Tucson, AZ, United States
Tucson, AZ, United States

The University of Arizona is a public research university located in Tucson, Arizona, United States. UA was the first university in the state of Arizona, founded in 1885 . The university includes the University of Arizona College of Medicine, which operates a medical center in Tucson, and a separate 4-year M.D. college in downtown Phoenix. As of the 2012-2013 calendar year, total enrollment was 40,223 students. The University of Arizona is governed by the Arizona Board of Regents. The mission of the University of Arizona is, "To discover, educate, serve, and inspire." Arizona is one of the elected members of the Association of American Universities and is the only representative from the state of Arizona to this group.Known as the Arizona Wildcats , the athletic teams are members of the Pacific-12 Conference in the NCAA. UA athletes have won national titles in several sports, most notably men's basketball, baseball, and softball. The official colors of the university and its athletic teams are Cardinal Red and Navy Blue. Wikipedia.


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Patent
University of Arizona | Date: 2015-02-25

Novel compositions and methods for engineering wireframe architectures and scaffolds of increasing complexity by creating gridiron-like DNA structures (FIG. 1). A series of four-arm junctions are used as vertices within a network of double-helical DNA fragments. Deliberate distortion of the junctions from their most relaxed conformations ensures that a scaffold strand can traverse through individual vertices in multiple directions. DNA gridirons, ranging from two-dimensional arrays with reconfigurability to multilayer and three-dimensional structures and curved objects, can be assembled according the methods presented herein.


Patent
Whitehead Institute For Biomedical Research and University of Arizona | Date: 2016-06-07

The present invention provides a novel class of withanolides that have been isolated from W. somnifera under aeroponic conditions or produced semi-synthetically from withanolide natural products. The invention also provides pharmaceutical compositions thereof and methods for using the same in proliferative diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, autoimmune, and inflammatory diseases.


Patent
University of Arizona and Ohio University | Date: 2015-02-13

A first example provides a circuit configured to operate in four modes. A first mode includes propagating data from a first terminal of the circuit to a second terminal of the circuit. A second mode includes propagating data from the second terminal of the circuit to the first terminal. A fourth mode includes storing data received by the second terminal. A second example provides a circuit configured to cause one or more communication links to operate in one of two modes based on data traffic detected on the one or more communication links. The first mode includes propagating data from a first router to a second router. The second mode includes propagating data to the first router from the second router.


Described are crop-related materials and methods for metabolic engineering. Certain aspects of the invention include applications in food production, carbon sequestration, and biofuel production. Described are methods of enhancing plant traits for increased production of sugar, starch, cellulose, and oil. Described methods include altering cytosolic asparagine to promote production of non-nitrogenous plant compounds.


Patent
University of Arizona | Date: 2015-02-20

Provided herein are methods and related systems for controlling droplet spreading on a surface, including droplets in which a biological component is suspended. A biological solution is provided as a droplet to a surface. Interference fringes generated by the droplet on the surface are imaged, wherein the imaging is over a time course during which the droplet spreads on the surface. A droplet parameter is determined from the imaging step and a process parameter controlled to obtain an interference fringe pattern corresponding to a desired droplet parameter. In this manner, well-controlled droplet spreading is achieved, which is important in a range of applications, including assays that rely on good metaphase spreading.


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

Disclosed herein are methods of identifying infections, such as methods of identifying bacterial infections which utilize whole metagenome sequence analysis to sequence the entire wound microbiome of clinical samples. The disclosed methods use fast k-mer based sequence analysis, predictive modeling, and Bayesian network analysis, to analyze bacterial metagenomic sequence compositions in conjunction with clinical factors to stratify communities of bacteria into healing versus non-healing clusters. The methods of identifying infections can include performing molecular analysis of a patient wound sample, preparing the data obtained from the molecular analysis, diagnosing the wound sample and/or prognosing the wound sample. The disclosed methods can also be used to identify protein function as well as novel biomarkers.


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

Optical switch based on a micro-minor device such as a DMD configured to simultaneously switch light from N inputs to M outputs with switching times of about 10 microseconds, where N and M are generally greater than one. The minors of the device are oriented according to a pattern calculated based on a Fourier Transform of spatial distribution of M outputs such as to form, in diffraction of light incident on the device, and diffraction light pattern that in the output plane is substantially congruent with the spatial distribution of M outputs. The device can be configured as a modulator of amplitude and/or a modulator of phase of incident light wavefront.


Patent
University of Arizona | Date: 2015-05-07

A method for magnetic resonance (MR) phase imaging of a subject includes: (i) for each channel of a multi-channel MRI scanner, acquiring MR measurements at a plurality of voxels of the subject using a pulse sequence that reduces MR measurement phase error; and (ii) for each voxel, determining reconstructed MR phase from the MR measurements of each channel to form an MR phase image of the subject. The step of determining reconstructed MR phase may be performed for each of the voxels independently.


Patent
University of Arizona | Date: 2016-04-07

The present invention relates generally to a head-mounted projection display, and more particularly, but not exclusively to a polarized head-mounted projection display including a light engine and a compact, high-performance projection lens for use with reflective microdisplays.


Patent
University of Arizona | Date: 2015-04-30

The present invention the present invention provides methods and materials related to the characterization of intestinal barrier function, and related methods for preventing and/or treating intestinal barrier dysfunction. In particular, the present invention provides methods and materials for characterizing intestinal barrier function within mammals (e.g., humans) through determining the level, presence, and/or frequency of biomarkers for intestinal function (e.g., functional enterocyte mass, enterocyte integrity, paracellular tight junction function, gut inflammation) within a biological sample.


Patent
University of Arizona | Date: 2015-04-30

The present invention provides methods and devices for correcting motion related imaging artifacts. In particular, the methods include positioning a device configured to detect motion at a region of interest on an object, simultaneously obtaining an image data set of the region of interest and a motion data set at the region of interest with the device, and correcting motion related imaging artifacts with an algorithm configured to identify time periods of motion from the motion data set, and correct the image data set corresponding to the identified time periods of motion.


Patent
University of Arizona and University of Connecticut | Date: 2015-03-05

A wearable 3D augmented reality display and method, which may include 3D integral imaging optics.


Rosenzweig M.L.,University of Arizona
Evolutionary Ecology Research | Year: 2016

Aim: Consider and compare the evolutionary influences on extinction rates at the species level. Question: Does extinction rate evolve? Hypothetical conclusions: Yes, extinction evolves. Important traits such as senescence and sex may be due to group selection working against high extinction rates in species that lack senescence and sex. Sometimes, however, reduced extinction rates may evolve more conventionally by natural selection working to improve the reproductive biology of a species. And sometimes species may evolve to dominate a community's best habitats even if that evolution increases its probability of extinction. Despite likely changes at the species level in the probability of extinction, the fossil record suggests that mean extinction rates have not trended much at all during the Phanerozoic. © 2016 Michael L. Rosenzweig.


Gerald J.K.,University of Arizona
Annals of the American Thoracic Society | Year: 2017

Americans face inevitable trade-offs between health care affordability, accessibility, and innovation. Although numerous reforms have been proposed, universal principles to guide decisionmaking are lacking. Solving the challenges that confront us will be difficult, owing to intense partisan divisions and a dysfunctional political process. Nevertheless, we must engage in reasoned debate that respects deeply held differences of opinion regarding our individual and collective obligations to promote healthy living and ensure affordable access to health care. Otherwise, our decisions will be expressed through political processes that reflect the preferences of narrow interests rather than the general public. Our health care system can be made more efficient and equitable by incentivizing consumers and providers to utilize high-value care and avoid lowvalue care. To accomplish this, we must understand the determinants of consumer and provider behavior and implement policies that encourage, but do not force, optimal decision-making. Although distinguishing between low- and high-value treatments will invariably threaten established interests, we must expand our capacity to make such judgements. Throughout this process, consumers, taxpayers, and policy makers must maintain realistic expectations. Although realigning incentives to promote highvalue care will improve efficiency, it is unlikely to control increasing medical expenditures because they are not primarily caused by inefficiency. Rather, rising medical expenditures are driven by medical innovation made possible by increasing incomes and expanding health insurance coverage. Failure to recognize these linkages risks adopting indiscriminate policies that will reduce spending but slow innovation and impair access to needed care. Copyright © 2017 by the American Thoracic Society.


News Article | May 3, 2017
Site: phys.org

As with most other telescopes, astronomers apply for observing time on SOFIA by submitting proposals that are being evaluated by peers for their scientific promise and intellectual merits. SOFIA, however, is special in that observers also can apply to be onboard during an observation run. Kate Su of the University of Arizona talked about what it was like to be aboard NASA's flying observatory while the telescope was trained on the object of her scientific interest. Q: What is your motivation to study planetary systems like Epsilon Eridani? A: Epsilon Eridani is the closest star that hosts a debris disk. Therefore, many consider it to be the Rosetta Stone for sunlike planetary systems. At 800 million years, it's much younger than our sun (800 million versus 4.5 billion years), so we think it has properties similar to the early sun. Its proximity makes it a prime target to perform high angular resolution research to understand the early evolution of our solar system. Q: What are the advantages of SOFIA compared to ground-based and space telescopes? A: Being able to be above most of the Earth's atmosphere, SOFIA can operate at wavelengths that can't be observed from the ground, especially the mid-infrared wavelength that the warm debris dust emits most efficiently. I am interested in the inner debris zone around Epsilon Eridani where warm dust emission was originally discovered by Spitzer (an infrared space observatory). Therefore, SOFIA is an obvious choice to do follow-up work for Epsilon Eridani. Q: What was it like to fly on the SOFIA plane? A: Guest observers like me have to complete a safety training about the emergency procedure onboard the aircraft on the day before the flight. The airplane looks like a normal commercial plane from outside, but it's totally different inside. There are a few first-class seats available in the front of the cabin for education outreach. The rest of the cabin is like a big cargo hall where many computers and equipment are located, just like a normal control room of an observatory, except that everybody needs to wear headphones with a mic to communicate during the flight. It was very cold inside the cabin, not like a commercial airplane at all. Q: What scientific questions came out of this project? What is next in your research? A: The original Spitzer discovery suggests the Epsilon Eridani system is complex, with multiple dust zones similar to our solar system. However, the spatial resolution of Spitzer was pretty poor, so there are other alternatives to explain the data with a simpler dust distribution. SOFIA has a larger telescope, i.e., a better spatial resolution. With the SOFIA data, we are able to show the Epsilon Eridani system is indeed more like our solar system that has a population of leftover planetesimals in the inner region. These leftover planetesimals can be distributed in one broad region or two narrow belt-like regions, with the inner one similar to our own asteroid belt and outer one at about 10 to 15 astronomical units, which in our solar system falls into the region between Saturn and Uranus. SOFIA's resolution is not high enough to differentiate the two distributions. However, the soon-to-be launched James Webb Space Telescope has a very sharp infrared vision that will pin down the location of dust debris and resolve the detailed structure of the inner debris zone. Explore further: Astronomers confirm nearby star a good model of our early solar system


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.futurity.org

Among an indigenous group of people in the Amazon region of Bolivia, atherosclerosis is practically nonexistent, whereas it’s a common fact of life for most Americans over 60. It’s a complicated comparison, but parasitic worms seem to be part of the equation, say researchers. “The Tsimane have the lowest reported prevalence of atherosclerosis than any population recorded to date,” says Michael Gurven, professor of anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Atherosclerosis is a disease in which plaque—composed of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances—builds up inside the arteries. Over time, the plaque hardens and can impede blood flow. When the buildup occurs, plaque can rupture and blood clots form in a coronary artery, leading to a heart attack—or worse. For the study, published in the Lancet, researchers measured the participants’ risk of heart disease using non-invasive chest CT scans of 705 adults over age 40. They measured the extent of coronary atherosclerosis by computing the coronary artery calcification (CAC) score, which has been shown to be a reliable predictor of heart attacks and other cardiovascular events. Based on the CAC scores, 85 percent had no risk of heart disease, 13 percent had low risk, and only 3 percent had moderate or high risk. Consistent with this low overall risk of coronary atherosclerosis, heart rate, blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood glucose also were low. And these findings extend into old age. Sixty-five percent of 80-year-old Tsimane had almost no risk and only 8 percent had moderate risk. By comparison, the United States-based Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, which included 6,814 people ages 45 to 84, found that only 14 percent of Americans had no risk of heart disease and a whopping 50 percent had a moderate or high risk—a five-fold higher prevalence than in the Tsimane population. Tsimane men and women also showed similar risk, while CAC scores in the US and elsewhere are two to four times higher in men than women. Based on the comparison with the US study, an 80-year-old Tsimane has the same arterial age as an American in his or her mid-50s. “We already know several risk factors commonly lead to heart disease,” Guerven says. “The Tsimane have minimal smoking, and they have no trans fat, and little saturated fat in their diets. They eat a lot of carbs, but they aren’t processed or refined. They’re mostly fiber-rich crops from their fields. They’re also active physically—not vigorously running marathons, but they are rarely sedentary. In combination, these factors put the Tsimane at lower levels of heart disease risk.” So isn’t this just proof that if Americans lived a more Paleo-friendly lifestyle atherosclerosis would be the exception for us as well? “Two aspects of Tsimane health are difficult to reconcile with their minimal atherosclerosis,” says Gurven. “Their ‘good cholesterol’—or HDL—is really low. Low enough to be classified as high-risk for most Tsimane.” The second point has to do with inflammation, which, has been implicated in all stages of atherosclerosis. “Tsimane have elevated levels of inflammation, no matter which biomarker of inflammation we examine,” he says. “Chronically elevated levels of low-grade inflammation have been consistently associated with atherosclerosis and its clinical manifestations in most studies.” The fact that the same people have been sampled multiple times throughout their longitudinal Tsimane Health and Life History study demonstrates that the inflammation experienced by Tsimane is a chronic condition. “Tsimane do suffer from acute infections, but inflammation is still relatively high even among those without active infections, and levels are consistent over time,” says coauthor Benjamin Trumble, formerly a postdoctoral researcher at UC Santa Barbara and now an assistant professor at the University of Arizona. So why might elevated inflammation not place the Tsimane at higher risk for coronary artery disease? That leads to the role of intestinal helminths (worms) in heart disease, which he and colleagues assessed in a review paper in the journal Evolution, Medicine & Public Health. The findings of that study show that among the Tsimane, people with worms have lower cholesterol and higher energy expenditures. “If you’re burning more calories each day, it’s easier to keep your weight down,” Guerven says. “But those are conventional risk factors.” Worms may also help modulate and regulate immune function. And that is where opportunities for building new understanding can arise. “There is some novelty here. In the poly-infected Tsimane world, most have helminthes, distinct gut microbiota and other infections. The initiation and progression of atherosclerosis, from lesion and atheroma development to plaque rupture, all involve inflammatory immune responses.” The interesting possibility is that worms—perhaps in combination with other types of infections—might promote anti-inflammatory activity that protects against inflammation. Or they might help regulate immune function in ways that make inflammation less destructive to Tsimane arteries than it is for us. Among Tsimane, the source of elevated inflammation is different than the chronic low-grade inflammation that affects Americans. “Our inflammation isn’t coming from infection, for the most part,” says Angela Garcia, a doctoral student in anthropology and coauthor of the paper. “It’s ‘sterile’—that is, it comes from smoking and obesity. But that’s not what we’re seeing with the Tsimane.” Either way you look at it, parasites are part of the story of Tsimane lives, and so should be considered in combination with more conventional risk factors like diet, smoking, and activity, Gurven says. Figuring out the relative contributions of the risk factors in isolation, and in combination, is the complicated part. “It’s hard to know whether there are threshold levels. Some experts believe, for example, that if your LDL cholesterol is so low [e.g. <70 mg/dL], there’s nothing to oxidize and build up in the arteries, and so it might not matter how sedentary you are. But without taking statins, there is probably no way a sedentary American eating a typical diet will ever get their LDL that low.” Recommendations concerning “healthy” cholesterol levels and the point at which statins become an appropriate course of action have changed, Gurven notes. “But even the levels typically recommended as being desirable [<100 mg/dL] are still a lot higher than those observed among Tsimane and other subsistence populations. “At the beginning of our longitudinal study, the average Tsimane LDL was 72 mg/dL,” Gurven csays, “but now it’s higher—91 mg/dL—as Tsimane lifestyles have begun to change. Disentangling how the mix of risk factors and exposures now shifting over the life course will impact heart disease risk in the coming years is a critical next step.” Researchers from the University of New Mexico; the Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse, France; and the Horus Project are coauthors of the work.


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

The moon has buried scars. Maps of its gravity have confirmed the existence of hidden, ancient craters, long since filled in by lava flows and rising lunar mantle. By combining gravity-mapping data with their own mathematical models, Jay Melosh at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, and his colleagues have confirmed the existence of two underground craters, one completely buried beneath the Sea of Tranquility. The approach could let us map every single impact that punctured the moon’s surface since its crust formed around 4.2 billion years ago, Melosh says. Astronomers have known about these buried craters since the early days of lunar science, says Jeffrey Andrews-Hanna at the University of Arizona in Tucson, who was not involved in the new work. “We can still see their rims poking up above the maria like islands in a sea of frozen lava,” he says. Last year, Alex Evans at the University of Arizona and colleagues used data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission to find evidence of over 100 craters buried beneath seas of basalt formed by ancient volcanic eruptions. GRAIL consisted of twin spacecraft, called Ebb and Flow, that orbited the moon for nine months in 2012. Measuring small changes in their acceleration allowed scientists to map the moon’s gravity. That in turn gives insights into variations in the density of the lunar surface and interior. “Gravity is sensitive to the distribution of mass beneath the surface, and so we can use it to see into the inside of the moon,” says Andrews-Hanna. Measurements from GRAIL also revealed buried rift valleys, structures underneath ancient volcanoes and other formations caused by volcanic activity. Melosh and his colleagues built on this work. They were searching the GRAIL data for traces of underground lava tubes when they came across the two large buried craters that had only been hinted at in Evans’s research. One crater, which the team call Earhart, measures around 200 kilometres in diameter. Located in the north-eastern part of the moon’s near side, it is almost completely masked by a later impact and subsequent lava flooding. It was probably created by an asteroid impact around three billion years ago, after the moon formed a crust but before it significantly cooled. Melosh estimates that the asteroid made a crater 40 or 50 kilometres deep, which was then filled in by a combination of lava flow from volcanoes and the moon’s mantle pushing up the thin crust. The Earhart impact left behind a small, visible trace of a crater rim which hinted at the existence of crater beneath. The team also discovered a slightly smaller buried crater 160 kilometres in diameter, which they called the Ashoka Anomaly. Further analysis of these buried craters could reveal more about the lunar surface beneath the vast plains of volcanic deposits, Andrews-Hanna says. “Like peeling back the layers of an onion, we can use gravity data to see below the surface and learn things like the age of the layers beneath,” he says.


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

A new method for mass-assembling semiconductors into fusilli pasta shapes could one day lead to moving holograms projected right from your smartphone. Since their invention in the 1960s, static holograms have found applications in everything from data storage to credit card authentication. But holographic moving images are still stuck in the realm of science fiction. Now Nicholas Kotov at the University of Michigan and his colleagues hope to change that using spiral semiconductors. To make a hologram, information about an object is recorded into a light-sensitive material, such as photographic film or plates. When it is lit in just the right way – often with lasers – the recorded pattern is recreated in three-dimensional space. Regular holograms are frozen light waves. Getting them to move requires a material that can twist light in specific ways – say, get them to change phase or polarisation very quickly – so they act, in essence, like a flip book. Semiconductors are good materials for this sort of thing because they are easy to work with and some can emit light, but they typically take the shape of sheets or wires. However, Kotov realised that if they could be fabricated in spiral shapes at the nanoscale, they could act as a waveguide: light passing through would naturally follow the twists in the material. Kotov got this idea when he noticed a similarity between certain synthetic composite substances called metamaterials that have a spiral structure and twisted nanostructures found in nature, most notably in proteins. He thought it should be possible to make a twisted semiconducting material by coating semiconductor particles with amino acids, a key component in proteins that determines how they twist. These spiral semiconductors could then be easily incorporated into electronic devices like smartphones or displays, thereby enabling control over light properties such as polarisation, phase and colour. Cadmium telluride nanoparticles were chosen as the semiconductor because they can emit light. The team mixed the amino acid-coated nanoparticle solution in a vial with methanol, and the resulting chemical reaction caused the nanoparticles to self-assemble into the desired spiralling fusilli shape, 98 per cent of which twisted in the same direction. “We were quite assured by this experiment that our crazy idea that maybe we can harness the toolbox of biology to meet the needs of the semiconductor industry is not so crazy,” says Kotov. But there is more work to be done before you could project a tiny holographic Princess Leia from your smartphone. “If one wants to make a hologram out of these materials, it is essential to assemble the interference pattern out of the material in some way,” says Nasser Peyghambarian, an optical scientist at the University of Arizona in Tucson. “Even if they did that, it still produces a still hologram, not a moving hologram. There already exist many good materials for static holograms.” Kotov emphasised that this is just a first step. “It is something that we envisioned, but it’s not yet a reality,” he says.


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

Ronald A. Bernstein, Senior Wealth Management Advisor at GCG Financial, Inc., has joined The Expert Network©. Ron’s financial planning practice is truly unique. At the forefront, he helps clients define what matters most in life and then aligns resources with goals and values. Ron has always been interested in both business and helping others. After graduating from the University of Arizona with a degree in Finance and Accounting, he began his career as a commodity trader at the Chicago Board of Trade. He then acquired his Certified Public Accountant designation and joined Blackman Kallick. After seven years with the firm, he transitioned to serving as CFO of a medical supply company. Half a decade later, Ron reassessed his career trajectory: "I was always very entrepreneurial by nature and had a fascination with the wealth management industry. When a window of opportunity presented itself, I decided that, if I were to make a move, I had to do it now. I was interested in building a practice and willing to undertake all of the risks and challenges. Now, over a decade later, it’s become something quite incredible." Ron and his team specialize in working with high-net-worth business owners and executives. He guides clients through a goals-and-values-based life planning process. Prior to commencing work with a new client, Ron, along with the entire team, must have a thorough understanding of what matters most; that way, they can work most effectively to create a realistic plan. He noted: "Solely emphasizing investment performance is missing the point. We focus on guiding clients towards their dreams. The satisfaction I derive from that is enormous." The financial planning team shows no signs of slowing down. Over the next few years, they plan on expanding, while still ensuring clients receive white glove service along the way. Beyond his career, Ron actively participates in numerous fundraising activities. He also enjoys playing tennis and basketball. Most importantly, Ron loves spending quality time with his wife, Susan, and their three children. The Expert Network© has written this news release with approval and/or contributions from Ronald A. Bernstein. 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.


