The Mattress Gets Reinvented (and Stuffed In the Trunk of Your Car)

The Mattress Gets Reinvented (and Stuffed In the Trunk of Your Car)

Mattress shopping can be a major pain in the ass. Something that Casper, a newly launched sleep startup, wants to remedy. The supposed solution? One single, painstakingly engineered mattress for the masses.

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Source: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/gizmodo/full/~3/lGgxeEub_d4/the-mattress-gets-reinvented-and-stuffed-in-the-trunk-o-1566175652
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Switching Fonts May Not Save the Government Millions After All

Switching Fonts May Not Save the Government Millions After All

We all love stories about teenagers schooling the government, but sometimes we get schooled, too. Last week, we wrote about 14-year-old Suvir Mirchandani’s research project that suggested the government would save $400 million by switching from Times New Roman to Garamond. Turns out, it’s a little more complicated than that.

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Source: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/gizmodo/full/~3/LpncZrpDsrw/+sarahzhang
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Netflix saves The Killing one more time, six-episode final season will be a streaming exclusive

Netflix saves The Killing one more time, sixepisode final season will be a streaming exclusive

Netflix already pulled whodunnit The Killing from the scrap pile once, working out a deal with AMC to produce a third season for airing and subsequent streaming, and now it’s done it again. The Killing will see a fourth and final six-episode season (when is still up in the air), produced by Fox, which Netflix will stream exclusively in the areas where it provides service. This, along with continued hints of more Arrested Development in the works will probably get fans of other canceled/about-to-be canceled series excited, although we’ll have to wait and see how many refurb projects Netflix is ready to put next to its original content.

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Pop Music Makes Experimental Solar Panels Work 50% Harder

Pop Music Makes Experimental Solar Panels Work 50% Harder

Ever notice how you feel more productive while listening to a great song? It’s not just you. Researchers just discovered that a certain type of solar panel works most efficiently when exposed to the acoustic vibrations of pop music. Crank it up!

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EX1 prints circuits on paper, cloth, almost anything you can imagine

EX1 prints circuits on paper, cloth, almost anything you can imagine

Printing a circuit isn’t exactly a new idea. In fact, researchers have been putting down silver nano particles using a process similar to ink-jet printing for years. Heck, you can even hack your existing desktop unit to do the same thing with about $300 in components. Still, a retail-ready circuit printing machine has so far managed to elude us. That’s where the EX¹ hopes to make its mark. With most of the early bird specials already gone, you’ll have to pledge at least $1,499 to its Kickstarter campaign to get one, which puts it firmly in prosumer territory. (And that’s just for the version that requires some assembly.) But there’s no denying the allure. The EX¹ uses two different “ink” cartridges to lay down layers of material that will form lines of silver nano particles. And, thanks to its flatbed design, you can print your customized circuits on anything from standard PCBs, to cloth, wood or even paper.

The company has even built a custom software suite that simplifies the printing process. You can simply import an image of a circuit and hit print (they’re pretty easy to find with a Google Image Search). Or, if you’re feeling more adventurous, you can sketch out the circuit yourself and take control of all the printing variables. The EX¹ has already doubled its funding goal with four weeks left in its campaign. If you’re interested and have the cash hit up the source to pledge your support. But be advised, you’ll need to be patient — the estimated shipping date is currently July of 2014. (And we all know how good a track record Kickstarter campaigns have at meeting shipping targets.) Before you go, make sure to check out the video after the break.

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/11/12/ex1-prints-circuits-on-paper-cloth-almost-anything-you-can-ima/?ncid=rss_truncated
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Apple promises to restore some iWork features within six months

November 07, 2013

If you’ve been disappointed in the lack of certain features in the newly released iWork ’13, don’t worry: Apple is not sticking its fingers in its ears and humming as loudly as possible.

On Wednesday, the company posted a support document listing features that would return to the productivity suite within the next six months.

