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MCNC May Get NASA Grant

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RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK — If Congress approves a proposed NASA grant, MCNC will help high-speed networking pay off. Researchers, educators and others will benefit.

Workers in the Advanced Networking Research lab at the Triangle center have unique experience with high-speed Internet development. The grant would allow the center to develop software and applications for the research community.

"They don't have that expertise and we're trying to provide a bridge to bring those applications to this network infrastructure," said the center's Director of Optical Research Daniel Stevenson.

MCNC's researchers developed special hardware to ensure security using high-speed data encryption. That kind of knowledge will be used to help doctors, teachers and researchers.

"More efficient medicine in terms of lowering costs, and we think, also better diagnoses, better treatment. They're going to be educationally oriented benefits. We can pool students, pool information and computing resources, those sorts of things," said Stevenson.

Instruments like a NanoManipulator could be used on high-speed networks to allow researchers to virtually "feel" tiny objects in real time across distances. MCNC is getting closer to the goal of scientific collaboration across distance, which could benefit us all.

Congress has yet to pass the grant, which also includes $1.5 million for preliminary work on updating Morehead Planetarium at UNC-Chapel Hill.


Tom Lawrence, Reporter
Ron Pittman, Photographer
Julian King, Web Editor

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