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research labs and other things of interest

How do spiders spin?

How do spiders form long, highly stable and elastic fibers from the spider silk proteins stored in the silk gland within split seconds? Scientists from the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM) and the University of Bayreuth have now succeeded in unraveling the secret.

Posted: May 14th, 2010

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Mathematicians solve 140-year-old Boltzmann equation

Two University of Pennsylvania mathematicians have found solutions to a 140-year-old, 7-dimensional equation that were not known to exist for more than a century despite its widespread use in modeling the behavior of gases.

Posted: May 13th, 2010

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Building organs block by block with 'biological legos'

Tissue engineering has long held promise for building new organs to replace damaged livers, blood vessels and other body parts. However, one major obstacle is getting cells grown in a lab dish to form 3-D shapes instead of flat layers. Researchers have come up with a new way to overcome that challenge, by encapsulating living cells in cubes and arranging them into 3-D structures, just as a child would construct buildings out of blocks.

Posted: May 13th, 2010

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Molecular robots on the rise

Researchers from Columbia University, Arizona State University, the University of Michigan and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have created and programmed robots the size of single molecule that can move independently across a nano-scale track.

Posted: May 13th, 2010

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Computer scientist shows how evolution meets computation in new book

Nature and technology may seem worlds apart, but New York University Computer Scientist Dennis Shasha maintains that the natural world can bolster the capacity of today's most sophisticated machines. In Natural Computing: DNA, Quantum Bits, and the Future of Smart Machines, Shasha and co-author Cathy Lazere describe the work of 15 pioneers who have successfully harnessed nature's power in advancing technology.

Posted: May 12th, 2010

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