Nanotechnology Enabled Products Among Finalists for Discovery Channel 2010 Edison Best New Product Awards

America’s biggest advertiser, Procter & Gamble (P&G) leads the list of finalists in the 2010 Edison Best New Product Awards presented by Discovery Channel with five nods according to an announcement made today, the 163rd birthday of renowned American inventor Thomas Alva Edison, by the Edison Awards Steering Committee at New York’s legendary Friars Club. The announcement was webcast by Discovery Channel, a premier non-fiction cable TV network and a sponsor of The Edison Best New Product Awards. Video of the announcement is available at

Motorola placed second with three of its products among the 55 Edison Award finalists, and General Electric was third with two. Notable finalists include OnStar Stolen Vehicle Slowdown Technology, which enables a stolen automobile to be stopped in its tracks electronically, General Electric’s Volusion E-Series Ultrasound System, which allows three dimensional viewing of babies in the womb, and the Honeywell Wind Turbine from Windtronics. The Wind Turbine is a compact wind-powered electric generator designed for residential use. It could generate enough electricity to make power companies write checks to consumers who use it. Competing electronic reading devices from both Amazon (Kindle II Digital Reader) and Barnes & Noble (Nook Digital Reader) made the list of Edison Award finalists.

In addition to the Edison Best New Product Awards, the Edison Steering Committee also announced four finalists for the Edison Green Award, which honors companies for environmentally friendly innovation, and two lifetime achievement awards. The latter go to former P&G CEO A.G. Lafley, who used the Open Innovation strategy to drive his company’s new product success rate fivefold from the national average (10%) to a whopping 50%; and Dr. Susan Hockfield, the noted neuroscientist now 16th president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

The list of finalists was read by Edison Awards Steering Committee chair Sarah Miller Caldicott, great grandniece of Thomas Edison and co-author of the book, “Innovate Like Edison,” and Ben Bailey, host of Discovery Channel’s “Cash Cab” program. The list is available online at

The Edison Awards, a peer-review honor similar to the Oscars, are voted on by roughly 2,000 members of the not-for-profit Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG), America’s top executives and academics. The awards symbolize the persistence and excellence personified by Thomas Alva Edison, inspiring America’s drive to remain in the forefront of innovation, creativity and ingenuity in the global economy. Thomas Edison created four industries without which modern life cannot function. They are Electric Power Generation, Recorded Sound, Motion Pictures, and Electric Light Bulbs — all things we take for granted today. Edison also made crucial contributions to a host of other industries including the Storage Battery, Telecommunications, Cement, Chemicals, and Mining. Edison Awards are judged on Marketplace Innovation, Marketplace Success, Technological Innovation, Market Structure Innovation, Societal Impact, and Design Innovation.

“Innovation is more important now than ever,” said Caldicott. “The finalists we announced today are the moving parts in the engine of economic growth. They inspire people to think outside the box and improve the lives of people around the world.

“My great, great uncle, Thomas Edison, mastered five different forms of innovation. Most often, we think of technological innovation as the only form of innovation, but actually there are many others. Edison knew this, and drew upon them all.”

The 2010 Edison Awards are sponsored by TV’s Discovery Channel, Google, The Nielsen Company (a leader in market research and intelligence best known for TV’s “Nielsen ratings”), and Strategyn, a global leader in innovation management. The Edison Awards are associated with The Thomas Edison Papers at Rutgers University, the State University of New Jersey.

A complete list of Edison Best New Product Award finalists by category and Edison Green Award finalists follows.

2010 Edison Best New Product Awards and “Green” Award Finalists


3M MOBILE PROJECTION TECHNOLOGY, from 3M — An ultra-miniaturized projection camera that can fit on the finger tip.

iRaC3 PORTABLE VIDEO MONITORING SYSTEM from Lextech Labs — A portable security monitoring system which can be run from an iPhone.

LIVESCRIBE PULSE SMARTPEN, from LiveScribe Inc. — Robust data and audio recording platform housed in a pen.

ONSTAR STOLEN VEHICLE SLOWDOWN TECHNOLOGY, from OnStar — Automotive technology that reduces deaths and damage associated with high speed police chases.

MOTOBLUR™ SOFTWARE from Motorola — Software which connects cell phones to social media networks with one touch.

Electronics and Computers

CARMD HANDHELD CAR TESTER AND SOFTWARE KIT, from CarMD — The first handheld test unit designed for average drivers to assess the health of their car.

DROID CELL PHONE, from Motorola — Smart phone positioned to rival iPhone as industry standard.

LITTMANN® ELECTRONIC STETHOSCOPE MODEL 3200, from 3M and Zargis — Electronic stethoscope which amplifies, displays, and transmits data for a wide array of body sounds, particularly those associated with the heart.

ZEO PERSONAL SLEEP COACH, from Zeo Inc. — The first sleep diagnostics system which can be used at home.

Science and Medical

S SERIES BEHIND-THE-EAR HEARING DEVICE FEATURING SWEEP™ TECHNOLOGY, from Starkey Laboratories — Touch-activated volume controls on hearing device transforms life for the hearing-challenged.

