Tempe, AZ, United States
Tempe, AZ, United States

Arizona State University is a public metropolitan research university located on five campuses across the Phoenix, Arizona, Metropolitan Area. A sixth campus located in northwestern Arizona is known as the ASU Colleges at Lake Havasu City.ASU is the largest public university by enrollment in the United States. Founded in 1885 as the Territorial Normal School at Tempe, the school underwent a series of changes in name and curriculum. In 1945 it was placed under the direction of the Arizona Board of Regents and renamed Arizona State College. A 1958 statewide ballot measure gave the university its present name. ASU was classified as a Research I institute in 1994; thus, making it one of the newest major research universities in the nation.ASU is classified as a research university with very high research activity by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Since 2005 ASU has been ranked among the top research universities, public and private, in the U.S. based on research output, innovation, development, research expenditures, number of awarded patents and awarded research grant proposals. The Center for Measuring University Performance currently ranks ASU 31st among top U.S. public research universities.ASU's charter, approved by the board of regents in 2014, is based on the "New American University" model created by current ASU President Michael Crow. It defines ASU as “a comprehensive public research university, measured not by whom we exclude, but rather by whom we include and how they succeed; advancing research and discovery of public value; and assuming fundamental responsibility for the economic, social, cultural and overall health of the communities it serves.”ASU awards bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees through 16 colleges and schools across all of its campuses: the original Tempe campus, the West campus in northwest Phoenix, the Polytechnic campus in eastern Mesa, the Downtown Phoenix campus, The Mayo Clinic/ASU Medical School in Scottsdale, and the Colleges at Lake Havasu City. ASU’s Online campus offers 41 undergraduate degrees, 37 graduate degrees and 14 graduate or undergraduate certificates which together have earned ASU a top 10 ranking for Best Online Programs.Students will compete in 24 varsity sports beginning in 2016. In conjunction with the transition of the men's ACHA club hockey team to Division I of the NCAA, the 24th varsity sport will be an NCAA women’s team: Rowing is among the favored possibilities. The Arizona State Sun Devils are members of the Pacific-12 Conference and have won 23 NCAA championships. Along with multiple athletic clubs and recreational facilities, ASU is home to more than 1,100 registered student organizations, reflecting the diversity of the student body. To keep pace with the growth of the student population, the university is continuously renovating and expanding infrastructure. The demand for new academic halls, athletic facilities, student recreation centers, and residential halls is being addressed with donor contributions and public-private investments. ASU's residential halls accommodate one of the largest residential populations in the nation. Wikipedia.


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Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: GRANT OPP FOR ACAD LIA W/INDUS | Award Amount: 215.81K | Year: 2013

GOALI: Intelligent Networked Solar Panel Array Management This three year GOALI proposal addresses several new signal processing, power, modeling, and control methods for optimizing photovoltaic (PV) arrays and inverters through Smart Monitoring Devices (SMD). The objectives for this GOALI project have been designed jointly by our faculty and industry partners and include: a) studying how the individual PV monitoring devices can improve solar panel array operation and efficiency, b) examining communication and networking methodologies for data flow through the system, and c) investigating optimization methodologies for the overall improvement of PV array and inverter performance. Based on these objectives our short term goals are: a) to develop intelligent, interactive PV monitoring technologies, b) to develop switching strategies for PV modules, c) to optimize PV array performance, d) to provide fault tolerant capabilities, e) to establish communications and networking among SMDs, servers and inverters, f) to provide anti-shading strategies and reduce mismatch, and g) to establish these innovations along with a tech transfer and IP roadmap for the GOALI project. The long term goal is to develop smart PV technologies that will help define new standards and protocols for PV array communication and control.

Intellectual Merit: Scientific problems that the proposal addresses revolve around information extraction and processing from PV arrays and inverter units that are intended for utility scale power production. The PV data and information processing algorithms derived for these applications will impact many areas in solar array power production and distribution. More specifically they will result in designing and deploying effective and robust PV arrays that operate in near optimum conditions and are robust to faults, noise and weather changes.

Broader Impact: The proposed work will advance the development of PV and inverter technologies. Our research will lead to inexpensive, smart, and robust PV units for utility scale applications. As a whole, our research will reduce the cost of energy by optimizing PV array and inverter operation. In the proposal, we describe a process to create compelling realizations of mobile iJDSP for dissemination and outreach of this PV monitoring research.


This disclosure includes systems and methods for extracting hydrocarbons from a geologic structure. Some systems use or include a well-bore that extends at least partially through the geologic structure, a first electrode disposed within the wellbore, an ionically conductive medium in fluid communication with the first electrode, a second electrode in electrical communication with the first electrode, and a power source configured to establish an electrical current between the first and second electrodes to cause an electrochemical reaction. Some systems are configured to facilitate extraction of hydrocarbons from a geologic structure.


Patent
Dignity Health and Arizona State University | Date: 2015-04-27

Systems and methods for detecting onset, presence, and progression of particular states, including intoxication, include observing eye movements of a subject and correlating the observed movements to known baseline neurophysiological indicators of intoxication. A detection system may record eye movement data from a user, compare the eye movement data to a data model comprising threshold eye movement data samples, and from the comparison make a determination whether or not intoxication or impairment is present. The detection system may alert the user to take corrective action if onset or presence of a dangerous condition is detected. The eye movements detected include saccadic and intersaccadic parameters such as intersaccadic drift velocity. Measurements may be collected in situ with a field testing device. An interactive application may be provided on a user device to provoke the desired eye movements during recording.


The present invention provides a temperature-responsive dual-gelling hydrogel comprising a plurality of hydrogel polymers and a polymer cross-linking moiety, wherein the LCST of the hydrogel polymers is less than 37 C., and the polymer cross-linking moiety is capable of chemically cross linking to the hydrogel polymers to form a polymer matrix.


Patent
Arizona State University | Date: 2016-08-31

A method for creating a tumor model includes encapsulating cancer cells in a first solution, disposing the first solution on a spacer, cross-linking the first solution and creating one or more high stiffness constructs, disposing a second solution around the one or more high stiffness constructs, and cross-linking the second solution and creating a low stiffness matrix surrounding the one or more low stiffness constructs.


Patent
Arizona State University | Date: 2016-09-13

Methods and compositions for replication of threose nucleic acids (TNAs) are described. The described methods include a method for transcribing a DNA template into a TNA, and a method for reverse transcribing a threose nucleic acid into a cDNA.


Patent
Arizona State University | Date: 2016-08-02

A system for providing neurostimulation includes an external device (external exciter) and an implanted device. The external exciter includes an energy source which inductively powers the implanted device. Examples of such external exciters include devices having at least one of: ultrasonic transducers, Radio Frequency (RF) transmitters, and solar cells. The implanted device includes circuitry that limits its maximum energy output to a predetermined saturation threshold such that excess stimulation from the external exciter does not raise the output of the implanted device beyond the saturation threshold. The output signal of the external exciter is then pulse-width modulated in order to produce a desired amount of output stimulation from the implanted device to stimulate the bioelectrically excitable tissue at a desired level.


We have identified a suite of genes in a limited number of human colonic tissue samples with expression patterns that correlate with whether an individual is experiencing symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) (FIG. 2). Interestingly, in the efforts to screen for genes that might be used as biomarkers for IBS, it was found that no single gene could be used for this purpose. Instead, when examining the entire dataset, there exist signature gene expression patterns (e.g., fingerprints or biosignatures) of IBS that have use as a diagnostic tool for IBS.


Tetradentate and octahedral metal complexes suitable for use as phosphorescent or delayed fluorescent and phosphorescent emitters in display and lighting applications.


Patent
Arizona State University | Date: 2015-04-22

We constructed S. Gallinarum strains deleted for the global regulatory gene fur (FIG. 1) and evaluated their virulence and protective efficacy in Rhode Island Red chicks and Brown Leghorn layers. The fur deletion mutant was a virulent and, when delivered orally to chicks, elicited excellent protection against lethal S. Gallinarum challenge. We also examined the effect of a pmi mutant and a combination of fur deletions with mutations in the pmi and rfaH genes, which affect O-antigen synthesis, and ansB, whose product inhibits host T cell responses. The Afur pmi and fur ansB double mutants were attenuated, but not protective when delivered orally to chicks. However, a pmi fur strain was substantially immunogenic when administrated intramuscularly. Altogether our results show that the fur gene is essential for virulence of S. Gallinarum and the fur mutant is effective as a live recombinant vaccine against fowl typhoid.


An implicit motor control training system for functional prosthetic device training is provided as a novel approach to rehabilitation and functional prosthetic controls by taking advantage of a humans natural motor learning behavior while interacting with electromyography.


Patent
Arizona State University | Date: 2016-07-29

A rapid antibiotic susceptibility test (AST) based on the detection and quantification of the movement of single bacterial cells with a plasmonic imaging and tracking (PIT) technology. The PIT-based AST detects changes in the metabolic activity of the bacterial cells long before cell replication, and allows rapid AST for both cultivable and non-cultivable strains. PIT tracks 3D movement with sub-nanometer resolution and millisecond temporal resolution. PIT also allows simultaneous measurement of the binding kinetic constants of antibiotics and bacterial metabolic state after the introduction of antibiotics.


Patent
Arizona State University | Date: 2015-03-16

Provided herein are methods for the rapid detection of HPV types, such as HPV 16- and HPV18-specific antibodies, in patient samples that contain antibodies. For example, patients with head and neck cancers have detectable antibodies to multiple early genes derived from HPV. These antibodies also are useful as biomarkers for HPV-associated malignancies and premalignant states, for diagnosis and prognosis, and for methods of assessing treatment and cancer-recurrence prediction.


A sensing device is provided that includes a tunnel junction created by forming a hole in a layered tunnel junction (for example). A chemically, well-defined surface may be formed by coupling affinity reagents to the electrodes, which, by these means, the surface may be configured to be selective for a particular analyte.


A method and system for analysis of protein interaction kinetics in microarray or whole-cell based formats includes positioning a sensor chip on a prism. The sensor chip is spotted with a plurality of target molecules. A movable printer head deposits a plurality of analyte droplets on predefined regions of the sensor chip surface. A light source transmits light through the prism to excite surface plasmon resonance on the sensor chip surface, whereby the plurality of target molecules bound to the upper surface are changing the SPR resonance angle and therefore the intensity of the reflected beam. A detector receives reflected light transmitted through the prism from the bottom surface. Signals from the detector are received and processed into kinetic data and microarray labeled data to determine molecular interactions and binding kinetic properties for the plurality of analyte droplets.


Patent
Arizona State University | Date: 2015-05-14

Nucleic acid-guided ordered protein assembly (NOPA) arrays and methods for their generation and related applications are disclosed herein.


Patent
Arizona State University | Date: 2016-08-29

Embodiments of the invention provide a method of forming a metal matrix composite including introducing a plurality of nanoparticles into a flow of metal material, and mixing of at least a partial portion of the flow of metal material with at least some of the plurality of nanoparticles to form a mixture of the metal material and at least some of the nanoparticles. The method further includes forming a metal matrix composite from the mixture, where the metal matrix composite includes a bulk region and an outer surface including a plurality of hydrophobic regions dispersed within a hydrophilic surface region. Further, the plurality of hydrophobic regions is formed or derived from the plurality of nanoparticles, and the hydrophobic regions have a first diameter, and an average spacing between the hydrophobic regions is a second diameter, where the first and second diameters are about 100 nm to 400 nm.


Patent
Arizona State University | Date: 2016-09-09

The present invention relates to kits and methods of modifying the prokaryotic genome a Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)-Cas system that utilized one nicking Cas nuclease and crRNAs. The kid and methods delete or replace portions of the prokaryotic genome. In some embodiments, an entire gene or multiple genes may be deleted or replaced.


Laser-induced fluorescence based optical system and method configured to precisely quantify the relative abundances of calcium (Ca) isotopes in a sample. Optionally, a diode laser is used as a laser source, with its output frequency shifted by two electro-optical modulators to optically excite fluorescence in the calcium-containing sample. The amounts of fluorescence emitted by the various isotopes are measured and compared.


Patent
Arizona State University | Date: 2015-02-18

Embodiments of the present disclosure provide bisbiotin ligands and related conjugates and methods. The bisbiotin ligands, combined with streptavidin, can be used in the separation, labelling, targeting, and immobilization of biomolecules.


Described herein are platinum and palladium compounds with geometrically distorted charge transfer state, applications and methods for the preparation thereof. The platinum and/or palladium compounds described herein are capable of emitting light and can be used in light emitting devices.


Systems and methods for predicting order-of-magnitude viral cascades in social networks are disclosed.


Patent
Arizona State University and Mayo Foundation For Medical Education And Research | Date: 2016-08-08

A system and method for detecting central pulmonary embolisms in a subjects vasculature is provided. In some aspects, the method includes receiving, using the input, a set of images representing a vasculature of the subjects lungs, automatically analyzing the set of images to segment the main arteries associated with the subjects lungs and separate the main arteries from surrounding tissues. The method also includes automatically extracting central pulmonary embolism candidates from the set of images after segmenting and separating the main arteries, and automatically evaluating the central pulmonary embolism candidates in three-dimensional (3D) space by applying a series of rules. The method further includes automatically displaying a report indicating evaluated central pulmonary embolism candidates on a display.


Patent
Arizona State University | Date: 2016-09-26

This disclosure relates generally to physically unclonable function (PUF) circuitry along with methods of generating numbers. In one embodiment, the PUF circuitry includes a memory, a memory control circuitry, and whitening circuitry. To reduce or eliminate the systematic bias from the array, whitening circuitry is configured to generate a random number comprising random number bits in response to the memory control circuit implementing at least one sequence of memory cycles on the array of the memory cells in the memory. The whitening circuitry is configured to provide the random number bits of the random number based on the variable bit states stored by the array of the memory cells. On average the whitening circuitry is configured to provide approximately half of the random number bits in the first bit state and half of random number bits in a second bit state.


Patent
Arizona State University and Mayo Foundation For Medical Education And Research | Date: 2015-04-24

A system and method for automated polyp detection in optical colonoscopy images is provided. In one embodiment, the system and method for polyp detection is based on an observation that image appearance around polyp boundaries differs from that of other boundaries in colonoscopy images. To reduce vulnerability against misleading objects, the image processing method localizes polyps by detecting polyp boundaries, while filtering out irrelevant boundaries, with a generative-discriminative model. To filter out irrelevant boundaries, a boundary removal mechanism is provided that captures changes in image appearance across polyp boundaries. Thus, in this embodiment the boundary removal mechanism is minimally affected by texture visibility limitations. In addition, a vote accumulation scheme is applied that enables polyp localization from fragmented edge segmentation maps without identification of whole polyp boundaries.


Chiral metal complexes having one of general formulae (1)-(4).


Patent
Arizona State University | Date: 2015-05-01

A fully integrated miniaturized optical biosensor and methods of making the same are disclosed. The biosensor may include a fluid transport system and an optical system.


A system and method for securing access to sensitive content on the web is disclosed. The approach automates compartmentalization practices for accessing different kinds of content with different browser instances. The automation is transparent to the user and does not require any modification of how non-sensitive content is accessed. For sensitive content, a Fresh Browser Instance (FBI) is automatically created to access the content. In addition, the automatic FBI system may provide support for novice users with predefined sensitive content sites as well as for more experienced users who can define conflict of interest (COI) classes which allows content from sites in the same user-defined class to coexist in a browser instance.


Some embodiments include a method of preparing a phototuned metal-organic framework by forming a first solution by dissolving ZrOCl_(2).8H_(2)O in dimethylformamide (DMF) and formic acid, mixing and dissolving 1,4-phenylenediacrylic acid in a second solution of dimethylformamide (DMF) and trimethylamine, and at least partially mixing the first and second solutions to form a mixture. The method further includes sealing the mixture in an autoclave and heating the mixture to above ambient temperature for a specified period of time to prepare ZrPDA metal-organic framework, and extracting the ZrPDA metal-organic framework and at least partially reacting to a specified degree at least some of ZrPDA metal-organic framework through [2+2] cycloaddition reactions. The specified degree can be tunable based at least in part on at least one of the intensity of UV radiation, the exposure time, and the UV wavelength.


Thermally activated delayed fluorescent compounds and uses thereof are described. The thermally activated delayed fluorescent compounds are an analogues of 9,10-dihydro-9,9-dimethylacridine compounds.


Our knowledge of the Pleistocene environments of Africa consists primarily of data at a scale too coarse to capture the full habitat variation important to hominins ‘on the ground.’ These environments are complex, highly variable, and poorly understood. As such, data from individual sites are a needed addition to our current paleoenvironmental reconstructions. This study offers a site-based approach focusing on stable isotope analyses of fossil faunal tooth enamel from three archaeological sites in tropical Africa. Carbon and oxygen stable isotope data are reported from the sites of Porc Epic, Ethiopia, Lukenya Hill, Kenya, and Kalemba Rockshelter, Zambia. Stable isotope data from tooth enamel are used to measure two environmental variables: (1) aridity based on oxygen isotope composition and (2) dietary reconstructions of fossil ungulates based on the relative proportions of C3 browse and C4 graze in the diet. These data allow for a preliminary assessment of existing models that attempt to explain the behavioral and technological variation characteristic of the transition between the Middle and Later Stone Ages. Results indicate spatial and temporal variation in aridity and phytogeography in tropical Africa during the Pleistocene, suggesting that no single model is likely to provide an explanation for the transition at all sites across Africa. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd


Spence J.C.H.,Arizona State University
Ultramicroscopy | Year: 2017

In 1806, Humphrey Davey said that "nothing promotes the advancement of science so much as a new instrument". This paper reviews some of the lesser-known achievements of Ondrej's early career, and reminds us of the level of performance of instruments in those days, in order to appreciate how great has been the progress in instrumentation, much of it due to Ondrej and his leadership, since then. Some new results in the field of EELS are described, including extraction of the time-dependence of the dielectric response (with better time resolution than an X-ray free electron laser (XFEL)) from Nion EELS data. An approximation for atomic-resolution imaging which includes multiple scattering effects is given for biological samples, for use with aberration-corrected instruments when these become needed at the higher beam energies required to preserve the projection approximation, on which the 3D merging of single-particle cryo-EM images is based. We also discuss the requirements for out-running radiation damage using pulsed electron beams, a worthy final challenge for OLK. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.


In many materials systems, electron beam effects may substantially alter and destroy the structure of interest during observation. This is often true for the surface structures of catalytic nanoparticles where the functionality is associated with thin surface layers which are easily destroyed. The potential application of using aloof beam electron energy-loss spectroscopy as a non-destructive nanoscale surface characterization tool is discussed. Recent developments in monochromators make vibration and valence loss EELS possible in the electron microscope. The delocalization associated with these signals allows spectra to be acquired when the electron beam is position 2. nm or more away from the particle surface. This eliminates knock-on damage and significantly reduces ionization damage. Theoretical and experimental results are employed to explore the potential strengths and weaknesses of monochromated aloof beam EELS for surface analysis. The approach is most favored for surface layers on insulators because the bandgap lowers the background for detection of the vibrational signal and bandgap states. Guided light modes and relativistic effects can complicate the interpretation of the spectra. The effects are suppressed at lower accelerating voltages and particle size especially for low refractive index materials. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.


Scannapieco E.,Arizona State University
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2017

I present a suite of three-dimensional simulations of the evolution of initially hot material ejected by starburst-driven galaxy outflows. The simulations are conducted in a comoving frame that moves with the material, tracking atomic/ionic cooling, Compton cooling, and dust cooling and destruction. Compton cooling is the most efficient of these processes, while the main role of atomic/ionic cooling is to enhance density inhomogeneities. Dust, on the other hand, has little effect on the outflow evolution, and is rapidly destroyed in all the simulations except for the case with the smallest mass flux. I use the results to construct a simple steady-state model of the observed UV/optical emission from each outflow. The velocity profiles in this case are dominated by geometric effects, and the overall luminosities are extremely strong functions of the properties of the host system, as observed in ultra-luminous infrared galaxies (ULIRGs). Furthermore the luminosities and maximum velocities in several models are consistent with emission-line observations of ULIRGs, although the velocities are significantly greater than observed in absorption-line studies. It may be that absorption line observations of galaxy outflows probe entrained cold material at small radii, while emission-line observations probe cold material condensing from the initially hot medium at larger distances. © 2017. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved..


Heydt G.T.,Arizona State University
IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery | Year: 2017

The well-known and widely applied Thévenin theorem is applied to the operational analysis of ac transmission circuits. The approach is to model the transmission circuit N as an n-port. The calculation of the Thévenin equivalent impedance is found by applying an n-vector of currents to N and observing the behavior of the terminal voltages of N. The Thévenin equivalent voltage is an n-vector and this is simply the open-circuit voltage of N. The equivalent circuit is applied to conveniently study the transmission circuit performance for a range of different operating conditions. The treatment of controlled sources in the model is described. The application of Thévenin's theorem to a class of multiport circuits has been described before, and the application to three-phase circuits has been suggested; however, the contribution in this paper is the treatment of transformers and modeling mutual coupling between phases in transmission components, and the application to general polyphase circuits. © 2016 IEEE.


News Article | May 1, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

New international agreements commit all UN member nations to solving humanity's greatest challenges over the next few decades, from eliminating extreme poverty and unhealthy living conditions to addressing climate change and arresting environmental degradation. But how we'll achieve these extraordinary goals in such a short amount of time remains a major challenge. According to a new paper published this week in PNAS, creating a quantitative and systematic understanding of how cities generate wealth and better living conditions for their residents would be a big step forward. "The processes of human development and economic growth that cities and urbanization typically unleash are the only way we know to generate such monumental change so quickly," says Luís Bettencourt, a professor at the Santa Fe Institute and one of the leading authors of the study. "But we also know that processes of development in cities can create many terrible unintended consequences, including debilitating economic inequality and environmental degradation." To get a quantitative snapshot of development processes in rapidly urbanizing nations at different scales -- from neighborhoods to nations -- researchers from the Santa Fe Institute and Arizona State University analyzed neighborhood-level data in several nations in Africa and Latin America. The authors propose a simple index that can measure progress consistently. In the study, they show how this index captures development priorities expressed in surveys by the residents of 677 slums in 10 nations and can also be measured using data available from census in nations such as Brazil and South Africa. This approach reveals how quantities such as household income, access to basic services, and permanent housing change systematically from city to city and neighborhood to neighborhood. "When you measure sustainable development systematically, you find that people typically have higher incomes and more access to services in larger cities," says Bettencourt. "You see that large cities nucleate improving living conditions within their nations which then spread to other places. But you also find systematic large inequalities, when you look at it neighborhood by neighborhood." When the researchers compared index scores across neighborhoods, they found a consistent picture of spatially segregated rich and poor neighborhoods, which appears most pronounced in cities just beginning to climb the development ladder. "Some inequities are, to a certain extent, inevitable," says Christa Brelsford, the first author of the paper. At the time of the research, she held a postdoctoral fellowship through Arizona State University and the Santa Fe Institute. She is now a Liane Russell fellow at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. "There will always be people and places with access to 'just a little bit more', but we found that the degree of inequity among access to housing and services varies a great deal across different cities." Brelsford adds that "by directly measuring heterogeneity in infrastructure access, we can provide a general model for how to support more just, equitable, and sustainable development that is consistent with the UN Sustainable Development Goals." To help solve the main challenges of urban sustainability within our lifetimes, the paper calls for systematic analyses in more cities worldwide, complemented with new data and additional objectives. The authors believe that such consistent and systematic analyses are now possible and constitute a critical first step toward achieving sustainability objectives set by individual cities, as well as the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda. Read the paper, "The Heterogeneity and Scale of Sustainable Development in Cities," in this week's special feature of PNAS devoted to Sustainability in an Urbanizing Planet.


