Content tagged “Science and technology”

'Business Report': Even small businesses can benefit from big data

Talk of big data is all the rage in technology circles these days, and though plenty of people don't have a clue what it is, practically everyone is involved in its collection. As Business Report details in a feature from the current issue, anyone who shops online or uses a credit card to make purchases has likely become a subject for data analysis by the vendor who offers the merchandise. Amazon, for instance, has revolutionized online marketing through the collection and analysis of huge amounts of data about what people are buying. Its application of big data analytics is what enables the company to forecast inventory needs and deliver customized suggestions on what to buy next when a shopper logs onto the Amazon website. From a small business owner's standpoint, it would be easy to assume that big data solutions are out of reach, and to a degree the assumption would be correct. But that doesn't mean small and medium-size companies can't reap the rewards of using data...

India-based software firm moving US headquarters to BR, will create 230 local jobs

Stixis, a Bangalore, India-based software firm, announced today it's relocating its U.S. headquarters from Dallas to the Louisiana Technology Park on Florida Boulevard. State and local officials, including Gov. Bobby Jindal, who joined company executives at the technology park today to announce the move, championed it as another economic development win in the tech sector. Officials estimate the company will create 230 new direct jobs in the Capital Region with an average salary of $59,500 per year, plus benefits. Stixis engineers software solutions coupled with application management, maintenance and support for customers across a range of sectors, including oil and gas, health care, digital media and entertainment, education, retail, and government. The company says it chose Louisiana for its headquarters relocation after considering many other states around the nation, including Virginia, Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania and Wyoming. The company's Baton Rouge site will be known as...

Where will the workers come from?

As the state readies itself for the biggest industrial expansion in its history, having an abundance of jobs to fill is "a wonderful problem to have," says Roland Toups, chairman and CEO of Turner Industries. Yet, despite Louisiana's good fortune, the question remains: Where will the workers come from?

The workers we'll need

According to the famous movie line, "If you build it, they will come." For Louisiana's industrial construction boom, however, nothing will get built until they come. "They" means the workforce involved in industrial construction projects, from engineers to welders to nondestructive testing technicians.

Workers' market

With the list of proposed industrial projects in south Louisiana exceeding $90 billion, jobs in engineering, manufacturing and construction won't be hard to find. In fact, as the previous article detailed, a variety of efforts are underway across industry and government to reduce the expected shortages of skilled labor. Feeling the pressure on the other side of this equation: businesses that will have to hire workers in a "sellers' market."

Long-awaited DPW reorganization up for Metro Council vote

A plan to reorganize the city-parish Department of Public Works that took two years to develop may get a chance to be vetted by voters in December, if the Metro Council gives it final approval at its meeting Wednesday. City-parish officials have long looked to restructure the sprawling responsibilities of DPW and last year hired two consulting firms that helped produce a new structure made up of six offices. "We finally got it fleshed out," Mayor Kip Holden's Chief Administrative Officer William Daniel says. Since the study was produced, officials have been working to map out the details of how each department will be structured and where each employee will go, Daniel says. The city-parish wanted to find a role in the new system for each of the 800 employees currently working under the DPW umbrella, but some roles will change slightly, Daniel says.

'Business Report': From humble beginnings in garage, PreSonus changing global music industry

"The sleek contoured interior of audio engineering company PreSonus Audio Electronics' office resembles the designs of the recording equipment, audio mixer boards, and speakers created within these walls. And although the company moved into its new 44,000-square-foot headquarters six months ago, the new-car smell has yet to wear off," reads the new Business Report cover story on the rapidly growing Baton Rouge company that got its start in a south Louisiana garage and has since gone global. PreSonus was launched by former high school and LSU classmates Jim Odom and Brian Smith in 1995. "Late into the night after their day jobs as engineers, they worked in a garage warehouse that was part of a sonar company owned by Odom's uncle," reads the cover story. It took about a year for Odom and Smith to create the first product that could digitally control the dynamics of an analog audio signal. At the time, the other options were in high-end equipment that cost more than $100,000.

