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Jet Propulsion Laboratory Missions to Study Climate Change & Weather on Earth

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is known for its exploration of space, but the La Cañada Flintridge facility is starting to focus its gaze back to Earth. Three new missions scheduled to launch in 2014 will examine soil moisture, wind, and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The data obtained from the orbiters sent on these missions can be used by farmers, meteorologists and others in understanding how the planet works, scientists said. “Last year was the year of Mars,” said JPL Director Charles Elachi on Tuesday. “This is the year of Earth science.” Elachi and NASA Administrator Charles Bolden donned white coveralls and head coverings Tuesday during a tour of a chamber in JPL’s spacecraft assembly facility, also known as the “clean room,” where instruments for the missions are currently being assembled and tested. The Carbon Observatory-2 satellite was absent from the test facility, but talk of the upcoming mission led to discussions about how the agency will address the changing global climate…

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SUNY’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) Transforms Kodak Cleanroom

SUNY’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) will revitalize a vacant Kodak cleanroom building in Rochester, N.Y., by transforming it into a first-of-its-kind CNSE Photovoltaic Manufacturing and Technology Development Facility for crystalline silicon photovoltaics. Renovation is underway to transform the 57,000 ft2 building, which was formerly occupied by Kodak’s MEMS inkjet facility before it closed last October. The initiative will enable more than 100 high-tech jobs and includes the fitting up of a 20,000-square ft2 cleanroom. A late fall opening is anticipated. The first initiative as part of the project will relocate a critical component of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) SunShot initiative from California’s Silicon Valley to Upstate New York…

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Satellite Built by UAH Students ’99 Percent’ Ready for October Launch on NASA Rocket

The spacecraft conceived and built in Huntsville is virtually ready for launch and blast-off is less than three months away.

No, the Space Launch System is not suddenly on an accelerated program. Instead, it’s a group of students at the University of Alabama in Huntsville who have been working for more than three years on a tiny satellite that is scheduled to be sent into space in October.

Members of the Space Hardware Club at UAH were in San Luis Obispo, Calif., last week on the campus of California Polytechnic State University. The Cal Poly visit was to put the ChargerSat1 through readiness tests as a final hurdle toward the scheduled Oct. 30 launch.

The satellite got a “good thumbs-up,” according to team member Mark Becnel.

“We’re well past 99 percent (ready),” he said.

The project began in 2010 when the club applied for a spot on a future NASA launch…

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Near Infrared Camera For James Webb Space Telescope

Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT], under a contract from the University of Arizona, has completed assembly and testing of the Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) and has shipped the instrument to the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. NIRCam is the prime near-infrared imaging instrument for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).

The James Webb Space Telescope is NASA’s next-generation space observatory and successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. The most powerful space telescope ever built, JWST will observe the most distant objects in the universe, provide images of the very first galaxies ever formed, provide insight to how solar systems evolve and help explore planets around distant stars. The Webb telescope is a joint project of NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Canadian Space Agency…

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How an Outbreak Changed Compounding Pharmacies: The Ophthalmic Side Effects

Compounding pharmacies have been vital to retina since specialists began using bevacizumab (Avastin, Genentech, South San Francisco, CA) to treat AMD.

With last year’s fungal meningitis outbreak traced to a compounding pharmacy in Massachusetts, these facilities have come under increased scrutiny. Two major compounders in the ophthalmic drug space have reviewed their own processes and made changes to allay the concerns of physicians, while the accrediting organization for compounding pharmacies is handling increased requests for inspections.

Last October, compounding pharmacies came under increased scrutiny when problems with sterile conditions arose at the New England Compounding Center (NECC), leading to the outbreak that resulted in 696 cases of meningitis and 45 deaths in 20 states…

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Fourth MMS Observatory Integrated

Magnetospheric Multiscale, or MMS, mission engineers, seen here in white cleanroom suits, integrate the fourth and final instrument deck onto the thrust tube, which houses the propulsion module, officially making it an observatory. This clean room was designed and built for MMS to house all four spacecraft at once: Two additional observatories appear in the background…

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A Cost-Effective Option for Pharmaceutical Compounding

Hospital pharmacies face a stiff challenge as the fallout over the recent meningitis outbreak caused by tainted compounding continues: As scores of other vendors shut their doors because they failed FDA inspections, how does a hospital ensure the adequate flow of crucial admixtures?

One solution is to bring more of the sterile compounding workload back into the hospital. But this strategy has its own risks and challenges, including ensuring United States Pharmacopeia (USP) <Chapter 797> compliance, adjusting staffing and workflow, and building expensive new clean rooms and buying other high-ticket equipment and technologies. Another roadblock: steering clear of the regulatory minefield surrounding beyond-use dating (BUD)…

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