Technology

Solving for nuclear structure in light nuclei

In nuclei, all the fundamental forces of nature are at play. The dense region at the centre of an atom — where the protons and neutrons are found — is a place where scientists can test their understanding of the fundamental interactions of the smallest building blocks of matter in the universe. Saori Pastore, assistant […]

Technology

Identifying the structure and function of a brain hub

Our ability to pay attention, plan, and troubleshoot involve cognitive processing by the brain’s prefrontal cortex. The balance of activity among excitatory and inhibitory neurons in the cortex, based on local neural circuits and distant inputs, is key to these cognitive functions. A recent study from the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT shows […]

Technology

Software for determining the 3D structure of proteins

A new software package aims to aid drug design and biomedical research by making it easy to construct 3D images of proteins and other molecules using one of the world’s most powerful microscopes. Amit Singer, professor of mathematics and the Program in Applied and Computational Mathematics, and his team are developing a package they call Algorithms for Single […]

Technology

Raised blood pressure and diabetes alter brain structure to slow thinking speed and memory

In a new study published neuroscientists at Oxford University have found that raised blood pressure and diabetes in mid-life alter brain structure to slow thinking speed and memory. Looking at results from 22,000 volunteers in the UK Biobank who underwent brain scanning, the scientists found that raised blood pressure and diabetes significantly impaired the brain’s […]

Technology

Repulsion mechanism between neurons governs fly brain structure

Researchers at Kanazawa University report in Nature Communications the discovery that in the developing fly brain, neurons stemming from the same parent cell experience repulsion. This lineage-dependent repulsion is regulated by a protein known as Dscam1. Figure 1. Dscam regulates lineage-dependent repulsion. Neurons of the same lineage repel each other and project to different columns […]

Technology

Graphene additives show a new way to control the structure of organic crystals

A team of researchers at The University of Manchester has demonstrated that the surface properties of graphene can be used to control the structure of organic crystals obtained from solution. Organic crystal structures can be found in a large number of products, such as food, explosives, colour pigments and pharmaceuticals. However, organic crystals can come in different […]

Technology

Researchers identify structure of ‘blue whirls’

“Blue whirls” — small, spinning blue flames that produce almost no soot when they burn — have attracted interest since their discovery in 2016, in part because they represent a potential new avenue for low-emission combustion. Now, a team of U.S. National Science Foundation-funded researchers at the University of Maryland and Texas A&M University has identified how these […]