Environmental Science Technology
Environmental Science and Technology is gaining attention worldwide, because of the increased awareness of people about their environment and its resources. New technology in the field of environmental science ensures optimum utilization of natural resources and seeks ways to create more renewable energy.
The Fuel of the Future
Vegetable oil is the new fuel of the future. The oils derived from soybeans, corn and other vegetables offer a cleaner and renewable alternative fuel. They can also protect engines and serve as the primary lubricant for industrial applications, for instance, the operation of heavy machinery. Vegetable oils are much more biodegradable than petroleum products. But one of the drawbacks is the unreliable nature of vegetable-based lubricants. At extreme temperatures, their properties change, that is, when the weather is too hot it oxidizes and when it is too cold, it solidifies. Also, the development cost is high. To overcome this obstacle, scientists make changes in the molecular structure using chemical modification. They have found that chemical modification is a simple, cost effective technology for enhancing the temperature stability and lubricity of vegetable oil, while retaining its basic chemistry. Bio diesels account for 0% global warming and reduces air toxins and cancer causing compounds, thus reducing the risk of cancer by about 94%. Biofuels are nontoxic and biodegradable and do not threaten our health. The exhaust smells like French fries.
Applied Industrial Technology
The concept of applied industrial technology has far advanced from its humble beginnings. As the influence of science and industry increases the concept of applied industrial technology is fast gaining momentum in all fields. Applied Industrial Technology distributes literally millions of parts made by thousands of manufacturers. The short list of products includes bearings, power transmission components, hydraulic and pneumatic components, fabricated rubber products, and linear motion systems.
Renewable Energy for the Future:
Basically, energy obtained from the sun, wind and water is renewable energy. Satellites provide us with a wide variety of data helps with the building and management of renewable energy plants. For instance, data obtained from meteorological satellites help to select optimal sites to build solar cell plants and windmills or wind farms. Hydropower supplies almost one-fifth of the world's energy needs. Hydropower is a pollution-free source of power that requires only flow of water to spin a turbine that generates energy.
Advanced Internet Technology
Researchers led by Steven Low, an associate professor of computer science and electrical engineering at the California Institute of Technology's networking lab developed a new advanced Internet technology - a new protocol that would revolutionize computer communications. The protocol is called FAST (Fast Active queue management Scalable Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)). It is a new data transfer protocol for the Internet fast enough to download an entire movie on DVD in 5 minutes. The researchers have achieved a speed of 8609 megabits per second, maintaining this speed using standard packet size, stably over an extended period. This was tested on shared networks in the presence of background traffic. This makes the protocol adaptable for deployment on the world's high-speed production networks. Speeding up data transfer is critical in various scientific ventures and industries. It is based on theoretical work done in collaboration with John Doyle, a professor of control and dynamical systems, electrical engineering, and bioengineering at Caltech, and Fernando Paganini, associate professor of electrical engineering at UCLA.
Dolphins Detect Underwater Mines:
The military technology is going "natural". Dolphins are clearing sea mines in some harbors to make way for ships carrying humanitarian aid and other vessels. Dolphins use echolocation to search for mines on the sea floor. Their sonar is incredibly precise. Another example for military technology going natural is the use of sea lions for some underwater missions. Though sea lions lack sonar, they have directional underwater hearing and the ability to see in near-darkness. They are used to retrieve submerged objects and have also been trained to locate enemy divers.
Advanced Medical Technology and Trends
Patients are being treated faster because more general practitioners (GP) refer their patients to general practitioners with special interest (GP w SI). This concept has gained popularity in England where more GP surgeries and health centers are carrying out NHS (National Health Service) services that were traditionally only available in hospitals. Most of them specialize in areas such as dermatology, cardiology and ear nose and throat surgery. Patients thus do not have to visit the hospital for such specialist complaints and can have accessible health care near their home.
People with diabetes have the risk of suffering the recurrence of diabetic foot ulcers. A study in the August issue of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery claims that a surgery to lengthen the Achilles tendon will significantly reduce this risk. A short-term training program on meditation techniques for about 8 weeks could boost the immune system and change the brain activity in areas associated with positive emotion, according to a study conducted at the University of Wisconsin. The positive effects of the short-term mediation could be seen for up to 4 months after the completion of the program.
Future technology is both promising and threatening. As Andrew Orlowski says, "See, no matter how clever your automation systems might be, it all falls apart if your human wetware isn't up to the job". For those of us who feel threatened by the so-called future technology of "intelligent machines, Ted Nelson has the answer, "A computer is essentially a trained squirrel: acting on reflex, thoughtlessly running back and forth and storing away nuts until some other stimulus makes it do something else".
But you might argue: if computers weren't smart, how did Gary Kasparov lose a game of chess to super computer Deep Blue. According to recent research, chess requires more practice than intelligence. Chess players have to select from a limited array of possible moves. Calculating these moves is a cinch for a supercomputer. This doesn't indicate its "intelligence", merely its ability to calculate faster.
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