California Institute of Technology

Better memory with faster lasers

DVDs and Blu-ray disks contain so-called phase-change materials that morph from one atomic state to another after being struck with pulses of laser light, with data "recorded" in those two atomic states. ...

dateJul 02, 2015 in Nanophysics
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Tracking photosynthesis from space

Watching plants perform photosynthesis from space sounds like a futuristic proposal, but a new application of data from NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) satellite may enable scientists to do just ...

dateMay 05, 2015 in Earth Sciences
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How an RNA gene silences a whole chromosome

Researchers at Caltech have discovered how an abundant class of RNA genes, called long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs, pronounced link RNAs) can regulate key genes. By studying an important lncRNA, called Xist, ...

dateApr 27, 2015 in Biotechnology
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Microbes help produce serotonin in gut

Although serotonin is well known as a brain neurotransmitter, it is estimated that 90 percent of the body's serotonin is made in the digestive tract. In fact, altered levels of this peripheral serotonin have ...

dateApr 09, 2015 in Cell & Microbiology
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How iron feels the heat

As you heat up a piece of iron, the arrangement of the iron atoms changes several times before melting. This unusual behavior is one reason why steel, in which iron plays a starring role, is so sturdy and ...

dateFeb 13, 2015 in Condensed Matter
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Can binary terrestrial planets exist?

The possible existence of Earth-like binary planets is being described today at the American Astronomical Society's Division for Planetary Sciences meeting in Tucson, AZ. Two bodies, each of mass similar ...

dateDec 03, 2014 in Astronomy
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