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New & Notables sites for Engineering

Recycling Robot Shows Clutter-Sorting Skills

Freeonline textbooks

New SOFC Seal Could Help Bring Efficient Energy Technology to Market

Queen's scientists discover eco-friendly wood dissolution

Starting and Maintaining an Academic Year Undergraduate Research Program

Basics of Electrical Products

The noninvasive remote control of neuronal activity in intact circuits using pulsed ultrasound

The High Performance Buildings Database

TechXtra

Prediction models for lung cancer therapies use image analysis software

Drinking water from air humidity

A Virtual Tour of the 1906 Earthquake in Google Earth

Recycling Robot Shows Clutter-Sorting Skills By Kristina Grifantini -
Tuesday, May 19, 2009 A new vision system can identify objects within clutter. Video by Carnegie Mellon University and Intel Research
See it at http://beta.technologyreview.com/video/?vid=346

Freeonline textbooks
"Bookboon provides online textbooks for students in PDF format. The free ebooks can be downloaded without registration. Our books are legal and written exclusively for Bookboon. They are financed by a few in-book ads." Categories of interest include biochemical engineering, chemistry, civil engineering, electrical & electronic engineering, energy & the environment, environmental engineering, management, mechanical engineering, & nanotechnology.
Read any of the books at http://bookboon.com/int/student

New SOFC Seal Could Help Bring Efficient Energy Technology to Market
"Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) have great potential for stationary and mobile applications. But SOFCs have had a flaw – the integrity of the seals within and between power-producing units. A materials science professor has invented a self-healing seal that will provide strength and long-term stability. "
Read more at http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/552683/

Queen's scientists discover eco-friendly wood dissolution
" Dr Héctor Rodríguez Scientists at Queen's University have discovered a new eco-friendly way of dissolving wood that may help its transformation into popular products such as bio fuels, textiles, clothes and paper. "
Read more at http://www.qub.ac.uk/home/TheUniversity/GeneralServices/News/ArchivesPressReleases-CampusNews/2009PressReleases/05-2009PressReleases/

Starting and Maintaining an Academic Year Undergraduate Research Program
"Undergraduate research experiences often take place in the summer when students and their mentors can focus intensely on the research experience, for example in programs such as NSF-sponsored REUs (Research Experience for Undergraduates). As undergraduate research becomes an increasingly important part of the undergraduate experience, many departments or individual faculty members have started to implement academic year research programs as well. Mentoring research projects during the academic year brings unique rewards as well as certain challenges. In assembling the panel on “Starting and Maintaining an Academic Year Undergraduate Research Program,” Michael Dorff and Zsuzsanna Szaniszlo asked the panelists to focus on the following topics: (1) Purposes for doing undergraduate research; (2) Finding students to do undergraduate research; (3) Characteristics of good undergraduate research problems and how to find them; (4) Logistics of an academic year undergraduate research program; and (5) Student presentations and written reports/papers. "
Read about it at http://www.maa.org/columns/resources/issue%204.html

Basics of Electrical Products
"This course is one of the quickStep series offered by Siemens in Electrical Products. These are FREE on-line industrial knowledge building tutorials. quickSTEPs are a great start for industry novices moving into technical jobs or staff in operational support rolls. They can also be very effectively used as out of class assignments for review or to build fundamental skills. Each course includes: -an online tutorial organized as a number of units and lessons with self check quiz questions-a glossary of terms-a self-check final exam with scoring -an extensive downloadable pdf study guideThis course on the basics of electrical products covers residential, commerical, and industrial applications.
Do the course at http://www.sea.siemens.com/step/flash/electricalproducts/index.htm

The noninvasive remote control of neuronal activity in intact circuits using pulsed ultrasound (ultrasonic neuromodulation).
"Several neuromodulation (i.e. deep brain stimulation; DBS) techniques have received great attention due to their therapeutic utility in the management of many neurological/psychiatric diseases and disorders such as Parkinson’s, coma, epilepsy, stroke, depression, schizophrenia, addiction, neurogenic pain, cognitive/memory dysfunction and many others. ... Using a variety of optical probes, we are developing methods for modulating ion channel activity, neuronal activity, and synaptic transmission using low-intensity, low-frequency ultrasound (LILFU), which is capable of noninvsively penetrating the skull in a focused manner. Our approach enables us to quickly screen specific transducers and/or stimulus waveform characteristics, which modulate neuronal activity more or less efficiently. To date, we have identified several waveforms capable of directly modulating the activity of voltage-gated ion channels and synaptic transmission. The use of ultrasound waves to modulate neuronal activity will be of great interest to the basic and clinical neuroscience communities since it may alleviate the need for surgically implanted electrodes."
Read about it at http://www.public.asu.edu/~wtyler/lab/Ultrasonic%20Neuromodulation%20Lab.html

