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Science Progressing: The Meaning of NIH Cuts, Elderly and the Internet, Australian Wave Energy

Science Progressing is your weekly guide to the science and technology policy news you should not have missed. Did we leave anything out? Tweet or facebook us and let us know.

Two truths and one science lie

Try to guess which of the following technology breakthroughs is false! (Answers at the bottom of the page)

1. Paper-Thin LEDs
Researchers have found a way to grow LEDs such that they can be deposited flat on a piece of paper.  The applications are awesome!

2. The Exacomputer Has Arrived
IBM’s sequoia has been replaced by a joint venture between Intel and Siemens that enters the next level of prefixes to describe its processing power.

3. Translating Sign Language
A glove that converts sign language into normal speech.

NIH Institutions Urge Congress to Maintain Funding
A number of research institutions, including universities and medical centers, have sent a letter to Congress urging maintenance of NIH funding and restoration of the salary cap to Executive Level. Senator Moran spoke on the Senate floor to support medical research.

Cuts in NIH Funding Hit Children and Cancer Research
7.8 percent cut in budget would mean 100,000 children would lose Head Start services and approximately 80,000 fewer children would receive child care assistance. 300 fewer grants would be issued by the National Cancer Institute.

Australia Invests in Wave Turbine
As part of its $126 million renewables program, the Australian government is investing $10 million to create the world’s largest wave turbine.

Should Chimpanzees Be Used in Medical Research?
Rep. Bartlett (R-MD) disapproves of using chimpanzees in research and has introduced the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act (GAPCSA).  The authors of this article point out inaccuracies in his case for discontinuing research using chimps and point out the benefits to human health of continuing.

More than half of people greater than 65 online
For the first time, greater than 50 percent of the elderly are using the internet and email.

App War to Map EV Stations
Critical to the EV car’s success is the erection of electric recharging stations.  A number of app developers have released apps that map the location of the EV charging stations.

Colorado Institute to Train Alternative Energy Entrepreneurs
The Colorado Cleantech Industry Association and Department of Energy have partnered to form the Cleantech Fellows Institute. For 17 weeks, executives making transitions into the alternative energy sector will analyze the industry.

Eco-Friendly Plant Pots
Iowa State University researchers are making bioplastic containers that will replace petroleum-based plastic containers.  It is estimated the containers will save $706 million.

FDA Safety and Innovation Act Expedites Rare Disease Treatments
The National Organization for Rare Diseases’s involvement has helped guarantee the 30 million Americans suffering from rare diseases faster access to treatments through streamlining the system and bulking up staff at the Rare Disease Program.

Making Computer Smaller and Faster Using Nanoelectronics
Ferroelectric particles have intrinsic dipoles that allow data storage. Because they are so small, they have the potential to offer a method of storing data at unprecedented scales. The problem that remains is figuring out how to squeeze them together.

Solar Windows
A Dutch masters student in applied physics, Jan Willem Wiegman, used solar concentrators to divert certain frequencies of sunlight into cells lining windows to generate energy.  A grey-tinted window has an efficiency of 9 percent. The technology could be incorporated into building designs to increase energy efficiency.

Monsanto Returns $7.5 Billion in Fees
The Brazilian Supreme Court ruled biotechnology giant Monsanto must return fees to Brazilian farmers penalized for mixing a Monsanto seed with another

Two Truths and a Lie Answers: The first is true!  Numerous applications exist, all stemming from the increased flexibility of placement of lighting.  For instance, you could place LEDs in your walls! The second is false. The Sequoia still reigns supreme, clocking in at 16.32 petaflops.  The third is also true. This invention, crafted by several Ukranian students, won the Microsoft Imagine Cup.

This week’s news compiled and summarized by Sam Finegold.

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