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3-D Printing Blasts Off, Explodes Into the Future

February 13, 2015 | by Lindsay Hock, Editor | Comments

In 2013, battle lines were drawn. Two stark competitors were looking to speed repairs and cut costs on parts for gas turbines. First to the drawing board was GE, who started using 3-D printing technology at its Global Research Center in Niskayuna, N.Y., to produce more than 85,000 fuel nozzles for its anticipated LEAP engine technology.

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Going for Gold with Aurum

July 22, 2015 7:00 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

As the white curtain fell, onlookers received their first glimpse of Univ. of Michigan’s 13th solar vehicle, which will compete in this October’s Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. Bright yellow and deep blue with a low body and a flat top, the car features an offset cockpit which resembles a submarine sail.

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This Is Your Grandpa’s Toyota Robot

July 21, 2015 6:30 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

An elderly man wakes in bed. Sunlight filters in through the window, but is obscured by the curtain. He’s approached by a white and black cylindrical robot, which sports a claw-like arm and a screen bearing an image of his son, who greets him. Via remote control, the son opens his father’s curtains and, upon his father’s request, retrieves a glass of water.

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Expanding Experimental Conditions to Synthesize Organic Molecules

July 21, 2015 1:30 pm | by Francis Van der Eycken, Mettler Toledo | Comments

Many chemists are constrained in the laboratory when exploring a wide range of experimental conditions. Due to inherent shortcomings associated with traditional equipment, the ability to discover new synthetic pathways in a timely manner is limited.

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To Measure, Not Model

July 21, 2015 12:30 pm | by Lindsay Hock, Editor | Comments

In the world of science, both estimation and measurement have their place. Estimation is characterized by speed, moderate-to-low cost and reasonable accuracy. Measurement is characterized by longer durations and moderate-to-high cost and brings benefits of more thorough analysis with largely guaranteed results.

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Humanity Walking a Knife’s Edge with Robots

July 21, 2015 10:00 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

The three NAO humanoid robots are stationary atop a desk. “Which pill did you receive?” asks the person holding the video camera. After a moment, the robot on the right rises from the sitting position to its feet. “I don’t know,” it chirps, and waves its hand.

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Plate Tectonics, A Driving Factor Behind Life’s Evolution?

July 20, 2015 6:30 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

The Cambrian period, which began roughly 545 million years ago, and ended 495 million years ago, was a time when abundant biodiversity burst forth in Earth’s ancient oceans. Illustrations depicting the time period display an alien world. Anomalocaris, specimens of which in China have been measured at 6 ft in length, sported a ring of sharp teeth and limbs in the front used to capture and hold its prey.

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How Much Is Too Much? Information Overload in Disease and Drug Research

July 20, 2015 2:00 pm | by Frank White III, PhD, Director of Solution Marketing, Life Sciences, Elsevier R&D Solutions | Comments

Biology is a rapidly evolving science. Every new discovery uncovers new layers of complexity that must be unraveled in order to understand the underlying biological mechanisms of diseases and for successful drug development. Driven both by community need and by the increased likelihood of positive returns on the large investment required, drug discovery research has often focused on identifying and understanding the most common diseases.

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Cell Phones: The Indicator and Key in Treating Depression?

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

The World Health Organization estimates depression affects 350 million people globally and is the leading cause of disability. Though the mood disorder is prevalent, fewer than half of those affected receive treatment. Left untreated, depression can lead to suicide. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, over 50% of those who commit suicide suffer from major depression.

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Sinking Teeth into Deer Evolution

July 18, 2015 4:00 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Male Chinese water deer may induce a double-take for those unfamiliar with the species. At first glance, they may appear like the deer in one’s backyard. But upon closer inspection, a protuberance and absence becomes obvious. They lack antlers, but canines extend from the upper row of teeth and hook inwards.

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The Law and the Robot

July 17, 2015 4:45 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Let’s get hypothetical. Say sometime in the future, a person purchases a household robot. Its functions extend to cleaning services, but it’s capable of learning new ways to clean over time, albeit in an unpredictable manner. The owner assigns the robot to clean their bedroom, but returns to find their bedroom destroyed. Is the company that produced the robot responsible for the destruction?

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Modernizing Western Blotting: A Digital Solution for Protein Analysis

July 17, 2015 1:30 pm | by Kris Simonyi, New Product Development Manager, Bio-Rad Laboratories | Comments

The early days of digital western blot imagers were rough. Like the first digital cameras, the best photographs they produced were blunt and grainy, orders of magnitude below old and reliable film’s quality. A few decades ago, professional photographers wouldn’t be caught dead with digital cameras.

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Mars Rover Discovers Evidence of “Continental Crust”

July 17, 2015 11:30 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Via the NASA’s Curiosity Rover, the Los Alamos National Laboratory reported the first discovery of a potential “continental crust” on Mars, which may be comparable with continental crust from Earth over 2.5 billion years ago.

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Rethinking Algae Biomass Production

July 16, 2015 7:45 pm | by Dr. Niko Schultz, Product Design, Corporate Research & Technology Development at SCHOTT | Comments

Algae is a wonder of the natural world. It’s a highly adaptable organism, one that grows in both fresh and saltwater and can thrive in some of the harshest conditions. For that reason, hundreds of strains of algae exist across the globe. If you find a place with water, sunlight and the right mix of nutrients, it’s very likely you’ll also find algae.

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Pluto Flyby: A Historic Win for Science

July 16, 2015 6:30 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

In 1930, it was a small dot among other bright lights in the night sky. In 1996, the Hubble telescope snapped a gray image of an orb with dark spots. And in 2015, NASA and the world received a clear image, a sand-colored planet with what appears to be a geographic heart from above, from the agency’s spacecraft New Horizons.

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Violent or Not, Video Games May Cause Aggression

July 16, 2015 1:30 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Next time you feel frustration’s vice grip closing, you may want to hold off on releasing your anger via video games. A recent study from the Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison delved into how video games are used to handle emotions, and found that while video games may bolster mood, both violent and nonviolent video games can increase accessibility to aggressive cognitions.

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