January 14, 2002

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 kinky superconductors


Researchers working at the Advanced Light Source have discovered, in three different families of high-temperature superconductors, "kinks" in the energy spectrum of low-energy electrons — the signature of coupling between electrons and phonons. Electron-phonon coupling accounts for low-temperature superconductivity in metals and alloys, but most scientists did not expect to find it in high-temperature, copper-oxide superconductors.

comparative genomics at the JGI: an interview


Mice, puffer fish, sea squirts: what do these creatures have to do with humans? To find out why scientists are comparing their genomes — and those of many other creatures — Science Beat interviewed Trevor Hawkins, director of the Joint Genome Institute; Paul Richardson, JGI's head of functional genomics; and Dan Rokhsar, JGI's head of computational genomics.

challenging the standard model of physics

Z particles carry the weak nuclear force, and the measurement of their decay spells trouble for the theory that has successfully explained fundamental physics since the 1970s. A Berkeley Lab theorist argues that whether scientists accept the measurement as valid or dismiss it as an anomaly, the Standard Model loses.


Researchers have found the strongest evidence to date that atomic nuclei undergo "phase transitions," changing from a liquid to a vapor state.

The architecture of a water channel protein reveals how it can quickly transport water through the cell membrane while blocking everything else.

Two proteins that construct "silent" regions of chromosomes also help build the special structures cell need for accurate chromosome copying during cell division.

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