[ Also on InfoWorld: The must-have iPad office apps, round 7. | Also: What you need to know about Apple's free apps policy. | For a quick, smart take on the news you'll be talking about, check out InfoWorld Tech Brief -- subscribe today. ]

“In rewriting these applications, some features from iWork ’09 were not available for the initial release,” says Apple’s support document. “We plan to reintroduce some of these features in the next few releases and will continue to add brand new features on an ongoing basis.”

Many of the most common complaints from users of iWork ’09 are addressed in the document, including improvements to AppleScript support for Numbers and Keynote, more presenter display options in Keynote, keyboard shortcuts for styles in Pages, and many more.

If you’ve been holding off upgrading to iWork ’13, remember that the installers do not replace your current iWork ’09 versions, so you can continue to rely upon those for any features that Apple hasn’t yet integrated. As to whether subsequent upgrades will return all the missing features, it’s too early to say, but it seems likely that Apple is looking to make sure that its productivity suite helps make its customers, well, productive.

Source: http://www.infoworld.com/d/mobile-technology/apple-promises-restore-some-iwork-features-within-six-months-230398
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UFC Fight for the Troops 3 undercard live blog: Krause vs. Green, More

Bobby Green and James Krause will headline the UFC Fight for the Troops 3 undercard. – Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

This is the UFC Fight for the Troops 3 undercard live blog for the UFC Fight for the Troops 3 event at Fort Campbell in Fort Campbell, Ky.

There will be eight fights on the UFC Fight for the Troops 3 undercard. James Krause vs. Bobby Green, George Roop vs. Francisco Rivera, Dennis Bermudez vs. Steven Siler, Germaine de Randamie vs. Amanda Nunes, Chris Camozzi vs. Lorenz Larkin, Yves Edwards vs. Yancy Madeiros, Neil Magny vs. Seth Baczynski, and
Derek Brunson vs. Brian Houston will be featured on the prelims.

Check out the UFC Fight for the Troops 3 undercard below.



Derek Brunson vs. Brian Houston
Round 1: We’re off. Huge head kick instantly floors Houston. Brunson leaps onto his back and sinks in a rear-naked choke. It’s under the neck. This one could be over. Houston is fighting this off valiantly. Brunson continues to adjust and finally, there’s the tap. Wow, hell of a way to start.  

Derek Brunson def. Brian Houston via submission (rear-naked choke) at 0:48 of round one. 

Neil Magny vs. Seth Baczynski
Round 1: Big John McCarthy is our referee. Both fighters trade leg kicks. Baczynski whiffs on a looping right. Magny closes the distance against the fence. Baczynski reverses. Short knees to the body from Magny, who gets double underhooks then reverses. McCarthy calls for action. And there’s the split. Baczynski wings a one-two in the center of the cage. Baczynski pressures forward and Magny cliches. More fighting for position against the cage. The crowd is getting restless here. McCarthy wants action. Magny peppering Baczynski with short shots, but nothing significant. And McCarthy steps in. Baczynski dives for a double leg, hoists Magny over his head, then slams him down. Magny lands a hard shot from the bottom. Baczynski postures up and dives into half guard, now full mount. Slick transition. Baczynski postures up and rains down body shots. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Baczynski.

Round 2: Baczynski headhunting early with his right hand. Baczynski stuffs a takedown and muscles Magny against the fence. McCarthy calls for action again. No tolerance for cage grappling today. Big John split them up. Baczynski wades in and connects on a hard right hand. Magny fights off a takedown then hunts for a single against the fence. Baczynski defends and reverses. More fence work and McCarthy isn’t having it. He splits it. Good right hand from Magny, who then reverses a takedown. Baczynski climbs back to his feet but eats another right hand off the break. Magny’s tape is loose on his gloves. McCarthy stops the action and fixed it. We’re back, and Baczynski lunges into a double. He gets it, diving into full guard. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Magny. (19-19 overall.)

