Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Future electronics based on carbon nanotubes

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A big barrier to building useful electronics with carbon nanotubes has always been the fact that when they're arrayed into films, a certain portion of them will act more like metals than semiconductors. But now a team of researchers have shown how to strip out the metallic carbon nanotubes from arrays using a relatively simple, scalable procedure that does not require expensive equipment.

via Science Daily

2014 ORBITAL CALENDAR: Solar System Poster

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tagged with: astronomy poster, circular calendar, phases of the moon, spacetime, calendar cycles, timespace

Astronomy Science Poster EARTH-MOON w/ SOLAR SYSTEM ~ Your Year In Space! ~ Astronomically-correct TimeSpace, MILKY WAY Galaxy in background Perfect for S.T.E.M Education: TEACH astronomy in a flash... . ...from Earth to Moon to Sun, celestial math. Use Dry Erase markers to add your data, meteor showers, study cycles, National Calendar Awards for: Most Original, Most Educational Best Graphic Design

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Asteroid Juno seen traveling through space

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A series of images made with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) provides an unprecedented view of the surface of Juno, one of the largest members of our solar system's main asteroid belt.

via Science Daily

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Einstein Ring seen in stunning image of lensed galaxy

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Astronomers have discovered that a distant galaxy -- seen from Earth with the aid of a gravitational lens -- appears like a cosmic ring, thanks to the highest resolution images ever taken with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA).

via Science Daily

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Single-walled carbon nanotube composites show great promise for use in 'unconventional' computing

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As we approach the miniaturization limits of conventional electronics, alternatives to silicon-based transistors—the building blocks of the multitude of electronic devices we've come to rely on—are being hotly pursued.



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5 ways good science goes bad

Science Focus

original post »

Good science is a continual process, susceptible at many points to introduced errors and outright manipulation by the misguided and the devious. It's critically important, as public faith in science continues to be tested, to take an honest look at some of the ways good science can be turned into something that misleads and erodes public trust.

1. Publication bias stunts the free flow of ideas

Publication in a top journal like Nature or The New England Journal of Medicine is the "coin of the realm" in science, says Ivan Oransky, vice president and global editorial director of MedPage Today and the founder of Embargo Watch. Unfortunately, research has shown that journals suffer from publication bias — subjectively favoring some studies over others.

"Positive publication bias" is the tendency for the leading journals to print positive studies and avoid publishing negative ones. Oransky notes that many journals make revenue from selling copies of published studies. When pharmaceutical companies use positive clinical trial results in their drug sales pitches, for example, they pay for many reprints — reducing the incentive for journals to run less lucrative stories on drug trials that didn't work out.

It helps with any journal's branding to publish ooh-ahh findings and breakthrough discoveries that result in citations in other papers, and that "impact factor" can introduce a different bias. "There's a straight line between the sexiness of a study's results and its number of citations," Oransky says. With a premium on papers with citation-worthy big outcomes, prestigious journals sometimes overlook basic but useful research papers.

(More from World Science Festival: 11 small wonders captured on camera)

The case of the antidepressant reboxetine is one example of publication bias. Ben Goldacre, a doctor and author of The Guardian's Bad Science column working hard to blow the whistle on publication bias, discovered that seven clinical trials had been conducted on the drug. Only one — the one with the smallest number of participants — found reboxetine had a marked benefit vs. a placebo. That study was published, and the other six were not, giving doctors a false impression of consensus.

2. Scientists commit fraud, leading to retractions

(iStock)

Each year, more than a million scientific papers are published in hundreds of peer-reviewed journals…and between 400 to 500 of these are later retracted. That's a very small percentage, admits Adam Marcus, the managing editor of two medical publications and co-founder, with Oransky, of the watchdog blog Retraction Watch. The big problem, Marcus says, is that two-thirds of retractions stem from researcher misconduct — fraud, fabrication, plagiarism, or other ethical failures. The general public may not hear about every retraction, but some cases are so egregious they make headlines.

