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  • richardmitnick 8:08 am on May 7, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Researchers investigate self-regulation of an enzyme with critical cellular functions", Biochemistry, , Developmental Biology, , , Regulation of CK1 enzymes is exceptionally important as dysfunction of these enzymes contributes to several conditions that include cancer; neurodegenerative diseases and sleep disorders., Regulation of the CK1 enzyme family, , There are seven CK1 enzymes in mammals that perform different functions.,   

    From Vanderbilt University : “Researchers investigate self-regulation of an enzyme with critical cellular functions” 

    Vanderbilt U Bloc

    From Vanderbilt University

    5.7.22
    Emily Overway

    1
    Sierra Cullati, Kathy Gould, and Jun-Song Chen. Photo by Stephen Doster.

    The lab of Kathy Gould, Louise B. McGavock Professor and professor of cell and developmental biology, used a multi-disciplinary approach that included structural biology, biochemistry, and molecular biology to investigate the regulation of the CK1 enzyme family. The research, led by Sierra Cullati, a postdoc in the Gould lab, and carried out in conjunction with Jun-Song Chen, research assistant professor of cell and developmental biology, and scientists from Goethe University Frankfurt [Goethe-Universität](DE) and the Structural Genomics Consortium – Frankfurt (DE), and from Harvard University, was published in Molecular Cell.

    CK1 enzymes are a family of multifunctional kinases—enzymes that can phosphorylate, or add phosphate groups to, other proteins—that are critical for several cellular functions including DNA repair, endocytosis, and mitotic checkpoint signaling. Regulation of CK1 enzymes is exceptionally important as dysfunction of these enzymes contributes to several conditions that include cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, and sleep disorders.

    There are seven CK1 enzymes in mammals that perform different functions, but they are highly conserved in their catalytic domain, the region responsible for phosphorylation. Gould and colleagues found that one mechanism of CK1 activity, and thus one mechanism of regulation, is the self-phosphorylation of a conserved amino acid residue in its catalytic domain.

    The researchers further investigated how this self-phosphorylation regulates activity and discovered that phosphorylation at this site altered the substrate specificity of CK1 enzymes. Substrate specificity refers to the determination of which other proteins the CK1 kinases will phosphorylate, which in turn determines which pathways within a cell get activated. In general, the phosphorylation state of CK1 enzymes controls their function—or dysfunction—within a cell. Determining which pathways are controlled by the phosphorylated versus non-phosphorylated states of the enzymes is a step toward the development of better treatments with fewer side effects for the diseases caused by enzyme dysfunction.

    The Gould lab and collaborators hope to build upon this work by determining other sites of CK1 self-phosphorylation and investigating the pathways they regulate; there are several potential self-phosphorylation sites clustered together on one end of the protein, for example, that intrigue the researchers. Additionally, they plan to investigate how the discovered phosphorylation sites work together to provide additional control under different cellular conditions, such as cellular stress.

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt was in his 79th year when he decided to make the gift that founded Vanderbilt University in the spring of 1873.
    The $1 million that he gave to endow and build the university was the commodore’s only major philanthropy. Methodist Bishop Holland N. McTyeire of Nashville, husband of Amelia Townsend who was a cousin of the commodore’s young second wife Frank Crawford, went to New York for medical treatment early in 1873 and spent time recovering in the Vanderbilt mansion. He won the commodore’s admiration and support for the project of building a university in the South that would “contribute to strengthening the ties which should exist between all sections of our common country.”

    McTyeire chose the site for the campus, supervised the construction of buildings and personally planted many of the trees that today make Vanderbilt a national arboretum. At the outset, the university consisted of one Main Building (now Kirkland Hall), an astronomical observatory and houses for professors. Landon C. Garland was Vanderbilt’s first chancellor, serving from 1875 to 1893. He advised McTyeire in selecting the faculty, arranged the curriculum and set the policies of the university.

    For the first 40 years of its existence, Vanderbilt was under the auspices of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. The Vanderbilt Board of Trust severed its ties with the church in June 1914 as a result of a dispute with the bishops over who would appoint university trustees.

    From the outset, Vanderbilt met two definitions of a university: It offered work in the liberal arts and sciences beyond the baccalaureate degree and it embraced several professional schools in addition to its college. James H. Kirkland, the longest serving chancellor in university history (1893-1937), followed Chancellor Garland. He guided Vanderbilt to rebuild after a fire in 1905 that consumed the main building, which was renamed in Kirkland’s honor, and all its contents. He also navigated the university through the separation from the Methodist Church. Notable advances in graduate studies were made under the third chancellor, Oliver Cromwell Carmichael (1937-46). He also created the Joint University Library, brought about by a coalition of Vanderbilt, Peabody College and Scarritt College.

    Remarkable continuity has characterized the government of Vanderbilt. The original charter, issued in 1872, was amended in 1873 to make the legal name of the corporation “The Vanderbilt University.” The charter has not been altered since.

    The university is self-governing under a Board of Trust that, since the beginning, has elected its own members and officers. The university’s general government is vested in the Board of Trust. The immediate government of the university is committed to the chancellor, who is elected by the Board of Trust.

    The original Vanderbilt campus consisted of 75 acres. By 1960, the campus had spread to about 260 acres of land. When George Peabody College for Teachers merged with Vanderbilt in 1979, about 53 acres were added.

    Vanderbilt’s student enrollment tended to double itself each 25 years during the first century of the university’s history: 307 in the fall of 1875; 754 in 1900; 1,377 in 1925; 3,529 in 1950; 7,034 in 1975. In the fall of 1999 the enrollment was 10,127.

    In the planning of Vanderbilt, the assumption seemed to be that it would be an all-male institution. Yet the board never enacted rules prohibiting women. At least one woman attended Vanderbilt classes every year from 1875 on. Most came to classes by courtesy of professors or as special or irregular (non-degree) students. From 1892 to 1901 women at Vanderbilt gained full legal equality except in one respect — access to dorms. In 1894 the faculty and board allowed women to compete for academic prizes. By 1897, four or five women entered with each freshman class. By 1913 the student body contained 78 women, or just more than 20 percent of the academic enrollment.

    National recognition of the university’s status came in 1949 with election of Vanderbilt to membership in the select Association of American Universities. In the 1950s Vanderbilt began to outgrow its provincial roots and to measure its achievements by national standards under the leadership of Chancellor Harvie Branscomb. By its 90th anniversary in 1963, Vanderbilt for the first time ranked in the top 20 private universities in the United States.

    Vanderbilt continued to excel in research, and the number of university buildings more than doubled under the leadership of Chancellors Alexander Heard (1963-1982) and Joe B. Wyatt (1982-2000), only the fifth and sixth chancellors in Vanderbilt’s long and distinguished history. Heard added three schools (Blair, the Owen Graduate School of Management and Peabody College) to the seven already existing and constructed three dozen buildings. During Wyatt’s tenure, Vanderbilt acquired or built one-third of the campus buildings and made great strides in diversity, volunteerism and technology.

    The university grew and changed significantly under its seventh chancellor, Gordon Gee, who served from 2000 to 2007. Vanderbilt led the country in the rate of growth for academic research funding, which increased to more than $450 million and became one of the most selective undergraduate institutions in the country.

    On March 1, 2008, Nicholas S. Zeppos was named Vanderbilt’s eighth chancellor after serving as interim chancellor beginning Aug. 1, 2007. Prior to that, he spent 2002-2008 as Vanderbilt’s provost, overseeing undergraduate, graduate and professional education programs as well as development, alumni relations and research efforts in liberal arts and sciences, engineering, music, education, business, law and divinity. He first came to Vanderbilt in 1987 as an assistant professor in the law school. In his first five years, Zeppos led the university through the most challenging economic times since the Great Depression, while continuing to attract the best students and faculty from across the country and around the world. Vanderbilt got through the economic crisis notably less scathed than many of its peers and began and remained committed to its much-praised enhanced financial aid policy for all undergraduates during the same timespan. The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons for first-year students opened in 2008 and College Halls, the next phase in the residential education system at Vanderbilt, is on track to open in the fall of 2014. During Zeppos’ first five years, Vanderbilt has drawn robust support from federal funding agencies, and the Medical Center entered into agreements with regional hospitals and health care systems in middle and east Tennessee that will bring Vanderbilt care to patients across the state.

    Today, Vanderbilt University is a private research university of about 6,500 undergraduates and 5,300 graduate and professional students. The university comprises 10 schools, a public policy center and The Freedom Forum First Amendment Center. Vanderbilt offers undergraduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences, engineering, music, education and human development as well as a full range of graduate and professional degrees. The university is consistently ranked as one of the nation’s top 20 universities by publications such as U.S. News & World Report, with several programs and disciplines ranking in the top 10.

    Cutting-edge research and liberal arts, combined with strong ties to a distinguished medical center, creates an invigorating atmosphere where students tailor their education to meet their goals and researchers collaborate to solve complex questions affecting our health, culture and society.

    Vanderbilt, an independent, privately supported university, and the separate, non-profit Vanderbilt University Medical Center share a respected name and enjoy close collaboration through education and research. Together, the number of people employed by these two organizations exceeds that of the largest private employer in the Middle Tennessee region.

     
  • richardmitnick 5:08 pm on March 1, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "New astrobiology research predicts life 'as we don't know it'", Biochemistry, Integrated Microbial Genomes and Microbiomes database, , Universally shared biochemistry   

    From The Arizona State University (US): “New astrobiology research predicts life ‘as we don’t know it'” 

    From The Arizona State University (US)

    February 28, 2022

    Karin Valentine
    Media Relations & Marketing manager,
    School of Earth and Space Exploration
    480-965-9345
    Karin.Valentine@asu.edu

    In new research published in the PNAS, a team of scientists has tackled this restriction by identifying universal patterns in the chemistry of life that do not appear to depend on specific molecules. These findings provide a new opportunity for predicting features of alien life with different biochemistry to Earth life.

    1
    Artist’s conception of a planetary lineup showing habitable-zone exoplanets [unidentified] with similarities to Earth, featured on the far right. Credit: The NASA Ames Research Center/JPL-Caltech.

    “We want to have new tools for identifying and even predicting features of life as we don’t know it,” says co-author Sara Imari Walker of Arizona State University. “To do so, we are aiming to identify the universal laws that should apply to any biochemical system. This includes developing quantitative theory for the origins of life, and using theory and statistics to guide our search for life on other planets.”

    On Earth, life emerges from the interplay of hundreds of chemical compounds and reactions. Some of these compounds and reactions are found across all organisms, creating a universally shared biochemistry for all life on Earth. This notion of universality, though, is specific to known biochemistry and does not allow for predictions about examples not yet observed.

    “We are not just the molecules that are part of our bodies; we, as living things, are an emergent property of the interactions of the many molecules we are made of,” says Walker, who is an associate professor at ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration and School of Complex Adaptive Systems and the deputy director of ASU’s Beyond Center. “What our work is doing is aiming to develop ways of turning that philosophical insight into testable scientific hypotheses.”

    Lead author Dylan Gagler, who graduated from ASU in 2020 with his master’s degree and is now a bioinformatics analyst at New York University Langone Medical Center in Manhattan, said he became interested in universal biology out of a desire to better understand the phenomenon of life. “It’s a surprisingly difficult concept to pin down,” he says. “As far as I can tell, life is ultimately a biochemical process, so I wanted to explore what life is doing at that level.”

    Gagler and Walker ultimately decided that enzymes, as the functional drivers of biochemistry, were a good way to approach this concept. Using the Integrated Microbial Genomes and Microbiomes database, they, together with their collaborators, were able to investigate the enzymatic makeup of bacteria, archaea and eukarya, and thereby capture the majority of Earth’s biochemistry.

    Through this approach, the team was able to discover a new kind of biochemical universality by identifying statistical patterns in the biochemical function of enzymes shared across the tree of life. In so doing, they verified that statistical patterns originated from functional principles that cannot be explained by the common set of enzyme functions used by all known life, and identified scaling relationships associated with general types of functions.

    “We identified this new kind of biochemical universality from the large-scale statistical patterns of biochemistry and found they are more generalizable to unknown forms of life compared to the traditional one decribed by the specific molecules and reactions that are common to all life on Earth,” explains co-author Hyunju Kim, an assistant research professor at ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration and ASU’s Beyond Center. “This discovery enables us to develop a new theory for the general rules of life, which can guide us in the search for novel examples of life.”

    “We might expect these results to hold anywhere in the universe, and that’s an exciting possibility that motivates a lot of interesting work ahead,” says co-author Chris Kempes of the Santa Fe Institute.

    Additional authors on this study are Bradley Karas, John Malloy and Veronica Mierzejewski of ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration; and Aaron Goldman of Oberlin College and the Blue Marble Space Institute for Science.

