CNS News

Subscribe to the CNS News RSS feed

Heuck receives NIH grant to map molecular structure of bacterial needle

Alejandro Heuck, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. received a five-year, $950,000 NIH grant to map the molecular structure of a needle-like tool used by deadly bacteria, including Salmonella and bubonic plague, to drill holes in mammalian cell wall., Bio-Medicine, Press Release

Zoeller authors new definition of endocrine-disrupting chemicals and recommendations for public health protection

R. Thomas Zoeller, Biology, is the lead author of The Endocrine Society’s new statement outlining key issues related for endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDC) and strengthened recommendations for protecting humans and wildlife from adverse effects of EDCs, which can interfere with any aspect of hormone action. Red Orbit

PhD student Yan develops predictive caching to triple smart phone app boot speed

Tingxin Yan, doctoral student in Computer Science, has developed predictive caching, which can triple average smart phone app’s boot speed through guessing the software routines most likely needed for the next stage rather than booting from scratch. New Scientist,

Herbert extolls 150 years of the Morrill Land Grant Act

Stephen Herbert, director of the Center for Agriculture, discusses the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Land Grant Act that created the nation’s system of land-grant universities, including UMass Amherst. WFCR

Mangan grows chipilin plant, a plant staple for immigrants from Central and South America

Frank Mangan, Plant, Soil and Insect Sciences, discusses how his research team grows chipilin, a popular plant native to Central and South America, as part of his program focusing on immigrant populations and the crops they grow. Los Angeles Times

Diao, Shenoy and Ganesan receive $321,250 from President’s Science and Technology Initiatives Fund

Computer scientists Yanlei Diao, Preshant Shenoy and Deepak Ganesan were awarded a total of $321,250 from the University of Massachusetts President’s Science and Technology Initiatives Fund. UMass News

Computer Science grad student Curtsinger receives Google PhD Fellowship

Charles Curtsinger, PhD student in Computer Science, was awarded a 2012 Google Fellowship in Software Performance, one of only 14 Google PhD student fellowships awarded in the United States and Canada this year. Campus News, Boston Business Journal, Mass High Tech, News Office release

Towsley receives ACM SIGMETRICS Test-of-Time Award

Donald Towsley, Distinguished Professor of Computer Science, received the 2012 ACM SIGMETRICS Test-of-Time Award for the influential 2002 paper "Network tomography on general topologies." Campus News

Caret proposes doubling STEM students in UMass and state community colleges

UMass President Robert Caret announced a new program aimed at doubling the number of underrepresented minority students graduating with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) degrees from the UMass campuses and the state’s 15 community colleges over the next four years. Mass High Tech,

Brigham-Grette says recent NSF report on polar regions shows serious consequences for entire globe

Julie Brigham-Grette, Geosciences, says a recent NSF report by on the International Polar Year released by the National Research Council for 2007-08 should provide evidence that changes at the Earth’s polar regions have serious consequences for the rest of the globe.

Institute for Massachusetts Biofuels Research (TIMBR) partners with private company ReCommunity Recycling to develop microbes to transform trash to fuel

ReCommunity Recycling, a private company, has committed $635,000 to the Institute for Massachusetts Biofuels Research (TIMBR) to develop microbes that digest household trash and turn it into fuel. Gazette, Republican

Davidovitch, Menon, and King confirm prediction of fundamental mechanism guiding wrinkles

Benny Davidovitch, Narayanan Menon, Physics, and graduate student Hunter King have confirmed earlier predictions that there is a fundamental mechanism that guides the formation of wrinkles and crumples in a featureless sheet. e! Science News, Science Daily, Innovations Report,, R & D,, News Office release

Patek’s research on mantis shrimp’s powerful kick could lead to super durable materials

Sheila Patek, Biology, studies the tiny peacock mantis shrimp, which kills its prey with a powerful strike of its claw that stuns the victim and also boils the water around it, discoveries that might lead to designing super durable materials for body armor and football helmets. Stars & Stripes, McClatchy News Service, Miami Herald, Kansas City Star, Christian Science Monitor

Rawlins says spring sets record as warmest in 121 years

Michael Rawlins, manager of the Climate System Research Center, says temperatures for March, April and May have been some of the warmest on record should set a record as the warmest spring in 121 years. Gazette, WAMC, WGGB, WWLP, WFCR

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