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When Pigs Fly Technology http://whenpigsflytechnology.com The Future is Now Sun, 16 Oct 2016 21:10:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.5.1 America ranks in top 10 in empathy http://whenpigsflytechnology.com/?p=284 http://whenpigsflytechnology.com/?p=284#comments Sun, 16 Oct 2016 21:10:21 +0000 wpftech http://whenpigsflytechnology.com/?p=284 ...Read the Rest]]> Public Release: 14-Oct-2016
America ranks in top 10 in empathy

But is US still an ‘empathetic and generous giant’?

Michigan State University
IMAGE

IMAGE: Michigan State University’s William Chopik led a study examining empathy by country. Countries in dark red have high empathy, while countries in light pink have low empathy. The countries in… view more

Credit: Michigan State University

EAST LANSING, Mich. — A first-of-its-kind study that ranks nations by empathy puts the United States at No. 7, behind countries ranging from Peru to Korea to Saudi Arabia.

While a top 10 finish isn’t bad, Michigan State University’s William Chopik, lead author of the study, notes that the psychological states of Americans have been changing in recent decades – leading to a larger focus on the individual and less on others.

“These changes might ultimately cause us to leave our close relationships behind,” said Chopik, assistant professor of psychology. “People are struggling more than ever to form meaningful close relationships. So, sure, the United States is seventh on the list, but we could see that position rise or fall depending on how our society changes in the next 20-50 years.”

The researchers analyzed the data from an online survey on empathy completed by more than 104,000 people from around the world. The survey measured people’s compassion for others and their tendency to imagine others’ point of view. Countries with small sample sizes were excluded (including most nations in Africa). All told, 63 countries were ranked in the study.

Ecuador was the most empathetic country, followed in order by Saudi Arabia, Peru, Denmark, United Arab Emirates, Korea, the United States, Taiwan, Costa Rica and Kuwait.

Chopik said he was surprised that three countries from the Middle East – Saudi Arabia, UAE and Kuwait – ranked so highly in empathy considering the long history of aggression and wars with other countries in the region. That could be because the study did not distinguish between feeling empathy toward people in other countries vs. people in one’s own country.

The least empathetic country was Lithuania. In fact, seven of the 10 least empathetic countries were in Eastern Europe.

The study, published online today in the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, was co-authored by Ed O’Brien of the University of Chicago and Sara Konrath of Indiana University.

Konrath and O’Brien in 2011 published research suggesting that American college students had become less empathetic over a 20-year span. Potential factors included the explosion of social media; increases in violence and bullying; changing parenting and family practices; and increasing expectations of success.

The latest study is the first to look at empathy on a country-by-country level. And while it “only grabbed a snapshot of what empathy looks like at this very moment,” Chopik noted that cultures are constantly changing.

“This is particularly true of the United States, which has experienced really large changes in things like parenting practices and values,” Chopik said. “People may portray the United States as this empathetic and generous giant, but that might be changing.”

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Opt OUT of Google ADS http://whenpigsflytechnology.com/?p=229 http://whenpigsflytechnology.com/?p=229#comments Tue, 12 Mar 2013 17:58:31 +0000 wpftech http://whenpigsflytechnology.com/?p=229 ...Read the Rest]]>  

The other day I did  a search for a birthday present and the next thing I know every page you go to has an AD for the search I just entered.
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Watch Live stream of Internet Society’s event – Freedom to Connect 2013 http://whenpigsflytechnology.com/?p=224 http://whenpigsflytechnology.com/?p=224#comments Mon, 04 Mar 2013 18:40:16 +0000 wpftech http://whenpigsflytechnology.com/?p=224 ...Read the Rest]]> Internet Society’s event – Freedom to Connect 2013 – scheduled to start at 8:00 am EST on Monday, March 4, 2013 – http://new.livestream.com/internetsociety/f2c

About

F2C: Freedom to Connect brings under-represented people and issues into the Washington, DC based federal policy discussion to promote Internet freedom, to preserve Internet values such as public protocols and universal connectivity, and to promote the use of the Internet for people-oriented purposes.
Links

F2C:Freedom to Connect http://freedom-to-connect.net/

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Free search engine for learning that brings together science and technology for classrooms http://whenpigsflytechnology.com/?p=219 http://whenpigsflytechnology.com/?p=219#comments Tue, 01 Jan 2013 21:58:39 +0000 wpftech http://whenpigsflytechnology.com/?p=219 ...Read the Rest]]> ARLINGTON, Va. — An educational search engine funded by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) has gone mobile just in time for the holidays with the Dec. 16 release of an iPad app.