    This is the first major research resulting from the ASU-led team participating in the inaugural Interdisciplinary Consortia for Astrobiology Research program, funded through NASA’s Astrobiology Program. The breadth and depth of the research of the teams selected for ICAR fundings spans the spectrum of astrobiology research, from cosmic origins and planetary system formation to the origins and evolution of life and the search for life beyond Earth.

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The Arizona State University (US) is a public research university in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Founded in 1885 by the 13th Arizona Territorial Legislature, Arizona State University is one of the largest public universities by enrollment in the U.S.

    One of three universities governed by the Arizona Board of Regents, Arizona State University is a member of the Universities Research Association (US) and classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity.” Arizona State University has nearly 150,000 students attending classes, with more than 38,000 students attending online, and 90,000 undergraduates and more nearly 20,000 postgraduates across its five campuses and four regional learning centers throughout Arizona. Arizona State University offers 350 degree options from its 17 colleges and more than 170 cross-discipline centers and institutes for undergraduates students, as well as more than 400 graduate degree and certificate programs. The Arizona State Sun Devils compete in 26 varsity-level sports in the NCAA Division I Pac-12 Conference and is home to over 1,100 registered student organizations.

    Arizona State University’s charter, approved by the board of regents in 2014, is based on the New American University model created by Arizona State University President Michael M. Crow upon his appointment as the institution’s 16th president in 2002. It defines Arizona State University as “a comprehensive public research university, measured not by whom it excludes, but rather by whom it includes and how they succeed; advancing research and discovery of public value; and assuming fundamental responsibility for the economic, social, cultural and overall health of the communities it serves.” The model is widely credited with boosting Arizona State University’s acceptance rate and increasing class size.

    The university’s faculty of more than 4,700 scholars has included 5 Nobel laureates, 6 Pulitzer Prize winners, 4 MacArthur Fellows, and 19 National Academy of Sciences members. Additionally, among the faculty are 180 Fulbright Program American Scholars, 72 National Endowment for the Humanities fellows, 38 American Council of Learned Societies fellows, 36 members of the Guggenheim Fellowship, 21 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 3 members of National Academy of Inventors, 9 National Academy of Engineering members and 3 National Academy of Medicine members. The National Academies has bestowed “highly prestigious” recognition on 227 ASU faculty members.

    History

    Arizona State University was established as the Territorial Normal School at Tempe on March 12, 1885, when the 13th Arizona Territorial Legislature passed an act to create a normal school to train teachers for the Arizona Territory. The campus consisted of a single, four-room schoolhouse on a 20-acre plot largely donated by Tempe residents George and Martha Wilson. Classes began with 33 students on February 8, 1886. The curriculum evolved over the years and the name was changed several times; the institution was also known as Tempe Normal School of Arizona (1889–1903), Tempe Normal School (1903–1925), Tempe State Teachers College (1925–1929), Arizona State Teachers College (1929–1945), Arizona State College (1945–1958) and, by a 2–1 margin of the state’s voters, Arizona State University in 1958.

    In 1923, the school stopped offering high school courses and added a high school diploma to the admissions requirements. In 1925, the school became the Tempe State Teachers College and offered four-year Bachelor of Education degrees as well as two-year teaching certificates. In 1929, the 9th Arizona State Legislature authorized Bachelor of Arts in Education degrees as well, and the school was renamed the Arizona State Teachers College. Under the 30-year tenure of president Arthur John Matthews (1900–1930), the school was given all-college student status. The first dormitories built in the state were constructed under his supervision in 1902. Of the 18 buildings constructed while Matthews was president, six are still in use. Matthews envisioned an “evergreen campus,” with many shrubs brought to the campus, and implemented the planting of 110 Mexican Fan Palms on what is now known as Palm Walk, a century-old landmark of the Tempe campus.

    During the Great Depression, Ralph Waldo Swetman was hired to succeed President Matthews, coming to Arizona State Teachers College in 1930 from Humboldt State Teachers College where he had served as president. He served a three-year term, during which he focused on improving teacher-training programs. During his tenure, enrollment at the college doubled, topping the 1,000 mark for the first time. Matthews also conceived of a self-supported summer session at the school at Arizona State Teachers College, a first for the school.

    1930–1989

    In 1933, Grady Gammage, then president of Arizona State Teachers College at Flagstaff, became president of Arizona State Teachers College at Tempe, beginning a tenure that would last for nearly 28 years, second only to Swetman’s 30 years at the college’s helm. Like President Arthur John Matthews before him, Gammage oversaw the construction of several buildings on the Tempe campus. He also guided the development of the university’s graduate programs; the first Master of Arts in Education was awarded in 1938, the first Doctor of Education degree in 1954 and 10 non-teaching master’s degrees were approved by the Arizona Board of Regents in 1956. During his presidency, the school’s name was changed to Arizona State College in 1945, and finally to Arizona State University in 1958. At the time, two other names were considered: Tempe University and State University at Tempe. Among Gammage’s greatest achievements in Tempe was the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed construction of what is Grady Gammage Memorial Auditorium/ASU Gammage. One of the university’s hallmark buildings, Arizona State University Gammage was completed in 1964, five years after the president’s (and Wright’s) death.

    Gammage was succeeded by Harold D. Richardson, who had served the school earlier in a variety of roles beginning in 1939, including director of graduate studies, college registrar, dean of instruction, dean of the College of Education and academic vice president. Although filling the role of acting president of the university for just nine months (Dec. 1959 to Sept. 1960), Richardson laid the groundwork for the future recruitment and appointment of well-credentialed research science faculty.

    By the 1960s, under G. Homer Durham, the university’s 11th president, Arizona State University began to expand its curriculum by establishing several new colleges and, in 1961, the Arizona Board of Regents authorized doctoral degree programs in six fields, including Doctor of Philosophy. By the end of his nine-year tenure, Arizona State University had more than doubled enrollment, reporting 23,000 in 1969.

    The next three presidents—Harry K. Newburn (1969–71), John W. Schwada (1971–81) and J. Russell Nelson (1981–89), including and Interim President Richard Peck (1989), led the university to increased academic stature, the establishment of the Arizona State University West campus in 1984 and its subsequent construction in 1986, a focus on computer-assisted learning and research, and rising enrollment.

    1990–present

    Under the leadership of Lattie F. Coor, president from 1990 to 2002, Arizona State University grew through the creation of the Polytechnic campus and extended education sites. Increased commitment to diversity, quality in undergraduate education, research, and economic development occurred over his 12-year tenure. Part of Coor’s legacy to the university was a successful fundraising campaign: through private donations, more than $500 million was invested in areas that would significantly impact the future of ASU. Among the campaign’s achievements were the naming and endowing of Barrett, The Honors College, and the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts; the creation of many new endowed faculty positions; and hundreds of new scholarships and fellowships.

    In 2002, Michael M. Crow became the university’s 16th president. At his inauguration, he outlined his vision for transforming Arizona State University into a “New American University”—one that would be open and inclusive, and set a goal for the university to meet Association of American Universities (US) criteria and to become a member. Crow initiated the idea of transforming Arizona State University into “One university in many places”—a single institution comprising several campuses, sharing students, faculty, staff and accreditation. Subsequent reorganizations combined academic departments, consolidated colleges and schools, and reduced staff and administration as the university expanded its West and Polytechnic campuses. Arizona State University’s Downtown Phoenix campus was also expanded, with several colleges and schools relocating there. The university established learning centers throughout the state, including the Arizona State University Colleges at Lake Havasu City and programs in Thatcher, Yuma, and Tucson. Students at these centers can choose from several Arizona State University degree and certificate programs.

    During Crow’s tenure, and aided by hundreds of millions of dollars in donations, Arizona State University began a years-long research facility capital building effort that led to the establishment of the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, and several large interdisciplinary research buildings. Along with the research facilities, the university faculty was expanded, including the addition of five Nobel Laureates. Since 2002, the university’s research expenditures have tripled and more than 1.5 million square feet of space has been added to the university’s research facilities.

    The economic downturn that began in 2008 took a particularly hard toll on Arizona, resulting in large cuts to Arizona State University’s budget. In response to these cuts, Arizona State University capped enrollment, closed some four dozen academic programs, combined academic departments, consolidated colleges and schools, and reduced university faculty, staff and administrators; however, with an economic recovery underway in 2011, the university continued its campaign to expand the West and Polytechnic Campuses, and establish a low-cost, teaching-focused extension campus in Lake Havasu City.

    As of 2011, an article in Slate reported that, “the bottom line looks good,” noting that:

    “Since Crow’s arrival, Arizona State University’s research funding has almost tripled to nearly $350 million. Degree production has increased by 45 percent. And thanks to an ambitious aid program, enrollment of students from Arizona families below poverty is up 647 percent.”

    In 2015, the Thunderbird School of Global Management became the fifth Arizona State University campus, as the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University. Partnerships for education and research with Mayo Clinic established collaborative degree programs in health care and law, and shared administrator positions, laboratories and classes at the Mayo Clinic Arizona campus.

    The Beus Center for Law and Society, the new home of Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, opened in fall 2016 on the Downtown Phoenix campus, relocating faculty and students from the Tempe campus to the state capital.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:22 am on January 20, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "New Study Sheds Light on Origins of Life on Earth", , , Biochemistry, , Evolution of protein structures entails understanding how new folds arose from previously existing ones., , , , The ability to shuffle electrons was paramount to life., The best elements for electron transfer are metals., The metal-binding cores of existing proteins are indeed similar even though the proteins themselves may not be., The researchers explored how primitive life may have originated on our planet from simple non-living materials., The researchers studied proteins that bind metals., They compared all existing protein structures that bind metals to establish any common features.   

    From Rutgers University (US): “New Study Sheds Light on Origins of Life on Earth” 

    Rutgers smaller
    Our Great Seal.

    From Rutgers University (US)

    January 14, 2022
    John Cramer

    1
    A Rutgers-led team has discovered the structures of proteins that may be responsible for the origins of life in the primordial soup of ancient Earth.Credit: Shutterstock.

    Addressing one of the most profoundly unanswered questions in biology, a Rutgers-led team has discovered the structures of proteins that may be responsible for the origins of life in the primordial soup of ancient Earth.

    The study appears in the journal Science Advances.

    The researchers explored how primitive life may have originated on our planet from simple non-living materials. They asked what properties define life as we know it and concluded that anything alive would have needed to collect and use energy, from sources such as the Sun or hydrothermal vents.

    In molecular terms, this would mean that the ability to shuffle electrons was paramount to life. Since the best elements for electron transfer are metals (think standard electrical wires) and most biological activities are carried out by proteins, the researchers decided to explore the combination of the two — that is, proteins that bind metals.

    They compared all existing protein structures that bind metals to establish any common features, based on the premise that these shared features were present in ancestral proteins and were diversified and passed down to create the range of proteins we see today.

    Evolution of protein structures entails understanding how new folds arose from previously existing ones, so the researchers designed a computational method that found the vast majority of currently existing metal-binding proteins are somewhat similar regardless of the type of metal they bind to, the organism they come from or the functionality assigned to the protein as a whole.

    “We saw that the metal-binding cores of existing proteins are indeed similar even though the proteins themselves may not be,” said the study’s lead author Yana Bromberg, a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. “We also saw that these metal-binding cores are often made up of repeated substructures, kind of like LEGO blocks. Curiously, these blocks were also found in other regions of the proteins, not just metal-binding cores, and in many other proteins that were not considered in our study. Our observation suggests that rearrangements of these little building blocks may have had a single or a small number of common ancestors and given rise to the whole range of proteins and their functions that are currently available — that is, to life as we know it.”

    “We have very little information about how life arose on this planet, and our work contributes a previously unavailable explanation,” said Bromberg, whose research focuses on deciphering the DNA blueprints of life’s molecular machinery. “This explanation could also potentially contribute to our search for life on other planets and planetary bodies. Our finding of the specific structural building blocks is also possibly relevant for synthetic biology efforts, where scientists aim to construct specifically active proteins anew.”

    The study, funded by The National Aeronautics and Space Agency(US), also included researchers from The University of Buenos Aires [Universidad de Buenos Aires] (AR).

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    rutgers-campus

    Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (US), is a leading national research university and the state’s preeminent, comprehensive public institution of higher education. Rutgers is dedicated to teaching that meets the highest standards of excellence; to conducting research that breaks new ground; and to providing services, solutions, and clinical care that help individuals and the local, national, and global communities where they live.

    Founded in 1766, Rutgers teaches across the full educational spectrum: preschool to precollege; undergraduate to graduate; postdoctoral fellowships to residencies; and continuing education for professional and personal advancement.

