Noteworthy Information

Bridges vol. 41, October 2014 / Noteworthy Information 

Keystone Symposium on Molecular and Cellular Biology
The Arthropod Vector: The Controller of Transmission

The Austrian Wolfgang Leitner will be part of the collaboration for a Keystone Symposium on Microbial and Infectious Diseases May 12-17, 2015, in Taos, New Mexico. The symposium will focus on the transmission of infectious diseases through insects and how these vectors make a critical contribution to a successful infection of their "victim" as well as a critical contribution to vector components. The symposium will work to figure out how immune-modulatory salivary proteins, or the insect Microbiome, are increasingly used as target strategies for the fight against vector-transferred rare infectious diseases (including malaria, West Nile virus, Leishmania, and Dengue). The discussions will also center on vaccines based on sand fly salivary proteins and the treatment of mosquitoes with “probiotics.” This meeting integrates the multiple levels at which the arthropod vector influences disease transmission, with the goal of translating immunological and microbiological insights into new approaches for combating vector-borne diseases.

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GE to Produce Gas Engines in Austria

Austria’s gas engine exports have grown recently, with the creation of the J920 engine. The engine is manufactured in Jenbach, Austria, and converts nearly half of the energy from burning gas into electricity. Its combined power and thermal efficiency have recently reached over 90 percent efficiency for combined heat and power application. Since 2003 GE has been manufacturing gas engines through Jenbacher, a company previously known for producing gas and diesel engines as well as locomotives. The engine has been developed into variants suitable for a wide range of different functions including natural gas, biogas, coal seam gases, and associated petroleum gas. More than five decades of experience in the gas engine business has resulted in thousands of GE’s Jenbacher engines being installed worldwide.

The engineers gained notoriety with the J920 by developing FleXtra, a two-stage turbocharging system. The technology is similar to what Formula 1 cars use to boost efficiency and pickup. One benefit of the design is that the engine can work efficiently at higher altitudes, like Denver or Mexico City, where the air is thinner. The world’s first J920 FleXtra has been commercially operating in Rosenheim since 2013, and GE now has brought the engine to Houston’s Sky Global Partners LLC, who will use six of them to combat the growing US demand for power.

Dr. Helmut Clemens Receives the Honda Prize 2014 Eco-friendly Propulsion Systems

Austria's Dr. Helmut Clemens, the Head of the Department of Physical Metallurgy and Materials Testing at the Montanuniversität Leoben in Austria, received the 2014 Honda Prize. He was awarded for his contributions in developing intermetallic titanium aluminides for the next generation of eco-friendly propulsion systems. 

Established in 1980, the Honda Prize is awarded annually to an individual or group to recognize accomplishments in the field of ecotechnology, which works to advance human achievement while concurrently preserving the natural environment. New structural materials have to be lighter to withstand the extremely high demanding conditions in the next generation of automotive and aircraft engines, which are targeted to exhibit higher efficiency leading to reduced fuel consumption as well as significantly decreased CO2 emissions.

Clemens is the 35th laureate of the Honda Prize and currently one of the most internationally renown experts in titanium aluminide research. The award ceremony will be held at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo on November 17, 2014 where he will be awarded 10 million yen.