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Budget cuts pare real-time monitoring of volcanoes

May 14, 2013 8:09 am | by Rachel D’Oro, Associated Press | News | Comments

Worldwide, hundreds of flights are diverted each year because of volcanic activity. Scientists monitoring Alaska's volcanoes have been forced to shut down stations that provide real-time tracking of eruptions and forgo repairs of seismic equipment amid ongoing federal budget cuts—moves that could mean delays in getting vital information to airline pilots and emergency planners.

Russia charging NASA $70 million per rocket seat

May 1, 2013 9:24 am | by Marcia Dunn, AP Aerospace Writer | News | Comments

Based on numbers from the latest contract between NASA and the Russian Space Agency, the United States is paying $424 million more to Russia to get U.S. astronauts into space. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden is is blaming Congress for the extra expense, saying reduced funding for commercial spaceflight development has forced the agency to sign the new contract.

Alaska, DOE agree to study unconventional energy

April 16, 2013 8:50 pm | by DAN JOLING - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

The U.S. Department of Energy and the state of Alaska will collaborate on future research of unconventional energy resources in the Arctic, including abundant reservoirs of methane hydrate. The DOE's acting assistant secretary for fossil energy, Christopher Smith, and Alaska Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan announced the agreement Tuesday.

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Satellite shelved after 2000 election to now fly

April 11, 2013 2:51 am | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

Obama proposed Wednesday spending nearly $35 million in his 2014 budget to refurbish a satellite, nicknamed GoreSat by critics, that's been sitting in storage after it was shelved in 2001, months after Bush took office. It cost about $100 million by then with NASA's internal auditors faulting its cost increases.

Project will improve heat dissipation in 3D microelectronic systems

April 2, 2013 1:15 pm | News | Comments

Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology have won a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) contract to develop 3D chip-cooling technology able to handle heat loads as much as ten times greater than systems commonly used today. In addition to higher overall chip heat dissipation demands, the new approach will also have to handle on-chip hot-spots that dissipate considerably more power per unit area than the remainder of the device. Such cooling demands may be needed for future generations of high-performance integrated circuits embedded in a wide range of military equipment.

Obama proposes $100M for brain mapping project

April 2, 2013 12:35 pm | by Nedra Pickler, Associated Press | News | Comments

President Barack Obama on Tuesday asked Congress to spend $100 million next year on a new project to map the human brain in hopes of eventually finding cures for disorders like Alzheimer's, epilepsy and traumatic injuries. The BRAIN Initiative, he said, could create jobs and eventually lead to answers to ailments including Parkinson's and autism and help reverse the effect of a stroke.

Obama to propose $100M brain mapping project

April 2, 2013 9:46 am | by NEDRA PICKLER - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

President Barack Obama is proposing a new research investment to map the human brain in hopes of eventually finding treatments for traumatic injuries and disorders like Alzheimer's disease and epilepsy. The president planned to propose an initial $100 million investment next year during remarks Tuesday morning. The White House said in a statement that the goal of the project—called the BRAIN Initiative for Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies—is "to revolutionize our understanding of the human mind" and create jobs.

Obama wants research to wean vehicles off oil

March 15, 2013 6:01 am | by MATTHEW DALY - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

President Barack Obama is pushing Congress to authorize more federally funded research into clean energy technologies that can wean automobiles off oil. Obama proposed the idea of an energy security trust last month in his State of the Union address, but he was putting a price tag on the idea during a trip Friday to the Argonne National Laboratory outside Chicago—$2 billion over 10 years.

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NSF, partners to expand access to publicly-funded research

February 25, 2013 10:13 am | News | Comments

Late last week, the National Science Foundation , along with federal partners, announced its commitment to expand public access to the results of its funded research. This announcement follows a memorandum issued from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy directing science-funding agencies to develop plans to increase access to the results of federally funded research.

Researchers propose new technique for probing Earth's deep interior

February 22, 2013 10:03 am | News | Comments

National Science Foundation-funded researchers at Amherst College in Massachusetts and the University of Texas at Austin have described a new technique based in particle physics that might one day reveal, in more detail than ever before, the composition and characteristics of the deep Earth. There's just one catch: the technique relies on a fifth force of nature that has not yet been detected, but some particle physicists think it might exist.

Sandia Labs revitalizes nuclear security infrastructure

February 22, 2013 8:54 am | News | Comments

Sandia National Laboratories has completed $199 million in facilities construction and repair as part of an 11-year national effort to revitalize the physical infrastructure of nuclear security enterprise sites.

Cool Earth Solar, Sandia form partnership

February 20, 2013 3:40 pm | News | Comments

In a public-private partnership that takes full advantage of the Livermore Valley Open Campus for the first time, Sandia National Laboratories and Cool Earth Solar have signed an agreement that could make solar energy more affordable and accessible. The five-year Cooperative Research & Development Agreement calls for researchers with Sandia's New Mexico solar energy program to help pilot, characterize, and validate Cool Earth Solar's inflated, concentrated photovoltaic technology.

