Imaging Technique Unlocks the Secrets of 17th Century Artists
By John Toon – The secrets of 17th century artists can now be revealed, thanks to 21st century signal processing. Using modern high-speed scanners and the advanced signal processing techniques, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are peering through layers of pigment to see how painters prepared their canvasses, applied undercoats, and built up layer upon layer of paint to produce their masterpieces.
The images they produce using the terahertz scanners and the processing technique – which was mainly developed for petroleum exploration – provide an unprecedented look at how artists did their work three centuries ago. The level of detail produced by this terahertz reflectometry technique could help art conservators spot previous restorations of paintings, highlight potential damage – and assist in authenticating the old works.
Beyond old art, the nondestructive technique also has potential applications for detecting skin cancer, ensuring proper adhesion of turbine blade coatings and measuring the thickness of automotive paints.
Without the signal processing, researchers might only be able to identify layers 100 to 150 microns thick. But using the advanced processing, they can distinguish layers just 20 microns thick. Paintings done before the 18th century have been challenging to study because their paint layers tend to be thin, Citrin said. Individual pigments cannot be resolved by the technique, though the researchers hope to be able to obtain that information in the future. more>
- Wearable Computing Ring Allows Users to Write Words and Numbers with Thumb, Jason Maderer
- When Physics Gives Evolution a Leg Up by Breaking One, Ben Brumfield
- Advancing the Path to Organic Electronics Beyond Cell Phone Screens, Ben Brumfield
- A Popular Tool to Trace Earth’s Oxygen History Can Give False Positives, Ben Brumfield
- Contribution statements and author order on research studies still leave readers guessing, Josh Brown
- Apprenticeship Program Helps Students Gain Skills, Péralte C. Paul
- Transfer Technique Produces Wearable Gallium Nitride Gas Sensors, John Toon
- Student Teams Compete in Service Academies Swarm Challenge – with GTRI Assistance, John Toon
- The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design Launches on Campus, Lance Wallace
- Creating the Next Code Composers, Stacy Braukman
- Astrobiology Rising at Georgia Tech, A. Maureen Rouhi
- “Instant Replay” for Computer Systems Shows Cyber Attack Details, John Toon
- “Combosquatting” Attack Hides in Plain Sight to Trick Computer UsersExamples of combosquatted domains, John Toon
- Rousing Masses to Fight Cancer with Open Source Machine Learning, Ben Brumfield
- 80 years of the Georgia Tech Research Corporation
- The Force is with Muscle Spindles
- Google Plugs In Georgia Tech Chemistry Team’s Software for its Quantum Computing Product
- National group honors research using lasers and AI to automatically assess health of highway pavement and catalog road signs
Posted in EARTH WATCH, Economic development, Economy, Education, Energy & emissions, Healthcare, History, Science, Technology
Tagged Earth, Georgia Tech, Health, Physics, Space, Technology
By Jake Schwartz – Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates suggest, for example, that there will be 1 million more computing jobs than applicants to fill them by 2020.
Of course, the skills gap is about more than just supply and demand. It stems from what economists call “friction,” exacerbated by megatrends like the shrinking shelf life of skills and persistent equity gaps in K-12 and higher education systems struggling to keep up with the pace of change. But it also reflects decades of self-inflicted wounds within corporate America.
I’ve observed three troubling drivers of the economic friction fueling the skills gap:
- a surprising lack of visibility and long-term planning around concrete skill and talent needs within the enterprise;
- incredible inertia around and adherence to old-school hiring practices that perpetuate growing equity gaps through a search for new skills in conventional places; and
- a tendency to misplace hope that our higher education and workforce development systems can somehow “solve” the problem with minimal corporate involvement or responsibility.
Imagine the possibilities if just a fraction of that spending was allocated to investments in re-skilling existing workers.
And yet, corporate training fads, from an obsession with online training (it’s cheaper), to a belief that all employees should spend their off-hours being “self-guided learners,” only exacerbate the delta between average investments in talent acquisition ($20,000 to $40,000 per head) and corporate training ($1,000 per person per year). more>
Posted in Broadband, Business, CONGRESS WATCH, Economic development, Economy, Education, Net, Science, Technology
Tagged Business improvement, Government, Jobs, Skills, Technology, Training
Matrix Reimagined: Brand New GE Startup Is Developing Novel Ways To Draw Blood
Ny Tomas Kellner – Drawbridge, a new business founded by GE Ventures, is building an easy-to-use blood collection device that could be used anywhere — at a clinic in San Francisco, in a remote village in Borneo or potentially even at home. Users will be able to apply the device to the upper arm and activate it. It will then store and stabilize the sample in a special cartridge.
Drawbridge, a new business founded by GE Ventures, is building an easy-to-use blood collection device that could be used anywhere — at a clinic in San Francisco, in a remote village in Borneo or potentially even at home. Users will be able to apply the device to the upper arm and activate it. It will then store and stabilize the sample in a special cartridge.
The playing field is huge. The global blood collection market stands at $7 billion, and health professionals in the U.S. alone draw more than 1 billion blood samples every year. Handling blood is also an important factor in treating patients — blood test results reportedly influence 70 percent of clinical decisions.
