Billy's Blog

On Billy's Blog, Billy Hurley, Digital Editorial Manager, writes stories about new and innovative achievements in design engineering, from industrial robots and autonomous vehicles to 3D printers and see-through solar cells. Along with other Tech Briefs writers and editors, Billy shares his opinions, poses questions to readers, and finds the fun, interesting, and unexpected stories behind today's leading-edge inventions.

Blog
Tech Needs of the Week

A wide range of new processing and preparation technologies for use in pharmaceutical preparation is sought. Such technologies may enhance current chemistry processes such as finer milling that leads to faster in-process reactions. Or, the technologies may be applicable to pharmaceuticals after preparation, such as...

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National Nano Engineering Conference

NASA Tech Briefs' 2007 National Nano Engineering Conference (NNEC) is being held November 14-15 at the Marriott Boston Copley Place. The NNEC is the premier event focused on current and future nano- technology developments. The event also includes the presentation of the third annual Nano 50™ Awards with a...

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Virus Simulation Software

Researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine, in collaboration with the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech, have created a computer program called Pathogen Simulation (PathSim) to study the progression of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) in humans.

David Thorley-Lawson, PhD, professor of pathology...

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Techs of the Week

An input assisting device for CAD operation is designed to circumvent time-consuming and conventional methods of using a mouse. The technology comprises sensors and a physical/structural framework which is most effective when constructing a three dimensional object in a free-space field. This device enhances the synergy between...

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Technology for Visually Impaired

By adding features to commonly used chemical- engineering software packages, researchers at the University of Arkansas, the University of Akron, and Chemstations Inc. have developed adaptive technology that allows blind or visually impaired students and working professionals to perform the essential functions of...

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Hydrogen Sensor

It took millions of dollars and more than a decade of research and development, but a unique hydrogen sensor invented and patented in 1994 by scientists at Sandia National Laboratories is about to finally find its way into the commercial sector. What makes the Wide-Range Hydrogen Sensor unique is the fact that it was the first to...

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NextTechs Technology Business Briefs

Breakthrough Imaging of Blood Vessels and Other Anatomical Structures

This breakthrough technology allows for the imaging of vessels, blood vessels or any other type of vessels in biological bodies, using high penetration radiation.

Fluorescent Nanodiamonds

Glowing nanodiamonds can be...

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Good Vibrations

Researchers at Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY have developed technology that converts the vibrations generated by passing traffic into electricity. This electricity can be used to charge small, battery- powered wireless sensors that monitor the structural integrity of bridges.

According to Assistant Professor Edward S....

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Golden Healing

Physicians first used injections of gold salts in the early 1900s to ease arthritis, but treatment took months to take effect and side effects included rashes, mouth sores, and kidney damage. Now treatments like methotrexate and biologically engineered drugs are preferred over gold. Scientists at Duke University Medical Center...

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Coming Attractions

This monthly review lets you "meet" the new advertisers appearing in NTB and its supplements. Here's a sneak peek at the products, services, and offers available from November's first-time advertisers.

AMPS Technologies (Pittsburgh, PA) develops Advanced Multi-Physics Simulation (AMPS) software, an advanced simulation...

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Tech Needs of the Week

A company is looking for effective personal skincare products for niche applications where the efficacy can be clearly demonstrated. The products, product ranges, and/or brands should offer relief for common skin conditions. Products will preferably be topically applied. They should also be on the market and recognizable...

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Utility Grid Batteries

Haunted by memories of blackouts and power reductions, utility and battery companies are stepping up efforts to upgrade their substations with larger batteries.

For instance, electric utility giant American Electric Power (Columbus, OH) has ordered three multimegawatt battery systems, with the goal of having 25...

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Mole Rats

The naked mole rat has been labeled as being ugly, wrinkled, blind, and bucktoothed. But scientists conducting aging studies have found that the unglamorous creature may hold the key to longevity. One such scientist is Stan Braude, a lecturer in biology at Washington University in St. Louis. Braude has studied mole rats for over 25...

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National Nano Engineering Conference

NASA Tech Briefs' 2007 National Nano Engineering Conference (NNEC), November 14-15 at the Marriott Boston Copley Place, is the premier event focused on current and future developments in engineering innovations at the nanoscale, as well as the commercialization of nanotechnology. The event also includes the...

