Tag Archives: interaction

A virus reveals the physics of nanopores

Nanopores could provide a new way to sequence DNA quickly, but the physics involved isn’t well understood. That’s partly because of the complexities involved in studying the random, squiggly form DNA takes in solution. Researchers from Brown have simplified matters by using a stiff, rod-like virus instead of DNA to experiment with nanopores. Their research has uncovered previously unknown dynamics in polymer-nanopore interactions.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Nanopores may one day lead a revolution in DNA sequencing. By sliding DNA molecules one at a time through tiny holes in a thin membrane, it may be possible to decode long stretches of DNA at lightning speeds. Scientists, however, haven’t quite figured out the physics of how polymer strands like DNA interact with nanopores. Now, with the help of a particular type of virus, researchers from Brown University have shed new light on this nanoscale physics. (more…)

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IBM Survey: Speed and Analytics Key Drivers in Mobile Adoption for Organizations

Half of the Respondents Report a Greater Than 10 Percent Gain in Employee Productivity as a Result of Their Mobile Efforts

ARMONK, N.Y. – 19 Nov 2013: IBM today announced results of a new study revealing that 90 percent of global organizations surveyed are willing to sustain or increase their investments in mobile technologies over the next 12-18 months. One of the reasons for increased investments is the measurable impact on speed and productivity. For example, half of the respondents report a greater than 10 percent gain in employee productivity as a result of their mobile efforts. (more…)

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Watching Earth’s Winds, On a Shoestring

Built with spare parts and without a moment to spare, the International Space Station (ISS)-RapidScat isn’t your average NASA Earth science mission.

Short for Rapid Scatterometer, ISS-RapidScat will monitor ocean winds from the vantage point of the space station . It will join a handful of other satellite scatterometer missions that make essential measurements used to support weather and marine forecasting, including the tracking of storms and hurricanes. It will also help improve our understanding of how interactions between Earth’s ocean and atmosphere influence our climate. (more…)

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UA Study: Evolution Too Slow to Keep Up With Climate Change

A study led by a UA ecologist has found that many species evolve too slowly to adapt to the rapid climate change expected in the next 100 years.

Many vertebrate species would have to evolve about 10,000 times faster than they have in the past to adapt to the rapid climate change expected in the next 100 years, a study led by a University of Arizona ecologist has found.

Scientists analyzed how quickly species adapted to different climates in the past, using data from 540 living species from all major groups of terrestrial vertebrates, including amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. They then compared their rates of evolution to rates of climate change projected for the end of this century. This is the first study to compare past rates of adaption to future rates of climate change.  (more…)

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Mastering Scientific Mumbo Jumbo

About the video: Discusses the interaction between abiotic and biotic factors. The style of the animation is influenced by The Common Craft Show.

Warning: This class will teach students to translate scientific mumbo jumbo into understandable phrases.

Michigan State University’s first, free Massive Open Online Course, or MOOC, also promises to then teach students “to speak mumbo jumbo and amaze your friends.” (more…)

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University of Toronto Study Demonstrates Impact of Adversity on Early Life Development

Study part of growing body of knowledge surrounding gene-environment interplay

TORONTO, ON – It is time to put the nature versus nurture debate to rest and embrace growing evidence that it is the interaction between biology and environment in early life that influences human development, according to a series of studies recently published in a special edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

“Biologists used to think that our differences are pre-programmed in our genes, while psychologists argued that babies are born with a blank slate and their experience writes on it to shape them into the adults they become. Instead, the important question to be asking is, ‘How is our experience in early life getting embedded in our biology?’” says University of Toronto behavioural geneticist Marla Sokolowski. She is co-editor of the PNAS special edition titled “Biological Embedding of Early Social Adversity: From Fruit Flies to Kindergarteners” along with professors Tom Boyce (University of British Columbia) and Gene Robinson (University of Illinois). (more…)

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UCLA Scientists Discover Sleeping Brain Behaves as If It’s Remembering Something

UCLA researchers have for the first time measured the activity of a brain region known to be involved in learning, memory and Alzheimer’s disease during sleep. They discovered that this region, called the entorhinal cortex, behaves as if it’s remembering something, even during anesthesia–induced sleep — a finding that counters conventional theories about sleep-time memory consolidation.

The research team simultaneously measured the activity of single neurons from multiple parts of the brain that are involved in memory formation. The technique allowed them to determine which brain region was activating other areas and how that activation was spreading, said the study’s senior author, Mayank R. Mehta, a professor of neurophysics in UCLA’s departments of neurology, neurobiology, and physics and astronomy. (more…)

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Questions for Rashid Zia: Brown to Lead Multi-University Quantum Metamaterials Research

Through a new Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) awarded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Brown will lead an effort to study new optical materials and their interactions with light at the quantum scale. The initiative, which includes six other top universities, will receive $4.5 million over three years, with a possible two-year extension.

Harnessing the power of light at the quantum scale could clear the way for superfast optical microprocessors, high-capacity optical memory, securely encrypted communication, and untold other technologies. But before any of these potential applications sees the light of day, substantial obstacles must be overcome — not the least of which is the fact that the wavelength of light is larger than quantum-scale objects, limiting the range of possible light-matter interactions. (more…)

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