Sunday, January 28, 2007

Nanotechnology gets spicy

Nanotechnology research is always intriguing - here are some Indian researchers working on helping deliver tumeric via nanos... I guess we will be using this technology for everything in the future!

From an article on nanowerk: The Chemistry Department at Delhi University has developed a nano-particular vehicle for helping turmeric get absorbed in the body.

“The nano-particular vehicle for turmeric which is being developed by experts at Delhi University is under testing in different in-vitro culture and animal modules and will finally be used for human trials,” said Dr. A.K. Dinda.

Turmeric has a therapeutic effect. The medicinal properties of turmeric, a spice commonly used in curries and other South Asian cuisine, have for millennia been known to the ancient Indians and have been expounded in the Ayurvedic texts. It is only in recent years that Western scientists have increasingly recognised the medicinal properties of turmeric.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Times Square - ever facinating to see

itsNano - Never Sleeping

Photos of Times Square are always amazing to look at - like a jigsaw puzzle with 1000 tiny pieces assembled into a beautiful picture.

Theory of gravity and quantum field theories compared

I thought this meeting looked interesting - I am intriqued by the scope of it and new questions raised to understand Einstein's theory of gravity vs quantum field theories.

A press release says, "More than three dozen leading physicists and astrophysicists will convene for the conference, "Rethinking Gravity: from the Planck scale to the size of the Universe."

Scientists will meet to discuss their common goal - to probe and test gravity at all scales, from the subatomic level to the entire universe.

"Scientists have understood for several decades that Einstein's theory of gravity, which describes our universe at astronomical scales, is incompatible with quantum field theories, which describe phenomena at atomic scales," says physicist Dimitrios Psaltis. "Despite numerous efforts, scientists have yet to come up with a satisfactory quantum theory of gravity. But our quest has become intensely exciting for two reasons. First, new ideas are challenging our previous notions of how the gravitational force works and pervades spacetime itself. And second, it is astonishing to realize that even though most of these ideas were unheard of a mere decade ago, they can be tested using present-day astronomical and cosmological observations."

Monday, January 08, 2007

Scientists look at a fifth force of nature

Read on the Scientific American blog about the conference of the American Astronomical Society and hints of a fifth force of nature, on top of: electromagnetism, gravity, and the two forces that govern atomic nuclei. The idea of a fifth force has a checkered history, and experiments seem to rule it out. But those experiments apply only to ordinary matter. They say nothing about dark matter.

Dark matter is the unknown substance that provides the gravitational glue holding together large cosmic structures such as galaxies and clusters of galaxies. The poster child for dark matter, which got a lot of attention last summer, is the Bullet Cluster of galaxies. It is actually a pair of clusters that have rammed into each other. The center of mass of each cluster (pinpointed by seeing how the cluster affects light from bodies in back of it) is offset from the bulk of the ordinary matter -- so most of the mass of the clusters must be un-ordinary.

But its source could be vastly different -- the result, perhaps, of a property akin to electric charge which only dark matter possesses. Proposed new theories of physics such as string theory predict new energy fields that might generate novel forces, but in the past physicists have generally supposed that these forces would make themselves felt only over sub-subatomic distances.