College of Sciences Researchers in the News

  • New Study Identifies Possible Ancestors of RNA

    Researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology may have made headway in helping determine the origin of life by identifying three different molecules that self-assemble to form a molecular structure with features characteristic of modern RNA. In the new study, researchers led by Nicholas Hud studied reactions in conditions that mimicked rain and evaporation cycles on the early Earth. They identified three candidates for the bases of proto-RNA: barbituric acid,melamine, and 2, 4, 6-triaminopyrimidine. Reactions with these molecules and the ribose sugar produced nucleosides, which are composite molecules that are close to the sub-units of RNA. Hud is a professor in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the director of the NSF/NASA Center for Chemical Evolution, based in Georgia Tech.

    Astrobiology Magazine, Sep 15, 2018

  • Georgia Tech Announces HPC Resource for Coda Building

    Georgia Tech has received an award for $3.7 million from the National Science Foundation to cover 70 percent of the cost of a new high-performance computing (HPC) resource that will be established at the Coda building at Tech Square, which is set to open next spring. Project participants include two from the College of Sciences: David Sherrill, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and Deirdre Shoemaker, professor of physics. 

    HPC Wire, Sep 11, 2018

  • When graduate school doesn’t play out as expected

    While earning her advanced chemistry degree at Georgia Tech, Rena Ingram had a change of heart. She realized that her true passion was teaching. So, with the help of her mentors, she pivoted to a teaching fellowship. Now, she's living her dream teaching high school chemistry. Her story is among those profiled in this feature about what happens when grad school doesn't pan out. Earlier, we wrote about Rena's experience; read our story here

    Chemical & Engineering News, Sep 9, 2018

  • Tinkertoy Models Produce New Geometric Insights

    Mathematicians have investigated the equations required to describe — or embed — different kinds of shapes in spaces with different numbers of dimensions. They ask questions like, “Do equations exist that describe this shape in that space?” and “How complicated are the equations required to describe a given shape in space?”...In 2006, a mathematician at the Georgia Institute of Technology named Matt Baker realized it was possible to build a new proof of the Brill-Noether theorem using techniques drawn entirely from the upstart field of tropical geometry. Baker is a professor in the School of Mathematics and associate dean for faculty development in the College of Sciences.

    Quanta Magazine, Sep 5, 2018

  • Overcoming Resistance

    To revive antibiotics and devise new drug designs, Georgia Tech researchers team up with Oak Ridge’s Titan supercomputer....Knocking out efflux pumps is a promising strategy both to create new drugs and bring old antibiotics back to life, says physicist James C. Gumbart of the Georgia Institute of Technology...Gumbart and his team have used Titan, the Cray XK7 supercomputer at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility, a Department of Energy (DOE) user facility, to simulate the shape and related stability of proteins related to cells' machinery to expel toxic substances. 

    ASCR Discovery, Sep 3, 2018

  • Laughing gas may have prevented Earth's oceans from freezing over

    School of Earth and Atmospheric SciencesJennifer Glass doesn't care for Boring Billion, the term often used to describe an early period in Earth's history. "Earth was a dynamic place during this period," Glass says. Mainly because it was dominated by nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, which could explain why the oceans didn't freeze over.

    UPI, Aug 28, 2018

  • 14 Pollinator-Friendly Colleges That Have Us Buzzing

    You may know about the Urban Honey Bee Project, but did you know that Georgia Tech is a certified Bee Campus? In addition to supporting bees and butterflies on campus, students in Bee-Snap class go the extra mile, using science & technology to advocate for bees, such as game-style apps where users can learn more about bee-flower interactions. The story includes comments from Jennifer Leavey, senior academic professional in the School of Biological Sciences, and the director of the Georgia Tech Urban Honey Bee Project. 

    Sierra Club, Aug 27, 2018

  • Researchers use fMRI to study how dehydration affects the brain

    Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta have used fMRI to examine what happens to a person’s brain when it is dehydrated, sharing their findings in a new study published by Physiological Reports. The team asked volunteers to perform a repetitive task—pushing a specific button when a yellow square appeared on a monitor—for 20 minutes without hydrating. Even when no dehydration is present, the authors noted that “exertion and heat” can have a negative impact on a person’s ability to function—when dehydration does kick in, it just makes that negative impact that much worse. “We wanted to tease out whether exercise and heat stress alone have an impact on your cognitive function and study the effect of dehydration on top of that,” principal investigator Mindy Millard-Stafford, PhD, a professor at Georgia Tech, said in a prepared statement. “We found a two-step decline.” Business Standard also covered the work here.

    Radiology Business, Aug 23, 2018

  • Group deploys sea level sensor program to get ahead of storms

    A unique partnership in Chatham County plans to keep you and your home safer when the next storm hits. "This is really to help the community get through these events faster and quicker," said Kim Cobb, director of the Global Change Program and professor at Georgia Tech. What she's talking about are small plastic pipes hanging around local waterways. This is the area's newest tech took that will measure real-time coastal flooding to help with better emergency planning and response…The smart sea-level sensors program is a team effort between the City of Savannah, Chatham County and Georgia Tech.…This project is part of Georgia Tech's "Georgia Smart Communities" challenge. Find more coverage at Savannah CEO.

    WSAV, Aug 23, 2018

  • As Climate Scientists Speak Out, Sexist Attacks Are on the Rise

    One scientist was called Climate Barbie. Another was described as an “ugly fake scientist.” A third had an erect penis drawn on her car window while she was in the field researching sea-level rise. Such is the life of many female climate scientists in 2018.… Kim Cobb, a professor of earth and atmospheric science at Georgia Tech, recently appeared on national news programs to talk about the dangers of climate change. Now she’s being called a liar over email. Someone on Twitter called her “Climate Barbie 2.0.” There were repeated hang-ups on her voicemail, something she finds particularly disturbing because she’s worried the caller might be unstable....Cobb said this is the reality for female scientists.

    Scientific American, Aug 22, 2018

  • Laughing gas warmed early Earth a billion years ago and sparked the emergence of life

    For decades researchers have been unable to crack Carl Sagan's 'Faint Young Sun Paradox,' or how the planet kept warm with the right mix of atmospheric gases during the Sun's early, dimmer days. Georgia Tech researchers may have found a clue. Jennifer Glass,an assistant professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and her team found that ancient life may have been breathing nitrous oxide -- also known in dentist offices as laughing gas -- long before it began breathing oxygen. Find more coverage at Space DailyLaboratory Equipment, and UPI.

    Daily Mail, Aug 21, 2018

  • Stem cell-loaded hydrogel boosts healing process of aging muscles

    It's an unfortunate fact of life that as we get older, our cells gradually lose the ability to heal themselves. Thankfully, one part of that might be treatable in the near future. Young Jang of the School of Biological Sciences and researchers have developed a hydrogel that holds muscle stem cells.The team says this could treat injuries in the elderly and people with muscular dystrophy. Read the Georgia Tech coverage of the study here and coverage by BioSpace.

    New Atlas, Aug 20, 2018

  • Ask the Doctors: How do you keep hydrated?

    The School of Biological SciencesMindy Millard-Stafford's simple explanation for brain fog continues to garner attention. Spoiler alert: it's staying hydrated. For more insight on the cognitive price we pay for dehydration, read Georgia Tech's take here

    Chicago Sun Times, Aug 20, 2018

  • Georgia Tech uses crabs, trees to create new plastic wrap

    Today more and more companies are shunning plastic straws. But Georgia Tech researchers may have a solution: crabs. John Reynolds of the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry co-authored the wildly popular study that documents the creation of a thin film that loooks like plastic, but is actually made from tree fibers and crab shells. Find more coverage at Athens Banner-Herald.

    Miami Herald, Aug 19, 2018

  • How Fire Ants Avoid Traffic Jams

    Is there a good excuse for laziness? Maybe, if you're in a colony of ants. When they set out to dig a tunnel, only a few of them actually work. The majority just get out of the way. It turns out that their laziness is a key strategy to getting work done efficiently and avoiding traffic jams, found Daniel Goldman of the School of Physics. Find the original Georgia Tech story on his research here and more coverage at Quartz and Popular Mechanics

    Science Friday, Aug 17, 2018

  • The Secret to Ant Efficiency Is Idleness

    Ants are renowned for their industriousness. However, new research at Georgia Tech suggests that although ant colonies are very efficient, that may be because 70 percent of them are doing very little — at least when it comes to tunnel digging. Daniel I. Goldman, a physicist at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and his colleagues, found that the secret to efficient tunnel digging by fire ants was that 30 percent of the ants did 70 percent of the work. The work is published in Science. Find more coverage at The Washington Post, ScienceNews and Cosmos.

    The New York Times, Aug 16, 2018

  • The ocean is cooking off the Southern California coast. Here's why.

    The waters off the Southern California coast are now approaching tropical temperatures found in parts of the balmy Caribbean Sea: 79.2 degrees Fahrenheit. That's the highest since measurements began in 1916, and 7-8 degrees warmer than average. Emanuele Di Lorenzo, a marine scientist at the Georgia Institute of Technology's School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, said the event is local. Still, Southern California's balmy oceans will likely stay warm for a while — much longer than terrestrial heat waves. Oceans aren't "so easy to cool off," said Di Lorenzo.

    Mashable, Aug 10, 2018

  • The Message of a Scorching 2018: We’re Not Prepared for Global Warming

    It’s hot. But it may not be the new normal yet. Temperatures are still rising....“What we’re seeing today is making me, frankly, calibrate not only what my children will be living but what I will be living, what I am living currently living,” said Kim Cobb, a professor of earth and atmospheric science at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. “We haven’t caught up to it. I haven’t caught up to it, personally.”

    The New York Times, Aug 9, 2018

  • Off Your Mental Game? You Could Be Mildly Dehydrated

    Study by on dehydration's effect on the mind is resonating in the public media. It has now caught the eye of National Public Radio. According to College of Sciences' biologists Mindy Millard-Stafford and coauthor Matthew Wittbrodt, dehydration muddies the mind. Similar coverage comes from Third Age.

    NPR, Jul 30, 2018


    Coral reefs' survival from overfishing, climate change, and other threats is jeopardized by a thumbnail-sized snail that preys on the coral species that environmentalists hope could revive damaged reefs. "The Porites coral is kind of the last man standing, the last hope for some of these reefs coming back, and they are the ones these snails selectively prey on,” Mark Hay, a biologist at Georgia Tech and author on the study. “As you get fewer and fewer corals, the snails focus on the fewer and fewer of these colonies that remain. This is part of the downward spiral of the reefs."

    Newsweek, Jul 29, 2018

  • Composite chitin film could replace plastic packaging

    A composite flexible packaging material made with polymers from crab shells and trees is catching on. Here is Physics World's take. Plastic Today has similar coverage. Georgia Tech researchers including College of Sciences' polymer chemist John Reynolds developed the promising material.

    Physics World, Jul 27, 2018

  • Crab Shells Could Become the Plastic of the Future

    Scientists hope to add another eco-friendly choice to the field of non-plastic packaging: wrap made from crab carcasses. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have been working on a flexible packaging material comprised of alternating layers of chitin, the primary component of crustacean shells, and cellulose, the main fiber found in green plants. The product is remarkably similar in texture and appearance to the common petroleum-derived plastic used in soda bottles and potato chip bags—and it might even work better at keeping food fresh. College of Sciences' chemist John Reynolds is a coauthor of the paper in ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering. 


    Vice, Jul 27, 2018

  • An underground lake may have been found on Mars, boosting odds for life

    Researchers appear to have identified a 12-mile (20 kilometer) wide salty lake underneath a massive glacier on Mars. Their research, published Wednesday in the journal Science, opens up the possibility that microbial life may live in this liquid place on Mars. Mars is rich in perchlorate, a salt often used in propellants on Earth. But some microbes thrive on it, just as  Earth's marine microbes thrive on carbon dioxide. "People might think that’s nasty stuff," said Jennifer Glass, an astrobiologist at Georgia Tech's School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, who wasn't involved in the research. "That's not true. Microbes can breathe perchlorate — a lot of life can breathe perchlorate."

    Mashable, Jul 26, 2018

  • 'Coral ticks' suck the life out of degraded coral

    The last hope for degraded coral reefs is under attack. A new survey of Fiji Island reefs has revealed the significant damage being caused by small sea snails, previously ignored by marine biologists. Scientists have dubbed the tiny snails "coral ticks" because they suck the fluid from young Porites cylindrica coral. Porites cylindrica is one the hardiest coral species and it plays an important role in the regrowth of shallow reefs -- that is if they can survive the onslaught of coral ticks. "Once the reefs are down and nearly out, these snails are piling on," Mark Hay, a professor of biological sciences at Georgia Tech, said in a news release. 


    UPI, Jul 26, 2018

  • A buried lake may have been found on Mars. What does it mean for life?

