Lasers Targeting Cancer

The technology physicists use to control and divert laser interactions into particle beams has largely been limited by the target which the laser must pass through. This problem has restricted the applications of lasers significantly. The flat targets currently being used hamper energy potential and lack control leaving much to be desired for maximum beam energies and lower beam divergences. Concepts such as fast ignition, used to initiate nuclear fusion,  require a laser strong enough to deliver ignition spark at the precise point. This desire for both increased beam efficiency and a lower divergence was the driving force to design a target that can produce a proton beam of a higher maximum energy, a lower divergence than current targets and can produce proton beams not limited by the characteristics of the laser.PhotoNatSmall

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Looking at Nevada Researchers Through a Microscope

Currently when chemists look at a nano-agglomerates through a microscope they are only able to see the nano-agglomerates in two dimensions. Because of this, researchers must make some sort of assumption as to the depth of the nano-agglomerates. As with most anything else that occurs naturally such as a tree or a cloud, it is not very easy to make an assumption about a nano-agglomerates depth. This inability to accurately portray a nano-agglomerate in three dimensions make it difficult to be able to determine how it interacts with other nano-agglomerates.

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Drilling for Profits

Geothermal has become an important source of green energy in recent years and Nevada is said to have enormous geothermal potential reserves. Energy from a geothermal power plant is generated by drilling into structures that bring this heat from the interior of the Earth closer to the surface. The heat in the form or steam or hot water is then brought up the surface to a geothermal power plant where it is used to turn turbines and generate electricity. The costliest and riskiest proposition facing the industry is finding the targets to drill. These almost always occur far from below and laterally away from surface manifestations of heat (like hot springs). So, a sophisticated approach is needed to locate these targets in the subsurface. This is where Optim comes in. Optim has pioneered the use of advanced seismic imaging technology to map subsurface structures in complex environments that are typical of geothermal friendly environments.

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Thinking Small in Nevada

We live in a world filled with an ever growing number of threats. Some of these threats include chemicals, explosives, and bio pathogens. As these threats become more complex so must the way in which we detect these threats. Current methods such as thermal analysis, impedance analysis, and chemisorption are used in detection of many of these threats. While these methods of analysis have come a long way, they still have much farther to go in order to be implemented efficiently throughout the country.

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Caffé Fuel: How coffee could revolutionize biofuels

Plant-based biofuels have been researched and explored since the 19th century, but there has yet to be a reliable plant-based source of energy. Little did we know, the answer might have been in our hand this whole time. The University of Nevada has developed a groundbreaking process to produce alternative bio-diesel fuels from coffee ground waste and Melanie Dolezal, Dharshini D. Balasubramaniyan, and Jaime Schwarzbach from the University have created an early stage start-up from this named Caffé Fuel.

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Ground Breaking Technology in Nevada

Excavators – also known as diggers or mechanical shovels – are used in a variety of applications including demolition, digging trenches and holes, forestry work, heavy lifting, open-pit mining, and landscaping.  Current excavators are controlled one joint at a time and can take operators years to master. The complexity of control is exasperated by the fact that the excavator arm and bucket inhibit the operators’ view of the area they are trying to dig.

George Danko, of the UNR Mining Engineering Department, has come up with a computer assisted control system making excavator control far simpler and more efficient. While current technology uses three different controllers at the same time, these controls are programmed so that the operator can move the bucket along a straight line with one motion.  Danko’s computer assisted controls also allow the operator to program the controller with repeated movements in efforts to decrease operator error and increase efficiency during a commonly repeated motion such as dropping the contents of the bucket in a truck. According to Danko, the computer assisted controls can enhance the efficiency of an excavator by 20% and operators can learn to operate them in a matter of weeks.

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EscaZyme Biochemicals wins Governor’s Cup Competition

Immediately following their gold place finish in the Sontag Entrepreneurship Competition on March 6, EscaZyme Biochemicals LLC. won the $25,000 first place prize in the graduate track of the 2013 Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup Collegiate Business Plan Competition on April 18. This competition is open for all Nevada college and university students and aims to “encourage the development and commercialization of ideas and technologies being discovered in our universities.”  (NCET)

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EscaZyme Biochemicals wins Sontag Entrepreneurship Competition

A new company that uses the enzymes of bark beetles to control the devastating effects the beetles can have on a forest, EscaZyme Biochemicals, LLC, was awarded the $50,000 gold prize this week as the winner in the University of Nevada, Reno’s Sontag Entrepreneurship Competition. more…

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Charting UNR’s future: Pressure is on university to commercialize research

As University of Nevada, Reno President Marc Johnson pondered the future of the state’s oldest campus, he recalled how his grandfather peeled apples.

“When I was a kid, my grandfather lived with us, and every once in a while he would make apple pies,” Johnson said. “He was very good at peeling the apple with just one single piece of peel hanging down. My brother and I got a real thrill in the way he would cut that peel away, but what he was really concentrating on was saving as much of the apple as he could to put in that pie.”

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From the lab to the real world

Tom Kozel has been studying fungal meningitis for years. It seemed like a rare disease until the Centers for Disease Control did some calculations and found it was killing about 500,000 people a year in Africa.

This prompted Kozel and his team at the University of Nevada, Reno to look at ways to change how the disease is diagnosed — and this research, in addition to saving lots of lives, provided a model that could be used to create jobs in Nevada, and brought royalty money back to the school.

The UNR-DRI Technology Transfer Office has the job of getting that to happen more often. The office’s director, Ryan Heck, says that creating a better relationship between UNR and Desert Research Institute researchers and the local business community is essential. more…

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