Scientist at Work: Lisa Pratt

Lisa Pratt Biogeochemist Lisa Pratt has slogged through arsenic-rich muds in southern Oregon, descended kilometers-deep, noxious gas-filled mine shafts in South Africa and Canada, and belly-crawled across salt pavements to sample brine pools in California's Carizo National Monument. What could possibly be next for the Indiana University Bloomington Provost's Professor of Geological Sciences who has spent much of her career seeking out microbes that live in places inhospitable -- even mortally dangerous -- to humans? Though it may feel cathartic to say, "the stars" isn't quite right.  Full Story

Capt. Kidd shipwreck site to be dedicated 'Living Museum of the Sea' by Indiana University

DR Underwater Museum

Nearly three years after the discovery of the shipwreck Quedagh Merchant, abandoned by the scandalous 17th century pirate Captain William Kidd, the underwater site will be dedicated as a "Living Museum of the Sea" by Indiana University, IU researcher and archeologist Charles Beeker, and the government of the Dominican Republic. The dedication as an official underwater museum will take place off the shore of Catalina Island in the Dominican Republic on May 23, the 310th anniversary of Kidd's hanging in London for his "crimes of piracy."

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IU Bloomington climate scientist Sara C. Pryor to advise U.S. government

Sara Pryor

Atmospheric scientist and Provost's Professor Sara C. Pryor has been named to the new National Climate Assessment and Development Committee, convened by the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to help the U.S. government prepare for and deal with climate change. The committee, composed of 40 of America's best climate scientists and 13 ex-officio members representing federal agencies, has been tasked with developing a National Climate Assessment report no later than June 2013.

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Cyclotron renaming, President's Medal to emeritus professor highlight rededication ceremony

IU Integrated Science & Accelerator Technology Hall

The Indiana University Board of Trustees rededicated and renamed the IU Cyclotron Facility as the Integrated Science and Accelerator Technology (ISAT) Hall during a recent meeting. Since the mid-1970s the cyclotron has been used to accelerate proton particles to extremely high speeds and energies, which are then used in fundamental scientific research in energy and matter. Originally built by IU faculty and staff in the Department of Physics, for many years it served as a national facility funded by the National Science Foundation for physics research. About a decade ago funding for that research was redistributed to newer facilities elsewhere.

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Algae that live inside the cells of salamanders are the first known vertebrate endosymbionts

Spotted salamander eggs

A species of algae long known to associate with spotted salamanders has been discovered to live inside the cells of developing embryos, say scientists from the U.S. and Canada, who report their findings in a recent issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. This is the first known example of a eukaryotic algae living stably inside the cells of any vertebrate. "It raises the possibility that more animal/algae symbioses exist that we are not aware of," said Indiana University Bloomington biologist Roger Hangarter, the PNAS report's sole American coauthor.

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Discovery of two new genes provides hope for stemming Staph infections

Staphylococcus repressors

The discovery of two genes that encode copper- and sulfur-binding repressors in the hospital terror Staphylococcus aureus means two new potential avenues for controlling the increasingly drug-resistant bacterium, scientists say in the April 15, 2011 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry. The work was a collaboration of members of Giedroc's laboratory, and that of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine infectious disease specialist Eric Skaar, and University of Georgia chemist Robert Scott.

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Global warming won't harm wind energy production, climate models predict

Indiana wind farm

The production of wind energy in the U.S. over the next 30-50 years will be largely unaffected by upward changes in global temperature, say a pair of Indiana University Bloomington scientists who analyzed output from several regional climate models to assess future wind patterns in America's lower 48 states. Their report -- the first analysis of long-term stability of wind over the U.S. -- appears in a recent issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

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Previous issue

Poplawski image

The April 2011 issue of IU Discoveries featured astrophysicst Nikodem Poplawski, an expert on everything from the Big Bang to wormholes. Also included were stories about an honor for Renato Dulbecco -- an IU nobelist, the 30th Joan Wood lecture, the earliest and best fossil of a large group of flowering plants, a 12-year-old mathematics genius, Bloomington's first high-altitude balloon launch, and a new project to study climate change and forest loss in southeast Asia.

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