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Search Tags: Meeting Mission Goals Through Technology
The Federal Aviation Administration has announced $125 million dollars in contracts to develop and demonstrate technologies that will reduce commercial jet fuel consumption, emissions and noise. The contracts are part of the FAA's Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions and Noise - or CLEEN - program - to speed up the introduction of "green" technology into aviation.
The FAA is contracting with five companies including Boeing, General Electric, and Rolls-Royce to research and demonstrate a variety of technologies, including sustainable alternative aviation fuels; and lighter and more efficient gas turbine engine components.
Among the goals are a reduction in fuel burn by 33 percent; a 60-percent reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions; and a 32-decibel reduction in cumulative aircraft noise levels.
Smart USA, which recently debuted its smart for two electric vehicle or EV , will deploy a fleet of 250 of them across the U.S. in October. The company says it will target key cities leading in electrification and Department of Energy grant areas, but it hasn't yet released its list of cities. Smart USA is looking for partnerships and is targeting companies, municipalities, organizations, and individuals interested in making a statement on conservation and environmental awareness. The Electric Vehicles are powered by a 30 kilowatt drive motor and a 16.5 kilowatt/hour lithium ion battery; can be fully recharged in about eight hours with a 220 volt outlet. The vehicles can reach highway speeds of 60 miles an hour and offer a range of 82 miles on a single charge.
The Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Lab is constructing the world's most brilliant light source, the National Synchrotron Light Source II. In a recent decision, DOE approved a new project to begin the conceptual design of experimental tools needed to complete the project.
Its research potential will only be realized when equipped with scientific instruments known as beamlines. Specialized magnets called insertion devices will create the light used by the most advanced of the beamlines.
Energy officials say, as the world's most brilliant light source, NSLS II will foster groundbreaking scientific advances. The new source will give scientists the ability to image materials down to a nanometer, or one billionth of a meter. The facility is expected to start operating in 2015.
A Google engineer and noted bug-hunter has released details about a serious vulnerability in Windows XP. The flaw could leave a hole open for remote attack. Tavis Ormandy found the flaw in the Windows Help and Support Center, a Web-based feature for end-user technical support. The news comes just a month before the official retirement of Windows XP by Microsoft, meaning the company will issue no further security patches.
Without knowing exactly why, scientists have long observed that people who regularly take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin have lower incidences of certain types of cancer. Now, in a study appearing in Cancer Cell magazine, investigators at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute and their colleagues have figured out how one such drug, called Sulindac, inhibits the growth of tumors. The study reveals that the drug shuts down cancer cell growth, and initiates the death of cells by binding to a nuclear receptor, that can then turn genes on or off. Sulindac is currently prescribed for the treatment of pain and fever, and to help relieve symptoms of arthritis. The current study demonstrates a new application as a potential anti-cancer treatment that targets certain kinds of tumors.
The Environmental Protection Agency has completed air quality testing outside of 63 schools in 22 states as well as at two tribal schools. The testing was done as part of an unprecedented school air monitoring initiative announced last year to protect children from toxic air pollution around schools. Air samplers using microprocessors and "Intelligent Air Pump"s were used to trap Semi-Volatile Organic Compounds, hexavalent chromium, and other airborne toxins while a Climatronics Sonimometer™ was used to measure wind speeds and direction. EPA experts will now analyze the data to understand whether air quality at these schools poses long-term health concerns for children. The agency has posted preliminary data to its Web site throughout the project to make public the levels of the 62 air toxins the monitors are checking.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has launched a federal Web site meant to answer questions about the response to the B-P Gulf oil spill. Agency officials say it's designed as a one-stop shop for detailed near-real-time information about the response to the Deepwater Horizon incident, incorporating data from the various agencies that are working together to tackle the spill. Originally designed for responders, who make operational decisions regarding the disaster, the web site integrates the latest data on the oil spill's trajectory, fishery closed areas, wildlife and Gulf Coast resources into one customizable interactive map. The web site is http://www.GeoPlatform.gov/gulfresponse.
The federal administration is looking for ways to improve contracting with small businesses - in particular through the use of innovative strategies and technologies - and they want the public's input on how it might be done. In an April Memo, President Obama established an interagency task force to improve agency contracting with small businesses. In addition to the creation of a Web site - that tracks agency progress in meeting small business goals - the President highlighted the importance of contracting with businesses owned by minorities, the socially and economically disadvantaged, and disabled veterans. Public input can be given in person at a meeting to held on June 28th in Washington's Commerce auditorium, or submitted via email by June 30th. The task force report is due out by the end of August.
The federal Flow Rate Technical Group, a scientific team led by Secretary of Energy Steven Chu has been bringing together several scientific methodologies to develop updated estimates of how much oil is flowing from BP's leaking oil well in the Gulf of Mexico. The updated estimate, which will bring together the ongoing work of scientists and engineers from the federal government, as well as universities, and research institutions, will be of how much oil has been flowing since the riser was cut on June 3rd. Three of the teams analyzed broad sets of technical data from the air, on the surface and coast, and under water, and plugged the bits and pieces into computer models in order to formulate their revised estimates. There's a web site to learn more about the response effort. It's www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com.
Cornell University researchers recently stretched individual molecules and watched electrons flow through them, proving that single-molecule devices can be used as powerful new tools for nanoscale science experiments. The work resulted in the first precision tests of a phenomenon known as the under screened Kondo effect. It shows that single-molecule devices can be very useful as scientific tools to study a phenomenon that has never before been accessible. The research was supported by the National Science Foundation's Division of Materials Research and presents a powerful new tool for nanoscale science experiments. Using a cobalt-based complex cooled to extremely low temperatures, Ralph, Parks and an international team of researchers watched electrons move through single molecules and accomplished a feat that until now escaped chemists and physicists. They were able to study the resistance of the flow of electricity within a system's electric field as the temperature approached absolute zero.