Research News

Study describes a tabletop source of bright, coherent X-rays

Producing tightly focused beams of high energy X-rays, to examine everything from molecular structures to the integrity of aircraft wings, could become simpler and cheaper according to new research.

Read more: Study describes a tabletop source of bright, coherent X-rays

 

Fluorescence eye test reveals neurological diseases in livestock

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fl-scrapie-sheep-sThe eyes of sheep infected with scrapie—a neurological disorder similar to mad cow disease—return an intense, almost-white glow when they're illuminated with blue excitation light, according to a research project led by Iowa State University's Jacob Petrich.

Read more: Fluorescence eye test reveals neurological diseases in livestock

   

2011 Bunsen-Kirchhoff Award for Analytical Spectroscopy

The DASp seeks nominations for the 2011 Bunsen-Kirchhoff Award for Analytical Spectroscopy to honour preferably the work of young scientists from universities, research institutes or industry who made excellent contributions to analytical spectroscopy.

Read more: 2011 Bunsen-Kirchhoff Award for Analytical Spectroscopy

   

Hairbrush for functional NIR imaging of brain

fNIR-hairbrush1-sOne of the main techniques for measuring and monitoring mental activity, functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), can often be impaired because a person’s hair gets in the way. A team of researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas and the University of Texas at Arlington have developed a “brush optrode”, which provides increased sensitivity with fibre tips designed to thread through hair to enhance scalp contact.

Read more: Hairbrush for functional NIR imaging of brain

   

Rutherford Lecture celebrates Raman anniversary

Professor Robin ClarkProfessor Robin Clark CNZM FRS, Sir William Ramsay Professor Emeritus, UCL, gave the University of Canterbury's premier biennial lecture, the Rutherford Lecture, in the Town Hall, Christchurch, New Zealand, on “Raman's legacy: Spectroscopy in the Cause of Art and Archaeology” on 29 September 2010.

Read more: Rutherford Lecture celebrates Raman anniversary

   

Optical frequency comb offers improved trace gas detection

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optical-frequency-comb-sScientists at JILA (a joint operation of the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the University of Colorado at Boulder) and collaborators have demonstrated an improved laser-based "molecular fingerprinting" technique that picks out traces of key hydrogen-containing and other molecules from a billion other particles in a gas in just 30 seconds or less—performance suitable for breathalysers for diagnosing disease, measuring trace gases in the atmosphere, detecting security threats and other applications.

Read more: Optical frequency comb offers improved trace gas detection

   

Faster CARS has potential for cell diagnostics

Faster CARS has Potential for Cell DiagnosticsA paper by researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) may breathe new life into the use of a powerful—but tricky—diagnostic technique for cell biology. The paper in the Biophysical Journal, demonstrates that with improved hardware and better signal processing, an enhancement to Raman spectroscopy, broadband coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (B-CARS), can quickly deliver detailed molecular maps of the contents of cells without damaging them. Earlier studies have suggested that to be useful, the technique would need power levels too high for cells.

Read more: Faster CARS has potential for cell diagnostics

   

"SpectroPen" could aid surgeons in detecting edges of tumours

SpectroPenBiomedical engineers are developing a hand-held device called a SpectroPen that could help surgeons see the edges of tumours in human patients in real time during surgery. Statistics indicate that complete removal, or resection, is the single most important predictor of patient survival for most solid tumours.

Read more: "SpectroPen" could aid surgeons in detecting edges of tumours

   

ToF-SIMS for better explosives detectors

Time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) is proving to be critical for identifying and differentiating the various components of explosives. ToF-SIMS can potentially be used to differentiate between explosive manufacturers and to reveal an explosive material’s country of origin.

Read more: ToF-SIMS for better explosives detectors

   

New FT-IR oil detection technique

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CSIRO scientist, Sean Forrester, using the hand-held FT-IR to detect oil in soil. Image courtesy Ben Dearman, Ziltek Pty LtdCSIRO scientists have developed a new technique using a hand-held FT-IR spectrometer for the rapid on-site detection and quantification of petroleum hydrocarbons (commonly derived from crude oil) in soil, silt, sediment or rock.

Read more: New FT-IR oil detection technique

   

NMR/MRI for microfluidics

Pines-microflow-sThrough a combination of remote instrumentation, JPEG-style image compression algorithms and other key enhancements, Alexander Pines and members of his research group have been able to use Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to image materials flowing through microfluidic “lab-on-a-chip” devices and zoom in on microscopic objects of particular interest with unprecedented spatial and time resolutions.

Read more: NMR/MRI for microfluidics

   

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