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The Lead

A Carbon-Neutral Fuel Alternative

October 1, 2015 | by Lindsay Hock, Editor | Comments

As early as the 1950s, researchers were looking at algae for methane gas production. The algae was grown on rooftops of Massachusetts Institute Technology (MIT). Drawings and illustrations of open pond raceways on the roof of Harvard Univ. were also recovered from the 1950s. The reason for this research was algae naturally make oil, and this intrigued researchers as a feedstock for biodiesel.

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British Tech Companies Unite to Dismantle Drones

October 12, 2015 4:30 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Detect, track, disrupt. That’s the motto of the “Anti UAV Defense System (AUDS)” a new anti-drone weapons system that combines electronic-scanning radar detection, electro-optical tracking/classification and directional radio frequency inhibition capability.


“Back to the Future” 3-D Displays Ready for Market

October 12, 2015 2:30 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

In “Back to the Future II,” Marty McFly enters 2015 in a state of awe. Surrounded by flying cars, hoverboards and second story gas stations, he hears the pixelated breaking of water, turning around to find a 3-D shark engulfing him in its sharp-toothed maw.


Neurons of a Feather, Flock Together

October 12, 2015 12:23 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

The largest part of the human brain, the wrinkled cerebral cortex is broken into four lobes: the frontal, the parietal, the occipital and temporal. Each lobe is associated with a myriad of responsibilities, from reasoning and speech, to movement and recognition, among others.


Exposing Personal Data Tracking on the Web

October 12, 2015 10:30 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

A little light can go a long way in exposing actions carried out under the veil of darkness. These days, those actions aren’t just carried out in the physical realm, they’re carried out in cyberspace. In their paper on targeting phenomena on the Web, Columbia Univ. computer scientists refer to the Web as a “very dark and complex ecosystem.”


Fume Hoods In Lab Design

October 12, 2015 9:45 am | by Lindsay Hock, Editor | Comments

With a majority of labs still focused on “wet” research, fume hoods are an important safety equipment staple. By definition, fume hoods are local ventilation devices designed to limit exposure to hazardous or toxic fumes in lab settings. And, for years, vendors have advanced the technology further and advertised these standard safety devices as energy-efficient devices.


The R&D Index Market Pulse, October 12, 2015: No Interest Rate Increase This Year

October 12, 2015 8:44 am | by Tim Studt | Comments

The R&D Index: Market Pulse for the week ending October 9, 2015, closed at 1,523.99 for the 25 companies in the R&D Index. The Index was up 2.57% (or more than 38 basis points) over the previous week (ending October 2, 2015). This was the second consecutive week the R&D Index showed growth, which was encouraging considering the substantial declines it's seen since the beginning of July.


A Failing Grade for Canada’s Climate Policy

October 12, 2015 7:10 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

The Canadian government is failing when it comes to reducing the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, and isn’t on track to meet reduction goals set for 2020 and 2050, according to professor and environmental analyst Mark Jaccard, of Simon Fraser Univ.


Exploring Microgravity’s Effects on Astronauts’ Brains

October 9, 2015 3:15 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

The human body is quite versatile. For example, people living in the high altitudes of the Andes adapted to thin air environments. Though their breathing rate is the same as people at sea level, their blood cells are more efficient at carrying oxygen due to higher hemoglobin concentrations.


EPA Fines Trucking Company for California Air Violations

October 9, 2015 12:57 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is fining a national trucking company for air violations in California. Estes Express Lines faces a $100,000 penalty for violating the California Truck and Bus Regulation. The company failed to install particulate filters on 73 of its heavy-duty trucks, which account for 15% of its California fleet, according to the EPA.


First Ancient African Genome Sequenced

October 9, 2015 10:24 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Located in the Ethiopian highlands, the Mota cave yielded a breakthrough discovery for researchers. Buried face-down in the cave was a 4,500-year-old man. Thanks to the cave’s cool and arid environment, the researchers successfully found intact DNA in the man’s petrous, a thick bone located near the base of the skull behind the ear.


This Robotic Finger is Ocean Bound

October 9, 2015 8:00 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Using an amalgam of 3-D printing, shape memory alloys, computer-aided design (CAD) and a thermal training technique, Florida Atlantic Univ. Prof. Erik Engeberg, of the Dept. of Ocean and Mechanical Engineering, and his team developed a bio-inspired robotic finger that operates and feels like a human finger.


Scientists Target Sodium Channel for Breast Cancer Prevention

October 8, 2015 5:30 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

In the U.S., one in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer within her lifetime. The year 2015 saw an estimated 231,840 new cases of the disease in the country. Though death rates have been decreasing since 1989, about 40,290 will die this year due to the disease.


Global Coral Bleaching Prompts Concern from NOAA

October 8, 2015 3:30 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

The stomping grounds of many fish species, coral reefs provide protection and shelter. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), they’re essential in the lifecycle of over 4,000 fish species and support more than 800 hard coral species. Add invertebrates and macrofauna, such as sharks and sea turtles, to the mix and it’s a staggering amount oceanic dwellers that rely on these ecosystems.


Cosmic Ripples Provide New Mystery for Astronomers

October 8, 2015 12:30 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Cosmic ripples emanating from the nearby dusty disk of star AU Microscopii (AU Mic) are leaving astronomers baffled. “Our observations have shown something unexpected,” said Anthony Boccaletti, of the Paris Observatory.


Agave: The Elixir for Parties and Biofuel?

October 8, 2015 10:03 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Famous for its role in tequila and mezcal production, the agave plant was worshipped by Mexico’s natives long before the Spaniards arrived in the 15th century. The Aztec goddess Mayheul was closely associated with agave, a symbol for life, health, dance and fertility. According to the International Organic Agave Alliance, archeological findings date the plants usage back some 10,000 years.



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