Take discredited anesthesiologist Scott Reuben. In 2009, he admitted fabricating data in 21 papers that praised the benefits of pain drugs like Celebrex and Lyrica. Or Haruko Obokata, a stem-cell researcher at Japan's top institute, who had two papers published in Nature retracted this year. Obokata claimed she found a way to generated embryonic stem cells from an adult cell through simple stress, but her peers were unable to replicate the blockbuster results. But the world-record holder, according to Marcus, is Japanese anesthesiologist Yoshitaka Fujii with a grand total of 173 retractions for various offenses.

This kind of shoddy science, when widely reported, can have disastrous long-term impact. Disgraced British researcher Andrew Wakefield claimed, in a 1998 paper, that the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine could cause autism in children. Following its investigation in 2011, the British Medical Journal said Wakefield had misrepresented his 12 study subjects (some of whom did not have autism at all) and willfully faked data. But the widely-cited results of this flawed study became the foundation of an anti-vaccine movement putting untold numbers of children at risk today.

As comfortingly low as the overall percentage of retractions may be, that number has increased tenfold since 1975. Greater scrutiny from watchdog groups and investigative journalists are bringing the growing problem into the open, in hopes of stemming the tide.

3. Disinformation spreads, impairing public understanding of science

The infamous Climategate scandal is a shining example of what can go wrong when the scientific process meets conspiracy theory. Anonymous hackers broke into servers at the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit in November 2009, stealing thousands of private documents and emails, just before world leaders gathered to discuss climate change solutions at a meeting in Copenhagen. Global warming skeptics said that the unvarnished conversations proved that scientists had cooked up anthropogenic change as a vast environmental conspiracy.

(More from World Science Festival: Life in the universe: An optimistic cosmic perspective)

The researchers, including Michael Mann, said their emails had been taken out of context, and critics said the timing of the hack was suspicious. Multiple independent investigators combed the documents for scientific misconduct and found nothing, but the damage had been done. A Yale University survey in 2010 found that the public's belief in anthropogenic climate change and its trust in scientists had fallen significantly following the Climategate kerfuffle. Journalists and science educators are still trying to combat the incorrect impression that climate change is a hoax.

4. Scientists flock to well-funded fields, increasing risk of distorted results

(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

It's tempting to follow the money. When the government, corporations, or foundations announce a major initiative to fund a specific type of research, there's an obvious incentive for scientists to flock to that field. Oransky says that some universities encourage its post-docs to use "keywords" like cancer or HIV in their proposals, or spin their project descriptions to suggest a real-world outcome for the average Joe, to attract the attention of the big grant-givers. Industry funders, in turn, might try to control the parameters of a study once they release its funding.

A 2010 study led by Trinity College economics researcher William Butos found three major consequences when the bulk of research funding comes from a handful of major institutions: "Effects on the choices of research activity, destabilizing effects (both long-run and short-run) on physical arrangements and resources supporting science and on the employment of scientists themselves, and distorting effects on the procedures scientists use to generate and validate scientific knowledge." And, there's an even greater chance of distortion when the funder exerts regulatory oversight.

The byproduct of this scenario? Fewer scientists focus on untrendy, poorly-funded research; and scientists in the better-funded fields have a greater risk of distorted results. It's a lose-lose scenario, which will likely continue as long as a small number of superrich funders are pulling the majority of the strings.

5. Science is skewed to suit political and corporate agendas

Politicians can be quick to misinterpret science to push their agenda or shape their message, but the media is no better when it comes to reporting on climate change. Cable news outlets discuss global warming with wildly varying degrees of accuracy, a UCS survey found: Fox News is scientifically accurate only 28 percent of the time, while MSNBC gets it right 92 percent of the time.

(More from World Science Festival: The sugary secrets of candy-making chemistry)

Earlier this year, conservative lawmakers pounced on reports of a lull in the rate of Earth's surface warming — badly misworded as a "global warming pause" — as proof that global warming had stopped or had never really existed at all. Researchers, however, explained that the increasing amount of heat trapped in Earth's atmosphere affects oceans much more than land, so surface temperature isn't an accurate tool for measuring all the warming that's actually occurring, but it was a point largely lost on the audience.

As fallible as scientists can be, censoring them from speaking creates its own kind of damaging distortion, as their biased counterparts in the political and corporate spheres are not similarly restrained. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has moved to prohibit its scientists and independent advisers from talking to reporters without permission, and the Canadian government has prevented its climatologists from holding press conferences or speaking to the media. In hearings before the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology of the 112th Congress, industry witnesses from oil and gas, aerospace, computer and agriculture corporations outnumbered academic and independent witnesses.