Round 3: Baczynski’s corner calling for urgency. Magny catches a kick, but Baczynski twirls out and bullrushes into the clinch against the fence. Baczynski drops for a single but can’t get it. McCarthy wants work. Magny releases to the center of the cage. Baczynski lunges for another double, then takes Magny’s back standing and almost pulls him down. Magny instantly pops to his feet but winds up with his back against the fence. McCarthy splits it up. Baczynski dives right back into a double and finally gets it. Magny working double butterflies from the bottom. Baczynski postures up then dives back into guard. Magny with wrist control on Baczynski’s right hand. Magny pushes Baczynski off then jumps to his feet. Baczynski not giving him an inch against the fence. Magny reverses then powers Baczynski to the mat. Baczynski back to his feet, only to get slammed down. Wild scramble ends with Baczynski hunting for a standing guillotine. Magny defends but ends with his back once again against the fence. Huge flurry at the end hurts Baczynski. Wow, that might’ve stolen it. Close fight, but Magny wins on damage for me. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Magny. (29-28 Magny.)

Seth Baczynski def. Neil Magny via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Yves Edwards vs. Yancy Madeiros
Round 1: Big John is once again our referee. Medeiros pressuring forward with hard combinations. Medeiros not giving Edwards an inch. Medeiros rockets a front kick straight down the middle, then wades forward with his jab. Edwards fires back with a solid one-two. Edwards unleashes a kick into Medeiros’ midsection. Edwards going over the top with a right hook. Medeiros with another front kick. Big knee blasts Medeiros. Wild exchange here. Edwards slips. Edwards tags Medeiros with another right hook, and once again Medeiros nods his head. Huge counter left uppercut crumbles Edwards! Medeiros lunges on top and unloads a finishing salvo. That’s all she wrote.

Yancy Medeiros def. Yves Edwards via KO (punches) at 2:47 of round one.

Chris Camozzi vs. Lorenz Larkin
Round 1: Herb Dean is the man in charge. Larkin with an early leg kick. Larkin goes up high, Camozzi counters with a kick to the thigh. Larkin misses a wild capoeira kick. Larkin blasts Camozzi with a hard straight right! Camozzi tumbles down. Larkin lets him up. Larkin pressures forward and connects on a stiff counter. Camozzi measuring distance, then rushes inside. Larkin smiles and shakes his head. Camozzi continues to work low kicks. Solid jab from Camozzi. Larkin fires back. Big flying knee from Camozzi. Larkin rockets a kick into Camozzi’s midsection then follows it up with punches. Camozzi separates. Larkin rips an uppercut up the middle. Hard, hard body kick from Larkin. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Larkin.

Round 2: Camozzi’s corner calls for low kicks and he delivers. Larkin stalks forward. Tons of low kicks from both men. Big straight right backs up Camozzi. Camozzi wades inside with a flying knee. Larkin ties up and powers Camozzi against the fence. Blood is leaking out of Camozzi’s nose. Larkin releases and goes back to working his kicks. Camozzi counters with an inside leg kick. Hard straight left cracks Larkin. Camozzi ducks under a wild right and fires back. Larkin darts inside but Camozzi avoids any damage and reverses him against the fence. Big short elbow inside from Larkin. And another. Larkin and Camozzi trade high kicks. Wild exchange closes out the round. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Larkin. (20-18 Larkin.)

Round 3: Larkin with a turning side kick to the thigh, then goes high, then goes for a Mortal Kombat style sweep low kick. That was fun. Camozzi wades inside with heavy shots. Larkin connects to the body, then eats a straight right. Big right hand from Larkin in response. Larkin continues to stalk forward. Camozzi wings a kick to the body then ties up. Larkin lands a knee to the body inside the clinch, then a huge, huge short elbow. Heavy shot there. Camozzi reverses against the fence. His face is bloodied. Larkin calls for the crowd to roar, and again. Camozzi just hanging on. Larkin reverses. Another short elbow by Larkin. Camozzi eats a knee. Spinning back elbow from Larkin. Whew, great performance. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Larkin. (30-27 Larkin.)

