It’s the ‘lab-on-a-chip’ model

first_imgWith little more than a conventional photocopier and transparency film, anyone can build a functional microfluidic chip.A local Cambridge high school physics teacher invented the process; now, thanks to a new undergraduate teaching lab at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), students will be able to explore microfluidics and its applications.The Microfluidics Lab, developed by Anas Chalah, director of instructional technology at SEAS, takes advantage of a simple but ingenious new method of creating lab-on-a-chip devices that are quick to produce, affordable, and reusable. (Microfluidic devices are used to study liquids at the microliter scale — such as a few drops of blood from a patient — while taking advantage of some fluid behaviors that take place only at the micro-scale.)Chalah is excited — contagiously so — about the lab’s potential to serve students from all areas of science and engineering.“Harvard University shaped the emergence of the field of microfluidics and soft lithography through the leading research conducted in the labs of George Whitesides and David Weitz, among others,” he says. “Now we are bringing those areas of experimentation to the undergraduate teaching labs at SEAS.”The first course to use the lab will be the mechanical engineering course ES 123, “Introduction to Fluid Mechanics and Transport Processes.” Students enrolled in the course this spring will use sophisticated COMSOL Multiphysics software to model the flow of liquid through chips of varying structure in order to design and build optimal chips in the lab. The COMSOL software is widely used for design projects in both academic research and industry.ES 123 is structured to emphasize the importance of the design process.“Students do the simulation, go through the homework, and get exposed to the process before they even get in the lab,” says Chalah.Chalah points out that the new lab will provide a core facility for multiple areas of undergraduate study. “We can get people from different disciplines excited about the same device,” he says.For example, the do-it-yourself opportunity will also appeal to budding biomedical engineers and premedical students, who can use the lab-on-a-chip devices to study and test clinical applications.Chalah is particularly interested in a device called a concentration gradient generator, which allows two or more fluids to mix in a very controlled manner, producing a range of concentrations from 0 to 100 percent.A variation of the device is used in drug testing, as it can be used to deliver a range of very precise drug concentrations to a set of experimental cell lines. With multiple cell lines built into one chip, as many as 80 tiny experiments can be performed at once, all under the same controlled conditions. Chalah expects that bioengineering lab courses at SEAS will soon be developed that incorporate this technology.The technology used in the lab is not new, but a process that makes it affordable certainly is.Commercially available microfluidic devices are produced in a clean room using high-resolution photolithography and etching, a process which pushes the retail price to around $500 each.Local high school physics teacher Joe Childs had a better idea: Design the layout of the channels in PowerPoint, print the image, and photocopy it onto a classroom-style transparency film several times until the layers of ink create raised ridges. The process results in a negative mold that can then be used to create channels in the polymer chip.It sounds rudimentary, but it works.Childs, who teaches at the nearby Cambridge Rindge & Latin School, collaborates with faculty and students at SEAS through the Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) program funded by the National Science Foundation‘s National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network.He first developed the process in the lab of Bob M. Westervelt, Mallinckrodt Professor of Applied Physics at SEAS and professor of physics, with graduate student Keith Brown. He is now perfecting it with Chalah and an enthusiastic team of young interns for the undergraduate teaching labs.Together, they can design and build a chip in a single afternoon, and, Childs adds, “the most expensive thing that we need is a copy machine.”The resulting chips are not as precise as the commercially available versions, but the benefit — besides the low cost — is that students will be able to experience the process of designing and building the devices themselves, applying their knowledge of the fundamental principles of fluid dynamics to create a functional tool.The simplified process will allow other science teachers to introduce their students to an aspect of physics that might previously have been off-limits due to cost.“Believe me,” says Chalah, “if people knew we could build a chip so cheaply, they would jump on it like this.”The creation of the new Microfluidics Lab, on the ground floor of Pierce Hall, was enabled by a generous donation from Warren Wilkinson ’41. The lab features state-of-the-art microfluidic pumps, microscopes, ovens, and soft lithography and fabrication equipment.A student in the new Microfluidics Lab peels back the polymer, showing engraved channels from an ink-transparency template.last_img read more

DOE official: White House still reviewing coal bailout plan

