According to a recent study, fashions in research funding, reward structures in universities and streamlining of scientific agendas undermine traditional academic norms and may result in science bubbles. New research shows how the mechanisms that set off the financial crisis might be replicating in the field of science.
Researchers from the NIST and zeroK Nanotech Corp. have demonstrated a new ion source that may enable focused ion beams with high brightness and resolution for nanoscale fabrication and measurement applications in fields ranging from semiconductor manufacturing to biotechnology. Working under a CRADA, the researchers have constructed the first prototype of a low-temperature ion source.
The government reopened its doors after a battle-weary Congress approved a bipartisan measure to end a 16-day partial shutdown and avert the possibility of an economy-jarring default on U.S. obligations. Early Thursday, President Barack Obama signed the measure ending a brawl with Republicans who tried to use the must-pass legislation to mount a last-ditch effort to derail the president's landmark health care law.
A few desperately ill patients have managed to get into clinical trials at the National Institutes of Health's famed hospital, even though the government's partial shutdown has others being turned away, the agency said. Normally, about 200 new patients every week enroll in studies at the NIH's research-only hospital, often referred to as the "house of hope" because so many of those people have failed standard treatments.
The government shutdown has slowed or halted federal efforts to protect Americans' health and safety. The latest example: an outbreak of salmonella in chicken that has sickened people in 18 states. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that it was recalling some of its furloughed staff to deal with the outbreak, which has sickened more than 270 people.
United Technologies Corp. canceled a planned furlough of 2,000 workers after the U.S. Dept. of Defense recalled most of its civilian employees. The Hartford, Conn.-based defense contractor planned to furlough 2,000 workers starting Monday. Its Sikorsky division makes Black Hawk helicopters for the military and relies on government inspectors, who were furloughed.
Computer networking researchers at Rice Univ. have a new idea for how to handle the mountains of data piling up in the labs of their fellow scientists around campus: Create a customized, energy-efficient optical network that can feed rivers of data to Rice’s supercomputers. The new network is called BOLD and is about to become a reality, thanks to a new grant from the National Science Foundation.
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.