By Steve Paulson – Consciousness is a buzzing business in neuroscience labs and brain institutes. But it wasn’t always this way. Just a few decades ago, consciousness barely registered as a credible subject for science.
Why were humans able to create civilizations that have transformed the planet?
We don’t have a precise answer. We have big brains and are, by some measure, the most intelligent species, at least in the short term. We’ll see whether we’ll actually survive in the long term, given our propensity for mass violence. And we’ve manipulated the planet to such an extent that we are now talking about entering a new geological age, the Anthropocene.
But it’s unclear why whales or dolphins—some of which have bigger brains and more neurons in their cortex than we do—why they are not called smarter or more successful. Maybe because they have flippers and live in the ocean, which is a relatively static environment. With flippers, you’re unable to build sophisticated tools.
Of course, human civilization is all about tools, whether it’s a little stone, an arrow, a bomb, or a computer. more> https://goo.gl/bmNgK6
New Projects Create a Foundation for Next-Gen Flexible Electronics
By Josh Brown – Four projects set to move forward at the Georgia Institute of Technology aim to lay the groundwork for manufacturing next-generation flexible electronics, which have the potential to make an impact on industries ranging from health care to defense.
Researchers at Georgia Tech are partnering with Boeing, Hewlett Packard Enterprises, General Electric, and DuPont as well other research institutions such as Binghamton University and Stanford University on the projects.
Flexible electronics are circuits and systems that can be bent, folded, stretched or conformed without losing their functionality. The systems are often created using machines that can print components such as logic, memory, sensors, batteries, antennas, and various passives using conductive ink on flexible surfaces. Combined with low-cost manufacturing processes, flexible hybrid electronics unlock new product possibilities for a wide range of electronics used in the health care, consumer products, automotive, aerospace, energy and defense sectors.
“Flexible electronics will make possible new products that will help us address problems associated with food supply, clean water, clean energy, health, infrastructure, and safety and security,” said Suresh Sitaraman, a professor in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, who is leading Georgia Tech’s flexible electronics activities. more> https://goo.gl/qjx3UT
- CauteryGuard Wins the InVenture Prize, Laura Diamond
- Empathy from the Sick May be Critical to Halting Disease Outbreaks, John Toon
- China’s Severe Winter Haze Tied to Climate Change, John Toon
- From the Butterfly’s Wings to the Tornado: Predicting Turbulence, Ben Brumfield
- Radiation from Nearby Galaxies Helped Fuel First Monster Black Holes, Says Study, Jason Maderer
- Stem Cell Treatment May Restore Vision to Patients with Damaged Corneas, Charlene Betourney
- New Nanofiber Marks Important Step In Next Generation Battery and Water Electrolysis Development, Josh Brown
- Understanding What’s Happening Inside Liquid Droplets, John Toon
- Brake Dust May Cause More Problems Than Blackened Wheel Covers, Josh Brown
- Study Reveals Complication Predictors in Children with Crohn’s Disease, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation
- Chiral Metamaterial Produces Record Optical Shift Under Incremental Power Modulation, John Toon
- Once Overlooked, Uninitialized-Use ‘Bugs’ May Provide Portal for Hacker Attacks, Ben Snedeker
- Triboelectric Nanogenerators Boost Mass Spectrometry Performance, John Toon
- How Protein Misfolding May Kickstart Chemical Evolution, Carol Clark
- Howard Chosen for Atlanta Magazine Honor, Jackie Nemeth
- Letting the Structure Do the Work, Massimo Ruzzene
- Study sheds light on key role for ‘rare’ aquatic microbes in dealing with pollution, balancing ecosystems, Kostas T. Konstantinidis
- Danger in the air? Brown wins NSF CAREER grant to find out, Joe Brown
Posted in Broadband, Business, Communication industry, Economic development, Economy, Education, Energy & emissions, Healthcare, Nature, Product, Science, Technology, Transportation
Tagged Broadband, Business improvement, Climate change, Ecology, Georgia Tech, Health, Internet, Manufacturing, Technology
By Leonid Bershidsky – The hyped-up electric vehicle revolution, driven by a fear of being left behind and overzealous regulation, may be forcing car companies to make expensive mistakes. The modern electric vehicle is conceptually inconsistent with how people want to use cars, and in many countries the environmental effect of switching to EVs is negligible.
To spend heavily on electrification, companies have to believe forecasts from experts who don’t have skin in the game. McKinsey, for example, recently put out a report arguing that consumer interest in electric cars is growing. All automakers need to do is keep up incremental improvements and advertising more to increase awareness.
