August 6, 2012

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Twisting Affects Transmission Behavior of Photonic Crystal Fibers

Structure of a photonic crystal fibre (PCF)

Max Planck Institute scientists examined the transmission behavior of photonic crystal fibers when they were twisted, finding that the transmission of certain wavelengths becomes much poorer when twisted and that changes to certain wavelengths can be controlled through the twist. A simple longitudinal twist converts certain microstructured optical fibers into filters. Researchers at the Max […]

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August 6, 2012

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Examining the Accuracy of the Spectral Energy Distribution Models

Spectral Energy Distribution of Protostars

In a new study, a team of astronomers set out to evaluate the accuracy of the spectral energy distribution (SED) models, finding that the models are good at determining a young star’s evolutionary state, accretion rate, and stellar mass, but are less good in determining the properties of the disk or envelope. Stars form when […]

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August 6, 2012

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The Z Machine Generates Pressures so Intense That It Can Melt Diamonds

z-machine-firing-new-mexico

Diamond is one of the toughest, naturally occurring materials found on Earth. Now, the Z machine at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, can melt them using pressure, electromagnetic pulses and enough current to light 100 million light bulbs. The interior of the Z machine is 33 meters wide, and it was designed to […]

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August 6, 2012

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First Ever Real-Time Footage of the Initial Seconds in the Life of Membrane Vesicles

the chaotic origins of dynamic assembly in cells

A newly published study details how Harvard scientists used Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence microscopy (TIRF) to capture the first ever real-time footage of the initial five seconds in the life of membrane vesicles. Scientists have captured real-time footage of how a crucial cellular process begins, findings that overturn a long-held theory about how the chaotic […]

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August 6, 2012

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Human Cardiac Cells Derived from Stem Cells Could Repair Damaged Hearts

Cardiomyocytes-human

Contrary to the skin and liver, damaged hearts rarely heal themselves but there is new research that might raise hope for cell therapies. It’s been recently shown that heart muscle cells differentiated from human embryonic stem cell could be reintegrated into an existing heart muscle. These new cells beat in sync with the rest of […]

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August 6, 2012

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Microfluidic System Precisely Measures Mammalian Cell Growth Rates

the link between cell division and growth rate

Using a microfluidic system for simultaneously measuring single-cell mass and cell cycle progression over multiple generations, a team of researchers from MIT and Harvard Medical School have precisely measured mammalian cell growth rates. It’s a longstanding question in biology: How do cells know when to progress through the cell cycle? In simple organisms such as […]

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August 6, 2012

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First Images from NASA’s Curiosity on Mars

Images from NASA's Cusriosity rover on Mars

The above image is one of the first images taken by NASA’s Curiosity rover after its successful landing on Mars. Pasadena, California — NASA’s most advanced Mars rover Curiosity has landed on the Red Planet. The one-ton rover, hanging by ropes from a rocket backpack, touched down onto Mars Sunday to end a 36-week flight […]

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August 3, 2012

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First Visualization of the Behavior of HIV Infected Human T Cells

visualize the behavior of HIV-infected human T cells

Using the humanized BLT mouse model, a new study is the first to visualize the behavior of HIV-infected human T cells within a lymph node of a live animal, showing tethering interactions between infected and uninfected CD4-expressing cells. Visualizing HIV migration: These images from the lymph node of a live humanized mouse show several HIV-infected […]

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August 3, 2012

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Voyager 1 Reports a Rapid Increase in High-Energy Cosmic Ray Particles

NASA's two Voyager spacecraft exploring a turbulent region of space known as the heliosheath

On a mission to explore interstellar space, NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft showed a rapid increase in the levels of high-energy cosmic ray particles, jumping by five percent on July 28, which then fell to near their previous levels within three days. Two of three key signs of changes expected to occur at the boundary of […]

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August 3, 2012

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Binary Star QU Carinae, A Possible Supernova Progenitor

image of the Tycho supernova

Using sodium gas signatures, which have been recognized as being associated with type Ia supernovae, a team of scientists from the Carnegie Institution for Science were able to identify a binary star called QU Carinae as a possible supernova progenitor. Washington, D.C.—Type Ia supernovae are violent stellar explosions. Observations of their brightness are used to […]

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August 3, 2012

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New ABSI Obesity Measure Predicts Early Death Better than BMI

ABSI

Analyzing medical exam and mortality data from more than 14,000 adults has helped a team of scientists develop a new measure of obesity that incorporates body shape into the calculation called ABSI, “A Body Shape Index.” A new measure of obesity developed by a City College of New York researcher and a physician predicts early […]

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August 3, 2012

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Vaporization Simulation of Earth Helps Explain the Atmospheres of Super-Earths

CoRoT-7b

In an effort to better understand what astronomers should see when they look at the atmospheres of super-Earths, scientists are using computer simulations to see how Earth and Earth-like planets would respond to forces that affect these exoplanets. In science fiction novels, evil overlords and hostile aliens often threaten to vaporize the Earth. At the […]

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August 3, 2012

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Newly Designed Transcription Factors Can Bind to DNA and Turn on Specific Genes

new transcription factors that can bind to DNA and turn on specific genes

A new study from MIT and Boston University scientists describes a new method of using zinc fingers to design transcription factors for nonbacterial cells and provides new genetic components for synthetic biology. For about a dozen years, synthetic biologists have been working on ways to design genetic circuits to perform novel functions such as manufacturing […]

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