CNS News

Subscribe to the CNS News RSS feed

CNS faculty to present educational programming at new Boston Public Market

Andy Danylchuk, Environmental Conservation, Wesley Autio, director, the Stockbridge School of Agriculture, and Carolyn DeMoranville, director, the UMass Cranberry Station will present educational programming at the new Boston Public Market, a 28,000-square-foot, self-sustaining market featuring all locally sourced food located at 100 Hanover Street in downtown Boston. UMass Amherst is one of 10 official BPM launch partners to provide educational programming, and is the first academic institution to partner with the market. News release

McGovern tours local farms with Campbell-Nelson and Thomas

U.S. Rep. James McGovern, along with members of his staff, Katie Campbell-Nelson of UMass Extension, and Sandy Thomas, Center for Agriculture Food and the Environment, toured local farms to see how farms in the region are doing. Daily Hampshire Gazette, Republican

Staub interviewed about disarming of shooter on French train

Ervin Staub, emeritus professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences, says people react differently to stressful circumstances such as the recent disarming of a shooter on a French train by three American tourists. Discovery News

Dubin honored by minisymposium at Osaka University

Paul Dubin, Chemistry, was honored by a minisymposium (PDF) at the School of Science, Osaka University, in June.

Santangelo research in PNAS shows how to use curved creases to quickly transform thin shells

A team led by Christian Santangelo, Physics, and includes Ryan Hayward, Polymer Science and Engineering, has developed a way to use curved creases to give thin curved shells a fast, programmable snapping motion.The new technique avoids the need for complicated materials and fabrication methods when creating structures with fast dynamics and should help materials scientists and engineers who wish to design structures that can rapidly switch shape and properties, as published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Live Science, Science Newsline,, MaterialsgateNews, Innovation Toronto, Innovations Report, World Industrial Reporter,, Medical Design Briefs,, Design Products & Applications, Science 360, Lab Manager, News release

Mager awarded five-year $3.29 million NIH grant to identify genes in knockout mice

Jesse Mager, Veterinary and Animal Sciences, has been awarded a five-year, $3.29 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to conduct a key series of experiments in a subgroup of knockout mice in order to identify genes that are essential to the early mouse embryo’s survival. He is working with Kimberly Tremblay, Veterinary and Animal Sciences, and Jaime Rivera at the UMass Medical School. News release

Auerbach's letter in Nature extols iCons for helping STEM students solve real problems

Scott M. Auerbach, Chemistry, wrote a letter-to-the-editor in Nature about the value of the iCons program at UMass Amherst in helping students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics prepare for real-world problem solving.

Clark says head lice are becoming resistant to chemicals in 25 states

A story on how head lice are becoming more resistant to over-the-counter treatments in 25 states includes comments from John M. Clark, Veterinary and Animal Sciences, and Kyong Yoon '06 PhD, who was also a postdoctoral and research fellow at UMass Amherst. Boston Globe, KFSN-TV 30

Downes, with Chambers wins $824,000 NSF grant to study how neurons regulate location

Gerald Downes, Biology, with James Chambers, Chemistry, and Amherst College neurobiologist Josef Trapani, have been awarded a three-year $824,025 collaborative research grant from the National Science Foundation to study the zebrafish brain to better understand how neurons regulate locomotion. Downes, the lead investigator, says his ultimate research goal is to better understand how different chemical signals, called neurotransmitters, work together at cellular and molecular levels to coordinate normal locomotion such as walking and swimming.,, news release

Life Science Laboratories honored for landscape architecture by Society of College and University Planning

Life Science Laboratories (LSL) has been awarded an Excellence in Landscape Architecture for General Design Honor from the Society of College and University Planning (SCUP). SCUP recognizes exemplary planning, design, and implementation of firms, institutions and individuals. The LSL earned LEED Gold certification this spring. News release

Gao guest editor on SRL Cascadia Initiative report

Haiying Gao, Geosciences, was guest editor of a special focus section in the September-October 2015 issue of Seismological Research Letters on the Cascadia Initiative, a four-year deployment of seismometers onshore and offshore in the Pacific Northwest. She says the initiative's preliminary report helps scientists understand what is happening with the two tectonic plates that are colliding in that region and that the new information probably won’t help predict the next big earthquake in the region but it will be helpful in assessing and mitigating tsunamic hazards., Science Daily

Petersen awarded $419,000 NIEHS grant to study effects of estrogen and dioxin intake during fetal development

