science + technology news

Subliminal messages really do affect your decisions

February 16, 2009

Subliminal messages do inform people’s decision-making, Northwestern University researchers have found.

Subliminal study shows subconscious learning is possible

October 26, 2001

Subconscious learning probably is possible, say Boston University researchers, and subconscious learning may affect our conscious decisions — without our realising it.

Takeo Watanabe and his colleagues at Boston University found that people who had watched a particular direction of subliminal dot movement during a letter-naming trial were significantly better at picking it out later.

The finding challenges the idea that attention is an essential element of the… read more

Submarines could use new nanotube technology for sonar and stealth

July 15, 2010


“Nanotube speakers” made from carbon nanotube sheets have been found to be able can both generate sound and cancel out noise — properties ideal for submarine sonar to probe the ocean depths and make subs invisible to enemies, according to a report in ACS’ Nano Letters.

Ali Aliev of MacDiarmid NanoTech Institute, University of Texas at Dallas and colleagues explain that thermoacoustic sound generation results from temperature variation in a carbon nanotube sheet… read more

Subtext makes eBook reading social

October 25, 2011

(Credit: Subtext)

The startup Subtext offers a new social eBook reading experience to iPad users, by making margin notes interactive and adding context to the eBook experience through social networking and web content.

Users can engage in conversations with friends, community members, as well as authors and experts. Readers can get author, expert, and community information, contribute their own thoughts, as well as add and explore links to relevant… read more

Subtitle-Reading Glasses Make Cinema-Going for the Hard of Hearing Less, um, Hard

April 19, 2007

Madrid’s Carlos III University has developed a gadget that projects subtitles in a movie theater.

A computer in the cinema emits the subtitles to within 50 meters; a receptor in the glasses captures the signal and projects it onto the microscreen, which fits over the right-hand lens.

Subtle nervous system abnormalities may predict risk of death in older individuals

June 23, 2008

University of Florence researchers and colleagues have found that subtle but clinically detectable neurological abnormalities such as reduced reflexes or unstable posture help predict the risk of death and stroke in otherwise healthy older adults–possibly a sign of early brain damage.

These results suggest that a standard neurological exam should become a routine part of healthcare for older adults, because the exam has a predictive value similarread more

Sugar in the gas tank? It might run your car someday

February 1, 2007

Amyris Biotechnologies hopes to convert sugar directly to fuel by reprogramming microbes.

Jack Newman, PhD, Amyris Biotechnologies VP: “Why are we making ethanol if we’re trying to make a fuel? We should be making something that looks a lot more like gasoline. We should be making something that looks a lot more like diesel. And if you wanted to design, you name it, a jet fuel? We can make… read more

Sugar molecules — building blocks of RNA — found around young star

August 30, 2012

Astronomers have for the first time found glycolaldehyde molecules around a young sun-like star. Glycolaldehyde is a an important pre-biotic species, a simple sugar, consisting of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen atoms. Through observations with ALMA the researchers have shown that the molecules are located within a region with an extent corresponding to our own solar system - and thus exist in the gas from which planets possibly are formed around the young star later in its evolution. (Credit: ESO)

A team of astronomers led by researchers from the Niels Bohr Institute, have observed a simple sugar molecule in the gas surrounding a young star, proving that the building blocks of life were already present during planet formation.

They also found other complex organic molecules, including ethylene-glycol, methyl-formate and ethanol.

Sugar around new stars

“In the protoplanetary disc of gas and dust surrounding… read more

Sugar solution makes tissues see-through for brain imaging at unprecedented resolution

June 25, 2013


RIKEN Center for Developmental biology researchers have developed a new sugar and water-based solution that turns tissues transparent in just three days, without disrupting the shape and chemical nature of the samples.

Combined with fluorescence microscopy, this technique enabled them to obtain detailed images of a mouse brain at unprecedented resolution.

Over the past few years, teams in the USA and Japan have reported a… read more

Sugar-fuelled battery soon to juice up portable electronics

March 27, 2007

Fuel cell technology that is currently in development boasts the ability of extracting energy from virtually any sugar source to power portable electronics.

The cell operates at room temperature and uses enzymes to oxidize sugars, hence generating electricity.

Suite of chatterbox genes discovered

November 13, 2009

By combining human and chimp Foxp2 genes in a petri dish, University of California, Los Angeles neuroscientists have identified 116 genes controlled by Foxp2 that responded differently to the human version of Foxp2 than the chimp version, supporting Foxp2′s suggested role in the evolution of language and speech.

In another experiment, they found a striking overlap between the genes whose activity was different in the human brain tissue and… read more

Sun president: PCs are so yesterday

September 26, 2005

Increasingly, the personal computer is a relic, says Sun Microsystems president Jonathan Schwartz. Instead, what has become important are Web services on the Internet and the mobile phones most will use to access them.

Schwartz points to the increasing wealth and power of companies, like eBay, Google, Yahoo and, that profit from free services available over the network.

Sun supercomputer takes on IBM’s Blue Gene

June 27, 2007

Sun Microsystems Inc. is aiming to wrest the world supercomputing crown from IBM’s Blue Gene.

Sun’s Constellation, to be installed at the Texas Advanced Computing Center, provides 21 million floating-point operations per second, potentially reaching 2 PFLOPS. IBM already has a 3 PFLOP version of its Blue Gene supercomputer, but Sun could potentially hit the No. 2 spot.

Sun unleashes X6.9 class flare; Earth spared this time

August 10, 2011

An x-class flare began at 3:48 AM EDT on August 9, 2011 and peaked at 4:05 AM. The flare burst from sun spot region AR11263, before it rotated out of view. The image here was captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) in extreme ultraviolet light at 131 Angstroms (credit: NASA)

On August 9, 2011 at 3:48 a.m. EDT, the sun emitted an Earth-directed X6.9 flare, as measured by the NOAA GOES satellite.

This was the largest flare of the current solar cycle, an R3 (Strong) Radio Blackout, alternatively classified as an X6,  according to the U.S. NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center.

These gigantic bursts of radiation can disrupt GPS and communications signals. In this case, scientists… read more

Sun-free photovoltaics powered by heat

August 1, 2011

Silicon chip micro-reactors developed by the MIT team. Each of these contains photonic crystals on both flat faces, with external tubes for injecting fuel and air and ejecting waste products. Inside the chip, the fuel and air react to heat up the photonic crystals. (Credit: Justin Knight)

A new photovoltaic energy-conversion system has been developed by researchers at MIT, powered solely by heat, generating electricity with no sunlight at all.

The researchers made a button-sized power generator fueled by butane that can run three times longer than a lithium-ion battery of the same weight. The device can then be recharged instantly, just by snapping in a tiny cartridge of fresh fuel.

The… read more

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