microscope objective

Sherlock Holmes (TV series, 1984) - Love and sex innuendo masterpost

This is an old masterpost, I’m moving all innuendo to this analysis.

The analysis is work in progress, but here I will leave some of the innuendo I’ve already written down, but not moved to the new analysis.

Sometimes Holmes and Watson just have sexually charged moments that are textual.

Visual metaphors are used to represent sexual events when there is reason not to show them explicitly. They are heavily adopted in this show because the era was very conservative, generally towards sex and specifically towards homosexuality.

In this show, there are many scenes in which items sometimes used as phallic objects (pipes, cigarettes, sticks, guns, trains, pipettes, flasks) or penetrable holes (tunnels, magnifying glasses) are possibly intended as such, but:

1) there are some scenes which are elaborately constructed as a detailed metaphors for love and sec actions:

2) there are also some shots in which objects related to sex and love are positioned very particularly in relation to the characters’ bodies or in unlikely places. 


Sometimes the dialogue hints at romance ans sex.

Rainbows and bi colour schemes are a symbol for the LGBT community, so they can be used to represent queer people and relationships.

Breaking The Supposed Limit In Seeing The Microscopic World Earns Three Chemistry Nobel

by Michael Keller

Three researchers were awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry today for breaking through what was thought to be an absolute optical limit in seeing microscopic objects like viruses and molecules.

The Nobel committee responsible for deciding the winners chose to honor the separate work of two Americans, Eric Betzig and William Moerner, and German Stefan Hell. These scientists pioneered what is called super-resolved fluorescence microscopy, which has opened up a whole new frontier for understanding how life works at the nanoscale. (Txchnologist has previously featured more of Betzig’s groundbreaking work here.)

“I was sitting in my office when the call from Stockholm reached me,” said Hell, who is the director of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry. “I am enormously gratified that my work and that of my colleagues has received the highest distinction for scientific research."  

Their innovations, using light to excite molecules that have been tagged with fluorescent markers, are now being used around the world. They are letting researchers use visible light to glimpse separate objects that are closer together than what was thought to be the limit of 0.2 microns.  This minimum is called the Abbe diffraction limit, which is half the length of the wavelength of the light used to see something through a microscope.

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Creepypasta #776: Two If By Sea

Length: Long

Four years ago, humanity developed teleportation technology. Realizing we could send something from one place to another caused us to think that everything was going to change.

Well, it didn’t work out that way. 

Teleportation caused microscopic damage to objects being teleported. Inanimate objects sent were found to be less solid, more brittle, prone to failure. Electronics sent never worked. Simple, base materials, like stone and metal, were found to be significantly weaker when they arrived.

Living beings fared far worse.

Only a few attempts to transport living matter were attempted. To say they were disasters would be an understatement. Fortunately, no human (that I know of) was ever subjected to teleportation.

What were we supposed to do with this amazing technology?

Simple. Waste disposal.

Teleportation units, the size of large houses, went to landfills, sending garbage trillions of miles away, beyond our solar system.

Like any technology, we tried to improve it. We were able to expand the technology to the point that we could not only send something away, we could bring something back. That breakthrough seemed like it might change everything.

Well, it didn’t work out that way.

The problem was the units, despite having unlimited ranges, couldn’t lock on to anything smaller than a country. How could we make use of that?

Then we found SR–10423. A planet 4 times the size of earth made up nearly completely of water.

The teleporter destroyed any life passing though it, so it was the ultimate filter. We found a source of pure, unpolluted H20 in the universe. It was a way to purify not just landfills, but the damaged waters of our planet.

We could empty our polluted lakes, and maybe our oceans.

On April 12, 2027, a research facility in the Rocky Mountains opened a gateway between our world and SR–10423 with the intention of bringing in a small amount of water and testing it.

The last transmission from the facility was that the were opening the gateway.

Sixteen days later, the flood continues. We’re not sure exactly what happened, but the theory is that the sheer gravity and pressure of SR-10423 overwhelmed the stability of the gateway.

The facility was destroyed, and the teleporters with it. It is assumed that the pressure on the wormhole won’t allow the gateway to collapse. Now, visible miles away, water pours uninhibited out of the mountains. Thousands of gallons per second.

Due to the inability to lock onto a small target, we cannot just create another portal to get rid of the waters. We’ve tried.

I write this for posterity, from a remote facility on the other side of the world. Most of humanity doesn’t know the full situation yet, but the top government officials know. Resources are already being diverted to another project, to save at least a fraction of humanity. I can’t go into too many details. Some are classified, and some are still being worked out.

