Lincoln, NE, United States
Lincoln, NE, United States

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln is a public research university located in Lincoln, Nebraska, United States. It is the state's oldest and largest university and the flagship university of the University of Nebraska system.The university was chartered by the legislature in 1869 as a land-grant university under the 1862 Morrill Act, two years after Nebraska's statehood into the United States. Around the turn of the 20th century, the university began to expand significantly, hiring professors from eastern schools to teach in the newly organized professional colleges while also producing groundbreaking research in agricultural science. The "Nebraska method" of ecological study developed here during this time, which pioneered grassland ecology and laid the foundation for research in theoretical ecology for the rest of the 20th century. The university is organized into eight colleges, located on two campuses in Lincoln with over 100 classroom buildings and research facilities.Its athletic program, called the Cornhuskers, is a member of the Big Ten Conference. The Nebraska football team has won a total of 46 conference championships, and since 1970, five national championships. The women's volleyball team has won three national championships along with eight other appearances in the Final Four. The Husker football team plays its home games at Memorial Stadium, selling out every game since 1962. The stadium's current capacity is about 92,000 people, larger than the population of Nebraska's third-largest city. Wikipedia.


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Patent
University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Date: 2015-01-21

A gastrointestinal (GI) sensor deployment device is disclosed. In implementations, the sensor deployment device includes an orally-administrable capsule with a tissue capture device removably coupled to the orally-administrable capsule. The tissue capture device includes a plurality of fasteners for connecting the tissue capture device to GI tissue within a body. A biometric sensor is coupled to the tissue capture device for continuous or periodic monitoring of the GI tract of the body at the GI tissue attachment location. A chamber within the orally-administrable capsule is configured to draw gastrointestinal tissue towards the plurality of fasteners when a fluid pressure of the chamber is increased. An actuator can be configured to cause an increase of the fluid pressure of the chamber. Control circuitry coupled to the actuator can be configured to trigger the actuator to cause the increase of the fluid pressure of the chamber at a selected time.


Patent
Vireo Systems Inc. and University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Date: 2016-11-07

The present invention is directed to an oral supplement including creatine hydrochloride, which has an aqueous solubility that is at least 15 times greater than creatine monohydrate, where the oral supplement drives significant improvements in muscle development and recovery due to its enhanced bio-availability, while causing fewer negative side effects compared to previous forms of creatine.


Provided are materials and methods for the prevention and treatment of Juvenile Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis comprising administration of an effective amount of at least one of a hemi-channel inhibitor or a phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitor. In some embodiments, the methods comprise administration of an effective amount of each of a hemi-channel inhibitor and a phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitor. Also provided are pharmaceutical compositions comprising a hemi-channel inhibitor or a phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitor, as well as kits comprising at least one effective dose of a hemi-channel inhibitor or a phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitor or a combination of both.


Patent
University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Date: 2016-11-29

A photodetector includes an anode that is transparent or partially transparent to light, a cathode and an active layer disposed between the anode and the cathode. The active layer includes a nanocomposite material that has a polymer blended with nanoparticles or organic electron trapping particles. The photodetector has a low dark current when not illuminated by light and has a high conductivity when illuminated by light, in which the light passes the anode and is absorbed by the active layer. The active layer has a thickness selected such that the photodetector has a narrowband spectral response.


Wang H.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Qu L.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Qiao W.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Liu B.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln
IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics | Year: 2017

This paper introduces a voltage-controlled static magnetic device called magnetic flux valve. It is mainly used in a magnetic circuit to actively control the magnetic flux through the magnetic circuit. The magnetic flux valve has a laminated structure of two different types of layers made of a magnetostrictive material, e.g., amorphous alloy ribbon, and a piezoelectric material, e.g., piezoelectric sheet. The permeability of the magnetostrictive layers changes when an external control voltage applied to the piezoelectric layers changes, which is known as the converse magnetoelectric effect. A permeability change of the magnetic flux valve will lead to a change of the reluctance of the magnetic flux valve and the reluctance of the magnetic circuit containing the magnetic flux valve. As a consequence, the magnetic flux and/or its distribution in the magnetic circuit will change. There is a great potential to use the proposed magnetic flux valve to develop new equipment, such as tunable inductor and adjustable-voltage-ratio transformer for more flexible conversion and control of electric power in many applications. This paper presents the concept, magnetic properties, working principles, and applications of the magnetic flux valve. © 2016 IEEE.


Jenkins N.D.,Oklahoma State University | Cramer J.T.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society | Year: 2017

Objectives: To determine the test-retest reliability and minimum detectable change scores for seven common clinical measurements of muscle strength and physical function in a multiethnic sample of sarcopenic, malnourished men and women. Design: Each participant visited the laboratory seven times over 25 to 26 weeks. Reliability was assessed for each measurement from Familiarization 1 to Familiarization 2 (R1), Familiarization 2 to baseline testing (R2), Familiarization 3 to 12-week testing (R3), and Familiarization 4 to 24-week testing (R4). Setting: Data were collected during a clinical trial at 23 sites in the United States, Belgium, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Participants: Sarcopenic, malnourished, older adults (N = 257; n = 98 men aged 76.8 ± 6.3, n = 159 women aged 75.9 ± 6.6). Measurements: During each visit, participants completed the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPBB) and isometric handgrip and isokinetic leg extensor and flexor strength testing at a slow (1.05 rad/s) and fast (3.15 rad/s) velocity. Results: Handgrip strength, gait speed, SPPB score, and isokinetic leg extension and flexion peak torque (PT) had intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) that were significantly greater than 0 (all ≥0.59) at R1, R2, R3, and R4, although most of these variables demonstrated systematic increases at R1, and several exhibited systematic variability beyond the baseline testing session. Conclusion: The ICCs and standard errors of the measurement (SEMs) generally improved with familiarization, which emphasizes the need for at least one familiarization trial for these measurements in sarcopenic, malnourished older adults. A three tier-approach to interpreting the clinical importance of statistically significant results that includes null hypothesis testing, examination and interpretation of the effect magnitude, and comparison of individual changes with the SEM and minimum detectable change of the measurements used is recommended. © 2017 American Geriatrics Society and Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Revesz P.Z.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln
MATEC Web of Conferences | Year: 2016

The recent recovery of ancient DNA from a growing number of human samples shows that mitochondrial DNA haplogroup I was introduced to Europe after the end of the Last Glacial Maximum. This paper provides a spatio-temporal analysis of the various subhaplogroups of mitochondrial DNA I. The study suggests that haplogroup I diversified into haplogroups I1, I2'3, I4 and I5 at specific regions in Eurasia and then spread southward to Crete and Egypt. © 2016 The Authors, published by EDP Sciences.


Asarta C.J.,University of Delaware | Schmidt J.R.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Internet and Higher Education | Year: 2017

The performance of students in blended and traditional versions of a collegiate course is compared within the context of students' prior academic achievement. The blended version of the course used flipped and flexible instructional modes, in which only online lectures were available, class periods were used for complementary learning activities, and there was no punitive attendance policy. Significant differences in student performance between the blended and traditional versions were found within two of three zones of grade point averages. At low grade point averages, performance was higher in the traditional version of the course. At high grade point averages, performance was higher in the blended version. No significant difference was detected in the middle zone of grade point averages. Predictive models of student performance were also prepared for the two versions of the course. Partial effects from measures of prior academic achievement upon performance in the blended version were significantly different from partial effects provided by the same measures in the traditional version of the course. © 2016 Elsevier Inc.


Nickerson K.W.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Atkin A.L.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Molecular Microbiology | Year: 2017

Candida albicans excretes E,E-farnesol as a virulence factor and quorum sensing molecule that prevents the yeast to hyphal conversion. Polke et al. (2016) identified eed1Δ/Δ as the first farnesol hypersensitive mutant of C. albicans. eed1Δ/Δ also excretes 10X more farnesol and while able to form hyphae, it cannot maintain hyphae. This mutant enables new research into unanswered questions, including the existence of potential farnesol receptors and transporters, regulation of farnesol synthesis, and relationships among farnesol, germ tube formation and hyphal maintenance. The eed1 farnesol hypersensitivity can be explained by higher internal concentrations of farnesol or lower thresholds for response. One possibility invokes misexpression of a transporter. Saccharomyces cerevisiae and C. albicans have transporters for farnesylated peptides, like the a-factor pheromone, which could potentially also transport farnesol for virulence and quorum sensing. Significantly, these transporters are repressed in MTLa/MTLα C. albicans. An evolutionary pressure for C. albicans to become diploid could derive from its use of farnesol. Alternatively, maintenance of hyphal growth may increase the farnesol response threshold. Finally, Dpp1p, Dpp2p and Dpp3p are non-specific pyrophosphatases responsible for farnesol synthesis. Changes in expression of these enzymes do not explain differences in farnesol levels implicating involvement of additional factors like a scaffolding molecule. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd


Munier N.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Review of African Political Economy | Year: 2016

Why has Namibia, with a dependency on alluvial diamond wealth and location in sub-Saharan Africa, been able to comply with the Kimberley Process while other states in the region have not? The author's objective is to account for how domestic political economy can influence international agreements. He argues that diamond dependency in Namibia has facilitated compliance with the Kimberley Process. The case of how Namibia has responded to the Kimberley Process illustrates how De Beers has been able to constrain domestic policy and use the Kimberley Process as a way to maintain a virtual monopoly in domestic diamond production. © 2015 ROAPE Publications Ltd.


Mathews A.J.,Oklahoma State University | Patton M.T.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Journal of Cultural Geography | Year: 2016

The American craft brewing scene has exhibited continued growth over the past several decades fueled by the desire of many patrons to opt for unique, local brews in the place of homogenous national and international brands. Previous research reports that American microbreweries often express neolocalism in the marketing of their products: using local place names, people, events, landscape features, and icons on their labeling and in their names to establish roots with the local environment and culture. By way of qualitatively surveying 1564 microbrewery websites, this paper looks through a neolocal lens to examine microbrewery usage of ethnicity and race in their marketing efforts. Microbreweries are found to express ethnicity and race in their marketing schemes to a limited extent within which ethnicity, more so than race, is demonstrated. Specific examples include references to ethnic ties to the Scots-Irish in Appalachia, specific Native American tribes throughout the country, and Latino, specifically Mexican/Mexican-American, cultural heritage in the American southwest. In addition, findings reflect the demographics of the industry, which is dominated by whites of European descent. © 2016 JCG Press, Oklahoma State University.


Munier N.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln
African Security | Year: 2016

There has been considerable attention to the influence of diamond wealth on conflict. By examining the role of diamonds in Namibia, this research shows that under some conditions diamond wealth can make conflict less probable. It examines possible conditions that may have made Namibia the exception to the rule by exploring five factors: the neighborhood effect, political dynamics, economic institutions, grievances, and political geography. Given these conditions diamonds have contributed to the absence of conflict in Namibia for two reasons: diamonds have historically been mined in the desert area that makes smuggling difficult and the joint agreement between the government and De Beers has led to a taxable base, strengthening state institutions. © 2016 Taylor & Francis.


Klyukin K.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Alexandrov V.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics | Year: 2017

The effect of a variety of intrinsic defects and defect clusters in bulk and thin films of SrTiO3 on ferroelectric polarization and switching mechanisms is investigated by means of density-functional-theory based calculations and the Berry phase approach. Our results show that both the titanium TiSr•• and strontium SrTi′′ antisite defects induce ferroelectric polarization in SrTiO3, with the TiSr•• defect causing a more pronounced spontaneous polarization and higher activation barriers of polarization reversal than SrTi′′. The presence of oxygen vacancies bound to the antisite defects can either enhance or diminish polarization depending on the configuration of the defect pair, but it always leads to larger activation barriers of polarization switching as compared to the antisite defects with no oxygen vacancies. We also show that the magnitude of spontaneous polarization in SrTiO3 can be tuned by controlling the degree of Sr/Ti nonstroichiometry. Other intrinsic point defects such as Frenkel defect pairs and electron small polarons also contribute to the emergence of ferroelectric polarization in SrTiO3. © 2017 American Physical Society.


Sutter E.A.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Sutter P.W.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Nanoscale | Year: 2017

Galvanic replacement reactions are important as they transform nanoparticle templates into complex porous and hollow metal or alloy nanostructures with interesting properties for a variety of applications. Real-time liquid cell electron microscopy (LCEM) observations of the transformation of solid nanoparticles into hollow shell and cage bimetallic nanostructures are challenging because the high-energy electron beam strongly affects the galvanic process via species such as aqueous electrons and hydroxyl radicals generated through the radiolysis of water in the liquid cell. As a result the galvanic reactions are modified by the introduction of additional pathways that can decouple the oxidation of the nanoparticles from the reduction of the metal ion complexes in solution. Here we demonstrate that changing the pH of the solution provides an effective approach to alter the balance of radiolysis products. In situ observations of the transformation of Ag nanocubes in Au salt containing neutral and acidic aqueous solutions demonstrate that a lowering of the pH by addition of H2SO4 significantly lessens radical-induced modifications of redox reactions by avoiding the excessive reduction of metal-chloro complexes by aqueous electrons (eaq -) and making the process sufficiently slow to be observed. As a result, the different stages of galvanic replacement reactions on nanoparticles can be imaged in real-time by LCEM. © 2017 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Largier T.D.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Cornelius C.J.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Journal of Power Sources | Year: 2017

This study analyzes the effect of quaternary ammonium homopolymer (AmPP) and ionic and non-ionic random unit copolymerization (AmPP-PP) of Diels-Alder poly(phenylene)s on electrochemical and transport properties, vanadium redox flow battery performance, and material stability. AmPP-PP materials were synthesized with IEC's up to 2.2 meq/g, displaying a carbonate form ion conductivity of 17.3 mS/cm and water uptake of 57.3%. Vanadium ion permeability studies revealed that the random copolymers possess superior charge carrier selectivity. For materials of comparable ion content, at 10 mA/cm2 the random copolymer displayed a 14% increase in coulombic efficiency (CE) corresponding to a 7% increase in energy efficiency. All quaternary ammonium materials displayed ex situ degradation in a 0.5 M V5+ + 5 M H2SO4 solution, with the rate of degradation appearing to increase with IEC. Preliminary studies reveal that the neutralizing counter-ion has a significant effect on VRB performance, proportional to changes in vanadium ion molecular diffusion. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.


Huang P.,Donald Danforth Plant Science Center | Studer A.J.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Schnable J.C.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Kellogg E.A.,Donald Danforth Plant Science Center | Brutnell T.P.,Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
Journal of Experimental Botany | Year: 2017

C4 photosynthesis is perhaps one of the best examples of convergent adaptive evolution with over 25 independent origins in the grasses (Poaceae) alone. The availability of high quality grass genome sequences presents new opportunities to explore the mechanisms underlying this complex trait using evolutionary biology-based approaches. In this study, we performed genome-wide cross-species selection scans in C4 lineages to facilitate discovery of C4 genes. The study was enabled by the well conserved collinearity of grass genomes and the recently sequenced genome of a C3 panicoid grass, Dichanthelium oligosanthes. This method, in contrast to previous studies, does not rely on any a priori knowledge of the genes that contribute to biochemical or anatomical innovations associated with C4 photosynthesis. We identified a list of 88 candidate genes that include both known and potentially novel components of the C4 pathway. This set includes the carbon shuttle enzymes pyruvate, phosphate dikinase, phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase and NADP malic enzyme as well as several predicted transporter proteins that likely play an essential role in promoting the flux of metabolites between the bundle sheath and mesophyll cells. Importantly, this approach demonstrates the application of fundamental molecular evolution principles to dissect the genetic basis of a complex photosynthetic adaptation in plants. Furthermore, we demonstrate how the output of the selection scans can be combined with expression data to provide additional power to prioritize candidate gene lists and suggest novel opportunities for pathway engineering. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology.


Marroquin-Guzman M.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Sun G.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Wilson R.A.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln
PLoS Genetics | Year: 2017

The conserved target of rapamycin (TOR) pathway integrates growth and development with available nutrients, but how cellular glucose controls TOR function and signaling is poorly understood. Here, we provide functional evidence from the devastating rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae that glucose can mediate TOR activity via the product of a novel carbon-responsive gene, ABL1, in order to tune cell cycle progression during infection-related development. Under nutrient-free conditions, wild type (WT) M. oryzae strains form terminal plant-infecting cells (appressoria) at the tips of germ tubes emerging from three-celled spores (conidia). WT appressorial development is accompanied by one round of mitosis followed by autophagic cell death of the conidium. In contrast, Δabl1 mutant strains undergo multiple rounds of accelerated mitosis in elongated germ tubes, produce few appressoria, and are abolished for autophagy. Treating WT spores with glucose or 2-deoxyglucose phenocopied Δabl1. Inactivating TOR in Δabl1 mutants or glucose-treated WT strains restored appressorium formation by promoting mitotic arrest at G1/G0 via an appressorium- and autophagy-inducing cell cycle delay at G2/M. Collectively, this work uncovers a novel glucose-ABL1-TOR signaling axis and shows it engages two metabolic checkpoints in order to modulate cell cycle tuning and mediate terminal appressorial cell differentiation. We thus provide new molecular insights into TOR regulation and cell development in response to glucose. © 2017 Marroquin-Guzman et al.


Umstadter D.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Optics InfoBase Conference Papers | Year: 2016

erimental results are discussed on a compact and energetic laboratory source of xray light (tunable from 50 keV to 20 MeV). It produces the highest peak brightness of any MeV energy x-ray source. © OSA 2016.


Fortenberry R.C.,Georgia Southern University | Francisco J.S.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2017

X ∼2A″ HSS has yet to be observed in the gas phase in the interstellar medium (ISM). HSS has been observed in cometary material and in high abundance. However, its agglomeration to such bodies or dispersal from them has not been observed. Similarly, HSO and HOS have not been observed in the ISM, either, even though models support their formation from reactions of known sulfur monoxide and hydrogen molecules, among other pathways. Consequently, this work provides high-level, quantum chemical rovibrational spectroscopic constants and vibrational frequencies in order to assist in interstellar searches for these radical molecules. Furthermore, the HSO -HOS isomerization energy is determined to be 3.63 kcal mol-1, in line with previous work, and the dipole moment of HOS is 36% larger at 3.87 D than HSO, making the less stable isomer more rotationally intense. Finally, the S-S bond strength in HSS is shown to be relatively weak at 30% of the typical disulfide bond energy. Consequently, HSS may degrade into SH and sulfur atoms, making any ISM abundance of HSS likely fairly low, as recent interstellar surveys have observed. © 2017. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.


Von Der Dunk F.G.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Proceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC | Year: 2016

The number of countries with more or less comprehensive national space legislation addressing in particular the authorization and supervision of private space activities continues to grow, and several more countries are currently in the process of adding themselves to that list. One of the more recent and most interesting ones amongst them is Nigeria, as the second African country after South Africa and - after Brazil - the second leading spacefaring nation from the developing world, to draft, further to a fairly recently established succinct framework law, a set of regulations addressing precisely those issues. The paper briefly recaps the underlying international obligations, in particular as following from Articles VI, VII and VIII of the Outer Space Treaty, the Liability Convention and the Registration Convention, Nigeria being a party to all three. It then proceeds to analyse the 2010 National Space Research and Development Agency Act and the 2015 draft Regulations on the Licensing and Supervision of Space Activities from the above perspective. It will compare the Nigerian legislation as needed or helpful with other national space laws already pronounced on those issues, and in doing so will take Nigeria's role as leading African nation in outer space in this respect into consideration. This will finally allow for some conclusions as to the contribution to the further development of (international and national) space law represented by these Nigerian legislative efforts. Copyright © 2016 by Prof. Dr. Frans von der Dunk.


Marshall D.D.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Powers R.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Progress in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy | Year: 2017

Metabolomics is undergoing tremendous growth and is being employed to solve a diversity of biological problems from environmental issues to the identification of biomarkers for human diseases. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and mass spectrometry (MS) are the analytical tools that are routinely, but separately, used to obtain metabolomics data sets due to their versatility, accessibility, and unique strengths. NMR requires minimal sample handling without the need for chromatography, is easily quantitative, and provides multiple means of metabolite identification, but is limited to detecting the most abundant metabolites (⩾1 μM). Conversely, mass spectrometry has the ability to measure metabolites at very low concentrations (femtomolar to attomolar) and has a higher resolution (∼103–104) and dynamic range (∼103–104), but quantitation is a challenge and sample complexity may limit metabolite detection because of ion suppression. Consequently, liquid chromatography (LC) or gas chromatography (GC) is commonly employed in conjunction with MS, but this may lead to other sources of error. As a result, NMR and mass spectrometry are highly complementary, and combining the two techniques is likely to improve the overall quality of a study and enhance the coverage of the metabolome. While the majority of metabolomic studies use a single analytical source, there is a growing appreciation of the inherent value of combining NMR and MS for metabolomics. An overview of the current state of utilizing both NMR and MS for metabolomics will be presented. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.


Kort-Butler L.A.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Substance Use and Misuse | Year: 2017

Background: Prior studies suggest a link between head injuries and substance use but do not routinely capture mechanisms connecting the two. Objectives: The goal of the study was to explore whether past head injuries predicted current substance use among young adults, taking factors such as stress, self-esteem, temper, and risk-taking into consideration. Methods: Data were drawn from a web-based survey conducted in 2014 and 2015 at a public university in the United States (n = 897). Questions were asked about history of head injuries as well as past 12-month binge drinking, marijuana use, and prescription drug misuse. To evaluate the association between head injury and substance use, two logistic regression models were performed for each substance. Head injury was first regressed on the outcome, then related risk factors were entered into the models to determine whether they explained any association between injury and outcome. Results: A history of multiple head injuries was associated with increased odds of bingeing, marijuana, and prescription drug use. Prior delinquency and risk-taking accounted for the associations with bingeing and marijuana use. Taking all variables into consideration, multiple head injuries were associated with greater odds for prescription drug misuse. Conclusions: Results suggest the need to give consideration to a range of concomitant variables when considering behavioral outcomes associated with head injury. Head injuries may be a marker of a constellation of risk-taking behaviors that contributes to substance use. For those with multiple injuries, misuse of prescription drugs may be an attempt to cope with lingering side effects. © 2017 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC


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

The problem of cooling computers is one of the biggest in the world today. Data centres around the globe spend vast sums on keeping their equipment at the absolute optimum temperature, no matter the conditions outside. But now a pair of engineers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have flipped that idea on its head, proposing heat as an alternative to electricity instead. “If you think about it, whatever you do with electricity you should (also) be able to do with heat, because they are similar in many ways,” said Sidy Ndao, co-author of a published in Scientific Reports. “In principle, they are both energy carriers. If you could control heat, you could use it to do computing and avoid the problem of overheating.” Ndao's lab has developed a nano-thermal-mechanical device - basically a thermal diode - which works at temperatures up to 330C. It's just a proof of concept, not super-efficient yet, but the team believes that it could be used to create a physical computer that can work in environments up to 700C. “It could be used in space exploration, for exploring the core of the earth, for oil drilling, (for) many applications. It could allow us to do calculations and process data in real time in places where we haven’t been able to do so before,” said Ndao. What's more, the thermal diode can help to limit the amount of energy that is wasted in computation. "If you could harness this heat and use it for energy in these devices, you could obviously cut down on waste and the cost of energy," he added. There are several improvements that the team wants to make to the device before thinking too much about the future, but Ndao believes there is great potential. "Hopefully one day, it will be used to unlock the mysteries of outer space, explore and harvest our own planet’s deep-beneath-the-surface geology, and harness waste heat for more efficient-energy utilization," he said.


A thermal diode, an electronic component that runs on heat instead of electricity, could lead to the creation of heat-resistant computers (Credit: Karl Vogel/Engineering, University of Nebraska-Lincoln) Electronic systems don't work well in heat – which is a problem, because apart from a few exceptions, heat is a normal byproduct of electricity. Researchers have now developed a thermal diode: a computer component that runs on heat instead of electricity. This could be the first step towards making heat-resistant computers that can function in extremely hot places, like on Venus or deep inside the Earth, without breaking a sweat. A regular diode is a key logic component in electronic circuits that allows electricity to flow freely in one direction but blocks it from moving back the other way. These crucial components often fail under high temperatures or when exposed to ionizing radiation, so to help make hardier computer systems, a team at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have developed thermal diodes, powered by heat instead of electricity. "If you think about it, whatever you do with electricity you should (also) be able to do with heat, because they are similar in many ways," says Sidy Ndao, co-author of the study. "In principle, they are both energy carriers. If you could control heat, you could use it to do computing and avoid the problem of overheating." The team's thermal diode is made up of pairs of surfaces, where one is fixed and the other can be moved towards or away from its stationary partner. That movement is handled automatically by the system to maximize the transfer of heat: when the moving surface is hotter than the still one, it will actuate inwards, and increase the rate that heat moves to the cooler surface. When performed at temperatures between 215° and 494° F (102° and 257° C), the thermal diode hit a peak heat transfer rate of about 11 percent, but the team reported that the device was able to function at temperatures as high as 620° F (327° C). Ndao believes that future versions could even operate at up to 1,300° F (704° C), potentially leading to computers that can work under extreme heat conditions. "We are basically creating a thermal computer," says Ndao. "It could be used in space exploration, for exploring the core of the Earth, for oil drilling, (for) many applications. It could allow us to do calculations and process data in real time in places where we haven't been able to do so before." Even when they're not running in the molten core of the planet, electronics can overheat and damage themselves if they aren't properly cooled by fans or water circulation systems. As heftier tasks are handed off to computers, more elaborate cooling tactics are needed, and to that end Lockheed Martin has tinkered with embedding microscopic water droplets inside chips, IBM developed the counter-intuitive technique of cooling with warm water, and Microsoft has turned to the power of the ocean itself to cool a large data center. Using components like thermal diodes, the researchers say some of that wasted heat could instead be fed back into the system as an alternative energy source, improving its energy efficiency. "It is said now that nearly 60 percent of the energy produced for consumption in the United States is wasted in heat," says Ndao. "If you could harness this heat and use it for energy in these devices, you could obviously cut down on waste and the cost of energy." The researchers are now working on improving their thermal diode's efficiency. But since diodes aren't the only component in electronics, a true thermal computer would need the rest of its system to be able to withstand those temperatures as well. "If we can achieve high efficiency, show that we can do computations and run a logic system experimentally, then we can have a proof-of-concept," Mahmoud Elzouka, co-author of the study. "(That) is when we can think about the future." The research was published in the journal Scientific Reports.


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

LearnHowToBecome.org, a leading resource provider for higher education and career information, has released its ranking of Nebraska’s best colleges for 2017. Of the 20 four-year schools included on the list, Creighton University, Nebraska Wesleyan University, University of Nebraska Lincoln, Doane College Crete and Hastings College were the top five schools. Of the 9 two-year schools included in the ranking, Western Nebraska Community College, Mid-Plains Community College, Metropolitan Community College, Northeast Community College and Southeast Community College were the top five. A full list of schools is included below. “A strong educational foundation can open a lot of doors when it comes to starting a new career,” said Wes Ricketts, senior vice president of LearnHowToBecome.org. “These Nebraska colleges and universities have distinguished themselves by providing excellent service to student through quality degree programs and career resources.” To be included on the “Best Colleges in Nebraska” list, schools must be regionally accredited, not-for-profit institutions. Each college is also analyzed based on additional metrics including program offerings, employment services, 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 Nebraska” list, visit: Nebraska’s Best Four-Year Colleges for 2017 include: Bellevue University Chadron State College Clarkson College College of Saint Mary Concordia University-Nebraska Creighton University Doane College-Crete Grace University Hastings College Midland University Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing & Allied Health Nebraska Wesleyan University Peru State College Union College University of Nebraska at Kearney University of Nebraska at Omaha University of Nebraska Medical Center University of Nebraska-Lincoln Wayne State College York College Nebraska’s Best Two-Year Colleges for 2017 include: Central Community College Little Priest Tribal College Metropolitan Community College Mid-Plains Community College Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture Nebraska Indian Community College Northeast Community College Southeast Community College Western Nebraska Community 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 3, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

By 2050, we will need to feed 2 billion more people on less land. Meanwhile, carbon dioxide levels are predicted to hit 600 parts per million--a 50% increase over today's levels--and 2050 temperatures are expected to frequently match the top 5% hottest days from 1950-1979. In a three-year field study, researchers proved engineered soybeans yield more than conventional soybeans in 2050's predicted climatic conditions. "Our climate system and atmosphere are not changing in isolation from other factors--there are actually multiple facets," said USDA/ARS scientist Carl Bernacchi, an associate professor of plant biology at the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois. "The effect of carbon dioxide in and of itself seems to be very generalized, but neglects the complexity of adding temperature into the mix. This research is one step in the right direction towards trying to figure out a way of mitigating those temperature-related yield losses that will likely occur even with rising carbon dioxide concentrations." Published in the Journal of Experimental Botany, this study found the modified crop yielded more when subjected to both increased temperature and carbon dioxide levels; however, they found little to no difference between the modified and unmodified crops grown in either increased temperature, increased carbon dioxide, or today's climate conditions. This work suggests that we can harness genetic changes to help offset the detrimental effects of rising temperature. In addition, Bernacchi said, it illustrates that we cannot deduce complicated environmental and plant systems to increasing carbon dioxide levels increase yields and increasing temperature reduce yields. "Experiments under controlled conditions are great to understand concepts and underlying mechanisms," said first author of the study Iris Köhler, a former postdoctoral researcher in the Bernacchi lab. "But to understand what will happen in a real-world situation, it is crucial to study the responses in a natural setting--and SoyFACE is perfect for this kind of study." SoyFACE (Soybean Free Air Concentration Enrichment) is an innovative facility that emulates future atmospheric conditions to understand the impact on Midwestern crops. These findings are especially remarkable because the crops in this SoyFACE experiment were exposed to the same environmental conditions (i.e. the sun, wind, rain, clouds, etc.) as other Illinois field crops. "It's actually a bit of a surprise," Bernacchi said. "I've been doing field research for quite some time, and variability is one of the things that's an inherent part of field research. Of course, we did see variability in yields from year to year, but the difference between the modified and unmodified plants was remarkably consistent over these three years." These modified soybeans are just one part of the equation to meet the demands of 2050. This modification can likely be combined with other modifications--a process called "stacking"--to further improve yields. "When we're trying to meet our food needs for the future, this specific modification is one of the many tools that we're going to need to rely upon," Bernacchi said. "There is a lot of research across the planet that's looking at different strategies to make improvements, and many of these are not mutually exclusive." The paper "Expression of cyanobacterial FBP/SBPase in soybean prevents yield depression under future climate conditions" is published by the Journal of Experimental Botany (10.1093/jxb/erw435). Co-authors also include: Ursula M. Ruiz-Vera, postdoctoral researcher at the University of Illinois; Andy VanLoocke, assistant professor at Iowa State University; Michell Thomey, USDA-ARS Research Plant Physiologist and postdoctoral researcher at Illinois; Tom Clemente, Eugene W. Price Distinguished Professor of Biotechnology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Stephen Long, Gutgsell Endowed Professor of Plant Biology and Crop Sciences at Illinois; and Donald Ort, Robert Emerson Professor of Plant Biology at Illinois.