Gooru (www.goorulearning.org)—a free search engine for learning that brings together science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) educational materials on the web—developed the Gooru Collections iPad app to bring thousands of assorted multimedia resources to teachers and students on the go.

Launched with initial investment from ONR, Gooru provides a one-stop shop for fifth- to 12th-graders and their teachers to discover and share high-quality videos, games, digital textbooks, quizzes and other interactive products related to STEM and eventually other subjects.

“ONR’s STEM efforts are looking for ways to inspire, engage and educate current and future STEM leaders,” said Cmdr. Joseph Cohn, ONR’s deputy director of research for STEM. “This technology promises to have a broad reach and would facilitate millions of students and teachers in developing a deeper understanding of a range of STEM disciplines.”

Last year, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced plans to strengthen the service’s future workforce by doubling the investment in STEM education over the next five years. The secretary shared this vision at a conference sponsored by ONR, which coordinates the Navy’s STEM efforts and offers a collaborative website at STEM2Stern.org.

ONR’s expertise in a variety of STEM initiatives has had a profound influence on Gooru’s development, said Dr. Prasad Ram, founder and CEO of Gooru.

“We view our partnership with ONR as going beyond a funding relationship, to leveraging all of ONR’s experience in the STEM space to help define, develop and continuously innovate on Gooru,” Ram said. “Continued funding from ONR has helped to get us to this point and will allow us to fulfill our mission to bring the highest quality STEM education to every American student.”

Gooru curates, auto-tags and contextualizes millions of STEM related web resources to get the most out of searches. It ranks and suggests items for students and teachers based on usage data, user input, search query logs and social signals.

“The Gooru platform has virtually eliminated many of the obstacles my teachers encounter that prevent significant technological integration to occur [in] today’s classroom,” said Gregory Green, principal of Clintondale High School in Clinton Township, Mich. “Through Gooru, my teachers can immediately have an extensive online digital resource bank without having to spend countless hours researching and organizing sharable classroom content.”

ONR is currently seeking proposals for developing other innovative solutions that will directly support the maintenance of a robust STEM workforce through education at the K-12, undergraduate and graduate levels.
About Gooru Learning

Gooru is a free search engine for learning developed by a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to honor the human right to education. Teachers and students can use Gooru to search for rich collections of multimedia resources, digital textbooks, videos, games and quizzes created by educators in the Gooru community. For more information, visit http://about.goorulearning.org.
About the Office of Naval Research

The Department of the Navy’s Office of Naval Research (ONR) provides the science and technology necessary to maintain the Navy and Marine Corps’ technological advantage. Through its affiliates, ONR is a leader in science and technology with engagement in 50 states, 70 countries, 1,035 institutions of higher learning and 914 industry partners. ONR employs approximately 1,400 people, comprising uniformed, civilian and contract personnel, with additional employees at the Naval Research Lab in Washington, D.C.

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Frontiers, one of the world’s fastest growing open-access publishers http://whenpigsflytechnology.com/?p=217 http://whenpigsflytechnology.com/?p=217#comments Tue, 01 Jan 2013 21:52:02 +0000 wpftech http://whenpigsflytechnology.com/?p=217 ...Read the Rest]]> Frontiers launches new open-access journal: Frontiers in Pediatrics

Frontiers, one of the world’s fastest growing open-access publishers, announced today the launch of its new online journal in Pediatrics: Frontiers in Pediatrics.

Frontiers has profoundly changed the academic publishing model by overcoming the restrictions posed by traditional journals through its rigorous real-time interactive peer-review and social networking platform. Based on its success over the last four years, Frontiers is branching out into 10 new scientific and medical fields, adding to its collection of 12 existing online journals, including Frontiers in Genetics, Frontiers in Psychology and Frontiers in Microbiology. Frontiers in Pediatrics is the first of these new journals to go live, initially with 11 specialty sections covering a range of specialist pediatric topics. More sections will complement this list soon.