COMPAS™ PROSTHESIS ALIGNMENT SYSTEM, from OrthoCare Innovations — Real-time computerized feedback system for lower limb prosthetic wearers.

VOLUSON® E-SERIES ULTRASOUND SYSTEM, from GE Healthcare — Advanced imaging technology used in the prevention and diagnosis of women’s health issues.

HARMONIC BLADE FOR ENDOSCOPIC SURGERY, from Ethicon Endosurgery — Soft tissue surgical device designed to dramatically reduce bleeding.

Science and Medical – Game Changers

MICROJET TRANSDERMAL DRUG DELIVERY PATCH, from Corium International — Transdermal patch delivers a diverse array of drugs painlessly, for days at a time.

MICROCHIPS’ ILLUME™ CONTINUOUS GLUCOSE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM, from MicroCHIPS — Next-generation diabetes management system using internal chip devices.

NANOMAXX HANDHELD ULTRASOUND SYSTEM, from Sonosite Inc. — The NanoMaxx hand-carried ultrasound system is a high resolution imaging platform intended for point-of-care visualization across a variety of medical applications — in other words, it brings the ultrasound to the patient.

Consumer Packaged Goods – Personal Care Segment

COVERGIRL® & OLAY® SIMPLY AGELESS FOUNDATION, from Procter & Gamble — High performance foundation delivers anti-aging benefits and appeals to cross-over shoppers.

FULL THICKENING CREAM FOR HAIR, from Living Proof — Long-lasting hair cream which increases hair volume using new scientific principles.

ALWAYS® INFINITY FEMININE PROTECTION PADS, from Procter & Gamble — Feminine protection combining breakthrough comfort and protection in a flexible, non-cellulose pad.

Consumer Packaged Goods – Household Segment

PUREX 3-IN-1 LAUNDRY SHEETS, by Henkel — One-step, easy-to use laundry sheets simplify consumers’ laundry experience.

FEBREZE FLAMELESS LUMINARY IN-HOME SCENT DELIVERY SYSTEM, from Procter & Gamble — Breakthrough form delivery for in-home specialty scents.

BOUNCE DRYER BAR, from Procter & Gamble — In-dryer fabric softener creates a new consumer market using a product form borrowed from hotels.

SCRUBBING BUBBLES® TOILET CLEANING GEL, from S.C. Johnson — Gel disc applied with a simple tube applicator keeps toilets clean and fresh for a week.

Consumer Packaged Goods – Food Segment

BETTY CROCKER GLUTEN-FREE MIXES, from General Mills — First line of mass marketed gluten-free mixes offers high taste appeal and reasonable prices.

HEALTHY CHOICE FRESH MIXERS™, from Con Agra — Freshly prepared single serve meal creations that are nutritionally balanced, tasty, and can be microwaved.

DANACTIVE, YOGURT-BASED PROBIOTIC DRINK, from Dannon — Disease fighting bacteria delivered in a delicious yogurt-based drink can transform your immune system.

Consumer Packaged Goods – Consumer Drug Segment

ALIGN® PROBIOTIC FOOD SUPPLEMENT, from Procter & Gamble — A daily probiotic food supplement that helps build and maintain a healthy, balanced digestive system.

LATISSE –The first prescription medication allowing consumers to re-grow eyelashes, safely.

ZYRTEC® ALLERGY TREATMENT, from McNeil Consumer Healthcare — Anti-allergy treatment

maintains leadership position after shift from prescription to over-the counter status.

Media & Visual Communications

iFOOD ASSISTANT, powered by Kraft — An iPhone app which can be conveniently used to plan a variety of quick, healthful meals every day.

SOJERN TRAVEL ADVERTISING, by Sojern — Targeted advertising on boarding passes leverages online check-in trends.

KINDLE II DIGITAL READER, from — Handheld digital e-reader offers computer functionality.

NOOK DIGITAL READER, from Barnes & Noble — Android-based digital e-reader offers reading comfort with customizable color screen.

Industrial Design

SOLE POWER ROOF TILE, from SRS Energy — High-performance, curved solar roof tiles can be installed by traditional contractors versus special technicians.

MOTOROLA APX™ 7000 FIRST RESPONDER RADIO, from Motorola — Ergonomics and dual-panel design of this first responder radio increases safety and speed.

PILAR® KITCHEN FAUCET WITH TOUCH 20, from Delta — Touch-activated faucets save water, energy, and reduce the spread of harmful germs.

Lifestyle and Social Impact

THE EDISON NATION OPEN INNOVATION NETWORK, from Edison Nation — Robust online search network which can be accessed to advance “open innovation” at a reasonable cost.

NON-PROFIT SOFTWARE SUITE, from CCA For Social Good — Easily accessible suite of software products expressly designed for nonprofits.

THE VIRTUAL WALLET, from PNC Financial Services Group — Suite of personal banking services targeted to Gen Y consumers available solely online and via mobile platforms.