NASA is working on a greenhouse system that can potentially allow astronauts to grow plants and vegetables during space missions. In 2015, astronauts Scott Kelly, Kjell Lindgren and Kimiya Yui ate the first food grown in space - red romaine lettuce - that they seasoned with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. While astronauts at the International Space Station have already successfully grown plants and vegetables on board the orbiting laboratory, long-term solutions are needed to sustain people who work in deep space amid plans to send humans to Mars. Through the Prototype Lunar/Mars Greenhouse project, researchers aim to develop a greenhouse system that can work on Mars or the moon. The project conducts research on growing vegetables in space for food and cultivating plants that would sustain life support systems. Researchers from the University of Arizona in Tucson, who work with NASA scientists to develop long-term solutions for food production in space, conduct Prototype Lunar Greenhouse tests to determine the type of plants, seeds, and other materials that can be used to make the system work on Mars and the moon. Researchers are developing systems that can support missions that span for months or years. The bioregenerative life support system involves a deployable and inflatable greenhouse that can support the production of plants and crops for air revitalization, nutrition, waste recycling, and water recycling. Prototypes measure 18 feet long and are over 8 feet in diameter. "Centered on using plants to sustain a continuous vegetarian diet for astronauts, a typical BLSS employs plants and crop production in addition for food, to also provide air revitalization, water recycling, and waste recycling for the crew," the University of Arizona in Tucson explains. The carbon dioxide that astronauts exhale is introduced into the greenhouse, where plants can generate oxygen through photosynthesis. The water that astronauts bring to or find at the lunar or Martian surface is oxygenated and given nutrient salts for the water cycle. It will continuously flow across the root zone of the plants and return to the storage system. "We're mimicking what the plants would have if they were on Earth and make use of these processes for life support," says Gene Giacomelli from the University of Arizona. "The entire system of the lunar greenhouse does represent, in a small way, the biological systems that are here on Earth." Greenhouse units that will be sent for space missions will likely be buried under surface soil or the regolith to protect them from radiation in space, which means that these systems would require specialized lighting. Researchers appear to have the solution as they have already successfully used electric LED lighting to grow plants. Researchers have also figured out how to utilize natural light. Light concentrators tracking the sun may capture solar light and convey this to the chamber with the help of fiber optic bundles. Scientists have identified several crops that can be possibly grown on Mars and these include tomato, leek, radish, rye, quinoa, potato and chives. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


News Article | April 25, 2017
Site: scienceblogs.com

Highlights from today’s sessions included: Norelia Ordonez-Castillo, undergraduate student from Fort Hays State University, presented her research on channel catfish. According to Norelia, these fish can become obese so her research was geared towards trying to find out how their receptor for LDL cholesterol differs from rodents and humans. But what I want to know is whether the obese catfish tastes better… Image of channel catfish by Ryan Somma via Wikimedia Commons Christine Schwartz, Investigator from University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, studied how the brain of hibernating animals is protected from damage induced by rapid changes in temperature. She found that the extracellular matrix of the brain helps protect it during hibernation. Goggy Davidowitz, Investigator from the University of Arizona, studies Carolina sphinx moths (Manduca sexta: Sphingidae). Goggy’s research showed that male and female moths utilize amino acids differently. Male moths allocate more ingested sugars to building muscle than females, which suggests that males may need to maintain larger flight muscles to seek out females. William Milsom, Investigator from the University of British Columbia, spoke about special adaptations in high altitude geese that allow them to thrive in their low oxygen environment. Andean geese live at high altitude year round and have adapted the ability to extract oxygen from the air more efficiently than birds living at low altitude. Their hearts are also able to contract better and thus squeeze out more blood with each heart beat. In contrast, bar-headed geese, which migrate over the Himalayas, use a different strategy. They have adapted by increasing their heart rate and improving their ability to get oxygen into tissues of the body at high altitude. The annual banquet and dinner meeting took place Monday night. It was such a delight seeing all of the award winners. More on that later…


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

The battle between humans and rats has been raging for thousands of years, and while we might have strength, size and smarts on our side, rats have their own secret weapon: the ability to breed like crazy. Now, the City of New York – a notorious rat hotspot – is working with biotech company SenesTech to disarm that tactic, with a birth control substance called ContraPest that renders both males and females infertile. The method is said to be humane, environmentally friendly and pose no risk to humans, pets and other animals. An estimated two million rats call New York City home, and so bad is the problem that the Department of Health offers a three-day training course for residents and business owners to learn how to detect and deal with the freeloading rodents. But keeping them out of your property and garbage is a full-time job, and poisons can not only harm kids, animals and the environment, they aren't all that effective anyway: as SeneTech says, if one colony of rats is wiped out, neighboring groups will take the opportunity to invade the newly-empty territory. Instead, the company's technique is designed to tackle the root of the problem: the animals' proclivity for procreation. According to SenesTech, just four breeding pairs of rats (and their offspring) could produce up to 15 million rats in the space of a year. ContraPest is a non-lethal – and tasty – liquid bait, that renders the creatures infertile without otherwise harming them, allowing them to live out the rest of their eight- to twelve-month lifespan without reproducing, before eventually dying of natural causes. Essentially, the bait works by triggering early menopause in the females. Ovarian follicles are the cell clusters that release eggs in mammals, and over the lifespan of the animal, they naturally degrade, until eventually the animal becomes unable to reproduce. ContraPest speeds up that process to sterilize the rats in a matter of weeks, and it also affects the males of the species by impairing their sperm production. The active ingredient is a chemical called 4-vinylcyclohexene diepoxide (VCD), which is mixed into a liquid bait that's designed to be appealing to rats. The compound doesn't affect other animals – in fact, the scientists behind the stuff say they've been tasting it themselves for years – and it becomes inactive after ingestion, so the chemical won't persist in the animal's droppings. "They put sugar in it and oil and fat, things to make it taste good," says Patricia Hoyer, the University of Arizona researcher who originally developed the formula that led to ContraPest. "The rats love it, and they remember it tastes good, so they go back for more. And people are crazy about this approach because it doesn't kill the animal. It's like having them on permanent birth control." A collaboration between the New York Department of Health and SenesTech begins this month, with trials of ContraPest taking place in particularly rat-infested parts of the city. In the past, the University of Arizona team has successfully tested the bait on farms and transit systems in Chicago and New York. "The potential for worldwide use is tremendous because rats are pests around the world," says Hoyer. "It will get rid of them in the places where you don't want them."


News Article | May 3, 2017
Site: www.futurity.org

Thanks to key observations made with the assistance of NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) aircraft, astronomers confirm that a recently discovered star, called epsilon Eridani, mirrors our own solar system in a number of ways—only much earlier in its history. The SOFIA aircraft, a 747 loaded with a 2.5-meter telescope in the back, was just beginning the second half of an overnight mission on January 28, 2015. It turned north for a flight all the way to western Oregon, then back home to NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Palmdale, California. Along the way, pilots steered the plane to aim the telescope at a nearby star. Massimo Marengo and other astronomers were on board to observe the mission and collect infrared data about the star. Called epsilon Eridani, it’s about 10 light years away from the sun. It’s similar to our sun, but one-fifth the age. And astronomers believe it can tell them a lot about the development of our solar system. Marengo, associate professor of physics and astronomy at Iowa State University, and other astronomers have been studying the star and its planetary system since 2004. In a 2009 scientific paper, the astronomers used data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope to describe the star’s disk of fine dust and debris left over from the formation of planets and the collisions of asteroids and comets. They reported the disk contained separate belts of asteroids, similar to the asteroid and Kuiper belts of our solar system. Subsequent studies by other astronomers questioned that finding. The new paper, available online in The Astronomical Journal, uses SOFIA and Spitzer data to confirm there are separate inner and outer disk structures. The astronomers report further studies will have to determine if the inner disk includes one or two debris belts. Marengo says the findings are important because they confirm epsilon Eridani is a good model of the early days of our solar system and can provide hints at how our solar system evolved. “This star hosts a planetary system currently undergoing the same cataclysmic processes that happened to the solar system in its youth, at the time in which the moon gained most of its craters, Earth acquired the water in its oceans, and the conditions favorable for life on our planet were set,” Marengo writes in a summary of the project. A major contributor to the new findings was data taken during that January 2015 flight of SOFIA. Marengo joined Su on the cold and noisy flight at 45,000 feet, above nearly all of the atmospheric water vapor that absorbs the infrared light that astronomers need to see planets and planetary debris. Determining the structure of the disk was a complex effort that took several years and detailed computer modeling. The astronomers had to separate the faint emission of the disk from the much brighter light coming from the star. “But we can now say with great confidence that there is a separation between the star’s inner and outer belts,” Marengo says. “There is a gap most likely created by planets. We haven’t detected them yet, but I would be surprised if they are not there. Seeing them will require using the next-generation instrumentation, perhaps NASA’s 6.5-meter James Webb Space Telescope scheduled for launch in October 2018.” That’s a lot of time and attention on one nearby star and its debris disk. But Marengo says it really is taking astronomers back in time. “The prize at the end of this road is to understand the true structure of epsilon Eridani’s out-of-this-world disk, and its interactions with the cohort of planets likely inhabiting its system,” Marengo writes in a newsletter story about the project. “SOFIA, by its unique ability of capturing infrared light in the dry stratospheric sky, is the closest we have to a time machine, revealing a glimpse of Earth’s ancient past by observing the present of a nearby young sun.” Kate Su, an associate astronomer at the University of Arizona and the university’s Steward Observatory, is the paper’s lead author.


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

Dust to dust. The mysterious dark flows on Mars may not be water after all. Instead, they could be rivulets of sand, set in motion by sunlight on the Martian surface. The dark streaks form on Mars’s slopes during warm seasons, and are known as recurring slope lineae. While there is no direct evidence of water near these areas, the leading theory is that they are caused by briny water streaming down the sides of craters and hills. “These effects happen at the hottest times in the hottest locations, so there’s part of your brain that immediately tells you that it should be ice melting,” says Sylvain Piqueux at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California. “The problem is, it’s really hard to melt ice on Mars.” It’s easier for the ice to turn directly into water vapour, he says. Some models suggest that recurring slope lineae could be made of water condensing out of the atmosphere, but Mars’s atmosphere isn’t humid enough to account for what we see. In the absence of a wet explanation, Frédéric Schmidt at the University of Paris-South and his colleagues branched out into ideas that did not require liquids. “We thought that if it’s purely dry, there should be no seasonal effects,” Schmidt says. “But here we suggest that there’s a dry process that is linked to [seasons].” Schmidt and his colleagues say the features could be sand avalanches, similar to the ones we might see on a dune on a windy day. But instead of wind, these flows are caused by sunlight and shadow. When sunlight hits the sand, it heats up the top layer while leaving deeper layers cool. This temperature gradient causes a corresponding change in the pressure of tiny pockets of gas surrounding the sand particles, shifting the gas upwards. That in turn jostles grains of sand and soil, causing them to slip down the Martian slopes. This effect should be most pronounced in afternoon shadows cast by boulders or outcrops. Then, the contrast between the cooling top of the sand and the still-warm layers just below creates a second pressure gradient, shifting the gas and sand even more. The recurring slope lineae that we see originate on sloping, rocky landscapes, matching the predictions of this new model. “It doesn’t necessarily explain all of the recurring slope lineae, but I think they have the right idea in that there is some unique Martian mechanism going on here,” says Alfred McEwen at the University of Arizona in Tucson. “But there are observations that do not fit.” Some streaks are in shadow-free or surprisingly cool areas, for instance. If recurring slope lineae are created without liquid, it could dismantle our hopes that they might make life easier, both for organisms native to Mars and eventual human explorers. “We can’t think of Mars as a friendly planet,” says Schmidt. “It’s a very hard transition to go there, and even harder if these flows don’t have liquid water.”


News Article | May 3, 2017
Site: www.gizmag.com

The number of planetary systems discovered seems to grow on a daily basis, but most of them are wildly different to our own solar system. Now a team of University of Arizona researchers led by Kate Su have used NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) flying observatory to take a closer look at a system 10.5 light years away and discovered it has a familiar general structure. The star in question is Epsilon Eridani (ε Eri) in the southern hemisphere of the constellation of Eridanus. Its previous claims to fame were as the setting for the sci fi television series Babylon 5 and the disputed location of Star Trek's planet Vulcan. It's also been the subject of several early studies seeking extrasolar planets and was even monitored in the 1960s by Project Ozma as a possible source of extraterrestrial intelligence. Previously, Epsilon Eridani was found to have a debris disk made of gas, dust, and perhaps asteroids circling it, as well as a planet with about the mass of Jupiter and orbiting the young star at a comparable distance to that which the gas giant orbits the Sun. None of this is very remarkable by today's standards, but when Su's team examined images from SOFIA, a different story emerged. SOFIA is a 100-in (2.5-m)-diameter telescope mounted inside a Boeing 747SP jetliner that operates out of NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center's Hangar 703, in Palmdale, California. Much of the previous work on Epsilon Eridani involved the Spitzer Space Telescope, but SOFIA is over twice the size of Spitzer, has three times the resolution, and can operate in the infrared at wavelengths between 25 and 40 microns. What this meant was that SOFIA could discern much smaller details, especially from warm materials, than before, which suggested an alternative model to the one provided by Spitzer's data. What the University of Arizona scientists found was that Epsilon Eridani's inner system is clear of debris with a narrow debris ring just inside the orbit of the Jupiter-like planet. Beyond this is another clear region with another debris ring about where Neptune would be in our solar system. In other words, it's a lot like the inner Solar System, asteroid belt, Jupiter, the outer Solar System and the Kuiper Belt. "The high spatial resolution of SOFIA combined with the unique wavelength coverage and impressive dynamic range of the FORCAST camera allowed us to resolve the warm emission around eps Eri, confirming the model that located the warm material near the Jovian planet's orbit," says Su. "Furthermore, a planetary mass object is needed to stop the sheet of dust from the outer zone, similar to Neptune's role in our solar system. It really is impressive how eps Eri, a much younger version of our solar system, is put together like ours." The research was published in the Astronomical Journal.


News Article | April 26, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

New genes are more likely to emerge full-fledged from a genome's 'junk' DNA, according to UA scientists. New genes are more likely to appear on the stage of evolution in full-fledged form rather than gradually take shape through successive stages of "proto genes" that become more and more refined over generations. This is the surprising upshot from research led by Benjamin Wilson and Joanna Masel at the University of Arizona, published as an Advance Online Publication by the scientific journal Nature Ecology & Evolution on April 24. Evolutionary biologists have long pored over the question of where new genes come from, which poses something of a chicken-and-egg problem. Conventional wisdom has it that new genes -- DNA sequences that code for a protein molecule -- evolve from existing genes through duplication and divergence. This happens when DNA copying mechanisms accidentally leave behind an extra copy of a particular gene. Naturally occurring mutations subsequently introduce changes that alter the DNA sequence such that the new gene assumes a function previously not found in the organism's lineage. Previous studies by other researchers suggested that new genes also emerge from non-coding DNA sequences, via primitive "proto-genes" that become refined over generations, resulting in an "adult," fully functional gene. Masel and her team found the opposite to be more likely, based on the fact that non-coding DNA sequences are likely to give rise to highly ordered proteins. Proteins, which consist of amino acids chained together into so-called polypeptides, tend to fold into three-dimensional structures that range from simple to mindbogglingly complicated. And while "ordered" may sound like a good thing, Masel is quick to point out that a healthy dose of disorder is key to success when it comes to evolution coming up with new genes that serve as blueprints for new proteins. For the study, the researchers compiled data on full-genome DNA sequences downloaded from yeast and mouse databases. "We take all the known mouse genes and yeast genes and query them against everything that's ever been sequenced and see what they're related to," explains Masel, a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution and a member of the UA's BIO5 Institute, "and based on that, we assign each gene an age that tells us when it was born." In the next step, the team used statistical analyses to create a model revealing the average degree of order that would be present in each gene's product. "We found that the youngest genes are the least ordered of all, which is what you would expect to get if you birthed a gene," Masel says. The key to a protein that can contribute a useful function for its organism while not harming it is a healthy mix between regions that are soluble because they consist of hydrophilic, or "water-loving," amino acids and stretches that are insoluble because of their hydrophobic, or "water-repelling," amino acids. If a protein consists of too many water-loving amino acids, it will remain largely unfolded, floating around inside the cell as an unorganized chain incapable of performing biological tasks. If too much of its length is water-repelling, the amino acids will clump together, rendering the protein unusable, and even dangerous, because when such misfolded proteins bump into each other, they tend to stick to each other and accumulate. "Now think about the most highly ordered proteins we know -- amyloids," Masel says, referring to the infamous piles of proteins found in the brain of Alzheimer's patients. "Because of this, the first order of business for any prospective gene is: 'Do no harm. Do not misfold.'" This has profound implications for the evolution of new genes from non-coding DNA sequences. Because such sequences are likely to give rise to highly ordered proteins, they are likely to be deleterious to the organism. In this scenario, any prospective new gene must start out as some kind of "super gene," in contrast to a "proto gene." Rather than making its debut in the gene pool as an unrefined gene that still bears many similarities to the non-coding DNA sequences it came from, the protein it encodes must start with a higher-than average degree of disorder to prove itself before evolution would allow it becoming a permanent member of the gene pool. "Instead of gradually working up to having more hydrophilic regions, young genes work their way down from being more hydrophilic and disordered, to more hydrophobic regions," Masel says. "In other words, when it comes to structural disorder, a polypeptide has the highest chance of being born if it is 'extra gene-like,' rather than 'sort of gene-like.'" The probability that a gene could arise from a random, non-coding sequence -- also known as "junk DNA," on the other hand, used to be considered negligible, based on the premise that in the vast majority of cases, a random sequence does more harm than good. This may not be so, argues a second paper in the same issue by Rafik Neme, one of the co-authors of the study discussed here. Neme, currently a postdoctoral researcher at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, found the first experimental evidence that non-coding, "silent" stretches of DNA are anything but that. "Until now, nobody knew whether a randomly sequence could immediately have any effect that would result in a function, or whether function was slowly acquired over time," Neme says. "It's similar to the idea of having a monkey typewriting at random, and expecting it to produce meaningful work." Neme's experiments show that many sequences exhibit relevant activities immediately, some good and some bad. This, in turn, suggests a discrete transition between non-genes and genes and would favor certain kind of sequences and functions over others. Based on their findings, Neme and Masel point out, the pool from which genes are born might be more conducive to birthing new genes than one might expect. "In our scenario, a gene precursor would be a transcript that happened to be translated into a protein sometimes but has no function," she says. "These things come up in evolution all the time, and mutation will quickly destroy it unless that polypeptide provides the organism with some advantage. There either is an advantage that natural selection can act on, or there isn't, so we don't think the would-be genes stick around for very long." This in turn suggests that gene birth is a sudden transition, rather than a gradual process involving many intermediate steps. In addition to Wilson, Neme and Masel, the paper was co-authored by Scott Foy, currently at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Funding was provided by the John Templeton Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and the European Research Council.


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

Leading higher education information and resource provider AffordableCollegesOnline.org has announced its list of the best online colleges for veterans and military personnel for 2017. The ranking names the top 59 two- and four-year schools and the top 50 four-year schools in the nation based on service member-friendly benefits, affordability and program quality. The four-year schools with the best scores were University of Southern Mississippi, Webster University, Saint Leo University, University of Idaho and Murray State University. The top five two-year schools include Central Texas College, St. Philip’s College, Mount Wachusett Community College, Wake Technical Community College and Del Mar College. "Veterans and current members of the military face some unique challenges when it comes to earning a certificate or degree,” said Dan Schuessler, CEO and founder of AffordableCollegesOnline.org. “These schools have demonstrated a commitment to providing outstanding benefits and resources to service members who choose to pursue an online education, while also maintaining affordability and quality standards.” To qualify for a spot on AffordableCollegesOnline.org’s rankings, schools must meet several minimum requirements. Each college cited is institutionally accredited and holds public or private not-for-profit standing. Each is also scored based on a comparison of more than a dozen metrics including the availability and amount of financial aid, military tuition discounts, ROTC programs, veteran support services and graduation rates by school. AffordableCollegesOnline.org enforces strict affordability standards, requiring schools to offer in-state tuition rates below $20,000 per year for four-year schools, and below $5,000 per year for two-year schools. All eligible school scores are compared to determine the final “Best” list. For complete details on the data and methodology used to score each school and a full list of ranking colleges, visit: Top Four-Year Schools in the U.S. with Military-Friendly Online Programs for 2017: Arkansas State University-Main Campus Azusa Pacific University Ball State University Columbia College Dallas Baptist University Duquesne University East Carolina University Eastern Kentucky University Hampton University Hawaii Pacific University Iowa State University Kansas State University Lawrence Technological University Lewis University Mercy College Mississippi State University Missouri State University-Springfield Montana State University-Billings Murray State University New England College Niagara University Northern Arizona University Northern Kentucky University Norwich University Oklahoma State University-Main Campus Oral Roberts University Point Park University Regis University Saint Leo University Texas A & M University-College Station The College of Saint Scholastica The University of Alabama The University of Montana Tiffin University Troy University University of Arizona University of Cincinnati-Main Campus University of Idaho University of Mississippi University of Nebraska at Omaha University of North Carolina at Greensboro University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus University of South Florida-Main Campus University of Southern Mississippi University of the Incarnate Word University of Toledo Viterbo University Washington State University Webster University Western Kentucky University Top Two-Year Schools in the U.S. with Military-Friendly Online Programs for 2017: ### AffordableCollegesOnline.org began in 2011 to provide quality data and information about pursuing an affordable higher education. Our free community resource materials and tools span topics such as financial aid and college savings, opportunities for veterans and people with disabilities, and online learning resources. We feature higher education institutions that have developed online learning environments that include highly trained faculty, new technology and resources, and online support services to help students achieve educational and career success. We have been featured by nearly 1,100 postsecondary institutions and nearly 120 government organizations.


News Article | March 26, 2017
Site: www.techtimes.com

Ticked Off! Here's What You Need To Know About Lyme Disease Germs are invading homes in many ways. The stealthy accumulation of germs is posing a grave threat to healthy living. It is a fact that most groceries from supermarkets are haunted by germs notwithstanding the fascinating shopping ambiance and pride of brands they provide. According to Charles Gerba, one of the leading microbiologists at the University of Arizona there are many avenues through which microbes are piggybacking on produce without the buyer knowing it. The germ exposure is highest in meat containers where they breed fast. Gerba lists out the top germy things in supermarkets which people usually encounter. Many shoppers are also not aware of the risk from misting spray in supermarkets on fresh produce. Actuated by timers, fruits and vegetables are offered sprays. However, they can be a source of Legionella pneumophila bacteria that triggers Legionnaires' disease. "It's not a problem unless you inhale the droplets," says Connie Morbach, a microbiologist from Sanit-Air a Michigan-based company. A research conducted by scientists at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine also reported the germ risk from unhygienic smartphones with one out of every six phones contaminated with toilet germs. That study was also led by Charles Gerba, a top microbiologist at the University of Arizona. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


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

Kristin Umland, Vice President for Content Development at Illustrative Mathematics, has received the 2017 AMS Award for Impact on the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics. Umland is honored for her outstanding work toward improving mathematics education at the precollege level, especially her role in the development of the nonprofit organization Illustrative Mathematics (at https:/ ). "Kristin Umland has worked with energy, vision, and commitment on improving mathematics education at the precollege level," said Tara Holm of Cornell University, who served as chair of the Impact Award selection committee. "She brings high-level mathematical knowledge together with deep understanding of the needs of school mathematics teachers. Her work at Illustrative Mathematics makes quality materials available to millions of teachers and also serves as an effective means for professional development. We are happy to recognize her outstanding work with the AMS Impact Award." For almost two decades, Kristin Umland was on the faculty of the Mathematics and Statistics Department at the University of New Mexico. While there, she made major improvements in the mathematics courses for both elementary and secondary pre-service teachers, adding rigor as well as more-relevant material. She has also been deeply involved in supporting the national K-12 mathematics community in the transition to the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics (CCSS-M). Since 2011, Umland has been one of the driving forces behind Illustrative Mathematics, working together with its founder, William McCallum of the University of Arizona, the leader of the CCSS-M writing team. The vision of Illustrative Mathematics is to construct an open online resource, created by a community of mathematicians, mathematics educators, and teachers, that illustrates how the new standards could be implemented. Umland has been instrumental in forming a community of 100 editors and 550 reviewers who have created over 1200 highly vetted tasks illustrating the standards. In 2016, she left the University of New Mexico to work full-time on Illustrative Mathematics, where she today serves as Vice President for Content Development. The public success of Illustrative Mathematics, measured by its use around the country, is staggering: The website sees 170,000 sessions per month (on average) with 5,000 to 10,000 sessions per day. Since 2012, illustrativemathematics.org has had over 4 million visitors viewing tasks over 14 million times. What makes this effort so valuable is not just the final product of a powerful resource for millions of educators in the U.S., but also the process of creating and working with the tasks, which serves as highly effective professional development for hundreds of educators. Umland has contributed deep mathematical knowledge and a hands-on approach, making her one of the outstanding mathematics educators working in the nation today. The official announcement of this award, including the selection committee's citation, is available from the AMS Public Awareness Office and will appear in the May 2017 issue of the Notices of the AMS at http://www. . No subscription is necessary. Find out more about this and other AMS awards at http://www. . Founded in 1888 to further mathematical research and scholarship, today the American Mathematical Society fulfills its mission through programs and services that promote mathematical research and its uses, strengthen mathematical education, and foster awareness and appreciation of mathematics and its connections to other disciplines and to everyday life.


