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  • richardmitnick 7:55 am on July 1, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Shrimps and worms among first animals to recover after largest mass extinction", , Biology, Burrowing animals flourished in this Early Triassic greenhouse world., Coral reefs did not return until much later., , , Elevated temperatures and extended anoxia coincided with low values of behavioural and ecologic diversities across the Permian-Triassic boundary., , Recovery of life on Earth took millions of years for biodiversity to return to pre-extinction levels., The end Permian–Triassic extinction– known as “The Great Dying” which was so devastating to life on Earth – was caused by global warming and ocean acidification., The first animals to recover were deposit feeders such as worms and shrimps., The Great Dying obliterated life on Earth., The Permian–Triassic extinction event 252 million years ago, The recovery of suspension feeders such as brachiopods; bryozoans and many bivalves took much longer., , Why does it matter to understand these great mass extinctions of the geological past?   

    From The University of Bristol (UK): “Shrimps and worms among first animals to recover after largest mass extinction” 

    From The University of Bristol (UK)

    29 June 2022

    Researchers studying ancient sea bed burrows and trails have discovered that bottom burrowing animals were among the first to bounce back after the end-Permian mass extinction.

    The Permian–Triassic extinction event, which happened roughly 252 million years ago, is colloquially known as the Great Dying because of the way it obliterated life on Earth – almost ending it completely. It’s the most severe extinction event in history.

    1
    Reconstructed sea bed scenes (A) Pre-extinction, (B-D) Induan (early Early Triassic), (E) Smithian, (F) Spathian. Credit: Yaqi Jiang.

    In a new study, published today in the journal Science Advances, researchers from China, the USA and the UK, reveal how life in the sea recovered from the event, which killed over 90 percent of species on Earth, from their observations of trace fossils.

    Life was devastated by the end-Permian mass extinction 252 million years ago, and recovery of life on Earth took millions of years for biodiversity to return to pre-extinction levels. But by examining trails and burrows on the South China sea bed, the international team were able to piece together sea life’s revival by pinpointing what animal activity was happening when.

    Professor Michael Benton from the University of Bristol’s School of Earth Sciences, a collaborator on the new paper, said: “The end-Permian mass extinction and the recovery of life in the Early Triassic are very well documented throughout South China.

    “We were able to look at trace fossils from 26 sections through the entire series of events, representing seven million crucial years of time, and showing details at 400 sampling points, we finally reconstructed the recovery stages of all animals including benthos, nekton, as well as these soft-bodied burrowing animals in the ocean.”

    Dr Xueqian Feng from the China University of Geosciences in Wuhan led the study, and his focus was on ancient burrows and trails. He explained: “Trace fossils such as trails and burrows document mostly soft-bodied animals in the sea. Most of these soft-bodied animals had no or poor skeletons.

    “There are some amazing localities in South China where we find huge numbers of beautifully preserved trace fossils, and the details can show infaunal ecosystem engineering behaviours, as well as their feedback effects on biodiversity of skeletonized animals.”

    Professor Zhong-Qiang Chen, director of the study, said: “The trace fossils show us when and where soft-bodied, burrowing animals flourished in this Early Triassic greenhouse world.

    “For example, elevated temperatures and extended anoxia coincided with low values of behavioural and ecologic diversities across the Permian-Triassic boundary, and it took about 3 million years for ecological recovery of soft-bodied animals to match the pre-extinction levels.”

    Professor David Bottjer, a collaborator in the study from the University of Southern California, added: “One of the most remarkable aspects of the South China data is the breadth of ancient environments we could sample.

    “Differential responses of infaunal ecosystems to variable environmental controls may have played a significant but heretofore little appreciated evolutionary and ecologic role in the recovery in the hot Early Triassic ocean.”

    Dr Chunmei Su, another collaborator, said: “The mass extinction killed over 90 percent of species on Earth, and we see that in the catastrophic reduction in ecological function of the surviving animals in the ocean.

    “At first, there were only a few survivors, and recovery began in deeper waters. The recovery of nekton occurred at the same time as the full rebound of infaunal ecosystem engineering activities.”

    Alison Cribb, a collaborator in the study from the University of Southern California, added: “The first animals to recover were deposit feeders such as worms and shrimps. The recovery of suspension feeders such as brachiopods; bryozoans and many bivalves took much longer.

    “Maybe the deposit feeders were making such a mess of the seafloor that the water was polluted with mud, the churned mud meant suspension feeders could not properly settle on the seafloor, or the muddy water produced by those deposit feeders just clogged the filtering structures of suspension feeders and prohibited them from feeding efficiently.”

    Professor Chen added: “And some animals, such as corals, had disappeared completely. Coral reefs did not return until much later.”

    Dr Feng concludes: “Why does it matter to understand these great mass extinctions of the geological past?”

    “The answer is that the end-Permian crisis – which was so devastating to life on Earth – was caused by global warming and ocean acidification, but trace-making animals may be selected against by the environment in a way that skeletal organisms were not.

    “Our trace fossil data reveals soft-bodied animals’ resilience to high CO2 and warming. These ecosystem engineers may have played a role in benthic ecosystem recovery after severe mass extinctions, potentially, for example, triggering the evolutionary innovations and radiations in the Early Triassic.”

    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 Bristol (UK) is one of the most popular and successful universities in the UK and was ranked within the top 50 universities in the world in the QS World University Rankings 2018.

    The U Bristol (UK) is at the cutting edge of global research. We have made innovations in areas ranging from cot death prevention to nanotechnology.

    The University has had a reputation for innovation since its founding in 1876. Our research tackles some of the world’s most pressing issues in areas as diverse as infection and immunity, human rights, climate change, and cryptography and information security.

    The University currently has 40 Fellows of the Royal Society and 15 of the British Academy – a remarkable achievement for a relatively small institution.

    We aim to bring together the best minds in individual fields, and encourage researchers from different disciplines and institutions to work together to find lasting solutions to society’s pressing problems.

    We are involved in numerous international research collaborations and integrate practical experience in our curriculum, so that students work on real-life projects in partnership with business, government and community sectors.

     
  • richardmitnick 4:03 pm on June 30, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Bacteria for Blastoff:: Using Microbes to Make Supercharged New Rocket Fuel", "POP-FAMEs": Polycylcopropanated fatty acid methyl esters, "Streptomyces" bacteria, A group of biofuel experts led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory developed a totally new type of fuel with energy density greater than fuels used today by NASA., A quest for the ring(s), , Bacteria have been producing carbon-based energy molecules for billions of years., , Biology, , , Cyclopropane molecules, Energy density is everything when it comes to aviation and rocketry and this is where biology can really shine., Higher energy densities allow for lower fuel volumes which in a rocket can allow for increased payloads and decreased overall emissions., , Polycylcopropanated molecules contain multiple triangle-shaped three-carbon rings that force each carbon-carbon bond into a sharp 60-degree angle., Scientists turned to an oddball bacterial molecule that looks like a jaw full of sharp teeth to create a new type of fuel that could be used for all types of vehicles including rockets., , , The potential energy in this strained bond translates into more energy for combustion than can be achieved with the larger ring structures or carbon-carbon chains typically found in fuels., The simulation data suggest that POP fuel candidates are safe and stable at room temperature and will have energy density values of more than 50 megajoules per liter after chemical processing., The team discovered that their POP-FAMEs are very close in structure to an experimental petroleum-based rocket fuel called Syntin developed in the 1960s by the Soviet Union space agency., The team hoped to remix existing bacterial machinery to create a new molecule with ready-to-burn fuel properties., These fuels would be produced from bacteria fed with plant matter – which is made from carbon dioxide pulled from the atmosphere., These structures enable fuel molecules to pack tightly together in a small volume increasing the mass – and therefore the total energy – of fuel that fits in any given tank., This biosynthetic pathway provides a clean route to highly energy-dense fuels., This process reduces the amount of added greenhouse gas relative to any fuel generated from petroleum., What kinds of interesting structures can biology make that petrochemistry can’t make?   

    From The DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory: “Bacteria for Blastoff:: Using Microbes to Make Supercharged New Rocket Fuel” 

    From The DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

    June 30, 2022
    Aliyah Kovner
    akovner@lbl.gov

    1
    Scientists turned to an oddball bacterial molecule that looks like a jaw full of sharp teeth to create a new type of fuel that could be used for all types of vehicles including rockets. (Credit: Jenny Nuss/Berkeley Lab)

    Converting petroleum into fuels involves crude chemistry first invented by humans in the 1800s. Meanwhile, bacteria have been producing carbon-based energy molecules for billions of years. Which do you think is better at the job?

    Well aware of the advantages biology has to offer, a group of biofuel experts led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory took inspiration from an extraordinary antifungal molecule made by Streptomyces bacteria to develop a totally new type of fuel that has projected energy density greater than the most advanced heavy-duty fuels used today, including the rocket fuels used by NASA.

    “This biosynthetic pathway provides a clean route to highly energy-dense fuels that, prior to this work, could only be produced from petroleum using a highly toxic synthesis process,” said project leader Jay Keasling, a synthetic biology pioneer and CEO of the Department of Energy’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI). “As these fuels would be produced from bacteria fed with plant matter – which is made from carbon dioxide pulled from the atmosphere – burning them in engines will significantly reduce the amount of added greenhouse gas relative to any fuel generated from petroleum.”

    The incredible energy potential of these fuel candidate molecules, called POP-FAMEs (for polycylcopropanated fatty acid methyl esters), comes from the fundamental chemistry of their structures. Polycylcopropanated molecules contain multiple triangle-shaped three-carbon rings that force each carbon-carbon bond into a sharp 60-degree angle. The potential energy in this strained bond translates into more energy for combustion than can be achieved with the larger ring structures or carbon-carbon chains typically found in fuels. In addition, these structures enable fuel molecules to pack tightly together in a small volume increasing the mass – and therefore the total energy – of fuel that fits in any given tank.

    With petrochemical fuels, you get kind of a soup of different molecules and you don’t have a lot of fine control over those chemical structures. But that’s what we used for a long time and we designed all of our engines to run on petroleum derivatives,” said Eric Sundstrom, an author on the paper describing POP fuel candidates published in the journal Joule and a research scientist at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts Process Development Unit (ABPDU).

    “The larger consortium behind this work, Co-Optima, was funded to think about not just recreating the same fuels from biobased feedstocks, but how we can make new fuels with better properties,” said Sundstrom. “The question that led to this is: ‘What kinds of interesting structures can biology make that petrochemistry can’t make?’”

    A quest for the ring(s)

    Keasling, who is also a professor at UC Berkeley, had his eye on cyclopropane molecules for a long time. He had scoured the scientific literature for organic compounds with three-carbon rings and found just two known examples, both made by Streptomyces bacteria that are nearly impossible to grow in a lab environment. Fortunately, one of the molecules had been studied and genetically analyzed due to interest in its antifungal properties. Discovered in 1990, the natural product is named jawsamycin, because its unprecedented five cyclopropane rings make it look like a jaw filled with pointy teeth.

    4
    A culture of the Streptomyces bacteria that makes the jawsamycin. (Credit: Pablo Morales-Cruz)

    Keasling’s team, comprised of JBEI and ABPDU scientists, studied the genes from the original strain (S. roseoverticillatus) that encode the jawsamycin-building enzymes and took a deep dive into the genomes of related Streptomyces, looking for a combination of enzymes that could make a molecule with jawsamycin’s toothy rings while skipping the other parts of the structure. Like a baker rewriting recipes to invent the perfect dessert, the team hoped to remix existing bacterial machinery to create a new molecule with ready-to-burn fuel properties.

    First author Pablo Cruz-Morales was able to assemble all the necessary ingredients to make POP-FAMEs after discovering new cyclopropane-making enzymes in a strain called S. albireticuli. “We searched in thousands of genomes for pathways that naturally make what we needed. That way we avoided the engineering that may or may not work and used nature’s best solution,” said Cruz-Morales, a senior researcher at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability, Technical University of Denmark and the co-principal investigator of the yeast natural products lab with Keasling.

    Unfortunately, the bacteria weren’t as cooperative when it came to productivity. Ubiquitous in soils on every continent, Streptomyces are famous for their ability to make unusual chemicals. “A lot of the drugs used today, such as immunosuppressants, antibiotics, and anti-cancer drugs, are made by engineered Streptomyces,” said Cruz-Morales. “But they are very capricious and they’re not nice to work with in the lab. They’re talented, but they’re divas.” When two different engineered Streptomyces failed to make POP-FAMEs in sufficient quantities, he and his colleagues had to copy their newly arranged gene cluster into a more “tame” relative.

    The resulting fatty acids contain up to seven cyclopropane rings chained on a carbon backbone, earning them the name fuelimycins. In a process similar to biodiesel production, these molecules require only one additional chemical processing step before they can serve as a fuel.

    Now we’re cooking with cyclopropane

    Though they still haven’t produced enough fuel candidate molecules for field tests – “you need 10 kilograms of fuel to do a test in a real rocket engine, and we’re not there yet,” Cruz-Morales explained with a laugh – they were able to evaluate Keasling’s predictions about energy density.

    Colleagues at The DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory analyzed the POP-FAMEs with nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to prove the presence of the elusive cyclopropane rings. And collaborators at The DOE’s Sandia National Laboratories used computer simulations to estimate how the compounds would perform compared to conventional fuels.