Garage to globe

The sleek contoured interior of audio engineering company PreSonus Audio Electronics resembles the designs of the recording equipment, audio mixer boards, and speakers created within these walls. And although the company moved into its new 44,000-square-foot headquarters six months ago, the new-car smell has yet to wear off.

Editor: New LSU center could help turn the tech tide

Technology transfer has long been one of those areas in which Louisiana lags, says Business Report Editor Stephanie Riegel in her latest column. "We've got good researchers here, who come up with all sorts of cool discoveries and inventions," writes Riegel. "Too often, though, the buck seems to stop in the lab." Last month, state and LSU officials jointly announced the creation of a tech research center that, it is hoped, will help to address the problem. It's called the LSU Transformational Technology and Cyber Research Center, and, Riegel says, it is "not nearly the yawner its long-winded name might suggest." As LSU Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Stuart Bell explains, "The idea is to focus on the applied research model and look at newer technology apps—ideas we could turn into companies and producers that would have a high impact on Louisiana and actually generate jobs and opportunities." The role of the TTCRC will be to raise money and attract private grant...

Turning the tech tide

Technology transfer has long been one of those areas in which Louisiana lags. We've got good researchers here, who come up with all sorts of cool discoveries and inventions.

LSU creating tech and cyber research center to pursue federal, commercial projects

The state and LSU are partnering to create a new technology and cyber research center at the state's flagship university that they hope will land at least $10 million in research contracts by the start of 2016. LSU President F. King Alexander and Gov. Bobby Jindal jointly announced the creation of the LSU Transformational Technology and Cyber Research Center today, saying the goal is for the center to have secured at least $30 million in contracts by July 1, 2017. The center will pursue major federal and commercial research projects in applied technology fields. Initially, it will be funded in part by the state and LSU in a challenge grant configuration by which the state will provide $1 and LSU $0.50 for every $10 in research funds the center attracts in its first three years. The LSU Board of Supervisors still needs to OK the center's creation and funding structure. The center is aiming to raise $34.5 million in funding over its first three years, with $3 million to come from the...

The numbers game

Since 2008, Baton Rouge Area Foundation has been surveying residents about quality of life in the city, using the findings to put together an annual CityStats report.

Exploring gravitational waves and space-time ripples in Livingston Parish for $30 million a year

In the quiet woodlands of Livingston Parish, scientists are 
probing deep into outer space.

The all-star class

Having exceeded its goal of raising $50 million for the project, LSU is preparing to erect a high-tech engineering complex capable of meeting the skyrocketing demand for engineers and construction managers at what is now the fifth fastest growing engineering school in the country.

Money for science

In certain circles, LSU's Center for Advanced Microstructures & Devices is best known for what it isn't. Specifically, it's not the anchor of a bustling research park that supports 1,500 direct jobs, as a 1992 report claimed it one day might be.

Jennifer Carlton Rood

"When I began at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, I found an immediate connection with my then-boss, Dr. Donna Ryan. Over the next 20 years, she transitioned from boss to mentor to friend. She led by example, and I have tried to emulate that. She'd always say, Work hard, treat people with kindness, tell the truth and above all, remain calm.'"

LSU leads nation in chemistry Ph.D.'s for women, minorities

A new study published in the Journal of Chemical Education identifies LSU as the nation's leading university when it comes to granting doctorate degrees in chemistry to women and underrepresented minority students, LSU announced this morning. The study also highlights LSU's growth in conferring such degrees between 2005 and 2009, pointing to a 49% growth among women and an 11% increase among minorities. "This shows that LSU is not only recruiting students from all populations at both the undergraduate and graduate level, but strives to retain and see those students complete their degree programs," says LSU President F. King Alexander in a prepared statement. The study, "Trends in Ph.D. Productivity and Diversity in Top-50 U.S. Chemistry Departments: An Institutional Analysis," describes trends in chemistry Ph.D.'s granted over the past two decades at universities across the nation. LSU has been the top university in awarding chemistry Ph.D.'s to black students for more than 10...

