Research and Development

  • Long-term priorities for U.S. nuclear physics program

    Nuclear physics is a discovery-driven enterprise aimed at understanding the fundamental nature of visible matter in the universe; for the past hundred years, new knowledge of the nuclear world has also directly benefited society through many innovative applications

  • Key to U.S. future prosperity: world-class research universities

    American research universities are essential for U.S. prosperity and security, but the institutions are in danger of serious decline unless the federal government, states, and industry take action to ensure adequate, stable funding in the next decade, says a new report by the National Research Council; “The talent, innovative ideas, and new technologies produced by U.S. research universities have led to some of our finest national achievements, from the modern agricultural revolution to the accessibility of the World Wide Web,” says the chairman of the committee that wrote the report

  • Can UAVs emulate bats’ flight capabilities?

    The natural world has countless examples of creatures with extraordinary flight capabilities, but bats have evolved with truly extraordinary aerodynamic capabilities that enable them to fly in dense swarms, avoid obstacles, and fly with such agility that they can catch prey on the wing, maneuver through thick rainforests, and make high-speed 180 degree turns; researchers want to know whether UAVs can emulate bats

  • Livermorium and Flerovium added to the periodic table of elements

    The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) the other day officially approved new names for elements 114 and 116, the latest heavy elements to be added to the periodic table; the names of the two new elements: Flerovium for element 114, with the symbol Fl, and Livermorium for element 116, with the symbol Lv, late last year

  • Insider: H5N1 studies publication vote biased, unbalanced

    In late March, the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) reversed its earlier recommendation, made in December 2011, against full publication of two studies describing lab-modified H5N1 viruses with increased transmissibility in mammals; the recommendation was based on fears that the findings would help terrorist design effective bioweapons; a NSABB board member says that the March reversal of the December recommendation was the result of a bias toward finding a solution that was more about getting the government out of the current dilemma than about a careful risk-benefit analysis

  • Growing Asia Pacific research strengths leaving U.S.-based research behind

    The publications output of Chinese scientists is set to surpass that of U.S.-based scientists by 2013; in the meantime, major investments in discovery and innovation are building capacity in Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan

  • HPDC to publish best grid computing cybersecurity papers

    In the late 1990s, as science was pushing new limits in terms of levels of computation and data and in the collaboration between scientists across universities, countries, and the globe, grid computing emerged as the model to support such large scientific collaborations by providing their computational resources and the structure behind them

  • Planetary exploration vehicle for earthly search-and-rescue missions

    A researcher develops a NASA-sponsored autonomous lake lander for the purpose of exploring lakes on distant planets; this mission is many years in the future; in the meantime, the vehicle is ready to deploy on missions related to defense and security, such as harbor surveillance and cleanup operations of littoral munitions dumps and mines; it is also ideal for search-and-rescue operations in oceans, lakes, and hazardous environments, as well as for environmental research projects

  • Army scientists work to improve biothreat detection

    A married couple, both scientists working at the U.S. Army’s Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, one of forty-five Biosafety Level 3 labs in the United States; they collaborate on improving the ability of soldiers and first responders to detect, identify, and protect against potentially lethal biological threat agents

  • New method for cleaning up nuclear waste

    There are more than 436 nuclear power plants operating in thirty countries, and they create a lot of nuclear waste; one of the more toxic elements in that waste is radionuclide technetium (99Tc); approximately 305 metric tons of 99Tc were generated from nuclear reactors and weapons testing from 1943 through 2010

  • Simulation of nuclear fusion shows high-gain energy output

    High-gain nuclear fusion could be achieved in a preheated cylindrical container immersed in strong magnetic fields, according to a series of computer simulations performed at Sandia National Laboratories; the method appears to be fifty times more efficient than using X-rays — a previous favorite at Sandia — to drive implosions of targeted materials to create fusion conditions

  • Solving antibiotic resistance in humans -- and premature bee death

    The stomachs of wild honey bees are full of healthy lactic acid bacteria that can fight bacterial infections in both bees and humans; the finding is a step toward solving the problems of both bee deaths and antibiotic resistance in humans

  • The bioterrorism threat and laboratory security

    Leonard A. Cole, an expert on bioterrorism and on terror medicine who teaches at Rutgers University, investigates the security of U.S. high containment labs in light of the dramatic growth in the number of these labs, which handle dangerous pathogens, following 9/11 and the anthrax attacks

  • National Academies calls for expanded nuclear-fusion research

    A report out on Wednesday from the National Academies says university researchers studying nuclear fusion still have a long way to go before overcoming the many scientific hurdles to the commercial generation of what is hoped to be a virtually limitless supply of energy

  • Balancing safety, risk in the debate over the new H5N1 viruses

    This fall, the U.S. National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) set off a debate when it asked the authors of two recent H5N1 research studies and the scientific journals that planned to publish them to withhold important details of the research in the interest of biosecurity; the scientific community is divided over the issue of best to balance free research and security