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Nanowire-Based Photovoltaics

Harvard University researchers have made solar cells that are a small fraction of the width of a human hair. The cells, each made from a single nanowire just 300 nanometers wide, could be useful for powering tiny sensors or robots for environmental monitoring or military applications. Moreover, the basic design of...

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Techs of the Week

A patented, microprocessor-based, anti-collision deceleration warning technology has been developed for motor vehicles. Its simple design provides following drivers with up to 4 seconds of additional warning time of a braking, slowing, or stopping event. The warning system reportedly reduces the risk of rear-end collisions by...

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From Killer Gas to Cure

Despite its deadly reputation, carbon monoxide (CO) could save lives and boost health in the future. Chemists at the University of Sheffield in the UK have discovered a way to use targeted small doses of CO to benefit patients who have undergone heart surgery or organ transplants, as well as people suffering from high...

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NASA News

Researchers from NASA and Lockheed Martin have tested software for a robotic extension device that dramatically improves astronauts' ability to perform remote tasks under adverse conditions on the International Space Station (ISS). The method was developed for use with the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator, which works in...

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Technology Business Briefs

Small Geometry Flash EEPROM & DRAM Memory Patents

These patents cover such topics as Flash EEPROM and DRAM device, high storage capacity, cell size, cell layout, product material, etching masking material, photolithography technique, narrower spacing between adjacent line patterns, high packing density of...

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Light-Bending

Researchers from Princeton University have created an easy-to-produce material from semiconductors that has the rare ability to bend light in the opposite direction from all naturally occurring materials. This could lead to advances in high-speed communications, medical diagnostics, and detection of terrorist threats.

The...

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Non-Stick Gum

About 600,000 metric tons of chewing gum are manufactured yearly. Inevitably, a large percentage ends up on streets and pavements and results in a pollution issue. London spends an estimated two million pounds - over four million dollars - every year to clean gum from subway trains and stations. A new gum created by the U.K.-based...

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NASA Briefs

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has developed focal-plane arrays of semiconductor quantum-dot infrared photodetectors (QDIPs) as superior alternatives to prior infrared imagers. QDIPs are easier to fabricate and operate, and electron-beam lithography would be used to make the arrays sufficiently uniform. Get more info here.

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Tech Needs of the Week

A company is looking for innovative or improved PVCu and composite products, systems, and manufacturing technologies for home exterior building and construction products and systems. Value, product performance, lifetime, and ease of installation are of interest. Wanted are new building materials, improved manufacturing...

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Steel-Strength Plastic

University of Michigan researchers have created a composite plastic that's as strong as steel but lighter and transparent. The composite plastic is made of layers of clay nanosheets and a water-soluble, glue-like polymer. UM engineering professor Nicholas Kotov and others have solved a problem that has confounded engineers...

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Drug Development Model

MIT researchers have developed a computer model that could improve a class of drugs based on antibodies. The model can predict structural changes in an antibody that will improve its effectiveness. The team already has used the model to create a new version of cetuximab, a drug commonly used to treat colorectal cancer,...

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Say and Surf

While the Internet offers valuable information for people with disabilities, many of those people cannot use a handheld mouse to surf the Web. Researchers at the University of Washington have developed software that provides an alternative using the oldest mode of communication: the human voice. Vocal Joystick software is an...

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Silicon-Based Light Detector

Researchers at chipmaker Intel Corp. have developed a silicon-based light detector that reportedly outperforms those made of more expensive materials. The device can detect light flashes at a rate of 40 gigabits per second. By comparison, detectors used in fiber-optic networks operate at 10 gigabits per...

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Techs of the Week

A linear illumination system based on a highly reflective external enclosure improves light efficiency and brightness when utilizing fluorescent lamps, light emitting diodes (LED), laser diodes, organic LEDs, electroluminescent strips, or high-intensity discharge lamps as the light source. The system provides a critical...

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Artificial Cornea

For an estimated 10 million people worldwide who are blind due to cornea damage or disease, there may be hope in the form of an innovative artificial cornea design that reportedly overcomes the limitations of existing artificial corneas.

Existing cornea implants need to be made larger to prevent excess corneal tissue...

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