January 15, 2021
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Spotlight on Biotechnology
Engineers at Cornell University have developed a prototype helmet for dental patients that could reduce the spread of respiratory viruses, including SARS-CoV-2. The transparent helmet is open at the mouth and is attached to a pump that pulls air through a filtration system, preventing aerosolized droplets from exiting the front of the helmet, and is more efficient and less expensive than whole-room filtration, engineers say.
Full Story: Metro (UK) (1/12) 
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Biotech and biopharma leaders say 2021 could be a year for advances in cellular therapies for cancer, the emergence of biomarkers and more emphasis on infectious diseases. 9 Meters Biopharma CEO John Temperato says this year's gains will be a result of what happened last year, which highlighted the importance of science and of being nimble and socially responsible.
Full Story: BioSpace (San Francisco) (1/11) 
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Some amputees feel their prosthesis is longer than it is, but an implanted sensor that restores feedback led wearers to believe their prosthesis was lighter. "Our results also suggest that, quite fundamentally, it can take the experience of patients with an artificial device closer to that with a natural limb," said Stanisa Raspopovic, a professor at the Department of Health Sciences and Technology, who led the study published in the journal Current Biology.
Full Story: Life Science Daily (1/8) 
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Innovations & Trends
Initiative aims at smart, efficient roadways
(Pixabay)
Smoother travel and greater safety are the objectives of the new AIVIA Orchestrated Connected Corridors initiative that teams Ferrovial, Microsoft, 3M and others. This initiative aims to develop corridors with smart roads incorporating advanced monitoring, simulation and sensor technology to coordinate traffic that includes both conventional and autonomous vehicles.
Full Story: The Construction Index (UK) (1/13) 
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Noting that seawater holds nearly 150 times more carbon than air, University of California, Los Angeles researchers propose extracting carbon from the sea to allow it to absorb billions of tons of global-warming carbon from the atmosphere. Water would be passed through a flow reactor imparting an electrical charge to dissolve CO2, enabling the water to take up carbon from the air while also yielding hydrogen as a byproduct.
Full Story: UCLA Magazine (1/12) 
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Formlabs is showing off its breakthrough wax-based resin that can serve as a material for 3D printing. "I think the industry as a whole is probably going to start moving towards end-use and more manufacturing use -- not as much focus on prototyping," says engineering leader Kathy Bui.
Full Story: Digital Trends (1/13) 
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Leadership & Development
The availability of 3D printing in the University of Cincinnati's fabrication lab is helping mechanical engineering students advance their education while also working on real-world challenges. The printer allows students like Arshad Mohammed to create small models of their projects for testing and avoid the high cost of building full-scale prototypes.
Full Story: WCPO-TV (Cincinnati) (1/13) 
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Amazon engineer says teacher inspired her career
(Pixabay)
An eighth-grade math teacher's suggestion that student Nashlie Sephus attend a hands-on engineering camp for girls at a nearby university led to a promising career path for Sephus, who now manages the Amazon Web Services machine-learning group. Sephus is giving back to her hometown of Jackson, Miss., by funding a tech hub, as well as a local nonprofit offering technical assistance to students.
Full Story: IEEE Spectrum online (1/13) 
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ASME News
Almost all industrial facilities--whether process, power, manufacturing or research-- have at least one and o­ften many expansion joints to provide engineered solutions for issues such as thermal expansion, piping fit-up, equipment nozzle loads and vibration isolation. Sometimes they are a last resort. Other times, they are widely accepted as an extra means of safety. Grow your understanding of expansion joints with three key takeaways from this free whitepaper from ASME's expert instructor, Jim Meyer.
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Editor's Note
SmartBrief will not publish Jan. 18
In observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the US, XXX SmartBrief will not publish Monday, Jan. 18. Publication will resume XXX.
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Wisdom isn't about accumulating more facts; it's about understanding big truths in a deeper way.
Melinda Gates,
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