But I can tell you the project’s name. Operation Noah.

Credits to: KMApok

Txch This Week: Tiny Discoveries and Robot Fish

by Norman Rozenberg

This week on Txchnologist we looked at big innovation in miniature. First, a research team has developed a small, inexpensive device capable of analyzing 170,000 different molecules in a blood sample, meaning a complete medical checkup might be at hand–literally. 

Next, a Stanford bioengineer has developed a microscope that can magnify objects 2,000 times. No big deal, you say? The kicker is that the microscope is flat, rugged, made of paper and costs just 50 cents.

Bioengineers looking for better alternative fuels are finding new sources by altering sorghum and sugarcane. Their work is making the crops produce more oil and be more tolerant of colder climates.

Cornell engineers have developed a smartphone- and solar-powered test for Kaposi sarcoma, a cancer that affects a disproportionate number of people in Africa. Columbia University researchers, meanwhile, have discovered that wetting dehydrated spores of certain bacteria can be used to produce electricity or power robot muscles. 

Now we’re bringing you the news and trends we’ve been following this week in the world of science, technology and innovation.

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A variation of the “Brainbow” gene adds a transcriptional “roadblock” to inhibit expression of the fluorescent proteins until Cre is activated. By placing Cre under the control of a tissue-specific promoter, the “Brainbow” effect can be activated in one tissue of the mice. This is called the “Confetti” mouse.

Image: Here the “Confetti” gene is transiently activated in all liver cells in a mouse ~4 weeks of age. As a result, each cell independently recombines the “Confetti” gene toward one of four fluorescent proteins. Image was taken after 2 months tracing with a Leica SP5 microscope; 10x objective.

Absorbent In Baby Diapers Opens New Route To View Living Tissue

by Michael Keller

It has been more than 340 years since Antonie van Leeuwenhoek first started holding up simple magnifying glasses to his eyes. What he discovered hidden in plain sight were microscopic living worlds—unassuming pond scum, it turned out, was home to the beautiful, spiral bodies of spirogyra algae and tooth plaque teemed with a menagerie of darting and crawling bacteria.

Through the magic of optics, van Leeuwenhoek was able to enlarge microscopic objects up to a magnification factor of 275x and could make out two separate entities that were a miniscule 1 micron apart. With this astounding ability in even primitive microscopes, it should come as no surprise that the governing principle behind using these instruments to peer inside cells involves using visible light, electrons or other means to magnify a world otherwise invisible to the naked eye.

Well, a group at MIT now says it is time to turn that idea on its head, at least when it comes to getting a three-dimensional view of complex tissue like that found in the brain. Instead of magnifying the light being scattered from an object, why not just enlarge the object itself?

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Researchers map quantum vortices inside superfluid helium nanodroplets

First ever snapshots of spinning nanodroplets reveal surprising features

Scientists have, for the first time, characterized so-called quantum vortices that swirl within tiny droplets of liquid helium. The research, led by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), the University of Southern California, and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, confirms that helium nanodroplets are in fact the smallest possible superfluidic objects and opens new avenues to study quantum rotation.

“The observation of quantum vortices is one of the most clear and unique demonstrations of the quantum properties of these microscopic objects,” says Oliver Gessner, senior scientist in the Chemical Sciences Division at Berkeley Lab. Gessner and colleagues, Andrey Vilesov of the University of Southern California and Christoph Bostedt of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory at Stanford, led the multi-facility and multi-university team that published the work this week in Science.

The finding could have implications for other liquid or gas systems that contain vortices, says USC’s Vilesov. “The quest for quantum vortices in superfluid droplets has stretched for decades,” he says. “But this is the first time they have been seen in superfluid droplets.”

Superfluid helium has long captured scientist’s imagination since its discovery in the 1930s. Unlike normal fluids, superfluids have no viscosity, a feature that leads to strange and sometimes unexpected properties such as crawling up the walls of containers or dripping through barriers that contained the liquid before it transitioned to a superfluid.

Helium superfluidity can be achieved when helium is cooled to near absolute zero (zero kelvin or about -460 degrees F). At this temperature, the atoms within the liquid no longer vibrate with heat energy and instead settle into a calm state in which all atoms act together in unison, as if they were a single particle.

For decades, researchers have known that when superfluid helium is rotated–in a little spinning bucket, say–the rotation produces quantum vortices, swirls that are regularly spaced throughout the liquid. But the question remained whether anyone could see this behavior in an isolated, nanoscale droplet. If the swirls were there, it would confirm that helium nanodroplets, which can range in size from tens of nanometers to microns, are indeed superfluid throughout and that the motion of the entire liquid drop is that of a single quantum object rather than a mixture of independent particles.

