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Largest physics meeting of the year: March 20-25, 2011, Dallas, Texas
Date:2/9/2011

and colleagues at Arizona State University have developed a new approach for determining the components that make up individual molecules of DNA using a scanning tunneling microscope to probe along a piece of DNA and read the electronic signature of each of the bases in a DNA string. The researchers predict that it will eventually be a faster, cheaper, and more accurate alternative to existing methods for sequencing single pieces of DNA, though it is currently limited to reading pieces no longer than 10 bases long. To be commercially viable, the researchers believe that the technique should be able to read DNA segments made up of 1,000 bases or more. They are currently developing a version of the device that they hope will lead to the next generation of rapid and cheap DNA analysis.
V40.00002 http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR11/Event/142744

TOPOLOGICAL INSULATORS

Topological insulators, materials that allow charge to flow easily on their surfaces but not their interiors, are the one of the fastest-growing subjects of physics research. The insulators are expected to be a boon for the development of spintronics

  • circuitry that exploits the spin of electrons as well as their electrical charge. Topological insulators are featured in many sessions including D2, H2, Y2, A35, B35, D35, H35, J35, P35, and others. Some specific new results: Nuh Gedik and his colleagues at MIT will report (papers J35.00008, J35.00010, J35.00012) on the use of light to probe the electron currents, some of them on the surface of the material and some of them perhaps traveling through a buried structure beneath the surface. Kesong Yang (X32.00005) will announce the discovery of some 40 new topological insulating materials.
    X32.00005 http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR11/Event/143784
    J35

  • Contact: James Riordon
    riordon@aps.org
    301-209-3238
    American Physical Society
    Source:Eurekalert

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