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  • richardmitnick 10:09 am on January 18, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Starting a Microbial Revolution", , , , , , Environmental science, , Microbiomes, Welcome to the Microbial Revolution   

    From Duke University: “Starting a Microbial Revolution” 


    From Duke University

    1.18.23

    Welcome to the Microbial Revolution

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    Credit: Duke.

    Say the word “microbe” and many people reflexively reach for a bottle of disinfectant. But where most see an adversary to be destroyed posthaste, Claudia Gunsch has always seen potential. She believes that microbiomes — the communities of microorganisms thriving all around us — can be engineered to serve both environmental and human health.  

    “A lot of the work that I’ve done has focused on bioremediation,” said Gunsch, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Duke University and the director of a new $26million, NSF–funded multi–institution center that focuses on engineering the microbiomes of indoor spaces. “That means I’ve been trying to figure out how we can engineer microbial communities to degrade pollutants and explore the connections between environmental contaminants and human health.”

    That specialty led Gunsch to sites across North Carolina where creosote, a distilled tar used to preserve wooden telephone poles until the late 1990s, had leached into the surrounding soil, river sediment and groundwater over many decades. Gunsch’s lab was trying to determine whether fungal microbiomes existed at the sites despite toxic conditions, and whether they could be stimulated to actually break down the pollution.

    In a separate project closer to home, she collaborated with Duke professor of environmental science and CEE Heather Stapleton on a study investigating the gut microbiomes of children in the Durham area. The results were surprising to Gunsch, despite her expertise.

    It was a pivotal moment in her research. Gunsch began to think broadly about what additional areas of strength would be needed to fully understand and engineer the microbiomes in all the places where humans live, work and play. Building on a long-established training program with biology professor Joseph Graves at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Gunsch invited a host of collaborators from institutions within the state to tackle the challenge. Joining her in the new Engineering Research Center for Precision Microbiome Engineering, or PreMiEr for short, are:

    Jill Stewart, the Philip C. Singer Distinguished Professor of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at the UNC-Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health 
    Joseph Graves Jr, professor of biological sciences at NC A&T 
    Jennifer Kuzma, the Goodnight-NCGSK Foundation Distinguished Professor in the School of Public and International Affairs and co-director of the Genetic Engineering and Society Center at NC State
    Anthony Fodor, professor of bioinformatics at UNC Charlotte.  

    “The research center includes a core area for investigating the societal and ethical implications of microbiome engineering to innovate responsibly,” said Gunsch. “The truly interdisciplinary nature of the center is going to make real societal impact.”

    Gunsch imagines that the new center will eventually enable diagnostic tools that can quickly identify the members of the microbial communities that surround us, revolutionizing approaches in agriculture, environmental health, human health and beyond. “Imagine a day when a doctor could walk into a hospital room and, with a really quick diagnostic test, be able to detect the presence of a pathogen before it affects an immunocompromised patient,” said Gunsch. The tools that the center aims to develop over the next several years, said Gunsch, may shift the imaginary into reality.


    PreMiEr ERC – Precision Microbiome Engineering Research Center

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Younger than most other prestigious U.S. research universities, Duke University consistently ranks among the very best. Duke’s graduate and professional schools — in business, divinity, engineering, the environment, law, medicine, nursing and public policy — are among the leaders in their fields. Duke’s home campus is situated on nearly 9,000 acres in Durham, N.C, a city of more than 200,000 people. Duke also is active internationally through the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore, Duke Kunshan University in China and numerous research and education programs across the globe. More than 75 percent of Duke students pursue service-learning opportunities in Durham and around the world through DukeEngage and other programs that advance the university’s mission of “knowledge in service to society.”

    Duke University is a private research university in Durham, North Carolina. Founded by Methodists and Quakers in the present-day town of Trinity in 1838, the school moved to Durham in 1892. In 1924, tobacco and electric power industrialist James Buchanan Duke established The Duke Endowment and the institution changed its name to honor his deceased father, Washington Duke.

    The campus spans over 8,600 acres (3,500 hectares) on three contiguous sub-campuses in Durham, and a marine lab in Beaufort. The West Campus—designed largely by architect Julian Abele, an African American architect who graduated first in his class at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design—incorporates Gothic architecture with the 210-foot (64-meter) Duke Chapel at the campus’ center and highest point of elevation, is adjacent to the Medical Center. East Campus, 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) away, home to all first-years, contains Georgian-style architecture. The university administers two concurrent schools in Asia, Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore (established in 2005) and Duke Kunshan University in Kunshan, China (established in 2013).

    Duke is ranked among the top universities in the United States. The undergraduate admissions are among the most selective in the country, with an overall acceptance rate of 5.7% for the class of 2025. Duke spends more than $1 billion per year on research, making it one of the ten largest research universities in the United States. More than a dozen faculty regularly appear on annual lists of the world’s most-cited researchers. As of 2019, 15 Nobel laureates and 3 Turing Award winners have been affiliated with the university. Duke alumni also include 50 Rhodes Scholars, 25 Churchill Scholars, 13 Schwarzman Scholars, and 8 Mitchell Scholars. The university has produced the third highest number of Churchill Scholars of any university (behind Princeton University and Harvard University) and the fifth-highest number of Rhodes, Marshall, Truman, Goldwater, and Udall Scholars of any American university between 1986 and 2015. Duke is the alma mater of one president of the United States (Richard Nixon) and 14 living billionaires.

    Duke is the second-largest private employer in North Carolina, with more than 39,000 employees. The university has been ranked as an excellent employer by several publications.

    Research

    Duke’s research expenditures in the 2018 fiscal year were $1.168 billion, the tenth largest in the U.S. In fiscal year 2019 Duke received $571 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health. Duke is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”.

    Throughout the school’s history, Duke researchers have made breakthroughs, including the biomedical engineering department’s development of the world’s first real-time, three-dimensional ultrasound diagnostic system and the first engineered blood vessels and stents. In 2015, Paul Modrich shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. In 2012, Robert Lefkowitz along with Brian Kobilka, who is also a former affiliate, shared the Nobel Prize in chemistry for their work on cell surface receptors. Duke has pioneered studies involving nonlinear dynamics, chaos, and complex systems in physics.

    In May 2006 Duke researchers mapped the final human chromosome, which made world news as it marked the completion of the Human Genome Project. Reports of Duke researchers’ involvement in new AIDS vaccine research surfaced in June 2006. The biology department combines two historically strong programs in botany and zoology, while one of the divinity school’s leading theologians is Stanley Hauerwas, whom Time named “America’s Best Theologian” in 2001. The graduate program in literature boasts several internationally renowned figures, including Fredric Jameson, Michael Hardt, and Rey Chow, while philosophers Robert Brandon and Lakatos Award-winner Alexander Rosenberg contribute to Duke’s ranking as the nation’s best program in philosophy of biology, according to the Philosophical Gourmet Report.