    Scientists appear to have identified a 12-mile-wide salty lake underneath a massive glacier. The research opens up the possibility that microbial life may live in this liquid place on Mars. Jennifer Glass, an astrobiologist at Georgia Tech's School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, comments on the finding. Mars is rich in perchlorate, a salt often used in propellants on Earth. This might be toxic to humans, but some microbes thrive on it, like Earth's marine microbes thrive on carbon dioxide. "People might think that’s nasty stuff," said Glass, who wasn't involved in the research. "That's not true. Microbes can breathe perchlorate — a lot of life can breathe perchlorate."


    Mashable, Jul 26, 2018

  • New crime fighting algorithm could predict reoccurring illegal activity

    A new algorithm developed by the University of Surrey and Georgia Tech could give police departments the upper hand in their fight against crime, thanks to its ability to quickly process real-time data and predict where illegal activity could reoccur. In a paper published by Computational Statistics and Data Analysis, researchers including School of Mathematics Professor Martin Short detail a new approach similar to that used in weather forecasting and the Apollo space missions.

    Science Daily, Jul 24, 2018


    Georgia Tech researchers have developed packing material that promises to keep food fresher and reduce the plastic pollution of the environment. The material combines polymers from trees and crab shells, which are all biodegradable. Among the team members is School of Chemistry and Biochemistry Professor John Reynolds

    Newsweek, Jul 23, 2018

  • Using Nanotechnology For Electrosynthesis Of Nitrogen-Based Fertilizer Under Ambient Conditions

    What does Georgia Tech think about element 79? Mostafa El-Sayed has many uses for gold, including stopping cancer metastasis. In a ScienceTrends article, he proposes gold as a catalyst for electrosynthesis of nitrogen-based fertilizers. By using Au nanoparticles, El-Sayed calculates that the cost of the gold used for synthesis would only 8% of the price of ammonia ($800 per ton of ammonia) that farmers currently purchase in the market. El-Sayed is a professor in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

    Science Trends, Jul 20, 2018

  • Suffering Brain Fog? You Might Not Be Getting Enough Of This

    Mindy Millard-Stafford's work on dehydration is hot hot hot! It's now appeared on Women's Health Magazine. Millard-Stafford is a professor in the School of Biological Sciences. 

    Women's Health, Jul 18, 2018

  • Insects aren't scary, they're just disgusting, study suggests

    Insects aren't scary, they're just disgusting, suggests a study by School of Psychology Professor Eric Schumacher and the pest control company Orkin. Schumacher imaged the brain activity of individuals viewing videos of insects in various environments, as well as scary animals such as sharks and crocodiles. With nearly every participant, images of insects triggered the brain region associated with disgust. Seventy percent of participants reported mild to severe anxiety when viewing insects. 

    Toronto Sun, Jul 18, 2018

  • Losing a job in midlife: How to prepare and bounce back when downsized near retirement

    Being laid off when you're close to retirement can be devastating. It is more difficult for older employees to find new jobs. A 2015 study by the Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Psychology and the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management found that unemployed Americans over 50 are likely to be job hunting for six weeks longer than those in their 30s and 40s and nearly 11 weeks longer than those in their 20s. School of Psychology Professor Ruth Kanfer was a co-author of the original study.

    USA Today, Jul 9, 2018

  • The older the better: Elderly people are more successful at warding off unhappiness than millennials, says new study

    A study has found that older people are better equipped to ward off unhappiness than millennials. The study found that the brains of young adults are geared toward 'hyper-vigilance' against threats and that older people experience the opposite effect. It found older people's brains attempted to block out threats and this 'positivity  effect' was enough to hinder bad memories being created. Speaking to The Times, Brittany Corbett, who led the research said: 'As we age, we try to have better overall wellbeing and protect our emotional health. Older adults that focus more on negativity avoidance seemingly live happier lives, have better health and longevity." Corbett is a member of the Memory and Aging Lab at Georgia Tech, directed by Audrey Duarte, an associate professor in the School of Psychology.


    Daily Mail, Jul 7, 2018

  • Dehydration may muddle your thinking

    Dehydration can impair your ability to think clearly, a new study suggests. Researchers found that athletes who lost fluid equal to 2% their weight took a hit to their cognition. Even this mild to moderate level of dehydration - the loss of 2 pounds for someone who weighs 100 pounds and four pounds for someone weighing 200 - led to attention problems and impaired decision making, according to the report in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.  In particular, dehydration led to impairment in tasks requiring attention, motor coordination, and so-called executive function, which includes things like map recognition, grammatical reasoning, mental math, and proofreading, for example. “We’ve known that physical performance suffers at a threshold of 2% of body mass, particularly when it’s from exercise in a warm environment,” said study coauthor Mindy Millard-Stafford, a professor in the School of Biological Sciences and director of the physiology lab at the Georgia Institute of Technology.


    Reuters, Jul 5, 2018

  • New research suggests two exoplanets might be more like Earth than we realized

    New evidence has surfaced suggesting that exoplanet Kepler-186f could have changing seasons and a climate, much like Earth. The discovery is exciting astronomers and leading to calls for newer, more detailed studies of this alien world. If Kepler-186f sounds familiar, that's because it's been in the news before: the Earthlike world has been a subject of scientific inquiry since it was first discovered in April 2014, with the help of NASA's Kepler Space Telescope, which revealed it to be an Earth-size planet whose orbit is located within a habitable distance from its sun. A new study published in the Astronomical Journal corroborates the previous findings and suggests there is even more reason to believe it could be an Earth 2.0. Using simulations, authors Yutong Shan and Gongjie Li analyzed the planet's spin-axis dynamics, meaning the relationship between the planet's axis of orbit relative to its orbit around its host star… “Our study is among the first to investigate climate stability of exoplanets and adds to the growing understanding of these potentially habitable nearby worlds,” said Li, an author of the study and assistant professor in the School of Physics.


    Salon, Jul 3, 2018

  • Sexual pleasure might help us learn – if rats are any guide

    How do rats know when their partners are feeling amorous? One way female rats show they’re feeling frisky is to wiggle their ears – or rather, very rapidly shake their head, so that it looks like their ears are moving. So when Mary Holder, a neuroscientist working at the School of Psychology at Georgia Tech, sees lady rats wiggling their ears, she knows they’re ready to mate. To the casual observer, studying ear wiggling in rats might seem trivial, but rat sex is actually crucial in improving our understanding of sexual behaviors in mammals. 

    Salon, Jul 1, 2018

  • Exoplanet Has A Stable Axis Just Like Earth

    Of all the exoplanets, planets outside of Earth's solar system, discovered in recent years, one that's captured some of the most attention is Kepler-186f. It's often described as one of the "most Earth-like" of all exoplanets discovered and a new study just adds to the case. A new look at Kepler-186f's axial tilt, also known as obliquity, is stable just like Earth's … Researchers at Georgia Tech looked at the relationship between Earth and Mars to better understand Kepler-186f … “It appears that both exoplanets are very different from Mars and the Earth because they have a weaker connection with their sibling planets. We don’t know whether they possess moons, but our calculations show that even without satellites, the spin axes of Kepler-186f and 62f would have remained constant over tens of millions of years.” says Gongjie Li, a professor who led the study, in a press statement. Li is an assistant professor in the School of Physics. Several other outlets have picked up the story: Popular Science, CNET, MSN, Newsweek, New Atlas, and SciTech Daily.


    Popular Mechanics, Jun 29, 2018

  • Scientists developing guidebook for finding life beyond Earth

    If you're looking for a manual on the hunt for alien life, you're in luck. Some of the leading experts in the field have written a major series of review papers on the past, present, and future of the search for life on other planets. Published in Astrobiology, the papers represent two years of work by the Nexus for Exoplanet Systems Science (NExSS), a NASA-coordinated research network dedicated to the study of planetary habitability, and by NASA's Astrobiology Institute. Among the experts contributing to the work is School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Assistant Professor Chris Reinhard.

    Space Daily, Jun 26, 2018

  • Hungry for solutions? Here are eight bold new ideas, inspired by nature.

    A Georgia Tech team is one of eight finalists in the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge. The Biomimicry Institute selected the finalists from more than 60 teams from 16 countries. Georgia Tech's Team Full Circle students from the College of Sciences: Savannah Barry, Kenji Bomer, and Sara Thomas Mathews, respectively from the Schools of Biological Sciences, Physics, and Mathematics. School of Biological Sciences Professor Jeannette Yen served as faculty mentor. The team moves on to the 2018-19 Biomimicry Launchpad to compete for the $100,000 Ray C. Anderson Ray of Hope Prize. Other members of Team Full Circle are from the College of Engineering. View the team's proposal for sustainable energy here.

    Biomimicry Institute, Jun 26, 2018

  • Kim Cobb: Corals, Climate, and a Changing World

    Kim Cobb is the subject of the Member Spotlight feature of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Cobb is a professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. The profile traces Cobb's career from when she was a graduate student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography to her increasingly public advocacy for protecting the planet.  

    AAAS Member Spotlight, Jun 19, 2018

  • Global Warming Cooks Up 'a Different World' Over 3 Decades

    We were warned. On June 23, 1988, a sultry day in Washington, James Hansen told Congress and the world that global warming wasn't approaching — it had already arrived....Thirty years later, it's clear that Hansen and other doomsayers were right. But the change has been so sweeping that it is easy to lose sight of effects large and small — some obvious, others less conspicuous.… "It would take centuries to a millennium to accomplish that kind of change with natural causes. This, in that context, is a dizzying pace," said Kim Cobb, a climate scientist at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, a professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.   

    The New York Times, Jun 18, 2018

  • Team spots new quantum property at frigid temp

    Scientists have spotted a theorized—but never-before detected—property of quantum matter in the lab. The team proved that a particular quantum material can demonstrate electrical dipole fluctuations—irregular oscillations of tiny charged poles on the material—even in extremely cold conditions, in the neighborhood of minus 450 degrees Fahrenheit. The story is based on a Science paper, coauthored by School of Physics Assistant Professor Martin Mourigal.

    Futurity, Jun 12, 2018

  • Yes, airplanes are germy - but not more so than your house or office, study says

    Airplanes have a bad rep for being disease incubators. Passengers have been advised to pick window seats and turn on their overhead air vent to avoid catching germs, while some even wear surgical masks during flights. But planes aren’t necessarily more germ-ridden as other places we spend our time, according to a recent study. One of the study's authors is School of Mathematics Professor Howie Weiss. 

    Mic, Jun 8, 2018

  • Airplane germs are 'no worse' than those found in offices and homes, researchers say

    Germaphobes who are wary of airplanes may find some relief in knowing that aircraft are no 'dirtier' than everyday spaces, according to a new study. "There were reasons to believe that the communities of bacteria in an aircraft cabin might be different from those in other parts of the built environment, so it surprised me that what we found was very similar to what other researchers have found in homes and offices," said Howard Weiss, a professor in Georgia Tech's School of Mathematics and the study's corresponding author.

    Daily Mail, Jun 7, 2018

  • 10 Keys to an Engaging Scientific Presentation

    Will Ratcliff's tips for successful scientific presentations are endorsed by the American Chemical Society. Will Ratcliff is an assistant professor in the School of Biological Sciences. One of his research interests is discovering mechanisms by which single-cell organisms evolve into multicellular ones. 

    ACS Axial, Jun 5, 2018

  • I saw that. Brain mechanisms create confidence about things seen

    School of Psychology Assistant Professor Dobromir Rahnev discovered a brain function mechanism by which that allows us to be confident of what we are seeing. This article is a copy of the Georgia Tech story explaining Rahnev's findings, published in the Journal of Neuroscience.  

    Science Daily, Jun 4, 2018

  • A splash of detergent makes catalytic compounds more powerful

    Researchers in Sandia National Laboratory have discovered that detergents can help optimize the size and shape of catalytic compounds for various reactions. They have enlisted the aid of Younan Xia, a pioneer in nanomaterial synthesis to accelerate the work. Xia has joint appointments in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry., Jun 1, 2018

  • The Great Barrier Reef Has a Surprisingly Morbid History

    Kim Cobb comments in another coverage of a new study in Nature Geoscience. The study found that the Great Barrier Reef has experienced death and resurrection five times in the past 30,000 years. Cobb, a professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, wasn't involved in the study. “We can and should use this study to gather the clues to reef resilience through dramatic climate changes of the past,” Cobb says.

    Earther, May 29, 2018

  • The Great Barrier Reef has had five near-death experiences in the past 30,000 years

    According to a new study, entire stretches of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef have died and eventually recovered five times in the past 30,000 years—and it may be happening again today. The study “holds some really important lessons” for understanding how resilient corals are in the face of change, and how quickly they recover after catastrophic events, says Kiim Cobb. She is a professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. She wasn’t involved in the work.

