In the News

  • Sam Brown, associate professor, bacterial virulence and evolution

    New Weapons Against Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

    Bacteria are evolving resistance to antibiotics faster than the drug pipeline can produce new ones. In an opinion piece published last December in the journal PLOS Biology, evolutionary biologist Sam Brown of Georgia Tech advocated a hard push to find alternative ways to treat the most common bacterial ailments – urinary tract and bronchial infections and strep throat. He said a better strategy to save lives would be to prevent the evolution of resistant bacteria in the first place. The Bloomberg article also appears in the The Buffalo News.

     

    Bloomberg.com, Jul 11, 2018

  • Ruth Kanfer

    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

  • Brittany Corbett

    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

  • Mindy Millard-Stafford

    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

  • Gongjie Li

    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

  • Mary Holder

    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

  • Gongjie Li

    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

  • Chris Reinhard

    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

  • Jeannette Yen

    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

    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