December 2021
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Iodine Propulsion Systems Take Flight in Space

By Jessica Orwig, Inside Science

Iodine-based ion propulsion could power small satellites and help solve our space junk problem.Right now, there is a unique spacecraft orbiting our planet. Its secret is the iodine propellant it uses to maneuver in space.The spacecraft, launched in 2020, is a type of miniaturized satellite called a CubeSat, weighing about 45 pounds (20 kilograms), and it's the first satellite to use iodine to convert electrical energy to ion propulsion. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Media credits: Courtesy ThrustMe
That Shiny Film on Your Cuppa? It Reflects the Complex Chemistry of Making Tea

By Catherine Meyers, Inside Science

Black tea films crack more easily than green tea films, while red tea forms no film. Many tea drinkers will have noticed the oily-looking sheen that sometimes appears atop their brew. “Depending on your perspective, it can be beautiful or annoying,” said Caroline Giacomin, a doctoral student at the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Health at ETH Zurich who has been studying tea films for the past couple of years.  READ FULL ARTICLE.

Media credits: Used with permission.
How are Disordered Magnets and Wedding Seating Charts Connected?

By Will Sullivan, Inside Science

Giorgio Parisi’s work, which won him a share of the 2021 Nobel Prize in physics, has a surprisingly wide range of applications. Earlier this month, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded half of the Nobel Prize in physics to Giorgio Parisi, an Italian physicist. The academy highlighted his method for solving a problem connected to models of spin glasses, magnetic materials lacking the ordered structure of other magnets.  READ FULL ARTICLE.

Media credits: Nana_studio/Shutterstock
Smartphone App Helps Spot Concussions

A phone app might help diagnose a concussion on many sports fields. In sports, concussions happen. High school and college athletes suffer most often in football, ice hockey and soccer. Concussions don't always mean being "knocked out" or losing consciousness -- other symptoms include confusion, dizziness and vision problems.  WATCH VIDEO.
Iron Deposits in Pigeon Ears are Useless for Navigating

By James Gaines, Inside Science

New research suggests the birds must sense Earth's magnetic field using some other part of their anatomy.  Many animals can sense things that humans cannot -- the humble pigeon, for instance, is capable of sensing and navigating via the Earth's invisible geomagnetic field. Scientists have long been interested in how this is possible. Now, a new study published in the journal PNAS suggest that promising structures in the pigeons' inner ears are not, in fact, the answer. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Media credits: Phillip Allaway via Shutterstock 
Autonomous Package Deliveries May Not Reduce Emissions

By Krystal Vasquez, Inside Science

Robots and self-driving cars could deliver packages efficiently. But will they create new hazards? In 2018, nearly a quarter of surveyed Americans said they shopped online at least once a month, a fraction that has likely increased since the start of the pandemic. But as the demand for online goods has grown, so, too, has the need to deliver all these purchased items. Making these deliveries environmentally friendly, cost-effective, and accessible presents a big challenge. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Media credits: Don Huan via Shutterstock
Would Disrupting the Way Tau Proteins Copy Themselves Slow Alzheimer's Disease?

By Haley Weiss, Inside Science

Reducing the speed of the already-slow replication process could be a new way to attack the disease. The story of Alzheimer's disease at the cellular level is still in many ways a mystery. Among them is how the disease progresses within the brain, an oft-debated mystery that may finally have an answer thanks to a team of researchers at the University of Cambridge and Harvard Medical School. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Media credits: NIH
Chilean Rocks Aid the Search for Life on Mars

By Zack Savitsky, Inside Science

Scientists prepare to probe other planets by combining different ways to detect signs of life. Even if life once existed on Mars, we're probably not going to find any signs as obvious as dinosaur bones or fossilized shells. The red planet’s extreme radiation and hostile climate likely would have destroyed all traces of life discernible by galactic paleontologists -- but microbiologists could fare better. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Media credits: sunsinger via Shutterstock
Long Trips to Space Linked to Possible Brain Damage

By Will Sullivan, Inside Science

Five space travelers had elevated levels of proteins in the blood often seen in people with head trauma and neurodegenerative diseases.  Over the past several years, scientists have published research suggesting that people’s brains change after spending longer than a few months in space. These studies started because astronauts experienced issues like vision problems and swollen optic nerves upon returning to Earth after long missions. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Media credits: NASA
Synchronized Heart Rate and Skin Conductivity Show Blind Daters' True Feelings

By Katharine Gammon, Inside Science

Signs of attraction such as laughs and gestures could not predict how much blind daters want to see each other again. When two people first meet, there’s sometimes a click that happens -- instant attraction. But what exactly is that? Scientists are trying to find out. . READ FULL ARTICLE.

