated the idea that the dimming of star KIC 8462852 could be caused by an orbiting megastructure of alien origin. However, there were more promising, natural theories. Now, a new study using data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope reinforces the theory the dimming is caused by a swarm of comets.


Tech Tats: The Future of Wearables?

November 25, 2015 12:05 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

A forlorn girl sits at the bottom of a staircase in her household. An adult comes by with a small plastic case, opening it to reveal a rectangle sheet. The adult applies the sheet to the girl’s arm and holds a cloth over it. The cloth is pulled away and a small circuit board-like array with glowing green dots is stuck to the girl’s deltoid. The adult pulls out her smartphone, where the girl’s vitals are displayed.  


Dr. Computer, You’re Wanted in Couples Therapy

November 25, 2015 11:49 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

A team from the university’s Viterbi School of Engineering and the Univ. of Utah designed a computer algorithm that used speech-processing techniques to break down recordings from marriage counseling sessions into acoustic features. Impressively, the algorithm was capable of predicting whether a couple’s relationship would better or worsen with nearly 79% accuracy.


Launching into the Aurora Borealis

November 25, 2015 11:44 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

NASA, this winter, will launch two sounding rockets through the Northern Lights in Norway to study what is known as a cusp aurora, when “energetic particles are accelerated downward into the atmosphere directly from the solar wind—that is, the constant outward flow of solar material from the sun,” according to NASA.


Will we have to rewrite Einstein’s theory of general relativity?

November 25, 2015 11:38 am | by The Conversation | Comments

Einstein famously labored hard to create the theory of general relativity, but it is less well known that he also helped to launch quantum mechanics, which he didn’t much care for. These two views of the world are the very foundation stones of modern physics – without them we would not have things such as space travel, medical imaging, GPS systems or nuclear energy.


Anti-seismic bricks to improve buildings’ response to earthquakes

November 25, 2015 11:31 am | by Polytechnic Univ. of Valencia | Comments

Sisbrick is a new class of earthquake-resistant building materials that seismically isolates partition walls from the main building structure, significantly reducing the tension between these two elements and, therefore, the damage incurred.


Next-generation fuel cells are ready for low-emission electricity production

November 25, 2015 11:13 am | by VTT | Comments

Researchers are developing a new-generation, long-life fuel cell system offering efficiency higher than that of competing technologies. The project will result in new, energy-efficient and commercially viable applications.


Biologists Induce Flatworms to Grow Heads, Brains of Other Species

November 25, 2015 11:00 am | by Tufts Univ. | Comments

Biologists have succeeded in inducing one species of flatworm to grow heads and brains characteristic of another species of flatworm without altering genomic sequence. The work reveals physiological circuits as a new kind of epigenetics – information existing outside of genomic sequence – that determines large-scale anatomy.


Closing the loop on an HIV escape mechanism

November 25, 2015 9:14 am | by University of Delaware | Comments

For the past three and a half years, a team of researchers from six universities has been working to uncover new information about a protein that regulates HIV’s capability to hijack a cell and start replicating. Their findings point to a new avenue for developing potential strategies to thwart the virus.


A sticky breakthrough

November 25, 2015 9:10 am | by UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA - SANTA BARBARA | Comments

In an important step toward creating a practical underwater glue, researchers at UC Santa Barbara have designed a synthetic material that combines the key functionalities of interfacial mussel foot proteins, creating a single, low-molecular-weight, one-component adhesive.


New 'self-healing' gel makes electronics more flexible

November 25, 2015 9:08 am | by UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN | Comments

Researchers in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a first-of-its-kind self-healing gel that repairs and connects electronic circuits, creating opportunities to advance the development of flexible electronics, biosensors and batteries as energy storage devices.


Washington project ensures forest stores carbon for decades

November 24, 2015 5:00 pm | by Phuong Le - Associated Press | Comments

Half a small forest still standing near Mount Rainier was facing the wood chipper before an initiative in Washington state saved the decades-old trees and allowed Microsoft to finance the project to help offset its carbon footprint. The effort keeps 520 acres of Douglas fir and western hemlocks intact so the trees can store carbon dioxide for an additional 100 years. 

Earth not due for a geomagnetic flip in the near future

November 24, 2015 1:30 pm | by Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office | Comments

The intensity of Earth’s geomagnetic field has been dropping for the past 200 years, at a rate that some scientists suspect may cause the field to bottom out in 2,000 years, temporarily leaving the planet unprotected against damaging charged particles from the sun.


Better batteries to beat global warming: A race against time

November 24, 2015 1:00 pm | by By Seth Borenstein - AP Science Writer - Associated Press | Comments

One of the key technologies that could help wean the globe off fossil fuel is probably at your fingertips or in your pocket right now: the battery. If batteries can get better, cheaper and store more power safely, then electric cars and solar- or wind- powered homes become more viable — even on cloudy days or when the wind isn't blowing.



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