     
  • richardmitnick 11:36 am on November 8, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Study reveals how ancient fish colonized the deep sea", , , , Climate changes alone don’t explain how fish came to colonize the deep sea in the first place., , , , Environmental science, , , , , Scientists have long thought the explanation for this was intuitive — shallow ocean waters are warm and full of resources., The College of the Environment, The deep sea contains more than 90% of the water in our oceans but only about a third of all fish species., The earliest fish that were able to transition into the deep sea tended to have large jaws. These likely gave them more opportunities to catch food., The new study reveals that throughout Earth’s ancient history there were several periods of time when many fish actually favored the cold and dark and barren waters of the deep sea., The researchers found that much later in history fish that had longer tapered tails tended to be most successful at making the transition to deep water. This allowed them to conserve energy., The study identified three major events that likely played a role: the breakup of Pangea; the Cretaceous Hot Greenhouse period; the middle Miocene climatic transition., , There were periods lasting tens of millions of years when new species were evolving faster in the deep sea than in more shallow areas.   

    From The College of the Environment At The University of Washington : “Study reveals how ancient fish colonized the deep sea” 

    1

    From The College of the Environment

    at

    The University of Washington

    11.2.22

    1
    A lanternfish, which is a deep-water fish that gets its name from its ability to produce light. Credit: Steven Haddock/Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.

    The deep sea contains more than 90% of the water in our oceans, but only about a third of all fish species. Scientists have long thought the explanation for this was intuitive — shallow ocean waters are warm and full of resources, making them a prime location for new species to evolve and thrive. But a new University of Washington study [PNAS (below)] led by Elizabeth Miller reports that throughout Earth’s ancient history, there were several periods of time when many fish actually favored the cold, dark, barren waters of the deep sea.

    “It’s easy to look at shallow habitats like coral reefs, which are very diverse and exciting, and assume that they’ve always been that way,” said Miller, who completed the study as a postdoctoral researcher in the UW School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences and is now a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oklahoma. “These results really challenge that assumption, and help us understand how fish species have adapted to major changes to the climate.”

    The deep sea is typically defined as anything below about 650 feet, the depth at which there is no longer enough sunlight for photosynthesis to occur. That means there is far less food and warmth than in the shallows, making it a difficult place to live. But by analyzing the relationships of fish using their genetic records going back 200 million years, Miller was able to identify a surprising evolutionary pattern: the speciation rates — that is, how quickly new species evolved — flip-flopped over time. There were periods lasting tens of millions of years when new species were evolving faster in the deep sea than in more shallow areas.

    In some ways, this discovery raised more questions than it answered. What was causing fish to prefer one habitat over another? What made some fish able to move into the deep sea more easily than others? And how did these ancient shifts help create the diversity of species we have today?

    2
    A deep-sea bristlemouth fish. Credit: Steven Haddock/Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.

    When Miller mapped these flip-flopping speciation rates onto a timeline of Earth’s history, she was able to identify three major events that likely played a role.

    “The first was the breakup of Pangea, which occurred between 200 and 150 million years ago,” said Miller. “That created new coastlines and new oceans, which meant there were more opportunities for fishes to move from shallow to deep water. There were suddenly a lot more access points.”

    Next was the Cretaceous Hot Greenhouse period, which occurred approximately 100 million years ago and marked one of the warmest eras in Earth’s history. During this time, many continents were flooded due to sea-level rise, creating a large number of new, shallow areas across the earth.

    “It was around this period that we really see shallow-water fishes take off and diversify,” said Miller. “We can trace a lot of the species diversity we see in the shallows today to this time.”

    The third event was yet another major climatic change about 15 million years ago, known as the middle Miocene climatic transition. This was caused by further shifting of the continents, which caused major changes in ocean circulation and cooled the planet — all the way down to the deep sea.

    “Around this time we see deep-sea speciation rates really speed up,” Miller said. “This was especially driven by cold-water fishes. A lot of the species you see today off the coasts of Washington and Alaska diversified during this time.”

    But climate changes alone don’t explain how fish came to colonize the deep sea in the first place. Not every species has the right combination of traits to survive in deeper water and make use of the relatively limited resources beyond the reach of sunlight.

    “To evolve into a new species in the deep sea, first you have to get there,” said Miller. “What we found was that not only were the speciation rates flip-flopping through time, but what the deep-sea fishes looked like was as well.”

    The earliest fish that were able to transition into the deep sea tended to have large jaws. These likely gave them more opportunities to catch food, which can be scarce at depth. The researchers found that much later in history, fish that had longer, tapered tails tended to be most successful at making the transition to deep water. This allowed them to conserve energy by scooting along the seafloor instead of swimming in the water column.

    “If you look at who lives in the deep sea today, some species have a tapered body and others have big, scary, toothy jaws,” Miller said. “Those two body plans represent ancestors that colonized the deep sea millions of years apart.”

    While these events might seem like ancient history, they may be able to teach us about how today’s changing climate will affect life in our oceans. Miller hopes that future research can build on these findings and investigate how modern deep-sea fish will respond to climate change, and potentially inform conservation efforts.

    “What we learned from this study is that deep-sea fishes tend to do well when oceans are colder, but with climate change, oceans are getting warmer,” she said. “We can expect that this is really going to impact fish in the deep-sea in the coming years.”

    Science paper:
    PNAS

    See the full article here .


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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.
    Stem Education Coalition

    4

    The University of Washington College of the Environment

    Diversity, equity and inclusion at the Program on the Environment

    How do we accomplish change that lasts, especially with complex issues such as diversity, equity and inclusion? That question lies at the heart of conversations that have been occurring over the past two years in University of Washington’s Program on the Environment (PoE). PoE is an interdisciplinary undergraduate program where students study and reflect upon intersections of the environment and human societies, and the primary unit in the College of the Environment offering a Bachelor of Arts degree. Their unit’s size (5 core faculty, 2 staff, plus several pre- and post-doctoral instructors) allows everyone in PoE to meet as a whole and to focus regularly on discussions about diversity, equity and inclusion, rather than delegating DEI work to a committee.

    “One of the advantages of a small community is that we can all meet to talk about diversity initiatives at least quarterly,” said PoE Director Gary Handwerk. “The common university committee structure and bureaucracy itself can be impediments to real change.”

    Some of the changes so far have included major revisions to the curriculum that introduce new course requirements in sustainability and environmental justice, and embedding and threading DEI concepts throughout all courses, deeply weaving it into the fabric of environmental awareness.

    PoE also collaborated with Program on Climate Change’s Becky Alexander in creating a workshop for faculty to collaborate on integrating climate justice concepts into an array of courses across the College. These conversations among faculty from seven different units helped extend the “embed and thread” model across the College. Based on positive feedback from participants, this workshop will be offered again in winter 2022 and 2023, with participation expanded to faculty from across the University. Handwerk is “optimistic that this workshop will have long-term effects and create a framework for probing and transformative conversations across the College.”

    In fall of 2021, PoE members launched an annual Autumn Seminar Series focused on Environmental Justice. Students enrolled in an associated one-credit course and participated in live sessions with speakers on Zoom, while UW and community members could tune into a livestream (later archived on the PoE YouTube page). This dual format allowed students and attendees to converse beyond the walls of a classroom and university. Enrolled students also actively participated in an online discussion forum following each presentation. This year’s series, “Indigenous Perspectives on the Environment,” brought in Indigenous voices representing a number of tribes from across the United States and Canada.

    “I liked being able to hear different people’s experiences that I might not otherwise have been able to hear,” said student Tia Vontver. “The opportunity to hear from voices not through research papers or in a textbook, but directly from them was invaluable. Traditional ecological knowledge is passed down through stories, so I’ve been able to hear many different perspectives through these speakers.”

