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Climate tests for forests

September 21, 2015 9:36 am | by Alvin Powell, Harvard Gazette | Comments

Harvard scientists are taking a hard look at northeastern forests for evidence of a potential springtime scramble, one that could be triggered if age-old growth cues are disrupted by climate change.


How to make large 2-D sheets

September 21, 2015 9:27 am | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office | Comments

MIT-led team develops method for scaling up production of thin electronic material.


Network control: Letting noise lead the way

September 18, 2015 4:30 pm | by Amanda Morris, Northwestern Univ. | Comments

A cell’s life is a noisy affair. These building blocks of life are constantly changing. They can spontaneously express different proteins and genes, change shape and size, die or resist dying or become damaged and cancerous. Even within a population of the same type of cell, there is immense random variability between cells’ structures, levels of protein expression and sizes.


Reproductive assist

September 18, 2015 3:30 pm | by Tracey Bryant, Univ. of Delaware | Comments

We don’t know if a sperm actually experiences joy when it finally finds the egg, but it does wiggle excitedly. Patricia A. Martin-DeLeon, a reproductive biologist at the Univ. of Delaware, has witnessed this behavior many times in her studies of fertility in mice, the closest genetic model to humans (and with a much faster reproductive cycle). 


Method for measuring luminous efficacy of LEDs

September 18, 2015 2:30 pm | by Aalto Univ. | Comments

Researchers at Aalto Univ. and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland have succeeded in developing a method which helps to improve the relative uncertainty in measuring the luminous efficacy of LEDs from the approximate five percent of today to one per cent in the future.


Structural memory of water persists on picosecond timescale

September 18, 2015 1:30 pm | by Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research | Comments

A team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz, Germany, and FOM Institute AMOLF in the Netherlands have characterized the local structural dynamics of liquid water, for example, how quickly water molecules change their binding state. Using innovative ultrafast vibrational spectroscopies, the researchers show why liquid water is so unique compared to other molecular liquids.


Researchers isolate possible ovarian cancer biomarkers

September 18, 2015 12:30 pm | by Tracey Peake, North Carolina State Univ. | Comments

Researchers from North Carolina State Univ. utilized a highly sensitive mass spectrometry analysis to identify and measure difficult-to-detect N-glycan biomarkers associated with ovarian cancers in stages I – IV. In a surprising finding, the researchers determined that the level of biomarkers associated with ovarian cancer does not simply increase or decrease over the course of the disease, but can rise and fall during different stages.


Physicists defy conventional wisdom to identify ferroelectric nanomaterial

September 18, 2015 11:30 am | by Leslie Reed, Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln Communications | Comments

A team of physicists has defied conventional wisdom by inducing stable ferroelectricity in a sheet of strontium titanate only a few nanometers thick. The discovery could open new pathways to find new materials for nanotechnology devices, said Alexei Gruverman, a Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln physics and astronomy professor who worked on the research.


New insights into HIV-1 vaccine design

September 18, 2015 10:30 am | by Nick Njegomir, Los Alamos National Laboratory | Comments

Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory have created a computational model that could change the way that researchers look at possibilities for an HIV-1 vaccine.


Making 3-D objects disappear

September 18, 2015 9:30 am | by Lynn Yarris, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | Comments

Invisibility cloaks are a staple of science fiction and fantasy, from Star Trek to Harry Potter, but don’t exist in real life, or do they? Scientists have devised an ultra-thin invisibility “skin” cloak that can conform to the shape of an object and conceal it from detection with visible light.


Ethical trials, targeted ads

September 18, 2015 8:30 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | Comments

Clinical trials of new drugs or devices face a problem that most empirical inquiries don’t: They must not only provide clear data about toxicity and efficacy but also try to maximize the quality of treatment for all of the patients enrolled. Online advertisers face a similar quandary. They want to test variants of ads to see which drive more traffic, but they also want the better-performing ads to reach more viewers.


Nano-trapped molecules are potential path to quantum devices

September 18, 2015 7:34 am | by Ron Walli, Oak Ridge National Laboratory | Comments

Single atoms or molecules imprisoned by laser light in a doughnut-shaped metal cage could unlock the key to advanced storage devices, computers and high-resolution instruments. In a paper published in Physical Review A, a team describes conceptually how physicists may be able to exploit a molecule's energy to advance a number of fields.


Flowing electrons help ocean microbes gulp methane

September 17, 2015 7:00 pm | by Jessica Stoller-Conrad, Caltech | Comments

Good communication is crucial to any relationship, especially when partners are separated by distance. This also holds true for microbes in the deep sea that need to work together to consume large amounts of methane released from vents on the ocean floor.


Decoding cell division’s mysterious spindle matrix

September 17, 2015 6:00 pm | by Carnegie Institute | Comments

Every high school biology class learns about the tiny cells that comprise our bodies, as well as about many of the diverse actions that they perform. One of these actions is called mitosis, the series of steps through which a cell divides itself into two daughter cells, each of which has the same genetic material.


Carbon research may boost nanoelectronics

September 17, 2015 5:00 pm | by Anne M. Stark, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory | Comments

The smallest of electronics could one day have the ability to turn on and off at an atomic scale. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists have investigated a way to create linear chains of carbon atoms from laser-melted graphite. The material, called carbyne, could have a number of novel properties, including the ability to adjust the amount of electrical current traveling through a circuit, depending on the user’s needs.



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