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Ben Thomas
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A brand-new 3-D printing technology creates objects at about 50 times the speed of current printers - not by printing them layer-by-layer, but by "growing" them, in one single piece, out of liquid resin.

"UV light triggers photo polymerization and oxygen inhibits it. By carefully balancing the interaction of light and oxygen, CLIP continuously grows objects from a pool of resin... Parts printed with CLIP are much more like injection-molded parts. CLIP produces consistent and predictable mechanical properties, creating parts that are smooth on the outside and solid on the inside."

Read more here: http://bit.ly/18CBHjY

Original journal paper here: http://bit.ly/1DxEfh3
Carbon3D lives at the intersection of hardware, software and molecular science. Our CLIP technology allows commercial customers to go beyond 3dprinting/additive manufacturing to truly achieve 3D manufacturing
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This newly discovered 480-million-year-old Anomalocaridid was 7 feet long - and it was a relative of the modern lobster, cockroach and tarantula.

"The reconstructed A. benmoulae had side-facing eyes and two articulated appendages jutting from the 'mouth' area, covered in a comb of spines with which it captured plankton... 'We have found the oldest example of gigantism in a freely swimming filter feeder,' Daley said... The researchers said the creature's flaps were likely the precursors of the double-branched legs of today's arthropods, 'but at a stage before they fused together into one leg'."

Read more here: http://bit.ly/1AkNiur

Original journal paper here: http://bit.ly/1EAAqaQ
A 480-million-year-old relative of the lobster, cockroach and tarantula was a sea monster which snared food with spine-covered protrusions on its head, researchers said Wednesday.
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Ben Thomas

• General/Interdisciplinary  - 
 
Why you should think twice before sharing a science headline:

"Sciencey headlines are pre-packaged cultural tokens that can be shared and reshared without any investment in analysis or critical thought — as if they were sports scores or fashion photos or poetry quotes — to reinforce one’s aesthetic self-identification as a “science lover.” One’s actual interest doesn’t have to extend beyond the headline itself."

Full article here: https://medium.com/@writingben/a-disease-of-scienceyness-7b5571a34953
How misguided science fandom hurts actual scientists
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Ben Thomas

• Biology  - 
 
Researchers swell up biological specimens to 4.5x their original size - using the same polymers found in baby diapers.

"After injecting the gel into some chemically treated samples of brain tissue, the researchers triggered the material to expand by adding water – which it did, smoothly, to 4.5 times its original size... Despite the tissue’s 4.5-fold increase in size, the researchers calculated that its shape had changed by less than one percent. This meant their expansion process was effectively identical to a 4.5-fold magnification increase."

Read more here: http://bit.ly/1yCJYya

Original journal paper here: http://bit.ly/1BkJdcS

Video here: http://bit.ly/1Cm4F2A
To see the tiniest of structures under the microscope, researchers employ swellable polymers to expand biological tissue to several times its original size.
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This is really a good example of thinking outside the box. 
If the sample you want to look at is too small for regular light microscope, instead of manipulating the optics, make the sample bigger.

This is one of those ways that impresses me about MIT.  They seem to have a lot of 'out - of - the - box' thinkers.

The press release from MIT has more information and a video.
http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/enlarged-brain-samples-easier-to-image-0115
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This microphone extracts sound from silent video footage, based on tiny vibrations detectable in the video.

"We show how, using only high-speed video of the object, we can extract those minute vibrations and partially recover the sound that produced them, allowing us to turn everyday objects—a glass of water, a potted plant, a box of tissues, or a bag of chips—into visual microphones. We recover sounds from highspeed footage of a variety of objects with different properties, and use both real and simulated data to examine some of the factors that affect our ability to visually recover sound. We evaluate the quality of recovered sounds using intelligibility and SNR metrics and provide input and recovered audio samples for direct comparison."

Read more here: http://bit.ly/1nnJVwf

Original journal paper [PDF] here: http://bit.ly/1uCG8yx
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So, if the speakers are farther away from one another than from the window, we can silence them all by sending out a phase shifted beam of sound! (need a fast fast processor!)
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Ben Thomas

Science News (Pop Sci)  - 
 
A new electron microscope enables researchers to pick out individual atoms.

