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Tiny insect takes top honors in Nikon’s photo challenge

October 4, 2011 6:03 am | News | Comments

When a small bug landed on Dr. Igor Siwanowicz's hand and began "fiercely digging its mandibles" into his skin, he didn't swat it away. Instead, he captured and began taking photomicrographs. To his surprise, the image took first place in the 2011 Nikon Small World competition.

Caltech engineers build smart petri dish

October 3, 2011 12:26 pm | News | Comments

Imaging sensor chips that form the heart of built-in cameras helped engineers at the California Institute of Technology create a "smart" petri dish. The ePetri is a compact, lens-free microscopy imaging platform that does away with the need for bulky microscopes and significantly reduces labor for the researcher.

Simple optics transforms iPhone into medical imaging device

October 3, 2011 10:36 am | News | Comments

A team of researchers from the University of California, Davis has accomplished the MacGyver-esque task of using everyday iPhones to accomplish high-quality medical-quality imaging and chemical detection. The key is adding spectrometry to the smart phone’s optics.

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SLAC invention measures stroke damage in the brain

September 28, 2011 1:30 pm | News | Comments

A technique scientists at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center invented for scanning ancient manuscripts is now being used to probe the human brain, in research that could lead to new medical imaging methods and better treatments for stroke and other brain conditions.

New technique maps twin faces of smallest Janus nanoparticles

September 27, 2011 9:15 am | News | Comments

New drug delivery systems, solar cells, industrial catalysts, and video displays are among the potential applications of special particles that possess two chemically distinct sides. These particles are named after the two-faced Roman god Janus and their twin chemical faces allow them to form novel structures and new materials. However, as scientists reduced the size of Janus particles their efforts have been hampered because they lacked an accurate way to map the particles surfaces. Until now.

Brain imaging reveals the movies in our mind

September 22, 2011 1:05 pm | by Yasmin Anwar, Media Relations | News | Comments

Using functional magnetic resonance imaging and computational models, University of California, Berkeley researchers have succeeded in decoding and reconstructing people’s dynamic visual experiences—in this case, watching Hollywood movie trailers.

Vacuum-like device makes cellular exploration easier

September 20, 2011 12:03 pm | News | Comments

Imagine a microscopic jet vacuum cleaner, the size of a pen nib that hovers over cell surfaces without ever touching them. Then picture the jet delivering various molecules selectively to the cells. A new device matching this description has been built by McGill University technologists to study a range of cellular processes.

Prototype microscope sees with holograms, not lenses

August 31, 2011 5:42 am | News | Comments

Weighing about as much as a medium-sized banana and fitting easily in the palm of a hand a compact, lightweight dual-mode microscope made by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles using mass-produced electronics can achieve a spatial resolution of 2 ?m.

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Age-related brittle bones are more than a loss of mass

August 29, 2011 1:00 pm | News | Comments

Loss of bone mass is the well-established reason that bones become more brittle as we grow older. At microscopic dimensions, however, researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have found that age-related loss bone quality can be just as important as loss in quantity.

Scientists man bioterror front lines

August 26, 2011 7:41 am | by Marcus Wohlsen, Associated Press | News | Comments

Over the past decade, federal research laboratories such as Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have shifted from Cold War-era defense R&D to meeting the challenges of new terror threats, developing a nationwide system to sniff the air for germs such as anthrax and smallpox.

Scientists reengineer antibiotic to overcome resistent bacteria

August 25, 2011 7:32 am | News | Comments

A team of scientists from The Scripps Research Institute have successfully reengineered an important antibiotic to kill the deadliest antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The researchers report the finding has clinical significance.

In the early life of an embryo, a monster lurks

August 24, 2011 12:26 pm | by Morgan Kelly | News | Comments

Research based at Princeton University has revealed that newly fertilized cells only narrowly avoid degenerating into fatal chaos. Embryos have also acquired a mechanism to contain this dangerous instability, a finding that could help biologists unravel other mysteries about the first hours of life.

