Cornell Lab Discovers New Regulatory Mechanism of Protein, Sheds Light on Importance of Cornell’s High Energy Synchrotron Source

Proteins are strikingly complex macromolecules, which control every aspect of molecular function in all living organisms, making them an interesting research target. The Ando Lab studies the structure of proteins, specifically enzymes, in order to understand their function, using structural techniques like x-ray diffraction and small-angle x-ray scattering. These techniques allow for the visualization of atomic and molecular structure of proteins. Small-angle x-ray scattering is a technique used to study the structure of proteins in solution. SAXS maintains an advantage over other techniques because it allows for the understanding of the movement of proteins; however a caveat to SAXS is its lower resolution, creating the need for combinatorial approaches to studying proteins such as combining SAXS with chromatography.

Recap | Quantum Puzzles, Quantum Randomness and Quantum Teleportation

Quantum teleportation may sound like a futuristic means of travel, but it occurs at the particle level. It can enable encryption that is essentially unbreakable. As part of the physics department’s Fall 2016 Bethe Lecture, Prof. Anton Zeilinger, physics, University of Vienna, discussed concepts in quantum theory that could revolutionize information technology. The Bethe Lectures is a lectureship endowed by Cornell University to honor Hans Albrecht Bethe, who led the physics department and was awarded the 1967 Nobel Prize in physics for his contributions to the theory of nuclear reactions. Quantum physics describes the nature of matter on the atomic and subatomic scale.

Cornell researchers have transformed a microscope into a local pressure gauge, as shown by this illustration.

Researchers Measure 3D Force in Matter at the Single-Particle Scale

What started as a question to the A-exam became a revolutionary discovery in the material science field. Neil Y.C. Lin — a graduate student from Cornell University pursuing a physics Ph.D. — was asked if it was possible to measure forces at the single particle scale, given that the current methods can only measure said forces at bulk scale (in groups) on his A-exam. A-exam is an exam where Ph.D. candidates must attempt to answer questions that not even the professors know the answers to. This question led Lin to work with Prof. Itai Cohen, physics, Prof. James Sethna, physics, Matthew Bierbaum grad and Prof. Peter Schall, physics, University of Amsterdam. After three years of research, this team of theorists, computer calibrators, and crystal specialists found their answer in SALSA — not the tasty dip, but Stress Assessment from Local Structure Anisotropy.

Pessimistic Reading of Physical Renderings

Society teaches us that science has no limits; that you and I can be whatever we want to be, do whatever we want to do, and that scientists are nothing but an utter bouquet of bright minds moving from grass to grace, sharing their knowledge with all and sundry, passing on the ‘Universalistic’ torch inscribed with the message: all is possible in the name of science. True to its nature, the more we learn about the physical world the smaller it gets, the more justifications we come up with for branching out of our egg-shell shaped Earth, for exploring the Moon, the stars, the Milky Way, the Universe. But whence come our limit, if any?