Kinniya Hospital on the east coast of Sri Lanka was destroyed by the Dec. 26 tsunami, and its 40 patients and hospital staff are missing. It was just one of many buildings poorly prepared for actual disaster. In the weeks and months ahead, scientists and engineers will be studying damage sites all over the island to evaluate the power of the tidal wave and recommend new construction standards to help such buildings withstand the expected stresses.
An example image from Cornells Sri Lanka GIS web site, showing the locations of damaged schools and hospitals on about 40 miles of the eastern coast of the island, centered on the destroyed Palameedmedu Hospital. Hospitals are indicated by the letter H, and schools by small black rectangles. This view includes only roads, natural bodies of water and flooded areas, but users can add other features as needed or click through for detailed data. Copyright © Cornell University
A new Web site at Cornell University is giving researchers the information they need as well as helping relief workers do their jobs on the devastated island. The creator of the site hopes it will serve as a model for the distribution of information in future disasters.
The site provides a map of the island nation on which users can display separately or together the precise locations of roads, waterways, hospitals, schools, flooded areas, displaced persons camps, even footpaths, and zoom in, sometimes to the block level. The maps are built from Geographic Information System (GIS) databases supplemented by field observations using Global Positioning System (GPS) instruments. Included are links to photographs and videos of damaged locations, identified by their precise latitude and longitude, plus high-resolution satellite imagery of the damaged areas. Coming soon will be links to data on wave heights at various locations.
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The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
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Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
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The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
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Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...
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