With no sunlight to set day apart from night on a submarine, the U.S. Navy for decades has staggered sailors' working hours on schedules with little resemblance to life above the ocean's surface.
Research by a Navy laboratory in Groton is now leading to changes for the undersea fleet. Military scientists concluded submarine sailors, who traditionally begin a new workday every 18 hours, show less fatigue on a 24-hour schedule, and the Navy has endorsed the findings for any skippers who want to make the switch.
The first submarine to try the new schedule on a full deployment was the USS Scranton, led by Cmdr. Seth Burton, a cancer survivor. He said the illness he experienced as a junior officer helped convince him of the health benefits of keeping a sleep pattern in line with the body's natural rhythm.
“Corning’s Antimicrobial Gorilla Glass inhibits the growth of algae, mold, mildew, fungi, and bacteria because of its built-in antimicrobial property, which is intrinsic to the glass and effective for the lifetime of a device,” said James R. Steiner, senior vice president and general manager, Corning Specialty Materials. “This innovation combines best-in-class antimicrobial function without compromising Gorilla Glass properties. Our specialty glass provides an excellent substrate for engineering antimicrobial and other functional attributes to help expand the capabilities of our Corning Gorilla Glass and address the needs of new markets.”
Antimicrobial Corning Gorilla Glass is being tested with numerous manufacturers for various applications, and high-volume production capability has been demonstrated. The RoomWizard by Steelcase, a web-based room scheduling system, will feature Antimicrobial Corning Gorilla Glass…
The new computing approach, already in use by some large technology companies, is based on the biological nervous system, specifically on how neurons react to stimuli and connect with other neurons to interpret information. It allows computers to absorb new information while carrying out a task, and adjust what they do based on the changing signals.
In coming years, the approach will make possible a new generation of artificial intelligence systems that will perform some functions that humans do with ease: see, speak, listen, navigate, manipulate and control. That can hold enormous consequences for tasks like facial and speech recognition, navigation and planning, which are still in elementary stages and rely heavily on human programming.
Designers say the computing style can clear the way for robots that can safely walk and drive in the physical world, though a thinking or conscious computer, a staple of science fiction, is still far off on the digital horizon.
“As a solution, they turned to materials that shift from a solid to a liquid—a process known as phase change—at the target temperature. The material—which Maxwell refuses to name but claims is non-toxic and “could be eaten if you wanted to”—has a wax-like consistency at room temperature. After a hot beverage is poured into the mug, however, the material begins absorbing that energy and melting into a liquid. When it reaches the perfect beverage temperature—an inherent quality of the material the team selected—its atoms begin to slow down, resolidify and release energy back into the beverage as heat. A vacuum insulation layer around the outside of the mug prevents heat from escaping or entering.”
Regularly scheduled flights for customers doing research and development would be a major leap beyond what government programs had offered the private sector in the past, says Sean Casey, the managing director of the Silicon Valley Space Center, which advises space startups. “Researchers have been turned off by NASA’s traditional time scale,” he says. “With Xcor, you can spend $1 million to $2 million and do 10 flights each with about six minutes of microgravity and make sure your experiments are working.” Blue Origin (logo on left) business development manager Erika Wagner said during the recent space conference that the company’s goal is spaceflight at a moment’s notice. “We will roll out of the garage,” she said. “This is gas and go.”
As cocktails in top bars become increasingly sophisticated, more work is required to perfect them, and much of that preparation now happens behind the scenes. Rather than infusing fruit into vodka in a big jar sitting on top of the counter, bartenders spend time in a kitchen or laboratory using vacuum machines, tabletop stills, industrial filters, and other equipment. Ice is no longer fast-melting chunks spat out of a machine; it is frozen into specific shapes using specialized gear or hand-carved from crystal-clear blocks by professional ice carvers. A tasty daiquiri may include ingredients that were frozen with liquid nitrogen, distilled, and clarified, all to spare you from getting mint fragments stuck in your straw.
The company is reviled for GMO and aggressive seed “licensing” policies but there is plenty from its R&D labs as Wired describes
“Frescada lettuce, BellaFina peppers, and Beneforté broccoli—cheery brand names trademarked to an all-but-anonymous Monsanto subsidiary called Seminis—are rolling out at supermarkets across the US.
But here’s the twist: The lettuce, peppers, and broccoli—plus a melon and an onion, with a watermelon soon to follow—aren’t genetically modified at all. Monsanto created all these veggies using good old-fashioned crossbreeding, the same technology that farmers have been using to optimize crops for millennia. That doesn’t mean they are low tech, exactly. Stark’s division is drawing on Monsanto’s accumulated scientific know-how to create vegetables that have all the advantages of genetically modified organisms without any of the Frankenfoods ick factor.”
Biotechnology is a broader area of science than just Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). It has developed many techniques that are implemented with useful effects in agriculture. Many of these techniques are described with acronyms like MAB (marker-assisted breeding), CMS (cytoplasmic male sterility), and SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism), to name a few. There are words like phenotyping, rhizosphere, epiphytes, and endophytes.
Will you have to be a molecular geneticist to farm in the future?
Not really, but it may feel that way. The acronyms and words here are gleaned from annual reports from several major agricultural companies.
They underpin the huge investments companies are making to keep improving productivity. Five companies have research and development budgets for their agricultural businesses exceeding $1 billion: Monsanto, Syngenta, DuPont Pioneer, Bayer, and John Deere.