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Radiation

Space

NASA scientists look ahead to Orion's maiden flight

With the launch date of the Orion next-generation spacecraft approaching fast, NASA scientists have set out what they hope to learn from its maiden launch. The test flight, dubbed EFT-1 is the first of three proving missions set to trial many of the in-flight systems essential to the success of any manned mission to Mars, or beyond. Read More

Medical

Researchers turn to GPUs to improve cancer therapy

Medical physicists at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center are latching on to advances in the computational speed of graphics processing units (GPUs) to drastically reduce the time required to calculate radiation therapy plans. The approach also increases the accuracy of calculations, allowing for faster, more precise, and more adaptable treatment of cancer patients.Read More

Science

Polaris-H detector maps nuclear radiation in real time

Turn on any old science fiction film and odds are that you'll see someone listening to the ominous chirping of a Geiger counter. It's very dramatic, but not very precise and, unfortunately, nuclear scientists and engineers of today are stuck with the same problem. Now, researchers at the University of Michigan have developed a faster, cheaper way for nuclear power plants to detect and map dangerous hot spots and leaky fuel rods using a camera that maps radiation in real time. Read More

Science

Polar bear fur could hold secret to ultrathin insulation

Put a polar bear and a biophotonics expert together in a chilly room and what do you get? Potentially, better insulation. When looking to uncover the secrets of the impressive insulation properties of polar bear fur, researchers at the University of Namur in Belgium and the University of Hassan I in Morocco found that radiation plays a larger role than conduction in the insulation of polar animals, such as penguins and polar bears, than previously believed. Read More

Science

Distant quasar lights up cosmic web like a neon sign

That the Universe is largely composed of a cosmic web consisting of narrow filaments upon which galaxies and intergalactic gas and dust are concentrated has been known for more than a decade. While a great deal of evidence for this has accumulated, visual evidence has been difficult to find. Astronomers have now photographed what appears to be a segment of a cosmic filament stimulated into fluorescence by irradiation from a nearby quasar. Read More

Space

The swan flies: Successful launch of Cygnus/Antares ISS supply mission

Orbital Sciences Corporation today successfully launched the first of eight Cygnus cargo supply missions to the International Space Station (ISS). Orbital's Antares medium-lift rocket (originally called the Taurus II) carried the Cygnus into an initial orbit of 135 x 175 miles (220 x 280 km), inclined at 51.6 degrees relative to the equator. The Cygnus is flying solo now, with full communications and deployed solar arrays, carrying roughly 2,800 lb (1,300 kg) of cargo toward a January 12 rendezvous and docking with the ISS. Read More

Telecommunications

Cities reimagined as cellular dreamscapes

Nickolay Lamm is a self-identified artist and researcher, who is making a career of transforming ordinary images into extraordinary visual displays of quantitative information, to borrow from Ed Tufte. We take a look at his transformation of New York, Chicago, Hollywood, and Washington D.C. through converting cellular network transmissions into visual overlays.Read More

Space

Curiosity dates rock, finds potential good news for astronauts and search for life

The chances of life having once existed on Mars got a boost this week alongside good news for astronauts on any future expeditions to the Red Planet. Six papers from Curiosity team members presented to the autumn meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco revealed that they had directly dated their first Martian rock, gave details of an ancient lake where life may once of existed, and found new evidence about the radiation hazards that explorers and colonists may one day face.Read More

3D Printing

CT and 3D printing combined to reproduce fossilized dinosaur bones

Access to rare fossils is limited, potentially putting a go-slow on their study, while sharing them around increases the risk of damaging them. Researchers at Berlin's Charité Campus Mitte have combined data from computed tomography (CT) scans with 3D printing technology to make it possible to print any number of accurate 3D reproductions of fossilized bones, without any adverse effect on the originals. Read More

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