GE HYBRID WATER HEATER, from GE Consumer & Industrial Appliances — Energy-saving hybrid water heater compatible with new Smart Grid technologies to be manufactured in the U.S.

Living, Working & Learning Environments

WORKSPRING, by Steelcase — Offsite meeting space that maximizes productivity and encourages collaborative work styles.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING, from The Phoenix Commotion — Building affordable housing from cast-off materials and training unskilled people in the process.

AFFORDABLE GREEN HOUSING, from Builders Of Hope — Renovating homes slated for demolition to create a body of affordable, “green” homes.


TATA NANO AUTOMOBILE, from Tata Motors — Revolutionary new car with a sticker price under $3,000.

THE BRAMMO ENERTIA MOTORCYCLE, from Brammo, Inc. — High performance electric motorcycle can be recharged by plugging into the wall outlet.

Energy & Sustainability – Sustainability

PRIMA BOTTLED WATER PACKAGING, from Primo Water — Plant-based plastic water bottle biodegrades in only 30 days.

NATURA ZERO-VOC PAINT, from Benjamin Moore — Natura emits zero volatile organic compounds, yet is available in 3300 shades.

100% POST-CONSUMER RECYCLED PLASTIC CLAMSHELL PACKAGING, from Earthbound Farm — New plastic packaging compound made from all post-consumer recycled plastic creates new market.

Energy & Sustainability – Energy

OPOWER SOFTWARE AND MARKETING PROGRAM FOR UTILITIES, from OPower — Software and marketing suite for utilities designed to change consumer energy usage behaviors.

HONEYWELL WIND TURBINE, from Windtronics — Revolutionary wind turbine design operates effectively in winds less than 5 mph.

QUANTUM LIGHT™ OPTICS, from QD Vision — Advanced nanotechnology and quantum dot materials decrease energy usage in consumer lighting products.

Edison Green Award Finalists

REBUILDING THE CITY OF GREENSBURG, Greensburg, Kansas — Small town destroyed by tornado totally rebuilds using 100% green practices.

KOHL’S DEPARTMENT STORES — Leading U.S. retailer becomes largest host of solar electricity in the world.

STONYFIELD FARM, New Hampshire — Leading yogurt producer shifts cow’s feed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

FIRST CARBON-NEUTRAL WINERY, by Parducci Cellars, California — Winery implements comprehensive water and soil reclamation practices to become carbon neutral.

TERRACYCLE RECYCLED PRODUCTS AND WEARABLE FASHIONS from TerraCycle — TerraCycle “upcycles” common consumer packaged goods items like Capri Sun Drink Pouches into cool fashion handbags, backpacks, totes, pencil cases, and more.

SOURCE Discovery Channel


The Universe, Crisp and Clear With New Binocular Telescope, Surpasses Hubble in Sharpness of Image

The next generation of adaptive optics has arrived at the Large Binocular Telescope in Arizona, providing astronomers with a new level of image sharpness surpassing that of the Hubble Space Telescope.
Developed in a collaboration between Italy’s Arcetri Observatory of the Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, or INAF, and the University of Arizona’s Steward Observatory, this technology represents a remarkable step forward for astronomy.
“This is an incredibly exciting time as this new adaptive optics system allows us to achieve our potential as the world’s most powerful optical telescope,” said Richard Green, director of the LBT.

The movable secondary mirror during its installation in the Arcetri lab. The image shows the 672 tiny magnets spread on the back of the mirror. The reflecting face of the mirror is facedown. The upper instrument contains the electro-mechanical devices that control the magnets.  
 LBT Adaptive Optics Mirror
Image credit: University of Arizona
“The successful results show that the next generation of astronomy has arrived, while providing a glimpse of the awesome potential the LBT will be capable of for years to come.”
Until relatively recently, ground-based telescopes had to live with wavefront distortion caused by the Earth’s atmosphere that significantly blurred the images of distant objects (this is why stars appear to twinkle to the human eye). While there have been advancements in adaptive optics technology to correct atmospheric blurring, the LBT’s innovative system takes this concept to a new level.
This success was achieved through the combination of several innovative technologies. The first is the secondary mirror, which was designed from the start to be a main component of the LBT rather than an additional element as on other telescopes. The concave secondary mirror is .91 meters in diameter (3 feet) and only 1.6 millimeters thick.
A central region of the globular cluster M92 at 1.6μm as observed with the Hubble Space Telescope (left) and the LBT in adaptive mode (right). It is clear that the resolution and depth achieved with LBT surpass even those of the Hubble image.
 Hubble vs LBT
Image credit: University of Arizona
The mirror is so thin and pliable that it can easily be manipulated by actuators pushing on 672 tiny magnets glued to the back of the mirror, which offers far greater flexibility and accuracy than previous systems on other telescopes. An innovative “pyramid” sensor detects atmospheric distortions and manipulates the mirror in real time to cancel out the blurring, allowing the telescope to literally see as clear as if there were no atmosphere.
Incredibly, the mirror is capable of making adjustments every one thousandth of a second, with accuracy to better than 10 nanometers (a nanometer is one millionth the size of a millimeter).
In closed-dome tests beginning May 12 and sky tests every night since May 25, astronomer Simone Esposito and his INAF team tested the new device, achieving exceptional results.
The LBT’s adaptive optics system, called the First Light Adaptive Optics system, or FLAO, immediately outperformed all other comparable systems, delivering an image quality greater than three times sharper than the Hubble Space Telescope using just one of the LBT’s two 8.4 meter mirrors. When the adaptive optics are in place for both mirrors and their light is combined appropriately, it is expected that the LBT will achieve image sharpness 10 times that of the Hubble.