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

Many rely on just a few to provide food and fiber—and crop protection techniques are a major factor in this essential productivity. But the continued reliance on past methods alone threatens modern-day food security. Innovation and a push for the development of integrated plant protection technologies must continue to provide effective, economical, and efficient pest management. The authors of [this CAST Issue Paper examine the current plant protection revolution that is driven by the biological realities of pesticide resistance, various market forces, and real or perceived side effects of pesticides. They point out that “crop protection chemicals have been miraculous, but their automatic use is no longer efficacious or justifiable.” This science-based review considers many plant protection trends, including the following: Led by Task Force Chair Susan T. Ratcliffe, the authors of this paper consider new technologies such as drones, smart sprayers, and specially designed cultivators—and they examine current biotech advancements such as CRISPR-Cas9 and other techniques that may fit well into integrated systems. They emphasize the need for research, communication, and collaboration as scientists “develop integrated strategies for managing pests while preserving ecosystem services and farm productivity.” This [CAST Issue Paper (IP58) and [its companion Ag quickCAST are available online at the CAST website, along with many of CAST's other scientific publications. All CAST Issue Papers, Commentaries, and Ag quickCASTs are FREE. Task Force Authors: Susan T. Ratcliffe (Chair), University of Illinois, Urbana Matthew Baur, University of California-Davis Hugh J. Beckie, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Loren J. Giesler, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Norman C. Leppla, University of Florida, Gainesville Jill Schroeder, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. CAST is an international consortium of scientific and professional societies, companies, and nonprofit organizations. Through its network of experts, CAST assembles, interprets, and communicates credible, balanced, science-based information to policymakers, the media, the private sector, and the public.


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

In the ongoing and urgent effort to protect the environment, there are dozens of programs to assist with conservation projects that help both farmers and the land. Right now the largest of those efforts is the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), with more than 70 million acres of U.S. farmland involved in conservation plans. While that number may seem high, many experts say that isn’t enough – and there may be a simple reason why. 40 percent of privately-owned farmland in the U.S. is leased and managed by someone other than the landowner. On the flip side, many producers have multiple owners of the land they farm. “In order to participate (in the CSP) you have to enroll your entire farm,” says Simanti Banerjee of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “Imagine if your farm was owned by ten people. If you have one owner hold out you couldn’t participate.” Banerjee, along with Mykel Taylor of Kansas State University and Leah Palm-Forster of the University of Delaware, are working on a new study, recently backed by the USDA, to find ways to get more farmers and farmland involved in the program. “This has a direct impact on the environment,” Palm-Forster said. “If you want to address problems like nutrient runoff and soil erosion we need to find ways to make these types of programs attractive to farmers.” If you are interested in learning more about this groundbreaking project, and setting up an interview, please contact Jay Saunders in the AAEA Business Office. ABOUT AAEA: Established in 1910, the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) is the leading professional association for agricultural and applied economists, with 2,500 members in more than 20 countries. Members of the AAEA work in academic or government institutions as well as in industry and not-for-profit organizations, and engage in a variety of research, teaching, and outreach activities in the areas of agriculture, the environment, food, health, and international development. The AAEA publishes two journals, the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, as well as the online magazine Choices. To learn more, visit http://www.aaea.org.


News Article | May 7, 2017
Site: www.PR.com

Bill Moyers, journalists from The New Yorker, Univision, HBO and Detroit Free Press among winners. New York, NY, May 07, 2017 --( The Prizes are given in student and professional categories. The winning topics include poverty, the war in Syria, the Flint water crisis, immigration, criminal justice and indigenous populations. The Grand Prize winner and the John Seigenthaler Prize for Courage in Reporting will be selected from the winners of the 13 categories and announced at the May 23rd ceremony at the Newseum in Washington DC. Tickets can be found at www.rfkhumanrights.org. In a new Award category, Veteran broadcaster Bill Moyers (Moyers & Company, Bill Moyers Journal) will be honored with the Media Advocacy Award for “Rikers,” his documentary detailing the violent world inside New York’s Rikers Island prison. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced a plan to permanently close the notorious prison. “In difficult political times, the power of expression and freedom of the press is more important than ever,” said Kerry Kennedy, President of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. “The Journalists who followed my father’s 1968 campaign created the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards in his name, and this year’s winners have produced work that speaks to the spirit of my father and the Book and Journalism Awards.” The Awards will be presented along with the 37th Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, by Mrs. Robert Kennedy and Kerry Kennedy with Chair Margaret Engel on May 23, 2017 at 6:30 pm at the Newseum. The event will be emceed by Book Chair Michael Beschloss with remarks by Kerry Kennedy and Bill Moyers. Full List of Journalism Award Winners High School Broadcast “A Whole New World,” by Josh Horned, Chloe Durham and Rachel Pfeifer HTV Magazine, Hillcrest High School, Springfield, Missouri High School Print “A Ball, A Team, A War and a Dream,” by Anthony Kristensen Francis Howell North High School, St. Charles, Missouri College Journalism “Wounds of White Clay: Nebraska’s Shameful Legacy,” by In-Depth Reporting class University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Nebraska Print - Domestic “Bias on the Bench,” by Josh Salman, Emily le Coz and Elizabeth Johnson Sarasota Herald Tribune, Florida Print - International “The Assad Files,” by Ben Taub The New Yorker Photography - Domestic “Toxic Stress: A Cycle of Poverty and Gun Violence,” by Laurie Skrivan St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Missouri Photography - International “Signs of Your Identity,” by Daniella Zalcman Various Publications Radio “The Strange Death of José de Jesús,” by Fernanda Echávarri, Marlon Bishop and Maria Hinojosa Latino USA New Media “Vacation in No Man’s Sea,” by Almudena Toral Univision News Cartoon “The Flint Water Scandal,” by Mike Thompson Detroit Free Press Television - Domestic “The Naked Truth: Rigged,” by Keith Summa Fusion Television - International “A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness,” produced and directed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy HBO Media Advocacy Award “Rikers” by Bill Moyers Schumann Media Center and Brick City TV in association with Public Square Media Executive Editor -- Bill Moyers. Executive Producer -- Judy Doctoroff O’Neill Producers -- by Marc Levin, Mark Benjamin, and Rolake Bamgbose About Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Led by human rights activist and lawyer Kerry Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights has advocated for a more just and peaceful world since 1968. We work alongside local activists to ensure lasting positive change in governments and corporations. Our team includes leading attorneys, advocates, entrepreneurs and writers united by a commitment to social justice. About the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards The Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards honor outstanding reporting on issues that reflect Robert Kennedy's concerns, including human rights, social justice, and the power of individual action in the United States and around the world. Winning entries provide insights into the causes, conditions, and remedies of human rights violations and injustice, and critical analyses of relevant policies, programs, individual actions, and private endeavors that foster positive change. The Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards are among the few in which winners are determined by their peers. Past winners include The Washington Post, National Public Radio, CBS's 60 Minutes, ABC's 20/20, and HBO. New York, NY, May 07, 2017 --( PR.com )-- Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights announced the winners of its 49th Annual Journalism Awards today.The Prizes are given in student and professional categories. The winning topics include poverty, the war in Syria, the Flint water crisis, immigration, criminal justice and indigenous populations.The Grand Prize winner and the John Seigenthaler Prize for Courage in Reporting will be selected from the winners of the 13 categories and announced at the May 23rd ceremony at the Newseum in Washington DC. Tickets can be found at www.rfkhumanrights.org.In a new Award category, Veteran broadcaster Bill Moyers (Moyers & Company, Bill Moyers Journal) will be honored with the Media Advocacy Award for “Rikers,” his documentary detailing the violent world inside New York’s Rikers Island prison. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced a plan to permanently close the notorious prison.“In difficult political times, the power of expression and freedom of the press is more important than ever,” said Kerry Kennedy, President of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. “The Journalists who followed my father’s 1968 campaign created the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards in his name, and this year’s winners have produced work that speaks to the spirit of my father and the Book and Journalism Awards.”The Awards will be presented along with the 37th Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, by Mrs. Robert Kennedy and Kerry Kennedy with Chair Margaret Engel on May 23, 2017 at 6:30 pm at the Newseum. The event will be emceed by Book Chair Michael Beschloss with remarks by Kerry Kennedy and Bill Moyers.Full List of Journalism Award WinnersHigh School Broadcast“A Whole New World,” by Josh Horned, Chloe Durham and Rachel PfeiferHTV Magazine, Hillcrest High School, Springfield, MissouriHigh School Print“A Ball, A Team, A War and a Dream,” by Anthony KristensenFrancis Howell North High School, St. Charles, MissouriCollege Journalism“Wounds of White Clay: Nebraska’s Shameful Legacy,” by In-Depth Reporting classUniversity of Nebraska-Lincoln, NebraskaPrint - Domestic“Bias on the Bench,” by Josh Salman, Emily le Coz and Elizabeth JohnsonSarasota Herald Tribune, FloridaPrint - International“The Assad Files,” by Ben TaubThe New YorkerPhotography - Domestic“Toxic Stress: A Cycle of Poverty and Gun Violence,” by Laurie SkrivanSt. Louis Post-Dispatch, MissouriPhotography - International“Signs of Your Identity,” by Daniella ZalcmanVarious PublicationsRadio“The Strange Death of José de Jesús,” by Fernanda Echávarri, Marlon Bishop and Maria HinojosaLatino USANew Media“Vacation in No Man’s Sea,” by Almudena ToralUnivision NewsCartoon“The Flint Water Scandal,” by Mike ThompsonDetroit Free PressTelevision - Domestic“The Naked Truth: Rigged,” by Keith SummaFusionTelevision - International“A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness,” produced and directed by Sharmeen Obaid-ChinoyHBOMedia Advocacy Award“Rikers” by Bill MoyersSchumann Media Center and Brick City TV in association with Public Square MediaExecutive Editor -- Bill Moyers. Executive Producer -- Judy Doctoroff O’NeillProducers -- by Marc Levin, Mark Benjamin, and Rolake BamgboseAbout Robert F. Kennedy Human RightsLed by human rights activist and lawyer Kerry Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights has advocated for a more just and peaceful world since 1968. We work alongside local activists to ensure lasting positive change in governments and corporations. Our team includes leading attorneys, advocates, entrepreneurs and writers united by a commitment to social justice.About the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism AwardsThe Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards honor outstanding reporting on issues that reflect Robert Kennedy's concerns, including human rights, social justice, and the power of individual action in the United States and around the world. Winning entries provide insights into the causes, conditions, and remedies of human rights violations and injustice, and critical analyses of relevant policies, programs, individual actions, and private endeavors that foster positive change. The Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards are among the few in which winners are determined by their peers. Past winners include The Washington Post, National Public Radio, CBS's 60 Minutes, ABC's 20/20, and HBO. Click here to view the list of recent Press Releases from Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights


Storz J.F.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Opazo J.C.,Austral University of Chile | Hoffmann F.G.,Mississippi State University
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution | Year: 2013

The functional diversification of the vertebrate globin gene superfamily provides an especially vivid illustration of the role of gene duplication and whole-genome duplication in promoting evolutionary innovation. For example, key globin proteins that evolved specialized functions in various aspects of oxidative metabolism and oxygen signaling pathways (hemoglobin [Hb], myoglobin [Mb], and cytoglobin [Cygb]) trace their origins to two whole-genome duplication events in the stem lineage of vertebrates. The retention of the proto-Hb and Mb genes in the ancestor of jawed vertebrates permitted a physiological division of labor between the oxygen-carrier function of Hb and the oxygen-storage function of Mb. In the Hb gene lineage, a subsequent tandem gene duplication gave rise to the proto α- and β-globin genes, which permitted the formation of multimeric Hbs composed of unlike subunits (α2β2). The evolution of this heteromeric quaternary structure was central to the emergence of Hb as a specialized oxygen-transport protein because it provided a mechanism for cooperative oxygen-binding and allosteric regulatory control. Subsequent rounds of duplication and divergence have produced diverse repertoires of α- and β-like globin genes that are ontogenetically regulated such that functionally distinct Hb isoforms are expressed during different stages of prenatal development and postnatal life. In the ancestor of jawless fishes, the proto Mb and Hb genes appear to have been secondarily lost, and the Cygb homolog evolved a specialized respiratory function in blood-oxygen transport. Phylogenetic and comparative genomic analyses of the vertebrate globin gene superfamily have revealed numerous instances in which paralogous globins have convergently evolved similar expression patterns and/or similar functional specializations in different organismal lineages. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.


Kovalev A.A.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln | De A.,University of California at Riverside | Shtengel K.,University of California at Riverside
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2014

We show that resonant coupling and entanglement between a mechanical resonator and Majorana bound states can be achieved via spin currents in a 1D quantum wire with strong spin-orbit interactions. The bound states induced by vibrating and stationary magnets can hybridize, thus resulting in spin-current induced 4π-periodic torques, as a function of the relative field angle, acting on the resonator. We study the feasibility of detecting and manipulating Majorana bound states with the use of magnetic resonance force microscopy techniques. © 2014 American Physical Society.


Ren G.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Chen X.,University of California at Riverside | Yu B.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Current Biology | Year: 2012

HEN1-mediated 2′-O-methylation has been shown to be a key mechanism to protect plant microRNAs (miRNAs) and small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) as well as animal piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) from degradation and 3′ terminal uridylation [1-8]. However, enzymes uridylating unmethylated miRNAs, siRNAs, or piRNAs in hen1 are unknown. In this study, a genetic screen identified a second-site mutation hen1 suppressor1-2 (heso1-2) that partially suppresses the morphological phenotypes of the hypomorphic hen1-2 allele and the null hen1-1 allele in Arabidopsis. HESO1 encodes a terminal nucleotidyl transferase that prefers to add untemplated uridine to the 3′ end of RNA, which is completely abolished by 2′-O-methylation. heso1-2 affects the profile of u-tailed miRNAs and siRNAs and increases the abundance of truncated and/or normal sized ones in hen1, which often results in increased total amount of miRNAs and siRNAs in hen1. In contrast, overexpressing HESO1 in hen1-2 causes more severe morphological defects and less accumulation of miRNAs. These results demonstrate that HESO1 is an enzyme uridylating unmethylated miRNAs and siRNAs in hen1. These observations also suggest that uridylation may destabilize unmethylated miRNAs through an unknown mechanism and compete with 3′-to-5′ exoribonuclease activities in hen1. This study shall have implications on piRNA uridylation in hen1 in animals. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Bickel R.D.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Bickel R.D.,University of Southern California | Kopp A.,University of California at Davis | Nuzhdin S.V.,University of Southern California
PLoS Genetics | Year: 2011

Many agriculturally, evolutionarily, and medically important characters vary in a quantitative fashion. Unfortunately, the genes and sequence variants accounting for this variation remain largely unknown due to a variety of biological and technical challenges. Drosophila melanogaster contains high levels of sequence variation and low linkage disequilibrium, allowing us to dissect the effects of many causative variants within a single locus. Here, we take advantage of these features to identify and characterize the sequence polymorphisms that comprise major effect QTL alleles segregating at the bric-a-brac locus. We show that natural bric-a-brac alleles with large effects on cuticular pigmentation reflect a cumulative impact of polymorphisms that affect three functional regions: a promoter, a tissue-specific enhancer, and a Polycomb response element. Analysis of allele-specific expression at the bric-a-brac locus confirms that these polymorphisms modulate transcription at the cis-regulatory level. Our results establish that a single QTL can act through a confluence of multiple molecular mechanisms and that sequence variation in regions flanking experimentally validated functional elements can have significant quantitative effects on transcriptional activity and phenotype. These findings have important design and conceptual implications for basic and medical genomics. © 2011 Bickel et al.


Zhou L.,Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications | Hu R.Q.,Utah State University | Qian Y.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Chen H.-H.,National Cheng Kung University
IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications | Year: 2013

In this work, we investigate the properties of energy-efficiency (EE) and spectrum-efficiency (SE) for video streaming over mobile ad hoc networks by developing an energy-spectrum-aware scheduling (ESAS) scheme. To describe a practical mobile scenario, we use a random walk mobility model, in which each node can choose its mobility direction and velocity randomly and independently. Through rigorous analysis and extensive simulations, we demonstrate that the node mobility is beneficial to EE but not to SE. The contributions of this work are twofold: 1) We propose an ESAS scheme with a dynamic transmission range, which significantly outperforms the previous minimum-distortion video scheduling in terms of joint EE and SE performance; 2) We derive an achievable EE-SE tradeoff range and a tight upper/lower bound with respect to energy-spectrum efficiency index for various node velocities. We believe that this work helps to shed insights on the fundamental design guidelines on building an energy and spectrum efficient mobile video transmission system. © 1983-2012 IEEE.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP.2010.1.3-2 | Award Amount: 1.28M | Year: 2011

ModNanoTox will develop a number of well-documented and technically advanced models describing the behaviour of engineered nanoparticles in organisms and the environment. Background to these models will be a thoroughly documented database, constructed based on: (1) an advanced evaluation of physicochemical properties of nanoparticles and in silico modelling of their reactivity; and (2) assessment of the characterisation methodologies as well as toxicity protocols used to develop biological responses in toxicological studies. At the next level whole datasets will be evaluated for internal consistency and then compared with other relevant sets. The evaluation stage will be followed by development of toxicity models based at the individual organism level, using statistical and mechanistic models, in parallel with models predicting environmental fate. The toxicity and fate models will be integrated in mechanistic models to predict the long term risks of engineered nanoparticles for populations under realistic environmental conditions. The risk assessment models will be developed in close collaboration with appropriate stakeholders and end users to ensure their suitability for practical use in relevant legislative contexts.


Patent
The United States Of America, British Columbia Cancer Agency Branch, Arizona Board Of Regents On Behalf Of The Uninversity Of Arizona, University of Barcelona, Hospital Clinic Of Barcelona, Cleveland Clinic, University of Nebraska - Lincoln, University of Oregon, University of Würzburg and University of Oslo | Date: 2014-11-05

The invention is directed to methods for selecting a treatment option for an activated B cell-like diffuse large B cell lymphoma (ABC DLBCL) subject, a germinal center B cell-like diffuse large B cell lymphoma (GCB DLBCL) subject, a primary mediastinal B cell lymphoma (PMBL) subject, a Burkitt lymphoma (BL) subject, or a mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) subject by analyzing digital gene expression data obtained from the subject, e.g., from a biopsy sample.


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.


Zhao Y.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Qiao W.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Wu L.,John Deere Electronic Solutions
IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics | Year: 2013

Advantages such as parameter insensitivity and high robustness to system structure uncertainty make the sliding-mode observer (SMO) a promising solution for sensorless control of interior permanent magnet synchronous machines (IPMSMs). In practical industry applications, in order to utilize digital controllers and achieve comparable performance under a lower sampling frequency, a discrete-time or quasi-SMO (QSMO) is commonly used. However, because of the saliency of an IPMSM, the magnitude of the extended electromotive force (EMF) will change with load (torque and/or speed) variations, which makes it challenging for the QSMO to estimate the extended EMF accurately. Without proper observer parameters, a phase shift will be observed in the QSMO-estimated rotor position when the load changes. In order to overcome this problem, an adaptive QSMO using an online parameter adaption scheme is proposed to estimate the extended EMF components in an IPMSM, which are then used to estimate the rotor position of the IPMSM. The resulting position estimation has zero phase lags and is highly robust to load variations. The proposed adaptive QSMO is implemented on a 150-kW IPMSM drive system used in heavy-duty, off-road, hybrid electric vehicles. Testing results for ramp torque changes, four-quadrant operations, and complete torque reversals between full motoring and full braking modes are presented to verify the effectiveness of the proposed sensorless control algorithm. © 2013 IEEE.


Grijalva E.,State University of New York at Buffalo | Newman D.A.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Tay L.,Purdue University | Brent Donnellan M.,Texas A&M University | And 3 more authors.
Psychological Bulletin | Year: 2015

Despite the widely held belief that men are more narcissistic than women, there has been no systematic review to establish the magnitude, variability across measures and settings, and stability over time of this gender difference. Drawing on the biosocial approach to social role theory, a meta-analysis performed for Study 1 found that men tended to be more narcissistic than women (d = .26; k = 355 studies; N = 470,846). This gender difference remained stable in U.S. college student cohorts over time (from 1990 to 2013) and across different age groups. Study 1 also investigated gender differences in three facets of the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI) to reveal that the narcissism gender difference is driven by the Exploitative/Entitlement facet (d = .29; k = 44 studies; N = 44,108) and Leadership/Authority facet (d = .20; k = 40 studies; N = 44,739); whereas the gender difference in Grandiose/Exhibitionism (d = .04; k = 39 studies; N = 42,460) was much smaller. We further investigated a less-studied form of narcissism called vulnerable narcissism-which is marked by low self-esteem, neuroticism, and introversion-to find that (in contrast to the more commonly studied form of narcissism found in the DSM and the NPI) men and women did not differ on vulnerable narcissism (d = -.04; k = 42 studies; N = 46,735). Study 2 used item response theory to rule out the possibility that measurement bias accounts for observed gender differences in the three facets of the NPI (N = 19,001). Results revealed that observed gender differences were not explained by measurement bias and thus can be interpreted as true sex differences. Discussion focuses on the implications for the biosocial construction model of gender differences, for the etiology of narcissism, for clinical applications, and for the role of narcissism in helping to explain gender differences in leadership and aggressive behavior. Readers are warned against overapplying small effect sizes to perpetuate gender stereotypes. © 2014 American Psychological Association.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.97K | Year: 2012

ABSTRACT: Leveraging Agiltron"s organic thin film transistor (OTFT) array design and printing technology and industrial leading developments and productions uncooled mid-infrared (mid-IR) detectors and detector arrays, we propose to develop a new class of high performance printed mid-IR detectors and detector arrays with integrated OTFT-based drive electronics. The approach is closely coupled with recent progress in solution processed nanocomposite-based electronic/photonic devices to push the sensor performance well beyond current state-of-the-art at low manufacturing cost. The nanocomposite-based solution printing process allows us to use an innovative device structure to effectively suppress dark current and photogenerated charge carrier regeneration. This innovative photodetector device structure can"t be realized by using a conventional lithography-based semiconductor process. In Phase I, we will design and produce photodetectors with the innovative structure via inkjet printing. Integration of photodiodes with the OTFT-based drive electronics will be designed and performed in Phase II. Fully integrated photodetector/OTFT prototype devices will be produced, both using inkjet printing, and tested for delivery to the Air Force. BENEFIT: All solution printed integrated uncooled photodetector with built-in drive electronics will revolutionize the mid-IR detectors and detector arrays for imaging and spectroscopy applications, expanding low cost consumer imaging devices to IR region. Industries typically rely on using a small number of high-priced IR spectrometers to handle the process-monitoring needs. Though a single system can be used to monitor several processes simultaneously through multiplexing, it is costly to set up and risky if equipment failure occurs. Extremely inexpensive uncooled IR spectrometers can be assembled to operate over the important 1-5 & #61549;m spectral range by using photodetector arrays with built-in drive electronics. The compact, affordable NMIR spectrometer should find many commercial applications in the areas of industry process control and analytical characterization of food, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2012.2.4-04 | Award Amount: 12.16M | Year: 2013

Up to 20 million European citizens suffer from food allergy. However management of both food allergy (by patients and health practitioners) and allergens (by industry) is thwarted by lack of evidence to either prevent food allergy developing or protect adequately those who are already allergic. iFAAM will develop evidence-based approaches and tools for MANAGEMENT of ALLERGENS in FOOD and integrate knowledge derived from their application and new knowledge from intervention studies into FOOD ALLERGY MANAGEMENT plans and dietary advice. The resulting holistic strategies will reduce the burden of food allergies in Europe and beyond, whilst enabling the European food industry to compete in the global market place. Our approach will build on e-Health concepts to allow full exploitation of complex data obtained from the work in this proposal and previous and ongoing studies, maximising sharing and linkage of data, by developing an informatics platform Allerg-e-lab. This will enable us to (1) Extend and integrate existing cohorts from observation and intervention studies to provide evidence as to how maternal diet and infant feeding practices (including weaning) modulate the patterns and prevalence of allergies across Europe (2) Establish risk factors for the development of severe reactions to food and identify associated biomarkers (3) Develop a clinically-validated tiered risk assessment and evidence-based risk management approach for food allergens for allergens in the food chain (4) Develop clinically-relevant multi-analyte methods of analysis suited to allergen management across the food chain Stakeholders will be integrated into iFAAM to deliver harmonised integrated approaches, including RISK ASSESSORS AND MANAGERS managing population risk, the FOOD INDUSTRY who manage allergens to ensure consumer safety, HEALTH CARE PRACTITIONERS to provide food allergy management plans and dietary advice and ALLERGIC CONSUMERS to manage individual risk.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: ENV.2008.4.1.1.1. | Award Amount: 7.91M | Year: 2009

EuroGEOSS demonstrates the added value to the scientific community and society of making existing systems and applications interoperable and used within the GEOSS and INSPIRE frameworks. The project will build an initial operating capacity for a European Environment Earth Observation System in the three strategic areas of Drought, Forestry and Biodiversity. It will then undertakes the research necessary to develop this further into and advanced operating capacity that provides access not just to data but also to analytical models made understandable and useable by scientists from different disciplinary domains. This concept of inter-disciplinary interoperability requires research in advanced modelling from multi-scale heterogeneous data sources, expressing models as workflows of geo-processing components reusable by other communities, and ability to use natural language to interface with the models. The extension of INSPIRE and GEOSS components with concepts emerging in the Web 2.0 communities in respect to user interactions and resource discovery, also supports the wider engagement of the scientific community with GEOSS as a powerful means to improve the scientific understanding of the complex mechanisms driving the changes that affect our planet.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 226.06K | Year: 2013

Electron attachment plays an important role in radiation chemistry, for example in DNA damage and ozone depletion. Detailed understanding and quantification of electron attachment processes in isolated molecules and condensed environments is therefore essential to model radiation effects on the nanoscale. My EPSRC CAF probes electron attachment dynamics and reactive pathways in selected biomolecular clusters, building on recent advances such as the observation of electron driven proton transfer in Watson Crick pairs [Bowen et al. ChemPhysChem 11 (2010) 880]. However, relatively little is known about how clustering modifies the absolute probabilities for electron attachment induced processes. While theoretical calculations by my collaborators Fabrikant and Gorfinkiel [J. Chem. Phys. 136 (2012) 184301] have provided evidence for strong enhancements in specific cluster configurations, absolute experimental data for electron attachment to clusters are extremely rare. This project is centered on developing an original technique to produce neutral mass-selected beams with known target density for electron attachment experiments. The method involves neutralization of mass-selected cluster anions by electron photo-detachment from specific weakly-bound anionic states, with minimal change in stability and hence dissociation. The project will provide a breakthrough in quantifying the effects of the local chemical environment on electron attachment induced processes.


