Worcester, Mass. - In a paper published in Nature Scientific Reports, a team of researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has demonstrated how a device that uses beams of light to grip and manipulate tiny objects, including individual cells, can be miniaturized, opening the door to creating portable devices small enough to be inserted into the bloodstream to trap individual cancer cells and diagnose cancer in its earliest stages. The technique, known as optical tweezers, uses optical beams of laser light to create an attractive force field that can hold, or trap, small objects in place without physical contact. Traditional optical tweezers focus the light with a large and expensive lens, which makes the device bulky and susceptible to environmental fluctuations. These limitations make optical tweezers impossible to use outside the lab. In their Scientific Reports paper ("Objective-lens-free Fiber-based Position Detection with Nanometer Resolution in a Fiber Optical Trapping … [Read more...] about WPI team taking optical device from the lab to the clinic to detect cancer much earlier
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A personal bias can influence everything from the brands we buy to the way we treat other people, and in today's world, these pre-existing beliefs can lead to intense racial, political and religious conflicts. What if there were a way to reduce this bias? Research from the College of Business at Virginia Tech University suggests that it's possible to activate a mindset that leads people to become open to questioning their assumptions. The study is available online in the Journal of Consumer Psychology. One of the reasons biases are so rampant is rooted in the human need for "cognitive consistency," which means processing information in a way that confirms preset beliefs, explains Ann-Sophie Chaxel, a professor at Virginia Tech and author of the study. "Usually we think we are objective when we make decisions, but we are very subjective," Chaxel says. "People unconsciously distort information to confirm their pre-existing beliefs." Chaxel explored whether she could lead people to … [Read more...] about Disagreements can be a healthy antidote for biases
On Dec. 11, 2017, six researchers discussed initial findings based on observations of the Sun and on Earth gathered during the solar eclipse that stretched across North America on Aug. 21, 2017. Ranging from new information about the way the Sun's atmosphere generates heat, to how the dip in solar energy affected Earth's atmosphere, and even how to protect against contaminating other planets with bacteria, the researchers shared their results at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union, in New Orleans. "This eclipse gave us an opportunity to cement the idea of the Sun-Earth connection," said Lika Guhathakurta, who headed up NASA's science efforts for the Aug. 21 eclipse. "A variety of new observations, instruments and observational platforms were enabled by this eclipse. It will be fascinating to watch how these develop into new research plans and new technology for future use." A moment in the Sun's atmosphere While total solar eclipses happen about once every 18 months … [Read more...] about Eclipse 2017: Science from the moon’s shadow
A long-standing approach of throwing everything into a chip increasingly is being replaced by a focus on what can be left out it.This shift is happening at every level, from the initial design to implementation. After years of trying to fill every square nanometer of real estate on a piece of silicon with memory and logic, doubling the number of transistors from one process node to the next, it’s becoming harder technologically and financially to keep up that pace. Heat, power, complexity and rising costs per transistor after 28nm have made it less attractive to continue doing things the way they were done in the past.“Complexity has increased substantially in terms of how we manage 16, 10 and 7nm designs and to be able to get them to work as expected,” said Ruggero Castagnetti, distinguished engineer at Broadcom. “Even if you don’t run at lower voltages due to the challenges of scaling voltage, the voltage budgets get squeezed. And while total power may … [Read more...] about What Can Be Cut From A Design?
Since the dawn of time for the EDA industry, the classic V diagram has defined the primary design flow. On the left hand side of the V, the design is progressively refined and partitioned into smaller pieces. At the bottom of the V, verification takes over and as you travel up the right-hand side of the V, verification and integration happens until the entire design has been assembled and validation can be performed.But along the way, as designs became larger, the V started to break down and increasing numbers of companies wanted to start verification on the left-hand side when the design decisions were being made and problems could be found closer to the point where they could be rectified before detailed design had been conducted.At the same time, logic simulation became unable to process the whole design, meaning that additional tools had to be brought in to solve pieces of the verification challenge. This created an opportunity to rethink about the way in which the verification … [Read more...] about Can Verification Meet In The Middle?
