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  • richardmitnick 11:56 am on May 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Chiral nonlinear spectroscopy, Cornell, ,   

    From Cornell: “Water forms ‘spine of hydration’ around DNA, group finds” 

    Cornell Bloc

    Cornell University

    May 24, 2017
    Tom Fleischman
    tjf85@cornell.edu

    Story Contacts
    Cornell Chronicle
    Tom Fleischman
    607-255-9735
    tjf85@cornell.edu

    Media Contact
    Daryl Lovell
    607-254-4799
    dal296@cornell.edu

    1
    An illustration of what chiral nonlinear spectroscopy reveals: that DNA is surrounded by a chiral water super-structure, forming a “spine of hydration.” Poul Petersen/Provided

    Water is the Earth’s most abundant natural resource, but it’s also something of a mystery due to its unique solvation characteristics – that is, how things dissolve in it.

    “It’s uniquely adapted to biology, and vice versa,” said Poul Petersen, assistant professor of chemistry and chemical biology. “It’s super-flexible. It dissipates energy and mediates interactions, and that’s becoming more recognized in biological systems.”

    How water relates to and interacts with those systems – like DNA, the building block of all living things – is of critical importance, and Petersen’s group has used a relatively new form of spectroscopy to observe a previously unknown characteristic of water.

    “DNA’s chiral spine of hydration,” published May 24 in the American Chemical Society journal Central Science, reports the first observation of a chiral water superstructure surrounding a biomolecule. In this case, the water structure follows the iconic helical structure of DNA, which itself is chiral, meaning it is not superimposable on its mirror image. Chirality is a key factor in biology, because most biomolecules and pharmaceuticals are chiral.

    “If you want to understand reactivity and biology, then it’s not just water on its own,” Petersen said. “You want to understand water around stuff, and how it interacts with the stuff. And particularly with biology, you want to understand how it behaves around biological material – like protein and DNA.”

    Water plays a major role in DNA’s structure and function, and its hydration shell has been the subject of much study. Molecular dynamics simulations have shown a broad range of behaviors of the water structure in DNA’s minor groove, the area where the backbones of the helical strand are close together.

    The group’s work employed chiral sum frequency generation spectroscopy (SFG), a technique Petersen detailed in a 2015 paper in the Journal of Physical Chemistry. SFG is a nonlinear optical method in which two photon beams – one infrared and one visible – interact with the sample, producing an SFG beam containing the sum of the two beams’ frequencies, or energies. In this case, the sample was a strand of DNA linked to a silicon-coated prism.

    More manipulation of the beams and calculation proved the existence of a chiral water superstructure surrounding DNA.

    In addition to the novelty of observing a chiral water structure template by a biomolecule, chiral SFG provides a direct way to examine water in biology.

    “The techniques we have developed provide a new avenue to study DNA hydration, as well as other supramolecular chiral structures,” Petersen said.

    The group admits that their finding’s biological relevance is unclear, but Petersen thinks the ability to directly examine water and its behavior within biological systems is important.

    “Certainly, chemical engineers who are designing biomimetic systems and looking at biology and trying to find applications such as water filtration would care about this,” he said.

    Another application, Petersen said, could be in creating better anti-biofouling materials, which are resistant to the accumulation of microorganisms, algae and the like on wetted surfaces.

    Collaborators included M. Luke McDermott, Ph.D. ’17; Heather Vanselous, a doctoral student in chemistry and chemical biology and a member of the Petersen Group; and Steven Corcelli, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Notre Dame.

    This work was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and the Arnold and Mable Beckman Foundation, and made use of the Cornell Center for Materials Research, an NSF Materials Research Science and Engineering Center.

    See the full article here .

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    Once called “the first American university” by educational historian Frederick Rudolph, Cornell University represents a distinctive mix of eminent scholarship and democratic ideals. Adding practical subjects to the classics and admitting qualified students regardless of nationality, race, social circumstance, gender, or religion was quite a departure when Cornell was founded in 1865.

    Today’s Cornell reflects this heritage of egalitarian excellence. It is home to the nation’s first colleges devoted to hotel administration, industrial and labor relations, and veterinary medicine. Both a private university and the land-grant institution of New York State, Cornell University is the most educationally diverse member of the Ivy League.

    On the Ithaca campus alone nearly 20,000 students representing every state and 120 countries choose from among 4,000 courses in 11 undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools. Many undergraduates participate in a wide range of interdisciplinary programs, play meaningful roles in original research, and study in Cornell programs in Washington, New York City, and the world over.

     
  • richardmitnick 11:39 am on May 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Cornell, , , Unlimited supply of healthy blood cells, Weill Cornell   

    From Cornell: “Weill Cornell team creates breakthrough on blood disorders” 

    Cornell Bloc

    Cornell University

    May 18, 2017
    Geri Clark
    cunews@cornell.edu

    Story Contacts
    Cornell Chronicle
    George Lowery
    607-255-2171
    gpl5@cornell.edu

    Media Contact
    Jennifer Gundersen
    646-962-9497
    jeg2034@med.cornell.edu

    1
    This image shows reprogrammed hematopoietic stem cells (green) that are arising from mouse cells. These stem cells are developing close to a group of cells, called the vascular niche cells (gray), which provides them with the nurturing factors necessary for the reprogramming. Dr. Raphael Lis/Provided

    Researchers at Weill Cornell Medicine have discovered an innovative method to make an unlimited supply of healthy blood cells from the readily available cells that line blood vessels. This achievement marks the first time any research group has generated such blood-forming stem cells.

    “This is a game-changing breakthrough that brings us closer not only to treat blood disorders, but also deciphering the complex biology of stem-cell self-renewal machinery,” said senior author Dr. Shahin Rafii, director of the Ansary Stem Cell Institute, chief of the Division of Regenerative Medicine and the Arthur B. Belfer Professor at Weill Cornell Medicine.

    “This is exciting because it provides us with a path toward generating clinically useful quantities of normal stem cells for transplantation that may help us cure patients with genetic and acquired blood diseases,” added co-senior author Dr. Joseph Scandura, associate professor of medicine and scientific director of the Silver Myeloproliferative Neoplasms Center at Weill Cornell Medicine.

    Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are long-lasting cells that mature into white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. Billions of circulating blood cells do not survive long in the body and must be continuously replenished. When this does not happen, severe blood diseases, such as anemia, bleeding or life-threatening infections, can occur. A special property of HSCs is that they can also “self-renew” to form more HSCs. This property allows just a few thousand HSCs to produce all of the blood cells a person has throughout his or her life.

    Researchers have long hoped to find a way to make the body produce healthy HSCs to cure these diseases. But this has never been accomplished, in part because scientists have been unable to engineer a nurturing environment within which stem cells can convert into new, long-lasting cells – until now.

    In a paper published May 17 in Nature, Rafii and his colleagues demonstrate a way to efficiently convert cells that line all blood vessels, called vascular endothelial cells, into abundant, fully functioning HSCs that can be transplanted to yield a lifetime supply of new, healthy blood cells. The research team also discovered that specialized types of endothelial cells serve as that nurturing environment, known as vascular niche cells, and they choreograph the new converted HSCs’ self-renewal. This finding may solve one of the most long-standing questions in regenerative and reproductive medicine: How do stem cells constantly replenish their supply?

    The research team showed in a 2014 Nature study that converting adult human vascular endothelial cells into hematopoietic cells was feasible. However, the team was unable to prove that they had generated true HSCs because human HSCs’ function and regenerative potential can only be approximated by transplanting the cells into mice, which don’t truly mimic human biology.

    To address this issue, the team applied their conversion approach to mouse blood marrow transplant models that are endowed with normal immune function and where definitive evidence for HSC potential could rigorously tested. The researchers took vascular endothelial cells isolated from readily accessible adult mice organs and instructed them to overproduce certain proteins associated with blood stem-cell function. These reprogrammed cells were grown and multiplied in co-culture with the engineered vascular niche. The reprogrammed HSCs were then transplanted as single cells with their progenies into mice that had been irradiated to destroy all of their blood-forming and immune systems, and then monitored to see whether or not they would self-renew and produce healthy blood cells.

    2
    Study co-authors, from left: Dr. Joseph Scandura, Dr. Raphael Lis, Dr. Jason Butler, Michael Poulos, Balvir Kunar Jr., Chaitanya R. Badwe, Koji Shido, Dr. Zev Rozenwaks, Jose-Gabriel Barcia-Duran, Dr. Shahin Rafii and Dr. Jenny Xiang. Not pictured: Charles Karrasch, David Redmond, Dr. Will Schachterle, Michael Ginsberg, Dr. Arash Rafii and Dr. Olivier Elemento. Michael Gutkin’Provided

    The conversion procedure yielded a plethora of transplantable HSCs that regenerated the entire blood system in mice for the duration of their life spans, a phenomenon known as engraftment. “We developed a fully functioning and long-lasting blood system,” said lead author Raphael Lis, an instructor in medicine and reproductive medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine. In addition, the HSC-engrafted mice developed all of the working components of the immune systems. “This is clinically important because the reprogrammed cells could be transplanted to allow patients to fight infections after marrow transplants,” Lis said. The mice in the study went on to live normal-length lives and die natural deaths, with no sign of leukemia or any other blood disorders.

    In collaboration with Olivier Elemento, associate director of the HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud Institute for Computational Biomedicine, and Dr. Jenny Xiang, director of Genomics Services, Rafii and his team also showed the reprogrammed HSCs and their differentiated progenies – including white and red bloods cells, as well as the immune cells – were endowed with the same genetic attributes as that of normal adult stem cells. These findings suggest the reprogramming process results in the generation of true HSCs that have genetic signatures that are very similar to normal adult HSCs.

    The Weill Cornell Medicine team is the first to achieve cellular reprogramming to create engraftable and authentic HSCs, which have been considered the holy grail of stem cell research. “We think the difference is the vascular niche,” said contributing author Jason Butler, assistant professor of regenerative medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine. “Growing stem cells in the vascular niche puts them back into context, where they come from and multiply. We think this is why we were able to get stem cells capable of self-renewing.”

    If this method can be scaled up and applied to humans, it could have wide-ranging clinical implications. “It might allow us to provide healthy stem cells to patients who need bone marrow donors but have no genetic match,” Scandura said. “It could lead to new ways to cure leukemia and myeloproliferative neoplasms, and may help us correct genetic defects that cause blood diseases like sickle-cell anemia.”

    “More importantly, our vascular niche-stem-cell expansion model may be employed to clone the key unknown growth factors produced by this niche that are essential for self-perpetuation of stem cells,” Rafii said. “Identification of those factors could be important for unraveling the secrets of stem cells’ longevity and translating the potential of stem cell therapy to the clinical setting.”

    Additional study co-authors include Charles Karrasch, Michael Poulos, Balvir Kunar, David Redmond, Jose-Gabriel Barcia-Duran, Chaitanya Badwe and Koji Shido of Weill Cornell Medicine; Will Schachterle, formerly of Weill Cornell Medicine; Dr. Arash Rafii of Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar; Dr. Michael Ginsberg of Angiocrine Bioscience; and Dr. Nancy Speck of the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

    Various study authors have relationships with Angiocrine Bioscience that are independent of Weill Cornell Medicine.

    See the full article here .

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    Stem Education Coalition
    Once called “the first American university” by educational historian Frederick Rudolph, Cornell University represents a distinctive mix of eminent scholarship and democratic ideals. Adding practical subjects to the classics and admitting qualified students regardless of nationality, race, social circumstance, gender, or religion was quite a departure when Cornell was founded in 1865.

    Today’s Cornell reflects this heritage of egalitarian excellence. It is home to the nation’s first colleges devoted to hotel administration, industrial and labor relations, and veterinary medicine. Both a private university and the land-grant institution of New York State, Cornell University is the most educationally diverse member of the Ivy League.

    On the Ithaca campus alone nearly 20,000 students representing every state and 120 countries choose from among 4,000 courses in 11 undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools. Many undergraduates participate in a wide range of interdisciplinary programs, play meaningful roles in original research, and study in Cornell programs in Washington, New York City, and the world over.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:17 am on May 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Cornell, Critical Thinking—Attained through Physics   

    From Cornell: “Critical Thinking—Attained through Physics” 

    Cornell Bloc

    Cornell University

    5.23.17
    Jackie Swift

    1
    Beatrice Jin

    Science is about experimentation, creativity, even play. The greatest breakthroughs have come from those who pushed the known limits to ask why, how, and ultimately what if. If this is how the best science is done, then why don’t we start giving students autonomy to explore and create in the lab early in their university training? If we do, Natasha G. Holmes, Physics, says that perhaps they’ll get a taste of what it means to be a scientist early enough that they’ll choose science as a career path.

