Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Submission + - Strong tail muscles helped dinosaurs to go bipedal (

hypnosec writes: Strong tail muscles are the reason why proto-dinosaur ancestors became bipedal and this bipedalism was inherited by dinosaurs over the course of millions of years, says a new study by scientists in Canada. University of Alberta scientists have revealed through their study [PDF] published in Journal of Theoretical Biology that dinosaurs didn’t just start walking on their two back feet overnight, but it was strong tails of their proto-dinosaur ancestors that played a huge role in enabling the dinosaurs stand on their two feet and move about. This is by far one of the most plausible explanations behind the bipedalism of dinosaurs.

Submission + - Scientists develop HIV test on a USB stick (

hypnosec writes: Scientists in the UK have developed a HIV test on a USB stick that uses just a drop of blood to detect whether the subject is HIV positive or not in less than 30 minutes. The disposable test will revolutionise the way in which HIV tests are conducted around the world specifically in remote areas where availability of equipment for lab based tests is sparse. Scientists behind the study published in journal Scientific Reports are optimistic that their technology could allow patients to regularly monitor their virus levels in much the same way that people with diabetes check their blood sugar levels.

Submission + - NASA develops electroactive material for rapid wound healing (

hypnosec writes: US space agency NASA has developed a new electroactive material that when applied on wounds can speed up the healing process as well as keep infections at bay. NASA says that its new material that can be given the shape of a bandage has ample of applications including on battlefields for the wounded military personnel, patients who have undergone surgery, patients who may have suffered from serious wounds and injured astronauts in space. The bandage made out of the electroactive material [PDF] has to be applied on an exterior wound. Using low level electrical stimulation generated within the material itself, the bandage promotes as well as speeds up the wound healing process and protects it from infection.

Submission + - Levels of atmospheric oxygen have been declining over last 800,000 years (

hypnosec writes: A new study by researchers at Princeton University has revealed that levels of atmospheric oxygen have been declining over the last 800,000 years. While the decline isn't substantial at somewhere around 0.7 per cent relative to current atmospheric-oxygen concentrations in the stipulated time, the decline has accelerated over the last century with increased use of fossil fuels around the world. Researchers compiled 30 years of data to construct the first ice core-based record of atmospheric oxygen concentrations for nearly a million years. To come up with historic levels of oxygen, researchers used measured ratios of oxygen-to-nitrogen found in air trapped in Antarctic ice.

Submission + - SPAM: Swedish Association for Sexuality Education urges NASA to send a condom to space

hypnosec writes: The Swedish Association for Sexuality Education (RFSU) has urged NASA to send out a condom to space to highlight the importance of contraceptives and make it a global political agenda. The RFSU considers condom as one of the greatest inventions of the human race. Considering how a condom not only keeps both men and women safe from sexually transmitted diseases, but also unwanted pregnancies, it deserves a place in space alongside all the other inventions that have been sent to space by NASA and other space agencies.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Dark matter detection to go ultra sensitive with LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) (

hypnosec writes: The US Department of Energy has given a green light to the world’s most sensitive dark matter detector ever built — LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ). The dark matter detector, has received an approval for the scope, cost and schedule. LZ is named for the merger of two dark matter detection experiments: the Large Underground Xenon experiment (LUX) and the UK-based ZonEd Proportional scintillation in Liquid Noble gases experiment (ZEPLIN). LUX, a smaller liquid xenon-based underground experiment at SURF will be dismantled to make way for the new project.

Submission + - POPEYE WAS RIGHT! Spinach extract can generate electricity from sunlight (

hypnosec writes: Science has proved that Popeye was indeed correct in his proposition that spinach gives energy as a new study has shown that spinach-based extract can generate electricity from sunlight. Scientists at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology used simple membrane extract from spinach leaves to develop a bio-photo-electro-chemical (BPEC) cell. This BPEC cell takes in sunlight and water and sunlight as its inputs and produces electric current, hydrogen and oxygen. Researchers are hopeful that further research in this direction will one day help develop new technologies for the creation of clean fuels from renewable sources such as water and solar energy.

Submission + - Scientists to zap two meteorites with laser to study asteroid deflection tech (

hypnosec writes: Researchers atLawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) will be subjecting two meteorites around the size of walnuts recovered from Antarctica with laser to study asteroid laser deflection technology. Researchers will bevaporizing the two meteorites using a high-powered laser and in the process collect vital data that will enable scientists to advance asteroid deflection and destruction technology thatcould one day save ourplanet.

