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‘DNA Printing’ in the Cloud, Part 3

DNA printing has given rise to the world's first "DNA printer" on the market, a claim advanced by the product's creators. The BioXp 3200 System is available from SGI-DNA, a division of Synthetic Genomics, a San Diego biotechnology company. The BioXp 3200 System is a DNA/RNA assembler and synthesizer...

‘DNA Printing’ in the Cloud, Part 2

In DNA printing, genetic code becomes computer code. This transformation occurs when the chemical bases adenine, thymine, cytosine and guanine present in a chemical mix or gene sequence are translated by computer through gel electrophoresis technology into their representative letters: A/T, T/A, C/G...

‘DNA Printing’ in the Cloud, Part 1

DNA printing is based on the natural flow of genetic information in a cell from DNA through RNA to amino acids to proteins, from gene to protein, genome to proteome, genomics to proteomics. DNA, life's foundation blueprint, makes up genes, the instructions for making proteins -- the complex molecul...

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Smart High-Tech Solutions for Aging in Place

The call came in less than an hour before the 8 a.m. shift was scheduled to start: A family emergency meant the regular caregiver for an elderly client couldn't make her shift that day, so a replacement caregiver was needed ASAP. Homewatch CareGivers of San Juan Capistrano had to quickly send a subs...

At-Home Eldercare Goes High Tech

The call came in less than an hour before the 8 a.m. shift was scheduled to start: A family emergency meant the regular caregiver for an elderly client couldn't make her shift that day, so a replacement caregiver was needed ASAP. Homewatch CareGivers of San Juan Capistrano had to quickly send a subs...

Digital Santa, Part 3: Riding High on the Turbo Cyber Sleigh

Flashing strobe lights, streaming LEDs, whining jet engines, a Space Shuttle's roar ... this isn't your grandpa's Santa Claus sleigh. Just about everyone has some mental image of Santa's sleigh -- a hyperflux supervehicle drawn by high-flying reindeer genetically modified for delivering gifts and to...

Digital Santa, Part 2: Tech Tools of the Trade

Steady mall work might be the bread and sugar-plum butter for many working Santas, but there are good fees and tips to be earned at Santa gigs -- photo studios that invite Santa in for special portraits, kids' preschool events, private parties and more. Today, old-style Santas just won't do for tech...

The Future of Farming, Part 3: The Business of Urban Ag and CEA

"Growing crops is only half the job. The other half is marketing -- and if you don't do that right, you will probably go out of business," said AG Kawamura, founding member of Orange County Produce and head of the 114-acre Orange County Great Park Farm. Taking a crop directly to farmers' markets, gr...

The Future of Farming, Part 2: New Growth Patterns

Few earthly ag tech environments -- at least in the United States -- come more controlled than the Houweling's Tomatoes Ultra-Clima greenhouse facility in Camarillo, Calif., where the company produces a broad range of tomatoes and cucumbers grown hydroponically under glass across 125 acres. Houwelin...

The Future of Farming, Part 1: Controlling the Environment

Famine... or feast? Soil... or hydroponics, aquaponics, aquaculture or aeroponics? Nine billion hungry human beings will be living on planet Earth by 2050. "We will need to produce more food in the first half of this century than we did in the previous 100 centuries combined," declared Tony Kajews...

Nuclear Power, Part 3: Radioactive Waste

There is no issue more polarizing regarding the subject of nuclear power than nuclear waste and what to do with it. The United States has 103 nuclear power reactors at 65 plants in 31 states. Thousands of tons of radioactive commercial spent fuel are permanently stored at these reactor sites -- abou...

Nuclear Power, Part 2: Nukenomics

There's no denying that safety and effectiveness are both critical concerns when it comes to nuclear power, and that's just as true for investors in the technology as it is for those who rely on the energy it generates. Part 1 of this three-part series describes a new generation of small modular rea...

Nuclear Power, Part 1: A Smaller, Safer Future

Keeping the lights on in the global industrial world -- never an easy task -- never seems to get any easier. Nuclear energy, which provides nearly 20 percent of our nation's electricity, is at a crossroads. Can nuclear reactors -- the torrid, pulsating, heat-generating hearts of nuclear power plants...

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The School of Gaming

Ludology or narratology? These are the two generally accepted approaches to thinking about games. Though not incompatible, these two branches of knowledge nonetheless contend for pre-eminence among video game designer priorities. The first emphasizes play, the second story. In literary theory, ...

The School of Gaming, Part 2: Techno-Barbarism or Essence of Humanity?

Many popular video games get a lot of bad publicity for their seeming emphasis on violence and the random techno-barbarism of advanced warfare. But there does exist true humanity at the heart of video games. The basic elements that make most video games fun and engaging involve game "mechanics" th...

The School of Gaming, Part 1: Welcome to Ludoland

Ludology or narratology? These are the two generally accepted approaches to thinking about games. Though not incompatible, these two branches of knowledge nonetheless contend for pre-eminence among video game designer priorities. The first emphasizes play, the second story. In literary theory, ...

The Rising Wave of Gamification

Gabe Zichermann may have coined the term "funware" to describe applications with game-like mechanics and game-like behavior that really aren't traditional video games, but his neologism just may be expanding to encompass much more than initially intended -- the extraordinary paroxysm of technologica...

Fantastic Plastic, Part 4: Petro Pollution

Nurdles. Aglets. Bakelite. Cellophane. There's poetry in the myriad names of plastic, which seems fitting for a man-made substance that barely existed prior to World War II but will most likely outlast human civilization itself. And that's just the 100 billion tons of the stuff we've created so f...

Fantastic Plastic, Part 3: Polymemories

For more than a decade, polymer memory devices have lingered in the queue of novel organic candidates for "next-generation" computer data-storage-and-retrieval chip technology. The time for PMDs might finally be at hand ... even if the first application is the humble radio-frequency identification t...

Fantastic Plastic, Part 2: Electric Action

Plastics, those ubiquitous malleable synthetic polymers so essential to the needs of virtually the entire spectrum of global business, have become the pulsing heart of the high-tech world. The universal insulator for the electrical and electronics industries, plastic materials can also be semi-insu...

Should employers consider job seekers' social media posts when hiring?
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