Science Profiles Keeping track of breakthroughs in science…


‘Pentaquark’ hints at answers to matter

OSAKA, Japan, July 1 (UPI) -- Physicists have discovered a new class of subatomic particles, offering unexpected insights into the building blocks of matter. The discovery, published in Physical Review Letters, involves tiny particles called "quarks," the bricks and mortar of protons and neutrons in the atomic nucleus. Until now, physicists had only seen quarks packed into two- or three-quark combinations inside the larger subatomic particles. These combinations have always been something of a mystery, but a Japanese team led by Takashi Nakano of Osaka University said it has created a five-quark particle, "a pentaquark." "Determining why the pentaquark appeared in the experiment should offer great insight into the nature and stability of the essential building blocks of all matter," physicist Ken Hicks of Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, who took part in both the experiment and a confirmatory effort, told USA Today.

Source: United Press International

If we can build a 'pentaquark', why not build a carbon atom from a pool of quarks.


Electronic Ink Promises To Save A Tree

"E Ink's displays feature a layer of electrophoretic liquid sandwiched between a pair of flexible electrodes. Millions of microcapsules, containing a mixture of dye and pigment, are suspended in the liquid. Driven by a thin-film transistor (TFT) array, the light or dark appearance of each pixel can be switched by altering the polarity of the electrode. Electronic paper gets high resolution.


An electronic book would have to be easy to read and at 160 pixels per inch, this technology should be a better experience than reading from a 72 pixel per inch monitor?


The Internet Pays…

"INTERNET DELIVERS... To the surprise of many, the Internet is delivering on many of its supposedly discredited promises, BusinessWeek reported. The Internet is connecting far-flung people and businesses more tightly than ever. The value of networked business-to-business transactions now stands at $2.4 trillion, according to Forrester Research Inc. The Internet is helping companies slash costs, speeding the pace of innovation and jacking up productivity. The value of businesses using the Net to sharpen forecasting, keep inventories lean, and communicate instantaneously with suppliers could reach $450 billion a year by 2005. Spread across the economy in lower prices, that would add $4,500 annually to the average U.S. household's income -- more than three times the amount of President George W. Bush's 2001 tax cut, according to BusinessWeek."

Source: United Press International

A Clone Is Not A Twin After All

Two new studies have shown that cloned pigs act and look different from the animal whose original DNA they carry. In fact, clones can vary in physical appearance and behavior as much as animals bred conventionally do. The findings debunk the popular myth clones are carbon copies of their "parents." Researchers said the public has been fed the notion cloning technology can create cookie-cutter animals -? pets, for example. "The implication is that your cloned pet is going to behave and look like the one you already have and that will not be the case," said Jorge Piedrahita, researcher at North Carolina State University's College of Veterinary Medicine. Some characteristics might not be the same as parent traits because genetic errors can be introduced during the cloning process -? a good reason, Piedrahita said, for cloning researchers to proceed carefully. He added some clones will be very healthy while others will not be able to survive.

Source: United Press International

The Latest…

This is the first of many mini-commentaries regarding the state of affairs of the nature of science in our world.