Category Archives: ResearchNugget#4

Research Nuggets #3 and #4

Source #1: Link

Berry, Fiona. “NIH 3D printer project to allow public to create drug models.” N.p., 23 June 2014. Web. 21 July 2014. <>.

This article’s main idea is to explain a new, free program the NIH (US National Institutes of Health) launched to let the public print 3D models of molecules. The point of this service is to allow researchers from different fields access no matter their experience with 3D printing.

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This nugget brings up the themes of our unit  connecting human intellect and computers.  3D printing really presents this idea well because it’s taking human thoughts and creativity and using a computer to create the result.

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This nugget  shows how beneficial 3D printing is for biology. It can create custom models that can aid learning. Another bonus is that the process is quick.

Source #2: Link

Doherty, Davis. “Downloading infringement: Patent law as a roadblock to the 3D printing revolution.” Harv. J. Law & Tec 26 (2012): 353-695.

This source suggests that while advance in 3D printing can be beneficial, one major downside can be patent infringement. It focuses on DIYer, aka Do it Yourselfers which are people who take on projects to make products instead of  buying them. Basically, problems can arise is a DIYers “infringes on an existing patent”.

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This nugget suggests a group be formed to help avoid patent problems involving 3D printing t. It discusses the good that can come from such technology, but also how it should be managed, so less legal issues arise. This may help make 3D printing more wide spread since it is a solution to  one of the problems that’s come up.


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This nuggets shows another solution which is creating patent laws specifically for 3D printing and similar technology.


Source #3: Link

Bourell, D. L., et al. “A brief history of additive manufacturing and the 2009 roadmap for additive manufacturing: looking back and looking ahead.” US-Turkey Workshop on Rapid Technologies. 2009.

This source discusses the evolution of 3D printing or additive manufacturing.  It discusses techniques, uses and benefits and where the author believes this kind of technology is headed.
“Develop university courses, education materials, and curricula at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as at the technical college level”

This nugget is a future goal the author predicts will happen to education in the upcoming years.

“Develop training programs for industry practitioners with certifications given by professional societies or organizations.”

This is another goal the author believes 3D printing is headed or at least is one of the best ways to take advantage of this form of technology.


Source #4: Link

Gross, Bethany C., et al. “Evaluation of 3d printing and its potential impact on biotechnology and the chemical sciences.” Analytical chemistry 86.7 (2014): 3240-3253.

This source goes into detail about the applications of 3D printing in chemistry in biology. The author expresses the benefits of having 3D models to study and use for research.

“Studies have led to the conclusion that students were better able to conceptualize biomolecular structures when using 3D models, as confirmed by administering pre- and post comprehension tests.”

A better understanding of the material when learning is an important benefit of 3D models.  I plan on finding these studies for use in my project.

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3D printing can also be used for surgical preparation. It would be very beneficial for a surgeon to have a model of the patient before hand to help prepare for the actual surgery. I could see this be very helpful in medical school.

Source #5: Link

Loy, Jennifer. “eLearning and eMaking: 3D Printing Blurring the Digital and the Physical.” Education Sciences 4.1 (2014): 108-121.

This source describes a learning strategy involving 3D printing. It suggests 3D printing studios have improved the works of the students and have connected students “to a much bigger sense of the world”.

“In the design studio, 3D printing fundamentally reconnects students to objects and the reality of their work, which is topical as one of the most significant issues for design in higher education over the last ten years has been the breakdown of traditional studio practice [7] and the fragmentation of process. “

This nugget points out what the author finds wrong with the current education system and offers 3D printing studios as a solution.

“This new form of digital design studio places the student very much in the centre of their own learning with the facilities to work iteratively both on their own designs and in groups.”

The author also points out how it can teach students to work independently in their learning. Both collaborative and independent work are important parts of learning.

Source #6: Link

Knapp, Mary E., Ryan Wolff, and Hod Lipson. “Developing printable content: A repository for printable teaching models.” Proceedings of the 19th Annual Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium, Austin TX. 2008.

This source focuses on 3D printing in the classroom and how it can positively affect learning. It explains the benefits of hands-on learning and how 3D models can aid visually impaired students.

“Physical models have been shown to enhance learning in general student populations as well. Students learn in a variety of ways, and models allow students to include their sense of touch in the learning experience. ―The role of experience is emphasized in Piaget’s description of cognitive development, that is, to know an object a subject must act on it and thus transform it – displace, connect, combine, take apart, and reassemble it.‖ (Cohen, 1983). Science education especially benefits from the use of models.”

Piaget makes a good point about actually being about to truly know an object. Looking at a picture of something is nothing compared to being able to touch and see a 3D models of something.

“For-profit sites also host large collections of models. The aim of
this website is to collect and create educational models in one location to give educators easy access to a broad selection of free models.”

Websites are being created specifically for education and 3D printing. These sites give teachers access to models that they would print out and use when teaching. This may make 3D printing more accessible if educators have free models at their fingertips.

Synthesis: All the sources I’ve read and used have very similar themes. Most of the sources found 3D printing in the classroom to be beneficial and improved the learning environment. Hands-on learning was a major idea in many of the sources and the authors found touching and seeing 3D objects to be a helpful aid in class. In the sources where small studies were done involving students, students were observed to be active and interested in the 3D printing process.

Research Nugget #4


Ware, W. SECURITY AND PRIVACY IN COMPUTER SYSTEMS. Computer Law and Security Review: The International Journal of Technology and Practice, 27, 1-28. Retrieved July 15, 2014, from

The main claim of the article is to explain the major events that occurs when gathering  information and the inner workings of a typical computer system. Then the author delves into security and privacy situations, and finally suggests a solution to preserving privacy in computer systems.


“The hardware configuration of a typical resource sharing computer system is shown in Fig. 1. There is a central processor to which are attached computer-based files and a communication network for linking to remote users via a switching center. We observe first of all that the files may contain information of different levels of sensitivity… A large variety of hardware failures might contribute to software failures which, in turn, lead to divulgence.”

This illustrates how computer systems (suspected resource sharing ones) work with their relation to privacy and security issues. And it is later recognized in the article, that this system isn’t perfect and has some vulnerabilities and in order to attempt to fix the problems we have to be able so see these particular vulnerabilities first. And a big vulnerability that if checked and dealt with properly can protect overall privacy, is stated in the nugget as well.


“Within computer networks serving many companies, organizations, or agencies, there may be no uniform governing authority; an incomplete legal framework; no established discipline, or perhaps not even a code of ethics among users. At present there is not even a commonly accepted set of categories to describe levels of sensitivity for private information… There may be need for a monitoring and enforcement established analogous to that in the security situation.”

This nugget explains the very real trouble our society faces regarding privacy and security in the cyber world of computer systems. Not only are individuals at harm but whole organizations and governments around the world are at risk, and that’s what the public forgets and overlooks, especially during the events revolving around the NASA information leaks. And the nugget also hints at a possible solution with a remedy to the problem in the security situations. And even though this article was compiled a couple of years back, it helps shed light on the issue that we are facing today regarding privacy and security alike.


Jamali, H., & Asadi, S. Google and the scholar: the role of Google in scientists’ information-seeking behaviour. Online Information Review, 34, 282-294. Retrieved July 15, 2014, from

The author’s main claim is to show the role that Google search engines, have relating to scientists that are interested in information gathering and seeking. And how the results found in this article help illustrate that over all scientists are becoming more and more reliant on Google searches all to often.


“Web search engines are probably the most important means of retrieving information for web-based information systems. Among the major search companies, Google has gained a reputation as one of the leading and most popular search engines. In 2006 in the USA there were 91 million queries searched daily on Google alone. The total number of queries searched daily on all search engines was 200 million ([30] Sullivan, 2006).”

This illustrate why Google searches are mainly targeted for information gathering or seeking, weather it be known or unknown like in the case of the NSA event with Snowden’s leaks, that before then were largely unknown by the public. Search engines like these are no surprise when it comes to an agency like the NSA, and why they would use it to gather information on people, like the PRISM surveillance program.


“Information literacy skills may play a role in this type of information-seeking behavior…The preference of users for Google-type search tools might also encourage information service and database providers to implement some of the characteristics of Google, such as simplicity, into their services.”

This illustrates a valid and important point on how the NSA using Google searches on their PRISM surveillance program, may prove to be an inadequate way of gathering intelligence on the public. This not only creates a false positive, put also jeopardizes the trust the government has worked to hard to earn from the American people. And a good example of a false positive that could arise from this is the recent revelations on the news; that the NSA has been spying on five American Muslim leaders which also happen to be citizens, and ties quite nicely to the domestic surveillance programs that the NSA has been conducting. These citizens turned out to be falsely accused of any sort of terrorist activities and reputations took a drastic hit with the public condemning these actions of the NSA.


Surveillance Techniques: How Your Data Becomes Our Data. (2012, January 1). . Retrieved July 15, 2014, from

The article’s main theme is to raise awareness about important privacy issues that exist in America. Most of the information was derived from news media, privacy groups, and government websites. And although this is not a peer-reviewed source (at least to my knowledge), it does provide quite bit of substantial information regarding how our information as the public, becomes the NSA’s gathered information in its domestic surveillance program(s).


“NSA technicians have installed intercept stations at key junction points, or switches, throughout the country. These switches are located in large windowless buildings owned by the major telecommunication companies and control the domestic internet traffic flow across the nation. A fiber optic splitter is placed on the incoming communication lines and routes the traffic to an NSA intercept station for processing.”

This illustrates the basic routine operations that the NSA conducts in order to receive the lager majority of their “backdoor” information data and metadata on the public.


“Our partners at the FBI DITU (Data Intercept Technology Unit) extract information from the servers of nine major American internet companies: Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, and Apple. This important partnership gives us direct access to audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs for each of these systems. Established in 2007, the Top Secret Prism program has allowed us to closely track targeted individuals over time. Our ability to conduct live surveillance of search terms has given us important insights into their thoughts and intentions.”

This illustrates the various companies that are involved with or have connections to the NSA’s Prism surveillance program. And also explains that these “partnerships” are vital to the NSA operation in gathering information from the public. This nugget has also provided us with some history of the PRISM program, as it was established in 2007, and the likelihood of the NSA’s views (“Our ability to conduct live surveillance of search terms has given us important insights into their thoughts and intentions”) on how they interrupt their own PRISM program.


All three articles relate to one another and help to illustrate the importance of the privacy and security issues being discussed alike, the inner workings of the NSA’s domestic surveillance program(s), especially the PRISM program, and how that computer systems need always vigilant watchers to watch over them as they are not perfect and certain information may fall into the wrong hands. We have seen just how Google searches specifically are best targeted for information gathering agencies such as the NSA. Also that sometimes the NSA isn’t necessarily always needed to be blamed for loss of vital information to someone else, as hardware and software problems becomes an issue, and even the user can be blamed as well for this dilemma. We are far from a perfect privacy versus security mix as Obama once spook of, but we know the problems that need to be fixed and with the proper legislation and the support of the American people, we can improve the citizens’ right to the First and Fourth Amendments by allowing them privacy, yet securing our country’s safety above.

**Please note that APA citation was used from the information provided in each source and was done to the best of my ability**