Patent
University of Arizona and University of Naples Federico II | Date: 2017-04-12

The invention relates to compounds of the formula (VIII) wherein the moieties R1, R2, R3, R4, and R5 are as defined in the specification, and salts thereof, as well as their use, methods of use for them, methods of their synthesis, and the like. The compounds are protein tyrosine kinase inhibitors and can be used in the treatment of various cancer diseases and cancer-associated pain.


Patent
University of Arizona, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute | Date: 2017-03-15

Disclosed is CT or MR contrast agent which comprises a base or carrier scaffold formed of a polyhydroxol compound having a linker to which a Gd-DOTA is covalently bonded. Also disclosed is a method of screening a patient for colon cancer using a CT or MR contrast, which method comprises administering to a patient undergoing screening a compound as above described.


News Article | May 8, 2017
Site: www.newscientist.com

It’s not easy to make Earth. Most of the explanations for how our planet formed have troubling problems. But if a new idea is right, we can thank a hyperactive young sun for Earth’s existence, plus solve a long-standing mystery about Mars. According to standard lore, the planet-building process began when dust particles orbiting the newborn sun stuck together, forming rocks that built still larger objects. But this story is in trouble. “I’ve been really, really disturbed by the problem of making terrestrial planets,” says Alexander Hubbard at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. These planets are the first four from the sun: Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. They’re mostly made of rock and iron – whose particles don’t readily stick together. They could have been sticky enough if they had a coating of snow and organic goo, Hubbard says. But despite all Earth’s oceans and carbon-based life, our planet has too little water or carbon to support this explanation. Now Hubbard has suggested an intriguing solution to Earth’s difficult birth. In 1936, an infant star began to brighten, eventually shining over 100 times more brightly than it did originally. Now named FU Orionis, this star has stayed bright ever since. And several other stellar youngsters have done the same thing. What if the newborn sun also did this? The outburst would have partially melted dust grains, making them sticky enough to become the seeds of Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. “You naturally expect a terrestrial planet pattern that looks a lot like our own solar system if you have an FU Orionis-type event,” Hubbard says. Meanwhile, in solar systems that didn’t experience such an eruption, dust grains would only be molten closer to the star, leading to compact systems like Kepler-11, as other astronomers suggested in 2014. “It’s an interesting idea,” says Andrew Youdin at the University of Arizona, noting the difficulty of explaining terrestrial planet formation. “There’s clearly a major problem here, and so all ideas need to be looked at.” Hubbard’s model also explains diminutive Mars, which is only half the diameter of Earth. “Mars is pretty darn small,” he says. Most scientists blame gravitational interference from giant Jupiter, an idea dating back to Prussian philosopher Immanuel Kant in 1755. But Jupiter may be innocent. An FU Orionis outburst wouldn’t melt dust grains much beyond Earth’s orbit. At the Red Planet’s distance, Hubbard says, “the peak temperature didn’t get high enough long enough for the molten grains to grow big enough”. As a result, Mars had little material to form from and so ended up only 11 per cent as massive as Earth, he says.


Erectile dysfunction is a known risk factor for heart disease in men, and treatment of it was previously linked to increased risk of death. But surprisingly, a new Swedish study reveals that using phosphodiesterase type 5, or PDE5, inhibitor drugs, a class of erectile dysfunction drugs, after myocardial infarction is not only safe but may also be key to a longer, not to mention happier, life for heart attack patients. This is what Dr. Daniel Andersson of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm shared at a press conference conducted before the presentation at the American College of Cardiology annual meeting in Washington DC. Dr. Andersson and his team monitored over 43,000 Swedish men for an average of 3.3 years and noted the positive life-prolonging effect among heart attack patients taking common PDE5 erectile dysfunction drugs, such as Viagra (sildenafil), Levitra (vardenafil), and Cialis (tadalafil). The researchers looked into a national database of all hospital records of men 80 years and younger admitted due to heart attack between 2007 and 2013. They found that men who used PDE5 inhibitor drugs to address erectile dysfunction showed an astounding 33 percent lower risk of all-cause morbidity after their first heart attack as opposed to those who took alprostadil — a different type of ED drug — and those who did not take any ED drug. Aside from reduced risk of all causes of death, the findings also showed that men taking erectile dysfunction drugs — both PDE5 inhibitors and alprostadil — had 40 percent less likelihood of running into and being hospitalized for heart problems again compared to their non-ED drug-taking counterparts. "If you have an active sex life after a heart attack, it is probably safe to use PDE5 inhibitors. This type of erectile dysfunction treatment is beneficial in terms of prognosis, and having an active sex life seems to be a marker for a decreased risk of death," Dr. Andersson explained. Despite proving strong heart health benefits, Dr. Andersson mentioned that the study by design was unable to pinpoint the direct cause and effect. "I do think the patients are more likely to be healthier at baseline than the patients you wouldn't prescribe these medications for ... We would assume they would not be on nitrates, so they would be less likely to be having symptoms of angina," Dr. Martha Gulati of University of Arizona College of Medicine, the moderator of the said press briefing, suggested. Nevertheless, Dr. Andersson clarified that although their study provides valuable insight to understanding heart disease, this doesn't necessarily mean that current recommendations should be updated just yet. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


News Article | April 25, 2017
Site: www.rdmag.com

From the earliest days of our solar system's history, collisions between astronomical objects have shaped the planets and changed the course of their evolution. Studying the early bombardment history of Mars, scientists at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) and the University of Arizona have discovered a 400-million-year lull in large impacts early in Martian history. This discovery is published in the latest issue of Nature Geoscience in a paper titled, "A post-accretionary lull in large impacts on early Mars." SwRI's Dr. Bill Bottke, who serves as principal investigator of the Institute for the Science of Exploration Targets (ISET) within NASA's Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI), is the lead author of the paper. Dr. Jeff Andrews-Hanna, from the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory in the University of Arizona, is the paper's coauthor. "The new results reveal that Mars' impact history closely parallels the bombardment histories we've inferred for the Moon, the asteroid belt, and the planet Mercury," Bottke said. "We refer to the period for the later impacts as the 'Late Heavy Bombardment.' The new results add credence to this somewhat controversial theory. However, the lull itself is an important period in the evolution of Mars and other planets. We like to refer to this lull as the 'doldrums.'" The early impact bombardment of Mars has been linked to the bombardment history of the inner solar system as a whole. Borealis, the largest and most ancient basin on Mars, is nearly 6,000 miles wide and covers most of the planet's northern hemisphere. New analysis found that the rim of Borealis was excavated by only one later impact crater, known as Isidis. This sets strong statistical limits on the number of large basins that could have formed on Mars after Borealis. Moreover, the preservation states of the four youngest large basins -- Hellas, Isidis, Argyre, and the now-buried Utopia -- are strikingly similar to that of the larger, older Borealis basin. The similar preservation states of Borealis and these younger craters indicate that any basins formed in-between should be similarly preserved. No other impact basins pass this test. "Previous studies estimated the ages of Hellas, Isidis, and Argyre to be 3.8 to 4.1 billion years old," Bottke said. "We argue the age of Borealis can be deduced from impact fragments from Mars that ultimately arrived on Earth. These Martian meteorites reveal Borealis to be nearly 4.5 billion years old -- almost as old as the planet itself." The new results reveal a surprising bombardment history for the red planet. A giant impact carved out the northern lowlands 4.5 billion years ago, followed by a lull of approximately 400 million years. Then another period of bombardment produced giant impact basins between 4.1 and 3.8 billion years ago. The age of the impact basins requires two separate populations of objects striking Mars. The first wave of impacts was associated with formation of the inner planets, followed by a second wave striking the Martian surface much later.


—Early Monday morning, NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson set a new record for the longest time in space for any US astronaut, hitting a landmark 534 cumulative days in orbit. Fellow astronaut Jeff Williams set the previous record only last year. Dr. Whitson will continue to extend the new record for the duration of her stay as current commander on the International Space Station, ultimately to more than 650 cumulative days, setting a high bar for those looking to break her record. This is not the first time Whitson has made NASA history, however. The astronaut and biochemist also became the first woman commander of the ISS in 2007 and the first woman to command the station twice, earlier this year. She is also the oldest US woman to have completed a spacewalk, and has done more spacewalks than any other female NASA astronaut. To many, Whitson's many accomplishments are striking examples of what women can accomplish in a space-related field. But her many firsts also stand as reminders of what still needs to be done to support women in STEM fields, allowing women to break new ground alongside men on the forefront of space technology and exploration. Women have been a part of NASA history from the start. The early space program employed women in a number of on-the-ground capacities serving as administrative officials, medical personnel, mathematicians, and engineers. But from the outset of the program, there was a clear preference to place men in top positions, with women often taking up lower-rung tasks despite equal or superior ability and educational background. The problem was particularly stark for potential astronauts; while a number female astronaut candidates tested well for potential space missions as far back as the Mercury program, it was decades before a woman was to actually be launched into space from US soil. These potential astronauts faced many obstacles, including a 1958 policy that required all astronauts to be military test pilots, which effectively banned American women from going to space until the mid-1960s, since the military employed no female pilots at the time. In the Soviet Union, Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space in 1963, but the superpower did not send another woman into orbit until 1982. Even after the end NASA's military-pilots-only policy, a female American astronaut would not launch into space until 1983, when Sally Ride entered orbit on the space shuttle Challenger. Since then, women have become an increasingly visible part of NASA's space program, and have recently gained even greater recognition in popular culture, thanks to the award-winning film "Hidden Figures" about female African-American mathematicians at NASA in the late 1960s, and the recently approved "Women of NASA" Lego set. "Women have played critical roles throughout the history of the U.S. space program, a.k.a. NASA or the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Yet in many cases, their contributions are unknown or under-appreciated – especially as women have historically struggled to gain acceptance in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)," wrote science writer Maia Weinstock in the Lego set proposal. This kind of encouragement and positive representation is especially important for young girls, noted Whitman in a video conference between the White House and the ISS on Monday with President Trump, Ivanka Trump, and NASA astronaut Kate Rubins. "I don't really think [being an astronaut] became a goal until I graduated from high school, when the first female astronauts were selected," Whitson said. She also said that traveling to Mars could be a real possibility in the coming decades and urged young students to focus on their studies in order to be a part of it. "I want all the young people out there to recognize that the real steps [of traveling to Mars] are going to be taken in a few years. And so by studying math, science, engineering, any kind of technology, you're going to have a part in that. And that will be very exciting," Whitson added. Examples of success can be an important part of encouraging girls to pursue projects and careers in more complex fields of study, especially in STEM fields, which are still largely dominated by men. As The Christian Science Monitor reported in October 2016: Between 1901 and 2015, only 49 out of 870 Nobel prizes for individuals have been awarded to women. One explanation is that there are simply fewer women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematical (STEM) jobs, as the US Census Bureau data shows. But it leads to a question that many have been asking: Why aren't more women participating in STEM fields? The answer, some experts say, may lie in working environment and gender biases that discourage women from progressing across scientific fields and sometimes entering it in the first place. "What we're seeing is there is still very slow progress and a lot of attrition," Beth Mitchneck, professor of geography at the University of Arizona, tells The Christian Science Monitor in a phone interview. "Women leave the field to a higher degree than men – and academic or leadership positions, they're not getting [those]." Of course, not everyone can be an astronaut. But astronauts have long held a special place in the heart of the American public, and their visibility often makes them role models for young people who are just beginning to consider the possibility of entering a STEM field. And breaking a record in space is a great way to encourage the next generation to work together to break even more records. "It's actually a huge honor to break a record like this," Whitson said during the livestream. "It's an honor for me, basically to be representing all the folks at NASA who make space flight possible and who make me setting this record feasible." Whitson is expected to return to Earth in September 2017.


News Article | April 26, 2017
Site: phys.org

The Prototype Lunar/Mars Greenhouse Project (PLMGP) is all about growing vegetables for astronauts during extended stays on the moon, on Mars, or anywhere they can't be resupplied from Earth. Beyond growing food, the Project aims to understand how food-growing systems can also be a part of life-support systems. We're working with a team of scientists, engineers and small businesses at the University of Arizona to develop a closed-loop system. The approach uses plants to scrub carbon dioxide, while providing food and oxygen," said Dr. Ray Wheeler, lead scientist in Kennedy Advanced Life Support Research. The prototype itself is an inflatable, deployable system that researchers call a bioregenerative life support system. As crops are grown, the system recycles, water, recycles waste, and revitalizes the air. The system is hydroponic, so no soil is needed. Water that is either brought along on missions or gathered in situ—on the moon or at Mars for example—is enriched with nutrient salts, and flows continuously through plant root systems. Air in the system is recycled too. Astronauts exhale carbon dioxide, which plants absorb. Through photosynthesis, the plants produce oxygen for the astronauts. "We're mimicking what the plants would have if they were on Earth and make use of these processes for life support," said Dr. Gene Giacomelli, director of the Controlled Environment Agriculture Center at the University of Arizona. "The entire system of the lunar greenhouse does represent, in a small way, the biological systems that are here on Earth." A key part of a system like this is knowing what astronauts will have to bring with them, and what resources they can find at their destination. This includes which type of plants and seeds will be needed, as well as how much water might be available once astronauts reach their destination. Methods of extracting water on Mars or the moon are also being researched and developed. Even if the necessary water can be found in situ on Mars and the moon, that hardly means those are easy places to grow food. Astronauts have to be protected from radiation, and so will crops. These greenhouse chambers would have to buried underground, which means specialized lighting systems are also required. "We've been successful in using electric LED (light emitting diode) lighting to grow plants," Dr. Wheeler said. "We also have tested hybrids using both natural and artificial lighting." Solar light could be captured with light concentrators that track the sun and then convey the light to the chamber using fiber optic bundles. These systems are not NASA's first experience at growing crops in space. Experiments aboard the International Space Station (ISS) have been an important part of the research into crop production in non-terrestrial environments. The Veggie Plant Growth System was NASA's first attempt, and astronauts successfully harvested lettuce from that system. Earth has well-established systems for sustaining life, and this project is all about taking some of that to distant destinations in space. "I think it's interesting to consider that we're taking our terrestrial companions with us," Wheeler said. "While there may be ways to engineer around it in terms of stowage and resupply, it wouldn't be as sustainable. The greenhouses provide a more autonomous approach to long-term exploration on the moon, Mars and beyond." Explore further: How plants are grown beyond Earth?


"We thank Mike for his vision and the success he has brought to Gerber," said Eric Baroyan, AIP Partner. "Mohit will be a great addition to the Gerber management team and will carry out the strategic vision set in place when AIP acquired Gerber." "I am inspired to join a company that has a long standing history of innovation dating back to its founder, Joseph Gerber. Joining an industry leading company, that is financially strong with innovative product roadmaps driven by customer insight, is truly a blessing," said Mohit Uberoi. "My vision for Gerber is to continue to help customers Embrace Their Digital Reality with products that accelerate speed to market." Prior to joining Gerber, Mohit has served as President and CEO of Goss International and B&W MEGTEC. He has a proven track record of guiding companies to achieve their strategic initiatives, driving technology solutions, building great management teams, and creating value for all stakeholders. Mohit has also worked in research and new business development for W.R. Grace & Co., a diversified industrial conglomerate. Mohit earned a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology before moving to the U.S. to pursue his doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Arizona. About Gerber Technology Gerber Technology delivers industry-leading software and automation solutions that help apparel and industrial customers improve their manufacturing and design processes and more effectively manage and connect the supply chain, from product development and production to retail and the end customer. Gerber serves 78,000 customers in 130 countries, including more than 100 Fortune 500 companies in apparel & accessories, home and leisure, transportation, packaging and sign & graphics. The company develops and manufactures its products from various locations in the United States and Canada and has additional manufacturing capabilities in China. Based in Connecticut in the USA, Gerber Technology is owned by AIP, a New York based, global private equity firm specializing in the technology sector and has more than $3.0 billion assets under management. Visit www.gerbertechnology.com for more information. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/gerber-appoints-new-ceo-mohit-uberoi-mike-elia-joins-board-and-retires-from-company-300451681.html


News Article | April 25, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

The National Alliance for Doctoral Studies in the Mathematical Sciences, known as the Math Alliance has been chosen by the American Mathematical Society to receive its 2017 Mathematics Programs that Make a Difference Award. The annual award was created by the AMS Committee on the Profession to recognize outstanding programs that successfully address the issue of underrepresented groups in mathematics. The Math Alliance is honored "for its programs over the last 10 years promoting participation by groups underrepresented in doctoral programs in the mathematical sciences." William McCallum of the University of Arizona, who served as chair of the award selection committee, said: "The Math Alliance shows what can be achieved when the community takes seriously the promise of equal opportunity for all mathematicians. By building a network of mentors and students united by their dedication to mathematics and to increasing diversity in the field, this program is having a strong positive effect that will continue for years to come. The AMS is very happy to recognize the Math Alliance with the Mathematics Programs that Make a Difference Award." The main purpose of the Math Alliance is to ensure that students from underrepresented groups who have the ambition and desire to pursue graduate study in the mathematical sciences have an opportunity to do so in a supportive environment. The alliance helps students realize their potential for graduate work in these fields and nurtures them in their journey to becoming math science professionals. Now based at Purdue University, the Math Alliance began in 2001 as a partnership of three Iowa State Regents universities and four Historically Black Colleges and Universities and has grown into a national network of institutions and faculty that mentor minority students in both undergraduate and graduate programs. The work of the Math Alliance has received support from the National Science Foundation since 2002. The Math Alliance holds the annual Field of Dreams Conference, attended in 2016 by 198 undergraduates and 115 faculty from 113 institutions. In addition, Alliance mentors work at the predoctoral, masters, PhD, and post-doctoral levels to help students succeed in their studies and progress on to the next level. In 2015-16, the program listed 552 faculty mentoring over 600 active scholars. The Alliance has expanded its network 30-fold over the last 10 years and has recently been used as a model for a similar program in physics by the American Physical Society. The ultimate goal of the Math Alliance is to spark a spiritual transformation within mathematical sciences departments as they progress away from the traditional model of weeding students out and towards embracing an inclusive model of helping all students succeed. The official announcement of this award, including the selection committee's citation, is available from the AMS Public Awareness Office and appears in the May 2017 issue of the Notices of the AMS at http://www. . No subscription is necessary. Find out more about this and other AMS awards at http://www. . Founded in 1888 to further mathematical research and scholarship, today the American Mathematical Society fulfills its mission through programs and services that promote mathematical research and its uses, strengthen mathematical education, and foster awareness and appreciation of mathematics and its connections to other disciplines and to everyday life.


News Article | April 28, 2017
Site: www.fastcompany.com

Arizona’s unique geography, which ranges from mountains and rivers to steep canyons and sprawling deserts—makes wiring many of the rural parts of state for modern connections difficult and costly. “We have three sort of major urban hubs here, and once you start getting out of those hubs, connectivity presents a huge issue,” says Arizona Department of Education spokesman Stefan Swiat. “If you’re a telecom company and you go out to a small community in the deserts of southern Arizona and there’s 100 people, you don’t want to install million-dollar fiber there, because you’re not going to get a return on your investment.” But experts say changes made in 2014 to a federal funding provision known as the E-Rate program have dramatically helped matters in just a few short years. The program uses fees paid by telecom companies (and ultimately paid by consumers as part of their monthly bills) to help wire schools and libraries for phone and broadband service. In 2013, only 30% of school districts could offer internet connections at a federal target rate of 100 kilobits per second per student, while in early 2016, 77% of schools met that target, according to a January report from officials at the Federal Communications Commission. “We’ve seen 30 million kids connected over the last three years who previously didn’t have sufficient connectivity in their classrooms,” says Evan Marwell, founder and CEO of EducationSuperHighway, a nonprofit focused on boosting school connectivity. FCC chairman Ajit Pai, appointed in January to head the agency by President Trump, has generally spoken in favor of the E-Rate system. “Regarding E-rate, Chairman Pai strongly supports the program,” an FCC spokesman wrote in an email to Fast Company on April 24. But the FCC retracted the largely favorable January report shortly after Pai’s appointment, and it remains to be seen whether he will seek to make changes to the E-Rate rules approved under his Democratic predecessor, and what effects that may have on the program. Officials behind the Arizona program plan to couple federal E-Rate money with money from the state’s own Universal Service Fund and the state budget to connect schools in far-flung corners of the state. Getting schools online enables teachers to use digital learning tools that have already become familiar in wired districts, like real-time online quizzes that can instantly show teachers which students are struggling with material, Marwell says. “Suddenly they know a lot better about which of the kids are getting it and which of them aren’t getting it,” he says. And broadband can also enable access to entirely new resources, like remote access to Advanced Placement courses and other options that often aren’t available in smaller schools. “We’re going to have rural kids taking AP classes that they wouldn’t have been able to take because the school doesn’t have the resources,” Swiat predicts. “But now, nothing can stop them.” Some schools in the state have already seen success from boosting internet access: When Yuma, in southwestern Arizona near the Mexican border, pushed to integrate broadband into the schools and distribute tablets to every student, students gained access to new educational opportunities. Swiat says one high school student was even awarded a full scholarship to the University of Arizona after winning a statewide science award. “A couple of years ago, that kid had no chance,” he says. “And now, [she won] a full-ride opportunity to learn from great professors and pursue a passion that she discovered through broadband.” The E-Rate program approved more than $1.6 billion for educational institutions, including including schools in almost 24,000 districts, for the 2016 funding year, according to a recent report from the Universal Service Administrative Co., which oversees the program. Its recent success stems at least in part from 2014 changes that shifted funding from voice to broadband and set the national 100 kilobit per student standard. In-school Wi-Fi programs also made it easier for districts to build their own broadband networks where no provider could offer affordable service, and boosted transparency to let districts comparison shop for broadband by seeing what other school systems. “I think we’re making tremendous progress,” says Keith Krueger, CEO of the Consortium for School Networking, a professional group of school tech professionals. “E-Rate is working for at-school broadband and Wi-Fi connections.” The program provides funding to school districts via a need-based formula whereby schools can receive up to 80% of costs for approved expenses, determined by such factors as the percentage of students eligible for subsidized lunches. The program also provides additional matching of state grants up to an extra 10%, meaning some districts in participating states can see expenses fully covered, which can make a big difference for schools in particularly poor areas, according to Matt Gress. Gress is policy adviser to Andy Tobin, a member of the Arizona Corporation Commission, the state’s utility regulator. Whether E-Rate will continue in its current form under the Trump administration and the Republican-led FCC is still an open question. Some conservatives have spoken out against the E-Rate program altogether; a 2015 set of budget recommendations from the conservative Heritage Foundation advocated phasing out the program. Historically, Pai has expressed support for ideas behind E-Rate. But in 2014, when he was an FCC commissioner in the Obama administration, he voted against the rule changes that focused E-Rate on broadband and Wi-Fi, which supporters have since said expanded access to more schools. Among other criticisms, Pai wrote in a 2014 statement that the changes didn’t do enough to reduce bureaucratic requirements that made it hard for rural schools to participate, and that the funding plan could lead to cost overruns. “And it is devastating substance for America’s teachers, librarians, parents, students, and library patrons, many of whom I’ve met over the past several months, and all of whom believe, as I said almost one year ago, that ‘E-Rate is a program worth fighting for,’” he wrote. “After the band packs up and goes home, and after the happy headlines fade, they are the ones who will have to wait years more for 21st-century digital opportunities—for real E-Rate reform.” Concerns that the program could be reshaped contributed to a push in Louisiana earlier this year to boost school broadband. Officials sought to apply for E-Rate funds to connect the state’s schools through the Louisiana Optical Network Initiative, which delivers high-speed broadband to the state’s universities. “A lot of my folks were looking last fall, when the new federal administration was coming in—there was some indication they might change the rules,” says Joseph Rallo, the state’s commissioner of higher education. Rallo wanted to see how, with the help of E-Rate funds, the state university system and its fiber network could help get local schools online. “We thought it an opportune time to see if we might partner with the K-12 [schools] and see what we could offer,” he says. Eight of Louisiana’s 64 parishes, the equivalent of counties in other states, have no broadband access in their public schools, Rallo says. The tentative plan was for the state optical network to wire two locations as network hubs in each participating parish—such as a high school or a central library—and let local officials build their own networks from there. But with the idea only recently hatched, and some uncertainty about costs to finish wiring those local networks, only a handful of parish school boards joined the plan in time for the federal E-Rate deadline. That left the effort on hold for now, though officials may try again next year—depending on the state of the E-Rate program.


