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November 6, 2006, 8:12 PM CT

Laser Scanner to Convert Real-life Object into a 3D Model

Laser Scanner to Convert Real-life Object into a 3D Model
ZCorporation has come up with its ZScanner 700, an accurate handheld laser scanner to convert any real-life object into a 3D model, which may fulfill your dream to become a computer graphics artist. The handheld scanner can capture almost any object from any angle, and wherever you want.

All you have to do is connect the system to your laptops with FireWire-, add the reflective targets to the object, attune without wasting any time and start scanning. Plug-and-play set-up saves your precious time. You may carry the portable, lightweight and mobile system anywhere you need.

Presenting Laptop computer, ZScan- software, Calibration plate validation, Carry-on case and Ergonomic support, the ZScanner 700 offers 0.1 mm (0.004 in) Z Axis resolution, weights 980 grams (2.1 lbs) and comes in 160 x 260 x 210 mm (6.25 x 10.2 8.2 in) dimension.

You may have to dig your pockets deep to get the ZScanner for $39,900.........

Posted by: John      Permalink         Source

November 6, 2006, 7:49 PM CT

Dried Plums As A Meat Preservative

Dried Plums As A Meat Preservative Sarah Parketon, Texas A&M University undergraduate student from Fort Worth, places boneless pork hams in a container after they are injected.
To help satisfy consumer demand for more natural food products, scientists at Texas A&M University are investigating dried plums as a meat preservative.

"We observed that dried plums, when pureed, actually have a very good antioxidant capacity," said Dr. Jimmy Keeton, professor of animal science and leader of the research at Texas A&M.

"We've been experimenting with dried plums and plum juice in different types of products such as pre-cooked pork sausages, roast beef and ham to see which of those products will respond most effectively as antioxidants," he said. "We observed that pre-cooked and uncured products like sausages and roast beef actually respond the best".

Antioxidants retard oxidation of fatty acids that make up fat, he said.

"If these are unsaturated fatty acids, they can oxidize more and produce off-flavors and cause shelf life problems," he said.

Synthetic products called BHA (butylated hydroxyl anisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxyl toluene) have long been used as antioxidants. The natural product, extract of rosemary, is also used.

Dried plums can enhance the flavor of some products, frankfurters in particular, Keeton said.

"We've actually had consumers tell us they prefer the flavor of products with the dried plum ingredient," he said.........

Posted by: John      Permalink         Source

November 6, 2006, 7:32 PM CT

Silent Eco-friendly Plane

Silent Eco-friendly Plane Conceptual design for a silent, environmentally friendly passenger plane designed by researchers at the Cambridge-MIT Institute's Silent Aircraft Initiative.
MIT and Cambridge University researchers will unveil the conceptual design for a silent, environmentally friendly passenger plane at a press conference Monday, Nov. 6, at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London.

"Public concern about noise is a major constraint on expansion of aircraft operations. The 'silent aircraft' can help address this concern and thus aid in meeting the increasing passenger demand for air transport," said Edward M. Greitzer, the H.N. Slater Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT.

Greitzer and Professor Ann P. Dowling of Cambridge University are the lead principal scientists on the Silent Aircraft Initiative. This collaboration of 40 researchers from MIT and Cambridge, plus many others from more than 30 companies, was launched three years ago "to develop a conceptual design for an aircraft whose noise was almost imperceptible outside the perimeter of an airfield in an urban environment".

While originally conceived to make a huge reduction in airplane noise, the team's ultimate design also has the potential to be more fuel-efficient. In a typical flight, the proposed plane, which is designed to carry 215 passengers, is predicted to achieve 124 passenger-miles per gallon, almost 25 percent more than current aircraft, according to Greitzer. (For a down-to-earth comparison, the Toyota Prius hybrid car carrying two passengers achieves 120 passenger-miles per gallon.).........

Posted by: John      Permalink         Source

November 6, 2006, 5:04 AM CT

Fossils From Ancient Sea Monster

Fossils From Ancient Sea Monster Pat Druckenmiller, in the collection room of MSU's Museum of the Rockies
A fossil-hunting trip to celebrate a son's homecoming resulted in the recent discovery of an ancient sea monster in central Montana.

Believed to be approximately 70 million years old, its skull and lower jaw represent the first complete skull of a long-necked plesiosaur found in Montana, according to Montana State University experts. The skull is said to be one of the best specimens of its kind in North America.

"It's a very important specimen," MSU paleontologist Jack Horner said at the Museum of the Rockies where the fossil rests in boxes. "We have been looking for it for a long, long time".

