The new technique will be immediately useful in further stem cell studies, and when perfected, could be used in stem cell therapies for a wide variety of conditions including cancers and immune ailments.
"There are further improvements that we need to make, but this takes us a significant step closer to the ultimate goal, which is to be able to take ordinary cells from a patient, induce them to become stem cells, and then use those stem cells to rebuild lost or diseased tissues, for example the patient's bone marrow," says Inder M. Verma, PhD, Irwin and Joan Jacobs Chair in Exemplary Life Science and American Cancer Society Professor of Molecular Biology at the Salk Institute Laboratory of Genetics. Verma is senior author of the report, which is published in the July edition of the journal Stem Cells.
Stem cell researchers have been racing towards this goal since 2006, when techniques for turning ordinary skin cells into induced pluripotential stem cells (iPSCs) were first reported. In principle, iPSCs mimic the embryonic stem cells (ESCs) from which organisms develop. Researchers now want to find the precise mixes and sequences of chemical compounds needed to coax iPSCs to mature into the tissue-specific stem cells of their choice. The latter are self-renewing, and can be transplanted into the body to produce the 'progenitor' cells that multiply locally and produce mature tissue cells.
However, researchers don't know yet how to induce iPSCs to become tissue-specific stem cells or mature tissue cells with high efficiency. "We've been producing these cells in quantities that are too low to enable them to be studied easily, much less used for therapies," says Aaron Parker, PhD, a former graduate student and now a postdoctoral researcher in Verma's lab. Parker is a co-lead-author of the paper, with Niels-Bjarne Woods, PhD, who was a postdoctoral researcher in the Verma lab at the outset of the project, and is now an assistant professor at Lund University in Sweden.
Like many other stem cell research laboratories, the Verma lab has been trying to find more efficient ways to turn iPSCs into blood-forming 'hematopoietic' stem cells (HSCs). These may be more valuable medically than any other tissue-specific stem cell, because they can supply not only oxygen-carrying red blood cells but also all the white blood cells of the immune system. "There would be an almost unlimited number of usages for true HSCs," says Verma.
For the present study, the research team sought to do a better job of mimicking the changing conditions that naturally direct ESCs to become HSCs in the womb. "We took seven lines of human ESCs and iPSCs, and experimented with different combinations and sequences of growth factors and other chemical compounds that are known to be present as ESCs move to the HSC state in a developing human," says Parker.
Applying cocktails of these factors, Parker and Woods and their colleagues induced the iPSCs and ESCs to form colonies of cells that bore the distinctive molecular markers of blood cells. With their best such cocktail they were able to detect blood-specific markers on 84% of their cells after three weeks. "That's a big jump in efficiency from what we saw in the field just a few years ago," says Parker.
The technique still has room for improvement. The researchers detected progenitor cells and mature cells from only one category or lineage: myeloid cells, which include red blood cells and primitive immune cells such as macrophages. "We didn't see any cells from the lymphoid lineage, meaning T-cells and B-cells," Parker says.
Another drawback was that the blood cell population they produced from ESCs and iPSCs contained short-lived progenitors and mature blood cells but no indefinitely renewing, transplantable HSCs. Their cocktail, they believed, either pushed the cells past the HSC state to the progenitor state too quickly, or made the maturing cells skip the HSC state entirely.
From this and other labs' results, the team hypothesized the existence of an intermediate, pre-hematopoietic type of stem cell, produced by ESCs and iPSCs and in turn producing HSCs. "We know that HSCs appear in a particular region of mammals during embryonic development, and our idea is that these pre-hematopoietic stem cells are there and are somehow made to mature into HSCs," says Parker. "So our lab is now going to focus on finding the precise maturation signals provided by that embryonic region to produce these true, transplantable HSCs."
Once that is done, researchers will need to make a number of further refinements to improve the safety of HSCs intended for human patients. "But we're now tantalizingly close to our ultimate goal," says Verma.
The other authors who contributed to the work were Roksana Moraghebi, of Lund University's Stem Cell Center; Margaret K. Lutz, Amy L. Firth, Kristen J. Brennand, W. Travis Berggren and Fred H. Gage of the Salk Institute Laboratory for Genetics; Juan Carlos Izpisúa Belmonte of the Salk Institute Gene Expression Laboratory; and Angel Raya of the Center of Regenerative Medicine in Barcelona, Spain.
