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News Archive - Physical Sciences

Study Sheds Light on What Causes Cells to Divide

December 24, 2014

When a rapidly-growing cell divides into two smaller cells, what triggers the split? Is it the size the growing cell eventually reaches? Or is the real trigger the time period over which the cell keeps growing ever larger? A novel study published online today in the journal Current Biology has finally provided an answer to this long unsolved conundrum. And it’s not what many biologists expected.

Tales from a Martian Rock

December 22, 2014

A new analysis of a Martian rock that meteorite hunters plucked from an Antarctic ice field 30 years ago this month reveals a record of the planet's climate billions of years ago, back when water likely washed across its surface and any life that ever formed there might have emerged.

Physicists Explain Puzzling Particle Collisions

December 10, 2014

Composite subatomic structures created by powerful collisions of protons have fallen apart in unexpected ways within a detector in the Large Hadron Collider called LHCb.

Galactic Blowout

December 3, 2014

Stars igniting at rates rarely seen in a distant, massive galaxy are blowing cold, dense gas tens of thousands of light years into space, depleting the galaxy's supply of stellar fuel. The loss will limit future star birth, a driver galactic aging for which evidence has been mounting.

Viral Switches Share a Shape

October 27, 2014

A hinge in the RNA genome of the virus that causes hepatitis C works like a switch that can be flipped to prevent it from replicating in infected cells. Scientists have discovered that this shape is shared by several other viruses—among them one that kills cancer cells.

Cell membranes self-assemble

October 27, 2014

A self-driven reaction can assemble phospholipid membranes like those that enclose cells, a team of chemists at the University of California, San Diego, reports in Angewandte Chemie.

Real-time Readout of Neurochemical Activity

October 27, 2014

Scientists have created cells with fluorescent dyes that change color in response to specific neurochemicals. By implanting these cells into living mammalian brains, they have shown how neurochemical signaling changes as a food reward drives learning, they report in Nature Methods online October 26.

Physicists Solve Longstanding Puzzle of How Moths Find Distant Mates

October 20, 2014

Physicists have come up have with a mathematical explanation for moths’ remarkable ability to find mates in the dark hundreds of meters away.

POLARBEAR Detects Curls in the Universe’s Oldest Light

October 20, 2014

Cosmologists have made the most sensitive and precise measurements yet of the polarization of the cosmic microwave background.

Quantum Design Supports UC San Diego Physics Students with $279,000 Gift

October 17, 2014

Physics majors at the University of California, San Diego will have the opportunity to gain experience and training on the same high-tech tools that industry researchers use, thanks to contributions from Quantum Design. The San Diego-based technology company—which has strong alumni ties to the campus—is providing in-kind and cash gifts totaling $279,000 to update and modernize lab courses and instructional materials in the department of physics.
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