Science & technology

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.

Flexible 'Tentacle Robots' Could Aid Planetary Exploration

Researchers are developing new types of robotic systems inspired by elephant trunks, octopus arms and giraffe tongues. These flexible, maneuverable "tentacle robots" could have a variety of space applications, from inspecting hard-to-reach gear on the International Space Station to exploring crevices on Mars, scientists say.

Venture Capitalists Return to Backing Science Start-Ups

Over all, industrial and energy start-ups attracted $1.24 billion in venture capital financing in the first half of 2014, more than twice as much as in the period a year earlier, according to statistics from the National Venture Capital Association. Still, investment remains well below peaks reached in 2008, when industrial and energy start-ups attracted $4.64 billion.

US federal CIO? 'Someone from Google or Facebook will be eaten alive'

The advantage of a Silicon Valley star is the possibility of fresh ideas and best practices. In addition, he or she may be willing withstand pressure from the "IT cartels," as former US CIO Vivek Kundra described incumbent technology vendors and service providers that wield excessive influence over procurement. However, since only two years remain in Obama’s term, an outsider federal CIO will find it almost impossible to make a meaningful impact.

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.

US Navy commissions new amphibious assault vessel USS America

Powered by a hybrid electric propulsion system, the navy's first in a new class of aviation centric amphibious warships will replace the last Tarawa-class amphibious vessel, USS Peleliu (LHA-5), which is scheduled to be decommissioned next year.

Nye: U.S. Risks Standing as Global Innovation Leader Unless it Improves Science Education

Nye is a passionate spokesman for science education in the U.S., and he often warns his audiences that the country faces the threat of losing its reputation as the leading global innovator unless it starts putting greater emphasis on teaching young people science and math.

Why the U.S. and Europe Have Little to Fear From the Rise of Chinese Science

Even as the volume of China’s scientific output has exploded and its major cities have risen to the top ranks, the quality and impact of Chinese science and its major science hubs lag far beyond those of the U.S. and Europe. Chinese science is inordinately dominated by a small group of cities, especially Beijing.

Cult of Elon Musk? Billionaire's Image Shines With Steve Jobs' Aura

He's been compared to Thomas Edison, to Henry Ford, to Steve Jobs — even to Tony Stark, the high-flying industrialist in Marvel's "Iron Man" comic books and movies. But it's hard to imagine any of those characters saying with a straight face that they're planning to retire on Mars. Elon Musk has. Repeatedly.

COSI and PGAV Destinations Partner to Support Creation of New Science Centers

“Today more than ever, science education is one of the keys that unlock the doors of opportunity and understanding so that people can make healthy and sustainable personal and societal choices. Science centers and museums serve as portals to science, technology, history, culture and other disciplines that awaken a thirst for learning and create a common language around the globe.”

New Science Policy Resources From AGU

The American Geophysical Union proudly announces two new resources aimed at increasing member and public engagement with policymakers on pressing science policy issues.

The first is a brand new grassroots advocacy portal, the AGU Action Center. The website provides the tools necessary to take action through email, phone calls, and social media, as well as member and candidate look-up functions. Also within the site, the “Share Your Story” feature provides a great opportunity for scientists and the public to share stories and experiences of how science impacts and is impacted by policymakers.

The other grassroots tool is AGU’s Top Science Policy Issues in Congress. This interactive website allows members and the public to learn about the most pressing science policy issues facing their state, handing them the knowledge they need to effectively discuss issues surrounding drought, extreme weather, energy, water resources, space science, and many more.

Washington needs tech policy reboot

Ultimately, government must do a better job of listening and understanding the tech industry.  Right now, government is stuck in an analog mindset, while innovators have moved the rest of the country into the digital age. -- Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.)

More cars getting stop-start despite driver resistance

Gas-saving stop-start systems, which turn off the engine when the vehicle isn't moving and restart it when the brake pedal is released, will be standard on more cars and trucks than ever before — whether drivers like it or not.

NASA Prepares its Science Fleet for Oct. 19 Mars Comet Encounter

NASA’s extensive fleet of science assets, particularly those orbiting and roving Mars, have front row seats to image and study a once-in-a-lifetime comet flyby on Sunday, Oct. 19.

PCAST Pushes to Commercialize Nanotech

In a report out today on the National Nanotechnology Initiative, the President's Council of Advisers on Science and Technology urges the government to "transition its activities toward facilitating commercialization by directing the formulation of specific nanotechnology Grand Challenges."

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