William Marsh Rice University, commonly referred to as Rice University or Rice, is a private research university located on a 295-acre campus in Houston, Texas, United States. The university is situated near the Houston Museum District and is adjacent to the Texas Medical Center. It is consistently ranked among the top 20 universities in the U.S. and the top 100 in the world.Opened in 1912 after the murder of its namesake William Marsh Rice, Rice is now a research university with an undergraduate focus. Its emphasis on education is demonstrated by a small student body and 5:1 student-faculty ratio, among the lowest in the top American universities including the Ivy League. The university has produced 101 Fulbright Scholars, 11 Truman Scholars, 24 Marshall Scholars, 12 Rhodes Scholars, 3 Nobel Laureates, 2 Pulitzer Prize winners, and at least 2 deceased and 2 living billionaires. The university has a very high level of research activity for its size, with $115.3 million in sponsored research funding in 2011. Rice is noted for its applied science programs in the fields of artificial heart research, structural chemical analysis, signal processing, space science, and nanotechnology. It was ranked first in the world in materials science research by the Times Higher Education in 2010. Rice is a member of the Association of American Universities.Rice is noted for its entrepreneurial activity, and has been recognized as the top ranked business incubator in the world by the Stockholm-based UBI Index for both 2013 and 2014.The university is organized into eleven residential colleges and eight schools of academic study, including the Wiess School of Natural science, the George R. Brown School of Engineering, the School of Social science, and the School of Humanities. Graduate programs are offered through the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business, School of Architecture, Shepherd School of Music, and Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies. Rice students are bound by the strict Honor Code, which is enforced by a uniquely student-run Honor Council.Rice competes in 14 NCAA Division I varsity sports and is a part of Conference USA, often competing with its cross-town rival the University of Houston. Intramural and club sports are offered in a wide variety of activities such as jiu jitsu, water polo, and crew. Wikipedia.
Rice University | Date: 2017-08-09
In some embodiments, the present disclosure pertains to systems and methods for distilling a fluid by exposing the fluid to a porous membrane that includes a surface capable of generating heat. In some embodiments, the heat generated at the surface propagates the distilling of the fluid by converting the fluid to a vapor that flows through the porous membrane and condenses to a distillate. In some embodiments, the surface capable of generating heat is associated with a photo-thermal composition that generates the heat at the surface by converting light energy from a light source to thermal energy. In some embodiments, the photo-thermal composition includes, without limitation, noble metals, semiconducting materials, dielectric materials, carbon-based materials, composite materials, nanocomposite materials, nanoparticles, hydrophilic materials, polymers, fibers, meshes, fiber meshes, hydrogels, hydrogel meshes, nanomaterials, and combinations thereof. Further embodiments pertain to methods of making the porous membranes of the present disclosure.
Rice University | Date: 2017-02-15
The invention relates to a mutant strain of bacteria, which either lacks or contains mutant genes for several key metabolic enzymes, and which produces high amounts of succinic acid under anaerobic conditions.
Rice University | Date: 2017-03-29
The present invention provides an oligonucleotide composition including a blocker and a first primer oligonucleotide. The blocker oligonucleotide includes a first sequence having a target-neutral subsequence and a blocker variable subsequence. The non-target specific subsequence is flanked on its 3 and 5 ends by the target-neutral subsequence and is continuous with the target-neutral subsequence. The first primer oligonucleotide is sufficient to induce enzymatic extension; herein the first primer oligonucleotide includes a second sequence. The second sequence overlaps with the 5 end of the target-neutral subsequence by at least 5 nucleotides; herein the second sequence includes an overlapping subsequence and a non-overlapping subsequence. The second sequence does not include the non-target specific subsequence.
Baylor College of Medicine and Rice University | Date: 2017-03-15
One aspect of the invention provides an artificial, flexible valve including: a stent defining a wall and a plurality of leaflets extending from the wall of the stent. The plurality of leaflets form a plurality of coaptation regions between two adjacent leaflets. The coaptation regions include extensions along a z-axis and adapted and are configured to form a releasable, but substantially complete seal when the leaflets are in a closed position. Another aspect of the invention provides an artificial, flexible valve including: a stent defining a wall and a plurality of leaflets extending from the wall of the stent. Each of the plurality of leaflets terminates in a commissure line. The commissure lines deviate from a hyperbola formed in the x-y plane by at least one deviation selected from the group consisting of: a deviation in the z-direction and one or more curves relative to the hyperbola.
Rice University | Date: 2017-04-26
Embodiments of the present disclosure pertain to scalable methods of producing carbon quantum dots with desired bandgaps by the following steps: exposing a carbon source to an oxidant at a reaction temperature, where the exposing results in the formation of the carbon quantum dots; and selecting a desired size of the formed carbon quantum dots. In some embodiments, the selecting occurs by at least one of separating the desired size of the formed carbon quantum dots from other formed carbon quantum dots; selecting the reaction temperature that produces the desired size of the formed carbon quantum dots; and combinations of such steps. The desired size of carbon quantum dots can include a size range. The methods of the present disclosure can also include a step of purifying the formed carbon quantum dots prior to selecting a desired size.