    The simulation data suggest that POP fuel candidates are safe and stable at room temperature and will have energy density values of more than 50 megajoules per liter after chemical processing. Regular gasoline has a value of 32 megajoules per liter, JetA, the most common jet fuel, and RP-1, a popular kerosene-based rocket fuel, have around 35.

    During the course of their research, the team discovered that their POP-FAMEs are very close in structure to an experimental petroleum-based rocket fuel called Syntin developed in the 1960s by the Soviet Union space agency and used for several successful Soyuz rocket launches in the 70s and 80s. Despite its powerful performance, Syntin manufacturing was halted due to high costs and the unpleasant process involved: a series of synthetic reactions with toxic byproducts and an unstable, explosive intermediate.

    “Although POP-FAMEs share similar structures to Syntin, many have superior energy densities. Higher energy densities allow for lower fuel volumes which in a rocket can allow for increased payloads and decreased overall emissions,” said author Alexander Landera, a staff scientist at Sandia. One of the team’s next goals to create a process to remove the two oxygen atoms on each molecule, which add weight but no combustion benefit. “When blended into a jet fuel, properly deoxygenated versions of POP-FAMEs may provide a similar benefit,” Landera added.

    Since publishing their proof-of-concept paper, the scientists have begun work to increase the bacteria’s production efficiency even further to generate enough for combustion testing. They are also investigating how the multi-enzyme production pathway could be modified to create polycyclopropanated molecules of different lengths. “We’re working on tuning the chain length to target specific applications,” said Sundstrom. “Longer chain fuels would be solids, well-suited to certain rocket fuel applications, shorter chains might be better for jet fuel, and in the middle might be a diesel-alternative molecule.”

    Author Corinne Scown, JBEI’s Director of Technoeconomic Analysis, added: “Energy density is everything when it comes to aviation and rocketry and this is where biology can really shine. The team can make fuel molecules tailored to the applications we need in those rapidly evolving sectors.”

    Eventually, the scientists hope to engineer the process into a workhorse bacteria strain that could produce large quantities of POP molecules from plant waste food sources (like inedible agricultural residue and brush cleared for wildfire prevention), potentially making the ultimate carbon-neutral fuel.

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    LBNL campus

    LBNL Molecular Foundry

    Bringing Science Solutions to the World

    In the world of science, The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is synonymous with “excellence.” Thirteen Nobel prizes are associated with Berkeley Lab. Seventy Lab scientists are members of the The National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest honors for a scientist in the United States. Thirteen of our scientists have won the National Medal of Science, our nation’s highest award for lifetime achievement in fields of scientific research. Eighteen of our engineers have been elected to the The National Academy of Engineering, and three of our scientists have been elected into the Institute of Medicine. In addition, Berkeley Lab has trained thousands of university science and engineering students who are advancing technological innovations across the nation and around the world.

    Berkeley Lab is a member of the national laboratory system supported by the U.S. Department of Energy through its Office of Science. It is managed by the University of California and is charged with conducting unclassified research across a wide range of scientific disciplines. Located on a 202-acre site in the hills above the University of California- Berkeley campus that offers spectacular views of the San Francisco Bay, Berkeley Lab employs approximately 3,232 scientists, engineers and support staff. The Lab’s total costs for FY 2014 were $785 million. A recent study estimates the Laboratory’s overall economic impact through direct, indirect and induced spending on the nine counties that make up the San Francisco Bay Area to be nearly $700 million annually. The Lab was also responsible for creating 5,600 jobs locally and 12,000 nationally. The overall economic impact on the national economy is estimated at $1.6 billion a year. Technologies developed at Berkeley Lab have generated billions of dollars in revenues, and thousands of jobs. Savings as a result of Berkeley Lab developments in lighting and windows, and other energy-efficient technologies, have also been in the billions of dollars.

    Berkeley Lab was founded in 1931 by Ernest Orlando Lawrence, a University of California-Berkeley physicist who won the 1939 Nobel Prize in physics for his invention of the cyclotron, a circular particle accelerator that opened the door to high-energy physics. It was Lawrence’s belief that scientific research is best done through teams of individuals with different fields of expertise, working together. His teamwork concept is a Berkeley Lab legacy that continues today.

    History

    1931–1941

    The laboratory was founded on August 26, 1931, by Ernest Lawrence, as the Radiation Laboratory of the University of California, Berkeley, associated with the Physics Department. It centered physics research around his new instrument, the cyclotron, a type of particle accelerator for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1939.

    LBNL 88 inch cyclotron.

    LBNL 88 inch cyclotron.

    Throughout the 1930s, Lawrence pushed to create larger and larger machines for physics research, courting private philanthropists for funding. He was the first to develop a large team to build big projects to make discoveries in basic research. Eventually these machines grew too large to be held on the university grounds, and in 1940 the lab moved to its current site atop the hill above campus. Part of the team put together during this period includes two other young scientists who went on to establish large laboratories; J. Robert Oppenheimer founded DOE’s Los Alamos Laboratory, and Robert Wilson founded Fermi National Accelerator Laborator.

    1942–1950

    Leslie Groves visited Lawrence’s Radiation Laboratory in late 1942 as he was organizing the Manhattan Project, meeting J. Robert Oppenheimer for the first time. Oppenheimer was tasked with organizing the nuclear bomb development effort and founded today’s Los Alamos National Laboratory to help keep the work secret. At the RadLab, Lawrence and his colleagues developed the technique of electromagnetic enrichment of uranium using their experience with cyclotrons. The “calutrons” (named after the University) became the basic unit of the massive Y-12 facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Lawrence’s lab helped contribute to what have been judged to be the three most valuable technology developments of the war (the atomic bomb, proximity fuse, and radar). The cyclotron, whose construction was stalled during the war, was finished in November 1946. The Manhattan Project shut down two months later.

    1951–2018

    After the war, the Radiation Laboratory became one of the first laboratories to be incorporated into the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) (now Department of Energy . The most highly classified work remained at Los Alamos, but the RadLab remained involved. Edward Teller suggested setting up a second lab similar to Los Alamos to compete with their designs. This led to the creation of an offshoot of the RadLab (now the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory) in 1952. Some of the RadLab’s work was transferred to the new lab, but some classified research continued at Berkeley Lab until the 1970s, when it became a laboratory dedicated only to unclassified scientific research.

    Shortly after the death of Lawrence in August 1958, the UC Radiation Laboratory (both branches) was renamed the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory. The Berkeley location became the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in 1971, although many continued to call it the RadLab. Gradually, another shortened form came into common usage, LBNL. Its formal name was amended to Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in 1995, when “National” was added to the names of all DOE labs. “Ernest Orlando” was later dropped to shorten the name. Today, the lab is commonly referred to as “Berkeley Lab”.

    The Alvarez Physics Memos are a set of informal working papers of the large group of physicists, engineers, computer programmers, and technicians led by Luis W. Alvarez from the early 1950s until his death in 1988. Over 1700 memos are available on-line, hosted by the Laboratory.

    The lab remains owned by the Department of Energy , with management from the University of California. Companies such as Intel were funding the lab’s research into computing chips.

    Science mission

    From the 1950s through the present, Berkeley Lab has maintained its status as a major international center for physics research, and has also diversified its research program into almost every realm of scientific investigation. Its mission is to solve the most pressing and profound scientific problems facing humanity, conduct basic research for a secure energy future, understand living systems to improve the environment, health, and energy supply, understand matter and energy in the universe, build and safely operate leading scientific facilities for the nation, and train the next generation of scientists and engineers.

    The Laboratory’s 20 scientific divisions are organized within six areas of research: Computing Sciences; Physical Sciences; Earth and Environmental Sciences; Biosciences; Energy Sciences; and Energy Technologies. Berkeley Lab has six main science thrusts: advancing integrated fundamental energy science; integrative biological and environmental system science; advanced computing for science impact; discovering the fundamental properties of matter and energy; accelerators for the future; and developing energy technology innovations for a sustainable future. It was Lawrence’s belief that scientific research is best done through teams of individuals with different fields of expertise, working together. His teamwork concept is a Berkeley Lab tradition that continues today.

    Berkeley Lab operates five major National User Facilities for the DOE Office of Science:

    The Advanced Light Source (ALS) is a synchrotron light source with 41 beam lines providing ultraviolet, soft x-ray, and hard x-ray light to scientific experiments.

    LBNL/ALS

    DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Advanced Light Source .
    The ALS is one of the world’s brightest sources of soft x-rays, which are used to characterize the electronic structure of matter and to reveal microscopic structures with elemental and chemical specificity. About 2,500 scientist-users carry out research at ALS every year. Berkeley Lab is proposing an upgrade of ALS which would increase the coherent flux of soft x-rays by two-three orders of magnitude.

    The DOE Joint Genome Institute supports genomic research in support of the DOE missions in alternative energy, global carbon cycling, and environmental management. The JGI’s partner laboratories are Berkeley Lab, DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), and the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology . The JGI’s central role is the development of a diversity of large-scale experimental and computational capabilities to link sequence to biological insights relevant to energy and environmental research. Approximately 1,200 scientist-users take advantage of JGI’s capabilities for their research every year.

    The LBNL Molecular Foundry [above] is a multidisciplinary nanoscience research facility. Its seven research facilities focus on Imaging and Manipulation of Nanostructures; Nanofabrication; Theory of Nanostructured Materials; Inorganic Nanostructures; Biological Nanostructures; Organic and Macromolecular Synthesis; and Electron Microscopy. Approximately 700 scientist-users make use of these facilities in their research every year.

    The DOE’s NERSC National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center is the scientific computing facility that provides large-scale computing for the DOE’s unclassified research programs. Its current systems provide over 3 billion computational hours annually. NERSC supports 6,000 scientific users from universities, national laboratories, and industry.

    DOE’s NERSC National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

    Cray Cori II supercomputer at National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center at DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, named after Gerty Cori, the first American woman to win a Nobel Prize in science.

    NERSC Hopper Cray XE6 supercomputer.

    NERSC Cray XC30 Edison supercomputer.

    NERSC GPFS for Life Sciences.

    The Genepool system is a cluster dedicated to the DOE Joint Genome Institute’s computing needs. Denovo is a smaller test system for Genepool that is primarily used by NERSC staff to test new system configurations and software.

    NERSC PDSF computer cluster in 2003.

    PDSF is a networked distributed computing cluster designed primarily to meet the detector simulation and data analysis requirements of physics, astrophysics and nuclear science collaborations.

    Cray Shasta Perlmutter SC18 AMD Epyc Nvidia pre-exascale supercomputer.

    NERSC is a DOE Office of Science User Facility.

    The DOE’s Energy Science Network is a high-speed network infrastructure optimized for very large scientific data flows. ESNet provides connectivity for all major DOE sites and facilities, and the network transports roughly 35 petabytes of traffic each month.

    Berkeley Lab is the lead partner in the DOE’s Joint Bioenergy Institute (JBEI), located in Emeryville, California. Other partners are the DOE’s Sandia National Laboratory, the University of California (UC) campuses of Berkeley and Davis, the Carnegie Institution for Science , and DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). JBEI’s primary scientific mission is to advance the development of the next generation of biofuels – liquid fuels derived from the solar energy stored in plant biomass. JBEI is one of three new U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Research Centers (BRCs).

    Berkeley Lab has a major role in two DOE Energy Innovation Hubs. The mission of the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP) is to find a cost-effective method to produce fuels using only sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide. The lead institution for JCAP is the California Institute of Technology and Berkeley Lab is the second institutional center. The mission of the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR) is to create next-generation battery technologies that will transform transportation and the electricity grid. DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory leads JCESR and Berkeley Lab is a major partner.

     
  • richardmitnick 8:35 am on June 29, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "John Fortner:: 'Fishing' for Toxic Contaminants using Superparamagnetic Nanoparticles", "PFAS": perfluoroalkyl contaminants which are fluorinated carbon structures found in numerous consumer products., "Superparamagnetic nanoparticles": Nanoparticles specially coated with sorbents., , “Buckyballs”: buckminsterfullerene (termed fullerenes) - a new carbon allotrope, Biology, Bioremediation, , Improving public health through environmental-based pathways, It was clear that there were opportunities to apply ‘nano’ to critical environmental problems in sensing and treatment (pollution remediation)…to help make folks' lives healthier., John Fortner: associate professor of Chemical Engineering and Environmental Engineering, , , , Nanotechnology - nanomaterial research - nanoscience - nanoparticles - nanostructures, Once a water source is contaminated it can be costly and difficult to remediate.,   

    From The Yale School of Engineering and Applied Science: “John Fortner:: ‘Fishing’ for Toxic Contaminants using Superparamagnetic Nanoparticles” 

    Yale SEAS

    From The Yale School of Engineering and Applied Science

    at

    Yale University

    06/21/2022

    1
    Clean water

    Once a water source is contaminated it can be costly and difficult to remediate. Natural remedies can take hundreds of years and still may not successfully remove all the dangerous contaminants. When it comes to global public health issues such as this, the need for new and safe solutions is urgent. John Fortner is designing solutions from scratch to do just that.

    Fortner, associate professor of chemical and environmental engineering, leads one of the few labs in the U.S. investigating the intersection between materials science and environmental engineering. There, materials synthesized directly in the lab, whether magnetic nanoparticles, graphene-based composites, or hyperthermic catalysts, are carefully engineered to treat contaminants in water sources.

