China holds about a third of the world's rare earth reserves but supplies about 90% of what is consumed. In the past two years it has imposed limits on its exports, citing a need to impose order on an unruly domestic market and to reduce environmental damage. Officials from the U.S. the European Union, and Japan met recently to propose ways to ensure secure supplies of strategically vital rare earths and other critical materials.
Medical isotopes are used to treat cancer and heart disease worldwide, but have been typically been made using highly enriched uranium. This material can also be used to create nuclear bombs, which has prompted a recent agreement between several countries to ensure its future supply while improving security.
After touring the Rolls-Royce Crosspointe jet engine disc manufacturing facility in Prince George, Va., on March 9, President Obama announced his intention to build a network of up to 15 manufacturing innovation institutes to serve as regional hubs of manufacturing excellence. The move is intended to make U.S. manufacturers more competitive and encourage investment.
Intended to help cut red tape for business and startups wanting to do business with the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s research laboratories, the new Agreements for Commercializing Technology (ACT) program was recently launched as a third alternative to the two preceding options: signing a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) or a Work For Others (WFO) Agreement.
Earlier this month, the president's budget canceled joint U.S.-European robotic missions to Mars in 2016 and 2018. Now top science officials say they are scrambling to come up with a plan by the end of the summer for a cut-rate journey to the red planet in 2018. That's when Mars passes closest to Earth, something that only happens once every 15 years.
The International Telecommunication Union, which coordinates global radio spectrum use, recently came to an agreement that provides specific radio frequency bands for ocean radars, which until now operated only on an informal basis and were subject to immediate shut-down if they caused interference with other radio systems. The new technology may eventually make real-time detection of tsunamis and oil spills possible.
A new study from Massachusetts Institute of Technology shows that the rapid rise in low-wage manufacturing industries overseas has had a significant impact on the United States. The disappearance of U.S. manufacturing jobs frequently leaves workers unemployed for years, if not permanently, while creating a drag on local economies and raising the amount of taxpayer-borne social insurance necessary to keep workers and their families afloat.
NASA says it still has confidence in the quality of Russia's manned rockets, despite an embarrassing series of glitches and failures in the Russian space program. The Soyuz is still consider by NASA officials to be the world’s most reliable space system.
Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich wants to create a lunar colony that he says could become a U.S. state. This, along with his plan to figure out the human brain and warnings about electromagnetic attacks have led some to cry science fiction. But mostly these ideas rooted in solid scientific foundations.
John Delaney, an attorney with experience in toxic and environmental torts and a founding member of the law firm Delany & O’Brien in Philadelphia, has recently published guide to the legal implications of nanotechnology. He pays particular attention to carbon nanotubes and nanometal oxides, and notably argues for tort reform in anticipation of potential legal actions.
According to a report developed by medical professionals and technology experts and released by the Bipartisan Policy Center last Friday, the effort by hospitals and doctors’ office to go increasingly digital is being hampered by the lack of progress in allowing computer systems to exchange data the way financial companies do.
SynchroPET, a Long Island startup company, has entered into an option agreement to commercialize a new small-scale, portable brain-imaging device invented by scientists at the Brookhaven National Laboratory.
Through a draft Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) announced Friday, the U.S> Department of Energy plans to establish cost-shared agreements with private industry to support the design and licensing of small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs). About one-third the size of current nuclear plants, SMR are expected to both safer and cheaper to build and operate.
In supporting science and technology (S&T), no country outranks the United States. But the margin is closing quickly as Asian nations invest heavily in knowledge-based economies, according to a new report from the National Science Board.
Internet users quickly learned about the standoff between technology companies and Hollywood on Wednesday. Google blacked out its name, Reddit shut down for 12 hours, and Wikipedia blacked out its main site for the full day. At issue are two congressional proposals intended to limit online piracy of movies and TV programs.
After a long decade of deliberation, United Nations member countries will cast their vote this week on an issue that lasts literally just a second. Leap seconds are necessary to prevent atomic clocks from speeding ahead of solar time, but the United States and other countries want to abolish it for all time.
Addressing the complexity of Domain Name System Security (DNSSEC), Sandia National Laboratories computer scientist Casey Deccio has developed a new visualization tool known as DNSViz. DNSSEC is a standard security feature at high-level government offices, but it is extremely complex and Deccio’s tool helps simplify implementation.
The company said Friday that it plans to open the lab near Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., in the first few months of this year. It will employ around 15 people, including some recruited locally and others who will rotate in from Ford's headquarters in Dearborn, Mich.
The tycoons of cyberspace are looking to bankroll America's resurgence in outer space, reviving "Star Trek" dreams that first interested them in science. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen made the latest step Tuesday, unveiling plans for a new commercial spaceship that, instead of blasting off a launch pad, would be carried high into the atmosphere by the widest plane ever built.
The Small Business Innovation Research and the Small Business Technology Transfer programs were both set to expire on Dec. 16, 2011. But on Monday evening, Congress successfully negotiated a long-term reauthorization.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced that it intends to begin a new pilot initiative, called the Agreements for Commercializing Technology, to reduce some of the hurdles that prevent innovative companies from working with the DOE’s national laboratories.
A transportation fuels expert from Sandia National Laboratories says policy makers should consider such practical issues as the number of gas stations selling ethanol and how long it takes to get new transportation technologies to market as they introduce aggressive federal and state energy policies.
Britain's electronic listening agency, GCHQ, quietly launched a cryptic Website last month featuring a box of code made up of numbers and letters. There is no branding on the site, only the phrase "Can you crack it?" and a box to type in an answer.
The 100 top innovators have been ranked this week by the Thomson Reuters’ intellectual property (IP) consulting arm. The U.S. continues to lead this list with a large share of innovators, and Asia and Europe place second and third, respectively. However, China is not yet ranked because of its practices regarding protecting IP and commercializing products globally.
Even without it’s own manned launch vehicle, NASA is afraid it will soon not have enough astronauts. The space agency needs about 55 astronauts, and currently has 58, but with veteran astronauts leaving the space agency NASA has begun its biggest effort yet to find recruits.