Baylor College of Medicine and Rice University | Date: 2017-03-07
A hearing device may provide hearing-to-touch sensory substitution as a therapeutic approach to deafness. Through use of signal processing on received signals, the hearing device may provide better accuracy with the hearing-to-touch sensory substitution by extending beyond the simple filtering of an incoming audio stream as found in previous tactile hearing aids. The signal processing may include low bitrate audio compression algorithms, such as linear predictive coding, mathematical transforms, such as Fourier transforms, and/or wavelet algorithms. The processed signals may activate tactile interface devices that provide touch sensation to a user. For example, the tactile interface devices may be vibrating devices attached to a vest, which is worn by the user. The vest may also provide other types of information to the user.
Rice University | Date: 2017-04-05
Various embodiments of the present disclosure pertain to methods of forming polymer composites that include polymers and graphene quantum dots. The methods occur by mixing a polymer component (e.g., polymers, polymer precursors and combinations thereof) with graphene quantum dots. In some embodiments, the polymers are in the form of a polymer matrix, and the graphene quantum dots are homogenously dispersed within the polymer matrix. In some embodiments, the graphene quantum dots include, without limitation, coal-derived graphene quantum dots, coke-derived graphene quantum dots, unfunctionalized graphene quantum dots, functionalized graphene quantum dots, pristine graphene quantum dots, and combinations thereof. Additional embodiments of the present disclosure pertain to polymer composites that are formed by the methods of the present disclosure. In some embodiments, the polymer composites of the present disclosure are fluorescent and optically transparent. In some embodiments, the polymer composites of the present disclosure are in the form of a film.
Rice University | Date: 2017-03-03
A composition and system for delivering a therapeutic agent is provided. The composition includes a self-assembling peptide ionically cross-linked with a charged therapeutic agent. In the presence of the charged therapeutic agent, the peptide self-assembles to form a nanofibrous hydrogel scaffold, wherein the hydrogel structure is quickly recoverable following a shear stress thereby permitting administration of the composition by syringe-needle or catheter injection. Methods of using the composition is also provided.
Dai P.,Rice University
Reviews of Modern Physics | Year: 2015
High-transition temperature (high-Tc) superconductivity in the iron pnictides or chalcogenides emerges from the suppression of the static antiferromagnetic order in their parent compounds, similar to copper oxide superconductors. This raises a fundamental question concerning the role of magnetism in the superconductivity of these materials. Neutron scattering, a powerful probe to study the magnetic order and spin dynamics, plays an essential role in determining the relationship between magnetism and superconductivity in high-Tc superconductors. The rapid development of modern neutron time-of-flight spectrometers allows a direct determination of the spin dynamical properties of iron-based superconductors throughout the entire Brillouin zone. In this paper, an overview is presented of the neutron scattering results on iron-based superconductors, focusing on the evolution of spin-excitation spectra as a function of electron and hole doping and isoelectronic substitution. Spin dynamical properties of iron-based superconductors are compared with those of copper oxide and heavy fermion superconductors and the common features of spin excitations in these three families of unconventional superconductors and their relationship with superconductivity are discussed. © 2015 American Physical Society.
Ball Z.T.,Rice University
Accounts of Chemical Research | Year: 2013
Chemists have long been fascinated by metalloenzymes and their chemistry. Because enzymes are essential for biological processes and to life itself, they present a key to understanding the world around us. At the same time, if chemists could harness the reactivity and selectivity of enzymes in designed transition-metal catalysts, we would have access to a powerful practical advance in chemistry. But the design of enzyme-like catalysts from scratch presents enormous challenges. Simplified, designed systems often don't provide the opportunity to mimic the complex features of enzymes such as selectivity in polyfunctional environments and access to reactive intermediates incompatible with bulk aqueous solution.Extensive efforts by numerous groups have led to remarkable designed metalloproteins that contain complex folds, including well-defined secondary and tertiary structure surrounding complex polymetallic centers. These structural achievements, however, have not yet led to general approaches to useful catalysts; continued efforts and new insights are needed. Our efforts have combined the attributes of enzymatic and traditional catalysis, bringing the benefits of polypeptide ligands to bear on completely nonbiological transition-metal centers. With a focus on designing useful catalytic activity, we have examined rhodium(II) carboxylates, bound to peptide chains through carboxylate side chains. Among other advantages, these complexes are stable and catalytically active in water.Our efforts have centered on two main interests: (1) understanding how Nature's ligand of choice, polypeptides, can be used to control the chemistry of nonbiological metal centers, and (2) mimicking metalloenzyme characteristics in designed, nonbiological catalysts. This Account conveys our motivation and goals for these studies, outlines progress to date, and discusses the future of enzyme-like catalyst design.In particular, these studies have resulted in on-bead, high-throughput screens for asymmetric metallopeptide catalysts. In addition, peptide-based molecular recognition strategies have facilitated the site-specific modification of protein substrates. Molecular recognition enables site-specific, proximity-driven modification of a broad range of amino acids, and the concepts outlined here are compatible with natural protein substrates and with complex, cell-like environments. We have also explored rhodium metallopeptides as hybrid organic-inorganic inhibitor molecules that block protein-protein interactions. © 2012 American Chemical Society.