Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Parallel port


Tachistoscopes allow brief visual stimulation delivery, which is crucial for experiments in which subliminal presentation is required. Up to now, tachistoscopes have had shortcomings with respect to timing accuracy, reliability, and flexibility of use. Here, we present a new and inexpensive two-channel tachistoscope that allows for exposure durations in the submillisecond range with an extremely high timing accuracy. The tachistoscope consists of two standard liquid-crystal display (LCD) monitors of the light-emitting diode (LED) backlight type, a semipermeable mirror, a mounting rack, and an experimental personal computer (PC). The monitors have been modified to provide external access to the LED backlights, which are controlled by the PC via the standard parallel port. Photodiode measurements confirmed reliable operation of the tachistoscope and revealed switching times of 3 μs. Our method may also be of great advantage in single-monitor setups, in which it allows for manipulating the stimulus timing with submillisecond precision in many experimental situations. Where this is not applicable, the monitor can be operated in standard mode by disabling the external backlight control instantaneously.

Concepts: Light-emitting diode, Liquid crystal display, Diode, Personal computer, Cathode ray tube, Backlight, Gamut, Parallel port


The purpose of this study is the correction of the lateral scanner artifact, i.e., the effect that, on a large homogeneously exposed EBT3 film, a flatbed scanner measures different optical densities at different positions along thex axis, the axis parallel to the elongated light source. At constant dose, the measured optical densitiy profiles along this axis have a parabolic shape with significant dose dependent curvature. Therefore, the effect is shortly called the parabola effect. The objective of the algorithm developed in this study is to correct for the parabola effect. Any optical density measured at given position x is transformed into the equivalent optical density c at the apex of the parabola and then converted into the corresponding dose via the calibration of c versus dose.

Concepts: Density, Population density, Parabola, Image scanner, Archimedes, Parallel port


Synaptonemal complexes (SCs) are meiosis-specific multiprotein complexes that are essential for synapsis, recombination, and segregation of homologous chromosomes, but the molecular organization of SCs remains unclear. We used immunofluorescence labeling in combination with super-resolution imaging and average position determination to investigate the molecular architecture of SCs. Combination of 2D super-resolution images recorded from different areas of the helical ladder-like structure allowed us to reconstruct the 3D molecular organization of the mammalian SC with isotropic resolution. The central element is composed of two parallel cables at a distance of ∼100 nm, which are oriented perpendicular to two parallel cables of the lateral element arranged at a distance of ∼220 nm. The two parallel cable elements form twisted helical structures that are connected by transversal filaments by their N and C termini. A single-cell preparation generates sufficient localizations to compile a 3D model of the SC with nanometer precision.

Concepts: DNA, Structure, Computer graphics, Chromosomal crossover, 3D computer graphics, Homologous chromosome, Synapsis, Parallel port


We evaluated the use of a commercial flatbed scanner for digitizing photographic plates used for spectroscopy. The scanner has a bed size of 420 mm by 310 mm and a pixel size of about 0.0106 mm. Our tests show that the closest line pairs that can be resolved with the scanner are 0.024 mm apart, only slightly larger than the Nyquist resolution of 0.021 mm expected from the 0.0106 mm pixel size. We measured periodic errors in the scanner using both a calibrated length scale and a photographic plate. We find no noticeable periodic errors in the direction parallel to the linear detector in the scanner, but we find errors with an amplitude of 0.03 to 0.05 mm in the direction perpendicular to the detector. We conclude that large periodic errors in measurements of spectroscopic plates using flatbed scanners can be eliminated by placing the plate along the short side of the scanner and scanning the plates with the dispersion direction parallel to the linear detector.

Concepts: Measurement, Metrology, Test method, Units of measurement, RGB color model, Camera, Image scanner, Parallel port


Parallel transmission is a very promising method to tackle B1(+) field inhomogeneities at ultrahigh field in magnetic resonant imaging (MRI). This technique is however limited by the mutual coupling between the radiating elements. Here we propose to solve this problem by designing a passive magneto-electric resonator that we here refer to as stacked magnetic resonator (SMR). By combining numerical and experimental methodologies, we prove that this novelty passive solution allows an efficient decoupling of elements of a phased-array coil. We demonstrate the ability of this technique to significantly reduce by more than 10dB the coupling preserving the quality of images compared to ideally isolated linear resonators on a spherical salty agar gel phantom in a 7T MRI scanner.

