Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

+ - A Band-Aid that could suck bugs out of your wound->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Scientists have made progress towards a band-aid like device that can literally suck bacteria out of wounds. When they placed nanofibers in a petri dish of Staphylococcus aureus, a bacterium involved in chronic infection, the bugs quickly attached themselves to 500-nanometer-wide fibers, but hardly onto fibers with larger diameters. When the researchers coated the nanofibers with different compounds and tested them on the bacteria Escherichia coli, also responsible for chronic wounds, the bugs formed bridges on fibers coated with allylamine, a colorless organic compound, but stayed away from fibers coated with acrylic acid. The researchers, who plan to test the meshes on composites that resemble human skin, hope that they will eventually lead to smart wound dressings that could prevent infections. Doctors could stick the nano–Band-Aid on a wound and simply peel it off to get rid of the germs."
Link to Original Source

+ - Scotland Builds Wind Farms of the Future Under the Sea

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "The Pentland Firth is a raw, stormy sound between the Scottish mainland and the Orkney Islands, known for some of the world’s fastest flowing marine waters. Daily tides here reach 11 miles per hour, and can go as high as 18 – a breakneck current that’s the reason people are describing Scotland as the Saudi Arabia of tidal power. Now Megan Garber reports in The Atlantic that a new tidal power plant, to be installed off the Scottish coast aims to make the Scotland a world leader for turning sea flow into electricity. Underwater windmills, the BBC notes, have the benefit of invisibility—a common objection to wind turbines being how unsightly they are to human eyes. Undersea turbines also benefit from the fact that tides are predictable in ways that winds are not: You know how much power you're generating, basically, on any given day. The tidal currents are also completely carbon-free and since sea water is 832 times denser than air, a 5 knot ocean current has more kinetic energy than a 350 km/h wind.

MeyGen will face a challenge in that work: The turbines are incredibly difficult to install. The Pentland Firth is a harsh environment to begin with; complicating matters is the fact that the turbines can be installed only at the deepest of ocean depths so as not to disrupt the paths of ships on the surface. They also need to be installed in bays or headlands, where tidal flows are at their most intense. It is an unbelievably harsh environment in which to build anything, let alone manage a vast fleet of tidal machines beneath the waves. If each Hammerfest machine delivers its advertised 1MW of power, then you need 1,000 of them to hope to match the output of a typical gas or coal-fired power station. "The real aim," says Keith Anderson, "is to establish the predictability which you get with tidal power, and to feed that into the energy mix which includes the less predictable sources like wind or wave. The whole point of this device is to test that it can produce power, and we believe it can, and to show it's robust and can be maintained.""

+ - Top EU Court: Libraries Can Digitize Books Without Publishers' Permission->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "The top European court has ruled that libraries have the right to digitize the contents of the books in their collections, even if the copyright holders on those books don't want them to. There's a catch, though: those digitized versions can only be accessed on dedicated terminals in the library itself. If library patrons want to print the book out or download it to a thumb drive, they will need to pay the publisher."
Link to Original Source

+ - UK Ham Radio Reg Plans to Drop 15min Callsign Interval And Allow Encryption->

Submitted by product_bucket
product_bucket (3503967) writes "A consultation [ofcom.org.uk] published by the UK Radio Regulator Ofcom seeks views on its plan to remove the mandatory 15 minute callsign identifier interval for amateur radio licensees. The regulator also intends to permit the use of encryption by a single volunteer emergency communications organisation.
  The consultation is open until 20th October, and views are sought by interested parties."

Link to Original Source

+ - Smartphones to Monitor Schizophrenics -- All the Time->

Submitted by the_newsbeagle
the_newsbeagle (2532562) writes "Is this creepy or a breakthrough in mental health? Psychiatrists have realized that they can collect vast amounts of data about their patients using smartphone apps that passively monitor the patients as they go about their daily business. A prototype for schizophrenia patients is being tested out now on Long Island. The Crosscheck trial will look at behavior patterns (tracking movement, sleep, and conversations) and correlate them with the patient's reports of symptoms and moods; researchers hope the data will reveal the "signature" of a patient who is about relapse and therefore needs help."
Link to Original Source

+ - Remains of 'end of the world' epidemic found in ancient Egypt->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Archaeologists have uncovered the remains of an epidemic in Egypt so terrible that one ancient writer believed the world was coming to an end.

Working at the Funerary Complex of Harwa and Akhimenru in the west bank of the ancient city of Thebes (modern-day Luxor) in Egypt, the team of the Italian Archaeological Mission to Luxor (MAIL) found bodies covered with a thick layer of lime (historically used as a disinfectant). The researchers also found three kilns where the lime was produced, as well as a giant bonfire containing human remains, where many of the plague victims were incinerated.

