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House Passes Bill Renaming Program To Recruit Women To Science Jobs.

The Hill (4/18, Marcos) reports in its “Floor Action” blog that six “House Republicans opposed legislation on Monday to rename an Agriculture Department program that recruits women and minorities for science careers after the first woman elected to Congress,” Jeannette Rankin. The all-male opposition cited Rankin’s lone votes against participation in both World Wars. Yet, the House passed the measure 377-6. The Hill says “about 39 percent of chemists, 16 percent of chemical engineers, 12 percent of civil engineers and 28 percent of environmental scientists are women,” with women holding “less than 25 percent of jobs in STEM fields.”

Article posted: 04/19/2016

Chip Implant In Brain Allows Paralyzed Patient To Regain Some Complex Hand Movements.

In a 1,200-word story on its front page, the New York Times (4/14, A1, Carey, Subscription Publication) points out, however, that “the new technology is not a cure for paralysis.” The patient “could use his hand only when connected to computers in the lab, and the researchers said there was much work to do before the system could provide significant mobile independence.” Nevertheless, “the field of neural engineering is advancing quickly,” and the current study “demonstrates that the bypass approach can restore critical skills to limbs no longer directly connected to the brain.”

Article posted: 04/14/2016

Contrast Highlighted In China, US Approaches To New Grid Infrastructure.

David Roberts writes for Vox (3/30) that like the US, “China aspires to build a comprehensive national grid,” but “unlike the US,” China is building it. China has a nine-point plan for better linking renewable energy resources to coastal load center and its approach “contrasts sharply” with the US approach as “China’s transmission lines will be big, and hooking up wind and solar will be mandatory.” Roberts writes that while the US advances the US Plains & Eastern Clean Line, the high-voltage direct-current line from Oklahoma to Tennessee, China has or is building 17 such lines

Article posted: 03/31/2016

Anid: Shortage Of Talent Leads To Failing Cybersecurity.

In an op-ed for Fox News (3/22), Nada Marie Anid, Ph.D., dean of the school of engineering and computing sciences at New York Institute of Technology, argues that a “shortage of talent” will harm any “efforts to bolster cybsersecurity.” Anid says that what is needed is “a long-term strategy to close the cybersecurity talent gap.” Anid urges computer science education, a cybersecurity scholarship program, and incentives, such as paying school loans, from the public and private sectors for students accepting in-house cybersecurity positions.

Article posted: 03/23/2016

Yahoo Partners With Google, Microsoft, Others To Publish New Email Security Standard.

PC World (3/21, Constantin) reports that Yahoo is partnering with Google, Microsoft and other tech companies to “improve the security of email traffic traversing the Internet.” Engineers from these companies have created the SMTP Strict Transport Security mechanism, which will allow email providers to define rules and polices “for establishing encrypted email communications,” reports PC World, adding that a draft was published last week for “consideration as an Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standard.” Additional coverage is provided by ZDNet  (3/21) and MediaPost (3/21).

Article posted: 03/22/2016