    Rutgers University (US) is a public land-grant research university based in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Chartered in 1766, Rutgers was originally called Queen’s College, and today it is the eighth-oldest college in the United States, the second-oldest in New Jersey (after Princeton University (US)), and one of the nine U.S. colonial colleges that were chartered before the American War of Independence. In 1825, Queen’s College was renamed Rutgers College in honor of Colonel Henry Rutgers, whose substantial gift to the school had stabilized its finances during a period of uncertainty. For most of its existence, Rutgers was a private liberal arts college but it has evolved into a coeducational public research university after being designated The State University of New Jersey by the New Jersey Legislature via laws enacted in 1945 and 1956.

    Rutgers today has three distinct campuses, located in New Brunswick (including grounds in adjacent Piscataway), Newark, and Camden. The university has additional facilities elsewhere in the state, including oceanographic research facilities at the New Jersey shore. Rutgers is also a land-grant university, a sea-grant university, and the largest university in the state. Instruction is offered by 9,000 faculty members in 175 academic departments to over 45,000 undergraduate students and more than 20,000 graduate and professional students. The university is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and is a member of the Big Ten Academic Alliance, the Association of American Universities (US) and the Universities Research Association (US). Over the years, Rutgers has been considered a Public Ivy.

    Research

    Rutgers is home to the Rutgers University Center for Cognitive Science, also known as RUCCS. This research center hosts researchers in psychology, linguistics, computer science, philosophy, electrical engineering, and anthropology.

    It was at Rutgers that Selman Waksman (1888–1973) discovered several antibiotics, including actinomycin, clavacin, streptothricin, grisein, neomycin, fradicin, candicidin, candidin, and others. Waksman, along with graduate student Albert Schatz (1920–2005), discovered streptomycin—a versatile antibiotic that was to be the first applied to cure tuberculosis. For this discovery, Waksman received the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1952.

    Rutgers developed water-soluble sustained release polymers, tetraploids, robotic hands, artificial bovine insemination, and the ceramic tiles for the heat shield on the Space Shuttle. In health related field, Rutgers has the Environmental & Occupational Health Science Institute (EOHSI).

    Rutgers is also home to the RCSB Protein Data bank, “…an information portal to Biological Macromolecular Structures’ cohosted with the San Diego Supercomputer Center (US). This database is the authoritative research tool for bioinformaticists using protein primary, secondary and tertiary structures worldwide….”

    Rutgers is home to the Rutgers Cooperative Research & Extension office, which is run by the Agricultural and Experiment Station with the support of local government. The institution provides research & education to the local farming and agro industrial community in 19 of the 21 counties of the state and educational outreach programs offered through the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station Office of Continuing Professional Education.

    Rutgers University Cell and DNA Repository (RUCDR) is the largest university based repository in the world and has received awards worth more than $57.8 million from the National Institutes of Health (US). One will fund genetic studies of mental disorders and the other will support investigations into the causes of digestive, liver and kidney diseases, and diabetes. RUCDR activities will enable gene discovery leading to diagnoses, treatments and, eventually, cures for these diseases. RUCDR assists researchers throughout the world by providing the highest quality biomaterials, technical consultation, and logistical support.

    Rutgers–Camden is home to the nation’s PhD granting Department of Childhood Studies. This department, in conjunction with the Center for Children and Childhood Studies, also on the Camden campus, conducts interdisciplinary research which combines methodologies and research practices of sociology, psychology, literature, anthropology and other disciplines into the study of childhoods internationally.

    Rutgers is home to several National Science Foundation (US) IGERT fellowships that support interdisciplinary scientific research at the graduate-level. Highly selective fellowships are available in the following areas: Perceptual Science, Stem Cell Science and Engineering, Nanotechnology for Clean Energy, Renewable and Sustainable Fuels Solutions, and Nanopharmaceutical Engineering.

    Rutgers also maintains the Office of Research Alliances that focuses on working with companies to increase engagement with the university’s faculty members, staff and extensive resources on the four campuses.

    As a ’67 graduate of University College, second in my class, I am proud to be a member of

    Alpha Sigma Lamda, National Honor Society of non-tradional students.

     
  • richardmitnick 5:44 pm on January 12, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Chemists use DNA to build the world’s tiniest antenna", , Biochemistry, , , , DNA-based fluorescent nanoantenna, , ,   

    From The University of Montréal [Université de Montréal] (CA) : “Chemists use DNA to build the world’s tiniest antenna” 

    From The University of Montréal [Université de Montréal] (CA)

    01/10/2022
    Salle De Presse

    1
    Developed at Université de Montréal, the easy-to-use device promises to help scientists better understand natural and human-designed nanotechnologies – and identify new drugs.

    Researchers at Université de Montréal have created a nanoantenna to monitor the motions of proteins.

    Reported this week in Nature Methods, the device is a new method to monitor the structural change of proteins over time – and may go a long way to helping scientists better understand natural and human-designed nanotechnologies.

    “The results are so exciting that we are currently working on setting up a start-up company to commercialize and make this nanoantenna available to most researchers and the pharmaceutical industry,” said UdeM chemistry professor Alexis Vallée-Bélisle, the study’s senior author.

    Works like a two-way radio

    Over 40 years ago, researchers invented the first DNA synthesizer to create molecules that encode genetic information. “In recent years, chemists have realized that DNA can also be employed to build a variety of nanostructures and nanomachines,” said Vallée-Belisle, who also holds the Canada Research Chair in Bioengineering and Bionanotechnology.

    “Inspired by the ‘Lego-like’ properties of DNA, with building blocks that are typically 20,000 times smaller than a human hair, we have created a DNA-based fluorescent nanoantenna, that can help characterize the function of proteins,” he said.

    “Like a two-way radio that can both receive and transmit radio waves, the fluorescent nanoantenna receives light in one colour, or wavelength, and depending on the protein movement it senses, then transmits light back in another colour, which we can detect.”

    One of the main innovations of these nanoantennae is that the receiver part of the antenna is also employed to sense the molecular surface of the protein studied via molecular interaction.

    One of the main advantages of using DNA to engineer these nanoantennas is that DNA chemistry is relatively simple and programmable,” said Scott Harroun, an UdeM doctoral student in chemistry and the study’s first author.

    “The DNA-based nanoantennas can be synthesized with different lengths and flexibilities to optimize their function,””he said. “One can easily attach a fluorescent molecule to the DNA, and then attach this fluorescent nanoantenna to a biological nanomachine, such as an enzyme.

    “By carefully tuning the nanoantenna design, we have created five nanometer-long antenna that produces a distinct signal when the protein is performing its biological function.”

    Fluorescent nanoantennas open many exciting avenues in biochemistry and nanotechnology, the scientists believe.

    “For example, we were able to detect, in real time and for the first time, the function of the enzyme alkaline phosphatase with a variety of biological molecules and drugs,” said Harroun. “This enzyme has been implicated in many diseases, including various cancers and intestinal inflammation.”

    Added Dominic Lauzon, a co-author of the study doing his PhD in chemistry at UdeM: “In addition to helping us understand how natural nanomachines function or malfunction, consequently leading to disease, this new method can also help chemists identify promising new drugs as well as guide nanoengineers to develop improved nanomachines.”

    One main advance enabled by these nanoantennas is also their ease-of-use, the scientists said.

    “Perhaps what we are most excited by is the realization that many labs around the world, equipped with a conventional spectrofluorometer, could readily employ these nanoantennas to study their favourite protein, such as to identify new drugs or to develop new nanotechnologies,” said Vallée-Bélisle.

    See the full article here.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The Université de Montréal is a French-language public research university in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The university’s main campus is located on the northern slope of Mount Royal in the neighbourhoods of Outremont and Côte-des-Neiges. The institution comprises thirteen faculties, more than sixty departments and two affiliated schools: the Polytechnique Montréal (School of Engineering; formerly the École Polytechnique de Montréal) and HEC Montréal (School of Business). It offers more than 650 undergraduate programmes and graduate programmes, including 71 doctoral programmes.

    The university was founded as a satellite campus of the Université Laval in 1878. It became an independent institution after it was issued a papal charter in 1919 and a provincial charter in 1920. Université de Montréal moved from Montreal’s Quartier Latin to its present location at Mount Royal in 1942. It was made a secular institution with the passing of another provincial charter in 1967.

    The school is co-educational, and has 34,335 undergraduate and 11,925 post-graduate students (excluding affiliated schools). Alumni and former students reside across Canada and around the world, with notable alumni serving as government officials, academics, and business leaders.

    Research

    Université de Montréal is a member of the U15, a group that represents 15 Canadian research universities. The university includes 465 research units and departments. In 2018, Research Infosource ranked the university third in their list of top 50 research universities; with a sponsored research income (external sources of funding) of $536.238 million in 2017. In the same year, the university’s faculty averaged a sponsored research income of $271,000, while its graduates averaged a sponsored research income of $33,900.

    Université de Montréal research performance has been noted in several bibliometric university rankings, which uses citation analysis to evaluate the impact a university has on academic publications. In 2019, The Performance Ranking of Scientific Papers for World Universities ranked the university 104th in the world, and fifth in Canada. The University Ranking by Academic Performance 2018–19 rankings placed the university 99th in the world, and fifth in Canada.

    Since 2017, Université de Montréal has partnered with the McGill University (CA) on Mila (research institute), a community of professors, students, industrial partners and startups working in AI, with over 500 researchers making the institute the world’s largest academic research center in deep learning. The institute was originally founded in 1993 by Professor Yoshua Bengio.

     
  • richardmitnick 3:34 pm on January 8, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Materials theorist Yuan Ping wins NSF CAREER Award", , Biochemistry, , Critical properties of spin qubits include quantum coherence which determines how long the spin state will last., , Ping’s first-principles approach will eliminate the need for prior input parameters., Ping’s group has developed computational tools for predicting spin dynamics in solid-state materials which they will use to study the properties of spin qubits., , , The funding for this project also includes support for a range of education and outreach activities., , Understanding kinetics of excited states and spin qubit relaxation and decoherence is the core issue of spin-based quantum information science., Yuan Ping   

    From The University of California-Santa Cruz (US) : “Materials theorist Yuan Ping wins NSF CAREER Award” 

    From The University of California-Santa Cruz (US)

    January 05, 2022
    Tim Stephens
    stephens@ucsc.edu

    1
    Yuan Ping

    Yuan Ping, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at UC Santa Cruz, has received a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from The National Science Foundation (US) to support her work developing computational platforms to investigate the physics of new materials for quantum computers and other applications of quantum information science.

    In quantum computers, information is encoded in quantum bits, or qubits, which can be made from any quantum system that has two states. One promising approach is based on the spin states of electrons. Ping’s group has developed a theoretical framework and computational tools for predicting spin dynamics in solid-state materials which they will use to study the properties of spin qubits.

    Critical properties of spin qubits include quantum coherence which determines how long the spin state will last (or how long the encoded information will be intact); readout efficiency, which determines the fidelity with which information can be extracted from a qubit; and quantum transduction, which determines if quantum information can be transferred and communicated among qubits over a long range.

    “Understanding kinetics of excited states and spin qubit relaxation and decoherence is the core issue of spin-based quantum information science,” Ping said. “In this project, we will develop a computational platform to tackle these issues for spin qubits.”

    All of these properties are materials-specific, and previous efforts have relied mostly on simplified models which require inputs from prior experiments. Ping’s first-principles approach will eliminate the need for prior input parameters and will open the path for designing novel quantum materials with the potential to enable unprecedented performance for applications in quantum information science.

    “Stable, scalable, and reliable quantum information science has the potential to transform and advance knowledge across a large number of critical fields through next-generation technologies for sensing, computing, modeling, and communicating,” Ping said.

    The funding for this project also includes support for a range of education and outreach activities. These include strengthening undergraduate education in physical chemistry through a summer bootcamp; developing computational materials research through new courses and undergraduate research programs; and supporting women and underrepresented groups through UCSC’s Women in Science and Engineering program.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    UC Santa Cruz (US) Lick Observatory Since 1888 Mt Hamilton, in San Jose, California, Altitude 1,283 m (4,209 ft)

    UC Observatories Lick Automated Planet Finder fully robotic 2.4-meter optical telescope at Lick Observatory, situated on the summit of Mount Hamilton, east of San Jose, California, USA.

    The UCO Lick C. Donald Shane telescope is a 120-inch (3.0-meter) reflecting telescope located at the Lick Observatory, Mt Hamilton, in San Jose, California, Altitude 1,283 m (4,209 ft).
    UC Santa Cruz (US) campus.

    The University of California-Santa Cruz (US) , opened in 1965 and grew, one college at a time, to its current (2008-09) enrollment of more than 16,000 students. Undergraduates pursue more than 60 majors supervised by divisional deans of humanities, physical & biological sciences, social sciences, and arts. Graduate students work toward graduate certificates, master’s degrees, or doctoral degrees in more than 30 academic fields under the supervision of the divisional and graduate deans. The dean of the Jack Baskin School of Engineering oversees the campus’s undergraduate and graduate engineering programs.

    UCSC is the home base for the Lick Observatory.

