Cosmic Collisions And Our Solar System

first_img Published: Jan. 11, 2001 Share Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-mail Fiske Planetarium at the University of Colorado at Boulder will explore the dynamics of the solar system and the way it was shaped by millions of collisions in “Cosmic Collisions and Our Solar System,” Friday, Jan. 26, at 7:30 p.m. at the planetarium. The pre-recorded show travels back in time to the beginning of the solar system when the devastating impact of asteroids, comets and millions of chunks of floating debris reworked the surfaces of the planets. The show also examines the likelihood that a dangerous asteroid or comet will hit Earth and what would happen to life on the planet if it were hit. Tickets are $4 for adults and $3 for seniors and children. They go on sale at 7 p.m. the night of the show. Fiske Planetarium is located at Regent Drive and Kittredge Loop Drive on the CU-Boulder campus. For a complete schedule of planetarium shows call (303) 492-5001 or visit the planetarium’s Web site at http://www.colorado.edu/fiske.last_img read more

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CU-Boulder Attracts World-Class Faculty To Teach During Summer

first_imgShare Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-mail Published: April 28, 2002 Students at the University of Colorado at Boulder will have a wider choice of courses this summer featuring guest faculty from universities around the world. The Faculty-In-Residence-Summer-Term, or FIRST program, starts on May 13 and will continue throughout the summer. The 12 initial faculty members come from New Zealand, Sweden and France, in addition to the United States. FIRST faculty will teach classes in journalism, music, psychology, law, business, communication, dance and art. Specific classes include “Images of Africa in the American Media,” “Technology Tools for Music Educators” and “American Indians, Immigrants and the Law.” “Boulder in the summer is a great place to be,” said Anne Heinz, associate vice chancellor of summer session. “Bringing top faculty here to teach during summer session provides students with exposure to more faculty and a greater selection of courses within a particular discipline.” For example, Diane Seligsohn, an American journalist based in Paris for the past 20 years, will teach a seminar examining U.S. media coverage of Africa and how this influences the perception that Americans have of African countries and their people. Joel Janowitz, who is teaching watercolor painting, has taught at Harvard University, Princeton University and most recently at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. In addition to teaching, the FIRST program complements the scholarship of CU-Boulder’s faculty. Many FIRST faculty members will conduct joint research projects with CU-Boulder faculty during their visits. For example, Professor Mats Alvesson of Lund University in Sweden will work with CU-Boulder faculty on a research project at Storage Technology Corp. in Louisville in addition to teaching a senior seminar on organizational communication. Each school and college at CU-Boulder sent a call out to all departments to nominate potential faculty to receive supplemental grants offered to FIRST faculty. “We had an incredible turnout of nominees given that this is a brand new program,” said Carol Mehls, summer session manager. “This is really meeting the needs of departments and students.” Summer classes can help CU students keep on course to graduate in four years, augment graduate students’ degree programs, offer professionals courses needed for certificate programs and provide a head start for high school students heading to college, Heinz said. They also are open to students from other universities and members of the community. About 6,500 students enroll in CU-Boulder’s summer session and about 90 percent are CU undergraduates. All summer session students are eligible to live in campus housing. Interested students can register for a summer class up to one week before the class begins. For registration information call (303) 492-5148 or 1-800-331-2801. For more information about FIRST and other summer session classes visit the Web site at http://www.colorado.edu/sacs/summer.last_img read more

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CU Researchers Generate New Laser-Like Light Beam

