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Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) have built a cheap 3D-printed attachment able to turn smartphones into sophisticated microscopes. Armed with the new device, a smartphone would be able to detect single DNA strands and analyze them to diagnose diseases including cancer and Alzheimer’s without bulky and expensive equipment. Read More
Ever since Antonie van Leeuwenhoek turned his simple microscope on a bit of pond water in the 17th century, optical microscopes have been a key tool for biologists. Unfortunately, they’re rather limited as to the smallness of what they can see – or at least, they were. This year's winners of the Nobel Laureates in Chemistry, Eric Betzig, Stefan W. Hell and William E. Moerner, changed all that. Their discovery of two methods to bypass the physical limits of optical microscopes led to the creation of the field of nanomicroscopy. Read More
Fluorescent lights aren't on the top of many people’s favorites list. Ever since they were introduced at the New York World’s Fair in 1939, they've been notorious for their cold, bluish light that is the definition of “uncomplimentary” and accompanied by flickering and a telltale buzz. Cree, Inc. is aiming to relegate fluorescent tubes to the pages of history with its new T8 series of LED tubes that promise LED-level energy savings and greatly improved light quality. Read More
Central to the dangers of so-called "date-rape" drugs is the fact that they are difficult to detect. Indeed, GHB, one of the most commonly-used of such drugs, is both colorless and odorless. A team of researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has developed a fluorescent sensor which, when mixed with a drink containing GHB, changes color within 30 seconds, potentially alerting people soon after their drink has been tampered with. Read More
Scientists have developed a special DNA clamp to act as a diagnostic nano machine. It's capable of detecting genetic mutations responsible for causing cancers, hemophilia, sickle cell anemia and other diseases, more efficiently than existing techniques. Not only can the clamp be used to develop more advanced screening tests, but it could also help create more efficient DNA-based nano machines for targeted drug delivery. Read More
Research carried out by a team of scientists at the University of Southern Denmark literally sheds new light on how a non-invasive technique for the early diagnosis of stomach ulcers could be performed in the future. The findings of the researchers point to a fast, hassle-free method that does not require sample tissues, unlike current testing methods. Read More
Scientists in Guangdong Province, Southern China, have created piglets that glow green under a black-light. The glow is caused by a fluorescent protein from jellyfish DNA that was transferred into the embryos within the sow, as a marker to show that the transfer of genetic material had been successful. Read More
If you regularly watch any police forensics TV shows, then the word "Luminol" is probably already part of your vocabulary. Now, however, you might also want to add the word "Lumicyano." That's the name of a new product that is said to reveal latent fingerprints faster, cheaper and better than other methods. Read More
Just about any sushi-lover knows what unagi is – it’s eel, or more specifically, the Japanese freshwater eel Anguilla japonica. What those people might not know, however, is that the eel glows green in the dark. Now, it looks like the protein that allows the fish to do so could also help doctors to assess human liver function. Read More
Fluorescent lights are one of those things that you see everywhere, but that nobody likes. They flicker, they hum, they produce a rather unattractive light, plus they’re fragile and contain toxic substances. They may also be on their way out – scientists from North Carolina’s Wake Forest University have created a new form of lighting that they say could be used in the same large-scale applications as fluorescent bulbs, but that lacks their shortcomings. Read More
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