The Daily brief: July 28, 2011

July 28, 2011, 5:00 p.m.

Maria v. Serena? | A matchup between Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams is possible this Friday, assuming Williams wins her match against Maria Kirilenko today. The two, with the tournament’s other players, are competing for a $721,000 purse.

Freidenrich Center | The School of Medicine broke ground for the Jill and John Freidenrich Center for Translational Research this week, a three-story, 30,000 square-foot facility for designing and conducting human-subject clinical trails. The Center will bring together the wide array of specialists required to organize the trials, many of whom are currently distributed across multiple buildings on campus. The building is expected to be complete in fall 2012.

Shaping nanowires | A team of Stanford researchers led by mechanical engineering assistant professor Xiaolin Zheng have developed a versatile new method of attaching nanowires to surfaces. The potential benefits include being able to apply circuitry to flexible computer monitors or ultrasensitive biosensors. The trick, according to Zheng, is coating the silicon wafers these wires are normally applied to with thin layers of nickel before fabricating the circuitry. Because of how water interacts with nickel and silicon, the circuit will lift off the silicon wafer when water is applied at room temperature.

Overheard | “The current national education standards push for science as inquiry. And because inquiry has a whole different set of meanings to different people, the understanding that students should be doing science to learn science has sometimes been overwhelmed by the notion that that was just messing around, and that children really needed to be learning facts.” — Helen Quinn ’63 M.S. ’64 Ph.D. ‘67, physics professor emeritus, speaking to the SLAC News Center about a report on K-12 science education standards issued by a National Academy of Sciences committee she chaired.

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