RIKEN

Emerging from the vortex

Whether a car or a ball, the forces acting on a body moving in a straight line are very different to those acting on one moving in tight curves. This maxim also holds true at microscopic scales. As such, a ...

Feb 17, 2012
4 / 5 (4) 0

A liquid crystal force to reckon with

A need for fast, solution-based processing of organic electronic devices has sparked increased interest in 'discotic' or disc-shaped liquid crystals. These molecules, which contain a flat aromatic core surrounded ...

May 02, 2013
4 / 5 (4) 0

Bringing life into focus

Spinning-disk confocal microscopy is an optical imaging technique that can be used to generate detailed three-dimensional fluorescence images of living cells and their contents. Although a powerful tool for ...

May 17, 2013
4 / 5 (4) 0 | with audio podcast

Solving a complex protein problem

Many proteins undergo processing within cellular compartments called the endoplasmic reticulum and the Golgi apparatus. Transit between these structures is facilitated by transport vesicles, which bubble ...

Feb 14, 2014
4 / 5 (4) 0

Untangling a protein's influences

Most proteins have multiple moving parts that rearrange into different conformations to execute particular functions. Such changes may be induced by molecules in the immediate environment, including water ...

Jan 06, 2012
5 / 5 (3) 0

Longer-lasting chemical catalysts

Metal-based chemical catalysts have excellent green chemistry credentials—in principle at least. In theory, catalysts are reusable because they drive chemical reactions without being consumed. In reality, ...

Jan 13, 2012
5 / 5 (3) 0 | with audio podcast

Giant cell reveals metabolic secrets

Chemical reactions within the cell produce intermediate and end products in the form of small molecules called metabolites. Using an approach called metabolomics, a Japanese research team led by Kazuki Saito ...

Jan 27, 2012
5 / 5 (3) 0

What lies beneath: Mapping hidden nanostructures

The ability to diagnose and predict the properties of materials is vital, particularly in the expanding field of nanotechnology. Electron and atom-probe microscopy can categorize atoms in thin sheets of material, ...

Feb 10, 2012
5 / 5 (3) 1

Another piece of the ion pump puzzle

From bacteria to humans, all cells use molecules of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) as fuel to power a broad range of biochemical reactions. For example, massive multi-subunit enzymes known as V-ATPases convert ...

Mar 16, 2012
5 / 5 (3) 0