    Holmes studies the teaching and learning of physics, especially in lab courses, but her work is applicable more broadly across many disciplines. “In the lab students have their hands on the equipment,” she says. “I’m looking at what they are getting or not getting out of that experience and also digging into what the lab space is actually good for. As a loftier, long-term goal, how can we provide students with transferable skills that will make them critical thinkers and good citizens?”

    A Tool for Assessing Critical Thinking Skills in Physics

    To shed light on those questions, Holmes is working on a project funded by the National Science Foundation to design a tool that can assess critical thinking. “This will be a closed response standardized test that allows any instructor to measure whether their students can think critically about a physics experiment,” Holmes says.

    Holmes and her coresearcher, Carl Wieman of Stanford University, began designing the assessment by gathering initial data from respondents at multiple universities. They asked them a series of open-ended questions about an introductory level mass-on-a-spring physics experiment conducted by a hypothetical group of people. Respondents answered questions about the hypothetical group’s methods and the data that the group collected. For instance, they were asked if they thought the data collected was reasonable, how well they felt the hypothetical group designed the experiment, and how well the group evaluated the model.

    “We were looking for the most common answers an introductory physics student would give,” Holmes explains. “But we also wanted to collect as many responses as we could from advanced physics majors, professors, and grad students to see the full spectrum of possible answers.” The researchers distilled the open-ended answers down into a multiple-choice test that can be given to students before they take a lab course and again afterward, to see how well they have learned the concepts.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition
    Once called “the first American university” by educational historian Frederick Rudolph, Cornell University represents a distinctive mix of eminent scholarship and democratic ideals. Adding practical subjects to the classics and admitting qualified students regardless of nationality, race, social circumstance, gender, or religion was quite a departure when Cornell was founded in 1865.

    Today’s Cornell reflects this heritage of egalitarian excellence. It is home to the nation’s first colleges devoted to hotel administration, industrial and labor relations, and veterinary medicine. Both a private university and the land-grant institution of New York State, Cornell University is the most educationally diverse member of the Ivy League.

    On the Ithaca campus alone nearly 20,000 students representing every state and 120 countries choose from among 4,000 courses in 11 undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools. Many undergraduates participate in a wide range of interdisciplinary programs, play meaningful roles in original research, and study in Cornell programs in Washington, New York City, and the world over.

     
  • richardmitnick 2:52 pm on April 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Cornell,   

    From Cornell: “New electron microscope sees more than an image” 

    Cornell Bloc

    Cornell University

    March 30, 2017
    Bill Steele
    ws21@cornell.edu

    1
    Sol Gruner, left, professor of physics, and David Muller, professor of applied and engineering physics. Chris Kitchen/University Photography

    . Their electron microscope pixel array detector (EMPAD) yields not just an image, but a wealth of information about the electrons that create the image and, from that, more about the structure of the sample.

    “We can extract local strains, tilts, rotations, polarity and even electric and magnetic fields,” explained David Muller, professor of applied and engineering physics, who developed the new device with Sol Gruner, professor of physics, and members of their research groups.

    Cornell’s Center for Technology Licensing (CTL) has licensed the invention to FEI, a leading manufacturer of electron microscopes (a division of Thermo Fisher Scientific, which supplies products and services for the life sciences through several brands). FEI expects to complete the commercialization of the design and offer the detector for new and retrofitted electron microscopes this year.

    “It’s mind-boggling to contemplate what researchers around the world will discover through this match of Cornell’s deep expertise in detector science with market leader Thermo Fisher Scientific,” said Patrick Govang, technology licensing officer at CTL.

    The scientists described their work in the February 2016 issue of the journal Microscopy and Microanalysis.

    In the usual scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM), a narrow beam of electrons is fired down through a sample, scanning back and forth to produce an image. A detector underneath reads the varying intensity of electrons coming through and sends a signal that draws an image on a computer screen.

    The EMPAD that replaces the usual detector is made up of a 128×128 array of electron-sensitive pixels, each 150 microns (millionths of a meter) square, bonded to an integrated circuit that reads out the signals – somewhat like the array of light-sensitive pixels in the sensor in a digital camera, but not to form an image. Its purpose is to detect the angles at which electrons emerge, as each electron hits a different pixel. The EMPAD is a spinoff of X-ray detectors the physicists have built for X-ray crystallography work at the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS), and it can work in a similar way to reveal the atomic structure of a sample.

    Combined with the focused beam of the electron microscope, the detector allows researchers to build up a “four-dimensional” map of both position and momentum of the electrons as they pass through a sample to reveal the atomic structure and forces inside. The EMPAD is unusual in its speed, sensitivity and wide range of intensities it can record – from detecting a single electron to intense beams containing hundreds of thousands or even a million electrons.

    “It would be like taking a photograph of a sunset that showed both details on the surface of the sun and the details of darkest shadows,” Muller explained.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    Stem Education Coalition
    Once called “the first American university” by educational historian Frederick Rudolph, Cornell University represents a distinctive mix of eminent scholarship and democratic ideals. Adding practical subjects to the classics and admitting qualified students regardless of nationality, race, social circumstance, gender, or religion was quite a departure when Cornell was founded in 1865.

    Today’s Cornell reflects this heritage of egalitarian excellence. It is home to the nation’s first colleges devoted to hotel administration, industrial and labor relations, and veterinary medicine. Both a private university and the land-grant institution of New York State, Cornell University is the most educationally diverse member of the Ivy League.

    On the Ithaca campus alone nearly 20,000 students representing every state and 120 countries choose from among 4,000 courses in 11 undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools. Many undergraduates participate in a wide range of interdisciplinary programs, play meaningful roles in original research, and study in Cornell programs in Washington, New York City, and the world over.

