Science In Action

Welcome to Science in Action. Our new series showcasing how our technologies, scientists, design and software engineers, and solutions are applied to real-world situations. From drilling thousands of feet below the icy surface of Antarctica to exploring concepts of life on other planets, our stories will stimulate your imagination and open new possibilities in your own scientific endeavors.

Where do microplastics come from: A study by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) found that ordinary consumer products are the source of most of the ocean’s primary microplastics.

Source: International Union for Conservation of Nature, 2017

Where do microplastics come from?

Microplastics – tiny plastic particles smaller than 5 mm – from that shirt or car tires are seeping into our biosphere. We ingest, inhale and absorb these particles through our skin.

Scientist pioneers wastewater treatments to fight global warming effects

Pilot equipment for experimental water treatment process at the Hampton Roads SanitationDistrict

Vaidya and her team are developing methods of advanced water treatment that not only returns the wastewater to a healthy level, but raises the ground water level, and prevents land subsidence and seawater intrusion.

Microplastics: a big problem for the environment

Microplastics are turning up everywhere. Microplastics in water, microplastics in the ocean.

A common accessory - the plastic straw -  is contributing to a type of contaminant affecting our ecosystems, not to mention the human food chain.

Microplastics explained

Microplastics explained videos

Microplastics, microscopic bits of manufactured or decayed plastics, are invading our surroundings. Researchers found it in our seas, drinking water, rainwater - and even table salt.

Mishaps and ski trip lead to laser revolution

Prof. Gérard Mourou and one of his initial diffraction gratings

Mourou’s goal was to develop an ultra-short, high-intensity laser pulse without destroying the equipment used to produce it.

Researcher traces path of potentially toxic nanoparticles

Rhodamine 6G silica particles in small intestine tissue detected through a Fluorolog 3 spectrofluorometer

Scientists use nanoparticles in a variety of applications, including medicine, pharmaceuticals, electronics, biomaterials, energy production and consumer products.

Cleaner water through fluorescence spectroscopy and artificial intelligence

Miller focused his research on drinking water quality monitoring and management, along with treatment optimization.

Fluorescence spectroscopy becoming key to identifying pain

Berezin turned his focus to imaging inflammation in the body – and how to locate it. That, he hoped, would eventually lead to the treatment of peripheral neuropathy and chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy in particular.

How fusion breakthroughs will lead to clean renewable energy

Chase Taylor, Ph.D.

Nuclear fusion is viewed by many as the holy grail of clean, renewable energy.

Making better gas turbines

Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee

Large, land-based gas turbines are the worker bees behind energy production. These devices convert the heat from nuclear fuel, concentrated solar power and fossil fuels like coal and gas, into electricity.

Designing a new breed of nuclear reactors

Adriean Couet, Ph.D

To most scientists, climate change is real. The challenge is to find more and better energy sources to generate electricity that do not emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

How to measure temperature with light

Sukwon Choi, Ph.D., and Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Penn State University

Satellite communications, military radar systems and those 5-G networks you will soon depend on have something in common. Scientists base these systems on microelectronics – the design, manufacture, and use of integrated circuits.

Is this the next breakthrough in medicine?

Imaging of cellular structures in living cells

Groups of researchers are taking a giant leap in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. They are applying an established technology ― Raman spectroscopy ― to biomedical research.

How we customized a spectroscopy solution in the low UV range

custom spectrometer designed and built by HORIBA Scientific

The United States Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) faced a challenge. It wanted to conduct photoemission spectroscopy in the extreme low UV range using a tunable light source. It’s a difficult application. No off-the-shelf instruments existed to achieve its goals.

Targeting toxic waste with minerals

Aaron Celestian's research uses Raman and XRF Spectroscopy to discover which minerals to treat toxic waste with and heal our world.

Museum’s mineral studies improving life

Aaron Celestian, Ph.D.

Large vaulted ceilings, old woodwork and stained glass dating back to the early 1900s overpowers you as you walk into the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

Using renewable and alternative sources for value-added products production

Inside a small, neat lab, tucked away inside the engineering building at Rutgers University in New Jersey, a researcher is trying to use cheap and renewable sources in order to upgrade them to new useful products and fuels.

Photovoltaics and photoluminescence

Photovoltaics and Photoluminescence

Watch the interview with Taylor Harvey, Ph.D., of Texas A&M University-Central Texas on Next Generation Photovoltaics

Health benefits of olive oils get boost

Ewa Sikorska is an associate professor at Poznań University

Scientists believe phenolic compounds, like those found in olive oil, can contribute to a lower rate of coronary heart disease and prostate and colon cancers.

Nanotechnology a pathway to efficient solar energy

Justin Sambur, Ph.D.

A Colorado group is tackling one of the largest issues facing us with some of the smallest materials known to mankind.

Fluorescent carbon nanodots: making foldable displays

Doo-Young Kim, Ph.D., an Associate Professor of Chemistry at the University of Kentucky.

Imagine reading a newspaper with an LED-like display that folds to fit in your pocket. 

Making more efficient solar energy

Richard Loomis, Ph.D.

Richard Loomis is trying to make a better solar cell. And he’s taken a road off the beaten path to achieve that goal.

Finding ancient life through minerals on earth and beyond

Mineral distributions determined by Raman spectroscopy

Visualize slicing a rock so thin it’s transparent to the eye. That’s what Eric Ellison must do to study which minerals host life.

Killing cancer with lanthanides and air

Lanthanide oxides

Imagine killing cancer cells with oxygen compounds. Then tracking the cancer’s metabolism with near ultraviolet light sources. That’s the potential result of the pioneering work by a team at the University of Nevada-Reno.

Fine wine-making with the help of HORIBA tech

Wineries typically send out samples of the grapes to analytical labs to be tested on costly, hard to maintain equipment. 

Forensic light sources nab the suspects

CrimeScope CS-16-500W

Alternative light sources used by crime scene investigators help them identify evidence left by suspects at a crime scene.

An act of mercy in Baltimore

Part of that evidence collection was the use of an Alternative Light Source (ALS), like the ones made by SPEX Forensics, a Division of HORIBA Scientific. 

Versatile Aqualog saves chemical costs at treatment plants

Aqualog Water Treatment Plant Analyzer

The primary role of a drinking water treatment plant is to provide clean drinking (disinfected) water.

Duetta: absorbance and fluorescence - in the blink of an eye

Now, HORIBA Scientific has developed the perfect supplement for these highly capable research spectrofluorometers. 

SPEX Forensics algorithms used to solve cold cases

PrintQuest™ Systems include both the Automated Fingerprint Identification and Automated Palmprint Identification capabilities.

In one case, using an innovation created by SPEX Forensics, a division of HORIBA Instruments, a suspect was subsequently linked by fingerprints to 32 different outstanding felony cases.

Drilling deep to discover life

This winter, John Priscu plans to drill thousands of feet below the frozen ice of Antarctica and expects to find living creatures. If he’s successful, it could help change the way we see our planet.


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