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  • richardmitnick 8:35 pm on June 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Katie Dunne, , , , ,   

    From LBNL: Women in STEM “Berkeley Lab Intern Finds Her Way in Particle Physics” Katie Dunne 

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    Berkeley Lab

    June 27, 2017
    Theresa Duque
    (510) 495-2418

    Intern Katherine Dunne with mentor Maurice Garcia-Sciveres. (Credit: Marilyn Chung/Berkeley Lab)

    As a high school student in Birmingham, Alabama, Berkeley Lab Undergraduate Research (BLUR) intern Katie Dunne first dreamed of becoming a physicist after reading Albert Einstein’s biography, but didn’t know anyone who worked in science. “I felt like the people who were good at math and science weren’t my friends,” she said. So when it came time for college, she majored in English, and quickly grew dissatisfied because it wasn’t challenging enough. Eventually, she got to know a few engineers, but none of them were women, she recalled.

    She still kept physics in the back of her mind until she read an article about “The First Lady of Physics,” Chien-Shiung Wu, an experimental physicist who worked on the Manhattan Project, and later designed the “Wu experiment,” which proved that the conservation of parity is violated by weak interactions. “Two male theorists who proposed parity violation won the 1957 Nobel Prize in physics, and Wu did not,” Dunne said. “When I read about her, I decided that that’s what I want to do – design experiments.”

    So she put physics front and center, and about four years ago, transferred as a physics major to the City College of San Francisco. “With Silicon Valley nearby, there are many opportunities here to get work experience in instrumentation and electrical engineering,” Dunne said. In the summers of 2014 and 2015, she landed internships in the Human Factors division at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, where she streamlined the development of a printed circuit board for active infrared illumination.

    But it wasn’t until she took a class in modern physics when she discovered her true passion – particle physics. “When we got to quantum physics, it was great. Working on the problems of quantum physics is exciting,” she said. “It’s so elegant and dovetails with math. It’s the ultimate mystery because we can’t observe quantum behavior.”

    When it came time to apply for her next summer internship in 2016, instead of reapplying for a position at NASA, she googled “ATLAS,” the name of a 7,000-ton detector for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Her search drummed up an article about Beate Heinemann, who, at the time, was a researcher with dual appointments at UC Berkeley and Berkeley Lab and was deputy spokesperson of the ATLAS collaboration. (Heinemann is also one of the 20 percent of female physicists working on the ATLAS experiment.)

    CERN/ATLAS detector

    When Dunne contacted Heinemann to ask if she would consider her for an internship, she suggested that she contact Maurice Garcia-Sciveres, a physicist at Berkeley Lab whose research specializes in pixel detectors for ATLAS, and who has mentored many students interested in instrumentation.

    Garcia-Sciveres invited Dunne to a meeting so she could see the kind of work that they do. “I could tell I would get a lot of hands-on experience,” she said. So she applied for her first internship with Garcia-Sciveres through the Community College Internship (CCI) program – which, like the BLUR internship program, is managed by Workforce Development & Education at Berkeley Lab – and started to work with his team on building prototype integrated circuit (IC) test systems for ATLAS as part of the High Luminosity Large Hadron Collider (HL-LHC) Project, an international collaboration headed by CERN to increase the LHC’s luminosity (rate of collisions) by a factor of 10 by 2020.

    A quad module with a printed circuit board (PCB) for power and data interface to four FE-I4B chips. Dunne designed the PCB. (Credit: Katie Dunne/Berkeley Lab)

    “For the ATLAS experiment, we work with the Engineering Division to build custom electronics and integrated circuits for silicon detectors. Our work is focused on improving the operation, testing, and debugging of these ICs,” said Garcia-Sciveres.

    During Dunne’s first internship, she analyzed threshold scans for an IC readout chip, and tested their radiation hardness – or threshold for tolerating increasing radiation doses – at the Lab’s 88-Inch Cyclotron and at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. “Berkeley Lab is a unique environment for interns. They throw you in, and you learn on the job. The Lab gives students opportunities to make a difference in the field they’re working in,” she said.

    For Garcia-Sciveres, it didn’t take long for Dunne to prove she could make a difference for his team. Just after her first internship at Berkeley Lab, the results from her threshold analysis made their debut as data supporting his presentation at the 38th International Conference on High Energy Physics (ICHEP) in August 2016. “The results were from her measurements,” he said. “This is grad student-level work she’s been doing. She’s really good.”

    Katie Dunne delivers a poster presentation in spring 2017. (Credit: Marilyn Chung/Berkeley Lab)

    After the conference, Garcia-Sciveres asked Dunne to write the now published proceedings (he and the other authors provided her with comments and suggested wording). And this past January, Dunne presented “Results of FE65-P2 Stability Tests for the High Luminosity LHC Upgrade” during the “HL-LHC, BELLE2, Future Colliders” session of the American Physical Society (APS) Meeting in Washington, D.C.

    This summer, for her third and final internship at the Lab, Dunne is working on designing circuit boards needed for the ATLAS experiment, and assembling and testing prototype multi-chip modules to evaluate system performance. She hopes to continue working on ATLAS when she transfers to UC Santa Cruz as a physics major in the fall, and would like to get a Ph.D. in physics one day. “I love knowing that the work I do matters. My internships and work experience as a research assistant at Berkeley Lab have made me more confident in the work I’m doing, and more passionate about getting things done and sharing my results,” she said.

    Go here for more information about internships hosted by Workforce Development & Education at Berkeley Lab, or contact them at

    See the full article here .

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  • richardmitnick 5:58 pm on June 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , NRAO VLBA, , Stanford University   

    From Stanford and Kavli: “Stanford Research Reveals Extremely Fine Measurements of Motion in Orbiting Supermassive Black Holes” 

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    The Kavli Foundation

    Observations from radio telescopes like this one appear to indicate that two black holes are orbiting each other, 750 million light years from Earth. (Credit: National Radio Astronomy Observatory)

    Approximately 750 million light years from Earth lies a gigantic, bulging galaxy with two supermassive black holes at its center. These are among the largest black holes ever found, with a combined mass 15 billion times that of the sun. New research from Stanford University, published today (June 27) in Astrophysical Journal, has used long-term observation to show that one of the black holes seems to be orbiting around the other.

    If confirmed, this is the first duo of black holes ever shown to be moving in relation to each other. It is also, potentially, the smallest ever recorded movement of an object across the sky, also known as angular motion.

    “If you imagine a snail on the recently discovered Earth-like planet orbiting Proxima Centauri – a bit over four light years away – moving at one centimeter a second, that’s the angular motion we’re resolving here,” said co-author of the paper, Roger W. Romani, professor of physics at Stanford and a member of the Kavli Insititute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology. The team also included researchers from the University of New Mexico, the National Radio Observatory and the United States Naval Observatory.

    The technical achievements of this measurement alone are reason for celebration. But the researchers also hope this impressive finding will offer insight into how black holes merge, how these mergers affect the evolution of the galaxies around them and ways to find other binary black-hole systems.

    Miniscule movement

    Over the past 12 years, scientists, led by Greg Taylor, a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of New Mexico, have taken snapshots of the galaxy containing these black holes – called radio galaxy 0402+379 – with a system of ten radio telescopes that stretch from the U.S. Virgin Islands to Hawaii and New Mexico to Alaska.



    The galaxy was officially discovered back in 1995. In 2006, scientists confirmed it as a supermassive black-hole binary system with an unusual configuration.

    “The black holes are at a separation of about seven parsecs, which is the closest together that two supermassive black holes have ever been seen before,” said Karishma Bansal, a graduate student in Taylor’s lab and lead author of the paper.

    With this most recent paper, the team reports that one of the black holes moved at a rate of just over one micro-arcsecond per year, an angle about 1 billion times smaller than the smallest thing visible with the naked eye. Based on this movement, the researchers hypothesize that one black hole may be orbiting around the other over a period of 30,000 years.
    Two holes in ancient galaxy

    Although directly measuring the black hole’s orbital motion may be a first, this is not the only supermassive black-hole binary ever found. Still, the researchers believe that 0402+379 likely has a special history.

    “We’ve argued it’s a fossil cluster,” Romani said. “It’s as though several galaxies coalesced to become one giant elliptical galaxy with an enormous halo of X-rays around it.”

    Researchers believe that large galaxies often have large black holes at their centers and, if large galaxies combine, their black holes eventually follow suit. It’s possible that the apparent orbit of the black hole in 0402+379 is an intermediary stage in this process.

    “For a long time, we’ve been looking into space to try and find a pair of these supermassive black holes orbiting as a result of two galaxies merging,” Taylor said. “Even though we’ve theorized that this should be happening, nobody had ever seen it, until now.”

    A combination of the two black holes in 0402+379 would create a burst of gravitational radiation, like the famous bursts recently discovered by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, but scaled up by a factor of a billion.

    Caltech/MIT Advanced aLigo Hanford, WA, USA installation

    Caltech/MIT Advanced aLigo detector installation Livingston, LA, USA

    Cornell SXS, the Simulating eXtreme Spacetimes (SXS) project

    Gravitational waves. Credit: MPI for Gravitational Physics/W.Benger-Zib

    ESA/eLISA the future of gravitational wave research

    It would be the most powerful gravitational burst in the universe, Romani said. This kind of radiation burst happens to be what he wrote his first-ever paper on when he was an undergraduate.

    Very slow dance

    This theorized convergence between the black holes of 0402+379, however, may never occur. Given how slowly the pair is orbiting, the scientists think the black holes are too far apart to come together within the estimated remaining age of the universe, unless there is an added source of friction. By studying what makes this stalled pair unique, the scientists said they may be able to better understand the conditions under which black holes normally merge.

    Romani hopes this work could be just the beginning of heightening interest in unusual black-hole systems.

    “My personal hope is that this discovery inspires people to go out and find other systems that are even closer together and, hence, maybe do their motion on a more human timescale,” Romani said. “I would sure be happy if we could find a system that completed orbit within a few decades so you could really see the details of the black holes’ trajectories.”

    Additional co-authors on this paper are A.B. Peck, Gemini Observatory (formerly of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory); and R.T. Zavala, U.S. Naval Observatory.

    This work was funded by NASA and the National Radio Astronomical Observatory.

    See the full Stanford article here .
    See the Full Kavli Foundation article here.

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    The Kavli Foundation, based in Oxnard, California, is dedicated to the goals of advancing science for the benefit of humanity and promoting increased public understanding and support for scientists and their work.

    The Foundation’s mission is implemented through an international program of research institutes, professorships, and symposia in the fields of astrophysics, nanoscience, neuroscience, and theoretical physics as well as prizes in the fields of astrophysics, nanoscience, and neuroscience.

    Leland and Jane Stanford founded the University to “promote the public welfare by exercising an influence on behalf of humanity and civilization.” Stanford opened its doors in 1891, and more than a century later, it remains dedicated to finding solutions to the great challenges of the day and to preparing our students for leadership in today’s complex world. Stanford, is an American private research university located in Stanford, California on an 8,180-acre (3,310 ha) campus near Palo Alto. Since 1952, more than 54 Stanford faculty, staff, and alumni have won the Nobel Prize, including 19 current faculty members

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  • richardmitnick 5:30 pm on June 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Video trip to GBO   

    From SETI@home: “A 3D tour of the Green Bank Telescope” Video 


    Jun 13, 2017

    A fabulous trip to the GBO

    Watch, enjoy, learn

    See the full article here.
    If you are attached to the SETI@home project, visit here.

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    The science of SETI@home
    SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) is a scientific area whose goal is to detect intelligent life outside Earth. One approach, known as radio SETI, uses radio telescopes to listen for narrow-bandwidth radio signals from space. Such signals are not known to occur naturally, so a detection would provide evidence of extraterrestrial technology.

    Radio telescope signals consist primarily of noise (from celestial sources and the receiver’s electronics) and man-made signals such as TV stations, radar, and satellites. Modern radio SETI projects analyze the data digitally. More computing power enables searches to cover greater frequency ranges with more sensitivity. Radio SETI, therefore, has an insatiable appetite for computing power.

    Previous radio SETI projects have used special-purpose supercomputers, located at the telescope, to do the bulk of the data analysis. In 1995, David Gedye proposed doing radio SETI using a virtual supercomputer composed of large numbers of Internet-connected computers, and he organized the SETI@home project to explore this idea. SETI@home was originally launched in May 1999.

    SETI@home is not a part of the SETI Institute

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    To participate in this project, download and install the BOINC software on which it runs. Then attach to the project. While you are at BOINC, look at some of the other projects which you might find of interest.