     
  • richardmitnick 11:46 am on March 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Cornell, , , Volcanic hydrogen spurs chances of finding exoplanet life   

    From Cornell: “Volcanic hydrogen spurs chances of finding exoplanet life” 

    Cornell Bloc

    Cornell University

    February 27, 2017
    Blaine Freidlander

    1
    (Photo : Wikimedia Commons/E. Klett, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

    2

    Hunting for habitable exoplanets now may be easier: Cornell astronomers report that hydrogen pouring from volcanic sources on planets throughout the universe could improve the chances of locating life in the cosmos.

    Planets located great distances from stars freeze over. “On frozen planets, any potential life would be buried under layers of ice, which would make it really hard to spot with telescopes,” said lead author Ramses Ramirez, research associate at Cornell’s Carl Sagan Institute. “But if the surface is warm enough – thanks to volcanic hydrogen and atmospheric warming – you could have life on the surface, generating a slew of detectable signatures.”

    Combining the greenhouse warming effect from hydrogen, water and carbon dioxide on planets sprinkled throughout the cosmos, distant stars could expand their habitable zones by 30 to 60 percent, according to this new research. “Where we thought you would only find icy wastelands, planets can be nice and warm – as long as volcanoes are in view,” said Lisa Kaltenegger, Cornell professor of astronomy and director of the Carl Sagan Institute.

    3
    Ramses Ramirez, research associate at Cornell’s Carl Sagan Institute, left, and Lisa Kaltenegger, professor of astronomy and director of the Sagan Institute.

    Their research, “A Volcanic Hydrogen Habitable Zone,” is published today in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

    The idea that hydrogen can warm a planet is not new, but an Earth-like planet cannot hold onto its hydrogen for more than a few million years. Volcanoes change the concept.

    “You get a nice big warming effect from volcanic hydrogen, which is sustainable as long as the volcanoes are intense enough,” said Ramirez, who suggested the possibility that these planets may sustain detectable life on their surface.

    A very light gas, hydrogen also “puffs up” planetary atmospheres, which will likely help scientists detect signs of life. “Adding hydrogen to the air of an exoplanet is a good thing if you’re an astronomer trying to observe potential life from a telescope or a space mission. It increases your signal, making it easier to spot the makeup of the atmosphere as compared to planets without hydrogen,” said Ramirez.

    In our solar system, the habitable zone extends to 1.67 times the Earth-sun distance, just beyond the orbit of Mars. With volcanically sourced hydrogen on planets, this could extend the solar system’s habitable zone reach to 2.4 times the Earth-sun distance – about where the asteroid belt is located between Mars and Jupiter. This research places a lot of planets that scientists previously thought to be too cold to support detectable life back into play.

    “We just increased the width of the habitable zone by about half, adding a lot more planets to our ‘search here’ target list,” said Ramirez.

    3
    Stellar temperature versus distance from the star compared to Earth for the classic habitable zone (shaded blue) and the volcanic habitable zone extension (shaded red). Credit: Ramses Ramirez

    Atmospheric biosignatures, such as methane in combination with ozone – indicating life – will likely be detected by the forthcoming, next-generation James Webb Space Telescope, launching in 2018, or the approaching European Extremely Large Telescope, first light in 2024.

    NASA reported Feb. 22 finding seven Earth-like planets around the star Trappist-1. “Finding multiple planets in the habitable zone of their host star is a great discovery because it means that there can be even more potentially habitable planets per star than we thought,” said Kaltenegger. “Finding more rocky planets in the habitable zone – per star – increases our odds of finding life.”

    With this latest research, Ramirez and Kaltenegger have possibly added to that number by showing that habitats can be found, even those once thought too cold, as long as volcanoes spew enough hydrogen. Such a volcanic hydrogen habitable zone might just make the Trappist-1 system contain four habitable zone planets, instead of three. “Although uncertainties with the orbit of the outermost Trappist-1 planet ‘h’ means that we’ll have to wait and see on that one,” said Kaltenegger.

    The Simons Foundation and the Cornell Center for Astrophysics and Planetary Science funded this research.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    Stem Education Coalition
    Once called “the first American university” by educational historian Frederick Rudolph, Cornell University represents a distinctive mix of eminent scholarship and democratic ideals. Adding practical subjects to the classics and admitting qualified students regardless of nationality, race, social circumstance, gender, or religion was quite a departure when Cornell was founded in 1865.

    Today’s Cornell reflects this heritage of egalitarian excellence. It is home to the nation’s first colleges devoted to hotel administration, industrial and labor relations, and veterinary medicine. Both a private university and the land-grant institution of New York State, Cornell University is the most educationally diverse member of the Ivy League.

    On the Ithaca campus alone nearly 20,000 students representing every state and 120 countries choose from among 4,000 courses in 11 undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools. Many undergraduates participate in a wide range of interdisciplinary programs, play meaningful roles in original research, and study in Cornell programs in Washington, New York City, and the world over.

     
  • richardmitnick 3:14 pm on January 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Cornell, , FRET, Histone proteins, Nucleosomes   

    From Cornell: “Slo-mo unwrapping of nucleosomal DNA probes protein’s role” 

    Cornell Bloc

    Cornell University

    Jan. 11, 2017
    Tom Fleischman

    1
    Using X-rays to visualize DNA (dark gray) and fluorescence to monitor the histone proteins (yellow and cyan), Cornell researchers led by professor and director of applied and engineering physics Lois Pollack found that the release of histone proteins is guided by unwrapping DNA. Joshua Tokuda/Provided

    Nucleosomes are tightly packed bunches of DNA and protein which, when linked together as chromatin, form each of the 46 chromosomes found in human cells.

    The organization of DNA in nucleosomes is important not just for DNA packaging; it also forms the basis for the regulation of gene expression. By controlling the access to DNA, nucleosomes help facilitate all kinds of gene activity, from RNA transcription to DNA replication and repair.

    A research group led by Lois Pollack, professor of applied and engineering physics, used a combination of X-ray and fluorescence-based approaches to study how the shapes and compositions of nucleosomes change after being destabilized.

    The group’s paper, Asymmetric unwrapping of nucleosomal DNA propagates asymmetric opening and dissociation of the histone core, is published online in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Co-lead authors are postdoctoral researcher Yujie Chen and doctoral student Joshua Tokuda.

