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Advocating For Agriculture on a National Level

Conor McCabe ’18, promoted federal funding for agricultural research and land-grant universities in Washington D.C from March 4th to 7th as the first-ever student selected to serve as a delegate for the Association of Public Land Grant Universities’ Council for Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching. In an interview with The Sun, McCabe talked about the importance of having a current student’s perspective when making funding decisions relating to education and research. “Many of the individuals who previously served on [CARET] were at the end of their careers, but there had never been a point of view of someone who was currently experiencing the land-grant system as a student,” McCabe said. “I had such a unique story to tell that would show the power of the land-grant university system and how my life has been directly impacted by it.”

The motivation behind McCabe’s involvement in D.C. stemmed not only from his academic background, but also from his personal history. The kinds of agricultural programs for which he advocated in D.C. were similar to those from which he had benefited from in his childhood.

Affordable Care Act Provisions that Went Beyond Healthcare ‘unseen by the public eye,’ Professor Says

The staple of Barack Obama’s 2008 election platform was healthcare reform. However, soon after the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law, a majority of the American public supported its repeal. What happened? A landmark piece of legislation, many argue that the ACA brought the U.S. substantially closer to having a comprehensive healthcare system, an objective already accomplished by most high-income countries and one placed on many agendas since the Truman administration. Yet, as Prof. Suzanne Mettler, government, notes in her book, The Submerged State: How Invisible Government Policies Undermine American Democracy, the ACA’s accomplishments went largely unnoticed by the American public, and despite the successful expansion of health insurance coverage to millions of Americans, Democrats in Congress suffered great losses in the 2010 midterm elections following the ACA’s enactment.

Honey Bee Monitoring Company Wins Student Business of the Year

Combplex, a company that monitors honey bee colonies in real time, was announced as Cornell’s Student Business of the Year on April 20. Less than one month before, business creators Haley Scofield and Nathan Oakes, Ph.D. students in neurobiology and behavior and computational biology, respectively, competed against 13 other businesses nominated for the award. The criteria for the award include the business’ success in areas like revenue generation, customer validation, creativity, uniqueness and scalability of the business model. After being chosen as the Student Business of the Year, the company receives $5,000 to improve and expand. Judges for this year’s competition included Todd Edmonds, the creative director and founder of Iron Design, Greg Galvin, the president and CEO of Rheonix, Ryoko Nozawa, the principal at the Cayuga Venture Fund, and Sam Sotoodeh, the president of Acquisition Group.

Cornell Celebrates 46th Earth Day, Continues to Maintain a Strong Commitment to the Environment, Sustainability and Climate Change

As the Ivy League institution that is ranked number one in the country for sustainability according to the Princeton Review, it is no surprise that Cornell goes all out for Earth Day. So much so, in fact, that the entire month of April has been dubbed “Sustainability Month” for the 10th year in a row. Upwards of 80 events have been held in various locations around campus over the past month — from lectures, to film showings to fashion shows — all committed to spreading awareness about environmental issues and future directions for sustainability. One of the most successful events included “ECOuture,” a fashion show hosted by the Cornell Environmental Collective that took place on Saturday. The show displayed clothing made from completely sustainable materials in order to shed light on the social and environmental justice issues embedded in the clothing industry.

Professor Ducharme has both a clinical and personal passion for horse medicine.

Rooting for the Horses: A Conversation with Professor Ducharme

Imagine running without being able to breathe. Sounds pretty terrible, right? Unfortunately, this is the reality that many horses suffer through. Seeking to solve this problem, Prof. Normand G. Ducharme, clinical sciences, has revitalized the equine industry with his work on respiratory illnesses in horses. Ducharme got involved with horse medicine when the success rate for helping race horses was low.

Orthofit team members show a device aimed at reducing instances of wrist injury.

Student Led Startup Utilizes Technology to Help Combat Workplace Injuries

In 2016, three Cornell students, Apoorva Kiran, Ph.D. ’17, Pankaj Singh, Ph.D. ’17 and Jason Guss, Ph.D. ’18 embarked on a technical journey to tackle prevalent injuries in workspaces. The group found that their Ph.D. programs in mechanical and biomedical engineering required abundant amounts of time on computers. The frequent hand movements that were thus necessary, soon resulted in the buildup of pain within their wrists. It was then that Kiran, after finding various biomedical technologies for back pain and slouching, came up with the idea of creating a similar technology that targeted wrists — with the hope being that the device would vibrate when the hand was placed in an injurious position. With this idea, Orthofit was born and the three co-founders worked towards creating a glove that would be able to provide the functionality of informing users when their wrists were in harmful positions.

Pathfinder for Autonomous Navigation team members perform tests on spacecraft batteries

NASA To Send 2 Satellites Into Space Designed By Cornell Lab

There’s something about outer space that naturally captures our imagination. From little kids dreaming about becoming astronauts, to full grown adults gazing up at the majesty of the stars, the final frontier timelessly inspires us all. Despite this seemingly natural fascination, few could ever hope to get there because of the exorbitant costs often associated with space flight missions. However, with the advent of 3D printing and work from Space Systems Design Studio – the research lab of Prof. Mason Peck, mechanical and aerospace engineering – this reality is sure to change in the near future. This past March, NASA selected 11 research groups from across the country to partake in their CubeSat launch initiative, which was a project designed to encourage the development of “CubeSats,” or “nano-satellites.” According to NASA, a typical CubeSat unit measures 4×4 inches, and weighs roughly three pounds.

Research Probes Key Protein’s Role in Cancer Cell Growth

Cornell researchers discover protein regulating mechanism which could be the key to eventually treating over 30 percent of all human cancers. For more than three decades, mutant Ras proteins have been known to play a vital role in driving 95 percent of pancreatic cancers and 45 percent of colorectal cancers. With this in mind, Dr. Hui Jing and Dr. Xiaoyu Zhang, both former graduate students who worked under Professor Hening Lin, chemical biology, sought to learn more about the regulation of human cancers by studying K-Ras4a: one of the four members of the Ras protein family. In addition to studying K-Ras4a, Zhang and Lin studied SIRT2, which is another protein that has been closely implicated in aging related diseases. “In the basic research field, scientists still do not fully understand how SIRT2 promotes the formation of the certain types of cancers” said Zhang.

Evolution of Darwin’s Finches: Integrating Behavior, Ecology, and Genetics

For many, Drs. Rosemary and Peter Grant, evolutionary biology, Princeton University, are living legends in the field of modern evolutionary biology, having conducted over four decades of field research on the Galapagos finches. On Monday, March 12, students, professors and alumni packed into Call Auditorium in Kennedy Hall to witness the scientists bring their research on the Galapagos Finches to life. Rosemary’s talk, titled “Evolution of Darwin’s Finches: Integrating Behavior, Ecology, and Genetics” kicked off the Paul C. Mundinger Distinguished Lectureship, in honor of the late Paul C. Mundinger. Mundiger received his Ph.D. from Cornell in 1967 and developed a strong attachment with lab of Ornithology as a graduate student.

This graphic describes how the Hare Lab measures wild spat-on-shell oysters.

New Data on Remnant Oyster Population Could Help Restore the Hudson River

The Hudson River is infamous for being one of the most polluted rivers in America, but its waters have a lot more to them than meets the eye. Estuaries like the Hudson are some of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world, where one can find marine, brackish and freshwater species intermingling in a relatively small area. In the Hudson River, oysters served as the foundation for this rich environment until around 1900, when a combination of overfishing and pollution locally decimated the stocks. Oysters begin their life cycle as small, mobile larvae. As they mature, they seek out a surface to settle on and develop their recognizable shells.