Secrets of pop success revealed, scientists claim

BBC Mobile

Budding pop stars may fare better if they swap a piano keyboard for a PC, according to university researchers.

University of Bristol scientists claim to have developed software that can spot whether a song has hit potential.

The program looks at 23 separate characteristics including loudness, danceability and harmonic simplicity.

Trained using hit songs from the Top 40 over the last 50 years, the software can predict chart positions with about 60% accuracy, the scientists say.

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Self-cleaning cotton nanoparticle coating invented

BBC Mobile

Efforts to create self-cleaning cotton fabrics are bearing fruit in China.

Engineers have created a chemical coating that causes cotton materials to clean themselves of stains and remove odours when exposed to sunlight.

The researchers say the treatment is cheap, non-toxic and ecologically friendly.

Retail experts say the innovation could prove a hit with retailers thanks to a growing demand for “functional clothing”.

The research was carried out by engineers at Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Hubei University for Nationalities, and is published in the latest issue of the Applied Materials and Interfaces journal.

The study focuses on titanium dioxide – a chemical known to be an “excellent catalyst in the degradation of organic pollutants”.

The substance is already used in self-cleaning windows, odour-free socks and stay-clean kitchen and bathroom tiles.

Initial efforts to extend its use to cotton fabrics proved limiting because the substance’s self-cleaning properties could only be “excited” under ultraviolet lights, making it impractical for everyday use. Read more of this post