Latest News

Non-collapsing knots could reveal secrets of the Universe

A computational trick that stops imaginary knots collapsing could help us understand how to unravel a loop of DNA or reveal the true nature of elementary particles, research published today suggests.

In the New Journal of Physics, published jointly by the Institute of Physics and the German Physical Society, Phoebe Hoidn and Andrzej Stasiak of the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, and Robert Kusner of the University of Massachusetts, USA, explore the mathematical complexities of particula

Maths cracks egg flip

Friction pushes a spinning egg from horizontal to vertical.

Mathematicians have cracked the conundrum of the spinning egg. A hard-boiled egg spun on its side flips upright because of friction between the egg and the table, they calculate 1 .

The egg’s elevation appears paradoxical. Its centre of gravity moves up – making the system seem to be gaining energy.

In fact, spinning energy, translated into a horizontal force, pushes the egg upright, sa

A new project to test a pioneering method to advance technology

Technological advances take place all the time – driven by need. But can these advances be speeded up in quantum leaps? The European Space Agency thinks they can, and is launching a pioneering project to test this.

The European Space Agency has launched a project to test whether technological advances can be speeded up in quantum leaps. The Star Tiger project will gather together a small team of enthusiastic scientists and engineers with a range of expertise from around Europe, put them toge

New environmental research lab helps get more out of waste

A new London research laboratory developing fresh solutions to the perpetual problems of how best to get rid of our waste has reopened its doors today after a UKP1.5 million facelift.

Researchers based in the new Roger Perry Environmental Engineering laboratory at Imperial College are behind a number of innovative new waste reclaim and reuse projects.

Over 60 London households are helping in one project to evaluate how effective home composting is at managing domestic solid waste, t

Diverse Viruses Show Signs of Common Ancestry

The viruses that cause diseases as varied as AIDS, hepatitis and West Nile Virus may actually have more in common than was previously thought, new research reveals. According to a study that will appear in the March issue of the journal Molecular Cell, three major groups of viruses use similar mechanisms to replicate their genetic information after they have infiltrated the cells of a host.

There are six broad classes of viruses, each thought to represent a major evolutionary lineage. M

Mouse Study Suggests Anxiety Disorders Take Root in Infancy

The absence of a key signaling protein in the brain during infancy could lead to anxiety disorders later in life, scientists say. According to findings published today in the journal Nature, mice lacking the receptor protein for the chemical messenger serotonin just after birth exhibit abnormal anxiety as adults.

Researchers have known for some time that mice genetically engineered to lack the receptor for serotonin, a neurotransmitter, show anxiety-like behavior. But the new results go one

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Physics and Astronomy

Unexpected deviation in the lifetime

First observation of the nuclear two-photon decay in bare atomic nuclei. For the first time, an international research team, led by GSI/FAIR in Darmstadt, the Institut de recherche sur les…

Towards discovering a second Earth

Engineers and scientists of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA), led by Oliver Krause, developed crucial optical elements for the Coronagraph Instrument (CGI) of the Roman Space Telescope and…

Ten new neutron stars for Terzan 5

An international team led by researchers from AEI Hannover, MPIfR Bonn and NRAO/USA has discovered ten rapidly rotating neutron stars in the globular cluster Terzan 5. Many of them are…

Life Sciences and Chemistry

New antidote for cobra bites discovered

Cheap, available drug could help reduce impact of snakebites worldwide. Scientists at the University of Sydney and Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine have made a remarkable discovery: a commonly used…

Unique characteristics of previously unexplored protein discovered

Freiburg-Prague research collaboration achieves scientific breakthrough in understanding cell division. An international research collaboration, led by Prof. Dr. Robert Grosse (Centre for Integrative Biological Signalling Studies and Institute of Clinical…

The tumour hacker

Vincent Zoete is developing computer tools to fight cancer. The chemist, who heads two groups at the University of Lausanne and the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, predicts the effects of…

Materials Sciences

New technique pinpoints nanoscale ‘hot spots’ in electronics

… to improve their longevity. Borrowing methods from biological imaging, Rochester engineers have developed a way to spot tiny, overheated components that cause electronics’ performance to degrade. When electronic devices…

Caught in the actinium

Researchers grew crystals containing actinium and illuminated them with X-rays to learn how the radioactive metal binds with other elements. That information could help design better cancer treatments. The element…

Microbeads with adaptable fluorescent colors from visible light to near-infrared

Environmentally friendly luminescent material made mainly from plant-derived material. 1. A research team at NIMS has successfully developed an environmentally friendly, microspherical fluorescent material primarily made from citric acid. These…

Information Technology

A new approach to accelerate the discovery of quantum materials

A collaboration yields a powerful combination of high-throughput computation and precise fabrication techniques to accelerate the discovery of quantum defects. Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory…

Pocket-sized invention revolutionizes ability to detect harmful materials

The low-cost cellphone-based Raman spectrometer system can make identifications of unknown biological molecules within minutes. Imagine knowing what berry or mushroom is safe to eat during a hike or swiftly…

Metamaterials for the data highway

A new concept offering the potential for more efficient data storage. Researchers from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR), TU Chemnitz, TU Dresden and Forschungszentrum Jülich have been the first to demonstrate…