    Using FRET, small-angle X-ray scattering and other methods, the group was able to get a clear picture of the DNA activity during unwrapping of the histone core. It was found that different DNA shapes were produced during the unwrapping process, most notably a “teardrop” shape that seemed to promote protein activity.

    The histone core goes from eight protein molecules to six when the DNA unwraps into the teardrop shape. “It’s as if having the DNA in this shape is a signal to the protein: ‘Hey, now’s the time. You want to change it up? Go ahead,’” Pollack said.

    This finding suggests that the molecular transition is guided by this specific type of unwrapping. It’s a step toward better understanding of DNA access during transcription, replication and repair.

    “The reason why these structures are so important, in addition to packaging, is that it also gives cells the opportunity to control which genes are on and off,” Tokuda said.

    Tokuda adds that misregulation of chromatin remodeling is also implicated in many human diseases, from neuro-development and degenerative disorders to immunodeficiency syndromes and cancer.

    “We hope that by developing these tools to investigate the fundamental mechanism of remodeler proteins,” he said, “we may be able to provide insight that will aid in the development of new therapeutic strategies for these diseases.”

    This work was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition
    Once called “the first American university” by educational historian Frederick Rudolph, Cornell University represents a distinctive mix of eminent scholarship and democratic ideals. Adding practical subjects to the classics and admitting qualified students regardless of nationality, race, social circumstance, gender, or religion was quite a departure when Cornell was founded in 1865.

    Today’s Cornell reflects this heritage of egalitarian excellence. It is home to the nation’s first colleges devoted to hotel administration, industrial and labor relations, and veterinary medicine. Both a private university and the land-grant institution of New York State, Cornell University is the most educationally diverse member of the Ivy League.

    On the Ithaca campus alone nearly 20,000 students representing every state and 120 countries choose from among 4,000 courses in 11 undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools. Many undergraduates participate in a wide range of interdisciplinary programs, play meaningful roles in original research, and study in Cornell programs in Washington, New York City, and the world over.

     
  • richardmitnick 2:46 pm on January 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Cornell, , Julia Thom-Levy, , , Thom-Levy research group,   

    From Cornell: Women in STEM – “In Search of New Physics Phenomena” Julia Thom-Levy 

    Cornell Bloc

    Cornell University

    1.13.17
    Alexandra Chang

    1
    Julia Thom-Levy
    Associate Professor
    Physics, College of Arts and Sciences
    Expertise
    Experimental high energy physics; experimental particle physics; Large Hadron Collider, solid state detectors for particle physics

    More than 3,800 miles away and across the Atlantic Ocean from Cornell’s Physical Sciences Building is Geneva, Switzerland, the home of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) laboratory and the highest-energy particle accelerator on earth.

    CERN/LHC Map
    CERN LHC Grand Tunnel
    CERN LHC particles
    LHC at CERN

    Cornell at CERN

    Despite the distance, Cornell researchers are actively involved in the cutting-edge particle physics experiments taking place at CERN. Julia Thom-Levy, Physics, is one such professor. Thom-Levy has worked on the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) since 2005.

    CERN/CMS Detector
    CERN/CMS Detector

    Specifically, Thom-Levy is on a collaborative team of Cornell researchers who are responsible for developing software for the CMS detector, designing upgrades to the detector, and analyzing data collected by the CMS—all in search of new physics phenomena.

    CMS is one of the two LHC detectors that led to the discovery of the Higgs boson (an elementary particle in the Standard Model of particle physics) in 2012 during the most recent LHC run. Since then, the LHC has been undergoing repairs. A second run took place during June 2015, with the LHC running at twice the energy, a major improvement that could lead to further discoveries.

    “We are in an interesting situation here: a mathematical model—The Standard Model—explains all particle observations very well,” says Thom-Levy, who played a role in confirming the Standard Model to better precision over the past 15 years.

    The Standard Model of elementary particles (more schematic depiction), with the three generations of matter, gauge bosons in the fourth column, and the Higgs boson in the fifth.
    The Standard Model of elementary particles (more schematic depiction), with the three generations of matter, gauge bosons in the fourth column, and the Higgs boson in the fifth.

    “It’s a very precise model. We know, however, that it doesn’t hold water, because we cannot explain certain important things like dark matter, or how exactly the Higgs boson ends up with the mass that we measure. There is a strange tension: on the one hand, we know what these particles do; we can predict it, but we don’t know why.”

    Supersymmetry

    Thom-Levy says that the second run of the LHC could reveal new particles, or inconsistencies in the data—“smoking guns” that will point scientists in the right direction. For example, they could find particles that might be consistent with supersymmetry, a proposed extension of the Standard Model, which could explain such mysteries as dark matter.

    Dark matter in our universe has been elusive so far to detection—it does not emit or absorb light. Thom-Levy says that the LHC might, however, be able to produce dark matter, and that it is possible to observe it through its distinctive signature in the detector, which is the signature of nothing. One possibility is that dark matter consists of the lightest supersymmetric particles, and discovering it in the next run would be a huge boon to the researchers.

    That said, Thom-Levy is cautious in her predictions. “I’m being very hypothetical,” she says. “The big glaring signature for supersymmetry did not appear in the first run. That was one of the surprises. It’s such a beautiful theory and we joke that it would be a shame if nature didn’t work that way. It’s something we will continue to look for.”

    The Big Data Element

    The Cornell CMS group—James Alexander, Richie Patterson, Anders Ryd, Peter Wittich, and Thom-Levy along with their students and postdocs—play a critical role in developing software to record and interpret the incredible amounts of data collected by the CMS.

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    Members of the Thom-Levy research group

    When the detector is running, it records terabytes of data every day, and that data needs to be stored and distributed to various research institutions across the world for analysis. Researchers write programs to filter through trillions of proton interactions to get to the ones that are really interesting—ones that produce a Higgs or a top quark, for example.

    “The most interesting interactions are often the most rare; they are the highest energy, highest masses, and very unlikely to be produced,” says Thom-Levy. “A lot of our field is like needle-in-the-haystack research.” Because of this, Thom-Levy says her students are exposed to “big-data,” and they learn how to handle and analyze huge volumes of data.

    Students also spend time at CERN and learn how to make the detector work. Many of the group’s students are currently in Geneva, writing software for and testing electronics on the CMS detector.

