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Combating the Life Science Data Avalanche

August 10, 2015 | by Lindsay Hock, Editor | Comments

Big data has become a growing issue in science, as these data sets are so large and complex that traditional data processing applications are inadequate. This is especially true for the life science industry, where the growing size of data hasn’t been met with tools for analyzing and interpreting this data at the same rate, leading to what many call a “data avalanche.”

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ISS Soyuz Maneuver Scheduled for Friday Morning

August 27, 2015 4:30 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

If you plan on making it a sleepless night, you might want to head over to NASA Television around a quarter after 3 am. Half the residents of the International Space Station (ISS) will take a ride on the Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft in a relocation maneuver.


Taxonomy via Digital Simulacrum

August 27, 2015 2:30 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Known as the “father of taxonomy,” 18th-century Swedish scientist Carl Linnaeus traveled throughout Sweden from 1732 to 1735 cataloging plants and animals he encountered. He devised his own system of categorization, known as binomial nomenclature.


Cosmetic Microbeads Impact Oceans

August 27, 2015 12:45 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

This past summer, filmmakers captured copepods, a type of zooplankton, feeding on small pieces of plastic. Under a microscope at the U.K.’s Plymouth Marine Laboratory, the zooplankton fed on polystyrene beads between seven and 30 micrometers in diameter.


Egyptian Blue Takes Backseat in Mummy Portraits

August 27, 2015 10:38 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Believed to be the first artificial pigment produced, Egyptian blue was inspired by the semiprecious stone lapis lazuli. According to Marc Walton, a research associate professor of materials science and engineering at Northwestern Univ., Ancient Egyptians used the pigment on their walls and on the ceilings of tombs to replicate the night sky. The first documented appearance of the pigment was around 3200 to 3000 BC.


Attention-Grabbing Crows

August 26, 2015 10:00 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Researchers know about the New Caledonian crow’s ability to fashion hooked tools out of twigs and leaves, using them to harvest grubs. The areas where these grubs reside are often too narrow for the bird’s beak. Some have suggested the crow’s ability to craft tools surpasses the abilities of chimpanzees.


New Image of Cosmic Butterfly

August 26, 2015 6:00 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

An amalgam of ghostly greens, blues and reds burst forth from the center of a bright white light, diamond-like in shape. The green emissions split off into opposite directions, forming two lobes shaped like butterfly wings. Inside, they house kaleidoscopic jet streams. As the lobes extend outwards into the vastness of space, the colors fade against the black.


To the Wonder: Speculating Extraterrestrial Life

August 26, 2015 3:00 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Discovered in the 1880s in the Mediterranean Sea, the immortal jellyfish (Turritopsis dohrnii) measures about 4.5 mm across. Small as a pinky nail, its transparent body shows a glowing red stomach. Ninety tentacles wistfully float by its side in the water.


Coming Out of Its Shell: A Rare Nautilus Sighting

August 26, 2015 12:40 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Last month, Peter Ward, a professor at the Univ. of Washington’s Dept. of Biology, and Dept. of Earth and Space Sciences, returned to Papau New Guinea’s Manus Island to see if a rare, shelled cephalopod still existed.


Abbott’s Absorb: A Bioresorbable Arterial Scaffold

August 26, 2015 7:28 am | by Lindsay Hock, Editor | Comments

Every Wednesday, R&D Magazine will feature a R&D 100 Flashback, chosen from our R&D 100 archive of winners. This week’s flashback is Abbott’s Absorb, which won the R&D 100 Award in 2013. Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a condition in which the arteries that supply blood to the heart become narrowed or blocked by a buildup of plaque.


E. coli Growth Inhibited by Flu Medications

August 26, 2015 7:21 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Through a technique known as pyrosequencing, Stanford Univ. researchers in 2008 found the bacteria community in the colon is made of at least 5,600 species, or strains. It was a huge moment for gut microbiota, as previous estimates put the number upwards of 500.


Capturing Plant Sensors Detecting Pathogens

August 25, 2015 3:20 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Rice is a staple worldwide. According to the American Phytopathological Society, hundreds of millions of people rely on the crop for sustenance. Rice blast, a disease caused by the fungal pathogen Magnaporthe oryzae, has a worldwide distribution, affecting over 80 countries.


Using Drones to Track Wildlife

August 25, 2015 1:15 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

From recreational uses to military operations, drones are becoming ubiquitous in society. Already, the technology is being applied to help monitor and protect endangered species in Africa. Researchers from Australian National Univ. and Univ. of Sydney are testing a drone designed to track small wildlife that moves through rugged and inaccessible terrain.


New Dinosaur Species Described

August 25, 2015 10:42 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Discovered in a small quarry on a farm in South Africa’s Free State province, Pulanesaura eocollum is a new member of the long-necked sauropod lineage of dinosaurs. Blair McPhee, a PhD student at the Univ. of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, along with colleagues, described the new dinosaur in Scientific Reports.


Space-Aged Whiskey

August 24, 2015 7:30 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

In a tweet from NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, the cylindrical HTV-5 “Kounotori” cargo ship floats high above the clouds and green sprawl of Earth below. The next image posted shows the International Space Station (ISS)’s robotic arm, controlled by JAXA astronaut Kimiya Yui, grasping the ship, which carries a payload of around 4.5 metric tons, including mice, food and water, a host of devices and whiskey.


Using Cell Phones to Track Disease Outbreaks

August 24, 2015 4:34 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

In a handful of years, cell phone ownership has proliferated in Sub-Saharan Africa. According to Pew Research Center, only 8% of Ghanaians owned a mobile phone in 2002. Today, the figure is 83%, and in Kenya the figure is 82%. Princeton and Harvard Univ. researchers have found mobile phone data can help predict seasonal disease patterns.



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