News » Archives » 2012

Physics graduate student earns Rodger Doxsey Prize

Author: Stephanie Healey

Brian Hayden, a graduate student in the Department of Physics, has been awarded the Rodger Doxsey Prize from the American Astronomical Society (AAS).  The prize, established in 2011, provides graduate students or postdoctoral researchers, within one year of receiving or receipt of their Ph.D., a monetary prize to travel to the AAS winter meeting to give an oral presentation of their dissertation.

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Notre Dame’s Reilly Center highlights emerging ethical dilemmas and policy issues in science and technology

Author: William G. Gilroy

John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology and Values

As a new year approaches, the University of Notre Dame’s John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology and Values has announced its inaugural list of emerging ethical dilemmas and policy issues in science and technology for 2013.

The center aimed to present a list of items for scientists and laypeople alike to consider in the coming months and years as new technologies develop. It will feature one of these issues on its website each month in 2013, giving readers more information, questions to ask and resources to consult.

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Notre Dame physicists part of Top Ten Breakthroughs of 2012

Author: Gene Stowe

Top 10 Physics Breakthroughs of 2012

University of Notre Dame researchers were involved in two of the Top Ten Breakthroughs of 2012 announced today by Physics World magazine. The Higgs-like boson discovery was No. 1 on the list, and the BaBar experiment, the first direct observation of time reversal violation, was No. 3.

Professor of physics Colin Jessop, Research Assistant Professor Nancy Marinelli, and graduate students Doug Berry and Ted Kolberg contributed to the Higgs-like discovery at CERN earlier this year.

Jessop, Professor of Physics John LoSecco, postdoctoral associate Wenfeng Wang and graduate student Kyle Knoepfel were on the BaBar team that published “Observation of Time-Reversal Violation in the B0 Meson System” in Physical Review Letters last month.

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Notre Dame announces new Ph.D. program in anthropology

Author: Joanna Basile

New Ph.D. program in anthropology

The University of Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters will launch a doctoral program in the Department of Anthropology, with the first cohort of students due to enroll in fall 2014. The new program, says Susan Blum, professor and chair of the department, will focus its curriculum and training on integrative anthropology.

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The education of a science dean

Author: Gene Stowe

The Education of a Notre Dame Science Dean: My Four-Year Ride with the Irish

Gregory Crawford, dean of the College of Science at the University of Notre Dame, has written a personal account of his experiences since he accepted the position in 2008. “The Education of a Notre Dame Science Dean: My Four-Year Ride with the Irish,” published by Corby Books, will be for sale Christmas Day. All proceeds support the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation to find a cure or treatments for Niemann-Pick Type C (NPC) disease.

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Senior math major finds a passion for medicine through volunteerism

Author: Stephanie Healey

alexjarocki250

While many math majors spend their time pondering about complex mathematical equations, senior Alex Jarocki also spends several hours a week volunteering at Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center (SJRMC).  “Although I am a math major, I am very interested in pursuing a career in medicine,” explained Jarocki. “I had some friends who volunteered at the local hospitals, so I thought I would try it and see how I liked it. I also thought this would be a good way to give back to the community.”

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Notre Dame research may have important implications for combating diabetes

Author: William G. Gilroy

Anthony S. Serianni

Research by University of Notre Dame biochemist Anthony S. Serianni is providing new insights that could have important implications for understanding and treating diabetes.

Serianni points out that biological compounds known as dicarbonyl sugars are produced inside the human body from the natural breakdown of the simple sugar glucose. The formation of these sugars is enhanced in diabetic patients because glucose concentrations in the blood and plasma of diabetics are significantly elevated.

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Research reveals migrating Great Lakes salmon carry contaminants upstream

Author: Carol C. Bradley

Gary Lamberti

Research by Gary Lamberti, professor and chair of biology, and his laboratory has revealed that salmon, as they travel upstream to spawn and die, carry industrial pollutants into Great Lakes streams and tributaries. The research was recently published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

It’s a problem inadvertently created by people with good intentions, he notes.