Frontiers in Child and Neurodevelopmental Psychiatry (Editor-in-Chief: Vishal Madaan)
Frontiers in Genetic Disorders (Editor-in-Chief: Jumana Al-Aama)
Frontiers in Developmental Psychology (Editor-in-Chief: Natasha Kirkham)
Frontiers in Neonatology (Editor-in-Chief: John Torday)
Frontiers in Neuropediatrics (Editors-in-Chief: Eugene Schnitzler and Christoper Inglese)
Frontiers in Pediatric Anesthesia (Editor-in-Chief: Diana Mathioudakis)
Frontiers in Pediatric Cardiology (Editor-in-Chief: Antonio Corno)
Frontiers in Pediatric Endocrinology (Editor-in-Chief: Stefano Cianfarani)
Frontiers in Pediatric Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Editor-in-Chief: Andrew Day)
Frontiers in Pediatric Oncology (Editor-in-Chief: Crystal Mackall)
Frontiers in Pediatric Otolaryngology (Editor-in-Chief: James Coticchia)
Frontiers in Pediatric Surgery (Editor-in-Chief: Paul Losty)

“It is very exciting to see the Frontiers model been readily taken up by new academic fields. Frontiers not only aims at solving open-access publishing, but also the problems in peer-review, and the needs of scientists to network and collaborate with their peers as well as track their research impact, monitor the literature globally, and so much more,” says Kamila Markram, CEO of Frontiers and researcher at EPFL.

Antonio Corno, King Fahad Medical City, Saudi Arabia, Field Chief Editor of Frotniers in Pediatrics made the following comment: “Frontiers in Pediatrics will connect scientists and researchers on the front line, allowing the exchange of their findings without limits or boundaries, and their discoveries will be available to the public in an open platform for mutual exchanges. This will attract the curiosity of the most visionary geniuses and the most candid researchers to provide unexpected insights and openings into the field.”

Frontiers in Pediatrics will publish high-quality and rigorously peer-reviewed papers, where authors retain copyright to their work and reach an international audience through its open-access model and unique evaluation system.

The Specialties of Frontiers in Pediatrics welcome the following article types: Book Review, Classification, Clinical Case Study, Clinical Trial, CPC, Editorial, General Commentary, Hypothesis & Theory, Methods, Mini Review, Opinion, Original Research, Perspective, Review, Specialty Grand Challenge and Technology Report.
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About Frontiers

Frontiers is more than just an open-access, Gold publisher of scholarly articles: it is a pioneering approach to the world of academic publishing. The Frontiers journals, part of a grassroots initiative by scientists for scientists started in 2007 at EPFL, publish peer-reviewed scientific research articles freely accessible to anybody in the world. The editorial boards of its 13 journals are composed by over 25,000 world-renowned scientists, and it has become one of the fastest growing open-access publishers world-wide, with over 4 million monthly page views, and partnerships with international organizations such as the Max Planck Society and the International Union of Immunological Societies (IUIS).

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More Independence for people with paraplegia using Advanced exoskeleton http://whenpigsflytechnology.com/?p=207 http://whenpigsflytechnology.com/?p=207#comments Wed, 31 Oct 2012 13:45:20 +0000 wpftech http://whenpigsflytechnology.com/?p=207 ...Read the Rest]]> Advanced exoskeleton promises more independence for people with paraplegia

by | Posted on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012 — 8:30 AM

The dream of regaining the ability to stand up and walk has come closer to reality for people paralyzed below the waist who thought they would never take another step.

A team of engineers at Vanderbilt University’s Center for Intelligent Mechatronics has developed a powered exoskeleton that enables people with severe spinal cord injuries to stand, walk, sit and climb stairs. Its light weight, compact size and modular design promise to provide users with an unprecedented degree of independence.

The university has several patents pending on the design and Parker Hannifin Corporation – a global leader in motion and control technologies – has signed an exclusive licensing agreement to develop a commercial version of the device, which it plans on introducing in 2014.

Parker-Hannifin design concept for the commercial version of the exoskeleton.

Parker-Hannifin design concept for the commercial version of the exoskeleton. (Courtesy of Parker-Hannifin)

According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, somewhere between 236,000 to 327,000 people in the U.S. are living with serious spinal cord injuries. About 155,000 have paraplegia. The average age at injury is 41 and the estimated lifetime cost when it happens to a person of 50 ranges from $1.1 million to $2.5 million.

Until recently “wearable robots” were the stuff of science fiction. In the last 10 years, however, advances in robotics, microelectronics, battery and electric motor technologies advanced to the point where it has become practical to develop exoskeletons to aid people with disabilities. In fact, two companies – Argo Medical Technologies Ltd. in Israel and Ekso Bionics in Berkeley, Calif. – have developed products of this type and are marketing them in the U.S.

These devices act like an external skeleton. They strap in tightly around the torso. Rigid supports are strapped to the legs and extend from the hip to the knee and from the knee to the foot. The hip and knee joints are driven by computer-controlled electric motors powered by advanced batteries. Patients use the powered apparatus with walkers or forearm crutches to maintain their balance.

