Tech

Diamonds, it has long been said, are a girl's best friend. But a research team including a physicist from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has recently found* that the gems might turn out to be a patient's best friend as well.

Training in mindfulness meditation and communication can alleviate the psychological distress and burnout experienced by many physicians and can improve their well-being, University of Rochester Medical Center researchers report in today's issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

The training also can expand a physician's capacity to relate to patients and enhance patient-centered care, according to the researchers, who were led by Michael S. Krasner, M.D., associate professor of Clinical Medicine.

Researchers would like to develop lithium-ion batteries using titanium dioxide, an inexpensive material. But titanium dioxide on its own doesn't perform well enough to replace the expensive, rare-earth metals or fire-prone carbon-based materials used in today's lithium-ion batteries. To test whether graphene, a good conductor on its own, can help, PNNL's Gary Yang and colleagues added graphene, sheets made up of single carbon atoms, to titanium dioxide.

St. Joseph, Michigan — A new internet-based tool for designing agricultural terraces promises to reduce the considerable labor involved and to optimize design by allowing rapid development of alternative layouts.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Understanding precisely how fluid boils in tiny "microchannels" has led to formulas and models that will help engineers design systems to cool high-power electronics in electric and hybrid cars, aircraft, computers and other devices.

Allowing a liquid to boil in cooling systems dramatically increases how much heat can be removed, compared to simply heating a liquid to below its boiling point, said Suresh Garimella, the R. Eugene and Susie E. Goodson Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University.

Scientists from six European countries, including Spain, have developed a new computer system so called DRIVSCO that allows vehicles to learn from the behaviour of their drivers at the wheel, in such a way that they can detect if a driver presents an "unusual behaviour" in a curve or an obstacle on the road and generates signals of alarm which warn him on time to react.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A fiber-optic sensor created by a team of Purdue University researchers that is capable of measuring oxygen intake rates could have broad applications ranging from plant root development to assessing the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs.

A new computing tool that could help scientists predict how plants will react to different environmental conditions in order to create better crops, such as tastier and longer lasting tomatoes, is being developed by researchers.

The tool will form part of a new £1.7 million Syngenta University Centre at Imperial College London, announced today, which will see researchers from Imperial and Syngenta working together to improve agricultural products.

Researchers from the University of Segovia and the University of León have shown for the first time the close space-time relationship between the presence of the griffon vulture and transhumant sheep farming in mountain passes. Transhumance has fallen in some parts of Spain by up to 80% over the past four years. The scientists say that traditional livestock farming practices are crucial for the preservation of mountain ecosystems.

September 22, 2009 – Mathematicians from North America, Europe, Australia, and South America have resolved the first one trillion cases of an ancient mathematics problem. The advance was made possible by a clever technique for multiplying large numbers. The numbers involved are so enormous that if their digits were written out by hand they would stretch to the moon and back. The biggest challenge was that these numbers could not even fit into the main memory of the available computers, so the researchers had to make extensive use of the computers' hard drives.

While most women experience minor pain during menstruation, for others, the pain can be severe enough to interfere with everyday activities and require medication. New research to be presented at the 2009 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) Annual Meeting and Exposition will reveal initial findings of safety surrounding a new device that may more effectively treat menstrual pain.

ST. PAUL, Minn. – New research finds poor money management skills may indicate that a person with mild memory problems will soon develop Alzheimer's disease. The study is published in the September 22, 2009, print issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Inability to handle financial transactions or manage money may be an early indicator that a person with mild memory problems soon is likely to develop Alzheimer's disease, according to new research from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Alzheimer's Disease Center, part of the Department of Neurology.

The findings, published in the Sept. 22 edition of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, examined patients with a condition known as mild cognitive impairment (MCI), thought to be a precursor to Alzheimer's.

Very–light-skinned children without red hair who tan appear to develop more nevi (birthmarks, moles or other colored spots on the skin) than children who do not tan, according to a report in the September issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Critical care experts at Johns Hopkins are reporting initial success in boosting recovery and combating muscle wasting among critically ill, mostly bed-bound patients using any one of a trio of mild physical therapy exercises during their stays in the intensive care unit (ICU).