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Super-fine Sound Beam Could One Day Be an Invisible Scalpel

Published: December 20, 2012.
Released by University of Michigan  

ANN ARBOR—A carbon-nanotube-coated lens that converts light to sound can focus high-pressure sound waves to finer points than ever before. The University of Michigan engineering researchers who developed the new therapeutic ultrasound approach say it could lead to an invisible knife for noninvasive surgery.

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More news from University of Michigan

Discovery of Nanotubes Offers New Clues About Cell-to-cell Communication
ANN ARBOR--When it comes to communicating with each other, some cells may be more "old school" than was previously thought. Certain types of stem cells use microscopic, threadlike nanotubes to communicate with neighboring cells, like a landline phone connection, rather than sending a broadcast signal, researchers at University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center have discovered.

Sleeping on the Job? Actually, That's a Good Thing
ANN ARBOR--Employees seeking to boost their productivity at work should take a nap--yes, sleeping on the job can be a good thing. A new University of Michigan study finds that taking a nap may be an effective strategy to counteract impulsive behavior and to boost tolerance for frustration.

Old-school Literature Search Helps Ecologist Identify Puzzling Parasite
ANN ARBOR--A months-long literature search that involved tracking down century-old scientific papers and translating others from Czech and French helped University of Michigan ecologist Meghan Duffy answer a question she'd wondered about for years.

Below-average 'Dead Zone' Predicted for Chesapeake Bay in 2015
ANN ARBOR--A University of Michigan researcher and his colleagues are forecasting a slightly below-average but still significant "dead zone" this summer in the Chesapeake Bay, the nation's largest estuary. The 2015 Chesapeake Bay forecast calls for an oxygen-depleted, or hypoxic, region of 1.37 cubic miles, about 10 percent below the long-term average. The forecast was released today by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which sponsors the work.

Average 'Dead Zone' for Gulf of Mexico in 2015, U-M And Partners Predict
ANN ARBOR--A University of Michigan researcher and his colleagues are forecasting an average but still large "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico this year. The forecast calls for an oxygen-depleted, or hypoxic, region of 5,483 square miles, roughly the size of Connecticut. It was announced today by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which sponsors the work.

Variations in Atmospheric Oxygen Levels Shaped Earth's Climate Through the Ages
ANN ARBOR--Variations in the amount of oxygen in Earth's atmosphere significantly altered global climate throughout the planet's history. Efforts to reconstruct past climates must include this previously overlooked factor, a new University of Michigan-led study concludes. Oxygen currently comprises about 21 percent of Earth's atmosphere by volume but has varied between 10 percent and 35 percent over the past 541 million years.

Hormone That Differentiates Sugar, Diet Sweeteners Could Exist in Humans
ANN ARBOR--We've all been there: We eat an entire sleeve of fat-free, low-calorie cookies and we're stuffing ourselves with more food 15 minutes later. One theory to explain this phenomenon is that artificial sweeteners don't contain the calories or energy that evolution has trained the brain to expect from sweet-tasting foods, so they don't fool the brain into satisfying hunger. However, until now, nobody understood how organisms distinguish between real sugar and artificial sweetener.

Black Women Often Cope with Infertility Alone
ANN ARBOR--African-American women are equally, if not more, likely to experience infertility than their white counterparts, but they often cope with this traumatic issue in silence and isolation, according to a new University of Michigan study. African-American women also more often feel that infertility hinders their sense of self and gender identity.

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