    Fortner has always been drawn towards improving public health through environmental-based pathways. He initially considered a career in medicine when he first discovered the field of environmental engineering.

    “I took a bioremediation course and I became fascinated with engineering biological systems to break down contaminants in situ,” Fortner said.

    At the time, traditional environmental engineering research focused on using microbes – biological organisms on the microscopic scale – to degrade contaminants within industrial wastewater streams. After taking courses that bridged his biological focus with applied engineering systems, Fortner found his ‘fit’ and soon switched to environmental engineering.

    Though ubiquitous today, nanomaterial research is a relatively new field. In the late 20th century, the development of advanced imaging technologies enabled scientists to study nanomaterials for the first time. In 1989, 15 years after the term “nanoscience” was coined, the first nanotechnology company began to commercialize nanostructures. By 2001, when Fortner entered graduate school, nanomaterials had been industrialized in computer science and biomedical engineering.

    Compared to their larger counterparts, nanomaterials have advantages, such as tunability and/or unique reactivity, stemming from their incredibly small sizes and novel properties. As Fortner puts it, “nanomaterials have the potential to do what traditional materials simply can’t.”

    In 1985, chemists at Rice discovered a new carbon allotrope – buckminsterfullerene (termed fullerenes or “buckyballs”) – leading them to a 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry and sparking a nanotechnology boom at Rice and beyond. Through this, the Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology, an NSF-funded research center, was founded at Rice when Fortner started his graduate studies. There, he worked with collaborators to understand the behavior of nanomaterials in the environment, with his Ph.D. thesis focused on fullerenes in natural systems. At the time, very little was known about the matter that led to several exciting findings underpinning the emerging field of environmental nanotechnology.

    “At the time, there was so much to explore,” Fortner said. “Beyond understanding fundamental nanomaterial behavior in the environment, it was clear that there were fantastic opportunities to apply ‘nano’ to critical environmental problems in sensing and treatment (pollution remediation)…to help make folks’ lives healthier through a better, cleaner environment.”

    Soon after graduation, Fortner joined the faculty at Washington University in St. Louis where he studied the fundamental mechanisms involved with nanostructure synthesis and reactivity. He was particularly interested in understanding how nanoparticles degrade contaminants differently than traditional systems and if nanoparticles have applications beyond the water industry.

    During his time at Washington University, he was a Fellow within the International Center for Energy, Environment, and Sustainability, where he collaborated with other researchers to develop nanotechnologies for a range of applications including new water treatment membranes and sensing technologies.

    “It was a wonderful place to start an independent research career,” Fortner said. “I developed amazing collaborations there, which pushed me even more to the fundamental side of chemistry and material science.”

    Fortner joined the faculty of Yale’s Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering in 2019. In the Fortner Lab, almost everything is created from scratch: researchers design and synthesize nanoparticles, multi-component composites, and associated functional coatings to address water-related environmental issues.

    One of his most recent collaborations centers around perfluoroalkyl contaminants (PFAS), which are fluorinated carbon structures found in numerous consumer products ranging from fast food wrappers to Teflon pans to firefighting foams. Because these products were engineered to be unreactive to most chemicals or high temperatures, PFAS contaminants cannot be treated using conventional biological treatment processes. To address these ‘forever chemicals,’ Fortner’s lab, working with Kurt Pennell from Brown University and Natalie Capiro from Auburn University, has engineered superparamagnetic nanoparticles, which are specially coated with sorbents. They discovered that when these engineered nanoparticles are dispersed in a polluted source, contaminants are attracted to specified functional groups on the molecule. The particles, along with the contaminants, can then be collected using a magnet field and the concentrated PFAS can be removed. This strategy allows for very large volumes of media to be managed in a targeted and energy-efficient manner.

    “It’s amazing,” Fortner said. “We can sorb a significant amount of PFAS onto one particle and simply use a magnet to remove it. It’s a nice way to go ‘fishing’ to remove PFAS, or other contaminants, from a polluted water source.”

    Compared with other research laboratories around Yale, the Fortner Lab is a small but mighty force. Currently six Ph.D. students are mentored by Fortner, in addition to two postdoctoral researchers. The small size of the group allows for him to work individually with the students, enabling them to take real ownership of research projects. Susanna Maisto, a first-year Environmental Engineering Ph.D. student, describes the research group as “supportive, welcoming, and collaborative.”

    “Dr. Fortner has a great mentorship style; always providing any support you need, but never overstepping.” Maisto said. “He checks in often to make sure that we are thriving in and out of the lab.”

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Yale School of Engineering and Applied Science Daniel L Malone Engineering Center
    The Yale School of Engineering & Applied Science is the engineering school of Yale University. When the first professor of civil engineering was hired in 1852, a Yale School of Engineering was established within the Yale Scientific School, and in 1932 the engineering faculty organized as a separate, constituent school of the university. The school currently offers undergraduate and graduate classes and degrees in electrical engineering, chemical engineering, computer science, applied physics, environmental engineering, biomedical engineering, and mechanical engineering and materials science.

    Yale University is a private Ivy League research university in New Haven, Connecticut. Founded in 1701 as the Collegiate School, it is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine Colonial Colleges chartered before the American Revolution. The Collegiate School was renamed Yale College in 1718 to honor the school’s largest private benefactor for the first century of its existence, Elihu Yale. Yale University is consistently ranked as one of the top universities and is considered one of the most prestigious in the nation.

    Chartered by Connecticut Colony, the Collegiate School was established in 1701 by clergy to educate Congregational ministers before moving to New Haven in 1716. Originally restricted to theology and sacred languages, the curriculum began to incorporate humanities and sciences by the time of the American Revolution. In the 19th century, the college expanded into graduate and professional instruction, awarding the first PhD in the United States in 1861 and organizing as a university in 1887. Yale’s faculty and student populations grew after 1890 with rapid expansion of the physical campus and scientific research.

    Yale is organized into fourteen constituent schools: the original undergraduate college, the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and twelve professional schools. While the university is governed by the Yale Corporation, each school’s faculty oversees its curriculum and degree programs. In addition to a central campus in downtown New Haven, the university owns athletic facilities in western New Haven, a campus in West Haven, Connecticut, and forests and nature preserves throughout New England. As of June 2020, the university’s endowment was valued at $31.1 billion, the second largest of any educational institution. The Yale University Library, serving all constituent schools, holds more than 15 million volumes and is the third-largest academic library in the United States. Students compete in intercollegiate sports as the Yale Bulldogs in the NCAA Division I – Ivy League.

    As of October 2020, 65 Nobel laureates, five Fields Medalists, four Abel Prize laureates, and three Turing award winners have been affiliated with Yale University. In addition, Yale has graduated many notable alumni, including five U.S. Presidents, 19 U.S. Supreme Court Justices, 31 living billionaires, and many heads of state. Hundreds of members of Congress and many U.S. diplomats, 78 MacArthur Fellows, 252 Rhodes Scholars, 123 Marshall Scholars, and nine Mitchell Scholars have been affiliated with the university.

    Research

    Yale is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU) and is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. According to the National Science Foundation, Yale spent $990 million on research and development in 2018, ranking it 15th in the nation.

    Yale’s faculty include 61 members of the National Academy of Sciences , 7 members of the National Academy of Engineering and 49 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The college is, after normalization for institution size, the tenth-largest baccalaureate source of doctoral degree recipients in the United States, and the largest such source within the Ivy League.

    Yale’s English and Comparative Literature departments were part of the New Criticism movement. Of the New Critics, Robert Penn Warren, W.K. Wimsatt, and Cleanth Brooks were all Yale faculty. Later, the Yale Comparative literature department became a center of American deconstruction. Jacques Derrida, the father of deconstruction, taught at the Department of Comparative Literature from the late seventies to mid-1980s. Several other Yale faculty members were also associated with deconstruction, forming the so-called “Yale School”. These included Paul de Man who taught in the Departments of Comparative Literature and French, J. Hillis Miller, Geoffrey Hartman (both taught in the Departments of English and Comparative Literature), and Harold Bloom (English), whose theoretical position was always somewhat specific, and who ultimately took a very different path from the rest of this group. Yale’s history department has also originated important intellectual trends. Historians C. Vann Woodward and David Brion Davis are credited with beginning in the 1960s and 1970s an important stream of southern historians; likewise, David Montgomery, a labor historian, advised many of the current generation of labor historians in the country. Yale’s Music School and Department fostered the growth of Music Theory in the latter half of the 20th century. The Journal of Music Theory was founded there in 1957; Allen Forte and David Lewin were influential teachers and scholars.

    In addition to eminent faculty members, Yale research relies heavily on the presence of roughly 1200 Postdocs from various national and international origin working in the multiple laboratories in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, and professional schools of the university. The university progressively recognized this working force with the recent creation of the Office for Postdoctoral Affairs and the Yale Postdoctoral Association.

    Notable alumni

    Over its history, Yale has produced many distinguished alumni in a variety of fields, ranging from the public to private sector. According to 2020 data, around 71% of undergraduates join the workforce, while the next largest majority of 16.6% go on to attend graduate or professional schools. Yale graduates have been recipients of 252 Rhodes Scholarships, 123 Marshall Scholarships, 67 Truman Scholarships, 21 Churchill Scholarships, and 9 Mitchell Scholarships. The university is also the second largest producer of Fulbright Scholars, with a total of 1,199 in its history and has produced 89 MacArthur Fellows. The U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs ranked Yale fifth among research institutions producing the most 2020–2021 Fulbright Scholars. Additionally, 31 living billionaires are Yale alumni.

    At Yale, one of the most popular undergraduate majors among Juniors and Seniors is political science, with many students going on to serve careers in government and politics. Former presidents who attended Yale for undergrad include William Howard Taft, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush while former presidents Gerald Ford and Bill Clinton attended Yale Law School. Former vice-president and influential antebellum era politician John C. Calhoun also graduated from Yale. Former world leaders include Italian prime minister Mario Monti, Turkish prime minister Tansu Çiller, Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo, German president Karl Carstens, Philippine president José Paciano Laurel, Latvian president Valdis Zatlers, Taiwanese premier Jiang Yi-huah, and Malawian president Peter Mutharika, among others. Prominent royals who graduated are Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, and Olympia Bonaparte, Princess Napoléon.

    Yale alumni have had considerable presence in U.S. government in all three branches. On the U.S. Supreme Court, 19 justices have been Yale alumni, including current Associate Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Brett Kavanaugh. Numerous Yale alumni have been U.S. Senators, including current Senators Michael Bennet, Richard Blumenthal, Cory Booker, Sherrod Brown, Chris Coons, Amy Klobuchar, Ben Sasse, and Sheldon Whitehouse. Current and former cabinet members include Secretaries of State John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Cyrus Vance, and Dean Acheson; U.S. Secretaries of the Treasury Oliver Wolcott, Robert Rubin, Nicholas F. Brady, Steven Mnuchin, and Janet Yellen; U.S. Attorneys General Nicholas Katzenbach, John Ashcroft, and Edward H. Levi; and many others. Peace Corps founder and American diplomat Sargent Shriver and public official and urban planner Robert Moses are Yale alumni.

    Yale has produced numerous award-winning authors and influential writers, like Nobel Prize in Literature laureate Sinclair Lewis and Pulitzer Prize winners Stephen Vincent Benét, Thornton Wilder, Doug Wright, and David McCullough. Academy Award winning actors, actresses, and directors include Jodie Foster, Paul Newman, Meryl Streep, Elia Kazan, George Roy Hill, Lupita Nyong’o, Oliver Stone, and Frances McDormand. Alumni from Yale have also made notable contributions to both music and the arts. Leading American composer from the 20th century Charles Ives, Broadway composer Cole Porter, Grammy award winner David Lang, and award-winning jazz pianist and composer Vijay Iyer all hail from Yale. Hugo Boss Prize winner Matthew Barney, famed American sculptor Richard Serra, President Barack Obama presidential portrait painter Kehinde Wiley, MacArthur Fellow and contemporary artist Sarah Sze, Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist Garry Trudeau, and National Medal of Arts photorealist painter Chuck Close all graduated from Yale. Additional alumni include architect and Presidential Medal of Freedom winner Maya Lin, Pritzker Prize winner Norman Foster, and Gateway Arch designer Eero Saarinen. Journalists and pundits include Dick Cavett, Chris Cuomo, Anderson Cooper, William F. Buckley, Jr., and Fareed Zakaria.

    In business, Yale has had numerous alumni and former students go on to become founders of influential business, like William Boeing (Boeing, United Airlines), Briton Hadden and Henry Luce (Time Magazine), Stephen A. Schwarzman (Blackstone Group), Frederick W. Smith (FedEx), Juan Trippe (Pan Am), Harold Stanley (Morgan Stanley), Bing Gordon (Electronic Arts), and Ben Silbermann (Pinterest). Other business people from Yale include former chairman and CEO of Sears Holdings Edward Lampert, former Time Warner president Jeffrey Bewkes, former PepsiCo chairperson and CEO Indra Nooyi, sports agent Donald Dell, and investor/philanthropist Sir John Templeton,

    Yale alumni distinguished in academia include literary critic and historian Henry Louis Gates, economists Irving Fischer, Mahbub ul Haq, and Nobel Prize laureate Paul Krugman; Nobel Prize in Physics laureates Ernest Lawrence and Murray Gell-Mann; Fields Medalist John G. Thompson; Human Genome Project leader and National Institutes of Health director Francis S. Collins; brain surgery pioneer Harvey Cushing; pioneering computer scientist Grace Hopper; influential mathematician and chemist Josiah Willard Gibbs; National Women’s Hall of Fame inductee and biochemist Florence B. Seibert; Turing Award recipient Ron Rivest; inventors Samuel F.B. Morse and Eli Whitney; Nobel Prize in Chemistry laureate John B. Goodenough; lexicographer Noah Webster; and theologians Jonathan Edwards and Reinhold Niebuhr.

