Sci-Tech

  • Securing the nation with fingerprinting materials

    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers may have found a way to improve Raman spectroscopy as a tool for identifying substances in extremely low concentrations; potential applications for Raman spectroscopy include medical diagnosis, drug/chemical development, forensics and highly portable detection systems for national security.

  • Overseas students in Australia to face biometric scans

    Foreign students in Australia will be included in a trial of biometric checks as part of a wider campaign to weed out potential terrorists; the screening process has been described by the Immigration Department as a discreet, non-intrusive examination that captures a digital facial image and 10-digit fingerprint scan

  • 9 million Euro project aims to develop stretchable electronic fabrics

    Belgian researchers are working on developing smart electronic fabrics; the project will focus on making electronic packages conformable to the properties of textiles instead of just weaving rigid electrical components into fabrics; the fabric will also feature stretchable electrical interconnections

  • Impact: Earth! Web site calculates asteroid impact effects on Earth

    Purdue University researchers unveils the Impact Earth! Web site; the site allows visitors to use a calculator to calculate the potential damage a comet or asteroid would cause if it hit the Earth; visitors enter parameters such as the diameter of the impact object, its density, velocity, angle of entry, and where it will hit the Earth, and the site estimates the consequences of its impact, including the atmospheric blast wave, ground shaking, size of tsunami generated, fireball expansion, distribution of debris, and size of the crater produced

  • Electric brain stimulation improves math performance

    Applying electrical current to the brain can enhance people’s mathematical abilities for up to six months; Oxford University researchers demonstrates for the first time that electrical stimulation can successfully enhance mathematical abilities — and that students who undergo the stimulation retain their higher mathematics performance for long periods

  • Increasing counter-IED role for robots

    U.S. and coalition military operating in Afghanistan have experienced about 10,500 roadside bomb incidents so far this year, up from 8,994 in 2009 and 2,677 in 2007; robots continue to play ever-more important combat roles in the air and on the ground in Afghanistan and Iraq, and their responsibilities will only continue to grow

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  • Laser has clinical, security applications

    A novel laser system that could help detect bone diseases — and airport security; the spatially offset Raman spectroscopy (SORS) instrument uses a technique that allows it to scan deep into human tissue; the instrument is also being studied as a bottle and packaging scanner for airport security and is already used to assess the content of drugs

  • DARPA, NASA collaborate on "100-Year Starship" project

    DARPA, NASA collaborate on a study to examine the business model needed to develop and mature a technology portfolio enabling long-distance manned space flight a century from now; “The 100-Year Starship study looks to develop the business case for an enduring organization designed to incentivize breakthrough technologies enabling future spaceflight,” the mission statement says

  • ISC Solutions 2010, III: Innovative tools for attendees

    The event organizers have introduced tools that will help attendees navigate the seminars they would like to attend, and better handle the contacts they would like to network with, through customizable online agendas, smart phone applications, and ISC Solutions’ matchmaking tool

  • Strongest-ever nano-material developed

    Israeli scientists develop a revolutionary new ball-shaped nanostructure — fully derived from very simple organic elements yet strong as steel; potential uses of the nanotechnology include bullet-proof vests, medical implants, space, and aviation applications

  • IEEE Certified Biometric Program: Meeting a growing demand

    With biometric technologies fast becoming the standard identity authentication method in both government and private organizations, the demand for employees versed in biometrics grows; the IEEE offers a first-of-its kind biometric certification program; the program offers comprehensive print and Web-based materials that prepare an individual for a 3-hour long standardized test which consists of 150 multiple choice questions

  • Decreasing the world's rare earths dependence on China

    China has one-third of the world’s known rare Earth elements, but produces and processes 97 percent of them; to decrease dependence on China, other countries can re-start rare earths mining, while addressing the environmental issues involved; recycle used rare earths (although the recycled material cannot always replace the original minerals), and develop alternatives

  • China says it will not use rare Earth minerals as diplomatic weapon

    China has reassured the United States it has no intention of withholding rare Earth minerals (referred to as “rare earths”) from the market, the U.S. Secretary of State has said; China suspended export of the metals, key to some high-tech industries, to Japan after a diplomatic spat between the two countries

  • New cotton fabric stays waterproof through 250 washes

    Most waterproofed fabrics lose their super-hydrophobic properties after only one or two washes, and they become uncomfortable to wear because they do not allow air flow through the material. In contrast, the new fabric, which according to the researchers looks almost identical to ordinary cotton fabric, is completely impermeable and breathable, and retains its properties even after being laundered many times

  • Northrop shows big-gun armed robot

    Northrop took its Carry-all Mechanized Equipment Landrover, or CaMEL — a 60-inch-tall treaded vehicle capable of carrying an impressive 1,200 pounds of stuff — and put a massive .50 caliber M2 machine gun on it; Israel has already ordered 60 of them, and the U.S. Army is considering (after an unpleasant experience with an earlier armed robot in Iraq two years ago)