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Category: Research Briefs

Researchers Receive Patent for Method to Simplify Pharmaceutical Protein-Development Process

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued a full patent for protein manufacturing technology developed through research at the University of Arkansas. The new method will simplify the pharmaceutical production of proteins used in drugs that treat a variety of diseases and health conditions such as diabetes, cancer, arthritis and macular degeneration, said Ellen Brune, a 2013 doctoral graduate of the university and primary researcher on the project. Her start-up company, Boston Mountain Biotech, is working to shorten development time so that new drugs can get to patients faster. The former process of protein development used is complicated,...

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Engineers Receive NSF CAREER Awards for Research to Improve Wireless Devices and Fight Heart Valve Disease

Engineers Jing Yang and Kartik Balachandran have been awarded Faculty Early Career Development Program grants through the National Science Foundation. Yang received a $500,000 grant to continue developing sensing and transmission systems for energy-harvesting, wireless sensor networks. Energy-harvesting, wireless sensor networks are systems that include collaborating embedded devices, such as sensor nodes, that are capable of sensing, computation and communication. They are often used for application-specific analysis, such as environmental monitoring in homes or factories. The sensors perform long-range communications that are impossible or impractical to implement with the use of wires. These networks use energy from the ambient...

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Researchers Use NIH Grant to Study the Interplay of Brain Function that Controls Thoughts and Actions

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke of the National Institutes of Health has awarded $375,000 to researchers who are investigating the interplay of two types of signaling in the brain. The constant exchange of chemical and electrical signals among neurons in the cerebral cortex is responsible for our thoughts and actions. Understanding the interplay of these two types of signaling is essential for insight into neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s as well as healthy brain function. Under the grant, Woodrow Shew, a biophysicist, and Julie Stenken, an analytical chemist, will develop new tools to measure changes...

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Particle Performance in 3-D Printing

Geotechnical engineer Michelle Bernhardt is using computer modeling to study how particles react to displacement and stress, an important step in understanding particle performance in 3-D printing. Bernhardt was using a simulation process to study particle movement and drew the attention of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, a technology agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, which has awarded Bernhardt a three-year grant for $340,035. In her project, Bernhardt will develop discrete element method simulations that can be used to examine the metal powder behavior in direct metal laser sintering devices, one of the techniques known as additive manufacturing....

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Study of Ocean Upwelling Off the California Coast Uses Data from Land and Sea to Gauge Ocean Health

Researchers used tree-ring chronologies to reconstruct 600 years of data on ocean upwelling along the West Coast of North America to find indicators of the ocean’s health. Upwelling is the rise of cold waters carrying nutrients from deep in the ocean to warmer zones near the surface. Scientists monitor coastal upwelling because it is an important control on the productivity of critical marine ecosystems. But their efforts have been impeded by lack of data data from previous centuries. The study, published in Science, demonstrated that the recent levels of increased variability happened only twice in the past 600 years...

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