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Lerman, Warren suggest native landscaping in urban areas can offset biodiversity loss in cities

A study by post-doc Susannah Lerman, and her advisor, Paige Warren, Environmental Conservation, suggests that urban yards that include native vegetation offer birds “mini-refuges” and help reduce the loss of biodiversity in cities. Science360,, ScienceDaily,, News Release

UMass Amherst proposal selected by NASA Space Technology Program

A UMass Amherst proposal, “Representing and Exploiting Cumulative Experience with Objects for Autonomous Manipulation,” makes the university one of five organizations in the nation to win funding from NASA’s Space Technology Program for innovative technology development. Boston Business Journal

Ratnaswamy named director of Northeast Climate Research Center

Mary Ratnaswamy has been named director of the Department of the Interior’s Northeast Climate Research Center. The center is headquartered at UMass Amherst and will provide local, state, and federal land managers access to the best science regarding climate change and landscape-scale stressors impacting natural resources. News Release

Grotevant quoted in article about open adoptions

The Minnesota/Texas Adoption Research Project, co-led by Harold Grotevant, Psychology, is featured in an article about the increasing prevalence of open adoptions in the Wall Street Journal. Wall Street Journal

Holden provides first ever data on methane-exhaling microbes living in hot undersea volcanoes

James Holden, Microbiology, and others reported recently in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences the first detailed data about a group of methane-exhaling microbes that live deep in the cracks of hot undersea volcanoes. Popular Mechanics, TerraDaily,,,, R&D Magazine, Innovations Report,, MSNBC,,, Science Codex, Bio-Medicine,, Science Daily, NSF News, e! Science News,,, News Release

Geckskin named one of "10 Amazing University Research Projects"

Geckskin, an index card-sized device that can hold up to 700 pounds of force, developed by Duncan Irschick, Biology, Al Crosby, Polymer Science and Engineering, and Michael Bartlett, doctoral candidate, is listed among "10 Amazing University Research Projects.", Geckskin website

Santangelo, Hayward work with “extreme mechanics” in designing new 3-D printer

Christian Santangelo, Physics, is partnering with Ryan Hayward, Polymer Science and Engineering and origami experts to design a new kind of three-dimensional (3D) printer. Nature News, iScience Times

Fu develops “clock” on battery-less RFID chips, guarding against hacking

Kevin Fu, Computer Science, and a team of computer scientists have developed a short-duration “clock” on battery-less RFID chips, making their cryptographic systems much less vulnerable to hacking., IEEE

New Agricultural Learning Center to be a living classroom for undergraduates

The new center will enrich undergraduate education by providing hands-on experiences in farming and horticultural, nursery and landscape industries. It will have areas devoted to livestock, agronomic, fruits, vegetables, turf and landscape crops. CNS Newletter

Large Pelagics Research Center tags Bluefin tuna for improved fishery management

A collaborative effort of the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Large Pelagics Research Center in Gloucester, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT) in Madrid, NOAA’s Southeast Fisheries Science Center in Miami, and AZTI Tecnalia of Sukarrieta, Spain, aims to improve fishery management through tagging of Bluefin tuna population. Scientific American, Daily Hampshire Gazette, News Release

Lutcavage, director of UMass Amherst’s Large Pelagics Research Center, spearheads international effort to tag and study Atlantic Bluefin tuna population

Molly Lutcavage leads efforts at the UMass Amherst Large Pelagics Research Center in Gloucester, along with the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT) and AZTI Tecnalia of Sukarrieta, Spain, to tag and research Atlantic Bluefin tuna fishing, mortality rates, and mixing rates between eastern and western populations. Scientific American, Daily Hampshire Gazette, News Release

Purdy and alumni, present papers on research to aid Peruvian alpaca farmers

Steve Purdy, Veterinary and Animal Sciences, and recent graduates Weston Brown and Caitlin Donovan, presented results of some of the first studies ever done in Peru and on campus to improve the success of alpaca farmers who rely almost entirely on these animals for their livelihood. at the International Congress on Animal Reproduction in August. Scientific American, Daily Hampshire Gazette, News Release

