Researchers at University of Newcastle, Melbourne, opens new doors to discovery with world’s first Scanning Helium Microscope

It was predicted few months back by WSJ, that electron microscope market was worth $10 bn.The figures are going to change drastically now after researchers from University of Newcastle, claim to build the world’s first Scanning Helium Microscope (SHM), putting an end to decades of wait in the scientific community, thus opening new doors to discovery.

Scientist can rejoice now that their samples would be characterized without getting damaged, thanks to the latest invention.

Earlier, when samples were subjected to characterization under scanning electron microscope or transmission electron microscope, they would deteriorate because of high intensity electron beam, becoming much the reason of scientists agony.

The claim from University of Newcastle, would be nothing but a boon to the scientific community and certainly lights up a path for more improvement in microscopes necessary for nanoscale imaging.

A butterfly wing under investigation by an optical microscope, versus the new scanning helium microscope.

Photo: A butterfly wing under investigation by an optical microscope (left), versus the new scanning helium microscope (right). (Supplied: University of Newcastle)

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Close up of spider’s fang imaged by the scanning helium microscope. University of Newcastle

Detail of a honey bee’s eye imaged by the scanning helium microscope. University of Newcastle

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Read full interview with scientist behind the breakthrough


“Explanation is work for second-rate minds.”

Math with Bad Drawings

You want to drive me into a fit of blood-boiling rage? Here are some options:

  • Burn down a used bookstore.
  • Sponsor legislation banning the use of peanut butter in desserts.
  • Offhandedly mention that you think baby chimpanzees aren’t that cute, and when I begin frantically Googling evidence to persuade you, keep shaking your head and saying, “Nah, they’re just not doing it for me.”


  • Or, if you want to take the easy route, just bust out this quote from the great mathematician G.H. Hardy:


The blood…

The boiling…

Oh, the boiling of the blood…


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The Essence of Mathematics, in One Beatles Song

What is mathematics? Let the Beatles teach you

Math with Bad Drawings

Okay, here’s a life regret: No one has ever stopped me on the street, grabbed me by the collar, and demanded that I explain to them the essence of mathematics.

I’ve envisioned it many times, though.

What math teacher hasn’t?

20160425071213_00003Me: So, you want to get math?

Assailant: Obviously! Why else would one human being violently accost another, if not for the acquisition of knowledge?

Me: Easy, then! All you need to do is listen to Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Assailant: [arches eyebrow] You can’t be serious. The Beatles album?

Me: [easing out of their grip, brushing my collar] Naturally! The whole album is trippy and spectacular, of course. But I’m talking about the final moments of the final track, a song that Rolling Stone has hailed as the Beatles’ greatest: “A Day in the Life.”

Assailant: [listening on an iPhone] This better be good…

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MIT Scientist reach breakthrough in Neuro Science with the help of nanotechnology

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Nano-Neuro Knitting: Spinal cord injuries, serious stroke and severe traumatic brain injuries affect more than 5 million Americans at a total cost of $65 billion a year in treatment.

Rodents blinded by a severed tract in their brains’ visual system had their sight partially restored within weeks, thanks to a tiny biodegradable scaffold invented by MIT bioengineers and neuroscientists.

This technique, which involves giving brain cells an internal matrix on which to regrow, just as ivy grows on a trellis, may one day help patients with traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and stroke.

The study, which will appear in the online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) the week of March 13-17, is the first that uses nanotechnology to repair and heal the brain and restore function of a damaged brain region.

Text by: Deborah Halber, MIT News Office



India Scientist invents Chip to Detect Cancer Early, Costs less than a dollar

newSource : the new indian express

BENGALURU:  Innovators often draw inspiration from personal experiences. Dr Deepika Sharma was spurred by a tragedy to come up with a device that brings down the costs of cancer detection.

Described as a ‘microfluidic low-cost organ-on-chip for cancer metastasis and drug optimisation’, the device can detect cancer early and help choose the right drugs.

Sharma’s mother died of urethral cancer five years ago. The death prodded the scientist to work on a device that could detect cancer early.

“If there had been a tool for early detection, we could have saved my mother,” she said.

The chip she is developing costs as little as Rs 30 and could cost even less if mass-produced. The project has been taken up by the Institute of Nano Science and Technology, Mohali, Punjab, to which she is attached.

Speaking to Express on the sidelines of the eighth Bangalore India Nano Summit, organised by the Department of IT, BT and Science and Technology, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research and other organisations, Sharma said work on the device was progressing rapidly. It will hit the market within a year, she said.

She is working with Dr Bhanu Prakash and Asim Varma on the project. The prototypes, on display at the summit, have succeeded in detecting prostrate cancer, she disclosed.

Its transparent material, olydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), is etched using a laser to emulate endothelial cells, which line the insides of blood vessels.

When samples are placed on the sensor and observed under a microscope, medical professionals can tell if the patient has cancer, Shrma said.

cheap and effective

  • Mother’s death from cancer prodded scientist Dr Deepika Sharma to design cancer detecting device
  • Lowcost gadget can also be used to determine which treatment is appropriate for a patient
  • Currently used to detect prostrate cancer, it can be used to test on other cancers soon

Noting that the cost of such devices shoot up when patented, Sharma said her team was keen to keep the price affordable.

“We will publish results of its success in the detection of prostate cancer within a year. Soon, we will be able to test it on other cancers,” she said.

The device can also be used to determine which treatment is appropriate for a patient.

“People respond to medicines differently. With the PDMS sensor, we can ascertain which medicines suit them better, rather than let them consume a cocktail of drugs,” Asim Varma said.

The current technique for detecting cancer – biopsy, in which a tissue is taken and examined closely in a lab – is expensive, with prices varying across hospitals. The nano-device will be a cost-effective alternative, he said.