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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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Deep Learning Machine Predicts Human Activity

October 13, 2015 4:43 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

The setting is a doctor’s office in the future. Rather than gathering impressions of a patient’s lifestyle via inquiry, the doctor collects a piece of wearable technology, on which the patient may record caloric intake and exercise rates. In this future, guesswork may no longer be required from a doctor during a check-up.


Russian-Made Missile Responsible for MH17 Crash

October 13, 2015 12:48 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Dutch investigations into the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine have determined the plane was downed by a Russian-made Buk surface-to-air missile. In July 2014, the Boeing 777 was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur with a total of 298 passengers. When passing over Ukraine, the plane flew at 33,000 ft over an area where armed conflict was ongoing between Kiev and Russian-backed rebels.


DARPA is Developing Disappearing Drones

October 13, 2015 12:30 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Many are familiar with Icarus from Greek mythology. The son of Daedalus, a master craftsman, Icarus and his father were imprisoned in the Labyrinth, a maze of his father’s creation meant to house the Minotaur. To escape, Daedalus fashioned two sets of wings from feathers and wax. He warned his son not to fly close to the sun, as the wax would melt. But, Icarus, giddy with his flight ability, didn’t heed his father’s advice.


Unlocking the Secrets of Winter Weather

October 13, 2015 10:20 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

If you’ve lived in a region characterized by snowy winters, you probably remember the anticipation felt when waiting for a snow day as a child. The night before school, the meteorologist on television, or the radio, told you something like, “Don your galoshes and down coats. It’s going to be a rough one.” Yet, how many times did you wake to find the yard missing patches of snow?


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.



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