    In the sporting arena, Yale alumni include baseball players Ron Darling and Craig Breslow and baseball executives Theo Epstein and George Weiss; football players Calvin Hill, Gary Fenick, Amos Alonzo Stagg, and “the Father of American Football” Walter Camp; ice hockey players Chris Higgins and Olympian Helen Resor; Olympic figure skaters Sarah Hughes and Nathan Chen; nine-time U.S. Squash men’s champion Julian Illingworth; Olympic swimmer Don Schollander; Olympic rowers Josh West and Rusty Wailes; Olympic sailor Stuart McNay; Olympic runner Frank Shorter; and others.

     
  • richardmitnick 1:58 pm on June 24, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "How the first biomolecules could have been formed", A letter of the genetic code may have been created in this way., An accidental rediscovery made it possible., , Biology, , Friedrich Schiller University Jena [Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena] (DE), Iron sulphide served as a catalyst in the “primordial soup” experiment., On the surface of iron sulphide biologically important reactions can take place., One of the nucleobases-which represent the code of our genetic material-could have originated from the surface of our planet., Scientists were even able to detect adenine-a nucleobase that is one of the five letters of the genetic code., The chemical precursors of present-day biomolecules could have formed not only in the deep sea at hydrothermal vents but also in warm ponds on the Earth's surface., The chemical reactions that may have occurred in this “primordial soup” have now been reproduced in experiments by an international team led by researchers of Friedrich Schiller University Jena.   

    From Friedrich Schiller University Jena [Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena] (DE): “How the first biomolecules could have been formed” 

    Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena DE.

    From Friedrich Schiller University Jena [Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena] (DE)

    10 June 2022
    Marco Körner

    The chemical precursors of present-day biomolecules could have formed not only in the deep sea at hydrothermal vents but also in warm ponds on the Earth’s surface.

    1
    Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain.

    The chemical reactions that may have occurred in this “primordial soup” have now been reproduced in experiments by an international team led by researchers of Friedrich Schiller University Jena. They even found that one of the nucleobases-which represent the code of our genetic material-could have originated from the surface of our planet.

    The Earth is around 4.6 billion years old and was not always a place that was hospitable to life. In the first hundred million years, our planet’s atmosphere consisted primarily of nitrogen, carbon dioxide, methane, hydrogen sulphide and hydrogen cyanide, also known as hydrocyanic acid. Free oxygen did not exist. Under these conditions, iron sulphide, which is transformed into iron oxide when exposed to oxygen, is stable. On the surface of iron sulphide, however, biologically important reactions can take place, similar to those that occur in certain iron and sulphur-based enzymes, such as nitrogenases and hydrogenases.

    An accidental rediscovery made it possible

    “We asked ourselves: what happens when iron sulphide in this primordial atmosphere comes into contact with hydrocyanic acid?” explains Prof. Wolfgang Weigand from the Institute of Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry at the University of Jena. “It was helpful to us that we had accidentally discovered a particularly reactive form of iron sulphide in a successful collaboration with my colleague Prof. Christian Robl. This form had already been discovered twice in history, and on each occasion it was forgotten again: once in 1700 and again in the 1920s. So to speak, the two doctoral students at the time, Robert Bolney and Mario Grosch, discovered it for the third time,” he adds. The two chemists observed in the laboratory that when iron powder is stirred with sulphur in water and slightly heated, after a certain time, iron sulphide is formed as mackinawite in an explosive reaction. This mineral served as a catalyst in the “primordial soup” experiment.

    A letter of the genetic code may have been created in this way

    “We added potassium cyanide, phosphoric acid and water to the iron sulphide in a nitrogen atmosphere and heated the mixture to 80 degrees Celsius. The phosphoric acid converts the potassium cyanide into hydrocyanic acid. We then took gas samples from the atmosphere of the respective vessels and analysed them,” explains Weigand. The researchers found substances that may have served as chemical precursors for today’s biomolecules.

    In the scientific journal ChemSystemsChem, the team confirms, among other things, the discovery of thiols, which occur as lipids in cell membranes, as well as acetaldehyde, which is needed as a precursor for DNA building blocks (called nucleosides). “It was particularly exciting that under these mild conditions we were even able to detect adenine-a nucleobase that is one of the five letters of the genetic code,” Weigand adds with enthusiasm.

    By means of isotope labelling, the team was able to prove that the cyanide indeed provided the carbon for the molecules they found. Weigand explains: “In this experiment, the potassium cyanide did not contain the isotope carbon-12, which is the isotope that accounts for 98.9 per cent of carbon naturally occurring in the environment. Instead, it was the heavier – and also stable – isotope carbon-13. It was this isotope that we found in the reaction products. In this way, we were able to prove unequivocally that the carbon atoms in the molecules we found really came from the isotope-labelled potassium cyanide.”

    See the full article here.

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena DE campus

    Friedrich Schiller University Jena [Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena] (DE), is a public research university located in Jena, Thuringia, Germany.

    The university was established in 1558 and is counted among the ten oldest universities in Germany. It is affiliated with six Nobel Prize winners, most recently in 2000 when Jena graduate Herbert Kroemer won the Nobel Prize for physics. It was renamed after the poet Friedrich Schiller who was teaching as professor of philosophy when Jena attracted some of the most influential minds at the turn of the 19th century. With Karl Leonhard Reinhold, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, G. W. F. Hegel, F. W. J. Schelling and Friedrich von Schlegel on its teaching staff, the university was at the centre of the emergence of German idealism and early Romanticism.

    As of 2014, the university has around 19,000 students enrolled and 375 professors. Its current president, Walter Rosenthal [de], was elected in 2014 for a six-year term.

     
  • richardmitnick 4:45 pm on June 23, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Quest to digitize 1 million plant specimens", , , Biology, , , ,   

    From CSIRO (AU)-Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization: “Quest to digitize 1 million plant specimens” 

    CSIRO bloc

    From CSIRO (AU)-Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization

    24 June 2022

    Ms Andrea Wild
    Communication Advisor, National Research Collections Australia
    +61 4 1519 9434

    1
    Australian National Herbarium specimen, Austrostipa scabra subsp. falcata imaged by Picturae.

    2
    Australian National Herbarium specimen, Dendrobium crispilinguum imaged by Picturae.

    3
    Australian National Herbarium specimen, Stipa scabra subsp. falcata imaged by Picturae.

    4
    Specimens of plants in the laurel family traveling along the conveyer belt to be photographed.

    5
    Australian National Herbarium specimen, Eucalyptus pyriformis imaged by Picturae.

    6
    Australian National Herbarium specimen, Asplenium novoguineensis, imaged by Picturae.

    The Australian National Herbarium in Canberra is imaging nearly a million plant specimens using an automated system developed by Netherlands company Picturae.

    CSIRO Group Leader for Digitization & Informatics, Pete Thrall, who oversees digital assets at the National Research Collections Australia, managed by CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, said the project would help inform bush fire recovery and biosecurity.

    “Digitizing the herbarium is a huge leap forward for sharing specimens for research. As a result, we’ll be able to provide information quickly for projects like bush fire recovery and biosecurity,” Mr Thrall said.

    “Creating a digitized replica also provides security for the herbarium’s irreplaceable physical specimens,” he said.

    Parks Australia imaging manager Ms Emma Toms, located at the Australian National Herbarium, who is coordinating the Picturae project, said the work would be completed over the next 9 months.

    “To digitize these specimens in house would have taken us about eight years using a standard camera rig,” she said.

    “The first step is a visual check of each specimen to ensure it is in good condition and has a barcode to link to its digital record.

    “Three people operate Picturae’s conveyor belt, which moves specimens under a camera to take a high-resolution photograph. Two people unpack the specimens at the start of the conveyor belt and one person repacks the specimens and checks the photographs for any errors,” she said.

    One of the new technologies transforming the utilization of collections is artificial intelligence (AI).

    CSIRO Postdoc Dr Abdo Khamis said machine learning and AI enables researchers to extract trait information from images.

    “We can use digitized herbarium specimens to understand how plants are responding to climate change, for example by determining how the reproductive structure of flowers is changing with time,” he said.

    The team will continue to grow the herbarium’s digital assets as more plant specimens from Australia and the region are added to the collection.

    “We will have an in-house digitization program once this process is complete, so new specimens will be photographed before they are incorporated into the collection,” Emma Toms said.

    The full digital collection of the Australian National Herbarium will be made available through the Atlas of Living Australia, including for the general public.

    The Australian National Herbarium is part of the Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research, a joint venture between Parks Australia’s Australian National Botanic Gardens and the National Research Collections Australia at CSIRO.

    See the full article here .


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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    CSIRO campus

    CSIRO (AU)-Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, is Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world.

    CSIRO works with leading organizations around the world. From its headquarters in Canberra, CSIRO maintains more than 50 sites across Australia and in France, Chile and the United States, employing about 5,500 people.

    Federally funded scientific research began in Australia 104 years ago. The Advisory Council of Science and Industry was established in 1916 but was hampered by insufficient available finance. In 1926 the research effort was reinvigorated by establishment of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), which strengthened national science leadership and increased research funding. CSIR grew rapidly and achieved significant early successes. In 1949 further legislated changes included renaming the organization as CSIRO.

    Notable developments by CSIRO have included the invention of atomic absorption spectroscopy; essential components of Wi-Fi technology; development of the first commercially successful polymer banknote; the invention of the insect repellent in Aerogard and the introduction of a series of biological controls into Australia, such as the introduction of myxomatosis and rabbit calicivirus for the control of rabbit populations.

    Research and focus areas

    Research Business Units

    As at 2019, CSIRO’s research areas are identified as “Impact science” and organized into the following Business Units:

    Agriculture and Food
    Health and Biosecurity
    Data 61
    Energy
    Land and Water
    Manufacturing
    Mineral Resources
    Oceans and Atmosphere

    National Facilities
    CSIRO manages national research facilities and scientific infrastructure on behalf of the nation to assist with the delivery of research. The national facilities and specialized laboratories are available to both international and Australian users from industry and research. As at 2019, the following National Facilities are listed:

    Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL)
    Australia Telescope National Facility – radio telescopes included in the Facility include the Australia Telescope Compact Array, the Parkes Observatory, Mopra Radio Telescope Observatory and the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder.

    STCA CSIRO Australia Compact Array (AU), six radio telescopes at the Paul Wild Observatory, is an array of six 22-m antennas located about twenty five kilometres (16 mi) west of the town of Narrabri in Australia.

    CSIRO-Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (AU) Parkes Observatory [Murriyang, the traditional Indigenous name], located 20 kilometres north of the town of Parkes, New South Wales, Australia, 414.80m above sea level.

    NASA Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex, AU, Deep Space Network. Credit: NASA.

    CSIRO Canberra campus.

    ESA DSA 1, hosts a 35-metre deep-space antenna with transmission and reception in both S- and X-band and is located 140 kilometres north of Perth, Western Australia, near the town of New Norcia.

    CSIRO-Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (AU)CSIRO R/V Investigator.

    UK Space NovaSAR-1 satellite (UK) synthetic aperture radar satellite.

    CSIRO Pawsey Supercomputing Centre AU)

    Magnus Cray XC40 supercomputer at Pawsey Supercomputer Centre Perth Australia.

    Galaxy Cray XC30 Series Supercomputer at at Pawsey Supercomputer Centre Perth Australia.

    Pausey Supercomputer CSIRO Zeus SGI Linux cluster.

    Others not shown

    SKA

    SKA- Square Kilometer Array.

    SKA Square Kilometre Array low frequency at Murchison Widefield Array, Boolardy station in outback Western Australia on the traditional lands of the Wajarri peoples.

    EDGES telescope in a radio quiet zone at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in Western Australia, on the traditional lands of the Wajarri peoples.

     
  • richardmitnick 11:32 am on June 23, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "A newly identified stem cell regulator enables lifelong sperm production", , Biology, , Men can continue to produce sperm throughout their adult lives., Men require a constant renewal of spermatogonial stem cells which give rise to sperm., , The team found that DOT1L appeared to be regulating a gene family known as HoxC., This reinvigoration of stem cells depends on a newly characterized stem cell self-renewal factor called DOT1L., When the enzyme DOT1L is not functional spermatogonial stem cells become exhausted leading to a failure of sperm cell development.   

    From Penn Today: “A newly identified stem cell regulator enables lifelong sperm production” 

    From Penn Today

    at

    U Penn bloc

    University of Pennsylvania

    June 22, 2022
    Katherine Unger Baillie

    1
    When the enzyme DOT1L is not functional spermatogonial stem cells become exhausted leading to a failure of sperm cell development. This crucial role for DOT1L places it in rarefied company as one of just a handful of known stem cell self-renewal factors, a Penn Vet team found. (Image: Courtesy of Jeremy Wang)

    Unlike women, who are born with all the eggs they’ll ever have, men can continue to produce sperm throughout their adult lives. To do so, they require a constant renewal of spermatogonial stem cells which give rise to sperm.