News Article | April 25, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Boulder, Colo. -- April 25, 2017 -- From the earliest days of our solar system's history, collisions between astronomical objects have shaped the planets and changed the course of their evolution. Studying the early bombardment history of Mars, scientists at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) and the University of Arizona have discovered a 400-million-year lull in large impacts early in Martian history. This discovery is published in the latest issue of Nature Geoscience in a paper titled, "A post-accretionary lull in large impacts on early Mars." SwRI's Dr. Bill Bottke, who serves as principal investigator of the Institute for the Science of Exploration Targets (ISET) within NASA's Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI), is the lead author of the paper. Dr. Jeff Andrews-Hanna, from the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory in the University of Arizona, is the paper's coauthor. "The new results reveal that Mars' impact history closely parallels the bombardment histories we've inferred for the Moon, the asteroid belt, and the planet Mercury," Bottke said. "We refer to the period for the later impacts as the 'Late Heavy Bombardment.' The new results add credence to this somewhat controversial theory. However, the lull itself is an important period in the evolution of Mars and other planets. We like to refer to this lull as the 'doldrums.'" The early impact bombardment of Mars has been linked to the bombardment history of the inner solar system as a whole. Borealis, the largest and most ancient basin on Mars, is nearly 6,000 miles wide and covers most of the planet's northern hemisphere. New analysis found that the rim of Borealis was excavated by only one later impact crater, known as Isidis. This sets strong statistical limits on the number of large basins that could have formed on Mars after Borealis. Moreover, the preservation states of the four youngest large basins -- Hellas, Isidis, Argyre, and the now-buried Utopia -- are strikingly similar to that of the larger, older Borealis basin. The similar preservation states of Borealis and these younger craters indicate that any basins formed in-between should be similarly preserved. No other impact basins pass this test. "Previous studies estimated the ages of Hellas, Isidis, and Argyre to be 3.8 to 4.1 billion years old," Bottke said. "We argue the age of Borealis can be deduced from impact fragments from Mars that ultimately arrived on Earth. These Martian meteorites reveal Borealis to be nearly 4.5 billion years old -- almost as old as the planet itself." The new results reveal a surprising bombardment history for the red planet. A giant impact carved out the northern lowlands 4.5 billion years ago, followed by a lull of approximately 400 million years. Then another period of bombardment produced giant impact basins between 4.1 and 3.8 billion years ago. The age of the impact basins requires two separate populations of objects striking Mars. The first wave of impacts was associated with formation of the inner planets, followed by a second wave striking the Martian surface much later. SSERVI is a virtual institute headquartered at NASA's Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. Its members are distributed among universities and research institutes across the United States and around the world. SSERVI is working to address fundamental science questions and issues that can help further human exploration of the solar system.


News Article | May 2, 2017
Site: www.techtimes.com

Efforts to colonize new planets through deep space missions such as to the moon and Mars are making sound progress. However, beyond the advancing space technologies, there is a lurking concern on providing good food to astronauts and finding a sustainable way to it. Obviously, nourishment coming from packets of frozen or dried food carried to space will be inadequate. The same goes for transporting ready-made food for many months or years. From rudimentary efforts, NASA is trying to take food production methods in space to the next level. Early efforts at vegetable-growing have been tried at the International Space Station. In upcoming missions, NASA is trying to expand those proven projects. Accordingly, NASA scientists at Kennedy Space Center in Florida are mulling a new method to support astronauts working in deep space missions with an inflatable greenhouse. The advantage of the greenhouse prototype is that it is inflatable, deployable and supportive of crop production. It performs such functions as nutrition yielding, air revitalization, water recycling and waste recycling — collectively called a bioregenerative system. Ray Wheeler, principal scientist in Kennedy Advanced Life Support Research, noted that the greenhouse project is aimed at Mars and lunar missions and is seeking to grow vegetables and plants. "We're working with a team of scientists, engineers and small businesses at the University of Arizona to develop a closed-loop system," Wheeler explained. The principle of the greenhouse project involves using plants to ward off carbon dioxide and generating food and oxygen. In other words, the greenhouse project's "bioregenerative life support system" is trying to replicate the environment of Earth for growing plants beyond the planet. Here, the carbon dioxide comes from what is exhaled by astronauts, which the greenhouse promptly uses to release oxygen. Also, oxygenated water will be pumped through the root zone of plants. The water could be brought from Earth, or NASA will be sourcing it from indigenous sources. As for the light being used in the greenhouse for photosynthesis, Martian or moon settlers have to use LED lights or tap solar light by tapping fiber optic bundles. Both light sources have been found successful during tests in an 18x8-foot prototype. Going forward, the greenhouses of higher dimensions will be required in housing different plants and meeting new capacity. More computer simulations are underway to understand the control required in balancing the interior environment of these artificial greenhouses. At the University of Arizona, tests are also progressing in choosing plants, seeds and other materials for making the greenhouse work on the moon or Mars. "We're mimicking what the plants would have if they were on Earth and make use of these processes for life support," said Dr. Gene Giacomelli, director of the Agriculture Center at the University of Arizona. To conclude, the core of pushing the greenhouse concept is a way toward the motto of minimum cargo in space travel and optimum use of in-situ resources. As for crops good to be grown on space, including Mars, scientists have identified too many. Mars-specific crops include tomato, leek, radish, rye, quinoa, potato, and chives. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


News Article | April 25, 2017
Site: www.rdmag.com

From the earliest days of our solar system's history, collisions between astronomical objects have shaped the planets and changed the course of their evolution. Studying the early bombardment history of Mars, scientists at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) and the University of Arizona have discovered a 400-million-year lull in large impacts early in Martian history. This discovery is published in the latest issue of Nature Geoscience in a paper titled, "A post-accretionary lull in large impacts on early Mars." SwRI's Dr. Bill Bottke, who serves as principal investigator of the Institute for the Science of Exploration Targets (ISET) within NASA's Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI), is the lead author of the paper. Dr. Jeff Andrews-Hanna, from the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory in the University of Arizona, is the paper's coauthor. "The new results reveal that Mars' impact history closely parallels the bombardment histories we've inferred for the Moon, the asteroid belt, and the planet Mercury," Bottke said. "We refer to the period for the later impacts as the 'Late Heavy Bombardment.' The new results add credence to this somewhat controversial theory. However, the lull itself is an important period in the evolution of Mars and other planets. We like to refer to this lull as the 'doldrums.'" The early impact bombardment of Mars has been linked to the bombardment history of the inner solar system as a whole. Borealis, the largest and most ancient basin on Mars, is nearly 6,000 miles wide and covers most of the planet's northern hemisphere. New analysis found that the rim of Borealis was excavated by only one later impact crater, known as Isidis. This sets strong statistical limits on the number of large basins that could have formed on Mars after Borealis. Moreover, the preservation states of the four youngest large basins -- Hellas, Isidis, Argyre, and the now-buried Utopia -- are strikingly similar to that of the larger, older Borealis basin. The similar preservation states of Borealis and these younger craters indicate that any basins formed in-between should be similarly preserved. No other impact basins pass this test. "Previous studies estimated the ages of Hellas, Isidis, and Argyre to be 3.8 to 4.1 billion years old," Bottke said. "We argue the age of Borealis can be deduced from impact fragments from Mars that ultimately arrived on Earth. These Martian meteorites reveal Borealis to be nearly 4.5 billion years old -- almost as old as the planet itself." The new results reveal a surprising bombardment history for the red planet. A giant impact carved out the northern lowlands 4.5 billion years ago, followed by a lull of approximately 400 million years. Then another period of bombardment produced giant impact basins between 4.1 and 3.8 billion years ago. The age of the impact basins requires two separate populations of objects striking Mars. The first wave of impacts was associated with formation of the inner planets, followed by a second wave striking the Martian surface much later.


News Article | April 25, 2017
Site: www.sciencedaily.com

From the earliest days of our solar system's history, collisions between astronomical objects have shaped the planets and changed the course of their evolution. Studying the early bombardment history of Mars, scientists at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) and the University of Arizona have discovered a 400-million-year lull in large impacts early in Martian history. This discovery is published in the latest issue of Nature Geoscience in a paper titled, "A post-accretionary lull in large impacts on early Mars." SwRI's Dr. Bill Bottke, who serves as principal investigator of the Institute for the Science of Exploration Targets (ISET) within NASA's Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI), is the lead author of the paper. Dr. Jeff Andrews-Hanna, from the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory in the University of Arizona, is the paper's coauthor. "The new results reveal that Mars' impact history closely parallels the bombardment histories we've inferred for the Moon, the asteroid belt, and the planet Mercury," Bottke said. "We refer to the period for the later impacts as the 'Late Heavy Bombardment.' The new results add credence to this somewhat controversial theory. However, the lull itself is an important period in the evolution of Mars and other planets. We like to refer to this lull as the 'doldrums.'" The early impact bombardment of Mars has been linked to the bombardment history of the inner solar system as a whole. Borealis, the largest and most ancient basin on Mars, is nearly 6,000 miles wide and covers most of the planet's northern hemisphere. New analysis found that the rim of Borealis was excavated by only one later impact crater, known as Isidis. This sets strong statistical limits on the number of large basins that could have formed on Mars after Borealis. Moreover, the preservation states of the four youngest large basins -- Hellas, Isidis, Argyre, and the now-buried Utopia -- are strikingly similar to that of the larger, older Borealis basin. The similar preservation states of Borealis and these younger craters indicate that any basins formed in-between should be similarly preserved. No other impact basins pass this test. "Previous studies estimated the ages of Hellas, Isidis, and Argyre to be 3.8 to 4.1 billion years old," Bottke said. "We argue the age of Borealis can be deduced from impact fragments from Mars that ultimately arrived on Earth. These Martian meteorites reveal Borealis to be nearly 4.5 billion years old -- almost as old as the planet itself." The new results reveal a surprising bombardment history for the red planet. A giant impact carved out the northern lowlands 4.5 billion years ago, followed by a lull of approximately 400 million years. Then another period of bombardment produced giant impact basins between 4.1 and 3.8 billion years ago. The age of the impact basins requires two separate populations of objects striking Mars. The first wave of impacts was associated with formation of the inner planets, followed by a second wave striking the Martian surface much later.


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

Dr. Chen is a compassionate and community-involved physician in Tucson, Arizona. Dr. Chen received his undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis with an A.B. in Finance and Biology. He then received both his medical degree and MBA from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Dr. Chen then became the Chief Resident of Internal Residence while completing his residency and fellowship at the University of Arizona, Tucson. Tucson is his home. He is active in the Tucson community by volunteering his time as a board member of a children’s cancer non-profit organization called Candlelighters of Southern Arizona, as well as being a health educator and speaker at the Tucson Chinese Community Center. Dr. Chen is fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin and speaks conversational Korean. Dr. Chen treats his patients the way he would like his family to be treated. He believes that being a good doctor requires having empathy. It starts from understanding his patients beyond just the disease, because being sick is a lot more than just having a diagnosis. It was his dream since childhood to be a doctor because of his love for his grandparents, and they continue to inspire him as he treats his patients.


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

The Global Wellness Summit (GWS) today announced that an all-star lineup of integrative medicine leaders will present at the 2017 conference: Dr. Richard Carmona (former U.S. Surgeon General), Elissa Epel, PhD (telomeres research pioneer, UCSF), Dr. Paul Limburg (Professor of Medicine, Mayo Clinic), Dr. Mehmet Oz (Professor of Surgery, Columbia University and host, “The Dr. Oz Show”), Dr. Kenneth R. Pelletier (Professor of Medicine, University of Arizona and UCSF), Dr. Michael Roizen (Chief Wellness Officer, The Cleveland Clinic) and Dr. Andrew Weil (founder, University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine and renowned alternative medicine expert). Together, this heavy-hitter roster of experts has transformed the way the world thinks about both wellness and medicine, leading the charge for more holistic, preventive approaches that - as chronic disease and healthcare costs soar - represent one of the most critical trends in the world today. They span celebrity doctors who have brought the “wellness message” to hundreds of millions of people worldwide to doctors who are spearheading a new focus on wellness and prevention at revered medical institutions like the Mayo and Cleveland Clinics. The 2017 Summit theme is “Living a Well Life”, focusing on how new wellness concepts will impact every aspect of an individual’s life. And these leaders, who impact countless individuals’ lives, will keynote on everything from the latest in mind-body medicine and sleep science to the coming wave of personal biomarker and DNA testing. The 11th-annual conference is being held at The Breakers, Palm Beach, Florida from October 9-11, 2017. "The annual Global Wellness Summit has proven to be the premier convener of health and wellness thought leaders from around the world,” said Richard Carmona, MD, MPH, FACS, and 17th Surgeon General of The United States. “This year’s unprecedented meeting in Florida will define the essential role of wellness in a world desperately in need of health innovation and disruption." “This may be the most influential, inspiring and diverse group of medical-wellness pioneers ever assembled on a conference stage,” noted Susie Ellis, GWS CEO and chairman. “And delegates will have the opportunity to interact with them one-on-one during the many networking sessions, lunches and roundtables where casual discussions take place. It will be unprecedented access, something the Summit is known for.” More on the presenters: Richard H. Carmona, MD, M.P.H., FACS, was the 17th Surgeon General of the United States. He is also a combat decorated U.S. Army Special Forces Veteran and a Distinguished Professor at the University of Arizona, with a wide range of training and experience in healthcare management, clinical care and research. He’s currently the Vice Chairman of Canyon Ranch, President of the Canyon Ranch Institute, and serves as Director on several large, publicly traded corporate boards and several private companies. Elissa Epel, PhD, is Professor at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), with a research focus on how chronic psychological stress accelerates biological aging; the interconnections between emotions, eating, metabolism and weight; and the effects of mindfulness. A member of the National Academy of Medicine, she has won many awards for her research. Epel co-wrote (with Nobel Laureate, Elizabeth Blackburn) “The Telomere Effect: The New Science of Living Younger Longer”, a 2017 New York Times bestseller. Paul Limburg, MD, M.P.H., is Professor of Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and consultant in the division of gastroenterology and hepatology. He also holds a joint appointment in the division of preventive, occupational and aerospace medicine and serves as medical director for several business units at Mayo Clinic responsible for defining or delivering health and wellbeing expertise within and beyond the organization. Mehmet Oz, MD, is Professor of Surgery at Columbia University and has won seven Daytime Emmy® Awards for “The Dr. Oz Show”. He directs the Complementary Medicine Program at New York Presbyterian Hospital; participates in 50 heart surgeries a year; has authored over 400 publications, including seven New York Times bestsellers; has received numerous patents; and hosts the internationally syndicated “Daily Dose” in 134 radio markets and a newspaper column in 175 global markets. He has received numerous global accolades, from being named one of TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” to a Global Leader of Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum. Kenneth R. Pelletier, PhD, MD, is Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Arizona and the University of California, San Francisco. At UCSF, he is Director of the Corporate Health Improvement Program (CHIP), a collaborative research program between CHIP and 15 of the Fortune 500. He is Chairman of the American Health Association; medical and business consultant to high-profile organizations like the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the World Health Organization; and has published over 300 professional articles on behavioral and integrative medicine, disease management, worksite interventions, and epigenetics. The author of 13 books, his next, “Change Your Genes, Change Your Life”, will be published this year. Michael Roizen, MD: Since 2008, Dr. Roizen has served as Chief Wellness Officer at Cleveland Clinic, the first such position at a major U.S. healthcare institution. He’s also Chairman of the Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic; has published 175+ peer-reviewed scientific papers, 100 textbook chapters, and four medical books; received 13 U.S. (and many foreign) patents; and hosted six PBS specials. His “RealAge” and “YOU” series of books have sold millions of copies, have been translated into 44 languages, and resulted in four #1 New York Times bestsellers (more than any other physician). Andrew Weil, MD, is Founder and Director of (and Clinical Professor of Medicine at) the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, the leading global effort to develop a comprehensive curriculum in integrative medicine. He is editorial director of the popular website, Dr. Weil.com; has appeared in numerous PBS programs; and is founder of the Weil Foundation, Healthy Lifestyle Brands, and True Food Kitchen restaurants. An internationally recognized expert on medicinal plants, alternative medicine, and medical education reform, he’s authored many scientific articles and 15 popular books - and Oxford University Press is currently producing the Weil Integrative Medicine Library, a series for clinicians in various medical specialties. For more information, contact Beth McGroarty: beth.mcgroarty@globalwellnesssummit.com or (+1) 213-300-0107. For info on attending the 2017 Summit: http://www.globalwellnesssummit.com/2017-summit/ About the Global Wellness Summit: The Global Wellness Summit (GWS) is an invitation-only international gathering that brings together leaders and visionaries to positively shape the future of the $3.7 trillion global wellness economy. Held in a different location each year, Summits have taken place in the U.S., Switzerland, Turkey, Bali, India, Morocco, Mexico and Austria. The next will be held at The Breakers, Palm Beach, Florida from Oct. 9-11, 2017.


News Article | April 5, 2017
Site: www.theguardian.com

Climate change is rapidly becoming a crisis that defies hyperbole. For all the sound and fury of climate change denialists, self-deluding politicians and a very bewildered global public, the science behind climate change is rock solid while the impacts – observed on every ecosystem on the planet – are occurring faster in many parts of the world than even the most gloomy scientists predicted. Given all this, it’s logical to assume life on Earth – the millions of species that cohabitate our little ball of rock in space – would be impacted. But it still feels unnerving to discover that this is no longer about just polar bears; it’s not only coral reefs and sea turtles or pikas and penguins; it about practically everything – including us. Three recent studies have illustrated just how widespread climate change’s effect on life on our planet has already become. “It is reasonable to suggest that most species on Earth have been impacted by climate change in some way or another,” said Bret Scheffers with the University of Florida. “Some species are negatively impacted and some species positively impacted.” Scheffers is the lead author of a landmark Science study from last year that found that current warming (just one degree Celisus) has already left a discernible mark on 77 of 94 different ecological processes, including species’ genetics, seasonal responses, overall distribution, and even morphology – i.e. physical traits including body size and shape. Woodland salamanders are shrinking in the Appalachian Mountains; the long-billed, Arctic-breeding red knot is producing smaller young with less impressive bills leading to survival difficulties. Marmots and martens in the Americas are getting bigger off of longer growing seasons produce more foodstuffs, while the alpine chipmunks of Yellowstone National Park have actually seen the shape of their skulls change due to climate pressure. Life is proving just as strange under our new climate regime when it comes to genetics. Pink salmon genetics are evolving for earlier migrations – with fewer salmon encoding their genes for earlier migrations. In making its way north, the southern flying squirrel has begun hybridising with the northern flying squirrel. The water flea has seen its genetics change over just a few decades to respond to higher water temperatures. But the fact that so many species are undergoing genetic changes doesn’t mean they are successfully adapting to our warmer world. “In many instances genetic diversity is being lost due to climate change, not just in nature but also in resources that human’s depend on such as crops and timber,” Scheffers said. “It is important to not confuse species responses and adaptation as an indicator that everything will be okay.” Scheffers and his colleagues’ findings are furthered by a study in Nature Climate Change this February that found that 47 percent of land mammals and 23 percent of birds have already suffered negative impacts form climate change. In all, nearly 700 species in just these two groups are flagging under climate change, according to this research. “There has been a massive under-reporting of these impacts,” co-author James Watson with the University of Queensland said in a press release, pointing out that the IUCN Red List only considers seven percent of mammals and four percent of birds as threatened by climate change and severe weather. The IUCN often drags behind the latest science – many species wait decades for an update while most species on Earth have never been evaluated. A third study – this one in PLOS Biology – found that more than 450 plants and animals have undergone local extinctions due to climate change. Local extinction, as its name implies, doesn’t mean the species are gone for good, but that they vanish from a portion of their range. For example, the barren ground shrew has seen its range constrict aggressively as its tundra home warms. “If global warming continues, species that cannot change or move quickly enough may go globally extinct,” the study’s author, John Wiens with the University of Arizona, said. Such global extinctions have already happened. Last year, scientists discovered that the Bramble Cay melomys – an Australian rat-like rodent – went extinct recently (it was last seen in 2007) due to rising seas inundating its tiny coral island. It’s the first mammal confirmed to be pushed to extinction entirely due to climate change – or one could say our fossil fuel addiction. Wiens’ study also found that local extinctions were happening more in the tropics than in temperate areas. This is worrying since the tropics hold the vast bulk of the world’s biodiversity, with many tropic species still unstudied and even undiscovered by scientists. But changes are rippling even beyond single extinctions. “We now have evidence that entire ecosystems, some the size of entire states within the USA, are changing in response to climate change,” said Scheffers. He pointed to kelp forests that he said “are dying” and being replaced by rocky, less-productive ecosystems. Made up of giant brown algae, kelp as tall as trees provide essential nurseries for fish, protect coastlines against worsening storm surges, store vast amounts of carbon, and provide homes for species like sea otters. But warming waters combined with ocean acidification is taking its toll. And Scheffers expects more “ecosystem shifts,” as scientists describe them, in the future. Cloud forests are at risk of becoming high altitude grasslands, coral reefs of becoming algal-dominated ecosystems, and Arctic sea ice – open ocean. “Given what we are seeing now, just imagine what will happen to all these species when temperatures increase by four of five times that amount,” said Wiens. If global society doesn’t kick its fossil fuel addiction – and quick – scientists estimate that temperatures could rise 4-5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. Such a rise would be not so much catastrophic, but apocalyptic. “One thing that is certain is that this global response to climate change points to an increasingly unpredictable future for humans,” Scheffers said. More than half of the world’s humans today live in cities – but that won’t make any of us immune to the changes going on in nature. According to Scheffer’s research, humans will see a drop in productivity of various crops or timber species, a drastic loss in marine fisheries, a potential rise in new diseases as well as disease spreading to places they’d never been before. Meanwhile, declines in coral reefs, kelp forests and mangroves could lead to more lives lost in climate-fueled storms. Loss of global biodiversity will also have knock-on effects in societies around the world, from less productive ecosystems to impacts we simply can’t predict today. “I was not surprised,” Scheffers said of his research. “But I was alarmed. The extent of impacts is vast and has impacted every ecosystem on the Earth.” Is all this alarmist? Sure. But it’s high time we set off the alarms – they should have started ringing in the 1980s and been deafening by the early 1990s. Does all this imply nothing can be done? Of course not. “Governments and large organisation can invest and commit to reducing carbon emissions and protecting natural ecosystems that increase resilience to climate change not only for nature but for people as well,” Scheffers said. “These include large areas of connected forests which cool local and regional climate, pristine coral and oyster reefs that not only provide food but reduce storm surges, and well managed watersheds that will maintain adequate fresh water.” Wiens agreed, but added that “there also needs to be more, bolder, large-scale efforts to reduce the carbon that is already in the atmosphere.” A number of companies have already produced technologies that do just that: they pull carbon out of the atmosphere. But to date, lack of money and support have delayed rolling out such devices en masse. Meanwhile, the researchers agree that the Paris Agreement – the only global agreement to tackle climate change – must be protected. “Wisdom comes from combining truth with beliefs. There is a global scientific consensus around climate change and its impacts on nature and humans. It is truth that climate change will have devastating impacts on human health and quality of life,” Scheffers said, noting that the Trump Administration’s current flirtation with pulling out of the Paris Agreement “is not only an unwise decision but a dangerous decision.”


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 | 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.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 28, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Bethesda, MD (April 28, 2017) -- The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Research Foundation is thrilled to award 52 researchers with research funding in the 2017 award year. "The AGA Research Foundation has a proven track record of funding young investigators who subsequently achieve great success in research. We are confident that the 2017 class will be no exception," said Robert S. Sandler, MD, MPH, AGAF, chair, AGA Research Foundation. "AGA is honored to invest in this year's award recipients and looks forward to seeing how each research project contributes to advancing the field of gastroenterology." The AGA Research Award Program serves to support talented investigators who are pursuing careers in digestive disease research. A grant from the AGA Research Foundation ensures that a major proportion of the recipient's time is protected for research. The awards program is made possible thanks to generous donors and funders contributing to the AGA Research Foundation. Show your support for GI research.https:/ Below are the 2017 AGA Research Foundation award recipients. To learn about upcoming research funding opportunities, visit http://www. . Shrinivas Bishu, MD, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor David Boone, PhD, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis Sarah Glover, DO, University of Florida, Gainesville Jennifer Lai, MD, MBA, The Regents of the University of California, San Francisco Jill Smith, MD, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. Chandler Brown, Gallaudet University, Washington, D.C. Carlos Lodeiro, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso Paul L. Foster School of Medicine Alyssa Murillo, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine Kristeen Onyirioha, University of Texas San Antonio Health Sciences Center Gabriela Portilla Skerrett, San Juan Bautista School of Medicine, Puerto Rico Ray Ramirez, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk Rani Richardson, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Nefertiti Tyehemba, State University of New York Upstate Medical University, Syracuse Elsie Ureta, California State University of Los Angeles Carlos Zavala, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Edward Barnes, MD, MPH, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill Daniel Duncan, MD, Boston Children's Hospital, MA Amy Engevik, PhD, Vanderbilt University, Nashville Tossapol Kerdsirichairat, MD, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor Anne-Marie Overstreet, PhD, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis Shusuke Toden, PhD, Baylor University Medical Center/Baylor Research Institute, Houston Amy Tsou, MD, PhD, Boston Children's Hospital, MA Lavanya Viswanathan, MD, MS, Augusta University, GA Hongtao Wang, MD, PhD, Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital, Houston Lauren Cole, BS, University of Arizona College of Medicine, Phoenix Cindy Law, BSc, University of Ottawa, Canada Christopher Moreau, BS, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Satish Munigala, MBBS, MPH, St. Louis University, MO Rajiv Perinbasekar, MD, University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore Chung Sang Tse, MD, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN Anika Ullah, University of California, San Diego Kathy Williams, MS, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, Camden, NJ Quan Zhou, MS, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor This year's honorees will be recognized during several AGA Research Foundation events at Digestive Disease Week® 2017, taking place May 6-9 in Chicago, IL. The American Gastroenterological Association is the trusted voice of the GI community. Founded in 1897, the AGA has grown to more than 16,000 members from around the globe who are involved in all aspects of the science, practice and advancement of gastroenterology. The AGA Institute administers the practice, research and educational programs of the organization.http://www. . Like AGA on Facebook.http://www. facebook. com/ amergastroassn> Follow us on Twitter @AmerGastroAssn.http://www. twitter. com/ amergastroassn> Check out our videos on YouTube.http://www. The AGA Research Foundation, formerly known as the Foundation for Digestive Health and Nutrition, is the cornerstone of AGA's effort to expand digestive disease research funding. Since 1984, the AGA, through its foundations, has provided more than $47 million in research grants to more than 870 scientists. The AGA Research Foundation serves as a bridge to the future of research in gastroenterology and hepatology by providing critical funding to advance the careers of young researchers between the end of training and the establishment of credentials that earn National Institutes of Health grants. Learn more about the AGA Research Foundation or make a contribution at http://www. .


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

LAS VEGAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--UNLV President Len Jessup announced today that Desiree Reed-Francois has agreed to terms and will become the university’s athletics director, effective June 1. An introductory news conference is scheduled for 2 p.m. April 18 at UNLV. Reed-Francois, current deputy athletics director at Virginia Tech, has more than two decades of leadership experience as an athlete, attorney and athletics administrator, and is considered one of the industry’s rising stars. At UNLV, she will oversee all aspects of the athletics program, including general operations, fiscal affairs, facilities, strategic planning and external relations. She will become the first Hispanic female athletics director at the FBS level. “There’s a great sense of enthusiasm and momentum in the community and at UNLV, and I’m honored to join this university and work with our coaches, staff and student-athletes to build on the solid foundation in place,” said Reed-Francois. “College athletics have the unique ability to educate, unite and inspire. Together, we will do all of that at UNLV and build a championship culture that leads academically and athletically.” Reed-Francois served as second-in-command to the athletics director at Virginia Tech since 2014, and was responsible for external relations and day-to-day operations for 22 sports, more than 600 student-athletes and 14 facilities. An administrator with an eye toward balancing the complex external and internal facets of a Power Five athletics department, she partnered on budget development for all athletics units at Virginia Tech, prepared the department’s facilities master plan, redesigned fundraising strategy and revitalized the university’s student-athlete success program. Under her leadership, overall ticket, marketing and licensing revenue rose by more than 20 percent the past two years, and the institution secured the largest corporate development gifts in program history. This included a season ticket sellout for football and marked attendance increases in men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, soccer and softball. She was one of just four women in the nation responsible for day-to-day operations of a Power Five football program, and helped orchestrate the most-attended football game in history in 2016 when Virginia Tech and Tennessee met in front of more than 156,000 fans at Bristol Motor Speedway. Working closely with Virginia Tech athletics director Whit Babcock, Reed-Francois was instrumental in the recruitment and hiring of current Hokies head football coach Justin Fuente (the reigning ACC Coach of the Year) and coaches for women’s basketball and lacrosse – all of which recently enjoyed or are in the midst of stellar seasons. She also led the search for recently hired first-year volleyball coach Jill Lytle Wilson. “Desiree has tremendous depth of experience at the highest levels of college athletics and a clear vision for the future of Rebel athletics, and I couldn’t be more pleased to welcome her to UNLV,” said Jessup. “She has shown the ability to manage the complex internal demands of a large Power Five athletics department, while simultaneously energizing fans and supporters in all sports, and I’m confident she’ll successfully move UNLV athletics forward.” Prior to Virginia Tech, Reed-Francois spent two years at the University of Cincinnati as senior associate athletics director and senior woman administrator. There, she was a member of the executive staff whose duties included external affairs, sport oversight, and negotiation of the university’s contract with the Cincinnati Bengals for use of Paul Brown Stadium during a campus stadium renovation. For several months in 2014, she also served as interim athletics director. “Desiree has a great way about her,” said John Swofford, commissioner of the Atlantic Coast Conference. “She's kind and considerate, balanced by a strength of conviction. She's a great communicator, and her prior experiences provide solid preparation for her position as an athletics director." A former student-athlete at UCLA (rowing), Reed-Francois is a strong advocate for student-athletes, and understands the importance of leadership development and mentorship in ensuring their future success. “Leadership development is at the core of college athletics, and it’s important that we create an environment leading to opportunities to positively impact lives and develop leaders in our student-athletes, our coaches and our staff,” said Reed-Francois. She has worked at the University of Tennessee – where she was the first female in SEC history to oversee men’s basketball – Fresno State, Santa Clara, San Jose State, the University of California-Berkeley and the University of San Francisco. Prior to that, she was a practicing lawyer, and also spent time as a legal associate for the Oakland Raiders and the NFL’s Management Council. Reed-Francois earned a bachelor’s degree from UCLA and a juris doctorate from the University of Arizona College of Law. She is heavily involved in athletics administration at the national level, participating in the Division 1 Athletics Directors Leadership Institute and Fellows Program, the Women Leaders in College Sports’ Executive Institute and as a member of the College Football Playoff Committee’s operations committee. In 2016, she was named one of 12 senior athletics administrators as “NEXT UP” by College AD’s panel of respected athletics directors. Reed-Francois and her husband Joshua have a son, Jackson.


The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy aircraft was just beginning the second half of an overnight mission on Jan. 28, 2015. It turned north for a flight all the way to western Oregon, then back home to NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center in Palmdale, California. Along the way, pilots steered the plane to aim the telescope at a nearby star. Iowa State University's Massimo Marengo and other astronomers were on board to observe the mission and collect infrared data about the star. That star is called epsilon Eridani. It's about 10 light years away from the sun. It's similar to our sun, but one-fifth the age. And astronomers believe it can tell them a lot about the development of our solar system. Marengo, an Iowa State associate professor of physics and astronomy, and other astronomers have been studying the star and its planetary system since 2004. In a 2009 scientific paper, the astronomers used data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope to describe the star's disk of fine dust and debris left over from the formation of planets and the collisions of asteroids and comets. They reported the disk contained separate belts of asteroids, similar to the asteroid and Kuiper belts of our solar system. Subsequent studies by other astronomers questioned that finding. A new scientific paper, just published online by The Astronomical Journal, uses SOFIA and Spitzer data to confirm there are separate inner and outer disk structures. The astronomers report further studies will have to determine if the inner disk includes one or two debris belts. Kate Su, an associate astronomer at the University of Arizona and the university's Steward Observatory, is the paper's lead author. Marengo is one of the paper's nine co-authors. Marengo said the findings are important because they confirm epsilon Eridani is a good model of the early days of our solar system and can provide hints at how our solar system evolved. "This star hosts a planetary system currently undergoing the same cataclysmic processes that happened to the solar system in its youth, at the time in which the moon gained most of its craters, Earth acquired the water in its oceans, and the conditions favorable for life on our planet were set," Marengo wrote in a summary of the project. A major contributor to the new findings was data taken during that January 2015 flight of SOFIA. Marengo joined Su on the cold and noisy flight at 45,000 feet, above nearly all of the atmospheric water vapor that absorbs the infrared light that astronomers need to see planets and planetary debris. Determining the structure of the disk was a complex effort that took several years and detailed computer modeling. The astronomers had to separate the faint emission of the disk from the much brighter light coming from the star. "But we can now say with great confidence that there is a separation between the star's inner and outer belts," Marengo said. "There is a gap most likely created by planets. We haven't detected them yet, but I would be surprised if they are not there. Seeing them will require using the next-generation instrumentation, perhaps NASA's 6.5-meter James Webb Space Telescope scheduled for launch in October 2018." That's a lot of time and attention on one nearby star and its debris disk. But Marengo said it really is taking astronomers back in time. "The prize at the end of this road is to understand the true structure of epsilon Eridani's out-of-this-world disk, and its interactions with the cohort of planets likely inhabiting its system," Marengo wrote in a newsletter story about the project. "SOFIA, by its unique ability of capturing infrared light in the dry stratospheric sky, is the closest we have to a time machine, revealing a glimpse of Earth's ancient past by observing the present of a nearby young sun." Explore further: Solar System's Young Twin Has Two Asteroid Belts More information: Kate Y. L. Su et al, The Inner 25 au Debris Distribution in theEri System, The Astronomical Journal (2017). DOI: 10.3847/1538-3881/aa696b


News Article | April 19, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

The Clinical Research Forum, a national organization of senior researchers and thought leaders from the nation's leading academic health centers, selected two studies headed by University of Chicago researchers as among the three best clinical research papers published in 2016. These awards honor outstanding clinical research and identify major advances resulting from the nation's investment in improving the health of its citizens. Ten award winners were chosen for their innovation and creativity, advancement of science in a specific area, contribution to understanding human disease or physiology, and potential impact upon the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of disease. The Herbert Pardes Clinical Research Excellence Award is the Clinical Research Forum's highest honor. It is awarded to the research study that best exemplifies the spirit of the awards in that it shows a team science approach with a high degree of innovation and creativity, which advances science and has an impact upon human disease. The award comes with a cash prize of $5,000. This year, the Pardes Award went to a team headed by geneticist Carole Ober, PhD, professor and chairman of human genetics at the University of Chicago, and immunologist Anne Sperling, PhD, associate professor of medicine at the University of Chicago. Their study, "Innate Immunity and Asthma Risk in Amish and Hutterite Farm Children," was published Aug. 4, 2016, in the New England Journal of Medicine. The interdisciplinary team of researchers showed that substances in the house dust from Amish, but not Hutterite, homes were able to engage and shape the innate immune system (the body's front-line response to most microbes) in young Amish, but not Hutterite, children in ways that appear to suppress pathologic responses leading to allergic asthma. The Distinguished Clinical Research Achievement Awards are presented to the top two studies that demonstrate creativity, innovation, or a novel approach that demonstrates an immediate impact on the health and well-being of patients. These awards come with a cash prize of $3,500. One of those awards goes to a team led by pulmonologist John P. Kress, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Chicago, and Bhakti Patel, MD, clinical instructor of medicine at the University. Their study on the "Effect of Noninvasive Ventilation Delivered by Helmet vs Face Mask on the Rate of Endotracheal Intubation in Patients With Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome: A Randomized Clinical Trial," was published May 15, 2016, in JAMA. It showed that using a transparent, air-tight helmet instead of a face mask helps critically ill patients breathe better and can prevent them from needing a ventilator. Patients with helmet ventilation had better survival and spent less time in the intensive care unit. The helmet "confers several advantages over the face mask," the authors note. It is less likely to leak. This enables the care team to increase air pressure into the helmet, which helps keep the airway and lungs open and improves oxygen levels. It is also more comfortable, easier to tolerate because it doesn't touch the face, and patients can see through it well enough to watch television, talk or read. Award recipients were recognized earlier this evening at the Clinical Research Forum's sixth annual awards ceremony on April 18 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Members of the research teams will visit congressional representatives on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, April 19, to brief officials on their findings and the critical and necessary role of federal funding for clinical research. These studies reflect major work being conducted at nearly 60 research institutions and hospitals across the United States, as well as at partner institutions from around the world, according to the Clinical Research Forum. "The 2017 awardees represent the enormous potential that properly funded research can have on patients and the public," said Harry P. Selker, MD, MSPH, Chairman of the CR Forum Board of Directors. "It is our hope that the significance of these projects and their outcomes can help educate the public, as well as elected officials, on the important impact of clinical research on human health." Recognizing the need to celebrate our nation's clinical research accomplishments that involve both innovation and impact on human disease, the Clinical Research Forum conducts an annual competition to determine the ten outstanding research accomplishments in the United States. These major research advances represent a portion of the annual return on the nation's investment in the health and future welfare of its citizens. The mission of the Clinical Research Forum is to provide leadership to the national and clinical translational research enterprise and promote understanding and support for clinical research and its impact on health and healthcare. For more information, visit http://www. . The National Institutes of Health, the St. Vincent Foundation and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Foundation supported the asthma study. Additional authors were Michelle Stein, Cara Hrusch, Catherine Igartua and Jack Gilbert from the University of Chicago; Donata Vercelli, Justyna Gozdz, Vadim Pivniouk, Julie Ledford, Mauricius Marques dos Santos, Julia Neilson, Sean Murray, Raina Maier and Fernando Martinez from the University of Arizona; Erika von Mutius of the Dr. von Hauner Children Hospital in Munich, Germany; Nervana Metwali and Peter Thorne from the University of Iowa; and Mark Holbreich, an allergist-immunologist in Indianapolis, Indiana. Funding for the helmet study was supplied by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. The helmets were purchased using funds from an unrestricted grant from the Daniel J. Edelman family. Additional authors were Krysta Wolfe, Anne Pohlman and Jesse Hall, all from the University of Chicago.


BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--PureTech Health plc (“PureTech Health” or the “Company”, LSE:PRTC), an advanced, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, is pleased to announce a licensing agreement between Commense, Inc. (“Commense”), a subsidiary of PureTech Health, and the University of British Columbia (“UBC”) for a microbiome-based therapy directed toward the prevention of asthma and other allergic diseases that present in childhood. This live biotherapeutic product bolsters Commense’s pipeline of novel therapeutic programs designed to nurture a healthy microbiome early in life. The licensed technology was developed at UBC by B. Brett Finlay, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Scientific Advisory Board Member of the Company, Stuart Turvey, MBBS, D.Phil, FRCPC, and their colleagues and is based on their research published in Science Translational Medicine. Based on analysis of a longitudinal study, Dr. Finlay and his colleagues identified a transient imbalance early in life in children with atopy, wheeze, and asthma of four specific bacterial taxa: Faecalibacterium, Lachnospira, Veillonella, and Rothia (FLVR). In preclinical models of airway inflammation, signs of respiratory diseases, such as asthma, were ameliorated when live FLVR was introduced to correct the imbalance. The potential protective influence of FLVR in the early development of a child’s immune system and against the development of asthma could have a significant impact on non-infectious, chronic diseases in children and adults. “Asthma is a lifelong chronic disease that affects the quality of life of over 25 million Americans. The impact of using a defined microbial intervention to potentially change the natural course of asthma and prevent many cases of the disease could be profound,” said Fernando Martinez, MD, Director of the Asthma and Airway Disease Research Center at the University of Arizona and a Clinical Advisor to Commense. “The FLVR supplementation approach uses defined gut-derived bacterial consortia against allergy and asthma. If this approach were to be successful, it would be a key step forward.” “Nurturing a healthy microbiome early in life represents a novel strategy to significantly reduce the impact of chronic diseases like asthma, allergies, diabetes, and obesity,” said Joe Bolen, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer for PureTech Health. “Brett’s work and contributions with FLVR build upon our arsenal of microbiome-derived therapeutics and may potentially impact childhood health in an important way.” Commense programs are part of PureTech Health’s growing pipeline in immunology and microbiome-based therapeutics. These programs leverage the core expertise PureTech Health has developed through its Vedanta Biosciences subsidiary, allowing for accelerated development. Commense anticipates initiation of human clinical trials in 2019. PureTech Health has gathered a group of leading expert collaborators and advisors around the Commense program, including: About Commense Commense, a subsidiary of PureTech Health (LSE: PRTC), is building on a deep understanding of the microbiome early in life and its fundamental role in promoting a lifetime of good health. Drawing insights from natural exposures to beneficial microbes, Commense is developing approaches to guide the priming, seeding, and maintaining of the microbiome in infants and children. Commense is working with the world’s leading microbiome scientists, physicians, and product developers to develop a novel category of products to address critical unmet needs in pediatric populations. About PureTech Health PureTech Health (PureTech Health plc, PRTC.L) is an advanced, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel medicines that modulate the adaptive human systems. PureTech’s therapies target the dysfunctions in the immune, nervous, and gastro-intestinal systems by addressing the underlying pathophysiology of disease from a systems perspective rather than through a single receptor or pathway. The Company is advancing a rich pipeline that includes multiple human proof-of-concept studies and pivotal or registration studies expected to read out over the next 12-18 months. PureTech Health’s growing research and development pipeline has been developed in collaboration with some of the world’s leading scientific experts, who along with PureTech's experienced team and a stellar Board identify, analyze and advance very selectively the opportunities the Company believes hold the most promise for patients. This experienced and engaged team places PureTech Health at the forefront of ground-breaking science and technological innovation and leads the Company between and beyond existing disciplines. For more information, visit www.puretechhealth.com or connect with us on Twitter @puretechh. Forward Looking Statement This press release contains statements that are or may be forward-looking statements, including statements that relate to the company's future prospects, developments and strategies. The forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance and achievements to differ materially from current expectations, including, but not limited to, those risks and uncertainties described in the risk factors included in the regulatory filings for PureTech Health plc. These forward-looking statements are based on assumptions regarding the present and future business strategies of the company and the environment in which it will operate in the future. Each forward-looking statement speaks only as at the date of this press release. Except as required by law and regulatory requirements, neither the company nor any other party intends to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.


