Sulfur signals & climate
Worldwide fires following a huge El Niño left traces of anomalous sulfur isotopes in the Antarctic snow. The signals reveal the importance of overlooked atmospheric chemistry for understanding climate, past and future.
Super 2D crystals
A superfluid gas formed in layers of atom-thin crystals could induce superconductivity at high temperatures.
Strain of departing ions
Novel imaging reveals strain in single nano particles as a lithium ion battery discharges, yielding insights that could guide the design of batteries with longer lives.
It helps to relax
DNA packs more easily into the tight confines of a virus when given a chance to relax.
Fall 2014
Elizabeth Villa, who just joined the chemistry faculty, is helping to develop a focused-ion-beam microscope for biological applications. “We can create 3D pictures of the cells called tomograms,” she says, like a CT scan, except the cells are a million times smaller.
Genetic elements within stretchy chromatin and a mesh of nuclear proteins bounce back and forth until they meet and establish interactions. Biologists and physicists join forces in this Quantitative Biology collaboration.
Molecular mimic guides stem cells toward fate
Chemists synthesized molecular mimics of sugar-decorated proteins that stud the surfaces of embryonic stem cells and found the molecules could guide cells toward a neural fate.
Speed bump in quantum computing eliminated
A quantum particle can search an unsorted "database" faster than a classical computer ever could by jumping from one item to another in superposition. A new analysis demonstrates that the range of data structures that could support quantum speeds is broader than we thought.
Questions, comments, news tips? Luminance is a quarterly index to news from UC San Diego's Division of Physical Sciences. Send comments to scinews@ucsd.edu.