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DOE to spur construction of small modular nuclear reactors

January 20, 2012 12:04 pm | News | Comments

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.

S & T report: Asian countries rapidly closing rank with U.S.

January 18, 2012 2:39 pm | News | Comments

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.

Protest exposes Silicon Valley-Hollywood rivalry

January 18, 2012 1:42 pm | News | Comments

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.

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Countries consider time out on the 'leap second'

January 18, 2012 5:33 am | by Frank Jordans, Associated Press | News | Comments

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.

Sandia helps IT pros visualize complex network vulnerabilities

January 11, 2012 5:14 am | News | Comments

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.

Ford to open Silicon Valley lab

January 6, 2012 1:23 pm | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

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.

New operating system for space: High-tech tycoons

December 13, 2011 4:21 pm | by Donna Blankinship and Seth Borenstein, Associated Press | News | Comments

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.

Congress reaches deal on SBIR reauthorization

December 13, 2011 7:14 am | News | Comments

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.

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DOE to remove commercialization barriers between industry, labs

December 9, 2011 12:38 pm | News | Comments

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.

Fuels expert: put practicality before policy

December 8, 2011 6:35 pm | News | Comments

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.

U.K. spy agency asks hackers to crack code

December 2, 2011 3:56 am | by Cassandra Vinograd, Associated Press | News | Comments

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.

Thomson Reuters publishes list of top global innovators

November 16, 2011 8:03 am | by R&D Editors | News | Comments

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.

Wanted: Astronauts; Missing: U.S. rocket to fly them

November 16, 2011 4:33 am | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

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.

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Report sees safety risks in computerized medical records

November 9, 2011 8:12 am | by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Associated Press | News | Comments

Computerized medical records have been sold as a powerful tool to improve patient safety, for example by automatically alerting a doctor to potential allergic reactions to a medication prescribed to a patient. But a report by a panel from the Institute of Medicine said such benefits shouldn't be taken for granted.

U.S. report blasts China, Russia for cybercrime

November 3, 2011 12:00 pm | News | Comments

For years, experts and officials have complained about cyberattacks emanating from China. Now, U.S. intelligence agencies have published a report that offers the first detailed public accusations from U.S. officials, saying computer attacks by foreign governments and corporate hackers are on the rise and represent a "persistent threat to U.S. economic security."

Genia Photonics, IQT enter strategic partnership

November 1, 2011 7:47 am | News | Comments

Genia Photonics Inc. announced a strategic partnership and technology development agreement with In-Q-Tel (IQT). The partnership will promote Genia's fiber-based laser technology development to a higher level and provide new opportunities for Genia's product applications.

Can Kodak rescue itself via a patent bonanza?

October 31, 2011 7:58 am | by Ben Dobbin, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Patents have become highly valuable to digital device makers who want to protect themselves from intellectual property lawsuits, and Kodak, which is facing the worst crisis of its 131-year history, is banking on this trend to save itself from ruin.

Survey finds public support for geoengineering research

October 24, 2011 11:54 am | News | Comments

The first international survey by a peer-reviewed journal on the public perception of geoengineering and solar radiation management has found that 72% of respondents approved research into these climate-manipulating techniques.

Largest study on cellphones, cancer finds no link

October 24, 2011 10:54 am | by Maria Cheng, AP Medical Writer | News | Comments

The biggest study ever to examine the possible connection between cellphones and cancer found no evidence of any link, suggesting that billions of people who are rarely more than a few inches from their phones have no special health concerns.

Science fiction-style sabotage a fear in new hacks

October 24, 2011 7:31 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

The computer attack that hobbled Iran’s unfinished nuclear power plant last year was assumed to be the work of elite hackers backed by a nation-state. Alarming, however, key elements of the attack have been replicated in the laboratory by security experts, often with little time, money, or specialized skill.

EU launches its first satellite navigation system

October 21, 2011 8:17 am | by Raf Casert, Associated Press | News | Comments

In a bid to establish a system that is more precise and more reliable than the U.S.-established Global Positioning System, a Russian-French collaboration Friday launched the first two satellites of the European Union's Galileo navigation system.

China rare earths supplier suspends production

October 20, 2011 10:15 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

This week's move by China’s biggest producer of rare earths to suspend production of exotic rare earths minerals might fuel tensions with the United States and Europe. The hiatus is expected to last one months and is explicitly intended to boost slumping prices.

Venture investments grow in 3Q from last year

October 19, 2011 5:05 am | by Barbara Ortutay, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

According to a study out Wednesday venture capitalists invested more money in more U.S. startups in the third quarter than they did a year earlier. Though overall investments dropped from the second quarter, the software industry showed especially big jumps in venture capital quarter to quarter.

Report: Top U.S. firms show strong 2010 R & D investment jump

October 18, 2011 11:53 am | News | Comments

The European Union Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard, published annually by the European Commission, tracks the world’s top 1,400 companies and ranks their investments in R&D. The report shows global R&D investment increased by 4%, but some regions are lagging behind others in investment growth.

Top Europe court bans stem cell technique patents

October 18, 2011 11:48 am | by Maria Cheng, AP Medical Writer | News | Comments

The European Union's top court ruled Tuesday that scientists cannot patent stem cell techniques that use human embryos for research purposes, a ruling some scientists said threatens important research since no one could profit from it.

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