In the News

  • Nicholas Hud, Center for Chemical Evolution

    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

  • David Sherrill (Photo by Georgia Tech)

    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

  • Rena Ingram earned her M.S. in Chemistry from Tech in May (Photo courtesy of Rena Ingram)

    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

  • Matt Baker, Associate Dean for Faculty Development, College of Sciences

    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

  • James C. Gumbart

    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

  • Jennifer Glass in her lab

    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

  • Georgia Tech Urban Honeybee Project

    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

  • Mindy Millard-Stafford

    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

  • Kim Cobb

    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

  • Kim Cobb

    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