"We've created a memory device with the physical properties of Jell-O," says Dr. Michael Dickey, an assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at NC State and co-author of a paper describing the research.
Conventional electronics are typically made of rigid, brittle materials and don't function well in a wet environment. "Our memory device is soft and pliable, and functions extremely well in wet environments -- similar to the human brain," Dickey says.
Prototypes of the device have not yet been optimized to hold significant amounts of memory, but work well in environments that would be hostile to traditional electronics. The devices are made using a liquid alloy of gallium and indium metals set into water-based gels, similar to gels used in biological research.
The device's ability to function in wet environments, and the biocompatibility of the gels, mean that this technology holds promise for interfacing electronics with biological systems -- such as cells, enzymes or tissue. "These properties may be used for biological sensors or for medical monitoring," Dickey says.
The device functions much like so-called "memristors," which are vaunted as a possible next-generation memory technology. The individual components of the "mushy" memory device have two states: one that conducts electricity and one that does not. These two states can be used to represent the 1s and 0s used in binary language. Most conventional electronics use electrons to create these 1s and 0s in computer chips. The mushy memory device uses charged molecules called ions to do the same thing.
In each of the memory device's circuits, the metal alloy is the circuit's electrode and sits on either side of a conductive piece of gel. When the alloy electrode is exposed to a positive charge it creates an oxidized skin that makes it resistive to electricity. We'll call that the 0. When the electrode is exposed to a negative charge, the oxidized skin disappears, and it becomes conducive to electricity. We'll call that the 1.
Normally, whenever a negative charge is applied to one side of the electrode, the positive charge would move to the other side and create another oxidized skin -- meaning the electrode would always be resistive. To solve that problem, the researchers "doped" one side of the gel slab with a polymer that prevents the formation of a stable oxidized skin. That way one electrode is always conducive -- giving the device the 1s and 0s it needs for electronic memory.
The paper was published online July 4 by Advanced Materials. The paper was co-authored by NC State Ph.D. students Hyung-Jun Koo and Ju-Hee So, and NC State INVISTA Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Orlin Velev. The research was supported by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy.
NC State's Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering is part of the university's College of Engineering.
KUALA LUMPUR, 22 November 2011 - The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal (Tribunal) entered its fourth and final day of hearing war crimes charge of Crimes against Peace against George W Bush (former U.S. President) and Anthony L Blair (former British Prime Minister) in Kuala Lumpur. For the first time a war crime charge has been heard against these two former heads of state in compliance with due legal process, wherein complaints from war victims had been received, duly investigated and formal charges instituted by the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission (Commission).
The Tribunal had decided the previous day that a prima facie case had been made out against both the accused. The Defence team presented their case and submission defending the accused. Some of the points submitted and argued are stated in the following paragraphs.
The Defence adopted their prior submissions and proceeded to raise additional grounds, relying additionally on the memoirs of the first and second accused. The Defence highlighted that as an amicus curiae, his function is to assist the Tribunal by raising points of law that are in doubt and to organise information or raise awareness of some aspect of the case that the Tribunal otherwise may miss.
No one knows what it is like to have the weight of the nation on his shoulders except a head of state. Both the accused, as former heads of state, took their nations to war. The question now is whether their actions amounted to the offence of Crimes against Peace. Did they ‘plan, prepared and invaded Iraq on 19 March 2003 in violation of the UN Charter’?
9/11 changed the world and cast it into a new atmosphere of fear. The world would be a different place. The Prosecution objected to the Defence attempts to show a video recording of the 9/11 attack, as there is no factual basis for the association of 9/11 with Iraq. The fact that the war occurred had been admitted. The war has taken its toll. The question is, was a crime committed by the accused. The Tribunal ruled that it has taken judicial notice (not having to tender evidence to established a fact) of the 9/11 attack and there was no need for the showing of the video.
The Defence submitted, that the first accused in his memoirs, on the issue of the absence of WMD, the accusation that ‘Bush lied, and people died’, would be illogical because he would not lead his nation to war on a lie which would be easily discernable after the war.
The second accused in his memoir said that he understood the need for the 2nd UN resolution for political legitimacy but knew the difficulty in getting one due to the politics within the UN Security Council permanent members. And also that there was no UN resolution for the action in Kosovo. While the first accused was of the view that Saddam had not adhered to numerous UN Security Council resolutions.
