It seems we can get oil from any number of unlikely substances these days, and a joint biofuel research team from Texas A&M and Cornell is trying to do just that. With a $2M grant from the NSF, researchers are studying how to extract the naturally-produced oil from algae. So next time you look at a green swimming pool, consider that a similar muck just might be able to fuel your car. Algae is an eukaryotic organism that is photosynthetic and generally aquatic, and it comes in a wide variety of forms. It can be a very small single cell organism like B. braunii or a very large multi-cellular organism like kelp. It fact algae is one of the newest and most promising subjects of research in the quest for biofuels.
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While magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners are most often associated with clinical diagnostics activities, their ability to visualize internal structures of the body in detail, especially soft tissues, makes MRI scanning machines extremely valuable for laboratory research scientists as well. So it's no small matter that an NIH equipment grant has made it possible for Cornell University in Ithaca to get one of its own, just last week, and establish the Cornell MRI Facility in Martha Van Rensselaer Hall. It's not just any scanner either, but a 3 Tesla GE Discovery 750, which provides noninvasive imaging with high signal-to-noise ratio and spatial resolution for structural and functional research involving small animals, humans, plants and biomedical materials. MRI technology does not involve radiation.
Human beings like stories. We think narratively. If there isn't a beginning, middle, and end, we try and create them from the information we have at hand, because things happen in time and, we like to think, with purpose and significance. Life science research takes as its subject living things, and all living things have a life cycle, at the end of which they die, just like in a story. There is no stasis, and nothing in real life happens in a clean room: living things interact with other living things and physical processes in what we sometimes call ecosystems, which are messy, elegant places of contingency and interdependence.
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Cornell University has recently created the Kevin M. McGovern Family Center for Venture Development in the Life Sciences and announced the center’s first occupant, Cornell’s native Glycobia Inc. According to INDY, the center makes its home on Ithaca’s campus in Weill Hall and was founded to help promising Cornell life science companies created by inventors at the university’s four campuses to develop their technologies, improve their businesses, and prepare them for substantial investment to help them grow. The center will work with regional, state and national leaders to help startups advance their businesses in a way where they will have important effects on the economy and the field of life sciences.
Mayor Bloomberg recently outlined formal plans to capitalize on New York research and create a science and technology campus that will mirror what Stanford University is to the Silicon Valley. Seventeen universities and institutions from around the world submitted proposals for the project. Contenders included Stanford University, Columbia, and the University of Chicago, but Bloomberg announced on December 18th that Cornell University and Technion-Israel institute of Science and Technology would be partnering to develop the New York research hub.
As early as February of 2012, project organizers plan on opening the New York Genome Center, a new center for genomics and medicine, in Manhattan. NYGC’s collaborating members include a number of public and private contributors, among them 11 academic institutions, private philanthropists, technology collaborators, the New York City Economic Corporation and the New York City Investment Fund. In total, contributing members have donated $120 million to the project so far.
In the beginning of August, we published an article about Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan to encourage 27 interested universities to come up with innovative ideas for high-tech campuses and compete for space in one of three areas in New York City. While Manhattan local news website DNAinfo.com reports that at an unrelated press conference, Mayor Bloomberg said he is not rejecting the idea that more than one school may win the competition, he also said that up to $100 million in public funding for the project is on the line, so the city will probably work with just one school to begin with.
At this time of year especially, our hearts seem to go out all the more to those in need, which is why we like this blog, which we've updated with a recent video which should bring a smile to your face. Please consider donating your excess inventory in 2012! --updated(12/23/2011)
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Mayor Bloomberg of New York City recently announced a plan to create a high tech community that would rival Silicon Valley. The plan would include a cutting edge science and engineering campus that would serve as a research hub.
The Durable Rust Resistance in Wheat project at Cornell University recently received $67 million in genetics funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to design a wheat strain that can resist the devastating stem rust fungus.