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She’ll get a Macarthur Genius Grant for this

You know, so long as you avoid politics and stick to science, the world is full of wonderful stories.

Via Wired Blog [1]:

A young professor has used her favorite childhood toy, a laser printer, and a toaster oven to make microfluidic devices – tiny computer chips with plumbing that are usually fabricated in multimillion dollar labs.

Microfluidics are essential to the whole new field of genomics and proteomics, which are at the center of the new advances we hear about in curing things like multiple sclerosis, diabetes, cancers, alzheimers, etc., etc. Her method makes the guts of the microfluidics chip in a few hours for a few dollars without a clean room. The others take a few months, cost thousands, and can’t survive without the aforementioned multimillion dollar lab.

Michelle Khine, as a new faculty member without a lab, figured out how to make a “lab on a chip” in her kitchen using Shrinky Dinks. It’s like something straight out of Heinlein.

The actual article is here [2]. I may be wrong, but I’d be willing to bet that the way her name appears last in the list of authors is one of the clearer symptoms of typical academic politics at work that you’ll see.

Crossposted to Shakesville [3]