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Friday Finds – Downy Canadian Dinosaurs and Colliding Galaxies

Hey everybody, hope you had a fun week.  Here’s the posts from this week:

Here are the links you may like: 

Scientists found dinosaur feathers from 70 million years ago in a chunk of amber in Canada.  Of course dinosaurs in Canada had feathers, have you been there in the winter?

Galactic collisions caused our galaxy to have spiral arms.  And the rogue galaxy is coming back for us again!  We’d better train up some oilmen to launch into space and take it out, in 10 million years or so.

An alternate theory on how cancer cells get energy could change the way we fight them.  It requires more study but this is fascinating stuff.

And now, for something completely different.  If you’ve ever had to cook corn on the cob for a party or simply a large family, it was probably a pain to either keep a couple of large pots boiling.  So use your cooler instead.

Finally, if you’ve got a LEGO fan who loves Star Wars, and honestly most of them do, the LEGO Star Wars Hoth/Wampa playset is on sale.

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Sci/Tech

Ultra-fast, Ultra-intense Laser Kills Cancer, Bonds Metal to Bone

Researchers at the University of Missouri are testing practical applications of a UUL (Ultra-fast, Ultra-intense Laser), or femtosecond laser. Because it’s pulses last one quadrillionth of a second, there is little transfer of heat to the areas surrounding the target. Quoted:

What makes the femtosecond laser different from other lasers is its unique capacity to interact with its target without transferring heat to the area surrounding its mark. The intensity of the power gets the job done while the speed ensures heat does not spread. Results are clean cuts, strong welds and precision destruction of very small targets, such as cancer cells, with no injury to surrounding materials. Tzou hopes that the laser would essentially eliminate the need for harmful chemical therapy used in cancer treatments.

As mentioned, one of the other potential uses is to assist in the bonding of metal to bone…which would be very helpful to doctors that are replacing joints.

Associate Professor Yuwen Zhang and Professor Jinn-Kuen Chen recently received a grant from the National Science Foundation to use the laser to €œsinter€ metal powders€”turn them into a solid, yet porous, mass using heat but without massive liquefaction€”a process which can help improve the bond between joint implants and bone.

€œWith the laser, we can melt a very thin strip around titanium micro- and nanoparticles and ultimately control the porosity of the bridge connecting the bone and the alloy,€ Zhang said. €œThe procedure allows the particles to bond strongly, conforming to the two different surfaces.€

It’s noted that the Defense Department is interested, providing grant money to research Military applications (Wolverine, anyone?). Thanks to Gizmodo.