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News Article | May 8, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Nationwide, counties with the poorest quality across five domains - air, water, land, the built environment and sociodemographic - had the highest incidence of cancer, according to a new study published in the journal Cancer. Poor air quality and factors of the built environment -- such as the presence of major highways and the availability of public transit and housing - - were the most strongly associated with high cancer rates, while water quality and land pollution had no measurable effect. The findings may help reduce cancer by driving policy to lower pollution in areas with high cancer rates linked to the environment. Previous research has shown that genetics can be blamed for only about half of all cancers, suggesting that exposure to environmental toxins or socioeconomic factors may also play a role. "Most research has focused on single environmental factors like air pollution or toxins in water," said Jyotsna Jagai, research assistant professor of environmental and occupational health in the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health and lead author of the study. "But these single factors don't paint a comprehensive picture of what a person is exposed to in their environment -- and may not be as helpful in predicting cancer risk, which is impacted by multiple factors including the air you breathe, the water you drink, the neighborhood you live in, and your exposure to myriad toxins, chemicals and pollutants." To investigate the effects of overall environmental quality, the researchers looked at hundreds of variables, including air and water pollution, pesticide and radon levels, neighborhood safety, access to health services and healthy food, presence of heavily-trafficked highways and roads, and sociodemographic factors, such as poverty. Jagai and her colleagues used the U.S. EPA's Environmental Quality Index, a county-level measure incorporating more than 200 of these environmental variables and obtained cancer incidence rates from the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program State Cancer Profiles. Cancer data were available for 85 percent of the 3,142 U.S. counties. The average age-adjusted rate for all types of cancer was 451 cases per 100,000 people. Counties with poor environmental quality had higher incidence of cancer--on average, 39 more cases per 100,000 people--than counties with high environmental quality. Increased rates were seen for both males and females, and prostate and breast cancer demonstrated the strongest association with poor environmental quality. The researchers found that high levels of air pollution, poor quality in the built environment and high levels of sociodemographic risk factors were most strongly associated with increased cancer rates in men and women. The strongest associations were seen in urban areas, especially for the air and built environment domains. Breast and prostate cancer were most strongly associated with poor air quality. "Some of the counties we looked at were very large, with both urban and rural areas in a single county, so to tease apart the interplay between the measures of quality in our five domains and how they impact urban and rural areas," Jagai said, "we will need to look at geographic areas smaller than counties." Co-authors on the study are Lynne Messer of Portland State University; Kristen Rappazzo and Danelle Lobdell of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; and Chris Gray and Shannon Grabich of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education. This research was funded in part by contracts EP09D000003 and EP12D000264 from the EPA Office of Research and Development and by an appointment to the Internship/Research Participation Program Office of Research and Development (National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory) of the EPA, administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education through an interagency agreement between the EPA and the Department of Energy.

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Twelve accomplished K-12 science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teachers from across the United States have been named 2017-2018 Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellows. The fellows will spend 11 months serving in a federal agency or U.S. Congressional office in Washington, D.C., engaged in the national STEM education arena. The Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship (AEF) Program provides a unique opportunity for accomplished K-12 STEM educators to apply their extensive classroom knowledge and experience to their host offices to inform federal STEM education efforts. The 2017-2018 Einstein Fellows come from K-12 schools across the country and represent diverse teaching backgrounds—with expertise in computer science, engineering, science and mathematics. Federal agencies and U.S. Congressional Offices will benefit from fellows’ real-world experience as educators. In return, Einstein Fellows will gain understanding of the role of the Federal Government in the U.S. education enterprise, knowledge of resources available to students and educators, and broader perspectives on national education issues that can be applied to the classroom or to leadership positions in their districts or elsewhere. The AEF Program, now in its 27th year of operation, is managed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science’s Office of Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists in collaboration with the sponsoring agencies and the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE). Current sponsoring agencies of the AEF Program include DOE, the National Science Foundation and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) is a world-class DOE institute designed to strengthen a scientific workforce; promote the integrity of scientific research through peer review; provide 24/7 medical response to radiation accidents; evaluate human health data to protect workers from occupational hazards; and conduct independent environmental cleanup assessments. Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AEFProgram/

