Researchers led by ETH professor Yaakov Benenson and MIT professor Ron Weiss have successfully incorporated a diagnostic biological "computer" network in human cells. This network recognizes certain cancer cells using logic combinations of five cancer-specific molecular factors, triggering cancer cells destruction.
In solid materials with regular atomic structures, figuring out weak points where the material will break under stress is relatively easy. But for disordered solids, like glass or sand, their disordered nature makes such predictions much more daunting tasks. Now, a collaboration combining a theoretical model with a first-of-its kind experiment has demonstrated a novel method for identifying "soft spots" in such materials.
The technology in 'fire paint' used to protect steel beams in buildings and other structures has found a new life as a first-of-its-kind flame retardant for children's cotton sleepwear, terrycloth bathrobes and other apparel.
Much like a meteor impacting a planet, highly charged ions hit really hard and can do a lot of damage, albeit on a much smaller scale. And much like geologists determine the size and speed of the meteor by looking at the hole it left, physicists can learn a lot about a highly charged ion's energy by looking at the divots it makes in thin films.
Solar or photovoltaic cells represent one of the best possible technologies for providing an absolutely clean and virtually inexhaustible source of energy to power our civilization. However, for this dream to be realized, solar cells need to be made from inexpensive elements using low-cost, less energy-intensive processing chemistry, and they need to efficiently and cost-competitively convert sunlight into electricity. A team of researchers with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has now demonstrated two out of three of these requirements with a promising start on the third.
Researchers at RIKEN have developed a ground-breaking new aqueous reagent which literally turns biological tissue transparent. Experiments using fluorescence microscopy on samples treated with the reagent have produced vivid 3D images of neurons and blood vessels deep inside the mouse brain.
The rapid detection of microRNAs using small-volume samples could therefore help save millions of lives. Such a technique could also pave the way for widespread analysis of the spatial and temporal patterns of gene activity involving microRNAs, which are believed to play a critical role in the development and operation of organisms.