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  • richardmitnick 5:16 pm on June 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: A new way of extracting copper, , , , Molten electrolysis   

    From MIT: “A new way of extracting copper” 

    MIT News

    MIT Widget

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    June 28, 2017
    Denis Paiste

    MIT postdoc Sulata Sahu (left) and graduate student Brian Chmielowiec hold a sample of nearly pure copper deposited on an iron electrode.
    Photo: Denis Paiste/Materials Processing Center

    A new penny, at left, contrasts with samples of nearly pure copper deposited on an iron electrode after extraction through an electrochemical process. Photo: Denis Paiste/Materials Processing Center

    Researchers develop an electrically-driven process to separate commercially important metals from sulfide minerals in one step without harmful byproducts.

    MIT researchers have identified the proper temperature and chemical mixture to selectively separate pure copper and other metallic trace elements from sulfur-based minerals using molten electrolysis. This one-step, environmentally friendly process simplifies metal production and eliminates the toxic byproducts such as sulfur dioxide.

    Postdoc Sulata K. Sahu and PhD student Brian J. Chmielowiec ’12 decomposed sulfur-rich minerals into pure sulfur and extracted three different metals at very high purity: copper, molybdenum, and rhenium. They also quantified the amount of energy needed to run the extraction process.

    An electrolysis cell is a closed circuit, like a battery, but instead of producing electrical energy, it consumes electrical energy to break apart compounds into their elements, for example, splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen. Such electrolytic processes are the primary method of aluminum production and are used as the final step to remove impurities in copper production. Contrary to aluminum, however, there are no direct electrolytic decomposition processes for copper-containing sulfide minerals to produce liquid copper.

    The MIT researchers found a promising method of forming liquid copper metal and sulfur gas in their cell from an electrolyte composed of barium sulfide, lanthanum sulfide, and copper sulfide, which yields greater than 99.9 percent pure copper. This purity is equivalent to the best current copper production methods. Their results are published in an Electrochimica Acta paper with senior author Antoine Allanore, assistant professor of metallurgy.

    One-step process

    “It is a one-step process, directly just decompose the sulfide to copper and sulfur. Other previous methods are multiple steps,” Sahu explains. “By adopting this process, we are aiming to reduce the cost.”

    Copper is in increasing demand for use in electric vehicles, solar energy, consumer electronics and other energy efficiency targets. Most current copper extraction processes burn sulfide minerals in air, which produces sulfur dioxide, a harmful air pollutant that has to be captured and reprocessed, but the new method produces elemental sulfur, which can be safely reused, for example, in fertilizers. The researchers also used electrolysis to produce rhenium and molybdenum, which are often found in copper sulfides at very small levels.

    The new work builds on a 2016 Journal of The Electrochemical Society paper offering proof of electrolytic extraction of copper authored by Samira Sokhanvaran, Sang-Kwon Lee, Guillaume Lambotte, and Allanore. They showed that addition of barium sulfide to a copper sulfide melt suppressed copper sulfide’s electrical conductivity enough to extract a small amount of pure copper from the high-temperature electrochemical cell operating at 1,105 degrees Celsius (2,021 Fahrenheit). Sokhanvaran is now a research scientist at Natural Resources Canada-Canmet Mining; Lee is a senior researcher at Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute; and Lambotte is now a senior research engineer at Boston Electrometallurgical Corp.

    “The new paper shows that we can go further than that and almost make it fully ionic, that is reduce the share of electronic conductivity and therefore increase the efficiency to make metal,” Allanore says.

    These sulfide minerals are compounds where the metal and the sulfur elements share electrons. In their molten state, copper ions are missing one electron, giving them a positive charge, while sulfur ions are carrying two extra electrons, giving them a negative charge. The desired reaction in an electrolysis cell is to form elemental atoms, by adding electrons to metals such as copper, and taking away electrons from sulfur. This happens when extra electrons are introduced to the system by the applied voltage. The metal ions are reacting at the cathode, a negatively charged electrode, where they gain electrons in a process called reduction; meanwhile, the negatively charged sulfur ions are reacting at the anode, a positively charged electrode, where they give up electrons in a process called oxidation.

    In a cell that used only copper sulfide, for example, because of its high electronic conductivity, the extra electrons would simply flow through the electrolyte without interacting with the individual ions of copper and sulfur at the electrodes and no separation would occur. The Allanore Group researchers successfully identified other sulfide compounds that, when added to copper sulfide, change the behavior of the melt so that the ions, rather than electrons, become the primary charge carriers through the system and thus enable the desired chemical reactions. Technically speaking, the additives raise the bandgap of the copper sulfide so it is no longer electronically conductive, Chmielowiec explains. The fraction of the electrons engaging in the oxidation and reduction reactions, measured as a percentage of the total current, that is the total electron flow in the cell, is called its faradaic efficiency.

    Doubling efficiency

    The new work doubles the efficiency for electrolytic extraction of copper reported in the first paper, which was 28 percent with an electrolyte where only barium sulfide added to the copper sulfide, to 59 percent in the second paper with both lanthanum sulfide and barium sulfide added to the copper sulfide.

    “Demonstrating that we can perform faradaic reactions in a liquid metal sulfide is novel and can open the door to study many different systems,” Chmielowiec says. “It works for more than just copper. We were able to make rhenium, and we were able to make molybdenum.” Rhenium and molybdenum are industrially important metals finding use in jet airplane engines, for example. The Allanore laboratory also used molten electrolysis to produce zinc, tin and silver, but lead, nickel and other metals are possible, he suggests.

    The amount of energy required to run the separation process in an electrolysis cell is proportional to the faradaic efficiency and the cell voltage. For water, which was one of the first compounds to be separated by electrolysis, the minimum cell voltage, or decomposition energy, is 1.23 volts. Sahu and Chmielowiec identified the cell voltages in their cell as 0.06 volts for rhenium sulfide, 0.33 volts for molybdenum sulfide, and 0.45 volts for copper sulfide. “For most of our reactions, we apply 0.5 or 0.6 volts, so that the three sulfides are together reduced to metallic, rhenium, molybdenum and copper,” Sahu explains. At the cell operating temperature and at an applied potential of 0.5 to 0.6 volts, the system prefers to decompose those metals because the energy required to decompose both lanthanum sulfide — about 1.7 volts — and barium sulfide — about 1.9 volts — is comparatively much higher. Separate experiments also proved the ability to selectively reduce rhenium or molybdenum without reducing copper, based on their differing decomposition energies.

    Industrial potential

    Important strategic and commodity metals including, copper, zinc, lead, rhenium, and molybdenum are typically found in sulfide ores and less commonly in oxide-based ores, as is the case for aluminum. “What’s typically done is you burn those in air to remove the sulfur, but by doing that you make SO2 [sulfur dioxide], and nobody is allowed to release that directly to air, so they have to capture it somehow. There are a lot of capital costs associated with capturing SO2 and converting it to sulfuric acid,” Chmielowiec explains.

    The closest industrial process to the electrolytic copper extraction they hope to see is aluminum production by an electrolytic process known as Hall-Héroult process, which produces a pool of molten aluminum metal that can be continuously tapped. “The ideal is to run a continuous process,” Chmielowiec says. “So, in our case, you would maintain a constant level of liquid copper and then periodically tap that out of the electrolysis cell. A lot of engineering has gone into that for the aluminum industry, so we would hopefully piggyback off of that.”

    Sahu and Chmielowiec conducted their experiments at 1,227 C, about 150 degrees Celsius above the melting point of copper. It is the temperature commonly used in industry for copper extraction.

    Further improvements

    Aluminum electrolysis systems run at 95 percent faradaic efficiency, so there is room for improvement from the researchers’ reported 59 percent efficiency. To improve their cell efficiency, Sahu says, they may need to modify the cell design to recover a larger amount of liquid copper. The electrolyte can also be further tuned, adding sulfides other than barium sulfide and lanthanum sulfide. “There is no one single solution that will let us do that. It will be an optimization to move it up to larger scale,” Chmielowiec says. That work continues.

    Sahu, 34, received her PhD in chemistry from the University of Madras, in India. Chmielowiec, 27, a second-year doctoral student and a Salapatas Fellow in materials science and engineering, received his BS in chemical engineering at MIT in 2012 and an MS in chemical engineering from Caltech in 2014.

    The work fits into the Allanore Group’s work on high-temperature molten materials, including recent breakthroughs in developing new formulas to predict semiconductivity in molten compounds and demonstrating a molten thermoelectric cell to produce electricity from industrial waste heat. The Allanore Group is seeking a patent on certain aspects of the extraction process.

    Novel and significant work

    “Using intelligent design of the process chemistry, these researchers have developed a very novel route for producing copper,” says Rohan Akolkar, the F. Alex Nason Associate Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Case Western Reserve University, who was not involved in this work. “The researchers have engineered a process that has many of the key ingredients — it’s a cleaner, scalable, and simpler one-step process for producing copper from sulfide ore.”

    “Technologically, the authors appreciate the need to make the process more efficient while preserving the intrinsic purity of the copper produced,” says Akolkar, who visited the Allanore lab late last year. “If the technology is developed further and its techno-economics look favorable, then it may provide a potential pathway for simpler and cleaner production of copper metal, which is important to many applications.” Akolkar notes that “the quality of this work is excellent. The Allanore research group at MIT is at the forefront when it comes to advancing molten salt electrolysis research.”

    University of Rochester professor of chemical engineering Jacob Jorné says, “Current extraction processes involve multiple steps and require high capital investment, thus costly improvements are prohibited. Direct electrolysis of the metal sulfide ores is also advantageous as it eliminates the formation of sulfur dioxide, an acid rain pollutant. “

    “The electrochemistry and thermodynamics in molten salts are quite different than in aqueous [water-based] systems and the research of Allanore and his group demonstrates that a lot of good chemistry has been ignored in the past due to our slavish devotion to water,” Jorné suggests. “Direct electrolysis of metal ores opens the way to a metallurgical renaissance where new discoveries and processes can be implemented and can modernize the aging extraction industry and improve its energy efficiency. The new approach can be applied to other metals of high strategic importance such as the rare earth metals.”

    This work was supported by Norco Conservation and the Office of Naval Research.

    See the full article here .

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    The mission of MIT is to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the twenty-first century. We seek to develop in each member of the MIT community the ability and passion to work wisely, creatively, and effectively for the betterment of humankind.

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  • richardmitnick 4:50 pm on June 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Transferring New Energy to an Old Rule: Pushing the Boundaries of Classical Physics,   

    From Yale: “Transferring New Energy to an Old Rule: Pushing the Boundaries of Classical Physics” 

    Yale University bloc

    Yale University

    January 16, 2017
    Chunyang Ding

    Cover image: A synchrotron, similar to the one pictured above, was used to determine the composition of fossils, an analysis key to understanding the preservational features of the Tully Monster. Image courtesy of John O’Neill

    Time after time, brilliant scientists make claims about science’s future that prove completely wrong. In a quote often misattributed to Lord Kelvin, Albert Michelson famously declared that “there is nothing new to be discovered in physics now; all that remains is more and more precise measurement.” Classical mechanics, the tradition of physics that originated with Newton, Kepler, and Galileo, is often seen as something we already understand, and something we have understood for a long time. This is simply not true. Even today, new discoveries made with classical mechanics are transforming the world of science as we know it.

    In a recent breakthrough, a Yale physics lab shows new behaviors in a phenomenon that some had considered fully understood. Associate professor of physics Jack Harris and post-doctoral researcher Haitan Xu report in Nature their use of ultra-precise lasers and tiny vibrating sheets that appear to violate classical predictions. Their experiment, transferring energy by very slowly tuning the vibrations, has major implications for a decades-old theorem in mechanics: the adiabatic theorem. This newly discovered phenomenon occurs in all systems with friction, and may fundamentally shift the way physicists view systems.

    A dance for the ages

    Although Xu’s research focuses on how energy can be transferred between two different regions, the core of this new research deals with systems, a very general way of describing things that interact. Most things in the world are systems: the traffic through a busy city, the movement of the planets, or even a large ballroom dance.

    In a ballroom dance, each person on the dance floor obeys the rules of the dance, and as they move, they interact with other people harmoniously. There might be a set number of dance moves that eventually bring them back to the starting point. Essentially, Xu’s research found that there are certain moves that when danced “clockwise,” return you to the same position, but when danced “counter-clockwise,” present you with a new partner. This non-symmetrical form has serious implications for any system, and offers a new way that scientists could control these systems.