    Larger challenges, however, remain. It is one thing to feature marginalized voices weekly at a seminar, and quite another to shift the demographic diversity of the faculty or student body as a whole. Handwerk acknowledges that difficult and crucial goals like these remain ahead, but he is optimistic that efforts like those described above will help to create an infrastructure and climate conducive to recruiting and retaining a robustly diverse group of faculty and students.

    u-washington-campus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    19th century relocation

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

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

    20th century expansion

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

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

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

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

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

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

    21st century

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     
  • richardmitnick 5:21 pm on October 14, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Endangered fruit-eating animals play an outsized role in a tropical forest — losing them could have dire consequences", "Frugivores": the scientific term for animals that eat primarily fruit., , , , , , Environmental science, ,   

    From The University of Washington : “Endangered fruit-eating animals play an outsized role in a tropical forest — losing them could have dire consequences” 

    From The University of Washington

    1
    A view of the Atlantic Forest in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro state. Credit: Adriano Gambarini/The Nature Conservancy.

    2
    The Superagüi lion tamarin, Leontopithecus caissara, is one of the endangered frugivores analyzed in the new study. Credit: Everton Leonardi.

    3
    The red-billed curassow, Crax blumenbachii, is another endangered frugivore in the Atlantic Forest. This male was photographed in Brazil’s Espírito Santo state in 2016. Credit: Brendan Ryan.

    A new study by researchers at the University of Washington shows that losing a particular group of endangered animals — those that eat fruit and help disperse the seeds of trees and other plants — could severely disrupt seed-dispersal networks in the Atlantic Forest, a shrinking stretch of tropical forest and critical biodiversity hotspot on the coast of Brazil.

    The findings, published Oct. 12 in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B [below], indicate that a high number of plant species in today’s Atlantic Forest rely on endangered frugivores — the scientific term for animals that eat primarily fruit — to help disperse their seeds throughout the forest. As a result, losing those endangered frugivores would leave a high proportion of plants without an effective means to disperse and regenerate — endangering these plants, reducing diversity in the Atlantic Forest and crippling critical portions of this ecosystem.

    “Tropical forests contain this incredible diversity of trees,” said lead author Therese Lamperty, a UW postdoctoral researcher in biology. “One of the main processes forests use to maintain this diversity is dispersal. If you’re not dispersed, you’re in a crowd of trees that are just like you – all competing for resources. And there are a lot of plant enemies already in the area or that can be easily recruited, like harmful animals or plant diseases. Your chance of survival is higher when you get transported away from your mother tree to an area without trees like you.”

    The Atlantic Forest, which lies east of the rainforests of the Amazon Basin, once encompassed an area twice the size of Texas. Some 85% of it has been lost over the centuries due to deforestation, industrial development and urbanization in eastern Brazil, according to The Nature Conservancy. The forest is home to a variety of frugivores, from primates to birds, which disperse seeds by regurgitating or excreting them. The seeds of some plant species can’t even germinate until they pass through the gastrointestinal tract of a frugivore.

    Lamperty and senior author Berry Brosi, a UW associate professor of biology, analyzed a dataset published in 2017 that incorporated data on the diet and distribution of fruit-eating vertebrates in the Atlantic Forest. The data, compiled from 166 studies spanning more than half a century, allowed Lamperty and Brosi to paint a comprehensive picture of the interactions between hundreds of frugivore species — 331 total — and 788 tree species.

    “For reference, the entire state of Washington only has 25 native tree species,” said Lamperty.

    Lamperty and Brosi deduced how important those frugivore species are for the forest by modeling how many tree species would be left without seed-dispersal partners if certain frugivores died out. According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, only 14% of the frugivore species they analyzed are endangered, but losing them left about 28% of the plant species they analyzed without a means of dispersing seeds. Losing endangered frugivores led to a worse outcome than losing even “generalist” frugivores, which eat fruits and nuts from a variety of species and were previously believed to be the most important group of frugivores for seed dispersal networks.

    “A lot of frugivores are generalists. But in the Atlantic Forest, it turns out that a lot of plants are specialists,” said Brosi. “The size and the toughness of their fruit and their distribution in the forest can really limit which animals can perform this important role for them.”

    Nearly 55% of the specialist plant species in the dataset relied solely on endangered frugivores to disperse their seeds.

    Losing a species — like an endangered frugivore — is bad enough. But this study serves as a reminder that what appears to be one loss has numerous “secondary effects,” said Lamperty. Researchers don’t always know these effects until in-depth studies that span years and incorporate many species linked by different interactions, like this one, are conducted. That can also keep the public unaware about the long-term consequences of losing endangered species.

    “It’s a reminder that we should try to understand better what ecological roles and interactions we lose when endangered animals disappear — not just these seed dispersal networks, but other roles, too,” said Lamperty. “Endangered animals have co-evolved with many species in these ecosystems, and I’m not sure we know enough about the roles they play in the health and well-being of places like the Atlantic Forest.”

    “It’s an alarming finding, and a sign that we should pay more attention to these interactions between species when considering conservation and land protections,” said Brosi.

    The study was funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, Emory University and the UW.

    For more information, contact Lamperty at jtl28@uw.edu and Brosi at bbrosi@uw.edu.

    Science paper:
    Proceedings of the Royal Society B

    See the full article here .


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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.
    Stem Education Coalition

    u-washington-campus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    19th century relocation

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

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

    20th century expansion

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

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

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

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

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

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

    21st century

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     
  • richardmitnick 10:17 am on October 7, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "DOE Funds Pilot Study Focused on Biosecurity for Bioenergy Crops", , , , , , , , Environmental science, Research into threats from pathogens and pests would speed short-term response and spark long-term mitigation strategies.,   

    From The DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory: “DOE Funds Pilot Study Focused on Biosecurity for Bioenergy Crops” 

    From The DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory

    10.6.22

    Karen McNulty Walsh
    kmcnulty@bnl.gov
    (631) 344-8350

    Peter Genzer
    genzer@bnl.gov
    (631) 344-3174

    Research into threats from pathogens and pests would speed short-term response and spark long-term mitigation strategies.

    1
    Pilot study on an important disease in sorghum (above) will develop understanding of threats to bioenergy crops, potentially speeding the development of short-term responses and long-term mitigation strategies. (Credit: U.S. Department of Energy Genomic Science program)

    The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science has selected Brookhaven National Laboratory to lead a new research effort focused on potential threats to crops grown for bioenergy production. Understanding how such bioenergy crops could be harmed by known or new pests or pathogens could help speed the development of rapid responses to mitigate damage and longer-term strategies for preventing such harm. The pilot project could evolve into a broader basic science capability to help ensure the development of resilient and sustainable bioenergy crops as part of a transition to a net-zero carbon economy.

    The idea is modeled on the way DOE’s National Virtual Biotechnology Laboratory (NVBL) pooled basic science capabilities to address the COVID-19 pandemic. With $5 Million in initial funding, allocated over the next two years, Brookhaven Lab and its partners will develop a coordinated approach for addressing biosecurity challenges. This pilot study will lead to a roadmap for building out a DOE-wide capability known as the National Virtual Biosecurity for Bioenergy Crops Center (NVBBCC).