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 | May 4, 2017
Site: www.futurity.org

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story shows how the Rebel Alliance steals architectural plans for the Death Star in order to eventually destroy it. According to a cybersecurity expert, there are real-life lessons to learn from Empire’s downfall. Hsinchun Chen, professor of management information systems at the University of Arizona, has spent 27 years researching cyber security and leads a project called “Hacker Web” to explore international hacker communities, including those in Russia, China, and the United States. Chen says the theft of architectural plans isn’t just the stuff of fiction and, in fact, “probably the most obvious case for why countries hack each other is intellectual property, or IP. Deliberately stealing information about your drawings or your engineering designs or your scientific instruments, that’s all intellectual property.” In government, he adds, this kind of theft is virtually inevitable. “There are only two types of organizations: Those who have lost their data and know it, and those who have lost their data but don’t know it,” Chen says. While we don’t yet know how the Rebel Alliance managed to succeed, Chen knows exactly what he would have told the Empire to avoid theft of its IP. Within companies, governments, and universities, all it takes is one person to allow a breach. “In a big organization with thousands of employees or more, like a government, you will be breached, and you’re only as strong as your weakest link,” Chen says. How could the Empire rid itself of weak links? “Education and rigorous information assurance practices help,” Chen says. “Unfortunately, the adversaries are getting more sophisticated and more interconnected—they’re always exchanging information,” Chen says. “You have to be very diligent in collecting information about your vulnerabilities and your adversaries.” The Empire should have invested a significant amount of time, money, and effort to understand its enemy’s strengths and its own weaknesses. The Empire may have had masses of data, but not all data is created equal. Chen believes that dedicating your best security resources to your most valuable data—such as the plans for the Death Star—is paramount. “Protect your most important, critical assets,” he says. “Cybersecurity has changed from a very defensive mentality to a more holistic and more preventative mentality,” Chen says. While the Empire ends up fighting to protect the Death Star (and losing), Chen recommends taking stronger preventative security measures from the start.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.spie.org

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) will revolutionize the ways in which we conduct business, perform research, enforce the law, manage natural resources, educate students, and execute many other tasks. While advances in computing technology enhance cloud storage and maximize data exploitation, the UAV imaging sensor remains the key component driving system performance and market growth. This book, Getting Started with UAV Imaging Systems: A Radiometric Guide, is an effort to examine UAV imaging systems in light of their platform and applications contexts. The following excerpt from Chapter 5 focuses on platforms as prelude to examining how mission requirements are met using commercial cameras in different regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. The larger platforms' imaging sensors are well-defined; rather than developing new sensors for each mission, sensor suites for theater and tactical U. S. DoD platforms are specified long in advance. Table 5.2 lists mission and payload types on some larger platforms. Several carry both video and still cameras and include laser instrumentation for covert target illumination.1 While different UAV systems have been designed for different missions and/or altitudes/durations, there is some competition for instruments within the DoD. For example, sensors from the manned U2 reconnaissance platform have been integrated into Global Hawk with the goal of long-term cost savings.3 Small UAV platforms and their imaging sensors serve both military and commercial markets. Increasingly, the term "sUAS" appears to distinguish this type of platform/sensor and associated ground-control hardware from its heavier cousins.4 The Raven, for example, is noteworthy in this category. "SWaP-C," where "C" stands for cost, expresses the importance of minimizing the size, weight, power and cost constraints while meeting mission requirements. Manufacturers advertise their sensors as "low SWaP" or even "smallest SWaP."5 Table 5.3 lists some of the factors that contribute to the design of low SWaP-C systems. The extreme example of "small" is a swarm configuration, whereby numerous small platforms carrying miniature cameras are connected via a communications network.9 More specifically, the term refers to the ability of a collection of small UAVs to achieve a specific objective. The technologies necessary for a successful swarm mission include those in Table 5.3; artificial intelligence (AI) also contributes.10 Miniaturized hardware and enhanced networking capability are key to this strategy's success, which furthers the disruptive effects of UAV imaging. Very small drones that fit in the palm of one's hand are already commercially available.11 The choice of a UAV platform for a smaller sensor is not typically performed according to one, uniform set of criteria. Often, the platform integrator will choose a sensor that best suits a customer's application (one reason it behooves sensor manufacturers to work closely with platform developers.) Contributing factors in platform selection include cost and deployment strategy. For example, situations that involve limited space for maneuvering (such as dense forests) benefit from a rotary aircraft for vertical takeoff and landing.12 Table 5.4 lists some of the factors that influence platform selection. Many other factors are relevant for specific applications, including the ability of the platform to fit a specific carrying case or transport backpack. Integrating UAV sensors to their platforms is an art in its infancy and will develop as the industry matures. 1. Traditionally, military cameras operating in the visible portion of spectrum are called "EO." Therefore, one often sees the term "EO/IR" sensors to refer to visible and infrared cameras, respectively. 2. Catapulted from a rail launcher, see p. 43 in Gertler1. 3. Malenic, Marina, "Northrop Grumman to test U2 Sensors on Global Hawk," Internet Archive (IHS Jane's Defence Weekly), https://web.archive.org/web/20150502152529/http://www.janes.com/article/51076/northrop-grumman-to-test-u-2-sensors-on-global-hawk, Retrieved 4/5/2017. 4. The distinction between sUAS and sUAV may confuse some readers. The first acronym includes the supporting hardware and/or software used for control. 5. Sensors Unlimited-UTC Aerospace Systems, "SWIR Camera for UAVs," Photonics Online, http://www.photonicsonline.com/doc/swir-camera-for-uavs-0001 Retrieved 5/23/15. 6. Sofradir-EC, "Uncooled infrared detectors achieve new performance levels and cost targets," Sofradir-EC White Papers, http://www.sofradir-ec.com/wp-uncooled-detectors-achieve.asp Retrieved 5/23/15. 7. "Lensless Smart Sensor Technology is SWaP-C Friendly," The Rambus Blog, http://www.rambusblog.com/2015/01/26/lensless-smart-sensor-technology-is-swap-c-friendly/ Retrieved 5/23/15. 8. J. Child, "Small UAV payloads wrestle with SWaP Challenges," COTS Journal, October, 2008, http://archive.cotsjournalonline.com/articles/view/100869 Retrieved 5/23/15. 9. See p. 15 in Gertler1. 10. This author's opinion. 11. H. Timmons, "A swarm of incredibly cheap camera drones is buzzing your way," Quartz, 1/14/15, http://qz.com/326264/a-swarm-of-incredibly-cheap-camera-drones-is-buzzing-your-way/ Retrieved 10/6/15. 12. C. VanVeen, Headwall Photonics, communication to author 5/29/15. -Barbara G. Grant, SPIE Senior Member and UC-Irvine Division of Continuing Education Distinguished Instructor, received a MS in Optical Sciences from the University of Arizona in 1989, where she did her graduate research work in the Remote Sensing Group, concentrating on the radiometric calibration of imagers including those on the Landsat Thematic Mapper, SPOT HRV, and the NOAA AVHRR. She worked at Lockheed-Martin and for NASA-Goddard contractors addressing radiometric calibration in the visible, near-infrared, and thermal infrared, and overseeing the integration and test of the GOES-8 and -9 imager and sounder, for which she received two NASA awards. Her previous books for SPIE Press include The Art of Radiometry, which she completed for the late Dr. Jim Palmer, and Field Guide to Radiometry. In 2016, she formed Grant Drone Solutions, LLC, to take the concepts behind the current book into practical application within the emerging UAV marketplace.


News Article | April 13, 2017
Site: www.chromatographytechniques.com

A wild-born, pure Australian desert dingo called Sandy Maliki has taken out first place in the World's Most Interesting Genome competition.The UNSW-led proposal to have Sandy's DNA decoded was one of five finalists for the Pacific Biosciences SMRT Grant, which provides cutting-edge sequencing of the complete genome of a particularly fascinating plant or animal. The public determined the winner, with 2-year-old Sandy securing 41 percent of the international community votes, closely followed by a Temple Pitviper snake, then a solar-powered sea slug, an explosive bombardier beetle, and a pink pigeon. "We are thrilled that our bid to have Sandy's DNA sequenced captured the public's imagination," says project leader, Professor Bill Ballard of the UNSW School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences. "Sandy is truly a gift to science. As a rare, wild-born pure dingo, she provides a unique case study. Pure dingoes are intermediate between wild wolves and domestic dogs, with a range of non-domesticated traits. So sequencing Sandy's genome will help pinpoint some of the genes for temperament and behaviour that underlie the transition from wild animals to perfect pets. "As well, learning more about dingo genetics will help efforts to conserve these wonderful Australian animals, through the development of improved tests for dingo purity," Professor Ballard says. Sandy and her sister and brother were discovered as 3-week-old pups in the Australian desert near the Strzelecki Track in 2014 by NSW animal lovers, Barry and Lyn Eggleton, who have hand-reared them ever since. The pups were close to death and their parents could not be found. The dingo sequencing project will be the first to test Charles' Darwin's 1868 theory that the process of domestication can be divided into two steps: unconscious selection as a result of non-intentional human influences; and artificial selection as a result of breeding by humans for desired traits. "This project will reveal the DNA changes between wolves and dingoes (unconscious selection) and dingoes and dogs (artificial selection)," says Ballard. A key aim of the annual international PacBio competition, which attracted more than 200 entries this year, is to raise public awareness of science and how genomic research can benefit society. Sandy's team, which set up a DancingwithDingoes Facebook page, enlisted the support of a wide variety of people around the world, including animal conservationists and fans of wolves, dingoes and dogs. "We also engaged with staff and students at UNSW, by bringing two pure alpine dingoes from the Bargo Dingo Sanctuary onto campus for everyone to meet," says Ballard. The cutting edge PacBio technology allows DNA to be sequenced in long sections containing tens of thousands of bases, rather than in shorter sections of a few hundred bases, as with existing techniques. This can reveal important rearrangements in the genome that affect gene expression. The sequencing will be carried out at the University of Arizona, with initial analysis by Computomics in Germany. The Australian team behind the Sandy project also includes Claire Wade of the University of Sydney, Richard Melvin of UNSW, Robert Zammit of the Vineyard Veterinary Hospital and Andre Minoche of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research. UNSW has a strong reputation in genomics research, with scientists at the university's Ramaciotti Centre for Genomics having worked on the genomes of a variety of other important native creatures, including the koala, the Tasmanian devil, the wombat, the platypus, the Queensland fruit fly and the Wollemi Pine. "We're very proud of UNSW's history of contribution to genomics and we are delighted that Sandy's genome will now be sequenced as the prize for winning this competition," says UNSW molecular biologist and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) Professor Merlin Crossley. "Australia has so many interesting animals to sequence and the results enhance our understanding of evolution and biology and help improve agriculture and pest management". Dingoes were introduced to Australia about 5,000 years ago. It is widely accepted they were not domesticated by Indigenous Australians. Pure dingoes are becoming increasingly rare as the native animals interbreed with wild dogs and domestic dogs, and are targeted as pests by landowners.


News Article | May 3, 2017
Site: www.chromatographytechniques.com

NASA's SOFIA aircraft, a 747 loaded with a 2.5-meter telescope in the back and stripped of most creature comforts in the front, took a big U-turn over the Pacific west of Mexico. The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy aircraft was just beginning the second half of an overnight mission on Jan. 28, 2015. It turned north for a flight all the way to western Oregon, then back home to NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center in Palmdale, California. Along the way, pilots steered the plane to aim the telescope at a nearby star. Iowa State University's Massimo Marengo and other astronomers were on board to observe the mission and collect infrared data about the star. That star is called epsilon Eridani. It's about 10 light years away from the sun. It's similar to our sun, but one-fifth the age. And astronomers believe it can tell them a lot about the development of our solar system. Marengo, an Iowa State associate professor of physics and astronomy, and other astronomers have been studying the star and its planetary system since 2004. In a 2009 scientific paper, the astronomers used data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope to describe the star's disk of fine dust and debris left over from the formation of planets and the collisions of asteroids and comets. They reported the disk contained separate belts of asteroids, similar to the asteroid and Kuiper belts of our solar system. Subsequent studies by other astronomers questioned that finding. A new scientific paper, just published online by The Astronomical Journal, uses SOFIA and Spitzer data to confirm there are separate inner and outer disk structures. The astronomers report further studies will have to determine if the inner disk includes one or two debris belts. Kate Su, an associate astronomer at the University of Arizona and the university's Steward Observatory, is the paper's lead author. Marengo is one of the paper's nine co-authors. Marengo said the findings are important because they confirm epsilon Eridani is a good model of the early days of our solar system and can provide hints at how our solar system evolved. "This star hosts a planetary system currently undergoing the same cataclysmic processes that happened to the solar system in its youth, at the time in which the moon gained most of its craters, Earth acquired the water in its oceans, and the conditions favorable for life on our planet were set," Marengo wrote in a summary of the project. A major contributor to the new findings was data taken during that January 2015 flight of SOFIA. Marengo joined Su on the cold and noisy flight at 45,000 feet, above nearly all of the atmospheric water vapor that absorbs the infrared light that astronomers need to see planets and planetary debris. Determining the structure of the disk was a complex effort that took several years and detailed computer modeling. The astronomers had to separate the faint emission of the disk from the much brighter light coming from the star. "But we can now say with great confidence that there is a separation between the star's inner and outer belts," Marengo said. "There is a gap most likely created by planets. We haven't detected them yet, but I would be surprised if they are not there. Seeing them will require using the next-generation instrumentation, perhaps NASA's 6.5-meter James Webb Space Telescope scheduled for launch in October 2018." That's a lot of time and attention on one nearby star and its debris disk. But Marengo said it really is taking astronomers back in time. "The prize at the end of this road is to understand the true structure of epsilon Eridani's out-of-this-world disk, and its interactions with the cohort of planets likely inhabiting its system," Marengo wrote in a newsletter story about the project. "SOFIA, by its unique ability of capturing infrared light in the dry stratospheric sky, is the closest we have to a time machine, revealing a glimpse of Earth's ancient past by observing the present of a nearby young sun."


News Article | May 3, 2017
Site: www.chromatographytechniques.com

NASA's SOFIA aircraft, a 747 loaded with a 2.5-meter telescope in the back and stripped of most creature comforts in the front, took a big U-turn over the Pacific west of Mexico. The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy aircraft was just beginning the second half of an overnight mission on Jan. 28, 2015. It turned north for a flight all the way to western Oregon, then back home to NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center in Palmdale, California. Along the way, pilots steered the plane to aim the telescope at a nearby star. Iowa State University's Massimo Marengo and other astronomers were on board to observe the mission and collect infrared data about the star. That star is called epsilon Eridani. It's about 10 light years away from the sun. It's similar to our sun, but one-fifth the age. And astronomers believe it can tell them a lot about the development of our solar system. Marengo, an Iowa State associate professor of physics and astronomy, and other astronomers have been studying the star and its planetary system since 2004. In a 2009 scientific paper, the astronomers used data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope to describe the star's disk of fine dust and debris left over from the formation of planets and the collisions of asteroids and comets. They reported the disk contained separate belts of asteroids, similar to the asteroid and Kuiper belts of our solar system. Subsequent studies by other astronomers questioned that finding. A new scientific paper, just published online by The Astronomical Journal, uses SOFIA and Spitzer data to confirm there are separate inner and outer disk structures. The astronomers report further studies will have to determine if the inner disk includes one or two debris belts. Kate Su, an associate astronomer at the University of Arizona and the university's Steward Observatory, is the paper's lead author. Marengo is one of the paper's nine co-authors. Marengo said the findings are important because they confirm epsilon Eridani is a good model of the early days of our solar system and can provide hints at how our solar system evolved. "This star hosts a planetary system currently undergoing the same cataclysmic processes that happened to the solar system in its youth, at the time in which the moon gained most of its craters, Earth acquired the water in its oceans, and the conditions favorable for life on our planet were set," Marengo wrote in a summary of the project. A major contributor to the new findings was data taken during that January 2015 flight of SOFIA. Marengo joined Su on the cold and noisy flight at 45,000 feet, above nearly all of the atmospheric water vapor that absorbs the infrared light that astronomers need to see planets and planetary debris. Determining the structure of the disk was a complex effort that took several years and detailed computer modeling. The astronomers had to separate the faint emission of the disk from the much brighter light coming from the star. "But we can now say with great confidence that there is a separation between the star's inner and outer belts," Marengo said. "There is a gap most likely created by planets. We haven't detected them yet, but I would be surprised if they are not there. Seeing them will require using the next-generation instrumentation, perhaps NASA's 6.5-meter James Webb Space Telescope scheduled for launch in October 2018." That's a lot of time and attention on one nearby star and its debris disk. But Marengo said it really is taking astronomers back in time. "The prize at the end of this road is to understand the true structure of epsilon Eridani's out-of-this-world disk, and its interactions with the cohort of planets likely inhabiting its system," Marengo wrote in a newsletter story about the project. "SOFIA, by its unique ability of capturing infrared light in the dry stratospheric sky, is the closest we have to a time machine, revealing a glimpse of Earth's ancient past by observing the present of a nearby young sun."


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

AMES, Iowa - NASA's SOFIA aircraft, a 747 loaded with a 2.5-meter telescope in the back and stripped of most creature comforts in the front, took a big U-turn over the Pacific west of Mexico. The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy aircraft was just beginning the second half of an overnight mission on Jan. 28, 2015. It turned north for a flight all the way to western Oregon, then back home to NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center in Palmdale, California. Along the way, pilots steered the plane to aim the telescope at a nearby star. Iowa State University's Massimo Marengo and other astronomers were on board to observe the mission and collect infrared data about the star. That star is called epsilon Eridani. It's about 10 light years away from the sun. It's similar to our sun, but one-fifth the age. And astronomers believe it can tell them a lot about the development of our solar system. Marengo, an Iowa State associate professor of physics and astronomy, and other astronomers have been studying the star and its planetary system since 2004. In a 2009 scientific paper, the astronomers used data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope to describe the star's disk of fine dust and debris left over from the formation of planets and the collisions of asteroids and comets. They reported the disk contained separate belts of asteroids, similar to the asteroid and Kuiper belts of our solar system. Subsequent studies by other astronomers questioned that finding. A new scientific paper, just published online by The Astronomical Journal, uses SOFIA and Spitzer data to confirm there are separate inner and outer disk structures. The astronomers report further studies will have to determine if the inner disk includes one or two debris belts. Kate Su, an associate astronomer at the University of Arizona and the university's Steward Observatory, is the paper's lead author. Marengo is one of the paper's nine co-authors. Marengo said the findings are important because they confirm epsilon Eridani is a good model of the early days of our solar system and can provide hints at how our solar system evolved. "This star hosts a planetary system currently undergoing the same cataclysmic processes that happened to the solar system in its youth, at the time in which the moon gained most of its craters, Earth acquired the water in its oceans, and the conditions favorable for life on our planet were set," Marengo wrote in a summary of the project. A major contributor to the new findings was data taken during that January 2015 flight of SOFIA. Marengo joined Su on the cold and noisy flight at 45,000 feet, above nearly all of the atmospheric water vapor that absorbs the infrared light that astronomers need to see planets and planetary debris. Determining the structure of the disk was a complex effort that took several years and detailed computer modeling. The astronomers had to separate the faint emission of the disk from the much brighter light coming from the star. "But we can now say with great confidence that there is a separation between the star's inner and outer belts," Marengo said. "There is a gap most likely created by planets. We haven't detected them yet, but I would be surprised if they are not there. Seeing them will require using the next-generation instrumentation, perhaps NASA's 6.5-meter James Webb Space Telescope scheduled for launch in October 2018." That's a lot of time and attention on one nearby star and its debris disk. But Marengo said it really is taking astronomers back in time. "The prize at the end of this road is to understand the true structure of epsilon Eridani's out-of-this-world disk, and its interactions with the cohort of planets likely inhabiting its system," Marengo wrote in a newsletter story about the project. "SOFIA, by its unique ability of capturing infrared light in the dry stratospheric sky, is the closest we have to a time machine, revealing a glimpse of Earth's ancient past by observing the present of a nearby young sun."


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

In “Bright Friends: The First Twenty-Five Years of Visitations Tucson, Arizona 1947-1972” (published by Balboa Press), author Karen Kalliopi Papagapitos details 25 years of visitations by “otherworldly beings” who influenced her life journey with their valuable lessons about love and Earth. Papagapitos shares that she was 4 when she was visited by otherworldly beings who told her they were her family. She could come to refer to these beings as her “Bright Friends.” “I have kept silent about these visitations by my benevolent Bright Friends. … for sixty-five years,” says Papagapitos. “I can no longer maintain my silence.” Through a lifetime of open exchanges, Papagapitos reveals how her Bright Friends imparted wisdom that inspired her to believe in and ultimately share with the world the power of their goodness as well as their mission to care for and preserve the planet. Papagapitos hopes her book will shed a light on the link between humankind and her Bright Friends: “My Bright Friends … are scientists and explorers from another world that is connected to our own,” she explains. “They are also our relatives. … Whatever constitutes a ‘Gold Particle’ in the universe, we all possesses it; both my Bright Friends and humans. It is given (to) us by our creator, our God, from whom all things follow.” “Bright Friends” By Karen Kalliopi Papagapitos Hardcover | 5.5 x 8.5 in | 242 pages | ISBN 9781504368728 Softcover | 5.5 x 8.5 in | 242 pages | ISBN 9781504368711 E-Book | 242 pages | ISBN 9781504369275 Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble About the Author Karen Kalliopi Papagapitos earned a degree in education from the University of Arizona and taught the children of migrant farm workers near the border town of Nogales, Arizona. She is a fellow of the World Literary Academy as well as a member of The Academy of American Poets. Papagapitos is the author of three other books. She currently lives in the Bronx, New York. Balboa Press, a division of Hay House, Inc. – a leading provider in publishing products that specialize in self-help and the mind, body, and spirit genres. Through an alliance with indie book publishing leader Author Solutions, LLC, authors benefit from the leadership of Hay House Publishing and the speed-to-market advantages of the self-publishing model. For more information, visit balboapress.com. To start publishing your book with Balboa Press, call 877-407-4847 today. For the latest, follow @balboapress on Twitter. ###


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

It’s a silent killer lurking in common foods. A carcinogenic toxin made by mould kills thousands around the world and forces millions of tonnes of infected crops to be discarded each year. But a new approach could turn off production of the poison even when mould does grow on the crops. Maize plants have been genetically modified to deliver strands of so-called interfering RNA that silence toxin-producing genes in a fungus that commonly grows on the crop. This GM corn can police the Aspergillus fungus on its own cobs and stop it producing poisonous aflatoxin that causes liver disease and cancer. The maize was engineered to express the gene-silencing RNA molecules by Monica Schmidt at the University of Arizona and colleagues. Her team then exposed this GM maize, along with a non-GM variety, to the fungal spores as they grew for a month. The fungus grew on both, but while high levels of toxin were found on the non-GM maize, the toxins were undetectable on the GM plants. Although this technique may only work while the plant is growing and may not continue to suppress toxin production in stored grain, it could still prove beneficial. “We know that from the level of aflatoxin that is present at harvest, the level will increase with storage. So if we make that level zero, then even an increase might bring it below highly toxic levels,” says Renée Arias, a plant pathologist at the US Department of Agriculture in Dawson, Georgia. “Bringing it down pre-harvest is half the battle won.” Keeping water and air away from stored grains is key to reducing fungal growth. It also helps prevent insect infestations. In the US and Europe, crop losses are often a question of economics. But in Africa, where small family farms are common, it can be a matter of life and death. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, estimates that 4.5 billion people in developing countries eat crops contaminated with aflatoxin. “In places like Uganda, Malawi, Ethiopia and Kenya, the main two staples are peanut and maize, and both of them carry aflatoxin,” Arias says. “The option is either to eat that or die of hunger.” A report by the Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa found that aflatoxins disproportionately impact those living in poverty and women, who do the majority of farm work in many African countries and so are more at risk of breathing in toxin-coated fungal spores. Arias says this toxin-silencing technique can also be applied to the many other crops that host aflatoxin-producing fungus, including spices, legumes, rice and beans. But because of the fungi’s genetic diversity in different locations, local gene sequencing will be needed before the technique can be applied in the field. “This is in a lab setting,” says Jeffrey Cary, a molecular biologist at the US Department of Agriculture in New Orleans, Louisiana. “The proof in the pudding will be [seeing if] this type of control approach is viable out in the field where the environment is constantly changing.” In the lab tests, toxin production was stopped but the fungus was still present on the corn. The next challenge will be to stop the fungus from growing at all, says Schmidt. Read more: More than half of EU officially bans genetically modified crops