News Article | May 23, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

BELLINGHAM, Washington, USA -- Wearable visualization systems (WVS) are at the forefront of consumer electronics product development, and social media companies are investing heavily in enabling compelling experiences through augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR). A special section on Wearable Vision Systems: Head/Helmet-Mounted Displays in this month's issue of Optical Engineering, published by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, aims to help boost consumer-driven advances in applications in automotive, industrial, and military vision systems. "Significant commercial investment in WVS for personal communications and entertainment is driving rapid advances in miniature optoelectronics components and product design," note special section guest editors Darrel Hopper (U.S. Air Force Research Lab), James Melzer (Thales Visionix, Inc.), Michael Browne (SA Photonics), and Peter Marasco (U.S. Air Force Research Lab). Their goal with the special section is to facilitate consumer-driven advancements in the design of specialty applications including automotive, industrial, and military vision systems. The editorial lists key challenges, including achieving performance in a near-to-eye (NTE) visualization system sufficient to compel users to tolerate shortcomings including latency, acuity, field-of-view, fashion, and donning and doffing. VR immerses viewers in an artificial environment richly characterized by ultrahigh-definition graphics, while AR involves imagery superimposed over the real world that can be perceived in real time. Accurate tracking of position, head, and eye is needed for some VR and all AR applications. Papers in the section describe a variety of approaches and technologies. In "Daylight luminance requirements for full-color, see-through, helmet-mounted display systems," Thomas Harding and Clarence Rash (U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Lab and Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education) describe two lines of investigation in luminance requirements to address visual perception issues of concern when color is implemented in eyes-out, see-through helmet-mounted displays. "Review of head-worn displays for the next-generation air transportation system" by Jarvis (Trey) Arthur et al. (NASA Langley Research Center), summarizes the results of NASA's 30-plus years of helmet-mounted and head-worn displays. The study tracks progress in wearable collimated optics, head tracking, latency, and weight reduction, as well as safety, operational, and cost benefits. A "Review of conformal displays: more than a highway in the sky" by Niklas Peinecke et al., German Aerospace Center, surveys more than 40 years of research in synthetically generated symbols such as routing information, navigation aids, specialized landing displays, obstacle warnings, drift indicators, and others. The study also looks ahead, outlining research trends for the years to come. Other papers in the special section include: Michael Eismann, Chief Scientist, Sensors Directorate, U.S. Air Force Research Lab, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, is editor-in-chief of Optical Engineering. The journal is published in print and digitally by SPIE in the SPIE Digital Library, which contains more than 458,000 articles from SPIE journals, proceedings, and books, with approximately 18,000 new research papers added each year. Abstracts are freely searchable, and a number of journal articles are published with open access. SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics, an educational not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 to advance light-based science, engineering, and technology. The Society serves nearly 264,000 constituents from approximately 166 countries, offering conferences and their published proceedings, continuing education, books, journals, and the SPIE Digital Library. In 2016, SPIE provided $4 million in support of education and outreach programs. http://www.

Cordoba P.,Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education
Fuel | Year: 2017

This paper presents a general review of the selenium chemistry and fate in wet limestone flue gas desulphurisation (FGD) systems and major factors associated to the operation of wet limestone FGDs affecting Se oxidation. Selenium chemistry in FGD waters is more than the interconversion between selenite and selenate; selenium can form a complex array of chemical aqueous complexes some of them analogous to those of sulphur as well as interact with polyoxosulfur anions. However, most of Se-aqueous complexes that may encounter in FGD waters are still unidentified. FGD water re-circulation, fly ashes (FAs) accumulated in the FGD scrubber, oxi-reduction potential (ORP), water flow quantity, flow variability, and pressure are operating FGD conditions that may affect the implementation of effective strategies in management and control of Se in FGD waters. These operating FGD conditions may have a strong influence in the reaction kinetics and the mass transfer of water and constituents through the water treatment processes for Se. Other influences that will affect selenium removal in FGDs can be the oxidizing and reducing agents complexing or chelating agents and/or competing oxyanions. Development of effective strategies in management and control of Se is also complicated by difficulties in measuring and analysing selenium speciation in FGD wastewaters. The effect of sample handling and preservation methods on selenium speciation is not well understood yet and analytical methods may not achieve accurate total selenium concentrations in complex FGD wastewater matrices. © 2017