    “A robust biosecurity capability optimized to respond rapidly to biological threats to bioenergy crops requires an integrated and versatile platform,” said Martin Schoonen, Brookhaven Lab’s Associate Laboratory Director for Environment, Biology, Nuclear Science & Nonproliferation, who will serve as principal investigator for the pilot project. “With this initial funding, we’ll develop a bio-preparedness platform for sampling and detecting threats, predicting how they might propagate, and understanding how pests or pathogens interact with bioenergy crops at the molecular level—all of which are essential for developing short-term control measures and long-term solutions.”

    The team will invest in new research tools—including experimental equipment and an integrating computing environment for data sharing, data analysis, and predictive modeling. Experiments on an important disease of energy sorghum, a leading target for bioengineering as an oil-producing crop, will serve as a model to help the team establish optimized protocols for studying plant-pathogen interactions.

    In addition, a series of workshops will bring together experts from a range of perspectives and institutions to identify partnerships within and outside DOE, as well as any future investments needed, to establish the full capabilities of an end-to-end biosecurity platform.

    “NVBBCC is envisioned to be a distributed, virtual center with multiple DOE-labs at its core to maximize the use of unique facilities and expertise across the DOE complex,” Schoonen said. “The center will support plant pathology research driven by the interests of the bioenergy crop community, as well as broader plant biology research that could impact crop health.”

    Building the platform

    2
    The pilot study experiments and workshops will be organized around four main themes: detection and sampling, biomolecular characterization, assessment, and mitigation.

    In this initial phase, the research will focus on energy sorghum. This crop’s potential oil yield per acre far exceeds than that of soybeans, currently the world’s primary source of biodiesel.

    “Sorghum is susceptible to a devastating fungal disease, caused by Colletotrichum sublineola, which can result in yield losses of up to 67 percent,” said John Shanklin, chair of Brookhaven Lab’s Biology Department and co-lead of the assessment theme. “Finding ways to thwart this pathogen is a high priority for the bioenergy crop community.”

    The NVBBCC team will use a range of tools—including advanced remote-sensing technologies, COVID-19-like rapid test strips, and in-field sampling—to detect C. sublineola. Additional experiments will assess airborne propagation of fungal spores, drawing on Brookhaven Lab’s expertise in modeling the dispersal of aerosol particles.

    The team will also use state-of-the-art biomolecular characterization tools—including cryo-electron microscopes in Brookhaven’s Laboratory for BioMolecular Structure (LBMS) and x-ray crystallography beamlines at the National Synchrotron Light Source-II (NSLS-II)—to explore details of how pathogen proteins and plant proteins interact. In addition, they’ll add a new tool—a cryogenic-focused ion beam—to produce samples for high-resolution three-dimensional cellular imaging and other advanced imaging modalities.

    Together, these experiments will reveal mechanistic details that provide insight into how plants respond to infections, including how some strains of sorghum develop resistance to C. sublineola. The team will also draw on extensive information about the genetic makeup of sorghum and C. sublineola to identify factors that control expression of the various plant and pathogen proteins.

    The program will be supported by an integrating computing infrastructure with access to sophisticated computational tools across the DOE complex and at partner institutions, enabling integrated data analysis and collaboration using community data standards and tools. The infrastructure will also provide capabilities to develop, train, and verify new analytical and predictive computer models, including novel artificial intelligence (AI) solutions.

    “NVBBCC will build on the Johns Hopkins University-developed SciServer environment, which has been used successfully in large data-sharing and analysis projects in cosmology and soil ecology,” said Kerstin Kleese van Dam, head of Brookhaven Lab’s Computational Science Initiative. “NVBBCC’s computational infrastructure will allow members to easily coordinate research across different domains and sites, accelerating discovery and response times through integrated knowledge sharing.”

    See the full article here .


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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Brookhaven Campus

    One of ten national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the The DOE Office of Science, The DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies and national security. Brookhaven Lab also builds and operates major scientific facilities available to university, industry and government researchers. The Laboratory’s almost 3,000 scientists, engineers, and support staff are joined each year by more than 5,000 visiting researchers from around the world. Brookhaven is operated and managed for DOE’s Office of Science by Brookhaven Science Associates, a limited-liability company founded by Stony Brook University the largest academic user of Laboratory facilities, and Battelle, a nonprofit, applied science and technology organization.

    Research at BNL specializes in nuclear and high energy physics, energy science and technology, environmental and bioscience, nanoscience and national security. The 5300 acre campus contains several large research facilities, including the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider [below] and National Synchrotron Light Source II [below]. Seven Nobel prizes have been awarded for work conducted at Brookhaven lab.

    BNL is staffed by approximately 2,750 scientists, engineers, technicians, and support personnel, and hosts 4,000 guest investigators every year. The laboratory has its own police station, fire department, and ZIP code (11973). In total, the lab spans a 5,265-acre (21 km^2) area that is mostly coterminous with the hamlet of Upton, New York. BNL is served by a rail spur operated as-needed by the New York and Atlantic Railway. Co-located with the laboratory is the Upton, New York, forecast office of the National Weather Service.

    Major programs

    Although originally conceived as a nuclear research facility, Brookhaven Lab’s mission has greatly expanded. Its foci are now:

    Nuclear and high-energy physics
    Physics and chemistry of materials
    Environmental and climate research
    Nanomaterials
    Energy research
    Nonproliferation
    Structural biology
    Accelerator physics

    Operation

    Brookhaven National Lab was originally owned by the Atomic Energy Commission and is now owned by that agency’s successor, the United States Department of Energy (DOE). DOE subcontracts the research and operation to universities and research organizations. It is currently operated by Brookhaven Science Associates LLC, which is an equal partnership of Stony Brook University and Battelle Memorial Institute. From 1947 to 1998, it was operated by Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI), but AUI lost its contract in the wake of two incidents: a 1994 fire at the facility’s high-beam flux reactor that exposed several workers to radiation and reports in 1997 of a tritium leak into the groundwater of the Long Island Central Pine Barrens on which the facility sits.

    Foundations

    Following World War II, the US Atomic Energy Commission was created to support government-sponsored peacetime research on atomic energy. The effort to build a nuclear reactor in the American northeast was fostered largely by physicists Isidor Isaac Rabi and Norman Foster Ramsey Jr., who during the war witnessed many of their colleagues at Columbia University leave for new remote research sites following the departure of the Manhattan Project from its campus. Their effort to house this reactor near New York City was rivalled by a similar effort at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to have a facility near Boston, Massachusetts. Involvement was quickly solicited from representatives of northeastern universities to the south and west of New York City such that this city would be at their geographic center. In March 1946 a nonprofit corporation was established that consisted of representatives from nine major research universities — Columbia University, Cornell University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Rochester, and Yale University.

    Out of 17 considered sites in the Boston-Washington corridor, Camp Upton on Long Island was eventually chosen as the most suitable in consideration of space, transportation, and availability. The camp had been a training center from the US Army during both World War I and World War II. After the latter war, Camp Upton was deemed no longer necessary and became available for reuse. A plan was conceived to convert the military camp into a research facility.

    On March 21, 1947, the Camp Upton site was officially transferred from the U.S. War Department to the new U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), predecessor to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

    Research and facilities

    Reactor history

    In 1947 construction began on the first nuclear reactor at Brookhaven, the Brookhaven Graphite Research Reactor. This reactor, which opened in 1950, was the first reactor to be constructed in the United States after World War II. The High Flux Beam Reactor operated from 1965 to 1999. In 1959 Brookhaven built the first US reactor specifically tailored to medical research, the Brookhaven Medical Research Reactor, which operated until 2000.

    Accelerator history

    In 1952 Brookhaven began using its first particle accelerator, the Cosmotron. At the time the Cosmotron was the world’s highest energy accelerator, being the first to impart more than 1 GeV of energy to a particle.

    BNL Cosmotron 1952-1966.

    The Cosmotron was retired in 1966, after it was superseded in 1960 by the new Alternating Gradient Synchrotron (AGS).

    BNL Alternating Gradient Synchrotron (AGS).

    The AGS was used in research that resulted in 3 Nobel prizes, including the discovery of the muon neutrino, the charm quark, and CP violation.

    In 1970 in BNL started the ISABELLE project to develop and build two proton intersecting storage rings.

    The groundbreaking for the project was in October 1978. In 1981, with the tunnel for the accelerator already excavated, problems with the superconducting magnets needed for the ISABELLE accelerator brought the project to a halt, and the project was eventually cancelled in 1983.

    The National Synchrotron Light Source operated from 1982 to 2014 and was involved with two Nobel Prize-winning discoveries. It has since been replaced by the National Synchrotron Light Source II. [below].

    BNL National Synchrotron Light Source.

    After ISABELLE’S cancellation, physicist at BNL proposed that the excavated tunnel and parts of the magnet assembly be used in another accelerator. In 1984 the first proposal for the accelerator now known as the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC)[below] was put forward. The construction got funded in 1991 and RHIC has been operational since 2000. One of the world’s only two operating heavy-ion colliders, RHIC is as of 2010 the second-highest-energy collider after the Large Hadron Collider (CH). RHIC is housed in a tunnel 2.4 miles (3.9 km) long and is visible from space.

    On January 9, 2020, it was announced by Paul Dabbar, undersecretary of the US Department of Energy Office of Science, that the BNL eRHIC design has been selected over the conceptual design put forward by DOE’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility [Jlab] as the future Electron–ion collider (EIC) in the United States.

    In addition to the site selection, it was announced that the BNL EIC had acquired CD-0 from the Department of Energy. BNL’s eRHIC design proposes upgrading the existing Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, which collides beams light to heavy ions including polarized protons, with a polarized electron facility, to be housed in the same tunnel.

    Other discoveries

    In 1958, Brookhaven scientists created one of the world’s first video games, Tennis for Two. In 1968 Brookhaven scientists patented Maglev, a transportation technology that utilizes magnetic levitation.

    Major facilities

    Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), which was designed to research quark–gluon plasma and the sources of proton spin. Until 2009 it was the world’s most powerful heavy ion collider. It is the only collider of spin-polarized protons.

    Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN), used for the study of nanoscale materials.

    BNL National Synchrotron Light Source II, Brookhaven’s newest user facility, opened in 2015 to replace the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS), which had operated for 30 years. NSLS was involved in the work that won the 2003 and 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

    Alternating Gradient Synchrotron, a particle accelerator that was used in three of the lab’s Nobel prizes.
    Accelerator Test Facility, generates, accelerates and monitors particle beams.
    Tandem Van de Graaff, once the world’s largest electrostatic accelerator.

    Computational Science resources, including access to a massively parallel Blue Gene series supercomputer that is among the fastest in the world for scientific research, run jointly by Brookhaven National Laboratory and Stony Brook University-SUNY.

    Interdisciplinary Science Building, with unique laboratories for studying high-temperature superconductors and other materials important for addressing energy challenges.
    NASA Space Radiation Laboratory, where scientists use beams of ions to simulate cosmic rays and assess the risks of space radiation to human space travelers and equipment.

    Off-site contributions

    It is a contributing partner to the ATLAS experiment, one of the four detectors located at the The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organization européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organization für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] Large Hadron Collider(LHC).

    The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organization européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organization für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] map.

    Iconic view of the European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear] [Organization européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organization für Kernforschung](CH) [CERN] ATLAS detector.

    It is currently operating at The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organization européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organization für Kernforschung](CH) [CERN] near Geneva, Switzerland.

    Brookhaven was also responsible for the design of the Spallation Neutron Source at DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee.

    DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory Spallation Neutron Source annotated.

    Brookhaven plays a role in a range of neutrino research projects around the world, including the Daya Bay Neutrino Experiment (CN) nuclear power plant, approximately 52 kilometers northeast of Hong Kong and 45 kilometers east of Shenzhen, China.

    Daya Bay Neutrino Experiment (CN) nuclear power plant, approximately 52 kilometers northeast of Hong Kong and 45 kilometers east of Shenzhen, China .


    BNL Center for Functional Nanomaterials.

    BNL National Synchrotron Light Source II.

    BNL NSLS II.

    BNL Relative Heavy Ion Collider Campus.

    BNL/RHIC Phenix detector.


     
  • richardmitnick 11:11 am on September 23, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Key research tool", A new time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometer, , , , Conservation Science, Environmental science, , ,   

    From The University of Delaware : “Key research tool” 

    U Delaware bloc

    From The University of Delaware

    9.22.22
    Karen B. Roberts
    Photos by Evan Krape and courtesy of Jocelyn Alcántara-García and Xu Feng.

    1
    University of Delaware’s Surface Analysis Facility is home to a new time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometer. The instrument offers critical techniques for understanding surface composition and reactivity across chemistry, material science, environmental science, chemical engineering, conservation science and physics.

    The University of Delaware’s chemical detection capabilities gained some extra-powerful research muscle recently, with the acquisition of a time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometer (ToF-SIMS).

    The instrument was purchased from ION-TOF USA, Inc., a leading electronics manufacturing company. The purchase was made possible through funding from the National Science Foundation, and it will enable faculty, researchers and students to rapidly analyze the surface of a sample and detect precisely what it’s made of and its reactivity. It’s the kind of information that can help advance research relevant to nanotechnology and materials design, catalysis, solar, cultural heritage, microplastics and more.

    ToF-SIMS mass spectrometry uses a pulsed ion beam to remove the outermost layer of a sample. It’s not like scraping a layer of paint from a piece of furniture, though.

    “Basically, you shoot high-energy clusters of ions at the surface of a material sample and look at the ions that are coming off. This is different from conventional mass spectrometry, and it allows researchers to have an extremely high-resolution look at, for example, biological samples, plastics and even solid films,” said Andrew Teplyakov, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, who led the proposal that brought the instrument to UD.

    It is a critical technique needed to understand surface composition and reactivity across chemistry, material science, environmental science, chemical engineering, conservation science and physics. Before its arrival, no other instrument like it was available to researchers in the state of Delaware.

    The instrument can analyze chemical information from the original surface in the parts-per-million range. It is like detecting a single defective tile among those covering the entire sports complex at UD. It also has the capability to reveal the distribution of elements and molecules on a surface with a lateral resolution down to 70 nanometers, about 1,000 times smaller than a human hair. This resolution is higher than any optical microscope can provide.

    Additionally, ToF-SIMS provides researchers the ability to construct a 3D depth profile of materials at a depth resolution better than one nanometer. For a simple comparison, if the diameter of a marble was one nanometer, then the diameter of our planet would be about one meter.

    This is essential when working with interfaces.

    “My field is surface functionalization and surface chemistry,” Teplyakov said. “My research group focuses on applications for making or controlling molecules at the surface and interfaces between materials. We’re talking about applications where entire devices could be 400 times smaller than a human hair. If you’re making a sensor based on a certain material, having this extremely high-resolution surface and in-depth chemical information that’s accurate down to about one billionth of a meter is critical. This is pretty much the only selective technique that can do this.”

    Among his projects, Teplyakov’s research group will use this instrument to illuminate how organic molecules bond at a solid surface. He also plans to investigate why and how solar cells degrade to develop ways to make solar technology last longer. Understanding where defects occur could be key — and the ToF-SIMS instrument can provide this information.

    Jocelyn Alcántara-García, associate professor in art conservation with a joint appointment in chemistry and biochemistry, as well as at Winterthur Museum’s Scientific Research and Analysis laboratory, is excited to apply the ToF-SIMS to explore how colored historical textiles decay and why some substances applied as part of conservation methods fail, aging and degrading much like the materials they are meant to preserve. Part of studying dyed textiles requires extracting the dye or color molecules, called chromophores, through sampling. Some of these extraction techniques are aggressive and can destroy the fragile color molecules, while others are so mild that the extractions are incomplete and require larger-than-wanted samples.

    “TOF-SIMS will help us to learn how color molecules chemically bond to textile fibers, leading to more efficient extraction procedures from smaller samples,” said Alcántara-García.

    Alcántara-García also is eager to understand how historical materials, such as dyed textiles, painted surfaces and coatings were made to drive better methods for studying and preserving material culture.

    “Studying textiles at different stages of deterioration can help us see, for example, which bond is more prone to a specific type of degradation, say light sensitivity. This would be central for display and storage decisions,” she said.

    The instrument will enable the work of over 25 research groups on campus.

    For instance, for researchers developing microelectronics technologies, the ability to analyze a sample’s depth profile will provide atomic-scale knowledge to advance the creation of very precise and repeatable materials, information useful for design processes or equipment manufacturing. Meanwhile, extreme close-ups of biological devices, films, microfluidic channels and more could one day enable next-generation nanosystems, such as those used in biomedical device interfaces for cardiac stimulation and mapping devices, cochlear and retinal implants, or brain-machine interfaces.

    It also could help researchers better understand microplastics, problematic particles found in various states of repair in the ocean and other waterways. Each microplastic particle degrades at a different rate, so having chemical information about the surface of different samples will provide important clues about what’s happening to the material at different stages and how that affects the surrounding environment.
    ===
    Equipping students for a bright future

    From undergraduate students to postdoctoral fellows, access to this highly sophisticated instrumentation provides unique training opportunities that can help set them apart in the job market.

    “There are not many opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience on these highly-sought instruments in the country. Here at UD, we are proud to offer comprehensive operation training and practical courses to our students at various levels to enrich their skillset in analytical chemistry,” said Xu Feng, director of the Surface Analysis Facility. “As the U.S. works to bring back the manufacturing of semiconductors, it’s a huge boost to get them noticed in the job market of microelectronics and semiconductors.”

    This includes students involved in two UD Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) programs: the REU program for students with disabilities and a recently established REU program for undergraduate students from South America.

    “Normally REU students come to UD for a reasonably short period of time. The expectation that you can have a result, or maybe even a paper, after a few months’ work … that’s exciting and attractive to students,” said Teplyakov.

    State-of-the-art shared facility

    The ToF-SIMS complements a suite of other contemporary instruments in the Surface Analysis Facility, including an atomic force-Raman microscope (AFM-Raman) to help researchers acquire topographical information about materials and an X-ray photoelectron spectrometer for securing molecular information on solid surfaces. Having these highly complementary techniques available in one laboratory allows researchers to be strategic in considering what information they want to capture.

    “With these three instruments, we now have a first-rate surface analysis capability to support new lines of academic research and attract industrial collaborators,” said Teplyakov.

    Already, the new instrument has drawn inquiries and interest from local companies interested in analyzing samples, including Chemours, Air Liquide, DuPont and others. Feng and his staff, meanwhile, are standing by to help with these inquiries and discuss possible research approaches.

    “We warmly welcome researchers within and beyond the university to come in and enjoy these top-notch surface analysis techniques,” Feng said.

    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 Delaware campus

    The University of Delaware is a public land-grant research university located in Newark, Delaware. University of Delaware (US) is the largest university in Delaware. It offers three associate’s programs, 148 bachelor’s programs, 121 master’s programs (with 13 joint degrees), and 55 doctoral programs across its eight colleges. The main campus is in Newark, with satellite campuses in Dover, the Wilmington area, Lewes, and Georgetown. It is considered a large institution with approximately 18,200 undergraduate and 4,200 graduate students. It is a privately governed university which receives public funding for being a land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant state-supported research institution.

    The University of Delaware is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. According to The National Science Foundation, UD spent $186 million on research and development in 2018, ranking it 119th in the nation. It is recognized with the Community Engagement Classification by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

    The University of Delaware is one of only four schools in North America with a major in art conservation. In 1923, it was the first American university to offer a study-abroad program.

    The University of Delaware traces its origins to a “Free School,” founded in New London, Pennsylvania in 1743. The school moved to Newark, Delaware by 1765, becoming the Newark Academy. The academy trustees secured a charter for Newark College in 1833 and the academy became part of the college, which changed its name to Delaware College in 1843. While it is not considered one of the colonial colleges because it was not a chartered institution of higher education during the colonial era, its original class of ten students included George Read, Thomas McKean, and James Smith, all three of whom went on to sign the Declaration of Independence. Read also later signed the United States Constitution.

    Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus

    On October 23, 2009, The University of Delaware signed an agreement with Chrysler to purchase a shuttered vehicle assembly plant adjacent to the university for $24.25 million as part of Chrysler’s bankruptcy restructuring plan. The university has developed the 272-acre (1.10 km^2) site into the Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus. The site is the new home of University of Delaware (US)’s College of Health Sciences, which includes teaching and research laboratories and several public health clinics. The STAR Campus also includes research facilities for University of Delaware (US)’s vehicle-to-grid technology, as well as Delaware Technology Park, SevOne, CareNow, Independent Prosthetics and Orthotics, and the East Coast headquarters of Bloom Energy. In 2020 [needs an update], University of Delaware expects to open the Ammon Pinozzotto Biopharmaceutical Innovation Center, which will become the new home of the UD-led National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals. Also, Chemours recently opened its global research and development facility, known as the Discovery Hub, on the STAR Campus in 2020. The new Newark Regional Transportation Center on the STAR Campus will serve passengers of Amtrak and regional rail.

    Academics

    The university is organized into nine colleges:

    Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics
    College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
    College of Arts and Sciences
    College of Earth, Ocean and Environment
    College of Education and Human Development
    College of Engineering
    College of Health Sciences
    Graduate College
    Honors College

    There are also five schools:

    Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy and Administration (part of the College of Arts & Sciences)
    School of Education (part of the College of Education & Human Development)
    School of Marine Science and Policy (part of the College of Earth, Ocean and Environment)
    School of Nursing (part of the College of Health Sciences)
    School of Music (part of the College of Arts & Sciences)

     
  • richardmitnick 10:17 am on November 27, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Study shows living walls can reduce heat lost from buildings by over 30%", “Green infrastructure” is a potential nature-based solution which provides an opportunity to tackle climate change; air pollution; and biodiversity loss., Daytime temperatures within the newly-covered section remained more stable than the area with exposed masonry., Environmental science, Living walls can provide significant energy savings to help reduce the carbon footprint of existing buildings., Retrofitting an existing masonry cavity walled building with a green or living wall can reduce the amount of heat lost through its structure by more than 30% according to new research., The study is one of the first to ascertain the thermal influence of living wall systems on existing buildings.,   

    From The University of Plymouth (UK): “Study shows living walls can reduce heat lost from buildings by over 30%” 

    1

    From The University of Plymouth (UK)

    24 November 2021
    Mr Alan Williams
    Media & Communications Officer

    1
    Researchers from the University believe the findings could be a game-changer in helping the UK achieve its net-zero commitments.

