Developing micron-sized magnetic resonance

first_img Laser precision to help find new Earths Harvard researchers trace neural activity by using quantum sensors A senior physicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and a member of the physics department faculty, Walsworth, along with postdoctoral fellows David Glenn and Dominik Bucher, developed a system that uses nitrogen-vacancy centers (atomic-scale impurities in diamonds) to read the nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) signals produced by samples as small as a single cell. And they did it on a shoestring budget using an old, donated electromagnet.The system will enable researchers to peer into previously unseen biological processes as well as the chemical properties of materials, and could help open the door to answers to a host of new questions in fields ranging from condensed-matter physics to chemistry to neurobiology. The work is described in a paper recently published in Nature.“This gives us for the first time a tool for conducting NMR on samples that are similar to the volume of a single cell, while still maintaining high spectral resolution,” Walsworth said. “There are two major challenges we address with this work. There’s the spatial size, or the volume of the samples, and the other is the spectral resolution. To do useful NMR spectroscopy at these small scales, you need to have both.”The difficulty in achieving both, Walsworth said, is partly related to the way NMR operates.Discovered at Harvard in the 1940s, NMR works by exciting the atoms in a sample by using powerful magnetic fields and measuring the radio frequencies they emit. Since each molecule emits specific frequencies, chemists and physicists have learned to read those radio spectra to learn everything from the material properties of various molecules to how proteins are folded.,In conventional systems, those signals are measured using wire coils similar to radio antennas. For smaller samples, however, the signals are simply too weak to detect, so researchers — including Walsworth and physics Professor Mikhail Lukin — more than a decade ago began to explore using nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centers to pick them up.“One of the very first ideas we had for NV centers was to use them for small-volume NMR, down to the level of single atoms or molecules,” Walsworth said. “We had this vision 10 or 12 years ago, and it’s taken many years to improve the technology to get to this point.”From their first nanoscale detection of an NMR signal in 2013, Walsworth said, Harvard scientists refined the NV technology, and in 2014 were able to detect a single proton. By 2016 they had used NV to capture the NMR signal produced by a single protein. Although they could detect signals from tiny samples, the NV centers were far from ideal.“When we detected single proteins, it was with NMR spectral peaks that were 10 kilohertz wide in frequency,” Walsworth said. “But the separation between frequencies in NMR can be as small as a few hertz. So we were able to detect a protein, but all the chemical detail in the spectrum was washed out.”Obtaining that detail from nanoscale samples, he said, remains a challenge because quantum mechanical fluctuations that would be unimportant in larger samples remain dominant at tiny scales, and molecules in solution diffuse away from the sensor, resulting in lower resolution.“So there are intrinsic problems with samples at the nanoscale, but you immediately solve those problems if you back up to the micron scale,” Walsworth said. “That’s still the scale of individual cells, which is much smaller than anything you can do with conventional NMR systems, and is still of great interest to chemists and biologists.”Performing NV NMR experiments with micron-scale samples required a large magnet that was beyond the lab’s budget. So Walsworth and colleagues were donated a 1965 electromagnet from Columbia University, which was arranged with the help of Roger Fu, assistant professor of Earth and planetary sciences. But that still left Walsworth and colleagues with the challenge of working around the resolution problems inherent in using NV centers.,“One of those challenges is that the spins of the NV center, which are what do the detecting, only stay coherent for about a millisecond,” he said. “Three years ago, we had an idea to get around that limit using a technique we call synchronized readout.”Normally, Walsworth said, scientists would conduct a series of independent NMR measurements, then average them together to produce a final measurement. Walsworth and colleagues, however, developed a technique to take repeated measurements triggered by a clock that was synchronized to the NMR signal. By stringing those measurements together, they were able to measure signals with far higher resolution than before.The team then tested the system against three types of molecules — trimethyl phosphate, xylene, and ethyl formate — to show it was capable not only of detecting NMR signals, but of achieving spectral resolutions down to about one hertz, sufficient to observe key chemical signatures at the micron scale for the first time.“We were able to show that the system works on these molecules, which were the simplest spectra we could find and still call them complex,” Walsworth said. “This is exciting … We’ve solved a technical problem, but we still have more work to do before applying this to scientific problems.”Harvard’s Office of Technology Development has protected the intellectual property relating to this project and is exploring commercialization opportunities.Going forward, Walsworth said he plans to continue exploring ways to boost the signal from micron-scale samples with a goal of making the system both faster — the tests described in the study took as long as 10 hours to obtain data — and more applicable to living samples.Researchers also need to focus on improving the sensitivity of the NV centers, he said, so they can detect faint signals produced samples in weak concentrations.“We need to increase the sensitivity by several orders of magnitude to do everything we want to do,” he said. “Making these systems work on this tiny scale is a grand challenge now in the field.”This research was supported with funding from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, the U.S. Army Research Office, the German Research Foundation, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Relatedcenter_img Diamonds are a lab’s best friend It’s not often that you see 50-year-old equipment in a modern physics laboratory, let alone find it at the center of cutting-edge research. But then, most such labs aren’t run by Ronald Walsworth.last_img read more