    Any system, even our solar system, can be represented in a parameter space, where different parameters are plotted against each other. Through careful control, the Harris lab was able to navigate the parameters of their vibrating membrane around an exceptional point, showing an extension to the adiabatic theorem. Image courtesy of Sida Tang

    The research provides an extension of the adiabatic theorem, a theorem that governs how systems change as the parameters of the systems change. These parameters can be any controlled quality of the system — the dance moves performed, the tension in a wire, or the controls in a computer. The adiabatic theorem says that if the parameters are slowly restored to their original state, the system will appear to have not changed at all. This is very powerful in physics, because for a certain experiment on a system, scientists can restore previous states without being concerned exactly in what way the parameters changed. Yet, it is not very exciting. After all, you only end up where you begin.

    Imagine for a moment that we had a small dial allowing us to change the masses of Jupiter and the Sun. Through our understanding of the laws of gravity, we could predict how the orbits of the planet change if Jupiter became more massive and if the Sun became less massive. The paths of the planets may become chaotic, but the adiabatic theorem provides a simple solution: when all of the parameters are back to where they began, the system would appear to have never changed.

    However, there is one caveat to the above examples. The only way that the adiabatic theorem has been proven is through assuming systems that do not have any friction, or energy loss. Only in those cases does the adiabatic theorem work as expected. Still, physicists applied this theorem to systems with friction by assuming such systems would behave very similarly to those without friction. What physicists did not expect, however, was that the system could change completely. Although mathematicians predicted anomalies using what they called “exceptional points,” physicists were unable to see these anomalies in actual systems — until now.

    Tiny vibrating membranes

    While the previous systems may be simple to imagine, they would be nearly impossible to actually control and measure. In order to actually see the effects of the adiabatic theorem, Xu’s research involved vibrating a tiny membrane between two mirrors while using lasers both to control and to measure the vibrations of the membrane. The reason this is considered a system is because the membrane has two vibrational modes, or methods of vibration, and the frequency of each vibration can be controlled by the laser. Vibrational modes are like vertical waves and a horizontal waves that pass by each other, and can be thought of as two separate strings, each vibrating independently.

    Vibrating strings are familiar to anyone who has played a string instrument, whether it be a guitar, a violin, or an erhu. When you pluck a single string, the other strings do not react, as each string has a different resonating frequency. However, if you tune two strings to have the same resonating frequency, the vibrating energy can transfer from one string to the other. In this experiment, the resonating frequencies are being changed so that the two different strings are first tuned together, and then returned to their original resonating frequencies. If we then apply the adiabatic theorem, we would predict that whatever vibrations are in the strings now are the same as the vibrations in the strings that we started with.

    The lab group, (Luyao Jiang, Haitan Xu, David Mason and Professor Jack Harris in 8, Professor Jack Harris, Haitan Xu, David Mason and Luyao Jiang in 9) pose before their experimental apparatus. Along with the Doppler group from the Vienna University of Technology, this lab was the first to discover experimental proof for the exceptional points. Image courtesy of George Iskander

    However, Xu’s research group discovered that this is not always the case in a system that has some amount of friction. In rare situations that involve the “exceptional point” in parameter space, the energy can end up transferring from the first string to the second string. Every time the parameters were changed counter-clockwise around the exceptional point, they found drastic changes to the final systems. They found that whenever the parameters created a path that encircled the exceptional point, this change happened, regardless of the actual shape of the path.

    Teleporting between different sheets

    Exceptional points are fairly difficult to imagine for a good reason: They are the result of two 2D sheets intersecting each other in a 4D space. One way to picture these exceptional points is a fire pole connecting two floors of a fire station. While each floor is distinct, they “meet” at the fire pole. However, oddly, when you walk counter-clockwise around the pole on the first floor, you would find yourself on the second floor, without having climbed the pole at all! The phenomenon here is due to the bizarre spatial geometry, similar to shapes like a Mobius strip or a Klein bottle. The exceptional points are mathematically similar, connecting surfaces that appear to be separated.

    The example with the fire station may be hard to visualize, but the actual experiment is even more abstract, as there is no actual movement around anything. Instead, when the parameters of the vibrations travel in this loop, the energy of the system shifts. The experimental group was able to quantitatively measure the energy differences in this single membrane by spying on the vibrations with a low-powered laser even as a high-powered laser changed the parameters. This research, the first of its type, provides solid evidence that the mathematicians were right: Exceptional points exist in parameter space, and physicists can utilize them to control the system.

    In the same issue of Nature, a separate group also published on this topic, but the group used a completely different method. While the Yale group was able to dynamically change the vibrations using the laser, a group from the Vienna University of Technology led by Jorg Doppler found similar effects through pre-fabricated waveguides, which are equally impressive in the ability to control waves. Together with the Xu research, these experiments provide the first empirical proof of exceptional points.

    Taking control of our world

    Like a Klein bottle, the geometries of parameter space may seem to be non-orientable, allowing for this phenomenon to occur. This bizarre discovery shows experimentally what was previously hypothesized mathematically. Image courtesy of Wikimedia

    The most powerful implication of this new research may be in its application for controlling systems. The adiabatic theorem, as well as this extension of the theorem, are particularly robust. They do not seem to care what path you take, as long as you return to the same position. This property is analogous to blindly driving through a dark two-lane icy tunnel, but finding that you always end up on the right side of the road at the end. These robust theorems are extremely helpful for experiments, especially in preventing disruptions to the system. “It’s a new type of control over really pristine systems,” Harris said.

    Even the classical adiabatic theorem and its offshoots are being used to predict magnetic effects and provide a deeper understanding for many quantum phenomena. This new extension of the adiabatic theorem will provide insight for physicists as they apply it to other systems, like NMRs and MRIs. In fact, this extended adiabatic theorem, as a fundamental physical theorem, could be more broadly applied to any system — so this research could theoretically be applied to anything that can be modeled as a system. However, this isn’t the end of the line on this research for the Harris lab; they have a paper forthcoming regarding the application of this technique to very different kinds of vibrations.

    Our understanding of every branch of science is constantly evolving and changing. Just when we think we understand everything about a field, we realize that particles can interact with themselves, that the fabric of space and time can stretch, and that the universe is expanding. Classical mechanics is no different; the extended adiabatic theorem from this study shows just that. At a certain point, we might as well expect to be surprised. If you find yourself walking around a fire pole on the first floor and ending up on the second, don’t be alarmed. Bizarre Twilight Zone scenarios like that are what can help physicist control, bend, and structure our world — no matter how strange those truths may be.

