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New Biosensors Allow Advanced Testing

Scientists have long imagined what could be done if they could engineer a cilia-like biosensor.

Now, scientists at the University of Southern Mississippi have for the first time, imitated Mother Nature by developing a skinny-molecule-based material that resembles the tiny, hair-like structures organisms use to smell, hear, and see. They've developed a new thin copolymer film with whisker-like formations that mimic the natural material.

It responds to thermal, chemical, and electromagnetic stimulation, and allows researchers to control it which, they say, opens unlimited possibilities, including testing for the presence of toxins, oxygen or the lack of oxygen in an environment. Future uses could include testing glucose levels, drug testing, or for air or water safety.

Tags: technology , Meeting Mission and Goals through Technology ,

Wednesday - 10/06/2010, 12:58pm EDT

New Satellite System Will Replace Radar

Move over radar... it won't be long before that decades-old technology is replaced by satellites to track all aircraft in U.S. airspace.

The Federal Aviation Administration has given the green light for a full-scale, nationwide deployment of a new satellite-based surveillance system called Automatic Dependent Surveillance - Broadcast, or ADS-B. The technology has been successfully rolled out at four key testing sites.

The FAA says the system tracks aircraft with greater accuracy, integrity and reliability than radar-based systems. Controller screens update more frequently and show more detailed information, including the type of aircraft, its call sign, heading, altitude and speed.

Every part of the country now covered by radar will eventually have ADS-B coverage. Nationwide coverage is expected to be complete by 2013.

Tags: technology , Meeting Mission and Goals through Technology , FAA ,

Tuesday - 10/05/2010, 07:16pm EDT

Small business recruited to help affordability efforts

The top procurement officer of a Top 100 DoD contractor gives a thumbs up to the newly announced Pentagon acquisition reforms. WFED's Scott Carr reports.

Tags: Federal Drive , DoD Report , contracting , small business , Congress , acquisition , Acquisition reform , management ,

Friday - 10/01/2010, 09:40am EDT
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USPTO Incentivizes Technology Addressing Humanitarian

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is looking for ideas on how to incentivize the creation, and wider distribution of, technologies that address humanitarian needs.

One proposed pilot program would allow patent holders to put any patent on a faster track to approval if they also share technology that address humanitarian purposes. The technologies include treatments for tropical diseases, diagnostic medical tools, methods to grow crops with higher yields or better nutritional value, and treatments for sanitation or clean water. Participants can qualify for the proposed pilot in two ways. One is by making their patented technologies available to impoverished populations for humanitarian use.

Because patents under re-examination are often commercially valuable, the fast-track re-examination allows a patent owner to affirm the validity of their patent more quickly and less expensively.

More information about the proposed fast-track re-examination voucher pilot program can be found in the Federal Register.

Tags: technology , Meeting Mission Goals Through Technology ,

Monday - 09/27/2010, 01:28pm EDT

U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center Is Launched

Researchers at the Oak Ridge National Lab are focusing on a suite of technologies that will put more electric and hybrid vehicles on the road. The hope is they'll encourage the joint research and development of clean energy technologies by the U.S. and China. The U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center will help accelerate the development and deployment of clean vehicle and clean coal technologies here at home.

The Lab will contribute to advanced systems integration, vehicle electrification, batteries and energy storage, the combustion of biofuels and other technologies.

Government funding for the Clean Energy Research Center totals $25 million, and will be matched by the grantees.

The center aims to have an impact on three of society's grand challenges: climate change, energy security and environmental sustainability

Tags: technology , Meeting Mission Goals Through Technology ,

Monday - 09/27/2010, 01:26pm EDT

NASA Microgravity Experiments

NASA will host two national science competitions that challenge students - six through 12 - to develop and prepare a microgravity experiment.

Both competitions are open to teams across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, and they can be formed from any type of organization or club, such as a science class, a group of friends, or youth group, and each team must have an adult advisor.

A panel of NASA scientists and engineers will evaluate and select the best proposals by December first. The winning teams will design and build experiments that will be conducted in the 2.2 Second Drop Tower at NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. When an experiment is "dropped" into the 79-foot tower, it experiences weightlessness for 2.2 seconds.

The top four teams get an all-expenses-paid trip to conduct their experiments with NASA personnel.

Tags: technology , Meeting Mission Goals Through Technology , NASA ,

Monday - 09/27/2010, 01:20pm EDT

CMS proposes new rules to combat fraud

Some say they're just nibbling around the edges. But, CMS is putting some proposed new rules out there to combat fraud and abuse in Medicaid and Medicare. WFED's Scott Carr explains.

Tags: Federal Drive , CMS , management , fraud ,

Friday - 09/24/2010, 08:41am EDT
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Acquisition marching orders change at Defense

Appropriators slash F-35 purchases in fiscal 2011, U.S. charges Florida pair with selling counterfeit computer chips from China to the U.S. Navy and military

Tags: Federal Drive , DoD Report , contracting , Defense , Navy , counterfeit

Wednesday - 09/15/2010, 08:40am EDT
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New Web Portal Helps Job Seekers

The U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration has launched a new Web portal to help people looking for a job match their current skills to new careers, and find out what training is needed to transition from one job to another.

The online tool is called "mySkillsmyFuture" and can be accessed at www.myskillsmyfuture.org. Users will be able to review local job postings, and training and education opportunities. They also will be able to find descriptions, salary information and common job tasks associated with any listed occupation.

The new site's features include detailed information about occupational skills that can be transferred from one job to another; a side-by-side comparison chart of likely skill gaps from one occupation to another; and links to local training programs.

Users can also look for opportunities for short-term training programs provided by local community colleges and other postsecondary schools, details about obtaining credentials such as certifications, licenses and apprenticeships. They can also apply for open job postings available by ZIP code or state.

Tags: technology , Meeting Mission Goals Through Technology Report ,

Tuesday - 09/14/2010, 12:02pm EDT

Grants Support Biomedical Research in Space

The National Institutes of Health has awarded the first new grants under the Biomedical Research on the International Space Station (or BioMed-ISS) initiative, a collaborative effort between NIH and NASA. Using a special microgravity environment that Earth-based laboratories cannot replicate, researchers will explore fundamental questions about important health issues, such as how bones and the immune system are weakened.

The National Laboratory at the International Space Station provides a virtually gravity-free - or microgravity - environment where the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie human diseases can be explored.

Scientists will conduct their experiments in two stages. The first is a ground-based preparatory phase to allow investigators to meet select milestones and technical requirements. The second is an Space Station experimental phase. That will include preparing the experiments for launch, working with astronauts to conduct them on the Space Station, and then performing subsequent data analyses on Earth.

Tags: technology , Meeting Mission Goals Through Technology Report , NIH , NASA ,

Tuesday - 09/14/2010, 11:59am EDT
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