Lorenz Larkin def. Chris Camozzi via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Germaine de Randamie vs. Amanda Nunes
Round 1:

Round 2:

Round 3:

Dennis Bermudez vs. Steven Siler
Round 1:

Round 2:

Round 3:

George Roop vs. Francisco Rivera
Round 1:

Round 2:

Round 3:

James Krause vs. Bobby Green

Round 1:

Round 2:

Round 3:

Source: http://www.mmafighting.com/2013/11/6/5073108/ufc-fight-for-the-troops-3-undercard-live-blog-krause-vs-green-more
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Gay rights bill clears first hurdle in Senate











Essential News from The Associated Press






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Stanford faculty awarded $2.2 million for innovative energy research

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29-Oct-2013

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Contact: Mark Golden
mark.golden@stanford.edu
650-724-1629
Stanford University

Stanford University’s Precourt Institute for Energy, the Precourt Energy Efficiency Center and the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy have awarded 11 seed grants totaling $2.2 million for promising new research in clean technology and energy efficiency.

The seed funding supports early work on concepts that have the potential for very high impact on energy production and use. Through a competitive process, two committees of faculty and senior staff awarded the grants to Stanford researchers from a broad range of disciplines, including engineering, physics, economics, business, communication and education.

“We received 42 proposals from across the campus to explore new ideas where the potential payoffs warrant taking the risk inherent in proof-of-concept work,” said Precourt Institute Director Lynn Orr, a professor of energy resources engineering. “There were lots of good proposals, which induced a lively debate in the selection committee. The projects selected offer a variety of approaches to the overall goal of a clean, affordable, efficient energy system.”

Stanford University’s Precourt Institute for Energy, the Precourt Energy Efficiency Center and the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy have awarded 11 seed grants totaling $2.2 million for promising new research in clean technology and energy efficiency.

The seed funding supports early work on concepts that have the potential for very high impact on energy production and use. Through a competitive process, two committees of faculty and senior staff awarded the grants to Stanford researchers from a broad range of disciplines, including engineering, physics, economics, business, communication and education.

“We received 42 proposals from across the campus to explore new ideas where the potential payoffs warrant taking the risk inherent in proof-of-concept work,” said Precourt Institute Director Lynn Orr, a professor of energy resources engineering. “There were lots of good proposals, which induced a lively debate in the selection committee. The projects selected offer a variety of approaches to the overall goal of a clean, affordable, efficient energy system.”


Precourt Energy Efficiency Center awards

The five studies funded by the Precourt Energy Efficiency Center (PEEC) focus on improving the performance of hybrid cars, natural ventilation systems in buildings and programs that financially motivate utility customers to use electricity more efficiently. “For the most part, we are looking at how to make the most of efficiency technologies already emerging, though we are also trying to help lay the groundwork for the very dynamic electricity system of the future,” said PEEC Director Jim Sweeney, professor of management science and engineering.


Trip Estimation Techniques to Better Manage Hybrid Vehicle Batteries: This project will develop techniques to predict the most probable trip a car is taking based on the driver, time of day, location, trip starting point and other parameters. Such predictive ability could help maximize the electric part of the car and minimize the gasoline side. PIs: John D. Fox, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory/Applied Physics; William Dally, Computer Science; Jonathan Levav, Graduate School of Business.


Improving Predictions of the Efficiency of Natural Ventilation in Buildings: Designing buildings that rely on natural ventilation for temperature control is a relatively new science and has often resulted in uncomfortable occupants. This work seeks to advance the design and operation of such buildings to yield increased overall building efficiency without sacrificing comfort. PIs: Gianluca Iaccarino, Mechanical Engineering; Martin Fischer, Civil and Environmental Engineering.


