Collaboration in Civic Spheres

Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

State seeks bids on more probes for geothermal energy

by May 25th, 2012

The State of Washington’s Department of Natural Resources is seeking bidders for drilling exploratory geothermal boreholes in Skamania and Klickitat counties at up to five of six targeted sites that have passed environmental muster: Swift Creek, Northwood and Wind River in Skamania County; and Laurel, Outlet Creek, and Box Canyon Quarry in Klickitat County. (Coordinates table; map.) Each borehole would be six inches in diameter and reach a depth of 700 feet, although the drilling would not require construction of new roads or other major infrastructure alterations. Their purpose would be to determine the extent of geothermal energy at the sites, rather than to generate power. The winning bid will likely be selected the week of June 4th, and drilling of the new probes is scheduled to begin as soon as the first or second week of July, said DNR Procurement Coordinator Melanie Williams.

Regional public utility districts and private energy companies produce energy in Washington, but the state regulates the industry and in the case of geothermal, helps take stock of resource potential. Higher-temperature sites are the most preferable. Following is a mapped visualization of geothermal energy exploration to date in Washington, created by Public Data Ferret.

UW study: low-dose CT scans for lung cancer too costly?

by February 15th, 2012

A new study from University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center experts in Seattle finds that the overall costs of detecting and treating lung cancer among heavy smokers through a potentially promising process involving screening with low-dose CT scans may currently be too costly to a nation struggling to control growing health care costs, even though some lives would be saved. They urge development of cost-effectiveness standards to guide further policy-making, and emphasize that costs can be cut if health care providers improve their diagnostic skills to more frequently sidestep “false positive” results of the scans.

Infographic: deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions

by January 6th, 2012

Because trees help absorb greenhouse gases, forest preservation plays an important role in controlling climate change. When forests are destroyed or degraded that harms our ability to control climate change. The problem is primarily concentrated in tropical developing nations. A new report from the Congressional Budget Office says there are three big challenges: building capacity to better document forest absorbtion capacity and its loss; improving governance in countries where the problem is most pronounced; and calibrating policy responses so they’re effective on a global scale. The study is titled “Deforestation and Greenhouse gases.” A related CBO infographic helps tell the story. Excerpts of the infographic follow.

First, the backdrop. Five different categories of energy-related activities account for two-thirds of manmade greenhouse gas emissions globally, according to CBO. Of the remaining one-third, 12 percent comes from destruction of forests for agriculture, primarily in developing tropical nations.

Redmond’s Physio-Control wins defense contract extension

by December 8th, 2011

Physio-Control of Redmond, Wash. this week won an one-year extension worth roughly $10 million of a contract with the Philadelphia-based U.S. Defense Logistics Agency. It could extend another four years at a total value of up to $49 million. For at least the next year the company will continue to supply U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Veterans Administration and federal civilian agency facilities with emergency medical response equipment including automated external defibrillators, cardiac monitors/defibrillators, CPR assist devices and accessories such as replacement batteries and battery chargers, replacement electrodes, infant/child electrodes, a variety of patient monitoring sensors, carrying cases, wall cabinets and training supplies.

The equipment will be sold to buyers mainly at some of the Department of Defense’s 295 major military bases around the globe. Some of the DoD bases in Washington served under the contract in recent years are Joint Base Lewis McChord, Naval Station Everett, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Naval Magazine Indian Island, Naval Base Kitsap, Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, and Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane.