Scientists don’t often get involved in political campaigns, but in Virginia one of the nation’s leading men of science has stepped up to endorse a candidate for attorney general.
Three years ago, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli demanded to see all of the e-mails and documents written by Professor Michael Mann during his years at the University of Virginia. Mann and his colleagues had created a graphic showing how quickly the Earth was warming. It looked like a hockey stick set on its side.
Who will become America’s next great innovator? That’s the question the Discovery Channel is hoping to answer with a new reality show called, “The Big Brain Theory: Pure Genius.” A grad student from Virginia Tech is one of ten people chosen after they sent video applications to the producers.
Amy Elliot, a graduate student in mechanical engineering at Virginia Tech is one of two women selected from thousands of applicants around the country. The Discovery Channel’s new reality TV show combines the drama of competition with the world of science, technology and engineering.
Scientists in biological systems engineering at Virginia Tech have succeed in using xylose, a sugar found in plants to produce large quantities of hydrogen in an environmentally friendly way.
Unlike current methods of making hydrogen gas, Associate Professor Percival Zhang’s process is done at low temperatures, uses no heavy metals and releases almost no green house gases. His team designed an enzyme cocktail for splitting of the hydrogen. The result is energy production at a rate of more than 100% efficiency; a level current methods do not reach.
Architects spend a fair amount of time putting pencils to paper and building small models of what they’d like to construct – but how do they know their designs will work in the real world, and what does it take to get something built. That’s what Virginia Tech hopes to teach in a whole new way. It’s called a Design-Build Laboratory, it’s gaining favor at schools around the country.