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Robotic System Enables Early-Earth Simulations

A new robotic system at Georgia Tech’s Center for Chemical Evolution could soon let scientists better simulate and analyze the chemical reactions of early Earth on the surface of real rocks.In a proof-of-concept study, scientists selected a region for analysis using a 3-D camera on a robotic arm, which mapped the three-dimensional coordinates of the sample’s surface. The scientists programmed the robotic arm to poke the sample with an acupuncture needle. The needle collected a small amount of material that the robot deposited in a nearby mass spectrometer.To show that the system was capable of probing a three-dimensional object, the researchers imprinted ink patterns on the surfaces of polystyrene spheres. The team then used the robotic arm to model the surfaces, probe specific regions, and see if samples collected were sufficient for mass spectrometry analysis. The robot-mass spec combo may also be useful to dermatologists who often probe lesions on the skin, which have distinct molecular signatures depending on if the lesion is a tumor or normal skin tissue.SourceAlso: Learn about Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry on Satellites.

Posted in: News

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Liquid Metal Pump Breakthrough for Microfluidics

RMIT University researchers have developed the world's first liquid metal enabled pump, a revolutionary new microscale device with no mechanical parts. The unique design will enable micro-fluidics and lab-on-a-chip technology to finally realize their potential, with applications ranging from biomedicine to biofuels.

Posted in: News

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Dr. Vadim Smelyanskiy, Principal Scientist, Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

Dr. Vadim Smelyanskiy, Principal Scientist, Ames research Center, Moffett Field, CA Dr. Vadim Smelyanskiy is a principal scientist for physics-based methods in the Exploration Technology Directorate at NASA Ames Research Center. During his tenure at NASA, he has been the principal investigator on several projects funded by NASA and other government agencies.

Posted in: Who's Who

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Coming Soon - Scripted Analysis of Charged Particle Beams Passing through Electromagnetic Fields

When a charged particle beam passes through electromagnetic fields in a device, the size and shape of the beam vary at any given distance along the beam axis.

Posted in: Upcoming Webinars

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Vote on NASA's Next Spacesuit Design

NASA's Z-2 Suit is the newest prototype in its next-generation spacesuit platform, the Z-series. The surface-specific planetary mobility suit is the first to be tested in full vacuum. The prototype used 3D human laser scans and 3D-printed hardware for suit development and sizing. The suit-port concept is integrated with a hard upper torso suit structure.The cover layer of a prototype suit is important as it serves to protect the suit against abrasion and snags during the rigors of testing.  NASA is leaving the design up to you. Choose which of three candidates will be built. The deadline is April 15.Vote now.

Posted in: News

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Will 'Smell Notes' Catch On?

Set for a beta launch in July, a new "oPhone" app allows users to compose and send notes containing aromas. The free app lets user send the smell note by text or email, based on a set menu of scents contained in 'Ochips.' The message can be received like a typical text from a mobile device, and recipients can then download the composition from hotspots, which will be set up in the launch city of Boston. Creators of the technology see potential for the scent technology as a new type of self-expression, and possibly even a new language that may be used together with music, books, and other kinds of art.

Posted in: Question of the Week

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Connectors Outperform Hardwiring for Manufacturers and Their Customers

Many thousands of equipment manufacturers have switched from point-to-point (hard) wiring to connector-based cable assemblies in factory and process automation and control systems. Adopting progressive connectivity solutions has improved their unit costs and productivity. It allows them to turn around orders and complete installations much faster. With margins under increasing pressure, many OEMs have come to regard these benefits as a must-have. For many of their customers, the principal argument for connector-based wiring over hardwiring – a lower total cost of ownership over the service life of the machine – is equally compelling.

Posted in: Electronics & Computers, White Papers

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