There was a moral ground that many critics of the war do not appreciate. Liberating the people of Iraq from Saddam seems to be lost on the critics. The Defence also referred that the first accused had said that Saddam was a threat. Saddam had invaded two neighbours, Iran in the 1980s and Kuwait in the 1990s. He had killed his own people. Had used chemical weapons. Had links with terrorists. And Saddam was developing WMD. And after 9/11, Saddam was a threat that could no longer be ignored.
Some have seen the brutality of war while many are fortunate to have experienced peace. In any event the Defence urged the Tribunal to evaluate the evidence and return a verdict of non-guilty.
Prosecution in their reply stated that everyone has a right to lead unmolested lives governed by law. And in the case before the Tribunal that law is international law. We have to adhere to treaties and conventions that govern international relations. From the documents tendered the first accused had conducted himself in manner that showed that he had decided to invade Iraq long before 2003. And this is also evident from his memoir, which amounts to an admission.
In a criminal trial such as this, there are two elements that need to be proven. The actus rea (the act), which was the war, which is an accepted fact. The mens rea (intention) is shown clearly from the planning and preparation as early as November 2001 when he had asked his Secretary of Defence to draw up plans for the invasion of Iraq. And that in September 2002, the Defence Secretary had informed the first accused, who was the commander in chief that it would take six months to mobilise for invasion. On 4 November 2002, the UN resolution 1441 was passed and the invasion was launched on 19 March 2003. On 17 March 2003 the first accused stated “…Saddam Hussein and his sons must leave Iraq within 48 hours. Their refusal to do so will result in military conflict, commenced at a time of our choosing”. And on 19 March, the ‘shock and awe’ campaign called Operation Iraqi Freedom was launched.
The same is true of the second accused who had attacked Iraq. And that he had planned and prepared to invade since 1998. The reason is to bring freedom to the Iraqi people from Saddam through the use of military action.
There are 40 UN Security Council Resolutions against Israel but no action is taken. But Saddam had not adhered to 16 resolutions and Iraq is invaded. This is gangsterism.
This is a historic moment for the Tribunal to hear the distance drums of war rumbling even today due to the actions of the first and second accused. War criminals have to be dealt with, convict Bush and Blair as charged. A guilty verdict will serve as a notice to the world that war criminals may run but can never ultimately hide from truth and justice.
The Tribunal deliberated over the case and decided unanimously that the first accused George W Bush and second accused Anthony L Blair have been found guilty of the Crimes against Peace.
The second accused at the material time as heads of state launched an invasion on Iraq on 19 March 2003. The charge was duly served in accordance with the Charter of the Commission. The accused did not appear and an amicus curiae was appointed.
The evidence showed that as far back as 15 September 2001 the accused had planned to invade Iraq. Documents showed that this plan was conveyed by the first accused to the second accused. The accused had attempted to seek he UN approval for invasion. On 2 November 2002, UN Security Council Resolution 1441 did not authorise the use of force against Iraq. Weapons investigators had confirmed that there were no WMD. It was also established that the Iraq had no WMD. Iraq was not posing any threat to any nation at the relevant time that was immediate that would have justified any form of pre-emptive strike.
Humanitarian intervention was not a basis for the invasion. The UN Security Council must authorise any use of force. An individual state cannot replace the UN in deciding the use of force. The 9/11 attack did not show any connection with Iraq but instead the US had used this as a pretext to invade Iraq. Invasion to effect regime change has no legal basis under international law.
The Evidence showed that the drums of wars were being beaten long before the invasion. The accused in their own memoirs have admitted their own intention to invade Iraq regardless of international law. Unlawful use of force threatens the world to return to a state of lawlessness. The acts of the accused were unlawful.
The charge is proven beyond reasonable doubt. The accused are found guilty. The Tribunal orders that the names of the 2 convicted criminals be included in the war register of the KL War Crimes Commission. And the findings of this Tribunal be publicised to all nations who are signatories of the Rome Statue.
Despite all the facts both the accused had nevertheless invaded Iraq. A detailed written judgment will be published at a later date.
The trial was held in an open court from November 19-22, 2011 at the premises of the Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalise War (KLFCW) at 88, Jalan Perdana, Kuala Lumpur.
For further information, please contact:
Dato’ Dr Yaacob Merican Secretary General of the KLWCC Secretariat Tel: +6012-227 8680
Dato’ Abdul Kadir Sulaiman Dato' Zakaria Yatim (Recused) Tunku Sofiah Jewa Prof Salleh Buang Mr Alfred Lambremont Webre Prof Emeritus Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi Prof Niloufer Bhagwat (Recused)
Prof Gurdial S Nijar Prof Francis Boyle Mr Avtaran Singh
Amicus Curiae (appointed Defence team)
Mr Jason Kay And 3 other counsels.
Crimes Against Peace filed against George W Bush (former President of the U.S.) and Anthony L Blair (former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom) wherein they are charged as follows:
The Accused persons had committed Crimes against Peace, in that the Accused persons planned, prepared and invaded the sovereign state of Iraq on 19 March 2003 in violation of the United Nations Charter and international law.
The Tribunal will adjudicate and evaluate the evidence presented on facts and law as in any court of law. The judges of the Tribunal must be satisfied that the charge is proven beyond reasonable doubt and deliver a reasoned judgement. The verdict and the names of the persons found guilty will be entered in the Commission’s Register of War Criminals and publicised worldwide.
“WHY is it that the murder of one man is considered a criminal act whereas the killing of hundreds of thousands of innocent people committed in wars, is not considered so?" -- Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, former Prime Minister of Malaysia
The five panel tribunal unanimously decided that Bush and Blair committed genocide and crimes against peace and humanity when they invaded Iraq in 2003 in blatant violation of international law.
The judges ruled that war against Iraq by both the former heads of states was a flagrant abuse of law, act of aggression which amounted to a mass murder of the Iraqi people.
In their verdict, the judges said that the United States, under the leadership of Bush, forged documents to claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
They further said the findings of the tribunal be made available to members of the Rome Statute and the names of Bush and Blair be entered into a war crimes register.
Both Bush and Blair repeatedly said the so-called war against terror was targeted at terrorists.
Lawyers and human rights activists present here say the verdict by the tribunal is a landmark decision. And the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Foundation said it would lobby the International Criminal Court to charge former US president George Bush and Former British prime minister Tony Blair for war crimes.
Source: presstv.ir - Author: Mahi Ramakrishnan, Press TV, Kuala Lumpur
With power plants usually located far from where the electricity they produce will actually be consumed, this can add up to a lot of wasted power. A weave of metallic nanotubes known as armchair quantum wire (AQW) is seen as an ideal solution as it can carry electricity over long distances with negligible loss, but manufacturing the massive amounts of metallic single walled carbon nanotubes required for the development of this "miracle cable" has proven difficult. Now researchers have made a pivotal breakthrough that could make the development of such a cable possible.
Armchair quantum wire gets its name from the metallic single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCN) of which it is made. These SWCNs are dubbed armchairs due to their unique shape, and while they are great at carrying current, they can't yet be made on their own. They are currently grown in batches with other kinds of nanotubes and have to be separated out - not an easy task given that a human hair is 50,000 times larger than a single nanotube.
Rice University chemist Andrew R. Barron, graduate student Alvin Orbaek and undergraduate student Andrew Barrons, are carrying on work instigated by the late Rice professor, nanotechnology pioneer and Nobel laureate Richard Smalley, whose dream was of an energy efficient grid that he predicted would provide solutions to many of the world's energy problems.
Working towards this ultimate goal, the team has found a way to take small batches of individual nanotubes and make them dramatically longer. They say that ideally, long armchair nanotubes could be cut, re-seeded with catalyst and re-grown indefinitely, potentially making the development of a cable that will make an efficient electric grid of the future possible.
The technique involves chemically attaching an iron/cobalt catalyst to the ends of nanotubes and then fine-tuning the temperature and environment in which amplification could occur. Barron says refining the process has taken years but the researchers' efforts are now paying off with up to 90 percent of the nanotubes in a batch now able to be amplified to significant lengths. They say that, although the latest experiments focused on SWCNs of various chiralities (ie. they lack an internal plane of symmetry), they feel the results would be as great, and probably even better, with a batch of pristine armchairs.
According to Barron, the key was finding the right balance of temperatures, pressures, reaction times and catalyst ratios to promote growth and retard etching. While initial growth took place at 1,000 degrees Celsius, the researchers found the amplification step required lowering the temperature by 200 degrees, in addition to adjusting the chemistry to maximize the yield. Barron and his team are continuing to fine-tune their process and hope that by summer's end they can begin amplifying armchair nanotubes with the goal of making large quantities of pure metallics.
"What we're getting to is that sweet spot where most of the nanotubes grow and none of them etch," Barron said.
