Science & Technology

A Kinder, Gentler Shark Tank

Jun 23, 2015

Lots of people dream of starting their own businesses. But how many of those table  top discussions actually go on to the next phase?  Taking a cue from the popularity of the “Shark Tank” TV show, spin-off tanks are springing up.  Communities are  using them to help launch local businesses in Virginia. 

If TV’s Shark Tank is for the big fish, Floyd’s was more like a school of small fish.  Instead of venture capitalists looking to invest it was area economic development experts doing the judging.

Bioprinter at UVA Designed to Print Tissue and Organs

Jun 19, 2015
Sanjay Sunchak/University of Virginia

Organ donation saves millions of people each year, but the fact is that there aren’t enough organs to go around.  Now, scientists, engineers and students at the University of Virginia have begun using a machine that could someday make replacement parts for humans. 
 

The bioprinter is a small, table-top robot with a couple of tubes that contain human cells.  Guided by a computer that has analyzed images of a body part, the device lays down layer after layer of sticky material or gel and cells that are genetically programmed to work in certain ways. 

Boosting Cyber-Security

Jun 15, 2015

With potentially millions of Virginians victimized by the recent cyber-attack against federal employees, state lawmakers want to expedite the formation of public-private collaborations that would stimulate research and development in cybers-ecurity. 

Now a Joint Commission on Technology and Science panel agrees—and wants to help bring the best minds in the field together.  Both higher education institutions and companies are willing and eager to make that happen.

Virginia is making a move to embrace the future of train travel as plans for faster passenger rail service between Richmond and DC are considered... and Google's self-driving cars will soon be seen among the hordes of vehicles packing the roads in Northern Virginia.

Those are among the most read stories over the past week on the Virginia Public Access Project's VA News link at vpap.org

Editing the Mosquito Genome

May 7, 2015

Gene editing technology is opening up a whole new world for science.  Entomologists at Virginia Tech are using it to find out exactly how mosquitos transmit deadly diseases to humans.

Most mosquito species do not transmit disease, but a few native to Africa, and now showing up in the southern U.S. do; Fatal diseases such as malaria, dengue fever and chikungunya.  Those viruses kill hundreds of thousand of people each year, most of them children.

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