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Test Spots Cocaine Use from a Single Fingerprint

May 21, 2015 | by Univ. of Surrey | Comments

Research has demonstrated a new, non-invasive test that can detect cocaine use through a simple fingerprint. For the first time, this new fingerprint method can determine whether cocaine has been ingested, rather than just touched.

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Quasar Quartet Surprises Astronomers

May 21, 2015 9:00 am | by W. M. Keck Observatory

Astronomers have discovered the first quadruple quasar: four rare active black holes situated in close proximity to one another. Because the discovery comes with one-in-ten-million odds, perhaps cosmologists need to rethink their models of quasar evolution and the formation of the most massive cosmic structures.

GCMS With Raman Spectroscopy Key to Finding Life on Mars

May 21, 2015 9:00 am | by Univ. of Kansas

Raman spectroscopy is able to screen for carbonaceous material, a possible sign of life on mars, but it can’t determine its source. Researchers are calling for the use of gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy to supplement Raman spectroscopy and develop more conclusive evidence of ancient extraterrestrial life.

Ocean Has Hidden Fertilizer

May 21, 2015 9:00 am | by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

A new study has revealed a marine phosphorus cycle that is much more complex than previously thought. The work also highlights the important but previously hidden role that some microbial communities play in using and breaking down forms of this essential element.


Restructuring of Electron Cloud in Molecule Seen in Real-time

May 21, 2015 9:00 am | by Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology

In recent years, scientists have learned how to study ultrafast processes taking place at the atomic and molecular levels, and research in this field is expected to yield some very important results. The recombination of electron shells in molecules, taking just a few dozen attoseconds, can now be viewed “live,” thanks to a new method.  

Detector ‘Sees’ Single Electrons

May 5, 2015 9:00 am | by MIT, Jennifer Chu

Physicists have developed a new tabletop particle detector that is able to identify single electrons in a radioactive gas. As the gas decays and gives off electrons, the detector uses a magnet to trap them in a magnetic bottle.

Device Measures Molecules One at a Time

May 5, 2015 9:00 am | by Caltech

Building on their creation of the first-ever mechanical device that can measure the mass of individual molecules, one at a time, a team of scientists have created nanodevices that can also reveal their shape. Such information is crucial when trying to identify large protein molecules or complex assemblies of protein molecules.

Nanotubes Interact with Blood-brain Barrier

May 5, 2015 9:00 am | by ICN2

New research has investigated the ability of amino-functionalized multi-walled carbon nanotubes to cross the Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB) by two ways: in vitro— using a co-culture BBB model comprising primary porcine brain endothelial cells (PBEC) and primary rat astrocytes— and, in vivo— following a systemic administration of radiolabelled f-MWNTs.  

Changes in Breath Signal Stomach Cancer

May 5, 2015 9:00 am | by BMJ

A new type of technology that senses minute changes in the levels of particular compounds in exhaled breath accurately identifies high risk changes that herald the development of stomach cancer. The technology— known as nanoarray analysis— could be used not only to test for the presence of stomach cancer, but also to monitor those at high risk of subsequently developing the disease.


Scientists Study Legal Marijuana

May 5, 2015 9:00 am | by ACS

More than a year into Colorado's experiment legalizing marijuana, labs testing the plants are able for the first time to take stock of the drug's potency and contaminants— and openly paint a picture of what's in today's weed.

Micro GC Rapidly Detects Volatile Organic Compounds

April 23, 2015 9:00 am | by Virginia Tech

Over the past several decades, the progress in micro fabrication technology has revolutionized the world in such fields as computing, signal processing and automotive manufacturing. One researcher has developed a credit-card-sized gas chromatography platform that can analyze volatile compounds within seconds.

Hyperspectral Imaging Spots Peanut Contamination

April 23, 2015 9:00 am | by IM Publications LLP

Study the label of almost any food product and you're likely to see the rather vague warning, "May contain peanuts," somewhere on there. These warnings of peanut contamination could soon lose much of their uncertainty, thanks to a novel form of near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy known as NIR hyperspectral imaging.

Molecule Tricks Viruses into Mutating to Death

April 23, 2015 9:00 am | by Univ. of Chicago

A newly developed spectroscopy method is helping to clarify the poorly understood molecular process by which an anti-HIV drug induces lethal mutations in the virus’ genetic material. The find could bolster efforts to develop the next generation of anti-viral treatments.  

Research Reveals Why a Pea Cultivar is Heat Tolerant

April 23, 2015 9:00 am | by Canadian Light Source

A recent collaboration is proving the potential for molecular imaging in plant research that could produce greater yields, healthier varieties and more food for a hungry planet with a rising average temperature. Researchers used spectroscopy to examine the development of pollen grains during the development of two pea varieties exposed to heat stress.

Fracking Chemicals Provide Basis for Testing, Regulation

April 23, 2015 9:00 am | by Elsevier

The organic chemicals in fracking fluid have been uncovered in two new studies, providing a basis for water contamination testing and future regulation. The research reveals that fracking fluid contains compounds like biocides, which are potentially harmful if they leak into the groundwater.

Chemicals Can Attract Mosquitos, Stem Malaria

April 7, 2015 9:00 am | by London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

In a world first, researchers have found that a naturally occurring chemical attracts pregnant malaria-transmitting mosquitoes– a discovery that could boost malaria control efforts. The chemical, cedrol, found in mosquito breeding sites near Africa’s Lake Victoria, could be used in traps that would “attract and kill” the female mosquito, preventing reproduction.

Imaging Tech Can See Living Cells

April 7, 2015 9:00 am | by Purdue Univ.

A vibrational spectroscopic imaging technology that can take images of living cells could represent an advanced medical diagnostic tool for the early detection of cancer and other diseases. High-speed spectroscopic imaging makes it possible to observe the quickly changing metabolic processes inside living cells and to image large areas of tissue, making it possible to scan an entire organ.

Researchers Freeze Highly Charged Ions

April 7, 2015 9:00 am | by Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt

Inside a cryogenic radiofrequency ion trap, highly charged ions are cooled down to sub-Kelvin temperatures by interaction with laser-cooled singly charged Beryllium ions. This new method opens the field of laser spectroscopy of HCIs providing the basis for novel atomic clocks and high-precision tests of the variability of natural constants.

New Technique Analyzes Precious Art Sans Damage

April 7, 2015 9:00 am | by Science and Technology Facilities Council

Precious works of art in need of preservation or authentication could be studied using a laser technique, Micro-SORS, derived from a technique called Spatially Offset Raman Spectroscopy (SORS). Last year, researchers proved the method could analyze artificially prepared layers of paint without destroying any part of them. Now, they have successfully applied it to real objects of precious art.

Paleolithic Hunters Poisoned Their Weapons

April 7, 2015 9:00 am | by Univ. of Cambridge

Dozens of common plants are toxic. Archaeologists have long suspected that our Paleolithic ancestors used plant poisons to make their hunting weapons more lethal. Now, scientists have developed a technique for detecting residues of deadly substances on archaeological objects.

Old Spectroscopy Tool Enables Quantum Leaps

March 19, 2015 9:00 am | by Univ. of Michigan

Physicists have demonstrated "ponderomotive spectroscopy," an advanced form of a technique that was born in the 17th century when Isaac Newton first showed that white light sent through a prism breaks into a rainbow. A new twist on this old tool lets scientists use light to study and control matter with 1,000 times better resolution and precision than previously possible.


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