Costa Rica clinch World Cup berth with 1-1 draw against Honduras

first_imgSAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AFP) – Kendall Watson’s header deep into injury time gave Costa Rica a 1-1 draw with Honduras last Saturday and a berth in the 2018 World Cup in Russia.Eddie Hernandez had headed Honduras ahead in the 66th minute, and it appeared that Costa Rica would have to put their Russia plans on hold.But five minutes into stoppage time, Watson rose in the centre of the area to head in Bryan Ruiz’s cross and spark joyful celebrations at the national stadium in San Jose, where the match was postponed from Friday due to the effects of Hurricane Nate.Costa Rica had a golden chance to take the lead in the 60th minute. Honduran goalkeeper Donis Escober had pushed a shot back into the middle of the area, only for Marcos Urena to fire over the empty net.Six minutes later, Romell Quioto sprinted down the wing and crossed into the box where Hernandez connected with a thundering header to put the visitors in front.Costa Rica, with 16 points, joined Mexico (21) in advancing from the North and Central America and Caribbean (CONCACAF) region with three final matches to play today.Three CONCACAF teams advance directly to the finals in Russia, with a fourth to play off against either Syria or Australia for a berth.The United States moved into third place on 12 points on Friday with a 4-0 romp over Panama.Panama are on 10 points in fourth and have the advantage on goal difference over Honduras, also on 10.CONCACAF’s six-nation final round of qualifying concludes today Tuesday, when the United States travel to lowly Trinidad and Tobago, Honduras host Mexico, and Panama host Costa Rica.Costa Rica will be playing in their fifth World Cup finals. They were quarter-finalists in Brazil in 2014 and reached the knockout stage in Italy in 1990. The Ticos also played in 2002 and 2006.last_img read more