LSU to participate in new EPA water task force

A task force established by the Environmental Protection Agency to curtail farmland pollution that flows into the Mississippi River has reached a research agreement with 12 universities, including LSU. The EPA says states already collaborate with universities on local water quality research and agricultural programs, but to date there hasn't been a formal process for sharing university research and ideas across the 12 task force states. The Associated Press reports that along with LSU, the Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed Task Force will work with Purdue University, University of Illinois, University of Arkansas, University of Kentucky, Mississippi State University and Ohio State University. Other institutions involved include University of Tennessee, University of Missouri, University of Minnesota, University of Wisconsin and Iowa State University. The EPA says the agreement announced this morning brings additional expertise to develop farm runoff reduction strategies.

Behind CB&I's move

When CB&I announced in 2012 its $3.04 billion acquisition of The Shaw Group, experts predicted the day would come when the Netherlands-based company would relocate its administrative employees from Essen Lane in Baton Rouge to the company's U.S. headquarters in The Woodlands, Texas.

Lion Copolymer eyes expansion of Geismar facility

Geismar-based Lion Copolymer says it has completed a detailed engineering study to add an additional 60,000 to 80,000 metric tons of EPDM manufacturing capacity per year at its Geismar site. EPDM, which is an acronym for ethylene propylene diene monomer, is a type of synthetic rubber used in many industries for hoses, seals, insulants and other applications. The new EPDM line at the Geismar facility will bring its total EPDM capacity to more than 200,000 metric tons per year and will utilize existing infrastructure, the company says in a press release issued today. Lion Copolymer has previously expanded its EPDM capacity by 35,000 metric tons per year since acquiring the Geismar site in 2007. In December Lion Copolymer announced what it termed a temporary closure of its Baton Rouge facility at 5955 Scenic Highway due to “declining market conditions.” Company officials have not made any further announcements about the Baton Rouge facility. —Staff...

In demand

As a giant wave of industrial expansion begins surging through the Baton Rouge area, its effects are already rippling through the LSU College of Engineering.

Venyu opens new $14 million data center in BR

Data center and cloud-based services firm Venyu is today celebrating the opening of its new $14 million, 23,000-square-foot facility at the Bon Carré Business Center on Florida Boulevard, saying the new data center will allow the firm to provide customers with increased storage capacity and security. "In today's highly competitive market, industry demand for crucial data center services such as colocation, cloud hosting, managed hosting and cloud backup are on the rise—as businesses seek more cost-effective IT solutions to drive efficiencies and generate revenue," says Venyu CEO Scott Thompson in a prepared release. "This expanded footprint opens new doors for customers with heightened levels of elasticity and on-demand IT capacity—while enabling us to drive future innovation and services." The new center—which was built in the space once occupied by a movie theater at...

LSU researchers link dark chocolate to heart benefits, stroke risk reduction

Researchers at LSU say certain bacteria in the stomach gobble dark chocolate and ferment it into anti-inflammatory compounds that are good for the heart. As United Press International reports, study leader John Finley of LSU and his colleagues in Baton Rouge tested three cocoa powders using a model digestive tract, comprised of a series of modified test tubes, to simulate normal digestion. They then subjected the nondigestible materials to anaerobic fermentation using human fecal bacteria. Cocoa powder, an ingredient in chocolate, contains several polyphenolic, or antioxidant, compounds such as catechin and epicatechin, and a small amount of dietary fiber, Finley says. Both components are poorly digested and absorbed, but when they reach the colon, the desirable microbes take over. "In our study we found that the fiber is fermented and the large polyphenolic polymers are metabolized to smaller molecules, which are more easily absorbed. These smaller polymers exhibit anti-inflammatory...

John Gibby

In a world of ever-present tension between art and technology, Gibby embraces both.

La. digital education policies ranked No. 7 in U.S.

Louisiana is home to the nation's seventh-best digital education opportunities, according to the 2013 Digital Learning Report Card, released today by Digital Learning Now!, a national initiative of Tallahassee, Fla.-based Foundation for Excellence in Education. The report card annually grades K-12 education policies in each state based on the 10 Elements of High Quality Digital Learning developed by the foundation. Louisiana received an overall B- grade. The report card says Louisiana's ranking was bolstered by the implementation of the Course Choice program last year. "Several states are now providing students choices down to the individual level. These course choice programs give students flexibility in choosing individual course, providers, and course format," says former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, founder and chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, in the report's preface. "Unheard of just four years ago, forward-thinking policymakers, teamed with diligent education...

J. Chase Freeman

After starting at Mesh as a graphic designer, Freeman found his true passion in interactive web and app design and development.

Evan Smith

He is the creative mind behind lead characters for both PC and Xbox 360. The animator, designer, video game developer and part-time digital art instructor at LSU shares his favorite design tools for getting his game on.

Publisher: The time to come up with a digital strategy is now

As the new Business Report cover story points out, Baton Rouge has some key pieces—including LSU, state incentives and a growing number of young entrepreneurs—in place to thrive in the digital age. But Publisher Rolfe McCollister notes in his latest column that there are also pieces missing. One of them, he says, is a strategy. "There is a pressing need for collaboration on a digital strategy, the kind of strategies other cities are already deploying to their advantage," writes McCollister. "Let's ask citizens and the entrepreneurs what they want and need from City Hall—and then work as a team to make it happen." McCollister acknowledges the naysayers will argue that Baton Rouge doesn't have the people or the money to pursue a serious digital strategy at the city-parish level. "So where does survival for the future rank in our priorities?" he asks. "And what about the PEG...

'Business Report': Does B.R. have what it takes to compete in the digital age?

Google "digital city." What you will find—as Business Report details in its new cover story—is the following definition: a connected city, a smart city, where wireless infrastructure weaves information together to meet the needs of government, its employees, residents and businesses. "Baton Rouge is not yet a digital city," reads the cover story by contributing writer April Capochino Myers. "It does not meet the criteria. It does not have a wireless infrastructure. It did not create a fiber-optic utility system; it relies on telecommunication providers—Cox, EATEL and AT&T—to provide for its residents. It does not offer citywide interactive services. But what it lacks in logistics it makes up for in synergy." The Red Stick has become a hotspot for digital media companies. The city—and Louisiana in general—offers an attractive package of incentives to develop digital businesses. It also has a built-in, world-class education leader in LSU. In...

Home-grown tech

Housed in the Louisiana Technology Park off Florida Boulevard, PixelDash Studios is a video game and software development company with nine full-time employees and four part-time employees. Its work environment is laid back. Oversized beanbags are subbed for office chairs, and co-founders Jason Tate and Evan Smith, along with business development manager Claire Fontenot, meet to talk on worn leather couches facing giant TV screens. Video games and accessories, like plastic guitars from Guitar Hero, decorate the walls.

The Big Apple model

The Digital City Initiative began two years ago as a way to streamline New York City's digital communication with the public.

Digital carrots on a stick

A 35% state-tax credit for in-state qualified labor, as well as a 25% state-tax credit for eligible production expenses for the duration of the project. For example, a company with $100 in labor costs will receive a $35 state-tax credit on that year's tax return. Additionally, if the business has $100 in qualified production expenses for the same year (rent, office supplies and production equipment are a few such expenses), it will receive a $25 state-tax credit on the same year's tax return. The company can continue to receive tax credits as long as LED approves its project.

My Favorite Tech

In a technological world that's evolving by the minute, Natalie Noel is a compass for companies.

Capital City needs a digital strategy

Unlike my children, I didn't grow up in a digital world. Digital is now the norm, and 6-year-olds carry smartphones or tablets. I am afraid this "old dog" isn't alone in struggling with the necessity of learning new digital tricks.

Go digital or die

Google "digital city."

LSU exceeds $50 million fundraising goal for engineering college expansion

Not only has the LSU College of Engineering met and exceeded its $50 million fundraising goal for the renovation and expansion of Patrick F. Taylor Hall, but Gov. Bobby Jindal also announced today that the state will be matching, dollar-for-dollar, all private funding that exceeds the $50 million match already pledged. The $100 million public-private partnership was first announced in October 2012, and the private fundraising effort began in January last year. It's completion, announced today by Jindal and LSU officials, comes three months ahead of schedule. In total, more than 450 individual and corporate donors pledged $52.5 million in private funds. The largest single donation was a $15 million gift from Phyllis Taylor, co-chair of the LSU College of Engineering Breaking New Ground campaign and widow of Patrick Taylor, the LSU grad and Taylor Energy Company founder for whom the engineering building is named. Twenty-two companies, including Dow, RoyOMartin, Entergy, BASF, Turner...

Water Campus moving forward with plans for Old City Dock

Just one month after plans were unveiled for the Water Campus—a 27.6-acre research park devoted to coastal studies that will be developed near downtown off Nicholson Drive—the first phase of the project is rapidly moving forward. At its meeting Wednesday, the Metro Council approved a cooperative endeavor and right of use agreement with the Water Campus LLC for the Old City Dock property, which will be redeveloped into a $20 million Education and Research Center and will be the marquee structure on the campus. Last week, a request for qualifications went out to architects interested in submitting proposals to design the project. Trey Trahan—who, several years ago, designed renderings for a residential complex at the Old City Dock site—is among those planning to submit a proposal. "We would love to do it," he says. "It's such an exciting project and so good for downtown." At a DDD meeting last week, a spokeswoman for BRAF's real estate development company,...

News roundup: B.R. firm partners with national dental insurance carrier … Holden meeting with Obama at White House … DOTD prepared for wintry weather, icy roads

All together now: Baton Rouge-based LocalMed is partnering with leading national dental insurance carrier United Concordia Dental in a deal that will expand the reach of LocalMed's technology, which allows people to find and schedule dental appointments online, anytime. "Partnering with United Concordia means bringing convenience to patients and a much more efficient office to their participating providers," says LocalMed CEO Keith English in a prepared statement. United Concordia Dental is one of the nation's largest dental insurers with more than 98,700 dentists and over 6 million members. LocalMed was formally launched in December 2012 by twin brothers Daniel and Derek Gilbert.

Pennington launches childhood obesity and diabetes research program

Gov. Bobby Jindal joined officials at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center today as they opened a new front in the battle on childhood obesity with announcement of the Childhood Obesity and Diabetes Research Program and the opening of a newly renovated space on the campus off Perkins Road for the program's activities. The state provided $6.4 million in funding for the renovated facilities—part research lab and part education center—called the Translational Research Clinic for Children, or TReCC for short. Researchers at the facility will explore new ways of preventing, treating and managing childhood obesity. "The funding for the TReCC has allowed Pennington Biomedical to retain 19 direct jobs for pediatric studies, and the investments are expected to create more jobs in the future as grants are obtained," the governor's office says in a statement released today. "This investment in Pennington Biomedical is not only an investment in research; it is a continued...

B.R. firm brings home accolade from CES, gets 'Today Show' nod

Baton Rouge-based CellControl, which is preparing to launch its latest product aimed at eliminating distracted driving next month, recently brought home high praise from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and got a plug on the Today Show. "I have never seen a technology like this," tech expert Katie Linendoll says of CellControl's DriveID on the Today Show segment, in which she spotlighted some of the best new products at CES. "You'd be surprised how much Web traffic and inquiries that little 30-second spot has driven," says CellControl CEO Rob Guba. "It generated an incredible amount of interest, and it really gave us some great exposure to the consumer market." For the second time since CellControl was launched in 2009, the firm also was a CES Innovations Design and Engineering Award honoree for DriveID, which uses special technology in a vehicle to identify the driver and makes phone service inaccessible for that person, as long as they're behind the wheel.

BASF donating $1 million to LSU for College of Engineering expansion

LSU has received another sizeable donation for its $100 million renovation of Patrick F. Taylor Hall and expansion of the College of Engineering on its flagship campus in Baton Rouge. The university announced this morning that BASF Corp. is pledging $1 million toward the expansion. "The development and investment in the Louisiana workforce is critical to BASF's long-term success," says Tom Yura, senior vice president and manager of the company's Geismar site, in a prepared statement. "In addition to BASF's sustainability efforts, this project is part of our local activities to invest in students and help them be prepared for career opportunities in engineering and science while making a difference in the world today." Gov. Bobby Jindal allocated $50 million in capital outlay funding for the Taylor Hall renovation in his budget for fiscal year...

