Growing Pile of Human and Animal Waste Harbors Threats, Opportunities
By Josh Brown – As demand for meat and dairy products increases across the world, much attention has landed on how livestock impact the environment, from land usage to greenhouse gas emissions.
Now researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are highlighting another effect from animals raised for food and the humans who eat them: the waste they all leave behind.
In a paper published November 13 in Nature Sustainability, the research team put forth what they believe is the first global estimate of annual recoverable human and animal fecal biomass. In 2014, the most recent year with data, the number was 4.3 billion tons and growing, and waste from livestock outweighed that from humans five to one at the country level.
“Exposure to both human and animal waste represent a threat to public health, particularly in low-income areas of the world that may not have resources to implement the best management and sanitation practices,” said Joe Brown, an assistant professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. “But estimating the amount of recoverable feces in the world also highlights the enormous potential from a resource perspective.” more>
- Solving a 75-Year-Old Mystery Might Provide a New Source of Farm Fertilizer, John Toon
- When Boy Fish Build Castles to Impress Girl Fish, Boy Genes Get a Rise, Ben Brumfield
- Cotton-Based Hybrid Biofuel Cell Could Power Implantable Medical Devices, John Toon
- ‘Suicide Handshakes’ Kill Precursor T Cells that Pose Autoimmune Dangers, Ben Brumfield
- Research Raises Awareness of Indoor Air Quality Risk from 3D Printers, Josh Brown
- Stripping the Linchpins From the Life-Making Machine Reaffirms Its Seminal Evolution, Ben Brumfield
- Georgia Tech, UConn, and UMass Lowell Collaborate with Industry, NSF on 3D Printing, Josh Brown
- Open Source Machine Learning Tool Could Help Choose Cancer Drugs, John Toon
- Delivering Antibodies via mRNA Could Prevent RSV Infection, Kenna Simmons
- NASA Pushes Exploration of Oceans in Our Solar System in Georgia Tech-Led Alliance, Ben Brumfield
- Airbus and Georgia Tech Open Center for Overall Aircraft Design, John Toon
- Pilot Project Will Use Campus Wastewater to Grow Vegetables, Kenna Simmons
Posted in Business, Construction, EARTH WATCH, Economic development, Economy, Education, Healthcare, History, Nature, Science, Technology
Tagged Business improvement, Capital, Climate change, Earth, Ecology, Georgia Tech, Health, Jobs
Neuroscientists Team with Engineers to Explore how the Brain Controls Movement
By Carol Clark – Scientists have made remarkable advances into recording the electrical activity that the nervous system uses to control complex skills, leading to insights into how the nervous system directs an animal’s behavior.
“We can record the electrical activity of a single neuron, and large groups of neurons, as animals learn and perform skilled behaviors,” says Samuel Sober, an associate professor of biology at Emory University who studies the brain and nervous system. “What’s missing,” he adds, “is the technology to precisely record the electrical signals of the muscles that ultimately control that movement.”
The Sober lab is now developing that technology through a collaboration with the lab of Muhannad Bakir, a professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
The technology will be used to help understand the neural control of many different skilled behaviors to potentially gain insights into neurological disorders that affect motor control.
“By combining expertise in the life sciences at Emory with the engineering expertise of Georgia Tech, we are able to enter new scientific territory,” Bakir says. “The ultimate goal is to make discoveries that improve the quality of life of people.” more>
- This Matrix Delivers Healing Stem Cells to Injured Elderly Muscles, Ben Brumfield
- New Health Economics Lab and $3.3 Million in Funding Coming to Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, Michael Pearson
- Researchers Help Close Security Hole in Popular Encryption Software, John Toon
- World’s Fastest Creature May Also be One of the Smallest, John Toon
- Sensor Could Monitor Brain Aneurysm Treatment, John Toon
- Georgia Tech Scientist Honored for Energy Research, Josh Brown
- García Chosen to Head Georgia Tech Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience, John Toon
- Previously Overlooked “Coral Ticks” Weaken Degraded Reefs, John Toon
- Material Formed from Crab Shells and Trees Could Replace Flexible Plastic Packaging, Josh Brown
- Technique May Improve Lung Delivery of Bacteria-Killing Phage, John Toon
- As We Get Parched, Cognition Can Sputter, Dehydration Study Says, Ben Brumfield
- Georgia Tech receives $1.6 million for nuclear energy projects, Lance Wallace
- IceCube Neutrinos Point to Long-Sought Cosmic Ray Accelerator, John Toon
- Research could lead to longer talk time and higher data rates in 5G devices, John Toon
Posted in Economic development, Education, Energy, Nature, Net, Science, Technology
Tagged Business improvement, Electronics, Georgia Tech, Health, Physics, Technology
By Pete Singer – Dr. John E. Kelly, III, Senior Vice President, Cognitive Solutions and IBM Research, with 40 years of experience in the industry, recalled how the first era of computing began with mechanical computers 100 years ago, and then transition into the programmable era of computing.