Men’s tennis: Badgers show glimpses of greatness in loss to Michigan

first_imgWisconsin men’s tennis was reminded that it still has to continue improving after splitting this weekend’s matches against No. 21 Michigan and Michigan State.Coming off two losses on the road the weekend prior, the results are a step up. But with only four matches remaining in the regular season, No. 44 Wisconsin (14-3 overall, 4-3 Big Ten) would surely like to cap off a prolific season with higher seeding in postseason tournaments.Men’s tennis: Badgers blanked in back to back matchesUniversity of Wisconsin men’s tennis was blanked this weekend in consecutive matches, but by no means is its season in Read…The Badgers will remain at home this weekend, welcoming No. 33 Penn State Friday and No. 5 Ohio State Sunday to the Nielsen Tennis Center with a tough, hard-fought loss to Michigan in the back of their minds.Wisconsin 7 – Michigan State 0Friday night was a good one for the Badgers, who allowed the Spartans to take only two sets during the match.Doubles play breezed through, with the first pairing of Josef Dodridge/Lamar Remy winning 6-1, followed by Chema Carranza/Jakhongir Jalalov taking their match 6-3.With the doubles point secured, Wisconsin never took its foot off the pedal.Remy, Alexander Kokorev, Osgar O’Hoisin and Carranza each won in in straight sets, while Dodridge and John Zordani each narrowly lost sets. Dodridge dropped his second set 5-7, while Zordani dropped his second 6-7 by way of a 7-5 tiebreaker.Singles:Dodridge (UW) def. Mac Roy (MSU), 6-2, 5-7, 6-2Remy (UW) def. Michael Dube (MSU), 6-3, 6-2Kokorev (UW) def. Jasper Koenen (MSU), 6-1, 7-5O’Hoisin (UW) def. Alexander Kim (MSU), 6-2, 6-4Carranza (UW) def. Billy Shisler (MSU), 6-3, 6-2Zordani (UW) def. Ivan Rakic (MSU), 6-3, 6-7 (7-5), 1-0 (10-4)Doubles:Dodridge/Remy (UW) def. Roy/Dube (MSU), 6-1Carranza/Jalalov (UW) def. Koenen/Shisler (MSU), 6-3Mackenzie/Zordani (UW) vs. Kim/Rakic (MSU), 4-3, unfinishedOrder of finish: Doubles (1, 2); Singles (5, 2, 4, 3, 1, 6)Michigan 5 – Wisconsin 2After handedly beating Michigan State, Wisconsin looked poised to carry its momentum into Sunday afternoon, and in many ways the team did.After Carranza/Jalalov were quickly dispatched 6-2, Darius Mackenzie/Zordani brought the Badgers to within striking distance with a 6-3 win on court 3. But Michigan’s first doubles paring, ranked No. 73 in the country, took down Dodridge/Remy 6-4 despite their late charge.In singles play, both Remy and Kokorev lost in straight sets. Remy’s valiant effort resulted in a narrow (6-4, 6-4) defeat to No. 81 Jathan Malik at the second spot, which marked his third appearance this season at the position, where he is 2-1.Dodridge also hung around in his match, but ultimately fell (6-3, 0-6, 6-1) in the third set to No. 104 Alex Knight. The sophomore was not the only Badger to fall in three sets, as O’Hoisin rallied from a 4-6 first set loss to take the second 6-2, but lost the third 4-6.Despite the bad luck up to that point in three-set matches, Carranza, after taking his first set 7-6 (7-1) and dropping the second 0-6, rallied behind his teammates cheering around his court to win the third 6-4. The win pushed the sophomore one win past O’Hoisin as the team’s leader with a 14-2 record this spring.Mackenzie, a fellow sophomore, rounded out the afternoon with a straight-set win on court six. His (6-4, 7-6 (7-2)) victory was also his first-career Big Ten win.Singles:No. 104 Knight (MICH) def. Dodridge (UW), 6-3, 0-6, 6-1No. 81 Malik (MICH) def. Remy (UW), 6-4, 6-4Carter Lin (MICH) def. Kokorev (UW), 6-1, 6-2Runhao Hua (MICH) def. O’Hoisin (UW), 6-4, 2-6, 6-4Carranza (UW) def. Davis Crocker (MICH), 7-6 (7-1), 0-6, 6-4Mackenzie (UW) def. Myles Schalet (MICH), 6-4, 7-6 (7-2)Doubles:No. 73 Knight/Hua (MICH) def. Dodridge/Remy (UW), 6-4Malik/Gardiner (MICH) def. Carranza/Jalalov (UW), 6-2Mackenzie/Zordani (UW) def. Schalet/Cuba (MICH), 6-3Order of finish: Doubles (2, 3, 1); Singles (3, 2, 6, 1, 5, 4)last_img read more

ROADS WARNING AS COUNCIL DEPLOYS GRITTING LORRIES

first_imgDONEGAL County Council says it is already responding to an Orange Weather Alert for snow and ice which has been issued by Met Eireann.Gritting lorries began treating main roads across Donegal at 5pm, says the council.The lorries – some fitted with snow ploughs – will be deployed again into the early hours of Tuesday with 6cm of snow likely in some areas. Gardai say roads in higher areas are already treacherous tonight, with officers urging caution on the Barnesmore Gap and the back of Errigal road between Dunlewey and Termon.Met Eireann’s Orange Alert for snow and ice is from 9pm this evening until 6pm on Tuesday.This means there is a high possibility of disruption which could close schools and businesses.  ROADS WARNING AS COUNCIL DEPLOYS GRITTING LORRIES was last modified: February 10th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegal weathersnow and iceweatherweather alertlast_img read more

