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ecodvpBecause of the simplicity of its design, the EcoDry L can offer extended periods of completely “dry” operation.

Producing low-cost, oil-free, maintenance-free mechanical pumps for roughing/backing applications has been the goal of vacuum pump manufacturers for the past 20 years. One impediment to attaining this objective has revolved around eliminating oil, which plays many roles in the operation of mechanical pumps (and we don’t mean Palm oil). Not only does oil reduce friction between the sliding and rolling elements inside the pump, it also seals vacuum compartments and conducts heat away from the pump’s interior regions.

One way to eliminate oil or other forms of lubrication, at least in the spaces where the pumping action takes place, is to adopt a “contactless” design. Contactless pumps have been used for many years to pump the often corrosive gases and abrasive by-products produced in the manufacture …

mavThe systems comprising an MAV include the airfoil or lift system, a propulsion or energy source that meets airborne and ground movement needs along with the power requirements for support systems, control surfaces to meet a flight profile, sensors specific to mission requirements, a microprocessor that allows the MAV to fly autonomously and collect information, and a communications system that allows the MAV to transmit or store (for subsequent downloading) collected data.

MAV airfoils are relatively small and subsequently sensitive to anything other than perfect wind conditions. Wind gusts, rain, snow, and even steady high wind conditions can cause an MAV to fail catastrophically or at least not meet its mission requirements.

At these small sizes, the loss of lift due to the detachment of an aerodynamic boundary layer on a airfoil brought on by a maneuver-induced stall is exceedingly hard to recover from …

phogyamiAlthough photographic evidence was crucial to his reports, Clarke had no satisfactory way to reproduce and transmit his images without incurring unacceptable losses in resolution and contrast quality while relying on Polaroid prints. Now he can transmit them worldwide as digitally captured by storing them as files on a local area network server.

Clarke uses three digital imaging systems, including a scanning electron microscope, in his lab at Case. The most used system, however, is the Kodak MegaPlus camera, model 1.6i/AB, which he relies on for grayscale imaging. The camera employs a 9 x 13-mm charge-coupled device (CCD) sensor to produce 10:bit digital grayscale images measuring 1534 x 1024 pixels.

The camera’s pixel array size was what initially attracted Clarke to the MegaPlus. He was looking for something that would match the images he had been getting with 4 x 5-in instant print film. To …

aumgtlcoMost parents notice, when their infant first begins to learn how to use his hands, that the child first learns to reach for whatever it is he wants with one hand. Grasping with one hand accomplished, he embarks on a period of trying to grasp everything with two hands, using the naive theory: “One hand good. Two hands better.” Eventually, the child learns that, while some things are done better with both hands, there are many times when the second hand doesn’t help, and may even get in the way.

The same phenomenon appears in laboratory automation. While more automation is always possible, there are situations where more automation is better – and there are situations where it is not.

The parallel plate rheometer (PPR) in Mark Winter’s laboratory, for example, doesn’t really lend itself to automation. A technologist has to load samples individually. …

foodfningWhen it comes to avoiding food poisoning, most people know not to eat their burgers medium-rare. But the cantaloupe in the fruit salad, the lettuce in the grocery store’s produce section, and the unpasteurized apple juice in the fridge are all safe, right?

Actually, produce isn’t immune to disease-causing agents, including E. coli O157:H7, a potentially deadly bacterium that can bring on stomach cramps, diarrhea, and even kidney failure. Not long ago, a 16-month-old Colorado girl died and 69 people were sickened after drinking unpasteurized apple juice contaminated with E. coli. (A federal grand jury in Fresno, CA, is considering bringing criminal charges against the manufacturer, Odwalla, for negligent food-safety practices.)

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, E. coli causes about 20,000 illnesses a year, and about 250 deaths. While most infections result from contaminated beef (you may recall …

brstcancerDid you know that a woman with breast cancer living in or near Neenah, WI, is four, times more likely than one living in or near Ormond Beach, FL, to have a mastectomy instead of a breast-sparing lumpectomy;

That’s just one statistic showing that when it comes to health care, geography is often destiny. Depending on the way medicine is practiced in your community, your doctor might recommend invasive surgery — or medication. No matter what the treatment, the consequences are the same: You may not get the care you need or want, says Jolene Underwood of Women Care Shelter.

Here, what women need to know about how five common medical procedures differ across zip codes:

Breast-cancer Surgery

The upper Midwest is the mastectomy capital, according to the 1998 Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care, which has been documenting geographic differences in medical treatment …

For savers and conservative investors nothing is more popular than Series EE Savings Basbwitonds. They’re issued by the government and designed for those who don’t want to risk losing any money. Some $5.3 billion worth were sold in the last fiscal year. Buyers think of them as simple and safe.

Safe, yes. But they’re not always as simple as you may think–especially in view of the many changes that have been made in recent years. Here are answers to the savings-bond questions I get asked most often:


You pay half the bond’s face value. A $50 bond costs $25 (the minimum purchase). A $5(H) bond costs $250. There are no fees to buy or redeem, and EE bonds can be bought through most hanks, many savings and loans, any Federal Reserve bank, and perhaps through a payroll-deduction plan where …

takntubThe wake of its progress will carry investment casting forward for many years to come. In fact, Howmet, PCC, GEAE, and Pratt & Whitney are already riding that wake in another agreement, along with the U.S. Air Force, Allison Engine Co. in Indianapolis, and Lockheed-Martin Aeronautical Systems in Marietta, Ga.

Started in 1995, it is called the Engine Supplier Base Initiative (ESBI), and it is planned to run six years. Part of ESBI’s objective is to efficiently utilize newly developed technology, such as that produced by ICCA, in a continuing campaign to strengthen the U.S. industrial base.

Processing simulation is seen by ICCA and ESBI as a precompetitive tool that will benefit the investment casting sector by enabling its participants to raise their level of collaboration. This means that competition continues as usual. While all will benefit to some extent from the tools, each is …

itcsmIt’s the voice in your head telling you yes, you should save that scrap of tinfoil, and no, it’s not okay to buy the really soft toilet paper. Your spending quirks and what they say about you.

It’s ten o’clock on Saturday morning, and I’m standing at the bathroom sink, saving money. In my left hand, I’m holding a nearly full bottle of hand lotion, in my right, a nearly empty one, with a pump that no longer reaches the lotion at the bottom. I’m attempting to pour the contents of the old into the new when it occurs to me that I’ll be standing here all weekend unless I find a way to position the bottles to drain on their own.

Fifteen minutes and a trip to the basement later, I’ve got it: I’ve fastened the necks of the bottles together with duct tape. …

fearecrRita Bernstein of Wilton, CT, was pleased when daughters Chelsea, 7, and Haylee, 3, developed a taste for mesclun salad. Samantha, 10, wasn’t a fan of fancy greens, nor was their father, Larry. But none of them dreamed that such a healthful food would nearly destroy their family.

One night in June 1996, after several meals that had included the salad, Rita and the two girls developed severe cramps and diarrhea. Over the next 48 hours, Rita improved, but her daughters grew sicker. “The diarrhea was uncontrollable; both girls were becoming dehydrated,” Rita recalls. “Haylee was inconsolable.” The frightened parents took the children to a local hospital, where tests revealed infection by the deadly bacteria E. coli O157:H7.

The Bernsteins had read about the hazards of E. coli and pesticides, and were scrupulous about washing fruits and vegetables. So they were stunned when the state …