Submission + - Air on early Earth weighed much less than today, study finds (

hypnosec writes: A study published in Nature Geoscience has proved that the idea of early Earth harboring a much thicker atmosphere is wrong and instead the air weighed much less than today. University of Washington researchers and colleagues proved that the air during the early years of Earth exerted almost half the pressure of today's atmosphere by studying bubbles trapped in 2.7 billion-year-old rocks. For the purpose of the study, researchers needed a site that had lava that was undisputedly formed at sea level. Scientists found such a site in Australia where Beasley River had exposed a 2.7 billion-year-old basalt lava. The team drilled into the overlying lava flows to examine the size of the bubbles. Initial measurements by scientists showed that the air pressure at the time was significantly lower than current times meaning that the air was light. For more accurate results, researchers carried out x-ray scans from several lava flows and confirmed their initial findings that the atmospheric pressure at that time was less than half of today's.

Submission + - World's first holographic flexible smartphone developed by researchers in Canada (

hypnosec writes: Scientists in Canada have designed and developed world’s first holographic flexible smartphone and they have aptly named it HoloFlex. The smartphone renders 3D images with motion parallax and stereoscopy to multiple users without the users requiring to wear any glasses or head tracking. Applications of HoloFlex technology include use of bend gestures for Z-Input to facilitate the editing of 3D models, playing games, among other things.

Submission + - Paper-based testing kit detects Zika in a matter of hours (

hypnosec writes: Researchers have developed a new inexpensive paper-based test to detect and diagnose Zika in just a few hours. The work was carried out by researchers at MIT and other institutions by building upon a previous technology that was developed to detect the Ebola virus. The team of scientists involved with the latest development adapted their Ebola virus detecting kit to diagnose Zika. The overall idea of the paper-based test is to develop genetic sensors and embed them in paper discs. The genetic sensors are capable of detecting 24 different RNA sequences found in the Zika viral genome. As per the design of the testing kit, if the sensor detects a target RNA sequence, it initiates a series of interactions that turns the paper from yellow to purple.

Submission + - Red dwarfs could have intelligent life-harboring planets in orbit (

hypnosec writes: Red dwarfs have been one of the most sidelined celestial objects as far as search of intelligent extraterrestrials is concerned because astronomers have long believed that conditions around these old stars is not conducive for life. However, the SETI Institute now believes that there is a possibility that intelligent aliens may have evolved on planets orbiting red dwarfs and if they are present, they are an ideal choice to look for radio signals transmitted by these aliens. The Institute has announced its intentions of expanding the search for intelligent extraterrestrials by incorporating area in the vicinity of 20,000 red dwarf stars.

Submission + - Xbox Kinects used to assess respiratory function in cystic fibrosis patients (

hypnosec writes: Researchers have developed a low-cost prototype assessment system using Microsoft Xbox Kinects that not only allows physicians to assess the respiratory function of cystic fibrosis patients, but also enables them to measure and assess how a chest wall moves. Utilizing the capabilities of four Xbox Kinects, researchers were able to quickly create a 3D image of a patient's torso providing greater information about the chest that currently used spirometer can't reveal while also helping to identify numerous other respiratory problems including collapsed lung segments or respiratory muscle weakness.

Submission + - New technique uses tiny gold nanodisks and light to kill bacteria in seconds (

hypnosec writes: Bacteria can be killed in mere seconds — even those heat-resistant bacteria that are known to exist in some of the most hot areas in the world — researchers have shown through a new study. A team of scientists from University of Houston, Texas, showed in their paper published in Optical Materials Express that it is possible to use tiny gold nanodisks and light to kill bacteria in seconds paving way for potential treatment options for some common infections without use of antibiotics.

Submission + - Social media pegged as a threat to endangered wildlife (

hypnosec writes: A new report has claimed that social media is slowly becoming a threat to endangered wildlife as there have been multiple instances wherein illegal trade of wildlife is happening through social media sites like Facebook. The claims have been put forward by Traffic, a UK wildlife protection monitoring group, through a report wherein they have said that just half an hour’s daily monitoring over five months by their researchers of 14 Facebook Groups in Peninsular Malaysia found more than 300 apparently wild, live animals for sale as pets, ranging from Sun Bears Helarctos malayanus and gibbons, to otters and even Binturong Arctictis binturong.

Slashdot Top Deals

Economists can certainly disappoint you. One said that the economy would turn up by the last quarter. Well, I'm down to mine and it hasn't. -- Robert Orben