"The detector that collects electrons emerging from the sample measures the energy losses, and from this the atoms in the path of the beam can be identified. The detector can simultaneously produce multiple images -- one for every different species of atom in the sample, and these can be color-coded, each color representing a different electron energy signature."

Read more here: http://bit.ly/1BLWcpX

(no journal paper online yet, as fas as I can find)
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Ben Thomas

Shared publicly  - 
 
+Nature Publishing Group interviewed me about my article "A Disease of Scienceyness," which went viral this week (to my surprise) and set off a debate about who's responsible for spreading misinformation.
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Ben Thomas

• Physics  - 
 
For the first time ever, we've directly observed one of the most notorious (and weirdest) phenomena in quantum mechanics: Researchers create a "frozen" wave of light that interacts with matter as a stream of particles - demonstrating that light is both a series of waves AND a series of particles, at the same time.

"While this phenomenon shows the wave-like nature of light, it simultaneously demonstrated its particle aspect as well. As the electrons pass close to the standing wave of light, they 'hit' the light's particles, the photons. As mentioned above, this affects their speed, making them move faster or slower. This change in speed appears as an exchange of energy "packets" (quanta) between electrons and photons. The very occurrence of these energy packets shows that the light on the nanowire behaves as a particle."

Read more here: http://bit.ly/1Eagv0F

Original journal paper here: http://bit.ly/18EXatj
(Phys.org)—Light behaves both as a particle and as a wave. Since the days of Einstein, scientists have been trying to directly observe both of these aspects of light at the same time. Now, scientists at EPFL have succeeded in capturing the first-ever snapshot of this dual behavior.
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Amazing
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A new study finds that monkeys - unlike humans - go for the cheaper option when given a choice of two brands.

"The researchers taught the animals that they could trade a metal token for one piece of expensive cereal, or three pieces of the cheap one. For the first round, the monkeys could shop freely – and they almost always chose the cheaper option. The researchers then tried changing the price, to see if the monkeys would switch brands, and they did – to the cheaper option."

Read more here: http://bit.ly/11TDpu3

Original journal paper here: http://bit.ly/15OOv5N
To our primate cousins, “more expensive” doesn’t mean “better" - which means that monkeys are more rational in this case than humans are.
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This is funny
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Ben Thomas

• Physics  - 
 
Researchers develop a nanoparticle that enables magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and fluorescent imaging in living animals!

In the study, which used mice as subjects, the researchers found that the nanoparticles headed towards the liver, where nanoparticles typically end up. It was there that the nanoparticles came in contact with vitamin C (which is produced by the mouse's liver), the MRI signals were turned off, and the Cy5.5 began to fluoresce. Vitamin C ultimately finds its way to a mouse’s brain, and so the researchers were able to detect fluorescence there. Meanwhile, in areas where the concentration of vitamin C was low, the MRI contrast proved to be strong.

Read more here: http://bit.ly/1z33EbX

Original journal paper here: http://bit.ly/11lBXAk
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Amazing
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Have him in circles
127 people
Daisy Hessenberger's profile photo
Kelvin Thomas's profile photo
Peter William's profile photo
Jae Z's profile photo
勝宏精密科技股份有限公司's profile photo
Rajneesh Mishra's profile photo
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Professional geek. Knowledge devourer.
Introduction
http://twitter.com/writingben

I blog about science, health and careers for Scientific American, TechRepublic, HuffPost, Nature, Discover Magazine, Forbes ...and anywhere else that'll print my ramblings.

In 2010, I launched The Connectome (the-connectome.com), a neuroscience news agency with feeds on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, as well as a SoundCloud podcast featuring interviews with world-renowned neuroscientists.

In short, I'm addicted to learning.
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I'm an expert at weaving scientific discoveries into compelling narratives. I'm featured regularly on leading science news websites, and I'm engaged in active dialogue with hundreds of scientists, writers, producers and followers. I specialize in explaining the latest research to the public in down-to-earth terms, and promoting discussion about its implications throughout digital and physical spaces.
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