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  • richardmitnick 3:30 pm on August 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Gliese 832b and Gliese 832c were discovered by the radial velocity technique, Star system Gliese 832, U Texas at Arlington   

    From U Texas Arlington: “UTA astrophysicists predict Earth-like planet may exist in star system only 16 light years away” 

    U Texas Arlington

    University of Texas at Arlington

    August 17, 2017
    Louisa Kellie
    Office: 817‑272‑0864
    Cell: 817-524-8926
    louisa.kellie@uta.edu

    1
    Astrophysicists at the University of Texas at Arlington have predicted that an Earth-like planet may be lurking in a star system just 16 light years away.

    The team investigated the star system Gliese 832 for additional exoplanets residing between the two currently known alien worlds in this system. Their computations revealed that an additional Earth-like planet with a dynamically stable configuration may be residing at a distance ranging from 0.25 to 2.0 astronomical unit (AU) from the star.

    “According to our calculations, this hypothetical alien world would probably have a mass between 1 to 15 Earth’s masses,” said the lead author Suman Satyal, UTA physics researcher, lecturer and laboratory supervisor. The paper is co-authored by John Griffith, UTA undergraduate student and long-time UTA physics professor Zdzislaw Musielak.

    The astrophysicists published their findings this week as Dynamics of a probable Earth-Like Planet in the GJ 832 System in The Astrophysical Journal.

    UTA Physics Chair Alexander Weiss congratulated the researchers on their work, which underscores the University’s commitment to data-driven discovery within its Strategic Plan 2020: Bold Solutions | Global Impact.

    “This is an important breakthrough demonstrating the possible existence of a potential new planet orbiting a star close to our own,” Weiss said. “The fact that Dr. Satyal was able to demonstrate that the planet could maintain a stable orbit in the habitable zone of a red dwarf for more than 1 billion years is extremely impressive and demonstrates the world class capabilities of our department’s astrophysics group.”

    Gliese 832 is a red dwarf and has just under half the mass and radius of our sun. The star is orbited by a giant Jupiter-like exoplanet designated Gliese 832b and by a super-Earth planet Gliese 832c. The gas giant with 0.64 Jupiter masses is orbiting the star at a distance of 3.53 AU, while the other planet is potentially a rocky world, around five times more massive than the Earth, residing very close its host star—about 0.16 AU

    For this research, the team analyzed the simulated data with an injected Earth-mass planet on this nearby planetary system hoping to find a stable orbital configuration for the planet that may be located in a vast space between the two known planets.

    Gliese 832b and Gliese 832c were discovered by the radial velocity technique, which detects variations in the velocity of the central star, due to the changing direction of the gravitational pull from an unseen exoplanet as it orbits the star. By regularly looking at the spectrum of a star – and so, measuring its velocity – one can see if it moves periodically due to the influence of a companion.

    “We also used the integrated data from the time evolution of orbital parameters to generate the synthetic radial velocity curves of the known and the Earth-like planets in the system,” said Satyal, who earned his Ph.D. in Astrophysics from UTA in 2014. “We obtained several radial velocity curves for varying masses and distances indicating a possible new middle planet,” the astrophysicist noted.

    For instance, if the new planet is located around 1 AU from the star, it has an upper mass limit of 10 Earth masses and a generated radial velocity signal of 1.4 meters per second. A planet with about the mass of the Earth at the same location would have radial velocity signal of only 0.14 m/s, thus much smaller and hard to detect with the current technology.

    “The existence of this possible planet is supported by long-term orbital stability of the system, orbital dynamics and the synthetic radial velocity signal analysis”, Satyal said. “At the same time, a significantly large number of radial velocity observations, transit method studies, as well as direct imaging are still needed to confirm the presence of possible new planets in the Gliese 832 system.”

    In 2014, Noyola, Satyal and Musielak published findings related to radio emissions indicating that an exomoon could be orbiting an exoplanet in The Astrophysical Journal, where they suggested that interactions between Jupiter’s magnetic field and its moon Io may be used to detect exomoons at distant exoplanetary systems.

    Zdzislaw Musielak joined the UTA physics faculty in 1998 following his doctoral program at the University of Gdansk in Poland and appointments at the University of Heidelberg in Germany; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

    Suman Satyal is a research assistant, laboratory supervisor and physics lecturer at UTA and his research area includes the detection of exoplanets and exomoons, and orbital stability analysis of Exoplanets in single and binary star systems. He previously worked in the National Synchrotron Light Source located at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York, where he measured the background in auger-photoemission coincidence spectra associated with multi-electron valence band photoemission processes.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Texas Arlington Campus

    The University of Texas at Arlington is a growing research powerhouse committed to life-enhancing discovery, innovative instruction, and caring community engagement. An educational leader in the heart of the thriving North Texas region, UT Arlington nurtures minds within an environment that values excellence, ingenuity, and diversity.

    Guided by world-class faculty members, the University’s more than 48,000 students in Texas and around the world represent 120 countries and pursue more than 180 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in a broad range of disciplines. UT Arlington is dedicated to producing the lifelong learners and critical thinkers our region and nation demand. More than 60 percent of the University’s 190,000 alumni live in North Texas and contribute to our annual economic impact of $12.8 billion in the region.

    With a growing number of campus residents, UT Arlington has become a first-choice university for students seeking a vibrant college experience. In addition to receiving a first-rate education, our students participate in a robust slate of co-curricular activities that prepare them to become the next generation of leaders.

     
  • richardmitnick 3:04 pm on July 31, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Radiation therapies, U Texas at Arlington   

    From U Texas at Arlington: “UTA and UT Southwestern partner to improve accuracy of cancer radiation therapy delivery” 

    U Texas Arlington

    University of Texas at Arlington

    July 21, 2016 [Just minutes ago in social media.]
    Louisa Kellie,
    louisa.kellie@uta.edu
    Office:817‑272‑0864
    Cell:817-524-8926

    1
    Mingwu Jin, UTA assistant professor of physics

    Researchers at The University of Texas at Arlington and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center are collaborating on two projects to improve the accuracy of the delivery of cancer radiation therapies and minimize the exposure of healthy tissues.

    For one project, Mingwu Jin, UTA assistant professor of physics, is working with Xun Jia and Yiping Shao of UT Southwestern’s Department of Radiation Oncology to simulate the effect in the body of heavy ion cancer therapies.

    “Heavy ion cancer therapies are an option for terminal cancer where conventional radiation is not effective, but delivery of therapy has to be more precise as the radiation levels are much higher,” Jin said. “We are using UT Southwestern’s database on cancer patients to simulate monitoring the effects of the therapy in the human body, with an aim to develop a new real-time dose monitoring technique that improves the precision of delivery.”

    This $100,000 two-year seed grant forms part of UT Southwestern’s initiative to build a heavy ion therapy facility and a National Particle Therapy Research Center, which would be the first of its kind in the United States. The study will prepare preliminary data for a larger scale study and ultimately a real patient trial.

    Jin has also been awarded a $153,543 National Institutes of Health grant, in collaboration with Jing Wang and Xun Jia from UT Southwestern, to improve the quality of image-guided radiotherapy techniques that allow for direct visualization of the target and relevant anatomy. This technology enables physicians to monitor the dose delivered to patients and update their treatment as needed.

    “As X-ray photons pass through the body there is a scatter effect that reduces the quality of the imaging as the photons do not move in a straight line,” Jin said. “Our project is to use a physics model that takes into account the effects of scatter to reconstruct the images used by physicians to estimate dosage needs for treatment.”

    This project, which focuses specifically on X-ray cone-beam computed tomography techniques, “should reduce the need for manually tuned scatter correction and help ensure dosage errors reach clinically acceptable levels of less than two percent,” Jin added.

