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Molecular structures offer insights for nanoscale self-assembly

November 6, 2003

Hollow spherical vesicles formed by large-scale, wheel-shaped inorganic “POM” molecules represent a new kind of self-assembly in nature, with implications for nanoscience.

These vesicles are described in the November 6, 2003 issue of Nature.

Giant wheel-shaped polyoxomolybdate (POM) molecules, composed of hundreds or even thousands of molybdenum and oxygen atoms, possess the advantages of single molecules, such as well-defined structures and uniform size and mass, as well as… read more

NASA gets small with tiny satellite program

April 25, 2008

NASA’s Ames Research Center said Thursday it would team with m2mi to develop “nanosats” that weigh between 11 and 110 pounds.

The agency says large groups of nanosatellites can be grouped in a constellation, which will be placed in low-Earth-orbit to offer new “fifth generation” telecommunications and TCP/IP-based networks and related services.

Huge ‘launch ring’ to fling satellites into orbit

October 4, 2006

An enormous ring of superconducting magnets similar to a particle accelerator could fling satellites into space at lower cost than conventional rocket launches.

It would also be ideal for delivering supplies to support human spaceflight, such as food and water, which are not sensitive to such high accelerations.

Bendable Magnetic Interface

November 18, 2009


Microsoft’s experimental tactile interface lets users interact with computers by squashing, stretching, rolling, or rubbing a “sensor tile”

The device produces magnetic multiple fields above its surface. By detecting disturbances to these fields, the system can track the movement of a metal object across its surface, or the manipulation of a ferrous fluid-filled bladder to sculpt 3D virtual objects.

How seasonal moods affect investments

October 12, 2011

Seasonal fluctuations in financial risk aversion as a function of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) (credit: Lisa A. Kramer and J. Mark Weber/Social Psychological and Personality Science)

People who experience seasonal depression shun financial risk-taking during seasons with diminished daylight, but are more willing to accept risk in spring and summer, a study by prof. Lisa Kramer of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management and Waterloo’s Mark Weber suggests.

The researchers based their findings on a study of faculty and staff at a large North American university. Participants were paid… read more

Molecules form new state of matter

November 14, 2003

Researchers have coaxed a group of molecules into a Bose-Einstein condensate. The achievement gives physicists a powerful new tool for investigating phenomena such as superconductivity.

Formerly, only atoms could form Bose-Einstein condensates, which are superconducting and superfluid.

How to reverse fast-food Damage

April 30, 2008

Saint Louis University researchers say that eating too much fast food–a diet high in fat and sugar–can cause serious damage to the liver in as little as a week.

In mice, just one month on a diet that mimicked fast food resulted in an increase in liver enzymes–a key indicator of liver damage–and the beginnings of glucose intolerance, they found. In another study by researchers in Sweden’s University Hospital… read more


October 12, 2006

Larry Sanger, the co-founder of Wikipedia who later quit the project over differences in vision, has announced a direct competitor: Citizendium, a Wikipedia-style site with a focus on building a more scholarly, expert-centric community.

People Hear With Skin as Well as Their Ears

November 30, 2009

People can hear some sounds with their skin, University of British Columbia researchers have found.

Wireless microelectronic stimulators for spinal cord injuries tested in animals

October 19, 2011

NJIT researchers have done animal testing of wireless neural stimulators called FLAMES (floating light activated micro-electrical stimulators) for individuals with spinal cord injuries.

The FLAMES technology uses tiny semiconductor devices energized by an near-infrared light beam through an optical fiber located just outside the spinal cord. The devices are designed to activate the nerves in the spinal cord below the point of injury and thus… read more

Your next battery

November 25, 2003

Scientists are scrambling to perfect the fuel cell as a methanol-powered source for energy-hungry laptops and other portable devices.

Fat children may be tied to a lifetime of obesity

May 5, 2008

Using carbon-14 dating (using C-14 levels in fat cells from nuclear testing during the Cold War), Swedish researchers found that humans determine their total number of fat cells in childhood, and their numbers change little after adolescence.

‘Personalised’ cancer drug test

October 24, 2006

A gene test that predicts which cancer drugs will be most effective for different people is to be trialled by Duke University researchers.

The test scans thousands of genes from a patient’s tumor to produce a genomic profile of the cancer’s molecular makeup.

It could also save lives and reduce patients’ exposure to the toxic side effects of chemotherapy drugs.

Lifelong Memories Linked to Stable Nerve Connections

December 4, 2009

A delicate balancing act occurs in synapses in the brain, where neuronal connections are continually being formed, eliminated, and maintained, allowing the brain to integrate new information without jeopardizing already established memories, NYU School of Medicine researchers have found in mouse experiments.

The study gives a clue as to how it is possible for humans, who have hundreds of thousands of spines on one neuron, to live each day,… read more

Bioinformatics moves into the mainstream

December 8, 2003

Genome mappings have generated a vast amount of biological data and now more than ever, scientists need sophisticated computational techniques to make sense of it.

For example, the Human Genome Database contains approximately 3 terabytes of data and the volume of life sciences data is doubling every six months.

To meet those ever-increasing needs, bioinformatics is shifting from software designed for a specific project in academic laboratories to… read more

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