Ken Olson of Lewistown said he and his son, Garrett, found the fossils in mid-August about 75 miles northeast of Lewistown. Since Horner was in Mongolia, Olson said he prepared the fossils himself and delivered them to Horner about three weeks later. Olson, a retired Lutheran pastor, has long collected fossils for the museum. Two of his best finds are the large Torosaurus skulls displayed there.

Horner said the head of a short-necked plesiosaur was found previously in Montana, but he had been waiting for the discovery of a complete long-necked plesiosaur skull. Both were ancient sea reptiles that lived during the time of the dinosaurs.

"This critter is one of the long, ridiculously long-necked plesiosaurs," said Pat Druckenmiller, an MSU expert in marine reptile fossils. Druckenmiller, who described a new plesiosaur called Edgarosaurus from southern Montana in 2002, was part of a Norwegian expedition in August that mapped the location of several giant fossils in the Arctic. He is now an adjunct instructor in the Department of Earth Sciences at MSU.........

Posted by: Nora      Permalink         Source

November 3, 2006, 5:04 AM CT

T-ray breakthrough

T-ray breakthrough Dr Stefan Maier
Researchers at the University of Bath, UK, and in Spain have said they have found a way to control the flow of terahertz radiation down a metal wire. Their findings are set out in a letter published in the current journal Physical Review Letters.

Terahertz radiation, whose frequency is around one thousand billion cycles a second, bridges the gap between the microwave and infrared parts of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Materials interact with radiation at T-ray frequencies in different ways than with radiation in other parts of the spectrum, making T-rays potentially important in detecting and analysing chemicals by examining how they absorb T-rays fired at them.

This would allow quality control of prescribed drugs and detection of explosives to be carried out more easily, as many complex molecules have distinctive 'signatures' in this part of the electromagnetic spectrum.

T-ray applications are presently limited by the relatively poor ability to focus the rays, which is achieved using the conventional means of lenses and mirrors to focus the radiation. This limits the spot size of focused T-rays to a substantial fraction of a millimetre and this has made studies of small objects such as biological cells with high resolution are virtually impossible.........

Posted by: John      Permalink         Source

November 2, 2006, 8:54 PM CT

Where Seeds Store Iron

Where Seeds Store Iron This 3-D image shows where iron (red) and manganese (green) are found in a seed
Credit: Dartmouth Colleg
Biologists have learned where and how some plant seeds store iron, a valuable discovery for researchers working to improve the iron content of plants. Their research helps address the worldwide problem of iron deficiency and malnutrition in humans.

The team observed that iron is stored in the developing vascular system of the seed of Arabidopsis, a model plant used in research. In particular, iron is stored in the vacuole, a plant cell's central storage site. The scientists also learned this localization depends on a protein called VIT1, known to transport iron into the vacuole.

"Iron deficiency is the most common human nutritional disorder in the world today, afflicting more than 3 billion people worldwide," said Mary Lou Guerinot, a biologist at Dartmouth College in N.H. and the principal investigator on the study. "Most of these people rely on plants for their dietary iron, but plants are not high in iron, and the limited availability of iron in the soil can limit plant growth. Our study suggests that iron storage in the vacuole is a promising, and, before now, largely unexplored target for increasing the iron content of seeds. Such nutrient-rich seeds would benefit both human health and agricultural productivity".

The findings were published online in the Nov. 2, 2006, ScienceExpress, the advance publication site for the journal Science.........

Posted by: Nora      Permalink         Source

November 2, 2006, 5:14 AM CT

You Can't Judge Biodiversity By Its Bird

You Can't Judge Biodiversity By Its Bird
The canary in the coal mine, the supposed harbinger of threat for all those around it, isn't as true as it seemed for biodiversity conservation, according to a sweeping study in which a Michigan State University ornithologist participated.

A global group of scientists including Pamela Rasmussen, of the Department of Zoology, has done the most detailed study yet of how rare and threatened species of birds, mammals and amphibians are distributed across the globe. The paper, "Global Distribution and Conservation of Rare and Threatened Vertebrates," led by Ian Owens, Imperial College London, and John Gittleman, University of Virginia, is published in the Nov. 2 edition of the British science journal Nature.

Rasmussen, an internationally renowned expert on birds and author of a recent two-volume guide to birds of South Asia, contributed species occurrence data from her vast database to the study.

What they've learned is that contrary to popular belief, pinpointing geographic areas in which species of birds are rare or endangered is not a reliable way to assume where other species of animals occur that may also be in peril.

"Birds cannot be used as predictors of rare species of mammals or amphibians," Rasmussen said. "It had been assumed on limited studies that birds could be used to determine what were priority areas of conservation for other groups. This study shows that is not the case".........

