Can Nanotubes Help Your Garden Grow

first_imgAfter four weeks, the researchers noticed that the tomato plants that had been treated with carbon nanotubes had two times the biomass and two times the height of their non-treated counterparts. The current theory is that the nanotubes penetrate the seed coat of the tomato seeds, allowing water to more rapidly penetrate the seeds and boost their development. Interestingly, the root systems were similar in all of the plants, so the nanotubes did not change the way the roots established themselves. Another issue is that the nanotubes seem to be causing abnormally long internodes, and that might affect the ultimate outcome regarding the viability of mature plants. Additionally, carbon nanotubes as fertilizer might present hazards when used for food plants, since they were found to trigger some toxic effects in mice.In the end, though, it appears that carbon nanotubes may be more versatile than originally imagined.More information: The research has been published in ACS Nano: Carbon Nanotubes Are Able To Penetrate Plant Seed Coat and Dramatically Affect Seed Germination and Plant Growth, DOI: 10.1021/nn900887m© 2009 Image: ACS Nano, DOI: 10.1021/nn900887m Silicon nanotubes for hydrogen storage in fuel cell vehicles Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. According to New Scientist, Mariya Khodakovskaya, a plant biologist, and Alexandru Biris, a nanotechnologist, used carbon nanotubes to encourage germination of tomato plants. Tomato seeds were planted, some with a growth medium containing carbon nanotubes, and some without nanotubes in the growth medium. It took only three days for more than 30% of the nanotube tomato seeds to begin sprouting. In that time, none of the non-treated seeds had even germinated.In fact, it took 12 days for 32% of the tomato seeds without nanotube help to germinate. Citation: Can Nanotubes Help Your Garden Grow? (2009, October 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from ( — When we think of nanotubes, we often think of solar panels and physical science. However, it appears that nanotubes can also provide valuable help to plants as a fertilizer. Just add carbon nanotubes, say researchers at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock, and you can get plants that grow faster and bigger than their counterparts. Image credit: Jack Dykinga. These are tomatoes grown with the ACC synthase gene.last_img read more

Group shows botnet threat in the future may come from the sky

first_imgSkyNET drone prototype. Diagrams showing the PAAE (pilot, attack, attack, enlist) procedure used by the SkyNET drone. Black dots represent targets. In b the targets are networks. In c the targets are both networks and hosts. More information: SkyNET: a 3G-enabled mobile attack drone and stealth botmaster, … final_files/Reed.pdfAbstractSkyNET is a stealth network that connects hosts to a botmaster through a mobile drone. The network is comprised of machines on home Wi-Fi networks in a proximal urban area, and one or more autonomous attackdrones. The SkyNET is used by a botmaster to commandtheir botnet(s) without using the Internet. The drones are programmed to scour an urban area and compromise wireless networks. Once compromised, the drone attacks the local hosts. When a host is compromised it joins both the Internet-facing botnet, and the sun-facing SkyNET. Subsequent drone flights are used to issue command and control without ever linking the botmaster to the botnet via the Internet. Reverse engineering the botnet, or enumerating the bots, does not reveal the identity of the botmaster. An analyst is forced to observe the autonomous attack drone to bridge the command and control gap. In this paper we present a working example, SkyNET complete with a prototype attack drone, discuss the reality of using such a command and control method, and provide insight on how to prevent against such attacks.via Technology Review ( — Sven Dietrich, an assistant professor in computer science at the Stevens Institute of Technology, and two of his students have given a demonstration of an aerial drone, that they say could be used to spy on wireless networks, at last month’s USENIX Security Conference. In their presentation, and paper, they say that such drones could be used to move close enough to WiFi connections to eavesdrop or potentially serve as a control unit in a botnet. Dietrich says such a drone could also be fitted with a solar panel to keep the battery charged, which would allow it to park near a vulnerable site and do its dirty work almost indefinitely. To make things even easier for the shady characters who wish to quietly plug in to a weakly protected site, the drone can be directed to its target using a 3G smartphone.This is not the first time that someone has shown that wireless networks could be compromised by remotely controlled aircraft. A demonstration of a reconfigured Army drone following a cell phone signal was shown at the recent Black Hat security conference for example.The point in these demonstrations is not to scare people, though they most certainly might do just that, but to highlight the risks people and companies take when they don’t properly secure their WiFi networks, and to hopefully incite others to find ways to make future systems more secure so that users won’t be so vulnerable to such attacks. Citation: Group shows botnet threat in the future may come from the sky (2011, September 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Explore further Hacker drone launches airborne cyber attacks © 2011 The drone, essentially a toy quadricopter (helicopter with four rotors) purchased from a store and configured with a small computer, cameras, software and wireless technology cost the team just $600 to put together, which they say means that almost anyone could construct one and begin using it to listen in on private networks.While certainly the threat of such a drone eavesdropping on a private or corporate wireless network is rather unsettling, worse is the ease with which such a “toy” could be used to serve as the control unit of a botnet (large numbers of computers infected with code that allows them to be controlled by an outside source. ) Because they would be free from tethers on the ground, law enforcement would find it exceedingly difficult, if not impossible to track them down to stamp out the botnet. And that’s a very bad thing, because botnets exist primarily to steal valuable information (such as credit card and bank numbers) off of personal computers, though in some cases they are used more as a tool to bring down web portals via denial of service attacks. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Bubblepropelled microrockets could operate in the human stomach

