This week I had the honor of crowning the winner of National Instruments' student design competition, in which students show off the various inventive ways they use NI's LabView software. For those who don't know, NI builds the software and systems by which an engineer can test and prototype pretty much anything, from an irrigation system to a rocket. LabView is a software environment in which you can put together your parts ahead of time to test how much voltage goes here, how much interference results over there.
By Jennie WaltersPosted 03.30.2011 at 4:25 pm 7 Comments
A team of engineers at Ohio State University have packed a nanoparticle full of fluorescent blinking quantum dots. When the particle is attached to a single molecule, it functions as a gaudily glowing beacon.
With their bright, continuous fluorescent glow that transitions between red, green and yellow, the nanoparticle is a better way to tag molecules, both in its function and in its good looks.
Today in clever science tricks: a new kind of microscopy that can see down to resolutions smaller than the wavelength of the imaging light itself. On its face, this shouldn't be possible; the smallest resolution you should be able to get in the visible spectrum is about 200 nanometers because of the lower limits of visible light's wavelengths. But with a special lens, Dutch researchers have used 561-nanometer laser light to image gold nanoparticles just 97 nanometers across.
Engineers at Ohio State University have created the first stand-alone, stationary lens that can create microscopic 3-D images. Up until now, 3-D microscopes needed multiple lenses or movable cameras to capture all sides of an object. With this lens, viewers can capture nine different angles of a microscopic object at once.
Talk about upping your shutter speed. A new X-ray laser method is able to image a single mimivirus (that’s a large virus, sure, but it’s still really small) completely just before the energy of the X-ray beam cause the virus to explode in a burst of plasma.
Criminals tempted to return to the scene of the crime might find themselves rethinking that impulse if the Questionable Observer Detector is embraced by police forces. The QuOD scans video of a crime scene, searching for those in all-too-frequent attendance, hoping that those repeat gawkers might in fact know something about the crime itself.
A new kind of biomedical imaging developed at Harvard is allowing researchers to capture video at scales never before seen, allowing for streaming footage at the subcellular level. The new technique, based on stimulated Raman scattering (SRS), can capture video of red blood cells squeezing through capillaries.
A new type of image-manipulation software could help salvage all the home video footage shot during your awkward phase. It can automatically modify the shapes of human bodies on video, dropping unsightly pounds without burning a single calorie.
Developers at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics in Saarbrücken, Germany compiled 3D scans of 120 men and women of varying sizes, merging them into a single model that can be morphed to any shape and overlaid atop original footage.
By Sam Biddle - GizmodoPosted 08.26.2010 at 2:30 pm 1 Comment
"Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits," Thomas Edison once said. But is hustling all it takes? Is progress always deliberate? Sometimes genius arrives not by choice—but by chance. Below are our ten favorite serendipitous innovations.
By Geeta DayalPosted 07.30.2010 at 11:11 am 7 Comments
Imagine being able to examine anything you want, at the atomic level, in your living room. If Sacha De'Angeli gets his way, a scanning tunneling electron microscope -- currently just the domain of research labs -- will be something you can order off the Web, as an easy-to-assemble, open-source kit, for about $1000.