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Daily Archives: May 15, 2014

IBM Research Discovers New Class of Industrial Polymers

News release: “Scientists from IBM Research have successfully discovered a new class of polymer materials that can potentially transform manufacturing and fabrication in the fields of transportation, aerospace, and microelectronics. Through the unique approach of combining high performance computing with synthetic polymer chemistry, these new materials are the first to demonstrate resistance to cracking, strength higher than bone, the ability to reform to their original shape (self-heal), all while being completely recyclable back to their starting material. Also, these materials can be transformed into new polymer structures to further bolster their strength by 50% – making them ultra strong and lightweight. This research was published today in the peer-reviewed journal, Science, with collaborators including UC Berkeley, Eindhoven University of Technology and King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), Saudi Arabia. Polymers, a long chain of molecules that are connected through chemical bonds, are an indispensable part of everyday life. They are a core material in common items ranging from clothing and drink bottles (polyesters), paints (polyacrylics), plastic milk bottles (polyethylene), secure food packaging (polyolefins, polystyrene) to major parts of cars and planes (epoxies, polyamides and polyimides). They are also essential components in virtually every emerging advanced technology dating back to the industrial revolution — the steam engine, the space ship, the computer, the mobile phone.”

MOOCs: Expectations and Reality

MOOCs: Expectations and Reality Full Report, May 2014. Fiona M. Hollands, Ph.D.; Devayani Tirthali, Ed.D. Center for Benefit-Cost Studies of Education, Teachers College, Columbia University “Over the past few years, observers of higher education have speculated about dramatic changes that must occur to accommodate more learners at lower costs and to facilitate a shift away from the accumulation of… Continue Reading

Women and Health Care in the Early Years of the ACA

Key Findings from the 2013 Kaiser Women’s Health Survey May 15, 2014 | Alina Salganicoff, Usha Ranji, Adara Beamesderfer and Nisha Kurani “The passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010 heralded a new era in health care coverage, with major implications for women’s health and access to care. Provisions such as the mandatory inclusion of maternity care, coverage… Continue Reading

Youth Perspectives on Tech in Schools: From Mobile Devices to Restrictions and Monitoring

Cortesi, Sandra and Haduong, Paulina and Gasser, Urs and Aricak, Osman Tolga and Saldaña, Mark and Lerner, Zach, Youth Perspectives on Tech in Schools: From Mobile Devices to Restrictions and Monitoring (January 15, 2014). Berkman Center Research Publication No. 2014-3. Available at SSRN:  “This research brief is a contribution by the Youth and Media team… Continue Reading

CRS – Afghanistan: Drug Trafficking and the 2014 Transition

Afghanistan: Drug Trafficking and the 2014 Transition, Liana Rosen, Specialist in International Crime and Narcotics; Kenneth Katzman; Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs. May 9, 2014, “Experts widely assess that Afghanistan will remain the world’s primary source of opium poppy cultivation and opium and heroin production, as well as a major global source of cannabis resin, in the coming years. In… Continue Reading

CRS – How Social Security Benefits Are Computed

How Social Security Benefits Are Computed: In Brief. Noah P. Meyerson, Analyst in Income Security, May 12, 2014 “Social Security, which paid $812 billion in benefits in 2013, is the largest program in the federal budget. There are currently about 58 million Social Security beneficiaries. Most Social Security beneficiaries are retired and disabled workers, whose monthly benefits depend… Continue Reading

How Machine Intelligence Will Transform the Role of Lawyers in the Delivery of Legal Service

McGinnis, John O. and Pearce, Russell G., The Great Disruption: How Machine Intelligence Will Transform the Role of Lawyers in the Delivery of Legal Services (May 13, 2014). Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 14-17; 82 Fordham Law Review 3041 (2014). Available at SSRN: “This Article argues that machines are coming to disrupt the legal… Continue Reading

Preliminary Results: Honey Bee Colony Losses in the United States, 2013-2014

“The Bee Informed Partnership, in collaboration with the Apiary Inspectors of America (AIA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is releasing preliminary results for the eighth annual national survey of honey bee colony losses. For the 2013/2014 winter season, 7,183 beekeepers in the United States (U.S.) responded. Collectively, they managed 564,522 colonies in… Continue Reading

Health, United States, 2013 includes special section on prescription drugs

“About half of all Americans reported taking one or more prescription drugs in the past 30 days during 2007-2010, and 1 in 10 took five or more, according to Health, United States, 2013, the government’s annual, comprehensive report on the nation’s health. This is the 37th annual report prepared for the Secretary of the Department of… Continue Reading

New GAO Reports – Biological Defense, Export Controls, Int’l Labor Grants, National Nuclear Security, VA Health Care

BIOLOGICAL DEFENSE: DOD Has Strengthened Coordination on Medical Countermeasures but Can Improve Its Process for Threat Prioritization, GAO-14-442: Published: May 15, 2014. Publicly Released: May 15, 2014. EXPORT CONTROLS: NASA Management Action and Improved Oversight Needed to Reduce the Risk of Unauthorized Access to Its Technologies, GAO-14-315: Published: Apr 15, 2014. Publicly Released: May 15, 2014. FINANCIAL AUDIT: Congressional Award Foundation’s Fiscal… Continue Reading

FCC and ALA react to Open Internet controversy

“On Friday May 15, 2915 the FCC has released a new document on open internet. It seems the FCC is trying to find a solution which will get by the DC Circuit Court which has struck down previous attempts set regulatory standards for internet providers. Also there is an article in the Washington Post about ALA’s concerns… Continue Reading