Sandra Petersen, Veterinary and Animal Sciences, has received a two-year, $419,000 grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to study the CUG binding protein 2 gene, which may provide new insights into the effects estrogens and dioxin during fetal development can have on such endpoints as early ovarian failure and neurodegenerative diseases that may appear decades later. Republican, News release

Eureka! teenaged girls spend third summer on campus studying STEM subjects

Dozens of teenage girls spent four weeks at UMass Amherst in the Eureka! program. Supported by the College of Natural Sciences in partnership with Girls Inc. of Holyoke, Eureka! encourages more females to apply to college and study STEM fields. Watch video

Whitbourne says N.E. Patriots' fans show in-group bias when they deny Brady's role in deflated footballs

Susan Kraus Whitbourne, Psychological and Brain Sciences, says professional football fans in New England may be the only people in the country who think New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady played no role in using slightly deflated footballs in a playoff game. She says sports fans develop an in-group bias in favor of their local team that helps them overlook any shortcomings. International Business Times

Jackson says insects could benefit from the pipeline but deforestation will occur

Scott D. Jackson, Environmental Conservation, who has developed an assessment report on the proposed natural gas pipeline planned to run through parts of western Massachusetts, told the Daily Hampshire Gazette that some pollinator insects could benefit, but there would also be some level of deforestation along the route of the pipeline.

Spencer's research on the importance of sleep for the brain is featured in Research Next

Rebecca Spencer, Psychological and Brain Sciences, and the researchers in her Cognition and Action lab investigate the function of sleep as it relates to cognitive performance in memory, decision-making, emotion processing, and learning. Spencer says to think twice before cutting ourselves short on sleep, as it can have serious implications for learning, decision-making, and other cognitive functions, as featured in Research Next.

Einson ASM research fellowship featured on Research Next

Jonah Einson '17, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, was profiled on Research Next. The undergraduate was awarded an undergraduate summer research fellowship from the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) to study and identify environmental bacteria in food processing facilities. David Sela, Food Science and Microbiology, is Einson's advisor.

Arnold research about preschoolers and smart phones featured

The research of David Arnold, Psychological and Brain Sciences, about how preschoolers can benefit from their interactions with smart phones was featured on the Center for Research on Families (CRF) and Research Next websites. During the past year as a CRF Family Research Scholar, Arnold developed a study to measure the positive effects of math-based applications on school-readiness and other early learning benchmarks with the goal of helping identify the apps with the most potential for enhancing math skills and documenting how much of an advantage the best games created.

Loring's work tracking endangered coastal birds is featured in video

The research of Pamela Loring, Environmental Conservation doctoral candidate, who tracks endangered coastal birds in areas of potential wind energy development, was featured in a video. Inside UMass

Stengle says snake fungus in Massachusetts doesn't appear to cause the high mortality rates seen elsewhere

Anne G. Stengle, a doctoral student in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, was interviewed about a mysterious fungus that is killing snakes in at least nine eastern states that has been found in all five rattlesnake populations in Massachusetts, but it doesn’t appear to be causing the high mortality rates reported elsewhere. She is overseeing a federal grant that funds research into the phenomenon. Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Spokane Spokesman-Review, WBUR, WBZ-TV 4,, Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, Republican

Muthukumar research on single-molecule sensing with nanopores on Physics Today cover

Murugappan Muthukumar, Polymer Science and Engineering, is co-author of the cover story in the August 2015 issue of Physics Today on single-molecule sensing with nanopores.

Clements says the local fruit crop is promising

Jon Clements, UMass Extension, says it looks like this year’s local fruit crop will be above average. He says there haven’t been any adverse conditions this year and because last year’s crop was average, the trees are healthy and can handle a much heavier crop. Daily Hampshire Gazette

Petersen receives $50,000 NIH grant to lead mentoring network for STEM minority faculty women

Sandra Petersen, Veterinary and Animal Sciences, has received a $50,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to lead a pilot mentoring network for minority faculty women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics at 15 Northeast institutions plus the Five Colleges. Daily Hampshire Gazette, News release

Clements tells Time FATwater does not hydrate the body

David J. McClements, Food Science, told Time magazine that the new product FATwater helps the body make use of other supplements added to the water and fat. He says, however, that the new fat-infused water is not good for keeping the body hydrated.

Decker says high oleic oils will be the new trans fats and the next big experiment

Eric Decker, Food Science, was interviewed for an article about food manufacturers phasing out trans fats in the next few years. He says consumers are likely to find trans fats are replaced with “high oleic” oils, which amounts to “the next big experiment on the United States population.” Commercial Appeal