    Next-Generation Detectors

    Thom-Levy is also developing better detectors, using the latest cutting-edge materials and technologies. One challenge is that the particle’s high energies result in extremely high radiation levels, which damage the detector. As energy levels and particle density increase, the detectors need to become better at withstanding radiation, while still providing high precision measurements.

    To address that and other problems, Thom-Levy is involved in a collaborative project testing the use of three-dimensional integrated circuitry for silicon detectors. She says that it could make detectors much thinner, use less power, and make them potentially stronger against radiation. So far, her group has simulated detectors and prototyped components at the Cornell NanoScale Science and Technology Facility (CNF). The next steps would be to work with more industry and university partners to hopefully build the next generation of detectors to be used at CERN’s CMS.

    Pursuing the Universe’s Mysteries

    Thom-Levy describes her journey to CERN as a sort of odyssey following the most interesting particle physics to various places. She started at Germany’s national accelerator lab, moved on to Stanford’s Linear Accelerator Center, off to Fermilab in Illinois, until finally landing at CERN. “With each move, the energy went up,” she says with a laugh.

    When asked why she was drawn to particle physics in the first place, she gives credit to the local accelerator in her hometown. “I always knew I wanted to do sub-nuclear physics,” she says. “How does the nucleus work? What does it consist of? Can you break its constituents down, down, down? What’s the most fundamental unit in the universe?”

    These are questions that are both scientific and philosophical to Thom-Levy. “We want to get to the very essence. It’s nothing we can touch, but the shadows of the mysterious workings of tiny particles may tell us about the most fundamental truth of the world.”

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition
    Once called “the first American university” by educational historian Frederick Rudolph, Cornell University represents a distinctive mix of eminent scholarship and democratic ideals. Adding practical subjects to the classics and admitting qualified students regardless of nationality, race, social circumstance, gender, or religion was quite a departure when Cornell was founded in 1865.

    Today’s Cornell reflects this heritage of egalitarian excellence. It is home to the nation’s first colleges devoted to hotel administration, industrial and labor relations, and veterinary medicine. Both a private university and the land-grant institution of New York State, Cornell University is the most educationally diverse member of the Ivy League.

    On the Ithaca campus alone nearly 20,000 students representing every state and 120 countries choose from among 4,000 courses in 11 undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools. Many undergraduates participate in a wide range of interdisciplinary programs, play meaningful roles in original research, and study in Cornell programs in Washington, New York City, and the world over.

     
  • richardmitnick 1:24 pm on December 14, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , CHESS, CLASSE, CLEO, Cornell, , , ,   

    From Cornell: “With CLEO detector gone, CHESS facility looks back, ahead” 

    Cornell Bloc

    Cornell University

    Dec. 13, 2016
    Tom Fleischman
    tjf85@cornell.edu

    1
    The 26-ton solenoidal superconducting magnet is carefully taken out of its chamber inside the CLEO detector during removal of the detector earlier this year at Wilson Synchrotron Laboratory. Rick Ryan, CLASSE/Provided

    Three months ago, without a whole lot of fanfare, an era in particle physics at Cornell came to an end.

    On Sept. 6, the 26-ton solenoidal superconducting magnet was carefully removed from the Wilson Synchrotron Laboratory. This was the last vestige of the CLEO detector, which for nearly 30 years recorded data produced from the collision of positively and negatively charged electrons that hurtled around the 840-yard subterranean collider, CESR (Cornell Electron-positron Storage Ring).

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    Cornell Electron-positron Storage Ring

    The magnet has been sent to the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Newport News, Virginia, where in several years it will begin providing a magnetic field for a new experiment there. CLEO’s removal heralds a new direction for the Cornell High-Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS), which soon will undergo a $15 million upgrade to enhance the quality of its X-ray beams.

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    http://www.chess.cornell.edu/

    With the removal of CLEO, the path is clear for the CHESS upgrade, after which the accelerator will operate with a single beam of positrons optimized for X-ray production instead of counter-rotating electron and positron beams. This will enable all CHESS beam lines to be aligned to a single beam orbit, enhancing the X-ray beam quality for research in physics, chemistry, biology, and environmental and materials sciences.

    CLEO underwent numerous upgrades and produced a mountain of data from its completion in 1979 to its final run on March 3, 2008. The first CLEO paper listed 73 authors from eight institutions; the most authors on a paper produced there was 226.

    “That was an incredibly productive time,” said James Alexander, physics professor and former director of the Laboratory of Elementary-Particle Physics. “We published more than 500 papers – in fact, in the few years after 2008, there were still papers coming out.” The total reached 530 peer-reviewed publications.

    6
    The calorimeter, used to measure the heat produced in a chemical reaction, is taken out of the CLEO detector during removal of the detector earlier this year at Wilson Lab. Rick Ryan, CLASSE/Provided

    “In those days, we were way ahead of everybody,” said Alexander, who’s been at Cornell since 1988. “We published more papers than any other high-energy physics experiment. … everybody wanted to hear what CLEO’s latest results were.”

    CLEO carried out a broad physics program of studying the production and decay of various matter particles (bottom and charm quarks, as well as tau leptons) and searching for new phenomena beyond the Standard Model of particle physics. It was cutting-edge stuff at Wilson Lab, a facility that had gotten used to breaking new ground over the course of a half-century.

    Cornell’s involvement in nuclear physics began in 1934, when members of the physics faculty convinced M. Stanley Livingston to leave the world’s first cyclotron, which he helped build at Stanford University, to come to Ithaca and build the second.

    The CLEO era began in 1979 and over the years included 42 institutions and more than 400 physicists from around the world. CLEO’s heyday was in the 1990s, due in large part to CESR’s status as the highest-luminosity collider in the world following a couple of major upgrades in the 1980s.

    Also contributing was U.S. Congress’ decision to defund a large accelerator program in Texas [Superconducting Super Collider. Our brilliant Congress ceded HEP to CERN in Europe, which Steven Weinberg (U Texas) has never gotten completely over].

    Superconducting Super Sollider map, in the vicinity of Waxahachie, Texas.
    Superconducting Super Sollider map, in the vicinity of Waxahachie, Texas

    “When that was killed off, there were a lot of high-energy physics groups across the country that had the rug pulled out from under them, and many of them joined CLEO,” Alexander said.