first_imgDOE official: White House still reviewing coal bailout plan FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):The White House is still reviewing recommendations from the U.S. Department of Energy on how to avoid further premature retirements of coal-fired and nuclear power plants, a DOE official told lawmakers Sept. 27.Karen Evans, assistant secretary of the DOE’s newly formed Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security and Emergency Response, testified Sept. 27 before a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee. During the hearing, U.S. Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., asked Evans about the status of recent DOE proposals and requests from industry for emergency action to prevent financially struggling coal-fired and nuclear plants from closing. Based on comments Energy Secretary Rick Perry made Sept. 26, Evans said he “does not have anything new to update at this time” and “this is still a policy that is being reviewed by the White House.”The DOE in a draft memo leaked in late May was contemplating requiring grid operators to buy power or capacity for two years from certain “fuel-secure” nuclear and coal-fired power plants while the federal government determines which energy resources may be critical to national security and defense. The proposal was not final, and neither the DOE nor White House has provided updates on the draft plan, which would involve using authorities under the Defense Production Act of 1950 and Section 202(c) of the Federal Power Act.During the Sept. 27 hearing, McKinley raised concerns about New England importing…power from Canada and receiving LNG shipments from Russia this past winter to meet its electricity demand. The region’s reliance on foreign energy sources highlights the need for supporting U.S. coal-fired and nuclear plants, he said.“That’s why I think it’s so important that the White House and others move on this 202(c) or Defense [Production] Act,” McKinley said. Evans responded that she would “elevate” McKinley’s concerns with DOE leadership “to make sure it will feed into the policy process.”Coal and nuclear proponents say regulatory and market pressures are forcing the closure of plants that are needed for reliability and resilience. But critics say subsidies to support those plants will raise costs for consumers and disadvantage other forms of energy without any added reliability benefits.More ($): DOE official: White House still mulling policy to halt early plant closureslast_img read more

Update on the latest sports

first_imgNEW YORK (AP) — The NFL players’ union executive committee have voted 6-5 to recommend rejecting the terms of a labor deal approved by NFL owners the previous day.The owners’ proposal features a 17-game season, shorter preseason, larger rosters and limits on the number of international games. It will next be voted on by the 32 player representatives. Even if they reject it, the union is expected to bring the plan to the entire membership. Objections to an expanded regular season are considered the main stumbling block for player approval.In other NFL news:— The Bears have waived cornerback Prince Amukamara (ah-moo-kah-MOOR’-ah) and speedy receiver Taylor Gabriel. Amukamara started 42 games over the past three seasons and gave the Bears a physical presence in the backfield. Gabriel has 2,860 yards and 14 touchdown catches in six years with three teams.— The Jaguars exercised contract options on receiver Chris Conley and free safety Jarrod Wilson. The Jaguars now have Conley under contract through 2020 and Wilson through 2021. Wilson started all 16 games last season and led the team with 73 tackles and 1,186 snaps. Associated Press Indians’ Carrasco day to day with mild hip flexor strainUNDATED (AP) — Cleveland Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco has been diagnosed with a mild strain of his right hip flexor after feeling discomfort while doing squats in the weight room during spring training.Manager Terry Francona said Carrasco felt something in his upper leg when squatting on Wednesday.The 32-year-old pitcher made an inspiring comeback last season after being diagnosed with leukemia. He revealed that in June and returned as a reliever in September after treatment.In other MLB news: Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditNBA-SCHEDULERaptors, Celtics winUNDATED (AP) — The Toronto Raptors bounced back nicely after their team-record, 15-game winning streak was stopped by a 20-point loss at Brooklyn just before the All-Star break. Pascal Siakam (see-A’-kam) poured in 37 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as the Raptors dumped the Suns, 118-101. Siakam connected on 12 of 19 attempts, including 5 of 9 from 3-point range.Serge Ibaka (ih-BAH’-kah) contributed 16 points, while teammates Fred VanVleet and Terence Davis each added 14 for the defending NBA champs.The outcome leaves the Raptors with a 41-15 record and a 1 ½-game lead over Boston in the Atlantic Division.The Celtics kept pace as Gordon Hayward scored a team-high 29 points in a 127-117 win at Minnesota. Daniel Theis (tys) had career highs with 25 points and 16 rebounds to help the Celts win for the ninth time in 10 games.Jalen Brown accounted for 25 points for Boston, and Jayson Tatum added 28 with 11 rebounds while fellow All-Star Kemba