Better Decision Making for Policies and Programs to Reduce Electricity Use: This project seeks to aid decision making in energy-efficiency initiatives from government policies to business campaigns by identifying critical changes in public opinion regarding efficiency technologies and their adoption. PIs: Roy Pea, Education; Michael Bernstein, Computer Science; Martha Russell, H-STAR (Human-Sciences and Technologies Advanced Research Institute).


Visualization of Smart Meter Data for Critical Peak Pricing: Using data from 2,000 businesses, this work will build software to identify businesses that are good candidates for financial incentive programs to reduce electricity use or shift usage to off-peak times. The system will include a visualization and interaction front end for engaging selected customers. PIs: Ram Rajagopal, Civil and Environmental Engineering; June A. Flora, H-STAR.


Efficiency and Group Behavior in Power Distribution Networks: Many local devices that can either generate electricity, like rooftop solar panels, or store energy, like electric cars, are expected to help reduce the costs of the traditional system, especially as intermittent renewable energy provides a bigger fraction of our energy use. This novel study examines the “micro grids” that owners of these resources likely will form for negotiating with their local utilities. PIs: Ramesh Johari, Management Science and Engineering; Ram Rajagopal, Civil and Environmental Engineering.


TomKat Center awards

The TomKat Center is supporting three investigations this year aimed to boost the output of wind farms, invent a new kind of solar cell and use carbon dioxide as a way of storing electricity. “These are projects that we think could eventually lead to less expensive ways of generating and storing renewable energy,” said TomKat Center Director Stacey Bent, professor of chemical engineering. “Lowering costs on both those counts is the key to a sustainable energy future.”


Electrochemical Splitting of Supercritical Carbon Dioxide: This project looks at the fundamentals of splitting CO2 under supercritical temperature and pressure to form CO, which can be used as a fuel to produce electricity as needed. The researchers hope the process can recover much of the energy used to break down the CO2 and become a carbon-neutral way to store renewable power. PIs: Mark Cappelli, Mechanical Engineering; Reginald Mitchell, Mechanical Engineering; Tsuyohito Ito, Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University, Japan.


Making Large Wind Farms More Productive, Less Expensive: Researchers will test the benefits of positioning smaller turbines among the primary turbines in a large wind farm, along with other new operational approaches. The study, jointly funded by the TomKat Center and the Precourt Institute, will also develop a model for designing and operating new wind farms based on terrain and environment. PIs: Sanjiva K. Lele, Aeronautics and Astronautics, and Mechanical Engineering; John Weyant, Management Science and Engineering.


Junctionless Solar Cell for Enabling Third-Generation Photovoltaics: The investigator hopes to demonstrate the low cost and high productivity of new, junctionless solar cells with transparent electrodes on commonly available semiconductor materials, such as silicon or germanium. Such cells could be stacked on top of each other and, combined with other advantages, could lead to greater than 50 percent efficiencies. PI: Krishna Saraswat, Electrical Engineering.

###

Additional support for the 2013 seed grants was provided by Wendy and Eric Schmidt and the Stinehart/Reed Awards.

This article was written by Mark Golden, Precourt Institute for Energy.


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PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:

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Contact: Mark Golden
mark.golden@stanford.edu
650-724-1629
Stanford University

Stanford University’s Precourt Institute for Energy, the Precourt Energy Efficiency Center and the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy have awarded 11 seed grants totaling $2.2 million for promising new research in clean technology and energy efficiency.

The seed funding supports early work on concepts that have the potential for very high impact on energy production and use. Through a competitive process, two committees of faculty and senior staff awarded the grants to Stanford researchers from a broad range of disciplines, including engineering, physics, economics, business, communication and education.

“We received 42 proposals from across the campus to explore new ideas where the potential payoffs warrant taking the risk inherent in proof-of-concept work,” said Precourt Institute Director Lynn Orr, a professor of energy resources engineering. “There were lots of good proposals, which induced a lively debate in the selection committee. The projects selected offer a variety of approaches to the overall goal of a clean, affordable, efficient energy system.”

