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Basic science




Published on January 16th, 2012 | By: pwray@ceramics.org

I’ve been following the news coverage of the annual Consumer Electronic Show held last week in Las Vegas, and it appears that a lot of writers were underwhelmed by what they saw. Some items, such as large-format OLED television screens and a slew of “smart” TVs, turned heads, but few observers claim to see any …

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Basic science




Published on January 16th, 2012 | By: pwray@ceramics.org

Credit: DOE As Eileen notes in her post, the DOE has updated its assessment of factors affecting the availability of critical materials for energy applications, particularly in regard to rare earth elements. To give readers a quick sense of what has changed in a year, I put together comparisons of the criticality charts in the …

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Ceramic Tech Today




Published on January 16th, 2012 | By: Eileen De Guire

Screenshot from NREL interactive atlas for renewable energy showing energy intensities for solar photovoltaic energy (yellow) and biomass residue (green). Credit: NREL. People in the renewable and alternative energy business talk about an “energy portfolio,” where the electricity deposited on the local grid will be generated from a mix of what the local natural resources offer …

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Basic science




Published on January 16th, 2012 | By: Eileen De Guire

The Department of Energy recently released its second “Critical Materials Strategy” report. Credit: DOE. In late December 2011, the Department of Energy released its 2011 update (pdf) to its report, “Critical Materials Strategy.” This is an update to the inaugural issue report released in 2010. The 189-page report evaluates the issues relevant to critical materials …

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Ceramic Tech Today




Published on January 12th, 2012 | By: Eileen De Guire

A general representation of how federal spending breaks down into categories. Credit: Congressional Budget Office. We’ve been following the FY12 budget process and its favorable outcome for the science R&D community. The Budget Control Act was signed into law last August and deficit reductions were required in exchange for raising the debt ceiling. The graphic …

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Basic science




Published on January 12th, 2012 | By: pwray@ceramics.org

Bre Pretis, CEO of MakerBot demonstrates a rapid prototype manufacturing process for printing objects. Credit: Time. 3D printing is a relatively new but no longer unusual process for materials scientists and engineers. Indeed, researchers have been using it to build and test ideas of prototypes of things such as biomedical scaffolds, casting molds for turbine …

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Business




Published on January 11th, 2012 | By: Eileen De Guire

In December, President Obama signed the 2012 budget bill, breathing life into the federal fiscal year before the continuing resolution flowed into the new calendar year. Credit: adapted from the Congressional Budget Office. Previously, we reported that indicators were looking positive for federal R&D funding based on the “minibus” approvals Congress made in November, which …

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Business




Published on January 11th, 2012 | By: pwray@ceramics.org

Here is what we are hearing: ClearEdge Power lands world’s largest utility fuel cell deal Fuel cell maker ClearEdge Power has scored the mother of all utility deals: a 50 MW, $500 million deal with Austrian utility Güssing Renewable Energy. ClearEdge Power VP of Marketing Mike Upp tells me in an interview that Güssing will …

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Biomaterials




Published on January 10th, 2012 | By: pwray@ceramics.org

Ormosil particles in axons of fruit fly neurons appear as bright red spots. Even after long-term exposure, the cells and the flies themselves remain unharmed. (Credit: Shermali Gunawardena; PLoS One). Medical researchers and materials scientists have been collaborating in many places to develop novel micro-targeted drug delivery systems, often with multiple functions in mind. For …

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Business




Published on January 10th, 2012 | By: Eileen De Guire

High clarity and concentricity are necessary features of aluminum oxynitride multimode seeker domes being developed for the Joint Air-to-Ground Missile. Credit: Surmet. The business end of a missile is not the exploding part. Rather, it’s the guidance system that gets the missile to its target, or at least that’s what the guys who make the …

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