Bacon Bits: Alexa, Graphene, Nurse Practitioners

Hey, Alexa, does Amazon have any job openings for its Alexa project? Amazon has posted its first job listings for its new Arlington County headquarters and is moving two vice presidents from Seattle to Arlington, reports the Washington Post. One will oversee workforce development, and the other will run a technical team focused on international growth of its virtual assistant Alexa.

Commercializing one of the world’s most awesome materials. Graphene is 200 times stronger than steel. It is superb at conducting heat and electricity. And it’s incredibly pliable. Now the Carbon Research and Development Co. is building a Graphene Research Center in Wise County with the backing of a $1.5 million loan from the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority. The Center, which is focusing on applications in the manufacturing center, is collaborating with Virginia Tech, reports the Roanoke Times, to derive the carbon-based material from coal.

First nurse practitioner licensed under new law. To address the shortage of physicians in rural areas, the General Assembly passed a law this year that allows nurse practitioners in Virginia to be licensed to practice autonomously without collaborating physicians. Now Susan Adamson, a nurse practitioner, is the first in Virginia to receive such a license, reports WHSV. She works at the Free Clinic in Harrisonburg. Nurse practitioners must have worked for 9,000 hours or five years to qualify. Clearly the law represents a step forward for rural health care, but it’s not clear how many nurse practitioners ultimately will qualify.

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3 responses to “Bacon Bits: Alexa, Graphene, Nurse Practitioners

  1. I had never heard of graphene. Googling it, I discovered that it is a relatively recently discovered material. It was observed in an electron microscope in 1962 and “rediscovered” in 2004 by scientists in England who were later awarded a Nobel Prize for their work with the material. I wonder about the viability of producing the material from coal. The description I read says that graphene is essentially a layer of graphite that is one cell thick.

    That is good news about the nurse practitioner. It could help reduce costs in state and local agencies that provide medical services.

  2. re: nurse practitioners – yes – there goes the argument about doctor shortages and MedicAid…. and rural shortages.. this will probably cause a boom in the Community Colleges.

    re: graphene – has applications for wind turbines as well as solar panels.

    Wouldn’t it be a real kick if SW Va coal country morphed into a clean energy powerhouse!

    • I would think that, just to start, a nurse practioner would require a BSN. Perhaps starting in community colleges but needing to complete a four-year degree at a regular college or university.

      But I think it’s a good move for the Commonwealth.

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