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Home : Wyss Institute at Harvard

Home : Wyss Institute at Harvard

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Philosophers Stone. Selected views from the boat. by Ninja Bambi I awoke this morning, pondering on the evidence I still witness and experience of the hooks, barbs and velcro that remain deep in our flesh, or which just snag at our clothing from time to time. I see these various forms of hooks as representing some aspect of the control system, the Matrix. Science Update: The Science Radio News Feature of the AAAS May 30, 2014 A biodegradable plastic isolated from shrimp shells could help curb a huge environmental problem. Podcast: Play in new window Transcript BOB HIRSHON (host):

Shattered chromosome cures woman of immune disease Call it a scientific oddity—or a medical miracle. A girl who grew up with a serious genetic immune disease was apparently cured in her 30s by one of her chromosomes shattering into pieces and reassembling. Scientists traced the woman’s improvement to the removal of a harmful gene through this scrambling of DNA in one of her blood stem cells—a recently identified phenomenon that until now had only been linked to cancer. Radioactive Decay Rates Another example is the element Uranium-238 which has 54 more neutrons than its protons (Atomic umber =92). This element gains stability by passing through various types of decays (19 steps-- also known as the Uranium series) and is converted into Pb-206 (atomic number 82).For further information about different types of decay that Uranium goes through, refer to Decay Pathways). Decay Rates

Black Phosphorous: The Birth of a New Wonder Material In the last few years, two-dimensional crystals have emerged as some of the most exciting new materials to play with. Consequently, materials scientists have been falling over themselves to discover the extraordinary properties of graphene, boron nitride, molybdenum disulphide, and so on. A late-comer to this group is black phosphorus, in which phosphorus atoms join together to form a two-dimensional puckered sheet. Last year, researchers built a field-effect transistor out of black phosphorus and showed that it performed remarkably well. Research team edits the DNA of fertilized human embryos For several weeks, rumors have been circulating that a research group in China had performed the first targeted editing of DNA in human embryos. Today, the rumors were confirmed by the appearance of a paper in the journal Protein & Cell, describing genome editing performed at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China. The paper shows that while the technique can work, it doesn't work very efficiently, suggesting there are a lot of hurdles between existing techniques and widespread genetic engineering of humanity. To avoid potential ethical issues, the researchers performed their experiments with embryos that had been fertilized by more than one sperm. While these are regular occurrences in in vitro fertilization procedures, the embryos are inviable and normally discarded.

SBU Team Discovers New Compounds that Challenge the Foundation of Chemistry - Stony Brook University Newsroom current students | faculty & staff | alumni & friends | parents | neighbors | business Home Media Relations This Foot-Long Box Is the Most Advanced Particle Collider in the World The CERN particle collider is 17 miles long. China just announced a supercollider that is supposed to be roughly 49 miles long. The United States' new particle collider is just under 12 inches long. What it lacks in size, it makes up for in having a bunch of plasma inside of it, allowing researchers at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park, Calif., to accelerate particles more than 500 times faster than traditional methods. In a recent test published in Nature, Michael Litos and his team were able to accelerate bunches of electrons to near the speed of light within this tiny chamber.

How Buildings Could Keep Cool without Electricity A material that simultaneously reflects light and radiates heat at frequencies that vent it through the Earth’s atmosphere could one day help cool buildings on hot days. The material cools itself to a temperature below the ambient air, and has been tested on a rooftop at Stanford University by its inventors, who are now working on scaling up the design. The new material uses optical engineering tricks to behave in ways that are counterintuitive and, at first glance, appear to violate the laws of thermodynamics, says Stanford electrical engineer Shanhui Fan, who developed it. Usually the way to let something cool off is to put it somewhere cold; the hot object will radiate its excess heat into the surroundings. Fan’s material becomes cooler than its surroundings by reflecting light and emitting heat at carefully tuned frequencies. Fan figured out a way to make a material that not only radiates in the thermal window, but reflects light like a mirror.

New Evidence That Plants Get Their Energy Using Quantum Entanglement GEORGE DVORSKY | Io9 | Jan 13th 2014 Biophysicists theorize that plants tap into the eerie world of quantum entanglement during photosynthesis. But the evidence to date has been purely circumstantial.

The 'chemputer' that could print out any drug Professor Lee Cronin is a likably impatient presence, a one-man catalyst. "I just want to get stuff done fast," he says. And: "I am a control freak in rehab." Cronin, 39, is the leader of a world-class team of 45 researchers at Glasgow University, primarily making complex molecules.