    CLEO underwent five upgrades over the years, but by 2003, with new detectors springing up at Stanford and in Japan to do the same work as CLEO, “we saw the writing on the wall,” he said.

    “We all sat back here thinking, ‘They don’t know how hard it is; it’ll take them far longer than they think; we’re going to remain king of the hill for a long time to come,’” he said. “It didn’t happen – when they both turned on, it was like a rocket.”

    CLEO shifted its focus to lower-energy study of a different variety of quark, but in 2008 funding dried up, and CLEO – as well the Stanford program, called BaBar – shut off for good.

    The process of removing the CLEO detector started in the spring, and was a difficult and delicate operation involving contributors from several departments.

    “It’s been very nostalgic to see CLEO removed,” said senior physicist Brian Heltsley, who’s been at Cornell for more than 30 years. “And it’s been really impressive, with all the rigging needed to get these 30-ton hunks of metal out of the lab. I think it was an opportunity for our staff to shine; a place like this doesn’t run without electronics experts, riggers, all sorts of technicians at every level, and administrators.”

    Heltsley said that intellectual standards over the years have been “unyieldingly high” at Wilson Lab.

    “Over those years, habits become ingrained,” he said. “And that high standard of performance, of testing, of leaving nothing to chance … that permeates not only the academics but filters down all the way to every aspect of the lab. Supervisors, technicians, everyone: They will not accept a mediocre job.”

    The pending upgrade will, among other things, configure CESR for single-beam X-ray operations and optimize the experiment stations for specific measurements. “This new project,” Heltsley said, “will continue that high standard of intellectual and technical sophistication.”

    CHESS annually hosts more than 1,200 scientists and scientists-in-training. It is supported by the Division of Materials Research and the Directorates of Biology and Engineering of the National Science Foundation.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition
    Once called “the first American university” by educational historian Frederick Rudolph, Cornell University represents a distinctive mix of eminent scholarship and democratic ideals. Adding practical subjects to the classics and admitting qualified students regardless of nationality, race, social circumstance, gender, or religion was quite a departure when Cornell was founded in 1865.

    Today’s Cornell reflects this heritage of egalitarian excellence. It is home to the nation’s first colleges devoted to hotel administration, industrial and labor relations, and veterinary medicine. Both a private university and the land-grant institution of New York State, Cornell University is the most educationally diverse member of the Ivy League.

    On the Ithaca campus alone nearly 20,000 students representing every state and 120 countries choose from among 4,000 courses in 11 undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools. Many undergraduates participate in a wide range of interdisciplinary programs, play meaningful roles in original research, and study in Cornell programs in Washington, New York City, and the world over.

     
  • richardmitnick 2:04 pm on December 13, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Cornell, , Ubiquitination   

    From Cornell: “Human Diseases and Ubiquitination” 

    Cornell Bloc

    Cornell University

    12.7.16
    Caitlin Hayes

    1

    2
    Cornell researcher
    Yuxin Mao
    Molecular Biology and Genetics, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences/College of Arts and Sciences

    Ubiquitin is an essential amino acid protein that modifies other proteins in eukaryotes. These modifications, or ubiquitination, play an essential role in a broad number of cellular processes, including transcription, DNA repair, signal transduction, autophagy, cell cycle, immune response, and membrane trafficking. It follows that aberration in the mechanisms of ubiquitination can lead to a number of human diseases—specifically, neurodegenerative diseases and cancers.

    Yuxin Mao, Molecular Biology and Genetics, has discovered one way that bacteria target and manipulate these essential processes and is working to uncover the precise molecular mechanisms.

    Remarkably, although ubiquitin is absent in prokaryotes, bacteria can deliver certain ligases—bacterial pathogen-encoded E3 ubiquitin Ligases (BELs)—into eukaryotic host cells to manipulate the host ubiquitin system for successful infection. Mao’s lab recently discovered a novel family of BELs, named SidC, from the intracellular bacterial pathogen Legionella pneumophila. Ligases in the SidC family have a very unique sequence and structure, which raises intriguing questions: Given this structure, what is the molecular mechanism of this family of ligases? What are the specific substrates of SidC? And how does the ubiquitination of these potential host factors play a role in membrane trafficking regulation?

    Mao’s lab is working to answer these questions. The results will make significant contributions to the understanding of both the molecular mechanisms of the enzymatic cascade of ubiquitination and the role of the host ubiquitin pathway in bacterial pathogenesis. These studies will therefore forge new trails in understanding human pathogens and will help combat bacterial infectious diseases. NIH Award Number: 1R01GM116964-01A1

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition
    Once called “the first American university” by educational historian Frederick Rudolph, Cornell University represents a distinctive mix of eminent scholarship and democratic ideals. Adding practical subjects to the classics and admitting qualified students regardless of nationality, race, social circumstance, gender, or religion was quite a departure when Cornell was founded in 1865.

    Today’s Cornell reflects this heritage of egalitarian excellence. It is home to the nation’s first colleges devoted to hotel administration, industrial and labor relations, and veterinary medicine. Both a private university and the land-grant institution of New York State, Cornell University is the most educationally diverse member of the Ivy League.

    On the Ithaca campus alone nearly 20,000 students representing every state and 120 countries choose from among 4,000 courses in 11 undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools. Many undergraduates participate in a wide range of interdisciplinary programs, play meaningful roles in original research, and study in Cornell programs in Washington, New York City, and the world over.

     
  • richardmitnick 1:06 pm on December 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Cornell, Gene Therapies for Fatal Diseases, , Ronald G. Crystal   

    From Cornell: “Gene Therapies for Fatal Diseases” 

    Cornell Bloc

    Cornell University

    12.5.16
    Caitlin Hayes

    Ronald Crystal is known for developing a treatment for a common, often-fatal hereditary disorder that causes emphysema and liver disease.

    1
    Ronald Crystal. No image credit.

    In the 1980s, Ronald G. Crystal, Chairman, Department of Genetic Medicine, Weill Cornell Medicine, developed a treatment for one of the most common hereditary disorders in Caucasians: Alpha-1 Antitrypsin (A1AT) Deficiency. The inability to produce normal levels of the A1AT protein makes patients susceptible to emphysema and liver disease and is often fatal. Crystal and his team were able to purify the deficient protein from normal blood samples and deliver it back to patients with the disorder. More than 6,000 people around the world are using this treatment today, but Crystal says there’s a catch.