University of Nebraska-Lincoln chemists partnered with medical researchers from the National University of Singapore to develop a molecule that can inhibit an enzyme linked with the onset of stroke. Most strokes occur when a disruption of blood flow prevents oxygen and glucose from reaching brain tissue, ultimately killing neurons and other cells. The team found that its molecule, known as 6S, reduced the death of brain tissue by as much as 66 percent when administered to the cerebrum of a rat that had recently suffered a stroke. It also appeared to reduce the inflammation that typically accompanies stroke, which the World Health Organization has estimated kills more than 6 million people annually. "The fact that this inhibitor remained effective when given as post-stroke treatment ... is encouraging, as this is the norm in the treatment of acute stroke," the researchers reported in a March 9 study published by the journal ACS Central Science. The inhibitor works by binding to cystathionine beta-synthase, or CBS - an enzyme that normally helps regulate cellular function but can also trigger production of toxic levels of hydrogen sulfide in the brain. Though hydrogen sulfide is an important signaling molecule at normal concentrations, stroke patients exhibit elevated concentrations believed to initiate the brain damage they often suffer. Chemist David Berkowitz and his UNL colleagues modeled their inhibitor on a naturally occurring molecule produced by the CBS enzyme, tailoring the molecule's structure to improve its performance. By swapping out functional groups of atoms known as amines with hydrazines, the team ultimately increased the inhibitor's binding time from less than a second to hours. "We wanted a compound that would bind well, specifically to this enzyme," said Berkowitz, a Willa Cather Professor of chemistry. "But we also wanted one that could be synthesized easily. Those are two very different considerations." Berkowitz and his colleagues achieved the latter goal, in part, by plucking out the molecule's carbon-sulfur bond and replacing it with a double bond. Slicing that double bond gave the researchers two identical halves of the molecule. With the assistance of a Nobel Prize-winning technique called cross-metathesis, the team was then able to "synthesize two halves of the molecule for the price of one," Berkowitz said. To test the effectiveness of the 6S molecule in treating stroke, Berkowitz and fellow UNL chemist Christopher McCune reached out to Peter Wong, professor of pharmacology at the National University of Singapore. "We started researching this and came upon Peter's work pretty quickly," Berkowitz said. "We saw that he was one of the protagonists, one of the guys who is on the leading edge of understanding how (hydrogen sulfide) signaling works." Though the research teams have never actually met in person, Berkowitz said videoconferencing and a steady stream of emails have helped overcome the barriers of time and distance. In the process, he said, each team has developed a profound appreciation for the other's work. "Peter ended up latching onto the chemistry more than we did, and we ended up latching onto the biology," Berkowitz said. "It's actually been really fun. These are two kinds of science that are pretty far apart, and that's probably the most exciting thing about this: the interdisciplinary nature." Because the 6S inhibitor has demonstrated its effects in cell cultures and the brain tissue of rats, Berkowitz cautioned that it represents just an initial step toward developing a stroke-treating drug for humans. However, he said the proof-of-principle experiments effectively illustrate the concept's promise. Berkowitz also expressed optimism that the synthesis method detailed in the study could streamline the more general production of enzyme-targeting inhibitors. "We started out with a very fundamental-science perspective on understanding the chemistry of this whole class of vitamin B6-dependent enzymes," he said. "We're in a good place now, because that science has allowed us to make these inhibitors and many others. We're now working on several enzymes that may represent important targets for translation of the basic inhibitor chemistry into truly therapeutic goals."


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

Hotze Health & Wellness Center (HHWC), a world leader in the alternative health care industry, announces Chris Brandl as its New Guest Director. Brandl is a dynamic and influential executive leader who has brought vision and purpose to corporations throughout his career. He began his professional career at Omnium Worldwide, now known as West Corporation, and handled collections for Telecommunications, Healthcare and Financial Services. After being recruited by ADP, his success led him to take a leadership role at Akzo Nobel, which was later purchased by Innovation Group. There he was responsible for building an account management team along with building the iMRN network to over 2500 shops across the country. In 2010, he joined the team at Sterling Autobody. Brandl grew up in a farming community in Northeast Nebraska and majored in Criminal Justice with an emphasis in Psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He expanded his higher education through coursework in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing. Since then, he has received continuing education MBA level certifications from Cornell University in Marketing Strategy for Business Leaders and Executive Leadership. He is an active member in the American Marketing Association and Cornell Alumni Group. For more information on HHWC, please visit, http://www.hotzehwc.com. About Hotze Health & Wellness Center: Hotze Health & Wellness Center is leading the Revolution in Wellness™ care by changing the way women and men are treated through detoxification and bioidentical hormone replacement. Founded in 1989 by Steven F. Hotze, M.D., the Center has successfully treated more than 30,000 patients. In an effort to help patients obtain and maintain life-long health and wellness, physicians and registered nurses on staff address the root cause of symptoms, and correct health ailments naturally rather than merely masking symptoms with drugs. For more information, visit, http://www.hotzehwc.com, and on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/HotzeHWC.


News Article | December 15, 2016
Site: motherboard.vice.com

In a scathing speech Wednesday in front of some of the most important climate scientists in the world, California Gov. Jerry Brown vowed to fight Donald Trump's anti-environmental policies every step of the way. One audacious promise particularly stood out: Brown said that if Trump turns off NASA's climate-monitoring satellites, the state "is going to launch its own damn satellites." Trump's advisors have indeed said he will crack down on "politicized science," and Trump campaign advisor Bob Walker noted that this would include NASA's Earth Sciences Division, which operate several Earth-monitoring satellites. No one knows yet if Trump will actually have NASA turn off satellites that are much more expensive to make and launch than they are to operate, but for the sake of preparedness, I decided to look into whether or not California could actually keep Brown's promise. I spoke to several space lawyers in an attempt to suss out how, logistically and legally, a California Space Agency would work. The legal issues will of course depend on the specifics of California's program—if the state pursued a public-private partnership, it could simply buy data from a commercial satellite company that secures launch permits from the federal government. But let's presume for a moment that California wants to start its own honest-to-goodness space agency, or, at the very least, wants to handle the launch and monitoring of its satellites. There are two main questions: Would such a plan be feasible? And can the state legally do so? Though no state has a robust satellite operations program, several states do have space authorities that are mainly tasked with incentivizing and promoting commercial space activity within their respective states. Space Florida, the Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority, and the New Mexico Spaceport Authority are all currently operational. The California Space Authority operated between 1996 and 2011, when it was shut down. The idea of a state launching its own satellites today is much more plausible than it was back in 1987, when Joanne Gabrynowicz, the editor-in-chief emerita of the Journal of Space Law, was approached by the staff of longtime New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley. "California can launch its own remote sensing satellites just like the private sector can launch commercial satellites" Bradley's plan was for the state of New Jersey to launch its own satellite to monitor the Jersey coast, which had to close its beaches when the "syringe tide" washed a significant amount of medical waste, syringes, and human body parts ashore. Bradley thought that a satellite would help catch illegal dumping off the coast. "In 1987, when I spoke to Sen. Bradley's legislative aides, a state having its own satellite was unrealistic," Gabrynowicz told me. "In 2016, there is so much change in technology that it is more realistic to raise the question of what's possible, however it would still require considerable scientific, economic, and legal research." In fact, Brown himself proposed an environmental satellite program for California in 1978, which he said Wednesday helped earned him the moniker "Governor Moonbeam." Past fantasies aside, the price of cubesats and other small satellites with powerful sensors has come down significantly in the last decade, though land-sensing satellites have thus far been quite expensive. Landsat 8, launched in 2013 as a joint project between NASA and the US Geological Survey, has a program cost of $850 million. Experts believe now that the same satellite could be built and launched for $650 million. Depending on the capabilities California would want, it could launch a satellite for much cheaper. Startup Skybox Imaging, which was rebranded as Terra Bella after Google purchased it, launched its first imaging cubesat for less than $50 million. For context, California's government spends in the neighborhood of $100 billion per year. It is currently $400 billion in debt, but has a balanced budget and has begun the slow process of paying off those debts. There are many models for how a California Space Agency could potentially work, and if the state were to seriously pursue this goal, it could partner with or offer tax incentives to many aerospace companies that are headquartered or have large presences in the state. SpaceX, Northrop Grumman, Aerojet Rocketdyne, Lockheed Martin, ViaSat, Boeing, and Virgin Galactic all have operations in southern California, and the state has both the Mojave Air and Space Port and the California Spaceport—which is located on Vandenberg Air Force Base but is commercially operated—that it could use for launches. Finally, it's worth noting that some states do have satellites in space, in a way. Several public universities, which fall under the purview of state governments, have launched research satellites over the years. "As far as I'm aware, there's no state that has a significant satellite program. It sounds like Brown has larger ideas than what the universities have done," Matthew Schaefer, a space law professor at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, told me. "It's going to be a question of bang for the buck. What capabilities are you looking for and how much would that cost? It's also a question of looking at what's out there—they may be able to get the data they want from a commercial satellite that's already in orbit." Motherboard reached representatives for Gov. Brown, who said they do not currently have anything to add to Brown's remarks. Legally speaking, there are no obvious legal roadblocks that would instantly doom a California Space Agency to failure, according to four space law experts I spoke to. That said, California absolutely could not start its own space agency without some federal cooperation. The rationale behind killing NASA's Earth-monitoring satellites would seem to be economic in nature, and the team he's surrounded himself with are all champions of states' rights. So if California wants to spend its own money on a space program, maybe his agencies will tell the state to go for it. "I see no impediment," Rosanna Satler, a space lawyer with the Posternak Blankstein & Lund law firm in Boston, told me in an email. "California can launch its own remote sensing satellites just like the private sector can launch commercial satellites. I do not believe that any state as an entity or political subdivision has actually launched satellites on its own, but I see no reason why California cannot do so." No lawyer I spoke with was aware of any specific federal law that would supercede a state resolution from California to create a space agency. Internationally speaking, California itself is what's considered a "non-visible entity," meaning the state is considered to be part of the United States (which barring a Calexit, is exactly what it is). "The US is responsible and liable for any relevant categories of US-based space activities, which would include hypothetical ones of any administrative unit within the US," Frans von der Dunk, a space law professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, told me in an email. "At least formally, space activities are only legitimate under international law if they are condoned by [the United States]." The federal government gives permission to other non-visible entities all the time—SpaceX and Blue Origin fall into the same category. To launch a rocket, California would need permission from the Federal Aviation Administration, which handles all launch permits. It would also need to secure communications bandwidth from the Federal Communications Commission. Depending on the sensors used by the state's hypothetical satellites, it may also need permission from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's licensing programs for remote sensing satellites. The FAA has also given itself the authority to license private and state-operated spaceports that are not run by the federal government, suggesting that the agency believes the Commercial Space Launch Act of 1984 allows it to oversee space launch facilities in the United States. "California could do it," Schaefer said. "They would be the sixth or seventh largest nation in the world, they have a large budget and are a huge global actor."


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Dennis Joslin, Ph.D., will retire from his position as president and CEO of Nebraska Methodist College effective July 31, 2017. Dr. Joslin has served Nebraska Methodist College for the past 41 years after beginning his career in healthcare as a critical care staff nurse. Joslin then moved into teaching as a faculty member at Methodist School of Nursing. Prior to becoming president and CEO he held many positions within the college including executive vice president, vice president of academic affairs, dean of academic affairs and director of curriculum. Dr. Joslin earned his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Iowa, his Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Nebraska Medical Center and his Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Throughout his career, Joslin has promoted the expansion of roles and education for nursing and allied health professionals. As one of the first men to enter nursing in the 1970’s, Joslin saw the need for an expanding number of male nurses. The promotion of nursing as a profession for men is something that Joslin continues to support through his participation as a charter member in the Nebraska Chapter of the American Association for Men in Nursing. Under Joslin’s executive stewardship, the college experienced substantial transformation which included the first capital campaign for the college, the design, construction and opening of a state-of-the-art campus, annual record enrollments for each of the past 15 years (resulting in nearly tripling enrollment to 1,100 students), the launching of degree offerings at the doctoral level and the expansion of offerings at the master’s, bachelor’s and associate’s degree levels as well as several certificate level offerings. To ensure that the college’s mission of “promoting the health and well-being of the community” is realized, the college has developed numerous partnerships throughout the community to extend the reach of NMC students, faculty and staff. “The growth we’ve established, along with our consistently high job placement rates, lend credence to the idea that we are a premier school in the Omaha area for a healthcare education,” said Dr. Joslin. Deb Carlson, Ph.D., executive vice president, will assume the position of president and CEO on Aug. 1, 2017. The Nebraska Methodist College Board of Directors unanimously selected her to succeed Joslin as the next president. Carlson has been with NMC for 14 years and has served as a faculty member in the Arts and Sciences division, president of the Faculty Senate, director of the Office of Institutional Research, vice president of operations and, for the past three years, executive vice president. “Dr. Carlson is an outstanding educator and administrator who brings over 20 years of higher education experience from the University of Nebraska and Wayne State College,” said Joslin of his successor. “As a cognitive psychologist, she really understands people and excels in organizational development, strategic planning and accreditation. Deb is committed to serving the community with a focus on community-based healthcare, a direct reflection of the mission of the college.” The Omaha, Nebraska-based Nebraska Methodist College – the Josie Harper Campus has been teaching the meaning of care for 125 years and counting. An affiliate of Methodist Health System, NMC offers certificate, associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees both on campus and online. Nebraska Methodist College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.


News Article | February 22, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

An equation that combines multiple subtest scores into one could make fooling a concussion protocol nothing more than a fool's errand, says a recent study from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The study details a promising approach for pinpointing more athletes who play "impaired" on the Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing, or ImPACT, a computerized tool consisting of eight subtests that gauge neurocognitive performance. Administering ImPACT in the preseason helps establish a cognitive baseline that can be compared against the results of a post-concussion test, informing decisions about whether and when an athlete returns to action. Concussions result from the brain slamming against the skull, usually causing short-term issues that some research suggests may evolve into long-term problems such as memory loss and depression when the brain is subjected to repeated trauma. To mitigate the risk of reinjury, athletes diagnosed with concussions take the ImPACT or a similar test to help determine when they have fully recovered. But some athletes have undertaken the practice of sandbagging: giving lackadaisical effort on the baseline test to record a lower score in the hope of playing sooner after a concussion. Sandbagging can ruin the validity of the test and, because a recovering brain is more susceptible to further trauma, ultimately increase the likelihood of another concussion."At this point, people (administering) ImPACT may not have very much training in neuropsychological testing or standardized test administration or data interpretation," said lead author Kathryn Higgins, a postdoctoral researcher with the Center for Brain, Biology and Behavior at Nebraska. "If the baseline is the standard for when an athlete is recovered, there are all sorts of issues with returning someone to play based on poor baseline data." So Higgins conducted an experiment to determine whether a statistical approach could identify more of the athletes who sandbagged on the baseline test. The experiment asked 54 athletes from rural Midwestern high schools to take the test twice, once while giving their best effort and once while subtly sandbagging. After analyzing the results, Higgins identified four subtests that created the largest disparity in scores. She then developed an equation that yielded a composite score from those subtests. Establishing a threshold for the composite score allowed her to correctly find 100 percent of sandbagging cases while identifying the best-effort cases more than 90 percent of the time. Prior research suggests that ImPACT's existing system of validity checks, which flag suspicious scores on five individual subtests, detect just 65 to 70 percent of sandbaggers. "Obviously, my flags are going to be better (in this case) because I built them and tested them on the same sample," said Higgins, who conducted the study as part of her dissertation. "But I thought it was worth pointing out that this equation has strong potential as another way to detect poor effort on baseline testing." Higgins said she hopes further research will independently evaluate her approach and others that might improve the assessment of high school athletes, who suffer an estimated 300,000 sports-related concussions per year in the United States alone. "There's so much room for work to be done," Higgins said. "We've come so far in the last 10 years -- we know so much more than we did -- but there are still a lot of things that we don't know." Higgins authored the paper with Arthur Maerlender, director of clinical research at the Center for Brain, Biology and Behavior, and Robert Denney from Neuropsychological Associates of Southwest Missouri. It appeared in the journal Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology.


News Article | November 2, 2015
Site: phys.org

The study was performed by Brenna Boyd, an undergraduate research assistant working under Lily Wang, a professor in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Durham School of Architectural Engineering & Construction. Boyd will present her findings at the 170th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA), being held Nov. 2-6, 2015, in Jacksonville, Fla. According to Boyd, her interest in the project stemmed from the the long-standing argument in college football over which team has the loudest stadium. "I wasn't into football—I was into hockey—so I wanted to know how loud our hockey stadium was, while also learning a little bit more about acoustics," said Boyd. In doing so, she hoped to also determine whether the crowd noise was detrimental to communications on the field. For her acoustic survey, Boyd measured the noise levels during four college hockey games played by the University of Nebraska-Omaha team at Omaha's Century Link Center from November 2014 through March 2015. She modelled her study off of a similar 2011 study by Andrew Barnard, a professor at Michigan Technological University, that evaluated the noise levels during college football games. As hockey stadiums have closed roofs rather than open ones, they have the potential to amplify sound by dint of their increased surface area. For the loudest game, which was a rivalry match with St. Cloud University, the average loudness equivalent level in the student section was 95.5 decibels - the equivalent of hearing a jackhammer from 50 feet away - with a peak of 132 decibels, the equivalent of a jet engine about 100 feet away. Not surprisingly, Boyd said, noise levels in the student section were consistently louder than the others. When the noise levels were synchronized with game events, Boyd found that there wasn't a strong correlation between decibel level and goals scored by the home team. "The loudest game was December 12, and we won that one by one goal, so I think there wasn't enough data to see whether loudness was correlated with how many goals they achieved during the game." In post-game surveys given to the UNO players after each game, Boyd said that the majority reported that the crowd was loud but not distracting—"about 70% between silent and loud"—and that the noise levels didn't prevent them from communicating with their teammates or coach while in play. Future research for Boyd involves potentially measuring the sound levels at the new UNO stadium, Baxter Arena, to gauge if the venues differ acoustically and whether the players prefer one stadium over another. More information: Presentation #1aNS7, "Measurements and player surveys of crowd noise levels during college hockey games" by Brenna Boyd and Lily Wang, will be take place on Monday, Nov. 2, at 10:15 AM in Grand Ballroom 1. The abstract can be found by searching for the presentation number here: https://asa2015fall.abstractcentral.com/planner.jsp


News Article | November 8, 2016
Site: www.prweb.com

Over 400 attendees from 20 countries gathered from October 16-20, 2016 at the Sheraton® San Diego in San Diego, CA, for the 2016 Laser Institute of America’s International Congress on Applications of Lasers & Electro-Optics (ICALEO®). Gathering a highly engaged group of field veterans, new registrants and students, this year’s ICALEO featured more than 200 presentations, 59 peer-reviewed talks, comprehensive biophotonics coverage, and the introduction of the new ICALEO mobile app. Returning Congress General Chair Silke Pflueger was back at the helm helping compile the most highly-rated Opening Plenary presentations delivered at an ICALEO conference thus far. “We worked so hard this year to ensure, ICALEO 2016 once again exceeded all expectations,” said Pflueger. “Our opening plenary session is a great example. From visiting Mars, to self-driving cars and a LIGO revisit, we inspired new outlooks and forged new relationships, which is what ICALEO is all about.” Opening plenary speakers included Nina Lanza from Los Alamos National Laboratory, who linked humanity together in her discussion about the laser used aboard the Opportunity rover on Mars, and Jim McBride from Ford Motor Company, who talked about the challenges of sensing on fully autonomous vehicles. Albert Lazzarini, Deputy Director of LIGO Laboratory at California Institute of Technology, presented breaking results regarding black holes made from the first gravitational waves detected by LIGO. This year’s ICALEO also featured a variety of laser research and experimentation revelations, from the use of lasers in emerging areas, like paint stripping and dairy, to microprocessing and several new opportunities in wearables and medicine. Other highlights include LIA Executive Director Peter Baker’s honor as the first recipient of the new LIA Leadership Award. Retiring next April, Baker commented on his meaningful career: “At LIA we’re saving eyesight, preventing skin damage, and helping create laser technologies, products, and services that make the world a better place.” The 2016 Arthur L. Schawlow Award was awarded to Yongfeng Lu, the Lott Distinguished Professor of Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, LIA Board Member, Past President, Treasurer and Fellow. LIA also honored Silke Pflueger and Neil Ball by elevating them to the highest level of membership as LIA Fellows. By unanimous decision, the first place ICALEO Poster Award went to Kohei Asano and his colleagues from Osaka University, the Industrial Research Institute of Ishikawa, and Yamazaki Mazak Corporation in Japan for their poster Copper Layer Formation Produced with 100W Blue Direct Diode Laser System, while the first place Student Paper Award winner was Christian Hagenlocher from IFSW in Stuttgart, Germany, for his paper Space and Time Resolved Determination of Thermomechanical Deformation Adjacent to the Solidification Zone during Hot Crack Formation in Laser Welding. As the 35th ICALEO ended, Neil Ball, newly-honored LIA Fellow, called the breakthrough laser event, “bar none, the best networking opportunity and the best opportunity to look forward and see what applications are on the horizon.” Ken Dzurko, General Manager of SPI Lasers said, “LIA does a great job creating a comfortable, relaxed mood right for exchanging ideas at this one-of-a-kind event that’s really the world’s premier gathering of scientists interested in laser applications.” ICALEO 2016 proceedings are available for sale at http://www.lia.org/store. For more information on ICALEO 2017, held Oct 22-26 in Atlanta, GA, visit http://www.lia.org/conferences/icaleo. The Laser Institute of America (LIA) is the professional society for laser applications and safety serving the industrial, educational, medical, research and government communities throughout the world since 1968. http://www.lia.org, 13501 Ingenuity Drive, Ste 128, Orlando, FL 32826, +1.407.380.1553.


News Article | December 12, 2016
Site: www.businesswire.com

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Optomec - a leading global supplier of production-grade additive manufacturing systems for 3D printed metals – today announced that the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) has ordered a LENS 3D Metal Hybrid Controlled Atmosphere System. The controlled atmosphere hybrid 3D metal printer is part of the new LENS Machine Tool Series from Optomec, which was announced at the International Machine Tool Show (IMTS) earlier this year. (Click here for more information.) The LENS Machine Tool series combines a high-quality CNC vertical mill from Fryer Machine Systems with industry-proven Optomec LENS Print Engine technology to enable low-cost, high-value metal additive and subtractive metal working at a breakthrough price point. “This is the first Powder Fed Directed Energy Deposition system that is both hybrid and has a controlled atmosphere chamber, which is exactly what we need to maximize our industry research and enable us to work with reactive materials. As an early adopter of this unique new system, we gain 3D printing capabilities matched nowhere else in the world,” said Michael P. Sealy, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical & Materials Engineering at University of Nebraska. “We’ve invested in establishing leadership in hybrid manufacturing research and are pleased to partner with Optomec to further this position. This printer will be a core tool for our College of Engineering and will enable us to tap the full potential of our industry-driven research.” UNL will use its Controlled Atmosphere system to advance research in key areas such as heavy machinery, medical devices, and aeronautics. To maximize research potential, UNL needed a machine that could perform both additive and subtractive processes, but also operate in an enclosed environment so that oxygen can be purged from the system to allow for the printing of metals such as titanium and aluminum. The LENS 3D Metal Hybrid Controlled Atmosphere System is the first commercially-available machine of its kind to provide hybrid manufacturing capabilities for reactive metals and aluminum. The LENS 3D Metal Hybrid Controlled Atmosphere System is one of three models that comprise the new LENS Machine Tool Series. Pricing for the new series starts at $249,500 for the LENS 3D Metal Additive System. Optomec is a privately-held, rapidly growing supplier of Additive Manufacturing systems. Optomec’s patented Aerosol Jet Systems for printed electronics and LENS 3D Printers for metal components are used by industry to reduce product cost and improve performance. Together, these unique printing solutions work with the broadest spectrum of functional materials, ranging from electronic inks to structural metals and even biological matter. Optomec has more than 200 marquee customers around the world, targeting production applications in the Electronics, Energy, Life Sciences and Aerospace industries. LENS (Laser Engineered Net Shaping) is a registered trademark of Sandia National Laboratories. Aerosol Jet and Optomec are registered trademarks of Optomec Inc.


News Article | December 13, 2016
Site: www.prnewswire.co.uk

HOUSTON, Dec. 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Vinson & Elkins announces the promotion of eight lawyers to its partnership, effective January 1, 2017: Mark Brasher, Jason McIntosh, Becky Petereit, Bailey Pham, Simon Rootsey, Lande Spottswood, Thomas Zentner and Craig Zieminski. "Our new partners are outstanding attorneys who have shown tremendous dedication to the firm and its clients," said V&E Chairman Mark Kelly. "From the courtroom to the boardroom, each of these exceptional lawyers has demonstrated a high level of skill in their respective practice area. We are thrilled to call them partners." The new partners span six of the firm's key practice areas, including complex commercial litigation, energy transactions and projects, finance, mergers and acquisitions and capital markets, restructuring and reorganization and tax. "We are proud to welcome these talented and accomplished lawyers to the firm's partnership," said V&E Managing Partner Scott Wulfe. "We are grateful for the contributions these deserving attorneys have made to V&E and we look forward to their continued success." The following is a list of V&E's new partners by practice: Craig Zieminski, Dallas. Zieminski's practice focuses on representing companies and their directors in lawsuits brought by Delaware stockholders, master limited partnership (MLP) unitholders and deal partners. Zieminski has helped secure key victories for major energy clients. He played a significant role on the V&E team that represented Energy Transfer Equity in its successful defense of litigation concerning a $37.7 billion merger with The Williams Companies. Zieminski also helped win dismissal of a stockholder suit challenging C&J Energy's $2.9 billion merger with a unit of Nabors Industries. He has also helped companies defeat expedited lawsuits seeking to enjoin major transactions, such as a lawsuit that sought to enjoin Targa Resources' $6.7 billion merger with an affiliated entity and a lawsuit that attempted to enjoin Inergy's $2 billion merger with an affiliated partnership. Zieminski received his law degree from Stanford Law School in 2008 and graduated from Southern Methodist University in 2005 with degrees in economics and accounting. Mark Brasher, Houston. Brasher's practice focuses on project development and related business transactions concerning domestic and international energy and infrastructure projects. His clients include a wide range of participants in the oil and gas industry, renewable energy companies, power producers, infrastructure developers, banks and private equity funds. Brasher is the lead attorney advising Noble Energy on the project development aspects of its 20Tcf Leviathan natural gas project, offshore Israel. He counsels a number of Occidental Petroleum's business units in relation to projects in the United States and the Middle East. He is also an integral member of the V&E team representing Texas Central Partners in connection with the Dallas to Houston high-speed rail project. Recently, Brasher played a key role advising Riverstone in its acquisition from Kinder Morgan of a 50 percent interest in the Utopia Pipeline Project, a common carrier pipeline that will connect ethane gas sources from Ohio to Sarnia, Canada. Brasher received his LL.M. from the University of Texas at Austin in 2011 and his LL.B. from Monash University in Australia in 2006. Bailey Pham, Dallas. Pham's practice focuses on representing financial institutions, corporate lenders and businesses in all types of financing arrangements, including acquisition loans, asset-based loans and energy loans. She assists in the representation of both agent banks, including JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., and borrowers in domestic and international syndicated loan transactions, particularly in secured, leveraged credits covering various markets and industries, including retail, manufacturing and oilfield services. Pham has also advised on a number of high-stakes deals, including Holly Corporation's $7 billion merger with Frontier Oil Corporation, which created one of the largest independent refiners in the United States. Pham received her law degree from Southern Methodist University in 2008 and her bachelor's and master's degrees in accountancy from Wake Forest University in 2002. Simon Rootsey, London. Rootsey's practice focuses on cross-border M&A and private equity, advising on all aspects of private cross-border M&A, private equity transactions, joint ventures and public takeovers. His experience includes advising the Vitol Group on its recent sale of a 50% stake in the VTTI Group to Buckeye Partners for US$1.15 billion, and advising the Vitol Group and Helios Investment Partners in their US$1 billion acquisition of an 80 percent stake in the African downstream oil operations of Royal Dutch Shell plc, and acquisition of a 60 percent stake in the Nigerian downstream oil operations of Oando plc. On the private equity side, he advises leading private equity houses based in Europe and the United States investing in the U.K., Europe and Africa. Rootsey is a graduate of the University of Western Australia, where he received both his Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and his Bachelor of Commerce. Lande Spottswood, Houston. Spottswood advises public and private companies, including MLPs, private equity investors and their portfolio companies, in connection with mergers, acquisitions, dispositions, restructurings, spinoffs, joint ventures and other strategic transactions. She also advises on public company change-of-control transactions. Her experience also includes advising issuers in initial public offerings, as well as public and private offerings of equity and debt securities, and on general corporate matters. She has teamed on some of V&E's largest recent deals, including representing Sunoco Logistics in its pending $22 billion acquisition of Energy Transfer; Plains GP Holdings in its simplification transaction with Plains All American Pipeline for $7.2 billion; Nexeo Solution's $1.575 billion merger with WL Ross Holding Corp.; and Western Refining's $2.4 billion merger agreement with Northern Tier Energy LP. Spottswood received her law degree from Harvard Law School in 2008 and her bachelor's degree from Harvard College in 2005. Thomas Zentner, Houston. Zentner's practice focuses on corporate finance and securities law, including securities offerings, mergers and acquisitions and general corporate representation. His capital markets experience includes representation of both issuers and underwriters in initial public offerings, as well as public and private offerings of equity and debt securities. He also works with public and private companies, including private equity funds and their portfolio companies, in connection with mergers, acquisitions, dispositions and strategic investments. Zentner advised Anadarko Petroleum Corporation in its $2.1 billion public offering of common stock and in its $3 billion offering of senior notes. He also advised Targa Resources Corp. in its $360 million initial public offering and in its $6.7 billion acquisition of Targa Resources Partners in an all stock-for-unit transaction. Zentner received his law degree in 2008 and bachelor's degree in 2005, both from the University of Texas at Austin. Becky Petereit, Dallas. Petereit's practice focuses on all aspects of restructuring and reorganization work, including the representation of debtors, lenders, creditors, landlords and trustees. She represents clients in lawsuits, contested matters, adversary proceedings and other actions before federal district courts, state courts and bankruptcy courts with respect to all types of litigation arising from financially distressed situations. She has represented debtors in complex cross-border insolvency proceedings; tried several fraudulent transfer actions (both jury and bench trials); represented the administrative agent for syndicated secured lenders who were owed approximately $7 billion in a Chapter 11 case of one of the largest publishers of yellow pages directories in the United States; and represented the liquidating trustee of a bankrupt financial services firm in litigation against its former officers and directors. Petereit received her J.D. from University of California, Los Angeles School of Law in 2005 and her bachelor's degree from University of Delaware in 2002. Jason McIntosh, Houston. McIntosh focuses on tax planning with respect to complex international and domestic transactions. His experience spans a broad range of industries, including energy, banking and finance, power generation, petrochemicals, shipping and transport, aircraft leasing and sales, manufacturing and distribution of consumer products and real estate. Among his notable representations, McIntosh was part of the V&E team advising Riverstone Holdings in the formation and $525 million (aggregate) initial capitalization of Sierra Oil & Gas, Mexico's first independent exploration and production company. He recently represented Buckeye Partners in structuring its $1.15 billion acquisition of a 50% interest in VTTI BV, which operates one of the world's largest global energy terminal businesses. McIntosh received his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law and his bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Vinson & Elkins LLP is an international law firm with approximately 700 lawyers across 16 offices worldwide. For more information, please contact Carrie Dugas at +1.713.758.4330. This communication may be considered advertising under law regulating the use of e-mail. This communication is provided by Vinson & Elkins LLP for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended, nor should it be construed, as legal advice.


