Vivian Lam’s picture

By: Vivian Lam

The microscope is an iconic symbol of the life sciences, and for good reason. From the discovery of the existence of cells to the structure of DNA, microscopy has been a quintessential tool of the field, unlocking new dimensions of the living world not only for scientists but also for the general public.

For the life sciences, where understanding the function of a living thing often requires interpreting its form, imaging is vital to confirming theories and revealing what is yet unknown.

This selection of stories from The Conversation’s archive presents a few ways in which microscopy has contributed to different forms of scientific knowledge, including techniques that take visualization beyond sight altogether.

Chandrakant Isi’s picture

By: Chandrakant Isi

Apple’s Vision Pro announcement has sparked a renewed interest in the world of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Looking through the lens of industrial environments, these technologies have already made significant contributions in manufacturing, maintenance, and training processes. Here, we’ll examine key areas where they hold potentially transformative power for the industrial sector, with input from Hubs’ in-house engineers as well as other industry experts.

Enver Yucesan’s picture

By: Enver Yucesan

It’s frustrating for customers to be told that a coveted mobile phone is out of stock, or worse, be bumped off an overbooked flight. Disgruntled consumers could turn to rival products or hurt the business’s reputation with negative reviews. But holding excess stock to avoid disappointing customers isn’t a solution because it also incurs costs in the form of storage, spoilage, or working capital requirements.

Companies have long tried to mitigate the cost-service trade-off through risk pooling. The practice comes in various guises, including merging inventories of different stores in a single location, code-sharing (for airlines), and lateral transshipments, which essentially entails moving goods from a well-stocked location to another that is struggling to meet demand.

Stephanie Ojeda’s picture

By: Stephanie Ojeda

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Workplace safety incidents are a key driver of risk in manufacturing organizations. There are the obvious risks to workers, whose ability to make a living directly depends on their employer’s approach to safety.

There are also huge risks to companies themselves, which face steep legal and compliance costs as a result of workplace injuries.

In fact, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) conducts thousands of unannounced inspections annually, while penalties continue to go up every year.

All of this points to a heightened need for proactive management of workplace environmental, health, and safety (EHS) incidents. In this article, we explore the essential tools in quality management systems (QMS) for managing EHS incidents from start to finish, including:
• EHS incident tracking and reporting software
• Root cause analysis tools such as 5 Whys, 8D, and failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA)
• Impact assessments for more effective risk management
• Corrective action tools and processes

Vanessa Bates Ramirez’s picture

By: Vanessa Bates Ramirez

If you’ve seen the Terminator movies, you may remember the shape-shifting humanoid robot T-1000. Made of liquid metal, it could instantly self-heal bullet wounds and other injuries, its metal simply oozing back together and making any damage disappear. Decades after the concept of self-healing metal showed up in a movie, it’s left the realm of pure science fiction and moved closer to reality as scientists have for the first time observed metals able to heal themselves.

In a paper published recently in Nature, a team from Sandia National Laboratories and Texas A&M University described how they were able to see the nanoscale activity of platinum and copper using an electron microscope.

The researchers weren’t actually trying to get the metals to self-heal. They made their discovery essentially by accident. They were working on an experiment meant to see how cracks formed in a piece of platinum, applying a tiny amount of force to it 200 times per second. All of this is happening on a scale that’s only visible through an extremely powerful microscope, giving “tiny” a new meaning.

Multiple Authors
By: Michael Platt, Elizabeth Z. Johnson

Most leaders would attest that true collaboration—the pooling of knowledge, perspectives, and brainpower of talented people—is a desired yet often elusive outcome. To change that, and boost the likelihood of generating breakthrough results, draw on parallels with improvisational jazz during your team meetings.

Through this approach, all team members get a chance to contribute equally, listening attentively to each other and building on what is emerging, just as improvisational jazz musicians begin with a unison statement of a theme and then different members provide improvised solos of a fixed length. The approach also provides ample space for creativity and exploration. But the ensuing creative collaboration happens within a predefined meeting structure, which keeps the discussion on track.

Mike Figliuolo’s picture

By: Mike Figliuolo

Do you find yourself muttering, “I hate my job” every day when you wake up? Have you been saying that for more than a month straight? Are people starting to avoid you because you’re a downer to be around?

Then it’s probably time to shut your mouth and quit your job.

Yep. Time for another provocative post that’s a slap upside the head for some of you. It falls in the same camp as the “10 Reasons Your Team Hates You” post that got a ton of attention.

I know: The economy is terrible. I know: You need health insurance. I know: You have to pay your mortgage. I know: You have to feed your kids. (You’ll get no sympathy from me on the last point; when my son was 13, his nickname was “Galactus,” from the Fantastic Four villain known as the Devourer of Worlds.)

I know all those things make it hard to just up and quit. All I’m saying is if you’re that miserable, you have some serious introspection to do. What I’d like to offer here are a few thoughts on how to grapple with that process.

Multiple Authors
By: Kobi Leins, ISO

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In everyday life, the most common conversation about artificial intelligence (AI) goes along the lines of, “I used ChatGPT, and it did x.” Corporate leaders, governments, and international organizations, however, are having a very different conversation. Theirs is about how the benefits of AI can be used in ways that outweigh the risks.

Some argue we need to urgently regulate AI. Others compare AI to the nuclear movement, and some even warn that it will end the world. At the same time, many consultants and startups would have us believe that AI is the cure-all for all our commercial and personal ills, including love, life, and lethality.

It’s too early to draw conclusions, but it’s important that the right people are having the right conversations. Only then can this groundbreaking technology support and empower humankind.

Chris Bush’s picture

By: Chris Bush

Untitled Document

The U.N. recognizes privacy as a fundamental human right, and nowhere is this more important than in medical data. That’s why both the U.S. and the EU have regulations in place that govern the collection, storage, and use of patient data in healthcare.

In the U.S., there is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). In the EU, the broader General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) also covers patient health information.

When medical device companies begin clinical trials for their devices, they invariably come into possession of subjects’ personal data, which means they may be required to comply with either (or both) of these regulations, depending on where the studies take place and who participates.

The penalties for failing to comply with these regulations can be steep, so it’s essential that you understand what’s required of your company while handling patient health data.

Let’s start in the U.S. with HIPAA.

Harald Remmert’s picture

By: Harald Remmert

William Thomson, Lord Kelvin, once said that what he could measure he could control. Other variations of this saying are, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it,” or, “To measure is to know.” In a highly intricate and delicate industry like utilities, it’s challenging to have reliable control over energy production and consumption without technology solutions, such as digital twins, that enable reliable means of measurement and modeling for improved operational efficiency.

A digital twin is a virtual representation that serves as a real-time replica of a physical object or process. While such a concept may sound advanced, digital twins are nothing new. In fact, 50 years ago (30 years before the term was coined), NASA used a solution thought to be the earliest instance of digital-twin usage to fix the damaged Apollo 13 spacecraft. Experts will even point to an older example, in the form of a train station track board that used lights to indicate train tracks, track switches, signals, and the positions of trains.

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