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Big-data analysis reveals gene sharing in mice Big-data analysis reveals gene sharing in mice
Rice University scientists have detected at least three instances of cross-species mating that likely influenced the evolutionary paths of "old world" mice, two in recent times and one in the distant past.The researchers think these instances of introgressive hybridization - a way for genetic material and, potentially, traits to be passed from one species to another through interspecific mating - are only the first of many needles waiting to be found in a very large genetic haystack. While introgressive hybridization is thought to be common among plants, the finding suggests that hybridization in mammals may not be the evolutionary dead end biologists once commonly thought.  (December 18, 2014)

Rice study fuels hope for natural gas cars
HOUSTON - (Dec. 18, 2014) - Cars that run on natural gas are touted as efficient and environmentally friendly, but getting enough gas onboard to make them practical is a hurdle. A new study led by researchers at Rice University promises to help.Rather than shoehorn bulky high-pressure tanks like those used in buses and trucks into light vehicles, the Department of Energy (DOE) encourages scientists to look at new materials that can store compressed natural gas (CNG) at low pressure and at room temperature. Cage-like synthetic macromolecules called metal organic frameworks (MOFs) are among the candidates.  (December 18, 2014)

3-D maps reveal the genome’s origami code 3-D maps reveal the genome’s origami code
In a triumph for cell biology, researchers have assembled the first high-resolution, 3-D maps of entire folded genomes and found a structural basis for gene regulation - a kind of "genomic origami" that allows the same genome to produce different types of cells. The research appears online today in Cell.   (December 12, 2014)

Cancer uses abdominal stem cells to fuel growth and metastasis Cancer uses abdominal stem cells to fuel growth and metastasis
New research from Rice University and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center shows how ovarian tumors co-opt a specific type of adult stem cell from abdominal tissues to fuel their growth. The research, published online last week in the journal Cancer Research, suggests a new way to target aggressive ovarian cancers by disrupting the metabolic processes that allow them to thrive.  (December 10, 2014)

Cavallaro named IEEE fellowCavallaro named IEEE fellow
Joseph Cavallaro, a Rice professor of electrical and computer engineering and of computer science, has been elected a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Fellow designation is the highest grade of IEEE membership and is recognized by the technical community as an important career achievement.  (December 10, 2014)

Baraniuk awarded IEEE education medalBaraniuk awarded IEEE education medal
Richard Baraniuk, the founder and director of OpenStax College and Rice’s Victor E. Cameron Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has been named recipient of the 2015 IEEE James H. Mulligan Jr. Education Medal.  (December 3, 2014)

Math That Pursues, Spins and SwarmsMath That Pursues, Spins and Swarms
Behind a black curtain in a downstairs corner of the National Museum of Mathematics in Manhattan (known as MoMath), a small group of mathematicians, designers and engineers was hard at work - laughing, shouting, clapping and having a blast, while being chased by robots.  (December 3, 2014)

Rice builds on-ramp to cloud computingRice builds on-ramp to cloud computing
Rice University is preparing to offer its researchers who deal in "big data" the opportunity to compute in the cloud with fewer barriers.Rice is installing the Big Research Data Cloud (BiRD Cloud), which will allow for cloud bursting. That means data-intensive tasks can spill over into outside cloud-computing systems when necessary, essentially providing unlimited computing capacity.  (November 21, 2014)

Rice University program models more detailed evolutionary networks from genetic data
The tree has been an effective model of evolution for 150 years, but a Rice University computer scientist believes it's far too simple to illustrate the breadth of current knowledge.Rice researcher Luay Nakhleh and his group have developed PhyloNet, an open-source software package that accounts for horizontal as well as vertical inheritance of genetic material among genomes. His "maximum likelihood" method, detailed this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, allows PhyloNet to infer network models that better describe the evolution of certain groups of species than do tree models.  (November 14, 2014)

Next for DARPA: ‘Autocomplete’ for programmersNext for DARPA: ‘Autocomplete’ for programmers
Writing computer programs could become as easy as searching the Internet. A Rice University-led team of software experts has launched an $11 million effort to create a sophisticated tool called PLINY that will both “autocomplete” and “autocorrect” code for programmers, much like the software that completes search queries and corrects spelling on today’s Web browsers and smartphones.  (November 5, 2014)

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