    Science, May 28, 2018

  • No sun? No problem — this solar panel harvests energy from raindrops, too

    Solar panels typically harvest energy from sunlight during the day. But how about a solar cell that generates electricity even when the rain falls in the middle of the night? Researchers in  China's Soochow University have demonstrated such an all-weather device. What makes it possible is a triboelectric nanogenerator, which converts motion into electricity. Researchers including Zhong Lin Wang first proposed the concept of a hybrid solar cell and triboelectric nanogenerator in a paper published in 2015. Wang is a professor in the School of Materials Science and Engineering with an adjunct appointment in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

    Digital Trends, May 22, 2018

  • 7 strategies to help prepare your child for the rapidly changing work world

    Roxanne Moore of CEISMC (Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing) comments on strategies to help children adapt to a rapidly changing world. Creative problem solvers will have an edge, says the director of the K-12 InVenture Prize and research engineer in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

    The Washington Post, May 22, 2018

  • Old data reveal 'plumes' on ocean world that could host life

    We knew it was only a matter of time before news outlets this week sought out School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Assistant Professor Britney Schmidt regarding Jupiter's frosty moon Europa, a prime candidate for life thanks to its briny ocean. Schmidt, after all, co-authored a 2017 study that looked at Hubble Space Telescope images and found a second possible eruption of water from the same location on the moon's surface, suggesting cryovolcanism on Europa. We figured that media outlets would want Schmidt's opinion of a new study that says those water plumes were active during a 1997 fly-by of the Galileo space probe. Schmidt is busy working on the Europa Clipper project for NASA, which plans to send an probe to orbit the moon. She's also working on Icefin, an autonomous underwater vehicle for exploring icy oceans on Earth and elsewhere in the solar system., May 16, 2018

  • Even Low-Impact Workouts Can Be a Boost to Long-Term Memory

    Here's another good reason to head to the gym even just for some low-impact resistance training: A brief workout can improve your long-term memory, according to a September 2014 study led by Georgia Tech School of Psychology Associate Professor Audrey Duarte. Participants were shown a group of pictures and then directed to do 20 minutes of resistance or strength-training exercises, taking a break every few minutes. They were then asked to recall details of the images. "We found that exercising immediately after studying pictures increased memory of those pictures 48 hours later by 10 percent," Duarte says.

    AARP, May 12, 2018

  • Scientists want to search for life on Jupiter’s moon. They’re starting in Antarctic oceans.

    This Quartz story is a win-win for Georgia Tech: It's another take on Icefin, the underwater robotic vehicle developed by Britney Schmidt's research team for her Planetary Habitability and Technology Lab. Schmidt, an assistant professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, and her team are testing Icefin in the frigid Antarctic water, which is serving as a stand-in for Jupiter's moon Europa and its icy environment, the vehicle's ultimate destination in the search for life outside Earth. The story itself, however, is written by Justin Lawrence, one of Schmidt's graduate students, and it's a good behind-the-scenes look at the challenges and innovation involved in developing Icefin.

    Quartz, May 10, 2018

  • Atmospheric Seasons Could Signal Alien Life

    The hunt for life outside Earth will begin with a search for biological products in their atmospheres. These atmospheric fingerprints of life, called biosignatures, will be detected using next-generation telescopes that measure the composition of gases surrounding planets that are light years away. It’s a tricky business, because biosignatures based on single measurements could be misleading. To complement these markers, and thanks to funding from the NASA Astrobiology Institute, scientists are developing the first quantitative framework for dynamic biosignatures based on seasonal changes in the Earth’s atmosphere. Titled “Atmospheric Seasonality As An Exoplanet Biosignature,” a paper describing the research has been published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters. Among the authors is School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Assistant Professor Chris Reinhard.

    UCR Today, May 9, 2018

  • As Predators Rebound, You're More Likely to See Alligators at the Beach

    According to a recent study, unusual sightings of alligators and other predators are not due to the animals expanding their ranges in search of food, which was the previous consensus. Instead, the animals are recolonizing ecosystems they once inhabited before humans came along and stripped them of resources. School of Biological Sciences Professor Mark Hay comments on the study, which was published in the journal Current Biology.

    National Geographic Online, May 8, 2018

  • Brick by brick: assembly of the measles virus

    Researchers have been able to capture images of measles viruses as they emerge from infected cells, using state of the art cryo-electron tomography techniques. The new images will help with a greater understanding of measles and related viruses, and could give hints on antiviral drug strategies likely to work across multiple viruses of this type. The results were published Monday, April 30 in Nature Communications. The team was led Elizabeth Wright and Zunlong Ke. Wright is an associate professor of pediatrics at Emory University with an adjunct appointment in the Georgia Tech School of Biological Sciences. Ke was Georgia Tech PhD student of Wright's.

    Emory News Center, May 1, 2018

  • College of Sciences 2018 Spring Graduates

    GT - College of Sciences, Apr 30, 2018

  • George Mason president: Some donations ‘fall short’ of academic standards

    Georgia tech alumnus Angel Cabrera, now the president of George Mason University (GMU), said Friday that some financial gift agreements by GMU "fall short of the standards of academic indpenedence" and raise questions about donor influence at the public institution. Cabrera received a Ph.D. from the School of Psychology.

    The Washington Post, Apr 28, 2018

  • Here’s One Way to Combat Climate Change: Suck Out Carbon Dioxide

    Carbon capture was supposed to get rid of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. But a new method, proposed by Christopher Jones, the New Vision Professor in the School of Chemistry & Biochemistry, might be safer and better. Direct Air Capture (DAC) doesn't just prevent carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere; it also removes carbon dioxide that may have been in the air for a hundred years.

    The Daily Beast, Apr 22, 2018

  • 2 Georgia Tech profs share 2018 Innovation in Co-curricular Education Award

    Kim Cobb, of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, and Beril Toktay, of Scheller College of Business, were featured in Poets & Quants for winning the 2018 Innovation in Co-curricular Education Award due to their groundbreaking accomplishments with the Internship and Co-op Carbon Reduction Challenge.

    Poets & Quants, Apr 21, 2018

  • “Nuclear geyser” may be origin of life

    Everything you think you know about the origin of life may be wrong. The perfect conditions for life may have been a "nuclear geyser" powered by an ancient uranium deposit, not the primordial soup of an ancient pond. Nicholas Hud, of the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, tells Cosmos that life may not have originated in water, as originally thought, but in an alternately wet and dry environment. The perfect place? A geyser.

    Cosmos, Apr 18, 2018

  • The Very Hungry Maggot

    Maggots aren't the cutest creatures. But David Hu, who is affiliated with the School of Physics and the School of Biological Sciences, spends time with them in a lab, studying their motion to determine how they are able to eat food so efficiently. Hu's lab is not a creepy, crawling maggot madhouse without a purpose: these creatures may be harnessed for breaking down waste. 

    Science Friday, Apr 13, 2018

  • Trillions Upon Trillions of Viruses Fall From the Sky Each Day

    Here's a thought to make your skin crawl: Viruses are the most abundant entities on the planet by far. And trillions upon trillions fall from the sky every day, according to a recent study that was the first to tell us just how many viruses float above the Earth. Now you know why School of Biological Sciences Professor Joshua Weitz was one of three researchers calling for a better understanding of viral ecology in a 2017 editorial in Nautilus. There is a silver lining to this virus deluge; some of them may actually be good for their hosts.

    The New York Times, Apr 13, 2018

  • Atlantic Circulation Weakening: No, We're Not All Gonna Die (I Mean, Not Because Of This)

    Two new studies published in Nature that show a slowing down of Atlantic circulation have inspired doomsday scenarios in recent headlines. But Annalisa Bracco, of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, assures us that it's not as drastic as we might think. She points out that other researchers' work don't show any significant decline at all. So, is the collapse of the Gulf Stream imminent? "No," Bracco says. 

    Futurism, Apr 11, 2018

  • Heat waves over the ocean have ballooned and are wreaking havoc on marine life

    Heat waves over the world’s oceans are becoming longer and more frequent, damaging coral reefs and creating chaos for aquatic species. Kim Cobb, of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, says that most of the effects of these heat waves are "invisible" to humans. The real damage will be to marine life. Cobb continues, "These heat waves will only get worse, with untold impacts on ocean resources that we all depend on for food, recreation, and other ecosystem services."

    The Washington Post, Apr 11, 2018

  • Bad news! Extreme ocean heat waves are a thing, and they're getting worse

    During the greater heat wave event that caused the 2015 South California marine heat wave, a number of sea dwelling creatures, including sea lions, birds, and quite possibly nearly 50 whales, died. A new study shows that marine heat waves are becoming longer and more frequent. "There is no question that there's a trend," says Emanuele Di Lorenzo of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, who was asked to comment on the study.

    Yahoo!, Apr 10, 2018

  • 2018 Georgia Tech Faculty & Staff Awards

    College of Sciences, Apr 3, 2018

  • 3-D printer emissions raise concerns and prompt controls

    3-D printers deposit molten plastic layer upon layer, cranking out toys, guns, artificial limbs, and countless other objects.The surging market has made desktop versions affordable for schools and librariers. But these smaller versions come with a cost. Printers emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other particles. Rodney Weber of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences comments on the data about these emissions.

    C&EN, Mar 26, 2018

  • Chemically Unique Hybrid Substance Could Redefine Semiconductor Effectiveness

    "A study spearheaded by scientists at Georgia Tech has found that an obscure class of crystal could improve the way we light and power our world. The subatomic behavior of these crystals is fluid, dynamic and, frankly, bewildering in the context of some established laws of quantum physics. However, this latest study, completed early this month, shows that weirdness doesn’t necessarily mean ineffectiveness. In fact, the substance could be the key to more efficient electric lighting—perhaps even across a full rainbow of colors." The study is by School of Chemistry and Biochemistry and School of Physics Professor Carlos Silva and Ph.D. student Felix Thouin., Mar 26, 2018

  • Georgia Tech partners with Honeywell on STEM teacher training program

    Georgia Tech and the Honeywell company announced a partnership to provide advanced teaching techniques to select middle and high school teachers in metro Atlanta in science, technology, engineering and math. The activities will be implemented by CEISMC, directed by Lizanne DeStefano, Mar 22, 2018

  • How Not to Get Sick on a Plane? Choose Your Seat Wisely

     During the height of the flu season, researchers from Georgia Tech and Emory University took four crowded flights from Atlanta to the West Coast. They observed passenger and crew movements, took air and surface samples, and listened for anyone who was coughing. The researchers were gathering data for a new study on how infectious diseases are transmitted among air travelers. School of Mathematics Professor Howard Weiss was a co-author of the study. The results of the research continue to get mainstream media attention, including this New York Times story and an article in Smithsonian Magazine.

    The New York Times, Mar 22, 2018

  • How Much Do You Poop in Your Lifetime?

    "A person's accomplishments accumulate over years and decades. Something else accumulates, too — their poop. The quantities of poop that people leave behind during an individual bathroom break can vary widely, depending on age, body weight, diet, exercise and other factors." David Hu's research on how long it takes animals to defecate informs this story. Hu is affiliated with the Schools of Mechanical Engineering, Biological Sciences, and Physics. 

    Live Science, Mar 21, 2018

  • The 'Wobbly' Physics Of Perovskites

    Georgia Tech researchers "have shed some new light on perovskite-based semiconductors that suggest they are quite unlike established semiconductors that rely upon rigidly stable chemical foundations. The researchers were looking at hybrid organic-inorganic perovskites (HOIPs) and discovered that semiconducting physics created what could be described as electrons dancing on chemical underpinnings that wobble like a funhouse floor in an earthquake." School of Chemistry and Biochemistry Professor Carlos Silva and Ph.D. student Felix Thouin talk about the new physics that could have applications in lasers, LEDs, lighting applications, and photovoltaics. Their study was published in Physical Review Materials.

    CS Compound Semiconductor, Mar 20, 2018

  • Atlanta tech company gives $1M for STEM education at APS school

    A Westside Atlanta school will not have to worry about funding for science, math and technology classes over the next five years, thanks to a $1 million donation from NCR Corp. Hollis Innovation Academy, with classes from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade, is benefitting from the Westside Future Fund. Hollis' STEM classes will operate through a partnership with Georgia Tech's Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics and Computing (CEISMC), a unit of the College of Sciences.

    Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Mar 20, 2018

  • Want to avoid the flu while flying? Try the window seat

    We knew there would be significant media interest in this study, especially in the wake of one of the worst flu seasons in recent memory. School of Mathematics Professor Howard Weiss joined Emory University researchers in looking at how potentially infectious diseases are transmitted during flights. If you always try to get a window seat during air travel, you're giving yourself a better chance of avoiding colds and influenza, according to the study. In addition to this Associated Press story, the research also drew coverage from Mashable and Popular Science.