A team of astronomers says they’ve caught wind of an atmosphere around a super-Earth known as GJ 1132b, just 39 light-years away. The findings, described in the Astronomical Journal, mark another step on the road to determining whether alien worlds near and far might be capable of hosting life. “It’s a great proof of concept that we can observe atmospheres on these small, rocky planets even from the ground,” said Laura Schaefer, a planetary scientist at Arizona State University who was not involved in the paper. “That’s really exciting and that means that we’ll be able to do it with more planets down the line as we find more planets of this size.” The planet, Gliese 1132b, was first spotted in 2015 orbiting a small, dim M dwarf (a type of red dwarf) star about one-quarter of the Sun’s radius. At the time, the discovery excited scientists even though — with a surface temperature of about 620 degrees Fahrenheit — the planet wasn’t considered habitable. “Receiving 19 times more stellar radiation than the Earth, the planet is too hot to be habitable but is cool enough to support a substantial atmosphere,” the authors of the 2015 study in Nature wrote. Because the host star was so close by, they added, “existing and upcoming telescopes will be able to observe the composition and dynamics of the planetary atmosphere.” Astronomers often try to find exoplanets using the transit method: They wait for a planet to cross in front of its star and measure how much starlight is blocked. It’s much easier to pick out gas giants akin to Jupiter than it is to pick out small, rocky planets because oversized gas giants cause more dramatic dips in the amount of starlight. Those few other exoplanets whose atmospheres have been studied are gas-giant planets or very large super-Earths, with something like eight times our planet’s mass. But because GJ 1132b is so close, and because its star is so small, the rocky planet blocks proportionally more light, making it easier to study. Gliese 1132b is interesting not just because it’s the first low-mass super-Earth to have a detectable atmosphere. It’s near Earth, putting it in the sights of existing telescopes; and it was also thought to be about 1.2 times the Earth’s radius, making it very close in size — and potentially composition — to our planetary home. For this paper, a team of European astronomers used the 2.2-meter ESO/MPG telescope in Chile to track nine of the planet’s transits in front of its star. They studied the starlight in seven different bands of light across optical and infrared wavelengths. As a planet passes in front of the star, it blocks a certain amount of starlight across all seven bands. But the small amount of starlight that passes through the atmosphere will be selectively filtered: Certain chemicals in the atmosphere will absorb (and thus, block) certain wavelengths while allowing others to pass straight through. The missing wavelengths can tell scientists which atoms and molecules are present. The astronomers found that, based on the amount of light blocked, the silhouetted planet has a radius about 1.4 times that of Earth, making it a little bigger than previously thought. GJ 1132b also appears larger in one of the infrared wavelength bands than it does in the rest — signaling the presence of an atmosphere that is transparent to some wavelengths but opaque to others. The researchers then modeled different scenarios, finding that the atmosphere could potentially be rich in water and methane. If that’s true, then it means the planet could have a steamy atmosphere and perhaps a magma ocean, said Schaefer, who cautioned that many more follow-up observations need to be done to ensure the vapor-filled atmosphere really is there. “It’s not confirmed that it’s water,” she pointed out. “So it’s very exciting but we definitely need more data on it.” Because M dwarfs are so abundant throughout the galaxy, and habitable-zone planets circling them are easier to find, many scientists think these dim stars may offer one of the best chances for finding a life-friendly world. But these red dwarfs are also thought to be much more active than main-sequence stars like the sun — with flares, eruptions and other activity that could blow a planet’s atmosphere away. Keep in mind, Gliese 1132b circles its star so closely that its “year” lasts just 1.6 Earth days. So if the planet does turn out to have an atmosphere in spite of that proximity, it would be good news for astronomers — because it would mean that M dwarfs are more stable places for habitable planets than thought. For now, researchers are somewhat limited in what they can probe with existing ground and space telescopes. But with the launch of NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) later this year and the James Webb Space Telescope in 2018, researchers may soon be able to find more interesting nearby targets and then probe their atmospheric composition with precision. Follow @aminawrite on Twitter for more science news and "like" Los Angeles Times Science & Health on Facebook. Why would beetles want to look, act and smell like army ants? To eat them, of course New view of dinosaurs could radically reshape their family tree Ancient relative of crabs, shrimps and lobsters is named in honor of David Attenborough


News Article | May 2, 2017
Site: www.sciencenews.org

Leave it to a researcher who studies icy moons in the outer solar system to come up with an out-there scheme to restore vanishing sea ice in the Arctic. Ice is a good insulator, says Steven Desch, a planetary scientist at Arizona State University in Tempe. That’s why moons such as Jupiter’s Europa and Saturn’s Enceladus, among others, may be able to maintain liquid oceans beneath their thick icy surfaces. On Earth, sea ice is much thinner, but the physics is the same. Ice grows on the bottom surface of floating floes. As the water freezes, it releases heat that must make its way up through the ice before escaping into the air. The thicker the ice, the more heat gets trapped, which slows down ice formation. That’s bad news for the Arctic, where ice helps keep the planet cool but global warming is causing ice to melt faster than it can be replaced. The answer to making thicker ice more quickly? Suck up near-freezing water from under the ice and pump it directly onto the ice’s surface during the long polar winter. There, the water would freeze more quickly than underneath the ice, where it usually forms. In theory, Desch says, the pumps used for this top-down approach to ice growth could be driven by technology no more sophisticated than the windmills that have long provided water to farms and ranches on the Great Plains. Desch and colleagues envision putting such pumps on millions of buoys throughout the Arctic. During winter, each pump would be capable of building an additional layer of sea ice up to 1 meter thick over an area of about 100,000 square meters, or about the size of 15 soccer fields, the researchers estimate in the January issue of Earth’s Future. It won’t be easy. The Arctic’s harsh environment poses many problems such as frozen pipes. But many of those hitches are being addressed by engineers familiar with developing and maintaining Arctic infrastructure such as small-scale wind turbines and drinking-water systems, Desch says. To build and ship each ice-making buoy to the Arctic would cost about $50,000, he estimates. Over a decade, covering 10 percent of the Arctic Ocean with buoys would cost about $50 billion per year. “It’s a big project, but the point is, it’s not an impossible one,” he argues. Now is the time to begin detailed designs and build prototypes, Desch says. The Arctic Ocean’s end-of-summer sea ice coverage has decreased, on average, more than 13 percent per decade since 1979. “There’ll be a time, 10 to 15 years from now, when Arctic sea ice will be accelerating to oblivion, and there’ll be political will to do something about climate change,” Desch says. “We need to have this figured out by the time people are ready to do something.”


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.rdmag.com

Scientists may have finally determined why animals that live in caves often become blind. An evolutionary biologist from Arizona State University has proposed a novel theory, which rejects an original Charles Darwin theory that eyes could be lost by disuse over time. “We think that blindness in cavefish is indeed Darwinian, but ultimately this disproves Darwin’s original hypothesis of ‘disuse’,” Reed Cartwright, an ASU evolutionary biologist in the School of Life Sciences and a researcher at the Biodesign Institute, said in a statement. According to Cartwright, eyes are not lost by disuse but rather demonstrate Darwin’s fundamental theory of natural selection, with blindness selected as favorable trait for living in a cave. Cartwright’s research team chose to model a well-studied blind cavefish—the Mexican tetra—a small, docile, pink-hued fish just a few centimeters long that could easily make its home in an aquarium. The species has inhabited caves for two-to-three million years, giving it five million generations worth of time to evolve blindness. The Mexican tetra was selected because there is also a surface-dwelling form that has retained its sight. The researchers used computational power to investigate how multiple evolutionary mechanisms interact to shape the fish that live in caves. “The problem we have in these caves is that they are connected to the surface, and fish that can see immigrate into the cave and bring genes for sight with them,” Cartwright said. “Under these conditions, we don't typically expect to find such a difference in traits between surface and cave populations. Unless selection was really, really, strong.” In their model, the selection for blindness would need to be about 48 times stronger than the immigration rate for Mexican tetras to evolve blindness in caves and Cartwright’s group estimates that a measure of fitness for blindness—called the selection coefficient—in the tetra is between 0.5 percent and 50 percent. In the lab experiments the coefficients were high enough that a difference between surface and cave forms of the fish should have but wasn’t detected. Cartwright’s team then referred back to a 1925 hypothesis that stated that the reason you have blindness in caves is because the fish that can see simply leave the cave. “If sighted fish swim towards the light, the only fish that stay in the cave are blind fish,” Cartwright said. “They aren’t trying to get to the light anymore because they can’t see it. “Which actually is a form of selection, and thus, Darwinian evolution in action.” Cartwright explained that a fitness difference as big as 10 percent between sighted and blind fish may be difficult. However, if over time enough of the seeing eye fish are systematically being removed, they will also be removed from the gene pool and that could be enough to drive the evolutionary process.


Officials at Arizona State University knew they had a problem when students and other fans weren't able to connect to Wi-Fi at ASU's Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, AZ. A decade ago, the lack of connectivity wouldn't have made an impact. But within the past few years, fans have begun expecting to have the same Wi-Fi experience at stadiums as they get at home. After realizing that many parts of the stadium were Wi-Fi dead zones, ASU officials began working with Intel to improve the Wi-Fi capabilities at the stadium and it's been a work in progress ever since. ASU was already working with Dublin City University in Ireland on a smart living project, and Intel joined in that as well, teaming with Dublin City University to provide improved Wi-Fi for Croke Park, a Dublin soccer stadium. The smart technologies being tested will eventually be used in a smart city context, with Croke Park serving as a microcosm of a smart city. "The stadiums and ongoing projects are being used as a living lab," said Christine Boles, general manager of the industrial and energy solutions division for Intel's Internet of Things Group. "They'd been working on some research projects together and we got involved with them when they were talking about the idea of the stadium renovation happening at ASU as well as what Dublin City University was doing with Croke Park." SEE: How the NFL and its stadiums became leaders in Wi-Fi, monetizing apps, and customer experience (TechRepublic free PDF download) The three major themes being explored as part of the living labs are overall operations such as operational expenses and efficiencies, asset management to make sure that equipment is operating properly, and security, Boles said. Sensors are a key component, measuring everything from sound and humidity to temperature and feeding into a database of information that can be used for building systems or other use cases. The sensors are not Intel-based. They are off-the-shelf sensors in Wi-Fi connected boxes under the seats, and the data feeds back to the IT data center. Volteo was the vendor for this part of the project, said Ravi Nannapaneni, CEO and founder of Volteo. "We are learning different technologies needed by working with Dublin City University," said Jay Steed, assistant vice president of IT operations for ASU. One of the technologies being tested in both Croke Park and at Sun Devil Stadium is facial recognition software, which will be used in conjunction with an additional 90 security cameras planned for ASU's stadium. Eventually the cameras will be 4K. The facial recognition technology will analyze data on how fans feel when they're stuck in lines around the stadium, and how they feel overall, based on their facial expressions, said Chris Richardson, assistant vice president of IT development at ASU. The first phase of improvements arrived at ASU's stadium in time for the start of the 2015 football season. "We're doing this in three phases. Phases 1 and 2 are pretty much complete even though we have a Phase 2-b list," Steed said. "Phase 3 was supposed to be done, but the athletic director and the university decided to take out the entire east side of the stadium and redesign it. We want to make sure the stadium supports more than six football games a year. Phase 3 is still in the programming phase and the final numbers for access points may vary." At this point, ASU has built out the copper load fiber plant that can support 100 Gbps, but can go up to 100 Gbps. "Everything is CAT-15 now from a copper perspective and the access points. We're a Cisco shop so they're all Cisco access points. We have access points not only in the concourse and the suites but down in the bowl as well, underneath the seats. It can get to be 120 degrees in Arizona and the sun shining on the box can get much hotter than that. It can get up to 180-200 degrees in the direct sunlight," he said. The density allows for one access point for every 50 seats in the student section, and one access point for 75 seats in the non-student section. "We know that students will do more on their iPhones while they watch the game," Steed said. There are approximately 400-500 access points throughout ASU's stadium, including the student athletic facility being built underneath the north end zone. To figure out the best access-point-to-fan ratio, Steed and his colleagues went to Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA and NRG Stadium in Houston to assess the design at those stadiums. The distributed antenna system (DAS) for cellular service has been improved at ASU's stadium, with 21 sectors encircling the bowl now covered by a neutral host DAS. "We've had two seasons with that now and people are raving about it. We haven't had any dropped calls. When it says it's four bars, it's actually four bars," Steed said. Cisco StadiumVision has also been added for digital signage and the stadium's big screen. A new large digital screen will be installed in the north end zone this summer, along with two smaller screens in south end zone. ASU has a mobile app, and parking availability and seat locations within the stadium are available on the app, and new functionalities will be added. Find the best use for the data being collected is another aspect of the revamp. It can help stadiums determine how to increase revenue and how to increase or decrease sound. "They're doing analysis on the sound data itself on how you might use that information. What is a good sound versus a security threat sound," Boles said. Richardson said this is just the beginning. The university has already applied for larger funding to support the living lab partnership to explore facial recognition software technologies, and how it might apply for uses on the broader ASU campus.


News Article | April 19, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

Steve Desch is a professor of astrophysics at the School of Earth & Space Exploration at Arizona State University who's come up with a novel plan to rescue the rapidly melting Arctic. He and a team of university colleagues want to replenish the region's shrinking sea ice by building 10 million wind-powered pumps over the Arctic ice cap. In winter these would be used to pump water to the surface of the ice, where it would freeze, thickening the cap. According to Desch, this is an urgent climate-change issue facing the planet. In a research article in the journal Earth's Future called "Arctic Ice Management," he described it in alarming terms. "As the Earth's climate has changed, Arctic sea ice extent has decreased drastically," he wrote. "It is likely that the late-summer Arctic will be ice-free as soon as the 2030s." Already, the region's warming trend is breaking records. Last November, when sea ice should have begun thickening and spreading over the Arctic as winter set in, the region warmed up. Temperatures should have plummeted to -25 degrees C but reached several degrees above freezing instead. This warming is unprecedented, according to researchers. Even in January the Arctic sea ice was the lowest in 38 years since satellites began surveying the region, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. More from CNBC Disruptor 50: A huge marijuana cash handout headed to IRS on Tax Day Tech tools that can help you land the perfect job Why Google is partnering with these start-ups to close America's skills gap This is a situation that threatens the planet's sustainable future. The loss of the Arctic's summer sea ice cover disrupts life in the region, endangering many of its species. It would also trigger further warming of the planet by removing ice that reflects solar radiation back into space, disrupt weather patterns across the Northern Hemisphere and melt permafrost, thus releasing more carbon gases into the atmosphere. He said that it's likely already too late to reverse the situation by decreasing temperatures and carbon dioxide levels, and simply telling people not to use fossil fuels isn't enough. This being the case, his article proposes restoring the region's sea ice artificially, by using wind power to pump water to the surface during the winter, where it will freeze more rapidly. Right now it's only a proposal. But the research article was featured in such news outlets as The Guardian and CNN no doubt thanks in part to its eye-popping estimated price tag of $500 billion. That may sound like a lot, but Desch said the time has come to start thinking big.


Formidable names in the tech world, including Facebook, Mozilla, along with other industry leaders, nonprofit organizations, and the City University of New York banded together to launch a $14 million effort to bolster news literacy in today's age. The funding will be used for the News Integrity Initiative, a concerted effort to increase the trust in journalism globally, while also "better informing the public conversation." As ABC News reports, the initiative will be run as an independent undertaking by the CUNY's Graduate School of Journalism, with the support of the university's Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism. In a press release, the News Integrity Initiative said the mission is to advance the public's news literacy. The fund will be used to support applied research and products, and will help participants enter meetings and discussions with experts on the field of journalism. The initiative will appoint its own general manager, and the said person will report to CUNY's School of Journalism dean. The early participants will contribute to the overall narrative surrounding news literacy, hold events in different parts of the world, and pitch research projects to the initiative to request for funding. Among these participants are Arizona State University, Edelman, the European Journalism Centre in Netherlands, Hamburg Media School in Germany, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, and more. The initiative comes at an opportune time when public trust in the news industry is at a low, according to polls. This incredulity stems from the proliferation of fake news on social media platforms of late, a phenomenon Facebook once shrugged off, but is now working hard to fight. Fake news started getting traction during the 2016 Presidential Election, a time of hotly stringent politics, in which false reports about the candidates masqueraded as legitimate news were being passed around social media. Facebook failed to block these news items from view. Once Trump had won the election, op-eds claiming Hillary Clinton's loss stemmed from the failure to halt fake news propagation circulated around the web. This opened up a debate regarding whether Facebook should take the responsibility for allowing fake news stories to show up on its site sans any repercussions for the perpetrators. But while Facebook downplayed the severity of the allegations, it has since admitted that it was a different kind of tech company, in a way that it's also responsible for the content that's endorsed using its platform. "As part of the Facebook Journalism Project, we want to give people the tools necessary to be discerning about the information they see online," said Campbell Brown, Facebook's head of news partnership. While there's still ample provenance of fake news, it helps that major tech companies like Google and Facebook are facilitating their own measures to stop its ascent, with the former committing to efforts in flagging false and offensive content in search results, and with the latter rolling out a "disputed" tag for known fake news. It doesn't there, of course, but these are crucial first steps. While fake news per se can't be eliminated in one single sweep, helping the public understand the supposed caliber of dignified and accurate journalism they should turn to might at least help them detect particular trouble spots when reading fake news. Online space doesn't foster the same strict rules and standards for publishing as opposed to broadcast journalism, so it's much less of a challenge to push out false information online. Hopefully the News Integrity Initiative helps set the terms on what will stand and what won't. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.newscientist.com

WHEN Peidong Yang first took living organisms and connected them to electrified silicon wires, no one thought any good could come of it. “When I proposed the idea, people didn’t believe it would work,” says Yang. The microbes weren’t the only ones that got a shock. Yang’s experiments at the University of California, Berkley, and those of a few others, are showing that some organisms can not only survive an encounter with raw electrons pumped through the silicon, but live for weeks this way. In the process, they have opened up a new path towards sustainable energy. The hope is that this fusion of biology and electricity can solve one of chemistry’s biggest problems: how to take the freely available power of sunlight and convert it into a cheap, green energy source for everyone. And not just that. By making microbes that pair some of our best light-harvesting technology with nature’s way of using the sun’s energy – photosynthesis – we might be able to create tiny, green factories that pump out any useful chemicals we desire. “Nature knows how to do chemistry and humans know how to make electricity,” says Thomas Moore, who studies solar energy capture at Arizona State University. “It makes a lot of sense to put the two things together.” Our desire to harness the sun’s power has roots going back a long time. Paul King at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado likes to highlight the foresight of an Italian chemist named Giacomo Ciamician. Writing in the journal Science in 1912, Ciamician wondered whether harnessing the sun’s energy the


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.treehugger.com

Zero Mass Water's Source device is a rooftop solar device that produces water instead of just electricity. With the virtual explosion of rooftop solar arrays producing clean electricity, the future of democratized power is bright, but when it comes to water, we don't have nearly as many options. Most of us are directly tied into the local water supply, which is great when it works well, and horrible when it doesn't (as evidenced by the recent and ongoing travesties in communities such as Flint, Michigan), and although some homes may capture rainwater for irrigation, or have their own well, there aren't a lot of alternative choices for getting clean drinking water, other than purchasing bottled water. However, there are some up-and-coming water innovations that could be put into play at homes and businesses that would allow people to have more control over their own drinking water supply. In recent years, the idea of pulling water vapor from the air and condensing it into drinking water is getting a whole lot more attention, and not just in off-grid areas and in the developing world, but also right here in suburbia and urban areas as well. One company that offers a localized clean water solution is Zero Mass Water, and its Source device looks to be a promising addition to homes or businesses that want to gain some water sovereignty. Zero Mass Water, an Arizona State University spin-off startup based in Scottsdale, has developed a "drinking water solar panel" that is a standalone system requiring no wired or water input connections, and the company has been installing its SOURCE device in pilot programs on homes and in communities since 2015. A single unit has a physical footprint of 2.8 square meters, generates its own electricity from a solar photovoltaic panel (and stores some of that electricity in an integrated lithium-ion battery for keeping water pressure up after dark), and uses that electricity to drive a cycle of condensation and evaporation that can produce 2 to 5 liters of water per day. A 30-liter reservoir holds the generated water and allows for the distilled water to have minerals added to it for taste, and the output can be plumbed directly to a tap inside the home or business. Multiple SOURCE units can be installed in an array in order to generate the appropriate amount of water to meet the needs of the owner. According to the company, the only maintenance or financial input required by the SOURCE is a new air filter every year, and a new mineral cartridge every 5 years, which means that after the initial purchase and install, the owner can essentially own their own drinking water supply with minimal inputs. Although pricing on the units hasn't been publicly announced yet, Phoenix Business Journal states the price as $4,800, "which includes the $3,200 panel and $1,600 for an additional panel." Part of the company's goal is global water democratization, so customers will be asked to help underwrite part of the cost of additional SOURCE units for people living in areas with little to no water infrastructure. "When you purchase SOURCE panels for your home, you will own your water for the first time. In order to purchase that panel, we will ask you to split the cost of an additional panel with Zero Mass Water. The panel that you split with us will go to a community of your choosing, a family who will leapfrog poor or non-existent infrastructure. As their SOURCE gets installed you will accelerate water democratization. You get to choose the region and then our partners around the world identify families with little or no clean water (to start with, located in Latin America, the Middle East, and underserved in the US). These families will not receive a panel for free, but will instead purchase it for the cost of getting it to them and installing it. Together, both households own their water." - Cody Friesen, Founder and CEO of Zero Mass Water Find out more about how the SOURCE units can help you own your water at the company website.


News Article | April 27, 2017
Site: www.newscientist.com

A robotic arm is sublime at stacking boxes on a production line, but workplace robots struggle with social niceties. Now researchers are teaching robots the right way to act in social situations in the hope of making it easier for humans and robots to work together. Human social interactions are full of subtle cues that are tricky for robots to interpret, says Song-Chun Zhu at the University of California, Los Angeles. So Zhu and his team set out to teach Baxter – an industrial robot designed to work alongside humans – to respond to social cues in a more natural way. The team trained Baxter on videos of humans shaking hands, waving, helping each other up, passing over a cup and high-fiving. The robot’s learning algorithm generated rough skeletons of each person’s movement and used those outlines to infer human intentions and mimic their responses in social situations. After watching 20 videos of each type of interaction, Baxter was told to take the place of one of the humans in each of the five situations. The robot, which has two arms and a moving base, attempted to mirror the movements of the humans it had learned from. It used a motion sensor to detect the location and body position of its partner, and a pressure sensor on its right hand to let it know when it was touching them. Baxter used visual cues about the position of its partner to work out the most appropriate response in each situation. If it detected that its partner was reaching out with a cup in their hand, Baxter responded with an open hand to take the cup. A different group of volunteers then rated how successful and human-like each of these interactions were compared with simulations with an untrained robot. For each of the five types of interaction, the volunteers rated the trained robots as much more successful and human-like than the untrained ones. The more Baxter watches humans interact, the better it becomes at responding appropriately in similar situations, says Zhu. He hopes that his learning model, which is being presented at this year’s International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Singapore, will improve robot-human collaboration on production lines or on tasks like building furniture. Heni Ben Amor at Arizona State University says that having robots learn from watching humans interact won’t just make them better collaborators, it will help humans feel more at ease around robots too. “There’s a high demand for robots that are socially aware,” he says. If robots can learn the basics of social interaction, like knowing how fast to move their arms or how close to stand to a person without making them feel uncomfortable, then humans are much more likely to accept robots in their home or workplace, he says.


News Article | April 21, 2017
Site: www.newscientist.com

On Easter Sunday, a man chose 74-year old Robert Godwin Sr at random on a street in Cleveland, Ohio, shot him, and put the video on social media. In the video, Godwin is instructed to name the killer’s ex-girlfriend, and tell the camera that she is the reason he is about to die. Sadly, this is only the latest nefarious use of social video. As increasingly easy-to-use video applications have lowered the barrier to entry, we have seen it spread from beheadings by Islamic State, gang rapes, suicides and now to a murderer simultaneously terrorising a woman from afar for ending a relationship with him. Predictably, the event has unleashed a wave of criticism of Facebook. What responsibility should the company bear for preventing these kinds of videos? It’s easy to demand technological fixes from the platforms that host these videos, but that both evinces a naivety about what technology is actually capable of, and also elides some uncomfortable truth about who else is to blame. To be sure, Facebook has not covered itself in glory. Its initial response to the video tellingly referred to the murder as “content”. It was reportedly at least two hours before the video was taken down. Not good, in light of the company’s history of profiting handsomely from video while not taking any of the responsibility for vetting the footage – it is not subject to the same restrictions as traditional broadcasters. This is made worse by emerging research that suggests such footage could lead to more murders. “It would not surprise me that murder would be contagious,” says Sherry Towers at Arizona State University, who has found that there is a relationship between how widely a gruesome act gets shared and the likelihood of copycat violence. “People who are otherwise mentally distressed could get the idea that [this] would be something they would want to do.” Most of the solutions being demanded of Facebook are technical. For example, people point to the 3-second delays used by broadcasters to avoid the unexpected. Or better algorithms to flag and remove content before it is shared. That would certainly be helpful. If violent imagery makes it into a broadcast, its prompt removal can help prevent it gaining popularity, says Todd Helmus, a behavioral scientist at the Rand Corporation who has studied how ISIS propaganda videos spread online. For example, Helmus says the number of people sharing posts supporting ISIS on Twitter dropped dramatically in 2014 and 2015, around the time the platform began removing users who were the source of violent ISIS propaganda. It’s harder to police the accounts of all Facebook’s 1.86 billion users for a broad range of violent content, which has led to calls for AI to step in and censor problematic videos before they can enter the network. “You can develop machine learning capabilities to detect words or phrases on videos and images, like an ISIS flag, for example, and pin those for removal,” Helmus says. Leaving aside the fact that right now, asking for AI to police Facebook for such material is the equivalent of asking for a magic spell, do we want all violent video to be pre-emptively culled by an algorithm? “Some kinds of violence shouldn’t be removed,” he says. Last year, Diamond Reynolds uploaded a video of her boyfriend Philando Castile being fatally shot by a police officer while reaching for his ID in his car. The video set off protests and may have been instrumental in the police officer’s conviction. In the case of witnessing police violence or, for example, providing testimony to the effects of chemical warfare, video is key to raising awareness and holding those in power accountable. “The images we’ve seen this week are graphic and heartbreaking, and they shine a light on the fear that millions of members of our community live with every day,” Mark Zuckerberg posted after the Philando Castile video. At whose discretion do some violent videos stay, while others go? AI is certainly not capable of making fine distinctions yet; Facebook’s process is still unable to differentiate between photos of breastfeeding mothers or home births and pornography, or iconic war photography and child exploitation. And this is an easy task compared with deciphering intent – a task with which even a human curator might struggle. Whatever sophisticated algorithms we develop in the future, the question of censorship might depend more on human nature than on technology possibility. “The reason media stories about mass killings or things like this murder are so popular is that the public has a desire to read about it. Especially when they go viral on Facebook, that means people are actively sharing it. Why do we do this?” says Towers. Even after Facebook removed the video, the footage circulated on other platforms. In one of those posts, the video had 1.6 million views. “We are drawn to this imagery,” says Towers. Facebook says the delay in removing the footage was because it took that long for the first users to report it for problematic content, something that may implicate us again – the bystander effect is well known to dampen our motivation to intervene in an emergency. Our desire to watch this kind of imagery overrides our instinct to do the right thing and report it. That may offer a clue to how Facebook should respond. Eventually, the company will need to take responsibility for the content that is on its site, and the way to do that is by paying more human employees to take on that role, instead of offloading the problem either to as yet notional AI or onto the unpaid volunteers it counts on to police each others’ content. It’s not letting the company off the hook to say Facebook is only part of the problem. We bear some of the blame for circulating the content, and there’s no app for that.


Ticked Off! Here's What You Need To Know About Lyme Disease The world's creatures hold so many secrets and scientists are tirelessly working to discover them every day. Even more so with insects, new species of critters keep cropping up in science books, but still there are so much more to discover. Now, a generous couple has gifted a research facility a donation that could shed some light into some of the insect world's mysteries. A prominent entomologist couple, Charlie and Lois O'Brien, have recently chosen to gift their massive collection of insects to Arizona State University which, thanks to the donation, is now among the ranks of leading research centers. The collection that is estimated to be worth about $12 million includes over 1 million weevils, an agriculturally significant species, and 250,000 planthoppers. The couple's gift significantly adds to Arizona State University's Frank Hasbrouck Insect Collection which already had almost a million specimens before the donation. They chose to give their collection, which they started in the 1950s, to ASU among other facilities because of their approach to research and the value that their collection could give the facility. "We are deeply indebted to the O'Briens for their transformative gift," said Ferran Garcia-Pichel, dean of the Division of Natural Sciences. Weevils have an unfortunately ominous name, and a long time ago, that name was feared in the U.S. cotton industry. They are pesticide resistant, highly mobile, reproduce quickly, and devastated farmers from East Africa to Southeast Asia and Central and South America. This diverse group of agricultural bugs burrow into their plant host's body and lay their eggs. The hatched larvae then eat the different plant parts from the roots to the blooms. For a long time, the 65,000 identified weevil species has been an enemy of the agricultural industry that the U.S. Agriculture Department has taken measures to eradicate the bugs. However, Charlie, who himself is an expert in weevils, has helped reshape the way weevils are seen from pest to agricultural helpers. When he was still a professor at the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, he found a way to eliminate a weed species that's been destroying crops using weevils. Because of his work, the very same species that was feared has now become an ally, with over two dozen countries are using weevils to control the invasive weed infestation. The couple's decision to donate is in line with their hopes that ASU will use their massive collection to good use and hopefully continue the work that they have done in the past. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


R.J. Crosby, Branch Manager & Vice President, First Choice Loan Services, has joined The Expert Network©, an invitation-only service for distinguished professionals. Mr. Crosby has been chosen as a Distinguished Mortgage Professional™ based on peer reviews and ratings, dozens of recognitions, and accomplishments achieved throughout his career. Mr. Crosby outshines others in his field due to his numerous awards and recognitions, outstanding customer service, and career longevity. He is a graduate of the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, where he majored in marketing. After an eight-year stint as the Regional Vice President in sales for WorldCom, Mr. Crosby got his start in the mortgage industry as a Mortgage Planner for CTX Mortgage, where he analyzed vast amounts of data to make sure buyer, property, and loan conditions met specific guidelines and government standards. He spent the next twelve years building an outstanding resume before accepting his position with First Choice Loan Services in 2014, where he is fortunate to help families from forty-six states purchase new homes and refinance their existing homes. With 14 years of experience, Mr. Crosby brings a wealth of knowledge to his industry and, in particular, his areas of expertise, conventional home loans, jumbo home loans, FHA purchase loans, FHA streamlines, VA purchase loans, HARP 2.0 loans, and USDA loan products. When asked what inspired him to pursue a career in mortgages, Mr. Crosby said: "I wanted to have the opportunity to serve and assist families by sharing my expertise in personal finance. I care about the community in which I work and I want it to grow and flourish." Mr. Crosby attributes his successful career to his willingness to spend the time sitting down with each client to give them a customized mortgage package that fits both their long and short-term financial goals, as well as payment and equity objectives. It is this sense of customer service and integrity that has earned him a spot in the top Top One Percent of Loan Originators in the Nation, as well as made him the recipient of the Top Branch Award for exhibiting the core values of First Choice Loan Services. As a thought-leader in his industry, Mr. Crosby’s position within the mortgage business gives him unique insight into prevailing trends within the industry. In particular, he notes how rising interest rates will affect all aspects of mortgage lending: "At the moment, what has got everyone’s attention is the rising interest rate environment and how that will affect our lending, originations, and our trusted clients. Weaker than expected economic data tends to send bond prices up and interest rates down, while positive data points to lower bond prices and rising loan rates. Most economists still don't see a rate hike in early 2017, but a strong majority does expect a 0.25% jump at the Fed's meeting later this year. Remember, mortgage rates can be extremely volatile, so you’ll want to reach out to me (your mortgage professional) for up-to-the-minute information!" For more information, visit Mr. Crosby's profile on the Expert Network here: https://expertnetwork.co/members/rj-crosby/140fa45630e29fda The Expert Network© has written this news release with approval and/or contributions from R.J. Crosby. The Expert Network© is an invitation-only reputation management service that is dedicated to helping professionals stand out, network, and gain a competitive edge. The Expert Network selects a limited number of professionals based on their individual recognitions and history of personal excellence.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

LearnHowToBecome.org, a leading resource provider for higher education and career information, has used metrics provided by the government to select the best colleges and universities in Arizona for 2017. 6 four-year schools had the qualifying scores to be included, and Arizona State University Tempe, University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University were the top three. Of the 20 two-year schools included in the ranking, Cochise College, Northland Pioneer College, Mesa Community College, GateWay Community College and Eastern Arizona College were the top five. A full list of schools is included below. “A certificate or degree can go a long way when it comes to starting or advancing a career,” said Wes Ricketts, senior vice president of LearnHowToBecome.org. “These colleges and universities in Arizona have demonstrated their value to students who want to be prepared for their role in the job market. Post-college earnings, employment resources and high program caliber were all evaluated to determine which schools belonged on our list.” To be included on Arizona’s “Best Colleges” list, schools must be regionally accredited, not-for-profit institutions. In addition to their career resources, each college is also analyzed based on additional metrics including program offerings, academic counseling, opportunities for financial aid, graduation rates and student/teacher ratios. Complete details on each college, their individual scores and the data and methodology used to determine the LearnHowToBecome.org “Best Colleges in Arizona” list, visit: The Best Four-Year Colleges in Arizona for 2017 include: Arizona Christian University Arizona State University-Tempe Northern Arizona University Ottawa University-Phoenix Prescott College University of Arizona The Best Two-Year Colleges in Arizona for 2017 include: Arizona Western College Central Arizona College Chandler-Gilbert Community College Cochise College Coconino Community College Eastern Arizona College Estrella Mountain Community College GateWay Community College Glendale Community College Mesa Community College Mohave Community College Northland Pioneer College Paradise Valley Community College Phoenix College Pima Community College Rio Salado College Scottsdale Community College South Mountain Community College Tohono O'Odham Community College Yavapai College ### About Us: LearnHowtoBecome.org was founded in 2013 to provide data and expert driven information about employment opportunities and the education needed to land the perfect career. Our materials cover a wide range of professions, industries and degree programs, and are designed for people who want to choose, change or advance their careers. We also provide helpful resources and guides that address social issues, financial aid and other special interest in higher education. Information from LearnHowtoBecome.org has proudly been featured by more than 700 educational institutions.


News Article | April 29, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

LearnHowToBecome.org, a leading resource provider for higher education and career information, has determined which online colleges and universities in the U.S. have the most military-friendly programs and services. Of the 50 four-year schools that earned honors, Drexel University, University of Southern California, Duquesne University, Regis University and Harvard University were the top five. 50 two-year schools were also recognized; Laramie County Community College, Western Wyoming Community College, Dakota College at Bottineau, Mesa Community College and Kansas City Kansas Community College ranked as the top five. A complete list of top schools is included below. “Veterans and active duty members of the military often face unique challenges when it comes to transitioning into college, from navigating the GI Bill to getting used to civilian life,” said Wes Ricketts, senior vice president of LearnHowToBecome.org. “These online schools not only offer military-friendly resources, they also offer an online format, allowing even the busiest members of our armed forces to earn a degree or certificate.” To be included on the “Most Military-Friendly Online Colleges” list, schools must be regionally accredited, not-for-profit institutions. Each college is also evaluated on additional data points such as the number and variety of degree programs offered, military tuition rates, employment services, post-college earnings of alumni and military-related academic resources. Complete details on each college, their individual scores and the data and methodology used to determine the LearnHowToBecome.org “Most Military-Friendly Online Colleges” list, visit: The Most Military-Friendly Online Four-Year Colleges in the U.S. for 2017 include: Arizona State University-Tempe Auburn University Azusa Pacific University Baker University Boston University Canisius College Carnegie Mellon University Columbia University in the City of New York Creighton University Dallas Baptist University Drexel University Duquesne University George Mason University Hampton University Harvard University Illinois Institute of Technology Iowa State University La Salle University Lawrence Technological University Lewis University Loyola University Chicago Miami University-Oxford Michigan Technological University Missouri University of Science and Technology North Carolina State University at Raleigh Norwich University Oklahoma State University-Main Campus Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus Purdue University-Main Campus Regis University Rochester Institute of Technology Saint Leo University Southern Methodist University Syracuse University Texas A & M University-College Station University of Arizona University of Denver University of Florida University of Idaho University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign University of Michigan-Ann Arbor University of Minnesota-Twin Cities University of Mississippi University of Missouri-Columbia University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus University of Southern California University of the Incarnate Word Washington State University Webster University The Most Military-Friendly Online Two-Year Colleges in the U.S. for 2017 include: Aims Community College Allen County Community College Amarillo College Barton County Community College Bunker Hill Community College Casper College Central Texas College Chandler-Gilbert Community College Cincinnati State Technical and Community College Cochise College Columbus State Community College Cowley County Community College Craven Community College Dakota College at Bottineau East Mississippi Community College Eastern New Mexico University - Roswell Campus Edmonds Community College Fox Valley Technical College GateWay Community College Grayson College Hutchinson Community College Kansas City Kansas Community College Lake Region State College Laramie County Community College Lone Star College Mesa Community College Metropolitan Community College Mitchell Technical Institute Mount Wachusett Community College Navarro College Northeast Community College Norwalk Community College Ozarka College Phoenix College Prince George's Community College Quinsigamond Community College Rio Salado College Rose State College Sheridan College Shoreline Community College Sinclair College Southeast Community College Southwestern Oregon Community College State Fair Community College Truckee Meadows Community College Western Nebraska Community College Western Oklahoma State College Western Texas College Western Wyoming Community College Yavapai College ### About Us: LearnHowtoBecome.org was founded in 2013 to provide data and expert driven information about employment opportunities and the education needed to land the perfect career. Our materials cover a wide range of professions, industries and degree programs, and are designed for people who want to choose, change or advance their careers. We also provide helpful resources and guides that address social issues, financial aid and other special interest in higher education. Information from LearnHowtoBecome.org has proudly been featured by more than 700 educational institutions.


News Article | March 27, 2017
Site: www.techtimes.com

NASA has chosen an airborne observatory led by the University of Arizona (UA) over eight other proposed missions vying for NASA's Explorer category. With a target launch date of Dec. 15, 2021, the Galactic/Extragalactic ULDB Spectroscopic Terahertz Observatory (GUSTO) mission with its airborne observatory will fly across Antarctica at an elevation around 110,000 and 120,000 feet, or 17 miles above a typical commercial flight's cruising altitude. Basically, the Ultralong-Duration Balloon (ULDB) has a telescope with carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen emission line detectors mounted to a gondola. With a science payload of almost 2 tons, GUSTO will run on about 1 kilowatt of electrical power produced by solar panels. "NASA has a great history of launching observatories in the Astrophysics Explorers Program with new and unique observational capabilities. GUSTO continues that tradition," Paul Hertz, astrophysics division director in the Science Mission Directorate in Washington, stated. After launching from McMurdo, Antarctica, GUSTO is expected to stay up in the air up 170 days, depending on weather conditions. The total project cost is approximately $40 million dollars, including expenses for the balloon launch, post-launch operations, and data analysis. GUSTO will measure emissions from interstellar mediums, helping scientists get a clearer picture of the life cycle of interstellar gas in the Milky Way galaxy and the birth and death of star-forming clouds. According to experts, the interstellar medium is the material "from which most of the observable universe is made: stars, planets, rocks, oceans, and all living creatures." According to principal investigator Christopher Walker, a professor of astronomy at the UA's Steward Observatory, understanding the interstellar medium is key to understanding where we came from, "because 4.6 billion years ago, we were interstellar medium." Aside from the Milky Way, GUSTO will also map the Large Magellanic Cloud, which according to Walker, is a hallmark of a galaxy more commonly found in the early universe. Walker and his team will use cutting-edge superconducting detectors and other instruments that will enable them to listen in at very high frequencies. Walker said that with the measurements from the GUSTO mission, experts can have enough data to develop a model for earlier galaxies and our home galaxy, the Milky Way, which are the two "bookends" of evolution through cosmic time. As a prelude to the GUSTO mission, Walker's team triumphantly launched a balloon with a smaller telescope — the Stratospheric Terahertz Observatory, or STO — above South Pole back in December 2016. Johns Hopkins University is reportedly in charge for the GUSTO balloon's gondola. Other participating organizations in the GUSTO mission include NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Arizona State University, and the SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


Joseph Brown, Partner & Co-Founder, Accident Law Group, has joined The Expert Network©, an invitation-only service for distinguished professionals. Mr. Brown has been chosen as a Distinguished Lawyer™ based on peer reviews and ratings, dozens of recognitions, and accomplishments achieved throughout his career. Mr. Brown outshines others in his field due to his extensive educational background, numerous awards and recognitions, and career longevity. He earned his B.A. in Justice Studies with Business Minor from Arizona State University in 1997 and his J.D. from the Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law in 2002. Mr. Brown is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum a membership limited to those who have obtained $1 million or more for an injured client, was voted as one of the top five attorneys in Ahwatukee, and holds an excellent Avvo rating. With 15 years dedicated to law, Mr. Brown brings a wealth of knowledge to his industry and, in particular, to his area of specialization, the field of personal injury law. When asked about his decision to pursue a career in this specialization, Mr. Brown said: "I came out here to Arizona after I graduated law school looking for a job and ended up with a job in the personal injury field. It turned out that I loved it, but that I had just been on the wrong side of the industry as an insurance adjuster. I love being able to help the same clients I felt were being wronged by the insurance companies. Then, about five years ago, I was in a bad accident myself, which drove it home a little bit more, because now I am able to relate to my clients more. I lived and dealt with the accident and know exactly what they are talking about." As a former insurance adjuster, Mr. Brown has a unique vantage point in his industry: he has experienced firsthand the inner workings of insurance companies. He understands how they can and will take advantage of personal injury victims who are either unrepresented or who do not have great representation. Mr. Brown has used this knowledge to anticipate the strategies typically used by insurance providers and has successfully represented thousands of clients in personal injury cases, including automobile accidents, motorcycle accidents, dog-bites, and wrongful death, among many other practice areas. As a thought-leader in his field, Mr. Brown keeps his eye on prevailing trends within personal injury law. In particular, he is concerned with where the country is heading with healthcare reform and what may change with the new president: "The Affordable Care Act is actually very good for our business here in Arizona. I see more clients with health insurance, which helps their cases and their opportunity to be treated compared to other clients who are unable to. Watching that eventually go away and seeing a favoritism towards big business is definitely going to hurt the consumer, which is who I defend and fight for." For more information, visit Mr. Brown's profile on The Expert Network© here: https://expertnetwork.co/members/joseph-brown/226f120b05f53254 The Expert Network© has written this news release with approval and/or contributions from Joseph Brown. The Expert Network© is an invitation-only reputation management service that is dedicated to helping professionals stand out, network, and gain a competitive edge. The Expert Network© selects a limited number of professionals based on their individual recognitions and history of personal excellence.


PHOENIX--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Senate Bill 1114, sponsored by Sen. Sonny Borrelli and Lamar Advertising and recently signed by Gov. Doug Ducey, allows electronic billboards within a 40-mile radius of Bullhead City in western Arizona. Working with the Arizona Astronomy Consortium, the Arizona Technology Council was successful in negotiating an amendment with Sen. Borrelli and Lamar Advertising that helped protect Arizona’s famed dark skies while still accomplishing Lamar’s economic development goals in Mohave County. The Council worked for an amendment which limits the number of billboards to 35, caps the level of illumination to 200 nits in the newly approved area, and restricts the areas in which the billboards will be permitted. With potential statewide implications, the amendment includes legislative intent language that encourages the advertising industry to try to limit light pollution and to use state-of-the-art technology to further mitigate the impact of the light from the electronic billboards. “The language of this bill allows Mohave County to have economic development in the form of electronic billboards but still helps protect our existing observatories, as well as potential future sites,” said Steven G. Zylstra, president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council. “Because they are among the top-rated dark sky areas in the world, professional astronomers flock to Northern Arizona and Tucson, second to only the star-filled skies from Mauna Kea in Hawaii, which is now built out to capacity.” A study published a decade ago showed the industry had an economic impact of $250 million annually -- not including the synergistic and strong optics sector -- and has been on a sustained path of growth since. The University of Arizona’s astronomy program alone has brought in over $100 million in sponsored research support every year for the last 12 years. That figure does not include the substantial NASA awards to the UA Lunar and Planetary Lab (OSIRIS-REX) or to the Arizona State University’s School of Earth and Space Exploration. “We’re pleased with the amended language in SB 1114 and thankful for the extensive work done by the Arizona Technology Council and Arizona Astronomy Consortium,” said Jeffrey Hall, director of the Lowell Observatory. “Artificial light at night is a threat to astronomical research, and it is crucial that we continue to protect the dark skies vital to Arizona's thriving astronomy industry." On the strength of its still-dark skies, Kitt Peak National Observatory outside of Tucson recently was awarded major new research projects, representing investments of tens of millions of dollars by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy and NASA. All these economic drivers are dependent on the state’s public commitment to protect Arizona’s valuable asset of dark skies. For more information on the Arizona Technology Council and its Public Policy Committee, visit www.aztechcouncil.org. The Arizona Technology Council is Arizona’s premier trade association for science and technology companies. Recognized as having a diverse professional business community, Council members work towards furthering the advancement of technology in Arizona through leadership, education, legislation and social action. The Arizona Technology Council offers numerous events, educational forums and business conferences that bring together leaders, managers, employees and visionaries to make an impact on the technology industry. These interactions contribute to the Council’s culture of growing member businesses and transforming technology in Arizona. To become a member or to learn more about the Arizona Technology Council, please visit http://www.aztechcouncil.org.


A computer-based bioinformatics method for identifying protein sequence differences between sets of sequences grouped into different phenotype data sets that involves querying a database to identify common sequence motifs within a first phenotype data set and another phenotype data set of protein sequences, computing a pairwise correlation among motifs for each data set, and computing the variation between the data sets to identify one or more motifs that are conserved in a given data set and thus correlate with that data sets phenotype (Fig. 1).


Patent
Arizona State University | Date: 2017-03-22

Some embodiments include a method. The method can comprise: providing a carrier substrate; providing an adhesion modification layer over the carrier substrate; providing a device substrate; and coupling the device substrate and the carrier substrate together, the adhesion modification layer being located between the device substrate and the carrier substrate when the device substrate and the carrier substrate are coupled together. In these embodiments, the adhesion modification layer can be configured so that the device substrate couples indirectly with the carrier substrate by way of the adhesion modification layer with a first bonding force that is greater than a second bonding force by which the device substrate couples with the carrier substrate absent the adhesion modification layer. Other embodiments of related methods and devices are also disclosed.


