News and Events

Latest News From the College of Sciences

  • Making Sense of the Neural Network

    GTNeuro researchers on the cutting edge are exploring the frontier between our ears

  • How Protein Misfolding May Kickstart Chemical Evolution

    Alzheimer’s disease, and other neurodegenerative conditions involving abnormal folding of proteins, may help explain the emergence of life – and how to create it.

  • Triboelectric Nanogenerators Boost Mass Spectrometry Performance

    Triboelectric nanogenerators (TENG) convert mechanical energy harvested from the environment to electricity for powering small devices such as sensors or for recharging consumer electronics. Now, researchers have harnessed these devices to improve the charging of molecules in a way that dramatically boosts the sensitivity of a widely-used chemical analysis technique.

  • Suddath Symposium gets into the Brain

    25th annual gathering at the Petit Institute featured ground-breaking research in neuroscience

  • The Search for Life in the Solar System

    James Green, director of NASA’s Planetary Sciences Division, wowed a standing-room-only Georgia Tech crowd on Monday with a guided tour of Europa, Mars, the dwarf planet and former asteroid Ceres, and other celestial bodies that might contain the basic recipes for life.

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College of Sciences Researchers in the News

  • Is It Okay to Enjoy the Warm Winters of Climate Change?

    This is not how February is supposed to feel. From D.C. to Denver, from Charlotte to Chicago, towns and cities across the United States have posted strings of record-breaking summery days in what is normally the final month of winter....All in all, the United States has already set more than 2,800 new record high temperatures this month.... “Those of us who have office jobs and bike to work may be enjoying these temperatures, there are a large number of stakeholders in the agricultural community who see doom more clearly in them than we do,” says Kim Cobb, a biogeochemist at Georgia Tech University [sic]. “I know without a doubt that should such unseasonbly warm temperatures continue into the summer, we will see energy bills spike to astronomical levels, see older residents suffer, and see schoolchildren have to stay inside due to temperatures spiking past human thresholds,” she added. Kim Cobb is a professor in Georgia Institute of Technology School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. 

    The Atlantic, Feb 23, 2017

  • Europa Mission Heralds Sea Change in Search for Alien Life

    It’s not something NASA likes to advertise, but ever since its creation in 1958, the space agency has only conducted one direct, focused hunt for extraterrestrial life—and that was more than 40 years ago. It happened in 1976, when the twin Viking landers touched down at separate sites on Mars to look for any signs of life lurking on the planet’s desolate, freeze-dried surface. Now, after decades of wandering in Martian deserts, NASA’s astrobiologists are at last preparing to rekindle a direct search for a “second genesis” of life in our solar system—but not where one might think. This time, they will look well beyond Mars, the most Earthlike of our planetary neighbors, to the dark reaches of the outer solar system. A new study co-authored by Britney Schmidt, a planetary scientist in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, is helping NASA target Jupiter's moon Europa and its icy seas. 

    Scientific American, Feb 17, 2017

  • How Brain-Machine Interfaces Engage Neural Plasticity

    Over the past year, scientists have made great strides in the development of brain-machine interfaces (BMIs), wired external devices that are controlled solely by brain activity [see Roadmapping the Adoption of Brain-Machine Interfaces”]. Last October, Nathan Copeland, a man who had been paralyzed from the chest down for more than 10 years, made headlines when he fist-bumped President Obama with a BMI-controlled robotic arm using only his thoughts. As BMI-related technologies and neuroprosthetics become more sophisticated, researchers are learning that these tools can make some fascinating changes to the brain, engaging its natural plasticity in sometimes unanticipated ways. Understanding those changes to underlying plasticity, some say, could offer clues to how to rewire and rehabilitate the damaged brain—perhaps even without the need of external hardware. Prosthetics, even without the addition of a BMI component, can alter the brain’s connections, says Lewis Wheaton, director of the Cognitive Motor Control Lab at the Georgia Institute of Technology says.

    The Dana Foundation News, Feb 15, 2017

  • Coral Reef Protection: Marine Sanctuaries Can Be Counterproductive If They Are Small In Size

    That corals around the world are dying under an onslaught of various human activities is nothing new, and a number of conservation efforts have been underway for decades now. But small marine protected areas (MPAs) that have been established to allow coral reefs and associated fish species to recover from the ravages of overfishing could actually be, unwittingly, making things worse, a study found. Using the example of an MPA in Fiji Islands, Mark Hay, one of the two authors of the study and a professor at Georgia Institute of technology, said in a statement Monday: “The marine protected areas that are enforced in the Fiji Islands are having a remarkable effect. The corals and fishes are recovering. But once these marine protected areas are successful, they attract the sea stars which can make the small marine protected areas victims of their own success.” 

    International Business Times, Feb 7, 2017

  • Of a Frog’s Slap Shot and Saliva

    You never know when a frog playing an electronic game will lead to an experiment on the physics of saliva....Alexis C. Noel, a Ph.D. student in mechanical engineering at Georgia Tech, and her supervisor, David L. Hu, were watching a viral YouTube video in which a frog is attacking the screen of a smartphone running an ant-smashing game. It appears to be winning. They started wondering how — in reality — frog tongues stick to insects so quickly when they shoot out to grab them, and decided it was a phenomenon worth studying. David Hu is an associate professor of mechanical engineering and of biology, as well as an adjunct associate professor of physics, at Georgia Tech. 

    The New York Times, Feb 6, 2017