Latest News

Felling trees has sky-high price

Deforestation is drying out cloud forests.

“It drips,” says ecologist Robert Lawton, describing the Costa Rican cloud forest, “and it’s plastered with plants of all sizes climbing over each other. Stand still for long and they’re growing on you.”

Now the lush life he describes may be threatened. Satellite pictures show that deforestation at the foot of western Costa Rican mountains is drying out swirling summit mists.

When warm, wet tradewinds blowing off the Caribb

And now December’s weather

Meterologists look up for long-range forecasts.

Looking high into the atmosphere now might tell us whether we’re in for a white Christmas. Unusual stratospheric conditions herald changes in winter weather in the Northern Hemisphere up to two months later, say US researchers 1 .

The finding won’t let your weather forecaster warn you to wrap up warm two months hence, but it may be a valuable addition to meteorologists’ toolkits. “The effect works on average, bu

ATTO-TEC® Stable activated fluorescent dyes at room temperature (RT)

ATTO-TEC® has developed the second generation of fluorescent dyes which are stable at room temperature for more than six months.

With Atto 520, Atto 565 and Atto 590 we are pleased to offer three stable fluorescent dyes as amine-reactive succinimidyl esters which will be available from November 2001 on. This allows researchers an easy handling for selectively target- labeling by linking a fluorophore to primary amine groups on proteins or modified nucleic acids.
Further stable activate

Breast cancer screens scrutinised

Study questions whether mammography saves lives.

Breast-cancer screening programmes may not save lives, according to a new examination of clinical trials. The controversial findings have led to calls for a re-evaluation of the routine monitoring procedure undergone by numerous women.

Mammography, X-ray breast imaging, is used in Europe and the United States to catch cancers early. “We’ve based a national screening programme on a set of results which do not stand up to scrut

Fat busts fits

A large, long-term study confirms that diet can help some epileptic children.

A strict high-fat, low-carbohydrate, calorie-restricted diet reduces seizures in children with intractable epilepsy. So concludes the largest and longest trial of an eating plan that was first suggested almost a century ago.

For about two years, epileptic youngsters on a ’ketogenic diet’ eat 25% less than normal and consume 90% of their daily calories as fats. They take vitamins and minerals to avo

Protection racket generates drug leads

Chemists build molecules by paring them down

Complex molecules, such as many drugs, can be fiddly to assemble. By binding their starting compounds in chains 1 , chemists in Denmark may have found a way speed the automated chemical synthesis of such complicated products.

Les Miranda and Morten Meldal of Carlsberg University in Copenhagen have solved the following problem. Complex molecules are usually built up from a core with several near-identical hooks on w

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Physics and Astronomy

Long-term liquid water also on non-Earth-like planets?

Liquid water is an important prerequisite for life to develop on a planet. As researchers from the University of Bern, the University of Zurich and the National Centre of Competence…

Processing photons in picoseconds

Using a time lens, Columbia Engineers resolve single photons 70x faster than other techniques, another step towards advancing quantum information processing. Light has long been used to transmit information in…

Making dark semiconductors shine

An international research team led by scientists at the University of Oldenburg has succeeded in manipulating the energy-level structure in an ultra-thin sample in such a way that this semiconductor,…

Life Sciences and Chemistry

Detection of cancer biomarkers from blood samples

… using nanopore-based DNA computing technology. Cholangiocarcinoma, also known as bile duct cancer, is a cancer type with a characteristically high mortality. At the time of diagnosis, most bile duct…

Single-atom tractor beams power chemical catalysis

Unlocking possible new ways to make light act powerfully and drive chemical transformations. By trapping light into tiny gaps only a few atoms wide, a team from the NanoPhotonics Centre…

Boot camp for the immune system

Researchers discover new way in which T cells learn to tell friend from foe. The human immune system is a nearly perfect defense mechanism. It protects the body from disease-causing…

Materials Sciences

Flexing the power of a conductive polymer

A new material holds promise for the next generation of organic electronics. For decades, field-effect transistors enabled by silicon-based semiconductors have powered the electronics revolution. But in recent years, manufacturers…

Boron nitride nanotube fibers get real

Rice lab creates first heat-tolerant, stable fibers from wet-spinning process. Boron nitride nanotubes used to be hard to process, according to Rice University researchers. Not anymore. A Rice team led by…

Technique allows researchers to align gold nanorods with magnetic fields

An international team of researchers has demonstrated a technique that allows them to align gold nanorods using magnetic fields, while preserving the underlying optical properties of the gold nanorods. “Gold…

Information Technology

Using GPUs to discover human brain connectivity

A new GPU-based machine learning algorithm developed by researchers at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) can help scientists better understand and predict connectivity between different regions of the brain….

Tough new robots …

… will aim to think and act for themselves in the most hazardous places on Earth – and beyond. Manchester experts are combining expertise in “hot-robotics” and AI to make…

Ultra-thin film creates vivid 3D images with large field of view

Glass-free technique could enable visual features that don’t require special reading devices or illumination. Researchers have developed a new ultra-thin film that can create detailed 3D images viewable under normal…