first_img Play Magnetically guided movement of a microrocket at a speed of about 100 micrometers per second. Video credit: Wei Gao, et al. ©2012 American Chemical Society The scientists predict that this capability could prove especially useful for a variety of biomedical applications as well as monitoring industrial processes such as semiconductor processing. In addition, because the microrocket’s speed is directly related to the solution’s pH, the devices could be used for sensitive pH sensing, such as detecting changes in stomach acidity. With its biggest advantage of being fueled by its acidic environment, without the need for additional fuel, the microrockets could further expand the scope of micromotor applications in many directions.“With further improvements and optimization, we hope to improve and expand the working environments to milder conditions and extend the lifetime of such microrockets to longer periods,” Wang said. “We are also exploring new materials to broaden the scope of our microengines towards new environments.” ( — Recently, researchers have been designing a wide variety of self-propelled micromotors, many of which operate using an oxygen-bubble propulsion mechanism that requires a high concentration of hydrogen peroxide fuel. Since hydrogen peroxide is hazardous at high concentrations, this requirement has hindered practical applications, especially biomedical uses. Now in a new study, scientists have designed and built a new type of micromotor that propels itself through acidic environments with hydrogen bubbles, and requires no additional fuels. At extremely low pH levels, the micromotors can travel at speeds of up to 100 body lengths per second, prompting the scientists to call them “microrockets.” The microrockets are in the shape of tiny tubes, measuring about 10 micrometers long with diameters varying from 2 to 5 micrometers. The researchers fabricated the tubes out of the common polymer polyaniline (PANI) in templates, and then electrodeposited a thin layer of zinc on the inner surface. When the microrockets are immersed in any highly acidic solution, the zinc loses electrons and – due to having a more negative redox potential than hydrogen – promotes the production of hydrogen bubbles. The researchers experimented with using other metals, such as iron and lead, but they did not produce as many bubbles as zinc.Tests showed that the microrockets’ speed increases as the pH of the solution decreases. The fastest speed of 1,050 micrometers per second (equivalent to about 100 body lengths per second) was achieved by a 5-micrometer-diameter microrocket at a pH of -0.2. The speed decreased to about 10 micrometers per second at a pH of 1.3. Although the microckets have a limited pH range, the researchers noted that they could be useful in the stomach, which has a pH range of 0.8-2.0, as well as in some types of human serum. Time-lapse images of a microrocket (a) approaching, (b) capturing, (c) transporting, and (d) releasing a target sphere. Image credit: Wei Gao, et al. ©2012 American Chemical Society Journal information: Journal of the American Chemical Society The microrockets’ speed depends on the pH of the solution. Red and black curves represent microrockets with diameters of 5 and 2 micrometers, respectively. Image credit: Wei Gao, et al. ©2012 American Chemical Society More information: Wei Gao, et al. “Hydrogen-Bubble-Propelled Zinc-Based Microrockets in Strongly Acidic Media.” Journal of the American Chemical Society. DOI: 10.1021/ja210874s While the microrockets can move autonomously in this way, the researchers also showed that it’s possible to control their direction and even to make them pick up and release cargo. The scientists did this by depositing a magnetic layer on the microcket’s outer surface, and then magnetically guiding the device in the preferred direction. They showed that a microcket could magnetically capture a polystyrene cargo, transport it on a predetermined path, and then release it by rapidly changing the magnetic field direction. Copyright 2012 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Tiny battery is also a nanomotor PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen The researchers, Wei Gao, Aysegul Uygun, and Joseph Wang from the University of California, San Diego, have published their study on the hydrogen-bubble-propelled microrockets in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.“This is the first reported example of chemically-powered microrockets that can be self-propelled without an external fuel (such as the common hydrogen peroxide),” Wang told “Such acid-powered microrockets could greatly expand the scope of applications of nano-/microscale motors toward new extreme environments (e.g., the human stomach or silicon wet-etching baths) and could thus lead to diverse new biomedical or industrial applications ranging from targeted drug delivery or nanoimaging to the monitoring of industrial processes.” Explore further Play Slow-motion video of a microrocket self-propelled at a speed of about 500 micrometers per second. Video credit: Wei Gao, et al. ©2012 American Chemical Society Tests also showed that the lifetime of the microrockets can vary from 10 seconds to 2 minutes, depending on the rate of zinc dissolution. The more zinc the rocket has, and the higher the pH of the solution, the longer the microrocket’s lifetime. Citation: Bubble-propelled microrockets could operate in the human stomach (2012, January 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from read more