“You can think of our exoskeleton as a Segway with legs,” said Michael Goldfarb, the H. Fort Flowers Chair in Mechanical Engineering and professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation. “If the person wearing it leans forward, he moves forward. If he leans back and holds that position for a few seconds, he sits down. When he is sitting down, if he leans forward and holds that position for a few seconds, then he stands up.”

Goldfarb developed the system with funding from the National Institutes of Health and with the assistance of research engineer Don Truex, graduate students Hugo Quintero, Spencer Murray and Kevin Ha, and Ryan Farris, a former student who now works for Parker Hannifin.

“My kids have started calling me ‘Ironman,’” said Brian Shaffer, who was completely paralyzed from the waist down in an automobile accident on Christmas night 2010. He has been testing the Vanderbilt apparatus at the Nashville-area satellite facility of the Shepherd Center. Based in Atlanta, Shepherd Center is one the leading hospitals for spinal cord and brain injury rehabilitation in the U.S. and has provided the Vanderbilt engineers with the clinical feedback they need to develop the device.

Brian Shaffer

Brian Shaffer testing the Vanderbilt exoskeleton at Shepherd Center’s satellite facility in Franklin, Tenn. (Joe Howell/Vanderbilt)

“It’s unbelievable to stand up again. It takes concentration to use it at first but, once you catch on, it’s not that hard: The device does all the work. I don’t expect that it will completely replace the wheelchair, but there are some situations, like walking your daughter down the aisle at her wedding or sitting in the bleachers watching your son play football, where it will be priceless,” said Shaffer, who has two sons and two daughters.

“This is an extremely exciting new technology,” said Clare Hartigan, a physical therapist at Shepherd Center who has worked with the Argo, Ekso and Vanderbilt devices. “All three models get people up and walking, which is fantastic.”

According to Hartigan, just getting people out of their wheelchairs and getting their bodies upright regularly can pay major health dividends. People who must rely on a wheelchair to move around can develop serious problems with their urinary, respiratory, cardiovascular and digestive systems, as well as getting osteoporosis, pressure sores, blood clots and other afflictions associated with lack of mobility. The risk for developing these conditions can be reduced considerably by regularly standing, moving and exercising their lower limbs.

The Vanderbilt design has some unique characteristics that have led Hartigan and her colleagues at Shepherd Center to conclude that it has the most promise as a rehabilitative and home device.

None of the exoskeletons have been approved yet for home use. But the Vanderbilt design has some intrinsic advantages. It has a modular design and is lighter and slimmer than the competition. As a result, it can provide its users with an unprecedented degree of independence. Users will be able to transport the compact device on the back of their wheelchair. When they reach a location where they want to walk, they will be able to put on the exoskeleton by themselves without getting out of the wheelchair. When they are done walking, they can sit back down in the same chair and take the device off or keep it on and propel the wheelchair to their next destination.

The Vanderbilt exoskeleton weighs about 27 pounds, nearly half the weight of the other models that weigh around 45 pounds. The other models are also bulkier so most users wearing them cannot fit into a standard-sized wheelchair.

From a rehabilitation perspective the Vanderbilt design also has two potential advantages, Hartigan pointed out:

  • The amount of robotic assistance adjusts automatically for users who have some muscle control in their legs. This allows them to use their own muscles while walking. When a user is totally paralyzed, the device does all the work. The other designs provide all the power all of the time.
  • It is the only wearable robot that incorporates a proven rehabilitation technology called functional electrical stimulation. FES applies small electrical pulses to paralyzed muscles, causing them to contract and relax. FES can improve strength in the legs of people with incomplete paraplegia. For complete paraplegics, FES can improve circulation, change bone density and reduce muscle atrophy.

There is also the matter of cost. The price tags of other rehabilitation model exoskeletons have been reported to be as high as $140,000 apiece, plus a hefty annual service fee. Parker Hannifin hasn’t set a price for the Vanderbilt exoskeleton, but Goldfarb is hopeful that its minimalist design combined with Parker Hannifin’s manufacturing capability will translate into a more affordable product. “It would be wonderful if we could get the price down to a level where individuals could afford them and insurance companies would cover them,” he said.

Meanwhile, Hartigan has advice for potential users: “These new devices for walking are here and they are getting better and better. However, a person has to be physically fit to use them. They have to keep their weight below 220 pounds, develop adequate upper body strength to use a walker or forearm crutches and maintain flexibility in their shoulder, hip, knee and ankle joints … which is not that easy when a person has relied on a wheelchair for months or even years.”

.

The research was funded by a grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development numbered R01HD059832.

Read Parker Hannifin’s announcement of the licensing agreement.

Contact:
David Salisbury, (615) 322-NEWS
david.salisbury@vanderbilt.edu

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Titan Supercomputer 20,000 trillion calculations each second—or 20 petaflops http://whenpigsflytechnology.com/?p=193 http://whenpigsflytechnology.com/?p=193#comments Tue, 30 Oct 2012 17:10:36 +0000 wpftech http://whenpigsflytechnology.com/?p=193 ...Read the Rest]]> Media Contact: Ron Walli
Communications and Media Relations
865.576.0226

 

ORNL Debuts Titan Supercomputer

 

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is home to Titan, the world’s most powerful supercomputer for open science with a theoretical peak performance exceeding 20 petaflops (quadrillion calculations per second). That kind of computational capability—almost unimaginable—is on par with each of the world’s 7 billion people being able to carry out 3 million calculations per second.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory is home to Titan, the world’s most powerful supercomputer for open science with a theoretical peak performance exceeding 20 petaflops (quadrillion calculations per second). That kind of computational capability—almost unimaginable—is on par with each of the world’s 7 billion people being able to carry out 3 million calculations per second.

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Oct. 29, 2012 — The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory launched a new era of scientific supercomputing today with Titan, a system capable of churning through more than 20,000 trillion calculations each second—or 20 petaflops—by employing a family of processors called graphic processing units first created for computer gaming. Titan will be 10 times more powerful than ORNL’s last world-leading system, Jaguar, while overcoming power and space limitations inherent in the previous generation of high-performance computers.

Titan, which is supported by the Department of Energy, will provide unprecedented computing power for research in energy, climate change, efficient engines, materials and other disciplines and pave the way for a wide range of achievements in science and technology.

The Cray XK7 system contains 18,688 nodes, with each holding a 16-core AMD Opteron 6274 processor and an NVIDIA Tesla K20 graphics processing unit (GPU) accelerator. Titan also has more than 700 terabytes of memory. The combination of central processing units, the traditional foundation of high-performance computers, and more recent GPUs will allow Titan to occupy the same space as its Jaguar predecessor while using only marginally more electricity.

“One challenge in supercomputers today is power consumption,” said Jeff Nichols, associate laboratory director for computing and computational sciences. “Combining GPUs and CPUs in a single system requires less power than CPUs alone and is a responsible move toward lowering our carbon footprint. Titan will provide unprecedented computing power for research in energy, climate change, materials and other disciplines to enable scientific leadership.”

Because they handle hundreds of calculations simultaneously, GPUs can go through many more than CPUs in a given time. By relying on its 299,008 CPU cores to guide simulations and allowing its new NVIDIA GPUs to do the heavy lifting, Titan will enable researchers to run scientific calculations with greater speed and accuracy.

“Titan will allow scientists to simulate physical systems more realistically and in far greater detail,” said James Hack, director of ORNL’s National Center for Computational Sciences. “The improvements in simulation fidelity will accelerate progress in a wide range of research areas such as alternative energy and energy efficiency, the identification and development of novel and useful materials and the opportunity for more advanced climate projections.”

Titan will be open to select projects while ORNL and Cray work through the process for final system acceptance. The lion’s share of access to Titan in the coming year will come from the Department of Energy’s Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment program, better known as INCITE.

Researchers have been preparing for Titan and its hybrid architecture for the past two years, with many ready to make the most of the system on day one. Among the flagship scientific applications on Titan:

Materials Science The magnetic properties of materials hold the key to major advances in technology. The application WL-LSMS provides a nanoscale analysis of important materials such as steels, iron-nickel alloys and advanced permanent magnets that will help drive future electric motors and generators. Titan will allow researchers to improve the calculations of a material’s magnetic states as they vary by temperature.

“The order-of-magnitude increase in computational power available with Titan will allow us to investigate even more realistic models with better accuracy,” noted ORNL researcher and WL-LSMS developer Markus Eisenbach.

Combustion The S3D application models the underlying turbulent combustion of fuels in an internal combustion engine. This line of research is critical to the American energy economy, given that three-quarters of the fossil fuel used in the United States goes to powering cars and trucks, which produce one-quarter of the country’s greenhouse gases.