 
#science 
 » see original post http://theweek.com/articles/442544/5-ways-good-science-goes-bad
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Massive Antarctic glacier more vulnerable than previously thought

Science Focus

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The effect that the expansion of warming ocean water has on sea level is easy to predict. You just plug the value for a given amount of warming into a physical calculation. The contributions from melting glacial ice, however, are much trickier to divine. It depends heavily on fine-scale details, like the shape of the surface beneath the ice, which controls the glacier’s flow toward the sea.

Those fine-scale details aren’t easy to come by—not least because of the difficulty of accessing what can be remote and frigid places. While it’s expensive, field work can fill in key unknowns and reveal some of these glaciers’ histories, informing our estimates of future behavior.

The East Antarctic Ice Sheet isn’t as fragile as its western counterpart, but it is much, much larger. The biggest individual outlet glacier for East Antarctic ice is the Totten Glacier. On its own, the ice behind Totten could raise global sea level more than three meters if it were to melt completely. These frozen giants are generally slow to stir, but like most glaciers around the world, Totten is shrinking. The large floating ice shelf in front of Totten, which holds back the flow of ice like a buttress, is thinning at a rate in the neighborhood of 10 meters per year.

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

 
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 » see original post http://feeds.arstechnica.com/~r/arstechnica/science/~3/4K4lZmUuAxI/
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First Scientific Publication from Data Collected at NSLS-II

Science Focus

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Just weeks after the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II) achieved first light, the team of scientists at

The post First Scientific Publication from Data Collected at NSLS-II has been published on Technology Org.

 
#physics 
 » see original post http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TechnologyOrgPhysicsNews/~3/4AWPl54Ex3g/
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Monogram, Star Cluster Pismis 24, core of NGC 6357 Round Stickers

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tagged with: stars, galaxies, astronomy, peel off, envelope sealers, star cluster, pismis 24, sculpting ultaviolet ionisation, super massive stars, sclustpsms, nebula ngc 6357

Galaxies, Stars and Nebulae series The star cluster Pismis 24 lies in the core of the large emission nebula NGC 6357 that extends one degree on the sky in the direction of the Scorpius constellation. Part of the nebula is ionised by the youngest (bluest) heavy stars in Pismis 24. The intense ultraviolet radiation from the blazing stars heats the gas surrounding the cluster and creates a bubble in NGC 6357. The presence of these surrounding gas clouds makes probing into the region even harder. One of the top candidates for the title of "Milky Way stellar heavyweight champion" was, until now, Pismis 24-1, a bright young star that lies in the core of the small open star cluster Pismis 24 (the bright stars in the Hubble image) about 8,000 light-years away from Earth. Pismis 24-1 was thought to have an incredibly large mass of 200 to 300 solar masses. New NASA/ESA Hubble measurements of the star, have, however, resolved Pismis 24-1 into two separate stars, and, in doing so, have "halved" its mass to around 100 solar masses.

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Image credit: NASA/ESA Hubble

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Rydberg atoms can be used to produce magnetic crystals in an optical lattice

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It is a situation familiar from one's own living environment: relations between neighbours can be intense, yet also characterised by sensitivities. Complex quantum systems can be imagined in a similar way – especially when magnetism is involved. A team headed by Christian GroƟ in the department of Immanuel Bloch, Director at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in Garching, is investigating such a system, which takes its inspiration from the crystals of magnetic solids. However, the artificial crystal produced by the researchers in Garching consists of a lattice of laser light that traps rubidium atoms. The researchers pump up some of these atoms using special laser light, turning them into exotic, gigantic atoms. These form quantum crystals whose behaviour can answer fundamental questions not only about magnetism.



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Asteroid Juno seen traveling through space in new ALMA images and animation

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A series of images made with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) provides an unprecedented view of the surface of Juno, one of the largest members of our solar system's main asteroid belt. Linked together into a brief animation, these high-resolution images show the asteroid rotating through space as it shines in millimeter-wavelength light.



