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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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R&D Daily

3-D Brain Surgical Innovation

September 4, 2015 3:00 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is developing a tiny, invasive camera capable of producing 3-D images of the brain, allowing surgeons to see tissues they are working on, and, potentially, leading to faster, safer procedures. 


“Forward-Planning” Chimps Down Drone

September 4, 2015 12:07 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

It’s like a scene right out of Planet of the Apes. A drone flies at heights between 10 and 15 m above a chimpanzee colony. As it sidles next to a tree, a female chimpanzee, brandishing a thin willow branch, is perched on a 5-m-high beam. As she comes into view of the drone’s camera, she grimaces and lunges forward, swiping at the unknown intruder. The second swipe sends the drone barreling towards the ground.


Breathing Termite Mounds

September 4, 2015 11:00 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Taking around four or five years to build, termite mounds are the result of a collective effort of millions. According to National Geographic, the mounds can reach 17 ft in height, with termites moving, in an average year, around 550 lbs of soil and several tons of water.


China’s “Patent Island” Deserves a Second Look

September 4, 2015 10:00 am | by John F. Martin, Innography | Comments

After increasing eight-fold in the decade between 2001 and 2011, patent applications in China passed those in the U.S. Patent filings in China have continued to rapidly rise, averaging 21% annually over the last three years—much faster than any large economy.


Raptor Captivity and Sacrifice in Ancient Egypt

September 4, 2015 8:00 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Ancient Egyptians revered animals. After a tumultuous period, the years between 600 BC and 250 AD were defined by a resurgence of animal cults in an attempt to bolster national identity. Ancient Egyptians believed their deities had corresponding animal avatars, such as the virile bulls association with the creator god Ptah, or the sun god Ra’s association with raptors.


Gene Mutation Turned Bacterium into Deadly Plague

September 4, 2015 7:00 am | by Ryan Bushey, Associate Editor | Comments

A recent study published in Nature Communications explored how very small changes to a gene called Pla could make diseases become vicious plagues. The research team led by Northwestern Univ. microbiologist Wyndham W. Lathem honed in on the Yersinia pestis (Y. Pestis) bacterium, a bug that can cause “fatal respiratory disease pneumonic plague,” according to the study. 


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.



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