The company that developed the Western world’s first gene therapy will withdraw its pioneering treatment from the market because of a lack of demand.The drug, Glybera, was the most expensive prescription medication in history at $1 million for a one-time round of injections (see “The World’s Most Expensive Medicine Is a Bust”). It contains engineered viruses carrying copies of a gene meant to correct lipoprotein lipase deficiency, a rare metabolic disease. Glybera’s approval by European drug regulators in 2012 marked a milestone for the field of gene therapy after a series of setbacks and safety problems. But low demand for the therapy and questions about its effectiveness have plagued Glybera’s manufacturer, UniQure, based in Amsterdam and Lexington, Massachusetts. “It wasn’t just that it cost $1 million; it’s that it came to market without much evidence basis that it was worth $1 million,” says Casey Quinn, a health … [Read more...] about The World’s Most Expensive Medicine Is Being Pulled from the Market
Your whole life might be getting a lot more connected. As the Internet of Things continues to permeate seemingly every aspect of our existence, we’re now being introduced to the latest participants to enter the fray. Meet SensePeanut, described as an “innovative range of smart, intuitive sensors designed to bring affordable, easy-to-use connected life functionality to the masses.”These series of individual sensor tags are each meant to “perform, monitor, or track” an element of your livelihood, all for just $29 each.IFA 2016: TP-Link rebrands to focus on consumers, boosting market share in U.S.The first four Peanuts zero in on temperature, sleep, medication, and smart switches. Promising to be “as simple as possible to install” and boasting “advanced functionality to solve a range of everyday lifestyle and home management tasks,” these smart sensors interact with both iOS and Android devices using Bluetooth 4.0. Apparently, you can … [Read more...] about Your whole life can be connected to the Internet of Things with SensePeanut
Samsung heard your cries after it ditched the MicroSD slot on the Galaxy S6, and did an about-face with this year’s Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, which puts it on par with the LG G5. However, it was initially reported neither phone would be able to install apps on the MicroSD card since they don’t utilize Google’s new adoptable storage system. Updated on 03-02-2016 by Robert Nazarian: Added in new information regarding Samsung’s option to move apps to the MicroSD card.Now that devices are being shipped, we are learning more about how Samsung is treating apps in regards to storage. While it’s still true that the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge don’t use Google’s adoptable storage system, Samsung did add an option to move apps to the MicroSD card.After testing the feature, Droid-life found that all non-system apps can be moved to external storage very easily. While this was only seen on a Galaxy S7, we can only presume the same feature will also be on … [Read more...] about Turns out the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge can move apps to the MicroSD card
There is nothing quite like gathering around a bonfire with friends and family. Whether you’re at a campsite or just hanging out in the backyard, the warmth and light generated by a fire can be incredibly relaxing. The downside of course is having to deal with the smoke, which can get into your eyes, permeate your hair and clothes, and even choke your lungs. At times, it can be enough to ruin the entire experience. But BioLite has come up with a brilliant new product that promises to eliminate these problems altogether.The company’s new FirePit, which launched on Kickstarter on September 18, incorporates some innovative design elements that are meant to drastically improve the humble campfire. The designers at BioLite know that most of the smoke generated from such fires is due to how inefficiently wood tends to burn. To change that, the FirePit features a built-in fan that can push air through 51 individual jets, providing more oxygen directly to the flames. This … [Read more...] about Your next campfire can be smokeless thanks to BioLite’s new FirePit
If you drive a Nissan Leaf, you’ll want to pay attention. Heck, if you drive any “connected car,” this story may prove eye opening.A computer security researcher by the name of Troy Hunt has been able to penetrate the Nissan Leaf’s software with merely a Web browser and Internet connection. Moreover, the regular ol’ Leaf was tapped from thousands of miles away, proving what Hunt hypothesized a while ago.Though the developer was only able to access the Leaf’s HVAC (climate controls and seat heaters), his discovery raises questions about what else might be vulnerable with better resources or more time. Indeed, if the security risks lead to experiments like Chrysler’s UConnect hacking, there may be broader concerns for Leaf owners.While at a developer conference, Hunt met an attendee who began using Nissan’s smartphone app to control features on his own Leaf not intended by the automaker. What’s worse, the developer could control other … [Read more...] about Nissan’s Leaf EV can be hacked from anywhere, with just an Internet connection