Tag Archives: boston university

Symbiotic Fungi Inhabiting Plant Roots Have Major Impact on Atmospheric Carbon

AUSTIN, Texas — Microscopic fungi that live in plants’ roots play a major role in the storage and release of carbon from the soil into the atmosphere, according to a University of Texas at Austin researcher and his colleagues at Boston University and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. The role of these fungi is currently unaccounted for in global climate models.

Some types of symbiotic fungi can lead to 70 percent more carbon stored in the soil. (more…)

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UMass Amherst Nuclear Physicist, with Hundreds Worldwide, Tracks Huge Magnetic Ring across Country for Muon Experiments

Massive device to travel by barge and truck this summer

AMHERST, Mass. – Nuclear physicist David Kawall at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is among scientists from 26 institutions worldwide who are waiting patiently for an electromagnet 50 feet in diameter to be transported from New York to Illinois, where they plan to launch an experiment in 2016 that could open new realms of particle physics.

Kawall’s responsibility will be to measure very precisely the magnetic field inside the ring-shaped magnet when it arrives at its new home sometime in late July. “It’s definitely new territory,” he says, “because we need to measure the field accurately to 70 parts per billion in this huge magnet. The payoff is enormous, however, because we expect the new experiment to yield results four times more precise than the previous effort was able to attain.” (more…)

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Exile or Immigrant?

Chinese-American author speaks as part of visiting writers series

Acclaimed Chinese-American author Ha Jin came to the United States almost 30 years ago as neither immigrant nor exile, but he experienced elements of both as he struggled to establish a personal identity and carve out a place for himself in the literary world.

On Thursday, March 7, close to 300 people turned out to hear the award-winning writer share his perspective on the contemporary immigrant experience. The lecture was part of a visiting writers series, Transnational Encounters: World-Renowned Authors at the University of Delaware. (more…)

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‘Costs of War’ Project: Iraq War: 190,000 lives, $2.2 trillion

More than 190,000 people have been killed in the 10 years since the war in Iraq began. The war will cost the U.S. $2.2 trillion, including substantial costs for veterans care through 2053, far exceeding the initial government estimate of $50 to $60 billion, according to a new report by scholars with the “Costs of War” project at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies. The 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq is March 19, 2013. 

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Ten years after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq on March 19, 2003, researchers have released the first comprehensive analysis of direct and indirect human and economic costs of the war that followed. According to the report, the war has killed at least 190,000 people, including men and women in uniform, contractors, and civilians and will cost the United States $2.2 trillion — a figure that far exceeds the initial 2002 estimates by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget of $50 to $60 billion. (more…)

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How the World’s Saltiest Pond gets its Salt

Jay Dickson and Jim Head have gathered time-lapse photography and other data about the sustained salinity of Antarctica’s Don Juan Pond, the most saline natural body of water on earth. Their findings, published online in Scientific Reports, suggest that such ponds could be possible on Mars.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Antarctica’s Don Juan Pond might be the unlikeliest body of water on Earth. Situated in the frigid McMurdo Dry Valleys, only the pond’s high salt content — by far the highest of any body of water on the planet — keeps it from freezing into oblivion. (more…)

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Scientists Find Evidence That Human Ancestors Used Fire One Million Years Ago

300,000 years earlier than believed

An international team led by the University of Toronto and Hebrew University has identified the earliest known evidence of the use of fire by human ancestors. Microscopic traces of wood ash, alongside animal bones and stone tools, were found in a layer dated to one million years ago at the Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa. (more…)

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Ferroelectric Switching Discovered For First Time in Soft Biological Tissue

The heart’s inner workings are mysterious, perhaps even more so with a new finding. Engineers at the University of Washington have discovered an electrical property in arteries not seen before in mammalian tissues.

The researchers found that the wall of the aorta, the largest blood vessel carrying blood from the heart, exhibits ferroelectricity, a response to an electric field known to exist in inorganic and synthetic materials. The findings are being published in an upcoming issue of the journal Physical Review Letters. (more…)

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