Breaking new ground

Founder/president, Performance Contractors

Cybersecurity essentials

For those in business, protecting against information security risks is a critical part of protecting the bottom line. Cyber threats are an issue for everyone, but small businesses in particular are becoming common targets because they often have fewer preventative or responsive resources. The new year is as good a time as any to take stock of what measures you might implement to protect against a cyber threat. So what do you need to know? Here are the essentials.

Smart growth in the new year

The year behind us included several huge announcements for developments in Baton Rouge, and all of these projects look to improve the urban core of the city in 2014. We take a look at the stats on some of these projects below:

Snapchat vows to make make app more secure

Snapchat says it plans to put out a more secure version of its application following a breach that allowed hackers to collect the usernames and phone numbers of some 4.6 million of its users. The disappearing-message service popular with young people said in a blog post late Thursday that the updated version of its app would allow users to opt out of its "Find Friends" feature, which was apparently at the heart of the breach, and would stem future attempts to abuse its service. The breach occurred after security experts warned the company at least twice about a vulnerability in its system. Before announcing its plans to update the app, Snapchat had been quiet. Its seemingly detached response caused some security specialists to wonder whether the young company can handle the spotlight that it has been thrust into over the last year as its service has become enormously popular. In response to a warning by Gibson Security on Dec. 25—which followed an earlier alert in...

Snapchat silent after suffering security breach

Snapchat, the disappearing-message service popular with young people, has been quiet following a security breach that allowed hackers to collect the usernames and phone numbers of millions of its users. Company spokeswoman Mary Ritti told The Associated Press this morning that the company is assessing the situation, but did not have further comment. As Americans rang in the New Year, hackers reportedly published 4.6 million Snapchat usernames and phone numbers on a website called, which has since been suspended. The breach came less than a week after security experts alerted Snapchat of a vulnerability in its system and warned that an attack could take place. In response to the warning, Snapchat said in a blog post last Friday that it had implemented "various safeguards" over the past year that would make it more difficult to steal large sets of phone numbers. But the measures appear to have fallen short. The incident bruises the image of a young company that...

Richard Koubek

Occupation: Dean, LSU College of Engineering
Hometown: Berwyn, Ill.
Age: 54

Dr. William Cefalu

Occupation: Executive Director, Pennington Biomedical & Research Center
Hometown: Amite
Age: 59

Nearly half of La. children living in wireless-only homes

The states in which people most rely on their cell phones are not, as you might think, home to the country's busiest metropolises or cities crowded with texting college students, says the Pew Research Center. They are, rather, scenic and sparsely populated for the most part. States such as Idaho, where as of last year more than half—52.3%—of adults lived in households that had cut the landline-phone cord completely. That's according to a recent report from the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, which has tracked the rise of wireless-only households since 2003. Close behind Idaho were Mississippi, where 49.4% of adults lived in wireless-only households, and Arkansas, at 49%. Louisiana isn't too far behind, with 36.2% of adults living in a wireless-only household—and 45.1% of children under 18 in homes without a landline. "New York was clustered near the bottom with several other Northeastern states, with 23.5% of adults in wireless-only households. Where...

APPS To Organize

This Apple program breaks down daunting tasks into achievable chunks. Just type in everything you need to do, set a deadline and group them into categories. Things presents you with a checklist so you don't forget anything.

LSU AgCenter researchers say use of drones in crop monitoring looks 'promising'

The LSU AgCenter says its researchers are trying to determine if using unmanned aerial vehicles, sometimes known as drones, can help farmers monitor their crops for potential problems. "We are investigating the use of UAVs to see what the capabilities are," says Randy Price, LSU AgCenter engineer. "From what we can tell, the technology appears to be promising." Price says a drone was used recently to check on freeze damage in a sugarcane field by taking photographs that could be viewed once the vehicle returned to the ground. One of the first projects AgCenter researchers are undertaking involves sending up a UAV equipped with a sensor to measure the vegetative index of a crop. The device measures the green growth of a plant, giving a possible indication if additional fertilizer is needed on specific areas of a field. Price says Charles Malveaux, an LSU AgCenter research associate, has built three UAVs capable of flying themselves on a programmed mission. "We're in the process of...

