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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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.

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.

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.

Head J.J.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Polly P.D.,Indiana University Bloomington
Nature | Year: 2015

Hox genes regulate regionalization of the axial skeleton in vertebrates, and changes in their expression have been proposed to be a fundamental mechanism driving the evolution of new body forms. The origin of the snake-like body form, with its deregionalized pre-cloacal axial skeleton, has been explained as either homogenization of Hox gene expression domains, or retention of standard vertebrate Hox domains with alteration of downstream expression that suppresses development of distinct regions. Both models assume a highly regionalized ancestor, but the extent of deregionalization of the primaxial domain (vertebrae, dorsal ribs) of the skeleton in snake-like body forms has never been analysed. Here we combine geometric morphometrics and maximum-likelihood analysis to show that the pre-cloacal primaxial domain of elongate, limb-reduced lizards and snakes is not deregionalized compared with limbed taxa, and that the phylogenetic structure of primaxial morphology in reptiles does not support a loss of regionalization in the evolution of snakes. We demonstrate that morphometric regional boundaries correspond to mapped gene expression domains in snakes, suggesting that their primaxial domain is patterned by a normally functional Hox code. Comparison of primaxial osteology in fossil and modern amniotes with Hox gene distributions within Amniota indicates that a functional, sequentially expressed Hox code patterned a subtle morphological gradient along the anterior-posterior axis in stem members of amniote clades and extant lizards, including snakes. The highly regionalized skeletons of extant archosaurs and mammals result from independent evolution in the Hox code and do not represent ancestral conditions for clades with snake-like body forms. The developmental origin of snakes is best explained by decoupling of the primaxial and abaxial domains and by increases in somite number, not by changes in the function of primaxial Hox genes. ©2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Wilson M.A.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Antioxidants and Redox Signaling | Year: 2011

DJ-1 is a member of the large and functionally diverse DJ-1/PfpI superfamily and has homologs in nearly all organisms. Because of its connection to parkinsonism and cancer, human DJ-1 has been intensely studied for over a decade. The current view is that DJ-1 is a multifunctional oxidative stress response protein that defends cells against reactive oxygen species and mitochondrial damage, although the details of its biochemical function remain unclear. A conserved cysteine residue in DJ-1 (Cys106) is both functionally essential and subject to oxidation to the cysteine-sulfinate and cysteine-sulfonate. Consequently, the oxidative modification of Cys106 has been proposed to allow DJ-1 to act as a sensor of cellular redox homeostasis and to participate in cytoprotective signaling pathways in the cell. This review explores the current evidence for the role of cysteine oxidation in DJ-1 function, with emphasis on emerging models for how oxidative modification may regulate DJ-1's protective function and also contribute to dysfunction and disease. © 2011 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: DISCOVERY RESEARCH K-12 | Award Amount: 699.58K | Year: 2016

The Discovery Research K-12 program (DRK-12) seeks to significantly enhance the learning and teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by preK-12 students and teachers, through research and development of innovative resources, models and tools (RMTs). Projects in the DRK-12 program build on fundamental research in STEM education and prior research and development efforts that provide theoretical and empirical justification for proposed projects.

This Exploratory project will conduct an in-depth analysis of instructional coaching by analyzing 520 hours of archived video-recorded coaching sessions with 75 middle and high school science teachers in grades 6-12 collected in a U.S. Department of Education IES-funded coaching research study. The goal of the project is to unpack the coaching intervention by analyzing the videos and previously collected quantitative outcome data to (a) create descriptive profiles of instructional coaching and (b) identify which key coaching elements (active ingredients) lead to desired teacher and student outcomes.

Following a design-based research approach, relying on iterative feedback and using data saturation process to analyze data, the project will translate theorized, conceptual characteristics of coaching into empirical models to guide future coaching research and practical guidance through identification of critical elements needed for coaching to work.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: National Robotics Initiative | Award Amount: 995.47K | Year: 2016

Prescribed fire is critical for reducing catastrophic wildfires and sustaining healthy ecosystems. Yet the technology to support fire ignition and monitoring remains stagnant, risky, and expensive. This project aims to develop the Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) technology that can transform prescribed fire ignition and monitoring by: 1) enabling the communication between UASs and humans by sharing the vehicle intention through maneuvers, 2) improving UAS operation by taking into account operator availability, 3) leveraging the operators knowledge to improve control of multiple vehicles, 4) fixing failures by enabling the operator and the system to work together, and 5) assessing the technological capabilities and associated users acceptance of this technology. This effort is significant because it addresses unique co-robotic challenges in the UAS domain and is transformative in its potential to change how a range of organizations maintain their ecosystems and manage wildfires.