That could turn out to be wishful thinking, because the modern EV caters to a specific-use scenario that increasingly doesn’t work for today’s consumers. more> https://goo.gl/kg48lX
Posted in Broadband, Economic development, Economy, Energy & emissions, Product, Regulations, Science, Technology, Transportation
Tagged Climate change, Ecology, Electric car, Government, Technology
Four-Stroke Engine Cycle Produces Hydrogen from Methane and Captures CO<sub2
By John Toon – When is an internal combustion engine not an internal combustion engine? When it’s been transformed into a modular reforming reactor that could make hydrogen available to power fuel cells wherever there’s a natural gas supply available.
By adding a catalyst, a hydrogen separating membrane and carbon dioxide sorbent to the century-old four-stroke engine cycle, researchers have demonstrated a laboratory-scale hydrogen reforming system that produces the green fuel at relatively low temperature in a process that can be scaled up or down to meet specific needs. The process could provide hydrogen at the point of use for residential fuel cells or neighborhood power plants, electricity and power production in natural-gas powered vehicles, fueling of municipal buses or other hydrogen-based vehicles, and supplementing intermittent renewable energy sources such as photovoltaics.
Known as the CO2/H2 Active Membrane Piston (CHAMP) reactor, the device operates at temperatures much lower than conventional steam reforming processes, consumes substantially less water and could also operate on other fuels such as methanol or bio-derived feedstock. It also captures and concentrates carbon dioxide emissions, a by-product that now lacks a secondary use – though that could change in the future.
Unlike conventional engines that run at thousands of revolutions per minute, the reactor operates at only a few cycles per minute – or more slowly – depending on the reactor scale and required rate of hydrogen production. And there are no spark plugs because there’s no fuel combusted. more> https://goo.gl/h4K7fV
- Likelihood of Dieting Success Lies Within Your Tweets, Ben Snedeker
- New Partnership to Advance Production Standards in Biomanufacturing, Josh Brown
- Simulated Ransomware Attack Shows Vulnerability of Industrial Controls, John Toon
- DNA “Barcoding” Allows Rapid Testing of Nanoparticles for Therapeutic Delivery, John Toon
- Size Matters for Marine Protected Areas Designed to Aid Coral, John Toon
- Cholera Bacteria Stab and Poison Enemies so Predictably, Ben Brumfield
- Looking for Entangled Atoms in a Bose-Einstein Condensate, John Toon
- Team Demonstrates Digital Health Platform for Department of Veterans Affairs, John Toon
- Eating in the blink of an eye, Jason Maderer
- Internet of Things Center Continues to Grow, Make Global Impact, Lance Wallace
- Weaver Wins JDRF Fellowship
- Trio of Petit Institute labs link tendon overuse injury to degenerative changes in shoulder cartilage, Jerry Grillo
- Liquid Assets, Erin Peterson
Posted in Broadband, Business, Communication industry, EARTH WATCH, Economic development, Economy, Education, Energy & emissions, Healthcare, Nature, Science, Technology
Tagged Broadband, Business improvement, Climate change, Cybersecurity, Georgia Tech, Health, Manufacturing, Physics, Technology
By George L. Perry – The stock market should like these economic proposals for several reasons.
Lower tax rates directly raise after-tax profits. Faster expansion from the fiscal push means higher profits. And reducing regulations cuts costs and raises profits. Banks, which are a clear target for deregulation, also benefit from higher interest rates that raise lending profits. No surprise their stocks have been the best performers in the market rally.
he impact of these budgetary policies in the longer run are more murky.
Today’s Congress is likely to give the Administration most of what it asks for. And one big risk in this is that budgetary projections will be made based on dynamic scoring that assumes the programs produce large increases in productivity growth, and so project unrealistically fast growth in the economy’s potential output and revenues.
The CBO and Finance Committee make professional assessments of these supply-side effects in estimating future budgetary impacts of tax changes. But the Administration will push for more generous estimates of future revenues that will make the tax and budget proposals more palatable at present.
This will only put off dealing with long-run budget deficits and a rising ratio of debt-to-GDP that is projected as the population ages. The adverse effects of swelling debt will be someone else’s problem at some future time. more> https://goo.gl/th1nzJ
Posted in CONGRESS WATCH, Economic development, Economy, Energy & emissions, Healthcare, History, Leadership, Media, Regulations
Tagged Capital, Climate change, Congress Watch, Donald Trump, First Amendment, Government, Leadership, United States
The Health Informatics Revolution
By John Toon – Using massive data sets, machine learning, and high-performance computing, health analytics and informatics is drawing us closer to the holy grail of health care: precision medicine, which promises diagnosis and treatment tailored to individual patients. The information, including findings from the latest peer-reviewed studies, will arrive on the desktops and mobile devices of clinicians in health care facilities large and small through a new generation of decision-support systems.