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Sun experiences seasonal changes, new research finds

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The sun undergoes a type of seasonal variability with its activity waxing and waning over the course of nearly two years, new research concludes. This behavior affects the peaks and valleys in the approximately 11-year solar cycle, sometimes amplifying and sometimes weakening the solar storms that can buffet Earth's atmosphere.

via Science Daily

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In the Heart of the Virgo Cluster

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Zazzle Space Gifts for young and old

SESAME passes an important milestone at CERN

Orion Nebula Green Trumpet Room Decal

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Space image of the Orion Nebula on the shape of a trumpet.

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Light Echo from Star V838 iPad Mini Cases

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"[This is] the most recent NASA Hubble Space Telescope view of an unusual phenomenon in space called a light echo. Light from a star that erupted nearly five years ago continues propagating outward through a cloud of dust surrounding the star. The light reflects or "echoes" off the dust and then travels to Earth."

(qtd. from HubbleSite.org NewsCenter release STScI-2006-50)

Credit: NASA, ESA, and H. Bond (STScI)

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The future of clean energy? New, cheap and efficient electrode for splitting water

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UNSW scientists have developed a highly efficient oxygen-producing electrode for splitting water that has the potential to be

The post The future of clean energy? New, cheap and efficient electrode for splitting water has been published on Technology Org.

 
#materials 
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Colourful cosmic curtains

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Space Science Image of the Week: A massive eruption on the Sun generated this colourful, shimmering auroral curtain

via ESA Space Science

http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2015/04/Colourful_cosmic_curtains

Space, stars, galaxies and nebulas posters

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This is a unique fantasy space composition made from a collage of real space images.

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'Explosive' atom movement is new window into growing metal nanostructures

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Scientists expected to see slow, random movement when they dropped lead atoms on a lead-on-silicon surface. But they saw instead? Fast, organized atoms. The unusual “explosive” movement may represent a new way to grow perfect, tiny metal nanostructures for nanostransistors and nanomagnets.

via Science Daily

Eye - Stellar Nursery R136 on nebula background Square Sticker

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tagged with: astronomy, envelope sealers, eye, stellar nursery, r136, 30 doradus nebula, massive stars, tarantula nebula, hrbstslr dorneblmc, galaxy stars, large magellanic cloud, star cluster, amazing hubble images

Galaxies, Stars and Nebulae series On a background of the Pelican and North American nebulae, an eye made from hundreds of brilliant blue stars wreathed by warm, glowing clouds appear in this the most detailed view of the largest stellar nursery in our local galactic neighborhood. The massive, young stellar grouping, called R136, is only a few million years old and resides in the 30 Doradus (or Tarantula) Nebula, a turbulent star-birth region in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a satellite galaxy of our Milky Way.
There is no known star-forming region in our galaxy as large or as prolific as 30 Doradus. Many of the diamond-like icy blue stars are among the most massive stars known. Several of them are over 100 times more massive than our Sun. These hefty stars are destined to pop off, like a string of firecrackers, as supernovas in a few million years. The image, taken in ultraviolet, visible, and red light by Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3, spans about 100 light-years.
The movement of the LMC around the Milky Way may have triggered the massive cluster's formation in several ways. The gravitational tug of the Milky Way and the companion Small Magellanic Cloud may have compressed gas in the LMC. Also, the pressure resulting from the LMC plowing through the Milky Way's halo may have compressed gas in the satellite. The cluster is a rare, nearby example of the many super star clusters that formed in the distant, early universe, when star birth and galaxy interactions were more frequent.
The LMC is located 170,000 light-years away and is a member of the Local Group of Galaxies, which also includes the Milky Way. The Hubble observations were taken Oct. 20-27, 2009. The blue color is light from the hottest, most massive stars; the green from the glow of oxygen; and the red from fluorescing hydrogen.

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image credit: Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3

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Orion Nebula Sixteenth Note Wall Decal

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Space image of the Orion Nebula on the shape of a musical sixteenth note.

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Stunning Aqua Star Cluster iPad Mini Cover

Here's a great iPad case from Zazzle featuring a Hubble-related design. Maybe you'd like to see your name on it? Click to personalize and see what it's like!


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A breathtaking blue and turquoise dance of heavenly clouds, Star Cluster NGC 2074 in the Large Magellanic Cloud as captured by the Hubble Space Telescope.

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