News Article | November 20, 2016
Site: www.prweb.com

An analysis of collegiate graduate and post-graduate programs by AffordableCollegesOnline.org has determined the best places to earn a Master’s and Doctorate Degree Online in the nation for 2016-2017. As a leader in online higher education resources, the site measured cost and quality data to determine the top online programs for each degree level, identifying Western New Mexico University, Fort Hays State University, University of Central Arkansas, Arkansas State University and Wilmington University as the top scoring schools for earning an online master’s degree and the University of Colorado Denver, University of Mississippi, Indiana State University, University of Arkansas and Texas A&M University as the top scoring schools for earning an online doctorate degree. "As of 2013, over 23 percent of master’s and doctoral level students were completing their degrees entirely online,” said Dan Schuessler, CEO and Founder of AffordableCollegesOnline.org. "Our list pinpoints the schools around the nation who are providing students affordable, quality options when it comes to earning a post-baccalaureate degree, with the bonus of greater learning flexibility provided by online curriculum.” Schools must meet specific criteria to qualify for the Best Online Master’s Degree Programs & Best Online Doctorate Degree Programs lists. All institutions must be accredited, public or private not-for-profit entities and must offer in-state tuition and fees under $25,000 per year. Eligible institutions are further evaluated and scored based on a variety of data points, such as financial aid offerings, graduation rates and online program variety, to determine overall cost and quality rankings by school. Full rankings, as well as specific details on data and methodology used to determine school scores can be found at the following pages: All colleges highlighted for excellence in Online Master’s Programs for 2016-2017 are listed below: Adams State University Arkansas State University - Main Campus Ball State University Brenau University Chadron State College Columbus State University Concordia University-Saint Paul Delta State University East Carolina University Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Worldwide Emporia State University Fort Hays State University Graceland University - Lamoni Indiana State University Indiana Wesleyan University Liberty University Missouri State University - Springfield New Mexico State University - Main Campus North Carolina Central University North Carolina State University at Raleigh Northern Arizona University Northwestern State University of Louisiana Oklahoma State University - Main Campus Purdue University - Main Campus Saint Leo University Southeastern Oklahoma State University Southern Arkansas University Main Campus The University of Texas at Brownsville (University of Texas Rio Grande Valley) The University of Texas at Tyler Troy University University of Alabama at Birmingham University of Arkansas University of Arkansas at Little Rock University of Central Arkansas University of Central Missouri University of Colorado Denver University of Idaho University of Louisiana at Monroe University of Memphis University of Nebraska at Kearney University of North Carolina at Greensboro University of North Dakota University of Southern Mississippi University of West Alabama Wayland Baptist University Webster University Western Carolina University Western Kentucky University Western New Mexico University Wilmington University All colleges highlighted for excellence in Online Doctorate Programs for 2016-2017 are listed below: Allen College Amridge University Clemson University Colorado State University - Fort Collins Hampton University Harding University Indiana State University Kansas State University Keiser University - Fort Lauderdale Liberty University Mississippi State University Northern Arizona University Oregon State University Pennsylvania State University - Main Campus Rutgers University - New Brunswick Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville Stony Brook University Temple University Texas A & M University - College Station Texas A & M University - Commerce Texas Tech University The University of Alabama The University of Montana The University of Tennessee - Knoxville The University of Texas at Tyler The University of Texas Medical Branch Union Institute & University University at Buffalo University of Alabama in Huntsville University of Alaska Fairbanks University of Arizona University of Arkansas University of California - Berkeley University of Colorado Denver University of Delaware University of Florida University of Louisiana at Monroe University of Massachusetts - Amherst University of Michigan - Flint University of Minnesota - Twin Cities University of Mississippi University of Nebraska - Lincoln University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill University of North Carolina at Greensboro University of North Dakota University of Northern Colorado University of South Carolina - Columbia University of the Cumberlands Virginia Commonwealth University Wilmington University 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 | November 10, 2016
Site: www.prweb.com

The Best Veterinary Technician Schools in the nation are being featured by AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org, the Community for Accredited Online Schools 2016-2017 rankings. Comparing both online and on-campus programs at two- and four-year schools across the U.S., the online higher education resource provider ranked schools providing the best overall value for Veterinary Technician students. Colorado Mountain College, St. Petersburg College, Lincoln Memorial University, Becker College, Medaille College, San Juan College, Athens Technical College, Windward Community College, Chattanooga State Community College and Northshore Technical Community College were among the highest scorers. “Job outlook projections show veterinary technician positions growing much faster than the national average through 2024,” said Doug Jones, CEO and Founder of the Community for Accredited Online Schools. “Schools on these lists are not only providing quality veterinary technician programs, but are also making an extra effort to help students land a job after graduation.” Schools must meet specific baseline requirements to be considered for a spot on the Best Veterinary Technician Schools ranking. All institutions must hold regional accreditation and be registered as public or private not-for-profit entities. Schools are also required to provide career placement services to their students. Once a school’s eligibility is determined, the Community for Accredited Online Schools scores and ranks each based on more than a dozen data points, including graduation rates, student teacher ratios and financial aid availability, to determine the overall Best Schools in the U.S. An alphabetical listing of the Best Veterinary Technician Schools for 2016-2017 is included below. To learn where each specifically ranks and to find more details on the data and methodology used to determine scores visit: The 2016-2017 Best Veterinary Technician Programs at Two-Year Schools list: Alamance Community College Arkansas State University - Beebe Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College Athens Technical College Bellingham Technical College Blue Ridge Community College Cedar Valley College Central Oregon Community College Chattanooga State Community College College of Southern Idaho Columbus State Community College Cosumnes River College Crowder College Delaware Technical Community College-Owens Delgado Community College Eastern Iowa Community College District Eastern Wyoming College Front Range Community College Gaston College Genesee Community College Gwinnett Technical College Harcum College Hillsborough Community College Hinds Community College Iowa Lakes Community College Jefferson College Jefferson State Community College Linn-Benton Community College Lone Star College Mesa Community College Middlesex Community College Murray State College Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture North Shore Community College Northeast Community College Northeast Iowa Community College-Calmar Northshore Technical Community College Northwest Mississippi Community College Norwalk Community College Ogeechee Technical College Owensboro Community and Technical College Pierpont Community and Technical College San Juan College Southern Regional Technical College Truckee Meadows Community College Tulsa Community College Volunteer State Community College Weatherford College Western Iowa Tech Community College Windward Community College The 2016-2017 Best Veterinary Technician Programs at Four-Year Schools list: Baker College of Clinton Township Baker College of Flint Baker College of Muskegon Baker College of Port Huron Becker College Brigham Young University-Idaho Colorado Mountain College Daytona State College Eastern Florida State College Fort Valley State University Kent State University at Tuscarawas Lincoln Memorial University Madison Area Technical College Medaille College Miami Dade College Michigan State University Mississippi State University Morehead State University Murray State University Navajo Technical University New England Institute of Technology North Dakota State University - Main Campus Northwestern State University of Louisiana Oklahoma State University - Oklahoma City Otterbein University Pensacola State College Purdue University - Main Campus Siena Heights University St. Petersburg College SUNY College of Technology at Alfred SUNY College of Technology at Canton SUNY College of Technology at Delhi Tuskegee University University of Alaska Anchorage University of Alaska Fairbanks University of Cincinnati - Blue Ash College University of Maine at Augusta University of Nebraska - Lincoln University of New Hampshire - Main Campus Vermont Technical College About Us: The Community for Accredited Online Schools (AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org) was founded in 2011 to provide students and parents with quality data and information about pursuing an affordable education that has been certified by an accrediting agency. Our community resource materials and tools span topics such as college accreditation, financial aid, opportunities available to veterans, people with disabilities, as well as online learning resources. We feature higher education institutions that have developed online learning programs that include highly trained faculty, new technology and resources, and online support services to help students achieve educational success. environments that include highly trained faculty, new technology and resources, and online support services to help students achieve educational and career success.


News Article | December 15, 2015
Site: www.rdmag.com

Even moderate concentrations of a nanoparticle used to whiten certain foods, milk and toothpaste could potentially compromise the brain’s most numerous cells, according to a new study from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The researchers examined how three types of titanium dioxide nanoparticles, the world’s second-most abundant nanomaterial, affected the functioning of astrocyte cells. Astrocytes help regulate the exchange of signal-carrying neurotransmitters in the brain while also supplying energy to the neurons that process those signals, among many other functions. The team exposed rat-derived astrocyte cells to nanoparticle concentrations well below the extreme levels that have been shown to kill brain cells but are rarely encountered by humans. At the study’s highest concentration of 100 parts per million, or PPM, two of the nanoparticle types still killed nearly two-thirds of the astrocytes within a day. That mortality rate fell to between half and one-third of cells at 50 PPM, settling to about one-quarter at 25 PPM. Yet the researchers found evidence that even surviving cells are severely impaired by exposure to titanium dioxide nanoparticles. Astrocytes normally take in and process a neurotransmitter called glutamate that plays wide-ranging roles in cognition, memory and learning, along with the formation, migration and maintenance of other cells. When allowed to accumulate outside cells, however, glutamate becomes a potent toxin that kills neurons and may increase the risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. The study reported that one of the nanoparticle types reduced the astrocytes’ uptake of glutamate by 31 percent at concentrations of just 25 PPM. Another type decreased that uptake by 45 percent at 50 PPM. The team further discovered that the nanoparticles upset the intricate balance of protein dynamics occurring within astrocytes’ mitochondria, the cellular organelles that help regulate energy production and contribute to signaling among cells. Titanium dioxide exposure also led to other signs of mitochondrial distress, breaking apart a significant proportion of the mitochondrial network at 100 PPM. “These events are oftentimes predecessors of cell death,” said Oleh Khalimonchuk, a UNL assistant professor of biochemistry who co-authored the study. “Usually, people are looking at those ultimate consequences, but what happens before matters just as much. Those little damages add up over time. Ultimately, they’re going to cause a major problem.” Khalimonchuk and fellow author Srivatsan Kidambi, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, cautioned that more research is needed to determine whether titanium dioxide nanoparticles can avoid digestion and cross the blood-brain barrier that blocks the passage of many substances. However, the researchers cited previous studies that have discovered these nanoparticles in the brain tissue of animals with similar blood-brain barriers. The concentrations of nanoparticles found in those specimens served as a reference point for the levels examined in the new study. “There’s evidence building up now that some of these particles can actually cross the (blood-brain) barrier,” Khalimonchuk said. “Few molecules seem to be able to do so, but it turns out that there are certain sites in the brain where you can get this exposure.” Kidambi said the team hopes the study will help facilitate further research on the presence of nanoparticles in consumer and industrial products. “We’re hoping that this study will get some discussion going, because these nanoparticles have not been regulated,” said Kidambi, who also holds a courtesy appointment with the University of Nebraska Medical Center. “If you think about anything white – milk, chewing gum, toothpaste, powdered sugar – all these have nanoparticles in them. “We’ve found that some nanoparticles are safe and some are not, so we are not saying that all of them are bad. Our reasoning is that … we need to have a classification of ‘safe’ versus ‘not safe,’ along with concentration thresholds (for each type). It’s about figuring out how the different forms affect the biology of cells.” The study was featured on the Nov. 28 cover of Nanoscale, a journal published by the Royal Society of Chemistry. It was co-authored by Christina Wilson, Vaishaali Natarajan and Stephen Hayward, UNL doctoral students in chemical and biomolecular engineering.


News Article | December 15, 2015
Site: www.cemag.us

Even moderate concentrations of a nanoparticle used to whiten certain foods, milk, and toothpaste could potentially compromise the brain’s most numerous cells, according to a new study from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The researchers examined how three types of titanium dioxide nanoparticles, the world’s second-most abundant nanomaterial, affected the functioning of astrocyte cells. Astrocytes help regulate the exchange of signal-carrying neurotransmitters in the brain while also supplying energy to the neurons that process those signals, among many other functions. The team exposed rat-derived astrocyte cells to nanoparticle concentrations well below the extreme levels that have been shown to kill brain cells but are rarely encountered by humans. At the study’s highest concentration of 100 parts per million, or PPM, two of the nanoparticle types still killed nearly two-thirds of the astrocytes within a day. That mortality rate fell to between half and one-third of cells at 50 PPM, settling to about one-quarter at 25 PPM. Yet the researchers found evidence that even surviving cells are severely impaired by exposure to titanium dioxide nanoparticles. Astrocytes normally take in and process a neurotransmitter called glutamate that plays wide-ranging roles in cognition, memory and learning, along with the formation, migration and maintenance of other cells. When allowed to accumulate outside cells, however, glutamate becomes a potent toxin that kills neurons and may increase the risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. The study reported that one of the nanoparticle types reduced the astrocytes’ uptake of glutamate by 31 percent at concentrations of just 25 PPM. Another type decreased that uptake by 45 percent at 50 PPM. The team further discovered that the nanoparticles upset the intricate balance of protein dynamics occurring within astrocytes’ mitochondria, the cellular organelles that help regulate energy production and contribute to signaling among cells. Titanium dioxide exposure also led to other signs of mitochondrial distress, breaking apart a significant proportion of the mitochondrial network at 100 PPM. “These events are oftentimes predecessors of cell death,” says Oleh Khalimonchuk, a UNL assistant professor of biochemistry who co-authored the study. “Usually, people are looking at those ultimate consequences, but what happens before matters just as much. Those little damages add up over time. Ultimately, they’re going to cause a major problem.” Khalimonchuk and fellow author Srivatsan Kidambi, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, cautioned that more research is needed to determine whether titanium dioxide nanoparticles can avoid digestion and cross the blood-brain barrier that blocks the passage of many substances. However, the researchers cited previous studies that have discovered these nanoparticles in the brain tissue of animals with similar blood-brain barriers. The concentrations of nanoparticles found in those specimens served as a reference point for the levels examined in the new study. “There’s evidence building up now that some of these particles can actually cross the (blood-brain) barrier,” Khalimonchuk says. “Few molecules seem to be able to do so, but it turns out that there are certain sites in the brain where you can get this exposure.” Kidambi said the team hopes the study will help facilitate further research on the presence of nanoparticles in consumer and industrial products. “We’re hoping that this study will get some discussion going, because these nanoparticles have not been regulated,” says Kidambi, who also holds a courtesy appointment with the University of Nebraska Medical Center. “If you think about anything white — milk, chewing gum, toothpaste, powdered sugar — all these have nanoparticles in them. “We’ve found that some nanoparticles are safe and some are not, so we are not saying that all of them are bad. Our reasoning is that … we need to have a classification of ‘safe’ versus ‘not safe,’ along with concentration thresholds (for each type). It’s about figuring out how the different forms affect the biology of cells.” The study was featured on cover of Nanoscale, a journal published by the Royal Society of Chemistry. It was co-authored by Christina Wilson, Vaishaali Natarajan, and Stephen Hayward, UNL doctoral students in chemical and biomolecular engineering. The team’s research was funded in part by the National Institutes of Health under grant numbers 1T32GM107001-01A1, P30GM103335, and 1R01GM108975.


News Article | December 5, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Colorado State University's Jean Peccoud is part of a multi-institutional team newly commissioned to analyze the security of the nation's biomanufacturing infrastructure FORT COLLINS, COLORADO - Facilities that manufacture biologic drugs like vaccines are a critical part of the nation's biodefense infrastructure. Possible breaches of data systems controlling these biomanufacturing supply chains call for an assessment of their vulnerability to cyberattacks. Colorado State University's Jean Peccoud, professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and the Abell Endowed Chair in Synthetic Biology, is part of a multi-institutional team newly commissioned to analyze the security of the nation's biomanufacturing infrastructure. Peccoud brings an extensive research background to the team, as well as experience training government agencies in analyzing the vulnerabilities of biotechnology supply chains. The U.S. Department of Defense has awarded a contract to the National Strategic Research Institute (NSRI) at the University of Nebraska to lead the research project in cyberbiosecurity, engaging a team of scientists that includes Peccoud, along with researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Virginia Tech and U.S. Strategic Command. Their aim is to provide specific recommendations to the Department of Defense for strengthening biomanufacturing infrastructure. The NSRI is one of 13 University Affiliated Research Centers across the nation, charged with delivering research solutions for the Department of Defense in areas affecting national security. The Biological Process Development Facility at University of Nebraska-Lincoln will serve as the proof-of-concept centerpiece facility for the project. Peccoud, an expert in bioinformatics, will work with the facility to analyze best practices and perform a security risk assessment. "If every computer system is theoretically vulnerable to cyberattacks, how might these vulnerabilities impact the safety, delays, and production of biomanufacturing processes?" Peccoud said. "We need to ensure the integrity of the flow of physical material and the flow of data associated with biomanufacturing processes." "Our project will set the foundations of cyberbiosecurity as a new specialty at the interface between biosecurity and cybersecurity," said project principal investigator Randall Murch, associate director for research program development at Virginia Tech. Wally Buchholz, director of the University of Nebraska's bioprocessing facility, says: "This project will identify all critical information that is essential to a bioproduction facility's successful operation and outcome. The results will help us to understand the tolerances and vulnerabilities that can be exploited for various nefarious purposes and the specific methods that could be used." CSU is also an integral part of the national biodefense system. BioMARC, the university's high-containment biomanufacturing unit develops, manufactures and tests vaccines for the Department of Defense and other government agencies.


News Article | November 4, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

From deep within the Earth to the upper atmosphere, the organisms and ecosystems highlighted in the 37 projects selected for the 2017 Community Science Program (CSP) of the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI), a DOE Office of Science User Facility, reflect the breadth and depth of interests researchers are exploring to find solutions to energy and environmental challenges. "These new CSP projects, selected through our external review process, exploit DOE JGI's experimental and analytical "omics" capabilities and build our portfolio in key focus areas including sustainable bioenergy production, plant microbiomes and terrestrial biogeochemistry," said Susannah Tringe, DOE JGI User Programs Deputy. The CSP 2017 projects were selected from 98 full proposals received, resulting from 123 letters of intent submitted. The full list of projects may be found at http://jgi. . A number of the accepted proposals call for developing reference genomes for plants of relevance to bioenergy, either as potential feedstocks or because they possess biochemistries that could provide insights into better ways to derive biofuels from plant biomass. These will take advantage of powerful DOE JGI sequencing upgrades. Building upon the previously published reference genome for Sorghum bicolor generated by the DOE JGI, Todd Mockler of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center has targeted the sequencing of a number of highly diverse sorghum lines. The project will explore and begin to assemble the pangenome to accelerate gene discovery and increase understanding of which variants are associated with different functional outcomes. This work is being conducted in close concert with DOE's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy's (ARPA-E) Transportation Energy Resources from Renewable Agriculture (TERRA) program. David Des Marais of Harvard University is similarly focused on Brachypodium, which has had two genomes - Brachypodium distachyon and B. sylvaticum - sequenced by the DOE JGI. Among his plans are estimating a pangenome for B. sylvaticum and sequencing 4 additional Brachypodium species to further functional genomic analysis research in grasses. Karen Aitken of Australia's national science agency CSIRO is focused on producing the first genome assembly of a cultivated sugarcane plant, namely variety R570. Cultivated sugarcane produces 80 percent of the world's sugar and is already harvested in large volumes and along with its transportation system efficiencies, is helping to guide optimized production strategies for other renewable and sustainable biofuel crops. Many projects focus on plants with demonstrated tolerance to stressors such as drought. The proposal from John Cushman of the University of Nevada seeks to establish the common or crystalline ice plant (Mesembryanthemum crystallinum L.) as a DOE JGI Flagship Genome species like poplar, soybean, and Brachypodium distachyon. Most plants use what is known as the C3 pathway to photosynthetically fix carbon (from CO2) in the presence of abundant nutrients, while plants in arid conditions rely on a different mechanism, the water-conserving CAM pathway. A rapidly growing desert annual native to the Namibian desert, the common ice plant is the first reported species that can switch from the C3 pathway to CAM when stressed by factors such as drought and salinity. Elizabeth Kellogg, also of the Danforth Center, requested a genome sequence for the big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii subsp. gerardii), the plant most associated with the Great Plains. The big bluestem dominates the tall grass prairie, accounting for up to 70 percent of biomass in some areas, and is highly resistant to climate change. In a complementary project, Karolina Heyduk of the University of Georgia seeks genome sequences for two cacti: the C3 species Yucca aloifolia and the CAM species Y. filamentosa. The comparison of the genomes for these two related cacti could illuminate the genes and pathways involved in these two forms of photosynthesis. Similarly, the gene atlas for CAM plant Kalanchoe laxiflora proposed by Xiaohan Yang of Oak Ridge National Laboratory could allow researchers to understand how it responds to changes in environmental conditions, including temperature, water, and nitrogen source. Few conifers have had their genomes sequenced thus far, and Joerg Bohlmann of Canada's University of British Columbia wants to raise the number. He has targeted the genomes and transcriptomes of the common yew and western red cedar, as well as the transcriptome of the Jeffrey pine, all candidate bioenergy feedstocks. Two projects focus on the impact of fire on forests as full recovery can take decades. Daniel Cullen of Forest Products Laboratory is comparing how microbial communities in forests dominated by Lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) fare in fire-disturbed and undisturbed forests, in part to define processes that underlie carbon cycling in coniferous forests. Similarly, Thomas Bruns of University of California, Berkeley seeks to learn more about the effects of pyrophilous fungi on post-fire soil carbon by studying the genomes and transcriptomes of 13 fungi as well as the metatranscriptomes of burned soils. Several projects focus on plant-microbe interactions, both on micro- and macroscales. Sharon Doty of the University of Washington is investigating poplar endophytes, one that fixes nitrogen and one involved in phytoremediation. Plant root microbial consortia are known to be critically important to plant growth and resilience to changing soil conditions but much remains to be learned about community composition and function. Devin Coleman-Derr of the USDA-ARS, with his resource allocation, is seeking to learn more about the role of root-associated Actinobacteria in promoting host fitness in sorghum and rice under drought conditions. Paul Dijkstra of Northern Arizona University, with his allocation, will illuminate soil bacterial transcriptional regulatory networks in switchgrass fields. William Whitman of the University of Georgia plans to develop pangenomes of 100-200 species of soil or plant-associated prokaryotes. The pangenome concept is vital to understanding the repertoire of genes upon which microbial populations may call as local environments change. Jared LeBoldus of Oregon State University is targeting metabolites of Sphaerulina musiva, the cause of Septoria stem canker and leaf spot disease in poplar. Christine Smart of Cornell University is characterizing the mechanisms of willow rust (Melampsora americana), and conducting a comparative genomic study involving M. americana and other Melampsora genomes sequenced by the DOE JGI that are known plant pathogens of poplar and other candidate bioenergy feedstocks. Gregory Bonito of Michigan State University will identify the mechanisms of attraction, communication, and growth-promoting activity between Mortierella, a close relative of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, and the DOE JGI Flagship plants. Nhu Nguyen of the University of California, Berkeley will be a generating genus-wide molecular phylogeny of Suillus, asking for 50 fungal genome sequences. Suillus fungi tolerate heavy metals, but the protection varies among hosts. Wayne Nicholson of the University of Florida will be generating a more comprehensive assessment of Carnobacterium, strains of which can be found in all pressure niches from the deep ocean to the upper atmosphere. Sean Crowe of Canada's University of British Columbia will characterize the methanome, comprised of genomic information distributed across organisms that either produce or consume methane, which is both a source of fuel and a greenhouse gas. Graeme Attwood of New Zealand's AgResearch Ltd and his team seek to define gene function in rumen microbes, in part to control the microbes' production of methane emissions from bovines. Soil emissions are a focus of Jennifer Pett-Ridge of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Jonathan Raff of Indiana University. Pett-Ridge is determining the impact microbes in humid tropical forest soils have on carbon cycling, work that complements her DOE Early Career Research Program award. Raff intends to use samples from temperate hardwood forest sites to learn more about soil emissions of nitric oxide (NO) and more accurately represent NO sinks and sources in climate models. Alison Buchan of University of Tennessee, Knoxville is generating data about lignin related aromatic compounds in salt marshes that are removed between river mouths and open oceans, and the biochemical pathways employed in this process. A similar project comes from Christopher Francis of Stanford University and involves the San Francisco Bay Delta, the largest estuary on the west coast of North America. His team is investigating how environmental changes drive estuarine microbial community changes, and if certain pathways and organisms dominate under certain conditions, or if genes co-vary with specific functional gene ecotypes. Several projects are focused on algae for their roles in carbon fixation and for potential bioenergy applications. Chi Zhang of the University of Nebraska - Lincoln is focused on Zygnematales, the closest algal lineage to land plants, to learn more about how plant cell walls formed in the evolutionary transition from aquatic to land plants. The information could shed light on how to deconstruct plant cell walls for biofuel production without impacting plant viability. Matthew Johnson of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute is interested in the bloom-forming Mesodinium rubrum and M. major complex. While these algae are major contributors to primary production, they acquire their ability to harness light energy for nutrients through predation so genome sequencing would help distinguish native metabolic pathways from those of the prey. Jeffry Dudycha of the University of South Carolina is pursuing a project based on cryptophytes, eukaryotic microalgae that are important primary producers in aquatic environments and are capable of capturing a broad spectrum of available light. By sequencing representatives from all major clades, the team hopes to maximize ways diverse algal communities could boost lipid yields for biofuels. Biological soil crusts or biocrusts are extremely sensitive to climate changes. As surviving extreme drought is a rare feature in plants, Elena Lopez Peredo of Marine Biological Laboratory will be generating annotated genomes of Scenedesmus algae to learn more about the desiccation tolerance of green microalgae in biocrusts. In a complementary project, Steven Harris of University of Nebraska - Lincoln is detailing the interactions of fungal and algal components of biocrusts to learn more about how they can tolerate environmental stress. Several projects build off previous efforts to sequence 1,000 microbial genomes (KMG), which have so far led to the selection of nearly 2,300 type strains. Markus Göker of Germany's DSMZ is spearheading KMG-4 to sequence environmentally relevant cultures. Ramunas Stepanauskas of Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences is using single-cell genomics to target taxonomic "blind spots" - clades systematically underrepresented or missed due to primer mismatches or intervening sequences in marker genes. Barbara MacGregor of the University of North Carolina is exploring how horizontal gene transfer has shaped the genomes of large sulfur bacteria, which are often found in dense microbial mats and play roles in carbon, nitrogen, sulfur and phosphorus cycles. Mary Ann Moran of the University of Georgia is examining organic sulfur biogeochemistry in a coastal ocean ecosystem. She and colleagues from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute collected a time series of coastal microbes and microbial communities which will be subjected to sequencing to explore how metabolism shifts as community composition changes. Mark Dopson of Sweden's Linnaeus University has a project that deploys DOE JGI's single cell genomics resources on samples sourced from deep subsurface. Targeted microbiomes will come from deep bedrock waters including Mont Terri Underground Rock Lab in Switzerland and sites constructed to investigate the safety of deep geological storage of spent nuclear fuel. Data would provide knowledge contributing to informed decisions on safety. Ashley Shade of Michigan State University plans to use a synthetic bacterial community to study the interactions among multiple community members, and then link community structure to activity and to exometabolite interactions. In sum, these 37 new projects will furnish a genomic basis for ongoing and new explorations into the genetic bases for plant, fungal, algal, microbial, and microbial community mechanisms focused on important processes of biofuel and bioenergy feedstock composition and metabolisms, as well as related environmental processes of importance for DOE missions. The U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute, a DOE Office of Science User Facility at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, is committed to advancing genomics in support of DOE missions related to clean energy generation and environmental characterization and cleanup. DOE JGI, headquartered in Walnut Creek, Calif., provides integrated high-throughput sequencing and computational analysis that enable systems-based scientific approaches to these challenges. Follow @doe_jgi on Twitter. DOE's Office of Science is the largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.