    Retrofitting an existing masonry cavity walled building with a green or living wall can reduce the amount of heat lost through its structure by more than 30% according to new research.

    The study, conducted at the University of Plymouth, centred around the Sustainability Hub – a pre-1970s building on the university campus – and compared how effectively two sections of its walls retained heat.

    Despite being on the same west-facing elevation, one of those sections had been retrofitted with an exterior living wall façade, comprised of a flexible felt fabric sheet system with pockets allowing for soil and planting.

    After five weeks of measurements, researchers found the amount of heat lost through the wall retrofitted with the living façade was 31.4% lower than that of the original structure.

    They also discovered daytime temperatures within the newly-covered section remained more stable than the area with exposed masonry, meaning less energy was required to heat it.

    2
    3
    4
    5
    [4]The study is one of the first to ascertain the thermal influence of living wall systems on existing buildings in temperate scenarios and was conducted by academics associated with the University’s Sustainable Earth Institute.

    Writing in the journal Building and Environment, they say while the concept is relatively new, it has already been shown to bring a host of benefits, such as added biodiversity.

    However, with buildings directly accounting for 17% of UK Greenhouse Gas Emissions – and space heating accounting for over 60% of all energy used in buildings – these new findings could be a game-changer in helping the UK achieve its net-zero commitments.

    Dr Matthew Fox, a researcher in sustainable architecture and the study’s lead author, said:

    “Within England, approximately 57% all buildings were built before 1964. While regulations have changed more recently to improve the thermal performance of new constructions, it is our existing buildings that require the most energy to heat and are a significant contributor to carbon emissions. It is, therefore, essential that we begin to improve the thermal performance of these existing buildings if the UK is to reach its target of net zero carbon emission by 2050, and help to reduce the likelihood of fuel poverty from rising energy prices.”

    The University is renowned globally for its research into sustainable building technologies, and this study’s findings are already being taken forward as part of the University’s Sustainability Hub: Low Carbon Devon project.

    Supported by an investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the three-year £2.6 million programme is exploring low carbon solutions through research and support for local enterprises.

    Specifically, this aspect of the project is looking to optimise the performance and sustainability of external living walls in sustainable building design through research on the thermal properties, and carbon sequestration, offered by different plant and soil types.

    Dr Thomas Murphy, one of the study’s authors and an Industrial Research Fellow on the Low Carbon Devon project, added:

    “With an expanding urban population, ‘green infrastructure’ is a potential nature-based solution which provides an opportunity to tackle climate change, air pollution and biodiversity loss, whilst facilitating low carbon economic growth. Living walls can offer improved air quality, noise reduction and elevated health and well-being. Our research suggests living walls can also provide significant energy savings to help reduce the carbon footprint of existing buildings. Further optimising of these living wall systems, however, is now needed to help maximise the environmental benefits and reduce some of the sustainability costs.”

    See the full article here.

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    2

    The University of Plymouth (UK) is a public research university based predominantly in Plymouth, England where the main campus is located, but the university has campuses and affiliated colleges across South West England. With 18,410 students, it is the 57th largest in the United Kingdom by total number of students (including The Open University (UK)). It has 2,915 staff.

    The university was originally founded as the Plymouth School of Navigation in 1862, before becoming a University College in 1920 and a Polytechnic Institute in 1970, with its constituent bodies being Plymouth Polytechnic, Rolle College in Exmouth, the Exeter College of Art and Design (which were, before April 1989, run by Devon County Council) and Seale-Hayne College (which before April 1989 was an independent charity). It was renamed Polytechnic South West in 1989, a move that was unpopular with students as the name lacked identity. It was the only polytechnic to be renamed and remained as “PSW” until gaining university status in 1992 along with the other polytechnics. The new university absorbed the Plymouth School of Maritime Studies.

    In 2006, part of the remains of the World War II Portland Square air-raid shelter were rediscovered on the Plymouth campus. On the night of 22 April 1941, during the Blitz, a bomb fell on the site killing over 70 civilians, including a mother and her six children. The bomb blast was so strong that human remains were found in the tops of trees. Only three people escaped alive, all children.

    The university was selected by the Royal Statistical Society in October 2008 to be the home of its Centre for Statistical Education. It also runs courses in maritime business, marine engineering, marine biology, and Earth, ocean & environmental sciences.

     
  • richardmitnick 1:29 pm on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Machine Learning Enhances Light-Beam Performance at the Advanced Light Source", , And little tweaks to enhance light-beam properties at these individual beamlines can feed back into the overall light-beam performance across the entire facility., , , Environmental science, , Many of these synchrotron facilities deliver different types of light for dozens of simultaneous experiments., , STXM-scanning transmission X-ray microscopy, ,   

    From Lawrence Berkeley National Lab: “Machine Learning Enhances Light-Beam Performance at the Advanced Light Source” 

    From Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

    November 8, 2019
    Glenn Roberts Jr.

    Successful demonstration of algorithm by Berkeley Lab-UC Berkeley team shows technique could be viable for scientific light sources around the globe.

    1
    Some members of the team that developed the machine-learning tool for the Advanced Light Source (ALS) are pictured in the ALS control room. Top row, from left: Changchun Sun, Simon Leemann, and Alex Hexemer. Bottom row, from left: Hiroshi Nishimura, C. Nathan Melton, and Yuping Lu. (Credit: Marilyn Chung/Berkeley Lab)

    Synchrotron light sources are powerful facilities that produce light in a variety of “colors,” or wavelengths – from the infrared to X-rays – by accelerating electrons to emit light in controlled beams.

    Synchrotrons like the Advanced Light Source at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) allow scientists to explore samples in a variety of ways using this light, in fields ranging from materials science, biology, and chemistry to physics and environmental science.

    LBNL Advanced Light Source

    LBNL Advanced Light Source

    1
    This image shows the profile of an electron beam at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source synchrotron, represented as pixels measured by a charged coupled device (CCD) sensor. When stabilized by a machine-learning algorithm, the beam has a horizontal size dimension of 49 microns (root mean squared) and vertical size dimension of 48 microns (root mean squared). Demanding experiments require that the corresponding light-beam size be stable on time scales ranging from less than seconds to hours to ensure reliable data. (Credit: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)

    Researchers have found ways to upgrade these machines to produce more intense, focused, and consistent light beams that enable new, and more complex and detailed studies across a broad range of sample types.

    But some light-beam properties still exhibit fluctuations in performance that present challenges for certain experiments.

    Addressing a decades-old problem

    Many of these synchrotron facilities deliver different types of light for dozens of simultaneous experiments. And little tweaks to enhance light-beam properties at these individual beamlines can feed back into the overall light-beam performance across the entire facility. Synchrotron designers and operators have wrestled for decades with a variety of approaches to compensate for the most stubborn of these fluctuations.