    Associated Press, Mar 20, 2018

  • An Indian’s journey from reading 'A Brief History of Time' to having lunch with colleague Stephen Hawking

    Legendary physicist/cosmologist Stephen Hawking died on March 14, and the news is already prompting stories about the inspiration he provided to scientists around the world. For Karan Jani, a postdoctoral research fellow with Georgia Tech's Center for Relativistic Astrophysics, it was Hawking's classic book A Brief History of Time that launched him on his own path to success in physics. Jani was part of the Georgia Tech LIGO Scientific Collaboration team that detected the first gravitational waves, an achievement that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics for the LIGO founders. This link within the Quartz India story leads you to Jani's heartfelt recollection of the lunch he once shared with Hawking.

    Quartz India, Mar 15, 2018

  • Scientists exposed coral reef to acidic seawater and saw slowed growth

    In a new study, researchers describe pumping carbon dioxide-infused seawater across a patch of Australia's Great Barrier Reef. It's an extraordinary way to bring research from the laboratory into the real world. The results? The carbon dioxide-infused seawater suppressed growth by a third. "It's a silent killer," says Kim Cobb, of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, who was asked to comment on the study. 

    Mashable, Mar 15, 2018

  • What Happens When You Put Evolution on Replay?

    If you could rewind time and let evolution happen all over again, would the end result resemble life as we know it? This is no longer a theoretical question. While he was at Georgia Tech, School of Biological Sciences'  Eric Gaucher worked with Betul Kacar on a NASA-funded project to replay evolution again and again with the bacterium E. coli, rewinding the evolution of a specific key protein that the bacteria needed to survive., Mar 8, 2018

  • Kim Cobb, Adair White-Johnson stop by CBS46 to talk International Women's Day

    CBS 46 invited Kim Cobb of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences to a roundtable discussion for International Women's Day. "Science is one of the cornerstones of our society. To tap the full talent of what we have to offer to each other, we need everybody at the table," Cobb says. Wherever she finds young women interested in STEM, Cobb says, she tries to inspire and encourage them. "That's my day-to-day mission."

    CBS 46, Mar 8, 2018

  • Opinion: Georgia Tech should break its silence on student walkout over school shootings

    School of Biological Sciences Professor Joshua Weitz wrote an opinion piece for the myAJC blog supporting the high school students who may choose to walk out on March 14 "to honor the students and staff killed in the Parkland, Fl., school shooting three weeks ago." He implores Georgia Tech to reassure students who engage in peaceful protest that their admission status will not be jeopardized.

    myAJC, Mar 8, 2018

  • Appointments

    Mark E. Hay, of the School of Biological Sciences, will receive the Gilbert Morgan Smith Medal for his excellent research on algae that has implications for imperiled coral reefs.  Our profile of Mark Hay in January tells the backstory of this award. 

    The Chronicle of Higher Education, Mar 4, 2018

  • 2018 Georgia Algebraic Geometry Symposium

    School of Mathematics Professor Matt Baker reflects on the 2018 Georgia Algebraic Geometry Symposium, hosted for the first time at Georgia Tech, in his personal mathematics blog. He reviews and provides a brief overview of the eight talks and highlights spectacular new results.

    Matt Baker's Math Blog, Feb 28, 2018

  • Saturn's moon Enceladus may play host to hardy microbes like these

    Something is happening beneath the ice on Saturn's moon, Enceladus. New Earthly research offers more proof that microbes could potentially thrive in the briny water of the moon's subserface ocean. The School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences' Jennifer Glass interprets the findings, saying that allthough there is a potential that the methane in Enceladus has biological sources, the study has its limitations. 

    Mashable, Feb 28, 2018

  • Methane on Saturn's moon Enceladus may be produced by microbes

    Scientists have long-thought that the icy world of Saturn's moon Enceladus could possibly play host to microbial life within the subsurface ocean, which is hidden under a shell of ice. Now, thanks to some new Earthly research published this week in the journal Nature Communications, researchers have a little more proof that microbes could potentially thrive in that ocean's briny water. Mashable reached out to School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences' Jennifer Glass for comments.

    Mashable, Feb 27, 2018

  • 2018 Black History Month

    February is Black History Month, a special time set aside to celebrate the contributions of African Americans.

    College of Sciences site, Feb 20, 2018

  • Asteroids May Show How Life on Earth Began with 'Time Capsule' Molecules

    Was life on Earth carried in an asteroid? That's the question being examined by the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry's Nicholas Hud, who believes molecules within asteroids act as a time capsule that can help scientists piece together how compounds formed before life began. Understanding the intricacies of these molecules can help researchers get a better glimpse into the progression of life. The story was also covered by Business Standard.

    Newsweek, Feb 18, 2018

  • Amazonian Fish Genome Challenges Long-Held Assumptions About Asexual Reproduction

    The Amazon molly, an all-female fish species, is thriving despite dismal views of the genetic health of asexual vertebrae. The story features a comment from the School of Biological Sciences Pedram Samani's editorial in Nature. Samani writes, "The main finding of the paper is that the species is in remarkably good genomic health."

    The Scientist, Feb 15, 2018

  • In a surprising study, scientists say everyday chemicals now rival cars as a source of air pollution

    When you walk outside, you might be breathing in more than just car emissions. The good news: car emissions have decreased significantly. The bad news: everyday chemicals now rival cars as a source of air pollution. A new study found that indoor chemical products can, in outdoor air, contribute to ozone or even dangerous small-particulate pollution. School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences' Sally Ng praised the study: "I think this is a comprehensive study," she said. "[P]revious source apportionment studies have understimated volatile chemical product emissions as sources of urban VOCs."

    The Washington Post, Feb 15, 2018

  • Smart Swarms Seek New Ways to Cooperate

    The latest discovery from Georgia Tech physicists may seem like something straight out of Black Mirror. But don't worry, it's not that sinister. School of Physics' Dan Goldman worked with School of Computer Science's Dana Randall  and doctoral student William Savoie to develop an algorithm that orders simple robots to "swarm," or move in complex ways as a group. Imagine the birth of the supervillain Sandman in Spider-Man 3, from loose grains of sand skittering across the desert and then congealing into the shape of a human. The possiblities for these "smarticles" are endless. This story has been reproduced in Scientific American.

    Quanta Magazine, Feb 14, 2018

  • Good golly, miss molly!

    Named after the Amazons of Greek myth, the Molly is a small freshwater fish that is challenging the established belief that asexual vertebrates are not viable long term. Each daughter is essentially a clone of her mother. Yet the Molly is thriving, perhaps for 10,000 years. Pedram Samani, an evolutionary geneticist and  postdoctoral researcher in the School of Biological Sciences, comments on the research in Nature Ecology & Evolution. His comments are echoed by Cosmos Magazine.

    Cosmos, Feb 13, 2018

  • Novel Power Generator Tech Gains Traction

    Imagine that tiny spark that jumps from your fingertip to a doorknob when you walk across the carpet on a cold, dry day. That's the triboelectic effect at work, the electric charge generated by rubbing two different materials together. Zhong Lin Wang of the School of Materials Science and Engineering and the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry is a pioneer of triboelectric generator technology that can put to use otherwise wasted mechanical energy. The hope is that the technology will be a cost effective replacement for other methods of harvesting power. 

    Forbes, Feb 6, 2018

  • New kilogram could have mass appeal, say scientists

    You won’t feel it happen, but the kilogram, used to measure the mass of electrons, galaxies, and everything in between, is about to be transformed. The General Conference on Weights and Measures is set to meet to redefine the kilogram in terms of a physical constant, Planck's constant. Ronald Fox of the School of Physics, an early advocate of redefining the kilogram, is very pleased. Commenting on the story, he mentions the LIGO experiment to detect gravitational waves, in which Georgia Tech researchers participated. "The unit of mass is very important because you're looking at a very, very delicate effect."

    The Christian Science Monitor, Feb 6, 2018

  • Technology, basketball merge in ‘Project Lammers’

    Dan Taylor, the Yellow Jackets' strength and conditioning coach for men basketball, takes advantage of the biomechanics lab on campus in order to collect data on and improve the performance of his players. Young-Hui Chang, the founder of the lab and a professor in the School of Biological Sciences, doesn't mind. Chang can use the data for his reserach into intuitive physics- the idea that people (and animals) have an innate ability to predict the physical actions of the world around them.

    AJC, Feb 2, 2018

  • Technology, basketball merge in ‘Project Lammers’

    Dan Taylor, the Yellow Jackets' strength and conditioning coach for men basketball, takes advantage of the biomechanics lab on campus in order to collect data on and improve the performance of his players. Young-Hui Chang, the founder of the lab and a professor in the School of Biological Sciences, doesn't mind. Chang can use the data for his reserach into intuitive physics: the idea that people (and animals) have an innate ability to predict the physical actions of the world around them.

    AJC, Feb 2, 2018

  • We're Poisoning Coral Reefs With Plastic

    Coral reefs didn’t need more bad news. They’re already being cooked by climate change and mangled by fishing gear. But because this is the age of humans, they are also being poisoned by billions of bits of plastic. Yet Kim Cobb of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences feels hopeful. We already know the solutions – developing better waste management systems, shifting our consumption habits away from disposable items, and picking up more plastic. All we have to do is implement them. “This is an optimistic message because this is something we can go out and through concerted effort try to fix,” Cobb told Earther. “In the face of other challenges like rising ocean temperatures, this can turn into a feel good story.”

    Earther, Jan 25, 2018

  • The Coral Gardener

    When a filmmaker set out across the South Pacific Islands to collect stories of locals fighting climate change, he probably didn't expect to find a Georgia Tech student in Fiji. Cody Clements is a Ph.D. student in the School of Biological Sciences, in the lab of Mark Hay. But in Fiji, he's a coral gardener, tending to the ocean's coral reefs like they're his backyard garden. The stituation is dire. He has personally witnessed multiple mass bleaching events in Fiji. But he works to rehabilitate the reefs by replanting various species in coral communities. His work is documented in the video series Across the Salty Roads.

    Beside Media, Jan 23, 2018

  • 10 Reasons You Should Go Camping Right Now

    Look up at the winter sky on a clear night. The brilliance of the stars is breathtaking. James Sowell, an astronomer in the School of Physics, weighs in on why stargazing is so beautiful in the winter. "There are more brighter stars in the quarter of the sky that we call the winter sky. Plus, cold air holds less moisture than the warmer summer air, making the nights clearer. So, faint stars that may go unseen during the summer nights may be more visible," Sowell says. So take Sowell's advice, grab your tent, and get out there! Or just come to Public Nights at the Georgia Tech Observatory. The next one is on Feb 22.

    Travel Channel, Jan 23, 2018

  • Quantum mechanics provides new insights into active fluids

    School of Physics researchers Paul GoldbartBenjamin Loewe, and Anton Souslov have made a breakthrough in fluid dynamics. They've derived hydrodynamic equations describing active fluids, something that had proven very difficult to do in the past. Their research was published in the New Journal of Physics. Loewe was a doctoral student and Souslov was a postdoctoral research associate in Goldbart's research group in the School of Physics. Goldbart is also College of Sciences Dean and Sutherland Chair .

    Physics World, Jan 22, 2018

  • Boredom and Daydreaming: New Keys to Business Success

    It's a simple, yet attractive idea that's caught on like wildfire: daydreaming is a sign of intelligence. Seemingly counterintuitive to long-held beliefs about productivity, the notion originated in a Georgia Tech research paper co-authored by the School of Psychology's Eric Schumacher and former graduate student Christine Godwin. It was published in August of last year, yet journalists are still writing about it. Now, mentions of the study on Google search stretch to seven pages. Perhaps the findings are so popular because they're almost too good to be true. We'd like to believe that we drift off in meetings not because we're unproductive, but because we're simply too smart for them. This take on the study by Inc. even suggests that the future of the workplace might see managers scheduling time to stare at walls. One can only dream. 

    Inc., Jan 22, 2018

  • How To Define Love? 5 Experts Share Their Personal Philosophies

    It's a many-splendored thing, and a crazy little thing. It is endless, but that didn't stop Rihanna from finding it. And after all these years, Foreigner still wants to know what it is. We're talking about love, and so is Brides Magazine, which asked five experts in various disciplines to define and expound on the romantic feeling that makes the world go round. Laura Schaeffer, a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Psychology, gives us the scientific view involving "love" chemicals that spark sensuous snapses in our brain during the phases of attraction.

    Brides, Jan 20, 2018

  • How some crabs avoid being eaten

    Why does the urine of blue crabs instill such intense fear in mud crabs? The answer has fascinated readers since findings by Georgia Tech researchers made news in early January. Now, the story has been picked up by Chemical & Engineering News in both their digital and print publications. C&EN's coverage includes a video that sheds light on how researchers worked with the crabs. Interviewed on the video are Julia Kubanek, a professor in the Schools of Biological Sciences and Chemistry and Biochemistry who co- led the study with  Marc Weissburg, a professor in the School of Biological Sciences. 

