Applied Physics

According to the NIH, you can't be a systems biologist and an experimental geneticist at the same time. The NIH has issued a call for applications to:

"use systems biology approaches to investigate the mechanisms that underlie genetic determination of complex phenotypes.  These projects will combine computational modeling approaches and experimental validation of predictive models."

IBM today announced the first-ever application of a breakthrough self-assembling nanotechnology to conventional chip manufacturing, borrowing a process from nature to build the next generation computer chips.

The natural pattern-creating process that forms seashells, snowflakes, and enamel on teeth has been harnessed by IBM to form trillions of holes to create insulating vacuums around the miles of nano-scale wires packed next to each other inside each computer chip.

Collaborative research between scientists in the UK and USA has led to a major breakthrough in the understanding of antiferromagnets, published in this week's Nature. Scientists at the London Centre for Nanotechnology, the University of Chicago and the Center for Nanoscale Materials at Argonne National Laboratory have used x-rays to see the internal workings of antiferromagnets for the very first time.

By observing changes in coherent X-ray speckle pattern, such as the one shown above, researchers are able for the first time to investigate nanoscale dynamics of antiferromagnetic domain walls, and observe a cross over from classical to quantum behavior. Credit: O.


By monitoring changes in vibrations of bridges it is possible to identify hidden cracks and fractures, according to a Queensland University of Technology researcher.

QUT engineering researcher Henry Shih said variations in bridge vibrations of a bridge could be a telling sign of its structural "health".

Engineers at Washington University in St. Louis have developed a unique photocatlytic cell that splits water to produce hydrogen and oxygen in water using sunlight and the power of a nanostructured catalyst.

The group is developing novel methodologies for synthesis of nanostructured films with superior opto-electronic properties. One of the methods, which sandwiches three semiconductor films into a compact structure on the nanoscale range, is smaller, more efficient and more stable than present photocatalytic methods which require multiple steps and can take from several hours to a day to complete.

Tens of thousands of Americans die each year from secondhand tobacco smoke, according to a 2006 report by the U.S. Surgeon General. While the health risks associated with indoor secondhand smoke are well documented, little research has been done on exposure to toxic tobacco fumes outdoors.

Now, Stanford University researchers have conducted the first in-depth study on how smoking affects air quality at sidewalk cafés, park benches and other outdoor locations. Writing in the May issue of the Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association (JAWMA), the Stanford team concluded that a non-smoker sitting a few feet downwind from a smoldering cigarette is likely to be exposed to substantial levels of contaminated air for brief periods of time.

Researchers at Arizona State University's Polytechnic campus and the Military Amputee Research Program at Walter Reed Army Medical Center are teaming up to create the next generation of powered prosthetic devices based on lightweight energy storing springs.

The device, nicknamed SPARKy, short for Spring Ankle with Regenerative Kinetics, will be a first-of-its-kind smart, active and energy-storing transtibial (below-the-knee) prosthesis.

The major carriers, UPS, FedEx and DHL get put to the test every year with the Great Package Race, a contest to see which carrier can get a package to a very challenging locale the fastest and in the best condition.

A group of 60 logistics students, led by logistics expert John Bartholdi, a professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Georgia Tech, sends identical boxes bound for places like Lomé, Togo and Split, Croatia. With no indication that there's a competition underway, each carrier picks up its parcel, and the race begins.

An international team of scientists led by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and the Department of Energy's (DOE) Joint Genome Institute has peered into the genetic makeup of two species of phytoplankton, the tiny plants key in global photosynthesis and carbon cycling, and come away with surprising results about evolutionary engineering and new ideas about the role that a poorly understood chemical element may play in the world's oceans.

By giving ordinary adult mice a drug - a synthetic designed to mimic fat - Salk Institute scientist Dr. Ronald M. Evans is now able to chemically switch on PPAR-d, the master regulator that controls the ability of cells to burn fat. Even when the mice are not active, turning on the chemical switch activates the same fat-burning process that occurs during exercise. The resulting shift in energy balance (calories in, calories burned) makes the mice resistant to weight gain on a high fat diet.