Posted by: Nora      Permalink         Source

November 1, 2006, 8:32 PM CT

Genes, Brain Chemicals And Complex Bee Behavior

Genes, Brain Chemicals And Complex Bee Behavior The 1 million neurons in the brain of a honey bee control an array of complex social behaviors
Using a new combination of techniques, U.S. and European scientists have identified 36 genes that encode brain chemicals likely to play a role in the complex behaviors of the honey bee--from working in and defending the hive to foraging, displaying and interpreting dance language. Understanding the jobs these chemicals, called neuropeptides, carry out in the honey bee will help researchers understand what they do in humans, the scientists said.

Some 10,157 genes have so far been identified in the recently sequenced honey bee (Apis mellifera) genome. Jonathan Sweedler at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne and colleagues in Belgium report in the Oct. 27, 2006, issue of the journal Science they identified 36 honey bee genes that encode 100 neuropeptides. The insect's brain contains 1 million neurons--several of the organs would fit on the head of a pin--which are bathed in neuropeptides that influence the animal's vast array of behaviors.

The group used a new combination of methods that included genetic analysis, powerful computing programs and mass spectrometry to make the discoveries. Determining the gene that encodes a neuropeptide, which is a smallish protein, is harder than in most instances because the protein molecules are often so dramatically modified they no longer show any relationship to their "parent" gene.........

Posted by: Nora      Permalink         Source

November 1, 2006, 8:13 PM CT

First Sunrise on Hinode's instruments

First Sunrise on Hinode's instruments Hinodes
The Hinode (formerly Solar-B) satellite, a joint Japan/NASA/PPARC mission launched on 22nd September 2006, reported its first observations of the Sun with its suite of scientific instruments on 31st October 2006.

The satellite was renamed 'Hinode' which is Japanese for Sunrise, which is most appropriate since Hinode will watch at close hand massively explosive solar flares erupting from the Sun's surface and rising into interstellar space.

High resolution image of the Sun taken by the X-ray Telescope on Hinode.

Credit: JAXAHinode has three instruments: the Solar Optical Telescope (SOT), the X-Ray Telescope (XRT), and the EUV Imaging Spectrometer (EIS) which has been led by University College London's Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL).

"Waiting for the first data from an instrument that has taken years to design and build is always a heart-stopping moment," said Prof Len Culhane, EIS Principal Investigator, "We create incredibly sensitive detectors such as EIS, then strap them to a rocket and hurl them into space under extremely challenging conditions. Finding out that it survived and is working correctly is a huge relief because the options are very limited if it is not".

Image showing convection cells that are the locations of concentration of the magnetic field.........

Posted by: Edwin      Permalink         Source

November 1, 2006, 7:42 PM CT

Microscope Probes Nano-electronics

Microscope Probes Nano-electronics JILA's scanning photoionization microscope (SPIM) includes an optical microscope (in vacuum chamber, background) and an ultrafast laser (appears as blue, foreground).
A new form of scanning microscopy that simultaneously reveals physical and electronic profiles of metal nanostructures has been demonstrated at JILA, a joint institute of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and University of Colorado at Boulder. The new instrument is expected to be especially useful for analyzing the make-up and properties of nanoscale electronics and nanoparticles.

Scanning photoionization microscopy (SPIM), described in a new paper,* combines the high spatial resolution of optical microscopy with the high sensitivity to subtle electrical activity made possible by detecting the low-energy electrons emitted by a material as it is illuminated with laser pulses. The technique potentially could be used to make pictures of both electronic and physical patterns in devices such as nanostructured transistors or electrode sensors, or to identify chemicals or even elements in such structures.

"You make images by virtue of how readily electrons are photoejected from a material," says NIST Fellow David Nesbitt, leader of the research group. "The method is in its infancy, but nevertheless it really does have the power to provide a new set of eyes for looking at nanostructured metals and semiconductors".

The JILA-built apparatus includes a moving optical microscopy stage in a vacuum, an ultrafast near-ultraviolet laser beam that provides sufficient peak power to inject two photons (particles of light) into a metal at virtually the same time, and equipment for measuring the numbers and energy of electrons ejected from the material. By comparing SPIM images of nanostructured gold films to scans using atomic force microscopy, which profiles surface topology, the scientists confirmed the correlations and physical mapping accuracy of the new technique. They also determined that lines in SPIM images correspond to spikes in electron energy, or current, and that contrast depends on the depth of electrons escaping from the metal as well as variations in material thickness.........

Posted by: John      Permalink         Source

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