Packard Instrument, now part of PerkinElmer, has received US Patent No. 6,521,187, “Dispensing liquid drops onto porous brittle substrates.” The patent covers a system of dispensing minuscule volumes of liquid — generally between 10 and 100 microns — onto the porous sites on a wafer, which are 10 to 10,000 times smaller than the drops. The system involves a microdispenser that uses a glass capillary that is attached to a piezoelectric transducer.

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Using DNA to sketch crime victims might not be a great idea, the NYTimes says.

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