News You Can Use

April 18, 2012

For April’s News You Can Use, we are sharing some inspirational stories and updates on innovation, science and the job market for engineers. Check back each month to get caught up on all the latest trends and news within the industry.

  • Numerous news outlets, including The Huffington Post, profiled Caine Monroy, a 9-year old boy who spent his summer vacation building an elaborate cardboard arcade in his dad’s used auto parts store. A video of his innovative arcade went viral on Reddit, Vimeo and YouTube, reaching more than 4 million views. Based on the attention of the film, a donation box for Caine’s scholarship college fund was added to the Caine’s Arcade website – Caine has received $166,350 in donations thus far and The Goldhirsh Foundation agreed to match every dollar up to $250,000 for Caine's Arcade Foundation, an organization to help other creative kids reach their dreams.
  • Stemming from the space shuttle Discovery’s final voyage to the Smithsonian on April 17, The Guardian reported a possible new age for space exploration involving nanotechnology. Positives of using nanotechnology are being discussed by space organizations such as The European Space Agency (Esa) and NASA. In addition, Constantinos Mavroidis, a distinguished professor of engineering at Northeastern University, assembled a team to investigate long-term space projects  using nanotech. Ideas included a lightweight spacesuit with better flexibility and a “spider’s web” of hairline tubes that would cross large tracks of a planet’s surface. 
  • US News reported on the available job prospects for engineers, highlighting electrical, environmental and research positions in particular. By the middle of last year, the unemployment rate for engineering fields dropped to under 2 percent, less than a quarter of the current national rate. 
  • Scientific American reported on two studies recently published in The Lancet and Science that explored the spread of drug-resistant malaria in Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar. Researchers have identified the section of the malaria parasite’s genome responsible for the resistance, which is increasingly prevalent in Southeast Asia. One reason for the resistance is the overuse of anti-malarial drugs because of misdiagnosis – a problem IV scientists are working to help solve with a new malaria diagnostics technique.

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