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Spontaneous Assembly: A New Look At How Proteins Assemble And Organize Themselves Into Complex Patterns

July 9, 2009
PALM composite of an E.coli bacterial cell shows the organization of proteins in the chemotaxis signaling network (DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)

The chemotaxis network of signaling proteins in E.coli bacteria is able to spontaneously form from clusters of proteins in complex pattterns in “stochastic self-assembly,” a team of researchers has found, using an ultrahigh-precision visible light microscopy technique called PALM (Photo-Activated Localization Microscopy).

Signaling proteins direct the movement of the bacteria towards or away from sugars, amino acids, and many other soluble molecules in response to environmental cues.… read more

‘Spooky action at a distance’ to be tested aboard the ISS

April 11, 2013

International Space Station (credit: NASA)

Researchers at the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information in Austria and the European Space Agency have proposed using the International Space Station (ISS) to test the limits of “spooky action at a distance” (remote quantum entanglement) and potentially help to develop the first global quantum communication network.

Albert Einstein famously described quantum entanglement as “spooky action at distance”; however, up until now, experiments… read more

Spooky alignment of quasar axes across billions of light-years with large-scale structure

November 21, 2014

This artist's impression shows schematically the mysterious alignments between the spin axes of quasars and the large-scale structures that they inhabit that observations with ESO’s Very Large Telescope have revealed. These alignments are over billions of light-years and are the largest known in the Universe. The large-scale structure is shown in blue and quasars are marked in white with the rotation axes of their black holes indicated with a line around them. This picture is for illustration only and does not depict the real distribution of galaxies and quasars. (Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser)

New observations with ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile have revealed alignments over the largest structures ever discovered in the Universe. A European research team has found that the rotation axes of the central supermassive black holes in a sample of quasars are parallel to each other over distances of billions of light-years. The team has also found that the rotation axes of these quasars tend to… read more

Spooky steps to a quantum network

October 5, 2006

Quantum entanglement, a strange property that links particles however far apart they are, may be used to “teleport” information.

Spoonful Of Sugar’ Makes The Worms’ Life Span Go Down

November 6, 2009

By adding just a small amount of glucose to the C. elegans worm diet, University of California, San Francisco and Pohang University of Science and Technology researchers found the worms lose about 20 percent of their usual life span, suggesting that a diet with a low glycemic index may extend human life span.

They trace the effect to insulin signals, which can block aquaporin channels that transport glycerol.… read more

Spot-welding a graphene nanoribbon to connect into a circuit

June 17, 2013

GNR_on_Au(111)_6

Scientists at Aalto University and Utrecht University have created single-atom contacts between gold and graphene nanoribbons.

The challenge for graphene devices has been how design a contact (to connect the graphene to a circuit wire) without affecting the performance of the graphene nanostructures.

Graphene is a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb lattice. It is anticipated to be a revolutionizing material… read more

Spotting Cancer Sooner

August 3, 2004

Blood tests that detect cancer in its early stages would save countless lives. The first could arrive within a year, using pattern-recognition algorithms for protein profiling.

Sprawling systems teeter on IT chaos

November 29, 2004

The UK government is spearheading a 10 million pound program aimed at finding ways to avert catastrophic failures in large IT networks.

Hidden flaws could lead to crashes in critical networks like healthcare, banking systems, and power grids.

Now all government departments, health services and education systems across the 25 countries of the European Union are being linked to the internet. But there is a real danger that… read more

Spray-on liquid glass is about to revolutionize almost everything

February 2, 2010

Turkish scientists have developed spray-on liquid glass that is transparent, non-toxic, and can protect virtually any surface against almost any damage from hazards such as water, UV radiation, dirt, heat, and bacterial infections, making cleaning products unnecessary. The invisible coating is also flexible and breathable, which makes it suitable for use on an enormous array of products.

The liquid glass spray consists of almost pure silicon dioxide (silica, the… read more

Spray-on solar sensors for random surfaces

December 8, 2014

Kramer built his sprayLD device using parts that are readily available and rather affordable—he sourced a spray nozzle used in steel mills to cool steel with a fine mist of water, and a few regular air brushes from an art store. (Credit: UofT)

Canadian researchers have invented a fast, low-cost way to spray solar cells onto flexible surfaces using light-sensitive materials known as colloidal quantum dots (CQDs).

“My dream is that one day you’ll have two technicians with Ghostbusters backpacks come to your house and spray your roof,” said Illan Kramer, a post-doctoral fellow with The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto and IBM Canada’s… read more

Spreading the load

December 12, 2007

A new wave of science projects on the web is harnessing volunteers’ computers in novel ways — and their brains, too.

Spring-loaded nanotubes could be used in microcircuits

June 13, 2003

Multiwalled nanotubes can act like telescoping spring-loaded shock absorbers, opening the possibility of use in silicon circuits and optoelectronic devices, according to an article in Nature Materials Update, June 12, 2003.

In experiments at Vanderbilt University, it was found that if the inner tubes are partially pulled out and then released, they spring back inside their sheath, oscillating back and forth at a frequency of around 1 gigahertz until… read more

Springs built from nanotubes could provide big power storage potential

September 22, 2009

Carbon nanotubes could be formed into tiny springs capable of storing as much energy, pound for pound, as state-of-the-art lithium-ion batteries (potentially more durably and reliably), with 1000 times more energy for their weight than steel springs.

Sprouting ideas in 3D with a novel ‘blended reality’ device

October 30, 2014

Sprout (credit: HP)

What happens when you combine a scanner, depth sensor, high-resolution camera, projector, Windows 8.1 desktop computer with Intel i7 processor and 1TB of storage, and two touch screens, all squeezed into a single device?

HP calls it “Sprout,” part of a new immersive “Blended Reality” ecosystem that is “designed to break down the barriers between the digital and physical worlds.”

A friendly maker tool

HP pitches… read more

Spy Fears: Twitter Terrorists, Cell Phone Jihadists

October 27, 2008

A draft Army intelligence report warns that Twitter, mobile phone cameras, and GPS utilities could be used in combination as effective tools for coordinating terrorist attacks.

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