    See the full article here .

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    Yale University Campus

    Yale University comprises three major academic components: Yale College (the undergraduate program), the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and the professional schools. In addition, Yale encompasses a wide array of centers and programs, libraries, museums, and administrative support offices. Approximately 11,250 students attend Yale.

  • richardmitnick 4:28 pm on June 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Cheng Cao, Geological Sciences, ,   

    From UNC: Women in STEM – “Cheng Cao” 

    U NC bloc

    University of North Carolina

    June 28th, 2017


    When you were a child, what was your response to this question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

    It varied — businesswoman, president, inventor, and scientist.

    Share the pivotal moment in your life that helped you choose research as a career path.

    In 2015, during my junior year of college, I was fortunate enough to complete a summer internship at MIT. It was quite a challenge for me as I was the only Chinese undergrad, with no independent research experiences before then. But as I started to delve into the internship — learning lab skills, operating instruments, discussing data with my supervisor — I realized, for the first time, how much fun research is! At the end of the summer, I gave my first scientific presentation with confidence and passion. It inspired me to apply to graduate school.

    On a visit to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, Cao says hello to a sea lion at the beach.

    What’s an interesting thing that’s happened during your research?

    One time, I was weighing a bunch of rock samples. For each one, I needed to weigh a few micrograms, wrap them in aluminum foil, and then put them into the sample rack in a specific order. Because they are so tiny, there was no label outside the wrap. After three hours of nonstop work, I was finally done. While relaxing my wrist, I accidentally elbowed the sample tray, spilling all the wraps onto the floor. Oops. I was lucky to have enough samples left for another round of measurements.

    What advice would you give to up-and-coming female researchers in your field?

    Be determined. Doing research is not always easy. You may get frustrated and lost. But don’t give up easily. Communicate with your supervisor as well as your colleagues. You can talk to them not only about your progress, but also about your confusions and problems. I benefited a lot from their support and constructive advice.

    See the full article here .

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    U NC campus

    Carolina’s vibrant people and programs attest to the University’s long-standing place among leaders in higher education since it was chartered in 1789 and opened its doors for students in 1795 as the nation’s first public university. Situated in the beautiful college town of Chapel Hill, N.C., UNC has earned a reputation as one of the best universities in the world. Carolina prides itself on a strong, diverse student body, academic opportunities not found anywhere else, and a value unmatched by any public university in the nation.

  • richardmitnick 3:40 pm on June 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: A higher proportion of omega-3 metabolising enzyme to omega-6 metabolising enzyme is associated with less spread of the tumour and a greater chance of survival, , Colon cancer,   

    From U Aberdeen: “Study finds new link between Omega-fatty acids and bowel cancer” 

    U Aberdeen bloc

    University of Aberdeen

    26 June 2017
    No writer credit found

    Caption ’nuff said. Credit: University of Aberdeen

    A study by the University of Aberdeen has found that a higher concentration of the molecules that breakdown omega-3 fatty acids is associated with a higher chance of survival from bowel cancer.

    This is the first time that molecules associated with the breakdown of omega–3 and omega-6 have been associated with survival in bowel cancer.

    The study, published in the British Journal of Cancer, measured the proportion of the enzymes responsible for the metabolism of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in tumours found in bowel cancer patients, and compared it to the patient’s survival.

    Results showed that a higher proportion of omega-3 metabolising enzyme to omega-6 metabolising enzyme is associated with less spread of the tumour and a greater chance of survival for an individual patient.

    Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats that are thought to have opposing effects on health. This study looked specifically at the enzymes responsible for breaking down omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and their relationship with survival in bowel cancer.

    Professor Graeme Murray who led the study explains: “There is big variation in how people survive cancer of the large bowel and how they respond to treatment and we don’t know what makes some people respond more favourably than others – this is what this research is trying to establish.

    “The molecules or ‘metabolites’ that arise from the breakdown of omega-3 – prevent tumour spread and we assume that with more of the enzyme that breaks down omega-3 there will be increased metabolites of omega-3, and this will limit tumour spread. The less a tumour has spread the better the outcome. The converse is true for omega-6 metabolising enzyme – such that a higher proportion of omega-6 metabolising enzyme compared to omega-3 could lead to a worse outcome for the patient.

    “Prior to this study we did not know that such a relationship existed between these enzymes and survival in bowel cancer.

    “Our findings are important because it highlights a new pathway for understanding survival from bowel cancer.”

    See the full article here .

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    U Aberdeen Campus

    Founded in 1495 by William Elphinstone, Bishop of Aberdeen and Chancellor of Scotland, the University of Aberdeen is Scotland’s third oldest and the UK’s fifth oldest university.

    William Elphinstone established King’s College to train doctors, teachers and clergy for the communities of northern Scotland, and lawyers and administrators to serve the Scottish Crown. Much of the King’s College still remains today, as do the traditions which the Bishop began.

    King’s College opened with 36 staff and students, and embraced all the known branches of learning: arts, theology, canon and civil law. In 1497 it was first in the English-speaking world to create a chair of medicine. Elphinstone’s college looked outward to Europe and beyond, taking the great European universities of Paris and Bologna as its model.
    Uniting the Rivals

    In 1593, a second, Post-Reformation University, was founded in the heart of the New Town of Aberdeen by George Keith, fourth Earl Marischal. King’s College and Marischal College were united to form the modern University of Aberdeen in 1860. At first, arts and divinity were taught at King’s and law and medicine at Marischal. A separate science faculty – also at Marischal – was established in 1892. All faculties were opened to women in 1892, and in 1894 the first 20 matriculated female students began their studies. Four women graduated in arts in 1898, and by the following year, women made up a quarter of the faculty.

    Into our Sixth Century

    Throughout the 20th century Aberdeen has consistently increased student recruitment, which now stands at 14,000. In recent years picturesque and historic Old Aberdeen, home of Bishop Elphinstone’s original foundation, has again become the main campus site.

    The University has also invested heavily in medical research, where time and again University staff have demonstrated their skills as world leaders in their field. The Institute of Medical Sciences, completed in 2002, was designed to provide state-of-the-art facilities for medical researchers and their students. This was followed in 2007 by the Health Sciences Building. The Foresterhill campus is now one of Europe’s major biomedical research centres. The Suttie Centre for Teaching and Learning in Healthcare, a £20m healthcare training facility, opened in 2009.

