Fragile X malfunction
Scientists studying Fragile X, the most common form of inherited mental disability, found that scarcity of a particular protein affects the function of ribosomes and likely interferes with the proper production of proteins involved in cognition.
New magnetic material
A metal bilayer that needs only a small shift in temperature to dramatically alter its magnetism could transform computer hard drives and energy storage devices.
Biophysicists map antibiotic resistance
A new map of bacterial reproduction rates and responses to drugs could help drugmakers block the development of antibiotic resistance.
Astronomers go to DC
Read Ramin Skibba's account of his visit to Congress as part of an American Astronomical Society program.
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.
SPRING 2014
Telling twists of light
Cosmologists detected curling patterns in the faint glow of the universe's oldest light that appear to be traces left by cosmic inflation. These same patterns also reveal the large-scale structure of the universe using the cosmic microwave background as an enormous backlight.
An interdisciplinary team from our department of mathematics and the UC Institute for Global Conflict and Cooperation has used data from 600 million cell-phone calls to paint a picture of the population of Milan, a project that made it into the top 10 of more than 650 entries in a recent big data competition.
Crystals ripple in response to light
Light can trigger coordinated, wavelike motions in atom-thin layers of crystal. These phonon polaritons are far shorter than light waves and can be tuned by varying the number of layers of crystal, opening the possibility of using polaritons to convey information in tight spaces, create images at far finer resolution than is possible with light, and manage the flow of heat in nanoscale devices.
Sea surface a sink for nitrogen at night
The salty, rich, organic surface of the sea takes up nitrogen oxides that build up in polluted air at night, new measurements on the coast of southern California have shown. Atmospheric chemists found the ocean removes about 15 percent of these chemicals overnight.