There are tools used for manipulating tiny amounts of liquid, known as microfluidic devices. Typically these devices are used to stimulate human blood cells or other biological features, perform blood tests, or even detect contaminants in human blood. Microfluidic devices are used by the biomedical field as it allows many medical tests to be accomplished on a single chip. Microfluidic devices can also be used for drug screening, glucose tests and many other purposes.
However, fabricating these microfluidic devices is not easy. It requires a different configuration of interior passages, demanding a brand new design that must be molded or 3-D printed each time. In a recent report by the Journal of Micromechanics & Microengineering states that “Scientists from the University of California, Irvine have created Lego-style blocks out of a polymer called PDMS. Their bricks contained minuscule channels, half a millimeter wide, that allowed liquid to flow from brick to brick with no leaks. New devices could be created quickly by rearranging standard blocks into various configurations.”
This new technology makes it easier for scientists to create these microfluidic devices more quickly and ready for use! Check out the Tweet below from Science News to see what the fluid-ferrying Lego devices look like!
Legos have provided the inspiration for small, fluid-ferrying devices. https://t.co/MvkYvfhTdV
— Science News (@ScienceNews) January 26, 2017
, via Wikimedia Commons”]Not that long ago, girls were actively discouraged from careers in science, technology, engineering and math. And women’s representation in STEM fields reflected this. In the 1960s, for instance, just one in every 100 engineers was a woman. The situation has improved, but today, women still make up only 27 percent of people working in science and engineering.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women make up 47 percent of the total U.S. workforce, but are much less represented in particular science and engineering occupations. They comprise 39 percent of chemists and material scientists, 28 percent of environmental scientists and geoscientists, 16 percent of chemical engineers and just 12 percent of civil engineers.
So what can be done? Perhaps we can encourage movie and tv directors to cast more women in STEM roles on television shows and movies. Pushing important STEM organizations, like NASA and others, to report on their internal demographics would make the issue more public and would have a big impact.
Here is some advice from women in STEM fields for girls who also want to pursue a career in these areas: Follow your passion, work hard, ignore the doubters and find peers who are just as into STEM as you are.
Follow this link to see some awesome women who work in a STEM related fields from all over the world: