Ants on Stilts for Science
Posted on June 30, 2006 Comments (4)
When Ants Go Marching, They Count Their Steps by Bjorn Carey
The ant “pedometer” technique was first proposed in 1904, but it remained untested until now.
Scientists trained desert ants, Cataglyphis fortis, to walk along a straight path from their nest entrance to a feeder 30 feet away. If the nest or feeder was moved, the ants would break from their straight path after reaching the anticipated spot and search for their goal.
Reforming Engineering Education by NAE
Posted on June 30, 2006 Comments (0)
Reforming Engineering Education – National Academy of Engineering (NAE). The Summer 2006 issue of the The Bridge includes the following articles:
- The “Value-Added” Approach to Engineering Education: An Industry Perspective by Theodore C. Kennedy
Birds Fly Early
Posted on June 29, 2006 Comments (4)
Spring Is Early, and So Are the Birds, NPR webcast
This is short real life example of the scientific method. Spring is coming earlier to Europe, thanks to global warming. Scientists figured migrating birds in southern Europe would be able to adjust to the change and leave early (because the early warming would also be obvious where they wintered). But the scientists expected that birds from Africa would not be able to tell that they should leave early.
However, they studied what actual took place and found that the migrating birds from Africa were actually arriving early while those in southern Europe were not. So now they are revising their theories and will do more study to try and determine what is happening and why (for example, how are the birds in Africa deciding to leave early?).
Tour the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Lab
Posted on June 29, 2006 Comments (2)
More robotics webcasts from Channel 9.
Swimming Robot Aids Researchers
Posted on June 28, 2006 Comments (0)
Large-Scale, Cheap Solar Electricity
Posted on June 25, 2006 Comments (6)
Large-Scale, Cheap Solar Electricity by Kevin Bullis
According to Nanosolar’s CEO Martin Roscheisen, the company will be able to produce solar cells much less expensively than is done with existing photovoltaics because its new method allows for the mass-production of the devices. In fact, maintains Roscheisen, the company’s technology will eventually make solar power cost-competitive with electricity on the power grid.
Nanosolar also announced this week more than $100 million in funding from various sources, including venture firms and government grants. The company was founded in 2001 and first received seed money in 2003 from Google’s founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
Information on the nanotechnology involved from the Nanosolar site.
Posted on June 25, 2006 Comments (1)
GUS is widely credited for enabling many breakthroughs in plant biotech, including the development of one of Monsanto’s first and most profitable agricultural products, Roundup Ready soybeans. Mr. Jefferson first provided GUS and all the know-how to use it for free to hundreds of labs around the world.
When he secured his patents, he charged only what people could afford: Monsanto, he says, paid a substantial amount; academics and companies in the developing world, including those who wanted to use his work for commercial purposes, received it free of charge.
Another Article on Engineering Shortage?
Posted on June 25, 2006 Comments (0)
Doyle attributed the shortage to a number of forces. An expanding economy has created more jobs, he said. “The demand is high. The need is greater.” Baby boomers are retiring. Fewer engineering graduates seem to be entering the work force, especially in the architecture and engineering industry. Foreign-born engineers educated in the U.S. are now likely to return home to countries such as India and China where economies are growing exponentially.
… Read more
Bacterial Evolution in Yogurt
Posted on June 24, 2006 Comments Off
Adapting to Life in Yogurt by Carl Zimmer:
Science, Engineering and Technology Graduates Paid Well
Posted on June 23, 2006 Comments (2)
Forfás report says starting salaries for science engineering and technology graduates are amongst the highest of all Irish graduates.
Across a range of qualifications from primary degree to PhD level the report shows that graduates in disciplines with a strong science and technology content tend to be better paid than graduates in other disciplines.
This is another example of countries targeting science and engineering education to improve future economic progress and the high pay of engineering graduates. Previous related posts:
- Engineering Graduates Get Top Salary Offers (USA)
- Basic Science Research Funding
- Top degree for S&P 500 CEOs? Engineering
- Shortage of Engineers?
- China’s Economic Science Experiment
Britain’s Royal Society Experiments with Open Access
Posted on June 23, 2006 Comments (4)
Good news, the Royal Society tries open access by Stephen Pincock:
It seems to me most grants for scientific research should require open publication. I can imagine exceptions, but it seems to me that the expectation should be for open publication, in this day and age, and only allow non-open publication with a good reason.
For public funded research this open access expectation seems obvious. For private foundations in most cases I would think open access publication makes sense also. What business model is used to allow open access is not important, in my opinion. The important factor is open access, how that is accomplished is something that can be experimented with.