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The Lead

Slinky-like 'Hyperlens' Enables Observation of Single Molecules

May 25, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. at Buffalo | News | Comments

It looks like a Slinky suspended in motion. Yet this photonics advancement– called a metamaterial hyperlens– doesn’t climb down stairs. Instead, it improves our ability to see tiny objects. The hyperlens may someday help detect some of the most lethal forms of cancer.

Atomic-level 'Flyovers' Show How Radiation Boosts Superconductivity

May 25, 2015 7:00 am | by Brookhaven National Laboratory | News | Comments

Sometimes a little damage can do a lot of good— at least in the case of iron-based high-...

Technique Advances Color 3-D Printing

May 25, 2015 7:00 am | by Columbia Engineering | Videos | Comments

A team of scientists has developed a technique that enables hydrographic printing, a widely used...

Super Balls Are Physicists' Favorite Toys

May 25, 2015 7:00 am | by Inside Science News Service, Joel Shurkin | News | Comments

Super Balls are toys beloved by children because of their extraordinary ability to bounce....

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Good Sound Quality Definition Differs by Culture

May 22, 2015 1:30 pm | by Acoustical Society of America | News | Comments

Play a flute in Carnegie Hall, and the tone will resonate and fill the space. Play in in the Grand Canyon, and the sound will crash against the rock walls. The disparity is clear— to the modern listener, the instrument belongs in an auditorium. But, in the past, people sought echoes. The response of audiences and performers to acoustic characteristics is a function of their worldview, and it is as fluid as the environment they inhabit.

MRI Magnets Get Second Life in Physics Experiments

May 22, 2015 1:30 pm | by Argonne National Laboratory | News | Comments

When it comes to magnets, a doctor’s trash is a physicist’s treasure. Researchers at a national lab recently acquired two decommissioned magnets from MRI scanners from hospitals that will find a new home as proving grounds for instruments used in high-energy and nuclear physics experiments.

ICYMI: Deadly Dog Flu; A Paper with 5,000 Authors; Dr. Seuss Marine Life

May 22, 2015 8:50 am | by Michelle Taylor, Editor-in-Chief | News | Comments

Welcome to Laboratory Equipment's new Friday series, In Case You Missed It (ICYMI), where we bring you three trending news stories from the week. A deadly dog flu, concerns about scientific publishing and a highway just for butterflies are up for review today. 

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This Device Will Self-destruct

May 22, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of Illinois | Videos | Comments

Researchers have developed heat-triggered self-destructing electronic devices, a step toward greatly reducing electronic waste and boosting sustainability in device manufacturing. They also developed a radio-controlled trigger that could remotely activate self-destruction on demand.

LHC Sets New Energy Record

May 21, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Scientists operating the world's biggest particle collider say they have set a new energy record ahead of the massive machine's full restart in June. CERN says it succeeded late Wednesday in smashing together protons at 13 trillion electronvolts.

Folding Drone Speeds into Action

May 21, 2015 7:00 am | by EPFL | Videos | Comments

Inspired by origami, a folding drone unfurls and takes off in a third of a second. The moment it is turned on, the rotors engage, the articulated arms extend and the drone begins moving.  

Mysterious Stone Tools Predate Man

May 21, 2015 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Malcolm Ritter | News | Comments

Scientists have discovered a trove of stone tools far older than any ever found before. Nobody knows who made them— or why. At 3.3 million years old, they push back the record of stone tools by about 700,000 years. More significantly, they are half-a-million years older than any known trace of our own branch of the evolutionary tree.

Light-emitting, Transparent Paper Key to Flexible Electronics

May 20, 2015 3:00 pm | by ACS | News | Comments

A new step has been made toward bendable electronics. Scientists have developed the first light-emitting, transparent and flexible paper out of environmentally friendly materials via a simple, suction-filtration method.

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Tech May Fundamentally Change Wireless Connections

May 19, 2015 3:00 pm | by Univ. of Bristol | News | Comments

Radio systems, such as cell phones, have become an integral part of modern life. However, today’s devices use twice as much of the radio spectrum than necessary. New technology could fundamentally change radio design and increase data rates and network capacity, reduce power consumption, create cheaper devices and enable global roaming.

Nanosized Faucet Backs Up Quantum Theory

May 18, 2015 7:00 am | by McGill Univ. | Videos | Comments

We all know intuitively that normal liquids flow more quickly as the channel containing them tightens. According to a longstanding quantum-mechanics model, superfluid helium would behave differently from a normal liquid: far from speeding up, it would actually slow down. Now, a team has succeeded in conducting experiments with the smallest channel yet– less than 30 atoms wide to test the model.

Patriots Respond to Deflategate with Their Own Spin on Science

May 15, 2015 2:41 pm | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | News | Comments

The New England Patriots and their attorneys have come out swinging, claiming that scientific laws disprove the alleged conspiracy known as Deflategate. A full rebuttal of the NFL investigation has been posted on a dedicated website, and the team enlisted the help of a Nobel Laureate to explain why the team is innocent of machinations in the AFC championship game.