In December 2016, NASA began accepting bids for its next New Frontiers competition, a chance to mount a $1 billion mission to solar system destinations such as the moon, Venus, or Saturn's moon Titan. It is a careermaking opportunity, and scientists devoured the rules in the announcement. In the second paragraph, they read something new: a sentence stating that "NASA recognizes and supports the benefits of having diverse and inclusive" communities and "fully expects that such values will be reflected in the composition of all proposal teams." Many scientists hope the language will help NASA get out of a rut. Over the past 15 years, women have made up just 15% of planetary mission science teams, even though at least a quarter of planetary scientists are women. The disparity is even worse for ethnic minorities: Blacks and Hispanics make up 13% and 16% of the country, respectively, but each group makes up just 1% of the nation's planetary scientists. (Firm numbers for specific missions are not available.) The New Frontiers deadline arrived last week, and although the proposals are not public, observers say that women lead at least four of the dozen or so NASA received. "I suspect teams that come in will be significantly more diverse than previous rounds," says Louise Prockter, director of the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, Texas. NASA's move was spurred by scientists like Julie Rathbun, an expert on jovian moons at the Planetary Science Institute in Claremont, California, who has tried to quantify NASA's diversity problem. She and her peers dug up press releases and records to count the women on 26 missions. The lack of women on the 78-person science team for the Viking probes, sent to Mars in 1975, may not have been so surprising. But Rathbun expected women to be better represented on a newer generation of missions, and she was shocked to see no improvement in the past 15 years. "It hasn't happened yet," she says. Rathbun presented her analysis at meetings over the past 2 years, and the message eventually reached Curt Niebur, NASA's program scientist for New Frontiers in Washington, D.C. He says that pushing for more diversity is in NASA's interest. "The research now shows the best teams are those that take advantage of the diverse skills, knowledge, and viewpoints that are available," he says. Planetary science is not unique in its diversity problem. Many scientific disciplines, even those fed by academic pipelines that are majority female, such as biology, still have a disproportionate number of men in leadership roles. Janet Vertesi, a sociologist at Princeton University who studies planetary missions, says researchers have found that female and minority scientists can suffer even in the absence of conscious bias from majority scientists. Through the Matilda effect, for example, readers tend to assign more credit to male co-authors than female ones. And when minorities of any sort make up less than a third of a team, they face pressure to show that they were not selected because of their identity, which can cause conflicts. Some defenders of the status quo have claimed that it simply reflects merit. But Vertesi says that, without explicit criteria for "merit," people look for candidates from their existing social networks and exclude outsiders. As a federal agency, NASA won't impose sex- or race-based quotas in judging the New Frontiers proposals. And including demographic information on the mission proposals is still technically optional. But the change in the application language is a start, says Maria Zuber, vice president for research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, and the first woman to be a principal investigator for a NASA planetary mission. "If NASA gives it sufficient airplay, I think it will at least make people think." When it comes time to evaluate the mission proposals, Niebur says, he will require review panelists to perform exercises to raise awareness of unconscious biases they may have. NASA can take other tangible steps to boost diversity. For example, the agency has provided money to add outside scientists to many in-progress missions, a move meant to add new expertise to their research teams. Such participating scientist programs, as they're known, tend to improve diversity as well, according to a report from NASA's scientific advisory groups that was led by Prockter and released this week. She says she thinks that such programs should be mandatory for every mission. Other glimmers of progress are evident. Two years ago, women led four of the five proposals that were finalists in the competition for Discovery—a NASA line of missions with a $450 million limit. One of the two winners was led by Lindy Elkins-Tanton, a planetary scientist at Arizona State University in Tempe who, with her mission to a metallic asteroid, has now become the second woman to lead a competitive planetary science mission. Elkins-Tanton supports the new language, which could push the field one step closer toward a culture where all good ideas are heard. "We're trying to make it a meritocracy," she says.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

On April 1, 2017 teams from companies located in the Phoenix Arizona area took part in the Fit Company Challenge, a corporate wellness event hosted by the Fit Company Institute. The challenge provided area companies an opportunity to come together as a team and spend a morning exercising, pushing their physical and mental limits and showing the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. Participants worked in teams of 3 to 4 towards completing a variety of fitness stations to challenge their fitness level and earn points for their company. Teams chose what level to go through each course which allowed participants of all fitness levels to push their physical fitness without going too far out of their comfort zone. For the third time in a row, Climatec took first place overall. “The Fit Challenge is a great team building opportunity that our employees enjoy competing in,” said team Captain Jill Boileau. “We look forward to this event not only for the great workout, but for bringing our employees together. We can't wait for the next challenge!” In their first time participating Origami Owl came in 2nd place overall and 1st place in the medium division. “When the Fit Company Challenge brought this great opportunity to Origami Owl, it was a no brainer! We enthusiastically took on the challenge that perfectly aligned with our Corporate Wellness commitment and initiatives,” said Joanna Lawler, team captain and Sr. Mgr of Compensation & Benefits. “This well organized and thought out event provided much more than a day of healthy activity, it provided team bonding, wellness awareness and individual growth and development opportunities! Our employee teams welcome the chance to partner in the future with our new friends at Fit Company!” On event date, trainers from CrossFit Upper Limit (http://www.crossfitupperlimit.com) and Arizona State University, School of Nutrition and Health Promotion came out to work with the teams. Participants challenged their strength, conditioning, power, agility, and ended with a test of endurance to show their companies and colleagues that they practice what they preach. Participants used their involvement to bring out company team members, and family members to cheer them on and promote the importance of having fun and effective corporate wellness programs at their companies. The challenge was held at Rose Mofford Sports Complex, located a short drive from downtown Phoneix. The following is a list of the top finishers in Phoenix that participated in the 2017 Fit Company Challenge: About the Fit Company Institute, LLC: The Fit Company Institute is based in Austin, Texas and is dedicated to help companies thrive through wellness. The Fit Company Challenge helps companies be their best by creating the most productive, focused, energetic, happiest, and cohesive teams possible. Find more at http://www.fitcompany.com and upcoming events in Dallas, Asheville, Atlanta, Philadelphia, DC, Boston, and Nashville.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Clair Conway, author of “Surrender” and “Reclaim,” returns to the publishing world with the release of her latest novel in the “The Anderiker” series, “Capture” (published by Xlibris). A blend of fantasy, erotica, romance, horror, action and adventure, this gripping book tells a tale of love, betrayal, honor and remorse. For centuries, Anderiker’s black market sex trade has flourished. Innocent souls are plucked from the streets and forced to perform acts of unspeakable depravity. Many lives are ruined, and the Council is powerless to stop it. The owners of the most sordid of these establishments have made acquisitions that have brought them into direct confrontation with Spencer Darvin, Chief of Council Investigations. But before Spencer can bring these purveyors of pleasure to justice, he is confronted with a specter from his past, the horrible reality of his present and the yet-to-be-discovered hope of his future. Can he choose his path, or will the gods choose for him? An excerpt from the book: Zane was Zareon, a shape shifter, his kind descended from the loins of Zeus. A race created that Zeus might balance the Greek pantheon against the dominant Celtic gods. “‘Capture’ is engrossing; a page turner with unexpected twists and turns, making the unbelievable seem real,” Conway says. About the Author Clair Conway graduated in Arizona State University with a degree in secondary education. After teaching high school English in New Mexico for more than 10 years, she decided to explore new horizons by taking a position in the medical field. Her greatest pleasure, next to her three West Highland White Terriers, is creating new worlds and adventure through the magic of the written word from her home in Denver. Xlibris Publishing, an Author Solutions, LLC imprint, is a self-publishing services provider created in 1997 by authors, for authors. By focusing on the needs of creative writers and artists and adopting the latest print-on-demand publishing technology and strategies, we provide expert publishing services with direct and personal access to quality publication in hardcover, trade paperback, custom leather-bound and full-color formats. To date, Xlibris has helped to publish more than 60,000 titles. For more information, visit xlibris.com or call 1-888-795-4274 to receive a free publishing guide. Follow us @XlibrisPub on Twitter for the latest news.


News Article | May 4, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.com

The selected PSAs, which will be distributed through broadcast and print outlets nationwide, convey the importance of practicing "Smart Compassion" and emphasize why monetary donations to relief organizations are the most effective way to help people after disasters. Honorable Mentions: "Hope for Change" by Anne Miller, Loyola University Chicago, and "Cash is Best" by Sydni Alaniz, Arizona State University Contest entries were judged by a panel of experts from the humanitarian and communications fields. This year's judges were  Jonathan Adashek, Nissan Motor Corporation; Kevin Conroy, Global Giving; Nick Sugai, the Ad Council; Gary Goldhammer, Group SJR; Deborah Willig, InterAction; Marcia Wong, the International Committee of the Red Cross; and Keith Hempel, TV Access. "For the past 12 years, the PSAid Contest has helped spread the message that monetary donations through relief organizations provide the greatest help to disaster survivors," said Barlin Ali, USAID CIDI Diaspora and Donations Expert. "The winners of this year's competition have done a masterful job of creatively illustrating why 'Cash is Best.'" Current and past PSAid winners may be viewed on the competition website at www.PSAid.org. About USAID CIDI USAID CIDI was created in 1988 by the United States Agency for International Development Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance to educate Americans about the best ways to help people affected by disasters overseas. USAID CIDI provides individuals, groups, embassies, businesses and corporations with information and guidance in support of maximally beneficial public support of international disaster relief efforts. The organization works with other donations management stakeholders, and promotes activities and donations to channel the public's energy and generosity in ways most helpful to beneficiaries. For more information about USAID CIDI and helping international disaster survivors, please visit USAID CIDI at www.cidi.org. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/college-students-support-international-disaster-relief-through-psaid-contest-300451566.html


News Article | May 6, 2017
Site: www.24-7pressrelease.com

MARICOPA, AZ, May 06, 2017-- Avinash Chandra Singhal is a celebrated Marquis Who's Who biographee. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.Marquis Who's Who, the world's premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to name Dr. Singhal a Lifetime Achiever. An accomplished listee, Dr. Singhal celebrates many years' experience in his professional network, and has been noted for achievements, leadership qualities, and the credentials and successes he has accrued in his field.An esteemed and lauded figure in his field, Dr. Singhal most recently served as a professor at Arizona State University, a position he held for nearly 30 years. Other roles he held include Director of the Central Building Research Institute, Project Engineer at Weidlinger Associates, Inc., Manager of Technological Services for Engineers India Ltd., Manager of General Electric in Philadelphia, PA Assistant Program Manager of TRW Inc. in Redondo Beach, CA, Professor at Universite Laval, and Research Engineer at Kaman Corporation, Burlington, MA.Dr. Signhal conducted research in computer modeling, research in blast effects on structures, research in lifeline engineering, research in earthquake strengthening of deteriorated dams, and research in steel and concrete buildings, bridges, materials and non-linear finite element dynamics.Sr. Singhal contributed to the following works: "Dynamic Analysis of Dams with Nonlinear Slip Joints" (1998), "Performance of Retrofit Arch Dams" (1998), "Arizona Emergency Center Retrofit" (1998), "Simulation of Blast Pressures on Flexible Panels" (1994), "System Flexibility and Reflected Pressures" (1993) and "Wood Substitute: A National Priority, India."In addition to his status as a Lifetime Achiever, Dr. Singhal has previously received the First Prize in Bridge Building from the Institution of Structural Engineers, the Merit Award from the Institution of Engineers India, and the Henry Adams Research Medal from the Structural Engineers London.Moreover, Dr. Singhal has been recognized as a fellow of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, American Society of Civil Engineers, Royal Astronomical Society and Kobe University, as well as a Dennison Scholar of The Institution of Civil Engineers. Furthermore, Dr. Singhal has received grants from the Department of Emergency and Military Affairs, the Office of Naval Research, the United States Department of the Interior, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the National Science Foundation. Dr. Singhal has also been a featured listee in Who's Who in Finance and Business, Who's Who in Finance and Industry, Who's Who in America, Who's Who in Science and Engineering, Who's Who in the West and Who's Who in the World.About Marquis Who's Who :Since 1899, when A. N. Marquis printed the First Edition of Who's Who in America , Marquis Who's Who has chronicled the lives of the most accomplished individuals and innovators from every significant field of endeavor, including politics, business, medicine, law, education, art, religion and entertainment. Today, Who's Who in America remains an essential biographical source for thousands of researchers, journalists, librarians and executive search firms around the world. Marquis publications may be visited at the official Marquis Who's Who website at www.marquiswhoswho.com


News Article | May 4, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Today, SkillSurvey, the provider of cloud-based reference-checking and healthcare credentialing solutions that deliver faster, more reliable insights, announced that Ray Bixler, President and CEO will be speaking at the upcoming ASU + GSV Summit taking place in Salt Lake City, May 8-10, 2017. Founded in 2010 in collaboration between Arizona State University and Global Silicon Valley (GSV), the annual ASU GSV Summit is the industry catalyst for elevating the entrepreneurial ecosystem and scaled innovation in learning and talent technology. “We’re thrilled to be part of this distinguished group to tell the story about SkillSurvey’s innovations in talent acquisition that are helping organizations leverage more predictive insights through new ways of reference checking and credentialing,” said SkillSurvey President and CEO, Ray Bixler. “We’re especially proud of the momentum we have experienced within the higher education sector and are looking forward to learning new ideas and collaborating with leading thinkers in the industry.” According to summit statistics, Learning and Talent is a $5 trillion global sector that is being rapidly transformed by technology. The summit brings together more than 3,700 attendees including CEOs of over 350 of the most important Learning and Talent technology companies, sector strategies, investors, educators, social entrepreneurs, and university leaders. SkillSurvey is the leader in online reference checking, sourcing and credentialing, providing immediately useful insights to help employers make better hiring decisions. SkillSurvey speeds hiring for commercial, higher education, healthcare, and staffing and recruiting organizations. Its cloud-based referencing, sourcing and credentialing solutions answer vital questions that help organizations hire the right people for every role. Pre-Hire 360® provides insight into past job performance and is proven to predict future turnover, hiring manager satisfaction, and performance ratings. An unmatched library of scientifically-designed surveys produces job-specific data employers can trust. SkillSurvey SourceTM, an extension of Pre-Hire 360, helps recruiters source, engage and manage a more robust candidate pipeline through references and referrals. SkillSurvey Credential OnDemandTM provides healthcare organizations with a credentialing engagement solution that simplifies and enhances the credentialing experience for all participants. SkillSurvey makes the referencing, sourcing and credentialing process more efficient and effective — helping employers save time and money, grow revenues, and bring employees onboard faster. Visit SkillSurvey at http://www.skillsurvey.com, and on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. SkillSurvey®, and Pre-Hire 360® are registered trademarks and SkillSurvey Credential OnDemandTM is a trademark of SkillSurvey Inc. or its affiliates and are registered in the U.S. and other countries. SkillSurvey’s Pre-Hire 360® is a patented solution. For more information, see ww.skillsurvey.com/patents. © 2017 SkillSurvey Inc. and its affiliates.


News Article | May 5, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Originally released on DVD, “Ciao Bambolini – Italy for Kids” is now available via digital streaming on Amazon. The show, created by award-winning actor Michael Tassoni, was born out of a love for Italy and desire to introduce it to his children and kids across the country. “I looked for something that would show Italy to my kids in an entertaining way, and found nothing that could keep them watching,” said Tassoni, who also produced, directed and created the show, now streaming at Amazon.com and via ciaobambolini.com. “I decided to do it myself. I grew up speaking Italian and traveling to visit my family in Italy.” Tassoni Media, an Arizona-based production company, announced today the launch of “Ciao Bambolini – Italy for Kids” in streaming digital format. The show features one professional actor (Tassoni) playing five different characters with the goal of teaching Italian language, music, art, food and culture in a fun, entertaining and engaging way. The show features original music and graphics. Tassoni’s parents left a financially bereft Italy in the 1950’s for the then-thriving Venezuela and became clothing designers. In 1961 they made the move to Phoenix and built a successful business in the Biltmore Fashion Park. Tassoni was born in Phoenix 8 years later. “My parents were true artists, and they instilled a drive for success and a need for Italian culture in my life,” said Tassoni. “They spoke only Italian at home, so I learned the language through them, and through visits to our family in Naples and Abruzzo all my life.” The show is the natural culmination of Tassoni’s list of talents coming together along with his past, and his current life with his children. “My kids and my parents are the inspiration for this show. I’m glad I was able to bring such a talented team together to create it for kids all over the country to enjoy.” The script was written by Tassoni’s wife, writer Kristine Tassoni. “I’ve been exposing my wife to the Italian culture for ten years now, so it was a natural fit for her to do the writing,” said Tassoni. “We came up with the characters, she wrote it and we started shooting.” Characters include chef Luigi, Raphael the painter, Mario the racecar driver, Paolo the singing gondolier, and host character, Michael. Playing five characters wasn’t much of a stretch for Tassoni, who has performed in professional regional theater for years. Tassoni produced and starred in two independent, award-winning feature films and won Best Actor for one role at the San Diego Film Festival in 2008. He also performed the lead character Dimitri in 20th Century Fox’s “Anastasia.” To view the trailer go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBZwfB8I1P4. To learn more about “Ciao Bambolini – Italy for Kids” go to http://www.ciaobambolini.com or visit Facebook. Michael began his career as an actor at the age of 15. Since then, and having received a BS in Acting from Arizona State University, he became an Equity actor and performed in regional theatre. In 1995, Michael had the opportunity to work with the legendary Don Bluth on the 20th-Century Fox Feature Film “Anastasia,” for which he performed the lead role of Dimitri. In 1997 Michael produced and starred in the feature film “14 Ways to Wear Lipstick.” The film was selected in the 1999 Slamdance Film Festival among others. Michael later produced and starred in “The Appearance of a Man,” for which he won Best Actor in the San Diego Film Festival in 2008. Michael started his own production company, Tassoni Films, in 2006.


News Article | March 29, 2017
Site: www.csmonitor.com

The spiral galaxy NGC 4845, located over 65 million light-years away in the constellation of Virgo (The Virgin) is shown in this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image released on January 8, 2016. A new online photo archives released by NASA allows space fans to search through scores of space photos. —US government agencies have sponsored air and space research for more than a century. Since the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics was established in 1915, it and its successor, NASA, have racked up thousands of images of their discoveries. Many of these have become iconic. The “Blue Marble” photo, taken by the Apollo 17 astronauts in 1972, is credited with helping launch the environmental movement and may rank among the most-reproduced images in history. But the bureaucratic nature of America’s space program hasn’t always made finding these images easy. Until recently, they were scattered across more than 60 collections. But on Tuesday, NASA unveiled its new Image and Video Library, bringing together more than 140,000 photos, videos, and audio clips “from across the agency’s many missions in aeronautics, astrophysics, Earth science, human spaceflight, and more,” the agency said in a press release. “The library is not comprehensive,” it notes, “but rather provides the best of what NASA makes publicly available from a single point of presence on the web.” The Blue Marble is there, along with other familiar images like the “Pale Blue Dot” (Earth as seen from the Voyager probe) and the “Pillars of Creation” (the Eagle Nebula, photographed by the Hubble Space Telescope). There are also more offbeat moments in the agency’s history, such as a 2009 Disney World parade featuring a Buzz Lightyear action figure that had spent time aboard the International Space Station, and somber ones, such as the investigation into the 2003 loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia. All are in the public domain and available for re-use. NASA invites users to “embed content in their own sites and choose from multiple resolutions to download.” It also provides captions and metadata for each photo, and offers a mobile version of the library for phones and tablets. It’s not just science educators and outer-space wallpaper fans who stand to benefit from the availability of these new photos. They could also spur new questions and discoveries by ordinary citizens. Using publicly available information, “citizen scientists” have already identified a faulty sensor on the International Space Station and lent a hand in the search for Planet 9. It’s too early to tell what discoveries await in NASA’s new library, or if would-be investigators would need to supplement its information with other kinds of information. But it’s likely to help advance a trend recently noted by Andrew Maynard, a professor at the School for the Future of Innovation in Society at Arizona State University, for The Conversation. “Without doubt, the movement is enabling more people than ever before to become engaged in science and to contribute toward scientific progress.”


News Article | April 26, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Starting at an early age, people are constantly reminded of how beneficial exercise is for the heart, mind, and lungs. However, the board-certified dermatologists at English Dermatology want to remind you that exercise is also good for the skin. Since English Dermatology is an official marketing partner of both the NBA’s Phoenix Suns and the WBNA’s Phoenix Mercury, they know a thing or two about the connection between healthy skin and exercise. “Any time one of our patients says they don’t get much exercise I explain that they’re actually ignoring a crucial aspect of their skin care efforts,” said Paul E. English, MD, FAAD. “Yet, the concept makes perfect sense once you think about it, as exercise and working up a good sweat nourishes your skin and improves your circulation – and anything that helps your blood helps your skin. If you’re going to have toned muscles and a healthy-looking body, why not have skin that’s just as toned, firm, and attractive?” People who don’t regularly exercise sometimes use their skin problems or aversion to sun overexposure as excuses not to work up a sweat. However, research and anecdotal evidence suggest that skin problems can actually improve thanks to exercising. This means that people with eczema or acne, for example, should still exercise regularly, even if they have to cover up or otherwise protect their skin. “Exercise helps alleviate stress, so it can improve eczema, acne, psoriasis, and other skin conditions caused or worsened by stress,” Dr. English said. “Working out gives your skin the nutrients and oxygen it needs, plus perspiration helps carry away waste that clogs your pores or causes irritation. That’s why after a workout, people often look radiant and healthy – just check out your favorite Suns or Mercury player as they leave the arena after a game and you’ll see!” Although exercise can benefit skin, people who have medical or cosmetic skin concerns should still take the time to talk to a board-certified, trained, and experienced dermatologist about them, especially if the impact on everyday life is adverse and troublesome. The staff at English Dermatology has the training, experience, skill, and compassion to help address a variety of skin issues. To learn more about the treatment options, visit http://www.EnglishDermatology.com/Services.html “Skin conditions such as rosacea, acne, or eczema shouldn’t prevent you from getting in a regular workout,” Dr. English said. “Besides, it also reduces stress and even the risk of type II diabetes, which can cause itching, slower healing, and an increased risk of skin infections – which, these days, might be the best reason to work out! So, even if you don’t work out like athletes on the Suns or Mercury do, exercise will get your heart rate up and get the sweat rolling down your skin, delivering all the necessary benefits that healthy skin deserves.” English Dermatology is an affiliate of the West Dermatology network and has locations throughout central Arizona, including offices in San Tan Valley, Gilbert, Ahwatukee, and other areas of greater Phoenix, such as Downtown, Arcadia, and Desert Ridge. The staff of board-certified dermatologists is committed to providing the best, most effective treatments possible to patients of all ages. Each location is equipped with the latest in cutting-edge procedures to address a broad spectrum of dermatological conditions, including medical treatments, surgical procedures, cosmetic solutions, aesthetic services, and more. English Dermatology is the preferred dermatologist for Arizona State University athletics and is an official marketing partner of the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury. For more information please visit http://www.EnglishDermatology.com


News Article | May 5, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

PHOENIX--(BUSINESS WIRE)--KB Home (NYSE: KBH) today announced the grand opening of The Enclaves at Santiago in South Phoenix. Conveniently located near Interstates 10 and 17, this new gated neighborhood offers easy commuting to employment centers in downtown Phoenix, Tempe, and Chandler. Homebuyers at The Enclaves at Santiago can enjoy the community’s proximity to several regional points of interest, including Arizona State University, the Phoenix Zoo, and Chandler Fashion Center. Sky Harbor Airport is only four miles away. Leisure time can be spent at Hermosa Park, which features a community pool, playgrounds, a skate park, and sport courts and fields, all within walking distance. Nearby South Mountain Park features a 16,000-acre nature preserve and 51 miles of horseback riding, hiking, and mountain biking trails. The community is also located near several schools; children living in the Enclaves at Santiago may attend Phoenix Elementary School District #1 schools and Phoenix Union High School. KB Home plans to construct 77 one-story residences at The Enclaves at Santiago. Community amenities include a play structure, basketball half-court, a ramada with picnic tables, barbeque, and a bike rack. Homebuyers can choose from five unique floor plans that range in size from 1,501 to 2,234 square feet. The stylish KB homes offer up to four bedrooms and two baths, and incorporate desirable design features like open layouts, large walk-in closets, and covered patios. Pricing starts in the high-$100,000s. “We are very excited to open The Enclaves at Santiago in a prime South Phoenix location, where we know home shoppers want to live,” said Rob McGibney, regional general manager of KB Home’s Arizona operations. “Additionally, we expect the single-story KB homes at The Enclaves at Santiago to be very popular. Homes at The Enclaves feature designer kitchens, spacious great rooms and master bedrooms, and ample storage space, and can be personalized to each homebuyer’s individual lifestyle and tastes.” As part of KB Home’s unique home buying experience, buyers will have the opportunity to personalize many aspects of their new home at the KB Home Design Studio, a retail-like showroom where shoppers, guided by KB Home’s design professionals, can create the home of their dreams. Like all KB homes, those offered at The Enclaves at Santiago will be built to ENERGY STAR® guidelines and include WaterSense® labeled faucets and fixtures, meaning they are designed to be more energy- and water-efficient than most typical new and resale homes. The water- and energy-saving features built into every new KB home can help homeowners save on their monthly utility bills. KB Home’s The Enclaves at Santiago is now open at 1745 E. Grenadine Road in Phoenix, Arizona. Visit www.kbhome.com or call 888-KB-HOMES to learn more. KB Home (NYSE: KBH) is one of the largest and most recognized homebuilders in the United States and an industry leader in sustainability, building innovative and highly energy- and water-efficient new homes. Founded in 1957 and the first homebuilder listed on the New York Stock Exchange, the Company has built nearly 600,000 homes for families from coast to coast. Distinguished by its personalized homebuilding approach, KB Home lets each buyer choose their lot location, floor plan, décor choices, design features and other special touches that matter most to them. To learn more about KB Home, call 888-KB-HOMES, visit www.kbhome.com or connect on Facebook.com/KBHome or Twitter.com/KBHome.