    Alex Weiss, chair of the UTA Department of Physics, emphasized that this new research reflects UTA’s increasing focus on both data-driven discovery and health and the human condition within the Strategic Plan 2020: Bold Solutions | Global Impact.

    “Jin’s work will employ big data analysis and physics models to improve technologies used to deliver cancer therapy and ultimately improve patient care,” Weiss said. “These collaborations with UT Southwestern also demonstrate clearly the role that a scientific research institution like UTA can play to advance knowledge needed by medical institutions.”

    In addition to his research in medical physics, Mingwu Jin is also currently participating in a $7.3 million national initiative led by Yue Deng, a UTA associate professor of physics, to develop a next generation space weather simulator capable of predicting energy distributions during space weather events with a much higher degree of accuracy than existing systems.

    Jin received his bachelor’s degree in space physics and master’s degree in communication and information systems from Peking University in Beijing, China. He earned a doctorate in electrical engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.

    He has extensive research experience in medical imaging, spatiotemporal image reconstruction and data processing, and mixed-signal systems. His research interests include applying mathematical methods and physical principles to solve practical problems, particularly in medical physics and space physics.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Texas Arlington Campus

    The University of Texas at Arlington is a growing research powerhouse committed to life-enhancing discovery, innovative instruction, and caring community engagement. An educational leader in the heart of the thriving North Texas region, UT Arlington nurtures minds within an environment that values excellence, ingenuity, and diversity.

    Guided by world-class faculty members, the University’s more than 48,000 students in Texas and around the world represent 120 countries and pursue more than 180 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in a broad range of disciplines. UT Arlington is dedicated to producing the lifelong learners and critical thinkers our region and nation demand. More than 60 percent of the University’s 190,000 alumni live in North Texas and contribute to our annual economic impact of $12.8 billion in the region.

    With a growing number of campus residents, UT Arlington has become a first-choice university for students seeking a vibrant college experience. In addition to receiving a first-rate education, our students participate in a robust slate of co-curricular activities that prepare them to become the next generation of leaders.

     
  • richardmitnick 2:58 pm on May 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Texas cancer research grant helps UTA recruit promising young biology researcherand expand health science focus, U Texas at Arlington   

    From U Texas Arlington: “Texas cancer research grant helps UTA recruit promising young biology researcher, expand health science focus” 

    U Texas Arlington

    University of Texas at Arlington

    May 24, 2016
    Louisa Kellie
    Office:817‑272‑0864
    cell:817-524-8926
    louisa.kellie@uta.edu

    1
    Mark Pellegrino will join the UTA College of Science as an assistant biology professor in August.

    The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas has awarded The University of Texas at Arlington an $823,067 grant to recruit star cell biology researcher Mark Pellegrino from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

    Pellegrino will join the UTA College of Science as an assistant biology professor in August. He is an internationally recognized biologist whose discovery that mitochondria are an important activator of innate immunity was published* in Nature in 2014.

    “Mark Pellegrino is positioned to become a leader among cell biologists,” said Morteza Khaledi, dean of the College of Science. “Studies of how cells respond to mitochondrial stress are of growing interest because of the implications for multiple conditions such as cancer, Parkinson’s disease and bacterial infections.”

    Pellegrino said that he has many important new research projects planned at UTA.

    “My long term goal is to use my knowledge of mitochondrial stress response to develop reagents with therapeutic potential,” Pellegrino said. “I am especially excited to join UTA as the University gears up to become a leader in the area of biomedical sciences.”

    Pellegrino’s appointment comes as UTA is expanding its focus on research that advances health and the human condition under the Strategic Plan 2020: Bold Solutions |Global Impact. Construction is scheduled to begin this fall on a $125 million Science and Engineering Innovation and Research building with 200,000 square feet of teaching and research space that will enable enhanced activity in the health sciences.

    Duane Dimos, vice president of research, expressed appreciation for the strong support from the state and the University of Texas System that is allowing UTA to expand it health research programs.