Stanford University’s Precourt Institute for Energy, the Precourt Energy Efficiency Center and the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy have awarded 11 seed grants totaling $2.2 million for promising new research in clean technology and energy efficiency.

The seed funding supports early work on concepts that have the potential for very high impact on energy production and use. Through a competitive process, two committees of faculty and senior staff awarded the grants to Stanford researchers from a broad range of disciplines, including engineering, physics, economics, business, communication and education.

“We received 42 proposals from across the campus to explore new ideas where the potential payoffs warrant taking the risk inherent in proof-of-concept work,” said Precourt Institute Director Lynn Orr, a professor of energy resources engineering. “There were lots of good proposals, which induced a lively debate in the selection committee. The projects selected offer a variety of approaches to the overall goal of a clean, affordable, efficient energy system.”


Precourt Energy Efficiency Center awards

The five studies funded by the Precourt Energy Efficiency Center (PEEC) focus on improving the performance of hybrid cars, natural ventilation systems in buildings and programs that financially motivate utility customers to use electricity more efficiently. “For the most part, we are looking at how to make the most of efficiency technologies already emerging, though we are also trying to help lay the groundwork for the very dynamic electricity system of the future,” said PEEC Director Jim Sweeney, professor of management science and engineering.


Trip Estimation Techniques to Better Manage Hybrid Vehicle Batteries: This project will develop techniques to predict the most probable trip a car is taking based on the driver, time of day, location, trip starting point and other parameters. Such predictive ability could help maximize the electric part of the car and minimize the gasoline side. PIs: John D. Fox, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory/Applied Physics; William Dally, Computer Science; Jonathan Levav, Graduate School of Business.


Improving Predictions of the Efficiency of Natural Ventilation in Buildings: Designing buildings that rely on natural ventilation for temperature control is a relatively new science and has often resulted in uncomfortable occupants. This work seeks to advance the design and operation of such buildings to yield increased overall building efficiency without sacrificing comfort. PIs: Gianluca Iaccarino, Mechanical Engineering; Martin Fischer, Civil and Environmental Engineering.


Better Decision Making for Policies and Programs to Reduce Electricity Use: This project seeks to aid decision making in energy-efficiency initiatives from government policies to business campaigns by identifying critical changes in public opinion regarding efficiency technologies and their adoption. PIs: Roy Pea, Education; Michael Bernstein, Computer Science; Martha Russell, H-STAR (Human-Sciences and Technologies Advanced Research Institute).


Visualization of Smart Meter Data for Critical Peak Pricing: Using data from 2,000 businesses, this work will build software to identify businesses that are good candidates for financial incentive programs to reduce electricity use or shift usage to off-peak times. The system will include a visualization and interaction front end for engaging selected customers. PIs: Ram Rajagopal, Civil and Environmental Engineering; June A. Flora, H-STAR.


Efficiency and Group Behavior in Power Distribution Networks: Many local devices that can either generate electricity, like rooftop solar panels, or store energy, like electric cars, are expected to help reduce the costs of the traditional system, especially as intermittent renewable energy provides a bigger fraction of our energy use. This novel study examines the “micro grids” that owners of these resources likely will form for negotiating with their local utilities. PIs: Ramesh Johari, Management Science and Engineering; Ram Rajagopal, Civil and Environmental Engineering.


TomKat Center awards

The TomKat Center is supporting three investigations this year aimed to boost the output of wind farms, invent a new kind of solar cell and use carbon dioxide as a way of storing electricity. “These are projects that we think could eventually lead to less expensive ways of generating and storing renewable energy,” said TomKat Center Director Stacey Bent, professor of chemical engineering. “Lowering costs on both those counts is the key to a sustainable energy future.”


