By taking advantage of the way temperature fluctuations produce sound waves, researchers have created tiny speakers about the size of a fingernail.
Inside these earbuds, something big is happening on a very small scale, Popsci wrote.
Set on a tiny lattice of silicon, electrified nanotubes of carbon are rapidly warmed up and cooled down, producing sound waves as their temperature fluctuates.
The technique is known as ‘thermoacoustics’ and it means these speakers lack the moving parts of conventional, mechanical models, and as a result are likely to last much longer.
If thermoacoustic speakers are so great, why haven’t they been used before? Material limitations, really.
The principle of thermoacoustics--heating a material to produce sound--was explained at least as early as 1878, but it’s only in recent times that nanotubes have made it really feasible, thanks to their durability and excellent conductive properties.
In 2008, researchers made a carbon nanotube loudspeaker. In 2009, Finnish researchers made a thermoacoustic speaker from thin aluminum wires.
Iran Builds Anti-Theft Lock
Iranian researchers have designed and built an anti-theft and anti-hack lock that can be installed on strongbox, security and protection sites, said the managing director of the company building the systems, Afzal Sahragard.
The system has been built by two keyboards as an alarm or lock body protector, and a socket to which a touchpad is attached, ISNA reported.
The electro-mechanic lock of the system is an off lock one that turns on by a touchpad-like key. There are separate touchpads for each lock.
“After touching the touchpad, a 4-digit code is required and when the password is entered, the lock is activated for 30-60 second. The number inside the lock is activated and we call the system via a phone call and the lock is activated,” he said.
He added that if the lock is on for more than the planned time and the lock owner opens the door of the device, the smart circuit becomes active and sends messages to the owner’s phone call whose number has been saved in the memory.
According to Sahragard, the system is sensitive to water, heat, water and vibrations as well as other possible damage and sends a signal to inform the lock owner.
Int’l Orthodontic Congress Planned
The 11th International Congress of Iranian Association of Orthodontists will be held in Shiraz, Fars province, during October 16-18.
According to a press release faxed to Iran Daily, Dr. Navid Nasseri, secretary of the congress, also said the international congress will be launched simultaneously with the annual meeting of the Iranian Dental Association.
“Presenting latest achievements in the fields of orthodontics and dentistry as well as keeping abreast of new technology and recent breakthroughs will be on the agenda of the conference,” he said.
Nasseri stated that promoting the status of Iran’s orthodontics in the world, introducing the potentials of Iranian specialists and obtaining an elevated status in the region and the Middle East are among major objectives of the international event.
The secretary of the congress announced that 12 foreign dentists will deliver lectures in the three-day congress.
“Over 2,500 participants, including dentists, orthodontists, residents, technicians, nurses and dental students, are expected to attend the scientific congress,” he said.
On the sidelines of the 11th International Congress of Iranian Association of Orthodontists, more than 20 workshops will also be held to familiarize participants with recent developments in dentistry and orthodontics based on global standards and achievements.
Nasseri announced that concurrent with the congress, the International Exhibition on Dental and Orthodontic Equipment will be held, with over 100 foreign and domestic companies in attendance.
Bees Can’t Sniff Out Flowers Because of Cars
Diesel pollution makes it harder for honeybees to find flowers by changing the chemical makeup of their scent, scientists have found.
According to Daily Mail, honeybees use floral odors to find flowers that will give the best yields of pollen and nectar but diesel fumes can affect their ability to locate and recognize the plants, potentially affecting pollination and ultimately global food security.
British researchers took eight chemicals found in the odor of oilseed flowers and mixed them both with clean air, which had no impact on the scent and air containing diesel fumes.
When mixed with diesel fumes, six of the eight chemicals reduced in volume and two disappeared completely within a minute, changing the chemical mix of the scent as it reacted with nitrogen oxides (NOx) found in the exhaust fumes.
The researchers from the University of Southampton then trained honeybees to recognize a synthetic oilseed perfume, by giving the bees a sugar solution when they were exposed to the scent so that they learned to stick out their proboscis when they smelled it.
When they were exposed to a synthetic floral odor, which had the chemicals affected by nitrogen oxides removed, the proportion of honeybees able to recognize the scent was significantly reduced, the study published in the journal Scientific Reports found.
Diesel, Nitrogen Oxide Exposure
The researchers said the number of bees recognizing the odor fell from 100 percent to 30 percent when both the chemicals affected by nitrogen oxides were taken out of the scent.
Dr. Tracey Newman, a neuroscientist at the university, said, “Diesel exposure alters floral odors and it’s a significant enough change in the chemistry to impact on the honeybee’s ability to recognize that odor.
“It’s not just about a bee getting confused because there’s a new smell around; it’s that the odor itself is being chemically altered.”
The scientists focused on diesel because they were also interested in the impact on bee foraging of particulates (PMs), which are known to harm human health and are found in much higher levels in diesel.
But as nitrogen oxides--nitrogen dioxide and nitric oxide--are also found in gasoline fumes the pollution from much of road transport could be having an effect, they said.
Harming the forager bees’ ability to find the flowers from which they get pollen and nectar is likely to damage the success of the colony or hive, affecting the number of colonies and the pollination of crops that are important to humans.