Walker sat out because of a minor knee injury. Blue Jackets lose their top scorerUNDATED (AP) — The Columbus Blue Jackets have lost their top goal-scorer for the rest of the season.The team says forward Oliver Bjorkstrand (BYOHRK’-strand) fractured an ankle in Thursday night’s loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. General manager Jarmo Kekalainen (YAHR’-moh keh-kah-LAY’-nehn) says Bjorkstrand will be out eight to 10 weeks and might need surgery.Bjorkstrand has 21 goals and 36 points in 49 games this season. He paces Columbus with five game-winning goals and 11 multi-point games.In other NHL news: In last night’s other NBA action:— LeBron James scored 32 points and Anthony Davis finished with 28 points and 13 rebounds to send the Lakers to a 117-105 win over the Grizzlies. Avery Bradley added 14 points for the Western Conference-leading Lakers, who finished strong after blowing most of their 25-point lead. Davis had 14 points and seven boards in the fourth quarter as Los Angeles won its fourth in a row to improve to 42-12.— The Mavericks cruised to a 122-106 win at Orlando behind Luka Doncic (DAHN’-chich), who furnished 33 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. Max Kleber added a career-high 26 points off the bench as the Mavericks improved to 19-8 away from Dallas this season, bettering their road victory total from last year.— Chris Paul furnished 20 of his 29 points in the second half of the Thunder’s 113-101 triumph over the Nuggets. Steven Adams chipped in 19 points and 17 rebounds to Oklahoma City’s 14th victory in 17 games.— The Pacers were 106-98 winners over the Knicks as T.J. Warren provided 27 points and eight rebounds for Indiana. Domantas Sabonis (doh-MAHN’-tahs sah-BOH’-nihs) added 24 points and 13 boards to Indiana’s second straight win. Documents show federation lawyers repeatedly pushed members of the champion U.S. women’s team to detail distinctions between their sport, which they dominate, and the men’s game, where the Americans struggle. Joe Paterno was 85 when he died of cancer-related complications in January 2012.WOMEN’S SOCCER-EQUAL PAYAmerican women seek more than $66M in damages from US SoccerUNDATED (AP) — Players on the U.S. women’s national team are seeking more than $66 million in damages as part of their gender discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation.Players on the women’s national team sued the federation last March alleging institutionalized gender discrimination. — Astros outfielder Josh Reddick says he and other players have received death threats in the wake of the team’s sign-stealing scandal. Reddick told reporters in Florida that he received threats on social media and people have commented on pictures of his infant twins, saying they hope they get cancer.PGA-MEXICO CHAMPIONSHIPDeChambeau birdies his way to 1-shot lead in MexicoMEXICO CITY (AP) — Bryson DeChambeau is the leader at the midway point of the Mexico Championship.DeChambeau carded seven birdies in an eight hole stretch for an 8-under 63 in this World Golf Championship event. He will enter Saturday with a one-stroke lead over Erik van Rooyen and Patrick Reed at 11 under. The win leaves the Blues four points ahead of Dallas. The Stars have a game in hand.Colorado leapfrogged ahead of the Stars and remain three points behind St. Louis after the Avalanche earned a 1-0 win at Anaheim. J.T. Compher scored in the second period to back Pavel Francouz (FRAN-sohs), who made 26 saves in his first NHL shutout.The Avalanche have won a season-high five straight on the road and have taken 10 of their last 14 overall.Elsewhere on NHL ice:— The Bruins picked up their fifth straight win as Patrice Bergeron (pah-TREES’ BEHR’-zhuh-rahn) supplied a pair of goals in a 4-3 decision over the Flames. Bergeron has scored 21 times in 32 games since returning from a lower-body injury, one reason for Boston’s five-point lead over Tampa Bay in the Atlantic Division race.center_img Update on the latest sports — Dejounte (dih-ZHAHN’-tay) Murray’s 23 points and seven rebounds led the Spurs’ balanced attack in a 113-104 downing of the Jazz. DeMar DeRozan added 18 points and seven assists, while LaMarcus Aldridge chipped in 15 points and eight rebounds as San Antonio stopped Utah’s four-game winning streak.— Zion Williamson hit the 20-point mark for the seventh straight game by providing 25 in the Pelicans’ 128-115 win against the Trail Blazers. Jrue (jroo) Holiday finished with 20 points and nine assists as New Orleans won for the fourth time in five games.— The Cavaliers won their first game under interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff as Colin Sexton scored 14 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter of their second consecutive victory, 113-110 against the Wizards. Cedi Osman added 16 points and Darius Garland had 15 to help Cleveland win for the third time in 16 games since their previous two-game winning streak.NBA-LAKERS-RESCHEDULESNBA reschedules Lakers games NHL-SCHEDULEBlues pad division lead, Avs winUNDATED (AP) — The St. Louis Blues have put a little more distance between themselves and the Dallas Stars atop the NHL’s Central Division.David Perron (peh-RAHN’) scored his team-leading 24th goal and the Blues picked up their third win in a row by thumping the Stars, 5-1. Jaden Schwartz added his 20th goal to give St. Louis a 