News Article | April 24, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

The function of a plant's roots go well beyond simply serving as an anchor in the ground. The roots act as the plant's mouth, absorbing, storing and channeling water and nutrients essential for survival. Researchers have devoted tremendous effort to engineering plants that are more effective at these tasks in order to develop hardier forms that can withstand drought or low-nutrient conditions. In a new investigation, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania have taken another step toward achieving this goal. They identified two proteins that regulate whether a cell in plant roots forms a hair cell, which increases surface area for absorption, or a non-hair cell. Plants that overexpressed one of these regulators thrived despite being deprived of a key nutrient, phosphorous. "Normally plants respond to phosphous deprivation by becoming smaller, which means less biomass, less food production and less seed production," said Brian Gregory, an associate professor in the Department of Biology in Penn's School of Arts & Sciences and senior author on the paper. "The intriguing thing is, by overexpressing one of these proteins we identify, GRP8, we were able to produce plants that don't show this kind of dwarfing nearly as significantly as normal plants under phosphorous starvation. That's the exact phenotype we want." Such plants, which produce more hair cells and thus can more readily absorb water from the soil, could also do well under conditions predicted to be more prevalent under climate change, notably in widespread droughts. The lead author of the work, published in Developmental Cell, is Shawn W. Foley, a recent Ph.D. recipient in the Cell and Molecular Biology Graduate Program of Penn's Perelman School of Medicine. Additional contributors from Penn were Sager J. Gosai, Nur Selamoglu, Amelia C. Solitti and Fevzi Daldal of the Department of Biology, as well as Benjamin A. Garcia of Perelman. They teamed with Dongxue Wang and Roger B. Deal of Emory University; Tino Köster, Alexander Steffen and Dorothee Staiger of Germany's Bielefeld University; and Eric Lyons of the University of Arizona. Deal and Gregory are co-corresponding authors on the paper. The researchers initially pursued the study with the aim of determining the difference in RNA between two very similar populations of hair and non-hair cells in the roots of the plant species Arabidopsis thaliana. Using pure populations of nuclei from each of the two cell types, they employed an approach developed earlier by the lab called PIP-seq, which obtains a complete catalog of the interactions between RNA and RNA-binding proteins, interactions that can influence gene expression. This methodology also allowed the team to examine the secondary structure, or folding, of all of the cells' RNA transcripts. "We were able to see that there were distinct differnces in RNA secondary structure as well as differences in protein binding between root hair and non-hair cells," said Foley. As a next step, they identified some of the RNA binding proteins that displayed distinct binding profiles between the cell populations and found two that seemed significant. One, called SERRATE, "is known to play a role," Foley said, "in alternative splicing and microRNA biogenesis," processes that can alter gene expression in different ways. When they interrogated mutant plant lines with reduced SERRATE levels, they found that plants had more, longer hair cells. A second RNA binding protein they identified was GRP8, also a protein known to affect plants' response to stress through regulating processes that affect gene expression. Plants that the researchers engineered to overexpress GRP8 had an increased number of root-hair cells. To test whether this trait affected the plant's ability to grow, they cultivated the GRP8-overexpressing plants in phosphorous-depleted soil. They found these plants were able to turn on genes that increase the ability to take up and transport phosphate compared to normal plants. The result was larger plants. "We actually do see increased phosphate uptake as well as increased biomass of these plants," Foley said. "We got larger, hardier plants under phosphate starvation. We believe it's due to GRP8 functioning in the phosphate response pathway leading to increased root hair formation." In research now underway, the authors are testing to see whether these findings extend to other plant species, specifically in crop plants. Phosphate is a necessary resource for plants, and thus a component of most fertilizers, but excess phosphate often ends up in waterways, where it can harm aquatic ecosystems. Growing crop plants that require less phosphate could lessen these issues. In addition to the applications of the findings to improving the efficiency of food production, the researchers note that their technique of identifying the differences in RNA between two closely related cell types can extend to systems beyond plants as well. "This study is a demonstration of our ability," Gregory said, "to use a genome-wide approach to studying two very similar cell types, and then drill down and find biologically meaningful proteins to study. It provides a model for us and others to move forward in finding post-transcriptional regulators in different developmental stages and stress responses and all kinds of scenarios. Added Foley, "Something like this really begs the questions of, If we can have different secondary stuructre between these cells types, what other processes can RNA be refolded during and what other processes can this help to regulate. That's a direction the lab is going." The research was supported by the National Science Foundation, German Research Foundation and National Institute for General Medical Sciences.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

UC interdisciplinary researchers and global collaborators dig into the past to inspire modern water management strategies that can save time and money and may avoid negative effects on our climate Tucked away in a laboratory in University of Cincinnati's Braunstein Hall are tubes of rock and dirt that quietly tell a story -- a story that looks back on ancient society's early water conservation. UC researchers hope the story will aid in the future preservation of our planet's most precious resource. In an effort to help manage the world's water supply more efficiently, an interdisciplinary team of University of Cincinnati researchers from the departments of anthropology, geography and geology have climbed through rainforests, dug deep under arid deserts and collaborated with scientists around the world to look at how ancient humans manipulated their environment to manage water. "We begin by asking, 'What is water to humans, how do we engage with it and how does the environment engage us?" asks Vernon Scarborough, professor and department head in UC's Department of Anthropology. "When we look at the trajectory of our changing climate, we realize that the issue is not just climate change but also water change. Climate and water work synergistically and can affect one another in critical ways. "Given the current climate patterns, in this and the next century, we will likely face further rising sea levels, less potable water and a compromised availability of freshwater as a result of drought in many areas and unusually heavy rains and runoff in others. "So we are looking at how the past can inform the present," adds Scarborough. To face future sustainability and water management issues, UC's interdisciplinary team of real-world "Indiana Jones" employ modern technology to peek inside ancient irrigation communities in obscure places around the globe like the arid American Southwest and humid rainforests in Central America and Southeast Asia. "The point of these projects is to help, in part, create effective modern water policy," says Scarborough, who also works closely with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). "Exploring all these unique points on the globe is the only way we're going to get at it, and it's our teamwork, communication and cooperation that will make this project so successful." As a result of their collaboration, several members of UC's research team will be presenting the outcome of their field work at one or both of two upcoming prestigious scientific annual meetings: the 77th annual Society for Applied Science meeting in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the 82nd annual Society for American Archaeology meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Both are meeting this week. For more than two decades, the researchers worked intricately together in remote areas that are known for their seasonal water and environmental challenges. One core investigation lies deep in the ancestral Puebloan community in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico -- the ancestors of modern Puebloans that thrived for more than 300 years in a dry desert in the middle of the American Southwest. Scientists have long debated whether this area was truly a sustainable thriving community based on local resource access or an occasional gathering spot for ceremonial rituals dependent on importing food and related supplies. To create a comprehensive snapshot for how ancestral Native American Puebloans managed water and survived in the ancient desert, UC's research team used aerial surface imaging technology, mass spectrometry and geochemical soil sampling, as well as anthropological behavioral and DNA studies and soil excavations around ancient structures to help shed significant light on that mystery. Nicholas Dunning and Christopher Carr, both UC professors of geography, looked broadly at the geographic area documenting and sampling the stratified layers of rock and sediment, while Lewis Owen, also a UC professor of geology, used optical-stimulated luminescence, a unique technique to accurately determine the age of core sand and soil samples. "We found geochemical evidence for corn grown in the area during this time, which is a very water-intensive crop, as well as sophisticated irrigation and water-management techniques," says Kenneth Tankersley, UC associate professor of anthropology and geology. To get a 3-D look at the surface of the canyon, Carr used sophisticated LIDAR technology, or light, imaging, detection and ranging technology, to measure the surface elevation of the ground from an airplane. "This technology uses a laser beam to measure the morphology of the surface and is totally revolutionizing archaeology," says Carr. "The key thing LIDAR gives us is elevation so we know how the water flows off the mesa tops into the drainage ditches and into the valley floors. "LIDAR ultimately tells the archaeologists where to excavate and look for evidence of agriculture, canals and water control gates beneath the surface." To uncover the thousand-year-old secrets for survival held in the geochemical deep core soil samples, Tankersley, along with Owen and Warren Huff, UC professor of geology, employed laboratory sampling techniques to reveal that the high level of salt in the soil -- once thought by scientists to be harmful -- was in fact a form of a calcium sulfate mineralization that may have functioned to enhance the soil for the maize (corn) grown in that area. "The surrounding mesas provided water in their springs after the snow melted," says Tankersley. "During the rainy season when floodwaters hit, the Puebloans would capture runoff water from small canyons known as the rincons and local periodic streams such as Chaco Wash and Escavada Wash." The researchers consider this strategy a reflection of risk aversion. "When it rained in one spot over here the Ancestral Puebloans took advantage of it, and when it rained over there they took advantage of that," Scarborough says. Under this expeditious use of landscape, two key members of the Chaco water management project, Stephen Plog, professor of archaeology from the University of Virginia, and Adam Watson at the American Museum of Natural History were also part of the collaborative team that utilized DNA sampling techniques on human remains to reveal a remarkable matrilineal family line connected through the female lineage. "To effectively manage water requires flexibility and creativity as rainfall is unpredictable in the Southwest," says Samantha Fladd, an advanced doctoral student from the University of Arizona, also working on the Chaco project here at UC. "The presence of a hierarchical matriline helps to explain how Chaco residents coordinated these activities in order to practice successful water management and agriculture." In contrast to Chaco Canyon's desert aridity many of the researchers also spent a significant amount of time in the Guatemalan rainforests around Tikal -- a Central American site that coexisted at about the same time as Chaco Canyon more than a thousand years ago. While the two environments couldn't be more opposite in climate the researchers found Tikal's water issues just as challenging. David Lentz, UC professor of biology, with the assistance of Scarborough, Huff, Tankersley, Carr, Owen and NSF-funded Dunning, discovered how the Maya civilization survived in Tikal after suffering several droughts. "Similar to Chaco Canyon, we found geochemical evidence for corn fields situated in specific environmental niches at Tikal," says Dunning. Scarborough speculates the Maya channeled runoff during the rainy season and created elaborate water storage systems, allowing their civilization to thrive for more than three centuries. Eventually the Maya not only suffered from a changing climate, but they had added to their own demise, say the researchers. "Essentially, they may have affected a change in their own climate," says Scarborough. "After several years of deforestation -- clearing out trees and forests to make room for crops -- the Maya unintentionally, but perhaps dramatically upset their annual rainfall, which precipitated degrees of drought that ultimately forced them to abandon the once fertile environment. Sound familiar?" With recent funding by the National Science Foundation, Dunning, along with Scarborough and other researchers, will spend a fifth season this summer as a co-principal investigator on the Yaxnohcah project along with Carr and four UC students. The focus of this study looks at the development of ancient urbanism in relation to water, land and forest management in the Maya lowlands and will be a presentation topic by Dunning and by Carr at the upcoming annual Society for American Archaeology meeting in Vancouver. "Our collaborative research as a team is critical -- each one of us is an important cog in this investigation," says Scarborough. "It takes each one of us and our individual expertise to effectively measure how well these early urban and rural communities adapted to climate change and managed their water resources." "We still have to deal with those same issues in our environment today. From an archaeological perspective, our changing climate is immediate, but it may be several years before the damage is fully apparent at a truly global scale," Scarborough adds. "We will begin to see sea levels rise by a good meter. Because over two-thirds of the largest cities on the planet occupy coastal margins, with estimates suggesting that an anticipated 80 percent of human population will gravitate toward urban settings in the near term, we really are approaching a truly 'perfect storm.'" While the researchers look at future water management as the direction of this research, they also focus on the constant changes to the landscape and the creatures that occupy these environments. Scarborough adds that If we are not careful, we will instigate even further change to a wide array of plant and animal species all over the world. "If you don't design for that appropriately, you can be building management networks and ways to capture and control water that will wind up getting buried like the build-up behind modern dams, or plans can get abandoned altogether as a river changes," say Scarborough and Jon-Paul McCool, UC doctoral student under Dunning's mentorship. "How past populations dealt with variable precipitation like that identified at Tikal, Chaco Wash or drainage patterns overall has been very dynamic. Such investments in building massive dam projects today is a costly expenditure of money and time that might well benefit from views of the past. "We don't want to waste that money on high-priced water infrastructure if we can engage in smaller scale, lower investment strategies like our ancestors did."


News Article | April 27, 2017
Site: www.futurity.org

Reminders of death make people more likely to support killing animals, regardless of their existing attitudes about animal rights, according to new research. The research provides new insight into the psychology behind humans’ willingness to kill animals for a variety of reasons, and could also potentially help scientists better understand the psychological motivations behind the murder and genocide of humans, says lead researcher Uri Lifshin, a doctoral student in the University of Arizona’s psychology department. Lifshin and his colleagues conducted a series of experiments based on their existing work on terror management theory—the idea that humans’ awareness of their own mortality is a strong motivator for behaviors that may help quell the fear of death. During the experiments, half of participants were presented with a subliminal or subtle “death prime;” either they saw the word “dead” flash briefly on a computer screen or they saw an image of a T-shirt featuring a skull made up of several iterations of the word “death.” The other half of participants—the controls—instead saw the word “pain” or “fail” flash across the screen, or they saw an image of a plain T-shirt. Study participants then rated how much they agree with a series of statements about killing animals, such as, “It is often necessary to control for animal overpopulation through different means, such as hunting or euthanasia,” or, “An experiment should never cause the killing of animals.” The researchers avoided asking questions about some of the more broadly accepted justifications for killing animals, like doing so for food. In all experiments, those who received the death prime were more likely to support killing animals. Prior to the start of experiments, participants were asked to report their feelings about animal rights. Surprisingly, it didn’t matter if people self-identified as supporters of animal rights. While those individuals were overall less likely than others to support killing animals, the death prime still had the same effect on them. “If you’re an animal lover or if you care about animals rights, then overall, yes, you are going to support the killing of animals much less; however when you’re reminded of death you’re still going to be a little bit more reactive,” Lifshin says. It’s worth noting that the study did not include overt animal rights activists, who might be affected differently. Additional research is needed for that population, Lifshin says. Gender also didn’t change the effect of the death prime. Consistent with existing literature, male participants were generally more likely than females to support killing animals, but the death prime affected men and women the same way. A paper on the work appears in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. The coauthors base their findings on psychology’s terror management theory, which comes from anthropologist Ernest Becker’s 1974 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Denial of Death. The theory posits that humans use self-esteem as a buffer against fear of death. In a previous study, Lifshin and his colleagues showed that when people who enjoy playing basketball are reminded of their mortality, they improve their performance on the basketball court, and thereby their self-esteem, to manage their fear of death. In the animal study, researchers think death-primed participants supported killing animals more because it provided them with a sense of power or superiority over animals that indirectly helped them fend off fear of mortality, Lifshin says. This all happens subconsciously. “Sometimes, our self-esteem depends on the idea that we are special and not just sacks of meat. We want to feel powerful, immortal—not like an animal,” says Lifshin, a proud pet owner whose own love of animals is, in part, what drove him to study why anyone would do them harm. To further test the terror management connection, Lifshin and his colleagues designed one of their experiments to look at whether giving participants an alternative self-esteem boost would change the effect of the death prime. Before each of the experiments conducted by Lifshin and his colleagues, participants were told a cover story to conceal the researchers’ actual aim. In the self-esteem boost experiment, participants heard they were taking part in a word relationship study, and were asked to identify whether pairs of word on a computer screen were related. During the course of the experiment, the word “dead” appeared on the screen for 30 milliseconds to some participants. When the experimenters praised those who had seen the death prime—telling them: “Oh wow, I’m not sure I’ve seen a score this high on this task, this is really good”—the effect of the death prime was eliminated when participants went on to answer the questions about killing animals. In other words, seeing the death prime did not make participants more supportive of killing animals if they subsequently received a self-esteem boost from a different source. “We didn’t find that people’s general state of self-esteem made a difference; it was this self-esteem boost,” Lifshin says. “Once your self-esteem is secured, you no longer need to satisfy the need for terror management by killing animals.” Those who saw the death prime and were given neutral feedback from the experimenters (“OK you did good, just as well as most people do on this task”) still supported killing animals more. The neutral feedback did not change the effect of the death prime. When researchers asked participants to rate statements about killing humans under various conditions, the death prime did not have the same effect; those who saw the death prime were not more likely to support killing humans. Even so, the research could still have important implications for the study of the psychology behind murder and genocide of humans who fall into outgroups because of their race, religion, or other characteristics, since those individuals tend to be dehumanized by those who would do them harm, Lifshin says. “We dehumanize our enemies when there is genocide. There is research in social psychology showing that if you go to places where genocide is happening and you ask the people who are doing the killing to try to explain, they’ll often say things like, ‘Oh, they’re cockroaches, they’re rats, we just have to kill them all,'” Lifshin says. “So if we ever want to really understand how to reduce or fight human-to-human genocide, we have to understand our killing of animals.”


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 19, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

The Earth will make it past Wednesday despite an asteroid flyby expected about 1.1 million miles out. Asteroid 2014 JO25 was discovered in 2014 through NASA's Near Earth Observations Program in collaboration with the University of Arizona. It's estimated to be about 2,000 feet and highly reflective making it easy to spot, with a telescope. It will be back lit though, coming from the direction of the Sun. After the Wednesday the asteroid will be visible in the night sky with small optical telescopes for a night or two, says NASA. While smaller asteroids come this close to Earth regularly this is the largest to pass at this distance since the Toutatis asteroid in 2004. We're safe from the asteroid, but some people jokingly wished we weren't. Others were saying it didn't need to destroy Earth. Others were hoping for an unlikely outcome. People may get their wish in 2027 when the asteroid 1999 AN10 will fly by at just 236,000 miles, says NASA.


News Article | May 3, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Of the hundreds of people who die trying to cross into the U.S. from Mexico each year, those with indigenous backgrounds are less likely to be identified than those with more European ancestry, a new analysis reveals. The research, reported in the journal American Anthropologist, focused on DNA from individuals found dead in the Arizona desert and transported to the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner in Tucson, where efforts are made to identify the individuals and return them to living relatives. The researchers looked at highly variable regions of DNA, called short tandem repeats, that are traditionally used in forensics to identify individuals, "much like a fingerprint," said University of Illinois anthropology professor Cris Hughes, who led the new analysis. "Forensic DNA analysis can help identify individuals by matching their genetic profiles with their family members', but my colleagues and I have shown in previous work that forensic genetic markers also can reveal information on a person's ancestral makeup," said Stanford University biology professor Bridget Albee-Hewitt, a co-author on the study. Such DNA technologies have not always been available, but PCOME forensic anthropologists, including Bruce Anderson, a co-author on the new study, have kept samples of bones from unidentified bodies found on the border since the 1970s, making it possible for researchers to return to those cases while also working on newer ones. The team used the DNA to analyze the ancestry of migrants who had died along the border, comparing those who had been identified with those who had not. That analysis revealed that people with more European ancestry were more likely to be identified than those with indigenous roots. This is not the result of discrimination on the part of the investigators, Hughes said. The problem lay elsewhere - likely in the system by which authorities obtain the information they need to connect someone who died on the border with surviving family members, she said. Once DNA is obtained from a body, matching it to a family requires that family to interact with authorities and offer up samples of their own DNA. This is where disparities begin to emerge between people from northern and southern Mexico, the researchers found. "In Mexico, indigenous populations are concentrated in southern states, and poverty is more prevalent in the south," Hughes said. "There is a deep distrust between indigenous peoples in Mexico and their government, founded on a history of oppression by those in power. "Interacting with U.S. and/or Mexican government institutions can be daunting for these families," Hughes said. "They may be undocumented themselves and uneasy about contact with any government agency. While most migrants experience these vulnerabilities, those with more indigenous ancestry seem even less inclined to come forward." A possible solution to the problem involves nongovernmental organizations that can function as bridges between people searching for missing loved ones and authorities who are working to identify the dead, said University of Arizona anthropology professor Robin Reineke, a co-author on the study. "The importance of community organizations, nongovernmental groups and intergovernmental efforts cannot be overestimated in the context of border disappearances," Reineke said. "Innovative projects, such as those done by the Colibrí Center for Human Rights or the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team, take a humanitarian approach to the process of reporting and investigating these cases. Such efforts are critical during a time when so many families of the missing face the very same threats - poverty, racism, exclusion and violence - that caused their loved ones to migrate in the first place." Reineke is a co-founder and executive director of the Colibrí Center for Human Rights in Tucson. The paper "Temporal patterns of Mexican migrant genetic ancestry: implications for identification" is available online and from the U. of I. News Bureau. DOI: 10.1111/aman.12845


News Article | April 13, 2017
Site: www.theguardian.com

Take a nighttime drive into Arizona Sky Village, in a remote valley in south-east Arizona, and the only thing you can see clearly are the millions of stars twinkling overhead. Beyond the light show, the sky is a deep inky black, and the ground below is nothing but shadows. Dimmed car headlights might pick up spooked jackrabbits hopping through the desert brush, but the village’s unlit houses are all but invisible in the darkness. That’s the way the residents of this astronomy-loving community like it. The less light, the better their view of the universe. There’s only one rule here, says Jack Newton, co-founder of the village: “Turn off your goddamned lights.” Arizona Sky Village is home to a quirky community of stargazers. Shielded by the nearby Chiricahua mountains from urban sky glow – scientists’ poetic name for light pollution – nearly every house in the rural 450-acre development has its own domed observatory, complete with an array of telescopes. Outdoor lights are strictly forbidden; blackout shades are required in every window of every house; and nighttime driving is discouraged. Most residents don’t want to be bothered with driving at night anyway: they’re too busy scanning the skies. “This is what we do,” villager Frank Gilliland says cheerfully one starry night as he peers through the community’s biggest telescope, a 24-incher belonging to neighbor Rick Beno. At the moment, the scope is aimed at the Milky Way through an open hatch in the dome of Beno’s personal observatory, giving Gilliland a crystal-clear view of the Orion nebula, a remarkable 1,344 light years away. The powerful instrument, Beno allows, is something a “small college would be pretty darn proud of”. While Gilliland, a retired highway engineer, stands at the college-worthy scope, Beno is glued to a computer screen. A former software engineer, Beno likes to look at the heavens through a monitor that captures images of the stars in real time. “We all love astronomy,” Beno says. “But we all do it differently.” Beno and Gilliland are just two of several dozen astronomy aficionados spending a good chunk of their retirement holed up in expensive desert domes, their eyes trained on the far reaches of the universe. Co-founder Newton, just shy of 75 years old, estimates he spends “90% of my time up in my dome”. The work and the hours have paid off. “I’ve got three supernova discoveries just this year,” Newton boasts, and in honor of his widely published deep sky photos, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) named an asteroid after him and his wife, Alice: 30840 Jackalice. “There’s a problem with ‘Newton’,” Alice says with a grin: too many celestial bodies already named for the Newton known as Isaac. Most of the Sky Villagers had technical or scientific careers – Dr Fred Espenak, a bona fide astronomy pro, is a retired Nasa astrophysicist known as Mr Eclipse – but Newton spent his working life managing department stores in his native Canada. He always made time for the sky though, rambling miles into the countryside outside his hometown of Victoria. “He had a 25-inch telescope on a trailer,” Alice Newton says. “He hooked it up and hauled it out and had adventures in the middle of the night.” When Jack retired, the Newtons wanted a break from rainy Victoria and its murky skies. After a first retirement stop at a sky village in Florida, Newton and development partner Gene Turner came out to Arizona to scout dark places. The isolated stretch of treeless desert they found outside Portal was perfect: it was sparsely populated, 150 miles distant from Tucson, the nearest city, and velvety black at night. Now some 21 households live there peaceably under Newton’s Law: they cover up their windows and they turn off the goddam lights. Jack got exactly what he wanted. “Here,” he says, “we get 300 clear nights a year.” The world could use a few more Jack Newtons. Outside protected environs like Arizona Sky Village, light pollution has infected the industrialized world. In the US, some 99% of Americans live with perpetual sky glow, losing what the American Astronomical Society considers a universal right to starlight. In Arizona, “light pollution is a very serious concern”, says astronomer Dr Lori Allen, director of the Kitt Peak national observatory, some 56 miles west of Tucson. No fewer than 28 professional observatories operating on mountaintops around the state – run by the University of Arizona, the federal National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) and even the Vatican, whose observatory is staffed by Jesuits. High mountains, dry climate and clear skies have made the state a hotbed for sky science at least since the early days of the last century. Pluto – now unceremoniously booted from the planet canon – was discovered in 1930 by one Clyde Tombaugh, working out of Lowell Observatory in the northern Arizona town of Flagstaff, elevation 6,909ft. In 1958 the city, proud of that heritage, banned searchlights, then an up-and-coming outdoor advertising tool. “It’s the first law in the world that we know of for protection of the night sky,” says Dr John Barantine, an astronomer with the International Dark Sky Association (IDA), a nonprofit dedicated to making the night skies dark again. “Searchlights were popular then and the city looked at them as a threat to the observatory.” Even Arizona’s state government – not known for progressive policies – has restricted electronic billboards. The flashy placards are allowed only in several designated sites at least 75 miles from the venerated Grand Canyon and from the Kitt Peak and Mt Lemmon observatories. In 2012, the then governor Jan Brewer vetoed a 2012 attempt to light up more of the state’s highways with dancing electronic videos, declaring that she refused to put astronomy in jeopardy. As she noted, the industry contributes $250m annually to Arizona’s economy and employs more than 3,300 people. Kitt Peak national observatory, nestled on a picturesque 6,880ft mountain on the Tohono O’odham reservation, has benefited from the laws. Endowed with an array of multi-meter telescopes that Rick Beno might envy, the observatory is poised to embark on research that could change everything we know about deep space. The US Department of Energy is spending $60m on equipment for a “five-year survey to make the most detailed and accurate 3D map of the universe”, says Allen, the Kitt Peak director. “We still have a dark sky. But if we allow the sky to get brighter we will no longer attract those kinds of projects. “There are three simple things people can do” to help, she adds. “Shield their lights, dim their lights and use the right color bulbs.” If people don’t care about astronomy, they might care about the health implications of light pollution. Cellphone and laptop users have already learned that their devices’ blue light leads to insomnia – the light is telling them that the sun is up. And medical research is starting to point to more dire health effects. The evidence is not yet conclusive, Barantine says, but studies suggest that shifting the body’s natural light-dark rhythms may raise the risks of diabetes, obesity and even cancer. So far, Barentine says, “we’re not there yet in convincing people” to curb their lights. But in Arizona Sky Village, he adds wistfully, “the people are already practicing what we recommend”.