A double star as observed with the LBT in standard mode (left), and with the adaptive correction activated (right). Because of the atmospheric blurring, the fainter companion of the star cannot be identified in the images taken in standard mode, while it is easily visible when the adaptive module is activated. A third faint star becomes also visible in the upper right part of the frame, thanks to the increased efficiency of the telescope in adaptive mode.

 Image credit: University of Arizona

This success was achieved through the combination of several innovative technologies. The first is the secondary mirror, which was designed from the start to be a main component of the LBT rather than an additional element as on other telescopes. The concave secondary mirror is .91 meters in diameter (3 feet) and only 1.6 millimeters thick.
Setting a New Standard for Optical Astronomy
The index of the perfection of image quality is known as the Strehl Ratio, with a ratio of 100 percent equivalent to an absolutely perfect image. Without adaptive optics, the ratio for ground-based telescopes is less than 1 percent. The adaptive optics systems on other major telescopes today improve image quality up to about 30 percent to 50 percent in the near-infrared wavelengths where the testing was conducted.
In the initial testing phase, the LBT’s adaptive optics system has been able to achieve unprecedented Strehl Ratio of 60 to 80 percent, a nearly two-thirds improvement in image sharpness over other existing systems.
The results exceeded all expectations and were so precise the testing team had difficulty believing its findings. However, testing has continued since the system was first put on the sky on May 25, and the LBT’s adaptive optics have functioned flawlessly and achieved peak Strehl Ratios of 82 to 84 percent.
“The results on the first night were so extraordinary that we thought it might be a fluke, but every night since the adaptive optics have continued to exceed all expectations. These results were achieved using only one of LBT’s mirrors. Imagine the potential when we have adaptive optics on both of LBT’s giant eyes,” Esposito said.
More images from the adaptive optics system are available at the LBT Observatory website
A Decade of Effort Delivers Technological Triumph
Development of the LBT’s adaptive optics system took longer than a decade through an international collaboration. INAF, in particular the Arcetri Observatory, conceived the instrument design and developed the electro-mechanical system, while the University of Arizona Mirror Lab created the optical elements, and the Italian companies Microgate and ADS International engineered several components.
A prototype system was previously installed on the Multiple Mirror Telescope, or MMT, at Mt. Hopkins, Ariz. The MMT system uses roughly half the number of actuators as the LBT’s final version, but it demonstrated the viability of the design. The LBT’s infrared test camera, which produced the accompanying images, was a joint development of INAF in Bologna and the MPIA in Heidelberg. 
“This has been a tremendous success for INAF and all of the partners in the LBT,” said Piero Salinari, research director at the Arcetri Observatory, INAF. “After more than a decade and with so much care and effort having gone into this project, it is really rewarding to see it succeed so astoundingly.”
More on LBT
The $120 million LBT on Mount Graham utilizes two giant 8.4 meter mirrors and with the new adaptive optics the telescope will have the resolution of a 22.8-meter, or approximately 75-foot telescope. The new adaptive optics will enable versatile instruments such as the near-infrared camera spectrometer, which allows astronomers to penetrate interstellar dust clouds and reveal the secrets of the youngest and most distant galaxies, to achieve their full potential on the LBT.
The LBT is an international collaboration among institutions in the U.S., Italy and Germany. The
LBT Corporation partners are:
  • The University of Arizona on behalf of the Arizona university system
  • Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, Italy
  • LBT Beteiligungsgesellschaft, Germany, representing the Max Planck Society, the Astrophysical Institute Potsdam, and Heidelberg University
  • The Ohio State University
  • The Research Corporation, on behalf of The University of Notre Dame, University of Minnesota and University of Virginia

Secretary Chu Announces Nearly $1 Billion Public-Private Investment in Industrial Carbon Capture and Storage

