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  • richardmitnick 12:20 pm on February 2, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Common imaging plane, , Repeating patterns of fractals in nature, , U Glasgow,   

    From University of Glasgow via Science Alert: “For The First Time Ever, Scientists Have Produced Fractal Light From Lasers” 

    U Glasgow bloc

    From University of Glasgow

    via

    ScienceAlert

    Science Alert

    2 FEB 2019
    DAVID NIELD

    1
    Fractal light created by laser. (Wits University)

    Two decades after the hypothetical prediction that it should be possible, scientists have been able to produce fractal light from a laser.

    Not only that, they’ve shown the fractal light could be created in 3D rather than just 2D.

    Displaying one of nature’s most common patterns from a very human-made technology could open up opportunities in all kinds of communication and imaging fields, the team behind the breakthrough says.

    You don’t have to look for long to see these geometrical masterpieces in nature – they’re everywhere from snowflakes to salt flats – but it turns out that discovering them in a beam of laser light requires some very carefully calibrated observations.

    3
    Fractal pattern cross-section. (Wits University)

    “What is amazing is that, as predicted, the only requirement to demonstrate the effect is a simple laser with two polished spherical mirrors,” says one of the researchers, Johannes Courtial from the University of Glasgow in the UK.

    “It was there all the time, just hard to see if you were not looking at the right place.”

    “Look at the wrong place inside the laser and you see just a smeared-out blob of light,” adds another of the team, Andrew Forbes from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. “Look in the right place, where the imaging happens, and you see fractals.”

    That prediction that Courtial refers to published in a 1999 paper [Nature] after researchers identified certain laser manipulations that should produce fractals from the light – but this is the first time we’ve actually seen it happening.

    The way it’s done is to use the way laser light cycles back and forth, bouncing between mirrors and repeating light on to itself, to mimic the repeating patterns of fractals in nature [see banner image above].

    Through precise control of laser light within its spherical mirrors, scientists were able to get the light to a smaller or larger version of itself every time it returned to a point where it could be observed – resulting in fractals.

    This observation point is called the common imaging plane, and it requires looking inside the optics of the laser itself, not at the resulting beam that comes out.

    4
    The laser instrument used in experiments. (Wits University)

    It’s early days in terms of how this discovery might be used in the future, but the potential across imaging, networks, antenna technology and medicine is significant, according to the researchers.

    Fractals tie in closely with chaos theory [Fractal Foundation] (also known as the butterfly effect), that one small change in nature can have huge and unpredictable results.

    Fractals can help map out some of these complex, dynamic systems, and having our very own fractal generators might give us a better understanding of how the universe works on a bigger scale.

    Further down the line, the researchers are hoping to be able to develop custom-made lasers able to produce fractal designs on demand, something that will make them even more useful to scientists and engineers.

    And the new research has led to another prediction: that the 2D images created here might one day be realised in 3D as well, with hints of a fractal structure existing along another axis inside the laser.

    “This is the nature of science: answering old questions inevitably results in new, more complex questions to be answered,” writes Forbes at The Conversation.

    “So, although one chapter is closed, another remains completely unwritten.”

    The research has been published in Physical Review A.

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Glasgow campus

    The University of Glasgow (Scottish Gaelic: Oilthigh Ghlaschu, Latin: Universitas Glasguensis) is the fourth oldest university in the English-speaking world and one of Scotland’s four ancient universities. It was founded in 1451. Along with the University of Edinburgh, the University was part of the Scottish Enlightenment during the 18th century. It is currently a member of Universitas 21, the international network of research universities, and the Russell Group.

    In common with universities of the pre-modern era, Glasgow originally educated students primarily from wealthy backgrounds, however it became a pioneer[citation needed] in British higher education in the 19th century by also providing for the needs of students from the growing urban and commercial middle class. Glasgow University served all of these students by preparing them for professions: the law, medicine, civil service, teaching, and the church. It also trained smaller but growing numbers for careers in science and engineering.[4]

    Originally located in the city’s High Street, since 1870 the main University campus has been located at Gilmorehill in the West End of the city.[5] Additionally, a number of university buildings are located elsewhere, such as the University Marine Biological Station Millport on the Island of Cumbrae in the Firth of Clyde and the Crichton Campus in Dumfries.

    Alumni or former staff of the University include philosopher Francis Hutcheson, engineer James Watt, philosopher and economist Adam Smith, physicist Lord Kelvin, surgeon Joseph Lister, 1st Baron Lister, seven Nobel laureates, and two British Prime Ministers.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:01 am on June 9, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Scientists identify drugs to target ‘Achilles heel’ of Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia cells, U Glasgow   

    From U Glasgow: “Scientists identify drugs to target ‘Achilles heel’ of Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia cells” 

    U Glasgow bloc

    University of Glasgow

    08 Jun 2016
    ali.howard@glasgow.ac.uk
    0141 330 6557

    elizabeth.mcmeekin@glasgow.ac.uk
    0141 330 4831

    New research, by the Universities of Glasgow and Manchester, has revealed an ‘Achilles heel’ of Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML) and found drugs to successfully target this weakness and eradicate the disease in mice.

    The study*, which is published in Nature today, analysed both CML and normal blood stem cells and found two proteins that were key to the survival of CML stem cells. The group, which has been working on this research for more than six years, then developed a drug combination to simultaneously target these critical proteins and kill the cancer stem cells, while largely sparing normal cells.

    The interdisciplinary research team, led by Professor Tessa Holyoake from the University of Glasgow and Professor Tony Whetton from the University of Manchester, used a range of techniques to show that these two proteins (p53 and c-Myc) act as ‘gateway controllers’ in CML.