    Chemical & Engineering News, Jan 19, 2018

  • Huge Sheets of Ice Found Hidden Just Beneath the Surface of Mars

    It's an established fact that Mars was once a warmer and wetter place, with liquid water covering much of its surface. Between 4.2 and 3.7 billion years ago, the planet lost its atmosphere, which caused most of its surface water to disappear. But according to a new study led by the U.S. Geological Survey, erosion on the surface of Mars has revealed abundant deposits of water ice. James Wray, an associate professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, contributed to the study, as did Lujendra Ojha, a former Tech researcher who led the 2015 study offering evidence of flowing water on Mars. Ojha is now at Johns Hopkins University.

    Universe Today, Jan 19, 2018

  • Huge reserves of water ice discovered on Mars could speed manned missions

    Mars is still in NASA's sights for a possible future manned mission, and a new study finds that when those astronauts land, they may have limitless access to water. The study uses new Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter data and images to show a 100-meter-thick ice sheet that's just under the planet's surface — in some cases, merely a meter beneath the Martian sands. This Quartz story on the findings highlights how the ice sheets could hold a record of Mars' climate. James Wray, an associate professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, contributed to the study, as did Lujendra Ojha, a former Tech researcher who led the 2015 study offering evidence of flowing water on Mars. Ojha is now at Johns Hopkins University.

    NBC News, Jan 11, 2018

  • Linganore High School graduate uncovers hidden messages in blue crab urine

    Why did Remington Poulin decide to make a living in chemistry while still in high school? "It's a whole other language of things you can't see," he tells his hometown newspaper. That heightened sense of scientific curiosity led him from Maryland to Georgia Tech, where he received his Ph.D. last year from the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry under the supervision of Julia Kubanek, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry and of biological sciences. Poulin, now conducting postdoctoral research at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Germany, was the lead author on a new Tech study that for the first time identifies the chemicals in blue crab urine that scare off their prey. Poulin explains how he collected that crab urine and details how the study's findings could lead to better management of crab and oyster farms.

    The Frederick News-Post, Jan 11, 2018

  • On Second Thought For Wednesday, January 10, 2018

    Georgia Public Broadcasting radio host Celeste Headlee replays her 2015 interview with Patricia Yang, a doctoral student and co-winner of an Ig Nobel Award, an honor presented by Improbable Research given to science projects that "make you laugh, then make you think." Yang's award was for a study on animal urination, which involved monitoring and recording the bladder-emptying habits of 32 different mammals at Zoo Atlanta. Yang worked on the study with David Hu, an associate professor in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering and the School of Biological Sciences, with an adjunct appointment in the School of Physics, Jan 10, 2018

  • The Invisible Underwater Messaging System in Blue Crab Urine

    Mud crabs are a favorite snack for blue crabs. But when blue crabs pee in the water while searching for food, it sends their prey a warning: Better hide or urine trouble. (Sorry, we couldn't resist.) Researchers have known that chemicals in crab urine scare mud crabs, but couldn't identify the offending chemicals — until now, thanks to a new Georgia Tech study co-led by Julia Kubanek, a professor in both the School of Biological Sciences and the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Marc Weissburg, a professor in the School of Biological Sciences. The findings could lead to better management of crab and oyster fisheries, and may even help target pollutants that upset marine life. Kubanek is also Associate Dean for Research for the College of Sciences.

    The New York Times, Jan 8, 2018

  • How Targeting Mild Infections Could Slow the Spread of Antibiotic Resistance

    Should doctors who are increasingly concerned about antibiotic resistance hold off on using them to treat mild infections? Should they use alternative treatments instead, and save the stronger medicine for more serious infections? Those questions were raised in a recent essay published in PLOS Biology by Kristofer Wollein Waldetoft and Sam Brown, both with the School of Biological Sciences. In this audio report, Heather Goldstone of WCAI's Living Lab Radio interviews Waldetoft, a postdoctoral researcher. Brown is an associate professor.

    WCAI, Jan 8, 2018

  • Math Problems: Stories about struggles with math

    Lew Lefton routinely straddles the worlds of polynomials and punchlines. Lefton, a senior academic professional in the School of Mathematics, and assistant dean of information technology for the College of Sciences, has also been a standup/improvisational comedian for 30 years. The Story Collider, a content platform that highlights the human side of science via live shows around the U.S. and a weekly podcast, taped Lefton's standup performance at Atlanta's Highland Inn last October. Lefton is also assistant vice president for research cyberinfrastructure in the office of Tech's Executive Vice President for Research.

    The Story Collider, Jan 5, 2018

  • Heartbroken scientists lament the likely loss of ‘most of the world’s coral reefs’

    Count Kim Cobb among those scientists who have become distraught about the rapidly deteriorating health of coral reefs worldwide due to climate change. Cobb, a professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences with expertise in coral reefs, has seen the damage of coral bleaching up close during dives to observe ecosystems near Hawaii in connection with her research. In this story, Cobb responds to a recent study on the frequency of extreme bleaching events. Cobb is not affiliated with the study.

    Grist , Jan 5, 2018

  • The Force is Real: How 'Star Wars' Neuroscience is Revolutionizing Healthcare and More

    These may not be the droids you're looking for, but there's no denying the influence of "Star Wars" on pop culture. The author of this story make the argument that the film francise has also had a big impact on science and technology, including interesting experiments with brain-computer interfaces. The Luke Skywalker-style prosthetic hand that an interdisciplinary team of Georgia Tech researchers recently made for an Atlanta musician is mentioned in the story. Associate Professor Minoru Shinohara, and lecturer Chris Fink, both of the School of Biological Sciences, worked on the design for the prosthetic hand.

    Fortune , Jan 4, 2018

  • The Search for Aliens Starts Now — in Antarctica

    It's been a successful three months of tests in the frigid waters beneath Antarctica for Britney Schmidt's Icefin robot. Schmidt, an assistant professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, is heading back to campus with new data that will help prepare the torpedo-shaped drone for its ultimate mission: Searching the subterranean oceans of Jupiter's moon Europa for any signs of life.

    Popular Mechanics, Jan 4, 2018

  • Low Oxygen Levels, Coral Bleaching Getting Worse in Oceans

    Two new studies show that 2018 could be another tough year for the world's oceans, its coral reefs, and its marine life, thanks to climate change. Lower oxygen levels caused by global warming are creating more complex problems than previously thought. Kim Cobb, a professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences who didn't participate in either study, comments on their findings.

    The New York Times , Jan 4, 2018

  • Air Force acquisition nominee a champion of commercial technology

    A Georgia Tech honors graduate who was both a Rhodes and Truman Scholar may have a chance to impact the purchase of new technologies for the Air Force. William Roper, currently founding director of the Pentagon's Strategic Capabilities Office, is President Trump's nominee to be assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisitions. Roper, who has argued that the Defense Department should use more commercial software, graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. from the School of Physics in 2001. He earned his M.S. in physics from Tech in 2002, also summa cum laude. Roper has a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Oxford.

    Space News, Jan 3, 2018

  • Saddle Up: 7 Trends Coming in 2018

    What major challenges will higher education face in 2018? In addition to funding, free speech, and student safety issues, the authors of this story wonder about university presidents "using their bully pulpits, and their voices, to advance their principles and institutions." They include College of Sciences alumnus Angel Cabrera, president of Georgia Mason University, among a new breed of thought leaders. The authors cite this November 2016 Cabrera message to the George Mason community as an example. Cabrera received his M.S. from the School of Psychology in 1993, and a Ph.D. in psychology from Tech in 1995.

    Inside Higher Ed , Jan 2, 2018

  • The Surprising Thing Daydreaming Says About Your Brain

    If you're in one of the areas of the U.S. hit by freezing temperatures this week, your daydreams may involve a warm, tropical paradise far from snow tires and black ice. You may want to stick with those reveries; a new Georgia Tech study found that the more intelligent and creative a person is, the more likely he or she will daydream. Eric Schumacher, an associate professor in the School of Psychology, was the lead author on the study.

    Yahoo! News, Jan 2, 2018

  • Disasters pound North America in 2017; overall down globally

    It seemed nature really had a grudge against North America in 2017, what with all the hurricanes, wildfires, and earthquakes. At the same time, the rest of the world caught a break of sorts from its usual yearly quota of disasters. This review of the economic toll of last year's global weather and seismic-related disasters includes comments from Kim Cobb, professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.

    Associated Press , Dec 30, 2017

  • Alternative therapies for mild infections could help combat antibiotic resistance

    This Medical Xpress item is a reprint of a Georgia Tech news release on the recent thought paper published in PLOS Biology by Sam Brown and Kristofer Wollein Waldetoft. They suggest that physicians should come up with alternatives for treating smaller, non-life-threatening bacterial infections in an effort to save antibiotic effectiveness for more serious infections. Brown is an associate professor in the School of Biological Sciences, and Waldetoft is a postdoctoral research assistant in Brown's lab. 

    Medical Xpress, Dec 29, 2017

  • Man strums the 'Star Wars' theme song with an innovative prosthetic hand

    The "Star Wars" theme is an ode to triumph, and there's no better way for musician Jason Barnes to show off his new prosthetic right hand than playing the song on a piano. Barnes, who lost the hand in 2012, received his prosthesis from researchers at Tech's Center for Music Technology. The prosthesis allows for greater control of individual fingers. Associate Professor Minoru Shinohara and lecturer Chris Fink were part of the design team; both are with the School of Biological Sciences.

    Mashable, Dec 25, 2017

  • Can You Teach an Old Gene New Tricks?

    It's called ancestral sequence reconstruction (ASR), and it's a way for Georgia Tech researcher Eric Gaucher to recreate ancient genetic material in his lab, and then observe how it evolves when spliced into modern-day variants. ASR has been around since the 1990s, but in recent years Gaucher and colleagues have been working on ways they might be able to use ancient genes to synthesize better disease-fighting proteins. Gaucher is an associate professor in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

    Sciworthy, Dec 22, 2017

  • Triboelectrics: a new form of energy harvesting

    Triboelectrics, or contact electrification, happens when certain materials pick up electrons when they come into frictional contact with other kinds of materials. It's become a nascent field of science, and analysts at IDTechEx have published a summary of the latest work in triboelectrics. That includes nanogenerators based on ocean wave power researched by Zhong Wang, an adjunct professor in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Wang is also the director of the Center for Nanostructure Characterization, and is the Hightower Chair in the School of Materials Science and Engineering.

    Digital Journal, Dec 22, 2017

  • Breakthrough of the Year 2017: Two Neutron Star Collide and Drive Physicists Wild

    Yes, last year's detection of neutron stars colliding was indeed "kind of a big deal," especially here at Georgia Tech. Seventeen of our faculty members, researchers, and students were part of the international Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory team that detected the first-ever observation of a kilonova, or neutron star mashup. LIGO Deputy Spokesperson Laura Cadonati, quoted in this story, is also a professor in the School of Physics. (This Newsweek story is essentially a recap of a Science magazine item that named LIGO's discovery as Breakthrough of the Year.)

    Newsweek, Dec 22, 2017

  • 17 Stories for 2017

    The school year started with a total solar eclipse that captivated thousands on Tech Green.  For some schools, that would be enough to qualify for a memorable year. But this is Georgia Tech, and events before and after Aug. 21's celestial happening also put a spotlight on the Institute. In addition to the eclipse watch party on campus, the College of Science's contributions to this list of top Tech news stories for the year includes gravitational waves from neutron star collisions, golden nanorods used to fight cancer, robots for exploring frozen moons of Jupiter, and a Rhodes Scholar in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry. 

    Georgia Tech Daily Digest , Dec 22, 2017

  • 'Star Wars' inspires bionic hand

    This CNN video provides an up-close look at how musician Jason Barnes is able to play the piano again, thanks to an advanced right hand prosthesis provided by Georgia Tech researchers. The prosthesis allows more control and dexterity. There is also a side-by-side comparison of Barnes' prosthesis with the one Luke Skywalker uses in the Star Wars films. Minoru Shinohara, an associate professor, and lecturer Chris Fink were part of the Tech research team that designed the hand. They are both with the School of Biological Sciences., Dec 14, 2017

  • Offshore Islands Might Not Shield Coastlines from Tsunami Waves

    The conventional wisdom has always been that islands near a coastline would offer protection from tsunamis. But new research indicates that may not always be the case. In fact, the waves from a tsunami could end up being higher on beaches in the so-called "shadow zone" behind an island. Hermann Fritz, a civil engineering professor with a courtesy appointment in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, wasn't involved in the research but gives his take on its findings.

    Earth and Space Science News , Dec 12, 2017

  • Innovative new prosthetic hand offers finer motor control than was previously possible

    Just in time for the release of a new Star Wars movie, the Luke Skywalker references abound in these three stories based on new research from a Georgia Tech team working on more responsive prostheses for amputees. There certainly is a resemblance to Skywalker's robotic hand in the prosthesis developed by College of Design researchers, which allows users to work individual fingers and control the amount of force. It enabled Jason Barnes, a musician who lost his right hand five years ago, to once again play the piano. In addition to the Mashable story, there is coverage at Engadget and Digital Trends. Minoru Shinohara, an associate professor, and lecturer Chris Fink are part of the research team; both are with the School of Biological Sciences.

    Mashable, Dec 12, 2017

  • Ancient microbes caused Earth’s first ever global warming

    Some 4.5 billion years ago, the sun wasn't as bright and life-sustaining as it is today. That should have meant a planetary deep freeze, but primitive photosynthetic microbes may have kept things warm and toasty enough with their methane emissions to help simple organisms stay alive on the early Earth. That's the subject of new research from Chris Reinhard and Kazumi Ozaki with the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. Reinhard is an assistant professor while Ozaki is a postdoctoral fellow.

    New Scientist (subscription required), Dec 11, 2017

  • Closer Look: Amazon HQ2; 2 Atlanta-Area Students Selected As Rhodes Scholars; And More

    Fast-forward to 36:02 into this podcast of WABE's "Closer Look with Rose Scott" radio show, and you'll hear an interview with Calvin Runnels, only the sixth student in Georgia Tech's history to be named a Rhodes Scholar. Runnels is set to graduate with a B.S. in Biochemistry from the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry in spring 2018 before he takes off for graduate studies at the University of Oxford.

    WABE-FM, Dec 11, 2017

  • Meet College of Sciences Fall 2017 Graduates

    Congratulations to our College of Sciences graduates; we can't wait to see what comes next for you!

    College of Sciences site, Dec 11, 2017

  • Six Ways We Can Adapt to Climate Change

    What did science learn about climate change in 2017, and how will that data impact what's heading our way regarding global warming in 2018? Takamitsu Ito, an associate professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, highlights the study he and other Georgia Tech researchers released earlier this year on declines in ocean oxygen levels caused by rising water temperatures. The findings show those levels dropping faster than expected, which threatens marine ecosystems.

    The New York Times , Dec 5, 2017

  • AAAS Honors Cola, Fox and Weitz as Fellows

    The organization known as the "world's largest general scientific society" has elected three Georgia Tech researchers as fellows for 2017. The American Association for the Advancement of Science has singled out Joshua Weitz, professor in the School of Biological Sciences; Baratunde Cola, associate professor in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering; and Mary Frank Fox, ADVANCE professor in the School of Public Policy. Weitz was honored for his research on the effects of viruses on populations and ecosystems. Weitz is also an adjunct assistant professor in the School of Physics, and director of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Quantitative Biosciences.  

    Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience, Dec 4, 2017

  • Daydreaming May Show You're Smart

    Scroll down a few paragraphs in this Jerusalem Post health news roundup, and you'll find an item on the recent daydreaming study from School of Psychology researchers Eric Schumacher and Christine Godwin. Their findings show that daydreaming could point to a more efficient mind that exhibits more creativity and intelligence.

    Jerusalem Post , Dec 3, 2017

  • Georgia Tech Releases Machine Learning Software to Further Cancer Drug Research

    HealthTech focuses on the recent news that School of Biological Sciences researchers are allowing all scientists to use their new machine learning software for predicting cancer drug effectiveness. The hope is that the open source software approach, which will crowdsource research brainpower and expertise, will speed up the clinical trials process for cancer drug approval. Assistant Professor Fredrik Vannberg and Professor John McDonald contributed to the research; McDonald is also director of Tech's Integrated Cancer Research Center.

    HealthTech, Nov 30, 2017

  • 2017 Hurricane Season Ends Thursday as Costliest to Date

    An intense 2017 hurricane season is officially in the history books, and not a moment too soon when you consider the fatalities and destruction caused by the late summer storms along the Gulf Coast and in the Caribbean. Scientists blame warmer than usual water temperatures, and Kim Cobb, professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, says governments should study the available data from the season and consider how they can better protect coastal populations.

    WTVJ/NBC6 Miami , Nov 30, 2017

  • Opinion: Don’t tax future scientists and engineers out of existence

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Maureen Downey relinquishes her Get Schooled column to two postdoctoral fellows from the School of Biological Sciences, Nicole M. Baran and Nastassia V. Patin. They voice their concerns about the U.S. House tax bill, which would tax tuition waivers given to America's graduate students. Baran and Patin describe the damage that would do to academic careers, scientific research, and the state of Georgia, which is calling for more advanced degrees in STEM disciplines. Baran and Patin are also in the Atlanta pod of 500 Women Scientists.

    Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Nov 28, 2017

  • In the deep ocean, these bacteria play a key role in trapping carbon

    Yes, more than two-thirds of Earth is covered in water. But most of that ocean water is kept in the dark, and it's in those murky depths where certain microbes are believed to be trapping 15 to 45 percent of the carbon in the western North Atlantic Ocean, according to a new study. Those microbes might be found in similar amounts throughout the world. Frank Stewart, assistant professor in the School of Biological Sciences (with an appointment in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences) did not participate in the study, but does give his take on the findings. 

    Science News , Nov 28, 2017

  • Emory, Georgia Tech students chosen as Rhodes scholars

    Those selected to become Rhodes scholars are in very elite company. President Bill Clinton. MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow, actor/singer/songwriter Kris Kristofferson, and author/poet Robert Penn Warren are just a few of the notable Americans winning scholarships for postgraduate studies at the University of Oxford in the U.K. Georgia Tech's Calvin Runnels, a senior in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, can now add his name to that list. Runnels is part of one of the most diverse Rhodes groups yet, with 10 African-American students – the most in a single Rhodes class – and four from schools that had never had winners before. Runnels is also the second self-identified transgender student to win a Rhodes scholarship. In addition to the Associated Press item, Runnels is also mentioned in this Washington Post story

    Associated Press, Nov 20, 2017

  • A New Breakthrough Could Make Organic Electronics Far More Efficient

    Organic materials represent the future of electronics, thanks partly to their low cost. But organics aren't the best conductors of electricity, which is why organic semiconductors have to be "doped," or treated with special chemicals, to help realize their potential in advances like flexible electronics, more efficient energy storage, and better displays for televisions and smartphones. Seth Marder and Stephen Barlow of the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry contributed to a new study on a doping system that improves organic semiconductivity by a factor of a million. Marder is a Regents' Professor and founding director of Tech's Center for Organic Photonics and Electronics (COPE), and Barlow is a research scientist.  

    Futurism , Nov 19, 2017

  • We’ve figured out how to ensure quantum computers can be trusted

    Quantum computing, with its promise of super-fast data processing, has the potential to rewrite the rules of computing. But all quantum calculations happen at the sub-atomic level and are extremely complex, which raises the possibility of errors. A team of Georgia Tech researchers, including Kenneth Brown, an associate professor in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, has demonstrated an error-detection program for quantum computers. Brown and fellow chemistry professor David Sherrill are part of Tech's efforts in recent years to expand its quantum computing research.

    New Scientist, Nov 7, 2017

  • The Cool Beginnings of a Volcano’s Supereruption

    If you think the areas that lie underneath supervolcanoes are right out of a cheesy 1960s sci-fi movie – all huge, bubbling lakes of magma and white-hot temperatures – think again. A new study from University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers that looked at the Long Valley Caldera in California indicates lower temperatures and magma cool enough to be solid. In addition to this New York Times story, the study is also featured in Newsweek. The study's first author is Nathan Andersen, now a postdoctoral researcher in Professor Joe Dufek's Geophysics@Georgia Tech lab in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

    The New York Times , Nov 6, 2017

  • China Focus: Rising China, a magnet for overseas Chinese talent

    The Chinese government is spending more money than it used to on science, and as a result more Chinese researchers are returning to their homeland to take advantage of the extra funding. Nearly 425,000 researchers and students who were working/studying overseas came back in 2016, and many are now involved in projects ranging from manned space flight to quantum communications. One of the scientists profiled is Zhong Lin Wang, an adjunct professor in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry

    Xinhua News, Nov 6, 2017

  • Is there any benefit to daydreaming?

    The professional daydreamers among us might argue that there is indeed a benefit to letting your mind wander; just five minutes of pretending to be on a beach in Tahiti can be a worthwhile escape from the day's worries. But a new study from researchers with the School of Psychology shows that for some, daydreaming could be a sign of greater intellectual ability and creativity. This Guardian story quotes the study's lead author, graduate student Christine Godwin.

    The Guardian, Nov 6, 2017

  • How Georgia Tech Scientists Discovered A Neutron Star Collision

    Celeste Headlee, host of Georgia Public Broadcasting's On Second Thought radio program, interviews School of Physics Professor Laura Cadonati, and postdoctoral researcher James Clark, about the recent neutron star collision discovered by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration.  Georgia Tech has 17 postdoctoral researchers, faculty members, and students working with LIGO. Cadonati is LIGO's deputy spokesperson.

    Georgia Public Broadcasting , Nov 1, 2017

  • Neuroscience At Georgia Tech, Nov 1, 2017

  • Georgia Tech Researchers Offer Open-Source Cancer Treatment Algorithm

    Open-source software, in which the source code is available for anyone to use and modify, has been around since the late 1990s. When it comes to cancer drug prediction, however, its use has been limited. A team of Georgia Tech researchers hopes to change that. Its new study, and the release of an open source, machine learning platform for cancer drug prediction, is getting the attention of healthcare media outlets such as Healthcare Analytics News and this story from Health Data Management. The study's co-authors are with the School of Biological Sciences. John McDonald is a professor and director of Tech's Integrated Cancer Research Center. Fredrik Vannberg is an assistant professor. 

    Healthcare Analytics News, Oct 31, 2017

  • Do You Daydream? You May Be Smarter and More Creative Than Your Peers

    Don't zone out and start daydreaming as you're reading this Yahoo! story about daydreaming. You might miss the findings of a new Georgia Tech study showing that for some people, a wandering mind could be a sign of higher intelligence and creativity. The study's co-author is Eric Schumacher, associate professor in the School of Psychology.

    Yahoo!, Oct 30, 2017

  • Chemistry is quantum computing’s killer app

    Quantum computing, where all the computational work is done at a sub-atomic level, promises to bring more power and speed to traditional data crunching. Chemistry could be among the first disciplines to show off that power with more effective designer drugs, superconductors that can withstand higher temperatures, and greener, energy-efficient materials, among other scientific advances. That's the theme of this well-sourced story in Chemical and Engineering News, which features comments from Ken Brown, associate professor in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry

    Chemical and Engineering News , Oct 30, 2017

  • Do You Daydream? You May Be Smarter and More Creative Than Your Peers

    Wouldn't you love to show this headline to all those teachers who yelled at you for not paying attention in class? Media outlets are showing their creativity in how they're covering a new study from the School of Psychology that says daydreaming may be a sign of intelligence and better brain efficiency. In addition to this Live Science story, Quartz weighs in with this report on the study. Lead authors are Associate Professor Eric Schumacher and Ph.D. student Christine Godwin

    Live Science, Oct 25, 2017

  • AHCJ Atlanta panel discusses antibiotic resistance

    Resistance to antibiotics is "the most underestimated epidemic in the United States." That was an ominous quote from a panelist during an Association of Health Care Journalists discussion on the rise of drug-resistant superbugs. Another panelist, Joshua Weitz, professor in the School of Biological Sciences, provided some hope as he described the impact of phages, viruses that attack bacteria from within. 

    Association of Health Care Journalists, Oct 25, 2017

  • Chemists are uncovering how and why marine organisms synthesize flame-retardant-like molecules

    It's another mystery provided by nature – chemical compounds found in the wild that resemble man-made pollutants long banned by governments because of their toxicity to the environment. This story highlights the work done by scientists to discover how these compounds show up organically in oceans, and what organisms might be involved in manufacturing those compounds. Identifying that process could help protect populations that rely on marine diets. The work includes recent research led by Vinayak Agarwal, assistant professor in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry

    Chemical and Engineering News , Oct 23, 2017

  • Active Voice: Fight Between Your Muscles – Beat Common Drive for Steady Cocontraction

    It's called common drive, and it's the way your brain sends messages to several muscles through slow oscillations as you contract them to stabilize yourself for sports or other activities. Minoru "Shino" Shinohara, associate professor in the School of Biological Sciences, wanted to know more about how those nerve oscillations affect the way agonist and antagonist muscles contract against each other. He recently published his research on common drive, and he summarizes the results in this American College of Sports Medicine bulletin. 

