At Los Alamos National Laboratory, a seven-year, $213 million upgrade to the security system that protects the laboratory's most sensitive nuclear bomb-making facilities doesn't work. Those same facilities, which sit atop a fault line, remain susceptible to collapse and dangerous radiation releases, despite millions more spent on improvement plans.
Siri and Watson may seem brainy in certain situations, but to build truly smart, world-changing machines, researchers must understand how human intelligence emerges from brain activity. To help encourage progress in this field, the National Science Foundation (NSF) recently awarded $25 million to establish a Center for Brains, Minds and Machines at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Through its Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), NIST intends to fund a six-month project in support of Alaska's efforts to diversify its manufacturing base. U.S.-based nonprofit institutions or organizations, including state and local governments, are eligible to apply for the $150,000 award.
The U.S. National Science Foundation and U.K. Research Councils have entered into a new agreement designed to help support international research partnerships between the two nations. This new, two-way, lead-agency agreement enables a simplified and flexible process for researchers wishing to apply for U.S.-U.K. collaborative research funding, using the same systems and processes within the respective funding agencies.
Scientists estimate that there is a minimum of 320,000 viruses in mammals awaiting discovery. Collecting evidence of these viruses, or even a majority of them, they say, could provide information critical to early detection and mitigation of disease outbreaks in humans. This undertaking would cost approximately $6.3 billion, or $1.4 billion if limited to 85% of total viral diversity.
Researchers at Rice Univ. and the Univ. of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have received a $1.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to create processes that will look more deeply than ever into the protein networks that drive cells. The four-year grant will enable a collaboration on new ways to see and evaluate the mechanisms that give cells their shapes and prompt them to change and move.
Research awards to the Univ. of Florida (UF) held steady last year at $640.6 million despite a slowdown in federal funding brought on by the budget sequestration. The total is within 1% of 2012’s $644.4 million. Researchers from the six colleges of UF Health brought in $363.1 million.
Researchers at Georgia Tech are helping the U.S. military make key changes in how aircraft electronic systems, called avionics, are produced. The effort focuses on modifying the design of avionics software, especially the ways in which it interfaces with an aircraft's hardware and other software. The work is part of the U.S. Navy's Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE) project.
Loosely inspired by a biological brain's approach to making sense of visual information, a Univ. of Michigan researcher is leading a project to build alternative computer hardware that could process images and video 1,000 times faster with 10,000 times less power than today's systems—all without sacrificing accuracy.
A Sandia National Laboratories team completed acceptance testing on an enormous mobile scanner that makes smuggling radiological materials more difficult, the eighth such unit that Sandia has deployed worldwide. The Mobile Radiation Detection and Identification System (MRDIS) enables scanning of containers that are in transit from one cargo ship to another.
Japan's government said it would step in and take "firm measures" to tackle contaminated water leaks at the country's crippled nuclear plant, including possibly funding a multibillion-dollar project to fix the problem. The announcement came a day after the operator of the wrecked Fukushima plant said some of the water was seeping over an underground barrier it created after injecting chemicals into the soil that solidified into a wall.
At Battelle, supporting America’s military personnel is woven into the fabric of its business. In that pursuit, a team consisting of Battelle, NxStage Medical Inc. and Aethlon Medical has won a contract from DARPA to develop an innovative, new medical device that may save the lives of soldiers—and civilians as well—by treating sepsis.
South Korea has approved $6 million in government aid for vaccines, medical care and food for North Korean children, officials said Tuesday, the first such humanitarian aid for Pyongyang since South Korean President Park Geun-hye took office in February.
The U.S. has led the world in all aspects of R&D for more than 50 years due to combined large industrial and government research spending and investments. That overwhelming advantage has been slipping over the past few years as growth in Asian R&D investments continue to exceed those in the U.S., often a factor of ten or more (growth rates, not actual spending).
A team of Univ. of Michigan researchers has been awarded a $2 million federal grant to identify and test naturally diverse groups of green algae that can be grown together to create a high-yield, environmentally sustainable and cost-effective system to produce next-generation biofuels.
The National Laboratories are a tremendous R&D resource, but their operations are still based on a decades-old management model that no longer meets the needs of our modern innovation ecosystem. This study presents a series of concrete proposals for Congress and the Administration that can ensure the Laboratories better meet their mission and produce useful technologies that benefit the American economy.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) will fund up to $24 million per year for four years to establish six to eight investigator-initiated Big Data to Knowledge Centers of Excellence. The centers will improve the ability of the research community to use increasingly large and complex data sets through the development and distribution of innovative approaches, methods, software and tools for data sharing.
The National Institutes of Health has awarded four grants for up to four years to multidisciplinary research teams to explore the use of genome sequencing in medical care. The awards total approximately $6.7 million in the first year and, if funding remains available, approximately $27 million in total.
Building on President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, which calls for steady, responsible steps to reduce carbon pollution and reduce energy bills for U.S. businesses, the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) announced an award of $10 million for six projects to help small commercial buildings save money by saving energy.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has signed a new research partnership with the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) of India through Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide (GROW). GROW is a coordinated effort that enhances international collaborative research opportunities for NSF Graduate Research Fellows. There are currently GROW agreements between NSF and science agencies in 13 countries.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced funding for four projects aimed at fostering research through regional improvements to research infrastructure. Each of the projects represents a consortium of regional institutions that will receive up to $6 million over a three-year period in Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) Track-2 awards as part of NSF's Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR).
The next rover to Mars should hunt for signs of ancient life and gather rocks that a future mission could bring back to Earth for the first time, a team of scientists appointed by the U.S. space agency said Tuesday. The scientists' new report outlines ambitious goals for a mission to Mars that NASA wants to launch in 2020.
The Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will receive $16 million to fund a new center that will leverage extreme-scale computing to predict how plasmas could be used to control combustion. The research may pave the way for cleaner-burning combustors and more reliable and higher performance jet engines.
The U.S. rejoined the five most-innovative nations and the U.K. moved up to the third spot while Switzerland retained its place atop the rankings in the Global Innovation Index 2013, published by Cornell Univ., INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Despite the economic crisis, innovation is alive and well. R&D spending levels are surpassing 2008 levels in most countries and successful local hubs are thriving.
A Battelle study released by United for Medical Research illustrates the genetics and genomics industry’s impact on the U.S. economy has reached nearly a trillion dollars. The study is based on new data collected over the previous two years, and represents an update to the highly cited Battelle 2011 report tracking the growth of the industry and its links to the federally funded Human Genome Project (HGP).