Harnessing quantum systems for information processing will require controlling large numbers of basic building blocks called qubits. The qubits must be isolated, and in most cases cooled. Physicists have recently demonstrated important steps towards implementing a proposed type of gate, which does not rely on super-cooling their ion qubits.
The nanoflasks, which have a span of several nanometers, or millionths of a millimeter, can accelerate chemical reactions for research. In the future, they might facilitate the manufacture of various industrial materials and perhaps even serve as vehicles for drug delivery.
Researchers have made a chip-based device that can generate a laser signal with frequencies spaced in a comb-like fashion. Their work could be used in telecommunications applications and in chemical analysis.
Scientists have discovered the universal building blocks that cells use to form initial connections with the surrounding environment. These early adhesions have a consistent size of 100 nanometres, are made up of a cluster of around 50 integrin proteins and are the same even when the surrounding surface is hard or soft.
In October, an interdisciplinary group of scientists proposed forming a Unified Microbiome Initiative to explore the world of microorganisms that are central to life on Earth and yet largely remain a mystery. An article describes the tools scientists will need to understand how microbes interact with each other and with us.
For years, scientists have been pursuing ways to imitate a leaf's photosynthetic power to make hydrogen fuel from water and sunlight. In a new twist, a team has come up with another kind of device that mimics two of a leaf's processes to harness solar energy to purify water.