“Most people don’t realize that salmon are a non-native species in the Great Lakes,” he says. “They were introduced to control alewives — another non-native fish species.”

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Cargill expands support of Notre Dame Haiti Program

Author: William G. Gilroy

Cargill

The Notre Dame Haiti Program and Cargill have renewed their partnership to eliminate lymphatic filariasis in Haiti.

After donating salt to the program two years ago, Cargill is now offering its technical and operations expertise in salt production. Cargill has committed $150,000 over the next three years to the Notre Dame Haiti Program to help establish a sustainable salt-fortification venture in Haiti. The salt is fortified with potassium iodate and diethylcarbamazine citrate and is designed to stop LF, while also preventing iodine deficiency disorder.

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Cocaine found on money

Author: Frank Waugh, WNDU

WNDU Video on Demand -

We all know that money is dirty, but did you know that you could have cocaine sitting in your wallet or purse.

A local high school student has teamed up with a lab at Notre Dame to search out the drug on local money, the results are a bit shocking.

“This is the structure of a cocaine molecule,” says Stacie Skwarcan a Marian High School Senior.

Stacie Skwarcan, is a Senior at Marian High School and she knows more about cocaine than most folks.

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Eck Institute’s Weinstein Lecture to take place Dec. 5

Author: William G. Gilroy

James Kazura, Weinstein Memorial Lecturer

The University of Notre Dame’s Eck Institute for Global Health will present its Paul P. Weinstein Memorial Lecture at 4 p.m. Dec. 5 (Wednesday) in Room 105 of the Jordan Hall of Science. Dr. James W. Kazura, professor of international medicine and pathology and director of the Center for Global Health and Diseases at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, will present the lecture, titled “Mosquitoes, Pathogens, and Human Populations: Global Health Research from the Laboratory to the Real World.” The lecture is free and open to the public.

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Researchers collaborate to seek FDA approval for drug treatment for rare disease

Author: Gene Stowe and Marissa Gebhard

Norbert Wiech with students

University of Notre Dame alumnus Norbert Wiech founded Lysomics LLC to manage the clinical development needed to bring to market a promising new treatment for people with Niemann-Pick Type C (NPC) disease. FDA support is being sought for early clinical exploration of an approved drug to fight this rare disease that has no cure or treatment.

Lysomics is based on the work of Notre Dame professors of chemistry and biochemistry Olaf Wiest and Paul Helquist, and Frederick Maxfield at Cornell University’s Weill Medical College, to find treatments for NPC. NPC disease is a rare, fatal neurodegenerative disease that primarily strikes children before and during adolescence.

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Nine College of Science faculty members named AAAS fellows

Author: William G. Gilroy

AAAS

Ten University of Notre Dame faculty members have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in honor of their efforts toward advancing science applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished.

AAAS, founded in 1848 as a nonprofit association, is the world’s largest scientific society and publisher of the prestigious journal Science.

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Notre Dame researchers to lead new science data preservation effort

Author: William G. Gilroy

CERN computing center

One of the emerging, and soon to be defining, characteristics of science research is the collection, usage and storage of immense amounts of data. In fields as diverse as medicine, astronomy and economics, large data sets are becoming the foundation for new scientific advances.

A new project led by University of Notre Dame researchers will explore solutions to the problems of preserving data, analysis software and computational work flows, and how these relate to results obtained from the analysis of large data sets.

Titled “Data and Software Preservation for Open Science (DASPOS),” the National Science Foundation-funded $1.8 million program is focused on high energy physics data from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and the Fermilab Tevatron.

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NIH Trifecta by Notre Dame Faculty in the Fall of 2012

Author: Sarah Craig

NIH Faculty

Faculty members of the Eck Institute for Global Health have placed three recent doctoral recipients at the United States’ National Institute for Health (NIH). Having received offers for these prestigious global research-training opportunities, the trio is now in Maryland.