  • richardmitnick 3:19 pm on June 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , IMAGINE neutron scattering diffractometer, LPMOs - lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases, , North Carolina State University, , ORNL’s High Flux Isotope Reactor   

    From ORNL: “‘On your mark, get set'” 


    Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    June 27, 2017
    Jeremy Rumsey

    A combination of X-ray and neutron scattering has revealed new insights into how a highly efficient industrial enzyme is used to break down cellulose. Knowing how oxygen molecules (red) bind to catalytic elements (illustrated by a single copper ion) will guide researchers in developing more efficient, cost-effective biofuel production methods. (Image credit: ORNL/Jill Hemman)

    Producing biofuels like ethanol from plant materials requires various enzymes to break down the cellulosic fibers. Scientists using neutron scattering have identified the specifics of an enzyme-catalyzed reaction that could significantly reduce the total amount of enzymes used, improving production processes and lowering costs.

    Researchers from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and North Carolina State University used a combination of X-ray and neutron crystallography to determine the detailed atomic structure of a specialized fungal enzyme.

    A deeper understanding of the enzyme reactivity could also lead to improved computational models that will further guide industrial applications for cleaner forms of energy. Their results are published in the journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition.

    Part of a larger family known as lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases, or LPMOs, these oxygen-dependent enzymes act in tandem with hydrolytic enzymes—which chemically break down large complex molecules with water—by oxidizing and breaking the bonds that hold cellulose chains together. The combined enzymes can digest biomass more quickly than currently used enzymes and speed up the biofuel production process.

    “These enzymes are already used in industrial applications, but they’re not well understood,” said lead author Brad O’Dell, a graduate student from NC State working in the Biology and Soft Matter Division of ORNL’s Neutron Sciences Directorate. “Understanding each step in the LPMO mechanism of action will help industry use these enzymes to their full potential and, as a result, make final products cheaper.”

    In an LPMO enzyme, oxygen and cellulose arrange themselves through a sequence of steps before the biomass deconstruction reaction occurs. Sort of like “on your mark, get set, go,” says O’Dell.

    To better understand the enzyme’s reaction mechanism, O’Dell and coauthor Flora Meilleur, ORNL instrument scientist and an associate professor at NC State, used the IMAGINE neutron scattering diffractometer at ORNL’s High Flux Isotope Reactor to see how the enzyme and oxygen molecules were behaving in the steps leading up to the reaction—from the “resting state” to the “active state.”

    ORNL IMAGINE neutron scattering diffractometer

    The resting state, O’Dell says, is where all the critical components of the enzyme assemble to bind oxygen and carbohydrate. When electrons are delivered to the enzyme, the system moves from the resting state to the active state—i.e., from “on your mark” to “get set.”

    In the active state, oxygen binds to a copper ion that initiates the reaction. Aided by X-ray and neutron diffraction, O’Dell and Meilleur identified a previously unseen oxygen molecule being stabilized by an amino acid, histidine 157.

    Hydrogen is a key element of amino acids like histidine 157. Because neutrons are particularly sensitive to hydrogen atoms, the team was able to determine that histidine 157 plays a significant role in transporting oxygen molecules to the copper ion in the active site, revealing a vital detail about the first step of the LPMO catalytic reaction.

    “Because neutrons allow us to see hydrogen atoms inside the enzyme, we gained essential information in deciphering the protein chemistry. Without that data, the role of histidine 157 would have remained unclear,” Meilleur said. “Neutrons were instrumental in determining how histidine 157 stabilizes oxygen to initiate the first step of the LPMO reaction mechanism.”

    Their results were subsequently confirmed via quantum chemical calculations performed by coauthor Pratul Agarwal from ORNL’s Computing and Computational Sciences Directorate.

    Research material preparation was supported by the ORNL Center for Structural Molecular Biology. X-ray data were collected at the Argonne National Laboratory Advanced Photon Source through access provided by the Southeast Regional Collaborative Access Team.

    O’Dell says their results refine the current understanding of LPMOs for science and industry researchers.

    “This is a big step forward in unraveling how LPMO’s initiate the breakdown of carbohydrates,” O’Dell said. “Now we need to characterize the enzyme’s activated state when the protein is also bound to a carbohydrate that mimics cellulose. Then we’ll have the chance to see what structural changes happen when the starting pistol is fired and the reaction takes off.”

    HFIR is a DOE Office of Science User Facility. UT-Battelle manages ORNL for the Office of Science. The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit

    See the full article here .

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    ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.


  • richardmitnick 2:18 pm on June 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    From École Polytechnique de Montréal via The Globe and Mail: “Fibre-optic device can detect stray cancer cells, improve tumour removal: study” 

    École Polytechnique de Montréal


    The Globe and Mail

    Jun. 28, 2017
    Sheryl Ubelacker

    No image caption or credit.

    A fibre-optic probe can detect errant cancer cells within healthy tissue during brain tumour surgery with close to 100 per cent accuracy and sensitivity, reducing the risk of recurrence and thereby increasing a patient’s survival time, say the Canadian researchers who developed the device.

    The hand-held, pen-like instrument, known as a Raman spectroscopy probe, is able to differentiate between cancer cells and healthy cells by measuring the way each reflects laser-based light.

    The process, which involves optics and computer science, takes less than 10 seconds — allowing neurosurgeons to target malignant cells for removal without having to send a tissue sample to the pathology lab and wait at least half an hour for its assessment.

    “Minimizing, or completely eliminating, the number of cancer cells during surgery is a critical part of cancer treatment, yet detecting cancer cells during surgery is challenging,” said Dr. Kevin Petrecca, the chief of neurosurgery at the Montreal Neurological Institute who helped design the probe.

    “Often it is impossible to visually distinguish cancer from normal brain, so invasive brain cancer cells frequently remain after surgery, leading to cancer recurrence and a worse prognosis. Surgically minimizing the number of cancer cells improves patient outcomes.”

    In 2015, the researchers published results of a study in which the probe was used during brain tumour surgery in patients; the device was found to have about 90 per cent sensitivity in locating cancer cells that had spread from the tumour and invaded nearby normal tissue.

    The probe has since been refined and is now coupled with additional optical technologies that have improved its accuracy and sensitivity, making it capable of pinpointing not only primary brain cancer cells, but those from tumours elsewhere in the body that have spread, or metastasized, to the brain.

