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Science Saturday: Treating cancer, atoms, fusion and space exploration

Tech It Out


Stopping cancer

Researchers from the University of Dundee's Drug Discovery Unit and Queen Mary University of London have found chemical compounds, known as tool molecules, that can be used to stop tumor growth. These molecules induce a state where cells age and stop dividing, making them susceptible to senolytic drugs, which can eliminate them.

This two-stage initiative shows promise for targeted cancer therapies, offering hope for improved cancer treatment outcomes and prognoses. The research marks a significant step towards tailored cancer treatments.

Atoms in 3D

A new method developed jointly by the University of Bonn in Germany and the UK's University of Bristol has the potential to revolutionize atom positioning.

Unlike conventional methods, which only provide "X" and "Y" coordinates, this innovative approach determines all three spatial coordinates with a single image. The method overcomes the challenges of measuring the vertical position of atoms, crucial for quantum experiments and atomic studies. By precisely tracking the positions of atoms, scientists can manipulate interactions effectively and gain transformative insights into fundamental atomic behaviors.

Fusion breakthrough

Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Plasma Science and Fusion Center have created high-temperature superconducting magnets, marking a huge leap towards compact fusion power. The magnets achieved a record field strength of 20 tesla, demonstrating the viability of the SPARC fusion device.

Researchers have confirmed the magnets' adherence to fusion device requirements, validating predictions and computer models. The success redefines fusion research and could signify a transformative shift in fusion technology, promising a sustainable and abundant method to ensure energy security.

Space exploration

New research has revealed ultraviolet (UV) radiation from nearby massive stars can strip the mass of a young star's protoplanetary disk. The process was observed using the James Webb Space Telescope and marks the first observed evidence of this phenomenon.

New planets can form in a young star's protoplanetary disk, but the study suggests UV radiation from larger neighbors may be preventing the formation of larger planets. These findings offer insights into the formation of gas giant planets, including in our own solar system.

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