    And now, a large team of researchers at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley has successfully demonstrated how machine-learning tools can improve the stability of the light beams’ size for experiments via adjustments that largely cancel out these fluctuations – reducing them from a level of a few percent down to 0.4 percent, with submicron (below 1 millionth of a meter) precision.

    The tools are detailed in a study published Nov. 6 in the journal Physical Review Letters.

    3
    This chart shows how vertical beam-size stability greatly improves when a neural network is implemented during Advanced Light Source operations. When the so-called “feed-forward” correction is implemented, the fluctuations in the vertical beam size are stabilized down to the sub-percent level (see yellow-highlighted section) from levels that otherwise range to several percent. (Credit: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)

    Machine learning is a form of artificial intelligence in which computer systems analyze a set of data to build predictive programs that solve complex problems. The machine-learning algorithms used at the ALS are referred to as a form of “neural network” because they are designed to recognize patterns in the data in a way that loosely resembles human brain functions.

    In this study, researchers fed electron-beam data from the ALS, which included the positions of the magnetic devices used to produce light from the electron beam, into the neural network. The neural network recognized patterns in this data and identified how different device parameters affected the width of the electron beam. The machine-learning algorithm also recommended adjustments to the magnets to optimize the electron beam.

    Because the size of the electron beam mirrors the resulting light beam produced by the magnets, the algorithm also optimized the light beam that is used to study material properties at the ALS.

    Solution could have global impact

    The successful demonstration at the ALS shows how the technique could also generally be applied to other light sources, and will be especially beneficial for specialized studies enabled by an upgrade of the ALS known as the ALS-U project.

    That’s the beauty of this,” said Hiroshi Nishimura, a Berkeley Lab affiliate who retired last year and had engaged in early discussions and explorations of a machine-learning solution to the longstanding light-beam size-stability problem. “Whatever the accelerator is, and whatever the conventional solution is, this solution can be on top of that.”

    Steve Kevan, ALS director, said, “This is a very important advance for the ALS and ALS-U. For several years we’ve had trouble with artifacts in the images from our X-ray microscopes. This study presents a new feed-forward approach based on machine learning, and it has largely solved the problem.”

    The ALS-U project will increase the narrow focus of light beams from a level of around 100 microns down to below 10 microns and also create a higher demand for consistent, reliable light-beam properties.

    5
    An exterior view of the Advanced Light Source dome that houses dozens of beamlines. (Credit: Roy Kaltschmidt/Berkeley Lab)

    The machine-learning technique builds upon conventional solutions that have been improved over the decades since the ALS started up in 1993, and which rely on constant adjustments to magnets along the ALS ring that compensate in real time for adjustments at individual beamlines.

    Nishimura, who had been a part of the team that brought the ALS online more than 25 years ago, said he began to study the potential application of machine-learning tools for accelerator applications about four or five years ago. His conversations extended to experts in computing and accelerators at Berkeley Lab and at UC Berkeley, and the concept began to gel about two years ago.

    Successful testing during ALS operations

    Researchers successfully tested the algorithm at two different sites around the ALS ring earlier this year. They alerted ALS users conducting experiments about the testing of the new algorithm, and asked them to give feedback on any unexpected performance issues.

    “We had consistent tests in user operations from April to June this year,” said C. Nathan Melton, a postdoctoral fellow at the ALS who joined the machine-learning team in 2018 and worked closely with Shuai Liu, a former UC Berkeley graduate student who contributed considerably to the effort and is a co-author of the study.

    Simon Leemann, deputy for Accelerator Operations and Development at the ALS and the principal investigator in the machine-learning effort, said, “We didn’t have any negative feedback to the testing. One of the monitoring beamlines the team used is a diagnostic beamline that constantly measures accelerator performance, and another was a beamline where experiments were actively running.” Alex Hexemer, a senior scientist at the ALS and program lead for computing, served as the co-lead in developing the new tool.

    The beamline with the active experiments, Beamline 5.3.2.2, uses a technique known as scanning transmission X-ray microscopy or STXM, and scientists there reported improved light-beam performance in experiments.

    The machine-learning team noted that the enhanced light-beam performance is also well-suited for advanced X-ray techniques such as ptychography, which can resolve the structure of samples down to the level of nanometers (billionths of a meter); and X-ray photon correlation spectroscopy, or XPCS, which is useful for studying rapid changes in highly concentrated materials that don’t have a uniform structure.

    Other experiments that demand a reliable, highly focused light beam of constant intensity where it interacts with the sample can also benefit from the machine-learning enhancement, Leemann noted.

    “Experiments’ requirements are getting tougher, with smaller-area scans on samples,” he said. “We have to find new ways for correcting these imperfections.”

    He noted that the core problem that the light-source community has wrestled with – and that the machine-learning tools address – is the fluctuating vertical electron beam size at the source point of the beamline.

    The source point is the point where the electron beam at the light source emits the light that travels to a specific beamline’s experiment. While the electron beam’s width at this point is naturally stable, its height (or vertical source size) can fluctuate.

    Opening the ‘black box’ of artificial intelligence

    “This is a very nice example of team science,” Leemann said, noting that the effort overcame some initial skepticism about the viability of machine learning for enhancing accelerator performance, and opened up the “black box” of how such tools can produce real benefits.

    “This is not a tool that has traditionally been a part of the accelerator community. We managed to bring people from two different communities together to fix a really tough problem.” About 15 Berkeley Lab researchers participated in the effort.

    “Machine learning fundamentally requires two things: The problem needs to be reproducible, and you need huge amounts of data,” Leemann said. “We realized we could put all of our data to use and have an algorithm recognize patterns.”

    The data showed the little blips in electron-beam performance as adjustments were made at individual beamlines, and the algorithm found a way to tune the electron beam so that it negated this impact better than conventional methods could.

    “The problem consists of roughly 35 parameters – way too complex for us to figure out ourselves,” Leemann said. “What the neural network did once it was trained – it gave us a prediction for what would happen for the source size in the machine if it did nothing at all to correct it.

    “There is an additional parameter in this model that describes how the changes we make in a certain type of magnet affects that source size. So all we then have to do is choose the parameter that – according to this neural-network prediction – results in the beam size we want to create and apply that to the machine,” Leemann added.

    The algorithm-directed system can now make corrections at a rate of up to 10 times per second, though three times a second appears to be adequate for improving performance at this stage, Leemann said.

    The search for new machine-learning applications

    The machine-learning team received two years of funding from the U.S. Department of Energy in August 2018 to pursue this and other machine-learning projects in collaboration with the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. “We have plans to keep developing this and we also have a couple of new machine-learning ideas we’d like to try out,” Leemann said.

    SLAC/SSRL

    Nishimura said that the buzzwords “artificial intelligence” seem to have trended in and out of the research community for many years, though, “This time it finally seems to be something real.”

    The Advanced Light Source and Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource are DOE Office of Science User Facilities. This work involved researchers in Berkeley Lab’s Computational Research Division and was supported by the Department of Energy’s Basic Energy Sciences and Advanced Scientific Computing Research programs.

    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, 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 National Academy of Sciences (NAS), 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 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 (UC) 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 UC 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 UC 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.

    A U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratory Operated by the University of California.

    University of California Seal

     
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