Bbbrrring, bbbrrring. It’s that darn videophone again. These things will never catch on, thinks Willard Boyle as he squirms in his chair before answering, trying to find a position that is comfortable, but he doesn’t put his face in view of the camera. It’s too early in the morning to be seen and Boyle knows who’s calling — his boss, Jack Morton, head of advanced research at Bell Labs...

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How is it that the over-the-counter pregnancy strip test is so fast and specific versus the common lab ELISA test which takes much longer incubation times and washings?

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In the news

Pushing the limits of chemistry with iridium

October 22, 2014

Canadian scientists working with the element iridium in Gary Schrobilgen's lab at McMaster university set a new record for the highest formal oxidation state in the periodic table of the elements. Oxidation state describes the number of electrons an atom loses or gains when it joins with other atoms in chemical compounds; the higher the oxidation state, the more electrons, critical in many applications, especially batteries. Previously the highest number was 8. Working with Chinese and German colleagues, the scientists created a gaseous form of iridium tetroxide reaching an oxidation state of 9. More at the Science Media Centre...

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