(Lehigh University) Nader Motee, an associate professor of mechanical engineering and mechanics at Lehigh University, has won a 2019 Best SICON Paper Prize, presented by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics Activity Group on Control and Systems Theory. 'Sparsity and Spatial Localization Measures for Spatially Distributed Systems' was recognized as one of the two most outstanding papers published in the SIAM Journal on Control and Optimization (SICON) in the three calendar years preceding the award year.
March 25, 2019
(Cognitive Neuroscience Society) In new work being presented this week about the effects of exercise on the brain at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society (CNS) in San Francisco, researchers are finding that brain changes that occur after a single workout are predictive of what happens with sustained physical training over time.
March 24, 2019
(The Endocrine Society) Simplifying medication regimens and tailoring glycemic targets in older adults with diabetes improves adherence and avoids treatment-related complications, according to a Clinical Practice Guideline issued today by the Endocrine Society. The Society debuted the guideline during a press conference on the opening day of ENDO 2019, its annual meeting in New Orleans, La.
March 23, 2019
(Tokyo Metropolitan University) Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University have shown that a newly engineered catalyst made of gold nanoparticles supported on a metal oxide framework shows breakdown of ammonia impurities in air, with excellent selectivity for conversion to nitrogen gas. Importantly, it is effective at room temperature, making it suitable for everyday air purification systems. The team successfully identified the mechanism behind this behavior, paving the way towards the design of other novel catalytic materials.
March 23, 2019
(Salk Institute) Similar to the dozens of Sherpas that guide hikers up treacherous Himalayan mountains to reach a summit, the nervous system relies on elaborate timing and location of guidance cues for neuronal axons--threadlike projections--to successfully reach their destinations in the body. Now, Salk Institute researchers discover how neurons navigate a tricky cellular environment by listening for directions, while simultaneously filtering out inappropriate instructions to avoid getting lost.
March 22, 2019
The Blue Origin space venture aims to add to the massive facility it’s already built near Cape Canaveral in Florida. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota) Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space venture has filed plans for expanding its Florida rocket manufacturing facility onto a vacant 90-acre plot of land next door, . The newspaper reported today that the plans for a “South Campus” on Space Commerce Way, near NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, are laid out in documents filed with the St. Johns River Water Management District. The land would be used to establish “programs complimentary to those constructed on the adjacent North Campus,” the documents say. Construction on the new site is due to begin in July, with the final building phase to be wrapped up a year from now. The buildings would provide space for manufacturing and provisioning of commercial launch vehicles, Florida Today reported. The site would include a warehouse that could be expanded later. In response to GeekWire’s inquiry, Blue Origin said it had nothing to add to the Florida Today report. Blue Origin has erected a 750,000-square-foot factory on the 126-acre North Campus site for building orbital-class New Glenn rockets. “We’re making parts for the first booster already down there,” Brett Alexander, Blue Origin’s vice president of sales and strategy, said this week at the American Astronautical Society’s in Maryland, The first New Glenn launch from Cape Canaveral’s Launch Complex 36 is . The company builds its suborbital New Shepard rockets, as well as its BE-3 and BE-4 engines, at its headquarters facility in Kent, Wash. BE-4 engine production is expected to , in preparation for New Glenn’s maiden launch. Florida has been attracting an increasing level of interest as a base for commercial rocket production as well as for launches. and recently struck deals for facilities in Florida, and this week SpaceX founder Elon Musk said his company’s next-generation Starship and Super Heavy booster would be . A prototype for Starship, known as the , has been going through ground testing at a SpaceX launch site near Brownsville in South Texas and is expected to begin short-hop test flights . In other Blue Origin news: as saying that the company has looked at ways to repurpose the New Glenn’s second stage in orbit, perhaps as a habitation or storage facility. Alexander said at the Goddard Memorial Symposium that the ideas were explored in a study conducted for NASA on commercialization of space operations in low Earth orbit. He said “we don’t have actual plans at this moment” to follow through on the ideas. Alexander said Bezos has invested “north of $2.5 billion” to develop the New Glenn booster. About a billion dollars of that amount has been spent on the Florida manufacturing and launch facilities, he said, “in addition to what we’re doing with engine development and the manufacturing and design up in Kent.” The West Texas test program for Blue Origin’s suborbital New Shepard spaceship is on track to start carrying people in the “third or fourth quarter of this year,” Alexander said.
March 22, 2019
NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Anne McClain swap batteries during a spacewalk. (NASA Photo) Two rookie spacewalkers took on a battery replacement project on the International Space Station that will continue next week with history’s first all-female spacewalk. During today’s six-hour, 39-minute operation, NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Anne McClain replaced a set of outdated nickel-hydrogen batteries with more powerful lithium-ion batteries for the power channel on one pair of the station’s solar arrays. , including scraping up bits of debris on the station’s exterior and photographing a bag of repair tools and the airlock thermal cover that’s opened and closed for spacewalks. Another set of batteries for a different power channel is due to be replaced a week from today. McClain will be joined by NASA’s Christina Koch, who’ll be making her first-ever spacewalk. Women have been doing spacewalks , but always in the company of men. By coincidence, the two ground controllers charged with overseeing that spacewalk will be women as well. Hague and Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques are due to take on the third spacewalk in the series on April 8. They’ll lay out jumper cables between the Unity module and a spot on the midpoint of the station’s backbone to establish a redundant path for power to the station’s Canadian-built robotic arm. They’ll also install cables to expand wireless communication coverage and hard-wired computer networking capability.
March 22, 2019
Space has always fascinated us geeks. Thanks to Star Wars, Star Trek and countless other science fiction media, gazing at the stars and dreaming of being an astronaut was a big part of childhood for many of us. It seems like NASA discovers something new all the time, like the of unexpected plumes erupting from an asteroid. But you don’t have to be an astronaut or even work for NASA to get into a space career. In fact, the space industry has been growing right here in Seattle. On March 28, Space Entrepreneurs is hosting a panel called , featuring guests from a number of companies in the region, outlining how you building your own future in the final frontier. It’s no news that Facebook played a big part in the political climate in recent years. Inadvertently or not, the effects of that involvement have rippled through the country. This is the subject of “Zucked,” a book by Silicon Valley investor Roger McNamee. McNamee will be discussing his book in a on March 30 with Ross Reynolds of KUOW. Here are more highlights from the GeekWire Calendar: : A panel featuring a number of women executives at WeWork Holyoke in Seattle; 5:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 28. : An event where five companies pitch their ideas to the audience at The Collective in Seattle; 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, March 29. A monthly event where attendees can play around with virtual reality at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle; 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Friday, March 29. : A discussion about the growing number of contractors at big tech companies at the Capitol Hill Library in Seattle; 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 30. : An event featuring panels and discussions regarding pay equity at PayScale in Seattle; 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 2. : An event featuring competitions about Harry Potter at Mox Boarding House in Bellevue; 6:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, April 2. : A two-day conference exploring science and how it’s used in policy and covered by the media at the Tiffany Center in Portland; Thursday and Friday, April 4 and 5. For more upcoming events, check out the , where you can find meetups, conferences, startup events, and geeky gatherings in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Organizing an event? .
March 22, 2019