Surf's Up
Duuuude, how's this for a Ph.D. project: Benjamin Thompson, a structural engineering student at UC San Diego, is on a quest to formulate the science of surfboards. He enlisted the help of four undergraduates in the mechanical engineering department to help him out, and together they hit the beach to find out more.

The research involves attaching sensors to the boards that will measure water velocity, as well as a microprocessor that saves the data and transmits it wirelessly to a laptop.

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Traditional fluorescence microscopes (the ones you might find at your local hospital or in a medical lab) typically cost up to $40,000 and can take up more space than several desktop computers. Luckily, recent Rice University grad Andrew Miller has invented a portable, battery-powered fluorescence microscope that costs only $240 to make.

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