Dash Robotics crowdfunding origami runner you can assemble at home

first_img More information: … 6-dash-the-diy-robot “With this campaign, we’re funding the beta development of Dash, and we need your help. We’re only producing one thousand robots, so get your Dash before we run out!” they announced on the crowdfunding site. “When you back us, you’ll be getting more than just an awesome robot. You’ll be participating in the beta development of our product,” they said. “With your help, we can bring Dash out of the lab and into everyone’s hands.”Nick Kohut, chief executive officer and co-founder of Dash Robotics, hopes their fast runners will make a difference in the price barriers that turn a lot of parents and hobbyists away from educational robots that could provide fun and learning experiences for youths. “Most educational robots today cost hundreds of dollars – that’s not realistic for most families,” said Kohut. The team, now as a company called Dash Robotics, announced Thursday that they will deliver their first robots through the crowdfunding Dragon Innovation. The latter is a crowdfunding platform, aimed at backing makers and their projects. The campaign will help the team move their robots from research prototype to the “beta” product phase, in anticipation of launching Dash commercially next year. Dash, as they hope, will carry the distinction of being the world’s fold-able, programmable, origami robot that more people can afford.The Dash kit comes with laser-cut body components, motor, transmission, and plug-and-play electronics. The assembly should take about an hour, and videos online will help show the assembly process. Once assembled, the plan is for a free app that can be used to control Dash from an iOS smartphone or tablet. The creators are developing a mobile app to control Dash robots over Bluetooth. (The team is building mobile apps so that the robot can be smartphone or tablet-controlled.) As for Android support, the team said they will work hard to support Android devices but at this point they said they could not make any guarantee. The team will support iOS devices such as iPhones and iPads that have Bluetooth 4.0. In alpha form, and unassembled, the robot runner kit is forty dollars and the robot only runs in a straight line. These will be the first to ship. In beta form, they are building steering into the device and it will be more extensible. The beta is sixty-five dollars. They aim for beta shipping in spring 2014. Fully assembled as a complete unit is one hundred dollars. For Dash Robotics, this fast runner is a first step. They are interested in enabling robots to talk to each other, which would extend the possibilities to fighting insect-like robots or cooperative insect-like robots on a mission, guided by the smartphone. At the time of this writing, they raised $21,950 out of a $64,000 goal with 26 days left to go. Citation: Dash Robotics crowdfunding ‘origami’ runner you can assemble at home (2013, September 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Explore further ( —A team of Berkeley PhD engineers who worked in the school’s lab explored animal locomotion strategies and shared an interest in prototypes made quickly and cheaply, particularly fast robotic runners that could be affordable and easy to explore. People found them appealing and started asking if the robots were for sale. Idea. Think origami. The team worked out a novel way to manufacture new fast-running robot prototypes quickly and cheaply. The team, Nick Kohut, Paul Birkmeyer, Andrew Gillies and Kevin Peterson, dedicated to the spirit of a maker movement, have embarked on a mission to commercially offer robot kits for less than $70 and have made their goal a crowdfunding campaign. They plan on having the robots shipped in a flat pack as a kit and then folded out and assembled by the user at home, complete with tabs and slots to guide the way. Simple electronics for controlling the robots are included with the kit.center_img Printed inchworm robot makes self-assembly moves (w/ Video) © 2013 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Astronomer creates music using star oscillations

