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Chien and Vass show that certain bacteria need partial degradation of a protein to stay alive

Peter Chien, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and doctoral candidate Robert Vass have shown that for the bacteria Caulobacter crescentus, partial degradation of a DNA replication protein is required to keep it alive. Their research was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,, Science Newsline, Science Codex, News release

Visconti, Salicioni, and others report advances in understanding sperm capacitation

Pablo Visconti and Ana Maria Salicioni, Veterinary & Animal Sciences, and an international team report advances in understanding the basic processes of sperm capacitation that could improve in vitro fertilization and lead to a male contraceptive. Findings appear in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and the Journal of Biological Chemistry, which named one study its Paper of the Week. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Science Newsline, Bio-Medicine, Science Codex, Medical Xpress, Science Daily, WFCR, News release

Bradley says Sandy was a unique storm intensified by climate change

Raymond Bradley, Geoscience and director, Climate Systems Research Center, says Hurricane Sandy was a unique storm that was sharply intensified by climate change and the fact that it struck heavily populated areas. Vancouver Sun

Ross wins $800,000 INSPIRE award from the NSF

Jennifer Ross, Physics, has won a four-year, $800,000 INSPIRE award from the National Science Foundation. These awards seek to address urgent scientific problems at the intersection of traditional disciplines by encouraging collaboration on bold proposals that may not fit within traditional funding avenues. Ross and her research partner, Margaret Gardel of the University of Chicago, hope to uncover and establish the laws for the fundamental workings of cells, which form the basis of tissues in plants, animals and humans. The two also strive to be role models for women and minorities in the sciences, including mentoring students spanning high school through postdoctoral levels.

FOX 25 speaks with Irschick and Crosby about Geckskin

Duncan Irschick (left), Biology, and Al Crosby (middle), Polymer Science and Engineering, spoke with Elizabeth Hopkins from FOX 25 about Geckskin, their super-strong adhesive device that can hold 700 pounds on a smooth wall—inspired by the footpads of geckos. FOX 25 spent Oct. 24 on campus as part of its Campus Tour Series and also heard about sustainability, the Permaculture Initiatives, and the Green Campus. Geckskin website

Rosenberg Presents Citation to School of Computer Science

Fifty years of computer science research and education were recognized as Senate Majority Leader Stan Rosenberg presented a citation to Lori Clarke, Chair of the School of Computer Science, during the three-day celebration of the computer science department becoming a school and coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the founding of the graduate program. News release

Polymer scientists kinetically trap and control one liquid within another

Mengmeng Cui, doctoral candidate, and Thomas Russell and Todd Emrick, Polymer Science and Engineering, report in a highlighted article in Science their research on kinetically trapping and controlling one liquid within another. This technique is useful for applications such as drug delivery, biosensing, fluidics, photovoltaics, encapsulation, and bicontinuous media for energy applications and separations media. News release, Science, Science Codex, Science Newsline,, e! Science News

Sitaraman's largest-ever scientific study of the effectiveness of video ads published

Ramesh Sitaraman, School of Computer Science, and S. Shunmuga Krishnan of Akamai Technologies have published the largest-ever scientific study of the effectiveness of video ads and presented it at the ACM Internet Measurement Conference in Barcelona. Akami technical publications,, Science Newsline, Science Codex, News release

Berger's algorithm used in Apple's new operating system

Emery Berger, Computer Science, has written an algorithm that is used in Mavericks, Apple’s new operating system. The Hoard algorithm manages memory resources in a way that reduces communication and lets the computer make decisions faster, which extends battery life. Heritage Florida Jewish News, News release

Vierling named 2013 UMass Amherst Spotlight Scholar

Elizabeth Vierling, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, has been named a 2013 Spotlight Scholar. She studies molecular mechanisms of plant proteins, especially their response to environmental stress, and what they can reveal about human health: Abated protein quality control often leads to diseased states and is associated with aging. Focusing on molecular chaperones, a diverse group of proteins that assist in protein folding, transport, modulation, and regulation, Vierling has shown that sHSPs may protect plants from heat stress, and that Hsp101 is essential for survival in high temperatures.

Adler Receives $1 Million in New Grants

Lynn Adler, Biology, and her collaborators have received new grants from NSF and USDA totaling nearly $1 million to study how floral chemical compounds affect bumble bee disease. Announcement

World-Renowned Climate Scientists Receive Honorary Degrees

Three climate scientists received Honorary Doctorates of Science at the Climate Convocation: André Berger, Université catholique de Louvain; Dominique Raynaud, Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Géophysique de l'Environnement; and Warren Washington, National Center for Atmospheric Research. Vice Chancellor Michael Malone read the citations; Julie Brigham-Grette and Raymond Bradley, Geosciences, presented diplomas.