    This reinvigoration of stem cells depends on a newly characterized stem cell self-renewal factor called DOT1L, according to research by Jeremy Wang of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and colleagues. When mice lack DOT1L, the team showed, they fail to maintain spermatogonial stem cells, and thus, lack the ability to continuously produce sperm.

    Scientists have discovered only a handful of such stem cell renewal factors, so the find, published in the journal Genes & Development, adds another entity to a rarified group.

    “This novel factor was only able to be identified by finding this unusual genetic phenotype: the fact that mice lacking DOT1L were not able to continue to produce sperm,” says Wang, the Ralph L. Brinster President’s Distinguished Professor at Penn Vet and a corresponding author on the paper. “Identifying this essential factor not only helps us understand the biology of adult germline stem cells, but could also allow scientists to one day reprogram somatic cells, like skin cells, to become germline stem cells. That is the next frontier for fertility treatment.”

    The researchers stumbled upon DOT1L’s role in stem cell self-renewal serendipitously. The gene is expressed widely; mice with a mutant version of DOT1L in all of their cells don’t survive past the embryonic stage of development. But based on the known DOT1L expression patterns, Wang and colleagues believed that it could play a role in meiosis, the cell division process that gives rise to sperm and eggs. So, they decided to see what happened when the gene was only deleted in germ cells.

    “When we did this, the animals lived and appeared healthy,” Wang says. “When we looked closer, however, we found that the mice lacking DOT1L in their germ cells could complete an initial round of sperm production, but then the stem cells became exhausted and the mice lost all germ cells.”

    This drop-off in sperm production could arise due to other problems. But various lines of evidence supported the link between DOT1L and a failure of stem cell self-renewal. In particular, the researchers found that the mice experienced a sequential loss of the various stages of sperm production, first losing spermatogonia and then spermatocytes, followed by round spermatids, and then sperm.

    In a further experiment, the researchers observed what happened when DOT1L was inactivated in germ cells not from birth, but during adulthood. As soon as Wang and colleagues triggered the DOT1L loss, they observed the same sequential loss of sperm development they had seen in the mice born without DOT1L in their germ cells.

    Previously, other scientific groups have studied DOT1L in the context of leukemia. Overexpression of the gene in the progenitors of blood cells can lead to malignancy. From that line of investigation, it was known that DOT1L acts as a histone methyltransferase, an enzyme that adds a methyl group to histones to influence gene expression.

    To see whether the same mechanism was responsible for the results Wang and his team had observed in sperm production, the researchers treated spermatogonial stem cells with a chemical that blocks the methyltransferase activity of DOT1L. When they did so, the stem cells’ ability to grow in culture was significantly reduced. The treatment also impaired the ability of stem cells to tag histones with a methyl group. And when these treated stem cells were transplanted into otherwise healthy mice, the animals’ spermatogonial stem cell activity was cut in half.

    The team found that DOT1L appeared to be regulating a gene family known as HoxC, transcription factors that play significant roles in regulating the expression of a host of other genes.

    “We think that DOT1L promotes the expression of these HoxC genes by methylating them,” says Wang. “These transcription factors probably contribute to the stem cell self-renewal process. Finding out the details of that is a future direction for our work.”

    A longer-term goal is using factors like DOT1L and others involved in germline stem cell self-renewal to help people who have fertility challenges. The concept is to create germ cells from the ground up.

    “That’s the future of this field: in vitro gametogenesis,” Wang says. “Reprogramming somatic cells to become spermatogonial stem cells is one of the steps. And then we’d have to figure out how to make those cells undergo meiosis. We’re in the early stages of envisioning how to accomplish this multi-step process, but identifying this self-renewal factor brings us one step closer.”

    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 Penn campus

    Academic life at University of Pennsylvania is unparalleled, with 100 countries and every U.S. state represented in one of the Ivy League’s most diverse student bodies. Consistently ranked among the top 10 universities in the country, Penn enrolls 10,000 undergraduate students and welcomes an additional 10,000 students to our world-renowned graduate and professional schools.

    Penn’s award-winning educators and scholars encourage students to pursue inquiry and discovery, follow their passions, and address the world’s most challenging problems through an interdisciplinary approach.

    The University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The university claims a founding date of 1740 and is one of the nine colonial colleges chartered prior to the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin, Penn’s founder and first president, advocated an educational program that trained leaders in commerce, government, and public service, similar to a modern liberal arts curriculum.

    Penn has four undergraduate schools as well as twelve graduate and professional schools. Schools enrolling undergraduates include the College of Arts and Sciences; the School of Engineering and Applied Science; the Wharton School; and the School of Nursing. Penn’s “One University Policy” allows students to enroll in classes in any of Penn’s twelve schools. Among its highly ranked graduate and professional schools are a law school whose first professor wrote the first draft of the United States Constitution, the first school of medicine in North America (Perelman School of Medicine, 1765), and the first collegiate business school (Wharton School, 1881).

    Penn is also home to the first “student union” building and organization (Houston Hall, 1896), the first Catholic student club in North America (Newman Center, 1893), the first double-decker college football stadium (Franklin Field, 1924 when second deck was constructed), and Morris Arboretum, the official arboretum of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The first general-purpose electronic computer (ENIAC) was developed at Penn and formally dedicated in 1946. In 2019, the university had an endowment of $14.65 billion, the sixth-largest endowment of all universities in the United States, as well as a research budget of $1.02 billion. The university’s athletics program, the Quakers, fields varsity teams in 33 sports as a member of the NCAA Division I Ivy League conference.

    As of 2018, distinguished alumni and/or Trustees include three U.S. Supreme Court justices; 32 U.S. senators; 46 U.S. governors; 163 members of the U.S. House of Representatives; eight signers of the Declaration of Independence and seven signers of the U.S. Constitution (four of whom signed both representing two-thirds of the six people who signed both); 24 members of the Continental Congress; 14 foreign heads of state and two presidents of the United States, including Donald Trump. As of October 2019, 36 Nobel laureates; 80 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; 64 billionaires; 29 Rhodes Scholars; 15 Marshall Scholars and 16 Pulitzer Prize winners have been affiliated with the university.

    History

    The University of Pennsylvania considers itself the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States, though this is contested by Princeton University and Columbia University. The university also considers itself as the first university in the United States with both undergraduate and graduate studies.

    In 1740, a group of Philadelphians joined together to erect a great preaching hall for the traveling evangelist George Whitefield, who toured the American colonies delivering open-air sermons. The building was designed and built by Edmund Woolley and was the largest building in the city at the time, drawing thousands of people the first time it was preached in. It was initially planned to serve as a charity school as well, but a lack of funds forced plans for the chapel and school to be suspended. According to Franklin’s autobiography, it was in 1743 when he first had the idea to establish an academy, “thinking the Rev. Richard Peters a fit person to superintend such an institution”. However, Peters declined a casual inquiry from Franklin and nothing further was done for another six years. In the fall of 1749, now more eager to create a school to educate future generations, Benjamin Franklin circulated a pamphlet titled Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pensilvania, his vision for what he called a “Public Academy of Philadelphia”. Unlike the other colonial colleges that existed in 1749—Harvard University, William & Mary, Yale Unversity, and The College of New Jersey—Franklin’s new school would not focus merely on education for the clergy. He advocated an innovative concept of higher education, one which would teach both the ornamental knowledge of the arts and the practical skills necessary for making a living and doing public service. The proposed program of study could have become the nation’s first modern liberal arts curriculum, although it was never implemented because Anglican priest William Smith (1727-1803), who became the first provost, and other trustees strongly preferred the traditional curriculum.

    Franklin assembled a board of trustees from among the leading citizens of Philadelphia, the first such non-sectarian board in America. At the first meeting of the 24 members of the board of trustees on November 13, 1749, the issue of where to locate the school was a prime concern. Although a lot across Sixth Street from the old Pennsylvania State House (later renamed and famously known since 1776 as “Independence Hall”), was offered without cost by James Logan, its owner, the trustees realized that the building erected in 1740, which was still vacant, would be an even better site. The original sponsors of the dormant building still owed considerable construction debts and asked Franklin’s group to assume their debts and, accordingly, their inactive trusts. On February 1, 1750, the new board took over the building and trusts of the old board. On August 13, 1751, the “Academy of Philadelphia”, using the great hall at 4th and Arch Streets, took in its first secondary students. A charity school also was chartered on July 13, 1753 by the intentions of the original “New Building” donors, although it lasted only a few years. On June 16, 1755, the “College of Philadelphia” was chartered, paving the way for the addition of undergraduate instruction. All three schools shared the same board of trustees and were considered to be part of the same institution. The first commencement exercises were held on May 17, 1757.

    The institution of higher learning was known as the College of Philadelphia from 1755 to 1779. In 1779, not trusting then-provost the Reverend William Smith’s “Loyalist” tendencies, the revolutionary State Legislature created a University of the State of Pennsylvania. The result was a schism, with Smith continuing to operate an attenuated version of the College of Philadelphia. In 1791, the legislature issued a new charter, merging the two institutions into a new University of Pennsylvania with twelve men from each institution on the new board of trustees.

    Penn has three claims to being the first university in the United States, according to university archives director Mark Frazier Lloyd: the 1765 founding of the first medical school in America made Penn the first institution to offer both “undergraduate” and professional education; the 1779 charter made it the first American institution of higher learning to take the name of “University”; and existing colleges were established as seminaries (although, as detailed earlier, Penn adopted a traditional seminary curriculum as well).

    After being located in downtown Philadelphia for more than a century, the campus was moved across the Schuylkill River to property purchased from the Blockley Almshouse in West Philadelphia in 1872, where it has since remained in an area now known as University City. Although Penn began operating as an academy or secondary school in 1751 and obtained its collegiate charter in 1755, it initially designated 1750 as its founding date; this is the year that appears on the first iteration of the university seal. Sometime later in its early history, Penn began to consider 1749 as its founding date and this year was referenced for over a century, including at the centennial celebration in 1849. In 1899, the board of trustees voted to adjust the founding date earlier again, this time to 1740, the date of “the creation of the earliest of the many educational trusts the University has taken upon itself”. The board of trustees voted in response to a three-year campaign by Penn’s General Alumni Society to retroactively revise the university’s founding date to appear older than Princeton University, which had been chartered in 1746.

    Research, innovations and discoveries

    Penn is classified as an “R1” doctoral university: “Highest research activity.” Its economic impact on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for 2015 amounted to $14.3 billion. Penn’s research expenditures in the 2018 fiscal year were $1.442 billion, the fourth largest in the U.S. In fiscal year 2019 Penn received $582.3 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health.

    In line with its well-known interdisciplinary tradition, Penn’s research centers often span two or more disciplines. In the 2010–2011 academic year alone, five interdisciplinary research centers were created or substantially expanded; these include the Center for Health-care Financing; the Center for Global Women’s Health at the Nursing School; the $13 million Morris Arboretum’s Horticulture Center; the $15 million Jay H. Baker Retailing Center at Wharton; and the $13 million Translational Research Center at Penn Medicine. With these additions, Penn now counts 165 research centers hosting a research community of over 4,300 faculty and over 1,100 postdoctoral fellows, 5,500 academic support staff and graduate student trainees. To further assist the advancement of interdisciplinary research President Amy Gutmann established the “Penn Integrates Knowledge” title awarded to selected Penn professors “whose research and teaching exemplify the integration of knowledge”. These professors hold endowed professorships and joint appointments between Penn’s schools.

    Penn is also among the most prolific producers of doctoral students. With 487 PhDs awarded in 2009, Penn ranks third in the Ivy League, only behind Columbia University and Cornell University (Harvard University did not report data). It also has one of the highest numbers of post-doctoral appointees (933 in number for 2004–2007), ranking third in the Ivy League (behind Harvard and Yale University) and tenth nationally.

    In most disciplines Penn professors’ productivity is among the highest in the nation and first in the fields of epidemiology, business, communication studies, comparative literature, languages, information science, criminal justice and criminology, social sciences and sociology. According to the National Research Council nearly three-quarters of Penn’s 41 assessed programs were placed in ranges including the top 10 rankings in their fields, with more than half of these in ranges including the top five rankings in these fields.

    Penn’s research tradition has historically been complemented by innovations that shaped higher education. In addition to establishing the first medical school; the first university teaching hospital; the first business school; and the first student union Penn was also the cradle of other significant developments. In 1852, Penn Law was the first law school in the nation to publish a law journal still in existence (then called The American Law Register, now the Penn Law Review, one of the most cited law journals in the world). Under the deanship of William Draper Lewis, the law school was also one of the first schools to emphasize legal teaching by full-time professors instead of practitioners, a system that is still followed today. The Wharton School was home to several pioneering developments in business education. It established the first research center in a business school in 1921 and the first center for entrepreneurship center in 1973 and it regularly introduced novel curricula for which BusinessWeek wrote, “Wharton is on the crest of a wave of reinvention and change in management education”.

    Several major scientific discoveries have also taken place at Penn. The university is probably best known as the place where the first general-purpose electronic computer (ENIAC) was born in 1946 at the Moore School of Electrical Engineering.