3-D Printing Helps Study Spider Silk

May 15, 2015 9:03 am | by MIT, Kelsey Damrad | News | Comments

Spider silk has long been noted for its graceful structure, as well as its advanced material properties: Ounce for ounce, it is stronger than steel. Now, scientists have developed a systematic approach to research its structure, blending computational modeling and mechanical analysis to 3-D print synthetic spider webs.

Robot Rodeo Highlights Bomb Squads

May 15, 2015 7:00 am | by Sandia National Laboratories | Videos | Comments

Bomb squads from across the country saddled up their robots and are duking it out at the ninth annual Western National Robot Rodeo and Capability Exercise. The five-day event offers a challenging platform for civilian and military bomb squad teams to practice defusing dangerous situations with robots’ help.

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Tech Might Have Prevented Amtrak Derailment

May 14, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Joan Lowy | News | Comments

The deadly Amtrak derailment near Philadelphia appears to be yet another accident that didn't have to happen. It could have been avoided if a long-sought safety technology had been installed on its tracks and trains, according to information gathered by accident investigators.

LHC Findings Back Physics’ Standard Model

May 14, 2015 3:00 pm | by Fermilab | News | Comments

Two experiments at the Large Hadron Collider have combined their results and observed a previously unseen subatomic process. A joint analysis by the CMS and LHCb collaborations has established a new and extremely rare decay of the Bs particle into two muons. Theorists had predicted that this decay would only occur about four times out of a billion, and that is roughly what the two experiments observed.

Q&A: Svenja Reinke and X-raying Chocolate

May 14, 2015 7:00 am | by Lily Barback, Associate Editor | News | Comments

Laboratory Equipment’s scientist of the week is Svenja Reinke from Technischen Universität Hamburg-Harburg. She and a team X-rayed chocolate to learn more about fat bloom.

Feather-inspired Nanomaterials Play with Light to Create Color

May 14, 2015 7:00 am | by UC San Diego | News | Comments

Inspired by the way iridescent bird feathers play with light, scientists have created thin films of material in a wide range of pure colors— from red to green— with hues determined by physical structure rather than pigments.

Touch Makes 'Cool' Material Glow

May 14, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of Michigan | Videos | Comments

A new material stays liquid more than 200 F below its expected freezing point, but a light touch can cause it to form yellow crystals that glow under ultraviolet light. Even living cells sitting on a film of the supercooled liquid produce crystal footprints, which means that it's about a million times more sensitive than other known molecules that change color in response to pressure.

Research Creates Weakest Magnetic Field in the Solar System

May 13, 2015 3:00 pm | by Technische Universität München | News | Comments

Magnetic fields easily penetrate matter. A team of physicists has now developed a shielding that dampens low frequency magnetic fields more than a million-fold. Using this mechanism, they have created a space that boasts the weakest magnetic field of our solar system.

One Finger Can Control a Swarm of Robots

May 13, 2015 7:00 am | by Georgia Institute of Technology | Videos | Comments

Using a smart tablet and a red beam of light, researchers have created a system that allows people to control a fleet of robots with the swipe of a finger. A person taps the tablet to control where the beam of light appears on a floor. The swarm robots then roll toward the illumination, constantly communicating with each other and deciding how to evenly cover the lit area.

Self-driving Cars are Having Accidents on Public Roads

May 11, 2015 8:40 am | by Associated Press, Justin Pritchard | News | Comments

Four of the nearly 50 self-driving cars now rolling around California have gotten into accidents since September, when the state began issuing permits for companies to test them on public roads. Two accidents happened while the cars were in control; in the other two, the person who still must be behind the wheel was driving.

Laughs from Lab: May 11, 2015

May 11, 2015 7:00 am | by Lily Barback, Associate Editor | News | Comments

The editors of Laboratory Equipment want you to start your week with a smile on your face. So, here’s a science joke you might like. Q: What does a subatomic duck say?

Research May Enable Table Top Testing of Dark Energy Theories

May 8, 2015 3:00 pm | by Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter | News | Comments

Scientists have designed an experiment to test a popular candidate theory that could explain the mechanisms behind dark energy. Now, they have reached an important milestone on the long road they have been following for the past four years: a working dark energy force detector.  

Fracture Prints Help Solve Child Abuse Cases

May 8, 2015 7:00 am | by Michigan State Univ. | Videos | Comments

Much like a finger leaves its own unique print to help identify a person, researchers are now discovering that skull fractures leave certain signatures that can help investigators better determine what caused the injury. Implications from the research could help with the determination of truth in child abuse cases, potentially resulting in very different outcomes.

Water Fuels Explosive Volcanoes

May 7, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of Oregon | News | Comments

Researchers methodically examined water and other elements contained in olivine-rich basalt samples that were gathered from cinder cone volcanoes that surround Lassen Peak in Northern California, at the southern edge of the Cascade Range. The study explained how magma forms deep underground and produces explosive volcanoes in the range.

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