Natalie Roe Named Berkeley Lab’s Associate Director for Physical Sciences

Natalie Roe, who joined Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) as a postdoctoral fellow in 1989 and has served as Physics Division director since 2012, has been named the Lab’s Associate Laboratory Director (ALD) for the Physical Sciences Area. Her appointment was approved by the University of California. The announcement follows an international search.

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FAU’s ‘Fantastic Four’ Researchers Receive Prestigious NSF CAREER Awards

Four FAU researchers have received the coveted NSF Early Career (CAREER) award for research to develop a low-cost, disposable point-of-care platform to detect current and emerging infectious diseases; for a cognitive screening tool for the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease using wearables and a smartphone; for mathematical tools and new ways of coding to enhance cybersecurity; and to better understand how marine animals tune, or dynamically adjust their movements using their skin and skeletons.

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Tackling COVID-19 with Optimism and Ingenuity

Joe Stetter is an optimist, inventor, entrepreneur, and owner of two small businesses that stayed open through the lockdown. KWJ Engineering and Spec Sensors manufacture essential health and safety sensors with medical and industrial applications. In our series, The ECS Community Adapts and Advances, Joe shares the challenges of doing business “not as usual”, and reports on a research collaboration he mobilized to improve PPE sterilization for COVID-19 frontline workers.

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‘Blinking” Crystals May Convert CO2 into Fuels

Imagine tiny crystals that “blink” like fireflies and can convert carbon dioxide, a key cause of climate change, into fuels. A Rutgers-led team has created ultra-small titanium dioxide crystals that exhibit unusual “blinking” behavior and may help to produce methane and other fuels, according to a study in the journal Angewandte Chemie. The crystals, also known as nanoparticles, stay charged for a long time and could benefit efforts to develop quantum computers.

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Big Data Analytics Enables Scientists to Model COVID-19 Spread

Researchers will use big data analytics techniques to develop computational models to predict the spread of COVID-19. They will utilize forward simulation from a given patient and the propagation of the infection into the community; and backward simulation tracing a number of verified infections to a possible patient “zero.” The project also will provide quick and automatic contact tracing and leverages the researchers’ prior experience in modeling Ebola spread.

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Harmful Microbes Found on Sewer Pipe Walls

Can antibiotic-resistant bacteria escape from sewers into waterways and cause a disease outbreak? A new Rutgers study, published in the journal Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology, examined the microbe-laden “biofilms” that cling to sewer walls, and even built a simulated sewer to study the germs that survive within.

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New method measures temperature within 3D objects

University of Wisconsin–Madison engineers have made it possible to remotely determine the temperature beneath the surface of certain materials using a new technique they call depth thermography. The method may be useful in applications where traditional temperature probes won’t work, like monitoring semiconductor performance or next-generation nuclear reactors.

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