September 2021
We are all saddened by the passing of mentor, instructor, innovator and leader, Angus Macleod. Click below to view a fond tribute!
Select a button to view the final Product Showcase Map and Exhibitor Grid, enter the jigsaw puzzle contest or participate in the Exhibitor Challenge Quiz!

Prizes include TechCon registration and accommodations, tutorial registrations, and an AmEx gift card!
Many People With Cancer Lack Protection Against Measles and Mumps

By Karen Kwon, Inside Science

Fallen vaccination rates pose a threat to this vulnerable population. In one of the first studies of its kind in recent decades, a team of researchers has discovered that a high percentage of people with cancer lack protection against measles and mumps. In an era when measles is resurfacing after being eradicated in the U.S. and the COVID-19 pandemic is delaying some children's vaccine schedules, this finding raises questions about the level of threat to cancer patients. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Media credits: Christoph Burgstedt/Shutterstock; Homepage image credit: Alissa Eckert/CDC
How Much Does Earth Weigh?

We can't put Earth on a scale, but there are other ways to figure out the weight of our world. The Earth isn't even close to being the largest planet in our solar system, but it's also no lightweight, weighing in at a whopping 13 thousand, 170 billion trillion pounds, or 13,170,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. To put that into context, a male African bush elephant tips the scale at 13,000 pounds. One trillion elephants would weigh 13,000,000,000,000,000 or 13 thousand trillion pounds, and the Earth weighs 1 billion times more than that! So, how did scientists determine the weight of our world? Since they can't put Earth on a scale, experts studied the gravitational pull the planet has on other things and used math to calculate its size.   WATCH VIDEO.
Insects for Food

Many people around the world eat insects, but still some of us are squeamish about eating them. The thought of adding insects or other bugs to the menu may not seem that appetizing to everyone, but insects are a nutrition-dense source of protein embraced by much of the world. Even if the thought of eating insects turns your stomach now, bugs could -- and some researchers say should -- form an important part of our diet. Much of the Western part of the world might be queasy about insects, but people have been eating them for thousands of years. Around 2,000 insect species are eaten worldwide in countries across Asia, South America and Africa. But if more people would embrace eating insects, it could be a great way for them to shrink their carbon footprint and battle climate change. More than a third of global greenhouse gas emissions come from the production, distribution, and consumption of food. WATCH VIDEO.
Australian Wildfires Rob Fairywrens of Their Flame

By Joshua Learn, Inside Science

When their homes burn, male red-backed fairywrens fail to develop their brilliant plumage. Australian wildfires may burn away the testosterone of fairywrens, taking the flamboyant red from the birds' backs. Male red-backed fairywrens typically convert their ordinary brown plumage to a striking black and red during the breeding season. Females tend to gravitate toward the brighter males. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Media credits: Paul Balfe via Flickr
Media rights: CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
Smartphones With Thermal Imaging Cameras Might Make Handy Thermometers

By Meeri Kim, Inside Science

A new heat sensor offers an option for incorporating thermal imaging into phones. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, body temperature checks have become routine for people entering public spaces such as hospitals, office buildings and airports. One by one, visitors slowly file through checkpoints as workers aim hand-held laser devices at each individual's forehead to screen for fever. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Media credits: Ermolaeva Olga 84 via Shutterstock
When Scientists Find Nothing: The Value of Null Results

By Yuen Yiu, Inside Science

Science is an endeavor of trial and error. Can we find a better way to share the "erroneous" trials? How long would it have taken Edison to invent the lightbulb if he and his team of workers hadn’t keep track of all the failures? From platinum filaments to animal hair, his team built a library of thousands of materials before patenting carbonized bamboo as the best material. Decades more would pass before Hungarian Sándor Just and Croatian Franjo Hanaman identified tungsten, the type of filament still used in incandescent lightbulbs today, as an even better material. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Media credits: Yuen Yiu
Media rights: American Institute of Physics
How Do You Take the Earth's Temperature? Check Out Undersea Volcanos

By Tom Metcalfe, Inside Science

A new model, based on "sea glass" from ocean ridges, may help scientists more easily answer a question they have long struggled with. How do you take the Earth's temperature? Scientists need this vital figure to assess our planet's geological past and its future. But you can't just wrap the Earth in a blanket and ask it to suck on a thermometer. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Media credits: NOAA/NSF/WHOI
Hacking Our Eyes for Better VR Headsets

By Yuen Yiu, Inside Science

Instead of packing more pixels into displays, engineers are learning how to trick our eyes and brains to see higher resolutions in the virtual world. Virtual reality technology has come a long way since its wacky roots in the 80s and 90s. It is difficult to describe the joy today’s VR can provide, be it slicing glowing neon blocks to a K-pop song with light sabers, or dodging bullets while controlling the speed of time. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Media credits: Martin Howard via flickr 
Media rights: CC BY 2.0
Robot Inspired by Plant Roots Burrows Underground

By Karen Kwon, Inside Science

Engineers developed a soft robot that can move through sand and curve around objects where traditional robots struggle. When people think of a robot, they often imagine classical robots such as R2-D2 with their bodies hard and rigid. But lately, soft robots such as Baymax from "Big Hero 6" are becoming more popular. These robots, often inspired by nature, can bend and flex in response to their environment, enabling them to overcome challenges that more traditional robots had. A team of researchers from the University of California, Santa Barbara and Georgia Institute of Technology developed one such robot that can travel underground. Inspired by plant root growth, this robot can extend its body to tunnel and burrow through soft sand. One day, the new robot could be a part of space exploration, surveying lunar caves or sampling Martian soil. WATCH VIDEO.
Why Cosmic Radiation Could Foil Plans for Farming on Mars