first_imgShare Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-mail A team of researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder has generated a laser-like light beam at super-short wavelengths that could make it possible to peer into single cells and to produce computer chips with features more than 1,000 times finer than the thickness of a human hair. The device, which is small enough to fit on a dining room table, generates coherent light in the extreme ultraviolet, or EUV, region of the spectrum also called the “soft” x-ray region. A tabletop soft x-ray laser could prove to be a major development to further research in nanotechnology, according to the researchers. “This new technology could be used in the future to make equipment to produce the next generation of computer microchips, or microscopes that could produce images of cells at extremely high resolution,” said lead author Randy Bartels, a professional research assistant at JILA, a joint institute of CU-Boulder and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Bartels completed the work in the lab of CU-Boulder professors Margaret Murnane and Henry Kapteyn. A paper on the subject by Bartels, Kapteyn, Murnane, Ariel Paul and Sterling Backus of JILA appears in the July 19 issue of the journal Science. Ivan Christov of Sofia University, Yanwei Liu and David Attwood of the University of California at Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Chris Jacobsen of State University of New York at Stony Brook also contributed to the paper. “This ability to make fully coherent light in a new region of the spectrum makes it possible to apply laser techniques to a variety of new types of experimental investigation,” said Kapteyn, a CU-Boulder physics professor and member of the research team. For example, the researchers made several holograms, or high-resolution 3-D images, using the laser. Previously, the generation of fully coherent light has been for the most part limited to visible and longer wavelength regions of the spectrum, according to Kapteyn. While other more complex devices can be made to generate higher power light in the EUV, and electron microscopes can already view ultrasmall structures, this technology combines short pulses with the ability to obtain an ultratight focus. This combination of qualities will make possible new studies of the dynamics of chemical reactions, he said. The research was supported by the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy. The physics department is part of CU-Boulder’s College of Arts and Sciences. Published: July 17, 2002 last_img read more

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Young Scientists To Visit CU-Boulder For A First-Hand Look At Research

first_img Published: Feb. 22, 2004 Editors: Photographers and reporters are welcome to attend the lecture or lab sessions but are asked to contact CU-Boulder Community Relations in advance at (303) 492-8384 to arrange. More than 120 science enthusiasts in ninth through 12th grade will visit the University of Colorado at Boulder for a first-hand look at a major research university on Thursday, Feb. 26. The young scientists, all members of the Colorado Wyoming Junior Academy of Science, will hear presentations from some of the campus’s leading scientists and visit CU-Boulder research facilities. Participants will kick off their visit with a presentation by Carl Wieman, Nobel Prize winner and distinguished professor of physics, at 9 a.m. in Old Main Chapel. Wieman will talk about his discovery of the Bose-Einstein condensate and the path he took to becoming an award-winning physics researcher. Students will then break into groups and visit active research laboratories like that of Leslie Leinwand, professor and chair of molecular, cellular and developmental biology. Leinwand’s groundbreaking work studying the genetic roots of heart disease led to the creation of a company listed by Red Herring magazine as “one of the 100 companies that will shape the future of the world.” Other students will participate in DNA fingerprinting in the new Discovery Learning Center with Janet DeGrazia, senior instructor of chemical engineering. The day will wrap up with a lunch sponsored in part by Blackjack Pizza, and a talk from research associate Brian Hynek of the Laboratory of Atmospheric and Space Physics about the current Mars Rover missions. Hosted by CU-Boulder Community Relations, the visit continues a long tradition of inspiring young researchers through on-campus experiences. Please call Erin Frazier of CU-Boulder Community Relations for more information at (303) 492-8384. Share Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-maillast_img read more

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CU Satellite Mission Team Members Receive Prestigious NASA Awards

first_imgTeam members for NASA’s Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment, or SORCE, satellite that was designed, built and currently is controlled by the University of Colorado at Boulder have received two major awards from the agency. Gary Rottman, a senior research associate at CU-Boulder’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics and the SORCE mission’s principal investigator, accepted NASA’s Group Achievement Award on behalf of the SORCE team Aug. 24. The award is made for outstanding contributions to the success of NASA’s overall mission. In addition, SORCE Program Manager Tom Sparn of LASP received NASA’s Public Service Award for outstanding leadership and distinguished contributions to the SORCE mission. The prestigious medal is awarded to non-NASA employees for exceptional contributions to NASA’s overall mission. Launched in January 2003 to study how and why variations in the sun affect Earth’s atmosphere and climate, the spacecraft has performed flawlessly, according to NASA officials. The two awards follow a successful 18-month evaluation by NASA, a milestone used to determine mission success. A NASA evaluation in June 2003 ranked the SORCE mission as excellent in all categories, including quality, timeliness, cost and leadership. Less than 4 percent of all NASA missions receive excellent ratings in all categories. Scientists and students at CU-Boulder are using data from SORCE and information from other satellites to understand climate change, climate prediction, atmospheric ozone and ultraviolet-B radiation. LASP researcher Tom Woods is the project scientist for the SORCE team. For more information on the SORCE mission, visit the Web site at: http://lasp.colorado.edu/sorce. Published: Oct. 18, 2004 Share Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-maillast_img read more

