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The Lead

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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Disposing of Space Junk

September 3, 2015 9:30 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Satellites, space shuttles and the International Space Station (ISS) have potentially destructive neighbors to contend with while orbiting Earth. According to NASA, more than 20,000 pieces of space debris orbiting Earth are larger than a softball. But 500,000 pieces are the size of a marble or larger. Further, millions of pieces are so small they can’t be tracked. Traveling at speeds up to 17,500 mph, the debris are a constant concern. 


Major Reasons to Use Industrial CT Scanning to Qualify Cap Closures

September 3, 2015 7:30 pm | by Visent Avxhi, Business Unit Manager, 3D ProScan | Comments

There are three major reasons to use industrial CT scanning to qualify cap closures. The first is assembly fit. A common request from clients who design and build cap closures is they want to know how the cap and bottle fit together assembled.


Drones as Weapons? North Dakota Says No

September 3, 2015 5:30 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Following the passage of House Bill 1328, it is now legal for North Dakota police forces to arm drones with “non-lethal” weapons, including Tasers, pepper spray and rubber bullets.


3-D Printing Simplifies, Speeds and Amplifies R&D Efforts

September 3, 2015 3:55 pm | by Ed Graham, Engineering Manager, ProtoCAM | Comments

When it comes to R&D, complexity often hinders innovation. Product development tailored to customer needs and efficient processes are the ultimate goals. Low-volume, highly specialized, complex products and cyclical, iterative processes are what R&D teams require. And these are what 3-D printing can deliver.


Recycling on the Cosmic Scale

September 3, 2015 1:30 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

The cycle of life and death continues on the cosmic scale above Earth. Using the MPG/ESO 2.2-m telescope at the La Silla Observatory, located on the outskirts of Chile’s Atacama Desert, the European Southern Observatory (ESO)’s Cosmic Gems program captured a stunning image of a cosmic nursery. The anything but quiet nursery is located within the gigantic nebula Gum 56, nicknamed the Prawn Nebula.


Feel the Electricity

September 3, 2015 11:20 am | by Lindsay Hock, Editor | Comments

A group of people form a huge circle. Every individual in the circle holds hands tightly. The last two people in the circle grasp a lightbulb tightly with their combined hands high up into the darkness so the rest of the circle can see. After a few seconds, the light bulb illuminates, blinking at first, but then offering a steady source of light.


Drug Protects Against Effects of Nuclear Radiation Poisoning

September 3, 2015 9:15 am | by Ryan Bushey, Associate Editor | Comments

A group of physicians have discovered a peptide called TP508 that may be able to prevent intestinal damage from severe radiation exposure. The study, led by researchers from the Univ. of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB), was recently published in the journal Laboratory Investigation.


Wasp Venom Inhibits Cancer Growth

September 3, 2015 7:14 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

A Brazilian wasp’s venom may hold the key to fighting cancer. Polybia paulista, a social and aggressive wasp, fights against predators by producing a venom. However, the venom’s toxin, called Polybia-MP1, is a known cancer-fighting agent. Researchers from the Univ. of Leeds and São Paulo State Univ. described how the venom’s toxin kills cancer cells without harming normal cells in a paper in Biophysical Journal.


Boehringer Strikes Deal with Startup to Find Weight Loss Drug Targets

September 2, 2015 7:00 pm | by Ryan Bushey, Associate Editor | Comments

Boehringer Ingelheim announced on August 12 it would embark on another collaborative project with Circuit Therapeutics, a Menlo Park, California-based startup specializing in optogenetics. Both organizations will spend the next three years, “investigating metabolic disorders with the aim of developing novel medicines to improve the treatment of obesity and associated diseases,” according to Boehringer’s official statement.


Solar Panels Step Up Renewables’ Game

September 2, 2015 5:00 pm | by Lindsay Hock, Editor | Comments

With the U.S. seeking energy independence, as well as trying to boost its economy, renewable energy sources seem a feasible fit. From biofuels to solar and wind energy, the U.S. is diving into the technologies and processes that make these energy sources viable.


Sea Sapphires, from Neon to Invisibility

September 2, 2015 2:50 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Sea sapphires, tiny ocean creatures, live up to the iridescence of their namesake stone. As they sway and swim in the water, the creatures bounce between incredible displays of blue, purple and green and near invisibility. Researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science recently discovered the underlying mechanism of the color transformations, publishing their findings in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.


Human-Sized Sea Scorpion Discovered

September 2, 2015 12:43 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

In 2010, scientists unearthed specimens of a human-sized sea scorpion in the upper section of the Winneshiek Shale, located in the Decorah crater in northeastern Iowa. Dating back 467 million years, Pentecopterus decorahenis extends the stratigraphic range of eurypterids, aquatic arthropods, back some 10 million years than the previous 11 species discovered.


Los Alamos National Laboratory’s KiloPower: Nuclear Energy in Space

September 2, 2015 6:00 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 Los Alamos National Laboratory’s KiloPower, which won the R&D 100 Award in 2013. Numerous space probes have taken advantage of radioisotope thermoelectric generators powered by plutonium. However, the end of the Cold War has brought about a shortage of plutonium.


Isolation for a Yearlong “Mission” to Mars

September 1, 2015 2:30 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Surrounded by a rocky and barren landscape, the six crew members of the fourth Hawai’i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) entered the white, solar-powered, geodesic dome, located in an abandoned quarry on the northern slope of the volcano Mauna Loa. Leaving civilization behind on Friday, Aug. 28, the crew will spend one year in isolation, replicating the conditions of long-term space travel.  


Intelligent Manufacturing

September 1, 2015 12:30 pm | by Lindsay Hock, Editor | Comments

The marriage of modern Internet technologies such as Cloud and mobile computing, advanced analytics and ubiquitous connectivity with traditional plant systems, people, equipment and sensors is the Industrial Internet. And it’s leading to significant improvements in asset and operational performance, an uncharted territory to manufacturers.



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