News Article | December 5, 2016
Site: www.prweb.com

American Business Continuity Group, LLC (ABC Group), in conjunction with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), has developed breakthrough construction methodologies and proprietary conductive shotcrete shielding that protect buildings from High Altitude Electromagnetic Pulse (HEMP), Intentional Electromagnetic Interference (IEMI), Emanations Eavesdropping (TEMPEST), terrorist ballistic / blast attacks and natural disasters. ABC Group’s EMP (electromagnetic pulse) shielding compliant prototype building, based in Lakeland, Florida, is the result of three years of an ambitious and ongoing joint sponsored research program with UNL. Technology developed during the joint sponsored research agreement has been exclusively licensed by ABC Group from NUtech Ventures, the commercialization affiliate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Decades of research by UNL’s world-class experts in conductive concrete and EMP shielding, engineering professors Christopher Tuan and Lim Nguyen, preceded ABC Group’s commercial construction applications. ABC Group’s proprietary and innovative construction methods utilize the patent protected EMSS-Electromagnetic Shielding Shotcrete, enabling high strength, rigorously tested structures that exceed the electromagnetic shielding requirements of Mil Std 188-125 as well as the higher frequencies of IEMI (Intentional Electromagnetic Interference) weapons and Tempest. "EMP is very lethal to electronic equipment,” said Tuan, professor of civil engineering. “We found a key ingredient that dissipates wave energy. This technology offers a lot of advantages so the construction industry is very interested,” Tuan continued. “The concrete can provide what we call a multi-threat structure," said Nguyen, professor of electrical and computer engineering, who traveled to Florida to evaluate the prototype building. "The structure has to be able to withstand an attack either by an explosive or an electromagnetic attack or other scheme." ABC Group’s Omni-Threat Structures™ include scalable, cost-effective hardened buildings configurable to customer-defined levels of protection for critical infrastructure, power generation and distribution facilities, the military, financial institutions, and other critical infrastructure facilities. In comparison to higher cost, traditional methods requiring a separate metal structure within a building, ABC Group constructs a single structure that combines the physical security of concrete with electromagnetic shielding. This breakthrough method results in a shorter, more economical construction cycle, and lower building life cycle costs. Elimination of the building within the building negates the need for separate architecture, engineering and specialized construction. Specific to the power grid, ABC Group’s buildings offer secure storage of replacement electronic devices including test equipment and diagnostic sensors for a grid black start. Facilities that are particularly vulnerable include regional command centers, substations, disaster recovery facilities, operations control buildings and SCADA Rooms (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition). ABC Group’s Omni-Threat Structures ™ are ideally suited to secure critical aspects of the nation’s telecommunications infrastructure. Military applications for the structures include physically secure / hardened facilities such as TEMPEST data-communications centers, command and control operation centers and facilities to protect high-value assets such as aircraft. American Business Continuity Group has three decades of success as a high integrity industrial general contractor, a decade of success with specialized design-build hardened structures and experience in the nuclear power industry, building Fukushima Flex/ Beyond Design Basis structures that meet NRC Regulatory Guide 1.76 standards. Building on a history of success, the company now constructs EMP - IEMI shielded structures that also incorporates protection from ballistic /blast, natural threats, including Cat 5 hurricanes, EF-5 tornados, and seismic events. The group is currently constructing the Vertical Electro-Magnetic Pulse Simulator (VEMPS) at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Patuxent River, Maryland. In addition to the ongoing work with University of Nebraska-Lincoln and NUtech Ventures, ABC Group has assembled a team of experts in the EMP / IEMI field, with a broad base of experience to support delivery of products and services to the power industry, the U.S. Military and all Homeland Security Critical Infrastructure Sectors. For further information, please contact Lisa Schunack, Marketing Director, American Business Continuity Group, LLC. lisa.schunack(at)americanbcg(dot)com 2500 NW 39th Street - Miami - Florida 33142 305.918.1222 For further information regarding technology developed at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, please contact Mauricio Suarez, Licensing Director, NUtech Ventures at msuarez(at)nutechventures(dot)org About NUtech Ventures: As the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s intellectual property and commercialization affiliate, NUtech Ventures facilitates the commercialization and practical use of innovations generated through the research at Nebraska. NUtech, protects, markets and licenses the university’s intellectual property, and connects innovators with the resources needed to start companies, develop products and create job.


News Article | November 7, 2016
Site: grist.org

This story was originally published by Mother Jones and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. The climate didn’t get much attention in this year’s debates, but Tuesday’s election will still have major consequences for the fight against global warming. Donald Trump thinks climate change is a hoax; he’s pledged to withdraw from the historic Paris climate accord and to repeal President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which is intended to cut greenhouse gas emissions from coal plants. Hillary Clinton has said she will continue Obama’s climate legacy and has called for installing half a billion solar panels by the end of her first term. The debate isn’t restricted to the top of the ticket; there are a number of state races that will play a key role in determining U.S. climate policy, along with a handful of ballot initiatives covering everything from rooftop solar to a proposed carbon tax. The situation in each state is unique. Some races — New Hampshire’s Senate contest, for instance — feature two candidates who want to act on climate change. Others, such as West Virginia’s gubernatorial election, feature two candidates who are champions of the coal industry. The impacts of climate change also vary from state to state: Alaska faces wildfires and melting permafrost; Florida is confronting rising seas; Iowa could be hit with falling corn yields. And of course, the voters in each state are different, too. Coloradans overwhelmingly acknowledge that humans are warming the planet. Their neighbors in Utah: not so much. Below, we’ve listed every state with a competitive presidential, Senate, or gubernatorial race — as well as ones that are voting on climate-related initiatives. And we’ve included a few key facts: namely, where the candidates stand on climate, the specific consequences of warming in each state, and the percentage of each state’s residents who are climate science deniers (according to research from the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication). One final note: For the sake of consistency, we included every Senate and gubernatorial race that the Cook Political Report rates as “toss up,” “lean,” or “likely.” Many of these elections will probably be close, but a few (see: Alaska’s Senate race) almost certainly won’t be. Impacts of climate change: “Alaska has warmed twice as fast as the rest of the nation, bringing widespread impacts. Sea ice is rapidly receding and glaciers are shrinking. Thawing permafrost is leading to more wildfire and affecting infrastructure and wildlife habitat. Rising ocean temperatures and acidification will alter valuable marine fisheries.” [National Climate Assessment, 2014] Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 47 percent Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R): “I do believe that our climate is changing. I don’t agree that all the changes are necessarily due solely to human activity.” [Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee session, 8 Jan 2015] Ray Metcalfe (D): “Every [Alaskan] has witnessed climate change over the past 50 years. Our winters are warmer, our summers are longer, and our Arctic Village shores, once protected by sea ice, are eroding. Bold clean energy action is needed to stave off a climate hostile to human life. Unfortunately, Congress is protecting the profits of those opposed to protecting the planet.” [Metcalfe Facebook post, 2 Aug 2016] Impacts of climate change: “Annual precipitation has decreased in Arizona during the last century, and it may continue to decrease. So soils are likely to be drier, and periods without rain are likely to become longer, making droughts more severe … Increasing droughts and higher temperatures are likely to affect Arizona’s top agricultural products: cattle, dairy, and vegetables.” [EPA, August 2016] Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 43 percent Sen. John McCain (R): “I think we need to address greenhouse gas emissions. But I try to get involved in issues where I see a legislative result … So I just leave the issue alone because I don’t see a way through it, and there are certain fundamentals, for example nuke power, that people on the left will never agree with me on. So why should I waste my time when I know the people on the left are going to reject nuclear power?” [Time, 2 Mar 2014] Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D): “The EPA’s [Clean Power Plan] is another example of Washington’s lack of understanding when it comes to rural and Western energy issues. I oppose this new rule because it hurts my district, which has four coal-fired plants that power Arizona’s big cities, small towns, businesses, and residences. These plants also provide good-paying jobs in our tribal and rural regions. The Navajo Generating Station in Page, for example, employs hundreds of people, mostly Native Americans, and provides nearly all of the power for the Central Arizona Project. That means our entire state has a big stake in the energy production and economic stability of these plants. We need to find a balance between protecting our local economies while pursuing the longer-term goal of producing clean, affordable, and reliable power. I will not support efforts that kill jobs in my district and lack provisions for responsibly transitioning us toward a clean-energy economy.” [Kirkpatrick press release, 2 June 2014] Impacts of climate change: “Rising temperatures have and will continue to impact the state’s resources in a variety of ways, including more rapid snowmelt, longer and more severe droughts, and longer growing seasons … Moreover, Colorado experiences numerous climate-related disasters, such as [tornadoes], hailstorms, and wildfires, that will continue to occur and may be exacerbated by climate change.” [University of Colorado and Colorado State University, January 2015] Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 41 percent Sen. Michael Bennet (D): “Colorado’s economy is already being threatened by unchecked climate change … [The Clean Power Plan] is an important step toward curbing carbon pollution and addressing climate change.” [Bennet press release, 3 Aug 2015] Impacts of climate change: “There is an imminent threat of increased inland flooding during heavy rain events in low-lying coastal areas such as southeast Florida, where just inches of sea-level rise will impair the capacity of stormwater drainage systems to empty into the ocean. Drainage problems are already being experienced in many locations during seasonal high tides, heavy rains, and storm surge events.” [National Climate Assessment, 2014] Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 42 percent Sen. Marco Rubio (R): “I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it … And I do not believe that the laws that they propose we pass will do anything about it — except, they will destroy our economy.” [ABC News, 13 May 2014] Rep. Patrick Murphy (D): “Everywhere I go in Florida, I see the effects of [climate change]. Sen. Rubio denies science.” [WFTV debate via Media Matters, 17 Oct 2016] Rooftop Solar (Amendment 1): This is a confusing initiative that could actually undermine rooftop solar in the Sunshine State. As we reported in March, “Amendment 1 was created by an organization with a grassroots-sounding name: Consumers for Smart Solar. In reality, though, the organization is financed by the state’s major electric utility companies as well as by conservative groups with ties to the Koch brothers … The amendment says state and local governments have the authority ‘to ensure that consumers who do not choose to install solar are not required to subsidize the costs of backup power and electric grid access to those who do.'” That’s widely seen as an attack on net metering, the policy requiring utilities to pay consumers for the extra power produced by their solar panels. Impacts of climate change: “Sea level is rising more rapidly in Georgia than along most coasts because the land is sinking. If the oceans and atmosphere continue to warm, sea level is likely to rise one to four feet in the next century along the coast of Georgia. Rising sea level submerges wetlands and dry land, erodes beaches, and exacerbates coastal flooding … [H]urricane wind speeds and rainfall rates are likely to increase as the climate continues to warm. Whether or not storms become more intense, coastal homes and infrastructure will flood more often as sea level rises, because storm surges will become higher as well.” [EPA, August 2016] Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 45 percent Sen. Johnny Isakson (R): “I’ve done everything I can as a United States Senator to educate myself on the carbon issue and the climate change issue. Seven years ago, I went with Sen. Boxer from California to Disko Bay in Greenland with Dr. [Richard] Alley who’s the leading glaciologist in the world to study for a while what he says about the possibility of carbon being the cause of climate change. And there are mixed reviews on that; there’s mixed scientific evidence on that.” [Atlanta Journal Constitution, 18 Mar 2015] Jim Barksdale (D): “Climate change is a reality and if left unchecked, rising ocean tides will harm Georgia’s Atlantic coast and threaten our state’s robust tourism and shipping industries.” [Barksdale campaign website, accessed 28 Oct 2016] Allen Buckley (L): “Change the gas tax to be an energy tax with the following general concept — the cleaner a fuel is, the less tax it bears and the dirtier a fuel is, the more tax it bears. For example, the current federal excise tax is 18.4 cents per gallon of gasoline. If, in the future, one-third of our vehicles run on gasoline, one-third run on batteries, and one-third run on hydrogen, and the respective ‘well to wheels’ carbon dioxide output is 6, 3, and 1, then the 18.4 cent excise tax should be allocated so that gasoline bears 33.1 cents per gallon, battery-powered cars pay 16.6 cents per gallon in gasoline-equivalent terms, and hydrogen vehicles pay 5.5 cents per gallon in gasoline-equivalent terms … Concerning global warming, while I believe it is happening, the degree to which it is man-made is very hard to gauge.” [Buckley campaign website, accessed 28 Oct 2016] Impacts of climate change: “Changing climate is likely to increase the frequency of floods in Illinois. Over the last half century, average annual precipitation in most of the Midwest has increased by 5 to 10 percent. But rainfall during the four wettest days of the year has increased about 35 percent, and the amount of water flowing in most streams during the worst flood of the year has increased by more than 20 percent. During the next century, spring rainfall and average precipitation are likely to increase, and severe rainstorms are likely to intensify. Each of these factors will tend to further increase the risk of flooding … In Lake Michigan, changing climate is likely to harm water quality. Warmer water tends to cause more algal blooms, which can be unsightly, harm fish, and degrade water quality.” [EPA, August 2016] Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 39 percent Sen. Mark Kirk (R): “I have voted that climate change is happening and it’s also caused by man … The best thing that we can do on climate change is make sure that China converts to a more nuclear future to limit those — that one coal-burning plant coming on a week that we expect — that would really help the planet … We need to work cooperatively with developing countries to make sure they emit less.” [WICS debate via Media Matters, 27 Oct 2016] Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D): “Of course climate change is real. And I support an all-of-the-above approach attacking climate change — everything from moving our country towards being carbon-neutral, moving our country towards clean energy … My opponent has not been consistent … Depending on whether or not he’s up for election … he’s either voted for the Clean Power Plan or against the Clean Power Plan. He’s switched back and forth.” [WICS debate via Media Matters, 27 Oct 2016] Impacts of climate change: “Changing the climate is likely to increase the frequency of floods in Indiana … During the next century, spring rainfall and average precipitation are likely to increase, and severe rainstorms are likely to intensify. Each of these factors will tend to further increase the risk of flooding … Although springtime in Indiana is likely to be wetter, summer droughts are likely to be more severe … Longer frost-free growing seasons and higher concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide would increase yields for some crops during an average year. But increasingly hot summers are likely to reduce yields of corn and possibly soybeans.” [EPA, August 2016] Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 46 percent Former Sen. Evan Bayh (D): “Evan Bayh supports Indiana’s coal industry, including opposing the EPA’s coal rules. Pointing out that the coal industry contributed $2 billion to Indiana’s economy, Evan argued that the EPA’s rules would put ‘tens of thousands’ of Hoosier jobs at risk. In the Senate, Evan not only voted twice against cap-and-trade legislation, he signed a letter stating that he would not support any climate change bill that did not protect Indiana jobs.” [Bayh campaign website, accessed 28 Oct 2016] Rep. Todd Young (R): “My mind remains open about the various scientific questions and so forth. We’re often told that there is a consensus among scientists, and I’ve come to discover — as the number of scientists I’ve talked to and the number of things I read — that’s not necessarily the case. But I think we need to prepare for the worst, and so I support energy efficiency measures. I think natural gas has been a big part of the solution if in fact we need to reduce man-generated carbon dioxide emissions. And I think any public policy that doesn’t account for the fact that most CO2 emissions don’t come from the United States, but they come from other countries, is a flawed policy. So let’s not unilaterally tax our power, our people, to solve a global problem.” [WLKY, 8 Oct 2014] John Gregg, former Indiana Speaker of the House and former coal lobbyist (D): “Like my family, I’ve worked in the coal industry. And I’ve opposed federal rules impacting coal jobs.” [Gregg campaign ad, 11 Aug 2016] Lt. Gov Eric Holcomb (R): “[Holcomb will] stand strong against unreasonable Federal EPA rules, like the so-called Clean Power Plan, that continue to lead to higher prices for Hoosiers.” [Holcomb campaign website, accessed 28 Oct 2016] Impacts of climate change: “[Iowa] will face the highest likely losses of any Midwest state from climate-related commodity crop yield declines. By the end of this century, absent significant adaptation by Iowa farmers, the state could face likely declines in its signature corn crop of 18 percent to 77 percent — a huge hit for a corn industry worth nearly $10 billion.” [Risky Business, January 2015] Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 44 percent Sen. Chuck Grassley (R): “We had global warming between 1940 and 1998. Since then, we haven’t had a rise in temperature. That doesn’t mean we don’t have a problem. If that problem is going to be solved, it ought to be solved by an international treaty.” [Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network, 17 May 2014] Former Lt. Gov. Patty Judge (D): “Climate change is very real. It is a serious issue it should be treated that way … It is not just ours here in Iowa or even in the United States. One of the things that we need to do immediately is try to move our self away from petroleum-based or fuels from carbon-based fueling of this country, and, you know, we started doing that here in Iowa and we’ve been very successful with developing our alternative energy programs.” [Iowa Public Radio, 31 May 2016] Impacts of climate change: “Heatwaves, more powerful storms, and rising seas are increasingly transforming Maine — effects that most climate scientists trace to greenhouse gases warming the planet … Over the past 100 years, temperatures throughout the Northeast have risen by about 2 degrees Fahrenheit … Precipitation has increased by more than 10 percent, with the worst storms bringing significantly more rain and snow. And sea levels have climbed by a foot. A study by the Gulf of Maine Research Institute this year found that coastal waters are warming at a rate faster than 99 percent of the world’s other oceans.” [Boston Globe, 21 Sep 14] Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 42 percent Presidential battleground? Yes. (Maine allocates electoral votes by congressional district, and the 2nd district is competitive.) Impacts of climate change: “Changing the climate is likely to harm water quality in Lake Erie and Lake Michigan. Warmer water tends to cause more algal blooms, which can be unsightly, harm fish, and degrade water quality. During August 2014, an algal bloom in Lake Erie prompted the Monroe County Health Department to advise residents in four townships to avoid using tap water for cooking and drinking. Severe storms increase the amount of pollutants that run off from land to water, so the risk of algal blooms will be greater if storms become more severe. Severe rainstorms can also cause sewers to overflow into lakes and rivers, which can threaten beach safety and drinking water supplies.” [EPA, August 2016] Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 43 percent Impacts of climate change: “The state has warmed 1 to 3 degrees F in the last century. Floods are becoming more frequent, and ice cover on lakes is forming later and melting sooner. In the coming decades, these trends are likely to continue. Rising temperatures may interfere with winter recreation, extend the growing season, change the composition of trees in the North Woods, and increase water pollution problems in lakes and rivers. The state will have more extremely hot days, which may harm public health in urban areas and corn harvests in rural areas.” [EPA, August 2016] Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 43 percent Impacts of climate change: “Seventy years from now, Missouri is likely to have more than 25 days per year with temperatures above 95 degrees F, compared with 5 to 15 today. Hot weather causes cows to eat less, produce less milk, and grow more slowly — and it could threaten their health. Even during the next few decades, hotter summers are likely to reduce yields of corn. But higher concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide increase crop yields, and that fertilizing effect is likely to offset the harmful effects of heat on soybeans, assuming that adequate water is available. On farms without irrigation, however, increasingly severe droughts could cause more crop failures. ” [EPA, August 2016] Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 45 percent Sen. Roy Blunt (R): “Electric service providers in Missouri have warned that the EPA’s so-called Clean Power Plan will raise energy costs for Missourians, reduce jobs, and hurt our state’s economic competitiveness. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I’ve fought hard to ensure provisions that would defund this harmful power grab were included in the final appropriations bill. I also support legislation to block this harmful rule and protect workers and families from the damaging effects of the Obama Administration’s executive overreach and costly energy regulations.” [Blunt press release, 3 Aug 2015] Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander (D): “He understands that climate change is a real consequence of human activity and we have a moral obligation to address this challenge. That means reducing carbon pollution and accelerating our transition to clean energy, not only to protect our planet, but also to ensure our national security.” [Kander campaign website, accessed 31 Oct 2016] Eric Greitens (R): “Federal overreach from agencies like the EPA is hurting family farms. I will fight against these crippling regulations, and always side with the hard working farmers and ranchers of Missouri.” [Greitens campaign website, accessed 31 Oct 2016] Missouri Attorney Gen. Chris Koster (D): “The EPA’s Clean Power rule effectively eliminates Missouri’s competitive advantage as a low energy-cost state … A significant question exists whether the final rule goes beyond EPA’s authority to set emission standards … For these reasons, I have decided to file suit against the EPA as soon as the final rule is published. Look folks, I believe that climate change is real, and cleaner energy production is an important state goal, one Missouri’s energy producers are already aggressively working toward … However, it is essential that we achieve these goals in a responsible way that makes sense for Missouri’s economy and Missouri’s future.” [Koster speech transcript, 9 Oct 2015] Impacts of climate change: “Since the 1950s, the snowpack in Montana has been decreasing. Diminishing snowpack can shorten the season for skiing and other forms of winter tourism and recreation … More than one thousand glaciers cover about 26 square miles of mountains in Montana, but that area is decreasing in response to rising temperatures. Glacier National Park’s glaciers receded rapidly during the last century.” [EPA, August 2016] Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 46 percent Gov. Steve Bullock (D): “Steve believes Montanans should control our own energy future. He introduced a balanced and responsible plan that builds upon Montana’s traditional base of energy generation, like coal in Colstrip, while sparking a new generation of clean technology development, investing in renewables like wind and solar and encouraging innovation, savings, and energy efficiency for homes and businesses.” [Bullock campaign website, accessed 31 Oct 2016] Greg Gianforte (R): “This [the Supreme Court’s decision to halt the Clean Power Plan] is great news for Montana, but the fight isn’t over. We cannot rest. We must keep up the pressure and work to defeat this “costly power plan” once and for all.” [Gianfote press release, 9 Feb 2016] Impacts of climate change: “The number of high temperature stress days over 100 degrees F is projected to increase substantially in Nebraska and the Great Plains region. By mid-century (2041‐2070), this increase for Nebraska would equate to experiencing typical summer temperatures equivalent to those experienced during the 2012 drought and heatwave.” [University of Nebraska-Lincoln, September 2014] Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 47 percent Presidential battleground? Trump will win Nebraska, but the state awards its electoral votes by congressional district, and the 2nd district might be up for grabs. Impacts of climate change: “Much of Nevada’s tourist income comes from attractions that will be vulnerable to climate impacts. For instance, Las Vegas’ 45 golf courses, which are used by one-third of all visitors, could see a sharp decline in golfers due to rising temperatures and decreased water supplies … Lower water levels in Lake Mead significantly reduced recreational visitors, especially boaters, as marinas and docks were left high and dry.” [Demos, 19 Apr 2012] Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 41 percent Former Nevada Attorney Gen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D): “The Clean Power Plan is a bold step not just in lowering carbon emissions, but also in creating the clean energy jobs of the future.  With our abundance of wind, solar, and geothermal energy, Nevada has been a leader in moving away from carbon emissions and embracing a clean energy economy that has created good-paying jobs in our state that can’t be shipped overseas.” [Cortez Masto campaign press release, 3 Aug 2015] Rep. Joe Heck (R): “To maintain our economic and national security, we must maximize all of our nation’s energy resources, including renewable sources, alternative fuels, and fossil fuels, all in a way that balances economic development and protecting our environment. Nevada is poised to lead our nation in renewable development and we must harness those resources. However, we shouldn’t penalize those that depend on fossil fuels for energy and the jobs they provide. [The Clean Power Plan] is not the all-of-the-above energy strategy needed to boost job creation and reduce energy prices for families.” [Heck press release, 3 Aug 2015] Electricity Deregulation (Question 3): Nevadans will be voting on a state constitutional amendment that would dismantle the monopoly held by NV Energy, the state’s biggest utility. If Question 3 passes — and then passes again in 2018 — consumers will be able to purchase power from any electricity retailer willing to sell it. The measure is backed by a number of large, energy-intensive businesses in the state, including Tesla and Sheldon Adelson’s Sands casinos. Proponents argue that deregulation will allow them to purchase cheaper renewable energy. According to the Wall Street Journal, one of Questions 3’s supporters, a Nevada data-storage company called Switch, “estimates it is currently paying NV Energy as much as 80 percent more for green power than it would pay a competitive supplier.” Opponents, including the state’s AFL-CIO chapter, counter that the measure could harm consumers and cost jobs, according to the Journal. (For more on the problems surrounding energy deregulation, read our investigation.) Impacts of climate change: “The frequency of extreme heat days is projected to increase dramatically, and the hottest days will be hotter, raising concerns regarding the impact of extreme, sustained heat on human health, infrastructure, and the electrical grid … Southern New Hampshire can also expect to experience more extreme precipitation events in the future. For example, under the high emissions scenario, events that drop more than four inches of precipitation in 48 hours are projected to increase two- to three-fold across much of southern New Hampshire by the end of the century.” [University of New Hampshire, 2014] Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 43 percent Gov. Maggie Hassan (D): “Yes, I do [believe climate change is man-made]. I have been fighting climate change and working to improve our environment. Sen. Ayotte, when she first ran for the United States Senate, doubted whether climate change was real. And I have the endorsement of the Sierra Club, and I’m very proud of that.” [NH1 TV debate via Media Matters, 27 Oct 2016] Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R): “I do believe that [climate change] is real, and Gov. Hassan again needs to understand that I was the first Republican in the country to support the president’s Clean Power Plan, that I’ve crossed party lines, even taken criticism from my own party to protect New Hampshire’s environment, and that goes back to my time as attorney general.” [NH1 TV debate via Media Matters, 27 Oct 2016] Chris Sununu, member of the New Hampshire Executive Council (R): “I’m an environmental engineer … The Earth has been slowly warming since the mid-1800s; there’s not doubt about that. Is it man-made or not? Look, one thing I do know: Nobody knows for sure … One of the biggest concerns of this entire issue is that we’ve created all this regulation that pushes down on businesses and pushes down on individuals. I’m going to free that up and do it smart and responsibly.” [WMUR debate, 7 Sep 2016] Colin Van Ostern, member of the New Hampshire Executive Council (D): “Van Ostern is a strong advocate for clean energy, and he’ll increase investment in solar and renewable energy. He believes clean energy projects are critical for boosting our clean tech economy, limiting energy costs, protecting our environment, and creating thousands of jobs.” [Van Ostern campaign website, accessed 3 Nov 2016] Impacts of climate change: “Most of the state has warmed 0.5 to 1 degree F in the last century, and the sea is rising about one inch every decade. Higher water levels are eroding beaches, submerging low lands, exacerbating coastal flooding, and increasing the salinity of estuaries and aquifers.” [EPA, August 2016] Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 44 percent Sen. Richard Burr (R): “US Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., voted against legislation in January 2015 that declared in part that ‘human activity contributes to climate change.’ … ‘Senator Burr believes that climate change is real and humans do contribute to those changes,’ said spokesman Jesse Hunt. ‘However, it is his belief that the best way to reduce emissions and pollution is not through partisan political theater but through developing consensus on areas that will bring about effectual change.'” [Citizen-Times, 4 Oct 2016] Former State Rep. Deborah Ross (D): “[Ross] voted repeatedly to support clean energy, oppose fracking, address climate change, and protect North Carolina’s land, air, and water … Deborah knows that we need to slow the harmful effects of climate change. The best ways to do this are to invest in renewable energy and clean technology.” [Ross campaign website, accessed 1 Nov 2016] Gov. Pat McCrory (R): “I believe there is climate change. I’m not sure you can call it climate warming anymore, especially here in the Carolinas. I think the big debate is how much of it is man-made and how much of it will just naturally happen as Earth evolves.” [ABC, 16 Feb 2014] North Carolina Attorney Gen. Roy Cooper (D): “A strong economy and a healthy environment go hand-in-hand. I am glad North Carolina has become a leader in renewable energy technology and that energy companies are shifting toward more sustainable power supplies than coal. As Attorney General, I have disagreed with the state environmental regulators who were focused on scoring political points rather than protecting our water, air, and other natural resources.” [Cooper campaign website, accessed 1 Nov 2016] Impacts of climate change: “In Lake Erie, the changing climate is likely to harm water quality. Warmer water tends to cause more algal blooms, which can be unsightly, harm fish, and degrade water quality. During August 2014, an algal bloom in Lake Erie prompted the City of Toledo to ban drinking and cooking with tap water. Severe storms also increase the amount of pollutants that run off from land to water, so the risk of algal blooms will be greater if storms become more severe. Increasingly severe rainstorms could also cause sewers to overflow into the Great Lakes more often, threatening beach safety and drinking water supplies.” [EPA, August 2016] Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 45 percent Sen. Rob Portman (R): “[Portman voted] ‘yes’ this week on an amendment declaring that climate change is real, caused by human activity, and Congress should do something about it. In January, Portman voted ‘no’ on a similar amendment, which said ‘human activity significantly’ contributes to climate change … Portman, who is seeking reelection in a key swing state, said he opposed the January measure because he’s not sure how much of a factor human activity is in global warming. ‘I’m not going to quantify it because scientists have a lot of different views on that,’ he told reporters Thursday … Portman has been a vocal opponent of the Obama administration’s new regulations designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.” [Cincinnati Enquirer, 29 Mar 2015] Former Gov. Ted Strickland (D): “Strickland supports Obama’s plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions from coal-burning power plants while boosting clean-energy jobs. He says he wants to be sure its implementation doesn’t hurt Ohio, although it is unclear how he or anyone could do anything about it if that happens. But one way, he and other Democrats say, is to support expansion of alternative energy sources — wind, solar, biomass — and help those industries become catalysts for jobs. As governor, Strickland signed a bill with the goal of getting 25 percent of electricity sold in Ohio to come from alternative energy sources by 2025 — a plan that Gov. John Kasich, who defeated Strickland in 2010, put on ice.” [Cleveland Plain Dealer, 3 Sep 2015] Impacts of climate change: “Reduced snowpacks, less water for irrigation, drought-related wildfires, rising sea levels and insect-infested timber. Those are just a few of the impacts of climate disruption that could affect Oregonians, two environmental groups warned Tuesday.” [The Oregonian, 6 May 2014] Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 40 percent Gov. Kate Brown (D): “This year, Oregon became the first state to envision a future without coal-powered electricity when Kate signed the nation’s first ‘coal-to-clean’ law, which will completely phase out dirty coal power by 2030 and double Oregon’s reliance on renewable energy by 2040. In 2015, she stood up to Big Oil and signed a law that bolsters the use of cleaner-burning vehicle fuels in Oregon. Kate will continue the fight to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support innovation that reduces Oregon’s reliance on fossil fuels.” [Brown campaign website, accessed 1 Nov 2016] Bud Pierce (R): “Repeal the Low-Carbon Fuel Standard Law so ordinary Oregonians will not have to spend an extra 19 cents to a dollar per gallon of gasoline in a hidden gas tax whose proceeds will go to state-favored, out-of-state green energy companies.” [Pierce campaign website, accessed 1 Nov 2016] Impacts of climate change: “The commonwealth has warmed more than half a degree F in the last century, heavy rainstorms are more frequent, and the tidal portion of the Delaware River is rising about one inch every eight years. In the coming decades, changing the climate is likely to increase flooding, harm ecosystems, disrupt farming, and increase some risks to human health.” [EPA, August 2016] Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 44 percent Sen. Pat Toomey (R): “Senator Toomey believes that coal is an essential part of America’s energy future, not to mention an important part of Pennsylvania’s economy. Unfortunately, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been especially aggressive in pursuing regulations that specifically target coal power plants. These regulations have already put hundreds of Pennsylvanians out of work and will continue to cause economic distress while yielding negligible benefits for our environment.” [Toomey Senate website, accessed 1 Nov 2016] Katie McGinty, former Pennsylvania Secretary of Environmental Protection (D): “Climate change presents a serious global threat to our health, economic well-being and national security. In the Senate, I will lead the way to a healthier and safer environment by working to pass commonsense climate protections with investments in energy efficiency and clean energy.” [McGinty campaign website, accessed 1 Nov 2016] Impacts of climate change: “[Utah] has warmed about 2 degrees F in the last century. Throughout the western United States, heatwaves are becoming more common, and snow is melting earlier in spring. In the coming decades, the changing climate is likely to decrease the flow of water in Utah’s rivers, increase the frequency and intensity of wildfires, and decrease the productivity of ranches and farms.” [EPA, August 2016] Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 48 percent Impacts of climate change: “High nighttime temperatures are increasingly common and have widespread impacts on humans, recreation and energy demand. In winter months, warmer nighttime temperatures threaten snow and ice cover for winter recreation. In summer months, this causes increased demand for cooling. An increase in high-energy electric (lighting) storms is projected to continue particularly threatening infrastructure and transportation systems.” [Vermont Climate Assessment, 2014] Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 38 percent Sue Minter, former Vermont Secretary of Transportation (D): “I’m opposed to a carbon tax. But I am very concerned about climate change. And I think it is clear that change is not just real — it is here; it is having an enormous effect on all of us … I have plans to address climate change, focusing on our clean, green energy future here. Looking at collaborating with other northeastern states like we’ve done before to reduce carbon emissions.” [WPTZ debate via Media Matters, 25 Oct 2016] Lt. Gov. Phil Scott: “I would veto [a carbon tax] if it hit my desk. I believe that this would just ratchet up the cost of living across Vermont. I don’t think that we can afford it. I’m not looking to do anything that would raise the cost of living on already-struggling Vermonters.” [WPTZ debate via Media Matters, 25 Oct 2016] Former baseball player Bill Lee (Liberty Union Party): Um, well, just watch this video: Impacts of climate change: “The combination of land subsidence, sea-level rise, flat and low tidewater topography and intensive coastal real estate and infrastructure development puts southeastern Virginia, namely the Virginia Beach/Norfolk/Hampton Roads region, at extreme risk from storm surges … Climate change will make the situation much worse.” [Demos, 19 Apr 2012] Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 43 percent Impacts of climate change: “During the next century, average annual precipitation and the frequency of heavy downpours are likely to keep rising. Average precipitation is likely to increase during winter and spring but not change significantly during summer and fall. Rising temperatures will melt snow earlier in spring and increase evaporation, and thereby dry the soil during summer and fall. As a result, changing the climate is likely to intensify flooding during winter and spring, and droughts during summer and fall.” [EPA, August 2016] Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 49 percent Jim Justice, billionaire coal baron (D): “Until we have really accurate data to prove [that humans contribute to climate change] I don’t think we need to blow our legs off on a concept. I welcome the scientific approach to it and the knowledge. I would not sit here and say, ‘absolutely now, there’s no such thing’ or I would no way on Earth say there is such a thing. I believe there’s an awful lot of scientist that say, ‘no, no, no, this is just smoke and mirrors.’ I welcome the discussion, but I don’t know, I just don’t know.” [The Register-Herald, 27 Apr 2016] State Senate President Bill Cole, (R): “West Virginia must continue to lead the fight for our energy industry against an Obama administration that’s dead set on destroying the development of fossil fuels. The rich history of our state has always been tied to its abundance of natural resources. Those whose motives are highly questionable — will say that the days of coal, oil and gas are over and that we need to move on to solar, wind and other alternative sources of power … Bill Cole supports Donald Trump for President because he will allow our miners to go back to work, let us harness our natural gas, and free us of the impossible roadblock to growth that is the EPA.” [Cole campaign website, accessed 3 Nov 2016] Impacts of climate change: “In Washington and Oregon, more than 140,000 acres of coastal lands lie within 3.3 feet in elevation of high tide. As sea levels continue to rise, these areas will be inundated more frequently … Ocean acidification threatens culturally and commercially significant marine species directly affected by changes in ocean chemistry (such as oysters) and those affected by changes in the marine food web (such as Pacific salmon) … Warmer water in regional estuaries (such as Puget Sound) may contribute to a higher incidence of harmful blooms of algae linked to paralytic shellfish poisoning.” [National Climate Assessment, 2014] Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 40 percent Carbon Tax (I-732): Washington voters will decide whether to adopt a carbon tax to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Revenue from the tax would be offset through a sales tax reduction, as well as through tax rebates and credits to individuals and businesses. A number of environmentalists support I-732, but other environmentalists oppose it; they argue that it won’t do enough to support clean energy, that it will disproportionately hurt low-income residents, and that communities of color didn’t have enough input in developing the proposal. Impacts of climate change: “Research suggests that warming temperatures in spring and fall would help boost agricultural production by extending the growing season across the state. However, increased warming during the summer months could reduce yields of crops such as corn and soybeans, with studies suggesting that every 2 degrees F of warming could decrease corn yields by 13 percent and soybean yields by 16 percent.” [Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts, 2011] Percentage of residents who are climate deniers: 43 percent Sen. Ron Johnson (R): “I’ve never denied climate change. It’s always changed, always will. I would ask the questioner: What would happen if we had no sun? It would be a cold, hard rock orbiting in space. So obviously the sun has the primary effect on weather and climate on planet Earth. So I’m just not a climate change alarmist … The jury’s out [on man-made climate change] … I’m a skeptic.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel interview, 21 Oct 2016] Former Sen. Russ Feingold (D): “This is enormously threatening to the future of our country and our planet. Anyone who talks about children, grandchildren, great grandchildren has to take this seriously. The climate is obviously changing dramatically.” [WUWM Milwaukee Public Radio, 2 Nov 2016]