    “Proteins have a very short half-life,” he says. “For A1AT, they last about one week, so you have to administer the therapy with intravenous infusions every week.”

    n 1989 with prompting from a former postdoctoral student and collaborator, Crystal saw an opportunity to develop a one-time treatment for A1AT deficiency. By using a virus to deliver the gene that produces the protein, researchers could in theory give a patient the lifelong machinery to make their own A1AT. “It was this eureka moment of realizing that if we had the right virus, we might be able to take a hereditary disorder and use the virus one time to cure the disease,” says Crystal. “That’s what got me started on gene therapy.”

    Gene Therapies, Licensed and Ready for Clinical Trials

    Almost 30 years and many contributions later, Crystal may finally have the gene therapy for A1AT deficiency that would require just one dose. He licensed this technology, along with two other therapies, to a startup he co-founded in 2014, Annapurna Therapeutics. Annapurna recently merged with another company to form Adverum Biotechnologies, which will independently carry out a large clinical trial of Crystal’s gene therapy for A1AT deficiency. Crystal is an advisory board member and a paid consultant for Adverum.

    The Technology—How It Works

    Crystal’s lab focuses on in vivo gene therapy, whereby genes are delivered directly to the patient. “The problem and the challenge of the technology has been how do you get genes into human cells? How do you get them to go where you want them to go?”

    The answer is viruses. Viruses have evolved to transfer their genetic material to the cell, usually to the nucleus, and they can target certain organs or tissues. Once there, “they basically hijack the cell’s genetic machinery to reproduce themselves,” Crystal explains. In the gene therapy field, researchers essentially empty these viruses of their own genetic information and replace it with genes that a patient needs expressed.

    “We use the structure of the virus like a Trojan horse,” Crystal says. “The idea is then to directly administer the virus to the brain or heart or liver, and the virus will deliver the genetic information to the nucleus of the cell. There, it uses the cell’s genetic machinery to transcribe the gene, make a protein, and then that protein either functions within the cell or is secreted.”

    A good deal of the work in Crystal’s lab therefore involves finding and modifying viruses and genes for target organs, inserting therapeutic genes into viruses, and carrying out the studies in animal models and in small clinical trials. The therapies licensed to Adverum include the A1AT deficiency therapy as well as a therapy for another genetic disorder: hereditary angioedema. In patients with hereditary angioedema, blood vessels leak fluid and cause excessive swelling, which can lead to premature death. The third treatment is a gene therapy for severe allergy such as peanut allergy. “We can cure the diseases in mouse models in one dose,” says Crystal. “Whether they’ll work in humans, of course, we don’t know—yet.”

    The Partnership of Academia and Industry for Conducting Large-Scale Clinical Trials

    When it comes to the kinds of large-scale clinical trials that are necessary for drug approval, academics often don’t have the resources, Crystal says. “In the academic world, we can carry out early phase I studies, studies in 20 or 30 patients, but we don’t have the infrastructure or the funds to carry out the large studies that are required.”

    One answer is to partner with biotech and pharmaceutical companies, Crystal continues. “In our lab, we’ve made the initial viruses, shown that they work in animal models, in some cases shown safety, in some cases not yet,” he explains. “The concept then is to partner the academic environment—with new ideas, new therapies, and early data—with industry. They will take it over and run the clinical trials, and turn it into a drug if it works.”

    To avoid conflicts, Crystal won’t be involved in the clinical trials. “I think it’s a very good paradigm, a good way that we in the academic world can get the ideas and the creativity that we have and move it towards curing patients.”

    Foresight: Linking Technologies to Clinical Problems

    As a pulmonary doctor by training, Crystal has always had an eye on clinical problems and how his research can address them. When he began working in the gene therapy field, he followed the technology to the problems that this technology could address.

    “It’s really a kind of opportunism, in terms of understanding how the technology can be married to a clinical problem,” he says. “It’s a combination of seeing the advantages and limitations to the technology and being lucky enough to have training in medicine—so we can see how to use this technology and where best to apply it.”

    While the technology has guided Crystal to certain problems, the underlying goal has always been to improve human health. At the National Institutes of Health, where he worked for 23 years before joining Weill Cornell Medicine, his group was the first to carry out a human gene therapy in vivo to treat cystic fibrosis. With his collaborators, he has also worked on therapies for cardiac ischemia, cancer, and central nervous system disorders, and he is developing vaccines for addictive substances such as cocaine as well as other projects.

    Fusing Basic Science and Clinical Medicine

    “I decided a long time ago to focus my career on that interface between basic science and clinical medicine,” Crystal says. “I think if you ask my colleagues, physician-scientists who do similar kinds of things, probably the most satisfying thing is to at least have the opportunity to develop therapies for human disease. When we can do something and play a role in its success, that’s very satisfying.”

    Weill Cornell Medicine, Crystal continues, is a great place for the kind of work that brings basic science to clinical problems. “As a clinical scientist, it’s very important to have access to individuals who are willing to participate in clinical trials, and 10 percent of the population lives within 50 miles of Weill Cornell Medicine,” he explains, “and we have Weill Cornell Medicine, The Rockefeller University, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Hospital for Special Surgery—it’s a very high density of clinical and scientific talent. That’s a wonderful milieu to be in.”

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition
    Once called “the first American university” by educational historian Frederick Rudolph, Cornell University represents a distinctive mix of eminent scholarship and democratic ideals. Adding practical subjects to the classics and admitting qualified students regardless of nationality, race, social circumstance, gender, or religion was quite a departure when Cornell was founded in 1865.

    Today’s Cornell reflects this heritage of egalitarian excellence. It is home to the nation’s first colleges devoted to hotel administration, industrial and labor relations, and veterinary medicine. Both a private university and the land-grant institution of New York State, Cornell University is the most educationally diverse member of the Ivy League.

    On the Ithaca campus alone nearly 20,000 students representing every state and 120 countries choose from among 4,000 courses in 11 undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools. Many undergraduates participate in a wide range of interdisciplinary programs, play meaningful roles in original research, and study in Cornell programs in Washington, New York City, and the world over.

     
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