Report: Potential benefits of inertial fusion energy justify continued R&D

February 20, 2013 12:02 pm | News | Comments

According to a new report from the National Research Council, although ignition of fusion fuel has not yet been achieved, the potential benefits of inertial fusion energy justify investment in fusion energy research and development. Scientific and technological progress in inertial confinement fusion over the past decade has been substantial, but continued progress will require a large and concerted effort.

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Mimicking nature in engineering

February 19, 2013 3:31 pm | News | Comments

Lizards and frogs are about to take up residence in the laboratories of Virginia Tech's College of Engineering. The National Science Foundation has awarded engineers and scientists at Virginia Tech a little over a half a million dollars to investigate the water entry and exit problems that are apparent in engineering mechanics based on a better understanding of biology.

Lockheed Martin receives two contracts from Army

February 13, 2013 2:43 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Aerospace and defense contractor Lockheed Martin said Wednesday that it received two contracts from the Army worth a total of $161.7 million to continue upgrades to an Apache helicopter program. The pact includes 482 Modernized Day Sensor Assembly Modernized Laser Rangefinder Designator kits and spares.

Sandia awards information technology contracts to three firms

February 13, 2013 2:14 pm | News | Comments

Sandia National Laboratories has issued three information technology (IT) contracts totaling $353 million over a potential term of seven years. The awards streamline IT contracting at the laboratories.

Academic institutions added more science, engineering R&D in last few years

February 5, 2013 7:51 am | News | Comments

Science and engineering research space at the nation's research-performing colleges and universities increased 3.5% from fiscal year (FY) 2009 to FY 2011, growing to 202.9 million net assignable square feet (NASF), according to recent data from the National Science Foundation's Survey of Science and Engineering Research Facilities. Biomedical fields account for the majority of the growth.

EU science projects win up to billion euros each

January 28, 2013 8:16 am | News | Comments

Two science projects—one to map the human brain, the other to explore the extraordinary properties of the carbon-based material graphene—were declared the winners Monday of an EU technologies contest and will receive up to €1 billion ($1.35 billion) each over the next 10 years.

PNNL awarded $2.8 million to keep troops cool

January 25, 2013 8:12 am | News | Comments

A new, energy-efficient air chilling system could keep troops on the front lines cool while using about half as much diesel as current systems. The system's decreased fuel consumption could also save lives by reducing attacks on American soldiers who deliver fuel to field operations.

Iowa groups to create renewable fuels coalition

January 22, 2013 10:58 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Several Iowa businesses and organizations have joined together to create a coalition that will push for continued government support of renewable fuels including ethanol and biodiesel. The Iowa RFS Coalition includes biotech giants DuPont, Monsanto, and Syngenta. In addition groups representing corn and soybean growers and farm equipment dealers have joined in the effort.

Report: Federal budget authority for R&D declined in FY2011-12

January 21, 2013 9:59 am | News | Comments

According to a recent report from the National Science Foundation, the federal budget authority for research and development (R&D) and R&D Plant (R&D facilities and fixed equipment), declined in fiscal years 2011 and 2012, mostly due to a drop in defense-related R&D.

Race is on for EU's $1.3 billion science projects

January 15, 2013 11:01 am | by Frank Jordans, Associated Press | News | Comments

Teams of scientists from across Europe are vying for a funding bonanza that could see two of them receive more than a billion dollars over 10 years to keep the continent at the cutting edge of technology. The contest began with 26 proposals, and just four have made it to the final round, including a plan to develop digital guardian angels, an accurate model of the human brain, and better ways to produce and use graphene.

A new point of reference for offshore energy development

January 8, 2013 12:32 pm | News | Comments

A new U.S. Department of Energy research facility could help bring the U.S. closer to generating power from the winds and waters along America's coasts and help alleviate a major hurdle for offshore wind and ocean power development.

General Dynamics gets trio of navy contracts

January 4, 2013 1:18 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

General Dynamics Corp. said Friday that its Electric Boat subsidiary recently received three U.S. Navy contracts worth a combined $4.6 billion to design and develop a new kind of submarine and to continue construction of Virginia-class attack submarines.

Battelle, R&D Magazine release annual research funding forecast

December 18, 2012 10:15 am | News | Comments

According to findings by the annual R&D Global Funding Forecast, an annual report from Battelle Memorial Institute and R&D Magazine, global R&D spending is forecast to set global records in growth heading into 2013, with a projected $54 billion to be added next year to an annual $1.5 trillion spending. Much of this growth is accounted for by strong funding in China.

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