 U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu on June 10th  announced that three projects have been selected to receive up to $612 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – matched by $368 million in private funding – to demonstrate large-scale carbon capture and storage from industrial sources. 
The projects – located in Texas, Illinois, and Louisiana – were initially selected in October 2009 for phase one research and development grants.  Following successful completion of their Phase 1 activities, these three projects were identified as the most promising industrial CCS projects through a competitive process and will now enter into Phase 2 with additional funding to begin design, construction, and operation.
Today’s project selections are aimed at testing large-scale industrial carbon capture and storage, an important step in moving CCS technology toward eventual commercial deployment.  The Obama Administration has made a goal of developing cost-effective deployment of CCS within 10 years, with an objective of bringing 5 to 10 commercial demonstration projects online by 2016.
“Capturing carbon emissions and storing them underground is a crucial technology as we build a clean energy future and address the threat of climate change,” said Secretary Chu.  “These investments will create jobs and help ensure that America can lead the world in the clean energy economy.”
Projects announced today include large-scale industrial carbon capture and storage projects that capture carbon dioxide emissions from industrial sources – – and store the carbon dioxide in either a deep saline formation or via enhanced oil recovery. The selections announced today are expected to capture and store 6.5 million tons of CO2 per year- the equivalent of removing nearly one million cars off the road- and increase domestic production of oil by more than 10 million barrels per year by the end of the demonstration period in September 2015.

Phase 2 of these projects includes $612 million in Recovery Act funding and $368 million in private sector cost-sharing for a total investment of $980 million. The projects will be managed by the Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory.

Potential additional applications for funding of large-scale industrial carbon capture and storage projects are pending further review.

Phase II Large-scale Industrial Carbon Capture and Storage Selections:
  • Leucadia Energy, LLC (Lake Charles, LA)-Leucadia and Denbury Onshore LLC will capture and sequester 4.5 million tons of CO2 per year from a new methanol plant in Lake Charles, LA. The CO2 will be delivered via a 12-mile connector pipeline to an existing Denbury interstate CO2 pipeline and sequestered via use for enhanced oil recovery in the West Hastings oilfield, starting in April 2014. The project team includes Leucadia Energy, Denbury, General Electric, Haldor Topsoe, Black & Veatch, Turner Industries, and the University of Texas Bureau of Economic Geology.  (DOE share: $260 million
  • Air Products & Chemicals, Inc. (Port Arthur, TX)-Air Products will partner with Denbury Onshore LLC to capture and sequester one million tons of CO2 per year from existing steam-methane reformers in Port Arthur, Texas, starting in November 2012. The CO2 will be delivered via a 12-mile connector pipeline to an existing Denbury interstate CO2 pipeline and sequestered via use for enhanced oil recovery in the West Hastings oilfield. The project team includes Air Products & Chemicals, Denbury Onshore LLC, the University of Texas Bureau of Economic Geology, and Valero Energy Corporation.  (DOE share: $253 million)
  • Archer Daniels Midland Corporation (Decatur, Ill.)-The project will capture and sequester one million tons of CO2 per year from an existing ethanol plant in Illinois, starting in August 2012. The CO2 will be sequestered in the Mt. Simon Sandstone, a well-characterized saline reservoir located about one mile from the plant. The project team includes Archer Daniels Midland, Schlumberger Carbon Services, and the Illinois State Geological Survey. (DOE share: $99 million)

Broadband Connections to Reach 498 Million by 2012, IBM Predicts Future of Telco Industry for Next 5 Years

The telecommunications industry has experienced more change in the last decade than in its entire history, according to a new study by IBM.. In 1999, only 15 percent of the world’s population had access to a telephone; by 2009, nearly 70 percent had mobile phone subscriptions. This decade has also brought steep declines in public switched telephone network (PSTN) voice revenues, an explosion of over-the-top (OTT) communication services, phenomenal growth in mobile communications, global industry consolidation and even ground-breaking telco decisions to outsource their networks.

Fueled by recent rapid adoption in developing countries, mobile communications have propped up the industry’s top line. But now with these markets saturating, communications revenue growth as a whole is beginning to stall, and content and connectivity revenues have not risen quickly enough to compensate. Although increases in mobile Internet usage offers a glimmer of hope, the telecom industry faces some serious questions: Where will future growth come from? How will the industry evolve?
IBM research suggests that several trends are clear, each with a high probability of a specific outcome. However, IBM has also identified 12 key unknowns that will have a major impact on the future of the industry. These variables generally fall into two main categories: potential areas of growth and the prevailing competitive structure of the industry. Mapping the extremes of the possible outcomes related to these uncertainties reveals different scenarios for what the industry might look like five years from now.

Survivor Consolidation: Reduced consumer spending leads to revenue stagnation or decline. Developed market operators have not significantly changed their voice communications/closed connectivity service portfolio and failed to expand horizontally or into new verticals. Investors’ loss of confidence in the telecommunications sector produces a cash crisis and elicits industry consolidation.
Market Shakeout: Under prolonged economic downturn, investors force carriers to disaggregate assets into separate businesses with different return profiles, and retail brands emerge to aggregate and package services from disaggregated units. The market is further fragmented by government, municipality and alternative provider (e.g., local housing associations or utility) initiatives that extend ultra-fast broadband to gray areas, while private infrastructure investments are limited to densely populated areas. Operators look for growth through horizontal expansion and premium connectivity services sold to application and content providers as well as businesses and consumers.
Clash of Giants: Carriers consolidate, cooperate and create alliances to compete with OTT providers and device/network manufacturers that are extending their communications footprints. Mega carriers expand their markets through selective verticals (e.g., smart grids and e-health) for which they provide packaged end-to-end connectivity solutions. Telcos develop a portfolio of premium network services and better integrated digital content capabilities to deliver new experiences.
Generative Bazaar: Barriers between OTT and network providers blur as regulation, technology and competition drive open access. Infrastructure providers integrate horizontally to form a limited number of network co-operatives that provide pervasive affordable and unrestricted open connectivity to any person, device or object, including a rapidly expanding class of innovative asset-light service providers.

