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Quantum cryptography at the speed of light

April 15, 2015 8:11 am | by Marit Mitchell, Senior Communications Office, Univ. of Toronto | Comments

Imagine having your MRI results sent directly to your phone, with no concern over the security of your private health data. Or knowing your financial information was safe on a server halfway around the world. Or sending highly sensitive business correspondence, without worrying that it would fall into the wrong hands.

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Study shows novel pattern of electrical charge movement through DNA

April 15, 2015 8:03 am | by Richard Harth, Biodesign Institute | Comments

Electrical charges not only move through wires, they also travel along lengths of DNA, the molecule of life. The property is known as charge transport. In a new study appearing in Nature Chemistry, researchers explore the ways in which electrical charges move along DNA bases affixed to a pair of electrodes.

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DNA data set is potent, accessible tool

April 15, 2015 7:52 am | by Ron Walli, Oak Ridge National Laboratory | Comments

Scientists focused on producing biofuels more efficiently have a new powerful data set to help them study the DNA of microbes that fuel bioconversion and other processes. In a recently published paper, researchers describe methods and results for sequencing the Clostridium autoethanogenum bacterium. These and other microorganisms play important roles in biofuels, agriculture, food production, the environment, health and disease.

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Spitzer, OGLE spot planet deep within our galaxy

April 15, 2015 7:44 am | by Christine Pulliam, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics | Comments

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has teamed up with a telescope on the ground to find a remote gas planet about 13,000 light-years away, making it one of the most distant planets known. The discovery demonstrates that Spitzer can be used to help solve the puzzle of how planets are distributed throughout our flat, spiral-shaped Milky Way galaxy. Are they concentrated heavily in its central hub, or more evenly spread throughout its suburbs?

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RHIC smashes record for polarized proton luminosity

April 15, 2015 7:34 am | by Karen McNulty Walsh, Brookhaven National Laboratory | Comments

The Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider just shattered its own record for producing polarized proton collisions at 200-GeV collision energy. In the experimental run currently underway at this two-ringed, 2.4-mile-circumference particle collider, accelerator physicists are now delivering 1,200 billion of these subatomic smashups per week.

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Your brain's aging and a new report urges ways to stay sharp

April 14, 2015 4:11 pm | by Lauran Neergaard, AP Medical Writer, Associated Press | Comments

Those lost car keys that were an annoyance in your 30s can spark major anxiety in your 60s. Turns out it's pretty normal: The brain ages just like the rest of your body, says a new report that urges Americans to take steps to keep sharp in their senior years. The prestigious Institute of Medicine examined what scientists know about "cognitive aging," changes in mental functioning as we get older.

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Report charts a research path for improving “printed” metal parts

April 14, 2015 12:05 pm | by NIST | Comments

Additive manufacturing has been called a game changer. But new games require new instructions, and the manuals for a growing assortment of methods for building parts and products layer-by-layer, collectively known as "3D printing", still are works in progress. Manufacturing researchers at NIST have scoped out the missing sections in current guidelines for powder bed fusion, the chief method for "printing" metal parts.

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Technique could slash energy used to produce plastics

April 14, 2015 11:52 am | by Univ. of Colorado, Boulder | Comments

A new material developed at the Univ. of Colorado Boulder could radically reduce the energy needed to produce a wide variety of plastic products, from grocery bags and cling wrap to replacement hips and bulletproof vests. Approximately 80 million metric tons of polyethylene is produced globally each year, making it the most common plastic in the world.

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30 years and counting, the x-ray laser lives on

April 14, 2015 11:46 am | by Anne M. Stark, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory | Comments

More than 50 years ago, when the laser was a mere five years old, laser physicists dreamed of the development of an x-ray laser to expand the frontier of knowledge. The concept goes back to the mid-1960s, when scientists realized that laser beams amplified with ions would have much shorter wavelengths than beams amplified with gas.

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Mars liquid water: Curiosity confirms favorable conditions

April 14, 2015 11:37 am | by Fernanda Pires, Univ. of Michigan | Comments

NASA's Curiosity rover, which is exploring the Gale crater on Mars, confirms that conditions for liquid water on the Red Planet are favorable. And in a detail that surprised researchers, the measurements were made in the tropical region of the planet: one of the driest regions.

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Recruiting the entire immune system to attack cancer

April 14, 2015 11:30 am | by Anne Trafton, MIT News Office | Comments

The human immune system is poised to spring into action at the first sign of a foreign invader, but it often fails to eliminate tumors that arise from the body’s own cells. Cancer biologists hope to harness that untapped power using an approach known as cancer immunotherapy. Orchestrating a successful immune attack against tumors has proven difficult so far, until now.

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Why skin is resistant to tearing

April 14, 2015 8:21 am | by Ioana Patringenaru, Univ. of California, San Diego | Comments

Skin is remarkably resistant to tearing and a team of researchers from the Univ. of California, San Diego and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory now have shown why. Using powerful x-ray beams and electron microscopy, researchers made the first direct observations of the micro-scale mechanisms that allow skin to resist tearing.

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Researchers find protein that may signal more aggressive prostate cancers

April 14, 2015 8:13 am | by Nicole Casal Moore, Univ. of Michigan | Comments

Univ. of Michigan researchers have discovered a biomarker that may be a potentially important breakthrough in diagnosing and treating prostate cancer. Biomarkers in the body are analogous to the warning lights in cars that signal something might need repairing. In our bodies, they indicate if something's wrong or if we're about to get sick or if we're predisposed to certain illnesses.

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Taking aircraft manufacturing out of the oven

April 14, 2015 8:03 am | by Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office | Comments

Composite materials used in aircraft wings and fuselages are typically manufactured in large, industrial-sized ovens: Multiple polymer layers are blasted with temperatures up to 750 F, and solidified to form a solid, resilient material. Using this approach, considerable energy is required first to heat the oven, then the gas around it, and finally the actual composite.

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On the road to spin-orbitronics

April 14, 2015 7:55 am | by Lynn Yarris, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | Comments

Few among us may know what magnetic domains are, but we make use of them daily when we email files, post images or download music or video to our personal devices. Now a team of researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has found a new way of manipulating the walls that define these magnetic domains and the results could one day revolutionize the electronics industry.

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