In 1980, Kelly said “we were trying to stack two 16 kilobis DRAMs to get a 32 bit stack and we were trying to cram a thousand transistors into a microprocessor.” Microprocessors today have 15 billion transistors. “It’s been a heck of a ride,” he said.
A third exponential is now upon us, Kelly said. “The core of this exponential is that data is doubling every 12 to 18 months. In fact, in some industries like healthcare, data is doubling every six months,” he said.
The challenge is that the data is useless unless it can be analyzed. “Our computers are lousy in dealing with that large unstructured data and frankly there aren’t enough programmers in the world to deal with that explosion of data and extract value,” Kelly said. “The only way forward is through the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence to extract insights from that data.”
Quantum computing, which Kelly describe as a fourth exponential, is also coming which will in turn dwarf all of the previous ones. “Beyond AI, this is going to be the most important thing I’ve ever seen in my career. Quantum computing is a complete game changer,” he said. more>
Posted in Broadband, Business, Economic development, Economy, Healthcare, History, Science, Technology
Tagged Breakthrough, Business improvement, Health, Quantum Computing, Semiconductor, Technology
New Cell Manufacturing Research Facility will Change Approaches to Disease Therapies
By John Toon – The vision of making affordable, high-quality cell-based therapies available to hundreds of thousands of patients worldwide moved closer to reality June 6 with the dedication of a new cell manufacturing research facility at Georgia Tech aimed at changing the way we think about medical therapies.
The new Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) like ISO 8 and ISO 7 compliant facility is part of the existing Marcus Center for Therapeutic Cell Characterization and Manufacturing (MC3M). The center was established in 2016 and made possible by a $15.75 million gift from philanthropist Bernie Marcus, with a $7.25 million investment from Georgia Tech and another $1 million from the Georgia Research Alliance.
MC3M is already helping researchers from Georgia Tech and partner organizations develop ways to provide therapeutic living cells of consistent quality in quantities large enough to meet the growing demands for the cutting-edge treatments. more>
- Sodium- and Potassium-based Batteries Hold Promise for Cheap Energy Storage, Josh Brown
- Georgia Tech Team Receives DARPA Grant to Apply Neuroscience to Machine Learning, Niccole Coleman
- Research Charts the Way to More Reliable Carbon-based Microelectronics, Josh Brown
- Making the Oxygen We Breathe, a Photosynthesis Mechanism Exposed, Ben Brumfield
- Aircraft Microbiome Much Like That of Homes and Offices, Study Finds, John Toon
- I Saw That. Brain Mechanisms Create Confidence About Things Seen, Ben Brumfield
- Spooky Quantum Particle Pairs Fly Like Weird Curveballs, Ben Brumfield
- In Child-Crippling Mucolipidosis IV, Drug Shows Hope in Lab Cultures, Ben Brumfield
- New Frontiers Beckon Math and Biology in Multimillion Dollar NSF-Simons Project, Ben Brumfield
- Shining a Light on Toxic Chemicals Curbs Industrial Use, Josh Brown
- Study Shows How Bacteria Behave Differently in Humans Compared to the Lab, John Toon
- Letting the Cat Out of the Bag: Why Researchers Disclose Results Ahead of Publication, Josh Brown
- Delving into the Perchlorate Diners of Pilot Valley, Utah, A. Maureen Rouhi
- Bacterial Conversations in Cystic Fibrosis, A. Maureen Rouhi
Posted in Business, Economic development, Education, Healthcare, Nature, Science, Technology
Tagged Biology, Business improvement, Electronics, Georgia Tech, Health, Manufacturing, Physics, Technology
Consolidating 3D Printing Tool Chains to Mitigate Risk in Medical Device Applications
By J Thompson – Use of 3D Printing technology to create medical devices has been widely publicized over the past several years. Most of these stories illustrate the unique ability for 3D Printing (aka Additive Manufacturing / AM) technology to produce highly complex organic shapes.
Despite past success with AM, and very promising growth opportunities, there are significant risks with the current AM practices for workflows in device design and manufacturing. These risks must be recognized and addressed by device makers to fully realize the potential of AM, and avoid failure modes inherent in current practices.
