By Robert Schlesinger – What’s going on? If everyone agrees on these successful programs, why are they stuck in legislative purgatory?
The proximate cause is that the Republican majority got too distracted with its endless, fruitless attempts to roll back the Affordable Care Act. That consumed their attention through the year and very specifically in the crunch time during which the final deals should have been cut on basically noncontroversial legislation like renewing funding for CHIP and community health centers. But that went by the boards when the GOP dropped everything to push the late, unlamented, half-baked Graham-Cassidy bill.
Uncertainty abounds. And again, we’re talking about noncontroversial stuff here, which speaks to a larger problem with the political system. The failure of this Congress to understand “the need to act responsibly, to reauthorize needed programs without catastrophic disruption … is simply striking,” says the American Enterprise Institute’s Norm Ornstein, who has written extensively on GOP dysfunction (most recently “One Nation After Trump,” with Thomas Mann and E.J. Dionne). more> https://goo.gl/1xQG84
Posted in Book review, CONGRESS WATCH, Economy, Healthcare, History, Leadership, Media, Regulations
Tagged Congress Watch, Donald Trump, Government, Health, Leadership
By Amy Kover – Standing on a 10-foot-wide platform 365 feet above the rolling green hills of Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia, Kristen Hough looks tiny. The winds at this height are strong enough to spin a 500,000-pound wind turbine at 14 revolutions per minute. One strong gust could push a person over.
But Hough, 28, also looks unafraid. A wind technician, Hough is part of a team that is responsible for the electrical and mechanical upkeep of 61 turbines here that can produce 185 megawatts of energy — enough to power an entire city. She makes the climb to the top of a wind turbine at least once a day. At that height, Hough is in her element. “Even climbing the turbines [the first few times], it was so exciting that I knew it was what I was supposed to do,” she says.
Hough’s shift typically begins each morning at 7 a.m. when lead technician Mitch Burns assigns Hough and her five teammates to either handle routine maintenance — like tightening bolts and greasing gears — or troubleshoot problems. For instance, if the temperature in the gearbox appears a bit high, Hough needs to figure out why and fix it. Sometimes she can resolve the issue with a few taps on her laptop, but it -often requires hands-on attention instead. That’s when Hough gets out her safety gear and starts the long ascent to the top of the turbine. more> https://goo.gl/vWg2At
Posted in Broadband, Business, Energy, Science, Technology
Tagged Climate change, GE, Health, Industrial economy, Jobs, Technology, wind energy
New Center Helps Scientists Reprogram The Immune System to Kill Cancer
By Tomas Kellner – Cell therapy is a complex process that involves more than manufacturing a pill. It requires a setup that resembles a biotech factory. “Cell therapy has the potential to cure everything from cancer to diabetes,” says Phil Vanek, general manager for cell therapy growth strategy at GE Healthcare. “But we need to make it affordable and scalable.”
Vanek’s business and others are racing to make that happen and deliver on cell therapy’s promise. He says that says that hundreds of patients have already benefited from CAR-T in clinical trials that have reported 80 percent success rates. Some 300,000 people could be receiving the treatment by 2024. A report by Roots Analysis estimates the T-cell therapy market, which includes CAR-T therapy, could read $30 billion by 2030.
Crucial to that race is a new cell therapy research and process-development facility called the Center for Advanced Therapeutic Cell Technologies (CATCT), which officially opened in Toronto on Thursday. It’s designed to help pharma companies, university researchers and technology companies like GE to scale faster. more> https://goo.gl/CRxNv4
Posted in Business, Economic development, Economy, Education, Healthcare, How to, Leadership, Science, Technology
Tagged Cell therapy, GE, Government, Health, Immune system, Research
Driving Cassini: Doctoral Student Controls Spacecraft in Mission’s Final Days
By Jason Maderer – When the Cassini spacecraft plunges into Saturn on September 15 to end a nearly two-decade mission, Georgia Tech student Michael Staab will have a front row seat. It’s almost literally the driver’s seat.