News Article | April 21, 2017
Site: www.csmonitor.com

A general view of the Large Hadron Collider experiment during a media visit to the Organization for Nuclear Research in the French village of Saint-Genis-Pouilly, near Geneva in Switzerland in 2014. —"If I have seen further," wrote Isaac Newton in a 1676 letter to Robert Hooke about studying the nature of light, "it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." Now, a study of nearly 30 million research papers and more than 5 million patents offers clues as to where more of these giants might be lurking. A paper published by researchers at Northwestern University's Institute on Complex Systems in the journal Science Advances on Wednesday reveals that the most-cited papers rely on a specific mix of old and new research that the authors say is "nearly universal in all branches of science and technology." The study addresses a question that lies at the heart of the scholarly enterprise: Today's research constitutes the basic building blocks for tomorrow's discoveries, but what should the composition of those blocks be? The findings point to ways to improve how researchers can assemble the richest combination of knowledge on a topic, and may also reveal deeper patterns in how humanity acquires knowledge. "We're very interested in trying to understand where knowledge comes from, particularly breakthroughs –  these insights in science and technology that are the ones really move the needle in terms of people's thinking," says Brian Uzzi, a professor at Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management and a co-author of the paper. To find out, the researchers gathered data on citations. "What do scientists and scholars do when they start a new project or work on a new idea?" asks lead author Satyam Mukherjee, now a professor at the Indian Institute of Management Udaipur. "The first thing we do is to perform a literature review and look for related works in the past and also in recent times." The researchers examined all 28,426,345 scientific papers in the Web of Science, an indexing service for research papers in the sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities, from 1945 to 2013, and all 5,382,833 US patents granted between 1950 and 2010. They found that the papers and patents with the highest impact, defined as garnering the top 5 percent of citations in their field, tended to cite relatively new information, but with a long, diminishing tail into past work. "Our research indicates that one needs to see the entire arc of a given idea or concept over time to use it most effectively in one's own work," says Professor Mukherjee. The researchers were surprised by their findings' universality. The sweet spot – or "hotspot," as the researchers call it – between old and new research held for papers in physics, gender studies, and everything in between, from the postwar era to the present. "I was expecting that the patterns would vary drastically by time period and academic field," says mathematician Daniel Romero, now an assistant professor at the University of Michigan's School of Information, who worked on the study as part of a postdoctoral fellowship at Northwestern. "After all, different fields have different norms for how they cite other work." The findings address what philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn famously called "the essential tension" between tradition and innovation in scientific research. "It says something very deep about where you want to look for information," says Professor Uzzi. "And also something very deep about how knowledge itself matures through time." Mark Hannah, an assistant professor in Arizona State University's English department who specializes in cross-disciplinary communication in the sciences, suggests that the hotspot may emerge from efforts to reconcile new modes of thought with older ones. "You're seeing a balancing between legacy language and emerging language," says Professor Hannah, who was not affiliated with the study. "They're doing the work of thinking how those studies come together." The study's authors also found that scientists who worked collaboratively were more likely to rely on research within the knowledge hotspot than those who worked alone, a finding that came as no surprise to Anita Woolley, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business who specializes in collective intelligence. "Having a team work on it is what leads them to cite the sufficient variety of references," she says "If you have a team you are more likely to have a diversity of different knowledge and perspectives." "When you're working with collaborators, you're forced to explain yourself more," says Hannah. "You're forced to think through and anticipate how your use of language may not be well understood or may create a barrier for readers." The findings may point to ways to improve the technology that scientists and other scholars use to search for information, an increasingly pressing need amid what Uzzi calls the "absolute explosion in the amount of information that's created every single day." Professor Woolley mentions Google Scholar, a free search engine for academic publishing whose slogan is: "Stand on the shoulders of giants." "Usually they give you some mix of what's the highest cited but also what's recent," says Woolley. "Definitely it tends to make the rich get richer in the citations race, because they come up first. But it also probably biases you toward fairly recent things as well." The discovery of this hotspot may point to ways search engines could be improved: "Imagine if you were to develop a search engine that could deliver information in a way that it grabs this hotspot of knowledge," says Uzzi. "And if you can do that, you'd be pointing people from the get-go to the place in the store of knowledge where they are most likely to find the building blocks of tomorrow's ideas. That would solve a tremendous amount of wasted-time problems." But Sidney Redner, a physicist at the Santa Fe Institute who specializes in citation statistics, cautions that the correlations uncovered by Mukherjee and his colleagues, which he calls a "cool observation," could be misconstrued. "I think there's potential for misuse of this kind of stuff," he says, noting that researchers often cite papers for the purpose of refuting them. "There's no contextual information in citations." "That's what worries me about the whole field of citation studies is that it gets misused by administrators," says Professor Redner. "If I were trying to use this as a tenure-decision mechanism, I would be very worried." Leveraging the power of the hotspot offers may require researchers be more mindful in supplying such context to their citations. "It comes back to us as scholars and us as researchers to be clear about the ways we conduct our research and the ways that we use our sources, so that we are making visible our selections and our rationale, so that we don't become subject to an algorithm," says Hannah. "It's challenging work, but it's something we're prepared to do."


News Article | April 18, 2017
Site: www.theguardian.com

On Saturday, thousands of scientists are set to abandon the cloistered neutrality of their laboratories to plunge into the the political fray against Donald Trump in what will likely be the largest-ever protest by science advocates. The March for Science, a demonstration modeled in part on January’s huge Women’s March, will inundate Washington DC’s national mall with a jumble of marine biologists, birdwatchers, climate researchers and others enraged by what they see as an assault by Trump’s administration upon evidence-based thinking and scientists themselves. The march is a visceral response to a presidency that has set about the evisceration of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and many of its science-based rules, the dismissal of basic climate change tenets by the president and his appointees and a proposed budget that would remove around $7bn from science programs, ranging from cancer research to oceanography to Nasa’s monitoring of the Earth. Many scientists at federal agencies, concerned their work may be sidelined or censored for political purposes, will take the unusual step of publicly damning the administration. “It’s important for scientists to get out of the lab and talk about what’s important,” said Andrew Rosenberg, who spent a decade at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and is now at the Union of Concerned Scientists. “You don’t check your citizenship at the door when you get a PhD. No one would tell an architect they can’t have a view on HUD [the Department of Housing and Urban Development]. That would be nonsense.” Rosenberg said younger scientists, in particular, are increasingly rejecting a stance of studied silence when faced with what they see as threats to their profession. “They don’t accept that they have to wait until tenure, comfortable in a lab to maybe then speak out,” he said. “Academia is less appealing to many of them these days, so they want to know how they can have an impact now. They aren’t content that people will just read their papers in academic journals. I think retreating to your lab and hoping it will all go away is not going to be the best strategy.” The idea to march was first tossed around on a Reddit thread in January. One of those on the discussion, University of Texas postdoctoral fellow Jonathan Berman, decided to put the idea into motion. A day or two after being set up, a Facebook page promoting the march had attracted more than 300,0000 members. The march now has dozens of people grappling with the logistics of the DC march and more than 500 companion events around the world. More than 100 organizations have lent their support, including the institutional heft of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general scientific organization, and the American Geophysical Union. In March, Bill Nye, the bow-tied embodiment of science for many Americans, and Mona Hanna-Attisha, a pediatrician who alerted the world to soaring levels of lead in the blood of children in Flint, Michigan, were named as honorary co-chairs. Organizers won’t commit to an expected number of protestors but are downplaying expectations that it will be anywhere near the scale of the Women’s March. The tone is expected to waver between pro-science and anti-Trump. The march will dovetail with the People’s Climate March, which will take place a week later. Signs reading “Make America Smart Again” and “What do we want? Evidence-based policy. When do we want it? After peer review” are expected to make an appearance at the science march. Copies of the Lorax will be handed out. There may well be a sea of brain-like knitted hats. “There will be plenty of ridiculous signs, it will be a lot of fun with serious moments too,” said Ayana Johnson, a marine biologist who became an organizer after seeing fellow scientists downloading climate data in case the administration removed it from public view. “I found that horrifying. That for me was the real alarm, but everyone has their own story.” The satellite marches around the world suggest Trump isn’t the sole cause of scientists’ unease. Globally, there is a “trend of anti-intellectualism”, said Johnson, where politicians play to voters’ base emotions rather than provide evidence-based policy. “We have gotten ourselves into this situation because the public doesn’t understand how science benefits us in our everyday lives,” Johnson admitted. “We haven’t done a good job communicating the value of the work we do.” Some scientists, while sharing much of the anguish of the marchers, have questioned whether a protest in the heart of DC will in fact be counterproductive. Trump is probably more likely to respond to the march with an angry tweet than rethink cuts to cancer research, while Republicans who believe scientists are merely green-tinged activists with fancy titles will feel vindicated. “The march won’t change any minds in the Trump administration and it won’t convince rural and working class America that science is relevant to their lives,” said Robert Young, an expert in coastal geology at Western Carolina University. “The march is on Earth Day, which plays into conservative and climate skeptic thinking that scientists are just environmentalists. Just watch how it will be covered by Fox News and conservative bloggers.” Young said he doesn’t think scientists should just “sit on their hands” and is similarly troubled that, for example, EPA administrator Scott Pruitt doesn’t accept the widespread understanding that carbon dioxide is a primary driver of global warming. “But we’ve convinced all the people we are going to convince,” Young said. “We can march and shout our heads off, but that won’t engage with people who have not bought the message. “We need more face-to-face interaction in local communities. We should do AM radio talkshows. That can be quite a challenge, but that’s the radio that my family and my wife’s family listen to and they are regular working-class Americans. We need to meet these folks where they live.” While the public largely tells pollsters that it supports scientists and their work, there is underlying friction. Innovations in technology have helped drive automation of some jobs, while our ever-improving understanding of our environment has led to restrictions on some polluting industries. Trump tapped into this simmering angst and scientists’ challenge may well be explaining how their breakthroughs can help all of us. The March for Science “will exacerbate rather than address these tensions” according to Jason Lloyd, a program manager for the Consortium for Science, Policy, & Outcomes at Arizona State University. “The biggest issue confronting science is not a malicious and incompetent executive,” Lloyd wrote for Slate. “The critical challenge ... is figuring out how scientists can build an enduring relationship with all segments of the American public, so that discounting, defunding or vilifying scientists’ important work is politically intolerable.” Even some of the march’s supporters concede that the event won’t change administration thinking overnight. But even people who specialize in cool, rational thinking occasionally need to wail their frustration. “Scientists are very worried that we are losing science from the public sphere,” said Rosenberg. “I don’t think these events will prove a turning point but in Congress and in the states this will matter. Our representatives need to know that voters care about science.”


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: co.newswire.com

The Oracle Virus From Paul Michael Privateer Points An Allegorical Finger at the New Order of American Politics Digital Book Guild announces its first novel with proceeds going to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Digital Book Guild is an non-profit publisher attracting writers willing to donate some or all of their proceeds to various charities. Paul Michael Privateer's Oracle Virus is the first release in this effort. Reviewers and readers have said the Oracle Virus has a fast-paced plot that moves through bizarre serial murders, kidnappings, betrayal and deceit with a jolting tension running through the story to the end in Washington DC. The violent climax between nature and man, the fake fog of Washington D.C. politics, Kafkaesque intrigue, and epic battles collide allegorically, leading readers down the America’s truth resistant political rabbit hole, with an orange haired real estate tycoon guide. The book has nothing and everything to do with the Oracle, not Larry' Ellison's but America's. Other have enjoyed it as the first "Google-assist read". They've stated that while surface action pleases pop readers hooked on hybrid international thriller-sci-fi mysteries, there is a below resembling a Lynch ecosystem reminiscent of Borges, Kafka, Hesse, Updike, Rushdie, Kidman, Antonioni, Greenville, Ihimaera, Adichie, and Abani. The Oracle Virus invents a new genre—hyperallegorical realism. The deeper a reader dives in the more The Oracle Virus reveals itself as postcolonial fiction, a cautionary tale of the effects of Trumpian politics, dressed up as a blockbuster. Others insist that Privateer has created a novel that reads like a movie and is in a league with the likes of John Le Carre (and British intelligence), John Grisham (and legal acumen), Dan Brown (and religious intrigue), and Patricia Cornwell (and Forensic Science). Digital Book Guild believes it has a winner given responses that suggest the novel is flat out the most intense sci-fi mystery and beat political thriller offered up in a decade, a novel in which readers travel through two centuries, fly in and out of exotic world capitols and meet renegade Nazis, meet a computer genius, Dark Web cave dwellers, Shaolin priests, Interpol’s toughest agents, strange prophets, and then meet Jack Kavanaugh, a modern hybrid of Sherlock Holmes and Jason Bourne, only smarter and stronger. The first reviewer's comments are about the novel's realism: "This sci-fi mystery thriller is set in the present, save for opening Hitler Nazi flashbacks. I say this in case a prospective reader expects star travel. The description and praise stated in the synopsis is accurate. Parts of the “science fiction” aspect of the book’s storyline are increasingly believable, given ever-expanding bio-technology. Scary! I tend to Google items I find in fiction, to learn how fictitious some story features are. I found that seriously-sized drone apocalyptic delivery vehicles used in the scary climax are available. Privateer spins an engaging mystery thriller. His social awareness is a plus. All proceeds are to go St Jude Children’s Hospital, cancer research division.” The editorial board agrees that the Oracle Virus is a very unusual, advanced high-tech detective story that combines science-fiction, detective, thriller, and romance. The story starts out meticulously and then becomes a real page turner. The cover provides a good overview: The Oracle Virus nerve blasts its way into being a classic sci-fi thriller with substantial philosophic insight. It doesn’t brake a nanosecond for Hitchcock twists or Phillip K. Dick’s paranoia. Page one is a rabbit hole: why is there a fake Gestapo assassination of Hitler or is there? How does a secret genetics lab survive WWII bombings? Can a machine named Mediatron create reality? Or can a nanovirus control our minds? How is a serial geek murder, a hurricane headed toward D.C., a whale stranding, the kidnapping of world presidents, a bloody fight atop the Washington Monument and a secret Louisiana rogue organization all be connected? Or are they? They found that Privateer's social awareness was a plus with proceeds going to St Jude’s Children’s’ Hospital, cancer research division. The Oracle Virus may be the first novel ever in its charity goal is announced on the title page. Paul Michael Privateer was born in New York, served in the United States Air Force, and is interested in intersections between literature, media, and science/information technology. His books include Romantic Voices and Inventing Intelligence, and many of his journal articles deal with the cultural and political effects of cyberspace, digital technology, and corporate media. Privateer has taught at San Jose State, the University of Southern Mississippi, Georgia Institute of Technology and Arizona State University. The University of Geneva, Stanford, and MIT offered him a Fulbright and visiting professorships. He has appeared in the New York Times and on CNN, PBS, ABC, NPR, and BBC4 given his work on education reform, citizen service, and the digital future. His fiction focuses on the most basic aspects of being human: love, passion, fidelity, identity, taboos, social alienation, insecurity and death. His next novels, A Woman in Love and The Nightmare Collector explore the limits of digital media and hyperreal minimalism. His fiction is about fiction. His recent novel, The Oracle Virus, pays sometimes subtle homage to McFarlane, Shakespeare, Hugo, Dickens, Woolf, Kafka, Hardy, Melville, Camus, Steinbeck, Beckett, Borges, Dick, Auster, Angelou, Ellison, Roth, Gibson and many others whose influences ultimately make serious fiction writing a ritual gathering of ghosts. This respect and fascination began with his favorite childhood game: Authors. Privateer lives in the Pacific Northwest and is engaged in socially conscious initiatives. He is founder of NoSchoolViolence.org and Seattle Data for Good. He kayaks, likes trekking Puget Sound islands and the Olympic Peninsula with Nell, a curious but cautiously social black lab. For some unknown reason, she doesn’t sniff everyone’s hand.


News Article | April 27, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.com

Raisa Ahmad was previously a summer associate with the firm, in which she conducted research and prepared memos for patent litigation cases involving software and security patents, pharmaceuticals, and biomedical devices.  In addition, she has experience preparing claim construction charts, invalidity contentions, and Lanham Act standing memos.  Prior to law school, she was a student engineer and conducted electric-cell substrate impedance sensing analysis for the Center for the Convergence of Physical and Cancer Biology.  Ahmad received her J.D. from the University of Arizona College of Law in 2016 where she was senior articles editor for the Arizona Law Review and received the Dean's Achievement Award Scholarship.  She received her B.S.E., magna cum laude, in biomedical engineering from Arizona State University in 2011.  She is admitted to practice in Texas. Brian Apel practices patent litigation, including post-grant proceedings before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.  He has worked for clients in the mechanical, electrical, and chemical industries and has experience in pre-suit diligence including opinion work, discovery, damages, summary judgment, and appeals.  Apel also has experience in patent prosecution, employment discrimination, and First Amendment law.  Before law school, he served as an officer in the U.S. Navy.  Apel received his J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, from the University of Michigan Law School in 2016 and his B.A., with honors, in chemistry from Northwestern University in 2008.  He is admitted to practice in Minnesota, the U.S. District Court of Minnesota, and before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Zoya Kovalenko Brooks focuses her practice on patent litigation, including working on teams for one of the largest high-tech cases in the country pertaining to data transmission and memory allocation technologies.  She was previously a summer associate and law clerk with the firm.  While in law school, she served as a legal extern at The Coca-Cola Company in the IP group.  Prior to attending law school, she was an investigator intern at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, where she investigated over 20 potential discrimination cases.  Brooks received her J.D., high honors, Order of the Coif, from Emory University School of Law in 2016 where she was articles editor for Emory Law Journal and her B.S., high honors, in applied mathematics from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2013.  She is admitted to practice in Georgia. Holly Chamberlain focuses on patent prosecution in a variety of areas including the biomedical, mechanical, and electromechanical arts.  She was previously a summer associate with the firm.  She received her J.D. from Boston College Law School in 2016 where she was an editor of Intellectual Property and Technology Forum and her B.S. in biological engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2013.  She is admitted to practice in Massachusetts and before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Thomas Chisena previously was a summer associate with the firm where he worked on patent, trade secret, and trademark litigation.  Prior to attending law school, he instructed in biology, environmental science, and anatomy & physiology.  Chisena received his J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 2016 where he was executive editor of Penn Intellectual Property Group Online and University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law, Vol. 37.  He also received his Wharton Certificate in Business Management in December 2015.  He received his B.S. in biology from Pennsylvania State University in 2009.  He is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts. Claire Collins was a legal intern for the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office during law school.  She has experience researching and drafting motions and legal memorandums.  Collins received her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2016 where she was a Dillard Fellow, her M.A. from Texas A&M University in 2012, and her B.A. from Bryn Mawr College in 2006.  She is admitted to practice in Massachusetts. Ronald Golden, III previously served as a courtroom deputy to U.S. District Judge Leonard P. Stark and U.S. Magistrate Judge Mary Pat Thynge.  He received his J.D. from Widener University School of Law in 2012 where he was on the staff of Widener Law Review and was awarded "Best Overall Competitor" in the American Association for Justice Mock Trial.  He received his B.A. from Stockton University in political science and criminal justice in 2005.  He is admitted to practice in Delaware and New Jersey. Dr. Casey Kraning-Rush was previously a summer associate with the firm, where she focused primarily on patent litigation.  She received her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 2016 where she was managing editor of Penn Intellectual Property Group Online and awarded "Best Advocate" and "Best Appellee Brief" at the Western Regional of the AIPLA Giles Rich Moot Court.  She earned her Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Cornell University in 2013 and has extensive experience researching cellular and molecular medicine.  She received her M.S. in biomedical engineering from Cornell University in 2012 and her B.S., summa cum laude, in chemistry from Butler University in 2008.  She is admitted to practice in Delaware. Alana Mannigé was previously a summer associate with the firm and has worked on patent prosecution, patent litigation, trademark, and trade secret matters.  During law school, she served as a judicial extern to the Honorable Judge James Donato of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.  She also worked closely with biotech startup companies as part of her work at the UC Hastings Startup Legal Garage.  Prior to attending law school, Mannigé worked as a patent examiner at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.  She received her J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 2016 where she was senior articles editor of Hastings Science & Technology Law Journal.  She received her M.S. in chemistry from the University of Michigan in 2010 and her B.A., cum laude, in chemistry from Clark University in 2007.  She is admitted to practice in California and before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Will Orlady was previously a summer associate with the firm, in which he collaborated to research and brief a matter on appeal to the Federal Circuit.  He also analyzed novel issues related to inter partes review proceedings, drafted memoranda on substantive patent law issues, and crafted infringement contentions.  During law school, Orlady was a research assistant to Professor Kristin Hickman, researching and writing on administrative law.  He received his J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, from the University of Minnesota Law School in 2016 where he was lead articles editor of the Minnesota Journal of Law, Science and Technology and his B.A. in neuroscience from the University of Southern California in 2012.  He is admitted to practice in Minnesota and the U.S. District Court of Minnesota. Jessica Perry previously was a summer associate and law clerk with the firm, where she worked on patent and trademark litigation.  During law school, she was an IP & licensing analyst, in which she assisted with drafting and tracking material transfer agreement and inter-institutional agreements.  She also worked with the Boston University Civil Litigation Clinic representing pro bono clients with unemployment, social security, housing, and family law matters.  Prior to law school, she was a senior mechanical design engineer for an aerospace company.  She received her J.D. from Boston University School of Law in 2016 where she was articles editor of the Journal of Science and Technology Law, her M.Eng. in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2009, and her B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2007.  She is admitted to practice in Massachusetts and the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts. Taufiq Ramji was previously a summer associate with the firm, in which he researched legal issues that related to ongoing litigation and drafted responses to discovery requests and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office actions.  Prior to attending law school, Ramji worked as a software developer.  He received his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2016.  He is admitted to practice in California. Charles Reese has worked on matters before various federal district courts, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.  His litigation experience includes drafting dispositive, evidentiary, and procedural motions; arguing in federal district court; and participating in other stages of litigation including discovery, appeal, and settlement negotiation.  Previously, he was a summer associate with the firm.  He received his J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 2016 where he was articles editor of Harvard Law Review, his A.M. in organic and organometallic chemistry from Harvard University in 2012, and his B.S., summa cum laude, in chemistry from Furman University in 2010.  He is admitted to practice in Georgia and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. Ethan Rubin was previously a summer associate and law clerk with the firm.  During law school, he worked at a corporation's intellectual property department in which he prepared and prosecuted patents relating to data storage systems.  He also worked as a student attorney, advocating for local pro bono clients on various housing and family law matters.  Rubin received his J.D., cum laude, from Boston College Law School in 2016 where he was articles editor of Boston College Law Review, his M.S. in computer science from Boston University in 2013, and his B.A., magna cum laude, in criminal justice from George Washington University in 2011.  He is admitted to practice in Massachusetts and before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Pooya Shoghi focuses on patent prosecution, including portfolio management, application drafting, client counseling, and standard essential patent development.  Prior to joining the firm, he was a patent practitioner at a multinational technology company, where he was responsible for the filing and prosecution of U.S. patent applications.  During law school, he was a legal intern at a major computer networking technology company, where he focused on issues of intellectual property licensing in the software arena.  He received his J.D., with honors, from Emory University School of Law in 2014 where he was executive managing editor of Emory Corporate Governance and Accountability Review.  He received his B.S., summa cum laude, in computer science (2015) and his B.A., summa cum laude, in political science (2011) from Georgia State University.  He is admitted to practice in New York and before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Tucker Terhufen focuses his practice on patent litigation in federal district courts as well as before the International Trade Commission for clients in the medical devices, life sciences, chemical, and electronics industries.  Prior to joining Fish, he served as judicial extern to the Honorable David G. Campbell of the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona and to the Honorable Mary H. Murguia of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  He received his J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, from Arizona State University, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law in 2016 where he was note and comment editor of Arizona State Law Journal and received a Certificate in Law, Science, and Technology with a specialization in Intellectual Property.  He received his B.S.E., summa cum laude, in chemical engineering from Arizona State University.  He is admitted to practice in California. Laura Whitworth was previously a summer associate with the firm.  During law school, she served as a judicial intern for the Honorable Judge Jimmie V. Reyna of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.  She received her J.D., cum laude, from American University Washington College of Law in 2016 where she was senior federal circuit editor of American University Law Review and senior patent editor of Intellectual Property Brief.  She received her B.S. in chemistry from the College of William & Mary in 2013.  She is admitted to practice in Virginia, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, and before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Jack Wilson was previously a summer associate with the firm.  During law school, he served as a judicial extern for the Honorable Mark Davis of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.  Prior to attending law school, he served in the United States Army.  He received his J.D., magna cum laude, from William & Mary Law School in 2016 where he was on the editorial staff of William & Mary Law Review and his B.S. in computer engineering from the University of Virginia in 2009.  He is admitted to practice in Virginia and before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Fish & Richardson is a global patent prosecution, intellectual property litigation, and commercial litigation law firm with more than 400 attorneys and technology specialists in the U.S. and Europe.  Our success is rooted in our creative and inclusive culture, which values the diversity of people, experiences, and perspectives.  Fish is the #1 U.S. patent litigation firm, handling nearly three times as many cases than its nearest competitor; a powerhouse patent prosecution firm; a top-tier trademark and copyright firm; and the #1 firm at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, with more cases than any other firm.  Since 1878, Fish attorneys have been winning cases worth billions in controversy – often by making new law – for the world's most innovative and influential technology leaders.  For more information, visit https://www.fr.com or follow us at @FishRichardson. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/fish--richardson-announces-18-recent-associates-300447237.html