    ENIAC UPenn

    It was here also where the world’s first spelling and grammar checkers were created, as well as the popular COBOL programming language. Penn can also boast some of the most important discoveries in the field of medicine. The dialysis machine used as an artificial replacement for lost kidney function was conceived and devised out of a pressure cooker by William Inouye while he was still a student at Penn Med; the Rubella and Hepatitis B vaccines were developed at Penn; the discovery of cancer’s link with genes; cognitive therapy; Retin-A (the cream used to treat acne), Resistin; the Philadelphia gene (linked to chronic myelogenous leukemia) and the technology behind PET Scans were all discovered by Penn Med researchers. More recent gene research has led to the discovery of the genes for fragile X syndrome, the most common form of inherited mental retardation; spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy, a disorder marked by progressive muscle wasting; and Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects the hands, feet and limbs.

    Conductive polymer was also developed at Penn by Alan J. Heeger, Alan MacDiarmid and Hideki Shirakawa, an invention that earned them the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. On faculty since 1965, Ralph L. Brinster developed the scientific basis for in vitro fertilization and the transgenic mouse at Penn and was awarded the National Medal of Science in 2010. The theory of superconductivity was also partly developed at Penn, by then-faculty member John Robert Schrieffer (along with John Bardeen and Leon Cooper). The university has also contributed major advancements in the fields of economics and management. Among the many discoveries are conjoint analysis, widely used as a predictive tool especially in market research; Simon Kuznets’s method of measuring Gross National Product; the Penn effect (the observation that consumer price levels in richer countries are systematically higher than in poorer ones) and the “Wharton Model” developed by Nobel-laureate Lawrence Klein to measure and forecast economic activity. The idea behind Health Maintenance Organizations also belonged to Penn professor Robert Eilers, who put it into practice during then-President Nixon’s health reform in the 1970s.

    International partnerships

    Students can study abroad for a semester or a year at partner institutions such as the London School of Economics(UK), University of Barcelona [Universitat de Barcelona](ES), Paris Institute of Political Studies [Institut d’études politiques de Paris](FR), University of Queensland(AU), University College London(UK), King’s College London(UK), Hebrew University of Jerusalem(IL) and University of Warwick(UK).

     
  • richardmitnick 4:40 pm on June 21, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "The University of California-San Diego and Scripps Institution of Oceanography Researchers Part of $25M Project To Build Artificial Coral Reefs for Coastal Protection", 3D print coral-inspired microscale structures, , Biology, , , , ,   

    From The University of California-San Diego and Scripps Institution of Oceanography : “The University of California-San Diego and Scripps Institution of Oceanography Researchers Part of $25M Project To Build Artificial Coral Reefs for Coastal Protection” 

    From The University of California-San Diego

    and

    Scripps Institution of Oceanography

    Liezel Labios
    858-246-1124
    llabios@ucsd.edu

    Robert Monroe
    858-534-3624
    scrippsnews@ucsd.edu

    Images by Daniel Wangpraseurt.

    A team of researchers involving the University of California San Diego has received a $25 million award from the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to build artificial coral reefs to protect coastal areas in Hawai’i against flooding, erosion and storm damage.

    The artificial reefs will be designed to work with local ecology to create a living, growing and self-healing system. The reefs will provide a natural defense that can keep pace with sea-level rise over time and slow down waves, dissipating their energy before they reach land. A big benefit of artificial reefs is that they can be rapidly deployed to provide immediate protection while promoting the growth of reef-supporting organisms. Natural reefs take decades to mature, but the artificial versions can reach full functionality in a matter of months to years.

    The project is an academic-industry partnership led by the University of Hawai’i, with other partners including UC San Diego, Florida Atlantic University and Makai Ocean Engineering.

    1
    Coral larvae crawling over a bioactive coating to look for a settlement habitat. Such a bioactive material can be rapidly fabricated via 3D printing.

    The UC San Diego team is working on two methods for attracting both corals and beneficial reef fish to the artificial structures. First, researchers at the UC San Diego Department of NanoEngineering will 3D print biomaterials that will be coated onto the artificial reefs. The biomaterials will be designed with special microstructures to enhance coral recruitment, the process in which tiny drifting coral larvae attach and establish themselves on a reef. The microstructures also aim to inhibit algal and bacterial fouling on the artificial reefs.

    Scientists at UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography will also test “acoustic enrichment,” a process where sounds from other healthy reef environments are broadcast to attract both algae-eating fish and coral larvae to the structures. Scripps Oceanography scientists will also conduct passive acoustic monitoring of the reef structure to help monitor what and how many organisms settle on the structure over time.

    Daniel Wangpraseurt, an assistant project scientist at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, will lead the effort with co-investigators Shaochen Chen, professor and chair of nanoengineering at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, and Aaron Thode, a research scientist at Scripps Oceanography. The UC San Diego effort will be funded with $4 million of the DARPA award.

    “This is an exciting opportunity for radical innovation, with the potential to be a game changer for the engineering of artificial coral reefs,” said Wangpraseurt. “Our team will develop new biomaterials that will kick-start the living reef by applying state-of-the-art medical tissue engineering approaches.”

    2
    3D printed skeletal microarchitecture that can be used as inspiration for new reef-like materials.

    To create the biomaterials, the UC San Diego team will use a rapid, 3D bioprinting technology developed in Chen’s lab. The technology can reproduce detailed microscale structures in mere seconds, mimicking the complex designs and functions of living tissues. Wangpraseurt and Chen have collaborated in recent years to 3D print coral-inspired microscale structures that are capable of growing dense populations of microscopic algae. The new DARPA-funded project takes their work to the next level, expanding their efforts to help create hybrid biological and engineered reef-mimicking structures for coastal defenses suited to a changing environment.

    “We are now scaling up our rapid bioprinting platform, which will be critical to manufacture biomaterials for large scale coral reef engineering,” said Chen.

    Thode, who recently participated in another recent DARPA-funded project on coral reef acoustics, will be adapting underwater sound playback technology initially developed to attract sperm whales away from fishing vessels to prevent the 70-foot animals from taking fish from their haul.

    “In addition to developing methods to encourage rapid ecosystem development on artificial reefs, I’m hoping in the future this research could also help accelerate efforts to recover degraded or dying natural reefs,” said Thode.

    3D printed corals provide more fertile ground for algae growth
    3
    Left: Close-up of coral reef microstructures consisting of a coral skeleton (white) and coral tissue (orange-yellow). Right: SEM image of 3D printed coral skeleton. Images courtesy of Nature Communications.

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition

    A department of UC San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography is one of the oldest, largest, and most important centers for ocean, earth and atmospheric science research, education, and public service in the world.

    Research at Scripps encompasses physical, chemical, biological, geological, and geophysical studies of the oceans, Earth, and planets. Scripps undergraduate and graduate programs provide transformative educational and research opportunities in ocean, earth, and atmospheric sciences, as well as degrees in climate science and policy and marine biodiversity and conservation.

    The University of California- San Diego, is a public research university located in the La Jolla area of San Diego, California, in the United States. The university occupies 2,141 acres (866 ha) near the coast of the Pacific Ocean with the main campus resting on approximately 1,152 acres (466 ha). Established in 1960 near the pre-existing Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California-San Diego is the seventh oldest of the 10 University of California campuses and offers over 200 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, enrolling about 22,700 undergraduate and 6,300 graduate students. The University of California-San Diego is one of America’s “Public Ivy” universities, which recognizes top public research universities in the United States. The University of California-San Diego was ranked 8th among public universities and 37th among all universities in the United States, and rated the 18th Top World University by U.S. News & World Report’s 2015 rankings.

    The University of California-San Diego is organized into seven undergraduate residential colleges (Revelle; John Muir; Thurgood Marshall; Earl Warren; Eleanor Roosevelt; Sixth; and Seventh), four academic divisions (Arts and Humanities; Biological Sciences; Physical Sciences; and Social Sciences), and seven graduate and professional schools (Jacobs School of Engineering; Rady School of Management; Scripps Institution of Oceanography; School of Global Policy and Strategy; School of Medicine; Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; and the newly established Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science). University of California-San Diego Health, the region’s only academic health system, provides patient care; conducts medical research; and educates future health care professionals at the University of California-San Diego Medical Center, Hillcrest; Jacobs Medical Center; Moores Cancer Center; Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center; Shiley Eye Institute; Institute for Genomic Medicine; Koman Family Outpatient Pavilion and various express care and urgent care clinics throughout San Diego.

    The university operates 19 organized research units (ORUs), including the Center for Energy Research; Qualcomm Institute (a branch of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology); San Diego Supercomputer Center; and the Kavli Institute for Brain and Mind, as well as eight School of Medicine research units, six research centers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and two multi-campus initiatives, including the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation. The University of California-San Diego is also closely affiliated with several regional research centers, such as the Salk Institute; the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute; the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine; and the Scripps Research Institute. It is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. According to the National Science Foundation, UC San Diego spent $1.265 billion on research and development in fiscal year 2018, ranking it 7th in the nation.

    The University of California-San Diego is considered one of the country’s “Public Ivies”. As of February 2021, The University of California-San Diego faculty, researchers and alumni have won 27 Nobel Prizes and three Fields Medals, eight National Medals of Science, eight MacArthur Fellowships, and three Pulitzer Prizes. Additionally, of the current faculty, 29 have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering, 70 to the National Academy of Sciences, 45 to the National Academy of Medicine and 110 to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

    History

    When the Regents of the University of California originally authorized the San Diego campus in 1956, it was planned to be a graduate and research institution, providing instruction in the sciences, mathematics, and engineering. Local citizens supported the idea, voting the same year to transfer to the university 59 acres (24 ha) of mesa land on the coast near the preexisting Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The Regents requested an additional gift of 550 acres (220 ha) of undeveloped mesa land northeast of Scripps, as well as 500 acres (200 ha) on the former site of Camp Matthews from the federal government, but Roger Revelle, then director of Scripps Institution and main advocate for establishing the new campus, jeopardized the site selection by exposing the La Jolla community’s exclusive real estate business practices, which were antagonistic to minority racial and religious groups. This outraged local conservatives, as well as Regent Edwin W. Pauley.

    University of California President Clark Kerr satisfied San Diego city donors by changing the proposed name from University of California, La Jolla, to University of California-San Diego. The city voted in agreement to its part in 1958, and the University of California approved construction of the new campus in 1960. Because of the clash with Pauley, Revelle was not made chancellor. Herbert York, first director of DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, was designated instead. York planned the main campus according to the “Oxbridge” model, relying on many of Revelle’s ideas.

    According to Kerr, “San Diego always asked for the best,” though this created much friction throughout the University of California system, including with Kerr himself, because University of California-San Diego often seemed to be “asking for too much and too fast.” Kerr attributed University of California-San Diego’s “special personality” to Scripps, which for over five decades had been the most isolated University of California unit in every sense: geographically, financially, and institutionally. It was a great shock to the Scripps community to learn that Scripps was now expected to become the nucleus of a new University of California campus and would now be the object of far more attention from both the university administration in Berkeley and the state government in Sacramento.

    The University of California-San Diego was the first general campus of the University of California to be designed “from the top down” in terms of research emphasis. Local leaders disagreed on whether the new school should be a technical research institute or a more broadly based school that included undergraduates as well. John Jay Hopkins of General Dynamics Corporation pledged one million dollars for the former while the City Council offered free land for the latter. The original authorization for the University of California-San Diego campus given by the University of California Regents in 1956 approved a “graduate program in science and technology” that included undergraduate programs, a compromise that won both the support of General Dynamics and the city voters’ approval.

    Nobel laureate Harold Urey, a physicist from the University of Chicago, and Hans Suess, who had published the first paper on the greenhouse effect with Revelle in the previous year, were early recruits to the faculty in 1958. Maria Goeppert-Mayer, later the second female Nobel laureate in physics, was appointed professor of physics in 1960. The graduate division of the school opened in 1960 with 20 faculty in residence, with instruction offered in the fields of physics, biology, chemistry, and earth science. Before the main campus completed construction, classes were held in the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

    By 1963, new facilities on the mesa had been finished for the School of Science and Engineering, and new buildings were under construction for Social Sciences and Humanities. Ten additional faculty in those disciplines were hired, and the whole site was designated the First College, later renamed after Roger Revelle, of the new campus. York resigned as chancellor that year and was replaced by John Semple Galbraith. The undergraduate program accepted its first class of 181 freshman at Revelle College in 1964. Second College was founded in 1964, on the land deeded by the federal government, and named after environmentalist John Muir two years later. The University of California-San Diego School of Medicine also accepted its first students in 1966.

    Political theorist Herbert Marcuse joined the faculty in 1965. A champion of the New Left, he reportedly was the first protester to occupy the administration building in a demonstration organized by his student, political activist Angela Davis. The American Legion offered to buy out the remainder of Marcuse’s contract for $20,000; the Regents censured Chancellor William J. McGill for defending Marcuse on the basis of academic freedom, but further action was averted after local leaders expressed support for Marcuse. Further student unrest was felt at the university, as the United States increased its involvement in the Vietnam War during the mid-1960s, when a student raised a Viet Minh flag over the campus. Protests escalated as the war continued and were only exacerbated after the National Guard fired on student protesters at Kent State University in 1970. Over 200 students occupied Urey Hall, with one student setting himself on fire in protest of the war.