The blood stabilization technology inside the device, a high-tech paper-like material known as “the matrix,” was originally developed by scientists at GE Global Research, leveraging knowledge and expertise from the GE Healthcare team.
The collection device will draw a small amount of blood and channel it onto the matrix, which stores the sample for later extraction and testing. The matrix also stabilizes the collected blood sample and eliminates the need to refrigerate it, which will simplify transporting it to the lab.
When GE Ventures learned about the technology, Stack and her colleagues thought they could build a business around it, as they did with other companies they’ve launched. more>
By Akshat Rathi – The optimism surrounding renewable energy masks some harsh realities. Despite decades of progress, about 80% of the world’s energy still comes from fossil fuels—the same as in the 1970s. Since then, we’ve kept adding renewable capacity, but it hasn’t outpaced the growth of the world’s population and its demand for energy.
Today, about 30% of total world energy (and 40% of the world’s electricity) is supplied by coal, which emits more carbon dioxide per unit of energy produced than nearly any other fuel source.
The hugely valuable oil and gas industries, accounting for 33% and 24% of total world energy use, respectively, are also entrenched. “Based on what we know now, we would need major technological breakthroughs or weak world growth, including for large emerging and developing economies, for oil demand to peak in the next 20 years,” says Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti of the International Monetary Fund. Despite the growth in electric vehicles, most oil companies agree that peak oil is “not in sight.”
If you’re still not convinced, consider this: there are a handful of industries essential to the modern way of life that generate large amounts of carbon dioxide as a side product of the chemistry of their manufacturing process. These carbon-intensive industries—including cement, steel, and ethanol—produce about 20% of all global emissions.
If we want to keep using these products and reach zero emissions, the only option is to have these industries deploy carbon capture. more>
Posted in Business, EARTH WATCH, Economic development, Economy, Energy & emissions, History, Leadership, Media, Net, Science, Technology, Transportation
Tagged Carbon capture and storage, Climate change, Earth, Financial crisis, Super regions, Technology
Love At First Touch: Brazilian Doctor Uses 3D Printing To Help Blind Parents Feel Baby’s Ultrasound
By Erica Firmo – When Ana Paula Silveira got pregnant, she and her husband, Alvaro Zermiani, dreamed about seeing the face of their child during her first ultrasound exam. But weeks later, they got to feel it instead.
Both Ana Paula and Alvaro, who live in São Paulo, Brazil, are legally blind. Their son, Davi Lucas, was strong and healthy, but there was no way their eyes could see the first grainy glimpses of their baby on the ultrasound monitor.
They decided to take a different path. The couple made a trip to the office of Dr. Heron Werner, a gynecologist and obstetrician working at the DASA clinic in Rio de Janeiro. He agreed to follow Ana Paula through her pregnancy.
Dr. Werner uses a 3D printer to make lifelike models from images obtained by a GE ultrasound machine. “From the moment we got to the high-quality ultrasound exam, through the possibility of 3D printing it, I realized that it could also serve to enhance the prenatal experience of visually impaired pregnant women,” Dr. Werner says. more>
By Maggie Sieger – When Hong Kong started planning a road tunnel 50 meters (164 feet) below sea level in 2012, local engineers had to find a way to keep the cutters in the massive boring shield in shape and the blades sharp enough to cut stone. Workers would squeeze between the shield, which is 17 meters in diameter, and the living rock to inspect the business end of the machine — a tight spot the Hong Kong team wanted to avoid as much as possible.
The founders of OC Robotics, a U.K.-based builder of “snake arm” robots, thought they could help. They suggested replacing the human inspectors entirely with OC’s innovative machines that can thread their 6-foot-long mechanical limbs into tight spots.
Today, an OC robot not only inspects the shield but also cleans it with a high-pressure water jet and measures the sharpness of the cutting surface with a laser. “This is faster and easier, and it keeps people safe,” says Andrew Graham, OC Robotics co-founder.
The robot’s dexterity and skills so impressed engineers from GE Aviation that they acquired OC Robotics last summer. The company believes snake-arm robots will be useful for jet engine maintenance, allowing workers to do as much work with the engine still on the wing as possible. That’s because removing an engine not only takes time, but also could take a plane out of service for days, impacting an airline’s bottom line. more>
By Sarah Wray – Bettina Warburg explained that throughout history, we have created “middlemen” to deal with uncertainty about trade – who are we dealing with, how do we know we are getting what we were promised, and what if we don’t receive the goods? These middlemen include banks, corporations and government entities, as well as online platform marketplaces like Amazon, eBay and Alibaba.
Now for the first time, she said, we can lower this uncertainty using technology alone – blockchain, meaning no middlemen are required.
Blockchain unlocks the idea of a “network state … which you can think of as shared reality. Blockchain is in some ways giving us an autonomous network state — the ability to manage all that information and make choices on it by transacting it without middlemen,” she said.
“It’s a matter of urgency that public services, and the leadership of those public services, is able to anticipate technology and the disrupted business models it creates; and that it can respond to that by setting out the key demands. We cannot find ourselves in situations again where we have to regulate after the event. That is government not doing its job properly,” commented Andrew Collinge. more>
Posted in Broadband, Business, Communication industry, Economic development, Economy, How to, Net, Science, Technology
Tagged Blockchain, Business improvement, Government, Internet, Leadership, Smart City, Technology