News Article | April 26, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

PHOENIX--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Twenty of Arizona’s highest-achieving high-school seniors have been awarded the 2017 Flinn Scholarship, a highly competitive merit-based award for undergraduate study at an Arizona public university. The Flinn Scholarship, supported by the Phoenix-based Flinn Foundation and the universities, covers the cost of tuition and room and board at one of the state’s three public universities, provides funding for at least two study-abroad experiences and an off-campus internship, and offers other benefits. The scholarship is valued at more than $115,000. The 32nd class of Flinn Scholars represents 17 different high schools across the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas, and in small towns in northern, southern, central and western Arizona. “The Foundation is once again inspired by the dynamic student leaders who make up the new class of Flinn Scholars,” said Jack B. Jewett, Flinn Foundation president and CEO. “These talented and successful students, a diverse group from rural and urban areas of Arizona, are ready for an extraordinary education and college experience at our state’s universities.” The 2017 Flinn Scholars include two each from Arcadia High School in Phoenix and Hamilton High School in Chandler. Scholars also attend Ganado High School on the Navajo Nation, Mohave High School in Bullhead City along the Colorado River, Benson High School in southeastern Arizona and Eloy in central Arizona. Prescott and Cottonwood students are also part of the new Scholars class, along with a home-schooled student from Cave Creek. Five high schools are celebrating their first Flinn Scholar: Desert View High School in Tucson, Tri-City College Prep in Prescott, Santa Cruz Valley Union High School in Eloy, Liberty High School in Peoria and Mohave High School in Bullhead City. This year marks the second time a home-schooled student has been awarded the Flinn Scholarship, and includes the first Scholar for Benson High School and Ganado High School since 1991 and 1992, respectively. The Scholars have a wide range of majors and interests they plan to pursue in the fall, including biomedical engineering, astrophysics, journalism, economics, mathematics, neuroscience, business, urban planning, anthropology, physics, aerospace engineering and computer science. “This class of incoming Scholars is a remarkable group of students with diverse talents and ambitions,” said Anne Lassen, Flinn Scholars Program director. “Not only do they excel academically, but they also invest their time in leadership roles and service projects within their community. We look forward to the contributions they will make to the state and its universities in the years ahead.” There will be about 80 current Flinn Scholars studying at Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University and University of Arizona in the fall. More than 500 Scholar alumni have graduated from the universities since the program’s inception more than three decades ago. The Flinn Scholars Program received more than 750 applications from high school seniors for this year’s scholarship, translating to an award rate of 2.6 percent. The scholarship benefits, beyond covering eight semesters of tuition and room and board, include: The typical Flinn Scholar achieves at least a 3.5 grade-point average, a top-5 percent class rank, a score of 1360 on the SAT or 29 on the ACT, and participation and demonstrated leadership in extracurricular activities. The Flinn Scholars Program is operated by the Flinn Foundation Scholarship Program LLC and supported by the Flinn Foundation, a Phoenix-based private, nonprofit, grantmaking organization. The Foundation, founded in 1965 by the late Dr. Robert and Irene Flinn, also supports the advancement of Arizona’s bioscience sector, arts and culture, and the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership. Additional information about the Flinn Scholars Program can be found at www.flinnscholars.org Photos of the 2017 Flinn Scholars are available upon request.


News Article | April 26, 2017
Site: hosted2.ap.org

Neanderthals in California? Maybe so, provocative study says In this April 28, 1993 photo provided by the San Diego Natural History Museum, a bulldozer refills the Cerutti Mastodon site in San Diego, Calif., after the excavation and salvage of fossils. In a report released on Wednesday, April 26, 2017, researchers say the southern California site shows evidence of human-like behavior from about 130,000 years ago, when bones and teeth of an elephant-like mastodon were evidently smashed with rocks. (San Diego Natural History Museum via AP) In this April 28, 1993 photo provided by the San Diego Natural History Museum, a bulldozer refills the Cerutti Mastodon site in San Diego, Calif., after the excavation and salvage of fossils. In a report released on Wednesday, April 26, 2017, researchers say the southern California site shows evidence of human-like behavior from about 130,000 years ago, when bones and teeth of an elephant-like mastodon were evidently smashed with rocks. (San Diego Natural History Museum via AP) This Jan. 25, 1993 photo provided by the San Diego Natural History Museum shows a concentration of fossil bone and rock at an excavation site in San Diego, Calif. The positions of the femur heads, one up and one down, broken in the same manner next to each other is unusual. Mastodon molars are located in the lower right hand corner next to a large rock comprised of andesite which is in contact with a broken vertebra. At upper left is a rib angled upwards resting on a rock fragment. (San Diego Natural History Museum via AP) In this February 1993 photo provided by the San Diego Natural History Museum, San Diego Natural History Museum paleontologists C. Paul Majors and Matt Colbert work at the Cerutti Mastodon site in San Diego, Calif. In a report released on Wednesday, April 26, 2017, researchers say the southern California site shows evidence of human-like behavior from about 130,000 years ago, when bones and teeth of an elephant-like mastodon were evidently smashed with rocks. (San Diego Natural History Museum via AP) (AP) — A startling new report asserts that the first known Americans arrived much, much earlier than scientists thought — more than 100,000 years ago __ and maybe they were Neanderthals. If true, the finding would far surpass the widely accepted date of about 15,000 years ago. Researchers say a site in Southern California shows evidence of humanlike behavior from about 130,000 years ago, when bones and teeth of an elephantlike mastodon were evidently smashed with rocks. The earlier date means the bone-smashers were not necessarily members of our own species, Homo sapiens. The researchers speculate that these early Californians could have instead been species known only from fossils in Europe, Africa and Asia: Neanderthals, a little-known group called Denisovans, or another human forerunner named Homo erectus. "The very honest answer is, we don't know," said Steven Holen, lead author of the paper and director of the nonprofit Center for American Paleolithic Research in Hot Springs, South Dakota. No remains of any individuals were found. Whoever they were, they could have arrived by land or sea. They might have come from Asia via the Beringea land bridge that used to connect Siberia to Alaska, or maybe come across by watercraft along the Beringea coast or across open water to North America, before turning southward to California, Holen said in a telephone interview. Holen and others present their evidence in a paper released Wednesday by the journal Nature . Not surprisingly, the report was met by skepticism from other experts who don't think there is enough proof. The research dates back to the winter of 1992-3. The site was unearthed during a routine dig by researchers during a freeway expansion project in San Diego. Analysis of the find was delayed to assemble the right expertise, said Tom Demere, curator of paleontology at the San Diego Natural History Museum, another author of the paper. The Nature analysis focuses on remains from a single mastodon, and five stones found nearby. The mastodon's bones and teeth were evidently placed on two stones used as anvils and smashed with three stone hammers, to get at nutritious marrow and create raw material for tools. Patterns of damage on the limb bones looked like what happened in experiments when elephant bones were smashed with rocks. And the bones and stones were found in two areas, each roughly centered on what's thought to be an anvil. The stones measured about 8 inches (20 centimeters) to 12 inches (30 centimeters) long and weighed up to 32 pounds (14.5 kilograms). They weren't hand-crafted tools, Demere said. The users evidently found them and brought them to the site. The excavation also found a mastodon tusk in a vertical position, extending down into older layers, which may indicate it had been jammed into the ground as a marker or to create a platform, Demere said. The fate of the visitors is not clear. Maybe they died out without leaving any descendants, he said. Experts not connected with the study provided a range of reactions. "If the results stand up to further scrutiny, this does indeed change everything we thought we knew," said Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum in London. Neanderthals and Denisovans are the most likely identities of the visitors, he said. Denisovans, more closely related to Neanderthals than to us, are known from fossils found in a Siberian cave. But "many of us will want to see supporting evidence of this ancient occupation from other sites, before we abandon the conventional model of a first arrival by modern humans within the last 15,000 years," he wrote in an email. Erella Hovers of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State University in Tempe, who wrote a commentary accompanying the work, said in an email that the archaeological interpretation seemed convincing. Some other experts said the age estimate appears sound. But some were skeptical that the rocks were really used as tools. Vance Holliday of the University of Arizona in Tucson said the paper shows the bones could have been broken the way the authors assert, but they haven't demonstrated that's the only way. Richard Potts of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History, said he doesn't reject the paper's claims outright, but he finds the evidence "not yet solid." For one thing, the dig turned up no basic stone cutting tools or evidence of butchery or the use of fire, as one might expect from Homo sapiens or our close evolutionary relatives. The lead author, Holen, told reporters Tuesday that he and co-authors were ready for such criticism. "We expected skepticism because of the extremely old age of this site," he said. "I think we made a very good case." Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


News Article | April 26, 2017
Site: hosted2.ap.org

Neanderthals in California? Maybe so, provocative story says In this April 28, 1993 photo provided by the San Diego Natural History Museum, a bulldozer refills the Cerutti Mastodon site in San Diego, Calif., after the excavation and salvage of fossils. In a report released on Wednesday, April 26, 2017, researchers say the southern California site shows evidence of human-like behavior from about 130,000 years ago, when bones and teeth of an elephant-like mastodon were evidently smashed with rocks. (San Diego Natural History Museum via AP) In this April 28, 1993 photo provided by the San Diego Natural History Museum, a bulldozer refills the Cerutti Mastodon site in San Diego, Calif., after the excavation and salvage of fossils. In a report released on Wednesday, April 26, 2017, researchers say the southern California site shows evidence of human-like behavior from about 130,000 years ago, when bones and teeth of an elephant-like mastodon were evidently smashed with rocks. (San Diego Natural History Museum via AP) This Jan. 25, 1993 photo provided by the San Diego Natural History Museum shows a concentration of fossil bone and rock at an excavation site in San Diego, Calif. The positions of the femur heads, one up and one down, broken in the same manner next to each other is unusual. Mastodon molars are located in the lower right hand corner next to a large rock comprised of andesite which is in contact with a broken vertebra. At upper left is a rib angled upwards resting on a rock fragment. (San Diego Natural History Museum via AP) In this February 1993 photo provided by the San Diego Natural History Museum, San Diego Natural History Museum paleontologists C. Paul Majors and Matt Colbert work at the Cerutti Mastodon site in San Diego, Calif. In a report released on Wednesday, April 26, 2017, researchers say the southern California site shows evidence of human-like behavior from about 130,000 years ago, when bones and teeth of an elephant-like mastodon were evidently smashed with rocks. (San Diego Natural History Museum via AP) (AP) — A startling new report asserts that the first known Americans arrived much, much earlier than scientists thought — more than 100,000 years ago __ and maybe they were Neanderthals. If true, the finding would far surpass the widely accepted date of about 15,000 years ago. Researchers say a site in Southern California shows evidence of humanlike behavior from about 130,000 years ago, when bones and teeth of an elephantlike mastodon were evidently smashed with rocks. The earlier date means the bone-smashers were not necessarily members of our own species, Homo sapiens. The researchers speculate that these early Californians could have instead been species known only from fossils in Europe, Africa and Asia: Neanderthals, a little-known group called Denisovans, or another human forerunner named Homo erectus. "The very honest answer is, we don't know," said Steven Holen, lead author of the paper and director of the nonprofit Center for American Paleolithic Research in Hot Springs, South Dakota. No remains of any individuals were found. Whoever they were, they could have arrived by land or sea. They might have come from Asia via the Beringea land bridge that used to connect Siberia to Alaska, or maybe come across by watercraft along the Beringea coast or across open water to North America, before turning southward to California, Holen said in a telephone interview. Holen and others present their evidence in a paper released Wednesday by the journal Nature . Not surprisingly, the report was met by skepticism from other experts who don't think there is enough proof. The research dates back to the winter of 1992-3. The site was unearthed during a routine dig by researchers during a freeway expansion project in San Diego. Analysis of the find was delayed to assemble the right expertise, said Tom Demere, curator of paleontology at the San Diego Natural History Museum, another author of the paper. The Nature analysis focuses on remains from a single mastodon, and five stones found nearby. The mastodon's bones and teeth were evidently placed on two stones used as anvils and smashed with three stone hammers, to get at nutritious marrow and create raw material for tools. Patterns of damage on the limb bones looked like what happened in experiments when elephant bones were smashed with rocks. And the bones and stones were found in two areas, each roughly centered on what's thought to be an anvil. The stones measured about 8 inches (20 centimeters) to 12 inches (30 centimeters) long and weighed up to 32 pounds (14.5 kilograms). They weren't hand-crafted tools, Demere said. The users evidently found them and brought them to the site. The excavation also found a mastodon tusk in a vertical position, extending down into older layers, which may indicate it had been jammed into the ground as a marker or to create a platform, Demere said. The fate of the visitors is not clear. Maybe they died out without leaving any descendants, he said. Experts not connected with the study provided a range of reactions. "If the results stand up to further scrutiny, this does indeed change everything we thought we knew," said Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum in London. Neanderthals and Denisovans are the most likely identities of the visitors, he said. But "many of us will want to see supporting evidence of this ancient occupation from other sites, before we abandon the conventional model of a first arrival by modern humans within the last 15,000 years," he wrote in an email. Erella Hovers of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State University in Tempe, who wrote a commentary accompanying the work, said in an email that the archaeological interpretation seemed convincing. Some other experts said the age estimate appears sound. But some were skeptical that the rocks were really used as tools. Vance Holliday of the University of Arizona in Tucson said the paper shows the bones could have been broken the way the authors assert, but they haven't demonstrated that's the only way. Richard Potts of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History, said he doesn't reject the paper's claims outright, but he finds the evidence "not yet solid." For one thing, the dig turned up no basic stone cutting tools or evidence of butchery or the use of fire, as one might expect from Homo sapiens or our close evolutionary relatives. The lead author, Holen, told reporters Tuesday that he and co-authors were ready for such criticism. "We expected skepticism because of the extremely old age of this site," he said. "I think we made a very good case." Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


News Article | May 5, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

CHANDLER, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--At 11:01 p.m. on Thursday, May 4, 2017, the Arizona Senate passed HB 2547: university infrastructure capital financing; appropriations, paving the way for up to $1 billion in bonds to expand and maintain university research infrastructure at Arizona’s public universities. HB2547 is part of a set of budget bills that make up Arizona’s $9.8 billion budget for the fiscal year the begins on July 1, 2017. The bill’s primary sponsor was Representative Paul Boyer (LD-20). Representative Boyer is the Chairman of the House Education Committee, and is a member of the House Health and County and Municipal Affairs Committees. A vehicle supporting the $1 billion investment in Arizona’s University Research Infrastructure was originally proposed in Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s Executive Budget on January 13, 2017. The Governor’s Plan proposed allowing Arizona’s three state universities to apply the Transaction Privilege Tax (TPT) revenue that they create to support up to $1 billion in bonding for research and development, and deferred maintenance construction projects. While support for investing in Arizona’s future by expanding our university research infrastructure was strong in the community and with members of the legislature, concerns over the use of TPT revenue and the impact that it could have on other stakeholders was a legislative concern. Achieving the goal of an $1 billion investment would require creativity, collaboration and compromise. Reaching the Destination with a Different Vehicle Following months of committee hearings, discussions, stakeholder meetings and communication with constituents, a new funding plan was developed that combines a percentage of the new licensure and royalty agreements that are the result of research at Arizona’s public universities, with state funding support and a university match to allow for up to $1 billion in bonding capacity for Arizona’s public universities. This plan became HB2547, which first passed in the Arizona House of Representatives (33-26), followed by the Arizona Senate (23-7), paves the way for a $1 billion investment in Arizona’s public universities and is on the way to the Governor’s desk. To view the full summary of HB 2547, visit http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/53leg/1R/summary/H.HB2547_05-04-17_HOUSEENGROSSED.DOCX.htm. In 2003, the Arizona Legislature authorized an annual appropriation of $35 million to construct roughly $500 million worth of university research facilities that was championed by then-Speaker Pro Tempore Bob Robson. These projects included the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, The University of Arizona’s Keating Bioresearch Building, which houses the UA BIO5 Institute, and Arizona Biomedical Collaborative 1 on the Phoenix Biomedical Campus. At Northern Arizona University, the Applied Research and Development facility has enabled the university to expand its research in the areas of national defense and infectious disease. Since the state’s investment in 2003, research activity conducted at Arizona’s public universities has increased 77 percent and now totals nearly $1.1 billion each year. University invention disclosures have increased 154 percent. Degrees awarded in high-demand fields, including key STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields, have increased 40 percent in the past six years alone. In fiscal 2015, Arizona’s three public universities were responsible for an estimated 102,000 jobs and $11 billion in total economic impact. “Our investments in university research infrastructure have been and will be a major economic driver,” shared Joan Koerber-Walker, president & CEO of the Arizona Bioindustry Association (AZBio). “Yet, measuring this impact in a purely economic sense overlooks the greater value that life science research represents. The greatest value comes from the life-saving and life-changing innovations that will make life better for people in Arizona and around the world. Arizona university researchers and their industry partners are discovering, developing, and delivering products and services that will help people stay healthy, aid them when they are ill and improve their quality of life. By doubling down on our earlier research infrastructure investments, Arizona’s leaders are paving the way to a brighter future for the people of Arizona. We are truly grateful to Governor Doug Ducey and the Arizona Legislature for their vision and their commitment to invest in Arizona’s future.” “Arizona has passed a budget that prioritizes education, boosts teacher pay and invests in our universities — all without raising taxes on hardworking Arizonans,” said Governor Ducey. “For the first time in a decade, we are making significant and lasting investments to grow our state — in state parks, in public schools and universities, in our roads and highways, and in programs to combat drug addiction, provide second chances to inmates and place foster children in permanent homes. This would not be possible without the hard work to balance our budget over recent years. And it should come as no surprise that we are investing where it can really make a difference. I thank the legislature for their hard work and look forward to building on these gains to continue expanding opportunity for all Arizonans.” About the Arizona Bioindustry Association, Inc. (AZBio) A key component in Arizona’s life science ecosystem, the Arizona Bioindustry Association (AZBio) is the only statewide organization exclusively focused on Arizona’s bioscience industry. AZBio membership includes patient advocacy organizations, life science innovators, educators, healthcare partners and leading business organizations. AZBio is the statewide affiliate of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) and works in partnership with AdvaMed, MDMA, and PhRMA to advance innovation and to ensure that the value delivered from life-changing and life-saving innovation benefits people in Arizona and around the world.


