April 12, 1999

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An extraordinary plan to beam electricity generated on Earth into space to power orbiting communications satellites is under exploration.  A free-electron laser that has been developed here would be used to beam power to these satellites.  The system would allow communication satellites powered by photovoltaics to meet mounting electrical demands.


Cystic fibrosis is the most common fatal genetic disease in the United States today, occurring in approximately one of every 3,300 live births.  Now, scientists have obtained the first three-dimensional look at a member of a large family of proteins that plays a central role in the development of cystic fibrosis.  These proteins are involved in a wide range of vital biological processes and have the abililty to block the therapeutic effects of medications.


In 1964, Gordon Moore, one of the founders of Intel, predicted that the number of elements in advanced integrated circuits would double every 18 months.  Amazingly, "Moore's Law" has held true for 25 years, but it's up against limits.  Soon, a new material will be required to replace inlaid aluminum wires in the semiconductor wafers used to create integrated circuits. Researchers here have devised a new way to inlay copper wires to replace the aluminum.


Exploring the mystery of the surface, atom by atom

Looking at the materials microworld with x-ray eyes

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