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Cost of fighting warming 'modest,' says UN panel

April 13, 2014 12:20 pm | by Karl Ritter - Associated Press - Associated Press | Comments

The cost of keeping global warming in check is "relatively modest," but only if the world acts quickly to reverse the buildup of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere, the head of the U.N.'s expert panel on climate change said Sunday. Such gases, mainly carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels, rose on average by 2.2% a year in 2000-2010.

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One kind of supersymmetry shown to emerge naturally

April 11, 2014 1:27 pm | by Julie Cohen, UC Santa Barbara | Comments

As yet, no one has found supersymmetry in our universe, including at the Large Hadron Collider. This absence of empirical evidence hasn’t stopped physicist Tarun Grover from being able to provide definitive mathematical evidence for supersymmetry in a condensed matter system. Sought after in the realm of subatomic particles by physicists for several decades, supersymmetry describes a unique relationship between particles.

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New physical phenomenon on nanowires seen for the first time

April 11, 2014 1:06 pm | Comments

For optical communication to happen, it is essential to convert electrical information into light, using emitters. On the other end of the optical link, one needs to translate the light stream into electrical signals using detectors. Current technologies use different materials to realize these two distinct functions, but this might soon change thanks to a new discovery by researchers at IBM.

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Greenland ice cores show industrial record of acid rain

April 11, 2014 11:29 am | by Hannah Hickey, Univ. of Washington | Comments

The rise and fall of acid rain is a global experiment whose results are preserved in the geologic record. By analyzing samples from the Greenland ice sheet, Univ. of Washington atmospheric scientists found clear evidence of the U.S. Clean Air Act. They also discovered a link between air acidity and how nitrogen is preserved in layers of snow.

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Enzyme “wrench” could be key to stronger, more effective antibiotics

April 11, 2014 10:10 am | by Tracey Peake, North Carolina State Univ. | Comments

Builders and factory workers know that getting a job done right requires precision and specialized tools. The same is true when you’re building antibiotic compounds at the molecular level. New findings from North Carolina State Univ. may turn an enzyme that acts as a specialized “wrench” in antibiotic assembly into a set of wrenches that will allow for greater customization.

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Did you know? 3M Company has won 30 R&D 100 Awards

April 11, 2014 9:46 am | Comments

3M Company is known for its innovative products, and that’s reflected in the Minnesota-based company’s substantial number of R&D 100 Awards wins over the years. 3M was one of R&D Magazine’s very first winners, getting an Award for an electrical curing concept in 1963. But not all of 3M’s awards for adhesives and coatings; the company was at the forefront of new innovations for the information age.

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LLNL shines new light on additive manufacturing approach

April 11, 2014 8:14 am | by James A Bono, LLNL | Comments

For nearly a century, electrophoretic deposition (EPD) has been used as a method of coating material by depositing particles of various substances onto the surfaces of various manufactured items. Since its earliest use, EPD has been used to deposit a wide range of materials onto surfaces. This process works well, but is limited. EPD can only deposit material across the entire surface and not in specific, predetermined locations, until now.

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Mechanical forces affect T-cell recognition, signaling

April 11, 2014 8:04 am | by John Toon, Georgia Institute of Technology | Comments

T-cells use a complex process to recognize foreign pathogens and diseased cells. In a paper published in Cell, researchers add a new level of understanding to that process by describing how the T-cell receptors use mechanical contact—the forces involved in their binding to the antigens—to make decisions about whether or not the cells they encounter are threats.

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Study to measure gravity’s effects on plant cells in space

April 11, 2014 7:53 am | by Natalie van Hoose, Purdue Univ. | Comments

A Purdue Univ. experiment that will test how plant cells sense and respond to different levels of gravity is scheduled to launch aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Monday (April 14). Understanding how gravity impacts plants is key for determining the conditions necessary to grow plants in space.

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How the brain pays attention

April 11, 2014 7:43 am | by Anne Trafton, MIT News Office | Comments

Picking out a face in the crowd is a complicated task: Your brain has to retrieve the memory of the face you’re seeking, then hold it in place while scanning the crowd, paying special attention to finding a match. A new study reveals how the brain achieves this type of focused attention on faces or other objects.

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Researchers using math to whittle away at jet lag

April 10, 2014 5:22 pm | by Lauran Neergaard - AP Medical Writer - Associated Press | Comments

Lots of apps claim they can help you fight jet lag. Now Michigan researchers say mathematical formulas suggest it's possible to adjust to new time zones a bit faster than previously thought, and they created their own free app to help. Doctors have long said exposure to light is key. But how much, and when?

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Artificial cooling tricky topic for climate panel

April 10, 2014 5:19 pm | by Karl Ritter, Associated Press | Comments

The U.N.'s expert panel on climate change is under pressure this week as it considers whether geoengineering should be part of the tool-kit that governments use to keep global warming in check. Drafts leaked before the conference only mentioned one of the proposed options, removing carbon dioxide from the air and storing it underground. But some countries support solar radiation management as well.  

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Physicist wins $1.3M tech prize for data storage

April 10, 2014 5:12 pm | by Matti Huuhtanen, Associated Press | Comments

Anyone who uses large data centers, cloud services, social networks or gets music and film online can thank British-American physicist Stuart Parkin. Parkin, who was R&D Magazine’s first Innovator of the Year in 2001, has won the 1 million-euro Millennium Technology Prize this week for discoveries leading to a thousand-fold increase in digital data storage on magnetic disks.

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Researchers make most precise measurement yet of the expanding universe

April 10, 2014 1:15 pm | by Barbara Kennedy, Penn State | Comments

Astronomers at Penn State and other institutions participating in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey have used 140,000 distant quasars to measure the expansion rate of the universe when it was only one-quarter of its present age. This measurement is the best yet of the expansion rate at any epoch in the last 13 billion years during the history of the universe.

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Creating a new bone tissue generation technique

April 10, 2014 11:27 am | Comments

Univ. of Texas at Arlington and Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital are investigating whether bone grown from the body’s own stem cells can replace traditional types of bone grafting. The process, which has been successful in previous lab experiments, uses biodegradable polymer scaffolding material and bone morphogenetic protein, or BMP, which was inserted into the abdomen of mice to attract stem cells that in turn produced bone.

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