    Early research activity and faculty quality, notably in the sciences, was integral to shaping the focus and culture of the university. Even before The University of California-San Diego had its own campus, faculty recruits had already made significant research breakthroughs, such as the Keeling Curve, a graph that plots rapidly increasing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere and was the first significant evidence for global climate change; the Kohn–Sham equations, used to investigate particular atoms and molecules in quantum chemistry; and the Miller–Urey experiment, which gave birth to the field of prebiotic chemistry.

    Engineering, particularly computer science, became an important part of the university’s academics as it matured. University researchers helped develop University of California-San Diego Pascal, an early machine-independent programming language that later heavily influenced Java; the National Science Foundation Network, a precursor to the Internet; and the Network News Transfer Protocol during the late 1970s to 1980s. In economics, the methods for analyzing economic time series with time-varying volatility (ARCH), and with common trends (cointegration) were developed. The University of California-San Diego maintained its research intense character after its founding, racking up 25 Nobel Laureates affiliated within 50 years of history; a rate of five per decade.

    Under Richard C. Atkinson’s leadership as chancellor from 1980 to 1995, the university strengthened its ties with the city of San Diego by encouraging technology transfer with developing companies, transforming San Diego into a world leader in technology-based industries. He oversaw a rapid expansion of the School of Engineering, later renamed after Qualcomm founder Irwin M. Jacobs, with the construction of the San Diego Supercomputer Center and establishment of the computer science, electrical engineering, and bioengineering departments. Private donations increased from $15 million to nearly $50 million annually, faculty expanded by nearly 50%, and enrollment doubled to about 18,000 students during his administration. By the end of his chancellorship, the quality of The University of California-San Diego graduate programs was ranked 10th in the nation by the National Research Council.

    The university continued to undergo further expansion during the first decade of the new millennium with the establishment and construction of two new professional schools — the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Rady School of Management—and the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, a research institute run jointly with University of California Irvine. The University of California-San Diego also reached two financial milestones during this time, becoming the first university in the western region to raise over $1 billion in its eight-year fundraising campaign in 2007 and also obtaining an additional $1 billion through research contracts and grants in a single fiscal year for the first time in 2010. Despite this, due to the California budget crisis, the university loaned $40 million against its own assets in 2009 to offset a significant reduction in state educational appropriations. The salary of Pradeep Khosla, who became chancellor in 2012, has been the subject of controversy amidst continued budget cuts and tuition increases.

    On November 27, 2017, the university announced it would leave its longtime athletic home of the California Collegiate Athletic Association, an NCAA Division II league, to begin a transition to Division I in 2020. At that time, it will join the Big West Conference, already home to four other UC campuses (Davis, Irvine, Riverside, Santa Barbara). The transition period will run through the 2023–24 school year. The university prepares to transition to NCAA Division I competition on July 1, 2020.

    Research

    Applied Physics and Mathematics

    The Nature Index lists The University of California-San Diego as 6th in the United States for research output by article count in 2019. In 2017, The University of California-San Diego spent $1.13 billion on research, the 7th highest expenditure among academic institutions in the U.S. The university operates several organized research units, including the Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences (CASS), the Center for Drug Discovery Innovation, and the Institute for Neural Computation. The University of California-San Diego also maintains close ties to the nearby Scripps Research Institute and Salk Institute for Biological Studies. In 1977, The University of California-San Diego developed and released the University of California-San Diego Pascal programming language. The university was designated as one of the original national Alzheimer’s disease research centers in 1984 by the National Institute on Aging. In 2018, The University of California-San Diego received $10.5 million from the DOE National Nuclear Security Administration to establish the Center for Matters under Extreme Pressure (CMEC).

    The university founded the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) in 1985, which provides high performance computing for research in various scientific disciplines. In 2000, The University of California-San Diego partnered with The University of California-Irvine to create the Qualcomm Institute – University of California-San Diego, which integrates research in photonics, nanotechnology, and wireless telecommunication to develop solutions to problems in energy, health, and the environment.

    The University of California-San Diego also operates the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, one of the largest centers of research in earth science in the world, which predates the university itself. Together, SDSC and SIO, along with funding partner universities California Institute of Technology, San Diego State University, and The University of California-Santa Barbara, manage the High Performance Wireless Research and Education Network.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:18 pm on June 20, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "HSCs": Hematopoietic stem cells, "The quietest stem cells are the most powerful", A molecule called hyaluronic acid is an important component of the bone marrow., , Biology, Blood stem cells which are known to scientists as hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) reside mainly within the bone marrow., How hyaluronic acid protects your stem cells from proliferative stress., HSCs are distinguished by their level of quiescence, Hyaluronic acid can prevent proliferative stress., The MPG Institute for Immunobiology and Epigenetics [MPG Institut für Immunbiologie und Epigenetik](DE), The surface receptor named GPRC5C has previously been shown to be enriched in mouse dormant HSCs.   

    From The MPG Institute for Immunobiology and Epigenetics [MPG Institut für Immunbiologie und Epigenetik](DE): “The quietest stem cells are the most powerful” 

    From The MPG Institute for Immunobiology and Epigenetics [MPG Institut für Immunbiologie und Epigenetik](DE)

    Dr. Nina Cabezas-Wallscheid
    +49 761 5108-530
    cabezas@freiburg.mpg.de
    Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Freiburg

    Marcus Rockoff
    Press and Public Relations
    +49 76 15108-368
    presse@freiburg.mpg.de
    Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Freiburg

    June 20, 2022

    How hyaluronic acid protects your stem cells from proliferative stress.

    Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are the foundation of the adult hematopoietic system and fundamental of for a constant supply of fresh cells for the blood system and a functional immune system that prevents the outbreak of infections and cancer formation. Interestingly, most HSCs remain in a very deep state of dormancy. Researchers from the MPI of Immunbiology and Epigenetics in Freiburg has now discovered a signaling pathway, the hyaluronic acid-GPRC5C signaling axis, that preserves the resting state of human hematopoietic stem cells and regulates the stem cell function.

    1
    Hyaluronic acid regulates stem cell dormancy through GPRC5C

    Blood stem cells which are known to scientists as hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) reside mainly within the bone marrow. These unique and rare cells are key for the production of blood throughout our lifetime, especially upon proliferative stress such as viral infections or injury which trigger blood stem cells to refuel our blood system with new cells. In the absence of stress, most blood stem cells remain inactive or dormant in order to protect their unique potential of generating mature cells within our blood. The laboratory of Nina Cabezas-Wallscheid at the MPI of Immunobiology and Epigenetics in Freiburg has revealed a signaling axis that preserves this dormant state and regulates human blood stem cell function. The study by Cabezas-Wallscheid, who is also a member of the cluster of excellence CIBSS – Centre for Integrative Biological Signalling Studies at the University of Freiburg, and her collaboration partners is published in the journal Nature Cell Biology.

    A rare population within humans HSCs

    In the mouse hematopoietic system, HSCs are distinguished by their level of quiescence: dormant HSCs are in a deeper quiescent state and have the highest stemness properties when compared to active HSCs. However, in humans, this distinction has never been observed. Nina Cabezas-Wallscheid and her team study the human hematopoietic system to deepen our understanding of how the human body responds to stress. “Using state-of-art technologies like single-cell RNA sequencing, we were able to examine these rare HSCs at a much higher resolution. This approach allowed us to analyze hundreds of HSCs simultaneously, and we found that even within a highly purified HSC population there was still a high level of heterogeneity. We could observe that dormancy was one property that could explain some of this heterogeneity,” stated Nina Cabezas-Wallscheid.

    The surface receptor named GPRC5C has previously been shown to be enriched in mouse dormant HSCs, although its function was unclear in humans. “Indeed, we found that GPRC5C enriches for human dormant HSCs, and that also plays a major role in regulating dormancy and, as a consequence, stemness” said Yu Wei Zhang, the study’s first author.

    Hyaluronic acid can prevent proliferative stress

    A molecule called hyaluronic acid is an important component of the bone marrow. “At the beginning of our study, it was unknown which molecule binds to GPRC5C. Using biochemical assays, we discovered that hyaluronic acid may be able to bind to GPRC5C. We also found that hyaluronic acid interacts with GPRC5C to increase quiescence and maintain its stemness during proliferative stress” stated Julian Mess, the study’s second author.

    The research team of Nina Cabezas-Wallscheid uncovered the hyaluronic acid–GPRC5C signaling axis as a regulator of human HSC dormancy. “Our next step will be to understand whether this signaling axis is altered in the context of diseased hematopoiesis, such as acute myeloid leukemia,” said Nina Cabezas-Wallscheid

    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 MPG Institute for Immunobiology and Epigenetics [MPG Institut für Immunbiologie und Epigenetik](DE) is an interdisciplinary research institute that conducts basic research in modern immunobiology, developmental biology and epigenetics. It was founded in 1961 as the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and is one of 86 institutions of the Max Planck Society. Originally named the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology, it was renamed to its current name in 2010 as it widened its research thrusts to the study of epigenetics.

    The researchers of the institute study the development of the immune system and analyse the genes and molecules which are important for its function. They also seek to establish which factors control the maturation of immune cells and how chemical changes of the DNA influence the immune defense. The biologist Georges J. F. Köhler, a co-recipient of the 1984 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, was director of the institute from 1984 until his death in 1995.

    MPG Society for the Advancement of Science [MPG Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften e. V.] is a formally independent non-governmental and non-profit association of German research institutes founded in 1911 as the Kaiser Wilhelm Society and renamed the Max Planck Society in 1948 in honor of its former president, theoretical physicist Max Planck. The society is funded by the federal and state governments of Germany as well as other sources.

    According to its primary goal, the MPG Society supports fundamental research in the natural, life and social sciences, the arts and humanities in its 83 (as of January 2014) MPG Institutes. The society has a total staff of approximately 17,000 permanent employees, including 5,470 scientists, plus around 4,600 non-tenured scientists and guests. Society budget for 2015 was about €1.7 billion.

    The MPG Institutes focus on excellence in research. The MPG Society has a world-leading reputation as a science and technology research organization, with 33 Nobel Prizes awarded to their scientists, and is generally regarded as the foremost basic research organization in Europe and the world. In 2013, the Nature Publishing Index placed the MPG institutes fifth worldwide in terms of research published in Nature journals (after Harvard University, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University and The National Institutes of Health). In terms of total research volume (unweighted by citations or impact), the Max Planck Society is only outranked by The Chinese Academy of Sciences [中国科学院](CN), The Russian Academy of Sciences [Росси́йская акаде́мия нау́к](RU) and Harvard University. The Thomson Reuters-Science Watch website placed the MPG Society as the second leading research organization worldwide following Harvard University, in terms of the impact of the produced research over science fields.

    The MPG Society and its predecessor Kaiser Wilhelm Society hosted several renowned scientists in their fields, including Otto Hahn, Werner Heisenberg, and Albert Einstein.

    History

    The organization was established in 1911 as the Kaiser Wilhelm Society, or Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft (KWG), a non-governmental research organization named for the then German emperor. The KWG was one of the world’s leading research organizations; its board of directors included scientists like Walther Bothe, Peter Debye, Albert Einstein, and Fritz Haber. In 1946, Otto Hahn assumed the position of President of KWG, and in 1948, the society was renamed the Max Planck Society (MPG) after its former President (1930–37) Max Planck, who died in 1947.

    The MPG Society has a world-leading reputation as a science and technology research organization. In 2006, the Times Higher Education Supplement rankings of non-university research institutions (based on international peer review by academics) placed the MPG Society as No.1 in the world for science research, and No.3 in technology research (behind AT&T Corporation and The DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory.

    The domain mpg.de attracted at least 1.7 million visitors annually by 2008 according to a Compete.com study.

    MPG Institutes and research groups

    The MPG Society consists of over 80 research institutes. In addition, the society funds a number of Max Planck Research Groups (MPRG) and International Max Planck Research Schools (IMPRS). The purpose of establishing independent research groups at various universities is to strengthen the required networking between universities and institutes of the Max Planck Society.
    The research units are primarily located across Europe with a few in South Korea and the U.S. In 2007, the Society established its first non-European centre, with an institute on the Jupiter campus of Florida Atlantic University (US) focusing on neuroscience.
    The MPG Institutes operate independently from, though in close cooperation with, the universities, and focus on innovative research which does not fit into the university structure due to their interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary nature or which require resources that cannot be met by the state universities.

    Internally, MPG Institutes are organized into research departments headed by directors such that each MPI has several directors, a position roughly comparable to anything from full professor to department head at a university. Other core members include Junior and Senior Research Fellows.

