Physicists at JILA have demonstrated that the warmer a surface is, the stronger its subtle ability to attract nearby atoms, a finding that could affect the design of devices that rely on small-scale interactions, such as atom chips, nanomachines, and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS).

JILA scientists measured how temperature affects the Casimir-Polder force using an apparatus that holds four small squares of glass inside a vacuum chamber. A cloud of ultracold atoms in a Bose-Einstein Condensate (BEC) was held a few micrometers below one piece of glass, and the force was calculated based on the wiggling of the BEC. Warmer glass magnified the attraction between the surface and the atoms. (Credit: E.

For women older than 35, amniocentesis is usually recommended. But the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) is now presenting a new guideline system:

All women should have access to blood tests and ultrasounds and that the results of such measures should guide the decision for more invasive screening, such as amniocentesis.


A public photo from Flickr

Two biologists at Penn State have discovered a master regulator that controls metabolic responses to a deficiency of essential amino acids in the diet. They also discovered that this regulatory substance, an enzyme named GCN2 eIF2alpha kinase, has an unexpectedly profound impact on fat metabolism. "Some results of our experiments suggest interventions that might help treat obesity, prevent Type II diabetes and heart attacks, or ameliorate protein malnutrition," said Douglas Cavener, professor and head of the Department of Biology, who led the research along with Feifan Guo, a research assistant professor.

Physicists have for the first time stopped and extinguished a light pulse in one part of space and then revived it in a completely separate location. They accomplished this feat by completely converting the light pulse into matter that travels between the two locations and is subsequently changed back to light.

Matter, unlike light, can easily be manipulated, and the experiments provide a powerful means to control optical information.

A study at UCL (University College London) finds that a high-prevalence of male-killing bacteria active in many species of insect including the butterfly, actually increases female promiscuity and male fatigue.

The study was carried out on Hypolimnas bolina butterflies in Pacific Island and South-East Asian populations. The islands provide an ideal location because every island is differently affected by the male-killling bacteria so that each has a different ratio of males to females. (Photo Credit: Sylvain Charlat, UCL)

The largest climate change in central North America since the age of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, a temperature drop of nearly 15 degrees Fahrenheit, is documented within the fossilized teeth of horses and other plant-eating mammals, a new study reveals.

The overwhelming majority of previous climate-change studies on the 400,000-year transition from the Eocene to the Oligocene epochs, about 33.5 million years ago, focus on marine environments, but University of Florida vertebrate paleontologist Bruce MacFadden and his colleagues turned their attention to fossils from the Great Plains.

University of Florida vertebrate paleontologist Bruce MacFadden examines a fossil oreodont jaw from Nebraska in the Florida Museu

New research findings may help refine the accepted models used by earth scientists over the past 30 years to describe the ways in which continents clash to form the Earth's landscape.

Eric Calais, an associate professor of geophysics at Purdue University, in collaboration with Ming Wang and Zenghang Shen from the Institute for Geology and Earthquake Science in China, used global positioning systems to record the precise movements of hundreds of points on the continent of Asia over a 10-year period.

A new analysis led by an MIT scientist describes a mechanism for capturing carbon dioxide emissions from a power plant and injecting the gas into the ground, where it would be trapped naturally as tiny bubbles and safely stored in briny porous rock.

This means that it may be possible for a power plant to be built in an appropriate location and have all its carbon dioxide emissions captured and injected underground throughout the life of the power plant, and then safely stored over centuries and even millennia.

Pity the molecular biologist.

The object of fascination for most is the DNA molecule. But in solution, DNA, the genetic material that hold the detailed instructions for virtually all life, is a twisted knot, looking more like a battered ball of yarn than the famous double helix.

"What is a supermodel?" People sometimes ask me. It has a few definitions and sometimes people argue over them, much the way Heidi Klum and Elle MacPherson fight over who is called "The Body." *

But if you're reading this column, your definition of a 'supermodel' is an aspect of complexity science that incorporates multiple variables to try and spit out the best solution.

Ha Ha Ha.