Chris Reinhard, associate professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, teamed with a colleague to run models on Earth's climate and its biochemical processes in an attempt to determine the evolution of our planet's atmosphere. The scientists determined that the future lifespan of Earth's atmosphere is approximately one billion years. (The original research study in Nature Geoscience can be found here.)
Health Thoroughfare, Sep 24, 2021
Agriculture is responsible for more than 10 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and some in the industry are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. One of those efforts is replacing the kind of crushed rock farmers use to neutralize their soil’s acidity, from limestone to basalt. Chris Reinhard, associate professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, is one of the researchers involved in the study. (National Public Radio's Morning Edition picked up the story, which can be heard here.)
Iowa Public Radio , Sep 21, 2021
Ahead of the annual United Nations General Assembly meeting next week, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned governments that climate change is proceeding faster than predicted, and fossil fuel emissions have already bounced back from a pandemic dip. Kim Cobb, Georgia Power Chair and ADVANCE Professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, was the lead author for the recent U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report. Cobb says limiting global heating to 1.5 degrees Celsius isn't out of reach yet, but "this new report is a stark reminder of the difference between the emissions pathways required to achieve that target, and the reality on the ground. Simply put, we are way off course.” (This story also appears in The Independent; registration required.)
Washington Post (via Associated Press), Sep 16, 2021
How did cells first glom together, learn to cooperate, and yield organisms that contain millions, billions, or even trillions of cells? In a new experiment, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology oversaw the evolution of clusters of yeast that each grew to contain hundreds of thousands of cells—the largest of their kind—enabling the scientists to study the possible origins of complex multicellular structures. One of those scientists is Will Ratcliff, Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Quantitative Biosciences in the School of Biological Sciences. Quanta Magazine also reported on this experiment.
National Geographic , Sep 14, 2021
John F. McDonald, a professor in the School of Biological Sciences, is also chief scientific officer at Atlanta's Ovarian Cancer Institiute, which is developing an accurate test for the early diagnosis of ovarian cancer. McDonald says preliminary results of the first half of 800 women in the current trial, shows a success rate of nearly 95 percent. But McDonald adds that a screening test must be essentially 100 percent accurate before getting approval from the Federal Drug Administration (FDA).
Saporta Report, Sep 13, 2021
Vaccines are key to stopping the spread of the coronavirus. M.G. Finn, professor and chair of the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, explains how vaccines work, and how vaccinated people are less likely to have the virus reproduce inside them. Viruses mutate and create new strains when enough unvaccinated people allow it to live inside them and infect others. Vaccinating as many pepole as possible stops transmission, and can keep new variants like Delta from popping up.
WSB-TV and Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Sep 10, 2021
Steve Diggle, an associate professor in the School of Biological Sciences, has been named to the American Society for Microbiology's Distinguished Lecturer (ASMDL) Roster for 2021-2022. Diggle, who came to Georgia Tech in 2017, is now part of a scientifically diverse group of lecturers who are available to speak at local ASM Branch meetings throughout the U.S. Lecturers are chosen through a competitive nomination process, and only the most distinguished lecturers and researchers are chosen to participate in the program. Diggle is the principal investigator for the Diggle Lab, which is based in Georgia Tech's Center for Microbial Dynamics and Infection.
American Society for Microbiology, Sep 4, 2021
Several factors linked to the climate crisis are helping to fuel more powerful, destructive storms like Hurricane Ida, scientists say. The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world’s leading authority on climate science, found that storms with sustained higher wind speeds — in the Category 3-5 range — have likely increased in the past 40 years. Susan Lozier, Dean and Betsy Middleton and John Clark Sutherland Chair in the College of Sciences, president of the American Geophysical Union, and a physical oceanographer, says “there is more energy available, so intensification of these hurricanes is expected. And intensification brings more winds."
The Independent (registration required), Sep 1, 2021
The Georgia Tech-developed Covid-19 Event Risk Assessment Planning Tool may have led Hawaii's governor and Honolulu's mayor to urge travelers to stay away during the rise of the Delta variant of Covid-19. The original Associated Press story reports that "Hiro Toiya, the city's emergency management director, cited a mathematical modeling tool from the Georgia Institute of Technology to illustrate risks the community faced from large gatherings." Joshua Weitz, Professor and Tom and Marie Patton Chair in the School of Biological Sciences, and Co-Director of the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Quantitative Biosciences, led development of the tool. (This story also appeared in the Los Angeles Times.)
National Public Radio (via Associated Press), Aug 23, 2021
Scientists are learning a lot about swarm intelligence by studying worms, which have been observed grouping together in balls and acting like a liquid. Researchers at Georgia Tech published an article after studying the behaviors of the California blackworm — and designed a robotic model to mirror the worms’ behavior. The researchers include Dan Goldman, Dunn Family Professor, School of Physics; Yasemin Ozkan-Aydin, former Georgia Tech postdoctoral fellow, now assistant professor at the University of Notre Dame; and M. Saad Bhamla, assistant professor in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.
Ripley's, Aug 19, 2021