    “With the state’s support, we are attracting and hiring leaders in multiple fields as we grow as a Research 1 university,” Dimos said. “We have an important role to play in the economy of North Texas and in the state’s ability to produce large numbers of degreed adults in high-demand fields including healthcare.”

    In the past year, UTA has attracted other world-renowned biologists, including the new chair of biology and biology professor Clay Clark, former head of biochemistry at North Carolina State University. Clark’s laboratory work focuses on imbalances in programmed cell death in the growth of cancers, and the potential therapeutic role of enzymes that can regulate cell death in cancer.

    Jon Weidanz also recently joined the university as associate vice president for research and professor of biology. Weidanz, a seasoned entrepreneur, has 20 years of experience in biotechnology research with emphasis in immunology, immunotherapy and immunodiagnostic product development, especially related to oncology and the development of products to diagnose and treat cancer.

    Clark said, “We are progressively building up our biology program with an increasing emphasis on health sciences. Dr. Pellegrino’s cancer research is a great fit for our department and we are excited that he is joining our team later this year.”

    Pellegrino earned his bachelor’s of science and master’s of science degrees at McGill University in Canada and his Ph.D. from the University of Melbourne in Australia. He worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Zurich in Switzerland before joining Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York as a post-doctoral associate in their cell biology program.

    UTA has previously won more than $3 million in CPRIT grants to develop tools to determine where thyroid cancer is and to treat it, to improve cancer detection and for biomechanical profiling of migrating brain cancer genotypes in tightly confined space for drug screening.

    About the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas

    Beginning operations in 2009, CPRIT has to date awarded $1.57 billion in grants to Texas researchers, institutions and organizations. CPRIT provides funding through its academic research, prevention, and product development research programs. Programs made possible with CPRIT funding have reached all 254 counties of the state, brought more than 100 distinguished researchers to Texas, advanced scientific and clinical knowledge, and provided more than 2.8 million life-saving education, training, prevention and early detection services to Texans. Learn more at cprit.texas.gov.

    *Science paper:
    Mitochondrial UPR-regulated innate immunity provides resistance to pathogen infection.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Texas Arlington Campus

    The University of Texas at Arlington is a growing research powerhouse committed to life-enhancing discovery, innovative instruction, and caring community engagement. An educational leader in the heart of the thriving North Texas region, UT Arlington nurtures minds within an environment that values excellence, ingenuity, and diversity.

    Guided by world-class faculty members, the University’s more than 48,000 students in Texas and around the world represent 120 countries and pursue more than 180 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in a broad range of disciplines. UT Arlington is dedicated to producing the lifelong learners and critical thinkers our region and nation demand. More than 60 percent of the University’s 190,000 alumni live in North Texas and contribute to our annual economic impact of $12.8 billion in the region.

    With a growing number of campus residents, UT Arlington has become a first-choice university for students seeking a vibrant college experience. In addition to receiving a first-rate education, our students participate in a robust slate of co-curricular activities that prepare them to become the next generation of leaders.

     
  • richardmitnick 5:48 pm on February 22, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , U Texas at Arlington   

    From UTA: “one-step process to convert carbon dioxide and water directly into renewable liquid hydrocarbon fuels” 

    U Texas Arlington

    University of Texas at Arlington

    February 22, 2016
    Louisa Kellie,
    Office 817‑272‑0864
    cell 817-524-8926
    louisa.kellie@uta.edu

    A team of University of Texas at Arlington chemists and engineers have proven that concentrated light, heat and high pressures can drive the one-step conversion of carbon dioxide and water directly into useable liquid hydrocarbon fuels.

    This simple and inexpensive new sustainable fuels technology could potentially help limit global warming by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to make fuel. The process also reverts oxygen back into the system as a byproduct of the reaction, with a clear positive environmental impact, researchers said.

