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Atomic register offers route to quantum computing

October 11, 2004

The fundamental memory component of a quantum computer, a register, has been built for the first time using a string of atoms. This could offer a more reliable way to build a working quantum computer than other techniques, suggest researchers.

X-ray laser simulates the 2-million-degree heart of a star

January 26, 2012

This photograph shows the interior of a Linac Coherent Light Source SXR experimental chamber, set up for an investigation to create and measure a form of extreme, 2-million-degree matter known as “hot, dense matter.” The central part of the frame contains the holder for the material that will be converted by the powerful LCLS laser into hot, dense matter. To the left is an XUV spectrometer and to the right is a small red laser set up for alignment and positioning (credit: University of Oxford / Sam Vinko)


SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory researchers have used the world’s most powerful X-ray laser to create and probe a 2-million-degree piece of matter in a controlled way for the first time.

This feat takes scientists a significant step forward in understanding the most extreme matter found in the hearts of stars and giant planets, and could help experiments aimed at recreating the… read more

Moral judgments can be altered by pulsed magnetic fields

March 30, 2010

Disrupting the right temporoparietal junction (TPJ) of the brain by using 1 Hz transcranial magnetic stimulation made people less likely to condemn others for attempting but failing to inflict harm, neuroscientists led by Rebecca Saxe of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found in an experiment.

The study offers “striking evidence” that the right TPJ, located at the brain’s surface above and behind the right ear, is critical for making… read more

Gene surveys identify schizophrenia triggers

July 31, 2008

Researchers in two large-scale multinational studies have found that rare genetic changes are associated with an increased risk of schizophrenia.

The International Schizophrenia Consortium studied the genomes of 3,391 patients with schizophrenia, looking for a specific type of genetic error called a “copy number variation (CNV),” in which a section of the genome has been deleted or duplicated. In the other study, the SCENE consortium cataloged all the CNVs… read more

Scientists Detect Two Decision-making Pathways in Human Brain

October 20, 2004

New research suggests why people are often torn between impulsively choosing immediate rewards or more deliberatively planning for the future: human decision-making is influenced by the interactions of two distinct systems in the brain which are often at odds.

Study participants made choices between immediate and longer-term rewards. When participants chose between incentives that included an immediate reward, fMRI scans indicated heightened activity in parts of the brain, such… read more

Smart Pill Reports Back

April 7, 2010

University of Florida researchers have developed a smart pill with a tiny antenna and microchip that could signal when it has made it into a patient’s stomach, reporting to a cell phone or computer that they patient has taken the medicine.

This is the latest of several high-tech pill-reporting efforts to improve patient adherence and provide accurate reporting.

How cancer chromosome abnormalities form in living cells

August 12, 2013

Chromosome translocation

National Cancer Institute (NCI) scientists have directly observed events that lead to the formation of a chromosome abnormality that is often found in cancer cells.

The abnormality, called a translocation, occurs when part of a chromosome breaks off and becomes attached to another chromosome.

Chromosomes are thread-like structures inside cells that carry genes and function in heredity. Human chromosomes each contain a… read more

Breakthrough In Quantum Mechanics: Superconducting Electronic Circuit Pumps Microwave Photons

August 6, 2008

Researchers at UC Santa Barbara have used a superconducting electronic circuit known as a Josephson phase qubit to store up to six microwave photons in a superconducting microwave resonator.

The research could help in the quest to build a quantum computer.

Quantum dots identify sick cells

October 27, 2004

University of Toronto professor Warren Chan is developing quantum dots — nanoscale semiconductors — that can target a disease site and light it up.

By attaching a quantum dot to a molecule that will target a specific type of cancer, for example, over time, the dots will accumulate in the tumor and light up in that particular region.

This could someday lead to a system that would also… read more

Bell Labs’ Researchers Create Plastic Superconductor

March 10, 2001

Researchers at Lucent Technologies’ Bell Labs in Murray Hill, N.J., have created a plastic that functions as a superconductor (can conduct electricity without resistance).

“Plastics are easier and cheaper to make and sculpt than other materials, so the achievement may eventually lead to … components for future computers that use quantum mechanical calculations.”

Innovation: Robots look to the cloud for enlightenment

April 19, 2010

Plink has developed a cellphone app that can identify virtually any work of art from a photograph.

A lost robot would take a photo of its location and send it via the Internet to an image-matching server; after matching the photo with its map-linked image bank, the server would reveal where the robot is.

US boasts of laser weapon’s ‘plausible deniability’

August 13, 2008

The US Air Force Research Laboratory’s Advanced Tactical Laser (ATL) weapon, dubbed the “long-range blowtorch,” can deliver the heat of a blowtorch with a range of up to 20 kilometers, so the aircraft carrying it might not be seen, especially at night.

The 5.5-ton ATL combines chlorine and hydrogen peroxide molecules to release energy, which stimulates iodine into releasing intense infrared light.

The ATL is touted as bringing… read more

Cosmic doomsday delayed

November 8, 2004

The Universe will last for at least the next 24 billion years, according to astrophysicists who have modeled the mysterious force of dark energy.

The team’s new calculation relies on recent observations from the Hubble Space Telescope, which has found several supernovae that are moving away from us faster than any others seen before, implying that the Universe is expanding faster than we thought.

Parkinson’s disease: study of live human neurons reveals the disease’s genetic origins, new drug dargets

February 10, 2012

Parkinson’s disease researchers at the University at Buffalo (UB) have discovered how mutations in the parkin gene cause the disease, which afflicts at least 500,000 Americans and for which there is no cure.

The UB findings reveal potential new drug targets for the disease as well as a screening platform for discovering new treatments that might mimic the protective functions of parkin.

“This is the first… read more

Nanodot Lasers

April 8, 2001

MIT chemist Moungi Bawendi and Victor Klimov of Los Alamos National Lab have developed a way to create quantum-dot lasers from nanometer-size semiconductor particles.

Quantum dots, so called because quantum effects tune the color of the glow to the size of the particle, could be a boon for optical networking by providing lasers and amplifiers that work in a wide range of frequencies.

Bawendi and Klimov have discovered… read more

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