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Microlens arrays from the test tube

Biomineralized tissues, such as sea shells and bones, grow in a genetically programmed way to obtain specific shapes and compositions, which define the unique functionalities. The growth of biominerals usually takes place in aqueous media at ambient conditions. Material scientists are keen to adapt this process from nature for a cost-efficient and simple fabrication of inorganic based materials.

Posted: Mar 15th, 2012

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Cold atoms simulate graphene

Scientists at ETH Zurich used a set of laser beams to create a honeycomb-like structure similar to that found in graphene. By loading ultracold atoms into this optical lattice, they can simulate electronic properties of this promising material. Such experiments may be used to identify electronic properties of materials which have yet to be discovered.

Posted: Mar 15th, 2012

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Molecular graphene heralds new era of 'designer electrons'

Researchers from Stanford University and the U.S. Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have created the first-ever system of 'designer electrons' - exotic variants of ordinary electrons with tunable properties that may ultimately lead to new types of materials and devices.

Posted: Mar 14th, 2012

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A new method for examining membrane proteins

Experiments at SLAC's Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) have shown a promising new way to collect data on these elusive proteins. Researchers embedded tiny protein crystals in an oily paste that mimics the supportive environment of the cell membrane, and then hit them with a powerful X-ray laser to determine the protein's structure.

Posted: Mar 14th, 2012

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Fighting cancer with nanotechnology - a roundtable discussion

Imagine a test that sifts through millions of molecules in a drop of a patient's blood to detect a telltale protein signature of a cancer subtype, or a drug ferry that doesn't release its toxic contents until it slips inside cancer cells. These and other nanotechnologies could be game changers in how we diagnose, monitor and treat cancer. To more fully understand the impact, The Kavli Foundation held a roundtable conference with four pioneers in the field.

Posted: Mar 14th, 2012

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'Fenster' in das Innere von Zellen - Neue Methode erlaubt detailliertere Einblicke in die Zelle

Die Kryo-Elektronentomografie ermoeglicht hochaufloesende, dreidimensionale Einblicke in das Innere von Zellen. Jedoch koennen damit nur sehr kleine Zellen oder duenne Randbereiche groesserer Zellern direkt untersucht werden. Wissenschaftler vom Max-Planck-Institut fuer Biochemie haben jetzt eine Methode entwickelt, um in nahezu unzugaengliche Zellbereiche vorzudringen.

Posted: Mar 14th, 2012

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Snapshots of firework in nanoparticles: Beyond conventional ultrafast spectroscopy

A Holy Grail of ultrafast science and technology is to image the changing structure of matter at the nanoscale during the interaction with light. An international collaboration used intense laser pulses delivered by the FLASH free-electron laser for X-ray scattering from nanoparticles. The goal was to look into ultrafast electronic processes during the nanoplasma formation where conventional spectroscopy techniques are inherently blind.

Posted: Mar 14th, 2012

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