Other worlds could be filled with even more flourishing life than we have on Earth, scientists have said. The new study could have significant implications for the way we search for alien life. ... "We expect oceans to be important in regulating some of the most compelling remotely detectable signs of life on habitable worlds, but our understanding of oceans beyond our solar system is currently very rudimentary," said Chris Reinhard, from the Georgia Institute of Technology, who wasn't involved in the study. "Dr. Olson's work represents a significant and exciting step forward in our understanding of exoplanet oceanography."
The Independent, Aug 23, 2019
Researchers from the United Kingdom and United States have identified a common origin shared by teeth and taste buds in a fish with regenerative abilities. Regulated by the BMP signaling pathway, the results suggest that the oral organs have surprising regenerative capabilities and can be manipulated to express characteristics of different tissue types. As nearly a third of all adults over the age of 65 have lost all of their teeth, the collaboration between King’s College London and the Georgia Institute of Technology set out to understand tooth renewal in animals that have replacement and regeneration capabilities. The Georgia Tech team was led by J. Todd Streelman. Here is the original paper.
Dentistry Today, Aug 21, 2019
Competition for Smyrna city council seats is heating up as fall approaches and election day lingers about two months away. Along with the collection of candidates aiming to become Smyrna’s first new mayor in 35 years are at least two hopefuls to replace Ron Fennel, who isn’t seeking re-election, representing Ward 7. Lewis Wheaton, who at age 42 is seeking political office for the first time, hopes to represent the city’s southernmost portion for the next four years with the same innovative approach he takes to his work as a scientist. ... At Georgia Tech, Wheaton researches topics including cognitive motor control, motor physiology and clinical neurophysiology.
Cobb County Courier, Aug 21, 2019
This thoughtful and thought-provoking blog post by Nicole Baran, Gretchen Goldman, and Jane Zelikova is a must-read for scientists. Baran is a postdoctoral researcher in the Georgia Tech School of Biological Sciences; Goldman is a research director in the Union of Concerned Scientists, and Zelikova is an ecologist who co-founded 500 Women Scientists. "As scientists, we are uniquely positioned to use our privilege and position in society to speak against the new abortion bans and other public policies that threaten the reproductive freedom of our nation’s people. We have the knowledge to communicate the science of reproductive health care, demonstrate the harm restrictive laws will cause and hold decision makers to account," the authors write.
Scientific American, Aug 21, 2019
What is the full list of climate tipping points for melting ice, permafrost, etc.? And what’s the best guess of when each becomes irreversible? ... “Is it too late for the coral reefs that died in 2016 due to ocean warming? Yes, it’s too late, they’re not coming back. It’s too late for a lot of Arctic melt, for the Greenland ice sheet that’s fallen into the ocean, it’s too late for quite a few important things,” said Kim Cobb, paleoclimatologist and director of the Global Change program at Georgia Tech. “But it’s not too late to avert the worst kind of ugly surprises that come from pushing the accelerator down on a geological system that we know has not responded steadily.”
Grist, Aug 15, 2019
As a child in New Mexico, Lew Lefton, Georgia Tech associate vice president for research computing, had two passions, math and comedy. Until sixth grade, he never understood mathematics could be a career, figuring mathematicians were akin to blacksmiths, useful in the past, but not relevant today. His decision to pursue advanced studies in math led to a breakup of sorts where he says he put comedy in the friend zone.
Atlanta Journal Constitution, Aug 15, 2019
From not having kids to battling anxiety: Climate change is shaping life choices and affecting mental health
Revelle Mast wanted to be an architect when she was a kid. She changed course in high school, deciding to pursue chemical engineering to address the threat of climate change. But, last year, she made another life decision: to go into politics....The first thing Kim Cobb, a climate scientist at the Georgia Institute of Technology, did was start riding her bike to work. Then she replaced her light bulbs, her sister’s light bulbs and her parents’ light bulbs with LEDs. Her next step was reducing the flying she did by 35%. She also calls herself an aspiring vegan.
USA Today, Aug 14, 2019
The plastic gizmo in Zhong Lin Wang’s hand doesn’t look like tomorrow’s solution to our looming energy crisis. It’s about the size and shape of a small grapefruit, but smooth and translucent. As he shakes it, a smaller ball inside bounces around freely....We're in a windowless basement room on Georgia Tech’s Atlanta campus. A trio of fresh-faced researchers stand nearby in white lab coats, watching and smiling. One holds a keyboard, and another a piece of red and yellow fabric. “In our environment, everything is moving, everything is changing,” Wang says, still shaking. “It’s all energy, and so much is wasted.” He wants to do something about that. For the last decade and a half, Wang, an electrical engineer and nanotechnologist, has sought ways to scavenge energy from the movements of ordinary life.
Discover Magazine, Aug 13, 2019
When Earth was a lifeless planet about 4 billion years ago, chemical components came together in tiny molecular chains that would later evolve into proteins, which are crucial life building blocks. A new study has shown how some early predecessors of proteins may have fallen into line. Under laboratory conditions mimicking those on pre-life Earth, a small selection of amino acids linked up spontaneously into neat segments in a way that surprised Nicholas Hud at the Georgia Institute of Technology and colleagues.
National Science Foundation Research News, Aug 8, 2019
Jump, little maggot, jump! Show the world that not only the finely muscled and strong-boned can defy gravity, but also the soft-bodied and wormy.... David Hu, a mechanical engineer at Georgia Tech who often studies animal movements but was not involved in this research, said the paper was “full of surprises,” such as the latch: “It’s a soft latch, composed of thousands of microscopic parts, that can shoot a soft larva like its being shot out of a cannon.” Hu also has appointments in the Georgia Tech Schools of Physics and of Biological Sciences.
New York Times, Aug 8, 2019