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Gerber offers tips for keeping contaminants out of compost

John M. Gerber, Plant, Soil and Insect Sciences, comments in a story about how to keep contaminants out of compost by not using glossy newspaper advertisements and lawn clippings from other people because they may contain chemicals. Huffington Post

PhD student Stormer awarded 'Best AFS Student Poster Presentation'

David Stormer, PhD student in Environmental Conservation, was awarded the 'Best American Fisheries Society Student Poster Presentation' for his poster, coauthored with undergraduate Zachary Mueller and professor Francis Juanes. Campus News

Fu’s research on security dangers inherent in medical devices featured

Research by Kevin Fu, Computer Science, is the topic of an article about the dangers inherent in the computer code used in medical devices, and how to prevent hacking even as the software running them gets more complicated. The Economist,

Alfandari and Cousin receive $1.9M NIH grant to understand genetic control of cell migration

Dominique Alfandari and Helene Cousin, Veterinary and Animal Sciences, received a five-year, $1.9 million NIH grant to investigate craniofacial development in a frog model to better understand genetic control of cell migration, leading to better understanding of how cancer cells metastasize.,, Science Daily

Margulis memorial plaque and painting installed in Morrill

A reproduction of a dynamic and colorful painting by Shoshanah Dubiner honoring the life and work of the late evolutionary biologist Lynn Margulis was installed this week in the Morrill Science Center at the intersection of the Biology and Geosciences departments. Campus News

Fuller, McCarthy photograph rare Sumatran rabbit

Todd Fuller, Environmental Conservation, and doctoral candidate Jennifer McCarthy recently captured photographs of one of the rarest animals on earth, the Sumatran striped rabbit. Oryx, The International Journal of Conservation, e! Science News, Science Daily,, MSNBC, Today, Scientific American, Fox News, Discovery News

Moss receives 2012 Edsger W. Dijkstra Prize in Distributed Computing

Eliot Moss, Computer Science, and co-author Maurice Herlihy were selected to receive the prestigious ACM-EATCS 2012 Edsger W. Dijkstra Prize in Distributed Computing for their influential 1993 paper "Transactional Memory: Architectural Support for Lock-Free Data Structures." Campus News

Zoeller links furniture flame retardants to PCBs

R. Thomas Zoeller, Biology says that flame retardants in furniture are similar to PCBs, which were banned after being linked to a range of health problems. New York Times

Margulis was original promoter of Gaia hypothesis

The late Lynn Margulis, Geosciences, is cited as one of the first scientists to promote the Gaia hypothesis, the idea that the Earth is a giant living organism in which the planet’s physical and biological processes are inextricably connected to form a self-regulating system. Astrobiology magazine

Reorganized Stockbridge School provides more academic options

The Stockbridge School of Agriculture is now an academic department and a school within the College of Natural Sciences, a change that Dean Steve Goodwin says is designed to maintain Stockbridge's rich tradition, create a clearer path to four-year degrees for many students, and better position the university in the fast-changing agricultural world. The agricultural portion of the Plant, Soil and Insect Sciences department, both faculty and programs, are now formally part of the Stockbridge School.

Campus wins international award for 'Acts of Green'

Students and staff have won an international award for performing the most "Acts of Green" in the "education and awareness" category in month-long environmental activism competition MobilizeU. Campus News

McGregor and Staub named Lilly Teaching Fellows

Andrew McGregor, Computer Science and Adrian Staub, Psychology, are among the 2012-2013 Lilly Teaching Fellows selected by the Center for Teaching and Faculty Development. Press Release

Barrett '12 receives "29 Who Shine" awards from MA Board of Higher Education

Hannah D. Barrett '12 Psychology, was honored as a "29 Who Shine" award winner on May 10 at a State House ceremony sponsored by the state Board of Higher Education and Gov. Deval Patrick.Republican,

Geckskin featured on Discovery Channel's Daily Planet

The Discovery Channel's Daily Planet featured a segment on Geckskin, the new super-adhesive device based on the mechanics of gecko feet, developed by Al Crosby, Polymer Science and Engineering, Duncan Irschick, Biology, and colleagues. The new material allows for resusable hand-sized adhesive pads to cling to a smooth surface such as glass and hold up to 300 kilograms. Learn more on the Geckskin website.

