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APS Physics - Weekly NewsBrief
Nov. 10, 2009
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Why Blood Cells Move in Slippers
from Physics World
Physicists in France and the U.S. claim to have discovered why red blood cells adopt asymmetrical "slipper" shapes in small blood vessels. If correct, the knowledge could be used to diagnose certain diseases that affect cell structure, although not everyone agrees with the researchers' conclusions. Full Article
Click here for free access to the paper and a synopsis of the research available at APS Physics.

Baby Neutron Star Found Inside Supernova Remnant
from Wired
Scientists have finally identified the mysterious source of X-ray emissions at the center of our galaxy's youngest supernova: Inside the remains of Cassiopeia A sits a baby neutron star surrounded by a thin layer of carbon. Full Article

Laser Creates Record-breaking Protons
from Physics World
An international group of physicists working at the Los Alamos Laboratory in the U.S. has used a laser to generate 67.5 MeV protons the highest-energy protons yet produced in this way. Their work points the way to new laser-based devices for proton therapy, which would be far smaller and cheaper than existing particle-accelerator sources. Full Article

Tweak Gravity: What If There Is No Dark Matter?
from Scientific American
Theorists and observational astronomers are hot on the trail of dark matter. But some researchers have taken to approaching the problem from the other direction: What if the discrepancy arises from a flaw in our theory of gravity rather than from some provider of mass that we cannot see? Full Article

Signature of Antimatter Detected in Lightning
from Wired
Designed to scan the heavens thousands to billions of light-years beyond the solar system, the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has now recorded some more down-to-Earth signals. During its first 14 months of operation, the flying observatory has detected 17 gamma-ray flashes associated with terrestrial lightning storms. Full Article

Colliding White Dwarfs May Mimic Supernovae Used to Gauge Astronomical Distances
from Scientific American
Stellar explosions known as type Ia supernovae have proved invaluable to astrophysicists as markers of cosmic distance. But alternative supernova starting conditions could complicate their use in future high-precision distance measurements. Full Article

Nanoparticles Can Damage DNA Without Crossing Cellular Barrier
from Popular Science
Scientists know that nanoparticles can damage DNA in cells through direct interaction. Now, though, it appears that nanoparticles can also mess with DNA on the far side of a cellular barrier, by creating signaling molecules -- a never-before-seen phenomenon. Full Article

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Tomorrow's Weather: Cloudy, With a Chance of Fractals
from NewScientist
An international team of researchers analyzing signals from satellites, aircraft and ground-based stations have found clear evidence that the apparent complexity of the atmosphere could really be an illusion. Full Article

Fundamental Physics Enters War on Cancer
from Physics World
The U.S. is setting up a dozen new research centers to explore novel ways in which physics can be applied to the treatment of cancer. The centers are being funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as part of a five-year project, worth a total of $22.7m in its first year. Each center will bring a non-traditional approach to oncology by considering the physical properties and dynamics of cancerous cells. Full Article

Invisibility Uncloaked
from Science News
Ulf Leonhardt is riding high these days, with a new award from the Royal Society of Great Britain to further develop his ideas on how to make things in plain sight disappear. Full Article


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