McLellan T.M.,INC Research | Caldwell J.A.,Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education | Lieberman H.R.,U.S. Army
Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews | Year: 2016

Caffeine is consumed by over 80% of U.S. adults. This review examines the effects caffeine has on cognitive and physical function, since most real-world activities require complex decision making, motor processing and movement. Caffeine exerts its effects by blocking adenosine receptors. Following low (∼40 mg or ∼0.5 mg kg−1) to moderate (∼300 mg or 4 mg kg−1) caffeine doses, alertness, vigilance, attention, reaction time and attention improve, but less consistent effects are observed on memory and higher-order executive function, such as judgment and decision making. Effects on physical performance on a vast array of physical performance metrics such as time-to-exhaustion, time-trial, muscle strength and endurance, and high-intensity sprints typical of team sports are evident following doses that exceed about 200 mg (∼3 mg kg−1). Many occupations, including military, first responders, transport workers and factory shift workers, require optimal physical and cognitive function to ensure success, workplace safety and productivity. In these circumstances, that may include restricted sleep, repeated administration of caffeine is an effective strategy to maintain physical and cognitive capabilities. © 2016

BELCAMP, Md.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ORAU is currently accepting applications for the U.S. Army Research Laboratory’s (ARL) 2017 Summer Journeyman Fellowship Program. Science and engineering graduate students and recent postgraduates at the bachelors and masters level are encouraged to apply. Selected candidates will participate in research at a state-of-the-art laboratory located at either the U.S. Army’s Aberdeen Proving Ground facility or in Adelphi, Md. Research projects conducted under the mentorship of a scientist or engineer will support ARL’s mission to develop technologies that will support army forces in meeting future operational needs. Applicants must have at least a bachelor’s degree and have a discipline in a STEM research area. Selected participants will receive a monthly stipend for their participation in the program which runs from May 15 through Sept. 30, 2017. All applications must be submitted online at http://www.orau.org/arlfellowship/applicants/programs/journeyman-fellows-summer-program.htm no later than March 17, 2017. For more information, visit www.orau.org/maryland or contact the ORAU Maryland office at (410) 306-9200 or email at Recruiter@orau.org. ORAU provides innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance national priorities in science, education, security and health. Through specialized teams of experts, unique laboratory capabilities and access to a consortium of more than 100 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local and commercial customers to advance national priorities and serve the public interest. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Learn more about ORAU at www.orau.org. Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OakRidgeAssociatedUniversities

News Article | December 8, 2016
Site: www.businesswire.com

BELCAMP, Md.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) is currently accepting applications for 2017summer internship appointments with the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research (USAISR). Undergraduate students from accredited colleges and universities are encouraged to apply for research appointments at USAISR’s facility located in San Antonio, Texas. The intent of the undergraduate student internship is to provide an opportunity for students interested in science, engineering or medical career fields to participate in research directed at improving the care of injured military service members and society at large. This mentored research experience will expose interns to ongoing efforts in integrated science, technology and engineering solutions at the nation's premier military trauma research institute. Applicants must have completed at least their first year class requirements for a bachelor’s degree with an overall GPA of 3.5 or higher. A science or engineering program of study is preferred. Selected candidates will be compensated $2,750 per month, based upon full-time participation in the internship which runs from May 24 through Aug. 2, 2017, with an optional 2-week extension. All applications must be submitted online at https://www.orau.org/maryland/isr.html no later than Dec. 31, 2016. For more information, visit www.orau.org/maryland, or contact ORISE at (410) 306-9200 or email Recruiter@orau.org. ORISE is a U.S. Department of Energy institute focusing on scientific initiatives to research health risks from occupational hazards, assess environmental cleanup, respond to radiation medical emergencies, support national security and emergency preparedness, and educate the next generation of scientists. ORISE is managed by ORAU. Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Oak-Ridge-Institute-for-Science-and-Education/322092719422?v=app_2373072738

