Over the past decade, it has become readily apparent that the global environment is increasingly sensitive to human activity. The effects of global warming, increasing energy costs, dramatic climate changes and shortages of raw materials, potable water and food strain the global community. Here are some sustainable design resources.
Today’s smartphone is a complicated power device, using a small lithium-ion battery of about 1,400-mAh capacity to power a variety of electronic systems, including a touchscreen display, a central processing unit, antennas, speakers and a microphone. All of its components, including the materials used to build it, are optimized to perform as efficiently as possible to extend battery life.
The genesis of the Eva J. Pell Laboratory was driven by the need for high-containment lab space which, in 2006, was not available at Pennsylvania State Univ. (PSU). Numerous researchers were considering leaving the university as their research needs required a BSL-3 facility; and PSU’s leadership was determined not only to retain PIs who required these facilities, but also to emerge as a regional leader in infectious disease research.
The Veterinary Biomedical and Research Building (VBRB) at Washington State Univ. (WSU) celebrates the significant achievements and contributions that hundreds of small, often unknown academic institutions make in the field of global research. Located in a rural community of less than 6,000 residents, WSU attracts world-class research faculty.
Researchers at leading institutions, including Scripps and Wood’s Hole, are working to understand the key processes that are driving evolution and change in world’s ocean ecosystem. The recently completed Bigelow lab is one of these places, and it reflects the latest thinking about how to conduct effective ocean research and unravel the complexities of ocean health and climate change.
In its 48th year, the Laboratory of the Year Awards continue to recognize excellence in research laboratory design, planning and construction. Judging for this year’s competition took place on Thursday, February 20th and was conducted by a blue-ribbon panel of laboratory architects, engineers, equipment manufacturers, researchers and the editors of R&D Magazine and Laboratory Design Newsletter.
R&D Magazine would like to thank the judges of the 48th Laboratory of the Year competition. In its 48th year, the Laboratory of the Year Awards continue to recognize excellence in research laboratory design, planning and construction. Judging for this year’s competition took place on Thursday, February 20th and was conducted by a blue-ribbon panel lab design experts.
The electron microscopy market is dominated by the scanning electron microscope (SEM), which is widely used in both materials and biological analysis as one of the few ways to reliably image spatial features in the nanoscale realm. As the user base for SEMs expands, even specialized varieties of electron microscopes are undergoing substantial technical transformations.
Investigated heavily since the 1970s, solar cells have been the great unfulfilled promise for unlimited, almost free energy to power the world. The reasoning is solid: The Earth absorbs almost as much energy per hour than the entire human race uses in a single year.
Cancer is a group of diseases characterized by uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells. The disease can be caused by both external and internal factors; and, if the spread isn’t controlled, it can result in death. The annual cancer statistics report from the American Cancer Society estimates there will be 1,885,540 new cancer cases and 585,720 cancer deaths in the U.S. for 2014.
The concept for a turbomolecular vacuum pump is based on a very basic principle: mechanical motion can be transferred directly to gas molecules to create a vacuum. This idea, which was first implemented by molecular drag pumps in the 1930s and 1940s and later refined in the first turbomolecular pump in 1958, has been so effective that few other solutions exist to provide this high level of vacuum performance in such a compact space.
In the last 10 years, the presence of wireless technology has blossomed in the industrial and manufacturing space, where a multitude of technologies, from Bluetooth to Zigbee to RFID, have been successfully employed to monitor conditions of machinery, products under assembly and the work force.
The ability to adapt to changing situations is critical for today’s labs. Today, many lab equipment systems are designed with the flexibility to accommodate these needs. Time is also of utmost importance, and the ability for a researcher to walk away from their work, or monitor it on the go, is a new standard.
Upon introducing engineering simulation into an organization, it’s important to formulate an implementation plan. Simply telling the engineering team to “have at it” doesn’t generally lead to positive results. Every plan will be different, but all can benefit from some basic considerations.
Investigations into long-term health consequences associated with pipetting were first made in the 1980s. Today, pipettes are typically designed with ergonomics in mind—but the right solution for one may not be the right solution for all. Considering body type and workstation design, in addition to pipette features, can result in greater ease, fewer errors and better throughput.
Before 2004, when Geim and Novoselov demonstrated the existence of graphene, a single-atomic-layer-thick crystal of carbon, physicists didn’t believe such a substance could exist. Since then, graphene has attracted tremendous research interest because of its exceptional physical and electrical properties.
After another year of flat spending in 2013, global investment in R&D is forecast to grow by 3.8% to $1.6 trillion in 2014, according the annual R&D Magazine Global Funding Forecast. In the U.S., federal spending is forecast to increase modestly (1.5%), another promising sign, but it’s fair to say the pressure is still on to do more with less, particularly in Big Pharma where recent R&D cuts have been the most dramatic.
Pharmaceutical companies are constantly seeking ways to improve efficiency in order to increase productivity, all while speeding up innovation and protecting intellectual property (IP). The use of mobile applications (apps) in the laboratory has been investigated as a means to achieve these goals. By allowing scientists to move freely around the laboratory, mobile apps add value to suboptimal processes requiring non-value-added steps.
High-speed rail is a frequently discussed topic, but one that has yet to become a reality in the U.S. A number of states and regions in the U.S. including Texas, California, the Pacific Northwest and Minnesota, to name a few, have planned projects to bring high-speed rail to fruition.
If a senior engineer left an organization suddenly, how many hours would it take for the engineering team to take over his projects, confident that they understand not only the designs, but why those designs are the way they are? The typical answer is “far too many”. Widespread use of CAE and data management tools have made this task much easier than before, but these tools do little to record the thinking behind the results.
Rice Univ. scientists have created an Earth-friendly way to separate carbon dioxide from natural gas at wellheads. A porous material invented by the Rice laboratory of chemist James Tour sequesters carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, at ambient temperature with pressure provided by the wellhead and lets it go once the pressure is released. The material shows promise to replace more costly and energy-intensive processes.
Heading into the final stretch of a year-long trial run, the experimental net-zero energy house at NIST in Gaithersburg, Md., must overcome an energy deficit of 154 kWhr—equivalent to about $20—during the month of June. The facility was designed to produce at least as much energy as it consumes over the course of a year.
Scientists have discovered a material that has the same extraordinary electronic properties as 2-D graphene, but in a sturdy 3-D form that should be much easier to shape into electronic devices such as very fast transistors, sensors and transparent electrodes. The material, cadmium arsenide, is being explored independently by three groups.
Patients trying to navigate today’s complex medical system with its costly laboratory analyses might prefer a pain-free home diagnostic device, worn on the wrist, that can analyze, continuously record and immediately remedy low electrolyte levels. Runners, athletes in other strenuous sports and soldiers on long missions also might prefer immediate knowledge of their electrolytic states as an aid to improved performance.
Against the backdrop of today’s burgeoning 3-D printing landscape, with an ever-increasing number of machines popping up, MIT Media Lab spinout Formlabs has carved out a precise niche. Combining a highly accurate (but usually expensive) light-based printing technique with engineering ingenuity, the Formlabs team invented a high-resolution 3-D laser printer, called the Form 1, that’s viewed as an affordable option for professional users.