The first ever landing of a man-made probe onto a comet has been named Physics World Breakthrough of the Year for 2014. From a shortlist of 10 highly commended breakthroughs, the historic achievement by scientists working on the Rosetta mission was singled out by the Physics World editorial team for its significance and fundamental importance to space science.
An international team of physicists and chemists based at UC Berkeley has, for the first time, taken snapshots of this ephemeral event using attosecond pulses of soft X-ray light lasting only a few billionths of a billionth of a second.
RoboSimian was created for the DARPA Robotics Challenge, a competition consisting of several disaster-related tasks for robots to perform. Using extra limbs from RoboSimian, researchers constructed Surrogate. Over the past six months, they have been testing both robots to see which one should compete in the finals.
A new method that creates large-area patterns of three-dimensional nanoshapes from metal sheets represents a potential manufacturing system to inexpensively mass produce innovations such as "plasmonic metamaterials" for advanced technologies.
In a triumph for cell biology, researchers have assembled the first high-resolution, 3-D maps of entire folded genomes and found a structural basis for gene regulation -- a kind of "genomic origami" that allows the same genome to produce different types of cells.
Growing resistance to malaria drugs in Southeast Asia is caused by a single mutated gene inside the disease-causing Plasmodium falciparum parasite. This finding provides public health officials around the world with a way to look for pockets of emerging resistance and potentially eliminate them before they spread.
An interstellar mystery of why stars form has been solved thanks to the most realistic supercomputer simulations of galaxies yet made.
Researchers at Rice and the University of Maryland led by Rice theoretical physicist Alberto Pimpinelli devised the first detailed model to quantify what they believe was the last unknown characteristic of film formation through deposition by vacuum sublimation and chemical vapor deposition.
A team of researchers led by North Carolina State University has found that stacking materials that are only one atom thick can create semiconductor junctions that transfer charge efficiently, regardless of whether the crystalline structure of the materials is mismatched.
Researchers for the first time have developed a method to track through the human body the movement of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, as extraordinarily tiny amounts of these potential carcinogens are biologically processed and eliminated.
Swiss researchers have suspended the testing of one of the leading Ebola vaccine candidates after some volunteers reported unexpected side effects.
A walking molecule, so small that it cannot be observed directly with a microscope, has been recorded taking its first nanometer-sized steps. It's the first time that anyone has shown in real time that such a tiny object – termed a "small molecule walker" – has taken a series of steps.
Researchers have devised a way to replace the knee’s protective lining, called the meniscus, using a personalized 3D-printed implant, or scaffold, infused with human growth factors that prompt the body to regenerate the lining on its own. The therapy, successfully tested in sheep, could provide the first effective and long-lasting repair of damaged menisci.
Researchers have developed a new “high-entropy” metal alloy that has a higher strength-to-weight ratio than any other existing metal material. High-entropy alloys are materials that consist of five or more metals in approximately equal amounts.
Engineers at the University of California, San Diego have demonstrated a new and more efficient way to trap light, using a phenomenon called bound states in the continuum (BIC) that was first proposed in the early days of quantum wave mechanics.
The discovery of a new form of ice could lead to an improved understanding of our planet’s geology, potentially helping to unlock new solutions in the production, transportation and storage of energy. Ice XVI, the least dense of all known forms of ice, has a highly symmetric cage-like structure that can trap gaseous molecules to form compounds known as clathrates or gas hydrates.
Using a gene-editing system originally developed to delete specific genes, MIT researchers have now shown that they can reliably turn on any gene of their choosing in living cells.
Scientists have created an app that brings molecules to life in a handheld device. Through the app, people can use up to eleven fingers to examine in great detail more than 350 molecules.
Future fitness trackers could soon add blood-oxygen levels to the list of vital signs measured with new technology developed by engineers.
For the first time, scientists report the development of a stretchable “electronic skin” closely modeled after our own that can detect not just pressure, but also what direction it’s coming from.
Scientists are developing a new kind of “smart window” that can block out heat when the outside temperatures rise. The advance could one day help consumers better conserve energy on hot days and reduce electric bills.
The empty spacesuit that sat on the operating table in a lab at Houston Methodist Hospital's research institute made for an unusual patient.
Malaria parasites invade human red blood cells, which they bring to burst and infect others. Researchers at the University of Basel and the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute called nano imitations of host cell membranes have developed that deceive and trick the pathogen. This could lead to novel therapeutic and vaccine strategies against malaria and other infectious diseases.
Researchers at Rice University have created flexible, patterned sheets of multilayer graphene from a cheap polymer by burning it with a computer-controlled laser. The process works in air at room temperature and eliminates the need for hot furnaces and controlled environments, and it makes graphene that may be suitable for electronics or energy storage.
Precious elements such as platinum work well as catalysts in chemical reactions, but require large amounts of metal and can be expensive. However, computational modeling below the nanoscale level may allow researchers to design more efficient and affordable catalysts from gold.