Research & development

Energy Department Announces $53 Million to Drive Innovation, Cut Cost of Solar Power

Building on President Obama's Climate Action Plan to cut carbon pollution and continue U.S. leadership in clean energy innovation, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz today announced more than $53 million for 40 innovative research and development (R&D) projects that aim to drive down the cost of solar energy, tackling key aspects of technology development in order to bring innovative ideas to the market more quickly.

Controversy Over NSF Grants Continues

Lamar Smith's (R-TX) August 27 letter cites various court decisions that he states affirms that “Congress’s authority to obtain information, including but not limited to, confidential information is extremely broad.”  He later writes “There can be no dispute about the Committee’s authority to oversee the NSF. This controversy continues to cause significant conflict between Smith and the most senior Democrat on the committee, Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX).

U.S. To Temporarily Halt Funding For Controversial Virus Research

The federal government will temporarily stop funding any new studies that could make three high-risk infectious diseases even more dangerous. The government is asking all scientists involved in this research now to voluntarily halt their current studies. The unusual move comes after a long controversy over experiments with mutant forms of a bird flu virus.

NASA Begins Sixth Year of Airborne Antarctic Ice Change Study

NASA is carrying out its sixth consecutive year of Operation IceBridge research flights over Antarctica to study changes in the continent’s ice sheet, glaciers and sea ice. This year’s airborne campaign, which began its first flight Thursday morning, will revisit a section of the Antarctic ice sheet that recently was found to be in irreversible decline.

NASA Spacecraft Provides New Information About Sun’s Atmosphere

NASA's Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) has provided scientists with five new findings into how the sun’s atmosphere, or corona, is heated far hotter than its surface, what causes the sun’s constant outflow of particles called the solar wind, and what mechanisms accelerate particles that power solar flares.

NIH Awards $32-Million to Tackle Big Data in Medicine

The National Institutes of Health has awarded almost $32-million in grants to more than two dozen institutions to devise innovative ways of helping researchers handle huge sets of data seen as increasingly central to future medical discoveries.

New wave of brain research aims to understanding every function

Most of the projects are in developing new technologies to help map the brain and study its mechanics — how cells communicate, what makes them turn on and off, and how large regions of the brain interact, for example. Ultimately, scientists hope these tools will help the next generation of neuroscientists solve the brain-centric disorders — from autism and Alzheimer’s to depression and schizophrenia — that have confounded doctors for centuries.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Grand Challenge Partners Commit to Innovation with New Investments in Breakthrough Science

At an event in Seattle commemorating the tenth anniversary of Grand Challenges, a group of international partners today announced three new initiatives aimed at creating breakthroughs in science.

As NIH funding drops, faculty head to Capitol Hill

NIH funding has steadily decreased over the past several years, with especially steep cuts stemming from the 2013 sequester. As researchers find themselves feeling the funding cuts more deeply, some are turning directly to Congress—including four Duke professors who met with lawmakers two weeks ago as part of the Annual Rally for Medical Research Hill Day, which brought representatives of the medical community to Washington, D.C.

Fountain of youth: A congressman's plan to make NIH grantees younger

A member of Congress has waded into the thorny issue of the graying of U.S. biomedical researchers with a radical solution: He wants to order the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to bring down the average age at which new investigators receive their first grant by 4 years within a decade. Not surprisingly, the idea is getting a rocky reception from biomedical research advocates.

Google joins BRAIN Initiative to help with petabyte-scale data sets

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has kicked off the BRAIN Initiative by awarding $46 million to 58 projects. And Google has come on board as a commercial partner to develop software and infrastructure to handle the petabyte-scale data sets the projects are expected to generate.

How culture and an R&D line item can affect innovation and growth

Corporate culture is widely viewed as a key factor in innovation. So for its fourth annual innovation survey, Michigan-based accounting firm Plante Moran PLLC asked Midwest executives, managers and employees in small and mid-sized companies how culture affects innovation and growth.

University Of Virginia Receives $4.4 Million To Research STEM Education

The Education School has received funding to conduct research around the country, aimed at helping to improve teaching methods in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. "Due to the pressure on teachers to successfully teach math and science in schools, it is important to make sure its being done in the most efficient way possible," Young said.

NIH announces $46 million in grants for new BRAIN initiative projects

The National Institutes of Health on Tuesday announced grants totalling $46 million to 58 projects. It hopes to spend $4.5 billion over 12 years to fast-track technologies to help scientists study not only individual neurons and localized brain activity, but also “to meet in the middle where brain function emerges,” said Cornelia Bargmann of Rockefeller University.

University receives record amount of research funding

In the 2014 fiscal year, the University of Notre Dame received $113 million in research awards, an increase of $17 million from last year and the highest recorded amount ever in a non-stimulus year.

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