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Latest News From the College of Sciences

  • Math Madness at Georgia Tech

    The competition comprised four exams covering algebra, geometry, combinatorics, number theory, and basic calculus. Volunteer Georgia Tech faculty, staff, and students, led by School of Mathematics Professor and Chair Rachel Kuske, hosted the event.

  • The Science of Defecation Could Produce Better Medicine for Constipation

    A new study led by researchers in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering finds that all mammals, from humans to elephants to cats, defecate in the same amount of time: about 12 seconds. That’s despite the fact that the length of their rectums can vary widely. For instance, an elephant’s is 10 times the length of a cat’s (40 centimeters vs. four).

    The study suggests that the time is consistent because of mucus. The substance covering the the large intestine is very thin for small animals and much thicker for larger ones. According to the paper, mucus allows feces to move through the intestine “like a sled sliding through a chute.”

  • Tech’s Official in D.C. on Strategy for Science, Education Funding

    Robert Knotts, director of federal relations for Georgia Tech's Office of Government and Community Relations, talks strategy for dealing with the new administration and funding of academic science research.

  • Undergraduate Research Mentor Prize Launched in School of Chemistry and Biochemistry

    An award to recognize sustained engagement of graduate students and postdoctoral associates as undergraduate research mentors has been established in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry. The new award is funded by Gary B. Schuster and his wife, Anita. Gary Schuster is Vassar Woolley Professor Emeritus and Regents Professor in the College of Sciences. He is the 2017 recipient of Georgia Tech’s highest faculty honor, the Class of 1934 Distinguished Professor Award

  • “First Arrival” Hypothesis in Darwin’s Finches Gets Some Caveats

    Being first in a new ecosystem provides major advantages for pioneering species, but the benefits may depend on just how competitive later-arriving species are. That is among the conclusions in a new study testing the importance of “first arrival” in controlling adaptive radiation of species, a hypothesis famously proposed for “Darwin’s Finches,” birds from the Galapagos Islands that were first brought to scientific attention by the famous naturalist.

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College of Sciences Researchers in the News

  • Physics of poo: Why it takes you and an elephant the same amount of time

    Somebody give David Hu's graduate and undergraduate students medals for bravery -- and maybe some hazmat suits. Hu, an associate professor in the School of Biological Sciences and an adjunct associate professor in the School of Physics, is a 2015 Ig Nobel Prize winner for his "urination duration" research, and he and his intrepid fluid dynamics team have also gotten hands-on (yuck) with frog saliva. Now he has studied the physics of poop among mammals, venturing to Zoo Atlanta to follow elephants around and figure out things like speed, duration, size, mucosity, etc. Hu, also an associate professor in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, makes the connection between his research and a better understanding of gastrointestinal health. The research also helped his team design state-of-the-art undergarments for astronauts. Hu's study was published April 25 in the journal (wait for it)....Soft Matter. 

    The Conversation, Apr 26, 2017

  • Thousands, Armed With Puns, March For Science In Atlanta

    The Atlanta March for Science brought more than 4,000 people into the streets around Candler Park on Saturday, April 22. The Atlanta demonstration was one of 600 satellite marches for science around the world. The main event took place in Washington D.C....Joshua Weitz, a professor of biosciences at Georgia Tech, took issue with the new administration's travel ban, which he said has impacted a student of his from Iran. Weitz is a professor in the School of Biological Sciences. 

    WABE 90.1, Apr 24, 2017

  • Climate Modification: Good or Bad?

    It sounds like the stuff of science fiction -- and in fact, a forthcoming movie, "Geostorm," deals with the consequences of humankind trying to control the weather via technology. But a  recent New York Times Magazine article asked whether science could indeed tweak the environment, and perhaps lessen the effects of climate change, by releasing chemicals into the atmosphere. Stephanie Abrams and Jim Cantore, hosts of the Weather Channel's AMHQ morning show, interview Emanuele Di Lorenzo, professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, about the science behind possible attempts to tinker with nature. 

    The Weather Channel, Apr 24, 2017

  • Billion-dollar project would synthesize hundreds of thousands of molecules in search of new medicines

    Martin Burke, a chemist at the University of Illinois in Urbana, has watched biologists pull in billions of dollars to decipher the human genome, and physicists persuade governments to fund the gargantuan Large Hadron Collider, which discovered the Higgs boson. Meanwhile chemists, divided among dozens of research areas, often wind up fighting for existing funds. Burke wants to change that. He has proposed that chemists rally around an initiative to synthesize most of the hundreds of thousands of known organic natural products: the diverse small molecules made by microbes, plants, and animals. He has teamed with Jeffrey Skolnick, a computational biologist and professor in the School of Biological Sciences, to come up with a potentially easier way to synthesize natural products. 

    Science , Apr 19, 2017

  • Methane from microbes kept early Earth warm

    Methane-making microbes may have battled “rust-breathing” microbes for dominance in early Earth’s oceans—and kept those oceans from freezing under an ancient, dimmer sun in the process, new research suggests....“The ancestors of modern methane-making and rust-breathing microbes may have long battled for dominance in habitats largely governed by iron chemistry,” says Marcus Bray, a biology doctoral candidate in the laboratory of Jennifer Glass, assistant professor in the Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. Glass was the principal investigator for the Georgia Tech research team, which included professors Frank Stewart and Tom DiChristina, postdoctoral scholars Jieying Wu and Cecilia Kretz, Ph.D candidate Keaton Belli, and M.S. student Ben Reed.

    Futurity , Apr 19, 2017