Latest News

Improving mobility in the city through research

Every citizen dreams of spending less time in traffic jams, away from polluted air, while continuing to enjoy the same level of mobility and quality of life as today. On Thursday, 31 January, Commissioner for Research Philippe Busquin will participate in the conference “Towards Sustainable Urban Mobility” jointly organised by the European Commission and the European Parliament. The objective of this Conference is to present a network of ten projects in the field of land use and transport funded unde

Cylinders make circuits spontaneously

Carbon nanotubes assemble themselves into electronic grids

Tiny electrical circuits with a single molecule for each wire have been created in the United States 1 . These grids could replace silicon chips, making computers and memory devices much more compact and powerful than they are today.

The grids comprise carbon nanotubes – long, hollow cylinders of pure carbon a few millionths of a millimetre (nanometres) across and several thousand nanometres long. Dep

Air traffic tussles up annoyance

Controversies over new airport runways make locals more noise-sensitive.

Public controversy surrounding the impending building of a runway may make locals much more sensitive to increased aircraft noise than planners predict. A new study warns that it could be easy to underestimate the impact of changes such as those proposed for Britain’s Heathrow Airport.

A new runway began operating at Vancouver International Airport in 1996 after highly publicized local objection to

Car work for quantum mechanics

A quantum afterburner extracts laser light from vehicle exhaust.

The hot gases belching out of your car’s exhaust are not just useless waste. They are a laser waiting to happen, says physicist Marlan Scully1.

All you need to harness this potential, suggests Scully, of Texas A&M University in College Station, is a quantum afterburner. This hypothetical modification would use quantum mechanics to boost the engine’s efficiency by clawing back waste heat and turning it

Clamping down on a cancer-causing protein

Many of today’s medicines were discovered by trial and error: a substance is found which helps alleviate the symptoms of a disease, and it may take years before scientists really understand how it works. Typically they find that a drug has its effects by attaching itself to a particular molecule in a cell and blocking part of its activity, the way you might prevent someone from turning a light on or off by putting a lock over the switch. Scientists now hope to take the opposite approach, and custom-d

China leads GM revolution

Government funding puts Chinese plant biotechnology second only to US

While westerners vacillate about the risks and benefits of genetically modified (GM) crops, China is embracing the technology. A new survey shows that the Chinese are working on more plant biotechnology products than anyone outside North America1.

Chinese research institutes claim to have developed 141 GM plants, 65 of which have been approved for release into the environment. Scott Rozelle, an agricultura

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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…