    ACSM Sports Medicine Bulletin, Oct 18, 2017

  • College daze: Georgia Tech honors grad shares secrets to maintaining grades & sanity

    You won't be tested on this story later. But if you're a student or know someone who is, you might want to take notes anyway – or at least bookmark this column featuring William Konop, who in May earned his B.S. with high honors from the School of Mathematics. Konop tutored teenagers for the ACT and SAT college prep tests while studying at Tech. He knows a thing or two about getting ready for exams in a pressure-filled environment, and he shares the tools he learned for test preparation that can help reduce stress. Konop is a co-founder of the Seneca Education Group, a tutoring company.

    Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Oct 17, 2017

  • Scientists witness huge cosmic crash, find origins of gold

    Here is how the Associated Press reported Monday's announcement from the LIGO Scientific Collaboration that scientists had detected the collision of two neutron stars. Laura Cadonati, professor in the School of Physics and LIGO deputy spokesperson, is quoted in the article. Cadonati is also with the Center for Relativistic Astrophysics.

    Associated Press , Oct 17, 2017

  • Astronomers strike gold – and platinum – as they watch two neutron stars collide

    Here is how the Los Angeles Times broke the news of the first-ever detection of a neutron star collision and how the celestial event was confirmed by scientists and astronomers around the world. Laura Cadonati, professor in the School of Physics and deputy spokesperson for the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, is quoted in the article.

    Los Angeles Times , Oct 16, 2017

  • Scientists detect gravitational waves from a new kind of nova, sparking a new era in astronomy

    The Washington Post publishes its report on the news that the LIGO Scientific Collaboration has detected a kilonova, the collision of two neutron stars. The burst rippled the fabric of space-time and sent gamma-rays and gold flying through the cosmos. School of Physics Professor Laura Cadonati, who is also LIGO's deputy spokesperson, is quoted in the article as saying that scientists feel like "we have hit the motherlode."

    Washington Post , Oct 16, 2017

  • First-seen neutron star collision creates light, gravitational waves and gold

    Welcome to the era of multi-messenger astrophysics – a single event in the cosmos that gives off both gravitational and electromagnetic waves. That's what the Aug. 17, 2017, detection by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration of two neutron stars merging means for the scientific community, which is celebrating yet another discovery that confirms a century-old theory from Albert Einstein. Once again, School of Physics Professor Laura Cadonati, LIGO's deputy spokesperson, is proving to be very quotable. "We can now fill in a few more tiles in the jigsaw puzzle that is the story of our universe," Cadonati tells CNN.

    CNN, Oct 16, 2017

  • Merging neutron stars generate gravitational waves and a celestial light show

    "This is the first time we had a 3D IMAX view of an astronomical event," says Laura Cadonati, professor in the School of Physics and deputy spokeperson for the LIGO Scientific Collaboration. She's referring to more than 70 observatories around the world that helped confirm the first-ever detection of gravitational waves and light caused by the merger of two neutron stars. The resulting explosion and lightshow those astronomers witnessed from the merger is called a kilonova, and it's the source of Earth's heavy elements like gold, silver, and platinum. 

    Science , Oct 16, 2017

  • For the first time, astronomers detect gravitational waves from two neutron stars colliding

    The Aug.17, 2017, detection of gravitational waves and light from the merger of two neutron stars set off a race against time around the globe. Astronomers scrambled to confirm data that could be seen by telescopes and measured by gamma-ray, x-ray and radio wave detection equipment before they all faded away. Laura Cadonati, associate professor in the School of Physics and LIGO Scientific Collaboration deputy spokesperson, explains how these gravitational waves lasted longer than those from four previous incidents caused by black hole collisions. Cadonati is a member of the Center for Relativistic Astrophysics

    The Verge, Oct 16, 2017

  • Gravitational Wave Astronomers Hit Mother Lode

    The first-ever detection of gravitational waves and light from the collision of two neutron stars isn't just setting the scientific community ablaze. It also ushers in a new "multi-messenger" astronomy, with scientists arround the world gathering and studying those waves, light, and subatomic particles at the same time. So says Laura Cadonati,  professor in the School of Physics and the deputy spokesperson for the LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) Scientific Collaboration, and she explains the significance of this new era. Cadonati is also a member of the Center for Relativistic Astrophysics

    Scientific American , Oct 16, 2017

  • Alumni Homecoming 2017

    Alumni Homecoming 2017 article.

    College of Sciences site, Oct 16, 2017

  • Science Says: Era of monster hurricanes roiling the Atlantic

    Climate scientists use 30-year cycles when they study weather events like hurricanes so they can better understand how climate change may impact their findings. The Associated Press did the same thing, breaking up the past 167 years of government data on major Atlantic hurricanes into 30-year periods. It found that the current cycle is the most active period for hurricanes ever recorded. Kim Cobb, professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, has some thoughts on how policymakers should deal with these findings, and she shares them in this article. 

    Associated Press , Oct 5, 2017

  • Nobel Physics Prize Goes to Gravitational Wave Scientists

    "This year's prize is about a discovery that shook the world." That's how an official with the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences described the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics, which was awarded to the three founders of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) for the detection of gravitational waves. Georgia Tech has a front-row seat for that achievement, thanks to its membership in the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, a global team of scientists that helps to confirm gravitational-wave data. Laura Cadonati, professor in the School of Physics and LIGO deputy spokesperson, is quoted in this article, as she is in a separate story for the Verge. Another LIGO member and School of Physics researcher, Karan Jani, reacts to the Nobel Prize in this Forbes article. 

    Scientific American , Oct 3, 2017

  • Cabrera: An Advocate for Student Access

    Ensuring ensuring education for students is what inspires George Mason University President Angel Cabrera, who is an alumnus of the School of Psychology. The article originally appeared in the September 21, 2017 issue of Diverse magazine, to recognize Hispanic leaders in academia during Hispanic Heritage Month. 

    Diverse Issues in Higher Education, Oct 1, 2017

  • Hurricanes ’17: An Unnatural Season

    The waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean became part of a hellish assembly line this summer for three of the strongest hurricanes ever recorded. Harvey, Irma, and Maria brought death and destruction to Texas, Louisiana, Florida, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. This historic hurricane season is the subject of this special episode of the Weather Channel's Weather Geeks, and the show's panel of experts includes Kim Cobb, Georgia Power Chair and ADVANCE Professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. A repeat of the Oct. 1 show airs at 8 p.m. EDT Tuesday, Oct. 3, on the Weather Channel.

    We Love Weather , Sep 29, 2017

  • Zeroing In on How Supermassive Black Holes Formed

    There are black holes, and then there are supermassive black holes that could have played a role in the formation of the universe. How they got so big remains a mystery, but new theories and research may be closing in on answers. A study from earlier this year supports one of these theories: that radiation from nearby galaxies created the galactic monsters. The study was co-authored by John Wise, Dunn Family Associate Professor in the School of Physics. Wise's work is dthe subject of this Scientific American report. 

    Scientific American , Sep 29, 2017

  • Rory McIlroy | Sunday School

    Here's a blast from the recent past – a fun PGA Tour Entertainment video featuring our very own Lew Lefton, faculty member in the School of Mathematics and assistant dean for information technology with the College of Sciences. He was asked to detail the odds and probabilities involved in pro golfer Rory McIlroy's improbable 2016 FedEx Cup victory., Sep 25, 2017

  • Sie riskieren ihr Leben im Auge des Orkans

    "They risk their lives in the eye of the hurricane" is the translation of the headline for this Die Welt story on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Hurricane Hunters squadron. Greg Huey, professor and chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, is interviewed regarding the data collected by NOAA's aircraft as they fly into and near these massive storms. The story is in German, and a subscription is required.

    Die Welt , Sep 25, 2017

  • Did California's small earthquakes cause Mexico's big one?

    Is there a connection between the small earthquakes that have hit Southern California over the past month and the deadly 7.1-magnitude quake that struck Mexico City this week? What about big weather events like hurricanes? Can they stress land masses enough to cause quakes? Zhigang Peng, a professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, lends his expertise to address those questions.

    USA Today, Sep 19, 2017

  • Horrible Flesh Eating Parasite Could Get a Vaccine One Day

    Here is Gizmodo covering Georgia Tech's Leishmaniasis study as only Gizmodo can – with lots of attitude. It does focus on the potential for a vaccine against this deadly parasite. The vaccine was tested on genetically modified mice by a research team led by M.G. Finn, professor in the School of Biological Sciences. Finn is also a professor and chair of the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

    Gizmodo, Sep 13, 2017

  • This Flesh-Eating Parasite Might Soon Be Thwarted by a New Vaccine

    In this report on a leishmaniasis study by Tech scientists, Seeker goes into detail into how School of Biological Sciences Professor M.G. Finn and his team used a bioengineered virus-like particle and genetically modified mice to take on the world's second deadliest parasite. Finn is also a professor and the chair of the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry

    Seeker , Sep 13, 2017

  • Horrific Flesh-Eating Parasite Called "The Next Plague" Could Spread in U.S., Spurring Vaccine Effort

    That's not a hyped-up headline; health officials do indeed fear that leishmania, one of the world's deadliest parasites devastating underdeveloped countries, could show up in the southern U.S., thanks to climate change and rising temperatures. That's prompted an effort to quickly develop a vaccine. A research team that includes M.G. Finn, professor in the School of Biological Sciences and the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry (which he also chairs) is getting close with its work on genetically engineered mice, according to a new study. That research is attracting media interest; here's Futurism's take on Finn's study and the vaccine development efforts now underway. 

    Newsweek, Sep 13, 2017

  • Readers respond to Nature’s Editorial on historical monuments

    This week, Nature published an Editorial on historical injustice in science and how it is marked and remembered. Many readers criticized its wording, position and tone. Nature has issued an apology and correction; now it has published a selection of responses it received, including from School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Professor Kim Cobb

    Nature, Sep 8, 2017

  • Streamlined Security: Optimizing Sensor Placement with Mathematics

    Current security sensor technology is greatly limited, creating a tricky challenge as the demand for public and private security heightens. Sung Ha Kang and Haomin Zhou, professors in the School of Mathematics, and Seong Jun Kim, a postdoctoral researcher, have proposed a new method that will optimally position a sensor-based security system for maxium surveillance. 

    Siam News, Sep 7, 2017

  • Oregon summers, a season of smoke

    This opinion piece reflects on the Eagle Creek conflagration in the Columbia Gorge, in Oregon. It notes: "Pollution from more than 300,000 acres of wildfires in Oregon have created unhealthy air quality throughout the state." The piece suggests that the situtation will get worse. It cites three studies to support this notion. One of them is by School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences  Professor and Chair Greg Huey: "The Georgia Institute of Technology has found that summer wildfires boost air pollution considerably more than previously believed."

    The Oregonian, Sep 7, 2017

  • The emergent physics of animal locomotion

    School of Physics Assistant Professor Simon Sponberg has the coveted cover story in the September issue of Physics Today. Sponberg, principal investigator in the Agile Systems Lab, gives a state-of-the-science report on animal locomotion; how different physiological systems within a moth, for example, interact within the insect to enable movement, and how that moth interacts with its environment. Data arising from new studies of such neuromechanics have applications for robotics. Sponberg is also an assistant professor in the School of Biological Sciences and an adjunct assistant professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering.

    Physics Today , Sep 1, 2017

  • Immunophage Synergy

    "A pretty cool paper." That's how one of the hosts of the This Week in Microbiology podcast (ep. 159) describes the recent study by School of Biological Sciences professor Joshua Weitz and postdoctoral scientist Chung Yin (Joey) Leung. The Tech researchers discovered that immune cells in an animal host act synergistically with bacteria-killing viruses – phages – to wipe out fatal respiratory infections in lab mice. TWiM is the official podcast of the American Society for Microbiology. Both Weitz and Leung are also affiliated with the School of Physics, and Weitz is the founding director of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Quantitative Biosciences.  

    TWiM - This Week in Microbiology , Aug 31, 2017

  • Were Ancient Humans Healthier Than Us?

    This PLOS (Public Library of Science) Blogs post from geneticist Ricki Lewis concerns the recent study on the health of our human ancestors vs. today's populations by Tech researchers Joe LachanceAli J. Barens and Taylor Cooper. The team used human genome sequences to determine that, yes, Neanderthals and other ancient populations living 50,000 years ago were genetically more susceptible to certain ailments, but some "recent ancients" who were around a mere thousand years ago could have been healthier. Lachance is an assistant professor in the School of Biological Sciences. Barens is a postdoctoral researcher and Cooper is an undergraduate researcher in the Lachance Lab

    PLOS Blogs , Aug 31, 2017

  • The Eclipse in Tech Square

    The special memories of Eclipse 2017 @ Georgia Tech linger. This video from Tech Square ATL on the Aug. 21 celestial event was produced by Sandbox ATL in partnership with the University Financing Foundation, the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), and the Scheller College of Business. It highlights the reactions from those who started that day at the cluster of tech startups on the other side of the Downtown Connector on 5th Street before they made their way to the Kessler Campanile. College of Sciences Dean Paul Goldbart is interviewed. Also, WREK 91.1, Tech's student-run radio station, aired a special "97 Percent Eclipse of the Heart" version of its Lost in the Stacks program. You'll hear Georgia Tech Observatory Director James Sowell interviewed between eclipse-themed songs by Television, Pink Floyd, the Police, and Love and Rockets. Sowell is also a senior academic professional in the School of Physics. 

