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Last Build Date: Mon, 06 Jun 2011 02:56:20 GMT

 



Trapping antihydrogen atoms

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 02:56:20 GMT

(image) Trapping antihydrogen atoms at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) has become so routine that physicists are confident that they can soon begin experiments on this rare antimatter equivalent of the hydrogen atom, as per scientists at the University of California, Berkeley. "We've trapped antihydrogen atoms for as long as 1,000 seconds, which is forever" in the world of high-energy particle physics, said Joel Fajans, UC Berkeley professor of physics, faculty scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a member of the ALPHA (Antihydrogen Laser Physics Apparatus) experiment at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland........



Leap to whole-cell simulations

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 02:56:20 GMT

(image) Scientists have built a computer model of the crowded interior of a bacterial cell that � in a test of its response to sugar in its environment � accurately simulates the behavior of living cells. The new "in silico cells" are the result of a collaboration between experimental researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biology in Gera number of and theoretical researchers at the University of Illinois using the newest GPU (graphics processing unit) computing technology........



Will we hear the light?

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 02:56:20 GMT

(image) University of Utah researchers used invisible infrared light to make rat heart cells contract and toadfish inner-ear cells send signals to the brain. The discovery someday might improve cochlear implants for deafness and lead to devices to restore vision, maintain balance and treat movement disorders like Parkinson's........



More Efficient Solar Panels

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 02:56:20 GMT

(image) Studies done by Mark Lusk and his colleagues at the Colorado School of Mines could significantly improve the efficiency of solar cells. Their latest work describes how the size of light-absorbing particles--quantum dots--affects the particles' ability to transfer energy to electrons to generate electricity........



Ecologists use 70-year-old pressed plants

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 02:56:20 GMT

(image) More than half of the world's population now lives in cities, yet we know little about how urbanization affects biodiversity. In one the first studies of its kind, ecologists in Indianapolis, USA have used 70 year-old dried plant specimens to track the impact of increasing urbanization on plants. The results are published this week in the British Ecological Society's Journal of Ecology.......



Tying the knot with computer-generated holograms

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 02:56:20 GMT

(image) In the latest twist on optical knots, New York University (NYU) physicists have discovered a new method to create extended and knotted optical traps in three dimensions. This method, which the NYU researchers describe in the Optical Society's (OSA) open-access journal Optics Express, produces "bright" knots, where the maximum of the light intensity traces out a knotted trajectory in space, for the first time allowing microscopic objects to be trapped along the path of the knot. The method may even, one day, help enable fusion energy as a practical power source, as per the NYU team........



Hubble Rules Out One Alternative to Dark Energy

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 02:56:20 GMT

(image) Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have ruled out an alternate theory on the nature of dark energy after recalculating the expansion rate of the universe to unprecedented accuracy. The universe may be expanding at an increasing rate. Some think that is because the universe is filled with a dark energy that works in the opposite way of gravity. One alternative to that hypothesis is that an enormous bubble of relatively empty space eight billion light-years across surrounds our galactic neighborhood. If we lived near the center of this void, observations of galaxies being pushed away from each other at accelerating speeds would be an illusion........



Key to immune response

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 02:56:20 GMT

(image) Researchers from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute have identified the key immune cell population responsible for regulating the body's immune response. The finding could have wide-ranging repercussions for the therapy of autoimmune diseases, organ transplantation and cancer, and change how the efficacy of newly developed drugs is measured........



Alcoholic drinks to induce superconductivity

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 02:56:20 GMT

(image) Japanese scientists have been immersing iron-based compounds in hot alcoholic beverages such as red wine, sake and shochu to induce superconductivity. Researchers from the National Institute for Materials Science, Japan, observed that immersing pellets of an iron-based compound in heated alcoholic beverages for 24 hours greatly increase their superconducting ability........



