News

NVIDIA and Dell: Improving Interactivity in SolidWorks

Engineers working with a design application like SolidWorks know that more interactive capability in a design application means greater productivity. The key to better interactivity is the ability of the workstation to process the most complex models in a fast and fluid manner. Dell and NVIDIA work closely with Dassault Systemes SolidWorks Corp. to certify that the Dell Precision workstations with Quadro GPUs are optimized specifically for SolidWorks and can handle the workload. For the CAD user, this can mean greater performance and, more importantly, rock-solid stability.

Posted in: News
Read More >>

PDC Drill Bits Open Up Options for Geothermal Energy

Nearly two-thirds of the oil we use comes from wells drilled using polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) bits, originally developed 30 years ago to lower the cost of geothermal drilling. Sandia National Laboratories and the U.S. Navy recently brought the technology full circle, showing how geothermal drillers might use it.

Posted in: News, News, Geothermal Power, Renewable Energy, Automation, Test & Measurement
Read More >>

Will we ever accept computers as human?

Ray Kurzweil, an inventor and futurist, said to more than 3,000 attendees at the South by Southwest Interactive conference last week: "We are a human-machine civilization. Everybody has been enhanced with computer technology," noting how smartphones and other mobile devices and technologies have become a part of who we are. He added, "If we can convince people that computers have complexity of thought and nuance ... we'll come to accept them as human."

Posted in: Question of the Week
Read More >>

Sandwich-Like Structures for Efficient Hydrogen Fuel Cells

Making hydrogen fuel cells practical on a large scale requires them to be more efficient and cost effective, and a research team from the University of Central Florida may have found a way around both hurdles.

Posted in: News, News, Alternative Fuels, Materials, Metals
Read More >>

Nanotrees Turn Sunshine into Hydrogen Fuel

University of California, San Diego electrical engineers are building a forest of tiny nanowire trees in order to cleanly capture solar energy and harvest it for hydrogen fuel generation. Nanowires, which are made from abundant natural materials like silicon and zinc oxide, offer a cheap way to deliver hydrogen fuel on a mass scale.

Posted in: News, News, Alternative Fuels, Energy Harvesting, Renewable Energy, Solar Power, Greenhouse Gases, Nanotechnology
Read More >>

When it comes to finding the truth, can technology surpass humans?

In a study of 40 videotaped conversations, an automated system developed by University at Buffalo researchers correctly identified whether interview subjects were lying or telling the truth 82.5 percent of the time. The automated system tracks eye movement. The system employs a statistical technique to model how people moved their eyes in two distinct situations: during regular conversation and while fielding a question designed to prompt a lie. Though the study’s sample size was too small for the research to be statistically significant, the findings, according to the research team, suggest that computers may be able to learn enough about a person's behavior in a short time to perform a task that challenges even experienced investigators.

Posted in: Question of the Week
Read More >>

Insect Biochemistry & Generating Electricity

Touted as possible first responders, insect cyborgs could be the research community's next big breakthrough. Researchers from Case Western Reserve University have discovered that an insect's internal chemicals can be converted to electricity - potentially providing power to sensors and recording devices.

Posted in: News, News, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Environmental Monitoring, Sensors, Transducers
Read More >>

Are there risks in 'hacking' our own biology?

Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (TDCS), a deep brain stimulation technique, uses electrodes to direct tiny painless currents across the brain. The currents are thought to improve the firing of neurons and the forming of connections that enable learning. The technique has shown potential in strengthening language skills, math ability, and even memory. A recent Oxford paper, however, argues that the risks of TDCS method must be more carefully considered before the research resumes. Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation joins a group of other promising technologies aimed to enhance cognition, including generic engineering and brain-to-computer interfacing. Some skeptics say these types of techniques are perhaps unfair and go against human nature.

Posted in: Question of the Week
Read More >>

Deploying U.S. Offshore Wind Projects

Offshore wind is an enormous potential resource for the United States - with strong, consistent winds located in the Atlantic, Pacific, the Great Lakes, and the Gulf of Mexico. As part of a planned six-year $180 million initiative, an initial $20 million will be available from the DOE this year as the first step in supporting up to four innovative offshore wind energy installations across the U.S.

Posted in: News, News, Renewable Energy, Wind Power, Government
Read More >>

Identifying Effective Carbon Capture Technologies

Approximately 75 percent of electricity used in the U.S. is produced by coal-burning power plants that expel carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Berkeley Lab researchers are searching for porous materials to filter out the CO2 before it reaches the atmosphere, but identifying these materials is easier said than done.

Posted in: News, News, Greenhouse Gases, Remediation Technologies, Materials, Mathematical/Scientific Software
Read More >>

The U.S. Government does not endorse any commercial product, process, or activity identified on this web site.