Titan will allow researchers to model large-molecule hydrocarbon fuels such as the gasoline surrogate isooctane; commercially important oxygenated alcohols such as ethanol and butanol; and biofuel surrogates that blend methyl butanoate, methyl decanoate and n-heptane.

“In particular, these simulations will enable us to understand the complexities associated with strong coupling between fuel chemistry and turbulence at low preignition temperatures,” noted team member Jacqueline Chen of Sandia National Laboratories. “These complexities pose challenges, but also opportunities, as the strong sensitivities to both the fuel chemistry and to the fluid flows provide multiple control options which may lead to the design of a high-efficiency, low-emission, optimally combined engine-fuel system.”

Nuclear Energy Nuclear researchers use the Denovo application to, among other things, model the behavior of neutrons in a nuclear power reactor. America’s aging nuclear power plants provide about a fifth of the country’s electricity, and Denovo will help them extend their operating lives while ensuring safety. Titan will allow Denovo to simulate a fuel rod through one round of use in a reactor core in 13 hours; this job took 60 hours on the Jaguar system.

Climate Change The Community Atmosphere Model-Spectral Element simulates long-term global climate. Improved atmospheric modeling under Titan will help researchers better understand future air quality as well as the effect of particles suspended in the air.

Using a grid of 14-kilometer cells, the new system will be able to simulate from one to five years per day of computing time, up from the three months or so that Jaguar was able to churn through in a day.

“As scientists are asked to answer not only whether the climate is changing but where and how, the workload for global climate models must grow dramatically,” noted CAM-SE team member Kate Evans of ORNL. “Titan will help us address the complexity that will be required in such models.”

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy. The Department of Energy is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit http://science.energy.gov/.

 

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Scientists decode ‘software’ instructions of aggressive leukemia cells http://whenpigsflytechnology.com/?p=175 http://whenpigsflytechnology.com/?p=175#comments Mon, 29 Oct 2012 15:55:50 +0000 wpftech http://whenpigsflytechnology.com/?p=175 ...Read the Rest]]> Public release date: 29-Oct-2012

Contact: Lauren Woods
law2014@med.cornell.edu
212-821-0560
New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center/Weill Cornell Medical College

Scientists decode ‘software’ instructions of aggressive leukemia cells

Researchers locate molecules that drive the development of 3 forms of deadly white blood cell cancers, pointing researchers to new potential therapeutic targets

NEW YORK (Oct. 28, 2012) — A team of national and international researchers, led by Weill Cornell Medical College scientists, have decoded the key “software” instructions that drive three of the most virulent forms of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). They discovered ALL’s “software” is encoded with epigenetic marks, chemical modifications of DNA and surrounding proteins, allowing the research team to identify new potential biomarkers and therapeutic targets.

The research, published in Cancer Discovery, is the first study to show how these three different forms of white blood cell cancer are epigenetically programmed by several different molecules controlling cascading biological networks that manipulate normal gene function, directing cancer development and growth.

“Epigenetic programming is the software that is written on to human DNA, which can be viewed as its hard drive. This programming contains the instructions that determine how cells including leukemia cells function and cause disease,” says the study’s lead investigator, Dr. Ari Melnick, associate professor of medicine and director of the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Center for Biomedical and Physical Sciences at Weill Cornell Medical College.

“Finding the instructions that ultimately lead to cancer development, and to the especially bad outcome seen in patients with these different forms of ALL, is especially urgent. Epigenetic instructions are contained in many chemical layers. Our study is the first to integrate the decoding of many layers simultaneously, which has enabled us to unlock some of the mysteries explaining the malignant and aggressive behavior of these leukemias,” says Dr. Melnick, who is also a hematologist-oncologist at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

Abnormal Epigenetic Programming Leads to Poor Outcomes

The research team examined abnormalities in the “software” epigenetic programming that leads to the three forms of adult B-acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL), the most common form of ALL. These forms are BCR-ABL1-positive B-ALL, E2A-PBX1-positive B-ALL, and MLLr-B-ALL. These three B-ALL subtypes feature mutations of different master regulatory genes which force bone marrow cells to produce cancer-promoting proteins. Long-term survival is less than 40 percent among these patients.

“Similar to normal tissue, we believe that tumors may be dependent on specific patterns of epigenetic programming — especially in B-ALL, where studies suggests epigenomic programming is globally disrupted,” Dr. Melnick says. “Our goal was to identify epigenetically modified genes and the molecular machines that cause them to become abnormally programmed.”

