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How Lab Coats Became a Dying Breed

Lab coats: they're white, mostly plain, boxy. Functional, and ultimately sartorially boring. But ask any doctor or lab tech about their lab coat and they will chat up a storm. Often about how they can't wait to ditch them—if they haven't already.

Scientists Study Cells With a Hacked Deskjet Printer

Scientists at Clemson University in the US have rigged an HP Deskjet 500 printer to make microscope slides full of living cells. It spits out a a special cell-packed ink from the printer's standard cartridge. The process creates cells with temporary permeability in the cell walls, and the holes in the cells are large enough to allow fluorescent molecules to be injected. That glowing stuffing illuminates the membranes, so researchers can get a look at what's happening inside the cells. When studying a heart, for example, the technique can be used to examine how the cardiac muscles respond to mechanical force and fluid shear.

Can a Backpack Be Chic?

When Eric Rothenhaus landed a gig as director of design at Jansport five years ago, he wanted to make an impression. He would do it by re-creating, down to the seat-belt straps, the very first JanSport backpack (and the first-ever backpack with a zip) introduced in 1969.