    “A technology with extremely high accuracy is necessary, since surgeons will be using this information to help determine if tissues contain cancer cells or not,” said Petrecca. “An important feature of this device is its broad applicability. We found that it effectively detects multiple cancer types, including brain, lung, colon, and skin cancers.”

    In a study of 15 brain tumour patients, published Wednesday in the journal Cancer Research, Petrecca and his colleagues found the instrument’s sensitivity in locating stray cancer cells during surgery had improved by about 10 per cent.

    Frederic Leblond, an associate professor of engineering physics at École Polytechnique de Montréal and a researcher at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre who developed the probe with Petrecca, said that based on study results so far, they believe “there’s no real limits to what we can achieve for cancer detection with this tool.”

    “We really see this being used for many, many cancers,” he said, including determining if there has been localized spread of cancer cells from tumours in the lung, colon, prostate and breast.

    “This means that more patients will benefit from better diagnosis, more effective treatment and lower risk of recurrence.”

    Leblond said a form of the device could also be incorporated into other instruments, such as specialized needles used for taking biopsies, to improve their accuracy; in surgical robots used to remove tumours in laparoscopic, or keyhole, operations; and for scope-based procedures such as a colonoscopy.

    See the full article here .

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    The Polytechnique Montréal (previously École Polytechnique de Montréal) is an engineering school/faculty affiliated with the Université de Montréal in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It ranks first in Canada for the scope of its engineering research. It is occasionally referred to as Montreal Polytechnic, although in Quebec English its French name is more commonly used. The school offers graduate and postgraduate training, and is very active in research. Following tradition, new Bachelors of Engineering (B.Eng) graduating from the École Polytechnique receive an Iron Ring, during the Canadian Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer ceremony.

    The Polytechnique Montréal was founded in 1873 in order to teach technical drawing and other useful arts. At first, it was set in a converted residence. It later moved to a larger building on Saint-Denis street. In 1958, it moved to its current location on the Université de Montréal campus. The original building was enlarged in 1975 and then in 1989. In 2002, the Computer and Electrical Engineering Department (they were later separated) began to occupy the 5th and 6th floor of the old École des Hautes Études Commerciales de Montréal building. In 2003, the construction of three new buildings started.

    Until the 1960s, the main purpose of the school was to train engineers. However, from 1959 on, the focus went to research. Nowadays, it is a leading research institution in applied sciences in Canada.

  • richardmitnick 1:28 pm on June 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , HUJI, Ido Sagi, ,   

    From HUJI: “First ‘haploid’ human stem cells could change the face of medical research; earn Kaye Innovation Award” 

    Hebrew U of Jerusalem bloc

    The Hebrew University

    Doctoral student and Kaye Innovation Award winner Ido Sagi at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Credit: Hebrew University)


    Potential for regenerative medicine and cancer research earns doctoral student Ido Sagi a Kaye Innovation Award

    Stem cell research holds huge potential for medicine and human health. In particular, human embryonic stem cells (ESCs), with their ability to turn into any cell in the human body, are essential to the future prevention and treatment of disease.

    One set or two? Diploid versus haploid cells

    Most of the cells in our body are diploid, which means they carry two sets of chromosomes — one from each parent. Until now, scientists have only succeeded in creating haploid embryonic stem cells — which contain a single set of chromosomes — in non-human mammals such as mice, rats and monkeys. However, scientists have long sought to isolate and replicate these haploid ESCs in humans, which would allow them to work with one set of human chromosomes as opposed to a mixture from both parents.

    This milestone was finally reached when Ido Sagi, working as a PhD student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Azrieli Center for Stem Cells and Genetic Research, led research that yielded the first successful isolation and maintenance of haploid embryonic stem cells in humans. Unlike in mice, these haploid stem cells were able to differentiate into many other cell types, such as brain, heart and pancreas, while retaining a single set of chromosomes.

    With Prof. Nissim Benvenisty, Director of the Azrieli Center, Sagi showed that this new human stem cell type will play an important role in human genetic and medical research. It will aid our understanding of human development – for example, why we reproduce sexually instead of from a single parent. It will make genetic screening easier and more precise, by allowing the examination of single sets of chromosomes. And it is already enabling the study of resistance to chemotherapy drugs, with implications for cancer therapy.

    Diagnostic kits for personalized medicine

    Based on this research, Yissum, the Technology Transfer arm of the Hebrew University, launched the company New Stem, which is developing a diagnostic kit for predicting resistance to chemotherapy treatments. By amassing a broad library of human pluripotent stem cells with different mutations and genetic makeups, NewStem plans to develop diagnostic kits for personalized medication and future therapeutic and reproductive products.

    2017 Kaye innovation Award

    In recognition of his work, Ido Sagi was awarded the Kaye Innovation Award for 2017.

    The Kaye Innovation Awards at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have been awarded annually since 1994. Isaac Kaye of England, a prominent industrialist in the pharmaceutical industry, established the awards to encourage faculty, staff and students of the Hebrew University to develop innovative methods and inventions with good commercial potential, which will benefit the university and society.

    Ido Sagi received BSc summa cum laude in Life Sciences from the Hebrew University, and currently pursues a PhD at the laboratory of Prof. Nissim Benvenisty at the university’s Department of Genetics in the Alexander Silberman Institute of Life Sciences. He is a fellow of the Adams Fellowship of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, and has recently received the Rappaport Prize for Excellence in Biomedical Research. Sagi’s research focuses on studying genetic and epigenetic phenomena in human pluripotent stem cells, and his work has been published in leading scientific journals, including Nature, Nature Genetics and Cell Stem Cell.

    See the full article here .

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    Hebrew University of Jerusalem campus

    The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, founded in 1918 and opened officially in 1925, is Israel’s premier university as well as its leading research institution. The Hebrew University is ranked internationally among the 100 leading universities in the world and first among Israeli universities.

    The recognition the Hebrew University has attained confirms its reputation for excellence and its leading role in the scientific community. It stresses excellence and offers a wide array of study opportunities in the humanities, social sciences, exact sciences and medicine. The university encourages multi-disciplinary activities in Israel and overseas and serves as a bridge between academic research and its social and industrial applications.

    The Hebrew University has set as its goals the training of public, scientific, educational and professional leadership; the preservation of and research into Jewish, cultural, spiritual and intellectual traditions; and the expansion of the boundaries of knowledge for the benefit of all humanity.

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