automobiles

Passion to profit: Mechanic trades college for hands-on career
Archived

Tue, Dec 20, 2016 - 11:32pm

Jon Miller looks over the shoulder of “Tom, the new guy” fiddling under the hood of a BMW sedan. On a leisurely fall morning, Miller trains Tom in between greeting and assisting clients at the front desk. Drew, the customer service manager, is out on jury duty. The clatter of equipment blends with the pop-punk music echoing from the shop’s radio.

“Tom and I were actually neighbors growing up,” Miller remarks, his close-shaven beard framing a welcoming smile and his name embroidered on his quintessential, deep cerulean mechanic’s shirt. “I’m running out of people I know to hire.”

Anyone driving by Pioneer Automotive...

Meth-Detecting Cars, Chewing-Gum Biosensors
Archived

Mon, Nov 23, 2015 - 8:00am

by Mitch Andre Garcia

Rival drug dealers, cheap foreign knockoffs, and the Drug Enforcement Administration are just some of the problems illicit methamphetamine drugmakers need to deal with. Now a research team led by Guido F. Verbeck of the University of North Texas has unleashed drug-sniffing cars to the list of drug kingpin headaches.

These vehicular bloodhounds incorporate a portable mass spectrometry system within a Ford Fusion for covert detection of clandestine methamphetamine laboratories. “Most meth is sold on the street as soon as it is made, so the key is to measure aromatic precursors and by-products...