New Rausch Mineral Gallery showcases rare minerals

The Marvin and Jane Rausch Mineral Gallery has opened with more than 200 spectacular mineral specimens, many rare and unusually large. The gallery also includes a collection of fluorescent minerals, many of which have not been displayed before. Marvin Rausch, a long-time organometallic chemistry professor, gave some of his collection to the Geosciences department before his death in 2008. The size and color of the specimens makes them particularly attractive, says geologist Mike Williams. The gallery is located in 243 Morrill Science Center.

War is not inevitable, say psychologists Leidner, Tropp, and Lickel

Writing in the special "peace psychology" issue of American Psychologist, Bernhard Leidner, Linda Tropp, and Brian Lickel of the Psychology of Peace and Violence program say that understanding the causes of war and violence should be used to promote peace and overturn the belief that violent conflict is inevitable. News release, American Psychologist,, e! Science News,, Science Daily

Perry-Jenkins appointed director of the Center for Research on Families

Maureen Perry-Jenkins '81, Psychology, has been appointed the director of the Center for Research on Families (CRF). Perry-Jenkins helped create CRF in 1995, which was originally named the Center for the Family, and she directed it from 1996 until 2002. News release

Markstein receives Life Sciences Moment Fund award

Michele Markstein, Biology, and Tony Ip, Medical Sciences, UMass Worcester Medical School, have received a $150,000 UMass Life Sciences Moment Fund award. The team, which includes Zhong Jiang, UMass Worcester, and Nan Gao, Rutgers, has engineered the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, to grow intestinal tumors with human characteristics. Compounds that prevent tumor growth are tested and characterized in human organoid cultures and clinical samples.

Ramsey-Musolf launches Amherst Center for Fundamental Interactions

Michael Ramsey-Musolf, a new faculty member in Physics, has launched the Amherst Center for Fundamental Interactions (ACFI) in order to advance research in theoretical and experimental physics at the interface of the Energy, Intensity, and Cosmic frontiers. ACFI seeks answers to questions such as: Why is there more matter than anti-matter in the Universe? What additional forces were active during the first moments after the Big Bang? How are protons and neutrons put together? These and other questions are addressed through workshops, a visiting researcher program, research, and other activities.

Whitbourne interviewed on Connecting Point about adult-to-adult bullying

Susan K. Whitbourne, Psychology, spoke about adult-to-adult bullying, especially in the workplace. Connecting Point

School of Computer Science celebrates Golden Anniversary

The School of Computer Science celebrates the 50th anniversary of the establishment of its graduate program in the 1963-64 academic year and its recent designation as a school with "Broadening the Impact of Computing," events for students, alumni, and the campus community from Oct. 17 to 19. News release

Bacteria in horses could offer clues about laminitis and colic

Research by Samuel Black, Veterinary and Animal Sciences, and Amy Biddle and Jeffrey Blanchard, Biology, into bacteria found in the hindguts of horses could provide clues about the causes of laminitis and colic and lead to prevention techniques. HorseTalk

Jerry interviewed about his breast cancer research

D. Joseph Jerry, Veterinary and Animal Sciences, is interviewed about his recent research on breast cancer detection and treatment, and the Rays of Hope Center for Breast Cancer Research, which he codirects. Dr. Jerry gives a special public lecture on this subject on October 16, 2013. Lecture details, The Republican

Hardy's studies of caspases contribute to cures for cancer and more

Jeanne Hardy, Chemistry, is featured in an article about how her studies of caspases, the proteins that control apoptosis, contribute toward cures for cancer, and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. Research Next, In Pictures

Woodruff's work on coastal processes and river sedimentation is profiled

Jonathan Woodruff, Geosciences, is featured in an article on his research into coastal processes and river sedimentation to reveal the earth’s past weather patterns and the potential impacts of climate change. Research Next

Emrick synthesizing new polymers, particles, and composite materials

Todd Emrick, Polymer Science and Engineering, is spotlighted in an article about his work synthesizing a range of new polymers, particles, and composite materials to make safer products, more reliable, including therapeutic drugs, fire-retardant materials, and solar panels. Research Next

Three CNS faculty honored at 9th Annual Faculty Convocation

Three CNS professors were honored at the ninth annual Faculty Convocation on October 4. During the ceremony, Chancellor Subbaswamy delivered the keynote address and presented the Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Research and Creative Activity to five faculty members, including Daniela Calzetti (Astronomy), S. "Thai" Thayumanavan (Chemistry), and Danny Schnell (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology).