Technology Sector

Ocean acidification could have broader effects on marine ecosystems

Ocean acidification could have broader effects on marine ecosystemsWashington, Dec 18 : A new research has determined that ocean acidification could result in broader disruptions of biological processes in the oceans.

The research was conducted by Donald Potts, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, US.

Ocean acidification is one of the side effects of the rising concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in Earth''s atmosphere due to the burning of fossil fuels.

Stats support glut of hot years clustered in last 17 yrs

Planet still getting hotter, more extreme says UN's weather agency London, Dec 18 : New statistical research has supported the theory that thirteen of the hottest years, since records of global temperatures began in 1880, have clustered in the last 17 years.

According to a report in New Scientist, new statistical research indicates that the recent glut of unusually hot years is incredibly unlikely to happen in a stable climate.

Eduardo Zorita of Germany's Institute for Coastal Research and colleagues calculated the probability of this happening in a range of scenarios.

Tejas achieves a major milestone, lands at high altitude Leh air base

TejasNew Delhi, Dec 17 : Tejas, India's indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), has achieved a major milestone when its prototype landed at Leh air base in the high-altitude Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir.

"Tejas (LCA) programme reached a major milestone when the prototype vehicle PV-3 landed at Leh on December 13 this year at 1326 hours," Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) officials said on Tuesday.

Bacteria’s tiny magnetic crystals are a compass, say researchers

Washington, Dec 17 : Scientists from Imperial College London and the University of Edinburgh have found that tiny crystals found inside bacteria provide a magnetic compass to help them navigate through sediment to find the best food.

They believe that the research may provide vital clues explain biomagnetism - a phenomenon in which some birds, insects and marine life navigate using the magnetic field that encompasses the Earth.

The researchers focused their study on magnetotactic bacteria, which contain chains of magnetic crystals, called magnetosomes. They exist all over the globe, living in lake and pond sediments and in ocean coastal regions.

Mitochondria powers new explosives detector

Mitochondria powers new explosives detectorLondon, Dec 17 : Scientists have developed a bioelectronic sensor, the size of a postage stamp, which uses cell mitochondria to sniff out bombs and other explosives.

Common explosives detectors are not only expensive, but bulky and complex as well and thus become difficult for use in the field.

However, now the new sensor invented by Shelley Minteer and her colleagues at St Louis University in Missouri might reform the way detection of explosives is conducted.

Scientists hoping to create clean energy along Portuguese coast

Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyWashington, December 17 (ANI): Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have joined forces with Portuguese scientists to create a pilot-scale device that will capture significantly more energy in ocean waves than existing systems.

The researchers say that their objective is to use such a device to power an electricity-generating turbine.

Chiang Mei, the Ford Professor of Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, has developed numerical simulations that can predict wave forces on a given device and the motion of the device that will result.

Microsoft announces emergency patch for Internet Explorer

Microsoft announces emergency patch for Internet ExplorerSan Francisco - Microsoft was forced to issue a rare emergency patch Wednesday for its Internet Explorer browser.

The software giant announced the move late Tuesday after numerous security experts advised people to switch to rival browsers until Microsoft fixed the problem.

The recently discovered flaw is considered critical. It allows attackers to take control of computers by steering them to infected websites without the users having to download anything.

Planet still getting hotter, more extreme says UN's weather agency

Planet still getting hotter, more extreme says UN's weather agency Geneva - The year so far has been marked by weather extremes across the planet and low levels of ice in the Arctic Sea, the World Meteorological Organization said Tuesday.

The overall ice volume in the sea during the melt season was the lowest since satellite measurements began in 1979. At the opposite pole, the Antarctic ozone hole was larger than in 2007.

Online crooks stealing Facebook profiles for just 89p!

cyber crimeLondon, December 16 : A probe by security experts has revealed that cyber criminals tend to work up a fortune by selling stolen Facebook profiles for an amount as low as 89p.

According to Trend Micro specialists, hackers break into social networking accounts to steal personal information of users to sell them off to criminal groups who then use the details to send "spam" messages to million others.

The wrong-doers tend to send an invitation to account holders to view videos or pictures of family and friends, which on being clicked allow access to the victims' computer, reports the Sun.

Scientists observe one of the strongest solar flares of the past 30 years

solar flares Washington, Dec 16 : Scientists at the California Institute of Technology, US, have observed one of the strongest solar flares of the past 30 years.

Solar flares are the most powerful explosions in the solar system. Packing a punch equal to a hundred million hydrogen bombs, they obliterate everything in their immediate vicinity.

Eating goose eggs may help polar bears weather climate change

Polar BearWashington, Dec 16 : New calculations have shown that eating goose eggs may help polar bears weather climate change, as it would provide the animals with an alternative source of food.