    UCO Lick Observatory’s 36-inch Great Refractor telescope housed in the South (large) Dome of main building.

    Search for extraterrestrial intelligence expands at Lick Observatory
    New instrument scans the sky for pulses of infrared light
    March 23, 2015
    By Hilary Lebow


    Astronomers are expanding the search for extraterrestrial intelligence into a new realm with detectors tuned to infrared light at UC’s Lick Observatory. A new instrument, called NIROSETI, will soon scour the sky for messages from other worlds.

    “Infrared light would be an excellent means of interstellar communication,” said Shelley Wright, an assistant professor of physics at UC San Diego (US) who led the development of the new instrument while at the U Toronto Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics (CA).

    Shelley Wright of UC San Diego with (US) NIROSETI, developed at U Toronto Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics (CA) at the 1-meter Nickel Telescope at Lick Observatory at UC Santa Cruz

    Wright worked on an earlier SETI project at Lick Observatory as a UC Santa Cruz undergraduate, when she built an optical instrument designed by University of California-Berkeley (US) researchers. The infrared project takes advantage of new technology not available for that first optical search.

    Infrared light would be a good way for extraterrestrials to get our attention here on Earth, since pulses from a powerful infrared laser could outshine a star, if only for a billionth of a second. Interstellar gas and dust is almost transparent to near infrared, so these signals can be seen from great distances. It also takes less energy to send information using infrared signals than with visible light.

    Frank Drake, professor emeritus of astronomy and astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz and director emeritus of the SETI Institute, said there are several additional advantages to a search in the infrared realm.

    Frank Drake with his Drake Equation. Credit Frank Drake.

    “The signals are so strong that we only need a small telescope to receive them. Smaller telescopes can offer more observational time, and that is good because we need to search many stars for a chance of success,” said Drake.

    The only downside is that extraterrestrials would need to be transmitting their signals in our direction, Drake said, though he sees this as a positive side to that limitation. “If we get a signal from someone who’s aiming for us, it could mean there’s altruism in the universe. I like that idea. If they want to be friendly, that’s who we will find.”

    Scientists have searched the skies for radio signals for more than 50 years and expanded their search into the optical realm more than a decade ago. The idea of searching in the infrared is not a new one, but instruments capable of capturing pulses of infrared light only recently became available.

    “We had to wait,” Wright said. “I spent eight years waiting and watching as new technology emerged.”

    Now that technology has caught up, the search will extend to stars thousands of light years away, rather than just hundreds. NIROSETI, or Near-Infrared Optical Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, could also uncover new information about the physical universe.

    “This is the first time Earthlings have looked at the universe at infrared wavelengths with nanosecond time scales,” said Dan Werthimer, UC Berkeley SETI Project Director. “The instrument could discover new astrophysical phenomena, or perhaps answer the question of whether we are alone.”

    NIROSETI will also gather more information than previous optical detectors by recording levels of light over time so that patterns can be analyzed for potential signs of other civilizations.

    “Searching for intelligent life in the universe is both thrilling and somewhat unorthodox,” said Claire Max, director of UC Observatories and professor of astronomy and astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz. “Lick Observatory has already been the site of several previous SETI searches, so this is a very exciting addition to the current research taking place.”

    NIROSETI will scan the skies several times a week on the Nickel 1-meter telescope at Lick Observatory, located on Mt. Hamilton east of San Jose.

     
  • richardmitnick 11:20 am on December 26, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Mirror-image peptides form ‘rippled sheet’ structure predicted in 1953", , Biochemistry, , , Pleated beta sheet, , Proteins consist of long chains of amino acids folded into complex three-dimensional shapes that enable them to carry out a huge variety of functions in all living things., The amino acids that make up proteins can have either a “left-handed” (L) or “right-handed” (D) orientation in the arrangement of their atoms-mirror images., ,   

    From The University of California-Santa Cruz (US) : “Mirror-image peptides form ‘rippled sheet’ structure predicted in 1953” 

    From The University of California-Santa Cruz (US)

    December 17, 2021
    Tim Stephens
    stephens@ucsc.edu

    A UCSC team obtained an x-ray ‘snapshot’ of a novel protein structure with potential applications in biomedicine and materials science.

    1
    This illustration shows the “left-handed” and “right-handed” triphenylalanine peptides which bond together to form a rippled beta sheet. Illustration by Jevgenij Raskatov.

    2
    The dimeric rippled sheets assembled into a layered crystal structure with a herringbone pattern. Image credit: Kuhn et al., Chemical Science 2021.

    By mixing a small peptide with equal amounts of its mirror image, a team of scientists at UC Santa Cruz has created an unusual protein structure known as a “rippled beta sheet” and obtained images of it using x-ray crystallography. They reported their findings in a paper published December 8 in Chemical Science.

    The rippled sheet is a distinctive variation on the pleated beta sheet, which is a well-known structural motif found in thousands of proteins, including important disease-related proteins. Linus Pauling and Robert Corey described the rippled beta sheet in 1953, two years after introducing the concept of the pleated beta sheet.

    While the pleated beta sheet (often called simply the beta sheet) quickly became a textbook example of a common protein structure, the rippled sheet has languished in obscurity as a rarely studied and largely theoretical structure. Previous studies have found experimental evidence of rippled sheet formation, but none using x-ray crystallography, which is the gold standard for determining protein structures.

    “Now, for the first time, we have the crystal structure of a rippled sheet, which is like a snapshot of it, and the structure closely matches the predictions of Pauling and Corey,” said Jevgenij Raskatov, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry at UC Santa Cruz and corresponding author of the paper.

    “The rippled sheet paradigm may have significance for both materials research and biomedical applications, and having the crystal structure is important for the rational design of rippled sheet materials,” Raskatov noted.

    Proteins consist of long chains of amino acids folded into complex three-dimensional shapes that enable them to carry out a huge variety of functions in all living things. A pleated beta sheet is composed of linear strands (called beta strands) bonded together side by side to form a 2-dimensional sheet-like structure. A rippled beta sheet is similar except that alternate strands are mirror images of each other.

    The amino acids that make up proteins can have either a “left-handed” (L) or “right-handed” (D) orientation in the arrangement of their atoms—the same in all respects but mirror images, like left and right hands. All natural proteins are made with left-handed amino acids, but synthetic proteins can be made with either L or D amino acids.

    In the new study, the researchers used mirror-image forms of triphenylalanine, a short peptide consisting of three phenylalanine amino acids. When mixed in equal amounts, the mirror-image peptides joined in pairs, which then packed together into herringbone layer structures.

    “They pack together to form a crystal, so we could use x-ray crystallography to see that rippled sheet structure,” said coauthor Timothy Johnstone, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry. “It’s a highly enabling discovery that opens up new avenues for exploration, because it gives us a new building block, or a new way to put building blocks together, for creating novel polypeptide structures with desirable properties.”

    Having determined the crystal structure, the researchers then searched the Protein Data Bank, an online archive of structural data, for other proteins involving mirror-image peptides. They found three additional crystal structures containing rippled sheets that had not been recognized when the structures were originally analyzed.

    The co-first authors of the paper are Ariel Kuhn, a Ph.D. student in Raskatov’s lab, and Beatriz Ehlke, a Ph.D. student in the lab of coauthor Scott Oliver, professor of chemistry and biochemistry.

    “It was a great collaborative effort between the three labs, as well as demonstrating the incredible capabilities of our new single crystal XRD instrument for x-ray crystallography,” Kuhn said.

    This work was supported by The National Institutes of Health (US) and The National Science Foundation (US).

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    UC Santa Cruz (US) Lick Observatory Since 1888 Mt Hamilton, in San Jose, California, Altitude 1,283 m (4,209 ft)

    UC Observatories Lick Automated Planet Finder fully robotic 2.4-meter optical telescope at Lick Observatory, situated on the summit of Mount Hamilton, east of San Jose, California, USA.

    The UCO Lick C. Donald Shane telescope is a 120-inch (3.0-meter) reflecting telescope located at the Lick Observatory, Mt Hamilton, in San Jose, California, Altitude 1,283 m (4,209 ft).
    UC Santa Cruz (US) campus.

    The University of California-Santa Cruz (US) , opened in 1965 and grew, one college at a time, to its current (2008-09) enrollment of more than 16,000 students. Undergraduates pursue more than 60 majors supervised by divisional deans of humanities, physical & biological sciences, social sciences, and arts. Graduate students work toward graduate certificates, master’s degrees, or doctoral degrees in more than 30 academic fields under the supervision of the divisional and graduate deans. The dean of the Jack Baskin School of Engineering oversees the campus’s undergraduate and graduate engineering programs.

    UCSC is the home base for the Lick Observatory.

    UCO Lick Observatory’s 36-inch Great Refractor telescope housed in the South (large) Dome of main building.

    Search for extraterrestrial intelligence expands at Lick Observatory
    New instrument scans the sky for pulses of infrared light
    March 23, 2015
    By Hilary Lebow


    Astronomers are expanding the search for extraterrestrial intelligence into a new realm with detectors tuned to infrared light at UC’s Lick Observatory. A new instrument, called NIROSETI, will soon scour the sky for messages from other worlds.

    “Infrared light would be an excellent means of interstellar communication,” said Shelley Wright, an assistant professor of physics at UC San Diego (US) who led the development of the new instrument while at the U Toronto Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics (CA).

    Shelley Wright of UC San Diego with (US) NIROSETI, developed at U Toronto Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics (CA) at the 1-meter Nickel Telescope at Lick Observatory at UC Santa Cruz

    Wright worked on an earlier SETI project at Lick Observatory as a UC Santa Cruz undergraduate, when she built an optical instrument designed by University of California-Berkeley (US) researchers. The infrared project takes advantage of new technology not available for that first optical search.

    Infrared light would be a good way for extraterrestrials to get our attention here on Earth, since pulses from a powerful infrared laser could outshine a star, if only for a billionth of a second. Interstellar gas and dust is almost transparent to near infrared, so these signals can be seen from great distances. It also takes less energy to send information using infrared signals than with visible light.

    Frank Drake, professor emeritus of astronomy and astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz and director emeritus of the SETI Institute, said there are several additional advantages to a search in the infrared realm.

    Frank Drake with his Drake Equation. Credit Frank Drake.

    “The signals are so strong that we only need a small telescope to receive them. Smaller telescopes can offer more observational time, and that is good because we need to search many stars for a chance of success,” said Drake.

    The only downside is that extraterrestrials would need to be transmitting their signals in our direction, Drake said, though he sees this as a positive side to that limitation. “If we get a signal from someone who’s aiming for us, it could mean there’s altruism in the universe. I like that idea. If they want to be friendly, that’s who we will find.”

    Scientists have searched the skies for radio signals for more than 50 years and expanded their search into the optical realm more than a decade ago. The idea of searching in the infrared is not a new one, but instruments capable of capturing pulses of infrared light only recently became available.

    “We had to wait,” Wright said. “I spent eight years waiting and watching as new technology emerged.”

    Now that technology has caught up, the search will extend to stars thousands of light years away, rather than just hundreds. NIROSETI, or Near-Infrared Optical Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, could also uncover new information about the physical universe.

    “This is the first time Earthlings have looked at the universe at infrared wavelengths with nanosecond time scales,” said Dan Werthimer, UC Berkeley SETI Project Director. “The instrument could discover new astrophysical phenomena, or perhaps answer the question of whether we are alone.”

    NIROSETI will also gather more information than previous optical detectors by recording levels of light over time so that patterns can be analyzed for potential signs of other civilizations.

    “Searching for intelligent life in the universe is both thrilling and somewhat unorthodox,” said Claire Max, director of UC Observatories and professor of astronomy and astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz. “Lick Observatory has already been the site of several previous SETI searches, so this is a very exciting addition to the current research taking place.”

    NIROSETI will scan the skies several times a week on the Nickel 1-meter telescope at Lick Observatory, located on Mt. Hamilton east of San Jose.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:20 pm on December 10, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Biochemistry, Describing the genetic; phylogenetic; and functional diversity of "Acidobacteria"., , , , Sampling for soil microbes in the Malla Nature Reserve located at Kilpisjärvi in northwestern Lapland Finland., The ‘tri-polar’ region was chosen as high latitude and altitude soils are disproportionately impacted by climate change.   

    From Rutgers University (US) : “Distinguished Professor Max Häggblom Leads $1.5 Million NSF Study on Microbiomes of Polar and Alpine Soils” 

    Rutgers smaller
    Our Great Seal.

    From Rutgers University (US)

    December 9, 2021

    1
    Max Häggblom, Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology at Rutgers, sampling for soil microbes in the Malla Nature Reserve located at Kilpisjärvi in northwestern Lapland Finland, one of the project study sites.

    Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Max Häggblom, is principal investigator of a collaborative, multinational project, Dimensions US-China-South Africa: Establishing genetic, phylogenetic and functional mechanisms that shape the diversity of polar and alpine soil microbiomes funded by The National Science Foundation (US). Rutgers co-principal investigators are Lee Kerkhof, professor in the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences, and Malin Pinsky, professor of in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources.

    The international research team—Rutgers University, The University of Delaware (US), The Chinese Academy of Sciences [中国科学院](CN) Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, The University of Pretoria (SA)—will focus on the microbial ecology of soil ecosystems in the Arctic, Antarctic and Tibetan Plateau.

    By studying polar and alpine soils, researchers are seeking to identify the mechanisms that lead to diverse soil microbial communities, hallmarks of stable and sustainable soils.

    “The ‘tri-polar’ region was chosen as high latitude and altitude soils are disproportionately impacted by climate change and predicted to show increased microbial activity and enhanced turnover of soil organic matter in the future. Significant warming of these soils is expected to drive increased microbial activity and enhanced greenhouse gas release,” said Häggblom.

    2
    Collaborator Minna Männistö, Natural Resources Institute Finland, sampling for soil microbes under two meters of snow in winter.

    Microorganisms are the foundations of ecosystems and drive the biology and chemistry in soils, including the conversion of soil organic matter into the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane, as well as nitrogen and phosphorous compounds that can be used by plants.

    “Understanding the ecology of these microorganisms is a compelling scientific challenge, particularly for soil microbiomes that govern nutrient cycling and decomposition,” he explained.

    The combinations and interactions of forces that govern the assembly, dynamics and activity of soil microbiomes are poorly understood—particularly for polar and alpine soils that are on the frontline of climate change.

    “Having a clear understanding of how soil ecosystems respond in these polar regions is critical for evaluating the controls of biogeochemical cycling and clarifying microbial feedbacks in a changing world,” he added.

    Researchers will link laboratory- and field-based approaches to describe the genetic, phylogenetic and functional diversity of Acidobacteria, one of the most ubiquitous but elusive bacterial phyla found in terrestrial ecosystems around the globe. The research will be coupled to educational activities by integrating samples and data into hands-on classroom training at the K-12, undergraduate and graduate levels.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    rutgers-campus

    Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (US), is a leading national research university and the state’s preeminent, comprehensive public institution of higher education. Rutgers is dedicated to teaching that meets the highest standards of excellence; to conducting research that breaks new ground; and to providing services, solutions, and clinical care that help individuals and the local, national, and global communities where they live.

    Founded in 1766, Rutgers teaches across the full educational spectrum: preschool to precollege; undergraduate to graduate; postdoctoral fellowships to residencies; and continuing education for professional and personal advancement.

    Rutgers University (US) is a public land-grant research university based in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Chartered in 1766, Rutgers was originally called Queen’s College, and today it is the eighth-oldest college in the United States, the second-oldest in New Jersey (after Princeton University (US)), and one of the nine U.S. colonial colleges that were chartered before the American War of Independence. In 1825, Queen’s College was renamed Rutgers College in honor of Colonel Henry Rutgers, whose substantial gift to the school had stabilized its finances during a period of uncertainty. For most of its existence, Rutgers was a private liberal arts college but it has evolved into a coeducational public research university after being designated The State University of New Jersey by the New Jersey Legislature via laws enacted in 1945 and 1956.

    Rutgers today has three distinct campuses, located in New Brunswick (including grounds in adjacent Piscataway), Newark, and Camden. The university has additional facilities elsewhere in the state, including oceanographic research facilities at the New Jersey shore. Rutgers is also a land-grant university, a sea-grant university, and the largest university in the state. Instruction is offered by 9,000 faculty members in 175 academic departments to over 45,000 undergraduate students and more than 20,000 graduate and professional students. The university is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and is a member of the Big Ten Academic Alliance, the Association of American Universities (US) and the Universities Research Association (US). Over the years, Rutgers has been considered a Public Ivy.

    Research

    Rutgers is home to the Rutgers University Center for Cognitive Science, also known as RUCCS. This research center hosts researchers in psychology, linguistics, computer science, philosophy, electrical engineering, and anthropology.

    It was at Rutgers that Selman Waksman (1888–1973) discovered several antibiotics, including actinomycin, clavacin, streptothricin, grisein, neomycin, fradicin, candicidin, candidin, and others. Waksman, along with graduate student Albert Schatz (1920–2005), discovered streptomycin—a versatile antibiotic that was to be the first applied to cure tuberculosis. For this discovery, Waksman received the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1952.

    Rutgers developed water-soluble sustained release polymers, tetraploids, robotic hands, artificial bovine insemination, and the ceramic tiles for the heat shield on the Space Shuttle. In health related field, Rutgers has the Environmental & Occupational Health Science Institute (EOHSI).

    Rutgers is also home to the RCSB Protein Data bank, “…an information portal to Biological Macromolecular Structures’ cohosted with the San Diego Supercomputer Center (US). This database is the authoritative research tool for bioinformaticists using protein primary, secondary and tertiary structures worldwide….”

    Rutgers is home to the Rutgers Cooperative Research & Extension office, which is run by the Agricultural and Experiment Station with the support of local government. The institution provides research & education to the local farming and agro industrial community in 19 of the 21 counties of the state and educational outreach programs offered through the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station Office of Continuing Professional Education.

    Rutgers University Cell and DNA Repository (RUCDR) is the largest university based repository in the world and has received awards worth more than $57.8 million from the National Institutes of Health (US). One will fund genetic studies of mental disorders and the other will support investigations into the causes of digestive, liver and kidney diseases, and diabetes. RUCDR activities will enable gene discovery leading to diagnoses, treatments and, eventually, cures for these diseases. RUCDR assists researchers throughout the world by providing the highest quality biomaterials, technical consultation, and logistical support.

    Rutgers–Camden is home to the nation’s PhD granting Department of Childhood Studies. This department, in conjunction with the Center for Children and Childhood Studies, also on the Camden campus, conducts interdisciplinary research which combines methodologies and research practices of sociology, psychology, literature, anthropology and other disciplines into the study of childhoods internationally.

    Rutgers is home to several National Science Foundation (US) IGERT fellowships that support interdisciplinary scientific research at the graduate-level. Highly selective fellowships are available in the following areas: Perceptual Science, Stem Cell Science and Engineering, Nanotechnology for Clean Energy, Renewable and Sustainable Fuels Solutions, and Nanopharmaceutical Engineering.

    Rutgers also maintains the Office of Research Alliances that focuses on working with companies to increase engagement with the university’s faculty members, staff and extensive resources on the four campuses.

    As a ’67 graduate of University College, second in my class, I am proud to be a member of

    Alpha Sigma Lamda, National Honor Society of non-tradional students.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:04 pm on December 1, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Deep learning dreams up new protein structures", A neural network trained exclusively to predict protein shapes can also generate new ones., At no point did the scientists guide the software toward a particular outcome., Baker Lab-University of Washington, Biochemistry, , , , Exploring how to best use this strategy for specific applications is now an active area of research., Remarkable accuracy of protein designs created by the "hallucination" approach., The new proteins are just what a computer dreams up., The potential to "hallucinate" brand new proteins that bind particular biomolecules or form desired enzymatic active sites is very exciting.,   

    From The University of Washington (US) School of Medicine : “Deep learning dreams up new protein structures” 

    From The University of Washington (US) School of Medicine

    December 1, 2021
    Leila Gray,
    206.475.9809
    leilag@uw.edu

    A neural network trained exclusively to predict protein shapes can also generate new ones.

    1
    This twisting protein structure is one of the hundreds dreamed up by a machine-learning algorithm.

    Just as convincing images of cats can be created using artificial intelligence, new proteins can now be made using similar tools. In a report in Nature, researchers describe the development of a neural network that “hallucinates” proteins with new, stable structures.

    Proteins, which are string-like molecules found in every cell, spontaneously fold into intricate three-dimensional shapes. These folded shapes are key to nearly every biological process, including cellular development, DNA repair, and metabolism. But the complexity of protein shapes makes them difficult to study. Biochemists often use computers to predict how protein strings, or sequences, might fold. In recent years, deep learning has revolutionized the accuracy of this work.

    “For this project, we made up completely random protein sequences and introduced mutations into them until our neural network predicted that they would fold into stable structures,” said co-lead author Ivan Anishchenko, He is an acting instructor of biochemisty at the University of Washington School of Medicine and a researcher in David Baker’s laboratory at the UW Medicine Institute for Protein Design.

    U Washington, Dr. David Baker, Baker Lab.

    Dr. David Baker, Baker Lab, University of Washington

    David Baker’s Rosetta@home project, a project running on BOINC software from University of California-Berkeley

    Rosetta@home BOINC project screen saver

    BOINC-Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing from University of California-Berkeley

    BOINC

    “At no point did we guide the software toward a particular outcome,“ Anishchenko said, “ These new proteins are just what a computer dreams up.”

    In the future, the team believes it should be possible to steer the artificial intelligence so that it generates new proteins with useful features.

    “We’d like to use deep learning to design proteins with function, including protein-based drugs, enzymes, you name it,” said co-lead author Sam Pellock, a postdoctoral scholar in the Baker lab.

    The research team, which included scientists from UW Medicine, Harvard University (US), and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (US), generated two thousand new protein sequences that were predicted to fold. Over 100 of these were produced in the laboratory and studied. Detailed analysis on three such proteins confirmed that the shapes predicted by the computer were indeed realized in the lab.

    “Our NMR [nuclear magnetic resonance] studies, along with X-ray crystal structures determined by the
    University of Washington team, demonstrate the remarkable accuracy of protein designs created by the hallucination approach”, said co-author Theresa Ramelot, a senior research scientist at RPI in Troy, New York.

    Gaetano Montelione, a co-author and professor of chemistry and chemical biology at RPI, noted. “The hallucination approach builds on observations we made together with the Baker lab revealing that protein structure prediction with deep learning can be quite accurate even for a single protein sequence with no natural relatives. The potential to hallucinate brand new proteins that bind particular biomolecules or form desired enzymatic active sites is very exciting”.

    “This approach greatly simplifies protein design,” said senior author David Baker, a professor of biochemistry at the UW School of Medicine who received a 2021 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences. “Before, to create a new protein with a particular shape, people first carefully studied related structures in nature to come up with a set of rules that were then applied in the design process. New sets of rules were needed for each new type of fold. Here, by using a deep-learning network that already captures general principles of protein structure, we eliminate the need for fold-specific rules and open up the possibility of focusing on just the functional parts of a protein directly.”

    “Exploring how to best use this strategy for specific applications is now an active area of research, and this is where I expect the next breakthroughs,” said Baker.

    Funding was provided by the National Science Foundation (1937533, MCB2032259), National Institutes of Health (DP5OD026389, GM120574, P30GM124165, S10OD021527), Department of Energy (DE-AC02-06CH11357) Open Philanthropy, Eric and Wendy Schmidt by recommendation of the Schmidt Futures program, Audacious Project, Washington Research Foundation, Novo Nordisk Foundation, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The authors also acknowledge computing resources from the University of Washington and Rosetta@Home volunteers.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    u-washington-campus

    The University of Washington School of Medicine (UWSOM) is a large public medical school in the northwest United States, located in Seattle and affiliated with the University of Washington. According to U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 Best Graduate School rankings, University of Washington School of Medicine ranked #1 in the nation for primary care education, and #7 for research.

    UWSOM is the first public medical school in the states of Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho. The school maintains a network of teaching facilities in more than 100 towns and cities across the five-state region. As part of this “WWAMI” partnership, medical students from Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho spend their first year and a half at The University of Wyoming (US), The University of Alaska-Anchorage (US), Montana State University (US), or The University of Idaho (US), respectively. In addition, sixty first-year students and forty second-year students from Washington are based at Gonzaga University (US) in Spokane. Preference is given to residents of the WWAMI states.

    The University of Washington (US) is one of the world’s preeminent public universities. Our impact on individuals, on our region, and on the world is profound — whether we are launching young people into a boundless future or confronting the grand challenges of our time through undaunted research and scholarship. Ranked number 10 in the world in Shanghai Jiao Tong University rankings and educating more than 54,000 students annually, our students and faculty work together to turn ideas into impact and in the process transform lives and our world. For more about our impact on the world, every day.

    So what defines us —the students, faculty and community members at the University of Washington? Above all, it’s our belief in possibility and our unshakable optimism. It’s a connection to others, both near and far. It’s a hunger that pushes us to tackle challenges and pursue progress. It’s the conviction that together we can create a world of good. Join us on the journey.

    The University of Washington (US) is a public research university in Seattle, Washington, United States. Founded in 1861, University of Washington is one of the oldest universities on the West Coast; it was established in downtown Seattle approximately a decade after the city’s founding to aid its economic development. Today, the university’s 703-acre main Seattle campus is in the University District above the Montlake Cut, within the urban Puget Sound region of the Pacific Northwest. The university has additional campuses in Tacoma and Bothell. Overall, University of Washington encompasses over 500 buildings and over 20 million gross square footage of space, including one of the largest library systems in the world with more than 26 university libraries, as well as the UW Tower, lecture halls, art centers, museums, laboratories, stadiums, and conference centers. The university offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees through 140 departments in various colleges and schools, sees a total student enrollment of roughly 46,000 annually, and functions on a quarter system.

    University of Washington is a member of the Association of American Universities(US) and is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. According to the National Science Foundation(US), UW spent $1.41 billion on research and development in 2018, ranking it 5th in the nation. As the flagship institution of the six public universities in Washington state, it is known for its medical, engineering and scientific research as well as its highly competitive computer science and engineering programs. Additionally, University of Washington continues to benefit from its deep historic ties and major collaborations with numerous technology giants in the region, such as Amazon, Boeing, Nintendo, and particularly Microsoft. Paul G. Allen, Bill Gates and others spent significant time at Washington computer labs for a startup venture before founding Microsoft and other ventures. The University of Washington’s 22 varsity sports teams are also highly competitive, competing as the Huskies in the Pac-12 Conference of the NCAA Division I, representing the United States at the Olympic Games, and other major competitions.

    The university has been affiliated with many notable alumni and faculty, including 21 Nobel Prize laureates and numerous Pulitzer Prize winners, Fulbright Scholars, Rhodes Scholars and Marshall Scholars.

    In 1854, territorial governor Isaac Stevens recommended the establishment of a university in the Washington Territory. Prominent Seattle-area residents, including Methodist preacher Daniel Bagley, saw this as a chance to add to the city’s potential and prestige. Bagley learned of a law that allowed United States territories to sell land to raise money in support of public schools. At the time, Arthur A. Denny, one of the founders of Seattle and a member of the territorial legislature, aimed to increase the city’s importance by moving the territory’s capital from Olympia to Seattle. However, Bagley eventually convinced Denny that the establishment of a university would assist more in the development of Seattle’s economy. Two universities were initially chartered, but later the decision was repealed in favor of a single university in Lewis County provided that locally donated land was available. When no site emerged, Denny successfully petitioned the legislature to reconsider Seattle as a location in 1858.

    In 1861, scouting began for an appropriate 10 acres (4 ha) site in Seattle to serve as a new university campus. Arthur and Mary Denny donated eight acres, while fellow pioneers Edward Lander, and Charlie and Mary Terry, donated two acres on Denny’s Knoll in downtown Seattle. More specifically, this tract was bounded by 4th Avenue to the west, 6th Avenue to the east, Union Street to the north, and Seneca Streets to the south.

    John Pike, for whom Pike Street is named, was the university’s architect and builder. It was opened on November 4, 1861, as the Territorial University of Washington. The legislature passed articles incorporating the University, and establishing its Board of Regents in 1862. The school initially struggled, closing three times: in 1863 for low enrollment, and again in 1867 and 1876 due to funds shortage. University of Washington awarded its first graduate Clara Antoinette McCarty Wilt in 1876, with a bachelor’s degree in science.

    19th century relocation

    By the time Washington state entered the Union in 1889, both Seattle and the University had grown substantially. University of Washington’s total undergraduate enrollment increased from 30 to nearly 300 students, and the campus’s relative isolation in downtown Seattle faced encroaching development. A special legislative committee, headed by University of Washington graduate Edmond Meany, was created to find a new campus to better serve the growing student population and faculty. The committee eventually selected a site on the northeast of downtown Seattle called Union Bay, which was the land of the Duwamish, and the legislature appropriated funds for its purchase and construction. In 1895, the University relocated to the new campus by moving into the newly built Denny Hall. The University Regents tried and failed to sell the old campus, eventually settling with leasing the area. This would later become one of the University’s most valuable pieces of real estate in modern-day Seattle, generating millions in annual revenue with what is now called the Metropolitan Tract. The original Territorial University building was torn down in 1908, and its former site now houses the Fairmont Olympic Hotel.

    The sole-surviving remnants of Washington’s first building are four 24-foot (7.3 m), white, hand-fluted cedar, Ionic columns. They were salvaged by Edmond S. Meany, one of the University’s first graduates and former head of its history department. Meany and his colleague, Dean Herbert T. Condon, dubbed the columns as “Loyalty,” “Industry,” “Faith”, and “Efficiency”, or “LIFE.” The columns now stand in the Sylvan Grove Theater.

    20th century expansion

    Organizers of the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition eyed the still largely undeveloped campus as a prime setting for their world’s fair. They came to an agreement with Washington’s Board of Regents that allowed them to use the campus grounds for the exposition, surrounding today’s Drumheller Fountain facing towards Mount Rainier. In exchange, organizers agreed Washington would take over the campus and its development after the fair’s conclusion. This arrangement led to a detailed site plan and several new buildings, prepared in part by John Charles Olmsted. The plan was later incorporated into the overall University of Washington campus master plan, permanently affecting the campus layout.

    Both World Wars brought the military to campus, with certain facilities temporarily lent to the federal government. In spite of this, subsequent post-war periods were times of dramatic growth for the University. The period between the wars saw a significant expansion of the upper campus. Construction of the Liberal Arts Quadrangle, known to students as “The Quad,” began in 1916 and continued to 1939. The University’s architectural centerpiece, Suzzallo Library, was built in 1926 and expanded in 1935.

    After World War II, further growth came with the G.I. Bill. Among the most important developments of this period was the opening of the School of Medicine in 1946, which is now consistently ranked as the top medical school in the United States. It would eventually lead to the University of Washington Medical Center, ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top ten hospitals in the nation.

    In 1942, all persons of Japanese ancestry in the Seattle area were forced into inland internment camps as part of Executive Order 9066 following the attack on Pearl Harbor. During this difficult time, university president Lee Paul Sieg took an active and sympathetic leadership role in advocating for and facilitating the transfer of Japanese American students to universities and colleges away from the Pacific Coast to help them avoid the mass incarceration. Nevertheless many Japanese American students and “soon-to-be” graduates were unable to transfer successfully in the short time window or receive diplomas before being incarcerated. It was only many years later that they would be recognized for their accomplishments during the University of Washington’s Long Journey Home ceremonial event that was held in May 2008.

    From 1958 to 1973, the University of Washington saw a tremendous growth in student enrollment, its faculties and operating budget, and also its prestige under the leadership of Charles Odegaard. University of Washington student enrollment had more than doubled to 34,000 as the baby boom generation came of age. However, this era was also marked by high levels of student activism, as was the case at many American universities. Much of the unrest focused around civil rights and opposition to the Vietnam War. In response to anti-Vietnam War protests by the late 1960s, the University Safety and Security Division became the University of Washington Police Department.

    Odegaard instituted a vision of building a “community of scholars”, convincing the Washington State legislatures to increase investment in the University. Washington senators, such as Henry M. Jackson and Warren G. Magnuson, also used their political clout to gather research funds for the University of Washington. The results included an increase in the operating budget from $37 million in 1958 to over $400 million in 1973, solidifying University of Washington as a top recipient of federal research funds in the United States. The establishment of technology giants such as Microsoft, Boeing and Amazon in the local area also proved to be highly influential in the University of Washington’s fortunes, not only improving graduate prospects but also helping to attract millions of dollars in university and research funding through its distinguished faculty and extensive alumni network.

    21st century

    In 1990, the University of Washington opened its additional campuses in Bothell and Tacoma. Although originally intended for students who have already completed two years of higher education, both schools have since become four-year universities with the authority to grant degrees. The first freshman classes at these campuses started in fall 2006. Today both Bothell and Tacoma also offer a selection of master’s degree programs.

    In 2012, the University began exploring plans and governmental approval to expand the main Seattle campus, including significant increases in student housing, teaching facilities for the growing student body and faculty, as well as expanded public transit options. The University of Washington light rail station was completed in March 2015, connecting Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood to the University of Washington Husky Stadium within five minutes of rail travel time. It offers a previously unavailable option of transportation into and out of the campus, designed specifically to reduce dependence on private vehicles, bicycles and local King County buses.

    University of Washington has been listed as a “Public Ivy” in Greene’s Guides since 2001, and is an elected member of the American Association of Universities. Among the faculty by 2012, there have been 151 members of American Association for the Advancement of Science, 68 members of the National Academy of Sciences(US), 67 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 53 members of the National Academy of Medicine(US), 29 winners of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, 21 members of the National Academy of Engineering(US), 15 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators, 15 MacArthur Fellows, 9 winners of the Gairdner Foundation International Award, 5 winners of the National Medal of Science, 7 Nobel Prize laureates, 5 winners of Albert Lasker Award for Clinical Medical Research, 4 members of the American Philosophical Society, 2 winners of the National Book Award, 2 winners of the National Medal of Arts, 2 Pulitzer Prize winners, 1 winner of the Fields Medal, and 1 member of the National Academy of Public Administration. Among UW students by 2012, there were 136 Fulbright Scholars, 35 Rhodes Scholars, 7 Marshall Scholars and 4 Gates Cambridge Scholars. UW is recognized as a top producer of Fulbright Scholars, ranking 2nd in the US in 2017.

    The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) has consistently ranked University of Washington as one of the top 20 universities worldwide every year since its first release. In 2019, University of Washington ranked 14th worldwide out of 500 by the ARWU, 26th worldwide out of 981 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and 28th worldwide out of 101 in the Times World Reputation Rankings. Meanwhile, QS World University Rankings ranked it 68th worldwide, out of over 900.

    U.S. News & World Report ranked University of Washington 8th out of nearly 1,500 universities worldwide for 2021, with University of Washington’s undergraduate program tied for 58th among 389 national universities in the U.S. and tied for 19th among 209 public universities.

    In 2019, it ranked 10th among the universities around the world by SCImago Institutions Rankings. In 2017, the Leiden Ranking, which focuses on science and the impact of scientific publications among the world’s 500 major universities, ranked University of Washington 12th globally and 5th in the U.S.

    In 2019, Kiplinger Magazine’s review of “top college values” named University of Washington 5th for in-state students and 10th for out-of-state students among U.S. public colleges, and 84th overall out of 500 schools. In the Washington Monthly National University Rankings University of Washington was ranked 15th domestically in 2018, based on its contribution to the public good as measured by social mobility, research, and promoting public service.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:01 pm on September 8, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Many Bodies-Many Possibilities", , Biochemistry, , ,   

    From University of California-Santa Barbara (US) : “Many Bodies-Many Possibilities” 

    UC Santa Barbara Name bloc

    From University of California-Santa Barbara (US)

    September 7, 2021
    Sonia Fernandez
    sonia.fernandez@ucsb.edu

    Theorist Vojtech Vlcek receives award from Department of Energy (US) to advance scientific discovery using supercomputers.

    1

    How can one predict a material’s behavior on the molecular and atomic levels, at the shortest timescales? What’s the best way to design materials to make use of their quantum properties for electronics and information science?

    These broad, difficult questions are the type of inquiries that UC Santa Barbara theorist Vojtech Vlcek and his lab will investigate as part of a select group of scientists chosen by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to develop new operating frameworks for some of the world’s most powerful computers. Vlcek will be leading one of five DOE-funded projects — to the tune of $28 million overall — that “will focus on computational methods, algorithms and software to further chemical and materials research, specifically for simulating quantum phenomena and chemical reactions.”

    “It’s really exciting,” said Vlcek, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and one of, if not the youngest researcher to lead such a major endeavor. “We believe we will be for the first time able to not only really describe realistic systems, but also provide this whole framework for ultrafast and driven phenomena that will actually set the scene for future developments.”

    “I congratulate Vojtech Vlcek on being selected for this prestigious grant,” said Pierre Wiltzius, dean of mathematical, physical and life sciences at UC Santa Barbara. “It’s especially impressive and unusual for an assistant professor to lead this type of complex, multi-institution research project. Vojtech is in a league of his own, and I look forward to future insights that will come from the team’s discoveries.”

    A Multilayer Framework

    As part of the DOE’s efforts toward clean energy technologies, scientists across the nation study matter and energy at their most fundamental levels. The goal is to design and discover new materials and processes that can generate, manipulate and store energy — techniques that have applications in a wide variety of areas, including energy, environment and national security.

    Uncovering these potentially beneficial phenomena and connecting them to the atoms they come from is hard work — work that could be assisted with the use of the supercomputers that are housed in the DOE’s national laboratories.

    “DOE’s national labs are home to some of the world’s fastest supercomputers, and with more advanced software programs we can fully harness the power of these supercomputers to make breakthrough discoveries and solve the world’s hardest to crack problems,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “These investments will help sustain U.S. leadership in science, accelerate basic energy and advance solutions to the nation’s clean energy priorities.”

