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Does your face reveal what’s in your heart? It might – even more than you know. Take, for instance, a common group of birth defects – forms of a disorder called DiGeorge syndrome. Around one in 4000 is born with this syndrome, which arises from a deletion of a short segment of chromosome 22.  Among…

At the beginning of the year, we published an interview with Dr. Zohar Komargodski on this blog. Apparently we were not the only ones impressed by Komargodski’s accomplishments: The Fundamental Physics Prize Foundation has announced that he will be one of three recipients of a New Horizons in Physics Prize. This prize is given to…

Is anyone old enough to remember the ad in which two people walking down the street while snacking accidently bump into each other and discover peanut butter on a chocolate bar? Well, it turns out that when physics students run into each other on the street, the result is a quasicrystal with topological properties. The…

What’s that Smell?

Weizmann Institute scientists have created a “white smell.” Think about white light or white noise: Each mixes a bunch of different waves together from various parts of the visual or audible spectrum. Those wavelengths combine such that we perceive that unobtrusive light or sound we call “white.” How do smells fit into this scenario? Prof.…

The idea of “seeing the world through the eyes of a child” takes on new meaning when the observer is a computer. Institute scientists in the Lab for Vision and Robotics Research took their computer right back to babyhood and used it to ask how infants first learn to identify objects in their visual field.…

What a Rat Feels

We have been told what it’s like to be a bat or a bird; now Prof. Ehud Ahissar and Dr. Avi Saig are getting people to experience what it’s like to be a rat. Specifically, they want the participants in their studies to learn what it’s like to locate things in the dark by twitching…

Getting into the Fray

“The public, blog-fueled controversy over the utilization of arsenate instead of phosphate in bacteria was, in the end, a demonstration of what is truly right with scientific quests,” says Prof. Dan Tawfik. “The original findings (that certain bacteria can use arsenate instead of phosphate) may have been overhyped. The research itself may have been underwhelming.…

Today’s post is about some cool chemistry – very cool. About 0.01°Kelvin, as a matter of fact (that is, one hundredth of a degree above absolute zero). Physics experiments conducted at such temperatures are already old hat, but chemistry is another story, altogether. Scientists have been attempting to produce chemical reactions at ultra-low temperatures for…

Math in Medicine

One of our constant themes is the innovative ways that tools and ideas from math and physics can lead to new insights in the life sciences. Take, for example, a recent study produced by a group that included a professor of mathematics, an oncologist who works in pharmaceutical research and has a Ph.D. in mathematics,…

While You Were Sleeping

“Imagine that you wake up in the morning feeling nothing special, yet you find yourself inexplicably behaving just a bit differently during the day. For example, you take a sniff every time you hear a tone,” says Prof. Noam Sobel. Of course, the people this actually happened to knew they had volunteered for a sleep…