    Tech Square ATL, Aug 30, 2017

  • Fire Ants Are Yet Another Hazard in Houston’s Flooded Streets

    As if the swamped residents of the Texas Gulf Coast don't have enough reasons to curse Hurricane Harvey, here's one more: clumps of stinging fire ants bobbing in the floodwaters. The New York Times story and this one in the Washington Post cite a 2011 study by School of Biological Sciences Associate Professor David Hu that explained the fire ant's raft-building superpower. Hu is also an associate professor in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering and an adjunct associate professor in the School of Physics

    The New York Times, Aug 30, 2017

  • Another Danger of the Harvey Flood: Floating Fire Ants

    Those scenes of floating fire ant "rafts" plaguing flooding victims of Hurricane Harvey in Houston? David Hu, associate professor in the School of Biological Sciences and the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, first examined that nightmare scenario in 2011. That was when Hu and his research team published a study on how ants lock legs to form the rafts. You also may recall his research from earlier this summer on how the ants don't just spread out when threatened; they can also "perpetually rebuild" towers made of their own bodies. Hu is also an adjunct associate professor in the School of Physics

    Smithsonian , Aug 29, 2017

  • Bending the Rules of Geometry

    School of Physics Assistant Professor Elisabetta Matsumoto's research in hyperbolic virtual reality recently captured the attention of The New York Times. This video shows off Matsumoto and her research team's work from earlier this year as it highlights the difference between Euclidean space, where the normal rules of geometry apply, and hyperbolic space, where those rules are warped and curved like the "cell" boundaries in this video. The hope is that these depictions of non-Euclidean geometry will assist in mathematics and geometry research. Matsumoto is also a researcher for the Soft Matter Incubator at the Center for the Science and Technology of Applied Materials and Interfaces (STAMI). 

    The New York Times, Aug 27, 2017

  • Atlanta eyed for North America HQ of Graphenano

    The Atlanta Business Journal lists another example of businesses wanting to get closer to Georgia Tech's research. Graphenano, a Spanish company hoping to make a lot of graphene – a thin yet ultra-strong carbon-based substance that could lead to better batteries and composite materials – may move its North American headquarters to Atlanta. Georgia Tech is a leader in graphene research, and the story cites a May study on a potentially more efficient way to make graphene from School of Physics Professor Uzi Landman and Bokwon Yoon, a research scientist with the school. Both are with the Center for Computational Materials Science; Landman is its director. 

    Atlanta Business Journal (subscription req.), Aug 25, 2017

  • Composing An Eclipse Soundtrack For The Visually Impaired

    The Georgia Tech Sonification Lab, a joint effort of the School of Psychology and the School of Interactive Computing, is having its moment in the spotlight thanks to the Aug. 21 solar eclipse. Lab Director Bruce Walker is a professor in both schools; he and his team are using sound to help the visually impaired share experiences like eclipses. In addition to this GPB story, the Georgia Tech Sonification Lab was also featured in Digital Trends and in Hypepotamus

    Georgia Public Broadcasting , Aug 21, 2017

  • Closer Look: Total Solar Eclipse

    Atlanta NPR affiliate WABE 90.1 devoted its entire Closer Look broadcast to Monday's solar eclipse. The radio station's coverage included an interview with James Sowell, School of Physics senior academic professional. director of the Georgia Tech Observatory, and Tech's resident astronomer. 

    WABE 90.1 FM, Aug 21, 2017

  • Mostafa El-Sayed's Nano Scale Fight Against Cancer

    New research from Mostafa El-Sayed, Regents Professor and Julius Brown Chair in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, is gaining interest in the science community. The research highlights the potential of using gold nanorods and lasers to halt the spread of cancer cell metastasis in laboratory conditions. El-Sayed will present his findings during the Eminent Scientist Lecture at the American Chemical Society's National Meeting and Exposition in Washington, D.C., Aug. 20-24. In the meantime, read this profile in the ACS's student member magazine to learn more about the very personal reasons that help drive El-Sayed's research. 

    inChemistry Magazine, Aug 17, 2017

  • Georgia Tech to host on-campus viewing; among other events for solar eclipse

    By now, you should be aware that of the coast-to-coast total solar eclipse happening next Monday, and Atlanta will experience 97 percent totality. If you aren't aware, then you're obviously Captain America and you've just been thawed out of that ice you were trapped in for the past 70 years. Georgia Tech is certainly aware, and this story by reporter Carl Willis of WSB-TV does a good job of covering what we have planned. Included in the interviews are College of Sciences Dean and Sutherland Chair Paul Goldbart, and Tech astronomer James Sowell, School of Physics senior academic professional and director of the Georgia Tech Observatory

    WSB-TV, Aug 17, 2017

  • Rush-Hour Pollution May Be Twice as Dangerous as Previously Thought

    More media outlets are interested in the new research on rush hour pollution from Georgia Tech, Emory University and Duke University. The Weather Channel takes a look at the study, which found that in-car pollution during a typical Atlanta morning commute is much worse than previously thought, and twice as high as the pollution measured by roadside monitors. Here's the Raleigh News & Observer's story on the study. School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Professor Rodney Weber co-authored the study. 

    The Weather Channel , Aug 15, 2017

  • 2016 weather report: Extreme and anything but normal

    If you suspected that 2016's climate was off-the-charts extreme, you were right. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's new State of the Climate report confirms that last year was the hottest ever. The last time it was that hot? 2015. Sea levels, greenhouse gas concentrations, and ocean temperatures also broke previous records. Kim Cobb, professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, is quoted as saying that 2016 was "the year we crossed a new threshold of climate change." Cobb did not work on the NOAA report.

    Associated Press , Aug 11, 2017

  • The 28-Year-Old Physicist Looking to Revamp India's Education System

    Karan Jani stayed very busy during his time in the School of Physics. In addition to being a doctoral candidate, Jani was also a key member of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) team that first observed the existence of gravitational waves in 2015. Jani received his Ph.D. this year. Now the astrophysicist has returned to his native India, but he is still busy as he is helping to reform that country's education system. 

    Ozy, Aug 10, 2017

  • Wildfires Pollute Air More Than Previously Thought. Are Prescribed Burns the Answer?

    A recent Georgia Tech-led study on wildfires and air pollution remains timely, thanks to uncontrolled fires that are still plaguing parts of the U.S. The study showed that wildfires release three times more of fine-particle pollution that previously thought. That's the kind of pollution that can exacerbate health problems like asthma or pulmonary disease. Greg Huey, professor and chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, is one of the authors of the study. 

    Undark , Aug 10, 2017

  • 8 places to view the solar eclipse in metro Atlanta

    The word is getting out; Georgia Tech has a full afternoon of activities planned for the solar eclipse on Monday, Aug. 21, which also happens to be the first day of classes for the fall semester. Eclipse glasses, a live eclipse video feed from the Georgia Tech Observatory, the "music" of the solar system, and free Moon Pies await our community. Our agenda is showing up on lists for where to watch the eclipse in metro Atlanta, including this wrapup at, this story at Atlanta NPR affiliate WABE 90.1, and this roundup on the mom-centric website

    Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Aug 10, 2017

  • Chattahoochee River: 3 Ways You Can Help Clean It Up

    For three weeks in the summer, the Bio@Tech program gives high school students a chance to do some investigative biology. It's a joint project of the School of Biological Sciences and the Center for Education Integrating Science, Math and Computing (CEISMC). Rebecca Jeltuhin, a senior at Milton High School, wrote about her Bio@Tech experiences for VoxATL, a platform for teenage writers, and it is republished by WABE 90.1. She writes about her experiences investigating the pollution in the Chattahoochee River and suggests ways we can all do a better job of taking care of Atlanta's famous waterway.

    WABE 90.1 , Aug 7, 2017

  • Way more rush hour pollution gets into cars than we thought

    It's called PM 2.5, and it's a particularly nasty type of particulate matter found in the air around roadways. It can cause health problems, and as you can imagine it is especially heavy during rush hour traffic.  But in a new study from researchers including Rodney Weber, a professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, PM 2.5 was also found inside cars at twice the levels previously estimated. The data was collected by devices placed on car passenger seats during Atlanta's morning commute.

    Futurity , Aug 7, 2017

  • What purple can tell us about life on other planets

    Somewhere in Artist Heaven, the man who gave us "Purple Rain" is smiling. The Purple Earth hypothesis suggests that the single-celled organisms that ruled the planet during its early years may have lent Earth a purple tinge if seen from space. Researchers are now wondering if the theory could help determine the potential for life on recently discovered exoplanets. Jennifer Glass, assistant professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, and Frank Stewart, associate professor in the School of Biological Sciences, react to the hypothesis in this latest installment of CNN's Colorscope series., Aug 4, 2017

  • Special Eye On Blindness-- Learn About the August Eclipse

    As you can imagine, our resident astronomer and director of the Georgia Tech Observatory, James Sowell, is getting very excited about the Aug. 21 solar eclipse. Yet the one issue he wants to emphasize in the days leading up to the big celestial event is eclipse-viewing safety, and he gets a chance to talk about it in this "Eye on Blindness" podcast with host Carol McCullough of the Georgia Radio Reading Service. Sowell also provides details on campus events planned for the Aug. 21 eclipse and how to make your own pinhole camera. In addition to his stargazing duties, Sowell is a senior academic professional and graduate recruiter in the School of Physics. 

    Georgia Radio Reading Service (GaRRS), Aug 3, 2017

  • Training: A winning detour

    Should Ph.D. students put their research work on hold for internships? It can be a challenge, but this story argues for its consideration. The real-world experience one acquires as an intern can help round out research students' résumés, give them an early taste of the professional world, and provide them with networking opportunities. Margot Paez, a Ph.D. student in the School of Physics, recounts her experiences interning at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory during summer and winter breaks. 

    Nature , Aug 2, 2017

  • Materials – Cooking up biofuel

    It's the newest must-try recipe for biofuel: Take used rubber tires, squeeze out recovered carbons, mix with sulfuric acid and fatty acids found in household vegetable oil, and voilà! – perfectly good, usable biofuel for a greener world. Oak Ridge National Laboratory's collaborative study with Wake Forest University and Georgia Tech scientists was co-authored by Younan Xia, a professor in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering.

    Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Aug 1, 2017

  • Saturn’s Moon Added to List of Candidates for Supporting Life in Solar System

    Vinyl cyanide sounds both deadly and stylish, and the lakes and seas of Saturn's moon Titan are filled with it, according to a new study. Despite its scary name, the presence of vinyl cyanide in Titan's atmosphere actually makes the moon a potential candidate for harboring life. Britney Schmidt, assistant professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, is quoted because of her research into Jupiter's moon Europa, the best candidate so far for supporting life elsewhere in the solar system. 

    Observer , Aug 1, 2017

  • 10 Places To Watch The Solar Eclipse In Georgia

    Georgia Tech's campus plans for the Aug. 21 solar eclipse rank high on this list of places around Atlanta and the state that have scheduled special activities for the celestial event. The story includes a link to our Eclipse 2017 @Georgia Tech website, which not only lists all campus events but also includes jnformation on viewing safety, the science that Georgia Tech researchers will conduct as the moon's shadow moves across the country, and a rundown of solar eclipses in pop culture. 

    WABE 90.1 FM, Aug 1, 2017

  • Ultimate bogs: how saving peatlands could help save the planet

    If you want to know more about what School of Biological Sciences Professor Joel Kostka is up to with his research in northern Minnesota, read this Guardian article. Kostka is part of the Spruce and Peatland Responses Under Changing Environments (SPRUCE) project that is mentioned in the story. Kostka and his fellow researchers are trying to determine the impact of climate change on the ancient carbon buried deep beneath the peatlands. This article goes into great detail about why these particular ecosystems are so important to Earth's ecological health, and why they need to be saved. Kostka has a joint apppointment with the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.

    The Guardian, Jul 28, 2017

  • New Study Finds Air Pollution During Rush Hour Traffic To Be Worse Than Originally Thought

    A new study on rush hour pollution co-authored by Rodney Weber, professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, featured data taken from inside cars during Atlanta traffic. Sensors were placed on car passenger seats, not just along the sides of roads. Researchers found that levels of toxic particulate matter during commutes were twice as high inside cars as what was being detected outside. 

    Georgia Public Broadcasting , Jul 28, 2017

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