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Light Fantastic: Flirting With Invisibility

June 12, 2007

Increasingly, physicists are constructing materials that bend light the “wrong” way, an optical trick that could lead to sharper-than-ever lenses or maybe even make objects disappear.

Predictions for IP Television Highlight Increased High Speed Bandwidth for the Home

September 17, 2004

All major phone companies have initiatives related to broadband-delivered IP television, according to FCC Chairman Michael Powell.

Verizon is rolling out high-capacity fiber-optic lines with the goal of signing up one million homes by the end of this year and another two million homes in 2005. Qwest Communications already operates a small IP television service in Arizona, and the other three Baby Bells are also ramping up their efforts.

Protein could prevent blocked arteries

December 10, 2008

Bristol Heart Institute (BHI) have found by making a soluable form of of the protein N-cadherin (produced in plaque cells), they can stabilize the plaques and prevent them from rupturing.

Super-bright, fast X-ray free-electron lasers can now image single layer of proteins

Scientists to image the missing 25 percent of known proteins
February 17, 2014


A new method for determining a protein’s shape just one protein molecule thick, using X-ray free-electron lasers (XFEL), significantly increases the number and type of proteins that researchers can study.

In biology, a protein’s shape is key to understanding how it causes disease or toxicity. Researchers who use X-rays to take snapshots of proteins need a billion copies of the same protein stacked and packed into a neat crystal.… read more

New Rules Expected on Safety of Nanotechnology Products

June 21, 2007

DuPont and Environmental Defense, one of the nation’s largest environmental groups, plan to release jointly developed guidelines today for evaluating the safety and environmental risks of nanotechnology products.

British Researchers Apply for Licence to Generate Human Brain Cells

September 29, 2004

The scientists who cloned Dolly the sheep at Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute have formally applied for a license to clone human embryos to find a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (called MND or motor neurone disease in the UK).

The research team plans to take DNA from the skin or blood of a person with MND and implant it into a human egg from which the genetic material has been… read more

Researchers push nature beyond its limits to create higher-density biofuels

December 19, 2008

Researchers at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have genetically modified Escherichia coli to produce unusually long-chain alcohols (8 carbon atoms) essential in the creation of biofuels.

Longer-chain alcohols, with five or more carbon atoms, pack more energy into a smaller space and are easier to separate from water, making them less volatile and corrosive than the commercially available biofuel ethanol. The greater the number… read more

Tough tubes — Carbon nanotubes endure heavy wear and tear

July 3, 2007

The ability of carbon nanotubes to withstand repeated stress yet retain their structural and mechanical integrity is similar to the behavior of soft tissue, according to a new study from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

The materials could be used to create structures that mimic artificial muscles or interesting electro-mechanical systems, researchers said.

Photocrystallography Captures Big Changes in Transient Molecular Species

October 13, 2004

University at Buffalo scientists have reported the first experimental measurements of structures of high-energy states of molecules that exist for just millionths of a second.

Led by Philip Coppens, Ph.D., the UB scientists used a “photocrystallography” technique that uses intense laser light and X-ray diffraction to reveal the structure of highly reactive molecules in these transient states.

“In the time-resolved studies, we take very short snapshots to capture… read more

Microbes for biofuel: a cleaner way to unlock their energy

October 7, 2010


Algae and photosynthetic bacteria hold a hidden treasure – fat molecules known as lipids – which can be converted to renewable biofuels. Such microorganisms offer an attractive alternative to the unsustainable use of petroleum-based fossil fuels, as well as biofuel sources requiring arable cropland.

Cyanobacteria are capable of producing around 15,000 gallons of biofuel per acre – roughly 100 times that of plant or forest products including corn or… read more

The Year in Robotics

December 29, 2008

Robotic research marched ahead this year: biomedical robots performed less invasive and more complex experimental surgeries, winged robots copied each other to perform potential military maneuvers, and researchers began work on robots that may even be able to travel through the blood to zap a tumor.

Supercomputing On Demand

July 11, 2007
Frame from a movie of a "virtual earthquake" simulation of the type that will be run on SDSC

San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) has introduced OnDemand, a new supercomputing resource that will support on-demand users for urgent science applications.

Urgent applications that will make use of OnDemand range from making movies of Southern California earthquakes to systems that will help give near real-time warnings based on predictions of the path of tornados or a hurricane, or foretell the most likely direction of a toxic plume… read more

Exotic particles, chilled and trapped, form giant matter wave

May 28, 2012

As excitons cool to a fraction of a degree above absolute zero, they condense at the bottom of an electrostatic trap and spontaneously form coherent matter waves. Creating indirect excitons, with electrons and holes in separate layers of a semiconductor, allowed them to persist long enough to cool into this state (credit: UC San Diego)

Physicists have trapped and cooled exotic particles called excitons so effectively that they condensed and cohered to form a giant matter wave.

This feat will allow scientists to better study the physical properties of excitons, which exist only fleetingly yet offer promising applications as diverse as efficient harvesting of solar energy and ultrafast computing.

β€œThe realization of the exciton condensate in a trap opens the opportunity… read more

Spinning Earth twists space

October 21, 2004

“Frame-dragging,” one of the last untested predictions of general relativity, has been confirmed by the first reasonably accurate measurement of how the rotating Earth warps the fabric of space.

Researchers charted the path of two NASA satellites over 11 years with laser range-finders with the precision of a few millimeters. The effect dragged the satellite’s orbits out of position by about 2 meters each year, the researchers report in… read more

How to Make a White Hole in Your Kitchen Sink

October 18, 2010

(G. Jannes et al.)

Scientists have shown experimentally that liquid flowing from a tap embodies the same physics as the time-reversed equivalent of black holes.

When a stream of tap water hits the flat surface of the sink, it spreads out into a thin disc bounded by a raised lip, called the hydraulic jump. Recently, physicists have suggested that, if the water waves inside the disc move faster than the waves outside, the… read more

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