Orbaek hopes the team's breakthrough will eventually lead to a single furnace to grow nanotubes from scratch, cap them with new catalyst, amplify them and put out a steady stream of fiber for cables.
"What we've done is a baby step," he said. "But it verifies that, in the big picture, armchair quantum wire is technically feasible."
The Rice University research team's work is detailed in a paper published online by the American Chemical Society journal Nano Letters.
The Charge of Crimes Against Peace was filed against George W Bush (former President of the U.S.) and Anthony L Blair (former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom) wherein they were charged of having committed Crimes against Peace, in that the Accused persons planned, prepared and invaded the sovereign state of Iraq on 19 March 2003 in violation of the United Nations Charter and international law.
The Tribunal adjudicated and evaluated the evidence presented on facts and law as in any court of law and found the two former heads of state of the United States of America and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, guilty as charged.
The judges of the Tribunal were satisfied that the charges were proven beyond reasonable doubt and delivered a reasoned judgement. The verdict and the names of the persons found guilty will be entered in the Commission’s Register of War Criminals and publicized worldwide.
Further hearings were deferred to examine the wealth of evidence of other charges relating to torture of prisoners.
Former Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad asked "Why is it that the murder of one man is considered a criminal act whereas the killing of hundreds of thousands of innocent people committed in wars, is not considered so?"
Below are some of the photographs from the hearings and at below those are links to coverage of this important hearing which outcome is a significant historical step along the road to justice and to ensure that the criminals may be brought to justice once any person is capable of arresting them, or carrying out the sentence according to the law.
The Court Room
The Prosecuting Team
Prosecution and Defense Teams
The prosecuting team is headed by Prof Gurdial Singh Nijar and assisted by Professor Francis Boyle and Avtaran Singh. The Defence team is headed by Jason Kay.
What if, instead of waiting days or weeks for a cast to be produced and prosthetic dental implants, false teeth and replacement crowns to be made, your dentist could quickly scan your jaw and "print" your new teeth using a rapid prototyping machine known as a 3D printer?
Researchers in Iran explain how medical imaging coupled with computer-aided design could be used to create a perfect-fit blueprint for prosthetic dentistry, whether to replace diseased or broken teeth and jaw bone. The blueprint can then be fed into a so-called 3D printer to build up an exact replica using a biocompatible composite material. Such technology has been used in medical prosthetics before, but this is an early step into prosthetic dentistry using rapid prototyping.
Writing in the International Journal of Rapid Manufacturing, mechanical engineer Hossein Kheirollahi of the Imam Hossein University and colleague Farid Abbaszadeh of the Islamic Azad University, in Tehran, Iran, explain how current technology used to convert an MRI or CT scan into a prosthetic component requires milling technology. This carves out the appropriate solid shape from a block of polymer but has several disadvantages, uppermost being that it is very difficult to carve out a complex shape, such as a tooth. By contrast, rapid prototyping uses a 3D image held in a computer to control a laser that then "cures" powdered or liquid polymer. Almost any solid, porous, or complicated shape can be produced by this 3D-printing technology.
The Iranian team has now demonstrated how rapid prototyping can be used to fabricate dental objects such as implants and crowns quickly and easily even where features such as overhangs, sharp corners and undercuts are required. The team points out that the most appropriate medical imaging technology, CBCT (cone-beam computed tomography), which is lower cost and exposes the patient to a lower dose of ionizing radiation is best suited to the generation of the computer design for creating such dental objects ready for printing.
This is an urgent emergency alert to all people of the United States. The day we've all been waiting for has unfortunately arrived. The United States is censoring the internet. Our blatant response is that we will not sit while our rights are taken away by the government we trusted them to preserve. This is not a call to arms, but a call to recognition and action!
The United States government has mastered this corrupt way of giving us a false sense of freedom. We think we are free and can do what we want, but in reality we are very limited and restricted as to what we can do, how we can think, and even how our education is obtained. We have been so distracted by this mirage of freedom, that we have just become what we were trying to escape from.
For too long, we have been idle as our brothers and sisters were arrested. During this time, the government has been scheming, plotting ways to increase censorship through means of I S P block aides, D N S blockings, search engine censorship, website censorship, and a variety of other methods that directly oppose the values and ideas of both Anonymous as well as the founding fathers of this country, who believed in free speech and press!
