A fiber-optic cable is a bundle of thousands of light-carrying glass threads. A start-up called Illumina in San Diego plans to put a test tube on the tip of each.
Born in the Tufts laboratory of chemist David Walt, the scheme uses hydrofluoric acid to etch a dimple at the end of each fiber. The teensy wells-each holds just a billionth of a microliter-can be filled with reagent-bearing beads or cells. Expose the bundle end to a patient’s blood or to a test chemical that induces a light-generating reaction and each test tube sends in a report via its fiber. Illumina is betting that the lab-on-a-tip will speed diagnostic tests, chemical sensing and genome experiments.
The hype around DeepMind’s new AI model misses what’s actually cool about it
Some worry that the chatter about these tools is doing the whole field a disservice.
These materials were meant to revolutionize the solar industry. Why hasn’t it happened?
Perovskites are promising, but real-world conditions have held them back.
Why China is still obsessed with disinfecting everything
Most public health bodies dealing with covid have long since moved on from the idea of surface transmission. China’s didn’t—and that helps it control the narrative about the disease’s origins and danger.
A quick guide to the most important AI law you’ve never heard of
The European Union is planning new legislation aimed at curbing the worst harms associated with artificial intelligence.
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