OAK RIDGE, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Students interested in spending next spring or summer expanding their experience in nuclear engineering or science research can apply now for upcoming research opportunities being offered through the Nuclear Engineering Science Laboratory Synthesis (NESLS). NESLS, a cooperative research initiative at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) that is administered through the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), is accepting applications for spring and summer 2017. NESLS offers students like Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Briana Hiscox, hands-on educational and research opportunities in areas that may include nuclear security technologies; nuclear systems analysis, design and safety; and fuels, isotopes, and nuclear materials. Other features of the internship include: To be eligible, students must be enrolled at an accredited U.S. college or university in a nuclear engineering, science, or eligible related field with a 3.0/4.0 cumulative GPA at the time of appointment. Community college students must be working toward an Associate of Science or Associate of Engineering degree. All awards and active participation in the program are contingent upon security access approval to ORNL. For the spring 2017 internships, applicants must apply by Jan. 6, 2017, and for the summer 2017 opportunities, applicants must apply by Feb. 28, 2017. All applications must be submitted through the online application system. Students can also visit http://www.orau.org/ornl/ for more information on this program and other educational opportunities that are currently seeking applicants. The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education is a U.S. Department of Energy institute focusing on scientific initiatives to research health risks from occupational hazards, assess environmental cleanup, respond to radiation medical emergencies, support national security and emergency preparedness, and educate the next generation of scientists. ORISE is managed by ORAU.

Upadhyayula V.K.K.,Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education | Gadhamshetty V.,Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Biotechnology Advances | Year: 2010

The ability of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to undergo surface modification allows them to form nanocomposites (NCs) with materials such as polymers, metal nanoparticles, biomolecules, and metal oxides. The biocidal nature, protein fouling resistance, and fouling release properties of CNT-NCs render them the perfect material for biofouling prevention. At the same time, the cytotoxicity of CNT-NCs can be reduced before applying them as substrates to promote biofilm formation in environmental biotechnology applications. This paper reviews the potential prospects of CNT-NCs to accomplish two widely varying objectives in environmental engineering applications: (i) preventing biofouling, and (ii) promoting the formation of desirable biofilms on materials surface. This paper addresses practical issues such as costs, risks to human health, and ecological impacts that are associated with the application, development and commercialization of CNT-NC technology. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.

Upadhyayula V.K.K.,Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education
Analytica Chimica Acta | Year: 2012

There is a great necessity for development of novel sensory concepts supportive of smart sensing capabilities in defense and homeland security applications for detection of chemical and biological threat agents. A smart sensor is a detection device that can exhibit important features such as speed, sensitivity, selectivity, portability, and more importantly, simplicity in identifying a target analyte. Emerging nanomaterial based sensors, particularly those developed by utilizing functionalized gold nanoparticles (GNPs) as a sensing component potentially offer many desirable features needed for threat agent detection. The sensitiveness of physical properties expressed by GNPs, e.g. color, surface plasmon resonance, electrical conductivity and binding affinity are significantly enhanced when they are subjected to functionalization with an appropriate metal, organic or biomolecular functional groups. This sensitive nature of functionalized GNPs can be potentially exploited in the design of threat agent detection devices with smart sensing capabilities. In the presence of a target analyte (i.e., a chemical or biological threat agent) a change proportional to concentration of the analyte is observed, which can be measured either by colorimetric, fluorimetric, electrochemical or spectroscopic means. This article provides a review of how functionally modified gold colloids are applied in the detection of a broad range of threat agents, including radioactive substances, explosive compounds, chemical warfare agents, biotoxins, and biothreat pathogens through any of the four sensory means mentioned previously. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

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