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.


News Article | November 11, 2016
Site: www.sciencedaily.com

The transparent belly of a tiny beast has revealed how algae-infecting chloroviruses bloom in freshwater around the world, says a new study from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Publishing in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study's authors have reported the first evidence that a predator's consumption of prey can catalyze the natural rise and fall of chlorovirus populations. The findings represent a potential "game-changer" in the study of virology, the authors said, by suggesting that the food webs in an ecosystem could profoundly affect the rate and magnitude of viral replication. Chloroviruses replicate by infecting green algae that normally live inside a species of single-cell paramecium. The algae and paramecia enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship: Algae supply the paramecia with food as the paramecia provide transportation and protection from the chloroviruses. Meanwhile, chloroviruses stay close by attaching to the surface of paramecia and awaiting an opportunity to infect the algae. But virologists had yet to answer the question of how a chlorovirus actually gains access to its target, which remains safe while encased in the paramecia. The answer appears to lie with a group of millimeter-long crustaceans known as copepods. Researchers have long known that the transparent, one-eyed crustaceans feed on paramecia. But the Nebraska team showed that the crustaceans only partially digest the paramecia, breaking them down just enough to expose the still-living algae before excreting them into the water. No longer protected by the now-ruptured paramecia, the green algae quickly fall victim to the chlorovirus. The crustaceans thus act as a catalyst for viral infection and replication, the authors said. "We don't know anybody who's ever seen anything quite like it," said chlorovirus discoverer James Van Etten, the university's William Allington Distinguished Professor of Plant Pathology. "This is the first example, as far as we know, where a predator is actually releasing the host for a virus." The researchers came to the conclusion by dropping concentrations of the chlorovirus and algae-housing paramecia into samples of freshwater. In the absence of a paramecia-chomping copepod, chlorovirus levels barely rose over several days. Yet when the team added just a single copepod, those levels increased nearly 100 times in just 24 hours. That spike approximated the rise in chloroviruses observed when the researchers instead burst the paramecia with sound waves, indicating that this exposure is what causes the virus to bloom. Co-author David Dunigan, research professor of plant pathology, said the finding illustrates how the structure of food webs in an ecosystem may influence viral propagation. "It's potentially a game-changer in virology, because it means that the gut becomes a very special place for virology," Dunigan said. "Generally, virology is taught from the point of view that infection comes from random collisions between the cell of the host (and the virus). In other words, the probability of infection under those conditions is just a function of the concentration of these two things. "What's very different about what we're seeing is that it's independent of concentrations. The outcome -- the genesis of the virus -- is essentially (a result of) how fast the predator eats. If it eats more, you get more virus." The team said this variable may also help explain the cyclical fluctuations of chlorovirus populations, which rise and fall throughout a year. John DeLong, assistant professor of biological sciences, introduced the rate of copepod foraging into a mathematical model designed to predict viral replication rates in natural environments. DeLong found that the model churned out a bloom-and-wither dynamic that generally matched the magnitude and length of chlorovirus cycles observed in freshwater lakes. "When a predator eats a lot of prey, the prey crash, and then the predators crash," DeLong said. "Then, when the prey are free of predators, they grow again, and then the predators come back. If that's true, and the foraging rate is the thing that gives us viruses, the point in the cycle that has the greatest foraging rate is when we should see the biggest spikes in viruses. "So we just basically piggybacked virus production onto the normal predator-prey cycle that would come out of this system, and sure enough, it produces peaks in the viruses. It also comes fairly close to the kinds of observations (we've seen). As a modeler, that tells me that this is at least a viable explanation for cycles of viruses in nature." And given the large number of known symbiotic relationships between host organisms and those living within them, this viral dynamic may well be playing out in diverse ecosystems across the planet, Van Etten said. "We suspect that, if people look, they're going to find similar (interactions)," said Van Etten, who co-directs the Nebraska Center for Virology. "In fact, we have suggested that coral reefs might be one possibility ... where something like this could take place. There are certainly places to look." The team previously collaborated with Johns Hopkins University, the University of Nebraska Medical Center and Nebraska Wesleyan University to show that a chlorovirus causes cognitive impairments in mice and may be able to replicate in some animal cells.


News Article | November 10, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

The transparent belly of a tiny beast has revealed how algae-infecting chloroviruses bloom in freshwater around the world, says a new study from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Publishing in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study's authors have reported the first evidence that a predator's consumption of prey can catalyze the natural rise and fall of chlorovirus populations. The findings represent a potential "game-changer" in the study of virology, the authors said, by suggesting that the food webs in an ecosystem could profoundly affect the rate and magnitude of viral replication. Chloroviruses replicate by infecting green algae that normally live inside a species of single-cell paramecium. The algae and paramecia enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship: Algae supply the paramecia with food as the paramecia provide transportation and protection from the chloroviruses. Meanwhile, chloroviruses stay close by attaching to the surface of paramecia and awaiting an opportunity to infect the algae. But virologists had yet to answer the question of how a chlorovirus actually gains access to its target, which remains safe while encased in the paramecia. The answer appears to lie with a group of millimeter-long crustaceans known as copepods. Researchers have long known that the transparent, one-eyed crustaceans feed on paramecia. But the Nebraska team showed that the crustaceans only partially digest the paramecia, breaking them down just enough to expose the still-living algae before excreting them into the water. No longer protected by the now-ruptured paramecia, the green algae quickly fall victim to the chlorovirus. The crustaceans thus act as a catalyst for viral infection and replication, the authors said. "We don't know anybody who's ever seen anything quite like it," said chlorovirus discoverer James Van Etten, the university's William Allington Distinguished Professor of Plant Pathology. "This is the first example, as far as we know, where a predator is actually releasing the host for a virus." The researchers came to the conclusion by dropping concentrations of the chlorovirus and algae-housing paramecia into samples of freshwater. In the absence of a paramecia-chomping copepod, chlorovirus levels barely rose over several days. Yet when the team added just a single copepod, those levels increased nearly 100 times in just 24 hours. That spike approximated the rise in chloroviruses observed when the researchers instead burst the paramecia with sound waves, indicating that this exposure is what causes the virus to bloom. Co-author David Dunigan, research professor of plant pathology, said the finding illustrates how the structure of food webs in an ecosystem may influence viral propagation. "It's potentially a game-changer in virology, because it means that the gut becomes a very special place for virology," Dunigan said. "Generally, virology is taught from the point of view that infection comes from random collisions between the cell of the host (and the virus). In other words, the probability of infection under those conditions is just a function of the concentration of these two things. "What's very different about what we're seeing is that it's independent of concentrations. The outcome - the genesis of the virus - is essentially (a result of) how fast the predator eats. If it eats more, you get more virus." The team said this variable may also help explain the cyclical fluctuations of chlorovirus populations, which rise and fall throughout a year. John DeLong, assistant professor of biological sciences, introduced the rate of copepod foraging into a mathematical model designed to predict viral replication rates in natural environments. DeLong found that the model churned out a bloom-and-wither dynamic that generally matched the magnitude and length of chlorovirus cycles observed in freshwater lakes. "When a predator eats a lot of prey, the prey crash, and then the predators crash," DeLong said. "Then, when the prey are free of predators, they grow again, and then the predators come back. If that's true, and the foraging rate is the thing that gives us viruses, the point in the cycle that has the greatest foraging rate is when we should see the biggest spikes in viruses. "So we just basically piggybacked virus production onto the normal predator-prey cycle that would come out of this system, and sure enough, it produces peaks in the viruses. It also comes fairly close to the kinds of observations (we've seen). As a modeler, that tells me that this is at least a viable explanation for cycles of viruses in nature." And given the large number of known symbiotic relationships between host organisms and those living within them, this viral dynamic may well be playing out in diverse ecosystems across the planet, Van Etten said. "We suspect that, if people look, they're going to find similar (interactions)," said Van Etten, who co-directs the Nebraska Center for Virology. "In fact, we have suggested that coral reefs might be one possibility ... where something like this could take place. There are certainly places to look." The team previously collaborated with Johns Hopkins University, the University of Nebraska Medical Center and Nebraska Wesleyan University to show that a chlorovirus causes cognitive impairments in mice and may be able to replicate in some animal cells. DeLong, Dunigan and Van Etten authored the new study with Zeina Al-Ameeli, doctoral student in natural resource sciences, and Garry Duncan of Nebraska Wesleyan University. The authors received support from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and the Stanley Medical Research Institute.


News Article | November 21, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Five of the University of South Florida's leading scientific researchers have been named to the new class of Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world's largest and one of its most prestigious scientific societies. Spanning medicine, public health, and technology research, the new group of USF AAAS Fellows are among some of the university's most accomplished faculty members, representing decades of scientific accomplishments and more than 50 patented technologies. The new designations bring the total number of AAAS Fellows among USF's faculty to 61. "The global recognition of the accomplishments and careers of these five stellar scientists says much about the quality and impact of research across the University of South Florida System," said Paul Sanberg, senior vice president for research, innovation and economic development at USF and himself a AAAS Fellow. "These five faculty members are on the leading edge of discovery in areas that have great impact on the daily lives of people everywhere. Their scientific accomplishments have led to better healthcare and more advanced technology that serve humankind in a myriad of ways. We're very proud these individuals are leaders in our community here at USF and among scientists around the world." With this year's new Fellows class, USF again ranks fourth among all organizations worldwide, tied with University of Florida, in the designation of new AAAS Fellows, joining Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pennsylvania State University, Texas A&M University, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Texas at Austin, and University of Wisconsin-Madison. USF and UF lead Florida universities in new AAAS Fellows selection. Election as a AAAS Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers. This year 391 members have been awarded this honor by AAAS because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. New Fellows will be presented with an official certificate and a gold and blue rosette pin in February during the 2017 AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston. The tradition of AAAS Fellows began in 1874. The five faculty members from USF are: John H. Adams, Ph.D. Elected AAAS Fellow in the Biological Sciences Section Citation: For pioneering efforts and distinguished contributions in fundamental and translational malaria research, particularly in discoveries to improve antimalarial drugs and vaccines. Adams is a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Global Health, in the College of Public Health. He also holds joint appointments in the Department of Molecular Medicine and Division of Infectious Disease & International Medicine, and Department of Internal Medicine in the Morsani College of Medicine. He is an internationally recognized scientist who has distinguished himself in the field of malaria research and dedicated his career to finding solutions for one of the leading causes of death and disease throughout the world. Early in his career he identified and characterized the proteins of Plasmodium vivax, one of the five types of malaria parasites that infect humans. He also assisted in the sequencing of the complete genome of Plasmodium falciparum, another human malaria, in 2008, published as a cover story in the journal Nature, which has stimulated new research pathways for potential drug targets and vaccines. He received an $8.5 million grant in 2010 (as PI) from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to lead an interdisciplinary multi-national team to develop new technologies to advance research on Plasmodium vivax. The development of these state of the art genomic and functional tools for both Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax greatly propelled the field of anti-malarial drug discovery and vaccine development. He has published more than 120 articles, and is an inventor on 6 patents. He earned his M.Sc. and Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In addition to AAAS, he is an active member of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), American Society of Parasitologists, American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH), and the Society of Protozoologists. Dmitry B. Goldgof, Ph.D. Elected AAAS Fellow in the Information, Computing, and Communication Section Citation: For distinguished contributions to the fields of computer vision, pattern recognition and biomedical applications, particularly in biomedical image analysis. Goldgof is a Professor in the USF Department of Computer Science & Engineering in the College of Engineering, and the Department of Oncological Sciences in the Morsani College of Medicine, and a Member of the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute. His expertise spans the research areas of computer vision, image analysis, and pattern recognition, with an emphasis in biomedical applications. For example, he developed a system that automatically identifies tumors in human brain MRI scans, and techniques for automated tracking of deformation in cardiac MRIs. These developments have led to faster and more precise evaluations of medical imaging. He has also made significant advances in the area of biometrics and facial analysis for security applications. He holds five patents and published five edited volumes, 20 book chapters, and more than 85 journal articles. In addition to AAAS, he is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and International Association for Pattern Recognition (IAPR); and member of the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE), Optical Society of America (OSA), Pattern Recognition Society, and Sigma Xi: The Scientific Research Society. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, his M.S. at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and his B.S. from Moscow Forest Engineering Institute, Moscow, Russia. Dennis K. Killinger, Ph.D. Elected AAAS Fellow in the Physics Section Citation: For pioneering contributions in tunable laser spectroscopy and atmospheric remote sensing, especially new techniques for Lidar sensing of global CO2 and environmental trace species. Killinger is a USF Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Physics and Director of the Lidar Remote Sensing Laboratory in the College of Arts and Sciences. He is also President and CEO of SenOptics, Inc., a developer of patented LIF and Lidar sensors. He was one of the early pioneers in the field of laser remote sensing more than 30 years ago, and he is responsible for some of the major advances of this field, such as the understanding of "noise" in these systems, and for developing parameters to determine signal-to-noise ratio, among many other leading contributions. He is a past Member of the National Academy/NRC Committee on Optical Science and Engineering (COSE) to assess the future technology trends in optics and lasers: Harnessing Light; and University Representative to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Southeastern Science Policy Colloquium. In addition to AAAS, he is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America (OSA) and SPIE; founding member of the National Academy of Inventors; and Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He has published eight patents and more than 100 papers and book chapters. He earned his doctorate from the University of Michigan, M.S. from DePauw University, and B.A. from the University of Iowa. Charles J. Lockwood, MD, MHCM Elected AAAS Fellow in the Medical Sciences Section Citation: For distinguished contributions to reproductive science particularly discovery of the first biochemical marker of preterm birth, fetal fibronectin, and the molecular mechanisms underlying uterine hemostasis. Lockwood is the Senior Vice President for USF Health and Dean of the Morsani College of Medicine. At USF Health, Lockwood leads the Morsani College of Medicine and the Colleges of Nursing, Public Health and Pharmacy; and the School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences. He also oversees the USF Physicians Group, the faculty group practice of the medical school -- and the largest multispecialty group practice on the West Coast of Florida. He is a Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Public Health at USF. Lockwood is an internationally recognized health care and research leader who earned a Sc.B., magna cum laude, with distinction, from Brown University, his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and his Master of Science in Health Care Management degree from the Harvard School of Public Health. He served his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Pennsylvania Hospital and his fellowship in maternal-fetal medicine at the Yale-New Haven Hospital. Lockwood is the recipient of multiple research grant awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the March of Dimes and other foundations. He has authored 290 peer-reviewed publications and 170 editorials, authored or co-authored three books, and co-edited seven major textbooks. He led a research team that discovered fetal fibronectin, the first biochemical predictor of prematurity. His clinical interests include prevention of recurrent pregnancy loss, preterm delivery and maternal thrombosis, and he maintains an active laboratory at USF Health dedicated to research in these areas. Lockwood is also member of the March of Dimes Board of Trustees. Shyam S. Mohapatra, Ph.D., MBA, FAAAAI, FNAI, FAIMBE Elected AAAS Fellow in the Pharmaceutical Sciences Section Citation: For outstanding contributions in the field of pharmaceutical and health sciences, particularly for pioneering achievements in advancing biomedical nanotechnology for inflammatory diseases. Mohapatra is a Distinguished USF Health Professor; Associate Dean of Graduate Programs and Professor in the College of Pharmacy; Director of Translational Medicine; Distinguished Professor in the Institute for Advanced Discovery & Innovation; and Vice Chair of Research in the Department of Internal Medicine, Morsani College of Medicine. His research on respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), atrial natriuretic peptides (ANPs), and Nanoparticle-mediated gene/drug delivery has helped guide the fields of immunology, infectious disease, biotherapeutics and translational medicine. RSV infection is a condition which afflicts primarily infants, but also adults and the elderly. Even 45 years after the discovery of RSV, there is no vaccine or other effective therapy against RSV, however, Mohapatra's research has led to the unraveling of the molecular mechanisms underlying RSV infection and resulting illnesses, and the development of a potential multi-gene vaccine against RSV. He has also pioneered novel treatment approaches for lung cancer, respiratory viral infections, respiratory allergies, and other chronic lung diseases. He also founded the USF Center for Research & Education in Nanobioengineering in 2010. In addition to AAAS, he is a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers (AIMBE), and American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Clinical Immunology; member of the National Academy of Inventors; and among the inaugural inductees of the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame. He holds 28 patents, and has published nearly 200 articles and book chapters. He earned his Ph.D. from the Australian National University; M.S. from the GB Pant University of Agriculture & Technology, India; and B.S. from Orissa University of Agriculture & Technology, India. This year's AAAS Fellows will be formally announced in the AAAS News & Notes section of the journal Science on Nov. 25. The University of South Florida is a high-impact, global research university dedicated to student success. USF is a Top 25 research university among public institutions nationwide in total research expenditures, according to the National Science Foundation. Serving over 48,000 students, the USF System has an annual budget of $1.6 billion and an annual economic impact of $4.4 billion. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world's largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science as well as Science Translational Medicine, Science Signaling, a digital, open-access journal, Science Advances, Science Immunology, and Science Robotics. AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes nearly 250 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world. The non-profit AAAS is open to all and fulfills its mission to "advance science and serve society" through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, public engagement, and more. For the latest research news, log onto EurekAlert!, the premier science-news Web site, a service of AAAS. See http://www. .


Wykes T.,King's College London | Spaulding W.D.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Schizophrenia Bulletin | Year: 2011

This article reviews progress in the development of effective cognitive remediation therapy (CRT) and its translational process. There is now enough evidence that cognitive difficulties experienced by people with schizophrenia can change and that the agenda for the next generation of studies is to increase these effects systematically through cognitive remediation. We examine the necessary steps and challenges of moving CRT to treatment dissemination. Theories which have been designed to explain the effects of cognitive remediation, are important but we conclude that they are not essential for dissemination which could progress in an empirical fashion. One apparent barrier is that cognitive remediation therapies look different on the surface. However, they still tend to use many of the same training procedures. The only important marker for outcome identified in the current studies seems to be the training emphasis. Some therapies concentrate on massed practice of cognitive functions, whereas others also use direct training of strategies. These may produce differing effects as noted in the most recent meta-analyses. We recommend attention to several critical issues in the next generation of empirical studies. These include developing more complex models of the therapy effects that take into account participant characteristics, specific and broad cognitive outcomes, the study design, as well as the specific and nonspecific effects of treatment, which have rarely been investigated in this empirical programme. © 2011 The Author.


Houston A.L.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Wilhelmson R.B.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign
Monthly Weather Review | Year: 2011

The sensitivity of storm longevity to the pattern of deep convection initiation (e.g., multiple, quasi-linearly arranged initial deep convective cells versus an isolated deep convective cell) is examined using idealized cloud-resolving simulations conducted with a low-shear initial environment. When multiple deep convective cells are initialized in close proximity to one another using either a line of thermals or a shallow airmass boundary, long-lived storms are produced. However, when isolated deep convection is initiated, the resultant storm steadily decays following initiation. These results illustrate that a quasi-linear mechanism, such as a preexisting airmass boundary, that initiates multiple deep convective cells in close proximity can lead to longer-lived storms than a mechanism that initiates isolated deep convection. The essential difference between the experiments conducted is that an isolated initial storm produces a shallower cold pool than when a quasi-linear initiation is used. It is argued that the deep cold pools promote deep forced ascent, systematic convective cell redevelopment, and thus long-lived storms, even in environments with small values of vertical shear. The difference in cold pool depth between the simulations is attributed to differences in the horizontal flux of cold air to the gust front. With a single initial storm, the few convective cells that subsequently form provide only a limited source of cold air, leading to a cold pool that is shallow and incapable of fostering continued updraft redevelopment. © 2011 American Meteorological Society.


Arai N.,University of Electro - Communications | Yasuoka K.,Keio University | Zeng X.C.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Nanoscale | Year: 2013

We investigate translocation dynamics of a vesicle cell under collision with a Janus or a homogeneous hydrophobic/hydrophilic nanoparticle. To this end, we perform dissipative particle dynamics simulation by setting the nanoparticle with different initial velocities, different chemical patterns of the surface for the nanoparticle, and different orientations (for the Janus nanoparticle). Particular attention is given to translocation dynamics, in-cell water discharge, and the late-stage morphologies of the vesicle/nanoparticle system after the collision. We observe three late-stage states for the Janus nanoparticle, and four late-stage states for the homogeneous nanoparticles. We find that the late-stage state and the associated dynamical pathway not only depend on the relative velocity but also on the chemical pattern of the nanoparticle surface, as well as on the orientation of the incident Janus nanoparticle. We have examined the time-dependent mean radius of the vesicle, the number of in-cell water beads lost from the vesicle, as well as the collision-induced pore size on the lipid membrane during the course of collision. Our simulation provides microscopic insights into the resilience of the vesicle-cell membrane and dynamical behavior of the vesicle under the attack of a foreign nanoparticle. Knowledge and insights gained through the simulation will have implication to the drug delivery with different chemical coatings. © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2013.