The project aims at developing and assessing techniques, tools, and systems to dramatically improve the potential for UASs to safely ignite and monitor fire. To achieve that goal, it conducts multidisciplinary work on: 1) motion-based languages that communicate UAS intention and knowledge to operators and bystanders, 2) co-regulation methodologies that incorporate operator availability and attention into traditional control and planning loops, 3) integrative functions that map the environmental knowledge and domain expertise of an operator into a fleet of vehicles to support different levels of autonomy, 4) co-debugging techniques from program analysis that collaborate with the operator to help diagnose and overcome failures caused by misconfigurations, and 5) cross-cutting studies to gain a better understanding of the attitudes of stakeholders towards UASs, and the features that are likely to promote stakeholder trust and acceptance.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Cooperative Agreement | Program: | Phase: RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROV | Award Amount: 4.00M | Year: 2016

Non-technical Description
The Center for Root and Rhizobiome Innovation (CRRI) promises to break new ground in understanding of how plants interact with their environment via their root systems, with the goal of applying that knowledge to provide society with new technologies for more secure and resilient food systems. The project is built upon an excellent statewide foundation of research facilities and expertise, while also making critical improvements to this research infrastructure. Much of this knowledge will be made publicly available online. The Center will be strongly integrated across many disciplines, involving scientists and engineers with expertise in plant systems, chemical ecology, and microbiology, among others. In parallel with its research agenda, the project will continue several successful programs that provide outreach and workforce development opportunities aimed at improving the accessibility of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education throughout the state.

Technical Description
The CRRI will employ integrated systems and synthetic biology approaches to investigate plant root metabolism and its interdependence on the near-root soil microbial community (i.e., the rhizobiome). The genetic variability of maize lines will be studied in the context of their influence on root exudate production and in turn on the rhizobiome. These results will be used to develop improved models to describe genetic influences on plant systems behavior and to drive the development of new engineered maize lines with improved responses to abiotic stresses. The project will lead to improved understanding of the genetic diversity of plant roots and the rhizobiome. It will also lead to technological advances toward the engineering of agriculturally vital crops.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: AISL | Award Amount: 999.64K | Year: 2016

As part of an overall strategy to enhance learning within informal environments, the Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems (INFEWS) and Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) programs partnered to support innovative models poised to catalyze well-integrated interdisciplinary research and development efforts within informal contexts that transform scientific understanding of the food, energy, and water systems (FEWS) nexus in order to improve system function and management, address system stress, increase resilience, and ensure sustainability. This project addresses this aim by using systems thinking and interdisciplinary integration approaches to develop a novel immersive educational simulation game and associated materials designed to highlight the role and importance of corn-water-ethanol-beef (CWEB) systems in supporting the ever increasing demands for food, energy, and water in the United States. The focus on FEWS and sustainable energy aligns well with both the INFEWS program and the sizable sustainability-related projects in the AISL program portfolio. The development and broad dissemination of a multiuser game specific to CWEB systems are particularly innovative contributions and advance for both program portfolios and their requisite fields of study. An additional unique feature of the game is the embedding of varying degrees of economic principles and decision-making along with the nuisances of cultural context as salient variables that influence systems thinking. Of note, a team of computer science, management and engineering undergraduate students at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln will be responsible for the engineering, development, and deployment of the game as their university capstone projects. If successful, this game will have a significant reach and impact on youth in informal programs (i.e., 4-H clubs), high school teachers and students in agriculture vocational education courses, college students, and the public. The impact could extend well beyond Nebraska and the targeted Midwestern region.

In conjunction with the game development, mixed-methods formative and summative evaluations will be conducted by an external evaluator. The formative evaluation of the game will focus on usability testing, interest and engagement with a select sample of youth at local 4-H clubs and youth day camps. Data will be collected from embedded in-game survey questionnaires, rating scales, observations and focus groups conducted with evaluation sample. These data and feedback will be used to inform the design and refinement of the game. The summative evaluation will focus on the overall impacts of the game. Changes in agricultural systems knowledge, attitudes toward agricultural systems, interest in pursuing careers in agricultural systems, and decision making will be aligned with the Nebraska State Science Standards and tracked using the National Agricultural Literacy Outcomes (NALOs) assessment, game analytics and pre/post-test measures administered to the evaluation study sample pre/post exposure to the game.

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