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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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R&D Daily

A Unique Research Environment

October 28, 2015 10:00 am | by Lindsay Hock, Editor | Comments

Up in space resides a unique environment that converges science, technology and human innovation to demonstrate new technologies and developments, as well as research breakthroughs, otherwise not possible on Earth. Known as the International Space Station (ISS), the microgravity U.S. national laboratory holds an international crew of six people to live and work while traveling at a speed of 5 mps, orbiting the Earth every 90 min.


Halloween Asteroid Zipping Close to Earth

October 28, 2015 8:03 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

An asteroid the size of a football stadium will blast past Earth on Halloween, coming closer to Earth than any asteroid has in almost 10 years. According to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), 2015 TB145 was discovered on Oct. 10 by the Pan-STARRS survey based in Hawaii. It’ll pass by the Earth at a distance of about 490,000 km around 10:12 am Pacific Daylight Time. 


Decision Sciences’ Multi-Mode Passive Detection System: Rapid Scanning for Radiological Threats

October 28, 2015 7:40 am | by Lindsay Hock, Editor | Comments

Every Wednesday, R&D Magazine will feature a R&D 100 Flashback, chosen from our R&D 100 Awards archive of winners. This week’s flashback is Decision Sciences and Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Multi-Mode Passive Detection System (MM-PDS), which won the R&D 100 Award in 2013.


2015 R&D 100 Award Finalists

October 26, 2015 4:00 pm | by Lindsay Hock, Editor | Comments

The editors of R&D Magazine have announced the finalists for the 2015 R&D 100 Awards. The 2015 R&D 100 Award Finalists are listed in this news item in alphabetical order by the name of the primary developer company and separated by category. The annual R&D 100 Awards banquet, where the winners will be announced, will be held on Nov. 13, 2015, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada.


The R&D Index Market Pulse, October 26, 2015: Mega-tech Companies Support Recovery

October 26, 2015 10:00 am | by Tim Studt | Comments

The R&D Index: Market Pulse for the week ending October 23, 2015, closed at 1,568.10 for the 25 companies in the R&D Index. The R&D Index was up 2.26% (or nearly 35 basis points) over the previous week (ending October 16, 2015). This was the fourth consecutive week the R&D Index had positive growth.


YouTube Red Nixes Advertisements

October 22, 2015 7:46 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Those pesky advertisements on YouTube will soon be a thing of the past. If you’re willing to fork over a fee, of course. Launching Oct. 28, YouTube Red will allow users to watch videos and listen to music ad-free, and give users the opportunity to save media on their mobile devices for offline viewing.


Cricket Jumping May Aid in Microrobot Design

October 21, 2015 3:45 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

The bane of basement goers, camel crickets may first appear more like spiders than their cricket brethren. Their hinged legs sprawl outwards from a slender body, the back two appendages seemingly always cocked and ready for jumping action. A single glance can induce the heebie-jeebies. However, some see it differently.


American Cancer Society Releases New Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines

October 21, 2015 12:30 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

This week, the American Cancer Society released new breast cancer guidelines, which included the recommendation of fewer mammograms.


Astronaut Journals: Behavioral Science in Space

October 21, 2015 10:04 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

On Feb. 20, 2002, astronaut Carl E. Walz, the International Space Station (ISS) Expedition 4 flight engineer, stepped outside into the black vacuum for a 5 hr and 47 min spacewalk. “Spacewalk is somewhat of a misnomer, as the work is very demanding technically and physically,” Walz writes in a journal entry. “The suit resists almost all movements, so you get a pretty good workout.”


How Mother-of-Pearl Forms

October 21, 2015 9:15 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Pearls have either been coveted or discarded without second thought. The importance applied to the object largely depends on culture. According to the American Museum of Natural History, Polynesian children used pearls as marbles. However, many groups placed importance not on pearls, but their housing.


United Technologies Research Center’s Flow Battery Technology: A Better Flow of Energy

October 21, 2015 7:39 am | by Lindsay Hock, Editor | Comments

Every Wednesday, R&D Magazine will feature a R&D 100 Flashback, chosen from our R&D 100 Awards archive of winners. This week’s flashback is United Technologies Research Center’s Flow Battery Technology, which won the R&D 100 Award in 2013. Currently, electric grids have limited ability to store excess energy, so electricity must constantly be generated to perfectly match demand.


Earth: A Babe on the Cosmic Scale

October 20, 2015 4:00 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

In the Milky Way galaxy alone astronomers estimate there are around 8.8 million habitable Earth-size planets. Add in the at least 100 billion other galaxies in the observable universe, and the number grows exponentially. Despite the large quantities, the universe is nowhere near done producing habitable planets.


Earth Life May Have Started 4.1 Billion Years Ago

October 20, 2015 2:00 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Microfossil evidence for life on Earth dates back some 3.5 billion years. But chemical signatures in rocks date the phenomenon to 3.8 billion years. According to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, the oldest microfossil evidence came from stromatolites, sedimentary structures made of layers with alternating amounts of organic material.


Aliens or a Stellar Signal?

October 20, 2015 12:00 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Over a period of four years, NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope collected data on a patch of sky near the constellations Cygnus and Lyrae. In its search for habitable planets, the apparatus targeted over 150,000 stars, and collected over 10 billion data points. Citizen scientists reviewing some of Kepler’s data found the star KIC 8462842 exhibited a “bizarre” and “interesting” light curvature.


Shortening Organic Solar Cell Production

October 20, 2015 10:14 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

One of the building blocks of the solar panel, solar cells are responsible for converting solar energy into electricity. Most commercial solar cells are made from the inorganic crystalline silicon. Now, Oak Ridge National Laboratory has developed a method to save steps in the organic solar cell manufacturing process by introducing solvents into solar cell’s film production.



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