Fisette to serve on National Research Council panel to evaluate DOD energy efficiency standards

Paul Fisette, Department Head of Environmental Conservation has been asked to serve on a National Research Council (NRC) panel to evaluate energy efficiency and sustainability standards used by the Department of Defense for its portfolio of 500,000 buildings and facilities.  Press Release

Rountree interviewed on WGBY’s “Connecting Point” about research on fish sounds

Rodney Rountree, Environmental Conservation, was interviewed on the local PBS television program “Connecting Point” on May 8 about his study of the sounds fish make and his efforts to record them. WGBY's Connecting Point

Schnell leads $2M project to develop Camelina, a non-food oil seed crop into biofuels

Danny Schnell, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, leads a research team that includes Jennifer Normanly, a molecular biologist, microbiologist Jeff Blanchard and plant physiologists Michele Dacosta and Om Parkash in a $2M project to develop Camelina, a non-food oil seed crop related to canola, to dramatically increase seed oil generation for processing into sustainable liquid transportation fuels. Camelina is attractive because it is drought-tolerant species that can grow in poor soil, has a short growing season, and requires little fertilizer., North American Clean Energy, Biodiesel Magazine, Biofuels Journal, Press Release

Goldner awarded Armstrong Fund for Science Award

Lori Goldner, Physics, has been awarded one of two Armstrong Fund for Science Awards, which grant $30,000 over two years to two research teams to encourage transformative research. Goldner's award will help her to observe individual protein molecules as they undergo nucleation. Press Release

Scott’s research shows that infants begin to learn about race in the first year

A recent study by Lisa Scott, Psychology, and colleagues, confirms that although infants are born with equal abilities to tell apart people within multiple races, by age 9 months they are better at recognizing faces and emotional expressions of people within groups they interact with most. Scott’s paper was singled out for special mention as the “Editor’s Choice” article in the May issue of Developmental Science. U.S. News & World Report,, Science Daily, Medical Daily,, Black Entertainment Television, Scientific American, News Release

7 CNS students receive fellowships and grant awards from the Center for Research on Families

Seven CNS students have been awarded grants, fellowships, and awards from the Center for Research on Families: doctoral candidates in Clinical Psychology: Danila Musante, Katherine Newkirk, and Marianne Tichovolsky; junior Ashley Silvia, majoring in Veterinary and Animal Sciences, and senior psychology majors Grace Hauck, Deanna Julian, and Rebecca Owen. News Release

Rawlins interviewed about recent weather on WGBY’s “Connecting Point”

Michael Rawlins, manager of the Climate Systems Research Center, is interviewed on WGBY’s news magazine “Connecting Point” about the recent unusual weather. WGBY Connecting Point

Mayfield says understanding how to harnessing genome sequencing is next scientific challenge

Geneticist Jacob Mayfield, Veterinary and Animal Sciences, says now that the human genome has been sequenced, scientists are still trying to figure out how to harness the accomplishment for treating disease. Mayfield says scientists are beginning to understand that the information we’re interested in knowing lies in comparisons between genomes., Bioscience Technology, Science Daily, Bio Medicine,

Thayumanavan designs a new small-molecule probe that simplifies drug screening process

Sankaran “Thai” Thayumanavan, Chemistry, is part of a team of researchers who have designed a new small-molecule probe that may provide a simple way to screen drug candidates, allowing them to skip a step in the process. Chemical & Engineering News

Students design and launch weather balloon

Students in the "Weather and our Atmosphere" general-education Physics course, taught by Heath Hatch and grad TA Benjamin Ett, successfully launched and retrieved a weather balloon of their own design, using inexpensive, open-source hardware to make detailed environmental measurements. The balloon reached an altitude of 80,000 feet before it was collected 80 miles away in Bedford, Mass.

CNS departments and faculty awarded Mellon Mutual Mentoring Grants

CNS faculty groups were awarded Mellon Mutual Mentoring Grants by the Center for Teaching and Faculty Development support professional development: the Department of Physics: Mentoring Teaching Physics, the Engineering and Computing Women Faculty Group, the Interdisciplinary Neurodegeneration Group, and the Psychology Department Research Mentoring Group. 3 faculty members received Mellon Mutual Mentoring Micro Grants: Kristen M. DeAngelis and Yasu S. Morita, Microbiology, and Dong Wang, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Press Release