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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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Cosmic Winds Shape Galaxy Evolution

July 28, 2015 1:00 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

The cloudy oval nucleus of NGC 4921, a spiral galaxy, morphs into a spiraling cinnamon swirl as it extends outwards. The brown turns to blue wisps and the faint arms loop around, fading against a background of stars and other galaxies. NGC 4921 is located in the Coma cluster, 300 million light years from Earth, and is the closest high-mass cluster to our solar system.

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Largest Radio Telescope Set for 2016 Completion

July 28, 2015 10:00 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

In the mountains of China’s Guizhou Province, workers began constructing the panels of the world’s largest radio telescope, with a dish the size of 30 football fields and shaped like a bowl. According to the Xinhua News Agency, last week technicians began assembling the telescope’s reflector, which is 500 m in diameter and made up of 4,450 panels.

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WTO to Eliminate Tariffs on Over 200 IT Products

July 27, 2015 8:45 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Fifty-four World Trade Organization (WTO) members recently reached an agreement to expand the scope of the organization’s Information Technology Agreement (ITA), effectively phasing out hundreds of tariffs on information technology exports worldwide.

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High-Elevation Fires on the Rise in Sierra Nevada

July 27, 2015 5:30 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

In August 2013, a forest fire blazed through California’s Sierra Nevada. It burned approximately 257,314 acres, and suppression costs alone numbered around $127 million. According the Sierra Nevada Conservancy’s estimates, the Rim Fire released 11,352,608 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, which is akin to annual greenhouse emissions form 2.3 million cars, or annual carbon dioxide emissions from 3.2 coal fired power plants.

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Funds Bolster Algae Biofuel Development

July 27, 2015 2:15 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Rotifers are semitransparent microscopic animals. Watching them feed under a microscope, one can’t help but feel a sense of awe at nature’s complexity. Its oval-shaped body rotates as it ingests small beads of algae. However, grazers, such as rotifers and chytrids, can account for a 30% loss in annual algal biomass, according to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

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The R&D Index: Market Pulse – July 27, 2015

July 27, 2015 1:30 pm | by Tim Studt | Comments

The R&D Index for the week ending July 24, 2015, closed at 1,660.85 for the 25 companies in the Index. The Index was down 3.22% (or more than 55 points) over the previous week (ending July 17) with pharmaceutical companies down 2.90% for the week, automotive companies down 2.01% and ICT (information and communications technology) companies down 4.66%.

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Warming Temps Led to Mammoth’s Downfall

July 27, 2015 9:26 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Mammoths were formidable creatures. According to the Univ. of California Museum of Paleontology, most mammoths were larger than modern day elephants. Elephants consume between 130 and 660 lbs of food per day, and drink between 16 and 40 gallons of water per. That being said, think of the potential numbers a mammoth might consume and produce.

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Ice Flows and the Dark Side of Pluto

July 26, 2015 6:30 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Even at Pluto’s estimated surface temperature of around -380 F, nitrogen ice can creep across the surface of the planet’s icy plain, which has been informally named “Sputnik Planum,” located in Pluto’s heart, the “Tombaugh Regio."

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First 3-D Printed Aircraft Marks Successful Launch

July 26, 2015 11:30 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

The British Royal Navy’s HMS Mersey floats in the English Channel, a gray mass against a blue backdrop. Suddenly, a white winged object appears, darting for the sky. It’s small and could be misperceived as a gull. It carries on upwards.

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Shallow Fracking Requires Safeguards

July 25, 2015 6:15 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Robert Jackson, an environmental scientist at Stanford Univ., has been immersed in the hydraulic fracturing issue for close to seven years now. His interests lie in how to make the process safe, something he believes can be done. However, what can be done and what is done are often quite different.

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Farming, 11,000 Years Older than Previously Thought

July 25, 2015 12:45 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Off the southwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee, a Paleolithic discovery was made in 1989. Following several years of drought and intensive water pumping, the lake’s water level plummeted, revealing the remains of six brush huts and several hearths. The site was named Ohalo II.

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Fungus Responsible for Hair Ice Identified

July 24, 2015 5:30 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Hair ice is a whimsical thing. It grows on the rotting branches of certain trees, with grouped strands of silk-like hair protruding from the wood. Conditions must be ripe for formation, usually humid winter nights when air temperatures dip below the freezing level. Researchers call it a “somewhat rare and fleeting phenomenon."

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The Spoils of 3-D Printing

July 24, 2015 2:00 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

From low-cost prosthetic limbs and food to medical tools and figurines, 3-D printing has changed the way people think about manufacturing. Websites, such as Thingverse.com, offer designs for a myriad of printable objects at no cost to the user. All one has to do is own a 3-D printer, which one can purchase for as little as a few hundred dollars.

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Long-Time Searcher: Loch Ness Monster May be Catfish

July 24, 2015 10:45 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Steve Feltham, on his Website, recalls he became fascinated with the Loch Ness Monster when he was seven-years-old, back in 1970. During that time, he was introduced to a team of volunteers who set up camp near Urquhart Castle in hopes of finding the fabled beast. From that point forward, he intermittently returned to Loch Ness in search of Nessie.

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So What’s the Deal with Solar Airline Food?

July 24, 2015 8:43 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Airline food may not be best part of a traveler’s experience, but most layman only deal with the food for a limited amount of hours. And, even so, it’s always possible to pack your own food for a flight. But what if you’re flight lasted close to 118 hrs over the Pacific Ocean, from Japan to Hawaii? Unlike highways, there are no rest stops. Whatever you’re eating, you’re packing.

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