Scientist at Work: Jill Robinson

Jill Robinson Since arriving in Bloomington eight years ago, Indiana University chemist Jill Robinson has been faced with the challenge of adapting to a large student population and ever-quickening electronic communication, and developing an effective teaching method for the modern classroom. With larger class sizes, Robinson is unable to engage every student individually, and likens her educator's role as akin to directing air traffic in a control tower. Robinson says she makes an effort to be available to students, however. She frequently visits lab sections to see how her students are doing and is often seen helping out students in need long after lecture has let out.  Full Story

IU project will evaluate ovarian cancer drug for clinical trials

h1n1 model

Indiana University medical scientists will receive $900,000 from the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, or OCRF, to help them prepare the new drug SGI-110 for clinical trials in patients whose once-thwarted ovarian cancer has returned. Medical Sciences Program-Bloomington cancer biologist Kenneth Nephew is leading the project in collaboration with co-investigators Daniela Matei and John Turchi of the IU Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center in Indianapolis.

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Two IU projects receive $1.1 million in funding to study water use, human-environment interactions


The National Science Foundation has allotted $1.1 million in funding to two Indiana University-led research projects in environmental science. According to the NSF, the foundation is funding seven awards under its Environment, Society and Economics (ESE) umbrella to foster collaboration among geoscientists and social scientists to address crucial issues for the environment, society and the economy -- and how the three affect each other. The awards will factor valuation of "ecosystem services" into economic activities in a way that provides critically important information about land and water use.

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IU "Outstanding Women in Science" lecture features award-winning Haile

Sossina Haile

Sossina Haile knows the heat of the sun can be used to convert water and carbon dioxide into energy that can be stored in a fuel cell. She's such a believer in the technology that she once brought her point home by drinking, on camera, the tailpipe emissions from a fuel-cell car. Haile brought her Fulbright and Humboldt Scholar award-winning messages about sustainable energy to Indiana University Bloomington's Whittenberger Auditorium for a recent public lecture.

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Argentina mountains are a lab for IPFW professor and students


The distance between Northeast Indiana and Northwest Argentina may not be as far as you think. The link that ties these two locations together is Aranzazu Pinan-Llamas, assistant professor of geology at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. Pinan-Llamas' interest and research in structural geology and tectonics has taken her to Argentina several times over the last seven years. It has also taken her to Denver, Col., where she presented her research to 6,000 fellow scientists at the Geological Society of America 2010 Annual Meeting and Exposition.

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Researchers study risk-taking in sex addicts

Holding hands

A new study by Kinsey Institute researchers examines to what degree compulsive sexual behavior, sometimes called "sex addiction," is influenced by learning processes and other aspects of a person's environment. Erick Janssen and his collaborators are finding that the development of compulsive behavior and the consumption of alcohol can act as catalysts in sexual risk-taking. Their ongoing study, "The role of conditioning and alcohol in compulsivity and risk taking," is the first to test various aspects of sexual compulsivity in a laboratory.

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Eat safer: Novel technology detects unknown food pathogens

Salmonella Typhimurium

Technologies for rapid detection of bacterial pathogens are crucial to maintaining a secure food supply. Researchers from the School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and the Bindley Bioscience Center at Purdue University have developed a novel approach to automated detection and classification of harmful bacteria in food. The investigators have designed and implemented a sophisticated statistical approach that allows computers to improve their ability to detect the presence of bacterial contamination in tested samples. These formulas propel machine-learning, enabling the identification of known and unknown classes of food pathogens.

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Previous issue

Dennis Peters

The October 19, 2010, issue of IU Discoveries featured chemist Dennis Peters and the development of his scientific career. Also included were stories about the use of an antibiotic to combat Huntington's disease, new risks associated with chemotherapy, a device that could help thwart a deadly birth defect, the detoxification of Hungary's red sludge, a new IUPUI initiative to expand science and technology talent, and a study that has found genetically modified corn products have seeped -- albeit at low concentrations -- into the Indiana environment.

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