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09 Dec 2016

Today's Categories: Editor's Choice / DOE around the U.S. / National/International Science and Technology / Security / Workforce - Health and Safety / State and Regional / Other /

Editor's Choice Editor's Choice

Dark Photocatalysis: Storage of Solar Energy in Carbon Nitride for Time-Delayed Hydrogen Generation

While natural photosynthesis serves as the model system for efficient charge separation and decoupling of redox reactions, bio-inspired artificial systems typically lack applicability owing to synthetic challenges and structural complexity. We present herein a simple and inexpensive system that, under solar irradiation, forms highly reductive radicals in the presence of an electron donor, with lifetimes exceeding the diurnal cycle.

Electric-field-stimulated protein mechanics

The internal mechanics of proteins--the coordinated motions of amino acids and the pattern of forces constraining these motions--connects protein structure to function. Here we describe a new method combining the application of strong electric field pulses to protein crystals with time-resolved X-ray crystallography to observe conformational changes in spatial and temporal detail.

Return to Top of PageDOE around the U.S. DOE around the U.S.

Space station high-energy physics experiment results

The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS), which includes the work of University of Hawai'i at Mānoa faculty members and students, presented their major scientific results to date from the first five years of experiments on the International Space Station. AMS is a Department of Energy high-energy physics experiment for the spectroscopy of cosmic rays.

Return to Top of PageNational/International Science and Technology National/International Science and Technology

Diet, the gut microbiome, and colorectal cancer: are they linked?

Recent evidence from animal models suggests a role for specific types of intestinal bacteria in the development of colorectal cancer (CRC). If a microbial imbalance in the gut could actively contribute to CRC in humans, dietary-based therapeutic interventions may be able to modify the composition of the gut microbiome to reduce CRC risk, as discussed in a review article published in BioResearch Open Access ... (http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/biores.2016.0028)

Mapping the future: how computer vision will keep autonomous cars on the road

With the growth in digital services, not least the emergence of autonomous vehicles, what we understand as cartography is evolving. Traditionally, maps have been diagrams of an area that show physical features such as the elevation contours of mountains, the buildings in conurbations and the roads between them. Increasingly however, maps contain a broad range of additional geospatial data. ... Computer vision techniques have progressed remarkably in the last few years to the point where machines can reliably distinguish, in real-time, between pavement and driveable road, even in the presence of reflections and specularities (such as from surface water).

Nanoceramic material for more safe and economical nuclear reactors

An international team of researchers has created a nanoceramic material that not only can withstand the harsh effects of radiation, but also becomes tougher under radiation. Next-generation nuclear systems will operate at higher temperatures and radiation fields than ever before, producing energy more efficiently and economically. (http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep33478)

Visual analytics software startup could help first responders save lives

Davista Technologies LLC, a startup that licensed a Purdue University innovation, has developed a visual data analytics solutions technology that could provide real-time information to help first responders save lives. "Companies and organizations, specifically those in law enforcement, public safety and health care, are constantly inundated with huge amounts of text, audio and visual data, and are required to make sense of this data as quickly as possible to make effective decisions," said Abish Malik, research scientist and co-founder of Davista Technologies. "What we have developed provides concise, relevant information to help first responders make faster decisions in a critical situation when every second matters. Davista Technologies specializes in mass spatial-temporal and predictive data analytics solutions.

Chemical trickery corrals 'hyperactive' metal-oxide cluster

After decades of eluding researchers because of chemical instability, key metal-oxide clusters have been isolated in water, a significant advance for growing the clusters with the impeccable control over atoms that's required to manufacture small features in electronic circuits. Oregon State University chemists created the aqueous cluster formation process. It yielded a polyoxocation of zinc, aluminum and chromium that is not protected by the organic ligand shell that is usually required to capture such molecules from water. (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chempr.2016.11.006)

What to do with the data?

