About half of today’s children have tooth decay, so a new solution that blocks the action of bacteria which attack teeth could bring significant benefits, say scientists speaking Monday, 06 September 2004 at the Society for General Microbiology’s 155th Meeting at Trinity College Dublin.
Researchers from the Department of Oral Immunology at Kings College London have discovered how the bacteria which attack teeth, Streptococcus mutans, attach themselves to the enamel surface. Once stuck on, the bacteria convert sugar from our food into acid which then attacks the tooth surface.
“The bacteria use a special protein to recognise teeth, and it fits snugly into their surface like a key fitting into a lock. We have identified the small part of the protein which acts like the key,” says Professor Charles Kelly of Kings College London. “We made identical copies of the small part of the protein, called a peptide, and dripped it onto the teeth of volunteers to see whether it would block up all the possible keyholes, stopping bacteria from attaching to the teeth themselves.”
Faye Jones | alfa
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The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
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Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
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The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
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