News Article | April 18, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

House finches that frequent North American cities and towns are better at solving new problems than their rural counterparts. They are able to solve new problems even when humans are around, says Meghan Cook of Arizona State University in the US, lead author of a study in Springer's journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. The study investigated how increased urbanization and human presence affects the behavior and foraging habits of wildlife, and how birds, in particular, cope. The house finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) is a songbird native to the desert areas of North America. It is found in urban and rural areas of Mexico and the southwestern parts of the United States. Since the 1940s, the house finch has also successfully adapted to city living in, for instance, New York. Its natural diet consists of seeds, fruits and buds, and in urban areas it also frequents bird feeders. The research team captured and ringed 82 juvenile house finches from two sites in the Phoenix metropolitan area, and two other sites in nearby regional parks. The birds were then housed in captivity on the campus of the Arizona State University. About two weeks later the first trials were conducted in two identical animal-approved rooms, which were designed to minimize other disturbances. Each trial tested one bird at a time with no humans present. The second part of the experiment took place five weeks later after the birds had experienced different levels of human disturbance. All birds were presented with a small tin container covered with a sliding lid which was half-filled with sunflower seeds and attached to an empty food dish. This was done to see if the birds would successfully attempt to open the tin container to feed. Overall, finches solved the foraging problem with similar success in the pre- and the post disturbance trials, with 26 percent and 18 percent of them respectively being able to slide the lid open to find the food. Their increased age or previous experiences did not help the birds solve the conundrum better. A bird's success was affected by the interplay between the level of human disturbance that was experienced, and where a bird was originally captured. In particular, rural birds that experienced high disturbance performed much worse on the problem-solving task. "In fact, unlike urban birds, not a single rural bird tested solved the novel foraging problem after they were subjected to the high human-disturbance treatment," says Cook. The research team also established that the ability to focus on a task at hand without being distracted increased a bird's chances of success. Focus was measured by looking at the average time that a bird inspected the dish in one go. "The findings suggest that city birds have habituated and/or adapted to typically benign human presence, but rural birds (with less frequent interactions with humans) may still perceive humans as threatening, which then interferes with their ability to solve a problem," explains Cook. Reference: Cook, M.O. et al (2017). The effects of urbanization and human disturbance on problem solving in juvenile house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus), Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology


News Article | April 18, 2017
Site: phys.org

House finches that frequent North American cities and towns are better at solving new problems than their rural counterparts. They are able to solve new problems even when humans are around, says Meghan Cook of Arizona State University in the US, lead author of a study in Springer's journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. The study investigated how increased urbanization and human presence affects the behavior and foraging habits of wildlife, and how birds, in particular, cope. The house finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) is a songbird native to the desert areas of North America. It is found in urban and rural areas of Mexico and the southwestern parts of the United States. Since the 1940s, the house finch has also successfully adapted to city living in, for instance, New York. Its natural diet consists of seeds, fruits and buds, and in urban areas it also frequents bird feeders. The research team captured and ringed 82 juvenile house finches from two sites in the Phoenix metropolitan area, and two other sites in nearby regional parks. The birds were then housed in captivity on the campus of the Arizona State University. About two weeks later the first trials were conducted in two identical animal-approved rooms, which were designed to minimize other disturbances. Each trial tested one bird at a time with no humans present. The second part of the experiment took place five weeks later after the birds had experienced different levels of human disturbance. All birds were presented with a small tin container covered with a sliding lid which was half-filled with sunflower seeds and attached to an empty food dish. This was done to see if the birds would successfully attempt to open the tin container to feed. Overall, finches solved the foraging problem with similar success in the pre- and the post disturbance trials, with 26 percent and 18 percent of them respectively being able to slide the lid open to find the food. Their increased age or previous experiences did not help the birds solve the conundrum better. A bird's success was affected by the interplay between the level of human disturbance that was experienced, and where a bird was originally captured. In particular, rural birds that experienced high disturbance performed much worse on the problem-solving task. "In fact, unlike urban birds, not a single rural bird tested solved the novel foraging problem after they were subjected to the high human-disturbance treatment," says Cook. The research team also established that the ability to focus on a task at hand without being distracted increased a bird's chances of success. Focus was measured by looking at the average time that a bird inspected the dish in one go. "The findings suggest that city birds have habituated and/or adapted to typically benign human presence, but rural birds (with less frequent interactions with humans) may still perceive humans as threatening, which then interferes with their ability to solve a problem," explains Cook. Explore further: City birds are smarter than country birds More information: Meghan O. Cook et al, The effects of urbanization and human disturbance on problem solving in juvenile house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus), Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology (2017). DOI: 10.1007/s00265-017-2304-6


By standing on the shoulders of giants, humans have built the sophisticated high-tech world we live in today. Tapping into the knowledge of previous generations—and those around us—was long thought to be a “humans-only” trait. But homing pigeons can also build collective knowledge banks, behavioral biologists have discovered, at least when it comes to finding their way back to the roost. Like humans, the birds work together and pass on information that lets them get better and better at solving problems. “It is a really exciting development in this field,” says Christine Caldwell, a psychologist at the University of Stirling in the United Kingdom who was not involved with the work. Researchers have admired pigeon intelligence for decades. Previous work has shown the birds are capable of everything from symbolic communication to rudimentary math. They also use a wide range of cues to find their way home, including smell, sight, sound, and magnetism. On its own, a pigeon released multiple times from the same place will even modify its navigation over time for a more optimal route home. The birds also learn specific routes from one another. Because flocks of pigeons tend to take more direct flights home than individuals, scientists have long thought some sort of “collective intelligence” is at work. But can pigeons improve this homing ability over generations, building on the knowledge of birds that have come before? The phenomenon, known as cumulative cultural evolution, was considered “arguably unique to humans,” says Dora Biro, a behavioral biologist at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. To find out if birds share this ability, Biro and Oxford biologist Takao Sasaki strapped GPS devices on homing pigeons and divided them into three groups: birds homing by themselves, birds flying with the same partner, and birds that switched up their partner every half dozen flights or so. He and Biro based their design on the famous “spaghetti tower” test. In that experiment, one person was asked to build a tower as high as possible using raw spaghetti and clay while an observer looked on. Then, the builder left and the observer was asked to build a tower in front of a new observer. Researchers found that 10 “generations” of observers each built towers similar to the ones before them, but taller, demonstrating the basic idea of standing on the shoulders of giants. Instead of building towers, the pigeons simply had to fly home, an instinctive behavior. Birds in all three groups improved in the first few flights home, but after that, only the group in which the most experienced bird was periodically switched out continued to get closer to the perfect route, the researchers report today in Nature Communications. The new bird in the pair was the equivalent of the observer in the spaghetti tower experiment and represented the “next generation” that learned from and built upon the experienced bird’s knowledge. “I think the paper convincingly shows that animal groups can show both collective intelligence and cumulative culture,” says Harvard University animal behaviorist Albert Kao, who was not affiliated with the study. A naïve bird does not develop a completely new route, but instead changes an existing route that it acquires from a bird in the previous generation—and that’s a hallmark of cumulative culture, Biro adds. Still, not everyone is convinced. “I like the paper. It is carefully—even beautifully—done, but I think this question of whether animals can and do have cumulative culture is still open,” says Claudio Tennie, a comparative psychologist at the University of Tübingen in Germany who was not involved with the work. He argues that the pigeons are not really learning a new behavior, and thus the birds demonstrate just a subtype of cumulative culture. Maxime Derex, an evolutionary anthropologist at Arizona State University in Tempe, agrees. Cumulative culture is more complex in humans, he says. We’ve gone from the spoken to the written word and now to ever more sophisticated electronics to communicate, he notes, whereas all the birds show is that they can improve their route home. Biro and Sasaki accept this difference between pigeons and humans. “But our study demonstrates that nonhuman animals can accumulate knowledge and improve performance over generations, satisfying the criteria for cumulative cultural evolution,” Sasaki says. “Thus, our results suggest that [this ability] may not require sophisticated cognition as previously thought.”


News Article | April 26, 2017
Site: hosted2.ap.org

Neanderthals in California? Maybe so, provocative study says In this April 28, 1993 photo provided by the San Diego Natural History Museum, a bulldozer refills the Cerutti Mastodon site in San Diego, Calif., after the excavation and salvage of fossils. In a report released on Wednesday, April 26, 2017, researchers say the southern California site shows evidence of human-like behavior from about 130,000 years ago, when bones and teeth of an elephant-like mastodon were evidently smashed with rocks. (San Diego Natural History Museum via AP) In this April 28, 1993 photo provided by the San Diego Natural History Museum, a bulldozer refills the Cerutti Mastodon site in San Diego, Calif., after the excavation and salvage of fossils. In a report released on Wednesday, April 26, 2017, researchers say the southern California site shows evidence of human-like behavior from about 130,000 years ago, when bones and teeth of an elephant-like mastodon were evidently smashed with rocks. (San Diego Natural History Museum via AP) This Jan. 25, 1993 photo provided by the San Diego Natural History Museum shows a concentration of fossil bone and rock at an excavation site in San Diego, Calif. The positions of the femur heads, one up and one down, broken in the same manner next to each other is unusual. Mastodon molars are located in the lower right hand corner next to a large rock comprised of andesite which is in contact with a broken vertebra. At upper left is a rib angled upwards resting on a rock fragment. (San Diego Natural History Museum via AP) In this February 1993 photo provided by the San Diego Natural History Museum, San Diego Natural History Museum paleontologists C. Paul Majors and Matt Colbert work at the Cerutti Mastodon site in San Diego, Calif. In a report released on Wednesday, April 26, 2017, researchers say the southern California site shows evidence of human-like behavior from about 130,000 years ago, when bones and teeth of an elephant-like mastodon were evidently smashed with rocks. (San Diego Natural History Museum via AP) (AP) — A startling new report asserts that the first known Americans arrived much, much earlier than scientists thought — more than 100,000 years ago __ and maybe they were Neanderthals. If true, the finding would far surpass the widely accepted date of about 15,000 years ago. Researchers say a site in Southern California shows evidence of humanlike behavior from about 130,000 years ago, when bones and teeth of an elephantlike mastodon were evidently smashed with rocks. The earlier date means the bone-smashers were not necessarily members of our own species, Homo sapiens. The researchers speculate that these early Californians could have instead been species known only from fossils in Europe, Africa and Asia: Neanderthals, a little-known group called Denisovans, or another human forerunner named Homo erectus. "The very honest answer is, we don't know," said Steven Holen, lead author of the paper and director of the nonprofit Center for American Paleolithic Research in Hot Springs, South Dakota. No remains of any individuals were found. Whoever they were, they could have arrived by land or sea. They might have come from Asia via the Beringea land bridge that used to connect Siberia to Alaska, or maybe come across by watercraft along the Beringea coast or across open water to North America, before turning southward to California, Holen said in a telephone interview. Holen and others present their evidence in a paper released Wednesday by the journal Nature . Not surprisingly, the report was met by skepticism from other experts who don't think there is enough proof. The research dates back to the winter of 1992-3. The site was unearthed during a routine dig by researchers during a freeway expansion project in San Diego. Analysis of the find was delayed to assemble the right expertise, said Tom Demere, curator of paleontology at the San Diego Natural History Museum, another author of the paper. The Nature analysis focuses on remains from a single mastodon, and five stones found nearby. The mastodon's bones and teeth were evidently placed on two stones used as anvils and smashed with three stone hammers, to get at nutritious marrow and create raw material for tools. Patterns of damage on the limb bones looked like what happened in experiments when elephant bones were smashed with rocks. And the bones and stones were found in two areas, each roughly centered on what's thought to be an anvil. The stones measured about 8 inches (20 centimeters) to 12 inches (30 centimeters) long and weighed up to 32 pounds (14.5 kilograms). They weren't hand-crafted tools, Demere said. The users evidently found them and brought them to the site. The excavation also found a mastodon tusk in a vertical position, extending down into older layers, which may indicate it had been jammed into the ground as a marker or to create a platform, Demere said. The fate of the visitors is not clear. Maybe they died out without leaving any descendants, he said. Experts not connected with the study provided a range of reactions. "If the results stand up to further scrutiny, this does indeed change everything we thought we knew," said Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum in London. Neanderthals and Denisovans are the most likely identities of the visitors, he said. But "many of us will want to see supporting evidence of this ancient occupation from other sites, before we abandon the conventional model of a first arrival by modern humans within the last 15,000 years," he wrote in an email. Erella Hovers of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State University in Tempe, who wrote a commentary accompanying the work, said in an email that the archaeological interpretation seemed convincing. Some other experts said the age estimate appears sound. But some were skeptical that the rocks were really used as tools. Vance Holliday of the University of Arizona in Tucson said the paper shows the bones could have been broken the way the authors assert, but they haven't demonstrated that's the only way. Richard Potts of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History, said he doesn't reject the paper's claims outright, but he finds the evidence "not yet solid." For one thing, the dig turned up no basic stone cutting tools or evidence of butchery or the use of fire, as one might expect from Homo sapiens or our close evolutionary relatives. The lead author, Holen, told reporters Tuesday that he and co-authors were ready for such criticism. "We expected skepticism because of the extremely old age of this site," he said. "I think we made a very good case." Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.scientificamerican.com

On topics ranging from astrophysics to public health, rejections of scientific consensus can prove quite inflexible when bolstered by religious doctrine. Buta new approach to teaching evolutionary biology appears to ease such tensions. It involves airing perceived conflicts between religion and evolution in the classroom rather than simply presenting a mountain of evidence for evolution. Such a curriculum could help biologists (most of whom claim to hold no religious beliefs) more effectively prepare students (most of whom profess belief in God) to meet the nation’s growing need for scientists and technologists. During a two-week module on evolution that was part of an introductory biology course at Arizona State University, the instructor explored a variety of viewpoints about the relation between some religious beliefs and the development and diversification of life, ranging from evolution without the involvement of a deity to various types of creationism—including theistic evolution. Students were encouraged to express their opinions and concerns. Surveys filled out by 60 students before and after the module revealed that the number of students who perceived a sense of a conflict between religion and evolution at the start was cut in half by the end. An analysis of the results is detailed in the February issue of the American Biology Teacher. In response to instructors’ concerns about limited classroom time, a follow-up project compressed the two-week module to six minutes. Remarkably, unpublished results suggest this brief exposure also proved effective at reducing students’ perception of a conflict. “If we encourage national policy documents that promote these teaching practices,” says study co-author Elizabeth Barnes of Arizona State, “perhaps we can increase acceptance of evolution among our students, future teachers and future political leaders.”


Robert J. Weber, Attorney & Founder, Robert J. Weber, P.C., has joined The Expert Network©, an invitation-only service for distinguished professionals. Mr. Weber has been chosen as a Distinguished Lawyer™ based on peer reviews and ratings, dozens of recognitions, and accomplishments achieved throughout his career. Mr. Weber outshines others in his field due to his extensive educational background, numerous awards and recognitions, and career longevity. After completing his undergraduate studies in secondary education he was drafted to serve in the Vietnam war and was set to become a U.S. Air Force officer and, eventually, a teacher, but a twist of fate and his father's urging led him to law. He was a member of the inaugural class at Arizona State University College of Law, completing his Juris Doctor in 1970. Mr. Weber has since been recognized by Martindale-Hubbell® as a top attorney, receiving many different awards from the organization. With over 45 years dedicated to law, Mr. Weber brings a wealth of knowledge to his industry and, in particular, to his area of specialization, criminal law, DUI, and estate planning. When asked why he decided to pursue a career as an attorney, Mr. Weber said: "I was drafted in December of 1966 and I decided that since I knew I was going to Vietnam, I would try to become an Air Force officer. When I had my physical, they decided that I had 'bad feet', so I was exempted from the draft. Now, with my service out of the picture, I had to do some quick thinking. I had initially planned to be a teacher, but a new law school was about to open at Arizona State University, and my father—who worked at a company that employed a law firm, and recognized the value of a good attorney,—encouraged me to apply. I was fortunate enough to be accepted, and that was that." Though today Mr. Weber focuses solely on his private practice, his sixteen years as judge pro tem on both the civil and criminal benches has laid the foundation for an inimitable understanding of the intricacies of criminal law. At the law offices of Robert J. Weber, P.C., Mr. Weber and his team place a high premium on aggressive, experienced, and personalized legal representation. Whether dealing with criminal defense, DUI, or estate planning, Mr. Weber is always a paragon of professionalism and compassion in his representation of Arizona clients from Chandler, Mesa, Gilbert, Tempe, the entire East Valley, and throughout the greater Phoenix area. As a thought-leader in his field, Mr. Weber has his finger on the pulse of prevailing trends in criminal and estate planning law. Regarding the accessibility of estate planning for people of limited financial means, he noted: "We’re at a point where it is more economically advantageous for a person to create proper estate planning documents than it is to skip creating a will or to create a simple will and go through the probate process, which is two to three times what it costs to do a proper estate plan. Because of this, we feel like we can be of service to people of all economic groups." Mr. Weber is a member of the State Bar of Arizona, the East Valley Bar Association, and is admitted to practice in the U.S. District Court, District of Arizona. The Expert Network© has written this news release with approval and/or contributions from Robert J. Weber. The Expert Network© is an invitation-only reputation management service that is dedicated to helping professionals stand out, network, and gain a competitive edge. The Expert Network© selects a limited number of professionals based on their individual recognitions and history of personal excellence.


News Article | April 19, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

South Dakotan and entrepreneur T. Denny Sanford, one of the country’s most generous philanthropists, is donating $28 million to the private, nonprofit National University System to further its role leading the national adoption of three initiatives: Sanford Harmony, Sanford Inspire and the Sanford Institute of Philanthropy. Based on the vision of Mr. Sanford, the three Sanford Education Programs provide innovative, research-based solutions designed to address critical needs in teacher education, PreK-12 instruction and nonprofit fundraising. The donation, which is the largest ever received by the National University System, ensures the continued expansion of all three programs, which give people the tools to develop better relationships. More than 500,000 PreK-12 students from Los Angeles to New York City are being reached through a phased roll-out of two of the initiatives: Sanford Harmony, a PreK-6 social emotional learning program that promotes positive peer interactions and communication among boys and girls; and Sanford Inspire, which supports inspiring PreK-12 teaching through teacher education. The Sanford Harmony program, based on eight years of research at Arizona State University’s T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics, has also been adopted in some of the largest school districts in the country. “We are very appreciative to have received this historic gift, which affirms the remarkable impact of these initiatives and allows for us to expand even further the capacity of these programs to transform the lives of our children, schools and communities,” said Dr. Michael R. Cunningham, Chancellor of the National University System, a network of nonprofit education institutions including National University that collectively serve higher education and K-12 students. “We are honored to carry out the vision of Denny Sanford, who is the inspiration and driving force behind these programs, and we are dedicated to ensuring their impact will last for generations.” The donation from Mr. Sanford brings total funding to date for the programs to approximately $70 million, which comes through a combination of donations from Mr. Sanford, Dr. Cunningham, anonymous donors and matching funds from National University itself. The National University System is leading the nationwide expansion of the programs through collaborations with more than a dozen other universities and numerous school districts around the country. The funding allows for Sanford Harmony to be available to PreK-12 schools at no cost. “Helping others is what this is all about, and it’s why I’m so pleased to recognize the remarkable impacts these three programs are having nationwide,” said Mr. Sanford. “What started out as a dream is now a reality, and to me the greatest gift of all is being able to see for myself how these programs are strengthening our communities and helping children succeed in school and life.” With adoption in more than three dozen states, the PreK-6 Sanford Harmony social emotional learning program continues to expand significantly. Based on Mr. Sanford’s desire to improve relationships among children into adulthood, Sanford Harmony supports positive peer interactions through lessons and activities that encourage communication, collaboration, and mutual respect among boys and girls. The program is being adopted by public and private schools, Boys and Girls Clubs and Magnet Schools of America. It is also being introduced to three of the five largest school districts in the country: New York City, where in partnership with Long Island University the program is in the process of reaching more than 100,000 students; as well as in Los Angeles and Clark County, Nevada. “I am confident that the Sanford Harmony program will lead to stronger and healthier relationships among children while fostering positive, lifelong relationships and ultimately lowering divorce rates,” said Mr. Sanford. With new resources being developed monthly, the Sanford Inspire program now offers 60 video training modules developed in collaboration with Arizona State University. The PreK-12 initiative is based on Mr. Sanford’s vision to support inspiring teaching, and was developed in conjunction with Teach for America. Sanford Inspire provides access to research-based teaching methodologies, and on-demand, self-guided online modules and offers a tool box to help teachers create inspiring classroom environments. A movement as well as a resource, Sanford Inspire principles and resources are being integrated as part of teacher education programs by a growing number of colleges and universities and impacting to date about 14,000 pre-service and in-service teachers. National University’s Sanford College of Education, which is among the Top Ten largest schools of education in the country, has aligned Sanford Inspire principles with its curriculum and programs. More than a dozen other schools and colleges of education are currently adopting Sanford Inspire, including City University of Seattle, which is also part of the National University System, and Nova Southeastern University in Florida. National University performed the research and development of the Sanford Institute of Philanthropy at National University, which has directly impacted more than 12,000 frontline nonprofit fundraisers. The University is also supporting the expansion of a national network of affiliated Institutes at universities around the country, including John F. Kennedy University, and City University of Seattle, both affiliates of the National University System; Bellevue University; Augustana University; and Long Island University in New York. The founding Sanford Institute of Philanthropy at National University has created foundational curriculum based on the vision of Mr. Sanford to increase the impact of nonprofits through a unique focus on frontline fundraising and donor relations. A common cornerstone among each Institute is the Cause Selling approach, which blends the passion of philanthropy with an emphasis on proven business principles. With the development of more than 30 instructional modules and a one-of-its-kind textbook – Cause Selling: The Sanford Way – the Sanford Institute of Philanthropy at National University meets the standards of excellence as outlined by Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) International and has been approved by the nonprofit certification organization as a Continuing Education Provider. About the National University System     The National University System is a network of accredited nonprofit education institutions serving higher education and K-12 students that includes National University, John F. Kennedy University, City University of Seattle, WestMed College and the Division of Pre-College Programs. Established in 2001 to meet the emerging challenges and demands of education in the 21st Century, the network’s complementary universities offer pathways for students to attain professional and terminal degrees through quality and innovative programs delivered in a format that is flexible to the needs of adult learners. The anchor institution, National University, was founded in 1971 and is among the largest private, nonprofit institutions of higher education in California with more than 150,000 alumni. For more information on the National University System: https://www.nusystem.org/ About the Sanford Education Center and Sanford College of Education at National University The Sanford Education Center at National University was established in 2014 through the generous support of philanthropist T. Denny Sanford to provide innovative programs in the nonprofit and PreK-12 sectors. The Center, in coordination with universities around the country, is leading the national expansion of three initiatives: Sanford Harmony, Sanford Inspire and the Sanford Institute of Philanthropy. The Center’s initiatives are supported by National University, which is home to the Sanford College of Education, and the National University System. Learn more: http://sanfordeducationprograms.org/