Concepts: Magnetic field, Mathematics, Resonator, Nuclear magnetic resonance, Resonance, Acoustic resonance, Standing wave, Parallel port


Every day we perform learnt sequences of actions that seem to happen almost without awareness. It has been argued that for learning such sequences parallel learning networks exist - one using spatial coordinates and one using motor coordinates - with sequence acquisition involving a progressive shift from the former to the latter as a sequence is rehearsed. When sequences are interrupted by an out-of-sequence target, there is a delay in the response to the target, and so here we transiently interrupt oculomotor sequences to probe the influence of oculomotor rehearsal and spatial coordinates in sequence acquisition. For our main experiments, we used a repeating sequences of eight targets in length that was first learnt either using saccadic eye movements (left/right), manual responses (left/right or up/down) or as a sequence of colour (blue/red) requiring no motor response. The sequence was immediately repeated for saccadic eye movements, during which the influence of on out-of-sequence target (an interruption) was assessed. When a sequence is learnt beforehand in an abstract way (for example, as a sequence of colours or of orthogonally mapped manual responses), interruptions are immediately disruptive to latency, suggesting neither motor rehearsal nor specific spatial coordinates are essential for encoding sequences of actions and that sequences - no matter how they are encoded - can be rapidly translated into oculomotor coordinates. The magnitude of a disruption does, however, correspond to how well a sequence is learnt: introducing an interruption to an extended sequence before it was reliably learnt reduces the magnitude of the latency disruption.

Concepts: Saccade, Color, Learning, Fibonacci number, Interrupt, Non-maskable interrupt, Parallel port, PCI Express


Single-group interrupted time series analysis (ITSA) is a popular evaluation methodology in which a single unit of observation is being studied, the outcome variable is serially ordered as a time series and the intervention is expected to ‘interrupt’ the level and/or trend of the time series, subsequent to its introduction. Given that the internal validity of the design rests on the premise that the interruption in the time series is associated with the introduction of the treatment, treatment effects may seem less plausible if a parallel trend already exists in the time series prior to the actual intervention. Thus, sensitivity analyses should focus on detecting structural breaks in the time series before the intervention.

Concepts: Scientific method, Time series, Interrupt, Parallel port, Interrupt request



To evaluate the reproducibility of amide proton transfer (APT) imaging of brain tumors using a parallel transmission-based technique.

Concepts: Cancer, Brain tumor, Data transmission, Parallel communication, Parallel port


Office chromatography (OC) harnesses the novel combination of miniaturized planar separation science and modern print & media technologies. Interdisciplinary knowledge is the essence: Printing of solutions on powerful miniaturized planar separation materials in combination with image capturing and evaluation tools enables an innovative analytical online system. Site-specific printing as lines or areas on defined sections of the layer comprises important steps like application of samples, feeding of the mobile phase as well as supply of the derivatization reagent. Also printing of bioassays can be combined for effect-directed detections and the homogeneous printing of the ultrathin layer itself, enabling tailor-made gradient-layer or multi-layer plates. OC exploits image-giving miniaturized chromatograms being captured and processed with a flatbed scanner or mini-camera. Thus, miniaturized separation materials are the core of OC. Monolithic, electrospun, nanostructured glancing angle deposition and carbon nanotube-templated microfabricated layers or even pillar arrays or polymer brush coated sub-μm silica particles were demonstrated, showing promising results. Layer thicknesses from 50μm down to few micrometers were explored. A high-throughput capacity is given through the parallel development of as many as possible tiny-printed samples on the separation material. The migration time was reduced to a few minutes and the calculated analysis time per sample lasted few seconds. Considering a substantially reduced solvent consumption at short run times for parallel analysis of numerous samples at the same time, OC is an appropriate analytical technique for green chemistry. OC facilitates the whole planar separation process to be performed with no other equipment but a combined device of printer and flatbed scanner or mini-camera. At the same time, OC can be expected to become a widespread and economical technique with the user-friendliness of high-end office tools, appealing to users.

Concepts: Chromatography, Analytical chemistry, Gas chromatography, Chemical engineering, Separation process, Separation processes, Image scanner, Parallel port