USC Professor Scott E. Fraser is known for inventing new microscopes and other tools to observe living, developing embryos. But one of his lab’s most important pieces of technology filters coffee instead of light: it’s a restaurant-quality Espresso machine.

“I wanted to make a place where people would come to steal coffee,” he said. “And they would come to steal coffee either when something really good happened, or when something really bad happened. And so you’d go have a cup of coffee, and then somebody else would be there, and they would either be elated or not elated. And if they’re not elated, you say, ‘Well, what’s the problem?’ ”

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