News and Events

Latest News From the College of Sciences

  • A Promising Fingerprint of Extraterrestrial Life

    In the search for alien life, scientists hope that the use of dynamic biosignatures based on seasonal changes in the Earth’s atmosphere will eliminate false positives and false negatives

  • A Dean's Valedictory, Part 2

    We continue our conversation with outgoing College of Sciences Dean Paul Goldbart as he reflects on his time at Georgia Tech and shares his thoughts on the college's opportunities for future growth.

  • A Close Look at Measles Virus Assembly

    The new images advance the understanding of measles and related viruses and could suggest antiviral drug strategies likely to work across multiple members of the family that includes measles virus.

  • REMEMBERING OURSELVES

    A study by School of Psychology Assistant Professor Thackery Brown and colleagues shows that various regions of the brain process different types of autobiographical memories in different ways. The findings have implications for applying neuroscience techniques in society and understanding the impact of brain damage on memory loss.

  • A Dean's Valedictory, Part 1

    College of Sciences Dean Paul Goldbart has accepted a position as the Dean of the College of Natural Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin. In this first installment of a two-part audio story, Goldbart looks back on his time at Georgia Tech, which included exciting growth in research in astrobiology, microbial ecology, and gravitational-wave astronomy, as well as the exhilirating experience of the eclipse on Aug. 21, 2017.

     

Events

College of Sciences Researchers in the News

  • Old data reveal 'plumes' on ocean world that could host life

    We knew it was only a matter of time before news outlets this week sought out School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Assistant Professor Britney Schmidt regarding Jupiter's frosty moon Europa, a prime candidate for life thanks to its briny ocean. Schmidt, after all, co-authored a 2017 study that looked at Hubble Space Telescope images and found a second possible eruption of water from the same location on the moon's surface, suggesting cryovolcanism on Europa. We figured that media outlets would want Schmidt's opinion of a new study that says those water plumes were active during a 1997 fly-by of the Galileo space probe. Schmidt is busy working on the Europa Clipper project for NASA, which plans to send an probe to orbit the moon. She's also working on Icefin, an autonomous underwater vehicle for exploring icy oceans on Earth and elsewhere in the solar system.

    CNN.com, May 16, 2018

  • Even Low-Impact Workouts Can Be a Boost to Long-Term Memory

    Here's another good reason to head to the gym even just for some low-impact resistance training: A brief workout can improve your long-term memory, according to a September 2014 study led by Georgia Tech School of Psychology Associate Professor Audrey Duarte. Participants were shown a group of pictures and then directed to do 20 minutes of resistance or strength-training exercises, taking a break every few minutes. They were then asked to recall details of the images. "We found that exercising immediately after studying pictures increased memory of those pictures 48 hours later by 10 percent," Duarte says.

    AARP, May 12, 2018

  • Scientists want to search for life on Jupiter’s moon. They’re starting in Antarctic oceans.

    This Quartz story is a win-win for Georgia Tech: It's another take on Icefin, the underwater robotic vehicle developed by Britney Schmidt's research team for her Planetary Habitability and Technology Lab. Schmidt, an assistant professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, and her team are testing Icefin in the frigid Antarctic water, which is serving as a stand-in for Jupiter's moon Europa and its icy environment, the vehicle's ultimate destination in the search for life outside Earth. The story itself, however, is written by Justin Lawrence, one of Schmidt's graduate students, and it's a good behind-the-scenes look at the challenges and innovation involved in developing Icefin.

    Quartz, May 10, 2018

  • Atmospheric Seasons Could Signal Alien Life

    The hunt for life outside Earth will begin with a search for biological products in their atmospheres. These atmospheric fingerprints of life, called biosignatures, will be detected using next-generation telescopes that measure the composition of gases surrounding planets that are light years away. It’s a tricky business, because biosignatures based on single measurements could be misleading. To complement these markers, and thanks to funding from the NASA Astrobiology Institute, scientists are developing the first quantitative framework for dynamic biosignatures based on seasonal changes in the Earth’s atmosphere. Titled “Atmospheric Seasonality As An Exoplanet Biosignature,” a paper describing the research has been published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters. Among the authors is School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Assistant Professor Chris Reinhard.

    UCR Today, May 9, 2018

  • As Predators Rebound, You're More Likely to See Alligators at the Beach

    According to a recent study, unusual sightings of alligators and other predators are not due to the animals expanding their ranges in search of food, which was the previous consensus. Instead, the animals are recolonizing ecosystems they once inhabited before humans came along and stripped them of resources. School of Biological Sciences Professor Mark Hay comments on the study, which was published in the journal Current Biology.

    National Geographic Online, May 8, 2018