By Karen Kwon, Inside Science

New research suggests gamma rays stunt plant growth. What would it take for humans to live on Mars? The first step is to successfully get people to the red planet, of course. Once there, the astronauts would face a task that could be even more difficult: figuring out how to survive in an environment that is vastly different from Earth's. A new study demonstrates one of the challenges -- Earth's plants don’t grow as well when exposed to the level of radiation expected on Mars. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Media credits: ergeyDV via Shutterstock
These Instruments Can Create Pressure Thousands of Times Higher Than the Bottom of the Ocean

By Yuen Yiu, Inside Science

Super high-pressure experiments take science to extremes. If the filmmaker and explorer James Cameron had opened the hatch of his submarine at Challenger Deep -- the deepest point in all of Earth’s oceans -- the immense pressure outside would’ve crushed his skull with the weight of 500 elephants.  READ FULL ARTICLE.

Media credits: RAF-YYC via Wikimedia Commons
Media rights: CC BY-SA 2.0
If Pilots Took More Control of Traffic Over the North Atlantic

By Joel Shurkin, Inside Science

New research recommends allowing pilots to choose their own routes on trans-Atlantic flights to reduce carbon emissions.  On March 9, 2021, not a single airliner flew westbound across the North Atlantic. It was a perfect time to test a new way to control air traffic across the ocean, one that uses less fuel and emits less carbon dioxide.  READ FULL ARTICLE.

Media credits: Marina Zezelina via Shutterstock
Randomness in Data Could Help Physicists Find Evidence for Quantum Gravity

By Charles Q. Choi, Inside Science

Noisy measurements of gravitational waves may illuminate what links gravity to other fundamental forces. Countless experiments suggest all of the universe's fundamental forces follow the laws of quantum mechanics, save gravity. Now theoretical physicists suggest that looking for irregularities in ripples in the fabric of space and time may help reveal that gravity is quantum as well. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Media credits: posteriori via Shutterstock
Eastern Honeybees Gung-Ho for Dung

By Charles Q. Choi, Inside Science

The insects adorn their hives with animal feces to fend off giant hornet attacks. For the first time, scientists have clear evidence that honeybees can use tools to fend off giant hornet attacks, a new study finds. Their tool of choice: balls of dung. Scientists studying eastern honeybees (Apis cerana) heard accounts from a beekeeper in Vietnam of times he watched bees collecting water buffalo dung. He suggested the bees might use the dung to make the mysterious spots he and other beekeepers saw around hive entrances after attacks by giant hornets (Vespa soror). READ FULL ARTICLE.

Media credits: Heather Mattila
Gravitational Waves Record Ancient Black Hole Merger Unlike Any Detected Before

By Charles Q. Choi, Inside Science

The merger occurred when the universe was half its current age, and it may have produced the first known black hole of intermediate size. A burst of gravitational waves may have confirmed the existence of a long-sought "missing link" kind of black hole, shedding light on how black holes grow to ever larger sizes, a new study finds. Gravitational waves are ripples in space-time generated by accelerating masses. Using two gravitational-wave detectors -- LIGO (the Laser Interferometry Gravitational-wave Observatory) in the United States, and Virgo in Italy -- scientists detected a signal less than a tenth of a second long on May 21, 2019. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Media credits: Mark Myers, ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav)
How a Physicist Would Make the Recorder Easier to Play

By Katharine Gammon, Inside Science

With a bit of math and a 3D printer, researchers created an instrument that's more forgiving of a certain kind of amateur mistake. The recorder is a near-perfect instrument for beginning musicians. It's cheap -- often just a few dollars -- and easy to hold and play with small fingers. That's one reason why groups of elementary students playing "Hot Cross Buns" have dominated music education, said Susan Burns, a longtime recorder player who works as the administrative director of the American Recorder Society. "It's the ultimate democratic instrument -- anyone can play it." READ FULL ARTICLE.

Media credits: milatas/Shutterstock
An Easier Way to Temper Chocolate

By Meeri Kim, Inside Science

Researchers discover a simpler (and greener) tempering method to give chocolate its texture, gloss and snap. For a chocolate lover, one of the great joys in life is breaking off a bite-sized piece from a good-quality bar and letting it slowly melt in your mouth. The roughly 600 aroma compounds that make up the intoxicating scent of cocoa -- some of which smell individually like potato chips, cooked meat and other unexpected foods -- are released at once, like a symphony on your palate.  READ FULL ARTICLE.

Media credits: Abigail Malate, Staff Illustrator; Teaser image: Public domain
Media rights: Copyright American Institute of Physics
IU School of Medicine Names New Chair to Lead Department of Medicine

Dr. Aronoff was very well received as one of the Keynote Speakers at the SVC's 2021 Virtual TechCon. Indiana University School of Medicine has recruited David M. Aronoff, MD, FIDSA, FAAM, for the role of chair of the Department of Medicine, effective January 3, 2022. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Oct. 17-21, 2021

Orange County Convention Ctr., Orlando, FL

5 Days + over 125 Presentations!

Co-located with the large, ICEC USA trade show.

AIMCAL R2R USA is the education component - just up the escalator from the trade show.. Two Shows in one location including technical presentations on: Coating & Laminating, Vacuum Web Coating, Web Handling, Adhesives & Coatings, Flexible Packaging, Battery Manufacturing, Printed Electronics, Sustainability, Gravure Coating & Printing and Market Forecasts.
Society of Vacuum Coaters | PO Box 10628, Albuquerque, NM 87184

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