To that end, the research team performed DNA methylation and gene expression profiling on 215 adult B-ALL patients enrolled in the ECOG E2993 clinical trial, a multi-center and multi-national study, testing different forms of treatment in patients with ALL.

Researchers identified core epigenetic gene signatures that were associated with abnormal fusion proteins. In the case of BCR-ABL1-positive B-ALL, they found that the most deregulated gene network centered around an extraordinarily epigenetically deregulated gene they identified as interleukin-2 receptor alpha, which encodes a protein called CD25.

“Among patients who had BCR-ABL1-positive B-ALL, it was those with aberrant epigenetic programming of CD25 that had significantly worse outcome,” says Dr. Melnick. “It’s the patients that have this programming glitch that do really poorly.” Although the researchers don’t yet know what CD25 does, and why it is important, they say CD25 will be a useful biomarker to test for patients that are at highest risk for poorer outcome.

Dr. Melnick stresses that therapeutic antibodies to the CD25 protein already exist that can, theoretically, destroy leukemic cells expressing this protein. The research team showed that using the CD25 antibody successfully killed BCR-ABL1-positive B-ALL in laboratory experiments. “One could potentially conceive of a human clinical trial where those antibodies are used to attack these cancerous cells,” he says.

Researchers also discovered what is writing the bad software in the other two B-ALL subtypes. In both cases, the abnormal cancer proteins E2A-PBX1 and MLLr turn out to be directly involved in altering the epigenetic programming of leukemic cells. Remarkably, MLLr epigenetically turns on a powerful cancer protein called BCL6. In the study, drugs developed by Dr. Melnick that block BCL6 activity potently killed and suppressed the ALL cells in patients enrolled in this clinical trial, which warrants the testing of BCL6 inhibitors in this aggressive form of ALL.

“This study links the direct actions of oncogenic fusion proteins with disruption of epigenetic regulation that leads to abnormal production of cancer-driving genes,” Dr. Melnick says. “It potentially provides us with a biomarker for cancer outcomes as well as potential treatments in these aggressive forms of leukemia.”

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This research study was supported by the Chemotherapy Foundation, Burroughs Wellcome Foundation and the Sackler Center for Biomedical and Physical Sciences at the Weill Cornell Medical College.

Study co-authors include Dr. Sarah Brennan, Yushan Li, Dr. Chuanxin Huang, Yuan Xin, Dr. Monica L. Guzman and Dr. Olivier Elemento from Weill Cornell; Dr. Huimin Geng, formerly of Weill Cornell and now at University of California, San Francisco; Dr. Janis Racevskis and Dr. Elisabeth Paietta from Albert Einstein College of Medicine; Dr. Thomas A. Milne, Dr. Wei-Yi Chen, Dr. Debabrata Biswa, Dr. C. David Allis and Dr. Robert G. Roeder from Rockefeller University; Christian Hurtz, Dr. Soo-Mi Kweon, Dr. Seyedmehdi Shojaee and Dr. Markus Müschen from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles; Lynette Zickl and Dr. Donna Neuberg from the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston; Dr. Rhett P. Ketterling and Dr. Mark R. Litzow from the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota; Dr. Selina M. Luger from the University of Pennsylvania; Dr. Martin S. Tallman from the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; Dr. Jacob M. Rowe from the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, Israel; and Dr. Hillard Lazarus from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

Weill Cornell Medical College

Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University’s medical school located in New York City, is committed to excellence in research, teaching, patient care and the advancement of the art and science of medicine, locally, nationally and globally. Physicians and scientists of Weill Cornell Medical College are engaged in cutting-edge research from bench to bedside, aimed at unlocking mysteries of the human body in health and sickness and toward developing new treatments and prevention strategies. In its commitment to global health and education, Weill Cornell has a strong presence in places such as Qatar, Tanzania, Haiti, Brazil, Austria and Turkey. Through the historic Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, the Medical College is the first in the U.S. to offer its M.D. degree overseas. Weill Cornell is the birthplace of many medical advances — including the development of the Pap test for cervical cancer, the synthesis of penicillin, the first successful embryo-biopsy pregnancy and birth in the U.S., the first clinical trial of gene therapy for Parkinson’s disease, and most recently, the world’s first successful use of deep brain stimulation to treat a minimally conscious brain-injured patient. Weill Cornell Medical College is affiliated with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, where its faculty provides comprehensive patient care at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. The Medical College is also affiliated with the Methodist Hospital in Houston. For more information, visit weill.cornell.edu.

