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Cloud formation: How feldspar acts as ice nucleus
In the atmosphere, feldspar particles act as ice nuclei that make ice crystals grow in clouds and enable precipitation. The reason was found by researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and University College London (UCL) with the help of electron microscopy observations and molecular dynamics computer modeling. The ice nucleus proper is a quasi-hidden crystal surface of the feldspar that is exposed at surface defects only. The researchers present their findings in Science. (2016-12-09)

Researchers peer into atom-sized tunnels in hunt for better battery
Battery researchers have used a special electron microscope with atomic-level resolution to show that certain large ions can hold open tunnels in a promising electrode material, so that charge-carrying ions like lithium can enter and exit the electrode easily and quickly -- boosting capacity. (2016-12-08)

Three new ASCB celldance video awards take you inside living cells
Powerful new live cell imaging technologies allow three ASCB member labs to take you inside the world of living cells in three new Celldance short video releases. (2016-12-05)

Overcoming the limitations of optical microscopy
A research group led by Professor Dr. Benjamin Judkewitz at Charité -- Universitätsmedizin Berlin is planning to overcome the limitations of optical microscopy and produce images of deeper tissue layers. The laboratory's endeavors are being funded by the European Research Council, which has allocated a total of €1.49 million over a period of five years. (2016-12-02)

CSU researchers maximize research through new NIH grants
Three researchers from Colorado State University are among the 93 scientists across the country who recently received the Maximizing Investigators' Research Award, or MIRA, from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. (2016-11-29)

Imaging technique measures toxicity of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's proteins
A new super-resolution imaging technique allows researchers to track how surface changes in proteins are related to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. (2016-11-23)

New solution for making 2-D nanomaterials
Two-dimensional (2-D) nanomaterials have been made by dissolving layered materials in liquids, according to new UCL-led research. The liquids can be used to apply the 2-D nanomaterials over large areas and at low costs, enabling a variety of important future applications. (2016-11-21)

Family ties: Immune response size controlled by cell 'inheritance'
Australian and Irish researchers have gained previously unachievable insights into how the size of our immune response is controlled, by developing new imaging and computational biology approaches to follow the behaviour of hundreds of cells. (2016-11-21)

Only half of a chromosome is DNA, 3-D imaging study shows
DNA makes up only half of the material inside chromosomes -- far less than was previously thought -- a study has revealed. (2016-11-21)

Molecular imaging hack makes cameras 'faster'
Rice University scientists introduce super temporal resolution microscopy, a technique to acquire images of and data about molecules that move faster than standard laboratory cameras allow. (2016-11-17)

A new way to image solar cells in 3-D
Berkeley Lab scientists have developed a way to use optical microscopy to map thin-film solar cells in 3-D as they absorb photons. (2016-11-15)

The self-driving microscope
Researchers develop a combination of software and hardware for adaptive live imaging of large living organisms. (2016-11-10)

What makes Francisella such a bad actor?
New technologies and techniques are giving scientists an insider's look behind the notorious infectivity of Francisella tularensis, the cause of tularemia in humans, rabbits and rodents, among others. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classifies F. tularensis as a Category A bioterrorism agent and tracks tularemia cases nationwide. Despite years of study, how these microbes cause such severe disease remains mysterious. This latest study uncovers new toxins related to their virulence. (2016-11-09)

The process of DNA packaging in cell nucleus revealed
Scientists from the Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology, a unit of the Lomonosov Moscow State University have proposed a method of labeling active and inactive genes based on difference in their replication timing. The article has been published in a top-rated journal Current Biology. (2016-11-08)

People power: Technology allows smartphone-based water testing
Ever wondered what's in the neighborhood pond? Technology developed by researchers at the University of Houston will allow you to test for waterborne pathogens by using your smartphone. (2016-11-08)