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. (—Astronomer Burak Ulaş, with the Izmir Turk College Planetarium in Turkey has taken his work into a musical dimension, using star oscillations as a source for a musical composition. He has uploaded a paper describing what he has done along with sheet music and an audio recording of his work to the preprint server arXiv—along with a shout-out to other pioneers in the field, from Kepler to Pythagoras to modern composer scientists Jenő Keuler and Zoltán Kolláth. Explore further More information: The Multiperiodic Pulsating Star Y Cam A as a Musical Instrument, arXiv:1507.07307 [physics.pop-ph] this study we generate musical chords from the oscillation frequencies of the primary component of oscillating eclipsing Algol system Y Cam. The parameters and the procedure of the musical chord generation process from the stellar oscillations are described in detail. A musical piece is also composed in appropriate scale for Y Cam A by using the generated chords from the results of the asteroseismic analysis of the stellar data. The music scores and the digital sound files are provided for both the generated chords and the musical composition. Our study shows that the further orchestral compositions can be made from the frequency analysis results of several pulsating stars by using the procedure stated in present study Citation: Astronomer creates music using star oscillations (2015, August 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Sheet music for the composition. Credit: arXiv:1507.07307 [physics.pop-ph]last_img read more

First clear image made of accretion disk surrounding young star

center_img © 2017 Astrophysics have theorized that accretion disks form around young stars acting as food, helping the young star to grow bigger. Such an accretion disk would also make up the material that would over time accrete into planets. But until now, no clear image of an accretion disk had been made because the technology to do so did not exist. Now, thanks to hard work by the team and the ALMA radio telescope in Chile, that has changed.ALMA came online just four years ago—at a cost of $1.4 billion, it holds the record for the most expensive radio telescope ever built. But it also offers unprecedented resolution, capturing images in sharp detail that have appeared as fuzzy blobs in prior images. That resolution allowed the researchers to zoom in on a young star named IRAS 05413-0104 (part of the HH212 system and believed to be just 40,000 years old) that had around it a rotating accretion disk. Such disks are believed to be made of matter such as silicate, iron and other interstellar matter, and provide a steady source of food for the star. And because the disks are triple layered with brighter outer layers, the researchers describe it as looking like a hamburger. More information: Chin-Fei Lee et al. First detection of equatorial dark dust lane in a protostellar disk at submillimeter wavelength, Science Advances (2017). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1602935AbstractIn the earliest (so-called “Class 0”) phase of Sun-like (low-mass) star formation, circumstellar disks are expected to form, feeding the protostars. However, these disks are difficult to resolve spatially because of their small sizes. Moreover, there are theoretical difficulties in producing these disks in the earliest phase because of the retarding effects of magnetic fields on the rotating, collapsing material (so-called “magnetic braking”). With the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), it becomes possible to uncover these disks and study them in detail. HH 212 is a very young protostellar system. With ALMA, we not only detect but also spatially resolve its disk in dust emission at submillimeter wavelength. The disk is nearly edge-on and has a radius of ~60 astronomical unit. It shows a prominent equatorial dark lane sandwiched between two brighter features due to relatively low temperature and high optical depth near the disk midplane. For the first time, this dark lane is seen at submillimeter wavelength, producing a “hamburger”-shaped appearance that is reminiscent of the scattered-light image of an edge-on disk in optical and near infrared light. Our observations open up an exciting possibility of directly detecting and characterizing small disks around the youngest protostars through high-resolution imaging with ALMA, which provides strong constraints on theories of disk formation. Journal information: Science Advances Play Video explaining how a “dusty hamburger” (an accretion disk) feeds a central young star, or protostar, during the onset of an extra-solar system. Credit: Chin-Fei Lee/Lauren/ASIAA The captured image lays to rest one critique of the prediction of accretion disks around young stars, which was that the magnetic field from the core of the star would be so strong that it would prevent the accretion disk from spinning, thus preventing its ability to gather matter. That is clearly not the case, as the new image shows. Also seen in the image were gaseous jets ejected from the star, which appear to pierce the hamburger at its center.It is believed that more information about the formation of stars will contribute to understanding both the history of our sun and how planets form, perhaps offering a better way of filtering star systems while searching for signs of life beyond our own planet. Citation: First clear image made of accretion disk surrounding young star (2017, April 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Slowestspinning radio pulsar detected by astronomers