But measuring liquid flow in helium nanodroplets has proven to be a serious challenge. “The way these droplets are made is by passing helium through a tiny nozzle that is cryogenically cooled down to below 10 Kelvin,” says Gessner. “Then, the nanoscale droplets shoot through a vacuum chamber at almost 200 meters-per-second. They live once for a few milliseconds while traversing the experimental chamber and then they’re gone. How do you show that these objects, which are all different from one another, have quantum vortices inside?”

The researchers turned to a facility at SLAC called the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), a DOE Office of Science user facility that is the world’s first x-ray free-electron laser. This laser produces very short light pulses, lasting just a ten-trillionth of a second, which contain a huge number of high-energy photons. These intense x-ray pulses can effectively take snapshots of single, ultra-fast, ultra-small objects and phenomena.

“With the new x-ray free electron laser, we can now image phenomenon and look at processes far beyond what we could imagine just a decade ago,” says Bostedt of SLAC. “Looking at the droplets gave us a beautiful glimpse into the quantum world. It really opens the door to fascinating sciences.”

In the experiment, the researchers blasted a stream of helium nanodroplets across the x-ray laser beam inside a vacuum chamber; a detector caught the pattern that formed when the x-ray light diffracted off the drops.

The diffraction patterns immediately revealed that the shape of many droplets were not spheres, as was previously assumed. Instead, they were oblate. Just as the Earth’s rotation causes it to bulge at the equator, so too do rotating nanodroplets expand around the middle and flatten at the top and bottom.

But the vortices themselves are invisible to x-ray diffraction, so the researchers used a trick of adding xenon atoms to the droplets. The xenon atoms get pulled into the vortices and cluster together.

“It’s similar to pulling the plug in a bathtub and watching the kids’ toys gather in the vortex,” says Gessner. The xenon atoms diffract x-ray light much stronger than the surrounding helium, making the regular arrays of vortices inside the droplet visible. In this way, the researchers confirmed that vortices in nanodroplets behave as those found in larger amounts of rotating superfluid helium.

Armed with this new information, the researchers were able to determine the rotational speed of the nanodroplets. They were surprised to find that the nanodroplets spin up to 100,000 times faster than any other superfluid helium sample ever studied in a laboratory.

Moreover, while normal liquid drops will change shape as they spin faster and faster–to resemble a peanut or multi-lobed globule, for instance–the researchers saw no evidence of such shapeshifting in the helium nanodroplets. “Essentially, we’re exploring a new regime of quantum rotation with this matter,” Gessner says.

“It’s a new kind of matter in a sense because it is a self-contained isolated superfluid,” he adds. “It’s just all by itself, held together by its own surface tension. It’s pretty perfect to study these system

IMAGE…This is an illustration of analysis of superfluid helium nanodroplets. Droplets are emitted via a cooled nozzle (upper right) and probed with x-ray from the free-electron laser. The multicolored pattern (upper left) represents a diffraction pattern that reveals the shape of a droplet and the presence of quantum vortices such as those represented in the turquoise circle with swirls (bottom center).

Credit: Felix P. Sturm and Daniel S. Slaughter, Berkeley Lab.

Txch This Week: Bridge-Building Robots And Brain-To-Brain Instant Messaging

by Jared Kershner

This week on Txchnologist, we watched Purdue University engineers work on “robotic fabric” – a material that blends cotton with flexible polymer sensors and actuators made of shape-memory alloy that bends and contracts when electric current is applied. Because of its ability to change shape, the material could be used to create customizable soft robots as well as wearable performance-enhancing garments.

Rebecca Erikson, an applied physicist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, has created a microscope capable of magnifying objects up to 1,000 times by taking a glass bead and embedding it in a housing she built on a 3-D printer. This system can fit over a smartphone’s camera and costs less than a dollar in materials to produce, can magnify objects up to 1,000 times, giving the power of microscopic sight to emergency responders needing to identify biological specimens in the field, teachers, students and anyone with access to a 3-D printer.

NASA research scientist Walter Meier has reported that the Arctic Ocean is losing around 13 percent of its sea ice per decade – the ice that covers the Arctic region reached its likely minimum extent for the year last week. However, the Antarctic’s ice coverage has now surpassed its largest maximum extent since 2013.

Now we’re bringing you the news and trends we’ve been following this week in the world of science, technology and innovation.

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