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OSTIblog Articles in the Technology Topic

DOE Research Clearing the Way for Medical Solutions

by Sam Rosenbloom 01 Oct, 2013 in Technology

The Randolph-Sheppard Act was signed into law by President Roosevelt in 1936. The act established a priority for blind vendors on Federal property.  Nearly 77 years later, walking toward the snack stand operated by a blind vendor, the irony always occurs to me as I read an unusual brass plaque on the hallway that commemorates the origin of the Human Genome Project and its champion, Dr. Charles DeLisi. The irony is that Rick, the blind vendor who could one day benefit from that project, cannot see the plaque. 

It takes individuals with an almost futuristic vision, able to counter criticism by those with less foresight, to take leaps of faith to establish such a far-reaching effort such as the Human Genome Project. Dr. DeLisi was apparently such a person. 

Dr. DeLisi, then Director of the Office of Health and Environmental Research at the Department of Energy, recognized the available technology and came up with the idea to sequence the human genome in 1985.  

Related Topics: Human Genome Project, medicine, Randolph-Sheppard Act

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Travel through DOE databases; find emerging nanotechnology devices

by Kathy Chambers 16 Jul, 2012 in Technology
Quantum dots – small semiconducting nanocrystals (Image: ANL)

  In the world of nanomanufacturing, new materials, devices, components and products are emerging at a breathtaking rate. Next-generation nanocoatings are being developed to enhance wear resistance of industrial materials.  An infrared retina that includes adaptive sensors has been patented. Self-cleaning skin-like prosthetic polymer surfaces have been developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). ORNL is also well on its way to creating nano catalysts for diesel engine emission remediation

Related Topics: Brookhaven, databases, nano, ORNL

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Making Scientific Databases Work Together—For You (psst . . . that's "search interoperability")

by Dr. Walt Warnick 13 Feb, 2012 in Technology
Data points of light travel over the world.

Sometimes something complex can work so seamlessly that it’s easy to miss. We think that’s the case with our solution in achieving search interoperability.

As you may know, “search interoperability” is just a fancy way of saying that lots of scientific databases scattered far and wide can be made to work together so that your job as a seeker of science information is easy. You can go to one search box, say Science.gov, type in your search term, and get results from over a hundred important repositories and a couple of thousand scientific websites – with one click.

Related Topics: databases, E-Print Network (EPN), federation, interoperability, science, Science.gov, WorldWideScience.org (WWS)

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Energy Quadrennial Technology Review Released

by Kate Bannan 28 Sep, 2011 in Science Communications
U.S. Department of Energy

“The Department is uniquely situated to serve as a resource for energy and technology data, information, and analysis that can enhance understanding, operation and planning across all organizations… ."

— From the Energy Quadrennial Technology Review

Related Topics: 21st century, doe, energy, r&d, research, Technology

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“Mobilizing” Science

by Dr. Walt Warnick 05 Aug, 2011 in Technology
“An OSTIan accesses  WorldWideScience while enjoying the weekend on the Chesapea

At the youngest ages, children are intrigued by Mentos in a Diet Coke. Figuring out what nature is trying to tell us, which is otherwise known as doing science, can be exciting. But, too often, young people become disabused of that excitement when they experience the drudgery of reading dry texts while confined in a stuffy cubicle or a study carrel. Now we are taking a step to help change that perspective. We are displacing text with video, and we are making it easy to find and learn science wherever you happen to be. 

It is an unfortunate circumstance that fun is too often taken out of science. We should want students of all ages to be happy, as happy people invest themselves more into what they are doing. We should want science to remain an avocation even as it becomes a vocation for some students and others move on to different interests.

Related Topics: apps, mobile, WorldWideScience.org (WWS)

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Dark Archives

by Mark Martin 04 Aug, 2011 in Technology

I have to admit that I am truly a science fiction and fantasy geek.  Blame it on growing up on a steady diet of Star Wars and Transformers.  This bit of background information helps explain why I smile internally whenever I get the chance to talk about dark archives.  Those words call to mind a picture of some mysterious, powerful object at the center of an epic story, like The Lord of the Rings.  Great words.

Related Topics: archives, dark, Star Wars

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How to Integrate Anything on the Web

by Dr. Walt Warnick 03 Aug, 2011 in Technology
Computer Integration

OSTI is especially proud of its web integration work whereby we take multiple web pages, documents, and web databases and make them appear to the user as if they were an integrated whole.   Once the sources are virtually integrated by OSTI, the virtual collection becomes searchable via a single query.  Because information on the web appears in a variety of formats, from HTML web pages, to PDF documents, to searchable databases, OSTI has developed and uses a suite of integration approaches to make them searchable via single query.  

Related Topics: data warehouse, federated search, information, integration, r&d, science, scientific, technical

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Open Science: the Case for Preserving Raw Data

by Dr. Jeffrey Salmon 12 Jul, 2011 in Technology

Everyone speaks well of the idea that the results of scientific research should be open for all to see, although there are obvious caveats to complete openness: Proprietary research, human subjects research, preliminary results, the pace and timing for releasing results, all come to mind.  But when it comes to research funded by the taxpayer, open science is almost a truism.  And again, while there are practical and principled reasons why complete openness is sometimes restricted, the readers of the OSTI blog will be familiar with the arguments for openness; the principle of reproducibility is a fundamental tenant of science, the possibility of accelerating the pace of discovery by making scientific results readily and easily accessible, these are just two critical pieces of the argument.  There is another reason for openness connected to both these points that was highlighted recently in Jonah Lehrer’s always interesting Head Case column in the Wall Street Journal (6/25/11).

Related Topics: Jonah Lehrer, Open science, raw data

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OSTI's Web Traffic

by Mark Martin 16 May, 2011 in Technology

Recently, I had the opportunity to explore OSTI's web traffic statistics with Walt Warnick and Karen Spence. I am quite happy with what was revealed about our traffic growth and the value of our various collaborations in making scientific and technical information more accessible.  So I wanted to share it with you here at the OSTI Blog.

Related Topics: Science.gov, Web traffic, WorldWideScience.org (WWS)

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The Importance of Small Business Innovation Research Funding

by Dr. Walt Warnick 09 Mar, 2011 in Technology

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs were established to provide funding to stimulate technological innovation in small businesses to meet federal agency research and development needs.  Under SBIR, federal agencies with large R&D budgets set aside a small fraction of their funding for competitions exclusively among small businesses.  Each year, the DOE Office of Science sets aside 2.8% of its research budget for SBIR (2.5%) and STTR (.3%) awards.  Small businesses that win SBIR awards keep the rights to any technology developed and are encouraged to commercialize the technology.

Related Topics: federated search, multilingual, r&d, relevance ranking, SBIR, sttr, translations

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