Scowen will not be involved against Reading

first_img Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook New signing Josh Scowen will not be involved in either of QPR’s friendlies against Reading this weekend.Two behind-closed-doors friendlies have been arranged against the Royals, who will be Rangers’ first opponents of the new season.Midfielder Scowen recently completed a move to Loftus Road when his Barnsley contract expired so was not part of the Rangers squad which spent time at a training camp in Portugal.He is therefore still building up his fitness and is not yet being considered for selection.See also:QPR confirm signing of ScowenCousins features in QPR training-ground gameQPR accept offer from Everton for BowlerBowler having medical ahead of Everton movelast_img

6 killed 18 injured in wall collapse amid IDay celebrations in northern

first_imgPeshawar: At least six people died and 18 others injured on Wednesday after a wall collapsed amid Independence Day celebrations in northern Pakistan, officials said. The incident occurred at an helipad in Gilgit-Baltistan where an event under the supervision of the Pakistan Army was underway to mark the country’s 73rd Independence Day, they said. At least six people were killed and 18 others injured after a wall of the helipad compound suddenly collapsed, the officials said, adding that the injured have been shifted to combined military hospital in Gilgit.last_img

Diplomatic Relations Established Between The Bahamas and Montenegro

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Switzerland, September 11, 2017 – Geneva – Diplomatic Relations were established between the Commonwealth of The Bahamas and Montenegro, 6 September, 2017.    The Joint Communiqués were signed in Geneva at the Permanent Mission of Montenegro, by Her Excellency Rhoda M. Jackson, Ambassador/Permanent Representative of The Bahamas to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva and His Excellency Mr. Milorad Šćepanović, Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Montenegro to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva.Following the signing, the two Ambassadors exchanged views on opportunities for future cooperation between The Bahamas and Montenegro.(Photo/Courtesy, Bahamas Ministry of Foreign Affairs) Related Items:last_img read more

Jamaicas new Road Traffic Act to be passed by year end

first_img Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Jamaica, November 6, 2017 – Kingston – Transport and Mining Minister, Hon. Mike Henry, says the new Road Traffic Act is currently going through changes and adjustments and should be passed in the House of Representatives by the end of the year.“Right now, we’re completing the dotting of the ‘i’s and crossing of the ‘t’s. It contains minor things that we have to adjust, but I can confirm, from the Ministry’s point of view, that we will be ready by the end of the year,” he said.The Minister was speaking at a breakfast function hosted by the Project Management Institute Jamaica Chapter (PMIJC), at The Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on November 2.   Mr. Henry said he is hoping that road fatalities will remain below 300 by the end of this year.    As at October 31, the figure was 272, some 49 less than the 321 deaths for the similar period last year.“I really hope that we can maintain that, to be able to say we have achieved under 300. One death is too many anyway. The reality is that I think we’re getting some response from the public,” Mr. Henry said.The Minister hailed Jamaicans who continue to drive with care on the nation’s roads.   Among the features of the new Road Traffic Act are a restriction on handheld devices and a requirement for drivers to have a licence in their possession while operating a vehicle.   Fines for breaches will also be increased.Meanwhile, PMIJC President, Arvette Henry, noted that the subject of project management is an integral part of local companies in Jamaica, “because those companies practising it are able to see faster and better results”.During the awards segment, leading provider of information technology products, Fujitsu Caribbean Jamaica Limited, was awarded Project Management Organisation of the Year.    The company won for their project of providing high-performance computing solutions for the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI).“The project that we put forward this year sought to improve the computing capacity of the climate control division of the UWI. In their data centre, they had challenges in predicting and monitoring what different climatic and seismic events occur,” said Project Manager of Fujitsu Caribbean, Nicola Denniser.Seprod Limited received the silver award for their Irrigation in Agriculture Project, while Digicel Jamaica Limited won the bronze award for outfitting the St. William Grant Park with WI-FI hotpots.   Held under the theme ‘Change Management, Maintaining Consistency during Uncertainty’, the event was organised to observe International Project Management Day 2017 as well as to present the awards to the Project Management Organisation of the Year.The PMI, a global organisation with more than 250 chapters and 500,000 members, is set up to advance the practice, science and profession of project management worldwide.   The PMIJC is one of two chapters in the English-speaking Caribbean, and has been operating continuously for 15 years.Release: JISlast_img read more