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Like Fish on Waves: Electrons Go Surfing

Published: September 22, 2011.
Released by Ruhr-University Bochum  

Physicists at the RUB, working in collaboration with researchers from Grenoble and Tokyo, have succeeded in taking a decisive step towards the development of more powerful computers. They were able to define two little quantum dots (QDs), occupied with electrons, in a semiconductor and to select a single electron from one of them using a sound wave, and then to transport it to the neighbouring QD. A single electron "surfs" thus from one quantum dot to the next like a fish on a…

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More news from Ruhr-University Bochum

Protein Reactions Identified with Subatomic Resolution
Using subatomic resolution, researchers have gained insights into the dynamic modus operandi of two switch proteins which are responsible for the import of compounds into the nucleus and for cell growth. The team headed by Prof Dr Klaus Gerwert from the Department of Biophysics at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum, together with partners from Dortmund and Shanghai, combined different methods in order to gain a resolution of one-hundredth of the atomic diameter. The current edition of the Journal of Biological Chemistry dedicated its cover story…

Stress Causes Infants to Resort to Habits
Under stress, people are inclined to resort to habits, rather than trying out new things. In the journal PNAS, psychologists from the Ruhr-Universität Bochum and the Technische Universität Dortmund report that this is true not only for adults, but also for infants. Unfamiliar situations akin to everyday life caused an increase in the stress hormone cortisol

How the Mind Sharpens the Senses
A study conducted with experienced scholars of Zen-Meditation shows that mental focussing can induce learning mechanisms, similar to physical training. Researchers at the Ruhr-University Bochum and the Ludwig-Maximilians-University München discovered this phenomenon during a scientifically monitored meditation retreat. The journal Scientific Reports, from the makers of Nature, has now published their new findings on the plasticity of the brain.

'Memory Region' of the Brain Also Involved in Conflict Resolution
The hippocampus in the brain's temporal lobe is responsible for more than just long-term memory. Researchers have for the first time demonstrated that it is also involved in quick and successful conflict resolution. The team headed by Prof Dr Nikolai Axmacher from the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB), together with colleagues from the University Hospital of Bonn as well as in Aachen and Birmingham, reported in the journal "Current Biology".

Turkish Whistling Makes Asymmetries in the Brain Disappear
Researchers at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum have debunked the theory that the left brain hemisphere is dominant in the processing of all languages. To date, it has been assumed that that dominance is not determined by the physical structure of a given language. However, the biopsychologists have demonstrated that both hemispheres are equally involved in the perception of whistled Turkish. Onur Güntürkün, Monika Güntürkün and Constanze Hahn report in the journal "Current Biology".

Cyanobacteria Can Manufacture Biocatalysts for the Industry
Using photosynthetically active microorganisms, researchers at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) have succeeded in manufacturing several biocatalysts suitable for industrial application: a crucial step towards sustainable chemical processes, according to Dr Marc Nowaczyk from the Chair for Plant Biochemistry and Jun.-Prof Dr Robert Kourist, Junior Research Group Microbial Biochemistry. Sustainable manufacture of enzymes for the industry

Where Memory Is Encoded And Retrieved: New Findings in a Long-standing Debate
Are the same regions and even the same cells of the brain area called hippocampus involved in encoding and retrieving memories or are different areas of this structure engaged? This question has kept neuroscientists busy for a long time. Researchers at the Mercator Research Group "Structure of Memory" at RUB have now found out that the same brain cells exhibit activity in both processes. They have published their results in the journal "Hippocampus".

Assessing Quality of Flowing Waters with DNA Analyses
The quality of waters can be assessed using of the organisms occurring therein. This approach often results in errors, because many species look alike. Therefore, new methods focus on DNA analyses instead. Biologists at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) have optimised the process so that they are now able to identify many organisms at once in a quick and reliable manner using short DNA sequences. The results have been published in the PLOS ONE magazine.

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