Zoeller says efforts to control chemicals in plastic should emphasize endocrine disrupting chemicals

In an interview with NPR, Thomas Zoeller, Biology, says that efforts to control chemicals in plastic that act like estrogen are fine, but more emphasis should be put on identifying a broader range of endocrine disrupting chemicals. All Things Considered (NPR/WBUR), WNYC, KUHF

Spencer’s sleep research uses “fear extinction” techniques to build new emotional memories

Rebecca Spencer, Psychology, is part of a team of researchers investigating how sleep can be used to treat various forms of anxiety, like fear of spiders, using a technique called “fear extinction” to build new emotional memories. Medical Daily

Brigham-Grette’s work on Arctic sediment core featured on cover of Science

The cover photo of Science is taken from a story about first analyses of the longest sediment core ever collected in the Arctic by Julie Brigham-Grette, Geosciences, leader scientist of an international research team. Science

Pocar, Kumar report evidence of a new lower limit for the half-life of of Xenon-136, an ephemeral nuclear decay

Andrea Pocar and Krishna Kumar, Physics, are part of an international research team on a decades-long search of evidence of the elusive neutrino-less double-beta decay of Xenon-136, and recently reported evident of a new lower limit for the half-life of Xenon-136. Red Orbit, Controlled Environments Magazine, Science Daily, Science Codex,, News Release

Fu recommends that federal regulators improve tracking security and privacy problems in medical devices

Kevin Fu, Computer Science, is part of an interdisciplinary team that recommends that federal regulators need to improve how they rack security and privacy problems in medical devices, and suggests the establishment of a more effective reporting system for medical device cybersecurity. IT World, Bio-Medicine,, Medical Xpress, PC Advisor, Science Codex, News Release

Tew demonstrates that antimicrobials are doubly powerful

Gregory Tew, Polymer Science and Engineering, is part of a research team that has demonstrated the double effectiveness of synthetic antimicrobials, synthetic compounds that combat infections while activating the body’s immunological system. Basque Research

U.S. Rep McGovern visits UMass Cold Spring Orchard, receives Prokopy award

U.S. Rep. James McGovern visits received the Ronald J. Prokopy Award in recognition of his support for agriculture in Massachusetts. The late Prokopy was an entomology professor in Plant, Soil, and Insect Sciences. Republican, News Release

Klingbeil shows how key proteins in model parasite organize and replicate DNS

Michele Klingbeil, Microbiology, doctoral candidate Jeniffer Concepción-Acevedo report the first detailed characterization of how key proteins in the model parasite Trypanosoma brucei organize to replicate its mitochondrial DNA, which could lead to improved treatment for diseases like African sleeping sickness. Science Codex,, Eukaryotic Cell, Bioscience Technology,,, Campus News

Klingbeil unravels secrets of parasites' replication

Michele Klingbeil, Microbiology, and doctoral candidate Jeniffer Concepción-Acevedo have reported the first detailed characterization of the way key proteins in the model parasite Trypanosoma brucei organize to replicate its mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Their finding could one day lead to a new weapon for fighting parasitic illnesses such as African sleeping sickness, chagas disease, and leishmaniasis. News Release

Childs proposes gall wasp could be the cause of mysterious tree deaths on Cape Cod

Robert Childs, Plant, Soil and Insect Sciences, says the cause of mysterious tree deaths on Cape Cod may be the crypt gall wasp, tiny insects that are able to signal the tree to stop sending nutrients and water to the leaves and branches, eventually killing the tree. Cape Cod Times

Lori Clarke honored with 2012 ACM SIGSOFT Outstanding Research Award

Lori Clarke, Chair of the Computer Science Department, received the ACM SIGSOFT Outstanding Research Award for her lifetime achievements in the areas of software testing, software development environments and program analysis. Campus News

Richardson receives $400,000 NIH grant to study binge drinking and brain development

Neuroscientist Heather N. Richardson, Psychology, received a $400,000 grant from NIH’s Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse to study binge drinking and brain development.

Anderson suggests that touch-screen devices are more addictive that TV watching for young children

Daniel Anderson, emeritus professor of psychology, suggests that touch-screen devices may be more addictive to young children than watching television. BBC News