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Protected Public Lands' Role In Economic Health Of Nearby Communities Focus Of CU Lecture

first_imgShare Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-mail Published: Jan. 5, 2005 A study investigating whether protected public lands play a positive or negative role in the economic health of nearby communities will be presented at a free lecture Jan. 12 at 7 p.m. on the University of Colorado at Boulder campus. Ray Rasker, the author of the study, will talk about “Prosperity in the 21st Century: the Role of Protected Lands” in Eaton Humanities Building room IB050. Rasker is director of the SocioEconomics Program of the Sonoran Institute, a nonprofit organization that promotes community-based strategies for conservation and development. The lecture is open to the public. The event is co-sponsored by the CU-Boulder School of Law’s Natural Resources Law Center and the Center of the American West. Patricia Limerick, CU-Boulder history and environmental studies professor and faculty director of the Center of the American West, will deliver a response to Rasker’s lecture. The findings of the study, which looked at wilderness, national parks, national monuments and other protected public lands, will shed new light on the economic role of public lands in the West. “I heard Ray present a short version of his findings earlier in the fall and found it eye-opening,” said Sarah Krakoff, associate professor of law and director of the Natural Resources Law Center. “Everyone who thinks and cares about land use in the West should know about this study.” Rasker has written numerous articles on public land management, wildlife economics and the changing economy of the West. He also conducts workshops to help communities produce their own socioeconomic profiles, understand economic realities and identify opportunities for environmentally compatible forms of economic development. A reception will follow the lecture. For more information contact Krakoff at (303) 492-1287 or Dirk Martin at (303) 492-3140.last_img read more

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Study indicates hail may disappear from Colorado’s Front Range by 2070

first_img Published: Jan. 9, 2012 Categories:Science & TechnologyEnvironmentNews Headlines “In this region of elevated terrain, hail may lessen the risk of flooding because it takes awhile to melt,” said Kelly Mahoney, a research scientist at CIRES. “Decision makers may not want to count on that in the future.” Contact: Kelly Mahoney, [email protected] Jane Palmer, CIRES media relations, [email protected] Share Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-mail Summertime hail could all but disappear from the eastern flank of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains by 2070, says a new study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the University of Colorado Boulder’s Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences and the National Center for Atmospheric Research.Less hail damage could be good news for gardeners and farmers, said lead author Kelly Mahoney, a research scientist at CIRES, but a shift from hail to rain can also mean more runoff, which could raise the risk of flash floods.  “In this region of elevated terrain, hail may lessen the risk of flooding because it takes awhile to melt,” Mahoney said. “Decision makers may not want to count on that in the future.”For the new study, published this week in the journal Nature Climate Change, Mahoney and her colleagues used “downscaling” techniques to try to understand how climate change might affect hail-producing weather patterns across Colorado.The research focused on storms involving pea-sized and smaller hailstones on Colorado’s Front Range, a region that stretches from the foothill communities of Colorado Springs, Denver and Fort Collins up to the Continental Divide. Colorado’s most damaging hailstorms tend to occur further east and involve larger hailstones not examined in this study.In the summer in Colorado’s Front Range above about 7,500 feet, precipitation commonly falls as hail. Decision makers concerned about the safety of mountain dams and flood risk have been interested in how climate change may affect the amount and nature of precipitation in the region.Mahoney and her colleagues began exploring that question with results from two climate models, which assumed that levels of climate-warming greenhouse gases will continue to increase in the future, from about 390 parts per million in the atmosphere today to about 620 parts per million in 2070.But the weather processes that form hail, like thunderstorms, occur on much smaller scales than can be reproduced by global climate models. So the team “downscaled” the global model results twice: first to regional-scale models that can take regional topography and other details into account, then again to weather-scale models that can resolve individual storms and even the cloud processes that create hail. The regional-scale topography step was completed as part of NCAR’s North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program. Finally, the team compared the hailstorms of the future, from 2041 to 2070, to those of the past, from 1971 to 2000, as captured by the same sets of downscaled models. Results were similar in experiments with both climate models.“We found a near elimination of hail at the surface,” Mahoney said.In the future, increasingly intense storms may actually produce more hail inside clouds, the team found. However, because those relatively small hailstones fall through a warmer atmosphere, they melt quickly, falling as rain at the surface or evaporating back into the atmosphere. In some regions, simulated hail fell through an additional 1,500 feet of above-freezing air in the future as compared with the past.The research team also found evidence that precipitation events over Colorado become more extreme in the future, while changes in hail may depend on the size of the hailstones — results that will be explored in more detail in ongoing work.Mahoney’s postdoctoral research was supported by the Postdocs Applying Climate Expertise, or PACE, program administered by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research and funded by CIRES Western Water Assessment, NOAA and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. PACE connects young climate scientists with real-world problems such as those faced by water resource managers.Co-authors of the new paper include James Scott and Joseph Barsugli of CIRES and NOAA, Michael Alexander of the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory and Gregory Thompson of NCAR.CIRES is a joint institute of CU-Boulder and NOAA. A new Boulder study indicates hail may disappear from the eastern flank of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains by 2070 as a result of climate warming. Image courtesy NOAA.last_img read more