The High Performance Buildings Database
" is research sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy that seeks to improve building performance measuring methods by collecting data on various factors that affect a building's performance, such as energy, materials, and land use. The database collects information from buildings around the world, ranging from homes and commercial interiors to large buildings and even whole campuses and neighborhoods. These may be certified green projects, or simply projects that have one or more notable environmental features."
Use it at http://eere.buildinggreen.com/

TechXtra
Hass a new interface. "Find articles, key websites, books, the latest industry news, job announcements, ejournals, eprints, technical reports, the latest research, thesis & dissertations and more! "
Use it at http://www.techxtra.ac.uk/

Prediction models for lung cancer therapies use image analysis software
"26 May 2009 The Moffitt Cancer Center is using image analysis software in the analysis of lung cancer CT images. The Florida-based cancer centre aims to develop more accurate prognosis and prediction models for response to specific lung cancer therapies. ... Definiens is developing image analysis applications for a variety of cancer types, addressing lung and liver tumours as next steps. All Definiens medical imaging applications are built upon the company's Definiens Cognition Network Technology, an image analysis technology that examines objects in relation to one another and emulates human cognitive processes to extract intelligence from images. "
Read more at http://www.hpcprojects.com/news/news_story.php?news_id=857

Drinking water from air humidity
" 05 June 2009 Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft Not a plant to be seen, the desert ground is too dry. But the air contains water, and research scientists have found a way of obtaining drinking water from air humidity. The system is based completely on renewable energy and is therefore autonomous. Cracks permeate the dried-out desert ground, the landscape bears testimony to the lack of water. But even here, where there are no lakes, rivers or groundwater, considerable quantities of water are stored in the air. In the Negev desert in Israel, for example, annual average relative air humidity is 64 percent – in every cubic meter of air there are 11.5 milliliters of water. Research scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB in Stuttgart working in conjunction with their colleagues from the company Logos Innovationen have found a way of converting this air humidity autonomously and decentrally into drinkable water. “The process we have developed is based exclusively on renewable energy sources such as thermal solar collectors and photovoltaic cells, which makes this method completely energy-autonomous. It will therefore function in regions where there is no electrical infrastructure,” says Siegfried Egner, head of department at the IGB."
Read more at http://www.alphagalileo.org/ViewItem.aspx?ItemId=58397&CultureCode=en

A Virtual Tour of the 1906 Earthquake in Google Earth
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) offers a host of earthquake information, but this portion of their website focuses on the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco, which was not only the worst in United States history, but also "revealed the existence and significance of the San Andreas fault to earth scientists...[and] gave birth to the science of earthquakes." Visitors can "view" the 1906 earthquake from several perspectives on this interactive site. Clicking on "Read more" in each section will lead visitors to the several files available. The section entitled Global Geologic Setting of the 1906 Earthquake allows visitors to download several KMZ files on the plate tectonics "situation" around the San Andreas fault that set the stage for the earthquake. The section entitled "Historic Photographs of the 1906 Earthquake" informs the visitor that the earthquake was the first natural disaster to be well-documented by photographs, and that UC Berkley holds the largest collection of such photos, numbering in the thousands. This USGS site has 73 photos available on their site, and they include subjects such as fault rupture, shaking damage, landslides, and ground failure. Finally, the site also includes links to other collections of photos of the 1906 earthquake. [KMG] Copyright Internet Scout, 1994-2008. Internet Scout (http://scout.wisc.edu/), located in the Computer Sciences Department of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, provides information about the Internet to the U.S. research and education community under a grant from the National Science Foundation, number NCR-9712163. The Government has certain rights in this material. Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of the entire Scout Report provided this paragraph, including the copyright notice, are preserved on all copies.
See it all at http://earthquake.usgs.gov/regional/nca/virtualtour/  

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