Research and Development

  • Designing better toilet bowls

    Although we do not often think about it, fluid dynamics touches almost every aspect of our lives, from a billowing breeze that buffets a flag, to swirling river currents that shape canyons to the surging blood that sustains our lives. One of the basest of bodily functions – urination — is governed primarily by the equations of fluid motion. Scientists (they call themselves “wizz-kids”) hope to create an optimization function to find the ideal approach for urinal usage.

  • ASCB: U.S. scientific research will "pay dearly" for shutdown

    The American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) added its voice to those of other scientific and professional groups in warning that the federal government’s partial shutdown will hurt patients, researchers, and especially the U.S. research effort, long after an agreement to end the impasse is reached. “As America keeps hitting the brakes on scientific research, we are, in effect, accelerating the damage done to our continued leadership in global bioscience, in health outcomes and in the economic power that we have always derived from basic research,” Dr. Bertuzzi, executive director of the ASCB said. “Americans will pay dearly for these slowdowns, sequestrations, and shutdowns in finding cures and on maintaining economic competitiveness.”

  • ACS: Shutdown undermines U.S. innovation, competitiveness, critical services

    American Chemical Society (ACS) president Marinda Li Wu said that the budget impasse is effectively choking America’s science innovation pipeline, strangling new discoveries, future economic growth, and job creation. “[T]o shut down a critical part of our nation’s research and innovation pipeline puts our nation at a severe competitive disadvantage globally,” said Wu. “A government shutdown that closes the world’s largest research system can lead to unintended negative consequences putting at peril America’s economic growth and long-term stability.”

  • Research investments, growing markets drive rise in energy patents

    Innovation in energy technology is booming, according to a new paper which examines what factors set the pace for energy innovation. The study finds that investments in research and development, as well as in the growth of markets for these products, have helped to spur this dramatic growth in innovation.

  • USAF partners with national labs to improve aircraft component design

    Working with national laboratories, universities, and industry, the Air Force is ensuring it stays on the cutting edge of global security by creating a new engineering paradigm to improve the safety and fuel-efficiency of aircraft.Materials research engineers at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) have partnered with national laboratories to model defects and study materials at their grain level in an effort to develop and advance the design of systems used by the military personnel, including aircraft.

  • Government shutdown stymies U.S. science agencies

    A U.S. Government furloughs affecting virtually all National Science Foundation (NSF) employees and three-fourths of those at the National Institutes of Health could impact American competitiveness, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) warned. “If the government shutdown continues for a week or more, it is going to make the United States less desirable as an international research collaborator,” said an AAAS representative. “When funding is no longer reliable, many of our research partners may be unable to continue collaborating with us. That could eventually have longer-term impacts on American innovation and competitiveness.”

  • Congress urged to support broad legislative agenda for science

    With the U.S. Senate poised to revisit S. 1392, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2013, the American Chemical Society (ACS) announced its support for the bill as part of a larger, legislative science agenda for 2013.

  • Young scientists to tackle DoD’s most demanding technological challenges

    A group of twenty-five early-career scientists at research universities have received grants totaling more than $12 million for basic research to address some of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) most challenging technological hurdles. The long-term goal of the DARPA Young Faculty Award (YFA) program is to develop the next generation of scientists and engineers who will focus their careers and research on DoD and national security issues.

  • Scientists: sequestration will damage U.S. science

    The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) has once again called on Congress and the president to work together to prevent sequestration, the automatic across-the-board budget cuts that are scheduled to go into effect on 1 March.

  • Scientists warn of sequestration’s impact on basic research

    With less than a week left before sequestration is to take effect, America’s research community has repeated its call for an end to the across-the-board cuts to discretionary spending which will restrict the U.S. ability to invest in the basic scientific research. A coalition of American research and education institutions says that it is this basic research which drives innovation and produces economic growth.

  • Diatribes, rants in “Comments” section tarnish allure of science online

    More and more digital publications, including science publications, have added a “Comments” feature to their Web sites, allowing readers to post their comments on the articles they read. This democratization of commentary, however, has been accompanied by increasingly nasty back-and-forth exchanges among readers, especially on sites where the comments are not moderated. A new study shows that in the realm of online science news, this steady diet of diatribes, screeds, and rants is taking a toll on the public perception of science and technology.

  • Harvard president issues a clarion call for science

    Harvard President Drew Faust, addressingthe annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), called for members of the scientific community to “raise our voices” in an effort to prevent the U.S. Congress from becoming “an American Association for the Retreat of Science.” Urging widespread efforts to prevent U.S. cuts in funds for sustained research, Faust said: “We must secure the federal research support critical to the future of our nation and of the world.”

  • Texas drought helps in demonstrating viability of drought-tolerant corn

    There is nothing like a couple years of drought to help determine the advances being made in drought-tolerant corn, and the historic drought in Texas in 2011 and in the Corn Belt in 2012 helped Texas A&M scientists show that different types of drought-tolerant corn performed well with far lower levels of irrigation

  • Encouraging science research, study among minorities

    A study published last year, in which 83,000 grant applications from 2000 through 2006 were examined, found that African American scientists were far less likely therethan white scientists to obtain research money from the National Institute of Health (NIH); NIH is setting up a program to change that

  • Sequestration will have a devastating impact on U.S. research enterprise

    Three organizations representing more than 200 of the U.S. leading academic research institutions yesterday launched a Web site that aims to inform policymakers and the public of the impact that the upcoming budget sequester would have on federal funding for university research; the Web site highlights the importance of federally funded university research to innovation, economy, an society