Olson D.L.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Delen D.,The State University of Management | Meng Y.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Decision Support Systems | Year: 2012

A great deal of research has been devoted to prediction of bankruptcy, to include application of data mining. Neural networks, support vector machines, and other algorithms often fit data well, but because of lack of comprehensibility, they are considered black box technologies. Conversely, decision trees are more comprehensible by human users. However, sometimes far too many rules result in another form of incomprehensibility. The number of rules obtained from decision tree algorithms can be controlled to some degree through setting different minimum support levels. This study applies a variety of data mining tools to bankruptcy data, with the purpose of comparing accuracy and number of rules. For this data, decision trees were found to be relatively more accurate compared to neural networks and support vector machines, but there were more rule nodes than desired. Adjustment of minimum support yielded more tractable rule sets. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Houston A.L.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Wilhelmson R.B.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign
Monthly Weather Review | Year: 2012

A suite of experiments conducted using a cloud-resolving model is examined to assess the role that preexisting airmass boundaries can play in regulating storm propagation. The 27 May 1997 central Texas tornadic event is used to guide these experiments. The environment of this event was characterized by multiple preexisting airmass boundaries, large CAPE, and weak vertical shear. Only the experiments with preexisting airmass boundaries produce back-building storm propagation (storm motion in opposition to the mean wind). When both the cold front and dryline are present, storm maintenance occurs through the quasi-continuous maintenance of a set of long-lived updrafts and not through discrete updraft redevelopment. Since the cold front is not required for back building, it is clear that back building in this environment does not require quasi-continuous updraft maintenance. The back-building storm simulated with both the cold front and dryline is found to be anchored to the boundary zipper (the intersection of the cold front and dryline). However, multiple preexisting airmass boundaries are not required for back building since experiments with only a dryline also support back building. A conceptual model of back building and boundary zippering is developed that highlights the important role that preexisting boundaries can play in back-building propagation. © 2012 American Meteorological Society.


Turner J.A.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Ghoshal G.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign
Applied Physics Letters | Year: 2010

The authors report results for the second-order statistics of the effective elastic moduli of polycrystals as a function of applied stress. These results are indicative of scattering behavior that occurs in such materials at ultrasonic frequencies. Numerical examples are given for materials of general interest with cubic symmetry subject to an applied uniaxial stress. The results suggest that the second-order statistics (scattering) may be more significantly affected than the first-order statistics (wave speed) with application of load for some materials. This work may be useful for development of techniques for monitoring changes in stress of loaded structures. © 2010 American Institute of Physics.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: KBBE-2007-3-1-03 | Award Amount: 11.21M | Year: 2008

Replacing fossil oil with renewable resources is perhaps the most urgent need and the most challenging task that human society faces today. Cracking fossil hydrocarbons and building the desired chemicals with advanced organic chemistry usually requires many times more energy than is contained in the final product. Thus, using plant material in the chemical industry does not only replace the fossil material contained in the final product but also save substantial energy in the processing. Of particular interest are seed oils which show a great variation in their composition between different plant species. Many of the oil qualities found in wild species would be very attractive for the chemical industry if they could be obtained at moderate costs in bulk quantities and with a secure supply. Genetic engineering of vegetable oil qualities in high yielding oil crops could in a relatively short time frame yield such products. This project aims at developing such added value oils in dedicated industrial oil crops mainly in form of various wax esters particularly suited for lubrication. This project brings together the most prominent scientists in plant lipid biotechnology in an unprecedented world-wide effort in order to produce added value oils in industrial oil crops within the time frame of four years as well as develop a tool box of genes und understanding of lipid cellular metabolism in order for rational designing of vast array of industrial oil qualities in oil crops. Since GM technologies that will be used in the project are met with great scepticism in Europe it is crucial that ideas, expectations and results are communicated to the public and that methods, ethics, risks and risk assessment are open for debate. The keywords of our communication strategies will be openness and an understanding of public concerns.


News Article | December 19, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

COLLEGE STATION - Texas A&M AgriLife Research wheat breeders will continue to build on their development of hybrid wheat varieties through a joint grant with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the International Wheat Yield Partnership are jointly funding a three-year grant for $975,000. The grant, titled "Developing the Tools and Germplasm for Hybrid Wheat" will involve Texas A&M's Dr. Amir Ibrahim, a wheat breeder in College Station, and Dr. Jackie Rudd, a wheat breeder in Amarillo. The first year of funding has been released with the last two years subject to release based upon continued progress in the grant research. The project will be led by Dr. Stephen Baenziger, University of Nebraska-Lincoln small grains breeder; and also include Dr. Bhoja Basnet, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, known as CIMMYT, hybrid wheat breeder, El Batan, Mexico; Dr. Friedrich Longin, University of Hohenheim wheat breeder, Stuttgart, Germany; Dr. Jesse Poland, Kansas State University geneticist, Manhattan, Kansas; and Dr. Jochen Reif, Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Science department head, Gatersleben, Germany. Individually, the project team has made great strides in the U.S. and abroad toward developing the tools to foster hybrid wheat development to maximize wheat yield potential, Ibrahim said. Using an integrated approach involving in-house germplasm, chemical hybridizing agents, breeding, phenotyping, genomic selection and quantitative trait loci mapping, the researchers expect this project to help create scientific and germplasm foundations for successfully launching the hybrid wheat industry in the U.S. To feed a larger global population with increasing dietary needs, Ibrahim said wheat yields need to increase by 1.7 percent per year. Currently, yields are only increasing 0.9 percent annually. Ibrahim said hybrid crops have increased vigor over the two parents in yield and other traits. In hybrids, the female parent does not produce viable pollen, but is used as a seed plant. The male parent has the role of pollinator. Together they have the capacity to combine and express hybrid vigor. For wheat, past conventional breeding efforts increased hybrid vigor about 10 percent, but Ibrahim said they want to get that figure in the range of 15-20 percent to make it attractive to producers. "We believe hybrid wheat, which is more climate resilient than pure-line wheat, can contribute to achieving this goal," he said. Ibrahim said there are two systems for producing seed: chemical hybridization agents, which kill the anthers on the female; and the male sterility system, which includes breeding females and males separately and making selections based on the best combination. The effort now is aimed at developing cytoplasmic male-sterile females and male parents by breeding fertility restoration genes into them, he said. A minimum of three fertility restoration genes is needed in the males. This genetic system is very slow. Ibrahim and Baenziger have been working jointly toward the development of hybrid wheat since 2013, testing more than 600 lines of hybrid wheat varieties in Nebraska and Texas. In this new project, the objectives will include continued screening of these two large wheat breeding programs for the floral and plant traits needed for efficient hybrid seed production and hybrid performance. The researchers are also tasked with creating and testing hybrids to establish and confirm heterotic pools in wheat, and to genotype the lines going into the heterotic pools to improve algorithms to separate lines into maximum likelihood pools for future testing and validation. Additionally, they will map restorer genes and create a series of cytoplasmic male sterility, or CMS, tester lines - the maintainer lines - and a series of elite restorer lines, or R-lines, to begin to determine the efficacy of CMS-based hybrid systems. Ibrahim said it will take several more years to successfully maximize hybrid vigor, but through this collaboration the first commercially available and affordable hybrid wheat seed should be available to producers sooner.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Inspired by the hair of blue tarantulas, researchers from The University of Akron lead a team that made a structural-colored material that shows consistent color from all viewing directions. This finding overturns the conventional wisdom that long-range order photonic structures are always iridescent, opening new potential to mass produce structural colors because highly ordered designs are easy to scale-up and manufacture. Bor-Kai (Bill) Hsiung and his colleagues at UA, Ghent University, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln published their research, which is featured on the cover of the January 2017 journal of Advanced Optical Materials. "Structural colors are more vibrant and durable than the pigments used in most human-made products," explained Hsiung, the lead author of this research and a Biomimicry Fellow in the Integrated Bioscience Ph.D. program at The University of Akron. "They are produced by optical effects when light interacts with nanostructures that are about the same size as the wavelength of light." Think of a peacock, or a butterfly. The problem is that most structural colors are strongly iridescent, changing color when viewed from different angles. It's beautiful out in nature, but not very functional when we're watching television and we move to a new seat." The team first discovered that many vibrant blue tarantulas do not show iridescence even though the spiders use nanostructures to produce those colors. Since the spider's blue color is not iridescent, Hsiung's team suggested that the same process could be applied to make pigment replacements that never fade, as well as to help reduce glare on wide-angle viewing systems in phones, televisions and other devices. As they dug deeper, they found that the hairs of some species of blue tarantulas show a special flower-like shape that they hypothesized reduced the iridescent effect resulting from periodic structures. Then, thanks to the crowdfunding push they received earlier, they were able to test this hypothesis using a series of computer simulations and physical prototypes built using cutting-edge nano-3D printing technology. Their color produced by the 3D printed structures has a viewing angle of 160 degrees, the largest viewing angle of any synthetic structural colors demonstrated. "These structural colorants could be used as pigment replacements - many of which are toxic - in materials such as plastics, metal, textiles and paper, and for producing color for wide-angle viewing systems such as phones and televisions," Hsiung said.


News Article | October 31, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Scientists have found a way to use satellites to track photosynthesis in evergreens -- a discovery that could improve our ability to assess the health of northern forests amid climate change. An international team of researchers used satellite sensor data to identify slight colour shifts in evergreen trees that show seasonal cycles of photosynthesis -- the process in which plants use sunlight to convert carbon dioxide and water into glucose. Photosynthesis is easy to track in deciduous trees -- when leaves bud or turn yellow and fall off. But until recently, it had been impossible to detect in evergreen conifers on a large scale. "Photosynthesis is arguably the most important process on the planet, without which life as we know it would not exist," said John Gamon, lead researcher and a professor of biological sciences at the University of Alberta. "As the climate changes, plants respond -- their photosynthesis changes, their growing season changes. And if photosynthesis changes, that in turn further affects the atmosphere and climate." Through their CO2-consuming ways, plants have been slowing climate change far more than scientists previously realized. The "million-dollar question" is whether this will continue as the planet continues to warm due to human activity, Gamon said. Scientists have two hypotheses -- the first is that climate change and longer growing seasons will result in plants sucking up even more CO2, further slowing climate change. The other predicts a drop in photosynthetic activity due to drought conditions that stress plants, causing them to release CO2 into the atmosphere through a process called respiration -- thereby accelerating climate change. "If it's hypothesis one, that's helping us. If it's hypothesis two, that's pretty scary," said Gamon. The research team combined two different satellite bands -- one of which was used to study oceans and only recently made public by NASA -- to track seasonal changes in green (pigment created by chlorophyll) and yellow (created by carotenoid) needle colour. The index they developed provides a new tool to monitor changes in northern forests, which cover 14 per cent of all the land on Earth. Gamon has taken a leave of absence from the U of A to further the research, now funded by NASA, at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His lab in the U.S. is reviewing 15 years' worth of satellite data on forests in Canada and Alaska to ultimately determine whether photosynthetic cycles are happening earlier because of climate change and whether forests are becoming more or less productive at converting CO2. "Those are key questions we haven't been able to answer for the boreal forest as a whole," he said. Researchers from the University of Toronto, University of North Carolina, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, University of Barcelona, NASA and the U.S. Forest Service collaborated on the project. Their findings were published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


News Article | November 9, 2015
Site: www.treehugger.com

One of the biggest hurdles for renewable energy is making it more reliable and consistent. With wind power, wind turbines run as long as the wind is blowing at a high enough speed to generate electricity, but when the wind lags, they stop. That intermittence means that areas that are suitable for wind power can't rely on wind power alone. Today's wind turbines also have a maximum speed at which they can rotate and harness the energy of the wind and convert it to electricity. This cap is there to protect the wind turbines themselves so that they aren't damaged by high winds. This might extend the life of the turbines, but it also results in wasted wind energy, known in the industry as "spillage." A new technology developed by University of Nebraska-Lincoln electrical engineering doctoral student Jie Cheng solves both of those problems by harnessing the excess wind energy usually wasted as spillage and storing it for use when wind speeds dip, making wind turbines more efficient and consistent. Cheng's system converts and directs the extra wind energy to an air compression tank, where the energy is stored until wind speeds dip below the maximum capacity. Using a rotary vane machine that is connected between the turbine's gearbox and generator, excess energy is diverted and stored in the air compression tank. When the wind dies down, the tank then kicks in and reverses airflow back to the rotary vane machine to generate electricity. In a recent study of his prototype, Cheng found that a 250-kW system would produce an additional 3,830 kWh of electricity per week or an additional 16,400 kWh per month based on historical wind data from Springview, Nebraska. That extra electricity is about 18 times the monthly energy use of a typical American household. The extra electricity would help bring down energy costs and it would help to prevent major dips in electricity generation. Cheng sees a lot of potential for his design in Nebraska where there are consistently strong winds and large areas of open land for installing wind turbines. He is collaborating with Lincoln Electric System, the American Public Power Association and UNL's NUtech Ventures office to help further develop his technology and market it to the industry.


News Article | November 10, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Multispectral imaging technology continues to recover new insights from the field diaries of 19th-century explorer David Livingstone. A team of scholars and scientists who worked on the Livingstone Spectral Imaging project will present their research in public talks in the United Kingdom in November. While stranded in Central Africa, Livingstone composed letters, diaries, maps and sketches on scraps of paper using inks made from local berries. His writings and drawings document the Central African slave trade, social dynamics among local populations and geographical information. "Because of the poor quality of the ink, the works probably had only been read by Livingstone himself," said Roger Easton, professor in the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science at Rochester Institute of Technology, who imaged the Livingstone documents. Easton is a member of a team of scholars and scientists, led by Adrian Wisnicki, assistant professor of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Megan Ward, assistant professor at Oregon State University, that has assembled a digitally processed archived dedicated to the explorer. Livingstone Online: Illuminating Imperial Exploration archives more than 7,500 digital documents of original material. To make Livingstone's writings readable, advanced spectral imaging and analysis was conducted by a team that included Easton and Keith Knox, retired scientist from the U.S. Air Force Research Labs. The team of four scholars and scientists will present the results of the David Livingstone Spectral Imaging project--including both the technical aspects of the imaging and the results of the scholarly studies--in talks at the University of Edinburgh on Nov. 14, the University of Oxford on Nov. 16 and Queen's University in Belfast on Nov. 18. For more information, contact Roger Easton at easton@cis.rit.edu.


News Article | December 12, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Lincoln, Nebraska, Dec. 12, 2016 - Maximizing cereal crops yields in sub-Saharan Africa would still fail to meet the region's skyrocketing grain demand by 2050, according to a new study from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Wageningen University and multiple African institutions. Sub-Saharan Africa produces about 80 percent of the grain it now consumes. But that consumption could triple if its population rises an expected 250 percent by 2050. Presently, cereal crops account for about half of sub-Saharan Africa's food and farmland. Even if sub-Saharan yields continue rising at the rate they have over the last quarter-century, the region's existing farmland would still produce only between a third and half of the grain needed in 2050, researchers reported Dec. 12 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "The status quo is simply not acceptable," said co-author Ken Cassman, professor emeritus at Nebraska and fellow of the Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute. "Complacency is the enemy. This is a clarion call for action."To maintain even 80 percent of its self-sufficiency in 2050, sub-Saharan Africa must reach the realistic yield thresholds of corn, millet, rice, sorghum and wheat, the study found. The region currently grows about a quarter of the cereal crops it could by optimizing its plant and soil management, the authors said. Closing this gap would require what the study called a "large, abrupt acceleration" in yield trajectories similar to the Green Revolution that transformed North American, European and Asian agriculture in the mid-20th century. "But our analysis shows that even closing the gap between potential yields using modern farming practices and current farm yields, with traditional crop varieties and little fertilizer, still leaves the area at a deficit with regard to cereals," Cassman said. "That's quite eye-opening, because my guess is that most people in the agricultural development community might have thought sub-Saharan Africa could be self-sufficient, or even produce excess cereal, if it were able to close existing yield gaps."The authors analyzed 10 sub-Saharan countries using the Global Yield Gap Atlas, which estimates the disparity between actual and potential yields while accounting for differences in soil types and climate. After assembling location-specific data and assessments from agronomists in each of the 10 countries, the team used a novel upscaling technique to estimate yield gaps at national and sub-continental levels. Meeting future cereal demands could depend on expanding responsible irrigation use to raise yield ceilings and stabilize cereal production, said Kindie Tesfaye, agronomist with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre in Ethiopia. Recent analyses have documented regional aquifers that could become sources of sustainable irrigation, though the authors emphasized the importance of withdrawing only what can be replenished by rainfall and recharge. Tesfaye said irrigation could ramp up yield thresholds by allowing farmers to annually grow a crop multiple times in the same field or introduce new cereals into yearly planting schedules. Patricio Grassini, assistant professor of agronomy and horticulture at Nebraska, stressed that these efforts will require "massive and strategic investments in agricultural development on an unprecedented level." Combining the yield gap findings with socioeconomic and other data, Grassini said, could inform essential upgrades to infrastructure that might include roads and water pipelines; publicly financed research and development; and farmer access to credit, state-of-the-art equipment and pest-management resources. A failure to upgrade could force sub-Saharan Africa to transform savannahs, rainforests or other natural ecosystems into farmland - a process, the study noted, that would produce massive amounts of greenhouse gases while shrinking the habitats of native plant and animal species. If yield growth and cropland distribution remained constant across the 10 countries, seven would lack the land area to accommodate such expansion, said Abdullahi Bala, professor at Nigeria's Federal University of Technology, Minna. And the newly converted land would very likely prove less fertile than the region's current farmland, Cassman said. Though the region might also resort to importing cereal crops, the authors cautioned that many of the developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa could struggle to do so. The price spikes that often accompany drought-driven market shortages could further complicate matters. "If it is true that sub-Saharan Africa will depend more heavily on food imports," Grassini said, "the next question is: What would be the infrastructure networks needed to alleviate food shortages in the most vulnerable areas?" The researchers said several sub-Saharan countries may produce surpluses that could be shared among neighbors. Though the projected surpluses would fall short of compensating for neighboring deficits,this represents one of several opportunities the region might seize to contend with the profound challenges ahead. "To reach those goals is going to take very strategic, careful prioritization and adequate resources to do the job," Cassman said. "Having a strategic vision of what to invest in - to fund those things that can give greatest payoff - is critical. What this work does is allow for a much more surgical look at how to do that, which just wasn't possible before." The Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID and the university supported the development of the Global Yield Gap Atlas, which agronomists at Nebraska and Wageningen created in 2011. The new study was co-authored by agronomists at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (Kenya); International Food Policy Research Institute; Africa Rice Center (Benin); Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (Kenya); International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (Ghana); AGRHYMET Regional Centre (Niger); Federal University of Technology, Minna (Nigeria); University of Zimbabwe; National Agricultural Research Laboratories (Uganda); Institute of Rural Economy (Mali); Ministry of Agriculture Food and Cooperatives (Tanzania); Environmental and Agricultural Research Institute (Burkina Faso); and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (Ethiopia).


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: co.newswire.com

The National Automobile Museum provides a captivating educational forum about the trends, news and culture of the 1970s. ​​Far out! The National Automobile Museum is hosting the 13th annual History Symposium with a 1970s twist. Titled “The 1970s: Activism: Voices for Change,” attendees will have the chance to explore the trends, news and culture of the decade that brought us an immense oil crisis, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, thigh-high boots and disco. With a lineup of esteemed national speakers, historians, authors, local scholars and anthropology experts, and more, this is the event for history buffs in northern Nevada. WHAT:           The 1970s: Activism: Voices for Change History Symposium WHEN:           April 26 and 27, 2017, from 4 – 9 p.m. TICKETS:     Tickets $55 per person available at automuseum.org This event is open to the public, but also recognized as continuation credit for educator licensure for the Nevada Department of Education. “We are excited to bring another incredibly educational and historically significant event to the biggest little city,” said Jackie Frady, museum president and executive director. “Here we’ll learn a lot about what the pulse was like in the 70s and how that transpired to the country we know today. It ought to be an interesting event for area educators, as well as those interested in learning a bit more about the instrumental era.” The  History Symposium is is funded in part by Nevada Humanities Teaching American History Project,  20th Century Automobile Endowment Fund and National Automobile Museum Volunteers. ·      David Farber, Ph.D., Professor of Modern American History, Department of History, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, author.  Role: Presenter on the Iran hostage crisis and America's first encounter with radical Islam ·      Thomas Borstelmann, Ph.D., Elwood N. and Katherine Thompson Distinguished Professor of Modern World History, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, author.  Role:  Presenter on exploration of how the 1970s forged the contours of contemporary America ·      Gary R. Edgerton, Ph.D., Dean of College of Communication, Butler University, Indianapolis, IN, author. Role:  Presenter on television in the 1970s and its influential social force on us then and now ·      James Lileks, columnist for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, syndicated political humor columnist, blogger and author.  Role:  Presenter on a humorous look at 1970s culture including "hideous" interior design, fashion, etc. ·      Elizabeth Raymond, Ph.D., History Professor, University of Nevada, Reno, author. Role: Presenter on the women movement in the 1970s, dismantling inequity in laws, opening participation on a public political level, etc. ·      Alicia Barber, Ph.D., author, historian and consultant. Role:  Presenter on the transformation of Nevada/Reno in the 1970s ·      Xiaoyu Pu, Ph.D., Assistant Professor Political Science, University of Nevada, Reno.  Role: Nixon's visit to China and Chinese foreign policy ·      William N. Cathey, Ph.D., Vice Provost, Instruction and Undergraduate Programs, Professor of Physics, University of Nevada, Reno (retired). Role: Provides guidance on symposium planning, a presenter and master teacher for continuing education credit; expertise in history, automotive industry For more information about the National Automobile Museum, named one of America’s Five Greatest Automobile Museums, visit automuseum.org. About The National Automobile Museum (The Harrah Collection) One of “America’s Five Greatest Automobile Museums,” the National Automobile Museum showcases more than 200 remarkable automobiles. It features theatre presentations and audio tours in English and Spanish through 100,000 square-feet of galleries, exhibits and vibrant street scenes and accompanying artifacts that bring displays to life. The museum is a dynamic and popular venue for special events as intimate as 60 and as large as 1,200 guests.


Sheeder R.J.,Permitting Section | Lynne G.D.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Land Economics | Year: 2011

Conservation tillage on farms can improve downstream water quality. Using a dual-interests theoretical framework guided by the metaeconomics approach, this paper examines the role of self-interest and shared other-interest in the conservation tillage adoption decision. The data is from a 2007 survey of farmers in the Blue River/Tuttle Creek watershed of Nebraska and Kansas. Logit models show that farmers who temper their pursuit of selfinterest with shared other-interest reflecting empathy-sympathy are more likely to adopt conservation tillage. Habit and control also play a role. Farmers pursue a joint and interdependent own-interest and not only self-interest as presumed in microeconomics. © 2011 by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System.


Grant
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 106.84K | Year: 2013

DESCRIPTION: Water quality is one of the biggest issues related to public health in the United States. Few situations incite more public outcry than when a community learns that their drinking water has been tainted. Two of the biggest threats to groundwater quality in the U.S. are contamination from either chlorinated solvents or petroleum. Currently, there are an estimated 20,000 sites in the U.S. contaminated with chlorinated solvents. Many of these sites are remnants of releases that occurred 20 to 30years ago. Left unattended, the size and scope of the problems associated with these spills have only become exacerbated with time. Likewise, leaking underground storage tanks (UST) containing petroleum are one of the leading causes of groundwater contamination in the United States. Of the 590,000 federally-regulated UST currently in the U.S., approximately 6,000 had confirmed releases in 2011. In the past decade, significant efforts have been devoted to developing innovative remedial technologies to combatthese environmental contaminants. One technology that is relatively mature is the injection of liquid oxidants into contaminated aquifers or in situ chemical oxidation (ISCO). Two roadblocks to successfully implementing ISCO treatments are when contaminants are located in low permeable layers and these finer textured zones do not readily accept liquid injections or when the aquifer is porous enough for liquid injections, but the cohesive properties of the chemical oxidant results in density-driven flow, thereby causing the oxidant to sink and not treat the desired target zone. To address both problems, AirLift Environmental and the University of Nebraska developed slow- release oxidant-paraffin candles, that when inserted into low permeable zones, slowly dissolve and intercept the contaminant. To prevent the oxidant from migrating downward from the candles, pneumatic circulators were developed that aerate or release bubbles at the base of the candle and prevent the oxidant from sinking while greatly facilitating its horizontal distribution. The objective of this research is to design and manufactue slow-release oxidant candles with aerators tips that can be inserted into contaminated aquifers by direct push (i.e., no wells needed). This development will makeit easier and less expensive to install slow-release oxidants and greatly increase its commercial appeal. Proposed research will take place in two stages where prototypes of direct-push candles we be tested in a large groundwater flow model. Direct-push candles with circulators showing the most promise will be scaled up and field tested by quantifying the ability of the oxidant candle system to vertically deliver oxidants evenly to 22-ft. monitoring wells in the field. Chlorinated solvents and petroleum products are clearly among the top groundwater contaminants worldwide. The proposed innovation is specifically designed to provide a cost-effective and efficient technology to combat public water supplies impacted by these contaminants. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Chlorinated solvents and petroleum products represent two of the major groundwater contaminants observed worldwide. These contaminants can be successfully treated with chemical oxidants but delivering the oxidants towhere the contaminants are located is often the biggest challenge, especially when contaminants are located in low permeable aquifers. This research will develop a slow-release oxidant delivery system with pneumatic circulators that are easy to install and more effective in delivering the oxidant to targeted zones.


Grant
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: National Institutes of Health | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 1.06M | Year: 2015

DESCRIPTION provided by applicant Clean water is one of the most basic societal needs in the world Few situations incite more public outcry than when a community learns that their drinking water has been tainted Two of the biggest threats to groundwater quality in the U S are contamination from either chlorinated solvents or petroleum Left unattended the size and scope of the problems associated with the release of these contaminants into the environment have only become exacerbated with time In the past decade significant efforts have been devoted to developing innovative remedial technologies to combat contaminated groundwater One technology that is relatively mature is the injection of liquid oxidants into contaminated aquifers or in situ chemical oxidation ISCO Two roadblocks to successfully implementing ISCO treatments are when contaminants are located in low permeable layers and these finer textured zones do not readily accept liquid injections or when the aquifer is porous enough for liquid injections but the cohesive properties of the chemical oxidant results in density driven flow thereby causing the oxidant to sink and not treat the desired target zone To address both problems AirLift Environmental and the University of Nebraska developed slow release oxidant paraffin candles that when inserted into low permeable zones slowly dissolve and intercept the contaminant To prevent the oxidant from migrating downward from the candles pneumatic circulators were developed that aerate or release bubbles at the base of the candle and prevent the oxidant from sinking while greatly facilitating its horizontal distribution AirLiftandapos s Phase I TTR provided proof of concept that oxidant candles with aeration tips could be manufactured and installed with direct push equipment and that this technology could be used to successfully treat contaminated groundwater The objective of Phase II is to perform numerous on site trials so that the efficacy of the direct push candles can be quantified under a range of hydrological conditions Additional field testing will allow AirLift to refine product design and installation procedures PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE Clean water is one of the most basic societal needs in the world The innovation developed in the Phase I STTR was specifically designed to provide a cost effective and efficient technology to remediate contaminated groundwater Phase II will expand field testing of the technology to multiple sites so that the innovation can become more robust and ultimately mitigate the health and safety concerns associated with contaminated groundwater


Patent
French National Center for Scientific Research, University of Nebraska - Lincoln and University of Strasbourg | Date: 2011-08-23

The invention relates to the use of zwitterionic molecules for forming a hole or electron transport layer. The preferred zwitterionic molecules of the invention are derivatives of p-benzoquinonemonoimines. The invention is useful in the field of electronic devices in particular.


News Article | December 2, 2016
Site: www.materialstoday.com

Many living things contain pigment molecules that bring color to their world, but many also exploit structural colors instead. The dazzling display of a blue jay's feathers, for instance, produce their remarkable patterns and colors through the nanoscopic characteristic of the feathers. Similarly, the blue tarantula, Poecilotheria metallica, needs no pigment to reflect light waves and creates its wonderful patina. While many such structural colors are fixed, many whether found in or on animal, vegetable or mineral are iridescent and so shift in color depending on the angle of observation; this has been a problem for designers hoping to utilize the non-toxic, vibrant and durable nature of structural colors. Now, scientists at The University of Akron, Ohio, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany, and Ghent University in Belgium, have succeeded in engineering nanostructures to display the same color regardless of viewing angle as is the case with the blue jay's feathers and the tarantula's metallic hue. [TA Blackledge et al, Adv Opt Mater (2016); DOI: 10.1002/adom.201600599]. The discovery could have implications for a wide range of industries including, textiles, packaging, and cosmetic industries, as well as in the world of art and beyond. The key characteristic of many natural structural colors that is different from industrially produced materials is that nature uses amorphous or irregular structures, which always give the same color whereas synthetic structures are commonly regular or patterned and so iridescent. The researchers have found that the blue tarantula has periodic structures on its hairs but despite this does not display iridescence. On closer examination, they could see that the hairs are multi-layered, and have a flower-like structure. Computer modeling of these structures allowed the team to analyze the reflection behavior but then using a nano-3D printer they could make real-life models to corroborate their simulations. They were thus able to print a flower-like nanostructure that exhibits the same color over a viewing angle of 160 degrees. This is the largest viewing angle of any synthetic structural color so far achieved. It is the hierarchical nature of the structure from micro- to nano-scales that gives it homogeneous reflection intensity and precludes the color shift when viewed at different angles. Moreover, by printing a different sized "flower", the team was able to adjust the color displayed, which would make it particularly interesting for industrial applications. "This could be a key first step towards a future where structural colorants replace the toxic pigments currently used in textile, packaging, and cosmetic industries," explains Akron's Bor-Kai Hsiung. He suggests that one of the first applications might be in colorful textiles manufactured without toxic dyes and their waste products. David Bradley blogs at Sciencebase Science Blog and tweets @sciencebase, he is author of the popular science book "Deceived Wisdom".


