News » Archives » February 2012

New faculty bring focus to breast cancer

Author: Gail Hinchion Mancini


Three new faculty will advance breast cancer research at the Harper Cancer Research Institute (HCRI) as they join Indiana University School of Medicine-South Bend (IUSM-SB) and University of Notre Dame in summer 2012.

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Notre Dame researchers provide fascinating insights into elephant behavior, conservation issues

Author: William G. Gilroy


Last year, Kenya lost 278 elephants to poachers, as compared to 177 in 2010. On the continent of Africa as whole, elephants have declined from an estimated 700,000 in 1990 to 360,000 today due to the demands of the ivory trade.

Spend some time with University of Notre Dame researchers Elizabeth Archie and Patrick Chiyo and you’ll gain a better understanding of just what a tragic loss elephant poaching is.

A thinking, reasoning species with extraordinary memories, a strong sense of family and caring and nurturing natures are increasing at the risk of extinction.

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Dobrowolska leads team of physicists that finds new path to increasing semiconductor functionality

Author: Marissa Gebhard

Malgorzata Dobrowolska-Furdyna

The past decade has seen the emergence of the field of spintronics, aimed at increasing the efficiency of information processing and computer memories. The idea behind spintronics is to harness the magnetic property of the electron, referred to as its spin. This property can then be used, in addition to the electron charge, for increasing the functionality of the semiconductor computer chip, in terms of its capacity to store and process information.

Margaret Dobrowolska, professor of physics at the University of Notre Dame, has led a team of collaborators from Notre Dame, the University of British Columbia and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in an effort that has succeeded in identifying the mechanisms responsible for ferromagnetism in (Ga,Mn)As, an alloy.

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Perspective: ND Lights

Author: Sara Brown


Shelly Fuhrman ’12 shares her experience working with ND LIGHTS, a Notre Dame program that takes working equipment and instrumentation from retired or upgraded campus laboratories and donates them to underfunded schools in the U.S. and abroad.

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College of Science hosts Pink Zone luncheon

Author: Marissa Gebhard


Pioneer Notre Dame women’s basketball coach Sharon Drake Petro recalled the vital support of the Notre Dame community after her cancer diagnosis nearly 30 years ago. She saluted the cooperation of the basketball team, science researchers and local physicians at the “Docs in Pink” luncheon on Feb. 12, including some who participated in her care. “I love the collaboration between the College of Science and the women’s basketball program,” Petro said. “It’s significant for both groups to come together as both groups are striving for excellence in their respective fields. Both are better able to achieve their goals with your support – each and every one of you today cheering on both teams.”

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Physicist Brian Greene to address 'The Fabric of the Cosmos'

Author: William G. Gilroy

Brian Greene

Brian Greene, the best-selling author of “The Elegant Universe” and “The Fabric of the Cosmos” and host of two NOVA series based on his books, will present a public lecture March 6 (Tuesday) in the Decio Mainstage Theatre of the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.

The lecture is free, but ticketed. Tickets can be reserved beginning Feb. 21 (Tuesday) at the DeBartolo Center ticket window or by calling 574-631-2800.

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Collaborative forum will explore K-12 education and research

Author: Marissa Gebhard


The Notre Dame extended Research Community (NDeRC) will gather education and research professionals for the fifth annual Collaborating for Education and Research Forum from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 25) in the Jordan Hall of Science at the University of Notre Dame.

The event fosters interaction among K-12 teachers and administrators; university faculty, graduate students and staff; and local industry specialists in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The forum showcases a broad spectrum of professional engagement opportunities for K-12 educators, including summer- or week-long opportunities in nanotechnology, genetics, embryonic development, environmental studies, astronomy, subatomic physics, engineering, mathematics and science. All of the programs are free to educators, while some programs also provide stipends.

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Green Summit to highlight sustainable transportation

Author: Sara Brown

Green Summit V: The Future of Transportation

Electric cars, bicycles, alternative fuel vehicles and innovations in public transportation will take over the University of Notre Dame’s Stepan Center in an exciting trade show display on Feb. 29 (Wednesday) for “Green Summit V: The Future of Transportation.”

“Sustainable transportation is a rapidly developing field, and we wanted to create a setting in which the ND community could connect directly with those who are redefining what’s possible,” explained Rachel Novick of the Office of Sustainability. “Experts will be on hand at the summit to answer questions about battery technology, charging stations, electric bikes and much more.”

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Nobel Prize winner in physics to speak at Notre Dame

Author: Marissa Gebhard

Brian Schmidt

Brian Schmidt, a winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics, will deliver a public lecture at 7 p.m. Feb. 27 (Monday) in Room 101 of the Jordan Hall of Science at the University of Notre Dame. The talk, titled “The Accelerating Universe,” is part of the John A. Lynch Lecture Series coordinated by the Department of Physics and is free and open to the public.

Schmidt was awarded the Nobel Prize jointly with Adam Riess and Saul Perlmutter for their research in the 1990s that revealed the expansion of the universe is accelerating. An accelerating expansion implies that most of the universe is made of a mysterious dark energy.

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Notre Dame and St. Patrick’s County Park team up on new cutting-edge environmental facility

Author: Notre Dame News

St. Patrick's County Park

The University of Notre Dame and St. Joseph County Parks are launching a new partnership to build a cutting-edge environmental research and education facility at St. Patrick’s County Park. The new facility will be called the Notre Dame Linked Experimental Ecosystem Facility (ND LEEF) at St. Patrick’s County Park.

Construction will begin this spring on a field-based environmental research facility that will allow Notre Dame scientists, graduate and undergraduate researchers, visiting scholars and other area academic institutions to study the interrelationships of land, water and wetland ecologies in the face of environmental change.

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Notre Dame biologists tackling big question in evolution

Author: Arnie Phifer

Rhagoletis pomonella

Researchers from the University of Notre Dame, the University of Iowa and Cornell University have been awarded collaborative grants totaling $1.1 million from the National Science Foundation to answer a fundamental question: As a new species evolves, how, and to what extent, do other species that depend on it evolve as well?

In this case, the targets of study are a fruit fly — specifically the apple maggot fly — and some of its deadliest predators, parasitic wasps.

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We're on the map

Author: Sara Brown


The interactive campus map now has a new “Green Tour” overlay. This layer allows students, staff, faculty, and guests to better understand where sustainability initiatives are happening on campus and to utilize the physical campus as a learning experience.

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Director of the Vatican Observatory presents Nieuwland Lecture

Author: Shelly Goethals

funesOn Wednesday, February 15 at 7:00 p.m. in the Carey Auditorium of the Hesburgh Library, Fr. Jose G. Funes, S.J. will present "Why Science and Faith Matter to Each Other." This is sponsored by the Nieuwland Lecture Series.

Father Funes participates in the unique work for the Catholic church in Rome: the Vatican Observatory. In this lecture, he will speak about this crossroads of science and faith and how important it is to promote dialogue between them.

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March of Dimes funds Wingert to study congenital kidney defects

Author: Faith Hagedorn


The March of Dimes has awarded a $150,000 grant to Rebecca Wingert, assistant professor in Department of Biological Sciences for her research on the genetic causes of congenital kidney defects. The grant, the Basil O'Connor Starter Scholar Research Award, is a prestigious and highly competitive one intended for young scientists at the beginning of their independent careers.

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