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

Sometimes it takes a lot of trees to see the forest. In the case of the latest discovery made by astronomers at the University of Arizona, exactly 732,225. Except that in this case, the "forest" is a veil of diffuse hydrogen gas enshrouding the Milky Way, and each "tree" is another galaxy observed with the 2.5-meter telescope of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. After combining this staggering number of spectra -- recorded patterns of wavelengths revealing clues about the nature of a cosmic target -- UA astronomers Huanian Zhang and Dennis Zaritsky report the first detections of diffuse hydrogen wafting about in a vast halo surrounding the Milky Way. Such a halo had been postulated based on what astronomers knew about other galaxies, but never directly observed. Astronomers have long known that the most prominent features of a typical spiral galaxy such as our Milky Way -- a central bulge surrounded by a disk and spiral arms -- account only for the lesser part of its mass. The bulk of the missing mass is suspected to lie in so-called dark matter, a postulated but not yet directly observed form of matter believed to account for the majority of matter in the universe. Dark matter emits no electromagnetic radiation of any kind, nor does it interact with "normal" matter (which astronomers call baryonic matter), and is therefore invisible and undetectable through direct imaging. The dark matter of a typical galaxy is thought to reside in a more or less spherical halo that extends 10 to 30 times farther out than the distance between the center of our galaxy and the sun, according to Zaritsky, a professor in the UA's Department of Astronomy and deputy director of the UA's Steward Observatory. "We infer its existence through dynamical simulations of galaxies," Zaritsky explains. "And because the ratio of normal matter to dark matter is now very well known, for example from measuring the cosmic microwave background, we have a pretty good idea of how much baryonic matter should be in the halo. But when we add all the things we can see with our instruments, we get only about half of what we expect, so there has to be a lot of baryonic matter waiting to be detected." By combining such a large number of spectra, Zaritsky and Zhang, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Astronomy/Steward Observatory, covered a large portion of space surrounding the Milky Way and found that diffuse hydrogen gas engulfs the entire galaxy, which would account for a large part of the galaxy's baryonic mass. "It's like peering through a veil," Zaritsky said. "We see diffuse hydrogen in every direction we look." He pointed out that this is not the first time gas has been detected in halos around galaxies, but in those instances, the hydrogen is in a different physical state. "There are cloudlets of hydrogen in the galaxy halo, which we have known about for a long time, called high-velocity clouds," Zaritsky said. "Those have been detected through radio observations, and they're really clouds -- you see an edge, and they're moving. But the total mass of those is small, so they couldn't be the dominant form of hydrogen in the halo." Since observing our own galaxy is a bit like trying to see what an unfamiliar house looks like while being confined to a room inside, astronomers rely on computer simulations and observations of other galaxies to get an idea of what the Milky Way might look like to an alien observer millions of light-years away. For their study, scheduled for advance online publication on Nature Astronomy's website on Apr. 18, the researchers sifted through the public databases of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and looked for spectra taken by other scientists of galaxies outside our Milky Way in a narrow spectral line called hydrogen alpha. Seeing this line in a spectrum tells of the presence of a particular state of hydrogen that is different from the vast majority of hydrogen found in the universe. Unlike on Earth, where hydrogen occurs as a gas consisting of molecules of two hydrogen atoms bound together, hydrogen exists as single atoms in outer space, and those can be positively or negatively charged, or neutral. Neutral hydrogen constitutes a small minority compared to its ionized (positive) form, which constitutes more than 99.99 percent of the gas spanning the intergalactic gulfs of the universe. Unless neutral hydrogen atoms are being energized by something, they are extremely difficult to detect and therefore remain invisible to most observational approaches, which is why their presence in the Milky Way's halo had eluded astronomers until now. Even in other galaxies, halos are difficult to pin down. "You don't just see a pretty picture of a halo around a galaxy," Zaritsky said. "We infer the presence of galactic halos from numerical simulations of galaxies and from what we know about how they form and interact." Zaritsky explained that based on those simulations, scientists would have predicted the presence of large amounts of hydrogen gas stretching far out from the center of the Milky Way, but remaining associated with the galaxy, and the data collected in this study confirm the presence of just that. "The gas we detected is not doing anything very noticeable," he said. "It is not spinning so rapidly as to indicate that it's in the process of being flung out of the galaxy, and it does not appear to be falling inwards toward the galactic center, either." One of the challenges in this study was to know whether the observed hydrogen was indeed in a halo outside the Milky Way, and not just part of the galactic disk itself, Zaritsky said. "When you see things everywhere, they could be very close to us, or they could be very far away," he said. "You don't know." The answer to this question, too, was in the "trees," the more than 700,000 spectral analyses scattered across the galaxy. If the hydrogen gas were confined to the disk of the galaxy, our solar system would be expected to "float" inside of it like a ship in a slowly churning maelstrom, orbiting the galactic center. And just like the ship drifting with the current, very little relative movement would be expected between our solar system and the ocean of hydrogen. If, on the other hand, it surrounded the spinning galaxy in a more or less stationary halo, the researchers expected that wherever they looked, they should find a predictable pattern of relative motion with respect to our solar system. "Indeed, in one direction, we see the gas coming toward us, and the opposite direction, we see it moving away from us," Zaritsky said. "This tells us that the gas is not in the disk of our galaxy, but has to be out in the halo." Next, the researchers want to look at even more spectra to better constrain the distribution around the sky and the motions of the gas in the halo. They also plan to search for other spectral lines, which may help better understand the physical state such as temperature and density of the gas.


News Article | April 24, 2017
Site: www.futurity.org

Observing 732,225 galaxies with the 2.5-meter telescope of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey has revealed the veil of diffuse hydrogen gas enshrouding the Milky Way. After combining this staggering number of spectra—recorded patterns of wavelengths revealing clues about the nature of a cosmic target—astronomers Huanian Zhang and Dennis Zaritsky report the first detections of diffuse hydrogen wafting about in a vast halo surrounding the Milky Way. Such a halo had been postulated based on what astronomers knew about other galaxies, but never directly observed. “It’s like peering through a veil. We see diffuse hydrogen in every direction we look.” Astronomers have long known that the most prominent features of a typical spiral galaxy such as our Milky Way—a central bulge surrounded by a disk and spiral arms—account only for the lesser part of its mass. The bulk of the missing mass is suspected to lie in so-called dark matter, a postulated but not yet directly observed form of matter believed to account for the majority of matter in the universe. Dark matter emits no electromagnetic radiation of any kind, nor does it interact with “normal” matter (which astronomers call baryonic matter), and is therefore invisible and undetectable through direct imaging. The dark matter of a typical galaxy is thought to reside in a more or less spherical halo that extends 10 to 30 times farther out than the distance between the center of our galaxy and the sun, according to Zaritsky, a professor in the the University of Arizona’s astronomy department and deputy director of its Steward Observatory. “We infer its existence through dynamical simulations of galaxies,” Zaritsky explains. “And because the ratio of normal matter to dark matter is now very well known, for example from measuring the cosmic microwave background, we have a pretty good idea of how much baryonic matter should be in the halo. But when we add all the things we can see with our instruments, we get only about half of what we expect, so there has to be a lot of baryonic matter waiting to be detected.” By combining such a large number of spectra, Zaritsky and Zhang, a postdoctoral fellow in the department of astronomy/Steward Observatory, covered a large portion of space surrounding the Milky Way and found that diffuse hydrogen gas engulfs the entire galaxy, which would account for a large part of the galaxy’s baryonic mass. “It’s like peering through a veil,” Zaritsky says. “We see diffuse hydrogen in every direction we look.” He points out that this is not the first time gas has been detected in halos around galaxies, but in those instances, the hydrogen is in a different physical state. “There are cloudlets of hydrogen in the galaxy halo, which we have known about for a long time, called high-velocity clouds,” Zaritsky says. “Those have been detected through radio observations, and they’re really clouds—you see an edge, and they’re moving. But the total mass of those is small, so they couldn’t be the dominant form of hydrogen in the halo.” How aliens would see us Since observing our own galaxy is a bit like trying to see what an unfamiliar house looks like while being confined to a room inside, astronomers rely on computer simulations and observations of other galaxies to get an idea of what the Milky Way might look like to an alien observer millions of light-years away. Milky Way is full of wandering stars For their study, published in the journal Nature Astronomy, the researchers sifted through the public databases of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and looked for spectra taken by other scientists of galaxies outside our Milky Way in a narrow spectral line called hydrogen alpha. Seeing this line in a spectrum tells of the presence of a particular state of hydrogen that is different from the vast majority of hydrogen found in the universe. Unlike on Earth, where hydrogen occurs as a gas consisting of molecules of two hydrogen atoms bound together, hydrogen exists as single atoms in outer space, and those can be positively or negatively charged, or neutral. Neutral hydrogen constitutes a small minority compared to its ionized (positive) form, which constitutes more than 99.99 percent of the gas spanning the intergalactic gulfs of the universe. Unless neutral hydrogen atoms are being energized by something, they are extremely difficult to detect and therefore remain invisible to most observational approaches, which is why their presence in the Milky Way’s halo had eluded astronomers until now. Even in other galaxies, halos are difficult to pin down. “You don’t just see a pretty picture of a halo around a galaxy,” Zaritsky says. “We infer the presence of galactic halos from numerical simulations of galaxies and from what we know about how they form and interact.” Zaritsky explains that based on those simulations, scientists would have predicted the presence of large amounts of hydrogen gas stretching far out from the center of the Milky Way, but remaining associated with the galaxy, and the data collected in this study confirm the presence of just that. “The gas we detected is not doing anything very noticeable,” he says. “It is not spinning so rapidly as to indicate that it’s in the process of being flung out of the galaxy, and it does not appear to be falling inwards toward the galactic center, either.” Outside the disk One of the challenges in this study was to know whether the observed hydrogen was indeed in a halo outside the Milky Way, and not just part of the galactic disk itself, Zaritsky says. “When you see things everywhere, they could be very close to us, or they could be very far away,” he says. “You don’t know.” The answer to this question, too, was in the more than 700,000 spectral analyses scattered across the galaxy. If the hydrogen gas were confined to the disk of the galaxy, our solar system would be expected to “float” inside of it like a ship in a slowly churning maelstrom, orbiting the galactic center. And just like the ship drifting with the current, very little relative movement would be expected between our solar system and the ocean of hydrogen. Did hydrogen make rivers flow on Mars? If, on the other hand, it surrounded the spinning galaxy in a more or less stationary halo, the researchers expected that wherever they looked, they should find a predictable pattern of relative motion with respect to our solar system. “Indeed, in one direction, we see the gas coming toward us, and the opposite direction, we see it moving away from us,” Zaritsky says. “This tells us that the gas is not in the disk of our galaxy, but has to be out in the halo.” Next, the researchers want to look at even more spectra to better constrain the distribution around the sky and the motions of the gas in the halo. They also plan to search for other spectral lines, which may help better understand the physical state such as temperature and density of the gas. Source: University of Arizona The post Vast halo of hydrogen surrounds Milky Way appeared first on Futurity.


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.


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

Sometimes it takes a lot of trees to see the forest. In the case of the latest discovery made by astronomers at the University of Arizona, exactly 732,225. Except that in this case, the "forest" is a veil of diffuse hydrogen gas enshrouding the Milky Way, and each "tree" is another galaxy observed with the 2.5-meter telescope of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. After combining this staggering number of spectra -- recorded patterns of wavelengths revealing clues about the nature of a cosmic target -- UA astronomers Huanian Zhang and Dennis Zaritsky report the first detections of diffuse hydrogen wafting about in a vast halo surrounding the Milky Way. Such a halo had been postulated based on what astronomers knew about other galaxies, but never directly observed. Astronomers have long known that the most prominent features of a typical spiral galaxy such as our Milky Way -- a central bulge surrounded by a disk and spiral arms -- account only for the lesser part of its mass. The bulk of the missing mass is suspected to lie in so-called dark matter, a postulated but not yet directly observed form of matter believed to account for the majority of matter in the universe. Dark matter emits no electromagnetic radiation of any kind, nor does it interact with "normal" matter (which astronomers call baryonic matter), and is therefore invisible and undetectable through direct imaging. The dark matter of a typical galaxy is thought to reside in a more or less spherical halo that extends 10 to 30 times farther out than the distance between the center of our galaxy and the sun, according to Zaritsky, a professor in the UA's Department of Astronomy and deputy director of the UA's Steward Observatory. "We infer its existence through dynamical simulations of galaxies," Zaritsky explains. "And because the ratio of normal matter to dark matter is now very well known, for example from measuring the cosmic microwave background, we have a pretty good idea of how much baryonic matter should be in the halo. But when we add all the things we can see with our instruments, we get only about half of what we expect, so there has to be a lot of baryonic matter waiting to be detected." By combining such a large number of spectra, Zaritsky and Zhang, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Astronomy/Steward Observatory, covered a large portion of space surrounding the Milky Way and found that diffuse hydrogen gas engulfs the entire galaxy, which would account for a large part of the galaxy's baryonic mass. "It's like peering through a veil," Zaritsky said. "We see diffuse hydrogen in every direction we look." He pointed out that this is not the first time gas has been detected in halos around galaxies, but in those instances, the hydrogen is in a different physical state. "There are cloudlets of hydrogen in the galaxy halo, which we have known about for a long time, called high-velocity clouds," Zaritsky said. "Those have been detected through radio observations, and they're really clouds -- you see an edge, and they're moving. But the total mass of those is small, so they couldn't be the dominant form of hydrogen in the halo." Since observing our own galaxy is a bit like trying to see what an unfamiliar house looks like while being confined to a room inside, astronomers rely on computer simulations and observations of other galaxies to get an idea of what the Milky Way might look like to an alien observer millions of light-years away. For their study, scheduled for advance online publication on Nature Astronomy's website on Apr. 18, the researchers sifted through the public databases of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and looked for spectra taken by other scientists of galaxies outside our Milky Way in a narrow spectral line called hydrogen alpha. Seeing this line in a spectrum tells of the presence of a particular state of hydrogen that is different from the vast majority of hydrogen found in the universe. Unlike on Earth, where hydrogen occurs as a gas consisting of molecules of two hydrogen atoms bound together, hydrogen exists as single atoms in outer space, and those can be positively or negatively charged, or neutral. Neutral hydrogen constitutes a small minority compared to its ionized (positive) form, which constitutes more than 99.99 percent of the gas spanning the intergalactic gulfs of the universe. Unless neutral hydrogen atoms are being energized by something, they are extremely difficult to detect and therefore remain invisible to most observational approaches, which is why their presence in the Milky Way's halo had eluded astronomers until now. Even in other galaxies, halos are difficult to pin down. "You don't just see a pretty picture of a halo around a galaxy," Zaritsky said. "We infer the presence of galactic halos from numerical simulations of galaxies and from what we know about how they form and interact." Zaritsky explained that based on those simulations, scientists would have predicted the presence of large amounts of hydrogen gas stretching far out from the center of the Milky Way, but remaining associated with the galaxy, and the data collected in this study confirm the presence of just that. "The gas we detected is not doing anything very noticeable," he said. "It is not spinning so rapidly as to indicate that it's in the process of being flung out of the galaxy, and it does not appear to be falling inwards toward the galactic center, either." One of the challenges in this study was to know whether the observed hydrogen was indeed in a halo outside the Milky Way, and not just part of the galactic disk itself, Zaritsky said. "When you see things everywhere, they could be very close to us, or they could be very far away," he said. "You don't know." The answer to this question, too, was in the "trees," the more than 700,000 spectral analyses scattered across the galaxy. If the hydrogen gas were confined to the disk of the galaxy, our solar system would be expected to "float" inside of it like a ship in a slowly churning maelstrom, orbiting the galactic center. And just like the ship drifting with the current, very little relative movement would be expected between our solar system and the ocean of hydrogen. If, on the other hand, it surrounded the spinning galaxy in a more or less stationary halo, the researchers expected that wherever they looked, they should find a predictable pattern of relative motion with respect to our solar system. "Indeed, in one direction, we see the gas coming toward us, and the opposite direction, we see it moving away from us," Zaritsky said. "This tells us that the gas is not in the disk of our galaxy, but has to be out in the halo." Next, the researchers want to look at even more spectra to better constrain the distribution around the sky and the motions of the gas in the halo. They also plan to search for other spectral lines, which may help better understand the physical state such as temperature and density of the gas.


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

XI'AN, China--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Forbes announced its list of “Forbes 30 under 30 Asia” of 2017, the annual ranking of Asia’s brightest young entrepreneurs, innovators and game changers. Yeahmobi CEO Xiaowu Zou is named in the list, based on his outstanding performance on entrepreneurship. Forbes sifted through thousands of nominations and then convened a panel of judges – from Kaifu Lee and Jean Liu to Jimmy Choo and Sonny Bill Williams to bring out the list. The Asian list is a continuation of the global expansion of the Forbes 30 under 30 franchise – a franchise that includes alumni such as Palmer Luckey from Oculus, Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy from Snapchat, basketball superstar LeBron James and K-pop star G-Dragon. Forbes’s announcement remarked Zou’s outstanding performance managing Chinese marketing company Yeahmobi. The company reported a profit of $13 million on revenues of $93 million last year. Throughout the process of startup, Zou holds on to one opinion: to find the thing he truly loves. As the now 29-year-old entrepreneur said in an interview, startup is a long and arduous paths, with numerous setbacks and obstacles awaiting. The weapon used to conquer the route is to be clear that what you do is what you truly love to do. Zou claims he made through the difficult path bearing in mind that marketing and connecting good products with potential users is where his true passion lies on. Like many young Chinese students, after obtaining Bachelor’s degree from the University of Science and Technology Beijing, Zou chose to seek further education abroad. He went to the University of Arizona and obtained Master’s degree there. During his studies abroad, Zou started the business specialized in marketing, monetizing traffic of his blog. He soon accumulated his first bucket of gold, and went back China to found his overseas marketing company Yeahmobi with several friends. Now Yeahmobi grows to a world’s leading mobile advertising platform designated to help mobile technology companies, app developers and e-commerce platforms to acquire active users, monetize inventory and reach rapid growth in new markets. The company also won “best mobile ad service” and “mobile champion of China channel partner” titles from Google, and on mobile marketing analytics platform AppsFlyer’s performance index, ranked 12th among global counterparts.


Patent
University of Arizona | Date: 2015-05-21

The present invention provides methods for cellular seeding onto three-dimensional fibroblast constructs, three-dimensional fibroblast constructs seeded with muscle cells, and uses therefore.


Patent
University of Arizona | Date: 2014-10-08

Disclosed herein are contractile cell constructs comprising contractile cells, or progenitors thereof, adhered to a surface of a three dimensional fibroblast containing scaffold (3DFCS) and methods for using them to treat disease. In one aspect, the present invention provides methods for preparing a contractile construct, comprising (a) seeding immature contractile cells onto the surface of a three dimensional fibroblast containing scaffold (3DFCS) to produce a contractile construct; and (b) culturing the contractile construct under conditions to promote differentiation of the immature contractile cells into mature contractile cells, wherein the mature contractile cells form striations. In a further aspect, the invention provides methods for treating a disorder characterized by a lack of functioning contractile cells, comprising contacting a patient with a contractile cell-based disorder with an amount effective to treat the disorder with the construct of any embodiment or combination of embodiments of the invention.


Patent
The United States Of America, University of Arizona, University of London, University of Nebraska - Lincoln, University of Oslo, University of Oregon, University of Rochester, Hospital Clinic Of Barcelona, University of Barcelona, British Columbia Cancer Agency Branch and University of Würzburg | Date: 2014-11-13

The invention provides methods and materials related to a gene expression-based survival predictor for DLBCL patients.


Patent
The United States Of America, University of Nebraska - Lincoln, University of Rochester, University of Arizona, University of Barcelona, University of London, University of Würzburg, British Columbia Cancer Agency Branch, University of Oslo and Fundacio Clinic | Date: 2012-03-01

Gene expression data provides a basis for more accurate identification and diagnosis of lymphoproliferative disorders. In addition, gene expression data can be used to develop more accurate predictors of survival. The present invention discloses methods for identifying, diagnosing, and predicting survival in a lymphoma or lymphoproliferative disorder on the basis of gene expression patterns. The invention discloses a novel microarray, the Lymph Dx microarray, for obtaining gene expression data from a lymphoma sample. The invention also discloses a variety of methods for utilizing lymphoma gene expression data to determine the identity of a particular lymphoma and to predict survival in a subject diagnosed with a particular lymphoma. This information will be useful in developing the therapeutic approach to be used with a particular subject.

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