    Among these hard-to-crack problems is the issue of many interacting particles. Interactions are more easily predicted in a system of a few atoms or molecules, or in very regular, periodic systems. But add more bodies or use more elaborate systems and the complexity skyrockets because the characteristics and behaviors of and interactions between every particle have to be accounted for. In some cases, their collective behaviors can produce interesting phenomena that can’t be predicted from the behavior of individual particles.

    “People have been working with small molecules, or characterizing perfectly periodic systems, or looking at just a few atoms,” Vlcek said, and more or less extending their dynamics to try to approximate the behaviors of larger, more complex systems.

    “This is not necessarily realistic,” he continued. “We want to simulate surfaces. We want to simulate systems that have large-scale periodicity. And in these cases you need to consider systems that are not on nanometer scales, but on the scale of thousands of atoms.”

    Add to that complexity non-equilibrium processes, which are the focus of Vlcek’s particular project. He will be leading an effort that involves an additional seven co-principal investigators from The University of California-Berkeley (US), The University of California-Los Angeles (US), Rutgers University (US), The University of Michigan (US) and DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (US).

    “Essentially these systems are driven by some strong external stimuli, like from lasers or other driving fields,” he said. “These processes are relevant for many applications, such as electronics and quantum information sciences.”

    The goal, according to Vlcek, is to develop algorithms and software based on “a multilayer framework with successive layers of embedding theories to capture non-equilibrium dynamics.” The team, in partnership with two DOE-supported Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing (SciDAC) Institutes at Lawrence Berkeley and DOE’s Argonne National Laboratories (US), begins with the most fundamental assumptions of quantum theory. That foundation is followed by layers that incorporate novel numerical techniques and neural network approaches to take advantage of the intensive computing the supercomputers can perform.

    “We still stay with the first principles approach, but we’re making successive levels of approximations,” Vlcek explained. “And with this approach we’ll be able to treat extremely large systems.” Among the many advantages of the methodology will be the ability — for the first time — to describe experimental systems in real-time, as they are driven by external forces.

    The outcome of the project will be “bigger than the sum of its parts,” said Vlcek. Not only will it provide a method of studying and designing a wide variety of present and future novel materials, the algorithms are also meant for future supercomputers.

    “One interesting outcome will be that we will also try to connect to future computational platforms, which could possibly be quantum computers,” he said. “So this framework will actually allow future research on present and future novel materials as well as new theoretical research.”

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition

    UC Santa Barbara Seal

    The University of California-Santa Barbara (US) is a public land-grant research university in Santa Barbara, California, and one of the ten campuses of the University of California(US) system. Tracing its roots back to 1891 as an independent teachers’ college, UCSB joined the University of California system in 1944, and is the third-oldest undergraduate campus in the system.

    The university is a comprehensive doctoral university and is organized into five colleges and schools offering 87 undergraduate degrees and 55 graduate degrees. It is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. According to the National Science Foundation(US), UC Santa Barbara spent $235 million on research and development in fiscal year 2018, ranking it 100th in the nation. In his 2001 book The Public Ivies: America’s Flagship Public Universities, author Howard Greene labeled UCSB a “Public Ivy”.

    UC Santa Barbara is a research university with 10 national research centers, including the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (US) and the Center for Control, Dynamical-Systems and Computation. Current UCSB faculty includes six Nobel Prize laureates; one Fields Medalist; 39 members of the National Academy of Sciences (US); 27 members of the National Academy of Engineering (US); and 34 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (US). UCSB was the No. 3 host on the ARPANET and was elected to the Association of American Universities in 1995. The faculty also includes two Academy and Emmy Award winners and recipients of a Millennium Technology Prize; an IEEE Medal of Honor; a National Medal of Technology and Innovation; and a Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics.
    The UC Santa Barbara Gauchos compete in the Big West Conference of the NCAA Division I. The Gauchos have won NCAA national championships in men’s soccer and men’s water polo.

    History

    UCSB traces its origins back to the Anna Blake School, which was founded in 1891, and offered training in home economics and industrial arts. The Anna Blake School was taken over by the state in 1909 and became the Santa Barbara State Normal School which then became the Santa Barbara State College in 1921.

    In 1944, intense lobbying by an interest group in the City of Santa Barbara led by Thomas Storke and Pearl Chase persuaded the State Legislature, Gov. Earl Warren, and the Regents of the University of California to move the State College over to the more research-oriented University of California system. The State College system sued to stop the takeover but the governor did not support the suit. A state constitutional amendment was passed in 1946 to stop subsequent conversions of State Colleges to University of California campuses.

    From 1944 to 1958, the school was known as Santa Barbara College of the University of California, before taking on its current name. When the vacated Marine Corps training station in Goleta was purchased for the rapidly growing college Santa Barbara City College moved into the vacated State College buildings.

    Originally the regents envisioned a small several thousand–student liberal arts college a so-called “Williams College (US) of the West”, at Santa Barbara. Chronologically, UCSB is the third general-education campus of the University of California, after UC Berkeley (US) and UCLA (US) (the only other state campus to have been acquired by the UC system). The original campus the regents acquired in Santa Barbara was located on only 100 acres (40 ha) of largely unusable land on a seaside mesa. The availability of a 400-acre (160 ha) portion of the land used as Marine Corps Air Station Santa Barbara until 1946 on another seaside mesa in Goleta, which the regents could acquire for free from the federal government, led to that site becoming the Santa Barbara campus in 1949.

    Originally only 3000–3500 students were anticipated but the post-WWII baby boom led to the designation of general campus in 1958 along with a name change from “Santa Barbara College” to “University of California, Santa Barbara,” and the discontinuation of the industrial arts program for which the state college was famous. A chancellor- Samuel B. Gould- was appointed in 1959.

    In 1959 UCSB professor Douwe Stuurman hosted the English writer Aldous Huxley as the university’s first visiting professor. Huxley delivered a lectures series called The Human Situation.

    In the late ’60s and early ’70s UCSB became nationally known as a hotbed of anti–Vietnam War activity. A bombing at the school’s faculty club in 1969 killed the caretaker Dover Sharp. In the spring of 1970 multiple occasions of arson occurred including a burning of the Bank of America branch building in the student community of Isla Vista during which time one male student Kevin Moran was shot and killed by police. UCSB’s anti-Vietnam activity impelled then-Gov. Ronald Reagan to impose a curfew and order the National Guard to enforce it. Armed guardsmen were a common sight on campus and in Isla Vista during this time.

    In 1995 UCSB was elected to the Association of American Universities– an organization of leading research universities with a membership consisting of 59 universities in the United States (both public and private) and two universities in Canada.

    On May 23, 2014 a killing spree occurred in Isla Vista, California, a community in close proximity to the campus. All six people killed during the rampage were students at UCSB. The murderer was a former Santa Barbara City College student who lived in Isla Vista.

    Research activity

    According to the National Science Foundation (US), UC Santa Barbara spent $236.5 million on research and development in fiscal 2013, ranking it 87th in the nation.

    From 2005 to 2009 UCSB was ranked fourth in terms of relative citation impact in the U.S. (behind Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US), California Institute of Technology(US), and Princeton University (US)) according to Thomson Reuters.

    UCSB hosts 12 National Research Centers, including the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, the Southern California Earthquake Center, the UCSB Center for Spatial Studies, an affiliate of the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis, and the California Nanosystems Institute. Eight of these centers are supported by the National Science Foundation. UCSB is also home to Microsoft Station Q, a research group working on topological quantum computing where American mathematician and Fields Medalist Michael Freedman is the director.

    Research impact rankings

    The Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranked UCSB 48th worldwide for 2016–17, while the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) in 2016 ranked UCSB 42nd in the world; 28th in the nation; and in 2015 tied for 17th worldwide in engineering.

    In the United States National Research Council rankings of graduate programs, 10 UCSB departments were ranked in the top ten in the country: Materials; Chemical Engineering; Computer Science; Electrical and Computer Engineering; Mechanical Engineering; Physics; Marine Science Institute; Geography; History; and Theater and Dance. Among U.S. university Materials Science and Engineering programs, UCSB was ranked first in each measure of a study by the National Research Council of the NAS.

    The Centre for Science and Technologies Studies at

     
  • richardmitnick 9:17 am on August 13, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "From detecting earthquakes to preventing disease- 27 U of T research projects receive CFI funding", Aerospace Studies and Engineering, , Baby Brain and Behaviour, Biochemistry, Cellular and Biomolecular Research, Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry, Civil and Mineral engineering, Dynamic Emotional Behavior, , Macromolecular bioelectronics encoded for self-assembly, Mechanical & Industrial Engineering, Medical Biophysics and Cancer studies, Multi-organ repair and regeneration after lung injury, Nutritional sciences, Pharmacology and Toxicology, Radiation Oncology, Stem cell models, , Sustainable Water Management and Resource Recovery, Targeted brain tumour therapies,   

    From University of Toronto (CA) : “From detecting earthquakes to preventing disease- 27 U of T research projects receive CFI funding” 

    From University of Toronto (CA)

    August 12, 2021
    Tyler Irving

    1
    In a U of T Engineering lab, rock samples are subjected to the stress, fluid pressure and temperature conditions they experience in nature. Photo courtesy of Sebastian Goodfellow.

    Sebastian Goodfellow, a researcher at the University of Toronto (CA), listens for hidden signals that the ground is about to move beneath our feet.

    That includes so-called “induced” earthquakes that stem from human activities such as hydraulic fracturing (‘fracking’) and enhanced geothermal systems.

    “Think of the cracking sounds a cube of ice makes when you drop it in a cup of warm water, or the sound a wooden stick makes when you bend it until it breaks,” says Goodfellow, an assistant professor in the department of civil and mineral engineering in the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering.

    “This occurs as a consequence of sudden localized changes in stress, and we study these microfracture sounds in the lab to understand how rock responds to changes in stress, fluid pressure and temperature.”

    While the frequency of these sonic clues is beyond the range of human hearing, they can be picked up with acoustic emission sensors. The challenge, however, is that scientists must listen continuously for hours in the absence of a method to predict when they will occur.

    “We’re talking about more than a terabyte of data per hour,” says Goodfellow. “We use a form of artificial intelligence called machine learning to extract patterns from these large waveform datasets.”

    Goodfellow’s study of induced seismicity project is one of 27 at U of T – and nine from U of T Engineering – to share more than $8.2 million in funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund (Read the full list of researchers and their projects).

    Named for the late U of T President Emeritus John R. Evans, the fund equips university researchers with the technology and infrastructure they need to remain at the forefront of innovation in Canada and globally. It also helps Canadian universities attract top researchers from around the world.

    “From sustainable electric transportation and engineering of novel materials to non-invasive neuro-imaging and applications of AI in public health, U of T researchers across our three campuses are advancing some of the most important discoveries of our time,” said Leah Cowen, U of T’s associate vice-president, research.

    “Addressing such complex challenges often requires cutting-edge technology, equipment and facilities. The support provided by the Canada Foundation for Innovation will go a long way towards enabling our researchers’ important work.”

    Goodfellow’s team will use the funding to buy a triaxial geophysical imaging cell fitted with acoustic emissions sensors as well as hardware for high-frequency acquisition of acoustic emissions data. The equipment will enable them to carry out controlled experiments in the lab, test better algorithms and develop new techniques to turn the data into insights – all to better understand processes that lead to induced earthquakes.

    By learning more about how these tiny cracks and pops are related to larger seismic events such as earthquakes, the team hopes to help professionals in a wide range of sectors make better decisions. That includes industries that employ underground injection technologies – geothermal power, hydraulic fracturing and carbon sequestration, among others – along with the bodies charged with regulating them.

    “Up until now, our poor understanding of the causal links between fluid injection and large, induced earthquakes limited the economic development of these industries,” says Goodfellow.

    “Our research will help mitigate the human and environmental impacts, leading to new economic growth opportunities for Canada.”

    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Here is the full list of 27 U of T researchers who received support for their projects:

    Cristina Amon, department of mechanical & industrial engineering in the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering: Enabling sustainable e-mobility through intelligent thermal management systems for EVs and charging infrastructure.

    Jacqueline Beaudry, department of nutritional sciences in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine and Lunenfeld-Tannenbaum Research Institute at Sinai Health: Role of pancreatic and gut hormones in energy metabolism.

    Swetaprovo Chaudhuri, U of T Institute for Aerospace Studies in the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering: Kinetics-transport interaction towards deposition of carbon particulates in meso-channel supercritical fuel flows.

    Mark Currie, department of cell and systems biology in Faculty of Arts & Science: Structural Biology Laboratory.

    Marcus Dillon, department of biology at U of T Mississauga: The evolutionary genomics of infectious phytopathogen emergence.

    Landon Edgar, department of pharmacology and toxicology in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine: Technologies to interrogate and control carbohydrate-mediated immunity.

