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The Lead

NMR using Earth’s magnetic field

August 20, 2014 | by Rachel Berkowitz, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | News | Comments

Earth’s magnetic field, a familiar directional indicator over long distances, is routinely probed in applications ranging from geology to archaeology. Now it has provided the basis for a technique which might, one day, be used to characterize the chemical composition of fluid mixtures in their native environments.

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R&D Daily

Unlocking the potential of simulation software

August 21, 2014 7:44 am | by Rob Matheson, MIT News Office | News | Comments

With a method known as finite element analysis (FEA), engineers can generate 3-D digital models of large structures to simulate how they’ll fare under stress, vibrations, heat and other real-world conditions. Used for mapping out large-scale structures, these simulations require intensive computation done by powerful computers over many hours, costing engineering firms much time and money.

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Water-cooled Perfection

August 20, 2014 4:47 pm | Award Winners

Hewlett-Packard and National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s HP Apollo supercomputing platform approaches HPC from an entirely new perspective as the system is cooled directly with warm water. This is done through a “dry-disconnect” cooling concept that has been implemented with the simple but efficient use of heat pipes. Unlike cooling fans, which are designed for maximum load, the heat pipes can be optimized by administrators.

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Chaos that Brings Order

August 20, 2014 4:29 pm | Award Winners

Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s DUCCS is ultra-efficient software that utilizes highly parallel chaotic map computations to quickly (in a few minutes) and efficiently detect component faults in computing units, memory elements and interconnects of hybrid CPU-GPU computing systems.

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New Playing Field for Localization Microscopy

August 20, 2014 3:58 pm | Carl Zeiss | Award Winners

Prior to the introduction of the ELYRA P.1 with 3D PALM by Carl Zeiss Microscopy LLC, commercially available 3-D localization techniques resulted in images where the resolution was not uniform throughout a small capture volume due to location dependent localization precision. The utilization of these techniques would not allow researchers to model biological structures in a fast and reliable manner over large capture volumes.

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Indentation Tool for Biomedicine

August 20, 2014 3:40 pm | Award Winners

Hysitron Inc. developed a nano- to microscale biomechanical test instrument with load noise floor of less than 30 nN that fills this gap by uniting indentation tools with an optically configured microscope. The instrument combines powerful optical imaging with in-situ mechanical characterization and high resolution scanning probe imaging to allow researchers to directly correlate optical characterization with mechanical properties of biological samples.

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Pocket Microscope

August 20, 2014 3:28 pm | Award Winners

Most microscopes are expensive, built with high-quality metals, optics and electronics to perform with high accuracy. However, not all useful microscopes need to be built this way, and Stanford Univ. has taken this premise to the extreme with a microscope that is made with parts that cost less than $1. A frugal, origami-based solution, the Foldscope can be assembled from 2-D media in less than 10 min, yet can provide more than 2,000X magnification, which is submicrometer resolution.

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Lifting Limits on Thermal AFM

August 20, 2014 3:18 pm | Award Winners

With the introduction of the VertiSense Scanning Thermal Microscopy Module, Applied NanoStructures Inc. has brought a new level of flexibility to thermal imaging using an atomic force microscope (AFM). The probe module’s sensor design provides, for the first time, absolute and nanoscale temperature measurement during the application of scanning thermal microscopy (SThM), which captures both topographical and thermal images.

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Beating the Diffraction Limit

August 20, 2014 3:05 pm | Award Winners

Super-resolution microscopy has emerged as a leading subcellular imaging technique over the past decade, bringing tagged nanoscopic biological elements into full view for researchers. Leica Microsystems has been a development leader in this segment of microscopy, and one of its newest products, the TCS SP8 STED 3X, brings a new element to imaging capabilities.

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Nanoscale Measuring, Without Harm

August 20, 2014 2:42 pm | Award Winners

Engineers at Hitachi Ltd.’s Yokohama Research Laboratory have achieved a spatial resolution of 3 nm and imaging repeatability of 0.5 nm in the new Plasmon‐Excitation Optical Scanning Probe Microscope (Optical SPM), which allows users to obtain difficult nondestructive measurements of nanoscale devices.

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Rapid Non-contact 3-D Measurements

August 20, 2014 2:26 pm | KEYENCE Corporation | Award Winners

Contact-type measurement systems are often used to acquire accurate 3-D measurements. However, multiple adjustments, such as probe and sample placements, must be set prior to the measurement function and the user is left with a single data line for future evaluation. Keyence Corp. conceived its VR-3000 Series One-shot 3D Measurement Macroscope as a way to reduce this time investment: It achieves height information data capture in just 5 sec on parts up to 10 mm and has a measurement repeatability of 0.5 μm. This is a first in non-contact 3-D inspection and measurement.

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Flattening Yields Faster CT

August 20, 2014 2:14 pm | Award Winners

In 2012, more than 85 million computed tomography (CT) scans were performed in the U.S. Of these, 16% were thoracic scans. Up to now, this has been done manually and sequentially in what is a tedious, lengthy and error-prone process. Engineers at Siemens Corporate Technology and Siemens Healthcare, Computed Tomography have launched a new solution to save radiologists time and increase diagnostic confidence for thoracic bone assessment.

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Corn Fears No Drought

August 20, 2014 1:57 pm | Award Winners

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, many states across the U.S. currently display drought conditions ranging from severe to exceptional, including regions in the Western Great Plains. In 2013, corn farmers in these areas were able to plant deeper roots and produce strong yields with Monsanto’s Genuity DroughtGard Hybrids.

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Cleaning Up Catastrophic Messes

August 20, 2014 1:50 pm | Award Winners

Hitachi Research Laboratory and Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy Ltd joined together to develop the Hitachi Cs-Sr simultaneous adsorbent to treat radionuclide-contaminated water being stored at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. This adsorbent is the first of its kind that can simultaneously adsorb radioactive cesium (Cs) and radioactive strontium (Sr) dissolved in water at a high adsorption rate of 99% or better, satisfying the standards for drinking water established by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (radiation dose of 10 Bq/L or less) using half the quantity of conventional adsorbents.

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Clean Water for All

August 20, 2014 12:09 pm | Award Winners

Clean Filtration Technologies LLC, a subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company, has developed the TEQUATIC PLUS fine particle filter. The filter is a disruptive technology that unlike conventional filters can clean itself. Constant fouling and plugging are things of the past, replaced by high uptime and low maintenance.

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Could elastic bands monitor patients’ breathing?

August 20, 2014 11:39 am | News | Comments

Research published in ACS Nano identifies a new type of sensor that could monitor body movement and advance the future of global health care. Although body motion sensors already exist in different forms, they have not been widely used due to their complexity and cost of production.

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