Three New Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators Named

Every three years, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) appoints the nation's most creative biomedical scientists as investigators, giving them millions of dollars to unfetter their ambitious research plans. This year, three of the 56 newly named HHMI investigators come from the California Institute of Technology.

New Rosen Bioengineering Center Funded

Seeing a burgeoning new research field at the interface of biology and engineering, the Benjamin M. Rosen Family Foundation of New York has donated $18 million to the California Institute of Technology to establish the Donna and Benjamin M. Rosen Bioengineering Center.

One of Five Centers of Excellence for Predictive Science

With a $17 million grant from the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), the California Institute of Technology becomes one of five new centers of excellence that will focus on the emerging field of predictive science.

Mechanical Engineers Defy Gravity

On the day that California Institute of Technology mechanical-engineering students will fling projectiles through the air in their annual design competition, two Caltech mechanical-engineering alumni will hurtle through space on the shuttle Endeavor.

New Method for Creating Tough Metallic Glass Composites

Scientists at the California Institute of Technology have developed a new strategy for creating "liquid metal" that makes it able to bend significantly without breaking, while retaining a strength twice that of titanium. It is among the toughest, or least brittle, known materials, and could be used anywhere that strong metal alloys are traditionally found, but may prove most useful in the aerospace industry, where lower density means fuel savings.

New Technique Makes Tissues Transparent

If humans had see-through skin like a jellyfish, spotting disease like cancer would be a snap: Just look, and see a tumor form or grow.

Programming Biomolecular Self-Assembly Pathways

Nature knows how to make proteins and nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) dance to assemble and sustain life. Inspired by this proof of principle, researchers at the California Institute of Technology have demonstrated that it is possible to program the pathways by which DNA strands self-assemble and disassemble, and hence to control the dynamic function of the molecules as they traverse these pathways.

Ortiz Wins Inaugural Prize in Solid Mechanics

Michael Ortiz, the Hayman Professor of Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology, is the first winner of the Rodney Hill Prize in Solid Mechanics. The newly established international prize, which will be awarded every four years, is also the first of its kind in this field.

Pulselike and Cracklike Ruptures in Earthquake Experiments

Lab experiments that mimic the way the ground moves during destructive earthquakes require some sophisticated equipment, and they yield valuable insights. Caltech scientists studying how sliding motion spreads along a fault interface conducted a series of experiments involving ultrafast digital cameras and high-speed laser velocimeters to replicate a range of realistic fault conditions.

Genetic Underpinnings of Wood Digestion by Termite Gut Microbes Revealed

When termites are chewing on your home, your immediate thought probably isn't "I wonder how they digest that stuff?" But biologists have been gnawing on the question for more than a century. The key is not just the termite, but what lives in its gut. A multitude of genes from the microbes populating the hindgut of a termite have been sequenced and analyzed, and the findings reported today in the journal Nature.


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