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The Commerce Blog

Dr. Patrick Gallagher Sworn In as 14th Director of NIST

Portrait of Director Gallagher

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke swore in Patrick D. Gallagher, Ph.D., as the 14th Director of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). In remarks before hundreds of staff on the NIST campus, Locke said, “We are fortunate to have someone of Pat’s experience and expertise taking the helm at NIST, especially as this administration is working to accelerate the development of new technologies in areas like clean energy and efficiency.” (Remarks) (Director’s bio)

Census: Homes with Cell Phones Nearly Double in First Half of Decade

U.S. Census seal

The number of households with cell phones increased from 36 percent to 71 percent between 1998 and 2005, according to new data released by Commerce’s U.S. Census Bureau. This corresponded with a decrease in households with telephone landlines, particularly households headed by young adults. These figures are part of an in-depth look at the living standards of U.S. households using extended measures of well-being. The data were collected in 2005 as part of the ongoing Survey of Income and Program Participation. (More)

Secretary Locke Statement on President Obama's Intent to Nominate Lamb-Hale as Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services

ITA logo.

President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate Nicole Y. Lamb-Hale to serve as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Manufacturing and Services within the International Trade Administration. “Our manufacturers and service providers have an excellent advocate in Ms. Lamb-Hale,” said U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke. “Nicole has firsthand knowledge of the challenges that our industries face and will be able to serve the interests of industry at every level.” (More)

NIST: Small Nanoparticles Bring Big Improvement to Medical Imaging

Human red blood cells, in which membrane proteins are targeted and labeled with quantum dots, reveal the clustering behavior of the proteins. The number of purple features, which indicate the nuclei of malaria parasites, increases as malaria development progresses. The NIST logo at bottom was made by a photo lithography technique on a thin film of quantum dots, taking advantage of the property that clustered dots exhibit increased photoluminescence. (White bars: 1 μm; red: 10 μm.)

Credit: H. Kang / NIST and F. Tokumasu / NIAID

Click for larger image.

A joint research team, working at Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), has discovered a method of using nanoparticles to illuminate the cellular interior to reveal these slow processes. Nanoparticles, thousands of times smaller than a cell, have a variety of applications. One type of nanoparticle called a quantum dot glows when exposed to light. These semiconductor particles can be coated with organic materials, which are tailored to be attracted to specific proteins within the part of a cell a scientist wishes to examine. (More)

NOAA Reports Combined Global Surface Temperature Was Sixth Warmest for October

Photo of melting ice in Arctic Ocean.

The combined global land and ocean surface temperature was the sixth warmest October on record, according to NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. Based on records going back to 1880, the monthly National Climatic Data Center analysis is part of the suite of climate services NOAA provides. NCDC scientists reported that the average land surface temperature for October was also the sixth warmest on record. Additionally, the global ocean surface temperature was the fifth warmest on record for October. (More)

Secretary Locke Statement on U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services in September 2009

Portrait of Secretary Locke.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke issued the following statement on the release of the September 2009 U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services report by the Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Today’s report showed that U.S. exports increased by 2.9 percent to $132.0 billion since August 2009. Imports increased 5.8 percent to $168.4 billion. (More)

Secretary Locke to Attend APEC Singapore Ministerial Meetings

Department of Commerce Seal.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke will be in Singapore and China the next six days, focused on an agenda that seeks to create jobs at home by making U.S. businesses more competitive in some of the fastest growing economies in the world. Locke will attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ministerial meeting in Singapore through Sunday and then head to Beijing for three more days of events. Locke is part of an American APEC delegation that includes President Obama. (More)

Senate Confirms Dr. Patrick Gallagher as 14th NIST Director

Portrait of Gallagher

The U.S. Senate confirmed Dr. Patrick D. Gallagher by unanimous consent last evening as the 14th director of the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Gallagher has worked at NIST since 1993 as a scientist and as a laboratory director. He has carried out the functions of the director in his current position as deputy director since September 2008. President Obama nominated Gallagher, 46, to his new post on September 10, 2009. (More) (Bio)

USPTO Hosts Annual Independent Inventors Conference

Campus view of USPTO in Alexandria, Va.

Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the National Inventors Hall of Fame®Foundation co-sponsored the 14th annual Independent Inventors conference, keynoted by Under Secretary David Kappos. "Independent inventors have always been drivers of innovation in America," notes Under Secretary Kappos. "I am committed to dialoguing with them as often as possible and to making sure their concerns are heard. I am also committed to ensuring a level playing field for them as they seek the strong protection that the law accords to their innovations." (More) (Remarks)

Secretary Locke Announces Winners of Presidential Export Awards

U.S. Commerce Secretary Locke honored 21 companies that have excelled in exporting as recipients of the prestigious 2009 Presidential “E” and “E Star” Awards during a ceremony at the National District Export Council Conference. The “E” Award is the highest U.S. Government recognition any U.S. entity may receive for supporting export activity. The Presidential “E” Award was created by President John F. Kennedy in 1961 to recognize persons, firms, or organizations that contribute significantly to increasing United States exports. (More) (“E” Award for Exporters)