In the News

  • Emanuele Di Lorenzo

    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

  • Kim Cobb

    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

  • Mindy Millard-Stafford

    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

  • Mark Hay

    OVERFISHING CAUSED AN INCREASE OF 'CORAL TICKS' THAT HARM CORAL REEFS

    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

  • Professor John Reynolds

    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

  • Professor John Reynolds

    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

  • Jennifer Glass (Photo by Maureen Rouhi)

    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

  • Mark Hay, Regents Professor and Harry and Linda Teasley Chair in the School of Biological Sciences

    '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

  • Jennifer Glass (Photo by Maureen Rouhi)

    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

  • Martin Short

    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