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Matt’s Favorites: Biotech Growth In Lansing, And Much More

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SOUTHFIELD (WWJ) — So what’s the latest and greatest in the magnificently multifaceted world of high technology? Well, kids, strap on that jeweler’s loupe and let’s take a look at some facets…

* Congratulations are in order to Lansing, where officials of Rockville, Md.-based Emergent BioSolutions Inc. and Mayor Virg Bernero cut the ribbon on a 32,000-square-foot administration building at Emergent’s Michigan campus. The building marks the new entrance to the company’s 12.5-acre site and symbolizes Emergent’s commitment to its employees and to Lansing, where it was founded 15 years ago. The company now has 850 employees, more than 450 in Lansing. The new building holds office space, conference rooms, and workout and dining areas.  More at www.emergentbiosolutions.com.

* In the latest claims in the Speed Wars, in Tech Hive, AT&T had the fastest LTE network. Verizon, meanwhile, was credited with the “largest and most robust” network. And a left! And a right! And an uppercut! Stay tuned…

* Here’s an interesting way to create a huge Wi-Fi cloud across a whole city — piggyback it on individual users’ home modems (securely, of course). The company considering this is Comcast, and there’s a test of it now in New Jersey.

* They may have to fly to orbit on a Russian rocket for now, but NASA has picked another eight of the luckiest people on Earth — the ones who get to leave it from time to time.

* Words like “live-blogging,” crowdsourcing” and “mouseover” — as well as “tweet” meaning something other than the sound a bird makes — have been added to the 2013 Oxford English Dictionary.

* Meet Evie Sobczak. She started working on algae-based biofuel for an eighth grade science project. Now, four years later, she’s made major advances in the science, earning first place in one of the world’s most prestigious science fairs. The Florida teen hopes to get into Columbia University or MIT to major in biochemical engineering. I’m hoping some Michigan school tracks here down and talks to her about how someone in biofuels ought to work close to automotive companies.

* A very cool circus designed to wow kids with science and technology has won crowdfunding support. The organizers of the Two-Bit Circus promise “robots, fire, and lasers.” Sign me up.

* Take heart, Google Reader users — Digg will start rolling out its new RSS service next week with all users having access by June 26, the site announced in a blog post on Monday. The first version of the reader — which lets users import feeds and folders straight from the soon-to-be defunct Google Reader — will have basic functions, along with a tool that allows users to push what they think are the most important stories to the top. Digg promises to add more over the next few months.

* In the never-ending race for the world’s fastest supercomputer, the Chinese have — temporarily, we hope — beaten out the United States.

* Facebook and Instagram might have a new feature up their sleeves. Facebook may unveil video support for Instagram at a press event on June 20, TechCrunch reports, citing a person who claims to have knowledge of its plans. Similar to Twitter’s Vine, which allows users to post 6-second videos, Instagram’s videos would be limited to 5 to 10 seconds.

* Sprint Nextel has filed a lawsuit against Dish Network and Clearwire seeking to prevent Dish’s takeover of the wireless broadband provider. The No. 3 wireless carrier filed a lawsuit Monday against the two companies in Delaware Court of Chancery, alleging that Dish’s tender offer violates the rights of Sprint and Clearwire’s shareholders and the laws of the state of Delaware.
* Edward Snowden, who became famous for leaking top-secret U.S. government documents, said Monday that the National Security Agency can get a look at information from Americans’ domestic phone calls without a warrant. In an online discussion organized by the Guardian newspaper Monday morning, the 29-year-old former intelligence analyst said, when it comes to the contents of e-mail and phone calls, “Americans’ communications are collected and viewed on a daily basis on the certification of an analyst rather than a warrant.” (And here’s what the president has to say about all this, from the Charlie Rose show.)
* New York to Chicago, in five weeks? Scientists on Long Island are preparing to move a 50-foot-wide electromagnet 3,200 miles over land and sea to its new home at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois. The trip is expected to take more than a month.
* The cable industry insists that it’s ready and able to compete with Google Fiber when it comes to delivering ultra high-speed broadband. But the words of Comcast CEO Brian Roberts’ words and one demo don’t match up with the actions of his industry.
* While Google hasn’t done a lot of promotion around its Chromebooks, there’s no doubt that the company is still working on bringing the low-cost laptops to more people around the world. The tech giant announced Monday that it’s bringing Chromebooks to more than 6,600 new stores worldwide — that’s three times as many stores as before.
* A Florida school admits that it made several mistakes when it allowed a security company to install iris scanners without telling parents — and without even having a contract with the company.
* Here’s new technology that can detect viruses that haven’t even been discovered yet. Researchers at Saint Louis University say a next-generation sequencing approach allows them to subtract the entire human genetic sequence from the genetic material of a blood sample and identify viruses based on what remains.
* With the success of the Mars rover Curiosity, NASA is now developing planetary-exploration rovers designed to be controlled by astronauts in space. CNET’s Kara Tsuboi takes us to the NASA Ames Research Center where a moonscape has been built to test the K-10 rovers.
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