Research News

04/20/2014 06:30:10
Jessica Stoller-Conrad
An experiment just launched into orbit by Caltech researchers could be an important step toward understanding the protein that causes Huntington's disease—a devastating and untreatable hereditary disorder.
09/25/2013 10:58:25
Jessica Stoller-Conrad

A group of researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) has created the optical equivalent of a tuning fork—a device that can help steady the electrical currents needed to power

09/23/2013 09:30:41
Jessica Stoller-Conrad
When termites munch on wood, the small bits are delivered to feed a community of unique microbes living in their guts, and in a complex process involving multiple steps, these microbes turn the hard, fibrous material into a nutritious meal for the termite host. One key step uses hydrogen to convert carbon dioxide into organic carbon—a process called acetogenesis—but little is known about which gut bacteria play specific roles in the process.
09/18/2013 09:02:05
Kimm Fesenmaier
During financial bubbles, such as the one that centered around the U.S. housing market and triggered the Great Recession, some investors react differently than others. New neuroeconomic research at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) has found that the investors most likely to take a risk and fuel bubble markets are those with good "theory of mind" skills—those who are good at "putting themselves in others' shoes." They think the most about the motives behind prices and what other people in the market are likely to do next, but during bubble markets, that actually becomes risky behavior.
09/18/2013 09:28:29
Kimm Fesenmaier
As many as 1 million nematode species are thought to live on Earth, and many are pests or parasites that ravage crops and spread diseases. They also happen to share many genes that are found in humans, and are intensively researched by labs around the world.
09/17/2013 11:14:55
Jessica Stoller-Conrad

During the past century, programmable technologies evolved from spinning gears and vacuum tubes to transistors and microchips.

09/06/2013 15:45:32
Jessica Stoller-Conrad
The industrial technique used to make nitrogen fertilizers mirrors the natural process of nitrogen fixation but requires high heat and pressure. Researchers at Caltech have synthesized a catalyst that allows for nitrogen fixation under much milder conditions.
09/05/2013 10:57:22
Kimm Fesenmaier
Caltech engineers have mimicked lightweight yet strong biological materials by creating nanostructured, hollow ceramic scaffolds, and have found that their small building blocks, or unit cells, display remarkable strength and resistance to failure despite being more than 85 percent air.
08/18/2013 10:00:33
Katie Neith
The human body is full of tiny microorganisms—hundreds to thousands of species of bacteria collectively called the microbiome, which are believed to contribute to a healthy existence. The gastrointestinal (GI) tract—and the colon in particular—is home to the largest concentration and highest diversity of bacterial species. But how do these organisms persist and thrive in a system that is constantly in flux due to foods and fluids moving through it? A team led by California Institute of Technology (Caltech) biologist Sarkis Mazmanian believes it has found the answer, at least in one common group of bacteria: a set of genes that promotes stable microbial colonization of the gut.
08/07/2013 10:00:51
Kimm Fesenmaier

One of the many counterintuitive and bizarre insights of quantum mechanics is that even in a vacuum—what many of us think of as an empty void—all is not completely still.

07/30/2013 16:12:06
Katie Neith
Since 2006, Beverley McKeon, professor of aeronautics and associate director of the Graduate Aerospace Laboratories at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and collaborator Ati Sharma, a senior lecturer in aerodynamics and flight mechanics at the University of Southampton in the U.K., have been working together to build models of turbulent flow. Recently, they developed a new and improved way of looking at the composition of turbulence near walls, the type of flow that dominates our everyday life. Their research could lead to significant fuel savings, as a large amount of energy is consumed by ships and planes, for example, to counteract turbulence-induced drag.
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