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Rice’s Naomi Halas to direct Smalley InstituteRice’s Naomi Halas to direct Smalley Institute
Rice University today named nanotechnology pioneer Naomi Halas director of the Richard E. Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology. Halas, one of Rice's most cited and renowned researchers, said she plans to expand the institute's scope, engage more faculty and students and foster new collaborations at the frontiers of science."The landscape in science changes year by year," Halas said. "Many exciting efforts that define the frontier of science in 2015 have emerged in the last five years. It's important for us to broaden our scope in order to build on and communicate that excitement and to stay engaged, not only with our local intellectual community but with our regional and national communities as well."  (January 16, 2015)

Custom Algorithm Helps Synthesize New Metal Organic Framework Configurations for Methane StorageCustom Algorithm Helps Synthesize New Metal Organic Framework Configurations for Methane Storage
The Department of Energy (DOE) supports scientists in the quest to find new materials which can store compressed natural gas at room temperature and at low pressure. Some of the materials studied are cage-like synthetic macromolecules, known as metal organic frameworks (MOFs).  (January 12, 2015)

The Rise and Fall of Industrial Research LabsThe Rise and Fall of Industrial Research Labs
I spent some of my most formative years as a researcher at the IBM Almaden Research Center. Those were magical years. IBM Research was then a Camelot of computing research, with the motto of being "Famous for its science, and vital to IBM for its technology." IBM researchers received Nobel prizes for their discoveries of high-temperature superconductivity and the scanning tunneling microscope. IBM researchers invented the magnetic disk drive and relational databases. As a young researcher, I could not ask for a better research environment.  (January 12, 2015)

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)

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