February is Black History Month, a special time set aside to celebrate the contributions of African Americans.
College of Sciences site, Feb 20, 2018
Was life on Earth carried in an asteroid? That's the question being examined by the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry's Nicholas Hud, who believes molecules within asteroids act as a time capsule that can help scientists piece together how compounds formed before life began. Understanding the intricacies of these molecules can help researchers get a better glimpse into the progression of life. The story was also covered by Business Standard.
Newsweek, Feb 18, 2018
In a surprising study, scientists say everyday chemicals now rival cars as a source of air pollution
When you walk outside, you might be breathing in more than just car emissions. The good news: car emissions have decreased significantly. The bad news: everyday chemicals now rival cars as a source of air pollution. A new study found that indoor chemical products can, in outdoor air, contribute to ozone or even dangerous small-particulate pollution. School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences' Sally Ng praised the study: "I think this is a comprehensive study," she said. "[P]revious source apportionment studies have understimated volatile chemical product emissions as sources of urban VOCs."
The Washington Post, Feb 15, 2018
The latest discovery from Georgia Tech physicists may seem like something straight out of Black Mirror. But don't worry, it's not that sinister. School of Physics' Dan Goldman worked with School of Computer Science's Dana Randall and doctoral student William Savoie to develop an algorithm that orders simple robots to "swarm," or move in complex ways as a group. Imagine the birth of the supervillain Sandman in Spider-Man 3, from loose grains of sand skittering across the desert and then congealing into the shape of a human. The possiblities for these "smarticles" are endless. This story has been reproduced in Scientific American.
Quanta Magazine, Feb 14, 2018
Named after the Amazons of Greek myth, the Molly is a small freshwater fish that is challenging the established belief that asexual vertebrates are not viable long term. Each daughter is essentially a clone of her mother. Yet the Molly is thriving, perhaps for 10,000 years. Pedram Samani, an evolutionary geneticist and postdoctoral researcher in the School of Biological Sciences, comments on the research in Nature Ecology & Evolution. His comments are echoed by Cosmos Magazine.
Cosmos, Feb 13, 2018
Imagine that tiny spark that jumps from your fingertip to a doorknob when you walk across the carpet on a cold, dry day. That's the triboelectic effect at work, the electric charge generated by rubbing two different materials together. Zhong Lin Wang of the School of Materials Science and Engineering and the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry is a pioneer of triboelectric generator technology that can put to use otherwise wasted mechanical energy. The hope is that the technology will be a cost effective replacement for other methods of harvesting power.
Forbes, Feb 6, 2018
You won’t feel it happen, but the kilogram, used to measure the mass of electrons, galaxies, and everything in between, is about to be transformed. The General Conference on Weights and Measures is set to meet to redefine the kilogram in terms of a physical constant, Planck's constant. Ronald Fox of the School of Physics, an early advocate of redefining the kilogram, is very pleased. Commenting on the story, he mentions the LIGO experiment to detect gravitational waves, in which Georgia Tech researchers participated. "The unit of mass is very important because you're looking at a very, very delicate effect."
The Christian Science Monitor, Feb 6, 2018
Dan Taylor, the Yellow Jackets' strength and conditioning coach for men basketball, takes advantage of the biomechanics lab on campus in order to collect data on and improve the performance of his players. Young-Hui Chang, the founder of the lab and a professor in the School of Biological Sciences, doesn't mind. Chang can use the data for his reserach into intuitive physics: the idea that people (and animals) have an innate ability to predict the physical actions of the world around them.
AJC, Feb 2, 2018
Coral reefs didn’t need more bad news. They’re already being cooked by climate change and mangled by fishing gear. But because this is the age of humans, they are also being poisoned by billions of bits of plastic. Yet Kim Cobb of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences feels hopeful. We already know the solutions – developing better waste management systems, shifting our consumption habits away from disposable items, and picking up more plastic. All we have to do is implement them. “This is an optimistic message because this is something we can go out and through concerted effort try to fix,” Cobb told Earther. “In the face of other challenges like rising ocean temperatures, this can turn into a feel good story.”
Earther, Jan 25, 2018
When a filmmaker set out across the South Pacific Islands to collect stories of locals fighting climate change, he probably didn't expect to find a Georgia Tech student in Fiji. Cody Clements is a Ph.D. student in the School of Biological Sciences, in the lab of Mark Hay. But in Fiji, he's a coral gardener, tending to the ocean's coral reefs like they're his backyard garden. The stituation is dire. He has personally witnessed multiple mass bleaching events in Fiji. But he works to rehabilitate the reefs by replanting various species in coral communities. His work is documented in the video series Across the Salty Roads.
Beside Media, Jan 23, 2018