“Notre Dame has a long history of producing strong PhD candidates in the sciences,” says Robert Bernhard, Vice President for Research. “Having three doctoral students coming out of Notre Dame this fall on their way to NIH says a lot about the strength of our faculty and their ongoing research at Notre Dame.”

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Jankó named advisory board member of Physica C

Author: Stephanie Healey

Boldizsár Jankó

Boldizsár Jankó, professor of physics and director of the Institute for Theoretical Sciences, has accepted an invitation to serve on the advisory board of Physica C: Superconductivity and its Applications, a journal that reports on novel developments in the field of superconductivity. The advisory board of Physica C is made up of esteemed researchers in superconductivity, and Jankó was selected for his specific scientific expertise and knowledge of the research community.

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University of Notre Dame astrophysicist to present Christmas Star lecture

Author: William G. Gilroy

Christmas Star

University of Notre Dame astrophysicist Grant Mathews will give three presentations of his popular program titled “What and When was the Christmas Star?” in the Digital Visualization Theater of Notre Dame’s Jordan Hall of Science.

The programs, which are free and open to the public, will take place at 7 p.m. Dec. 7 (Friday), 3 p.m. Dec. 8 (Saturday) and 3 p.m. Dec. 9 (Sunday).

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Five Notre Dame faculty named fellows of the American Mathematical Society

Author: Marissa Gebhard

Department of Mathematics

Five faculty from the University of Notre Dame have been named fellows of the American Mathematical Society (AMS) for 2013. Fellows include William G. Dwyer, Julia F. Knight, Mei-Chi Shaw, Andrew J. Sommese and Nancy K. Stanton. They are part of the inaugural class of fellows that includes mathematical scientists from 600 institutions around the world.

The fellows designation recognizes members who have made outstanding contributions to the creation, exposition, advancement, communication and utilization of mathematics. Through the program, fellows create an enlarged class of mathematicians recognized by their peers as distinguished for their contributions to the profession and to honor excellence.

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Talk Science discusses original research and publishing opportunities

Author: Stephanie Healey

Scientia

Scientia, the undergraduate journal of scientific research, held a seminar entitled “Talk Science” on Thursday, Nov. 8 in the Jordan Hall of Science. Approximately 60 students attended the seminar to hear research presentations from a faculty member and a fellow undergraduate researcher.

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Undergraduates learn about the importance of diversity from campus, community and national scientific leaders

Author: Gene Stowe

diversity

“Diversity, Culture and Religion in Science,” a full-day course in the Professionalism in Science series, attracted 84 undergraduates to the Jordan Hall of Science on Nov. 10. Speakers from across the campus and community, as well as national leaders on diversity in science, emphasized the importance of diversity in individual attitudes and organizational practices as the global economy accelerates and significant minorities grow in the United States.

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Notre Dame student wins national mathematics prize

Author: Marissa Gebhard

MurphyKate Montee

MurphyKate Montee, a senior honors mathematics and music double major at the University of Notre Dame, has received the 2013 Alice T. Schafer Mathematics Prize, an honor awarded to only one undergraduate woman in the U.S. each year.

Montee is a member of the Seminar for Undergraduate Mathematical Research (SUMR), a program designed for the most talented mathematics students at Notre Dame. Montee is completing a senior honors thesis, titled “On the Construction of the Chern Classes of Complex Vector Bundles.” Montee has already authored or co-authored three research articles, two of which have been submitted for publication and have appeared on the Mathematics ArXiv.

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Regional Siemens Competition scheduled for Friday and Saturday

Author: William G. Gilroy

Siemens Foundation

The University of Notre Dame will host a regional final of the Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology, the nation’s premier science research competition for high school students, Friday and Saturday (Nov. 9 and Nov. 10).