Rapid advances in computing constantly translate into new technologies in our everyday lives. The same is true for high-energy physics. The field has always been an early adopter of new technologies, applying them in ever more complex experiments that study fine details of nature's most fundamental processes. However, these sophisticated experiments produce floods of complex data that become increasingly challenging to handle and analyze. Researchers estimate a decade from now, computing resources may have a hard time keeping up with the slew of data produced by state-of-the-art discovery machines. (Press release)

Return to Top of PageSecurity Security

This is the new reality for cyber security: Accept that hackers will get in

The stakes of the data breach crisis have been enormous this year and make prospects bleak for 2017 and beyond. Global cybercrime will double to a projected 6 trillion [dollars] in 2021, from 3 trillion [dollars] in 2015, according to Cybersecurity Ventures --costs that are either directly absorbed by consumers or represent vast expenditures that could have been spent more beneficially for their investors.

North Korea still struggling with nuclear missile re-entry: U.S. official

North Korea appears able to mount a miniaturized nuclear warhead on a missile but is still struggling with missile re-entry technology necessary for longer range strikes, a senior U.S. military official said on Thursday. "I think they could mate a warhead with a delivery device. They're just not sure (about) re-entry," said the official, speaking to reporters on condition of anonymity.

Return to Top of PageWorkforce - Health and Safety Workforce - Health and Safety

Part-Timers Gain Access to Workplace Health Coverage

Despite significant increases in health care insurance premiums (9% in 2016 versus 6% in 2015), a new study from Transamerica Center for Health Studies (TCHS) conducted by Harris Poll shows that employers are optimistic about delivering robust employee benefits. Even with the seemingly endless premium hikes, the number of midsize employers offering health benefits to part-time employees has nearly doubled since 2013, standing at 26% in 2016 versus 13% in 2013. In addition, more than half of employers expect wages and profitability to increase in the next one to two years.

OSHA Contemplates Workplace Violence Standard for Healthcare, Social Assistance Workers

On Dec. 7, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a Request for Information (RFI) as to whether a standard should be developed to address workplace violence in the healthcare and social assistance sectors. The RFI specifically seeks information on issues that might be considered in developing a standard, including its scope and the types of controls that might be required.

Return to Top of PageState and Regional State and Regional

Puget Sound Restoration one step closer to half a billion for Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration Project

An effort spearheaded by Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02)-- along with other members of the Washington delegation -- to authorize 451 million [dollars] for the Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration Project has been approved by the House as part of the bipartisan Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (formerly called the Water Resources Development Act).

Washington AG sues Monsanto over PCB damages

Attorney General Bob Ferguson has filed an environmental lawsuit against Monsanto in King County Superior Court. The lawsuit seeks damages and cleanup costs associated with the polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) Monsanto produced for decades while hiding what they knew about the toxic chemicals' harm to human health and the environment. Washington is the first state to sue Monsanto over PCB damages. According to Ferguson, damages and costs to clean up PCBs in the state could reach more than hundreds of millions of dollars.

Return to Top of PageOther Other

How Trump Tower Takes the Skyscraper Debate to New Heights

George Washington had Mount Vernon. Thomas Jefferson had Monticello. Now President-elect Donald Trump has his eponymous Manhattan skyscraper, Trump Tower. Our first and third presidents saw their plantations as both productive and symbolic of American identity that was rooted in the land itself. President-elect Trump looks out from his tower onto a dense, dynamic cityscape that represents American capitalism. Washington lavished huge amounts of attention and money on building and furnishing Mount Vernon. Jefferson spent practically his entire adult life constructing, expanding and renovating Monticello. Trump Tower is loaded with polished metal and stone and clad in reflective glass. Will it stand just for the questionable taste of the one percent, or could it stimulate more creative, sustainable approaches to urban development??

How scientists are building the next generation of technology for the logistics industry

How can the principle of atoms arranging themselves to form stable metal help pack boxes inside larger containers? Can the pattern of insects walking from their colonies to gather food teach you something about cleaning GPS coordinates for easier route-mapping? Turns out that the inherent chaos in nature and learnings from particle physics are helping shape new technology for the all-important logistics industry.

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