Polar bears, Ursus maritimus, are listed as a threatened species under the United States' Endangered Species Act and are classified as "vulnerable with declining populations" under IUCN's Red List.

The new calculations show that changes in the timing of sea-ice breakup and of snow goose nesting near the western Hudson Bay could provide at least some polar bears with an alternative source of food.

New project to probe Milky Way history

Dark matter makes Milky Way’s stars extend their lifetimes by a billion yearsWashington, Dec 16 : A new project, led by a University of Virginia (U. Va.) professor, is all set to survey more than 100,000 Milky Way stars, in an attempt to know more about the history of our galaxy.

The project, the Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment, or APOGEE, is one of four experiments of the new Sloan Digital Sky Survey III, using the astronomical facilities at Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico.

NASA’s top ten accomplishments in 2008

Alternate source of cosmic energy discovered by NASA Washington, Dec 16 : NASA has outlined its top ten science, exploration and discovery stories of 2008, the year in which the agency celebrated its 50th birthday.

The top ten accomplishments are:

New camera may help spot Earth-like habitable planets

observed a planetLondon, Dec 16 : A team of astronomers have reported that a new camera is giving them the sensitivity they need to spot habitable extrasolar planets, which are nearly as small as Earth.

According to a report in Nature News, the team observed a planet - WASP-10b, which is around three times the mass of Jupiter orbiting the star WASP-10.

The team determined that the star is about 300 light years from Earth, and measured precisely how much the star dimmed as the planet passed in front of it.

Older fathers likely to have boys with poor social abilities

Washington, Dec 16 : Researchers from Tel Aviv University suggest that older fathers are likely to have boys with poor social abilities.

The study revealed that older dads are more likely to have boys with autism and lower IQs.

"There is a growing body of data showing that an advanced age of parents puts their kids at risk for various illnesses," said lead researcher Dr. Mark Weiser from TAU's Sackler School of Medicine.

"Some illnesses, such as schizophrenia, appear to be more common the older parents get. Doctors and psychologists are fascinated by this, but don't really understand it. We want to know how it works," he added.

Life may be abundant in Universe in form of super-Earths

Solar SystemWashington, Dec 16 : A new model has revealed that one-third of all solar systems may contain super-Earths, which indicates that life may be abundant in the Universe.

Cold "Super-Earths", which are giant, "snowball" planets that astronomers have spied on the outskirts of faraway solar systems, could potentially support some kind of life, they have found.

"We know there are a lot of super-Earths out there, and the next generation of telescopes will be even better at spotting them," said Scott Gaudi, assistant professor of astronomy at Ohio State University.

Space now closer to Earth than ever before

Space now closer to Earth than ever beforeWashington, Dec 16 : The boundary between the Earth''s upper atmosphere and space has moved to extraordinarily low altitudes, observations made by NASA instruments onboard an Air Force satellite have shown.

The observations were made by the Coupled Ion Neutral Dynamics Investigation (CINDI) instrument suite, which was launched aboard the U. S. Air Force''s Communication/Navigation Outage Forecast System (C/NOFS) satellite on April 16, 2008.

New detector will help search elusive dark matter

Washington, Dec 12 : Physicists at the MIT have built a calibration tool that will aid in the search for dark matter, by revealing when hypothetical particles are detected.

Several research projects are underway to try to detect particles that may make up the mysterious “dark matter”, believed to dominate the universe’s mass.

But the existing detectors have a problem.

They also pick up particles of ordinary matter - hurtling neutrons that masquerade as the elusive dark-matter particles the instruments are designed to find.

‘Impossible’ molecular chain reaction on metal surface demonstrated

Washington, Dec 12 : A team of scientists at the University of Pittsburgh and the U. S. Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) in Pittsburgh has demonstrated a molecular chain reaction on a metal surface – a nanoscale process with sizable potential in areas from nanotechnology to developing information storage technology.

The researchers said that a single electron caused a self-perpetuating chain reaction that rearranged the bonds in 10 consecutive molecules positioned on a gold surface.

As each molecule''s original bond was broken by the reaction, the molecule rearranged itself to form a new molecule.

US engineers to create parts of ‘virtual’ crash test dummy

Test Crash DummyWashington, Dec 12 : Engineers at U. Va.''s Center for Biomechanics are creating a new "virtual" dummy, which will live entirely within computers and will be more realistic than any physical dummy ever subjected to a crash test.

For decades, automobile manufacturers have been crashing test dummies to gain insight to how various auto safety systems protect — or fail to protect — people during car accidents.

However, those dummies are made of plastic and steel, not tissue and bone. They can teach only so much.

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