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X-ray


— Electronics

Laser X-rays to nab nuclear smugglers

With over 100 million cargo containers in transit each year, screening them for illicit nuclear material is a major problem. To keep commerce flowing while maintaining an eye on nuclear terrorism and smuggling, a team of scientists at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) is developing a laser-based X-ray machine that can image a uranium disk the size of a stack of three US nickels hidden between three-inch (7.6 cm) steel panels.

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— Medical

Kinect measures body thickness to lessen radiation exposure from X-rays

The depth-sensing capabilities of the Microsoft's Kinect has seen it put to use in a number of unexpected applications, such as helping Parkinson's sufferers to walk and the visually impaired to practice yoga. Scientists now claim to have expanded the applications for the gaming technology to include a more precise approach to X-ray imaging, which they say can limit exposure to radiation by measuring the thickness of a subject's body parts.

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— Space

Study suggests an even distribution of elements throughout the universe

A new study carried out by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) suggests that when the universe was between two to four billion years old, the elements used to create everything from the largest star to the human race were evenly spread across a vast area of the cosmos. The study focused on an enormous structure of galaxies known as the Virgo Galaxy Cluster, which sits roughly 54 million light years from Earth and harbors over 2,000 galaxies.

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— Space

Orbital telescopes detect increased activity from the supermassive black hole at the heart of the Milky Way

Three space-based observatories appear to have picked up an unusual increase in activity from the supermassive black hole located at the center of our galaxy. According to the data, the black hole known as Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*), which has a mass of roughly 4 million times our Sun, is throwing out ten times the usual amount of bright X-ray flares.

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X-raying meat could guarantee its tenderness

Although many retailers already display the tenderness of meat cuts on their packaging, Norwegian research group SINTEF has developed what it believes is a better system. Instead of relying on human interpretations of tenderness, it uses x-rays to give a less subjective and more accurate rating.

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— Space

Space telescopes uncover supermassive black hole winds

Supermassive black holes are titanic oddities. Usually sited at the core of galaxies and various high-energy phenomena such as quasars, their mass can be anywhere from that of a hundred thousand to billions of suns. Now observations from NASA and ESA space telescopes are shedding light on the incredibly powerful cosmic winds they produce, which can have more energy than an entire galaxy. Read More
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