Today, the biggest risks are caused by software “tool chains” in which different, specialized software applications are used sequentially to yield finished devices. A fundamental problem with serial tool chains is rework. What happens when you get off the “happy path”, and issues are discovered in the fourth, fifth, or tenth tool in the chain, and resolution requires a change in the first or second tool in the chain? That typically means serially reworking the entire workflow from the point of change.
This kind of rework should be viewed as expected, normal, necessary, commonplace, and even desirable since it theoretically leads to an improved final result. However, as AM attempts to enter an “industrial” stage of maturity, there are several risks associated a serial tool chain, especially if rework is manual and requires experts to re-do knowledge-intensive rework. more>
Posted in Business, Economic development, Education, Healthcare, Nature, Product, Science, Technology
Tagged 3D printing, Additive manufacturing, Business improvement, Health, Manufacturing, Productivity, Siemens, Technology
5 ways to future-proof your network today to support IoT tomorrow
By Rob Tomkins – There is no getting around the fact that networks are seeing an explosion of data coming from “smart” objects that connect the physical and digital worlds. In fact, IHS forecasts that the market will grow from 15.4 billion devices in 2015 to 75.4 billion in 2025. Despite this increase in data, and no matter what new IoT technology or application is announced, users’ expectations remain high — networks must be up and running constantly and bandwidth must always available.
Plus, now that IoT, including Industrial IoT, is becoming more intertwined with mission-critical services such as smart grids and emergency alert systems — the stakes are even higher. Even the slightest network latency or jitter goes beyond a simple inconvenience and has the potential to cause life-threatening situations.
The time is now for service providers, enterprises and cities to get their networks in shape to handle the increase in bandwidth requirements, as well as prepare for what is to come tomorrow. Unfortunately, while it’s a simple concept, it’s not such a simple task.
In many ways, the current IoT landscape resembles the Wild West. more>
Posted in Broadband, Communication industry, Economy, Net, Technology
Tagged 400G, Broadband, Ciena, Health, Internet, IoT, Net evolution, Technology
Simulation Supports Program to Help Pilots in Degraded Visual Environments
By John Toon – A degraded visual environment occurs when helicopters landing on loose soil, such as desert terrain, stir up dust that creates brownout conditions which make it challenging for pilots to see obstacles on the ground. The simulation will support the development of a multi-sensor system designed to give U.S. Army rotorcraft pilots better situational awareness during these challenging conditions.
GTRI researchers are developing different ways to show fused sensor images to pilots during brownout conditions. In an Army cockpit simulator lab, experienced rotorcraft pilots will use the simulations to determine how information should be presented during high-stress approach, landing and takeoff conditions. The pilot feedback will assist the Army in defining the Pilot Vehicle Interface for the new Degraded Visual Environment (DVE) system that will be used on Black Hawk and Chinook helicopters. It will also be used to inform a milestone decision for integration into the Army aviation platforms.
The simulation project is challenging because the data comes from different sources, at different data rates and different resolutions. The emulator must work accurately under varying conditions, including daytime and nighttime operations. Because the system is used to analyze pilot interaction with the new sensors, the provided solution includes flexibility to easily reconfigure various parameters such as symbology sets, types of sensors, sensor performance characteristics, and symbology color. more>
- Researchers Determine Routes of Respiratory Infectious Disease Transmission on Aircraft, John Toon
- A Future Colorfully Lit by the Mystifying Physics of Paint-On Semiconductors, Ben Brumfield
- Turbocharging Fuel Cells with a Multifunctional Catalyst, Ben Brumfield
- The Minds of the New Machines, T.J. Becker
- Modernizing Information Systems to Support a New Generation of Army Families, Josh Brown
- New Insights Could Pave The Way For Self-Powered Low Energy Devices, Josh Brown
- Easy as 1, 2, 3! Really? A. Maureen Rouhi
- Comparison Shows Value of DNA Barcoding in Selecting Nanoparticles, John Toon
- More Startups Join Engage, Laura Diamond
- Deep Learning Can Now Help Prevent Heart Failure, Kristen Perez
- The Next Frontier in Molecular Engineering, Georgia Parmelee
- Georgia Tech Researchers Bring Transparency to Telephone Blacklists, Tess Malone
Posted in Broadband, Business, Energy & emissions, Net, Science, Technology, Transportation
Tagged Broadband, Business improvement, Georgia Tech, Health, Nature, Technology
Industrial Medicine: Cell Therapy Scales Up
By Maggie Sieger – Cell therapy is a new way to treat serious diseases like cancer by extracting living cells from a donor or a patient, changing them so they can recognize and attack diseased cells or deliver treatment, and returning them to the patient’s body. But manufacturing the cells is a costly and time-consuming endeavor. A single dose can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to make.
