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Science Connect: The Translational Approach

April 15, 2015 4:37 pm | by Lindsay Hock, Editor | Comments

Translational research is a paradigm for research designed to enable innovative thinking by leveraging the benefits of collaboration. First emerging in the mid-1990s in reference to cancer studies spanning basic science, over the past two decades the definition has broadened and evolved.

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Making injections less painful

April 15, 2015 10:45 am | by Mike Williams, Rice Univ. | Comments

If the Rice Univ. freshman engineering design team Comfortably Numb has it their way, children will be less fearful and feel less pain when they go to the doctor’s office for a shot. The trio of freshmen has created a device to ease the pain of an injection. Their device numbs the skin prior to a shot by producing a rapid chemical reaction to cool the patient’s skin.

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Clean up your life with chemistry life hacks

April 14, 2015 12:11 pm | by American Chemical Society | Comments

Ever run out of your go-to cleaning product, and you’ve got a mess that you just can’t leave alone? Have no fear, chemistry is here. Reactions is back with another round of Chemistry Life Hacks series, and it’s all about cleaning.

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Science Connect: Flexibility Built In

April 13, 2015 10:09 am | by Lindsay Hock, Editor | Comments

Flexibility is critical when considering the future of science, research and lab environments. However, research needs down the road are difficult to predict, and flexibility is hard to define. Yet, reducing a facility’s flexibility may mean the loss of spare engineering capacities/infrastructures, services planning and space for anticipated growth and fit-out.

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What happens underground when a missile or meteor hits

April 13, 2015 7:37 am | by Robin A. Smith, Duke Univ. | Comments

When a missile or meteor strikes the earth, the havoc above ground is obvious, but the details of what happens below ground are harder to see. Duke Univ. physicists have developed techniques that enable them to simulate high-speed impacts in artificial soil and sand in the lab, and then watch what happens underground close-up, in super slow motion.

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Erupting electrodes

April 10, 2015 8:49 am | by Mary Beckman, PNNL | Comments

An eruption of lithium at the tip of a battery's electrode, cracks in the electrode's body and a coat forming on the electrode's surface reveal how recharging a battery many times leads to its demise. Using a powerful microscope to watch multiple cycles of charging and discharging under real battery conditions, researchers have gained insight into the chemistry that clogs rechargeable lithium batteries.

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Science Connect: The Evolving Lab Environment

April 9, 2015 11:01 am | by Lindsay Hock, Editor | Comments

Science is evolving: It’s becoming more translational and multidisciplinary in nature. Just as science evolves, so do lab environments. Most lab environments are now designed to be more open and not just meant for one discipline—today, biologists may work next to chemists, or chemists work alongside physicists, and so on.

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VEST helps deaf feel, understand speech

April 9, 2015 9:59 am | by Mike Williams, Rice Univ. | Comments

A vest that allows the profoundly deaf to “feel” and understand speech is under development by engineering students and their mentors at Rice Univ. and Baylor College of Medicine. Under the direction of neuroscientist David Eagleman, Rice students are refining a vest with dozens of embedded actuators that vibrate in specific patterns to represent words. The vest responds to input from a phone app that isolates speech from ambient sound.

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Can you make your own Game of Thrones sword using chemistry?

April 8, 2015 8:41 am | by American Chemical Society | Comments

The fantasy epic Game of Thrones is back April 12, 2015, and it is sure to be chock full of intrigue, indiscretions and, of course, swords. The most sought-after blades in Westeros are made from Valyrian steel, forged using ancient magic. But could you make your own Valyrian steel sword using real-life chemistry?

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Optical method for producing high-res, 3-D images of nanoscale objects

April 8, 2015 8:07 am | by Bjorn Carey, Stanford Univ. | Comments

To design the next generation of optical devices, ranging from efficient solar panels to LEDs to optical transistors, engineers will need a 3-D image depicting how light interacts with these objects on the nanoscale. Unfortunately, the physics of light has thrown up a roadblock in traditional imaging techniques: The smaller the object, the lower the image's resolution in 3-D.

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Science Connect: Sexy Laboratories

April 7, 2015 11:34 am | by Lindsay Hock, Editor | Comments

Sometimes just reading about great lab and building design isn’t enough. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and the annual Laboratory Design Conference allows our attendees to view some of the most sexy, most well-planned and most sustainable labs there are in the host city.

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How do you feel? Video of your face may tell all

April 7, 2015 7:42 am | by Mike Williams, Rice Univ. | Comments

Rice Univ. researchers are developing a highly accurate, touch-free system that uses a video camera to monitor patients’ vital signs just by looking at their faces. The technique isn’t new, but engineering researchers in Rice’s Scalable Health Initiative are making it work under conditions that have so far stumped earlier systems.

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Cells exercise suboptimal strategy to survive

April 6, 2015 10:42 am | by Mike Williams, Rice Univ. | Comments

There are few times in life when one should aim for suboptimal performance, but new research at Rice Univ. suggests scientists who study metabolism and its role in evolution should look for signs of just that. A study published in BMC Systems Biology details a computational method called corsoFBA.

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Diagnosis by keyboard

April 1, 2015 2:05 pm | by Anne Trafton, MIT News Office | Comments

Analyzing people’s keystrokes as they type on a computer keyboard can reveal a great deal of information about the state of their motor function, according to a new study. In the study, the researchers found that their algorithm for analyzing keystrokes could distinguish between typing done in the middle of the night, when sleep deprivation impairs motor skills, and typing performed when fully rested.

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Streamline Tedious Lab Chemical Management Tasks

April 1, 2015 1:56 pm | by Accelrys/Biovia/Dassault | Comments

If you’re feeling pressured to be more efficient, you’re not alone. Research labs are facing an ever-growing number of chemical safety regulations and reports. This short video shows how to ensure compliance.

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