Pottery remains found in the kilns allowed researchers to date the grisly operation to the third century A.D., a time when a series of epidemics now dubbed the "Plague of Cyprian" ravaged the Roman Empire, which included Egypt. Saint Cyprian was a bishop of Carthage (a city in Tunisia) who described the plague as signaling the end of the world. [See Photos of the Remains of Plague Victims & Thebes Site]

Occurring between roughly A.D. 250-271, the plague "according to some sources killed more than 5,000 people a day in Rome alone," wrote Francesco Tiradritti, director of the MAIL, in the latest issue of Egyptian Archaeology, a magazine published by the Egypt Exploration Society."

Link to Original Source

+ - Patent Troll Reform Dies in the Senate->

Submitted by VT-802-Software
VT-802-Software (3663479) writes "A bipartisan proposal to curb patent trolls was shelved by the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday....

"Supporters of the compromise accuse trial lawyers, universities, pharmaceutical companies and biotech companies for foiling the plan at the eleventh hour.""

Link to Original Source

+ - Astroskin, An Astronaut Smart Shirt, Gets Icy Test During Trek Across Antarctica

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Elizabeth Howell reports at Space.com that a Canadian team exploring Antarctica this month is testing Astroskin, a garment that fits over a person's upper body and is embedded with wireless sensors. The eight crewmembers of the the XPAntarctik expedition, who have vowed to use no motorized vehicles during their trek, are spending 45 days in a previously unexplored region of the continent and beaming their medical information back to the University of Quebec at Montreal while wearing Astroskin. Doctors can see each explorers' vital signs, including blood pressure, blood oxygen levels, heart rate, breathing rate, and skin temperature, as well as how well the they are sleeping and how they are moving. "The great thing about this technology is since it's wireless, it can be monitored at a distance," says CSA chief medical officer Raffi Kuyumijian. "People who live in remote communities, for example, will have an easy access to a doctor. They can have these shirts on them all the time. It can trigger alarms if something wrong is happening, and alert the doctors following at a distance." The Canadian team has not indicated when Astroskin could fly in space, but says it could be used on the International Space Station during future missions."

+ - Do NDAs trump the law? Florida cops say it does when using their stingray->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Police in Florida have offered a startling excuse for having used a controversial “stingray” cell phone tracking gadget 200 times without ever telling a judge: the device’s manufacturer made them sign a non-disclosure agreement that they say prevented them from telling the courts.

The shocking revelation, uncovered by the American Civil Liberties Union, came during an appeal over a 2008 sexual battery case in Tallahassee in which the suspect also stole the victim’s cell phone. Using the stingray — which simulates a cell phone tower in order to trick nearby mobile devices into connecting to it and revealing their location — police were able to track him to an apartment."

Link to Original Source

+ - The Food And, Er, Rocket King of Chicago ->

Submitted by pacopico
pacopico (802691) writes "Tesla's stock is up about 600 percent over the past year, and there's one guy in Chicago who is making a killing on the bull run. His name is Antonio Gracias, and he runs a private equity firm called Valor. It put some of the first money into Tesla and then SpaceX and was more willing than Silicon Valley venture capitalists to back Elon Musk's risky companies. Now, Valor has gotten deep into restaurants and is buying a ton of Dunkin' Donuts in California, Mexico and China. It's your typical rockets to donuts tale."
Link to Original Source

+ - A New State of Matter Has Been Discovered->

Submitted by Diggester
Diggester (2492316) writes "The days when solid, liquid and gas were the only three states of matter were over when newer states such as plasma and superficial fluid were discovered. It seems like science students will be updating their course notes in the near future, thanks to the discovery of a yet another state of matter. Say hello to Dropleton which comes across as a new sort of puny particle that may possess the postulates of the liquid state of matter."
Link to Original Source

+ - Sulfur Polymers Could Enable Long-Lasting, High-Capacity Batteries->

Submitted by MTorrice
MTorrice (2611475) writes "Lithium-sulfur batteries promise to store four to five times as much energy as today’s best lithium-ion batteries. But their short lifetimes have stood in the way of their commercialization. Now researchers demonstrate that a sulfur-based polymer could be the solution for lightweight, inexpensive batteries that store large amounts of energy. Battery electrodes made from the material have one of the highest energy-storage capacities ever reported"
Link to Original Source

+ - How do Black Holes evaporate?

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "Okay, so with Stephen Hawking claiming black holes don't exist and others claiming they do, it's easy to lose sight of the fact that black holes aren't going to exist forever! You might know that they evaporate, but have you ever thought of how? Astrophysicist Ethan Siegel has the story in understandable terms:

You have to remember that these are not real particles but rather virtual particles that are being created. The “quantum mechanical” picture I showed you earlier is a non-relativistic visualization of the underlying relativistic quantum field theory that better describes our Universe. Rather than “real particle-antiparticle pairs,” these are better visualized as virtual particles that never physically exist (i.e., with mass and collisions), but that can live for limited amounts of time so long as the final end state is consistent with all the known conservation laws.

"

Today's scientific question is: What in the world is electricity? And where does it go after it leaves the toaster? -- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"

Working...