News Article | March 29, 2017
Site: www.csmonitor.com

—It’s a new approach to an old idea. While Jonathan Swift’s fantastical island city of Laputa stayed aloft via magnets, a New York City design firm envisions using an orbiting asteroid to hang a skyscraper above the Earth. Clouds Architecture Office espouses a dream-big-or-go-home philosophy with its plan to construct the world’s "tallest building ever." The 20-mile high (or long) megastructure would dangle from an asteroid suspended by a cable system tens of thousands of miles long. A number of engineering hurdles stand in the way, so would-be atmospheric settlers of tomorrow will have plenty of time to save up for a down payment. Nevertheless, today's humble surface-dwellers may see inspirational value in proposing such castles in the sky, regardless of their feasibility. Clouds AO’s “Analemma Tower” riffs on the concept of the space elevator, an orbiting counterweight tethered to Earth by an unimaginably long cable that, once built, could provide more affordable access to space. But rather than a fixed line to the ground, the firm proposes an apartment building hanging off the lower end of a very, very, very long cable attached to an asteroid. The entire system would orbit at the same speed the Earth turns, so it could hover over a relatively narrow area, rather than zipping around many times per day, like the International Space Station does. The plan calls for an asteroid to be captured and brought back to orbit Earth, similar to NASA’s soon-to-be-cancelled Asteroid Redirect Mission. The space rock would orbit about 30,000 miles above the Earth's surface, and tens of thousands of miles of cable would suspend the low-flying apartment complex, which would span the last 20 miles and nearly scrape the Earth's surface. The scale of the project is mind-boggling. The building alone would be 60 times as tall as New York’s One World Trade Center, a height that would take Dubai’s Burj Khalifa elevator nearly an hour to climb (although the proposal suggests cableless magnetic elevators). If the entire asteroid-to-bottom-floor span were shrunk to the size of the Eiffel Tower, by comparison the real Eiffel Tower would stand a mere seven hundredths of an inch tall. Inhabitants could live more than 100,000 feet in the air, where they would enjoy 45 extra minutes of daylight, but it would come at the cost of near-vacuum conditions outside and temperatures comparable to an Antarctic winter, necessitating the recycling of air and water much like a space station. But a free-flying design affords a number of advantages. By tweaking the elongation of the orbit, builders could specify the figure-eight shaped path the building traces over the Earth. All geosynchronous satellites follow this pattern, from which the structure gets its name: analemma. And the view would be spectacular. The analemma movement makes the building mobile, with ports of call in New York City and on the western coast of South America where it could dock for loading, unloading, and re-supplying. It would complete one analemma each day. The design also suggests taking advantage of the skyscraper’s mobility to defray the astronomical building costs, pointing out that Dubai has proven itself a master of low cost, high rise construction. After completion, builders could transport the entire structure to its final New York City-focused orbit. Rent would cover the remainder of the costs, the architects expect. “It taps into the desire for extreme height, seclusion, and constant mobility. If the recent boom in residential towers proves that sales price per square foot rises with floor elevation, then Analemma Tower will command record prices, justifying its high cost of construction,” the firm wrote. Recent record-setting apartment prices include a $100 million unit in New York City and a $335 million penthouse in Monaco. Even more astronomical fees for spacescraper real estate would make Analemma Tower accessible only to the hyper-rich. But Clouds AO won’t be taking deposits anytime soon, because the project faces the challenges of a space elevator, and then some. “It's basically a space elevator with the lower end free. I think that's actually harder.  Probably not 10 times harder though, maybe 1.5 times harder,” suggests Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. The number one problem is the cable. The sheer length and tension require tremendous strength, and theorists can’t come up with a material that could bear more than two-thirds of the load required for a practical elevator, even just on paper. Another hurdle is space trash from defunct satellites. “The fact that space tethers are often cut in two by a space debris hit is the reason they haven't seen extensive use since the 1990s,” Dr. McDowell tells The Christian Science Monitor in an email. On top of the space elevator style tether, Analemma Tower also presents a large pressurized structure with big windows as a large target for lower flying objects such as birds and planes. McDowell suspects smaller, higher systems may be feasible (“start small, a hut!”), but he worries about the dangers of dipping too far into the Earth’s thick and breezy atmosphere: “The problems get worse once you start to lower the bottom end into the atmosphere and you have the interaction of the tether with the atmosphere, winds, etc. Then I think it actually gets simpler when you anchor it on the ground.” The jet stream, for example, could buffet the tower at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour. And if anything went wrong, a crash could impact more than just the sky dwellers. In the event of a tether snap near the asteroid, the loosed cable could whip around the Earth, wrapping itself over the entire globe 1.2 times. The impact and collapse of a 20-mile building wouldn’t be good news either. Despite its risk and impracticality, McDowell sees some value in at least discussing the proposal. “It is a fun idea that gets engineers and architects thinking outside the box, which is its purpose,” he says. “For an actual implementation, I think it's a bad idea.” It’s a sentiment famed science fiction author Neal Stephenson would agree with. Lamenting a shift in innovation from large works of engineering to app and web development, he sees science fiction and big thinking like the Analemma Tower as playing an important role in inspiring engineers and project planners. “I worry that our inability to match the achievements of the 1960s space program might be symptomatic of a general failure of our society to get big things done. My parents and grandparents witnessed the creation of the airplane, the automobile, nuclear energy, and the computer to name only a few,” he wrote in his essay Innovation Starvation. Aiming to lead by example, Mr. Stephenson partnered with Arizona State University structural engineer Keith Hjelmstad in 2012 to design a 12-mile-high steel tower that could aid in refueling aircraft and launching spacecraft. He believes such initiatives to be fundamental to the continued success of the human race. “The imperative to develop new technologies and implement them on a heroic scale no longer seems like the childish preoccupation of a few nerds with slide rules. It’s the only way for the human race to escape from its current predicaments. Too bad we’ve forgotten how to do it,” he wrote. Advancements in technology have long spurred even more fanciful leaps of inspiration, as the Eiffel Tower reportedly inspired rocketry pioneer Konstantin Tsiolkovsky to outline a proto-space elevator in 1895. We may still lack the technology to build the marvel he imagined, but humans have since found their way to the sky in ways he may not have foreseen. Space elevators and "spacescrapers" firmly inhabit the realm of impossibility today, but the Burj Khalifa, with its 2,722-foot pinnacle of stone, glass, and computer chip-controlled elevators, would have been far beyond even the imagination of a Stone Age person familiar with only stone hatchets and wooden huts. As for what will be achievable in the coming centuries, McDowell is bearish, but doesn’t rule out the possibility of an Analemma Tower entirely. “I would bet against it for at least the next 200 years,” he says.


News Article | April 19, 2017
Site: www.nature.com

The election of a politically inexperienced president in the United States, Britain's vote to leave the European Union and the initial rejection of a peace deal in a Colombian referendum to end an armed conflict all signal dissatisfaction with the political status quo. Yet citizens have few opportunities to influence government decisions beyond the ballot box. “This is a time when almost every aspect of government can be improved,” Geoff Mulgan, chief of Nesta, a UK charity that aims to foster innovation and digital democracy1, has said. It is time to work out how, together. Last year, my students at the Governance Lab at New York University designed a process to help four governments — the city government of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and the national governments of Argentina, Colombia and Panama — to obtain expert advice about the global Zika outbreak. Our project, called Smarter Crowdsourcing, broke down the outbreak into actionable problems, such as the accumulation of standing water leading to the breeding of more infected mosquitoes. Then we organized 6 online dialogues with 100 experts from 6 continents to gather knowledge, experiences and advice. Three months on, these governments are beginning to implement what they learned. For example, Rio and Argentina have started social media 'listening' initiatives to learn how the public perceives the disease. Listening and crowdsourcing approaches can make governments more agile in responding to problems. Whether the issue is public health, global warming or prison reform, governments struggle to identify and implement new approaches quickly. When car pioneer Henry Ford wanted to innovate, he shut down and retooled his factories. Governments do not have that luxury. Technology is already changing the way public institutions make decisions. Governments at every level are using 'big data' to pinpoint or predict the incidence of crime, heart attack and foodborne illness. Expert networking platforms — online directories of people and their skills, such as NovaGob.org in Spain — are helping to match civil servants who have the relevant expertise with those who need the know-how. To get beyond conventional democratic models of representation or referendum, and, above all, to improve learning in the civil service, we must build on these pockets of promise and evolve. That requires knowledge of what works and when. But there is a dearth of research on the impact of technology on public institutions. One reason is a lack of suitable research methods. Many academics prefer virtual labs with simulated conditions that are far from realistic. Field experiments have long been used to evaluate the choice between two policies. But much less attention is paid to how public organizations might operate differently with new technologies. The perfect must not be the enemy of the good. Even when it is impractical to create a control group and run parallel interventions in the same institution, comparisons can yield insights. For instance, one could compare the effect of using citizen commenting on legislative proposals in the Brazilian parliament with similar practices in the Finnish parliament. Of course, some leaders have little interest in advancing more than their own power. But many more politicians and public servants are keen to use research-based evidence to guide how they use technology to govern in the public interest. The MacArthur Foundation in Chicago, Illinois, has started funding a research network — a dozen academics and public servants — to study the possibilities of using new technology to govern more transparently and in partnership with citizens (see www.opening-governance.org). More collaboration among universities and across disciplines is needed. New research platforms — such as the Open Governance Research Exchange, developed by the Governance Lab, the UK-based non-profit mySociety and the World Bank — can offer pathways for sharing research findings and co-creating methodologies. These are the key areas in need of research. Data-driven decision-making. Computable information can improve governance. So it is imperative to do more systematic research to guide investment in new data-rich platforms and policies. Through data analysis, policymakers can understand the past performance of policies and services — their efficiency and their disparate impact on different populations. For example, in the United Kingdom, studies of a unique birth cohort of 70,000 people since the Second World War have generated more than 6,000 academic papers and led to an overhaul of medical support during pregnancy and childbirth2. And better data can help to predict policy outcomes. Chicago's city government, for example, created an algorithm to predict food-safety violations. This increased the effectiveness of its inspections by 25%. But it is the exception not the rule in the public sector to use advanced analytics, not the rule. Even when algorithmic approaches are adopted, such as to measure the risk of reoffending, outcomes are rarely evaluated. Few people working for government have the data-science skills needed to conduct such research. Open government data. Many nations collect and publish government information in freely reusable forms. The impact of these data on solving public problems needs study. In the United States, data from universities and transport authorities have been transformed into apps to help the public make more-informed decisions about their university education and their commutes to work. And open data can promote civil rights. For example, civil-rights lawyers in Zanesville, Ohio, used data released by utility companies to uncover a 50-year pattern of racial discrimination in water-service provision3. But more research is needed on the impact of open data on governing and problem solving. For example, many governments assume that, by helping consumers to make more effective choices, the collection and disclosure of information on energy efficiency or mobile-phone tariffs lets them regulate industry with little administrative burden. But under what circumstances are disclosures more effective than command-and-control regulations? This is a testable research question. The potential public good of companies giving consumers access to the data they each generate also needs researching. The Small Data Lab at Cornell Tech in New York City is investigating what happens when online supermarkets open up purchase data to individuals, and to researchers on their behalf. The team is testing tools that use such information to 'nudge' people towards healthier eating, with personalized coaching derived from their data. Responsible data use. To move towards evidence-based decision-making, citizens must probe how to make use of administrative data collected about them by the government. The London-based non-profit organization New Philanthropy Capital has been testing a model for a secure 'data lab'. The lab accepts outside requests to use UK Ministry of Justice administrative data about criminals who reoffend to measure the effectiveness of social-service programmes. It next wants to test the approach with Britain's National Health Service to use health and social-care data to evaluate programme effectiveness while safeguarding privacy. Research is urgently needed on the impact of algorithms on public life — of the kind being done by Lee Rainie at the Pew Research Center in Washington DC, who is studying both the ways in which algorithms might be used to solve societal problems and their potential for misuse. Questions about the impact of data-driven decision-making on civil liberties go beyond the usual issues of surveillance and privacy. There are ethical implications for the 'digital invisibles' — people on whom data are not collected. Justin Longo, a open-government researcher at the University of Regina in Canada, has found that people who aren't represented in the big-data world may be subject to misguided interventions and biased policy. Citizen engagement. Whether obtaining diverse public input through the Internet improves the legitimacy and efficacy of governing processes is another hypothesis in need of testing. Crowdsourcing and open innovation have been used in the public sector, but the practices are not well institutionalized. There is a dearth of research on how public organizations engage with civil servants and the public online, and thus a lack of insight into how to design successful online engagement processes and institutions. What are the best ways to devise participatory opportunities at each stage of public decision-making, from problem solving to policy evaluation? At Arizona State University, the Center for Policy Informatics is partnering with the city of Phoenix to test and develop ways of including the expertise, experience and priorities of citizens in urban planning. Approaches range from sophisticated computer models to coloured pieces of paper scaled to the sizes of budget proposals. Crowdsourcing environmental data holds great promise, as citizen scientists worldwide are doing in the SciStarter, CrowdCrafting and Safecast online communities. There are myriad natural experiments on citizen participation in lawmaking, from Brazil to Canada and France. But research lags behind and lessons are not being learned. Incentives. To design participatory governing processes for the digital age, researchers must dig into the age-old question of human motivation. There is a well-developed literature on crowdsourcing in business and science, but there is too little understanding of what drives different kinds of individuals to take part in online policy consultations and what motivates governments to run them. Research led by Karim Lakhani at Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts, suggests4 that people respond to intrinsic incentives (such as membership of a group) more than they do to extrinsic ones (such as the offer of an iPad). Companies may need other encouragements to share data that help solve public problems. At New York University, Stefaan Verhulst and Andrew Young study different ways of getting companies to do so. They are creating and studying such data-sharing arrangements, what they call data collaboratives, in partnership with UNICEF, the United Nations' children's charity. We also need to know more about who participates. To 'unmask the crowd', Tanja Aitamurto at Stanford University in California and colleagues have studied5 a crowdsourced law-reform initiative in Finland and found that it mostly involved educated professional males. To accelerate research into how real-world institutions could improve through technology, I offer these short-term prescriptions. First, more conferences in more disciplines should address how to introduce research, including experimental design, to study innovations in governing. Anita McGahan, who studies strategic management at Toronto University in Canada, made opening governance the theme of the 2015 annual conference of business-school researchers when she was president of the US-based Academy of Management, an association for management researchers. Henry Farrell, a political scientist at George Washington University in Washington DC, brings together computer and political scientists to develop a common understanding of collective problem solving. Second, in addition to philanthropic investment, more agency budgets at every level of government should pay for research into agency operations. Although dedicated science agencies fund external research on innovation, almost no money goes towards addressing internal innovation. Third, public officials need to know how and when to design experiments that will yield insight while protecting taxpayers' money. Policy agencies such as the UK Cabinet Office and the US Office of Management and Budget (OMB) should offer guidance and training on how to design responsible research experiments including randomized controlled trials. Fourth, government bodies need streamlined ways of collaborating with academia, such as the authority to recruit and to create short-term fellowships. The Social and Behavioral Sciences Team, a cross-agency group that was part of former US president Barack Obama's administration, routinely collaborated with and brought in outside academic experts to complete rigorous evaluations of more than 30 trials of new policy interventions. Fifth, where academics cannot be brought into government, agencies should push questions out. The United States has legal authority under the America Competes Act to award prizes to members of the public for solving difficult problems. US federal agencies have conducted such prize-based challenges more than 750 times on Challenge.gov, inviting the public to reduce casualties from runaway vehicles at military checkpoints or to compose a catchy public service announcement to increase handwashing and prevent the spread of influenza. Finally, rules on ethical but efficient administration of research need to be clarified. For example, US regulations on human-subjects research exempt from ethical review any research on how government service and benefits are delivered — but make no mention of the study of governance innovations. The United States should streamline its Paperwork Reduction Act statute, which requires that agencies wishing to ask questions of the public submit to a lengthy approval process by the OMB. In the face of increasingly complex challenges, rapid social change and technological innovation, governments must find new ways to do more with less. Despite declining tax revenues and deteriorating fiscal conditions, public expectations of what governments should deliver have risen. In every domain, governments need to innovate in how we respond to challenges. It is not enough to experiment with new policies in the laboratory of democracy if we use the same beakers. We need to change the processes by which we make policy and deliver services for the public good. Empirical yet agile research in the wild is the route to knowing how.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Salt Lake Community College will honor graduates during commencement ceremonies May 5, 9:30 a.m. at the Maverik Center in West Valley City. This year’s keynote speaker will be Diane Guerrero, known for her roles in the Netflix series Orange is the New Black and The CW Network series Jane the Virgin. Guerrero was raised in the Jamaica Plain and Roxbury neighborhoods of Boston after being taken in by other Colombian families. She had an interest in acting since a young age and took advantage of free opportunities in the neighborhood or at school. Then she attended Boston Arts Academy, a performing arts high school, where she was in the music department. In 2015, Guerrero was named a White House Ambassador for Citizenship and Naturalization. She is an outspoken advocate for common sense, comprehensive immigration reform and has worked with Immigrant Legal Resource Center and Mi Familia Vota, a nonpartisan Latino civic engagement organization to promote citizenship and voter registration. Variety named her one of the top 10 Latina actresses to watch. SLCC’s 2017 honorary doctorate recipients are H. Roger Boyer, chairman of The Boyer Company as well as its director and advisor, and the Honorable Shauna Graves-Robertson, who was appointed to the Salt Lake County Justice Court by the Salt Lake County Commission in January 1999. Boyer received his Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Utah and his Master of Business Administration from Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration. Graves-Robertson graduated from Arizona State University in 1980 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice. Judge Graves-Robertson received a Master of Arts in Public Administration in 1987 and Juris Doctor from the University of Utah in 1990. Lisa Gough, vice president of Sysco, and Shawn Newell, vice president of business development for Industrial Supply Company, were named Distinguished Alumni. Gough received her associate’s degree in business from SLCC in 1995 and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Utah in 1997. She earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Westminster College in 2007. Newell earned an associate’s degree in marketing management from SLCC and his bachelor’s of science degree in sociology from the University of Utah. Newell also earned a master’s degree in management from the University of Phoenix. Salt Lake Community College is an accredited, student-focused, comprehensive community college meeting the diverse needs of the Salt Lake community. Home to more than 61,000 students each year, the College is Utah’s leading provider of workforce development programs. SLCC is also the largest supplier of transfer students to Utah’s four-year institutions and a perennial Top 10 college nationally for total associate degrees awarded. The College is the sole provider of applied technology courses in the Salt Lake area, with multiple locations, an eCampus, and nearly 1,000 continuing education sites located throughout the Salt Lake Valley. Personal attention from an excellent faculty is paramount at the College, which maintains an average class size of 20.


Fried E.I.,Quantitative Group | Nesse R.M.,Arizona State University
Journal of Affective Disorders | Year: 2015

Background: The DSM-5 encompasses a wide range of symptoms for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Symptoms are commonly added up to sum-scores, and thresholds differentiate between healthy and depressed individuals. The underlying assumption is that all patients diagnosed with MDD have a similar condition, and that sum-scores accurately reflect the severity of this condition. To test this assumption, we examined the number of DSM-5 depression symptom patterns in the "Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression" (STAR∗D) study. Methods: We investigated the number of unique symptom profiles reported by 3703 depressed outpatients at the beginning of the first treatment stage of STAR∗D. Results: Overall, we identified 1030 unique symptom profiles. Of these profiles, 864 profiles (83.9%) were endorsed by five or fewer subjects, and 501 profiles (48.6%) were endorsed by only one individual. The most common symptom profile exhibited a frequency of only 1.8%. Controlling for overall depression severity did not reduce the amount of observed heterogeneity. Limitations: Symptoms were dichotomized to construct symptom profiles. Many subjects enrolled in STAR∗D reported medical conditions for which prescribed medications may have affected symptom presentation. Conclusions: The substantial symptom variation among individuals who all qualify for one diagnosis calls into question the status of MDD as a specific consistent syndrome and offers a potential explanation for the difficulty in documenting treatment efficacy. We suggest that the analysis of individual symptoms, their patterns, and their causal associations will provide insights that could not be discovered in studies relying on only sum-scores. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


He Y.,Zhejiang Normal University | Li B.,University of Texas at San Antonio | O'Keeffe M.,Arizona State University | Chen B.,University of Texas at San Antonio
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2014

Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), also known as porous coordination polymers (PCPs), are an emerging type of porous materials which are formed by the self-assembly of metallic centers and bridging organic linkers. Design and synthesis of organic linkers are very critical to target MOFs with desired structures and properties. In this review, we summarize and highlight the recent development of porous MOFs that are constructed from the multicarboxylate ligands containing m-benzenedicarboxylate moieties, and their promising applications in gas storage and separation, heterogeneous catalysis and luminescent sensing. This journal is © the Partner Organisations 2014.


Fried E.I.,Quantitative Group | Nesse R.M.,Arizona State University
BMC Medicine | Year: 2015

Most measures of depression severity are based on the number of reported symptoms, and threshold scores are often used to classify individuals as healthy or depressed. This method - and research results based on it - are valid if depression is a single condition, and all symptoms are equally good severity indicators. Here, we review a host of studies documenting that specific depressive symptoms like sad mood, insomnia, concentration problems, and suicidal ideation are distinct phenomena that differ from each other in important dimensions such as underlying biology, impact on impairment, and risk factors. Furthermore, specific life events predict increases in particular depression symptoms, and there is evidence for direct causal links among symptoms. We suggest that the pervasive use of sum-scores to estimate depression severity has obfuscated crucial insights and contributed to the lack of progress in key research areas such as identifying biomarkers and more efficacious antidepressants. The analysis of individual symptoms and their causal associations offers a way forward. We offer specific suggestions with practical implications for future research. © Fried and Nesse.


Grant
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.97K | Year: 2014

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): About 3-4% of all fractures are estimated to be open fractures, where the fracture is exposed through defects in the skin and soft tissues. This equates to about 250,000 open fractures in the United States annually. Open fractures present a high risk of infection. Infection results in considerable financial burden to both the patient an healthcare system, requires repeat operations (often more than one), and can cause delayed fracture healing or nonunion. There is no suitable option available for local antimicrobial deliver to many open fractures. A biocompatible local delivery vehicle with a fast degradation time could provide effective coverage to a much wider range of open fractures than possible with available materials. Such a technology would provide a real benefit to patients and healthcare providers alike. A promising approach for preventing infections following open fractures is to use a resorbable controlled release carrier, SB Gel, for the sustained relea


Grant
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.99K | Year: 2013

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Orthopaedic Surgical Site Infections (SSIs), including Prosthetic Joint Infections (PJIs), are an extremely costly health care problem, illustrated by the 70,000- 114,000 average total cost per case to treat more than20,000 hip and knee replacement infections in the US each year. When a prosthetic joint becomes infected following arthroplasty, organisms form a biofilm on the prosthesis and become inaccessible to systemically delivered antibiotics or immune cells. There is no available option for antimicrobial delivery over the entire surface of a prosthetic joint that is press-fit directly into a bony implantation site, as the vast majority of implants are. Such a technology would provide a real benefit to patients andcould decrease the current costs of treating these infections by approximately 2,000,000,000 per year. A promising approach for preventing infections following joint replacement is to use reasorbable in situ forming gels for the sustained release of antimicrobial drugs. These new gels offer the following advantages for improved prevention of prosthetic joint infections: 1) efficient and sustained antibiotic release; 2) soft yet cohesive physical structure allowing for complete surface coverage and preventing the development of biofilm in isolated crevasses, and 3) rapid degradability allowing for normal bone healing, fixing the implant in place. The goal of the proposed work is to generate critical in vivo safety and efficacy data to support future investment in pre-clinical and clinical trials on these new, synthetic, and fully resorbable antimicrobial-releasing gels. To do this, in situ forming hydrogels will be evaluated with respect to their safety and two clinically relevant outcomes-the quality ofbone healing through the gel site and the efficacy of antibiotic-loaded gels in preventing infection on press-fit metal implants. Bone healing through the gel site will be evaluated by histology and load frame testing in a rabbit cancellous bone press-fitimplant model. The efficacy in preventing infection will be evaluated by press-fitting textured metal implants subjected to S. aureus into a void in cancellous bone pre-filled with antimicrobial- loaded gels. Successful completion of the proposed work will provide clinically relevant proof-of- principle data regarding the safety and efficacy of these hydrogels and in particular their use on the surface of orthopaedic implants. This data will immediately be used to lead to a pre-IND meeting with the FDA andwill attract future investment for the commercialization of this new drug product. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Infections of replacement knees and hips cost the U.S. healthcare system approximately 2,000,000,000 per year.Using new materials which can deliver antimicrobial drugs directly at the surface of joint replacements will lead to dramatically reduced infection rates and save our healthcare system hundreds of millions of dollars per year.


Posfai M.,University of Pannonia | Buseck P.R.,Arizona State University
Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences | Year: 2010

Aerosol particles in the atmosphere exert a strong influence on climate by interacting with sunlight and by initiating cloud formation. Because the tropospheric aerosol is a heterogeneous mixture of various particle types, its climate effects can only be fully understood through detailed knowledge of the physical and chemical properties of individual particles. Here we review the results of individual-particle studies that use microscopy-based techniques, emphasizing transmission electron microscopy and focusing on achievements of the past ten years. We discuss the techniques that are best suited for studying distinct particle properties and provide a brief overview of major particle types, their identification, and their sources. The majority of this review is concerned with the optical properties and hygroscopic behavior of aerosol particles; we discuss recent results and highlight the potential of emerging microscopy techniques for analyzing the particle properties that contribute most to climate effects. Copyright © 2010 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.

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