That’s because in the more than 900 ongoing regenerative medicine trials worldwide — a 19 percent jump since 2016 — researchers generally manufacture each patient’s dose of bio-engineered cells by hand. The individualized nature of cell therapy makes it not only prohibitively pricey, but also difficult to scale into commercial production.
That hasn’t been a problem while cell therapy was still confined to research labs. But as medical science advances and regulators approve a growing numbers of modified cell therapies for general use, handcrafting doses won’t be enough. “It’s relatively easy to do 15 or 20 doses by hand, but it’s nearly impossible to efficiently make thousands,” says GE Healthcare’s Aaron Dulgar-Tulloch, director of cell therapy research and development at the Centre for Advanced Therapeutic Cell Technologies (CATCT) in Toronto.
One way to speed the process is GE Healthcare’s FlexFactory for cell therapy. Cellular Biomedicine Group Inc. (CBMG) will be the first company to install this closed, semi-automated system for manufacturing bio-engineered cells in its Shanghai plant and use it to create cell therapies to treat various blood and solid tumor cancers. more>
Posted in Business, Economic development, Economy, Education, Healthcare, Nature, Science, Technology
Tagged Business improvement, Cancer, Cell therapy, GE, Health, Manufacturing
Robot Monitors Chicken Houses and Retrieves Eggs
By John Toon – “Today’s challenge is to teach a robot how to move in environments that have dynamic, unpredictable obstacles, such as chickens,” said Colin Usher, a research scientist in GTRI’s Food Processing Technology Division.
“When busy farmers must spend time in chicken houses, they are losing money and opportunities elsewhere on the farm. In addition, there is a labor shortage when it comes to finding workers to carry out manual tasks such as picking up floor eggs and simply monitoring the flocks. If a robot could successfully operate autonomously in a chicken house 24 hours a day and seven days a week, it could then pick up floor eggs, monitor machinery, and check on birds, among other things. By assigning one robot to each chicken house, we could also greatly reduce the potential for introductions of disease or cross-contamination from one house to other houses.”
The autonomous robot is outfitted with an ultrasonic localization system similar to GPS but more suited to an indoor environment where GPS might not be available. This system uses low-cost, ultrasonic beacons indicating the robot’s orientation and its location in a chicken house. The robot also carries a commercially available time-of-flight camera, which provides three-dimensional (3D) depth data by emitting light signals and then measuring how long they take to return. The localization and 3D data together allow the robot’s software to devise navigation plans around chickens to perform tasks. more>
- Real-Time Captcha Technique Improves Biometric Authentication, John Toon
- Data Detectives Shift Suspicions in Alzheimer’s from Usual Suspect to Inside Villain, Ben Brumfield
- Why Bees Soared and Slime Flopped as Inspirations for Systems Engineering, Ben Brumfield
- Asteroid “Time Capsules” May Help Explain How Life Started on Earth, John Toon
- Georgia Tech Trio Selected to National Academy of Engineering, Jason Maderer/Kay Kinard
- Successful SpaceX Launch Clears Way for Historic Georgia Tech Spacecraft, Jason Maderer
- Hatchet Enzyme, Enabler of Sickness and of Health, Exposed by Neutron Beams, Ben Brumfield
- Neurons Get the Beat and Keep It Going in Drumrolls, Ben Brumfield
- Yeast Assay Helps Reveal Genesis of Amyloids and Prions, A. Maureen Rouhi
- Self-assembled “Hairy” Nanoparticles Could Give a Double Punch to Cancer, John Toon
- Manufacturing Disaster Assistance Program to help Georgia companies prepare for natural disasters, Ben Cheeks
- Disclosing Weaknesses Can Undermine Some Workplace Relationships, Josh Brown
- Maelstroms in the Heart Confirmed
- The Next Frontier in Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Parmelee
- Air Force Grant Enables Quantum Simulation Using Cold Atoms, A. Maureen Rouhi
Posted in EARTH WATCH, Education, Energy & emissions, Healthcare, Nature, Net, Science, SPACE WATCH, Technology
Tagged Broadband, Business improvement, Climate change, Earth, Health, Industrial economy, Physics, Productivity, Technology