Electrochemical Splitting of Supercritical Carbon Dioxide: This project looks at the fundamentals of splitting CO2 under supercritical temperature and pressure to form CO, which can be used as a fuel to produce electricity as needed. The researchers hope the process can recover much of the energy used to break down the CO2 and become a carbon-neutral way to store renewable power. PIs: Mark Cappelli, Mechanical Engineering; Reginald Mitchell, Mechanical Engineering; Tsuyohito Ito, Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University, Japan.


Making Large Wind Farms More Productive, Less Expensive: Researchers will test the benefits of positioning smaller turbines among the primary turbines in a large wind farm, along with other new operational approaches. The study, jointly funded by the TomKat Center and the Precourt Institute, will also develop a model for designing and operating new wind farms based on terrain and environment. PIs: Sanjiva K. Lele, Aeronautics and Astronautics, and Mechanical Engineering; John Weyant, Management Science and Engineering.


Junctionless Solar Cell for Enabling Third-Generation Photovoltaics: The investigator hopes to demonstrate the low cost and high productivity of new, junctionless solar cells with transparent electrodes on commonly available semiconductor materials, such as silicon or germanium. Such cells could be stacked on top of each other and, combined with other advantages, could lead to greater than 50 percent efficiencies. PI: Krishna Saraswat, Electrical Engineering.

###

Additional support for the 2013 seed grants was provided by Wendy and Eric Schmidt and the Stinehart/Reed Awards.

This article was written by Mark Golden, Precourt Institute for Energy.


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AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert! system.

Source: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-10/su-sfa102913.php
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Survey: Health care system causes doctors to ‘bend’ ethical norms to serve their patients

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27-Oct-2013

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Contact: Robin Frank
frankr@hss.edu
516-773-0319
Hospital for Special Surgery

A survey among rheumatologists finds many face moral dilemmas when trying to do what’s best for their patients in the current health care environment.

The study, titled “Bending’ Ethical Norms to Serve Patients’ Interests: Tensions in Medical Professionalism,” will be presented at the American College of Rheumatology/ Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals Annual Meeting on October 28 in San Diego.

The complete study was published in the October issue of the journal Arthritis and Rheumatism.

Rheumatic diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, are a common cause of disability. Affecting all sectors of the population, they diminish quality of life and have a significant social impact. Despite the benefits of early treatment and effective therapies, access to rheumatologic services may be difficult, involving long wait times, even difficulties finding providers, according to C. Ronald MacKenzie, MD, a rheumatologist at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City and lead author of the study.

“When people receive a diagnosis, the cost of effective treatment may render it unaffordable for many,” says Dr. MacKenzie, who is also chair of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Ethics and Conflicts of Interest Committee. “While an optimal or fair system would mitigate these impediments to care, our survey of ACR members suggests that this is often not the case. In fact, physicians report they frequently find themselves in situations of ethical conflict in an effort to best serve their patients.”

To conduct the survey, 14 closed-ended and two open-ended questions were sent electronically to 5,500 members of the American College of Rheumatology in the United States.

“We found that a pressing ethical issue for many rheumatologists is their perceived need to ‘bend’ ethical norms and compromise ethical principles in order to provide the care their patients need,” Dr. MacKenzie noted.

In the survey, physicians reported ways in which they see themselves as ‘bending’ ethical standards and presented justifications for doing so.

Examples included ‘embellishment’ of symptoms to help patients obtain prior authorization from insurance companies; stretching the truth to obtain needed drugs and testing for patients; and providing patients with certain diagnoses to obtain coverage for needed medications or physical therapy.

“The delivery of medical care takes place in a particular social context, and when this context includes conditions that are unfair, healthcare practitioners may be forced to struggle with ethical conflicts, making trade-offs that may go unrecognized or are not adequately discussed,”

Dr. MacKenzie said. “An awareness of this problem and its consequences is the first step in finding solutions to the challenges that physicians face.”