“There are massive implications over the coming decade for how informatics will change the way care is delivered, and probably more so for how care is experienced by patients,” said Jon Duke, M.D., director of Georgia Tech’s Center for Health Analytics and Informatics.
“By providing data both behind the scenes and as part of efforts to change behavior, informatics is facilitating our ability to understand patients at smaller population levels. This will allow us to focus our diagnostic paths and treatments much better than we could before.”
Georgia Tech’s health informatics effort combines academic researchers in computing and the biosciences, practitioners familiar with the challenges of the medical community, extension personnel who understand the issues private companies face, and engineers and data scientists with expertise in building and operating secure networks tapping massive databases.
“It takes all of these components to really make a difference in an area as complex as health informatics,” said Margaret Wagner Dahl, Georgia Tech’s associate vice president for information technology and analytics.
“This integrated approach allows us to add value to collaborators as diverse as pharmaceutical companies, health care providers, large private employers, and federal agencies.” more> https://goo.gl/63pIZd
- Climate Change: Potentially Good News on Methane and Peat Carbon, R.M. Wilson, J.P. Chanton, et al.
- Construction Begins on Transformational Coda Project, Laura Diamond
- Georgia Tech to Play Key Role in New Federally-Funded Chemical Processing Initiative, Lance Wallace
- ‘Spooky’ Sightings in Crystal Point to Extremely Rare Quantum Spin Liquid, Ben Brumfield
- Simple Processing Technique Could Cut Cost of Organic PV and Wearable Electronics, John Toon
- White House Highlights Georgia Tech-Created Computer Science Teaching Tool, Jason Maderer
- Manufacturing comes to Life, Josh Brown
- Composite Repairs Revisited, Josh Brow
- 3-D Printing Gets a Heart, Josh Brown
- Legacy Equipment Learns New Tricks, Josh Brown
- A Honey of an Idea, Shelley Wunder-Smith
- See the Unseen, Josh Brown
- Genomics Technique Could Accelerate Detection of Foodborne Bacterial Outbreaks, John Toon
- $17 Million Contract Will Help Establish Science of Cyber Attribution, John Toon
- Hybrid Approach Predicts and Confirms Structure of Complex Metal Nanoparticles, Brian E. Conn, Aydar Atnagulov, Bokwon Yoon, Robert N. Barnett, Uzi Landman, Terry P. Bigioni
- Secret Phenotypes: Disease Devils in Invisible Details, Ben Brumfield
- Actually, Men and Women Don’t Communicate Differently, at Least In Writing, Jason Maderer
- Catching Molecular Dances in Slow Motion by Adding White Noise, Ben Brumfield
- Noninvasive Visual Stimulation May Illuminate a Path for Alzheimer’s Disease Treatment, Walter Rich
- The Gift of Investment, Michael Baxter
Posted in Broadband, Business, Economic development, Economy, Education, Healthcare, Leadership, Media, Nature, Net, Science, Technology
Tagged Broadband, Business improvement, Climate change, Earth, Electronics, Georgia Tech, Industrial economy, Manufacturing, Physics
By Mark Egan – Called FLNG (floating liquefied natural gas) in industry parlance, the floating facility is on a course to revolutionize the energy industry. Prelude will process natural gas at sea, where it is pumped from underneath the ocean floor — a process that normally takes place on land.
While Prelude is a giant, it’s still much smaller than a land-based plant, which creates special challenges, says Mike Peterson of GE Oil & Gas. His business unit is building and testing a key component for the FLNG facility called the dynamic flexible riser. These high-tech pipes bring the gas up from the seabed before it is cooled to around -160°C (almost double the lowest temperature ever recorded in Antarctica) and turned into liquid.
The risers have been designed to withstand some of the harshest weather and sea conditions imaginable. They are being built and tested in GE’s facility in Newcastle, U.K.
“They are like very fancy garden hoses,” Peterson says. “We build them from layers of metallic and polymer components. Each weighs around 320 tonnes and must be capable of functioning for 25 years through thick and thin.” more> https://goo.gl/meiZsO
Posted in Business, Construction, Economic development, Energy & emissions, Nature, Technology
Tagged Climate change, FLNG, floating liquefied natural gas, GE, Industrial economy, Manufacturing, Technology