Government Technology

Future Tech: Concrete Heal Thyself, My Chip Has a Fever, Hotel Keys? There's an App for That, Death to Bacteria

Glass of Water

May 28, 2010 By

Death to Bacteria

Two Queen's University researchers in Kingston, Ontario have discovered a way to reduce health hazards in water. Biochemistry professor Zongchao Jia and post-doctoral student Jimin Zheng discovered exactly how the AceK protein acts as a switch in some bacteria to bypass the energy-producing cycle that allows bacteria like E. coli and salmonella to go into a survival mode and adapt to low-nutrient environments, such as drinking water. The discovery opens the door for scientists to identify a molecule that can keep the bypass switch from turning on so bacteria will die in water. As a result, drinking water would be cleaner and water bacterial contamination could be reduced. Conversely, discovering a molecule to keep the bypass switch turned on could produce a supply of the bacteria biotechnology companies use to produce compounds such as insulin.

Concrete, Heal Thyself

Michelle Pelletier, a University of Rhode Island graduate student, embedded something called a "Microencapsulated sodium silicate healing agent" into concrete. When stress cracks begin to form in the concrete, the capsules rupture and release the healing agent into the crack. The sodium silicate reacts with the calcium hydroxide naturally present in the concrete to form a calcium-silica-hydrate product to heal the cracks and block the pores in the concrete. The chemical reaction creates a gel-like material that hardens in about one week. In tests comparing a standard concrete mix to concrete containing two percent sodium silicate healing agent, Pelletier's healing mix recovered 26 percent of its original strength (after being stressed to near breaking) versus just 10 percent recovery by the standard mix. Pelletier is also studying the sodium silicate healing agent as a way to inhibit corrosion of reinforcing bars.

My Chip Has a Fever

The BBC reported that a British scientist is the first man in the world to become infected with a computer virus. Dr. Mark Gasson from the University of  Reading in the UK, had a chip inserted in his hand which he then infected with a virus. The device, which enables him to pass through security doors and activate his mobile phone, is a sophisticated version of ID chips used to tag pets. In trials, Gasson showed that the chip was able to pass on the computer virus to external control systems.

Hotel Keys? There's an App for That

Next month, said The Telegraph, two Holiday Inns will begin testing new technology that lets guests use their smartphones to unlock their hotel-room doors.The technology will work with most phones including the iPhone, Blackberry and Android phone. The hotel's parent company still must finish building a special website where participating guests will go to register so they can receive confirmation e-mails. To join IHG's trial, participants will first need to download an Open Ways app on to their phone. Guests ultimately will call up the confirmation email on their smartphone and hold it up to a sensor on the door to unlock it.

| More


Add Your Comment

You are solely responsible for the content of your comments. We reserve the right to remove comments that are considered profane, vulgar, obscene, factually inaccurate, off-topic, or considered a personal attack.

In Our Library

White Papers | Exclusives Reports | Webinar Archives | Best Practices and Case Studies
Meeting Constituents Where They Are With Dynamic, Real-Time Mobile Engagement
Leveraging the proven and open Kofax Mobile Capture Platform, organizations can rapidly integrate powerful mobile engagement solutions across the spectrum of mobile image capture, mobile data capture and complete mobile process integration. Kofax differentiates itself by extending capture to mobility, supporting multiple points of constituent engagement. Kofax solutions dynamically orchestrate the user’s mobile experience from a single platform—reducing time to market, improving process perf
Public Safety 2019
Motorola conducted an industry survey on the latest trends in public safety communications. The results provide an outlook of what technology is in store for your agency in the next five years. Download the results to gain this valuable insight.
Improving Emergency Response with Digital Communications
Saginaw County, Mich., increases interoperability, communication and collaboration with a digital voice and data network, as well as modern computer-aided dispatch.
View All

Featured Papers