First multicolor electron microscopy images revealed
The best microscope we have for peering inside of a cell can now produce color images. University of California, San Diego, scientists demonstrate this advancement in electron microscopy -- of the ability to magnify objects up to ten million times -- with photographs of cellular membranes and the synaptic connections between brain cells. The development of multicolor electron microscopy, presented Nov. 3 in Cell Chemical Biology, was jointly overseen by Mark Ellisman and the late Roger Tsien. (2016-11-03)

Smart microscope adapts to changes in live specimens
HHMI/Janelia Research Campus scientists have developed the first adaptive light-sheet microscope -- a smart microscope that continuously analyzes and adapts to dynamic changes in a specimen and thereby improves spatial resolution. (2016-11-03)

Electron kaleidoscope: New technique visualizes multiple objects in many colors
In a paper published online Nov. 3 in Cell Chemical Biology, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Howard Hughes Medical Institute describe a new form of multicolor EM that allows for simultaneous visualization of multiple molecular species. (2016-11-03)

Controlling the properties of matter in two-dimensional crystals
By creating atomic chains in a two-dimensional crystal, researchers at Penn State believe they have found a way to control the direction of materials properties in two and three dimensional crystals with implications in sensing, optoelectronics and next-generation electronics applications. (2016-11-03)

Middle Stone Age ochre processing tools reveal cultural and behavioural complexity
Middle Stone Age humans in East Africa may have employed varied techniques to process ochre for functional and symbolic uses, according to a study published Nov. 2, 2016 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Daniela Rosso from the University of Bordeaux, France, and colleagues. (2016-11-02)

UNM professor developing super-resolution microscopy techniques
For scientists developing life-saving medicines, knowing how cells interact and communicate with one another is an important part of the puzzle. The problem is, being able to see those interactions through a microscope hasn't always been possible. But now, thanks to University of New Mexico Associate Professor Keith Lidke, a new technique has opened the door to allow researchers a better view of cellular interactions. (2016-11-02)

NIST unveils forensic technique to measure mechanical properties of evidence
Judging forensic evidence such as hair by looks alone can be deceiving, as well as vague and subjective. Instead, what if investigators could precisely measure a hair's mechanical properties -- its stiffness and stickiness? In fact, they can, according to recent experiments at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which is developing science-based methods to help ensure rigorous forensic practices. (2016-11-01)

FRET-FLIM optimization shows activity of two signaling molecules in single dendritic spine
Researchers at Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience and Stanford University teamed up to optimize the imaging technique FRET-FLIM to study the activity of different signaling molecules within a single dendritic spine. This optimized technique will increase both accuracy and efficiency of FRET-FLIM imaging experiments and could potentially increase our understanding of how learning and memory ultimately alters the structure and function of dendritic spines. (2016-10-31)

Fluorescent holography: Upending the world of biological imaging
Colorado State University researchers have designed and built a fluorescence-detection microscope that combines 3-D and high-resolution image processing that's also faster than comparable techniques. The work has been published in Optica. (2016-10-25)

A moving story of FHL2 and forces
Researchers from the Mechanobiology Institute at the National University of Singapore have revealed the molecular events leading to the regulation of cell growth and proliferation in response to stiffness of the extracellular matrix that surrounds them. (2016-10-21)

Mathematical analysis reveals architecture of the human genome
Mathematical analysis has led researchers in Japan to a formula that can describe the movement of DNA inside living human cells. Using these calculations, researchers may be able to reveal the 3-D architecture of the human genome. In the future, these results may allow scientists to understand in detail how DNA is organized and accessed by essential cellular machinery. (2016-10-20)

Cell softness predicts corneal transplant success
Stem cell transplantation is a promising strategy for restoring eyesight resulting from corneal damage, but tissue grafts must contain a high percentage of stem cells for clinical success. A Biophysical Journal study reveals that the softness of corneal cells indicates their potential for stem-like activity, including the ability to self-multiply and turn into mature cells. This marker could be used as a rapid and cost-effective approach to enrich for stem-like cells in corneal transplant tissue. (2016-10-18)

