Tag Archives: illinois

Dogs likely originated in Europe more than 18,000 years ago, UCLA biologists report

Wolves likely were domesticated by European hunter–gatherers more than 18,000 years ago and gradually evolved into dogs that became household pets, UCLA life scientists report.

“We found that instead of recent wolves being closest to domestic dogs, ancient European wolves were directly related to them,” said Robert Wayne, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology in UCLA’s College of Letters and Science and senior author of the research. “This brings the genetic record into agreement with the archaeological record. Europe is where the oldest dogs are found.” (more…)

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Pacific Ocean Temperature Influences Tornado Activity in U.S., MU Study Finds

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Meteorologists often use information about warm and cold fronts to determine whether a tornado will occur in a particular area. Now, a University of Missouri researcher has found that the temperature of the Pacific Ocean could help scientists predict the type and location of tornado activity in the U.S.

Laurel McCoy, an atmospheric science graduate student at the MU School of Natural Resources, and Tony Lupo, professor and chair of atmospheric science in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, surveyed 56,457 tornado-like events from 1950 to 2011. They found that when surface sea temperatures were warmer than average, the U.S. experienced 20.3 percent more tornados that were rated EF-2 to EF-5 on the Enhanced Fuijta (EF) scale. (The EF scale rates the strength of tornados based on the damage they cause. The scale has six category rankings from zero to five.) (more…)

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First Readings: A first taste of college life

On Monday morning — Labor Day — first-year students gathered in classrooms around campus for their First Readings seminars. The program, initiated at Brown seven years ago, is designed to give new students a common reading experience and prepare them for college life.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Classes don’t officially begin until Wednesday, but first-year students got their first taste of academic life at Brown on the first Monday in September, when all 1,537 of them gathered in classrooms around campus for the annual First Readings seminars. (more…)

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The New Face of Mining: Women Carving Out a Place in Surging Industry

The UA department of mining and geological engineering, one of only 14 U.S. schools offering mining engineering degrees and only a handful with its own student mine, is dedicated to helping fill the industry pipeline, and that includes ensuring female engineers continue to gain ground in a surging industry.

They roam the remotest corners of the world, scale the highest mountains and descend deep into the Earth.

They go places few women have ever gone. They are not afraid of getting dirty, or of much else for that matter, certainly not adversity or a good challenge. And they know, better than most, how and when to take a joke. (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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Hunt for Bin Laden

Bowden recounts hunt for bin Laden in President’s Authors Series talk

When a team of U.S. Navy SEALS entered the compound of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in the early hours of May 2, 2011, it marked the successful culmination of a data-driven military and intelligence quest that began with the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

How it all happened and how it began was the topic of a talk given by Mark Bowden – author of The Finish: The Killing of Osama bin Laden and supplemental faculty in the University of Delaware’s Department of English — during the inaugural President’s Authors Series event held Tuesday, Dec. 4, in the Gore Recital Hall of the Roselle Center for the Arts. (more…)

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University of Toronto Study Demonstrates Impact of Adversity on Early Life Development

Study part of growing body of knowledge surrounding gene-environment interplay

TORONTO, ON – It is time to put the nature versus nurture debate to rest and embrace growing evidence that it is the interaction between biology and environment in early life that influences human development, according to a series of studies recently published in a special edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

“Biologists used to think that our differences are pre-programmed in our genes, while psychologists argued that babies are born with a blank slate and their experience writes on it to shape them into the adults they become. Instead, the important question to be asking is, ‘How is our experience in early life getting embedded in our biology?’” says University of Toronto behavioural geneticist Marla Sokolowski. She is co-editor of the PNAS special edition titled “Biological Embedding of Early Social Adversity: From Fruit Flies to Kindergarteners” along with professors Tom Boyce (University of British Columbia) and Gene Robinson (University of Illinois). (more…)

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Electronics That Vanish in the Body

UA physician and biomaterial expert Dr. Marvin J. Slepian is part of a team that has developed biodegradable electronics that could revolutionize medicine, environmental monitoring and consumer electronics.

Physicians and environmentalists alike could soon be using a new class of electronic devices: small, robust and high performance, yet also biocompatible and capable of dissolving completely in water – or in bodily fluids.

Researchers at the University of Illinois, in collaboration with Tufts University, the University of Arizona and Northwestern University, have demonstrated a new type of biodegradable electronics technology that could introduce new design paradigms for medical implants, environmental monitors and consumer devices. (more…)

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