Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Artificial crystals get their own textbook laws

Posted on October 14th 2011 in News with Comments Off on Artificial crystals get their own textbook laws

This article was written for New Scientist. You can read the full piece here.  

Organ donors should get free funeral

Posted on October 11th 2011 in News with Comments Off on Organ donors should get free funeral

This article was written for New Scientist. You can read the full piece here.

Ancient cave paintings threatened by tourist plans

Posted on October 6th 2011 in News with Comments Off on Ancient cave paintings threatened by tourist plans

This article was written for New Scientist. You can read the full piece here.

Top banana fights fungal infection

Posted on May 28th 2011 in News with Comments Off on Top banana fights fungal infection

A new genetically modified strain of banana resistant to a fungal disease may help boost profit yields for some of the poorest farmers in East Africa. For the past 30 years, the humble banana has been under attack from a fungal invader known as Black sigatoga disease. Caused by the fungus Mycosphaerella fijiensis, it causes dark leaf spots which eventually kill the plant, decimating fruit yields. The disease has spread throughout East Africa by airborne spores or from contaminated fruit being exported. The team from Uganda’s National Agricultural Research Laboratories Institute added genes for chitinase – a protein that breaks…

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Sting bomb detector

Posted on May 10th 2011 in News with Comments Off on Sting bomb detector

An instrument capable of detecting single molecules of explosives such as TNT has been cobbled together using carbon nanotubes and bee venom proteins. The detector draws upon the discovery that carbon nanotubes emit a specific spectrum of infra-red light dependent on the chemical environment. Carbon nanotubes, by themselves, are not able to detect TNT. When coated with a protein derived from bumble bee venom known as bomboliti, however, the nanotubes became sensitive to the TNT molecules. TNT alters the 3D structure of the bomboliti protein, which in turn cause the nanotubes to emit a characteristic fingerprint of infra-red light that…

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