    Gregory Fairn, department of biochemistry in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine and St. Michael’s Hospital: Advanced live cell imaging and isothermal calorimetry for the study immune cell dysfunction and inflammation.

    Kevin Golovin, department of mechanical and industrial engineering in the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering: Durable Low Ice Adhesion Coatings Laboratory.

    Sebastian Goodfellow, department of civil and mineral engineering in the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering: A study of induced seismicity through novel triaxial experiments and data analysis methodologies.

    Giovanni Grasselli, department of civil and mineral engineering in the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering: Towards the sustainable development of energy resources – fundamentals and implications of hydraulic fracturing technology.

    Kristin Hope, department of medical biophysics in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine and Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network: Characterizing and unlocking the therapeutic potential of stem cells and the leukemic microenvironment.

    Elizabeth Johnson, department of psychology at U of T Mississauga: Baby Brain and Behaviour Lab (BaBBL) – electrophysiological measures of infant speech and language development.

    Omar Khan, Institute of Biomedical Engineering in the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering and department of immunology in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine: Combination ribonucleic acid treatment technology lab.

    Marianne Koritzinsky, department of radiation oncology in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine and Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network: Targeted therapeutics to enhance radiotherapy efficacy and safety in the era of image-guided conformal treatment.

    Christopher Lawson, department of chemical engineering & applied chemistry in the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering: The Microbiome Engineering Laboratory for Resource Recovery.

    Fa-Hsuan Lin, department of medical biophysics in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine and Sunnybrook Research Institute: Integrated non-invasive human neuroimaging and neuromodulation platform.

    Vasanti Malik, department of nutritional sciences in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine: Child obesity and metabolic health in pregnancy – a novel approach to chronic disease prevention and planetary health.

    Rafael Montenegro-Burke, Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research and department of molecular genetics in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine: Mapping the dark metabolome using click chemistry tools.

    Robert Rozeske, department of psychology at U of T Scarborough: Neuronal mechanisms of dynamic emotional behavior.

    Karun Singh, department of laboratory medicine and pathobiology in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine and Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network: Stem cell models to investigate brain function in development and disease.

    Corliss Kin I Sio, department of Earth sciences in the Faculty of Arts & Science: Constraining source compositions and timescales of mass transport using femtosecond LA-MC-ICPMS.

    Helen Tran, department of chemistry in the Faculty of Arts & Science: Macromolecular bioelectronics encoded for self-assembly, degradability and electron transport.

    Andrea Tricco, Dalla Lana School of Public Health: Expediting knowledge synthesis using artificial intelligence – CAL®-Synthesi.SR Dashboard.

    Jay Werber, department of chemical engineering and applied chemistry in the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering: The Advanced Membranes (AM) Laboratory for Sustainable Water Management and Resource Recovery.

    Haibo Zhang, department of physiology in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine and St. Michael’s Hospital: Real time high-resolution imaging and cell sorting for studying multi-organ repair and regeneration after lung injury.

    Gang Zheng, department of medical biophysics in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine and Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network: Preclinical magnetic resonance imaging for targeted brain tumour therapies.

    Shurui Zhou, department of electrical and computer engineering in the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering: Improving collaboration efficiency for fork-based software development.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The University of Toronto (CA) is a public research university in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, located on the grounds that surround Queen’s Park. It was founded by royal charter in 1827 as King’s College, the oldest university in the province of Ontario.

    Originally controlled by the Church of England, the university assumed its present name in 1850 upon becoming a secular institution.

    As a collegiate university, it comprises eleven colleges each with substantial autonomy on financial and institutional affairs and significant differences in character and history. The university also operates two satellite campuses located in Scarborough and Mississauga.

    University of Toronto has evolved into Canada’s leading institution of learning, discovery and knowledge creation. We are proud to be one of the world’s top research-intensive universities, driven to invent and innovate.

    Our students have the opportunity to learn from and work with preeminent thought leaders through our multidisciplinary network of teaching and research faculty, alumni and partners.

    The ideas, innovations and actions of more than 560,000 graduates continue to have a positive impact on the world.

    Academically, the University of Toronto is noted for movements and curricula in literary criticism and communication theory, known collectively as the Toronto School.

    The university was the birthplace of insulin and stem cell research, and was the site of the first electron microscope in North America; the identification of the first black hole Cygnus X-1; multi-touch technology, and the development of the theory of NP-completeness.

    The university was one of several universities involved in early research of deep learning. It receives the most annual scientific research funding of any Canadian university and is one of two members of the Association of American Universities (US) outside the United States, the other being McGill(CA).

    The Varsity Blues are the athletic teams that represent the university in intercollegiate league matches, with ties to gridiron football, rowing and ice hockey. The earliest recorded instance of gridiron football occurred at University of Toronto’s University College in November 1861.

    The university’s Hart House is an early example of the North American student centre, simultaneously serving cultural, intellectual, and recreational interests within its large Gothic-revival complex.

    The University of Toronto has educated three Governors General of Canada, four Prime Ministers of Canada, three foreign leaders, and fourteen Justices of the Supreme Court. As of March 2019, ten Nobel laureates, five Turing Award winners, 94 Rhodes Scholars, and one Fields Medalist have been affiliated with the university.

    Early history

    The founding of a colonial college had long been the desire of John Graves Simcoe, the first Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada and founder of York, the colonial capital. As an University of Oxford (UK)-educated military commander who had fought in the American Revolutionary War, Simcoe believed a college was needed to counter the spread of republicanism from the United States. The Upper Canada Executive Committee recommended in 1798 that a college be established in York.

    On March 15, 1827, a royal charter was formally issued by King George IV, proclaiming “from this time one College, with the style and privileges of a University … for the education of youth in the principles of the Christian Religion, and for their instruction in the various branches of Science and Literature … to continue for ever, to be called King’s College.” The granting of the charter was largely the result of intense lobbying by John Strachan, the influential Anglican Bishop of Toronto who took office as the college’s first president. The original three-storey Greek Revival school building was built on the present site of Queen’s Park.

    Under Strachan’s stewardship, King’s College was a religious institution closely aligned with the Church of England and the British colonial elite, known as the Family Compact. Reformist politicians opposed the clergy’s control over colonial institutions and fought to have the college secularized. In 1849, after a lengthy and heated debate, the newly elected responsible government of the Province of Canada voted to rename King’s College as the University of Toronto and severed the school’s ties with the church. Having anticipated this decision, the enraged Strachan had resigned a year earlier to open Trinity College as a private Anglican seminary. University College was created as the nondenominational teaching branch of the University of Toronto. During the American Civil War the threat of Union blockade on British North America prompted the creation of the University Rifle Corps which saw battle in resisting the Fenian raids on the Niagara border in 1866. The Corps was part of the Reserve Militia lead by Professor Henry Croft.

    Established in 1878, the School of Practical Science was the precursor to the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering which has been nicknamed Skule since its earliest days. While the Faculty of Medicine opened in 1843 medical teaching was conducted by proprietary schools from 1853 until 1887 when the faculty absorbed the Toronto School of Medicine. Meanwhile the university continued to set examinations and confer medical degrees. The university opened the Faculty of Law in 1887, followed by the Faculty of Dentistry in 1888 when the Royal College of Dental Surgeons became an affiliate. Women were first admitted to the university in 1884.

    A devastating fire in 1890 gutted the interior of University College and destroyed 33,000 volumes from the library but the university restored the building and replenished its library within two years. Over the next two decades a collegiate system took shape as the university arranged federation with several ecclesiastical colleges including Strachan’s Trinity College in 1904. The university operated the Royal Conservatory of Music from 1896 to 1991 and the Royal Ontario Museum from 1912 to 1968; both still retain close ties with the university as independent institutions. The University of Toronto Press was founded in 1901 as Canada’s first academic publishing house. The Faculty of Forestry founded in 1907 with Bernhard Fernow as dean was Canada’s first university faculty devoted to forest science. In 1910, the Faculty of Education opened its laboratory school, the University of Toronto Schools.

    World wars and post-war years

    The First and Second World Wars curtailed some university activities as undergraduate and graduate men eagerly enlisted. Intercollegiate athletic competitions and the Hart House Debates were suspended although exhibition and interfaculty games were still held. The David Dunlap Observatory in Richmond Hill opened in 1935 followed by the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies in 1949. The university opened satellite campuses in Scarborough in 1964 and in Mississauga in 1967. The university’s former affiliated schools at the Ontario Agricultural College and Glendon Hall became fully independent of the University of Toronto and became part of University of Guelph (CA) in 1964 and York University (CA) in 1965 respectively. Beginning in the 1980s reductions in government funding prompted more rigorous fundraising efforts.

    Since 2000

    In 2000 Kin-Yip Chun was reinstated as a professor of the university after he launched an unsuccessful lawsuit against the university alleging racial discrimination. In 2017 a human rights application was filed against the University by one of its students for allegedly delaying the investigation of sexual assault and being dismissive of their concerns. In 2018 the university cleared one of its professors of allegations of discrimination and antisemitism in an internal investigation after a complaint was filed by one of its students.

    The University of Toronto was the first Canadian university to amass a financial endowment greater than c. $1 billion in 2007. On September 24, 2020 the university announced a $250 million gift to the Faculty of Medicine from businessman and philanthropist James C. Temerty- the largest single philanthropic donation in Canadian history. This broke the previous record for the school set in 2019 when Gerry Schwartz and Heather Reisman jointly donated $100 million for the creation of a 750,000-square foot innovation and artificial intelligence centre.

    Research

    Since 1926 the University of Toronto has been a member of the Association of American Universities (US) a consortium of the leading North American research universities. The university manages by far the largest annual research budget of any university in Canada with sponsored direct-cost expenditures of $878 million in 2010. In 2018 the University of Toronto was named the top research university in Canada by Research Infosource with a sponsored research income (external sources of funding) of $1,147.584 million in 2017. In the same year the university’s faculty averaged a sponsored research income of $428,200 while graduate students averaged a sponsored research income of $63,700. The federal government was the largest source of funding with grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research; the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council; and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council amounting to about one-third of the research budget. About eight percent of research funding came from corporations- mostly in the healthcare industry.

    The first practical electron microscope was built by the physics department in 1938. During World War II the university developed the G-suit- a life-saving garment worn by Allied fighter plane pilots later adopted for use by astronauts.Development of the infrared chemiluminescence technique improved analyses of energy behaviours in chemical reactions. In 1963 the asteroid 2104 Toronto was discovered in the David Dunlap Observatory (CA) in Richmond Hill and is named after the university. In 1972 studies on Cygnus X-1 led to the publication of the first observational evidence proving the existence of black holes. Toronto astronomers have also discovered the Uranian moons of Caliban and Sycorax; the dwarf galaxies of Andromeda I, II and III; and the supernova SN 1987A. A pioneer in computing technology the university designed and built UTEC- one of the world’s first operational computers- and later purchased Ferut- the second commercial computer after UNIVAC I. Multi-touch technology was developed at Toronto with applications ranging from handheld devices to collaboration walls. The AeroVelo Atlas which won the Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition in 2013 was developed by the university’s team of students and graduates and was tested in Vaughan.

    The discovery of insulin at the University of Toronto in 1921 is considered among the most significant events in the history of medicine. The stem cell was discovered at the university in 1963 forming the basis for bone marrow transplantation and all subsequent research on adult and embryonic stem cells. This was the first of many findings at Toronto relating to stem cells including the identification of pancreatic and retinal stem cells. The cancer stem cell was first identified in 1997 by Toronto researchers who have since found stem cell associations in leukemia; brain tumors; and colorectal cancer. Medical inventions developed at Toronto include the glycaemic index; the infant cereal Pablum; the use of protective hypothermia in open heart surgery; and the first artificial cardiac pacemaker. The first successful single-lung transplant was performed at Toronto in 1981 followed by the first nerve transplant in 1988; and the first double-lung transplant in 1989. Researchers identified the maturation promoting factor that regulates cell division and discovered the T-cell receptor which triggers responses of the immune system. The university is credited with isolating the genes that cause Fanconi anemia; cystic fibrosis; and early-onset Alzheimer’s disease among numerous other diseases. Between 1914 and 1972 the university operated the Connaught Medical Research Laboratories- now part of the pharmaceutical corporation Sanofi-Aventis. Among the research conducted at the laboratory was the development of gel electrophoresis.

    The University of Toronto is the primary research presence that supports one of the world’s largest concentrations of biotechnology firms. More than 5,000 principal investigators reside within 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) from the university grounds in Toronto’s Discovery District conducting $1 billion of medical research annually. MaRS Discovery District is a research park that serves commercial enterprises and the university’s technology transfer ventures. In 2008, the university disclosed 159 inventions and had 114 active start-up companies. Its SciNet Consortium operates the most powerful supercomputer in Canada.

     
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