Staab is working at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California while pursuing his aerospace engineering doctoral degree in the distance learning program. He’s a Cassini Spacecraft Flight Controller, which means he’s one of only three people authorized to tell the machine what to do and where to go as it orbits Saturn.
The job is almost finished. Just before 8 a.m. (Atlanta time) on Friday, Staab will hear Cassini’s signal for the final time before it dives into the planet’s atmosphere, becoming a part of Saturn.
Prior to attending Georgia Tech, I was a flight test engineering intern at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California and, later, a test requirements and analysis engineer for Boeing in St. Louis. I had a lot of control room and operations experience, which is exactly what JPL was looking for.
The duty of a flight controller at JPL is fairly straight-forward; we possess absolute command and control authority of the spacecraft when tracking it through the Deep-Space Network. more> https://goo.gl/aAU76G
- Georgia Clinical & Translational Science Alliance Receives $51 Million NIH Grant
- Rogue Wave Analysis Supports Investigation of the El Faro Sinking, John Toon
- Running Roaches, Flapping Moths Create a New Physics of Organisms, John Toon
- As ‘Flesh-Eating’ Leishmania Come Closer, a Vaccine Against Them Does, Too, Ben Brumfield
- Engineering Research Center Will Help Expand Use of Therapies Based on Living Cells, John Toon
- NSF Supports New Mentoring Initiative for Underrepresented Minority Faculty, John Toon
- New Research May Improve Communications During Natural Disasters, Albert Snedeker
- Was the Primordial Soup a Hearty Pre-Protein Stew? Ben Brumfield
- Tech in DC: Intersecting Science and Policy, Victor Rogers
Posted in Communication industry, Economic development, Economy, Education, History, Nature, Net, Science, Technology
Tagged Ecology, Georgia Tech, Health, Industrial economy, Physics, Skills, Technology
By Ben Panko – In this study, scientists worked with the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing system, which is kind of like cut and paste on for genes. It’s based on a naturally occurring immune system found in many bacteria species in which the microbes keep a “hit list” of virus DNA in their genomes so they can recognize future dangerous intruders.
If any of that DNA is present, the bacteria deploys enzymes called Cas (CRISPR-associated proteins), which precisely and efficiently snip out that DNA.
This research was notable for its use of viable embryos, or embryos that could likely develop into a baby if allowed to grow, reports Dina Fine Moran for Scientific American.
This is the first time this has ever happened on U.S. soil, but scientists in China have already been pushing the envelope for years. more> https://goo.gl/oxtpXQ
The Vanishing Middle Class: Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy, Author: Peter Temin.
By Lynn Parramore – America is not one country anymore. It is becoming two, each with vastly different resources, expectations, and fates.
In one of these countries live members of what Temin calls the “FTE sector” (named for finance, technology, and electronics, the industries which largely support its growth). These are the 20 percent of Americans who enjoy college educations, have good jobs, and sleep soundly knowing that they have not only enough money to meet life’s challenges, but also social networks to bolster their success. They grow up with parents who read books to them, tutors to help with homework, and plenty of stimulating things to do and places to go. They travel in planes and drive new cars. The citizens of this country see economic growth all around them and exciting possibilities for the future.
They make plans, influence policies, and count themselves as lucky to be Americans.
The FTE citizens rarely visit the country where the other 80 percent of Americans live: the low-wage sector. Here, the world of possibility is shrinking, often dramatically. People are burdened with debt and anxious about their insecure jobs if they have a job at all. Many of them are getting sicker and dying younger than they used to. They get around by crumbling public transport and cars they have trouble paying for. Family life is uncertain here; people often don’t partner for the long-term even when they have children. If they go to college, they finance it by going heavily into debt.
They are not thinking about the future; they are focused on surviving the present. The world in which they reside is very different from the one they were taught to believe in. more> https://goo.gl/LKhYy6
Posted in Banking, Book review, Business, CONGRESS WATCH, Economy, Education, Healthcare, Leadership
Tagged Capital, Debt, Government, Health, Jobs, Leadership, Space, United States