Professor Guy Poppy, ecologist at the University of Southampton, said honeybee pollination can significantly increase the yield of crops and they are vital to the world’s economy--£430 million a year to the UK alone.
“However to forage effectively, they need to be able to learn and recognize the plants,” he said.
“The results indicated that NOx gases, particularly nitrogen dioxide, may be capable of disrupting the odor recognition process that honeybees rely on for locating floral food resources.”
Bee Action Plan
The scientists said air pollution could be one of a number of stresses that could be harming honeybees which, like many pollinating insects, are struggling.
Dr. Newman said, “Diesel exposure is not the root of the problem in honeybees. However, if you think of a situation where they’re dealing with vial infections, mite infections, another thing that then makes it harder in its environment adds to the list of stresses.
“It is likely to have detrimental consequences for the animals’ health.”
Dr. Giles Budge of the Food and Environment Research Agency said the researchers have pinpointed “a fresh issue to add to the many problems facing our insect pollinators”, the potential for the fumes from a generator to degrade flower scent.
“This work highlights a possible problem in a laboratory setting and the challenge will be to see whether this problem exists in the wider environment.”
Friends of the Earth Nature Campaigner Paul de Zylva said, “Bees are highly sophisticated creatures facing many threats including air pollution and this research is yet more evidence that they are under attack from all sides.”
The group has called on the government to put together a “bee action plan” to combat the threats the creatures face.
Dell Tablets Shun Windows RT System
Dell has opted not to release a Windows RT device among its latest lineup of tablets and laptops.
According to BBC, the US manufacturer had been the last to support the operating system other than its creator, Microsoft.
Dell said the software had failed to ‘resonate’ with its customers because it did not support legacy software available to the full Windows 8 OS.
The firm is in the process of being taken over by a group led by its founder, Michael Dell.
He plans to stop its shares being publicly traded and refocus Dell’s operations on business-targeted software and services rather than consumer-focused hardware.
However, the company said it would continue to sell devices in order to provide its customers with an “end-to-end solution”.
“We’re not going to put all our eggs into different baskets--what we have to do is focus on our strengths,” Adam Griffin, Dell’s global product manager for commercial tablets, told the BBC.
“We’ve focused our attention on the Windows 8.1 operating system because that’s where the majority of the applications are [in the] segment that we’re after, which is the commercial consumer environment.
“RT, even by Microsoft’s admission, is a little bit limited in terms of the amount of applications you can get.”
Griffin added that there had been resistance from corporate IT departments to the idea of supporting what was effectively another operating system on top of the various releases of the main Windows OS.
Windows RT was launched under a year ago.
It is designed for machines powered by ARM-based processors rather than the x86 chip architecture used by Intel and AMD.
ARM’s designs tend to deliver longer battery life at a cheaper price, but its chips need Windows programs to be recompiled to be able to run them.
New software can only be added to Windows RT devices via Microsoft’s own online store or via special enterprise software made available to companies.
That has meant there has been no way to install high-profile programs such as the iTunes media library, the Chrome and Firefox browsers, and the fully equipped version of Photoshop.
Samsung, Lenovo, Acer and Asus were among the other companies to initially back the platform but later switch efforts elsewhere.
Dell continues to offer the XPS 10 table, which uses Windows RT in some markets, but said it would only do so until its factories had used up all the relevant components.
That leaves Microsoft as the only manufacturer to have released a Windows RT device in recent months.
It launched the Surface 2 in September having previously posted a $900 million (£560 million) write-down after acknowledging it had made more of the first-generation machine than it could sell.
According to market research company IDC, Windows RT only accounted for a 0.5 percent share of global tablet shipments in the April-to-June quarter.
Windows 8 itself had a 4-percent share. By contrast, Google’s Android system had a 62.6-percent share and Apple’s iOS 32.5 percent.
“The Windows RT concept seems to have fizzled out,” said Benedict Evans, a tech specialist at consultants Enders Analysis.
“It lacks even the redeeming features of a Windows 8 tablet which can run all the legacy apps.
“There remains a lot of appeal to being able to take existing Windows applications out with you on a mobile device.”
Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is not only great for your hair but for your overall health as well.
Here are a few wonders that coconut oil does for you, Times of India said.
This is one of the many health benefits of coconut oil that’s sure to please. Did you know coconut oil can help slow down the effects of aging too? It helps with damage to healthy fats and tissues in the body. Coconut oil is filled with antioxidants that improve cardiovascular problems and skin aging.
Not only is coconut oil good for helping your skin through the aging process, but it is also an excellent moisturizer. Use organic coconut oil on your skin so you aren’t at risk of applying toxins from pesticides. It’s not just good for your skin, it is safe to use on babies and young children, too.
Improves Heart Health
One of the most impressive health benefits of coconut oil has to do with your heart. Years ago, it was a common belief that all fats and oils were bad for the heart. Now we know coconut oil, along with a few others, can actually improve your heart health by reducing cholesterol. Consider using coconut oil when cooking.
Reduces Abdominal Fat
A research study found that women who consumed 2 tablespoons of coconut oil every day for 12 weeks had decreased the amount of fat in their abdomen. This is significant because belly fat is typically harder to lose than other body fat.
Child’s Flu Shot
The latest research shows that it’s safe for children with an egg allergy to get flu shots without special precautions.