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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.


Discovering How Calcium Carbonate Crystals Get Strength

January 11, 2016 11:21 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Calcium carbonate can be found in many things, from chalk, mollusk shells, and rocks to pearls, eggshells, and coal balls. There’s a variability to the strength the chemical compound exhibits. And material scientists from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) are looking into what gives calcium carbonate crystals their strength.


Feeding Time Has Ended For a Distant Quasar

January 11, 2016 9:39 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

It’s the end of the line for a distant quasar. Or, it’s at least the end of feeding time, for now. Last week, astronomers reported their findings concerning J1011+5442, a quasar that was the subject of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), at the 227th meeting of the American Astronomical Society.


Despite Sanitation Tech, Parasites Spread During Roman Empire

January 8, 2016 2:39 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

As the Roman Empire spread its tendrils across the surrounding geographic landscape, it disseminated ideas regarding literature, engineering, culture, cuisine, religion, and even hygiene. In fact, the Romans are credited with introducing sanitation technology to Europe roughly 2,000 years ago.


Bright Future Expected for Bionic Eye Developments

January 8, 2016 2:38 pm | by Ryan Bushey, Associate Editor | Comments

The company Retina Implant AG will be a major player in the market due to the success of its Alpha IMS device.


Cautious Doubts Surface Regarding North Korea’s H-Bomb Claim

January 6, 2016 9:57 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

While North Korea officially announced its successful detonation of a small hydrogen bomb today, South Korean officials and analysts are having doubts regarding whether the claim is true.


Bill Gates-Backed Gene Editing Startup Files for $100M IPO

January 5, 2016 2:11 pm | by Ryan Bushey, Associate Editor | Comments

The company has received financing from such bold faced names like Google Ventures, the investment arm of Alphabet Inc.


Facebook Users Create Information Echo Chamber, Study Says

January 5, 2016 2:02 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

The study was produced by researchers from Boston Univ., Sapienza Univ., and the IMT School for Advanced Studies Lucca.


Suspicious Package? Send in the 3-D Imaging Robot

January 5, 2016 12:30 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

German researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for High Frequency Physics and Techniques (FHR) are developing a remote-controlled robot capable of providing emergency personnel with 3-D images of the contents within a potential suitcase bomb.


Faraday Future Unveils Sleek Concept Car at CES 2016

January 5, 2016 9:41 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

It looks sleek and fast, like a green version of a glossy Batmobile. Watch out Tesla Motors because Faraday Future—a California-based electric car company—debuted their battery-powered FFZERO1 at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Monday night.


The R&D Index Market Pulse, Jan. 4, 2016: Stock Losses in 2015 Point to Moderate Gains in 2016

January 4, 2016 11:54 am | by Tim Studt, Contributing Editor | Comments

The R&D Index: Market Pulse for the holiday-shortened trading week ending December 31, 2015, closed at 1,521.47 for the 25 companies in the R&D Index. The Index was down 0.08% (or about 12 basis points) over the previous week ending December 24, 2015. 


Microsoft to Warn Users Potentially Targeted by Nation-States

January 4, 2016 11:47 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Microsoft recently announced measures to notify users if their accounts are being targeted or compromised by governments. Already, Microsoft warns and provides users with recommendations if their accounts are targeted by a third party.


NASA 2016 Budget Allots $55M to Habitation Module Development

December 31, 2015 10:13 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

As part of the $19.3 billion allocated by Congress to NASA for the 2016 fiscal year budget, $55 million will go towards accelerated development of a habitation module for use in potential deep space missions.


Researchers Sequence Ancient Irish Genome

December 30, 2015 10:57 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Geneticists from Trinity College Dublin and archaeologists from Queen’s Univ. Belfast have sequenced the genomes of four ancient Irish humans, dating as far back as 5,200 years ago, and found evidence that the ancient people had origins in the Middle East and Pontic Steppe.


Individualized Weight Loss Programs May Be Influenced by Genetics

December 29, 2015 11:20 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

In the future, techniques to guide weight loss may be tailored to the individual. Molly Bray, a geneticist and professor of nutritional sciences at the Univ. of Texas at Austin, theorizes that one day doctors may feed a combination of genetic data and data from automated sensors into a computer algorithm, which would provide patients with specified recommendations to reach weight loss goals.


Researchers Train Lie-Detecting Software on Real Cases

December 23, 2015 3:38 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

​Univ. of Michigan researchers have designed lie-detecting software that boasts accuracies up to 75%, outperforming current human capabilities of lie detection.



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