Promise of gene therapy for glaucoma shines bright in award-winning image
Whether you see the gossamer wings of a butterfly or the delicate opened petals of a flower, there is beauty in the eye of the beholder -- a mouse retina described and visually captured by scientists at the National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Shiley Eye Institute at UC San Diego Health. (2016-10-17)

Atomic-scale MRI holds promise for new drug discovery
Researchers at the University of Melbourne have developed a way to radically miniaturize a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine using atomic-scale quantum computer technology. (2016-10-11)

'Weighing' atoms with electrons
The chemical properties of atoms depend on the number of protons in their nuclei, placing them into the periodic table. However, even chemically identical atoms can have different masses -- these variants are called isotopes. Publishing in the prestigious open access journal Nature Communications, researchers at the University of Vienna report a new way for 'weighing' atoms by atomic-resolution imaging of graphene, the one-atom-thick sheet of carbon. (2016-10-11)

How cells move
It's a known fact that cells can move around the body, but how they do it has been unknown until now. Researcher in Infection Medicine Pontus Nordenfelt at Lund University in Sweden has managed to describe and visualize cell migration on a molecular level. In time, this could become significant in the treatment of infectious diseases, inflammation, cancer, etc. where cell migration plays an important role. (2016-10-10)

Lights, action, electrons!
For the first time, scientists captured in a video the electrons' movement inside a solar cell. (2016-10-10)

Absolute structure determination: Pushing the limits
It was the Softenon disaster that made the pharmaceutical industry fully aware of the importance of knowing the enantiomeric purity and chirality of drugs and their metabolites. This disaster involved the chiral drug Thalidomide that was sold in the 1950s as a racemate under various brand names such as Contergan and Softenon. (2016-10-05)

Neural membrane's structural instability may trigger multiple sclerosis
Tel Aviv University researchers have discovered an immune system mechanism that may lead to multiple sclerosis. (2016-10-05)

Scavenger cells repair muscle fibers
Everybody knows the burning sensation in the legs when climbing down a steep slope for a long time. It is caused by microruptures in the cell membrane of our muscle fibers. These must be closed as soon as possible or the cell dies off. Researchers at KIT demonstrated that scavenger cells, moving within the muscle, virtually perform nano-surgery to remove the cell's repair patch and restore the cell membrane. (2016-10-05)

Understanding chromatin's cancer connection
New live-cell imaging technique allows Northwestern University researchers to study chromatin's dynamic processes, including its role in cancer and disease. (2016-10-04)

A 'nano-golf course' to assemble precisely nanoparticules
EPFL researchers have developed a method to place and position hundreds of thousands of nanoparticles very precisely on a one centimeter square surface. This will open new doors in nanotechnologies. (2016-10-03)

Rice University lab explores cement's crystalline nature to boost concrete performance
Rice University scientists analyze the crystalline structure of calcium silicates used in cement to maximize the ability to fine-tune the material. The work could help conserve energy and cut carbon emissions. (2016-10-03)

Tooth decay -- drilling down to the nanoscale
With one in two Australian children reported to have tooth decay in their permanent teeth by age 12, researchers from the University of Sydney believe they have identified some nanoscale elements that govern the behavior of our teeth. Material and structures engineers worked with dentists and bioengineers to map the exact composition and structure of tooth enamel at the atomic scale. (2016-09-07)

Japanese research team elucidates structure of bacterial flagellar motor protein
Researchers led by Nagoya University used biochemical techniques and electron microscopy to uncover the structure of the bacterial MotA protein, which forms part of the propeller motor (flagellum). Three-dimensional analysis found it is composed of a transmembrane component and cytoplasmic domain, while MotA molecules were shown to form stable tetramer complexes with other MotA molecules. These findings will aid understanding of the mechanism underlying energy conversion during bacterial movement. (2016-09-07)

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