Promising discovery of now defunct B.R. biotech firm may yet realize commercial potential

The title of the Oct. 14, 2003, Business Report cover story was no doubt designed to grab attention. "This chicken could change your life," it read, behind a picture of the eponymous bird, head cocked to the side, looking out quizzically from the newsstand. TransGenRx, the story explained, had figured out a way to grow materials for protein-based medicines inside genetically modified chickens. Founded on LSU research with state support and private money, the company was going to revolutionize biotechnology and make lifesaving and life-improving drugs cheaper and more accessible. But as Business Report details in a new story from the current issue, by the summer of 2013, TransGenRx was in bankruptcy court, owing almost $7.9 million. "Today, its core technology survives as the basis of a new company called ProteoVec," reads the story by David Jacobs. "That technology, recently purchased by Baton Rouge's Svendson family, still might have commercial potential, and might one...

'Business Report': Regenerating TransGenRx

Last summer, TransGenRx was in bankruptcy court, owing almost $7.9 million. Today, its core technology survives as the basis of a new company called ProteoVec. As Business Report details in its current issue, the biotech breakthrough still might have commercial potential and one day help put the tiny local biotech sector on the map. "This community, and this technology, deserved a shot," says John Uhrin, ProteoVec's president. "When it went through the bankruptcy, it was taken apart. Now we're putting it back together." The technology was recently purchased by Baton Rouge's Svendson family. Uhrin says he began working with the Svendsons as a "distant consultant" this July when they formed ProteoVec. The new company in September bought TransGenRx's intellectual property and technical equipment for $400,000 as the sole bidder in a bankruptcy court auction. Uhrin says ProteoVec utilizes essentially the same technology and some of the same core employees as TGRx, but its business...

Regenerating TransGenRx

The title of the Oct. 14, 2003, Business Report cover story was no doubt designed to grab attention.

LSU embarks on $1 million quest to build big data computation capabilities

From engineering to coastal studies, top researchers at LSU easily share a campus. But their ability to share data across cyberspace is another story. As Business Report details in a new magazine feature, the data sets they collect, analyze and store in the course of their research are known as "big data." The mountains of information are so large and detailed that they cannot be processed, searched and analyzed using traditional data management and analytics tools. The data is often unstructured, so it is not formatted in uniform, predefined ways. As a result, researchers cannot readily share data, even though information that could prove useful for researchers in one discipline may lie within another discipline's data set. LSU researchers are looking for a solution to the big data problem. They recently received a grant of almost $1 million from the National Science Foundation for a campuswide project aimed at bringing big data computation capabilities to research groups...

Kristy Andries

Kristy Andries often says her entire family was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on August 25, 2001. That was the day she learned her 17-year-old son, Bradley, had the disease.

The big data challenge

From engineering to coastal studies, top researchers at LSU easily share a campus. But their ability to share data across cyberspace is another story.

LSU FACES lab compiling database for missing people

Claxton Mark Mayo was involved in a traffic accident on Interstate 20 on March 30, 2011. The Advertiser reports surveillance footage shows Mayo entering a Ouachita Parish truck stop, but the cameras never filmed him leaving. That's the last time anyone has seen Mayo. He was reported missing to the Bienville Parish Sheriff's Office more than two years ago, and he's never been found. Now the case joins more than 200 others in the missing persons database operated by the FACES Lab at LSU. Director Mary Manhein and her staff are working with local law enforcement agencies across Louisiana to compile a central database of all the state's missing and unidentified people. "Nobody is going out and aggressively searching for these cases like we are," Manhein tells the Lafayette newspaper. "We're the only state that has an effort on this kind of scale." The FACES Lab (an acronym for Forensic Anthropology and Computer Enhancement Services) has been compiling the database since 2004. It...

The ailing techster

For years, we've been warned about the electromagnetic radiation our cell phones emit.