A team of researchers from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) has successfully demonstrated, for the first time, that it is possible to control the speed of light – both slowing it down and speeding it up – in an optical fiber, using off-the-shelf instrumentation in normal environmental conditions. Their results, to be published in the August 22 issue of Applied Physics Letters, could have implications that range from optical computing to the fiber-optic telecommunications industry.
A cheap drug has shown promise in stamping out hidden pockets of HIV in three people who have long been infected with the virus.
The result is described by the US scientists as merely a “proof of concept”, but has inevitably sparked talk of a cure for AIDS.
HIV can already be kept in check by treatment with a powerful cocktail of drugs known as highly-active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). But the virus persists in a latent state in infected people.
A gene that helps fruit flies develop alcohol tolerance has been found – and named “hangover”. The gene also controls the flies’ response to stress, and the researchers say that a similar pathway linking alcohol tolerance and stress probably functions in humans.
The findings may explain why people who have been in a stressful situation often have a blunted response to alcohol and may drink more to feel inebriated, experts say, putting them at greater risk of becoming addicted.
Australian scientists have developed a technique to use waste plastic in steel making, a process that could have implications for recycling scrap metal that accounts for 40 percent of steel production.
Professor Veena Sahajwalla of the University of New South Wales has won a prestigious Australian science award for what she calls "the hottest research in town", which she hopes will turn an environmental headache into a valuable resource.
It's common knowledge that a proper exercise regimen can do wonders for the body. Only recently, however, have psychologists and gerontologists aggressively applied the same principle to the mind.