MIT researchers claim to have created a method to better observe fermions – the sub-atomic building blocks of matter – by constructing a microscope capable of viewing them in groups of a thousand at a time. A laser technique is used to herd the fermions into a viewing area and then freeze them in place so all of the captured particles can be imaged simultaneously.
As mobile technology progresses, we're seeing more and more examples of low-cost diagnostic systems
being created for use in developing nations and remote locations. One
of the latest incorporates little more than a smartphone, tablet,
polarizer and box to test body fluid samples for diseases such as
arthritis, cystic fibrosis and acute pancreatitis.
Researchers in Japan have found that human aging may be able to be
delayed or even reversed, at least at the most basic level of human cell
lines. In the process, the scientists from the University of Tsukuba
also found that regulation of two genes is related to how we age.
Researchers have used data collected by the Carnegie Airborne Observatory (CAO) to uncover chemical variation in plant life across the lowland Peruvian Amazon. Quite apart from giving rise to some of the most stunning scientific imagery we've seen of the region, the study provides key information for understanding the rainforest, and assessing our future impact on it.
Using visible light magnified through a compound series of lenses to image small objects, standard optical microscopes have been with us for many centuries. Whilst continually being improved, the result of these many advances of optics and image-capturing techniques means that many high-end optical microscopes have now reached the limit of magnification possible as they push the resolution properties of light itself. In an attempt to resolve this issue, scientists at the University of Buffalo (UB) have created a prototype visible light "hyperlens" that may help image objects once only clearly viewable through electron microscopes.
(EL) panels are found in many electronics applications, particularly
as backlighting for LCD displays, keypads, watches, and other areas
requiring uniform, low-power illumination. While relatively flexible,
when EL panels made from
plastic are bent too sharply, fractures and a severely diminished
output usually result. As a result,
EL panels have generally been restricted to flat or slightly curved
surfaces. However, researchers from Karlsruhe
Institute of Technology (KIT) and
Franz Binder GmbH & Co have now developed a new manufacturing process to print
EL panels directly onto the surface of almost any convex and concave shape. Even, apparently, onto spheres.
All living organisms – human, animal, or otherwise – continuously move molecules around their cells. It's a crucial mechanism of life, vital for feeding cells the proteins they need to function. And now scientists at Northwestern University have created a machine that mimics this pumping mechanism. Their molecular pump is the world's first such machine developed entirely through chemical engineering in the laboratory, and it could one day power artificial muscles and other molecular machines.
Although we've definitely seen a number of thought-controlled prosthetic arms
before, most of those have been activated by implants in the user's
motor cortex, which is the brain's movement-control center. The arms'
resulting movements have been somewhat jerky, plus there's typically
been a delay between the user thinking about moving the arm, and the
actual movement taking place. Now, however, a team of researchers has
announced the results of an experiment in which those limitations were
Magnets are at the heart of much of our technology, and their properties
are exploited in a myriad ways across a vast range of devices, from
simple relays to enormously complex particle accelerators. A new class
of magnets discovered by scientists at the University of
Maryland (UMD) and Temple University may lead to other types of magnets
that expand in different ways, with multiple, cellular magnetic fields,
and possibly give rise to a host of new devices. The team also believes
that these new magnets could replace expensive, rare-earth magnets with
ones made of abundant metal alloys.
While just about everyone knows that bats locate prey in the dark using echolocation, one thing that many people may not
realize is the fact that horseshoe bats are particularly good at it.
With this in mind, engineers at Virginia Tech are now developing a sonar
system that emulates the system used by those bats. Once perfected, it
could be a much more compact and efficient alternative to traditional
manmade sonar arrays.