    Guided by the concept of precision medicine (the right drug, at the right time, for the right effect in the patient), the team designed a new treatment to exploit this critical weakness in the cancer. Using CML cells transplanted into mice, the authors demonstrated that drugs targeting these two proteins killed the cells that cause the leukaemia, effectively eradicating the disease.

    The results have potential implications for other cancers including acute myeloid leukaemia and brain tumours. The researchers are now keen to build on their work by beginning human trials in patients with drug-resistant CML.

    Professor Holyoake, who led the team from the Paul O’Gorman Leukaemia Research Centre, said: “We are certainly excited by the results shown in the study. The research – a fantastic example of precision medicine in action – is at an early stage, but the data we collected has revealed two weaknesses in CML and a potential drug approach to eradicating these key stem cells.

    “We also could not have achieved such an excellent result without all the generous stem cell donations from both CML patients and other members of the public, so it is important to say thank you to them.”

    The team used a range of techniques in their research including proteomics (the large scale study of quantities, structures and functions of proteins).

    Professor Whetton said: “We have found a way to kill leukaemia stem cells which could lead to a cure of chronic myeloid leukaemia instead of managing the disease. We are really excited that our new proteomics approaches helped to achieve this.

    “There are so many other diseases where we can use the same proteomics approach to find precision medicine solutions for patients. We have the largest clinical proteomics centre in Europe in Manchester so we really look forward to contributing to this work.”

    Current therapy for CML is with tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) which effectively hold back the disease, but do not cure it. If the therapy is stopped, the leukaemia relapses in the majority of patients, requiring CML patients to remain on treatment for their lifetime. These drugs, as well as being costly to administer, can cause a number of side effects including diabetes and vascular problems. It is the dual issues of cost and toxicity in current CML treatment that has driven this particular piece of research.

    Dr Matt Kaiser, Head of Research at Bloodwise, said: “Advances made in treatment for this type of leukaemia have, thanks to research, been one of the great medical success stories of recent years, with the transformation of a usually fatal cancer into a lifelong manageable condition for most patients. The only hope of a permanent cure at the moment is a gruelling stem cell transplant, which doesn’t always work and would not be suitable for many patients to even consider. Although it’s early days, these hugely significant findings suggest that targeted drugs could be developed to cut the cancer off at its roots while sparing healthy cells, providing hope of more effective and kinder treatments.”

    Dr Áine McCarthy, senior science information officer at Cancer Research UK, said: “By recognising the important roles p53 and MYC play in helping chronic myeloid leukaemia stem cells to survive, this study has identified two new ways to target and kill these cells. Excitingly, this early-stage laboratory work also showed that two experimental drugs which target the effects of these molecules can kill CML stem cells in mice. The next step will be to test if this combination works the same way in people, and if it is safe to use.”

    The study, ‘Dual targeting of p53 and c-Myc selectively eliminates leukaemic stem cells’ is published in Nature. The research was funded by Bloodwise, Cancer Research UK, The Howat Foundation, Roche, Constellation Pharmaceuticals, the Medical Research Council (MRC), the Scottish Government Chief Scientist Office, Friends of Paul O’Gorman, and the British Society for Haematology start-up fund.

    About the Research

    The research team used an unbiased approach to their work, which involved a series of laboratory tests complemented with computational analyses and proteomics. Human stem cell samples were collected from CML donors and tested against donated stem cells from healthy individuals.

    After gathering protein and RNA data from CML and healthy cell types, they used computational analyses to identify the likely protein interactions controlling CML stem cells. The proteins p53 and c-Myc were revealed as controllers in cancer but not in the normal stem cells. Using CML cells transplanted into mice they demonstrated that drugs targeting this dual hub killed the CML stem cells.

    About CML

    CML is a blood cancer affecting less than 1% of the population with more than 700 new patients diagnosed in the UK each year. It causes the body to make too many white blood cells, which over time fill the bone marrow and reduce the number of healthy white blood cells.

    As a result of CML sufferers surviving longer (85% live for more than five years after being diagnosed) there is a growing economic cost associated with current therapy costing between 40,000 and 70,000 Euros for one patient per year in Europe.

    CML was also the first cancer found to have a genetic mutation. As a result science has used CML as a learning model to understand how other cancers work, and importantly how patients become resistant to drug therapy.

    *Science paper:
    There is no link to the science paper in the article. I have requested a link. If I get a link I will update the article.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Glasgow campus

    The University of Glasgow (Scottish Gaelic: Oilthigh Ghlaschu, Latin: Universitas Glasguensis) is the fourth oldest university in the English-speaking world and one of Scotland’s four ancient universities. It was founded in 1451. Along with the University of Edinburgh, the University was part of the Scottish Enlightenment during the 18th century. It is currently a member of Universitas 21, the international network of research universities, and the Russell Group.

    In common with universities of the pre-modern era, Glasgow originally educated students primarily from wealthy backgrounds, however it became a pioneer[citation needed] in British higher education in the 19th century by also providing for the needs of students from the growing urban and commercial middle class. Glasgow University served all of these students by preparing them for professions: the law, medicine, civil service, teaching, and the church. It also trained smaller but growing numbers for careers in science and engineering.[4]

    Originally located in the city’s High Street, since 1870 the main University campus has been located at Gilmorehill in the West End of the city.[5] Additionally, a number of university buildings are located elsewhere, such as the University Marine Biological Station Millport on the Island of Cumbrae in the Firth of Clyde and the Crichton Campus in Dumfries.

    Alumni or former staff of the University include philosopher Francis Hutcheson, engineer James Watt, philosopher and economist Adam Smith, physicist Lord Kelvin, surgeon Joseph Lister, 1st Baron Lister, seven Nobel laureates, and two British Prime Ministers.

     
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