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CU-Boulder-led team to study effects of natural gas development

first_imgPhoto Credit: Alfred Eustes, Colorado School of Mines The National Science Foundation has awarded a $12 million grant to a CU-Boulder-led team to explore ways to maximize the benefits of natural gas development while minimizing negative impacts on ecosystems and communities. Led by Professor Joseph Ryan of CU-Boulder’s civil, environmental and architectural engineering department, the team will examine social, ecological and economic aspects of the development of natural gas resources and the protection of air and water resources. A part of NSF’s Sustainability Research Network initiative, or SRN, the project will focus on the Rocky Mountain region, where natural gas development, as well as objections to it, are increasing. “We all create demand for natural gas so we have to accept some of the outcomes of its extraction,” said Ryan.  “Our goal is to provide a framework for society to evaluate the trade-offs associated with the benefits and costs of natural gas development.” The SRN team assembled by Ryan includes air and water quality experts, social scientists, human health experts, information technology experts and a substantial outreach and education effort.  The SRN team will be advised by an external committee that includes representatives of the oil and gas industry, regulatory agencies, environmental organizations, local governments, academia and Native American tribes.  Preparation of the SRN proposal to the NSF was fostered by CU-Boulder’s Office for University Outreach, which supported the creation of the Colorado Water and Energy Research Center, said Ryan. As part of the effort, Ryan said team members will review industry practices for hydraulic fracturing, which involves pumping pressurized water, sand and chemicals deep down well bores to crack rocks and free petroleum and natural gas for easier extraction. The team will evaluate the current state of drilling technology, the integrity of well bore casings and natural gas collection mechanisms and processes. Hydraulic fracturing requires large volumes of chemically treated water — most wells require between 3 million and 5 million gallons of water each, say experts.  The fracturing fluid left in the ground, as well as the fluid that returns to the surface, known as “flowback,” present potential ecological and health risks if not handled properly, Ryan said. While oil and gas extractions from hydraulic fracturing also result in atmospheric emissions of some greenhouse gases and volatile organic compounds, natural gas is nevertheless seen by many as a “bridge fuel” that leads away from dirty coal combustion toward cleaner sustainability methods, said Patrick Bourgeron, associate director of the SRN and a fellow at CU-Boulder’s Institute for Arctic and Alpine Research. As part of the project, a team led by CU-Boulder Professor Harihar Rajaram will be investigating the hydrologic processes tied to potential risks of natural gas and oil extraction, including groundwater and aquifer systems.  The team also plans to assess the risk of natural gas and oil extraction to water quality and mitigation strategies that involve improvements in current water treatment technology. Professor Jana Milford of CU-Boulder’s mechanical engineering department will lead a team monitoring and modeling the potential risks of natural gas and oil development to air quality. Professor John Adgate of the Colorado School of Public Health in Denver will spearhead a team assessing the potential risks of natural gas development to public health. Other partners on the CU-led NSF project include the Colorado School of Mines, Colorado State University, the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo., the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the University of Michigan and California State Polytechnic University Pomona. Attitudes toward natural gas extraction using hydraulic fracturing vary widely around the West, said CU-Boulder Professor Mark Williams, a co-investigator on the project. One classic Colorado example is Boulder County and adjoining Weld County to the northeast. “The geology doesn’t change, the price of gas doesn’t change and the extraction methods are the same,” he said. “But for the most part, Boulder County opposes hydraulic fracturing while Weld County generally embraces it.” Ryan said the network’s research findings eventually will be shared with the public through an extensive outreach and education effort led by SRN co-investigator and CU-Boulder Professor Patricia Limerick of the Center of the American West. The effort includes a “citizen science” component in which the public is encouraged to make science measurements, including air quality readings made with portable instruments compatible with smart phones, and share the results with the SRN research team. “The citizen science aspect of this effort will result in a stronger connection between the public and the science used to make regulatory decisions,” said Professor Michael Hannigan of CU-Boulder’s mechanical engineering department and one of the co-investigators on the SRN project. Natural gas production, especially the use of hydraulic fracturing, has become the subject of intense controversy, said Limerick. “Some people living in proximity to well sites are understandably worried and anxious, often feeling powerless as they confront a possible threat to their health and to the quality of their lives. “Environmental advocates find themselves pulled between the climate benefits of natural gas, which releases significantly less carbon in combustion than coal, and the disturbances associated with natural gas extraction,” she said. Outreach events will include periodic town hall meetings around the West. There also will be SRN meetings involving engineers, natural scientists and social scientists to stay abreast of the latest technologies and evolving socioeconomic factors regarding natural gas production, Limerick said. “Unraveling complex processes involving Earth systems, especially the coupling of human activities and climate, depends increasingly on partnerships among natural science, philosophy and ethics, economics, social science, mathematics and engineering,” says Marge Cavanaugh, NSF acting assistant director for geosciences. The CU-led research team and a second team from Penn State were chosen from more than 200 SRN proposals by the NSF as part of its Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability program. The $12 million award to CU-Boulder is for five years. Share Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-mail Published: Oct. 2, 2012 Categories:AcademicsScience & TechnologyGetting InvolvedCampus CommunityNews Headlineslast_img read more

