Light is made of little particles called photons that usually don’t interact. Imagine how strange it would be if the light from your window ricocheted off the light from computer screen! Our brains couldn’t make sense of these images and we’d be stuck in a blurry—albeit bright—world. Professors Vladan Vuletic and Mikhail Lukin, at MIT have made this mindbender a reality. By shining a weak laser … Continue reading Sticky Light: Physicists discover new Photon Interactions
Elon Musk’s Falcon Heavy rocket launched successfully from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida earlier this week. Musk, The SpaceX CEO, said that the chances of a successful launch might only be 50-50. The Falcon Heavy is the most powerful rocket since the Space Shuttle, and it lifted clear of its pad without incident on February 6, 2018. The aim was to send a car … Continue reading SpaceX Launches Falcon Heavy Rocket Successfully
It’s the middle of February and flu season is in full swing. Perhaps you’ve already experienced the body aches, fever, and fatigue that signal the influenza virus. However, there is a chance that these same symptoms were not caused by the flu. A family of viruses called adenovirus is also making the rounds and resembles the flu. The adenovirus kills significantly fewer people than the … Continue reading Achoo! Is Adenovirus making you sick this winter?
by Patrick Griffin figures by Olivia Foster Wincing slightly, Josiah Zayner depressed the plunger of the syringe in his right hand. “This will modify my genes to give me bigger muscles,” he told the crowd—attendees of a biotechnology conference in San Francisco last October. They nervously laughed and then applauded, having witnessed the first instance of someone trying to edit their own genome using a … Continue reading Edit Thyself: Biohacking in the age of CRISPR
by Lara Roach figures by Aparna Nathan There are trillions of cells in the human body, and each one needs nutrient molecules they can convert into energy or useful chemicals to survive, grow, and divide. Cells can get their “fuel” from a variety of sources, but the most common is the sugar glucose, which is abundant in foods like fruit and honey. When cells transform … Continue reading The Circle of Lactate: How cancer cells can reuse their own waste
Naked mole rats are a peculiar species in the animal kingdom for a number of reasons. These wrinkled rodents are immune to cancer, insensitive to pain, and capable of surviving for up to 18 minutes in zero-oxygen environments. Recently, researchers have discovered that in addition to these peculiarities, naked mole rats — unlike all other mammalian species — simply do not age. In 1825, British … Continue reading Naked Mole Rats: An Exception to the Rule
If you want to admire the beauty behind the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics – topological phases of matter, take a course in topology, followed by graduate-level solid state physics. But if you ask for a concrete application of this topic, you now have an excellent example. Harnessing the concept of topology, scientists have engineered a new way to channel light in lasers. Originally a … Continue reading A Freeway for Light: Topology Protects Lasers from Defects