Sci-Tech

  • Revolutionary water treatment system may make coping with disaster easier

    Researchers develop a revolutionary waste-water treatment device which uses little energy, is transportable, scalable, simple to set-up, simple to operate, comes on-line in record time, and can be monitored remotely; new system cleans influent wastewater within twenty-four hours after set-up to discharge levels that exceed the standards established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for municipal wastewater

  • U.S. tech salaries up slightly

    IT workers in the United States will see their pay rise by 1.8 percent in 2010 – but this will not keep up with the expected 2.6 percent inflation for 2010; software developers can expect 2.1 percent increases, operations staff 2.0 percent, server and network staff and system administrators could see 1.9 percent growth, managers 1.7 percent, and executives just 1.3 percent

  • IA certifications improve hiring, promotion, salaries

    It pays to get cybersecurity certification; security skills accounted for 17 percent of base pay in the fourth quarter of 2007, and pay for network security management skills increased by more than 27 percent in 2007; going forward, IT professionals will need to be able to incorporate their security savvy into network, wireless, application, operating system, and other IT areas to best compete

  • Immunovaccine offers enhanced anthrax vaccine candidate

    Currently, to provide protection from anthrax, individuals receive a 6-dose regime with three injections given two weeks apart, followed by three additional injections given at 6, 12, and 18 months; annual booster injections of the vaccine are recommended thereafter; Canadian company Immunovaccine says it developed a method to cut this arduous regimen by half

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  • Tulane University, Corgenix awarded $15,000,000 to expand Lassa fever research

    Lassa fever, because of its high fatality rate, the ability to spread easily by human-to-human contact, and the potential for aerosol release, is classified as a bio safety level 4 agent and is included on the NIAID Category A list of potential bioterrorism threats; new study will focus on identification of novel B-cell epitopes on Lassa virus proteins, aiming to develop agents to treat and prevent the disease

  • NAS: selling vast federal helium reserves is a mistake

    Helium is used in airships, space rockets, nuclear missiles, IT hardware, enormous magnetic particle cannon dimension portals, MRI brain probes, and deep-diving breathing gases; U.S. annual helium use amounts to 650 million cubic feet; in the U.S. federal helium reserve in Texas, though., more than 35 billion cubic feet are stored; Congress wants this vast amount sold by 2015, scientists say it is a bad idea

  • More evidence points to value of security certification

    Certifications improve prospects for hiring and higher salaries; holders of the CISSP, SSCP or CAP certifications who work in the Americas and have at least five years experience earn [an average of] $102,376 per year — more than $21,000 higher than IT pros who also have five years experience but lack the certification

  • U.S. scientists get free cloud free access

    Microsoft and the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) will provide free access to cloud computing resources for select NSF-funded researchers for the next three years; those selected will get to use remote Microsoft Azure data centers full of Windows/Dell servers and storage so that they can run compute-intensive algorithms on masses of data

  • Aussie scientists make artificial silk

    Scientists have for decades tried to find a way artificially to produce insect silk; Aussie scientists report they have found a method to do so; the tough, lightweight textiles could be used in personal protection equipment such as bulletproof vests and helmets, and in many other applications

  • DARPA looking to edit soldiers’ DNA to boost performance

    DARPA has budgeted $7.5 million in hopes of “increas[ing] by several decades the speed with which we sequence, analyze and functionally edit cellular genomes”; the agency is also looking for a cybersecurity system which will not rely on technicians to patch security holes once they are found, but will instead have the instincts to go it alone

  • Cold war offered odd benefit: it limited species invasions

    During the cold war, when an Iron Curtain divided the European continent, there were few introduced bird species in Western Europe; following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the removal of the Iron Curtain, trade and the movement of people between east and west increased – and with it the introduction of non-native bird species; these non-native species do not have natural enemies in the local habitat, so they do damage to agriculture and domestic birds, and carry disease

  • Climate change experts argue for international geoengineering effort

    Solar-radiation management (SRM) would involve releasing megatons of light-scattering aerosol particles in the upper atmosphere to reduce Earth’s absorption of solar energy, thereby cooling the planet; another technique would be to release particles of sea salt to make low-altitude clouds reflect more solar energy back into space; long-established estimates show that SRM could offset this century’s predicted global average temperature rise more than 100 times more cheaply than achieving the same cooling by cutting emissions

  • Obama keeps promise to boost science

    President Obama stressed in his State of the Union address on 27 January that he wanted to freeze “discretionary” government spending for the next three years to rein in the sprawling federal budget deficit – but investment in science not only escapes this freeze: in his 2011 budget proposal, obama is seeking $61.6 billion for research — 5.6 per cent more than this year’s agreed budget

  • Experts: U.K. must act now to prepare for rising sea level

    A joint study by the leading U.K. civil engineering and architectural associations says that steps must be taken now to protect coastal towns from rising sea levels; the reports says policy makes should consider three options for tackling rising sea level: “retreat” — moving critical infrastructure and housing to safer ground; “defend” — building town or city-wide sea defenses; and “attack” — extending the existing coastline and building out on to the water

  • Maximum height of extreme waves up dramatically in Pacific Northwest

    A new assessment concludes that the highest waves in a “100-year event” along the Pacific Northwest’s coast may be as much as 46 feet, up from estimates of only 33 feet that were made as recently as 1996, and a 40 percent increase; the new findings raise special concerns for flooding, coastal erosion, and structural damage; “The Pacific Northwest has one of the strongest wave climates in the world, and the data clearly show that it’s getting even bigger,” says one of scientists involved