News

09/16/2011 07:00:00
Kimm Fesenmaier

An international team led by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory has used radar sounding technology developed to explore the subsurface of Mars to create high-resolution maps of freshwater aquifers buried deep beneath a desert on Earth.

09/15/2011 07:00:00
Kimm Fesenmaier

As we take in the world around us, learn, and form memories, the synapses between neurons in our brains are constantly being modified. Some get stronger, while others are allowed to shrink or get weaker. The network of enzyme-regulated chemical reactions that control these modifications is complex, to say the least. Now Mary Kennedy, the Allen and Lenabelle Davis Professor of Biology at Caltech, has come up with a way to tease apart the elusive details of that network. 

09/14/2011 07:00:00
Katie Neith

After a successful lift off on Saturday, September 10, NASA's twin Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) spacecrafts are headed toward the moon to study its gravity field. The two solar-paneled spacecrafts are expected to reach lunar orbit at the end of the year. 

 

09/13/2011 07:00:00
Kathy Svitil

This evening at 11 p.m. EDT, a team of students from Caltech and the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) will start unloading CHIP—or the "Compact Hyper-Insulated Prototype" house, Caltech and SCI-Arc's entry in the biennial Solar Decathlon competition in Washington, D.C.—from a flatbed truck and will begin the time-consuming process of reassembling the structure on the National Mall.

09/12/2011 07:00:00
Katie Neith

Deadline can be a dirty word for students and faculty alike at Caltech, since innovative research rarely adheres to time constraints. But this week, an international group of 32 students are taking on a particularly ambitious project that will push the limits of both time and space. As participants in the Caltech Space Challenge, they are tasked with designing a human mission to an asteroid by Friday, giving them just five days to complete a project that typically takes years. 

 

09/09/2011 07:00:00
Jean-Lou Chameau

On Sunday, our nation will mark the 10th anniversary of the tragic events of 9/11. I was reflecting on this milestone, and on the turbulent character of this past decade, when I heard an interview with columnist Tom Friedman on the challenges facing the U.S. right now. 

09/09/2011 07:00:00
Katie Neith

Some people feel compelled to pet every furry animal they see on the street, while others jump at the mere sight of a shark or snake on the television screen. No matter what your response is to animals, it may be thanks to a specific part of your brain that is hardwired to rapidly detect creatures of the nonhuman kind. In fact, researchers from Caltech and UCLA report that neurons throughout the amygdala—a center in the brain known for processing emotional reactions—respond preferentially to images of animals.

09/08/2011 16:00:00
Kimm Fesenmaier

Caltech researchers have obtained the first high-resolution, three-dimensional images of a cell with a nucleus undergoing cell division. The observations, made using a powerful imaging technique in combination with a new method for slicing cell samples, indicate that one of the characteristic steps of mitosis is significantly different in some cells.

 

09/07/2011 07:00:00
Katie Neith

The Athenaeum had a certain je ne sais quoi about it last night, but it wasn't a Provence-themed dinner or a champagne tasting event. Charles Elachi, director of JPL, was formally inducted into the French Legion, known in its native tongue as the Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur. The award, which is the highest decoration of the French Republic, was presented by François Delattre, Ambassador of France to the United States. 

 

09/06/2011 07:00:00
Kimm Fesenmaier

Caltech senior Wilson Ho spent his summer completing a SURF project in the lab of Robert Grubbs, one of the winners of the 2005 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Ho tells his nonscientist friends and family that the goal of his project is to develop "stem-cell Band-Aids" that might one day help restore vision in those suffering from macular degeneration.