Media credits: Rommel Canlas/Shutterstock
Secrets of Long Life Can Be Found in Rockfish DNA

By Nala Rogers, Inside Science

Genes for repairing DNA, metabolizing glucose and suppressing inflammation may help some rockfish live for hundreds of years. Some types of rockfish have lifespans of scarcely a decade, while others can live more than 200 years. Now, the DNA of 88 rockfish species has helped researchers pinpoint what it takes to stay alive and healthy for centuries. The fishes' longevity secrets include changes in genes for repairing DNA, regulating insulin and glucose, and suppressing inflammation. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Media credits: Brian Gratwicke via Flickr
Media rights: CC BY 2.0
Climate Change is Raising the Top of the Troposphere

By Will Sullivan, Inside Science

The top of the troposphere, the lowest layer of Earth’s atmosphere, has climbed about 50 to 60 meters per decade in the past 20 years. The troposphere, the bottom layer of Earth's atmosphere, contains most of the atmosphere's mass and clouds and is where most weather occurs. It stretches between Earth's surface and roughly 4 to 12 miles above sea level, depending on the location.  READ FULL ARTICLE.

Media credits: Edward Haylan/Shutterstock
Australian Winemakers Turn to Science to Help Weather Climate Change

By Benjamin Plackett, Inside Science

If the world can limit future greenhouse gas emissions, scientists are hopeful that adaptations can help a battered industry survive. It’s a hectic time of year among the wineries of Orange, New South Wales, which are nestled in the fertile foothills of a long-extinct volcano. The southern hemisphere’s summer is about to start after a particularly wet spring, and vineyard owners are hustling to prep their crops before the precious grapes start to sprout.  READ FULL ARTICLE.

Media credits: Benjamin Plackett
Media rights: This image may only be reproduced alongside this Inside Science story.
Cats Know Where Their Owners Are

By Haley Weiss, Inside Science

Experiments showed how cats can track their owners by listening for their voice. Anyone who's met a cat knows that felines are notoriously difficult to keep track of. On nearly a weekly basis, one of my own disappears somewhere in the house, hiding while I fruitlessly tear the place apart and ignore the sinking fear that they may have gotten outside. After some period of time, they just … reappear. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Media credits: Darron Birgenheier via Flickr.
Media rights: CC BY 2.0
Earth's First Continents May Have Appeared Earlier Than Previously Thought

By Charles Q. Choi, Inside Science

New study examines rare sedimentary rocks atop some of the planet's oldest large land masses. Earth's first continents may have emerged from the oceans roughly 750 million years earlier than previously thought, rising from the seas in a manner completely unlike modern continents. These early masses of solid rock may have floated buoyantly atop magma welling up from below, a new study finds. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Media credits: Subham Mukherjee; Homepage image: Subhajit Roy
Media rights: No restrictions
Life in Lava Caves Ignores Food from the Surface, Eats Rock Instead

By Nala Rogers, Inside Science

Cave microbes on Earth may help guide scientists toward life on Mars. Some living things in Earth's lava caves have no need for resources from the surface, suggesting similar environments could host life on Mars, according to new research. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Media credits: Brian Anschel
How Apples Get Their Shape

By Katharine Gammon, Inside Science

Physicists say a universal theory that describes everything from light reflecting in tea cups to black holes can explain why apples have a dip at the top. Next time you’re about to bite into an apple, slice it open first and inspect its cross-section. If you look in the right spot, you’ll observe that the stem cavity -- where the surface dips down to meet the stem -- is so sharply sloped it nearly becomes a vertical line. Here the curvature, the local change in slope, is what mathematicians would call “singular.” Singularities show up in a large range of physical systems, from light reflecting in tea cups to black holes that warp space-time. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Media credits: @CRC
Media rights: Please cite the owner of the material when publishing. This material may be freely used by reporters as part of news coverage, with proper attribution. This material may not be modified or altered.
New Device Purifies Water with Static Electricity

By Zack Savitsky, Inside Science

The self-powered machine kills dangerous bacteria with an electric field. Static electricity leapt from powering party tricks to batteries a mere decade ago, when scientists learned to repurpose the process behind doorknob shocks for deployable electricity. Recent advances in the technology may ultimately improve access to clean water, though not without some upgrades. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Job Board
This board will catalog positions that are available within SVC stakeholder organizations (exhibitors and/or corporate sponsors) as well as provide a home to the resumes of SVC members who are looking to advance their careers. There is no cost to our SVC stakeholders or members to use this valuable networking tool. Job postings and resumes should be sent to Mary Ellen Quinn at
Manager of Technical Sales
Battle Ground, WA 98604 

Thin Films Process Technician
Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc.
Denver, CO 80241

Service Engineer 
Kurt J. Lesker Company
Jefferson Hills, PA – One Position
Livermore, CA – One Position

Thin Film Test Engineer 
Kurt J. Lesker Company
Jefferson Hills, PA
Electrical Engineer – Microwave/RF Power Electronics
Starfire Industries, LLC
Champaign, IL 

Electrical Engineer – Switched-Mode Pulsed Power Microelectronics
Starfire Industries, LLC
Champaign, IL 

Maintenance Tech/Mechanical Assembler 
PVD Coatings II LLC
Huntington Beach, CA
Society of Vacuum Coaters | PO Box 10628, Albuquerque, NM 87184

 Phone 505/897-7743 | Fax 866/577-2407 | |