It started with a phone anchored to your car or your briefcase: “walking-around” communications that freed you from searching for a pay phone in order to talk outdoors. 
Now personal communication technology has morphed into movies on your phone, an office wherever you go, social networks and streaming media as constant companions.

Industries and municipalities are also coming up with new ways to improve lives using broadband. Simply put, healthcare, education, utilities and other vital services will never be the same, thanks to creative thinking and high-speed data transfer.
On a smarter planet, almost anything can become digitally aware, instrumented and interconnected. We have the connections, processors, analytics and capabilities powerful enough for trillions of devices to talk to each other and improve the way the world works.

The infrastructure’s need to grow up and the telcos’ need to keep up come at great struggle when you consider that worldwide consumer broadband connections are predicted to increase 7.9% from 367.6 million in 2008 to 498.8 million in 2012.
Realizing the potential of smarter communication technology will require the infusion of new capabilities and models into our systems to make it easier for devices to transmit and interpret data, provide more secure connections, and protect identities. And new ways for traditional telcos to stay strong and relevant—for example, through moving into adjacent markets (telemediacy) such as healthcare and transportation, and maintaining the backbone for two-way smart utility meters, to name two.
Global consumer Internet traffic forecast

Thermodynamics Depends on Particle Size: Nanoparticles Provide More Power

Scientists who work at the atomic and molecular levels – nanoscale – have to think big. After all, it is at this level where everything happens.

Alexandra Navrotsky, Distinguished Professor at the University of California, Davis, and Director of its Nanomaterials in the Environment, Agriculture, and Technology Organized Research Unit, has studied the properties of nanoparticles throughout her career. She presented her findings today in Knoxville, Tenn., at the Goldschmidt Conference, hosted by the University of Tennessee at Knoxville , and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

“Nanoparticles are everywhere. You eat them, drink them, breathe them, pay to have them, and pay even more to get rid of them,” Navrotsky said. Nanomaterials science deals with particles that are about one billionth of a meter long.

During the conference, Navrotsky spoke on recent discoveries she and Ph.D. student Chengcheng Ma made on the thermodynamic properties of transition metal oxides such as insulators and superconductors.

Navrotsky’s research group found that the thermodynamic driving force — the energy needed for oxidized reactions — depends strongly on particle size. The ease with which these materials change their oxidation state is important in all kinds of applications, for example, the catalytic splitting of water for the production of hydrogen and oxygen, the metabolism of microorganisms and the evolution of mineral deposits.

Since chemical and biological reactions occur on the surface of a particle, these activities are enhanced at the nanoparticle scale. An understanding of the way nanoparticles react under certain temperatures and other conditions can be applied to many areas of science, including communication technology; agricultural technology; environmental remediation; interactions in the oceans, atmosphere, and biosphere; and biotechnology for medicine and health.

For example, the thermodynamics at the nanoscale in a battery affects its voltage output, so understanding this principle can help scientists make a more efficient battery.

Iran Nanotechnology Initiative Council Supports Nanotechnology Patents to Build National Nano Industry

Iran Nanotechnology Initiative Council (INIC) (Tehran, Iran) supports nanotechnology-related patents to be granted by credited patenting organizations like PCT, EPO, USPTO, etc. with the aim of developing patenting culture and commercializing researchers’ achievements nationally.

In this respect, more than 60 requests have been sent to intellectual property section of INIC from which 17 cases were given to patent lawyers by INIC until February 2010.

Eight of the mentioned requests have been filed in USPTO from which four cases are being published.

The measures regarding to intellectual property have been initiated since 2005. During this period, the approach of INIC was to strengthen current intellectual property institutions as well as making some efforts in the field of nanotechnology intellectual property, including supports to the establishment or activation of intellectual property offices in nine research and university centers and helping private companies involved in specialized intellectual property services to be found in the country.

It is noteworthy that INIC pays 80% of patenting costs in credited companies abroad up to $12000

Waste From LCD Displays May Soon Help Combat Hospital Infections Say York Scientists

The fastest growing waste in the EU could soon be helping to combat hospital infections, according to scientists at the University of York.

Researchers at the University’s Department of Chemistry have discovered a way of transforming the chemical compound polyvinyl-alcohol (PVA), which is a key element of television sets with liquid crystal display (LCD) technology, into an anti-microbial substance that destroys infections such as Escherichia coli and some strains of Staphylococcus aureus.