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What authors want from open access publishing http://whenpigsflytechnology.com/?p=185 http://whenpigsflytechnology.com/?p=185#comments Fri, 26 Oct 2012 17:27:21 +0000 wpftech http://whenpigsflytechnology.com/?p=185 ...Read the Rest]]> Public release date: 26-Oct-2012

Contact: Jennifer Beal
sciencenewsroom@wiley.com
44-012-437-70633
Wiley

What authors want from open access publishing

Hoboken, N.J., October 26, 2012. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., today announced the results of an author survey on open access, with over ten thousand respondents from across Wiley’s journal portfolio. The research explored the factors that authors assess when deciding where to publish, and whether to publish open access. Among the top factors considered by authors were the relevance and scope of the journal, the journal’s impact factor and the international reach of the journal.

Over 30% of respondents had published at least one open access paper, and 79% stated that open access was more prevalent in their discipline than three years ago. In the survey, an open access article was defined as “free for all to read, download and share online and the author, their institution or funding body pays a fee to ensure that the article is made open access.”

Among authors yet to publish open access, the list of reasons given included a lack of high profile open access journals (48%), lack of funding (44%) and concerns about quality (34%). Authors said they would publish in an open access journal if it had a high impact factor, if it were well regarded and if it had a rigorous peer review process.

“Our goal was to better understand the opinions and behavior of our authors towards open access publishing. It’s clear from the survey results that authors are increasingly embracing this publishing model, and we have seen evidence of that too in the growth of our Wiley Open Access publishing program,” said Rachel Burley, Vice President and Director, Open Access, Wiley. “The survey results also highlight the need for open access journals to continue to build a strong foundation of rigorous peer review, wide international reach and a sharp focus on quality to respond to the needs that authors expressed in this research.”

The survey, conducted in May 2012, was sent to 104,000 authors who published research in Wiley journals in health, life, physical, and social sciences, and the humanities, during 2011. The total number of authors who participated in the survey was 10,673, representing a 10.3% response rate.

The responding authors represented a range of international opinions on open access. While 30% of authors were located in the United States and 10% were based in the UK, other represented nations included Germany (4%), China (4%), and India (3%).

One in three authors (32%) had already published in an open access journal. The highest proportion of open access authors came from a medical background (28%), closely followed by biological sciences (24%), and 71% were based in an academic setting. In contrast, authors who had not published open access papers predominantly came from social science disciplines.

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The survey results are available online via slideshare at http://www.slideshare.net/WileyScienceNewsroom/wiley-14895586.

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Noble Gas Plasma Engine to Revealed at Power-Gen Conference, Orlando Florida, Dec 11, 2012 http://whenpigsflytechnology.com/?p=159 http://whenpigsflytechnology.com/?p=159#comments Fri, 26 Oct 2012 02:58:33 +0000 wpftech http://whenpigsflytechnology.com/?p=159 ...Read the Rest]]> Noble Gas Plasma Engine to Revealed at Power-Gen Conference, Orlando Florida, Dec 11, 2012
October 23, 2012

The Noble gas Engine will be revealed to the World on Dec. 11, 2012 at the Power-Gen conference in Orlando Florida. Inteligentry, TPT, and Plasmerg will have 6 booths in the conference along with companies manufacturing the engine or selling products using the Noble gas engine.

On display will be an engine running a generator/alternator. Since the engine neither consumes fuel or expells waste, it can be run inside. It has no intake or exhaust. The engine on display will be a two cylinder noble gas plasma engine and possibly a prototype four cylinder engine. The six cylinder will come out some where around July or August 2013.

Researchers think it will run for at least 1 1/2 years 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, on one noble gas fill, maybe even longer. One prototype of an earlier version of the engine has now run 1 1/2 years in Michigan. Others are in testing in locations around the world according to John Rohner.

When it hits the world will feel the ground shake, This will have a huge impact on oil companies and internal combustion engine and part manufacturers. The noble gas engine has no carburetor, valves, intake/ exhaust manifold, gas tanks.

This will make solar, and wind obsolete (they are much more expensive). The biggest impact will be in transportation (cars, trucks, ships/boats, trains and planes). Its impact won’t stop there. Nuclear generation will feel it too. Then of course the Environmental benefits are absolutely NO carbon monoxide or carbond dioxide (CO2). Global warming due to carbon dioxide emissions will be a non-issue. Upon adoption, CO2 levels will start to drop.

 

You can join my Facebook group, Noble Gas Engine fan group.

http://www.facebook.com/groups/ngasengine/

John Rohner is a member and comments once or twice a week.

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