US National Academy of Sciences member and Stanford Professor Winslow R. Briggs will speak at the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) annual meeting July 24, 2004 in Orlando, Florida about findings in his studies of how plants sense the direction of light.
Most casual observers have likely noticed that seedlings on a windowsill will grow toward the light. This phenomenon, known as phototropism, is a manifestation of a sensitive system plants have for detecting light. This light sensing system guides seedlings through the soil and has profound influences on their development during the critical stage of seedling establishment and later as the leaves adapt to changes in the light environment.
Briggss research group has discovered the two-member family of protein molecules that serves as the detector and decoder of the blue photons on which the seedling cues to determine the direction of light. The molecule, known as phototropin, is now being intensively studied because of its unique properties by chemists and biophysicists as well as plant biologists.
Brian Hyps | EurekAlert!
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The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
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