LCD screen photo: garrett-k

Image credit: University of York

The York research team had earlier found a method of recovering PVA from television screens and transforming it into a substance which, due to its compatibility with the human body, could be suitable for use in tissue scaffolds that help parts of the body regenerate. It could also be used in pills and dressings that are designed to deliver drugs to particular parts of the body.

The latest developments from the York Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence and the York Liquid Crystal Group will be showcased by Dr Andrew Hunt at the 14th Annual Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference in Washington DC.

Dr Hunt, of the York Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence, said: “The influence of LCDs on modern society is dramatic – it is estimated that 2.5 billion LCDs are approaching the end of their life, and they are the fastest growing waste in the European Union.

“But we can add significant value this waste. By heating then cooling the PVA and then dehydrating it with ethanol we can produce a high surface area mesoporous material that has great potential for use in biomedicine.

“Now we have gone a step further by enhancing its anti-microbial properties through the addition of silver nanoparticles, with the result being that it can destroy bacterial infections such as E.coli. Potentially, it could be used in hospital cleaning products to help to reduce infections.”

Dr Hunt will present his research on Wednesday 23 June.

The project’s next steps will be to test the PVA-based substance against commercial compounds to determine relative effectiveness, and to secure approval from regulatory agencies regarding the suitability of silver nanoparticles for human health applications.
The research is a development from a long term project, funded by the UK governments Technology Strategy Board, examining the problems posed by LCD waste in which the University of York is a partner.

Inventor of the Wheel Revealed As Well As Relation to Human Locomotion

Humans did not invent the wheel. Nature did.
While the evolution from the Neolithic solid stone wheel with a single hole for an axle to the sleek wheels of today’s racing bikes can be seen as the result of human ingenuity, it also represents how animals, including humans, have come to move more efficiently and quicker over millions of years on Earth, according to a Duke University engineer.

This is a fanciful rendering of Leonardo da Vinci’s Vetruvian Man as a wheel.

Credit: Adrian Bejan

Adrian Bejan, professor of mechanical engineering at Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering, argues that just as the design of wheels became lighter with fewer spokes over time, and better at distributing the stresses of hitting the ground, animals have evolved as well to move better on Earth. In essence, over millions of years, animals such as humans developed the fewest “spokes,” or legs, as the most efficient method for carrying an increasing body weight and height more easily.

“This prediction of how wheels should emerge in time is confirmed by the evolution of wheel technology,” Bejan said. “For example, during the development of the carriage, solid disks were slowly replaced by wheels with tens of spokes.”

The advantage of spokes is that they distribute stresses uniformly while being lighter and stronger than a solid wheel. “In contrast with the spoke, the solid wheel of antiquity was stressed unevenly, with a high concentration of stresses near the contact with the ground, and zero stresses on the upper side,” Bejan said. “The wheel was large and heavy, and most of its volume did not support the load that the vehicle posed on the axle.

“If you view animal movement as a ‘rolling’ body, two legs, swinging back and forth, perform the same function of an entire wheel-rim assembly,” Bejan said. “They also do it most efficiently – like one wheel with two spokes with the stresses flowing unobstructed and uniformly through each spoke. The animal body is both wheel and vehicle for horizontal movement.”

Bejan’s analysis was published early online in the American Journal of Physics. His research is supported by the National Science Foundation and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

“An animal leg is shaped like a column because it facilitates the flow of stresses between two points – like the foot and hip joint, or paw and shoulder,” Bejan said. “In the example of the Neolithic stone wheel, the flow of stresses is between the ground and the whole wheel.”

Bejan believes that the constructal theory of design in nature (, which he started describing in 1996, predicts these changes in the wheel and animal movement. The theory states that for a design (an animal, a river basin) to persist in time, it must evolve to move more freely through its environment.

Since animal locomotion is basically a falling-forward process, Bejan argues that an increase in height predicts an increase in speed. For a centipede, each leg represents a point of contact with ground, which limits the upward movement of the animal. As animals have fewer contacts with ground, they can rise up higher with each stride.

“The constructal theory shows us this forward-falling movement is dictated by the natural wheel phenomenon, which is required for the minimal amount of effort expended for a certain distance traveled,” Bejan said.

An earlier analysis by Bejan showed that larger human swimmers are faster because the wave they create while swimming is larger and thus carries them forward faster.

While wheel-like movement evolved naturally, it also describes what Bejan likes to call “nature’s gear box.” Humans have two basic speeds, Bejan said – walking and running. A running human gets taller, or higher off the ground, with each stride, which increases his speed.

A horse has three speeds – walk, trot and gallop.

“The horse increases its speed by increasing the height from which it falls during each cycle,” Bejan said. “Then, from the trot to the gallop, the body movement changes abruptly such that the height of jump increases stepwise for each stride. Nature developed not only wheel-like movement but also mechanisms for changing speeds.”