4-0 lead and chase All-Star Ben Bishop from the nets early in the second period.Colton Parayko (pah-RAY’-koh) collected a goal and two assists for the defending Stanley Cup champs, while Jordan Kyrou (KY’-roo) furnished a goal and an assist. The documents say a former vice president of student life told police he had no idea that Anderson had remained at the school for decades after he confronted the doctor about the allegations.PENN STATE-ABUSEPenn State settles ‘outstanding issues’ with Paterno familyHARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Penn State and the family of the late head football coach Joe Paterno announced Friday they have resolved “outstanding issues” that had divided them, eight years after he was fired following assistant coach Jerry Sandusky’s child molestation arrest. Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts of child sexual abuse in 2012 and is serving a 30- to 60-year prison sentence.The deal ends a lawsuit against the university by the Paternos’ son Jay Paterno, who is currently a member of the Penn State board. Jay Paterno had claimed the university-commissioned report into the scandal had unfairly tarnished him and made him unable to find work as a football coach. February 22, 2020 Justin Thomas and Hideki Matsuyama (maht-soo-YAH’-mah) are two strokes back and one ahead of Rory McIlroy.UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN-DOCTOR INVESTIGATIONDocuments: Michigan student says he reported doctor’s abuseANN ARBOR, Michigan (AP) — Documents show a doctor continued to work at the University of Michigan for decades after a supervisor confronted him about allegations of sex abuse.According to the documents released to The Associated Press on Friday, one former student told investigators that Dr. Robert E. Anderson was known by student athletes as “Dr. Drop your drawers Anderson.” That man says he told his wrestling coach and others that Anderson molested him during a medical exam in the 1970s. — The Islanders’ season-worst, four-game losing streak is over after Jordan Eberle notched his third career hat trick to lead a 4-1 win against the Red Wings. Leo Komarov (KAH’-mah-rahv) added an empty-netter and Semyon Varlamov (SEHM’-yuhn vahr-LAH’-mahv) stopped 21 shots for New York, which scored just twice in a just-completed, 0-4 road trip.— Jared Spurgeon scored three times and the Wild gave their fading playoff hopes a boost with a 5-3 win against the Oilers. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a pair of goals and an assist for Edmonton, which remains one point behind Vegas for the Pacific Division lead.— The Rangers made it eight wins in 11 games as Mika Zibanejad (MEE’-kuh zih-BAN’-eh-jad) furnished a goal and two assists in a 5-2 verdict over the Hurricanes. Artemi Panarin (ahr-TEH’-mee pah-NAH’-rihn) and Ryan Strome (strohm) each had a goal and an assist in New York’s seventh consecutive road win.— Alex DeBrincat’s (deh-BRIHN’-kats) second goal of the night came 4:02 into OT and sent the Blackhawks past the Predators, 2-1. Corey Crawford stopped 42 shots to backstop Chicago’s second win in nine games.NHL-NEWS — The Bruins have added an experienced forward by getting Ondrej Kase (AHN’-dray KAH’-shah) from the Ducks for veteran center David Backes (BAK’-ehs) and 20-year-old blueline prospect Axel Andersson. The move frees up cap space for the Bruins, who were still on the hook for Backes’ contract after he and the team agreed he should stay away from the club while Boston tried to work out a deal.— The Islanders have retired John Tonelli’s No. 27, although he’s given Anders Lee his blessing to continue wearing the jersey number. Tonelli scored or assisted on some of the more memorable playoff goals while the franchise was winning four straight Stanley Cups. He joins Denis Potvin, Clark Gillies, Bryan Trottier, Bob Nystrom and Billy Smith in the rafters at Nassau Coliseum, along with coach Al Arbour and GM Bill Torrey.— Winnipeg native Cody Eakin has been acquired by the Jets from the Golden Knights for a conditional fourth-round pick in 2021. The draft choice will become a third-rounder next year if the Jets make the playoffs or re-sign Eakin to a new contract by July 5.— The Sabres have placed suspended defenseman Zach Bogosian on unconditional waivers with the intention of terminating his contract. The move puts Buffalo in position to part ways with a disgruntled player who asked to be traded earlier this season and spent the past week refusing to report to the minors.MLB-NEWS UNDATED (AP) — The game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers that was postponed following Kobe Bryant’s death has been rescheduled for April 9. The game was originally scheduled for Jan. 28, two days after Bryant’s death in a helicopter crash. The Lakers will play at home on three straight nights, with the NBA saying Friday that the game against Golden State scheduled for April 9 will be played April 7 and the game against Chicago set for April 7 will be played April 8.In other NBA news:— Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns will sit out for at least two more weeks because of an injured left wrist that the team announced Friday is broken. Towns first had an X-ray after hurting his wrist Jan. 25 against Oklahoma City.NFL LABORUnion committee rejects NFL labor deal; player reps to votelast_img read more