Today’s physics news: Light pulses keep heart cells beating, and more…
Light pulses keep heart cells beating
Researchers at Stanford University in California inserted a gene found in algae into human embryonic stem cells, then made the cells differentiate into heart muscle cells. The gene produces a light-sensitive protein called channelrhodopsin-2, which allows the cells to be switched on or off using pulses of light.
Texas holds firm on physics closures
Texas higher-education officials delivered a stern message to physicists yesterday that the state is likely to stick to plans to phase out ‘low-performing’ physics programmes within the next year or two if they cannot demonstrate compelling plans to improve.