Mammals Chewing Dinosaur Rib Leave Behind Oldest Known Tooth Marks (Photo)

Paleontologists have discovered the oldest mammalian tooth marks yet on the bones of ancient animals, including several large dinosaurs. They report their findings in a paper published online June 16 in the journal Paleontology.
A close-up of the tooth marks gouged in the rib bone of a large dinosaur by a mammal that lived 75 million years ago.
 Photo: Nicholas Longrich/Yale University
Nicholas Longrich of Yale University and Michael J. Ryan of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History came across several of the bones while studying the collections of the University of Alberta Laboratory for Vertebrate Palaeontology and the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology. They also found additional bones displaying tooth marks during fieldwork in Alberta, Canada. The bones are all from the Late Cretaceous epoch and date back about 75 million years.
The pair discovered tooth marks on a femur bone from a Champsosaurus, an aquatic reptile that grew up to five feet long; the rib of a dinosaur, most likely a hadrosaurid or ceratopsid; the femur of another large dinosaur that was likely an ornithischian; and a lower jaw bone from a small marsupial.

Researchers think the tooth marks were made by an archaic order of extinct mammals resembling rodents, with each groove corresponding to a single incisor.
Illustration: Nicholas Longrich/Yale University
The researchers believe the marks were made by mammals because they were created by opposing pairs of teeth—a trait seen only in mammals from that time. They think they were most likely made by multituberculates, an extinct order of archaic mammals that resemble rodents and had paired upper and lower incisors. Several of the bones display multiple, overlapping bites made along the curve of the bone, revealing a pattern similar to the way people eat corn on the cob.
The animals that made the marks were about the size of a squirrel and were most likely gnawing on the bare bones for minerals rather than for meat, said Longrich. “The bones were kind of a nutritional supplement for these animals.”
There are likely many other instances of mammalian tooth marks on other bones that have yet to be identified, including older examples, said Longrich. “The marks stood out for me because I remember seeing the gnaw marks on the antlers of a deer my father brought home when I was young,” he said. “So when I saw it in the fossils, it was something I paid attention to.”
But he points out that the Late Cretaceous creatures that chewed on these bones were not nearly as adept at gnawing as today’s rodents, which developed that ability long after dinosaurs went extinct.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-4983.2010.00957.x
Contacts and sources:
 National Science Foundation, Alberta Ingenuity, Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Scientists Suggests Methods of Geoengineering the Atmosphere to Slow Global Warming

Philip Rasch, chief scientist for climate science at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (Richland, WA) testified before the House Committee on Science and Technology’s Subcommittee on Energy and Environment on Solar Radiation Management — approaches for managing the amount of sunlight reaching the Earth’s surface to counter some of the effects of global warming.
He testified as part of a hearing titled “Geoengineering II: The Scientific Basis and Engineering Challenges.”
Geoengineering is the intentional modification of the earth’s climate. Specifically, Rasch will cover current scientific understanding of such aspects of solar radiation management as:
  • How aerosol particles introduced into the lower and upper atmosphere might affect global warming and weather, both globally and locally
  • The limitations of what scientists know and how to invest research dollars
  • How much the methods might cost and how long the effects could last.
“I recognize that geoengineering is a very controversial and complex subject, and that there are many issues associated with it of concern to scientists and society,” Rasch wrote in his prepared testimony. “Scientists interested in geoengineering want to be responsible and transparent. We care about doing the science right, and in a responsible way.”
Rasch discussed two methods of “managing solar radiation”: 1) the production of sulfate aerosols in the upper atmosphere and 2) the possibility of spraying tiny drops of seawater near the surface of the earth. Sulfur dioxide injected into the upper atmosphere where clouds rarely form, called the stratosphere, reacts chemically with other gases up there and creates small sulfate particles. The particles scatter incoming sunlight and prevent it from warming the lower atmosphere.
The seawater tactic involves spraying seawater from specially designed ships into the sky. The salty water increases the number of cloud drops and decreases the size of each droplet in clouds in the troposphere — the part of the atmosphere down here that supports life. Clouds made up of more and smaller droplets reflect more sunlight than those with larger droplets.
He also discussed the effect that these approaches might have on atmospheric temperatures, local climate and weather, and how long they might need to be used to get the desired lowering of temperatures and also the risks associated with these strategies.
Rasch also spoke about the potential costs associated with deploying and monitoring the approaches. He will also point out areas where the scientific understanding is weak, and recommend how much research needs to be done. Rasch also addressed how to clean up any environmental after-effects.
Philip Rasch serves as the chief scientist for climate science at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. He oversees more than 90 researchers who focus on climate, aerosol and cloud physics; global and regional scale modeling; integrated assessment of global change; and complex regional meteorology and chemistry. Rasch is particularly interested in the role of aerosols and clouds in the atmosphere, and on their impact on climate.
For the last five years, he helped to lead the technical development team for the next generation of the atmospheric component of the Community Climate System Model Project, one of the major climate modeling activities in the United States. Rasch was a chair of the International Global Atmospheric Chemistry Program (IGAC, 20042008), and participates on the steering and scientific committees of a number of international scientific bodies. He has contributed to scientific assessments for the World Meteorological Organization, NASA and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The hearing was held in Room 2325 of the Rayburn House Office Building at 10 a.m. EST Thursday February 4. More information is available at