    In addition, there are several associated institutes:

    International Max Planck Research Schools

    Together with the Association of Universities and other Education Institutions in Germany, the Max Planck Society established numerous International Max Planck Research Schools (IMPRS) to promote junior scientists:

    • Cologne Graduate School of Ageing Research, Cologne
    • International Max Planck Research School for Intelligent Systems, at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems located in Tübingen and Stuttgart
    • International Max Planck Research School on Adapting Behavior in a Fundamentally Uncertain World (Uncertainty School), at the Max Planck Institutes for Economics, for Human Development, and/or Research on Collective Goods
    • International Max Planck Research School for Analysis, Design and Optimization in Chemical and Biochemical Process Engineering, Magdeburg
    • International Max Planck Research School for Astronomy and Cosmic Physics, Heidelberg at the MPI for Astronomy
    • International Max Planck Research School for Astrophysics, Garching at the MPI for Astrophysics
    • International Max Planck Research School for Complex Surfaces in Material Sciences, Berlin
    • International Max Planck Research School for Computer Science, Saarbrücken
    • International Max Planck Research School for Earth System Modeling, Hamburg
    • International Max Planck Research School for Elementary Particle Physics, Munich, at the MPI for Physics
    • International Max Planck Research School for Environmental, Cellular and Molecular Microbiology, Marburg at the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology
    • International Max Planck Research School for Evolutionary Biology, Plön at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology
    • International Max Planck Research School “From Molecules to Organisms”, Tübingen at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology
    • International Max Planck Research School for Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Jena at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry
    • International Max Planck Research School on Gravitational Wave Astronomy, Hannover and Potsdam MPI for Gravitational Physics
    • International Max Planck Research School for Heart and Lung Research, Bad Nauheim at the Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research
    • International Max Planck Research School for Infectious Diseases and Immunity, Berlin at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology
    • International Max Planck Research School for Language Sciences, Nijmegen
    • International Max Planck Research School for Neurosciences, Göttingen
    • International Max Planck Research School for Cognitive and Systems Neuroscience, Tübingen
    • International Max Planck Research School for Marine Microbiology (MarMic), joint program of the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen, the University of Bremen, the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, and the Jacobs University Bremen
    • International Max Planck Research School for Maritime Affairs, Hamburg
    • International Max Planck Research School for Molecular and Cellular Biology, Freiburg
    • International Max Planck Research School for Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences, Munich
    • International Max Planck Research School for Molecular Biology, Göttingen
    • International Max Planck Research School for Molecular Cell Biology and Bioengineering, Dresden
    • International Max Planck Research School Molecular Biomedicine, program combined with the ‘Graduate Programm Cell Dynamics And Disease’ at the University of Münster and the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine
    • International Max Planck Research School on Multiscale Bio-Systems, Potsdam
    • International Max Planck Research School for Organismal Biology, at the University of Konstanz and the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology
    • International Max Planck Research School on Reactive Structure Analysis for Chemical Reactions (IMPRS RECHARGE), Mülheim an der Ruhr, at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion
    • International Max Planck Research School for Science and Technology of Nano-Systems, Halle at Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics
    • International Max Planck Research School for Solar System Science at the University of Göttingen hosted by MPI for Solar System Research
    • International Max Planck Research School for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Bonn, at the MPI for Radio Astronomy (formerly the International Max Planck Research School for Radio and Infrared Astronomy)
    • International Max Planck Research School for the Social and Political Constitution of the Economy, Cologne
    • International Max Planck Research School for Surface and Interface Engineering in Advanced Materials, Düsseldorf at Max Planck Institute for Iron Research GmbH
    • International Max Planck Research School for Ultrafast Imaging and Structural Dynamics, Hamburg

    Max Planck Schools

    • Max Planck School of Cognition
    • Max Planck School Matter to Life
    • Max Planck School of Photonics

    Max Planck Center

    • The Max Planck Centre for Attosecond Science (MPC-AS), POSTECH Pohang
    • The Max Planck POSTECH Center for Complex Phase Materials, POSTECH Pohang

    Max Planck Institutes

    Among others:
    • Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology of Behavior – caesar, Bonn
    • Max Planck Institute for Aeronomics in Katlenburg-Lindau was renamed to Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in 2004;
    • Max Planck Institute for Biology in Tübingen was closed in 2005;
    • Max Planck Institute for Cell Biology in Ladenburg b. Heidelberg was closed in 2003;
    • Max Planck Institute for Economics in Jena was renamed to the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in 2014;
    • Max Planck Institute for Ionospheric Research in Katlenburg-Lindau was renamed to Max Planck Institute for Aeronomics in 1958;
    • Max Planck Institute for Metals Research, Stuttgart
    • Max Planck Institute of Oceanic Biology in Wilhelmshaven was renamed to Max Planck Institute of Cell Biology in 1968 and moved to Ladenburg 1977;
    • Max Planck Institute for Psychological Research in Munich merged into the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in 2004;
    • Max Planck Institute for Protein and Leather Research in Regensburg moved to Munich 1957 and was united with the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in 1977;
    • Max Planck Institute for Virus Research in Tübingen was renamed as Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in 1985;
    • Max Planck Institute for the Study of the Scientific-Technical World in Starnberg (from 1970 until 1981 (closed)) directed by Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker and Jürgen Habermas.
    • Max Planck Institute for Behavioral Physiology
    • Max Planck Institute of Experimental Endocrinology
    • Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Social Law
    • Max Planck Institute for Physics and Astrophysics
    • Max Planck Research Unit for Enzymology of Protein Folding
    • Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing

     
  • richardmitnick 11:16 am on June 15, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Fragile ecosystems", A diverse fish population is a big indicator of a healthy ecosystem and can increase the ability of the ecosystem to function and provide beneficial services., A University Ph.D. candidate studies how different types of shorelines affect fish populations along Biscayne Bay., , Biology, , , , The research is designed to better understand ecological responses to coastal management.,   

    From The University of Miami: “Fragile ecosystems” 

    From The University of Miami

    1
    A University Ph.D. candidate studies how different types of shorelines affect fish populations along Biscayne Bay.

    Ellery Lennon will never forget the day she spotted a juvenile lemon shark swimming within the shadows of the mangrove trees along Biscayne Bay. Claiming herself to be a “big shark nerd,” Lennon says the surprise sighting was an important discovery that directly correlates to her dissertation work and the research she’s conducting this summer.

    2
    Lennon uses a refractometer to record the water salinity in Biscayne Bay.

    “Spotting the juvenile sharks was a truly important find,” says Lennon, a University of Miami Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Biology, who earned her undergraduate double major in Marine Science and Biology from the College of Arts & Sciences and the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science in 2016. “Not only does it show that the fish and invertebrates populations living in the mangroves can sustain a predator species like a shark, but the sighting also illustrates how healthy mangroves provide important nursery habitat for juvenile fish.”

    For the next two months, Lennon and her undergraduate research assistant, Alexis Carrasquillo, will use an underwater video camera to capture footage of fish along different shorelines in Biscayne Bay with hopes to determine how coastal armoring (man-made structures like seawalls, for example) affect nearshore fish assemblages.

    Although used to mitigate the effects of climate change, the construction of seawalls can contribute to pollution and loss of habitat for fish and corals. Using the underwater cameras along the mangrove shorelines, seawalls, and in areas where both seawalls and mangroves exist, Lennon hopes to show how important mangroves are to the ecosystem of Biscayne Bay by the number of fish captured on video with the underwater cameras.

    3
    Rainbow Parrotfish captured with undewater camera.

    “I am very interested in studying fish populations and want to learn how different shoreline types can support fish assemblages,” says Lennon. “A diverse fish population is a big indicator of a healthy ecosystem and can increase the ability of the ecosystem to function and provide beneficial services. Not only do mangrove ecosystems support other fish and predators, like the lemon sharks I spotted, but also bird populations, nutrient cycling, and recreational activities, like snorkeling.”

    Guiding them through the research is Biology Professor Kathleen Sealey whose life’s work is devoted to coastal restoration ecology, particularly the coastal system management in South Florida. Sealey has worked on similar projects with University colleagues and students in the Bahamas and the Caribbean, and has participated in a local initiative with Monroe County and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to survey the water in and around 13 different canal sites throughout the Florida Keys.

    “Our research is designed to better understand ecological responses to coastal management,” says Sealey. “Applied ecological research can help us make the most of environmental management spending to improve the function of our coastal ecosystems.”

    Before Lennon can truly dive into her research, she must determine if the underwater cameras are an appropriate method to characterize fish in front of mangrove shorelines. “We also must figure out how many hours of video is enough to characterize the fish from each site. This is what Alexis is going to be helping me with this summer,” says Lennon.

    To do this, they are deploying cameras at two sites that National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has been surveying for years. NOAA surveys fish by snorkeling along transects in front of mangrove habitats. Carrasquillo will help Lennon’s research by comparing their video fish data to NOAA’s snorkeling fish data to see if they are finding similar species and abundances.

    “I’m so excited to get started,” says Carrasquillo, who is majoring in Marine Biology and Ecology. “Ellery was my teacher’s assistant when I started my second semester as a freshman, so I was interested in the project when she discussed it with the class. I love being outdoors and regularly go kayaking or fishing with my dad and my brother, so now that I’m conducting research that ties into my personal interests, it’s an amazing experience that I’m happy to have found.”

    Lennon’s research for her dissertation correlates with a collaborative U-LINK project with Professor Sealey and other UM faculty members from disciplines such as civil engineering, sculpture, architecture, economics, and marine ecosystems. The U-LINK Next Generation of Coastal Structures team combined their expertise to develop the next generation of coastal design structures that are sustainable, multifunctional, and offer an aesthetic value to a regions culture.

    “The U-LINK team came up with many ideas on how to improve the ecological function of coastal structures, but now we need the ecological metrics to actually see if these ideas produce the results we expect,” adds Sealey. “The underwater video system might be the rapid assessment method we need to compare different types of nature-based coastal structure.”

    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 Miami is a private research university in Coral Gables, Florida. As of 2020, the university enrolled approximately 18,000 students in 12 separate colleges and schools, including the Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine in Miami’s Health District, a law school on the main campus, and the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science focused on the study of oceanography and atmospheric sciences on Virginia Key, with research facilities at the Richmond Facility in southern Miami-Dade County.

    The university offers 132 undergraduate, 148 master’s, and 67 doctoral degree programs, of which 63 are research/scholarship and 4 are professional areas of study. Over the years, the university’s students have represented all 50 states and close to 150 foreign countries. With more than 16,000 full- and part-time faculty and staff, The University of Miami is a top 10 employer in Miami-Dade County. The University of Miami’s main campus in Coral Gables has 239 acres and over 5.7 million square feet of buildings.

    The University of Miami is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. The University of Miami research expenditure in FY 2019 was $358.9 million. The University of Miami offers a large library system with over 3.9 million volumes and exceptional holdings in Cuban heritage and music.

    The University of Miami also offers a wide range of student activities, including fraternities and sororities, and hundreds of student organizations. The Miami Hurricane, the student newspaper, and WVUM, the student-run radio station, have won multiple collegiate awards. The University of Miami’s intercollegiate athletic teams, collectively known as the Miami Hurricanes, compete in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The University of Miami’s football team has won five national championships since 1983 and its baseball team has won four national championships since 1982.

    Research

    The University of Miami is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. In fiscal year 2016, The University of Miami received $195 million in federal research funding, including $131.3 million from the Department of Health and Human Services and $14.1 million from the National Science Foundation. Of the $8.2 billion appropriated by Congress in 2009 as a part of the stimulus bill for research priorities of The National Institutes of Health, the Miller School received $40.5 million. In addition to research conducted in the individual academic schools and departments, Miami has the following university-wide research centers:

    The Center for Computational Science
    The Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies (ICCAS)
    Leonard and Jayne Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy
    The Miami European Union Center: This group is a consortium with Florida International University (FIU) established in fall 2001 with a grant from the European Commission through its delegation in Washington, D.C., intended to research economic, social, and political issues of interest to the European Union.
    The Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies
    John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics – studies possible causes of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and macular degeneration.
    Center on Research and Education for Aging and Technology Enhancement (CREATE)
    Wallace H. Coulter Center for Translational Research

    The Miller School of Medicine receives more than $200 million per year in external grants and contracts to fund 1,500 ongoing projects. The medical campus includes more than 500,000 sq ft (46,000 m^2) of research space and the The University of Miami Life Science Park, which has an additional 2,000,000 sq ft (190,000 m^2) of space adjacent to the medical campus. The University of Miami’s Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute seeks to understand the biology of stem cells and translate basic research into new regenerative therapies.

    As of 2008, The Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science receives $50 million in annual external research funding. Their laboratories include a salt-water wave tank, a five-tank Conditioning and Spawning System, multi-tank Aplysia Culture Laboratory, Controlled Corals Climate Tanks, and DNA analysis equipment. The campus also houses an invertebrate museum with 400,000 specimens and operates the Bimini Biological Field Station, an array of oceanographic high-frequency radar along the US east coast, and the Bermuda aerosol observatory. The University of Miami also owns the Little Salt Spring, a site on the National Register of Historic Places, in North Port, Florida, where RSMAS performs archaeological and paleontological research.

    The University of Miami built a brain imaging annex to the James M. Cox Jr. Science Center within the College of Arts and Sciences. The building includes a human functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) laboratory, where scientists, clinicians, and engineers can study fundamental aspects of brain function. Construction of the lab was funded in part by a $14.8 million in stimulus money grant from the National Institutes of Health.

    In 2016 the university received $161 million in science and engineering funding from the U.S. federal government, the largest Hispanic-serving recipient and 56th overall. $117 million of the funding was through the Department of Health and Human Services and was used largely for the medical campus.

    The University of Miami maintains one of the largest centralized academic cyber infrastructures in the country with numerous assets. The Center for Computational Science High Performance Computing group has been in continuous operation since 2007. Over that time the core has grown from a zero HPC cyberinfrastructure to a regional high-performance computing environment that currently supports more than 1,200 users, 220 TFlops of computational power, and more than 3 Petabytes of disk storage.

     
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