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About Hospital for Special Surgery

Founded in 1863, Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) is a world leader in orthopedics, rheumatology and rehabilitation. HSS is nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics, No. 4 in rheumatology, and No. 5 in geriatrics by U.S. News & World Report (2013-14), and is the first hospital in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center three consecutive times. HSS has one of the lowest infection rates in the country. From 2007 to 2012, HSS has been a recipient of the HealthGrades Joint Replacement Excellence Award. HSS is a member of the NewYork-Presbyterian Healthcare System and an affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College and as such all Hospital for Special Surgery medical staff are faculty of Weill Cornell. The hospital’s research division is internationally recognized as a leader in the investigation of musculoskeletal and autoimmune diseases. Hospital for Special Surgery is located in New York City and online at http://www.hss.edu.


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PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:

27-Oct-2013

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Contact: Robin Frank
frankr@hss.edu
516-773-0319
Hospital for Special Surgery

A survey among rheumatologists finds many face moral dilemmas when trying to do what’s best for their patients in the current health care environment.

The study, titled “Bending’ Ethical Norms to Serve Patients’ Interests: Tensions in Medical Professionalism,” will be presented at the American College of Rheumatology/ Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals Annual Meeting on October 28 in San Diego.

The complete study was published in the October issue of the journal Arthritis and Rheumatism.

Rheumatic diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, are a common cause of disability. Affecting all sectors of the population, they diminish quality of life and have a significant social impact. Despite the benefits of early treatment and effective therapies, access to rheumatologic services may be difficult, involving long wait times, even difficulties finding providers, according to C. Ronald MacKenzie, MD, a rheumatologist at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City and lead author of the study.

“When people receive a diagnosis, the cost of effective treatment may render it unaffordable for many,” says Dr. MacKenzie, who is also chair of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Ethics and Conflicts of Interest Committee. “While an optimal or fair system would mitigate these impediments to care, our survey of ACR members suggests that this is often not the case. In fact, physicians report they frequently find themselves in situations of ethical conflict in an effort to best serve their patients.”

To conduct the survey, 14 closed-ended and two open-ended questions were sent electronically to 5,500 members of the American College of Rheumatology in the United States.

“We found that a pressing ethical issue for many rheumatologists is their perceived need to ‘bend’ ethical norms and compromise ethical principles in order to provide the care their patients need,” Dr. MacKenzie noted.

In the survey, physicians reported ways in which they see themselves as ‘bending’ ethical standards and presented justifications for doing so.

Examples included ‘embellishment’ of symptoms to help patients obtain prior authorization from insurance companies; stretching the truth to obtain needed drugs and testing for patients; and providing patients with certain diagnoses to obtain coverage for needed medications or physical therapy.

“The delivery of medical care takes place in a particular social context, and when this context includes conditions that are unfair, healthcare practitioners may be forced to struggle with ethical conflicts, making trade-offs that may go unrecognized or are not adequately discussed,”

Dr. MacKenzie said. “An awareness of this problem and its consequences is the first step in finding solutions to the challenges that physicians face.”

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About Hospital for Special Surgery

Founded in 1863, Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) is a world leader in orthopedics, rheumatology and rehabilitation. HSS is nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics, No. 4 in rheumatology, and No. 5 in geriatrics by U.S. News & World Report (2013-14), and is the first hospital in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center three consecutive times. HSS has one of the lowest infection rates in the country. From 2007 to 2012, HSS has been a recipient of the HealthGrades Joint Replacement Excellence Award. HSS is a member of the NewYork-Presbyterian Healthcare System and an affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College and as such all Hospital for Special Surgery medical staff are faculty of Weill Cornell. The hospital’s research division is internationally recognized as a leader in the investigation of musculoskeletal and autoimmune diseases. Hospital for Special Surgery is located in New York City and online at http://www.hss.edu.


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AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert! system.

Source: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-10/hfss-shc102713.php
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