Methods in belowground botany

Plant root systems play a crucial role in ecosystems, radically impacting everything from nutrient cycling to species composition. Despite their importance, scientists are just beginning to develop the tools to understand ...

Gold for iron nanocubes

One of the major challenges in nanotechnology is the precise control of shape, size and elemental composition of every single nanoparticle. Physical methods are able to produce homogeneous nanoparticles free of surface contamination. ...

Nuclear pore complex outer rings: No longer 'one size fits all'

In eukaryotic cells, the nucleus is walled off from the rest of the cell by the nuclear envelope. All transport into and out of the nucleus occurs via cylindrical channels called nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) that penetrate ...

Scientists develop way to identify topological materials

In the decades since they were first theorized, scientists have suggested that the exotic properties of topological materials—that is, materials that maintain their electrical properties even in the face of radical temperature ...

Zooming in on an inner-cell DNA repair shop

Inside every cell in your body are molecular machines that help package, read, and repair DNA. These protein assemblies are essential to survival, yet we know little about how they function because, until recently, it was ...

In search of new 'sugar cleavers'

Complex sugars play multiple and essential roles in the living world as structural elements (cellulose), reserve substances (starch), and molecular signals (such as those of blood types), among others. This variety of functions ...

Structure of fat-processing enzyme determined

After decades of work with no success, researchers have determined the high-resolution, three-dimensional structure for lipoprotein lipase, the enzyme that processes fats, or triglycerides, in the bloodstream and releases ...

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