Discoveries






Scientist at Work: Bryan Schneider seeks to uncover the genetic blueprints that might foretell cancer treatment woes

Bryan Schneider While a boy, Bryan Schneider lost his grandmother to cancer. Although young at the time of his grandmother's death, he still remembers that his relationship with her was a close bond. Her cancer diagnosis and subsequent death left an impression on him that would steer him toward a career in medicine. The Jasper, Ind., native and associate professor of medicine and medical and molecular genetics also possesses a life-long interest in chemistry. "I've been a science geek since I was a little kid. I definitely ruined multiple carpeted areas in my parents' house with chemicals," he said with a smile while seated in his Indianapolis office. †Full Story

IU scientists construct, to maintain complementary DNA libraries of first lizard genome sequence

Green Anole

Scientists at Indiana University Bloomington's Center for Genomics and Bioinformatics are credited with constructing the cDNA libraries for the first-ever genome sequence of a non-bird reptile, the North American green anole lizard (Anolis carolinensis). The genome study was published Sept. 29 in Nature magazine. Center genomics director John Colbourne and research scientist Zachary Smith said the center's involvement focused on providing the cDNA resources that were used to discover and characterize the transcripts -- the ribonucleic acid copies of a DNA sequence -- of green anole lizard genes as expressed under various conditions. The sequences produced by center resources helped determine the structures of Anolis genes, including alternative transcripts that produce different forms of proteins.

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IU to take lead in DOE-funded Lake Erie offshore wind study

Wind Scales

Indiana University Bloomington Professors Rebecca J. Barthelmie and Sara C. Pryor, along with colleagues from six institutions and companies in the U.S. and Europe, have been awarded $700,000 by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to study Lake Erie wind resources and to perform a detailed evaluation of remote sensing technologies for wind resource estimation. IU will receive $420,000 of the award that is being shared with Case Western Reserve University, Arizona State University, Risoe Danish Technical University (Denmark), Clarkson University, SgurrEnergy and Horizon Wind Energy LLC. The consortium of public and private partners has expertise in ground-based instrumentation, remote sensing and unmanned aerial vehicles to provide a three-dimensional view of wind characteristics that can be used to design wind turbines and wind farms and to optimize energy capture and reduce the cost of electricity.

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Evidence of faster-than-light particles puts IU theoretical physicist in spotlight

Alan Kostelecky

Whether physicists in Europe recorded a timing error in the billionths-of-a-second range or actually evidenced particles traveling faster than light, the Sept. 23 announcement had the phone ringing off the hook in the office of Alan Kostelecky, Indiana University Bloomington distinguished professor of physics. Kostelecky's research investigates the possibility that a unified theory tying together quantum physics and gravity could lead to tiny but observable deviations from Einstein's Theory of Relativity. As part of this effort more than 25 years ago, Kostelecky and colleagues theorized in the paper "The Neutrino as a Tachyon" that neutrinos might travel faster than light.

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New modeling of brainís circuitry may bring better understanding of parkinsonís disease

Leonid L. Rubchinsky

Researchers from the School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis have developed a mathematical model of the brain's neural circuitry that may provide a better understanding of how and why information is not transmitted correctly in the brains of Parkinson's disease patients. This knowledge may eventually help scientists and clinicians correct these misfires. Work led by Leonid L. Rubchinsky, associate professor of mathematical sciences in the School of Science at IUPUI, examines the exchange of electric signals within the Parkinson-affected brain, demonstrating that repetitious, overlapped firing of neurons can lead to waves of overly synchronized brain activity. A report on the model appeared in the September 2011 issue of the journal Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science, a publication of the American Institute of Physics.

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Indiana University project releases more of Sir Isaac Newtonís alchemy manuscripts

Star Regulus of Antimony

The Chymistry of Isaac Newton project at Indiana University Bloomington has released digital editions of 30 previously unedited manuscripts written around 300 years ago by the great British scientist Sir Isaac Newton, the founder of modern physics. The project, devoted to the editing and exposition of Newton's work involving alchemy, the dream of transmuting base metals into gold, is directed by William R. Newman, Ruth N. Halls Professor of History and Philosophy of Science in the IU College of Arts and Sciences.

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NSF grant to fund instrumentation for IU Nanoscale Characterization Facility

Skrabalak Lab Grant

The National Science Foundation has awarded $776,114 to Indiana University Bloomington researchers to acquire instrumentation for investigating how the nanoscale structure and composition of surfaces give rise to the unique properties of materials. The three-year grant, from the NSF Division of Materials Research, supports the purchase of an X-ray photoelectron spectrometer. The three-year grant, from the NSF Division of Materials Research, supports the purchase of an X-ray photoelectron spectrometer, to be located at the Chemistry Building or Simon Hall and available for use by faculty members, scientists and graduate students from across campus. The researchers awarded the grant are all affiliated with the Nanoscale Characterization Facility at IU Bloomington and the instrumentation will be included as part of this user facility.

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Previous issue

Axel Schulze-Halberg, Ph.D.

The September 2011 edition of Discoveries highlighted the work of IU Northwest Assistant Professor of Mathematics Axel Schulze-Halberg , who has published more than 70 research papers dealing with mathematical physics and dynamical systems in some of the highest ranking journals in the world. Also in the issue, a report on IU Department of Anthropology research associate Kristian Carlson's description in Science of the internal surface of the braincase of Australopithecus sediba, a nearly 2-million-year-old hominin Carlson and six other scientists discovered 18 months ago in South Africa; an announcement that the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Physics have begun recruiting students for a new professional master's degree program in medical physics; and a report that IU Bloomington anthropologist Michael Muehlenbein had been awarded $304,000 from the National Science Foundation to conduct the first-ever study into the interrelationship between functional immunity, endocrine status and sexual signaling in primates.

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