Apr 03 Reblogged
Physicists Gain More Particle Control
Cornell physicists can now precisely control how particles in viscous liquids swirl, twirl and whirl. Think of coffee and adding cream – and gaining control of the particles in the cream. Understanding this concept could allow chemists, physicists and engineers to better detect molecules, control the mixture of nanoscale particles and enhance self-assembly in solutions.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2013/03/physicists-gain-more-particle-control
Mar 25 Reblogged
Tell me if you’ve heard this one: Two scientists walk into a metal show, and notice that fans behave like molecules in a gas.
Nov 08 Reblogged
The DNA of a Eukaryotic chromosome forms a fractal helix with five iterations of coiling. The fractal shape allows for all sizes of the chromosome to be unpacked and transcribed efficiently, from individual genes to long sections of DNA with thousands of co-dependent genes and regulatory sequences. It has been hypothesized that DNA can act as a fractal antenna which responds to electromagnetic waves in the environment by packing or unpacking its helicies.
Video Credit: Drew Barry
Sep 12 Reblogged
Half a dozen times each night, your slumbering body performs a remarkable feat of coordination.
During the deepest throes of sleep, the body’s support systems run on their own timetables. Nerve cells hum along in your brain, their chitchat generating slow waves that signal sleep’s nether stages. Yet, like buses and trains with overlapping routes but unsynchronized schedules, this neural conversation has little to say to your heart, which pumps blood to its own rhythm through the body’s arteries and veins. Air likewise skips into the nostrils and down the windpipe in seemingly random spits and spats. And muscle fluctuations that make the legs twitch come and go as if in a vacuum. Networks of muscles, of brain cells, of airways and lungs, of heart and vessels operate largely independently.
Every couple of hours, though, in as little as 30 seconds, the barriers break down. Suddenly, there’s synchrony. All the disjointed activity of deep sleep starts to connect with its surroundings. Each network — run via the group effort of its own muscular, cellular and molecular players — joins the larger team.
This change, marking the transition from deep to light sleep, has only recently been understood in detail — thanks to a new look at when and how the body’s myriad networks link up to form an übernetwork.
Jul 25 Reblogged
After exploring for 25-years, scientists have solved the question of how the iconic family of caged-carbon molecules known as buckyballs form.
The results from the Florida State University and the National Science Foundation-supported National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, or MagLab, in Tallahassee, Fla., shed fundamental light on the self-assembly of carbon networks. The findings should have important implications for carbon nanotechnology and provide insight into the origin of space fullerenes, which are found throughout the Universe.
Many people know the buckyball, also know as fullerene by scientists, molecule, C60, from the covers of their school chemistry books. Indeed, the molecule represents the iconic image of “chemistry.” But how these often highly symmetric, beautiful molecules with extremely fascinating properties form in the first place has been a mystery. Despite worldwide investigation since the 1985 discovery of C60, fullerene has kept its secrets. How? It’s born under highly energetic conditions and grows ultra fast.
“The difficulty with fullerene formation is that the process is literally over in a flash – it’s next to impossible to see how the magic trick of their growth was performed,” says Paul Dunk, lead author of the work.
In the study, published in Nature Communications at the end of May, the scientists describe their ingenious approach to testing how fullerenes grow. “We started with a paste of pre-existing fullerene molecules mixed with carbon and helium, shot it with a laser, and instead of destroying the fullerenes we were surprised to find they’d actually grown.” The fullerenes were able to absorb and incorporate carbon from the surrounding gas.
The buckyball research results will be important for understanding fullerene formation in extraterrestrial environments. Recent reports by NASA showed that crystals of C60 are in orbit around distant suns. This suggests that fullerenes may be more common in the Universe than we thought.
“The results of our study will surely be extremely valuable in deciphering fullerene formation in extraterrestrial environments,” said FSU’s Harry Kroto, a Nobel Prize winner for the discovery of C60 and co-author of the current study.
Jun 26 Reblogged
The major constituent of sand is silicon dioxide (SiO2), also known silica. Silicon dioxide is the most common compound in the Earth’s crust.
Jun 26 Reblogged
When a falling liquid jet hits a horizontal impacter, it is deflected into a sheet. The shape of the sheet is dependent upon the velocity of the jet and the viscosity of the fluid. At sufficiently high speeds the sheet will be circular; at lower speeds it may sag into a bell-shape. The circular sheets can also develop an instability that causes them to become polygonal, as shown in the photos above. The fluid then flows out along the sheet, into and along the rim, and then spouts outward in jets at the polygon’s corners. For some conditions, the jets at the corners even form a sort of fluid chain (top photo). (Photo credit: R. Buckingham and J. W. M. Bush; via 14-billion-years-later)
Apr 05 Reblogged
Cancer Diagnosis: Now Using Nano Star Fruit
Star-fruit-shaped nanorods, grown in the lab from gold nanowires with pentagonal cross-sections, could dramatically improve chemical sensing techniques.
The research may help to improve sensing of organic molecules, including biomarkers for diseases such as cancer. “There are many cancers where the diagnostics depend on the lowest concentration of the biomarker that can be detected,” says Eugene Zubarev of Rice University in Houston, Texas, who led the research.
The nanorods returned signals 25 times stronger than conventional smooth-surfaced nanorods when using surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy, a popular technique for detecting organic molecules. Raman spectroscopy determines the molecular structure of compounds by measuring the way they scatter monochromatic light, usually from a laser source.
Surprisingly, the researchers are not sure as to why the nanorods take a star like shape, but these nanorods definitely have a tasty future in chemical imaging!
Panspermia (Greek: πανσπερμία from πᾶς/πᾶν (pas/pan) “all” and σπέρμα (sperma) “seed”) is the hypothesis that life exists throughout the Universe, distributed by meteoroids, asteroids and planetoids.
Panspermia proposes that life that can survive the effects of space, such as extremophile bacteria, become trapped in debris that is ejected into space after collisions between planets that harbor life and Small Solar System Bodies (SSSB). Bacteria may travel dormant for an extended amount of time before colliding randomly with other planets or intermingling with protoplanetary disks. If met with ideal conditions on a new planet’s surfaces, the bacteria become active and the process of evolution begins. Panspermia is not meant to address how life began, just the method that may cause its sustenance.
The related but distinct idea of exogenesis (Greek: ἔξω (exo, “outside”) and γένεσις (genesis, “origin”)) is a more limited hypothesis that proposes life on Earth was transferred from elsewhere in the Universe but makes no prediction about how widespread it is. Because the term “exogenesis” is more well-known, it tends to be used in reference to what should strictly speaking be called panspermia.
169 years after its discovery, Doppler effect found even at molecular level
Whether they know it or not, anyone who’s ever gotten a speeding ticket after zooming by a radar gun has experienced the Doppler effect – a measurable shift in the frequency of radiation based on the motion of an object, which in this case is your car doing 45 miles an hour in a 30-mph zone.
But for the first time, scientists have experimentally shown a different version of the Doppler effect at a much, much smaller level – the rotation of an individual molecule.