The Freshest laptop designs

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 02:56:20 GMT

(image) With aesthetics becoming almost as important a factor in usability and performance when it comes to buying a laptop these days, manufacturers are using teams of consultants to get the design just right for a particular market before they even start putting the parts together. Business users will be looking for something that projects a corporate image of sleek efficiency, often in matt black, whereas teenagers will be more interested in bright colours and funky originality, and there is a whole raft of different requirements in between. Laptop news covers the latest designs in innovative laptops to hit the market in recent months........



Averrhoa bilimbi

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 02:56:20 GMT

(image) Today"s entry was written by .........



Air laser may sniff bombs, pollutants from a distance

Sat, 29 Jan 2011 02:12:16 GMT

(image) Princeton University engineers have developed a new laser sensing technology that may allow soldiers to detect hidden bombs from a distance and researchers to better measure airborne environmental pollutants and greenhouse gasses. "We are able to send a laser pulse out and get another pulse back from the air itself," said Richard Miles, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Princeton, the research group leader and co-author on the paper. "The returning beam interacts with the molecules in the air and carries their finger prints"........



Putting the Dead to Work

Sat, 29 Jan 2011 02:12:16 GMT

(image) Conservation paleobiologists--researchers who use the fossil record to understand the evolutionary and ecological responses of present-day species to changes in their environment--are putting the dead to work. A new review of the research in this emerging field provides examples of how the fossil record can help assess environmental impacts, predict which species will be most vulnerable to environmental changes, and provide guidelines for restoration........



Debunking Solar Energy Efficiency Measurements

Sat, 29 Jan 2011 02:12:16 GMT

(image) In recent years, developers have been investigating light-harvesting thin film solar panels made from nanotechnology - and promoting efficiency metrics to make the technology marketable. Now a Tel Aviv University researcher is providing new evidence to challenge recent "charge" measurements for increasing solar panel efficiency........



Geastrum saccatum

Sat, 29 Jan 2011 02:12:16 GMT

(image) Thanks once again to Robert Klips (Orthotrichum@Flickr) for sharing one of his photograph with BPotD (original via the BPotD Flickr Pool). Much .........



Protein helps parasite survive in host cells

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 12:11:43 GMT

(image) Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have learned why changes in a single gene, ROP18, contribute substantially to dangerous forms of the parasite Toxoplasma gondii. The answer has likely moved science a step closer to new ways to beat Toxoplasma and a number of other parasites........



How cells running on empty trigger fuel recycling?

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 12:11:43 GMT

(image) Scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have discovered how AMPK, a metabolic master switch that springs into gear when cells run low on energy, revs up a cellular recycling program to free up essential molecular building blocks in times of need. In a paper reported in the Dec. 23, 2010 edition of Science Express, a team led by Reuben Shaw, PhD., Howard Hughes Medical Institute Early Career Scientist and Hearst Endowment assistant professor in the Salk's Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory, reports that AMPK activates a cellular recycling process known as autophagy by activating an enzyme known as ATG1, that jumpstarts the process........



Nnew cell biological mechanism

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 12:11:43 GMT

(image) The cell signaling pathway known as Wnt, usually activated in cancers, causes internal membranes within a healthy cell to imprison an enzyme that is vital in degrading proteins, preventing the enzyme from doing its job and affecting the stability of a number of proteins within the cell, scientists at UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center have found........



Global rivers emit greenhouse gas nitrous oxide

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 12:11:43 GMT

(image) What goes in must come out, a truism that now may be applied to global river networks. Human-caused nitrogen loading to river networks is a potentially important source of nitrous oxide emission to the atmosphere. Nitrous oxide is a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change and stratospheric ozone destruction........



Soft substrate promotes pluripotent stem cell culture

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 12:11:43 GMT

(image) University of Illinois scientists have found a key to keeping stem cells in their neutral state: It takes a soft touch. In a paper reported in the journal PLoS One, the scientists demonstrated that culturing mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) on a soft gel rather than on a hard plate or dish keeps them in their pluripotent state, a ground state with the ability to become any type of tissue. The soft substrate maintains homogeneous pluripotent colonies over long periods of time - without the need for expensive growth chemicals........