Fidget spinners can save lives as centrifuges

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Spotted: Researchers at National Taiwan University have discovered that a simple plastic fidget spinner – the 2017 surprise hit toy – can spin fast enough to work as a centrifuge and separate red blood cells from plasma, a necessary process for vital blood tests. Chien-Fu Chen, Chien-Cheng Chang and colleagues worked out that, with just a few flicks of a finger, a fidget spinner could spin fast enough to separate about 30 percent of the plasma in only four to seven minutes. That is enough to help doctors in under-developed areas test for life threatening diseases like malaria and HIV. Their…

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