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Bacteria gauge cold with molecular measuring stick

Some bacteria react to the cold by subtly changing the chemistry of their outer wall so that it remains pliable as temperatures drop. Scientists identified a key protein in this response mechanism a few years ago, but the question of how bacteria sense cold in the first place remained a mystery. Based on a new study, the answer is: They use a measuring stick.

Posted: Oct 19th, 2010

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Atomic-level manufacturing

The long-held dream of creating atomically precise three-dimensional structures in a manufacturing environment is approaching reality, according to the top scientist at a company making tools aimed at that ambitious goal.

Posted: Oct 19th, 2010

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Biology rides to computers' aid

Photonic crystals could usher in an age of low-power optical computing, but they're hard to manufacture. Maybe adding a little DNA would help.

Posted: Oct 19th, 2010

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Protein highways keep tissues organized

Precise regulation of tissue architecture is critical for organ function. Single cells build up a tissue by communicating with their environment and with other cells, thereby receiving instructions on whether to divide, change shape or migrate. An interdisciplinary group of researchers from several Max Planck Institutes have now identified a mechanism by which skin cells organize their interior architecture as a response to signals from their surroundings.

Posted: Oct 19th, 2010

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Structural investigations and processing of electronically and protonically conducting polymers

Different conducting polymers form a special class of materials with the potential for many applications in organic electronics and functional materials. These polymers can be electronically conducting or semiconducting due to a conjugated polymer backbone, or alternatively possess conductivity due to mobile protons or other ions. A new thesis discusses such conducting polymers and shows ways how they can be processed by printing and how the nanostructure allows controlling their electrical properties.

Posted: Oct 19th, 2010

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