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Physicists tease out twisted torques of DNA

Using an instrument called an angular optical trap, researchers have reported direct measurements of the torque generated by the motor protein, E. coli RNA polymerase, as it traverses supercoiled DNA. Their technique may be used to examine the broader impacts of torque and DNA supercoiling associated with other motor proteins, and lend new insights into the gene transcription process.

Posted: Jun 27th, 2013

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New low-cost, transparent electrodes

Indium tin oxide has become a standard material in light-emitting diodes, flat panel plasma displays, electronic ink and other applications, but it is rare and expensive. Now, researchers from Arizona State University report creating a sturdy, transparent, and indium-free electrode from silver and titanium dioxide.

Posted: Jun 27th, 2013

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Improving measurements by reducing quantum noise

The principle of interferometry is often used in high precision measurements: A beam is split in two parts, which then interfere, yielding intricat interference patterns, from which very precise data can be obtained. Usually, this is done with photons or small massive particles such as electrons or neutrons. At the Vienna University of Technology, an interferometer has now been built which instead uses Bose-Einstein-condensates, consisting of hundreds of atoms.

Posted: Jun 27th, 2013

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Watching solar cells grow

For the first time, researchers have managed to observe growth of high-efficiency chalcopyrite thin film solar cells in real time and to study the formation and degradation of defects that compromise efficiency.

Posted: Jun 27th, 2013

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Spinning up antibacterial silver on glass

The antibacterial effects of silver are well established. Now, researchers at Yonsei University in Seoul, Republic of Korea, have developed a technique to coat glass with a layer of silver ions that can prevent growth of pathogenic bacteria including Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium and Campylobacter jejuni. The technology could be used to protect medical equipment and be particularly useful for applications in disaster recovery and the military environment.

Posted: Jun 27th, 2013

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