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BioFrontiers scientist tackles a childhood disease of the heart

first_img“Dr. Leinwand’s work in the field of cardiovascular genetics and muscle biology is impressive, and CCF is excited to support her study on pediatric hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Because there are so few therapeutic options for children with this inherited heart disease, her findings could have a significant impact on how children are treated and their outcomes,” says CCF Founder and Executive Director Lisa Yue. “Pediatric patients have a much more difficult time with this disease,” says Leinwand. “Some of the myosin protein mutations appear only in infants and young children, and these cause a version of the disease that is much more aggressive. Heart transplants are difficult at this age, but without them these patients have about a 40 percent mortality rate. BioFrontiers Chief Scientific Officer Leslie Leinwand, has been studying the motor protein, myosin, for 25 years. This important protein is responsible for making muscles contract, including one vital muscle: your heart. Myosin drives heart muscle contraction, and when this protein is mutated, it has devastating effects on the cardiovascular system. There are more than 300 known mutations in myosin, many of which cause a disease called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is the most common genetic heart disease, occurring in 1 in 500 individuals, and it is the leading cause of sudden death in young people. In hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the heart muscle becomes thickened in parts, forcing the heart to work overtime pumping blood throughout the body. Share Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-mail There are 1,000 to 5,000 new cases of pediatric hypertrophic cardiomyopathy diagnosed each year. The pediatric disease is relatively rare, with twelve children diagnosed out of every million, and the majority of patients are diagnosed before their first birthdays. Beyond the clear genetic causes, the other causes of the disease in children are not well understood and research on the subject is sparse. Fewer than 25 percent of these childhood cases have an identifiable cause, despite standardized and rigorous testing. Many adults manage this disease successfully by avoiding strenuous, competitive exercise and using a pacemaker. Children with this disease don’t have as many options as adults.center_img Published: March 6, 2013 Leinwand recently won a $45,837 grant from the Children’s Cardiomyopathy Foundation (CCF) to study the differences in the myosin mutations in adult and pediatric populations. She also plans to look at the effects of a small molecule drug on the pediatric versions of the protein in a test tube. This small molecule drug has promise for treating adults with heart failure. “We would like to get beyond just treating the symptoms, and I believe we have the potential to treat the root cause of this disease,” says Leinwand. “If we can focus on preventing the heart muscles from thickening in the first place, we can get away from pacemakers and transplants, and have more success in giving these young patients a better chance in living with this disease.” Categories:Science & TechnologyNews Headlineslast_img read more

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Building your professional image online

first_img Published: May 2, 2013 Your online persona is fair game if graduate programs and prospective employers want to find out what you’d be like as a member of their team. Check out our tips for cleaning up your profile and promoting yourself online in May’s issue of Student Health 101. Share Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-maillast_img

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