News Article | February 9, 2017
Site: www.cemag.us

Inspired by the hair of blue tarantulas, researchers from The University of Akron lead a team that made a structural-colored material that shows consistent color from all viewing directions. This finding overturns the conventional wisdom that long-range order photonic structures are always iridescent, opening new potential to mass produce structural colors because highly ordered designs are easy to scale-up and manufacture. Bor-Kai (Bill) Hsiung and his colleagues at UA, Ghent University, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln published their research, which is featured on the cover of the January 2017 journal of Advanced Optical Materials. “Structural colors are more vibrant and durable than the pigments used in most human-made products,” explains Hsiung, the lead author of this research and a Biomimicry Fellow in the Integrated Bioscience Ph.D. program at The University of Akron. “They are produced by optical effects when light interacts with nanostructures that are about the same size as the wavelength of light.” Think of a peacock, or a butterfly. The problem is that most structural colors are strongly iridescent, changing color when viewed from different angles. It’s beautiful out in nature, but not very functional when we’re watching television and we move to a new seat.” The team first discovered that many vibrant blue tarantulas do not show iridescence even though the spiders use nanostructures to produce those colors. Since the spider's blue color is not iridescent, Hsiung’s team suggested that the same process could be applied to make pigment replacements that never fade, as well as to help reduce glare on wide-angle viewing systems in phones, televisions and other devices. As they dug deeper, they found that the hairs of some species of blue tarantulas show a special flower-like shape that they hypothesized reduced the iridescent effect resulting from periodic structures. Then, thanks to the crowdfunding push they received earlier, they were able to test this hypothesis using a series of computer simulations and physical prototypes built using cutting-edge nano-3D printing technology. Their color produced by the 3D printed structures has a viewing angle of 160 degrees, the largest viewing angle of any synthetic structural colors demonstrated. “These structural colorants could be used as pigment replacements — many of which are toxic — in materials such as plastics, metal, textiles and paper, and for producing color for wide-angle viewing systems such as phones and televisions," Hsiung says.


News Article | January 26, 2016
Site: phys.org

The new study, published in Plant, Cell and Environment, addresses a central challenge of transgenic plant development: how to reliably evaluate whether genetic material has been successfully introduced. Researchers at the University of Illinois, the Polish Academy of Sciences, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of California, Berkeley compared the traditional method to several new ones that have emerged from advances in genomic technology and identified one that is much faster than the standard approach, yet equally reliable. The study was led by Illinois postdoctoral fellows Kasia Glowacka and Johannes Kromdijk. "For plants with long life cycles, such as our food crops, this will greatly speed the time between genetic transformation or DNA editing, and development of pure breeding lines," said Long, Gutgsell Endowed Professor of Crop Sciences and Plant Biology and the principal investigator for the study. Long is also a member of the Genomic Ecology of Global Change and Biosystems Design research themes and the Energy Biosciences Institute at the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology. To meet the food and fuel needs of an ever-growing global population, researchers benefit from transgenic technologies to develop crops with higher yields and greater resiliency to environmental challenges. None of the technologies used to introduce new genetic material into plants work with 100 percent efficiency. Plants and their offspring must be screened to identify those in which gene transfer was successful. Traditionally, this was done in part by testing successive generations of plants to see if the desired traits are present and breed true over time. In addition, plant scientists can use one of several molecular methods to determine if a gene or genes have actually been successfully introduced into the plant genome. The "tried and true" method, the Southern blot, yields precise data but is slow and unwieldy. It requires isolating relatively large amounts of plant DNA, using fluorescent or radioactive dye to detect the gene of interest, and performing a week's worth of lab work for results from just a few samples at a time. The team compared the Southern blot technique with several that use variations of a chemical process called polymerase chain reaction (PCR). This process allows researchers to quantify specific pieces of the introduced DNA sequences by making many additional copies of them, and then estimating the number of copies—somewhat like estimating the amount of bacteria present in a sample by spreading it on a petri dish and letting colonies grow until they are visible. These methods are much faster than Southern blotting, but if the DNA in each sample does not "grow" at exactly the same rate, the resulting data will be imprecise—size won't be a perfect indicator of the starting quantity. One method examined by Long's group, digital drop PCR (ddPCR), is designed to overcome this weakness. Rather than using the PCR process to amplify all the DNA in a sample, this method first separates each individual fragment of DNA into its own tiny reaction, much like giving each bacterium its own tiny petri dish to grow in. PCR then amplifies each fragment until there are enough copies to be easily detected, and the total number of tiny reactions are counted. Because this method, unlike others, separates the growth-like step from the quantification step, it can be very precise even when the reaction isn't perfect. Results can be obtained in less than two days, and many samples can be processed simultaneously. Long hopes that his group's demonstration that ddPCR is a "reliable, fast and high throughput" technique will help it to become the new standard for those developing transgenic crops. "I believe it will become widely adopted," he said. Although ddPCR is currently more expensive than the other methods, Long said the cost would likely drop quickly, as have the costs of other genomic technologies.


News Article | November 18, 2016
Site: www.chromatographytechniques.com

Scientists have hacked a plant's genes to make it use sunlight more efficiently — a breakthrough that could eventually dramatically increase the amount of food grown. Think of it as photosynthesis on steroids. Photosynthesis is how plants convert sunlight, carbon dioxide and water into food. But it's a very inefficient process, using less than 1 percent of the energy available, scientists said. By genetically modifying part of the plant's protective system, which kicks into gear when too much sunlight beams down, scientists were able to increase leaf growth between 14 and 20 percent in experiments with tobacco plants, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Science. "Now that we know it works, it won't be too difficult to do it with other crops," said study lead author Stephen Long, a professor of crop sciences at the University of Illinois. "If you look at crops around the world, it would (increase yield) many million tons of food." That's still at least 15 years away, but this is the first time scientists have been able to do something like this, Long said. A plant's protective system is like a pressure relief valve in a steam engine. When there's too much sunlight, it turns on and gets rid of excess energy safely. When the plant is in the shade, the protective system turns off, but not quickly, said study co-author Krishna Niyogi, a plant scientist at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the University of California, Berkeley. Long said the protective system regulates sunlight in much the same way light-adjusting glasses darken and lighten. But it takes 10 minutes to an hour for plants to adjust, so the plant doesn't get the optimal amount of energy, especially when it goes back into sunlight. So Long and his team genetically modified the plant to turn that protection system off and on faster. Two different plants in the experiment increased leaf growth by 20 percent and a third by 14 percent. Long said he used tobacco because it is easy to manipulate the genetics, but there is no reason it can't work with rice, corn and other seed-oriented foods. Maybe the yield increase would be only 10 percent, he said. University of Nebraska-Lincoln agriculture professor Tala Awanda said the study makes sense, but cautioned the yield might not be quite so high for conventional food crops. Still, he added in an email, "this study remains a breakthrough."


News Article | February 28, 2017
Site: www.materialstoday.com

A biomimetic research project has developed a new approach to producing structurally colored materials inspired by the vibrant iridescent hair of blue tarantulas. A team from the University of Akron, with colleagues from Ghent University, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, came up with a technique that shows consistent color from every viewing direction and which could lead to the scaling up and manufacture of such colors to replace pigments and dyes. Structural colors are more vibrant and durable than the pigments used in most human-made products, and are produced through optical effects when light interacts with nanostructures around the same size as the wavelength of light. However, most structural colors are very iridescent, changing color when seen from different angles. This has benefits for anti-counterfeiting and security applications but is undesirable when used for screen displays or wall paint, for example. Initially interested in using the principles of structural color to develop a colorant to replace pigments and dyes, they carried out a range of experiments to understand the best way to produce non-iridescent structural colors where the hue remains the same regardless of the viewing direction. They investigated nature for biological models that could help solve this challenge, finding there were many non-iridescent blue tarantulas. In the study, as reported in the journal Advanced Optical Materials [Hsiung et al. Adv. Opt. Mater. (2017) DOI: 10.1002/adom.201600599], the researchers demonstrated that the hairs of some blue tarantulas had a flower-like shape that reduced the iridescent effect resulting from periodic structures. They tested this hypothesis with computer simulation and physical prototypes developed using specialized nano-3D printing technology, producing a color that offers a viewing angle of 160o, the largest viewing angle of any synthetic structural colors, overturning the belief that long-range order photonic structures are always iridescent. As lead author Bill Hsiung points out, “We are the first to demonstrate that non-iridescent structural colors can be produced by highly ordered and periodic photonic structures, as long as the structure is hierarchical, and most importantly with high degrees of rotational symmetries”. The team now hopes to demonstrate their proposed non-iridescent structural colored material could be manufactured in an economically viable way using existing fabrication technologies. As well as in dyes and creating color for wide-angle viewing systems in devices such as mobile phones and televisions, the breakthrough could find applications in industries where color is the main feature of products, such as textiles, cosmetics, fashion and packaging.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: phys.org

The development of non-iridescent structurally colored material inspired by tarantula hairs. Credit: The University of Akron Inspired by the hair of blue tarantulas, researchers from The University of Akron lead a team that made a structural-colored material that shows consistent color from all viewing directions. This finding overturns the conventional wisdom that long-range order photonic structures are always iridescent, opening new potential to mass produce structural colors because highly ordered designs are easy to scale-up and manufacture. Bor-Kai (Bill) Hsiung and his colleagues at UA, Ghent University, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln published their research, which is featured on the cover of the January 2017 journal of Advanced Optical Materials. "Structural colors are more vibrant and durable than the pigments used in most human-made products," explained Hsiung, the lead author of this research and a Biomimicry Fellow in the Integrated Bioscience Ph.D. program at The University of Akron. "They are produced by optical effects when light interacts with nanostructures that are about the same size as the wavelength of light." Think of a peacock, or a butterfly. The problem is that most structural colors are strongly iridescent, changing color when viewed from different angles. It's beautiful out in nature, but not very functional when we're watching television and we move to a new seat." The team first discovered that many vibrant blue tarantulas do not show iridescence even though the spiders use nanostructures to produce those colors. Since the spider's blue color is not iridescent, Hsiung's team suggested that the same process could be applied to make pigment replacements that never fade, as well as to help reduce glare on wide-angle viewing systems in phones, televisions and other devices. As they dug deeper, they found that the hairs of some species of blue tarantulas show a special flower-like shape that they hypothesized reduced the iridescent effect resulting from periodic structures. Then, thanks to the crowdfunding push they received earlier, they were able to test this hypothesis using a series of computer simulations and physical prototypes built using cutting-edge nano-3D printing technology. Their color produced by the 3D printed structures has a viewing angle of 160 degrees, the largest viewing angle of any synthetic structural colors demonstrated. "These structural colorants could be used as pigment replacements - many of which are toxic - in materials such as plastics, metal, textiles and paper, and for producing color for wide-angle viewing systems such as phones and televisions," Hsiung said. Explore further: Microscopic analysis of blue tarantula inspires production of nanostructures More information: Bor-Kai Hsiung et al, Structural Colors: Tarantula-Inspired Noniridescent Photonics with Long-Range Order (Advanced Optical Materials 2/2017), Advanced Optical Materials (2017). DOI: 10.1002/adom.201770008


News Article | November 20, 2016
Site: www.sciencedaily.com

Adding a cover crop that livestock can graze to the rotation plan can improve soil health and help protect the environment. That's the premise behind a four-year, nearly $4 million U.S. Department of Agriculture project, spearheaded by South Dakota State University assistant professor Sandeep Kumar of the Department of Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science. Though grazing cropland was once common, Kumar admitted, "most farmers are not into this practice." The fall crop will not only provide nourishment to cattle, sheep, goats and other ruminants, but will bind nitrogen to the soil, reducing runoff into lakes and streams. The integrated crop and livestock management system seeks to use crops, such as oats, sorghum, turnips, radishes or millet, planted after harvest for grazing, Kumar explained. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture project involves 26 scientists from five universities including North Dakota State University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology along with USDA offices in Lincoln, Nebraska; Mandan, North Dakota; and Brookings. The researchers will assess the impact of incorporating grazing crops at seven sites covering three states -- North Dakota, Nebraska and South Dakota. "We're expecting this practice to help increase crop production," explained Kumar. The researchers will share their results with producers through a quarterly newsletter, which will be available along with other project information at www.ipicl.org. "The hypothesis is that this system can alter nutrition cycling and improve soil resilience," Kumar said. The practice may, in the long run, reduce the need for chemical fertilizers. One of the concerns the researchers seek to resolve is the availability of moisture. "The treatments are different in each state because of the variability in precipitation," Kumar noted. In South Dakota, he said, "we are putting the cover crop in a three-year rotation, right after small grains, which are harvested in June and July." At the Southeast Research Center near Beresford, for instance, the researchers are evaluating three treatments -- corn-soybean-oat, corn-soybean-oat/cover crop and corn-soybean-oat/cover crop with grazing. In addition to sites at Brookings and Beresford, several producers in South Dakota, who have been utilizing an integrated crop-livestock management system for more than a year, have agreed to participate in the study. Researchers will gather data on soils, crop and livestock performance and environmental parameters, Kumar explained. "The goal is greater sustainability."


Louis J.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Shah J.,University of North Texas
Journal of Experimental Botany | Year: 2015

In Arabidopsis thaliana, PHYTOALEXIN DEFICIENT 4 (PAD4) functions as a key player in modulating defence against the phloem sap-feeding aphid Myzus persicae (Sülzer), more commonly known as the green peach aphid (GPA), an important pest of a wide variety of plants. PAD4 controls antibiosis and antixenosis against the GPA. In addition, PAD4 deters aphid feeding from sieve elements on Arabidopsis. In the past few years, substantial progress has been made in dissecting the role of PAD4 and its interaction with other signalling components in limiting aphid infestation. Several key genes/mechanisms involved in providing aphid resistance/susceptibility in Arabidopsis regulate the aphid infestation-stimulated expression of PAD4. Together, PAD4 and its interacting signalling partners provide a critical barrier to curtail GPA colonization of Arabidopsis. © 2014 The Author. All rights reserved.


Weber M.G.,Cornell University | Keeler K.H.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Annals of Botany | Year: 2013

Background and Aims Understanding the evolutionary patterns of ecologically relevant traits is a central goal in plant biology. However, for most important traits, we lack the comprehensive understanding of their taxonomic distribution needed to evaluate their evolutionary mode and tempo across the tree of life. Here we evaluate the broad phylogenetic patterns of a common plant-defence trait found across vascular plants: extrafloral nectaries (EFNs), plant glands that secrete nectar and are located outside the flower. EFNs typically defend plants indirectly by attracting invertebrate predators who reduce herbivory. Methods Records of EFNs published over the last 135 years were compiled. After accounting for changes in taxonomy, phylogenetic comparative methods were used to evaluate patterns of EFN evolution, using a phylogeny of over 55 000 species of vascular plants. Using comparisons of parametric and non-parametric models, the true number of species with EFNs likely to exist beyond the current list was estimated. Key Results To date, EFNs have been reported in 3941 species representing 745 genera in 108 families, about 1-2% of vascular plant species and approx. 21% of families. They are found in 33 of 65 angiosperm orders. Foliar nectaries are known in four of 36 fern families. Extrafloral nectaries are unknown in early angiosperms, magnoliids and gymnosperms. They occur throughout monocotyledons, yet most EFNs are found within eudicots, with the bulk of species with EFNs being rosids. Phylogenetic analyses strongly support the repeated gain and loss of EFNs across plant clades, especially in more derived dicot families, and suggest that EFNs are found in a minimum of 457 independent lineages. However, model selection methods estimate that the number of unreported cases of EFNs may be as high as the number of species already reported. Conclusions EFNs are widespread and evolutionarily labile traits that have repeatedly evolved a remarkable number of times in vascular plants. Our current understanding of the phylogenetic patterns of EFNs makes them powerful candidates for future work exploring the drivers of their evolutionary origins, shifts, and losses. © 2012 The Author. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved.


Yuan Y.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Reece T.J.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Sharma P.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Poddar S.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln | And 4 more authors.
Nature Materials | Year: 2011

The recombination of electrons and holes in semiconducting polymerĝ€"fullerene blends has been identified as a main cause of energy loss in organic photovoltaic devices. Generally, an external bias voltage is required to efficiently separate the electrons and holes and thus prevent their recombination. Here we show that a large, permanent, internal electric field can be ensured by incorporating a ferroelectric polymer layer into the device, which eliminates the need for an external bias. The electric field, of the order of 50μ-11, potentially induced by the ferroelectric layer is tens of times larger than that achievable by the use of electrodes with different work functions. We show that ferroelectric polymer layers enhanced the efficiency of several types of organic photovoltaic device from 1-2% without layers to 4-5% with layers. These enhanced efficiencies are 10-20% higher than those achieved by other methods, such as morphology and electrode work-function optimization. The devices show the unique characteristics of ferroelectric photovoltaic devices with switchable diode polarity and tunable efficiency. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Hibbing J.R.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Smith K.B.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Alford J.R.,Rice University
Behavioral and Brain Sciences | Year: 2014

Disputes between those holding differing political views are ubiquitous and deep-seated, and they often follow common, recognizable lines. The supporters of tradition and stability, sometimes referred to as conservatives, do battle with the supporters of innovation and reform, sometimes referred to as liberals. Understanding the correlates of those distinct political orientations is probably a prerequisite for managing political disputes, which are a source of social conflict that can lead to frustration and even bloodshed. A rapidly growing body of empirical evidence documents a multitude of ways in which liberals and conservatives differ from each other in purviews of life with little direct connection to politics, from tastes in art to desire for closure and from disgust sensitivity to the tendency to pursue new information, but the central theme of the differences is a matter of debate. In this article, we argue that one organizing element of the many differences between liberals and conservatives is the nature of their physiological and psychological responses to features of the environment that are negative. Compared with liberals, conservatives tend to register greater physiological responses to such stimuli and also to devote more psychological resources to them. Operating from this point of departure, we suggest approaches for refining understanding of the broad relationship between political views and response to the negative. We conclude with a discussion of normative implications, stressing that identifying differences across ideological groups is not tantamount to declaring one ideology superior to another. © 2014 Cambridge University Press.


Cheviron Z.A.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Brumfield R.T.,Louisiana State University
Heredity | Year: 2012

Elucidating the molecular genetic basis of adaptive traits is a central goal of evolutionary genetics. The cold, hypoxic conditions of high-altitude habitats impose severe metabolic demands on endothermic vertebrates, and understanding how high-altitude endotherms cope with the combined effects of hypoxia and cold can provide important insights into the process of adaptive evolution. The physiological responses to high-altitude stress have been the subject of over a century of research, and recent advances in genomic technologies have opened up exciting opportunities to explore the molecular genetic basis of adaptive physiological traits. Here, we review recent literature on the use of genomic approaches to study adaptation to high-altitude hypoxia in terrestrial vertebrates, and explore opportunities provided by newly developed technologies to address unanswered questions in high-altitude adaptation at a genomic scale. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.


Peng Y.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Gitelson A.A.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Sakamoto T.,Japan National Institute for Agro - Environmental Sciences
Remote Sensing of Environment | Year: 2013

In this study, a simple model was developed to estimate crop gross primary productivity (GPP) using a product of chlorophyll-related vegetation index, retrieved from MODIS 250. m data, and potential photosynthetically active radiation (PAR). Potential PAR is incident photosynthetically active radiation under a condition of minimal atmospheric aerosol loading. This model was proposed for GPP estimation based entirely on satellite data, and it was tested in maize and soybean, which are contrasting crop types different in leaf structures and canopy architectures, under different crop managements and climatic conditions. The model using MODIS 250. m data, which brings high temporal resolution and moderate spatial resolution, was capable of estimating GPP accurately in both irrigated and rainfed croplands in three Nebraska AmeriFlux sites during growing seasons 2001 through 2008. Among the MODIS-250. m retrieved indices tested, enhanced vegetation index (EVI) and wide dynamic range vegetation index (WDRVI) were the most accurate for GPP estimation with coefficients of variation below 20% in maize and 25% in soybean. It was shown that the developed model was able to accurately detect GPP variation in crops where total chlorophyll content is closely tied to seasonal dynamic of GPP. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.


Sakamoto T.,Japan National Institute for Agro - Environmental Sciences | Gitelson A.A.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Arkebauer T.J.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Remote Sensing of Environment | Year: 2013

A crop yield estimation model using time-series MODIS WDRVI was developed. The main feature of the proposed model is the incorporation of crop phenology detection using MODIS data, called the "Shape-Model Fitting Method". MODIS WDRVI taken 7-10. days before the corn silking stage had strong linear correlation with corn final grain yield at both field and regional scales. The model revealed spatial patterns of corn final grain yield all over the U.S. from 2000 to 2011. State-level corn yield was estimated accurately with coefficient of variation below 10% especially for the 18 major corn producing states including Iowa, Illinois, Delaware, Minnesota, Ohio, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Nebraska, Kentucky, New York, South Dakota, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, New Jersey and Maryland. The results corresponded well with the spatial pattern of high-yield regions derived from the USDA/NASS data. However, the model tended to underestimate corn grain yield in three irrigated regions: the Midwestern region depending on the Ogallala Aquifer, the downstream basin of the Mississippi, and the southwestern region of Georgia. In contrast, it tended to overestimate corn grain yield around the outlying regions of the U.S. Corn Belt, specifically, the East Coast, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Missouri. The estimation accuracy of the proposed model differed depending on the region. However, the annual variation of state level corn grain yield could be detected with high accuracy, especially in the major corn producing states. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.


Koenig W.D.,Cornell University | Knops J.M.H.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Ecology | Year: 2013

Seed production that varies greatly from year to year, known as 'masting' or 'mast-fruiting' behavior, is a population-level phenomenon known to exhibit geographic synchrony extending, at least in some cases, hundreds of kilometers. The two main nonexclusive hypotheses for the driver of such geographically extensive synchrony are (1) environmental factors (the Moran effect), and (2) the mutual dependence of trees on outcrossed pollen (pollen coupling). We tested 10 predictions relevant to these two hypotheses using 18 years of acorn production data on two species of California oaks. Data were obtained across the entire ranges of the two species at 12 sites (10 for each species) separated by up to 745 km. In general, our results provided strong support for the importance of the Moran effect as a driver of spatial synchrony in and between these two species. Particularly compelling was evidence of close concordance between spatial synchrony in acorn production and key environmental factors extending over the range of both species and significant spatial cross-synchrony between the two species, despite considerable differences in their geographical ecology. Because oaks are monoecious, female flowers are not necessarily related to pollen production, and thus, our tests do not address the role of pollen coupling in bisexual species where pollen and flower production are necessarily correlated. For the oak species considered here, however, the Moran effect is a key driver of large-scale spatial synchrony in acorn production. © 2013 by the Ecological Society of America.


Pearse I.S.,Cornell University | Koenig W.D.,Cornell University | Knops J.M.H.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Oikos | Year: 2014

Masting, the intermittent and synchronized production of seeds, is a common and important phenomenon throughout the plant kingdom. Surprisingly, the proximate mechanisms by which populations of masting plants synchronize their seed sets have been relatively unexplored. We examined how temperature influences the acorn crop of the valley oak Quercus lobata, a masting species common in California, USA, over 33 years in order to assess whether temperature acts directly on acorn crop as a cue or whether it acts instead through intermediate steps indicative of a direct mechanistic connection to acorn production. Compared to several alternatives, the difference in temperature during the spring flowering period over the prior two years (Δt) was a good predictor of annual acorn crop in valley oak, as proposed recently by Kelly et al. Significantly, Δt correlates positively with temperatures the previous April, a likely driver of pollination success in valley oak, and negatively with the previous year's acorn crop, which is in turn negatively correlated with the current year's acorn crop, presumably due to resource limitation. Thus, the success of Δt is not as a cue but rather explained by its close relationship to the proximate drivers that have a direct, mechanistic relationship with acorn crop size. © 2013 The Authors.


Patent
University of Rochester, Temple University and University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Date: 2012-01-26

Small molecule inhibitors of bacterial ribonuclease (e.g., RnpA) and methods for their synthesis and use are described herein. The methods of using the compounds include treating and preventing microbial infections and inhibiting bacterial ribonuclease. Also described herein are methods of identifying compounds for treating or preventing a microbial infection.


Patent
University of Rochester, Temple University and University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Date: 2012-01-26

Small molecule inhibitors of bacterial ribonuclease (e.g., RnpA) and methods for their synthesis and use are described herein. The methods of using the compounds include treating and preventing microbial infections and inhibiting bacterial ribonuclease.


Patent
University of Rochester and University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Date: 2013-11-30

Disclosed are methods for treating an individual infected with a retrovirus that comprise administering to the individual effective amounts of a mixed lineage kinase inhibitor and antiretroviral drug. In further aspects, disclosed are methods for treating an individual infected with a retrovirus that comprises administering an antiretroviral drug formulated into a crystalline nanoparticle comprising a surfactant, and a MLK inhibitor. Still further disclosed are methods for treating an individual infected with a retrovirus that comprises administering a composition comprising both an antiretroviral and MLK inhibitor formulated into a crystalline nanoparticle, which comprises a surfactant. Still further disclosed are compositions that comprise an antiretroviral drug, a MLK inhibitor, and a surfactant, wherein the composition is a crystalline nanoparticle. Compostions comprising MLK inhibitors with other drugs in nanoparticulate form, and methods of there use, are also disclosed.


Patent
University of Rochester, University of Nebraska - Lincoln and Temple University | Date: 2015-11-05

Small molecule inhibitors of bacterial ribonuclease (e.g., RnpA) and methods for their synthesis and use are described herein. The methods of using the compounds include treating and preventing microbial infections and inhibiting bacterial ribonuclease. Also described herein are methods of identifying compounds for treating or preventing a microbial infection.


Patent
University of Rochester, University of Nebraska - Lincoln and Temple University | Date: 2015-06-19

Small molecule inhibitors of bacterial ribonuclease (e.g., RnpA) and methods for their synthesis and use are described herein. The methods of using the compounds include treating and preventing microbial infections and inhibiting bacterial ribonuclease.


News Article | February 14, 2017
Site: www.cemag.us

In 2011, chemists and engineers met the MXenes: a large family of two-dimensional nanomaterials whose members have already shown real talent for storing energy, purifying water and protecting against electromagnetic interference. Knowing the family could find employment in those fields for years to come, researchers have since launched the equivalent of a background check into job performance, versatility, stability, and quirks. Scientists from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Drexel University recently published findings on an especially promising candidate that includes three titanium atoms and two carbon atoms. Their paper demonstrated that modifying the traditional method of synthesizing the MXene can substantially affect the structure and related properties of its individual, nanoscopic flakes. The researchers then measured the electrical conductivity of their synthesized flakes, which substantially outperformed those previously reported. By doing so, they also established a threshold for conductivity that engineers could eventually target when incorporating the MXene in lithium-ion batteries, transistors, capacitors and other devices. “MXenes are synthesized as thin sheets that are then processed for different applications,” says co-author Alexander Sinitskii, associate professor of chemistry at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “An important research direction in this field is to develop synthetic approaches to produce MXene sheets with high structural quality and electrical conductivity.” MXenes begin their lives in the so-called MAX phase, whose name describes its signature components: the “M,” a transition metal such as titanium or chromium; an element such as aluminum from the “A” group of the periodic table; and the “X,” representing carbon or nitrogen atoms. To synthesize MXenes, chemists have used acidic solutions to etch away the “A” group while leaving the other layers intact — a relatively simple, high-yield technique. But previous solutions have produced relatively small flakes peppered with nanoscopic pinholes that limit the movement of conductivity-driving electrons while offering plenty of opportunities for oxidation to degrade the material. By tweaking the ratio of solution to MAX phase, the Nebraska-Drexel team managed to synthesize defect-free flakes that were about 25 times larger, significantly more conductive and far less susceptible to degradation than those prepared via other approaches. “We found that these slight variations in the chemical procedures result in pretty dramatic differences in the qualities of the products we obtain,” says Sinitskii, a member of the Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience. “Our measurements revealed that electrical conductivity of MXene sheets is actually close to that of graphene, the two-dimensional material that holds the present record for conductivity. Information about the intrinsic properties of individual MXene sheets is important for optimizing the performance of energy-storage devices that consist of multiple sheets.” The team’s paper appeared in the December issue of Advanced Energy Materials, which featured the study on its back cover. Sinitskii authored the paper with Alexey Lipatov, research assistant professor of chemistry; Alex Boson, graduate student in chemistry; along with Drexel University’s Yury Gogotsi, Mohamed Alhabeb, and Maria Lukatskaya. The team received support from the National Science Foundation, the NSF-funded Nebraska Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

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