The New Jersey-based nonprofit Siemens Foundation created the competition to enhance science and mathematics education in America. It is open to individuals and teams of high school students who develop independent research projects in the physical or biological sciences or mathematics. Competitions in six regions across the United States are being held throughout November. Regional scholarship winners advance to the national competition Dec. 1-4 in Washington, D.C., for a top individual prize of $100,000. Members of the top winning team will share a $100,000 scholarship.

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Notre Dame researchers probe origins of the universe

Author: Margaret Fosmoe, South Bend Tribune

Nuclear Accelerator Dedication - November 1, 2012

Using a new $4 million particle accelerator, University of Notre Dame researchers are probing the mysteries of the universe.

"We're focusing on the origin of the elements in the universe," physics professor Michael Wiescher said.

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Stuart Jones receives DOE sequencing award

Author: Jessica Stoller-Conrad

Stuart Jones, assistant professor of biology

Stuart Jones, assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, recently received an award for high-throughput DNA sequencing from the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute.  Part of the DOE’s Community Sequencing Program, the award will aid Jones and his colleagues in their characterization of freshwater microbial communities in the Great Lakes.

As global demand increases, uncontaminated fresh water has become a limited resource, which could spell long-term trouble for humans and the environment.  Jones is interested in the microbes specific to freshwater ecosystems because of their ability to process carbon and greenhouse gases in the environment.

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Nuclear accelerator open house and tours to be held Saturday

Author: Stephanie Healey

Nuclear Accelerator

The Department of Physics will host an open house for the Nuclear Science Laboratory on Saturday, November 3 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m in 124 Nieuwland Science Hall.  The open house is free and open to the public.  Tours will leave every 15 minutes from room 124.

Faculty and students from the Nuclear Science Laboratory will lead guests on guided tours through the lab, including the new vertical accelerator, which is a 10-ton unit that spans five stories. The accelerator was installed this spring based on a $3.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation.  This was the first university-based accelerator in the United States to be funded by the NSF in nearly 30 years.

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Physicists confirm first planet discovered in a quadruple star system

Author: Gene Stowe and Marissa Gebhard

The first extrasolar planet in a quadruple star system has been discovered

Justin Crepp, Freimann Assistant Professor of physics at the University of Notre Dame, provided the high-contrast imaging observations that confirmed the first extrasolar planet discovered in a quadruple star system. He is a co-author on a paper about the discovery, “Planet Hunters: A Transiting Circumbinary Planet in a Quadruple Star System,” recently posted to the open-access arXiv.org, and submitted for publication to The Astrophysical Journal.

Crepp’s images revealed that the system involved two sets of binary stars. The planet was first noticed by volunteer citizen scientists studying publicly available Kepler data as part of the Planet Hunters citizen science project.

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Dovichi and Serianni named Fellows of the Royal Chemistry Society

Author: Stephanie Healey

Norman Dovichi

Anthony Serianni

Norman Dovichi, Grace-Rupley Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Anthony Serianni, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, have been named as Fellows of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC).  Fellowships are awarded to members who have made an outstanding contribution to the advancement or application of chemical science, the chemical science profession, or the management or direction of an organization in which Chemical Science is important.

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New paper examines shifting gears in the circadian clock of the heart

Author: William G. Gilroy

heart250cropped

A new study conducted by a team of scientists led by Giles Duffield, assistant professor of biological sciences and a member of the Eck Institute for Global Health at the University of Notre Dame, focuses on the circadian clock of the heart, using cultured heart tissue. The results of the new study have implications for cardiovascular health, including daily changes in responses to stress and the effect of long-term rotational shift work.

“Our data highlights the sensitivity of the body’s major organs to GR signaling, and in particular the heart,” Duffield said. “This could be problematic for users of synthetic glucocorticoids, often used to treat chronic inflammation. Also the differences we observe between important organ systems such as the heart and liver might explain some of the internal disturbance to the synchrony between these tissues that contain their own internal clocks that can occur during shift-work and jet lag."

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