Tag Archives: northwestern university

Cloud modeling expands estimate of life-supporting planets

Larger habitable zone suggests 60 billion planets could sustain water, life

A new study that calculates the influence of cloud behavior on climate doubles the number of potentially habitable planets orbiting red dwarfs, the most common type of star in the universe. This finding means that in the Milky Way galaxy alone, 60 billion planets may be orbiting red dwarf stars in the habitable zone.

Researchers at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University based their study, which appears in Astrophysical Journal Letters, on rigorous computer simulations of cloud behavior on alien planets. This cloud behavior dramatically expanded the estimated habitable zone of red dwarfs, which are much smaller and fainter than stars like the sun. (more…)

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Carbon’s role in atmosphere formation

A new study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that the way carbon moves from within a planet to the surface plays a big role in the evolution of a planet’s atmosphere. If Mars released much of its carbon as methane, for example, it might have been warm enough to support liquid water.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — A new study of how carbon is trapped and released by iron-rich volcanic magma offers clues about the early atmospheric evolution on Mars and other terrestrial bodies. (more…)

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Author Paul Tough Gives Talk on the Traits that Help Children Succeed

To Paul Tough, his recent visit to the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy was “a nice homecoming.”

During the two years of research for his new book, How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character, Tough spent time at UChicago and in its surrounding neighborhoods.

“The nerve center of my journalistic enterprise was a small dorm room in International House,” he joked Oct. 18 in a speech at Chicago Harris, saying that many of the ideas in the book drew from work in the Department of Economics, the Economics Research Center, the Crime Lab and from the Consortium on Chicago School Research. (more…)

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IBM Announces Student Winners of Watson Case Competition from Cornell University

Faculty award winners from Nine Universities Also Announced; Professors to Receive $10,000 Grants for Watson Curriculums

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – 23 Oct 2012: Cornell University and IBM today announced the winners of the second Watson Academic Case Competition. The contest helps students build skills in analytics, big data and cognitive computing by identifying new ideas for applying IBM Watson to solve societal and business challenges.

With a 48 hour timeframe, 55 Cornell business and computer science students worked as part of mock IBM Watson commercialization teams, each charged with selecting an industry and developing an application that could best use the IBM Watson system in a real-life business environment. (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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Offspring of Older Fathers May Live Longer

If your father and grandfather waited until they were older before having children, you might experience life-extending benefits. Biologists assume that a slow pace of aging requires that the body invest more resources in repairing cells and tissues.

A new study suggests that our bodies might increase these investments to slow the pace of aging if our father or grandfather waited until they were older before having children.

“If your father and grandfather were able to live and reproduce at a later age, this might predict that you yourself live in an environment that is somewhat similar — an environment with less accidental deaths or in which men are only able to find a partner at later ages,” said Dan T.A. Eisenberg, lead author of the study published June 11 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (more…)

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Babies Are Born With “Intuitive Physics” Knowledge, Says MU Researcher

*Numerous infant studies indicate environmental knowledge is present soon after birth*

COLUMBIA, Mo. – While it may appear that infants are helpless creatures that only blink, eat, cry and sleep, one University of Missouri researcher says that studies indicate infant brains come equipped with knowledge of “intuitive physics.”

“In the MU Developmental Cognition Lab, we study infant knowledge of the world by measuring a child’s gaze when presented with different scenarios,” said Kristy vanMarle, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences in the College of Arts and Science. “We believe that infants are born with expectations about the objects around them, even though that knowledge is a skill that’s never been taught. As the child develops, this knowledge is refined and eventually leads to the abilities we use as adults.” (more…)

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Breakthrough Scientific Discoveries No Longer Dominated By the Very Young, Study Finds

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Scientists under the age of 40 used to make the majority of significant breakthroughs in chemistry, physics and medicine – but that is no longer the case, new research suggests.

A study of Nobel Laureates from 1901 to 2008 in these three fields examined the age at which scientists did their prize-winning work.

Results showed that before 1905, about two-thirds of winners in all three fields did their prize-winning work before age 40, and about 20 percent did it before age 30. (more…)

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