The mechanisms that trigger the elimination of T cells that pose autoimmune dangers work very mechanically via physical forces. T cell precursors must loosen their grip on human antigens within a reasonable time in order to advance to being T cells and defend the body. But if precursor T cells, thymocytes, grip the human antigens too tightly, the immune cells must die. Here's how the grip of death works.
Exploring the mystery of the molecular handedness in nature, scientists have proposed a new experimental scheme to create custom-made mirror molecules for analysis. The technique can make ordinary molecules spin so fast that they lose their normal symmetry and shape and instead form mirrored versions of each other. The research team from DESY, Universität Hamburg and University College London around group leader Jochen Küpper describes the innovative method in the journal Physical Review Letters.
Scientists have used high pressure and high temperature experiments to recreate an unusually complex form of nitrogen in the lab for the first time.
Scientists at HZB have found evidence that double layers of graphene have a property that may let them conduct current completely without resistance. They probed the band structure at BESSY II with extremely high resolution ARPES and could identify a flat area at a surprising location.
The research team of Pavel Jungwirth from IOCB Prague has discovered a previously unknown mechanism by which short peptides are able to penetrate cells and, in principle, could serve as carriers of drug molecules.
Fluids exhibiting scaling behavior can be found in diverse physical phenomena, observed when these fluids reach a critical point. In a recent study published in EPJ B, Michal Hnatič from Šafárik University in Košice, Slovakia, and colleagues investigate the influence of ambient turbulent speed fluctuations in physical systems when they reach a critical point.
Excited photo-emitters can cooperate and radiate simultaneously, a phenomenon called superfluorescence. Researchers from Empa and ETH Zurich, together with colleagues from IBM Research Zurich, have recently been able to create this effect with long-range ordered nanocrystal superlattices. This discovery could enable future developments in LED lighting, quantum sensing, quantum communication and future quantum computing. The study has just been published in the renowned journal Nature.
Björn Alling, researcher in theoretical physics at Linköping University, has, together with his colleagues at the Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung in Düsseldorf, completed the task given to him by the Swedish Research Council in the autumn of 2014: Find out what happens inside magnetic materials at high temperatures.
Previously, in order to study cell membranes, researchers would often have to freeze samples. The proteins within these samples would not behave like they would in a normal biological environment. Now, using an atomic force microscope, researchers can observe individual proteins in an unfrozen sample -- acting in a normal biological environment. This new observation tool could help scientists better predict how cells will behave when new components are introduced.
For the first time, scientists have created, from scratch, self-assembling protein filaments built from identical protein subunits that snap together spontaneously to form long, helical, thread-like configurations. Protein filaments are essential components of several structural and moving parts in living cells, as well as many body tissues. Being able to design and build protein filaments could allow for engineering novel materials for nano-electronics or scaffolds for new diagnostic tests.