News » Archives » August 2013

Mosquitoes smell you better at night, study finds

Author: Sarah Craig

A female Anopheles gambiae mosquito seen at 125x magnification (© David Scharf/Science Faction/Corbis)

In work published this week in Nature: Scientific Reports, a team of researchers from the University of Notre Dame’s Eck Institute for Global Health, led by Associate Professor Giles Duffield and Assistant Professor Zain Syed of the Department of Biological Sciences, revealed that the major malaria vector in Africa, the Anopheles gambiae mosquito, is able to smell major human host odorants better at night.

The study reports an integrative approach to examine the mosquito’s ability to smell across the 24-hour day and involved proteomic, sensory physiological, and behavioral techniques.

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Capt. Carter appointed to assistant dean in the College of Science

Author: Stephanie Healey

Earl Carter

Captain Clarence (Earl) Carter, USN (Retired) will be joining the College of Science as an assistant dean on September 1. In his new role, Capt. Carter will assume many new duties in the College of Science, including facilities oversight, faculty appointments, assisting the associate deans and department chairs in college-wide efforts, and will serve an integral role in the strategic planning process.

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Researchers identify new drug target for treating jet lag and shift work disorders

Author: William G. Gilroy


University of Notre Dame researchers, as part of a collaborative effort, have identified a protein that potentially could be a target for drugs that that would help people recover faster from jet lag and better adjust their circadian rhythms during rotational shift work. The study appears in the Aug. 29 issue of the journal Cell.

An internal circadian body clock helps virtually all creatures synchronize their bodily functions to the 24-hour cycle of light and dark in a day. However, travel to a different time zone, or shift work, disrupts the body’s clock.

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Notre Dame and Moi University join research efforts to shed light on breast cancer

Author: William G. Gilroy

Sharon Stack, left, Rispah Torrorey and Laurie Littlepage

Breast cancer is a major health problem worldwide, and the incidence of the disease is rising across Africa.

A new joint research effort between the University of Notre Dame’s Eck Institute for Global Health and Harper Cancer Research Institute and a Kenyan doctoral student from Moi University is examining the unique manifestation of breast cancer in Kenya.

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New study explores how dengue virus changes mosquito behavior

Author: Sarah Craig


Biting mosquitoes are not only annoying but can be dangerous, even deadly. A new study involving researchers at the University of Notre Dame explores a potential biological mechanism through which disease virus can alter the behavior of mosquitoes. In a previous study, led by Alexandre Peixoto of Fiocruz in Brazil, disease-infected mosquitoes were found to fly around more than uninfected mosquitoes, increasing their ability to spread chronic and deadly diseases.

The new study indicates that drug-treated mosquitoes behave differently than those not treated, flying farther or for a longer duration. While this initially is not good news for humans and animals, the research indicates that with this knowledge researchers can develop better intervention tools to stop disease transmission. Results of the study were published this month in the Journal of Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases.

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All the better to see cancer with

Author: Michael Rodio


By creating a novel imaging technique, Prof. Amanda Hummon, a colorectal cancer specialist, and Prof. Paul Bohn, an imaging expert, are looking inside tumors with greater clarity than ever before.

One of the most vexing challenges in the fight against cancer is the disease’s adaptability: Even if cancerous cells are quickly detected and treated, they can develop new ways to evade treatment.

To make matters worse, researchers have a hard time “seeing” inside tumors, which are jumbled masses of different kinds of cells. This makes it difficult to test how tumors respond to new drugs designed to overcome that resistance. For doctors, it’s like trying to hit a hidden, three-dimensional target—while the target is moving.  


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Astronomers utilize Hubble Space Telescope to find source of Magellanic Stream

Author: Marissa Gebhard

Magellanic Stream

University of Notre Dame astronomers Nicolas Lehner and Christopher Howk, along with their collaborators, have used NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to solve a 40-year mystery on the origin of the Magellanic Stream, a long ribbon of gas stretching nearly halfway around our Milky Way galaxy.

The Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, two dwarf galaxies orbiting the Milky Way, are at the head of the gaseous stream. Since the stream’s discovery by radio telescopes in the early 1970s, astronomers have wondered whether the gas comes from one or both of the satellite galaxies. New Hubble observations reveal most of the gas was stripped from the Small Magellanic Cloud about 2 billion years ago, and a second region of the stream originated more recently from the Large Magellanic Cloud.

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GLOBES moves to the Reilly Center

Author: Jessica Baron


The John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values recently announced  that the GLOBES graduate program is now part of the Reilly Center. The move will take place before the start of the Fall 2013 semester and will allow for maximum collaboration between the two entities in the coming school year.

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Undergraduates present summer research findings at symposium

Author: Stephanie Healey

Student presentations in the Galleria

On Friday, Aug. 2, undergraduate researchers who spent their summers in laboratories at the University of Notre Dame, University of Michigan, and Ivy Tech Community College, presented their summer research projects at the Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Jordan Hall of Science.

Research findings were shared as oral and poster presentations throughout the day, with a total of 164 presentations from areas of science and engineering.

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Patricia Clark receives $3.8M NIH collaborative award

Author: Gene Stowe

Patricia Clark

Patricia L. Clark, the Rev. John Cardinal O’Hara, C.S.C. Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, has received a $3.8M award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to lead a pioneering model of collaboration that draws together seven institutions, eight co-PIs and six postdoctoral associates to study macromolecular interactions in living cells. Norm Dovichi, the Grace-Rupley Professor of Chemistry, is also a PI, focusing on separations and single molecule detection. Matthew Champion, a Research Assistant Professor in the Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics Facility, will serve as deputy director of the team.

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Dean on Road to Discovery to raise funds for medical research reaches final leg of journey

Author: Marissa Gebhard

Road to Discovery 2013

On Friday (Aug. 2), Greg Crawford, dean of the College of Science at the University of Notre Dame, will ride the final leg of a 3,476-mile bicycle ride into Baltimore. His arrival coincides with the National Niemann-Pick Disease Foundation’s Family Support and Medical Research Conference and a meeting of the International Niemann-Pick Disease Alliance, which brings together researchers from 16 countries around the world.

The “Road to Discovery” bicycle ride has raised awareness and more than $400,000 in funding for research and a clinical trial to treat children with Niemann-Pick Type C (NPC) disease, a rare, fatal cholesterol-storage disorder that took the lives of three grandchildren of legendary Notre Dame football coach Ara Parseghian.

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Record breaking attendance at the seventh annual Arthropod Genomics Symposium

Author: Sarah Craig

Arthropod Genomics Symposium

Over 250 scientists from around the world attended the 2013 Arthropod Genomics Symposium and Vector Base Workshop from June 12-15, 2013. This was the first time the Eck Institute for Global Health hosted this annual event of professional scientists and researchers. Presenters included researchers at the forefront of developing genomic approaches to arthropods, both model organisms and those of agricultural or health relevance.

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Undergraduates from across the country compete in Physics Olympics

Author: Adam Soisson

Physics Olympics

Most people think that 2013 was an off year for the Olympics, but not at Notre Dame. Students in the physics section of the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) programs at Michigan State University, Purdue University, and the University of Notre Dame competed in the Physics Olympics on Monday, July in the Jordan Hall of Science. Comprised of undergraduates from across the country, the REU programs at the respective universities give students opportunities to work with faculty and graduate students on research and other projects throughout the summer.

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