Submitted by kfesenma on Fri, 2013-01-11 16:03
The brain needs its surroundings to be just right. That is, unlike some internal organs, such as the liver, which can process just about anything that comes its way, the brain needs to be protected and to have a chemical environment with the right balance of proteins, sugars, salts, and other metabolites.
Submitted by mwoo on Thu, 2013-01-10 08:31
It's the mystery of the curiously dense cloud. And astronomers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) are on the case.
Near the crowded galactic center, where billowing clouds of gas and dust cloak a supermassive black hole three million times as massive as the sun—a black hole whose gravity is strong enough to grip stars that are whipping around it at thousands of kilometers per second—one particular cloud has baffled astronomers. Indeed, the cloud, dubbed G0.253+0.016, defies the rules of star formation.
Submitted by mwoo on Wed, 2013-01-02 18:00
Look up at the night sky and you'll see stars, sure. But you're also seeing planets—billions and billions of them. At least.
That's the conclusion of a new study by astronomers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) that provides yet more evidence that planetary systems are the cosmic norm. The team made their estimate while analyzing planets orbiting a star called Kepler-32—planets that are representative, they say, of the vast majority in the galaxy and thus serve as a perfect case study for understanding how most planets form.
Submitted by kfesenma on Tue, 2012-12-18 11:46
Protein engineers at Caltech have tapped into a hidden talent of one of nature's most versatile catalysts. The enzyme cytochrome P450 is nature's premier oxidation catalyst—a protein that typically promotes reactions that add oxygen atoms to other chemicals. Now the Caltech researchers have engineered new versions of the enzyme, unlocking its ability to drive a completely different and synthetically useful reaction that does not take place in nature.
Submitted by katien on Wed, 2012-12-12 17:00
For over 25 years, Paul Sternberg has been studying worms—how they develop, why they sleep, and, more recently, how they communicate. Now, he has flipped the script a bit by taking a closer look at how predatory fungi may be tapping into worm conversations to gain clues about their whereabouts.
Submitted by kfesenma on Fri, 2012-12-07 15:44
Caltech electrical engineers have developed inexpensive silicon microchips that generate and radiate terahertz (THz) waves. These high-frequency electromagnetic waves fall into a largely untapped region of the electromagnetic spectrum—between microwaves and far-infrared radiation—and can penetrate a host of materials without the ionizing damage of X-rays.