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Blog Profile / Physorg Features

Filed Under:Academics / General Science
Posts on Regator:599
Posts / Week:2.6
Archived Since:April 9, 2010

Blog Post Archive

Unpacking the past: Identifying a key evolutionary step in E. coli metabolism

( —Evolution is a process that takes place over long periods of time over which genetics and ecology may interact, producing novel phenotypic traits. Researchers previously found that after roughly 31,500 generations had passed...Show More Summary

Nanoscale heat engine exceeds standard efficiency limit

( —In 2012, a team of physicists from Germany proposed a scheme for realizing a nanoscale heat engine composed of a single ion. Like a macroscale heat engine, the theoretical nanoscale version can convert heat into mechanical work by taking advantage of the temperature difference between two thermal reservoirs. Show More Summary

The ties that bind: Recreating Darwinian ligand evolution in vitro

( —A key feature of certain chemicals is their ability to bind to other molecules – a property that emerged through evolution – but current chemical theory lacks the ability to design binders from first principles. To resolve...Show More Summary

Future solar cells may be made of wood

( —A new kind of paper that is made of wood fibers yet is 96% transparent could be a revolutionary material for next-generation solar cells. Coming from plants, the paper is inexpensive and more environmentally friendly than the plastic substrates often used in solar cells. Show More Summary

Anti-protest law changes Twitter users' behavior, but not network structure, physicists show

( —With the rise of social media, it is possible to organize public demonstrations on larger scales and in less time than ever before. In response, some governments are trying to decide how to regulate and impede the organization of these demonstrations, in order to maintain safety, order, or for other reasons. Show More Summary

Acoustic lens generates tunable 'sound bullets' for ultrasound applications

( —Scientists have developed an acoustic lens that produces pressure pulses that are so intense they're called "sound bullets." Although they are too high-pitched to be audible to the human ear, the sound bullets could have a variety of uses such as in medical ultrasound, underwater mapping, and other high-intensity acoustic applications.

Reflections in the eye contain identifiable faces

( —Eyes are said to be a mirror to the soul, but they may also be a mirror to the surrounding world. Researchers have found that our eyes reflect the people we're looking at with high enough resolution so that the people can be identified. The results could be applied to analyzing photographs of crime victims whose eyes may be reflecting their perpetrators.

Quantum-to-classical transition may be explained by fuzziness of measurement references

( —The quantum and classical worlds are clearly very different, but how a physical system transitions between them is much less clear. The most well-known attempt to explain the quantum-to-classical transition is decoherence, which is the idea that interactions with the environment destroy quantum coherence, causing a quantum system to become classical.

Meta-hologram produces dual images and multiple colors (w/ Video)

( —Holograms have attracted wide attention for their ability to produce a realistic 3D image of an object by recording the object's light field and later reconstructing the light field on a 2D surface. Now researchers have fabricated...Show More Summary

What can slime molds offer computing?

Slime molds may not have brains, but that isn't preventing some computer scientists from investigating them for their potential as novel, unconventional computers. A slime mold consists of a single cell containing millions of nuclei, and forms a network of protoplasmic tubes to move toward its food source along nearly the shortest paths. Show More Summary

Mars may act as a giant planetary pump

( —The surface of Mars is full of activity, with dust storms, dust devils, and drifting dunes in constant motion. Scientists suspect that similarly rich activity may exist underneath the surface, even though it has never been seen. Show More Summary

Graphene origami opens up new spintronics features

( —Despite graphene's many impressive properties, its lack of a bandgap limits its use in electronic applications. In a new study, scientists have theoretically shown that a bandgap can be opened in graphene by folding 2D graphene sheets origami-style and exposing them to a magnetic field. Show More Summary

Maxwell's demon can use quantum information to generate work

( —In theory, Maxwell's demon can decrease the entropy of a system by opening and closing a door at appropriate times to separate hot and cold gas molecules. But as physicist Leó Szilárd pointed out in 1929, entropy does not decrease in such a situation because the demon's measurement process requires information, which is a form of entropy. Show More Summary

When liquids behave like solids

( —When a rubber ball and a droplet of water are compressed onto a solid surface, they behave very differently. For the ball, the compression process is reversible, so the ball retains its original form when decompressed. In...Show More Summary

New view of dendrites in Li batteries gets to the root of the problem

( —One of the biggest challenges facing rechargeable batteries with lithium (Li) electrodes is the growth of dendrites, which can short-circuit the batteries and cause complete failure. Although dendrites do their damage inShow More Summary

Quantum dots with confined light holes could have applications in quantum technologies

( —Semiconductor quantum dots are being widely studied for their potential use in future quantum technologies. One of the reasons for their appeal is that they can confine quantum bits such as excitons and spins inside of them. Show More Summary

Two for the price of one: Single-molecule microscopy simultaneously monitors protein structure and function

( —Proteins accomplish something rather amazing: A protein can have many functions, with a given function being determined by the way they fold into a specific three-dimensional geometry, or conformations. Moreover, the structural transitions form one conformation to another is reversible. Show More Summary

Invisibility cloak hides parts of objects, leaves other parts visible

( —When Harry Potter walks around with a visible head but an invisible body, the performance seems strongly rooted in fantasy. But in a new study, scientists have designed and fabricated an invisibility cloak that may make such a feat possible. Show More Summary

Harmonic holograms: High-speed three-dimensional imaging captures biological dynamics

( —In the world of biomedical science, optical microscopy rules – and nonlinear optical microscopy, which uses ultrashort pulse lasers as the illumination source, allows researchers to glean much greater detail from biological specimens. Show More Summary

Robots may receive urine-powered artificial 'hearts'

( —It's a first: researchers have built the first artificial-heart-like pump that is powered by microbial fuel cells fed on human urine. But instead of being used as a prosthetic device for human patients suffering from cardiac failure, the pump is intended to be used in "EcoBots" that extract energy from organic waste and turn it into electricity.

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