Scientists find time cells in the brain

August 24, 2011 12:16 pm | News | Comments

How exactly the hippocampus manages to string together events that are part of the same experience but are separated by "empty" periods of time has been a complete mystery to science. New research, however, has found the neurons that encode sequential moments in a discrete experience.

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Found: Protein that may lead to stress-related DNA damage

August 23, 2011 6:34 am | News | Comments

Researchers from Duke University and The Scripps Research Institute have identified a molecular pathway that plays a key role in stress-related damage to the genome. Until this new study, exactly how chronic stress wreaks havoc on DNA was basically unknown.

Scientists unlock the way nitrous oxide decomposes

August 22, 2011 1:08 pm | News | Comments

For the first time, microbiologists have identified the structure of the bacterial enzyme that decomposes nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas, and they have also decoded the decomposition mechanism.

Physicist uncovers new data on adenine, a crucial building block of life

August 18, 2011 7:04 am | News | Comments

Ultraviolet light from space was damaging to many prebiotic molecules in Earth’s early history, but some were photostable and survived the assault. Recent research shows that one of these building blocks of DNA and RNA, adenine, has an unexpectedly variable range of ionization energies along its reaction pathways.

Source of spider silk’s extreme strength unveiled

August 17, 2011 1:08 pm | News | Comments

With five times the tensile strength of steel, spider thread is a fascinating material. Yet, attempts to produce the material on an industrial scale have failed. Researchers in Germany have unlocked the protein structure of this thread, a finding that could open the door to artificial spider silk.

To heal bone, scientists look to wood

August 16, 2011 9:43 am | by Elena Ledda | News | Comments

Both bone and wood are solid, living elements with an internal structure that is porous. By transforming red oakwood into a charcoal substance that emulates bone, scientists in Europe may have discovered a weight-bearing implant that will help regenerate bone.

Researcher invents mold for making a nervous system

August 16, 2011 9:27 am | News | Comments

A researcher at the University of the Basque Country has developed and validated a polymer support capable of inducing neuronal differentiation in vitro. Created with a photolithographic technique, the support structure is biocompatible and has been tested on animal models.

Evidence builds that caffeine lowers risk of skin cancer

August 16, 2011 9:14 am | News | Comments

Coffee-based sunscreen may not be so crazy after all. Several years ago, researchers discovered that caffeine has a positive effect against certain types of skin cancers at the molecular level. A new study from Rutgers University strengthens this theory.

Decade-long study reveals patterns of viruses in open ocean

August 11, 2011 12:13 pm | News | Comments

New findings, resulting from a decade of research, show striking recurring patterns of marine virioplankton dynamics in the open sea, which have implications regarding our understanding of cycling of nutrients in the world's oceans.

GE Healthcare, AB SCIEX expand multi-vendor service support

August 11, 2011 9:41 am | News | Comments

GE Healthcare and AB SCIEX announced a collaboration agreement to provide GE Healthcare's Smart Asset Management Services (SAMS) customers throughout North America with the option for full on-site service and maintenance support of AB SCIEX mass spectrometry systems.

Rapid blood test answers biggest infection question

August 11, 2011 7:17 am | News | Comments

To successfully fight infection, the right treatment must be started quickly. But sometimes physicians have difficulty differentiating between a viral or a bacterial affliction. A simple blood test has been developed that should quickly answer this question.

Study fleshes out scenario for origin of life on Earth

August 9, 2011 11:23 am | News | Comments

New research from the University of California, Merced shows how the precursors to RNA could have formed on Earth before any life existed. The breakthrough was answering the question of how necessary RNA precursors can be formed by simple amino acids.

DNA building blocks can be born in space

August 9, 2011 5:49 am | News | Comments

In 2006, the Stardust probe returned a vial of dust from Wild 2, a comet. Analysis of that material shows that certain nucleobases, the building blocks of our genetic material, reach the Earth on meteorites in greater diversity and quantity than previously thought.

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