Authors: George Rajna
Biologists know a lot about how life works, but they are still figuring out the big questions of why life exists, why it takes various shapes and sizes, and how life is able to amazingly adapt to fill every nook and cranny on Earth.  A team of physicists has devised a novel strategy that uses naturally occurring motions inside the human cell nucleus to measure the physical properties of the nucleus and its components.  New 3-D maps of water distribution during cellular membrane fusion are accelerating scientific understanding of cell development, which could lead to new treatments for diseases associated with cell fusion.  Thanks to the invention of a technique called super-resolution fluorescence microscopy, it has recently become possible to view even the smaller parts of a living cell.  A new instrument lets researchers use multiple laser beams and a microscope to trap and move cells and then analyze them in real-time with a sensitive analysis technique known as Raman spectroscopy.  All systems are go for launch in November of NASA's Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) mission, which will use high-resolution laser ranging to study Earth's forests and topography from the International Space Station (ISS).  Scientists from the Max Born Institute for Nonlinear Optics and Short Pulse Spectroscopy (MBI) in Berlin combined state-of-the-art experiments and numerical simulations to test a fundamental assumption underlying strong-field physics.  Femtosecond lasers are capable of processing any solid material with high quality and high precision using their ultrafast and ultra-intense characteristics.  To create the flying microlaser, the researchers launched laser light into a water-filled hollow core fiber to optically trap the microparticle. Like the materials used to make traditional lasers, the microparticle incorporates a gain medium.  Lasers that emit ultrashort pulses of light are critical components of technologies, including communications and industrial processing, and have been central to fundamental Nobel Prize-winning research in physics. 
Comments: 76 Pages.
[v1] 2018-10-05 12:15:06
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