Nano Breakthrough May Make Ultra-High Density Storage Possible

A simpler and more reliable manufacturing method has allowed two materials researchers to produce nanoscale magnetic sensors that could increase the storage capacity of hard disk drives by a factor of 1,000. Building on results obtained last summer, the new sensors are up to 100 times more sensitive than any current alternative technology, according to researchers Harsh Deep Chopra, University Buffalo associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, and Susan Hua, director of UB’s Bio-Micro-Electro-Mechanical-Systems Facility and adjunct professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering.

Blasting antibodies with lasers measures their flexibility

A group of scientists have used a powerful laser in combination with innovative quantum mechanical computations to measure the flexibility of mouse antibodies. The new technique, described in an upcoming issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is significant because protein flexibility is believed to play an important role in antibody — antigen recognition, one of the fundamental events in the human immune system. “This is the first time anybody has ever gone into a protein and experimentally measured the frequency of vibrations in response to an applied force,” said Floyd Romesberg, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry at The Scripps Research Institute, who led the study.

Gene linked to depression in women

Researchers in Pittsburgh have made significant progress in identifying the first susceptibility gene for clinical depression, the second leading cause of disability worldwide, providing an important step toward changing the way doctors diagnose and treat major depression that affects nearly 10 percent of the population. Research results show significant evidence for linkage of unipolar mood disorders to a specific region of chromosome 2q33-35 in women.