Microtubules, Motor Proteins And Nano-patterning

Two kinds of kinesin molecular motors have different properties of coordination, Kyoto University’s School of Engineering has found. The findings were made possible thanks to a new tool the team developed that parks individual motors on platforms thousands of times smaller than a single cell. “Kinesin is a motor protein that is involved in actions such as cell division, muscle contractions, and flagella movement. They move along these long protein filaments called microtubules. [Read More]

A Graphene Superconductor That Plays More Than One Tune

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have developed a graphene device that’s thinner than a human hair but has a depth of special traits. It easily switches from a superconducting material that conducts electricity without losing any energy, to an insulator that resists the flow of electric current, and back again to a superconductor — all with a simple flip of a switch. [Read More]

Laser Cooling Chills Radium Ions For The First Time

Researchers have successfully used laser cooling on radium ions for the first time. Given that lasers are known for heating things up, laser cooling may seem a contradiction in terms. However, scientists have devised a way to use the technology to achieve unparalleled levels of cold. Radium is the heaviest alkaline earth element, and the only ion in the column that hadn’t been laser cooled. says Andrew Jayich, an assistant professor of physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. [Read More]

Quantum Control With Light Paves Way For Ultra-Fast Computers

Terahertz light can control some of the essential quantum properties of superconducting states, report researchers. Jigang Wang patiently explains his latest discovery in quantum control that could lead to superfast computing based on quantum mechanics: He mentions light-induced superconductivity without energy gap. He brings up forbidden supercurrent quantum beats. And he mentions terahertz-speed symmetry breaking. Then he backs up and clarified all that. After all, the quantum world of matter and energy at terahertz and nanometer scales — trillions of cycles per second and billionths of meters — is still a mystery to most of us. [Read More]

The San Andreas Fault Is About To Crack – Here’s What Will Happen When It Does

The director of the Southern California Earthquake Center, Thomas Jordan, made an announcement recently that would have sent a chill down the spine of every Californian: that the San Andreas fault appears to be in a critical state and as such, could generate a large earthquake imminently. Of course, the reiteration of the seismic hazard to Californians will be nothing surprising, but what is new is the warning that the southern portion of the fault “looks like it’s locked, loaded and ready to go”. [Read More]

Thirty Years Of Unique Data Reveal What's Really Killing Coral Reefs

Coral reefs are considered one of the most threatened ecosystems on the planet and are dying at alarming rates around the world. Scientists attribute coral bleaching and ultimately massive coral death to a number of environmental stressors, in particular, warming water temperatures due to climate change. A study published in the international journal Marine Biology, reveals what’s really killing coral reefs. With 30 years of unique data from Looe Key Reef in the lower Florida Keys, researchers from Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute and collaborators have discovered that the problem of coral bleaching is not just due to a warming planet, but also a planet that is simultaneously being enriched with reactive nitrogen from multiple sources. [Read More]

Moon Dust Would Give Astronauts Lunar Hay Fever

Astronauts of the future spending long periods of time on the moon could suffer from bronchitis and other health problems by inhaling tiny particles of lunar dust, study indicates. Simulated lunar soil is toxic to human lung and mouse brain cells. Up to 90 percent of human lung cells and mouse neurons died when exposed to dust particles that mimic soils found on the moon’s surface. The results show that breathing toxic dust, even in minute quantities, could pose a health hazard to future astronauts traveling to the moon, Mars, or other airless planetary bodies. [Read More]

Hybrid Nano-probe Can Detect Live Cancer Cells

A new hybrid nano-probe that could lead to noninvasive detection and treatment of cancer at the level of a single cell has been developed by a University of Southern California scientist. Fabien Pinaud, assistant professor of biological sciences, chemistry and physics and astronomy at USC Dornsife, created a method for amplifying a biochemical signal on the surface of cancer cells. The new technique binds and assembles gold nanoparticles in living cells using two fragments of a fluorescent protein as “molecular glue. [Read More]

Programmed Nanorobots Seek And Destroy Cancer Tumors

Nanorobots have been successfully programmed to shrink tumors by cutting off their blood supply. This major advancement came from Arizona State University (ASU) scientists, in collaboration with researchers from the National Center for Nanoscience and Technology (NCNST), of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The demonstration of the technology, the first-of-its-kind study in mammals, used breast cancer, melanoma, ovarian and lung cancer mouse models. said Hao Yan, director of the ASU Biodesign Institute’s Center for Molecular Design and Biomimetics and the Milton Glick Professor in the School of Molecular Sciences. [Read More]

A Transporter Protein For Pumping Antibiotics Into Bacteria

A cellular pump known to move drugs like antibiotics out of E. coli bacteria has the potential to bring them in as well, researchers in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Biochemistry have discovered. The finding could revise almost 50 years of thinking about how these types of transporters function in the cell. Cells must bring in and remove different materials to survive. To accomplish this, they utilize different transporter proteins in their cell membranes, most of which are powered by what is called the proton motive force. [Read More]