The United States has often been used as an example of the ideal free country. When the one nation that is known for its freedom and rights start to abuse its own people, this is when you must fight back, because others are soon to follow. Do not think that just because you are not a United States citizen, that this does not apply to you. You cannot wait for your country to decide to do the same. You must stop it before it grows, before it becomes acceptable. You must destroy its foundation before it becomes too powerful.
Has the U.S. government not learned from the past? Has it not seen the 2011 revolutions? Has it not seen that we oppose this wherever we find it and that we will continue to oppose it? Obviously the United States Government thinks they are exempt. This is not only an Anonymous collective call to action. What will a Distributed Denial of Service attack do? What's a website de face ment against the corrupted powers of the government? No. This is a call for a worldwide internet and physical protest against the powers that be. Spread this message everywhere. We will not stand for this! Tell your parents, your neighbors, your fellow workers, your school teachers, and anyone else you come in contact with. This affects anyone that desires the freedom to browse anonymously, speak freely without fear of retribution, or protest without fear of arrest.
Go to every I R C network, every social network, every online community, and tell them of the atrocity that is about to be committed. If protest is not enough, the United States government shall see that we are truly legion and we shall come together as one force opposing this attempt to censor the internet once again, and in the process discourage any other government from continuing or trying.
We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive censorship. We do not forget the denial of our free rights as human beings. To the United States government, you should've expected us.
The world-record magnet is operating at 25 tesla, easily besting the 17.5 tesla French record set in 1991 for this type of magnet. ("Tesla," named for early 20th-century inventor and engineer Nikola Tesla, is a measurement of the strength of a magnetic field.) In addition to being 43 percent more powerful than the previous world best, the new magnet also has 1,500 times as much space at its center, allowing room for more flexible, varied experiments.
To offer some perspective on the strength of the new magnet, consider this: Twenty-five tesla is equal to a whopping 500,000 times the Earth's magnetic field. Imagine that much power focused on a very small space and you have some idea what the split magnet is capable of — and why both engineers and scientists at the magnet lab are so excited.
"The Mag Lab has developed numerous world-record magnets; however, the split magnet makes the largest single step forward in technology over the past 20 years," said Mark Bird, director of the laboratory's Magnet Science and Technology division.
Interior parts for the split coil magnet were tested and retested to ensure the magnet’s structural integrity. Credit: Florida State University
For decades, scientists have used high magnetic fields to probe the unusual properties of materials under extreme conditions of heat and pressure. There are unique benefits that arise at especially high magnetic fields — certain atoms or molecules become more easily observable, for example, or exhibit properties that are difficult to observe under less extreme conditions. The powerful new split magnet system holds promise for even more breakthroughs at the very edge of human knowledge.
The new magnet was funded by the National Science Foundation and represents years of intense collaboration between the lab's engineering and research teams, headed by scholar/scientist Jack Toth of the Magnet Science and Technology staff.
The magnet's design required Toth's team to rethink the structural limits of resistive magnets — that is, those in which the magnetic field is produced by the flow of electric current. The project required that the engineers invent, patent and find sometimes-elusive builders for the technology that could carry their idea through. The result of their work, the new split magnet, features four large elliptical ports that provide scientists with direct, horizontal access to the magnet's central experimental space, or bore, while still maintaining a high magnetic field.
High-powered research magnets are created by packing together dense, high-performance copper alloys and running an electrical current through them. All of the magnet's forces are focused on the center of the magnet coil — right where Toth and his team engineered the four ports. Building a magnet system with ports strong enough to withstand such strong magnetic fields and such a heavy power load was once considered impossible.
To accomplish the impossible, Toth's team cut large holes in the mid-plane of the magnet to provide user access to the bore but maintain a high magnetic field. All of this had to be done while supporting 500 tons of pressure pulling the two halves of the magnet together and, at the same time, allowing 160,000 amps of electrical current and 3,500 gallons of water per minute to flow through the mid-plane. (The water is needed to keep the magnet from overheating.)
While the technological breakthroughs enabling the magnet's construction are important, the multidisciplinary research possibilities are even more exciting. Optics researchers in chemistry, physics and biology are poised to conduct research using the split magnet, while others are optimistic about the potential for breakthroughs in nanoscience and semiconductor research.
The magnet's first user, a scientist from Kent State University, has already begun conducting experiments.
"Among other research possibilities," said Eric Palm, director of the magnet lab's Direct Current User Program, "the split magnet will allow optics researchers unprecedented access to their samples, improve the quality of their data, and enable new types of experiments."