    “Our process also has an important advantage over battery or gaseous-hydrogen powered vehicle technologies as many of the hydrocarbon products from our reaction are exactly what we use in cars, trucks and planes, so there would be no need to change the current fuel distribution system,“ said Frederick MacDonnell, UTA interim chair of chemistry and biochemistry and co-principal investigator of the project.

    In an article published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences titled Solar photothermochemical alkane reverse combustion, the researchers demonstrate that the one-step conversion of carbon dioxide and water into liquid hydrocarbons and oxygen can be achieved in a photothermochemical flow reactor operating at 180 to 200 C and pressures up to 6 atmospheres.

    “We are the first to use both light and heat to synthesize liquid hydrocarbons in a single stage reactor from carbon dioxide and water,” said Brian Dennis, UTA professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and co-principal investigator of the project. “Concentrated light drives the photochemical reaction, which generates high-energy intermediates and heat to drive thermochemical carbon-chain-forming reactions, thus producing hydrocarbons in a single-step process.”

    Duane Dimos, UTA vice president for research commended the researchers on their success.

    “Discovering a one-step process to generate renewable hydrocarbon fuels from carbon dioxide and water is a huge achievement,“ Dimos said. “This work strengthens UTA’s reputation as a leading research institution in the area of Global Environmental Impact, as laid out in our Strategic Plan 2020.”

    The hybrid photochemical and thermochemical catalyst used for the experiment was based on titanium dioxide, a white powder that cannot absorb the entire visible light spectrum.

    “Our next step is to develop a photo-catalyst better matched to the solar spectrum,” MacDonnell said. “Then we could more effectively use the entire spectrum of incident light to work towards the overall goal of a sustainable solar liquid fuel.“

    The authors envision using parabolic mirrors to concentrate sunlight on the catalyst bed, providing both heat and photo-excitation for the reaction. Excess heat could even be used to drive related operations for a solar fuels facility, including product separations and water purification.

    The research was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and the Robert A. Welch Foundation. Wilaiwan Chanmanee, postdoctoral research associate in mechanical and aerospace engineering, and Mohammad Fakrul Islam, graduate research assistant and Ph.D. candidate in the department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UTA, also participated in the project.

    MacDonnell and Dennis have received more than $2.6 million in grants and corporate funding for sustainable energy projects over the last four years.

    MacDonnell and Dennis’ investigations also are focused on converting natural gas for use as high-grade diesel and jet fuel. The researchers developed the gas-to-liquid technology in collaboration with an industrial partner in UTA’s Center for Renewable Energy and Science Technology, or CREST, lab, and are now working to commercialize the process.

    MacDonnell also has worked on developing new photocatalysts for hydrogen generation, with the goal of creating an artificial photosynthetic system which uses solar energy to split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen could then be used as a clean fuel.

    MacDonnell joined the College of Science in 1995, following his postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard. He earned his Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from Northwestern University.

    Dennis joined the College of Engineering in 2004 as an assistant professor. He earned his Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering at Pennsylvania State University and completed his postdoctoral work in Environmental Engineering at the University of Tokyo.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Texas Arlington Campus

    The University of Texas at Arlington is a growing research powerhouse committed to life-enhancing discovery, innovative instruction, and caring community engagement. An educational leader in the heart of the thriving North Texas region, UT Arlington nurtures minds within an environment that values excellence, ingenuity, and diversity.

    Guided by world-class faculty members, the University’s more than 48,000 students in Texas and around the world represent 120 countries and pursue more than 180 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in a broad range of disciplines. UT Arlington is dedicated to producing the lifelong learners and critical thinkers our region and nation demand. More than 60 percent of the University’s 190,000 alumni live in North Texas and contribute to our annual economic impact of $12.8 billion in the region.

    With a growing number of campus residents, UT Arlington has become a first-choice university for students seeking a vibrant college experience. In addition to receiving a first-rate education, our students participate in a robust slate of co-curricular activities that prepare them to become the next generation of leaders.

     
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