first_img Extraterrestrial sources of radiation with a regular periodicity, known as pulsars, are usually detected in the form of short bursts of radio emission. Radio pulsars are generally described as highly-magnetised, rapidly rotating neutron stars with a lighthouse beam of radiation that produces the pulsed emission.However, finding new, long-period radio pulsars with a spin period of over 5.0 seconds is challenging for astronomers. Notably, only five of the 10 longest-period pulsars known have been found in periodicity searches, mainly due to their consistently larger aggregated flux over time.Recently, a group of researchers led by Chia Min Tan of the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics in Manchester, UK, has found a new radio pulsar with a relative long spin period.The detection was made in July 2017, using the LOw Frequency ARray (LOFAR) radio telescope network located mainly in the Netherlands, as part of the LOTAAS survey. LOTAAS is an all-Northern-sky survey for pulsars and fast transients at a central observing frequency of 135 MHz.Follow-up observations of the newly found pulsar were conducted using various ground-based observatories, including Green Bank Telescope, Lovell Telescope and Nancay Telescope.”We subsequently detected pulsations from the pulsar in the interferometric images of the LOFAR Two-meter Sky Survey, allowing for sub-arcsecond localization,” the astronomers wrote in the paper.Located some 5,200 light years away from the Earth, PSR J0250+5854 is a rotation-powered pulsar, what means the loss of rotational energy of the star provides the power for the radio emission. It has a spin period of approximately 23.5 seconds, which makes it the slowest-spinning radio pulsar known.Moreover, PSR J0250+5854 also has the slowest spin period when compared to any other known magnetars and X-ray dim isolated neutron stars (XDINSs). The authors of the paper noted that the similarity of the rotational parameters of the newly detected pulsar to the XDINSs and magnetars indicates a possible connection between them.The researchers also found that PSR J0250+5854 has surface magnetic field strength of 26 trillion G, age of 13.7 million years and spin-down luminosity of 82 octillion erg/s. According to the paper, these values suggest a dipolar magnetic field configuration in this pulsar.In concluding remarks, the scientists emphasized the importance of their discovery, noting that it has significantly expanded the known range of rotation-powered pulsar periods. They added that LOTAAS has the potential in discovering more slow-spinning pulsars similar to PSR J0250+5854 or even with slower spin periods. Explore further © 2018 More information: LOFAR discovery of a 23.5-second radio pulsar, arXiv:1809.00965 [astro-ph.HE] This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. An international team of astronomers has discovered a new radio pulsar as part of the LOFAR Tied-Array All-Sky Survey (LOTAAS). The newly detected object, designated PSR J0250+5854, turns out to be the slowest-spinning radio pulsar known to date. The finding is reported in a paper published September 4 on Discovery plot of PSR J0250+5854, folded at the fundamental period of 23.535 s, as inferred by the harmonically related candidates from the same observation. Note that, in the discovery observation, there was no candidate identified at the fundamental period itself. Credit: Tan et al., 2018. Citation: Slowest-spinning radio pulsar detected by astronomers (2018, September 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from New pulsar discovered during a search for a companion to a low-mass white dwarflast_img read more

Canada through the lens

The Canadian High Commission, in collaboration with Seher, is organizing Autumn Sonata, an exhibition of photographs by Tarun Mathur, capturing the beauty of autumn in Canada, at Alliance Francaise in Lodhi Road from 26 to 31 October. ‘I wanted to do some work based on the theme Autumn for which I did lots of research on Internet. Canada, especially its east coast, is extremely beautiful during the onset of Autumn. So I decided to go and work there,’ said Mathur. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Giving details of the project, the photographer said, ‘There are vast areas dedicated to nature and wildlife in Canada called Provincial Parks which are located near the big cities. In October last year, I travelled from Toronto to Algonquin Park, Mont Tremblant National Park and then to Vancouver to capture the beautiful landscape. This year I wanted to shoot in the Rocky Mountains so I started from Calgary and went to Banff, Jasper and Edmonton and from there to a few parks in Saskatchewan like Prince Albert Park and Cypress Hills park.’ Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixMathur also rued that there aren’t much to see in India during autumn. ‘In India, we don’t see much of autumn so maple leaves are totally unknown to us. I want to highlight the manner in which Canada protects and preserves its natural environment and wildlife. We should do the same in our country,’ Mathur said.Mathur’s tryst with the lens started with print media. After working with some newspapers, he decided to turn his hobby into a full time profession. He learnt the tricks of the trade under the guidance of veteran photographer Kasinath. ‘I began as a photo journalist while in college but later drifted away due to several reasons. I am now making a comeback after 25 years with this project,’ said Mathur.According to Mathur, some of the best places to see the beauty of autumn are in Canada, New Zealand, Finland and Norway where population is comparatively less. ‘In India, the ideal location would be Kashmir but I haven’t seen the valley yet,’ he said. The exhibition comprises several photographs priced between Rs 12,000 and Rs 15000.DETAILAt: Alliance Francaise,72, Lodhi Estate, Lodi RoadWhen: 26 October to 31 October Timings:11am to 7 pmPhone: 4350 0200 read more