Electron micrograph of the first room temperature multiferroic

Researchers Create First Room Temperature Stable Multiferroic

Have you ever desperately needed to check Facebook or text a friend at the end of the day, only to find your phone out of battery? Or ended up staring at a blank, black laptop screen in the middle of that all important presentation? Well, for all of you, recent research published in Nature by Prof. Darrell Schlom, materials science, could soon make this frustration a thing of the past. Schlom and team have synthesized a magnetoelectric multiferroic material that works at room temperatures. Such materials allow one to control magnetic fields by manipulating electric fields.

Computer generated graphics of radar ranging in process

Researchers Discover Titanic Gorges on Saturn’s Moon

With its wealth of hills, lakes and waterfalls, Ithaca certainly is “gorges.” But so is Saturn’s moon, Titan. In fact, Prof. Alexander Hayes, astronomy, and his team have discovered that Titan too features deep canyons. The resemblance is so striking that these Earth-like features can provide crucial information on the evolution of our own planet. The only difference though is that Titan’s canyons are filled with liquid methane. Hayes traces the team’s success to NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, which has been orbiting Saturn and correspondingly, Titan, for 13 years.


The Future Belongs to the Curious

What if Mendel never wondered about how pea plants inherited characteristics? What if Rosalind Franklin was never curious about the structure of the odd new molecule DNA? What if the Curies never asked how radioactivity worked? The world today would have been very different, indeed. Barry Stoddard, the speaker at this week’s Seminar Series hosted by the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, emphasized this undeniable importance of curiosity in fuelling research.

Clay mineral capture of microcystin: water molecules (light blue), microcystin (dark purple), calcium (orange), chloride (light green), clay layer (orange), negative charges in clay structure (yellow).

Researchers Uncover Sediment Interactions That Filter Toxins in Freshwater

Summer is the perfect season. Who can forget those long hours of sunshine or tiring laps in Taughannock falls? However, that last experience is not guaranteed, especially if the water has plenty of toxin-producing algae in it. Thankfully, Prof. Ludmilla Aristilde’s, biological and environmental engineering, research could help us understand how to neutralize them. Aristilde, along with Amy L. Pochodylo grad and Thalia G. Aoki ’15, published a paper in the Journal of Colloid and Interface Science in August that sheds light on the behavior of microcystin, a toxin produced by cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae.


Cornell Prof Uncovers Bugs in Smart Contract System, Urges More Safety in Program Design

The opening scene of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight represents the quintessential bank heist. Joker and crew, armed with guns, break into a bank and manage to whisk away gunny bags full of cash. However, not all robberies are this dramatic. As cryptocurrencies become more popular, millions of dollars can be swindled with just the click of a button. In May, Prof. Emin Gun Sirer, computer science, and his colleagues discovered a bug that left DAO, a smart contract that crowdsources investment proposals, vulnerable to such heists.


Cornell Researchers to Head Center on the Physics of Cancer Metabolism

Grim statistics reveal just how debilitating breast cancer can be. According to the American Cancer Society, over 230,000 women were diagnosed with the disease in the United States in 2013. Forty thousand of these cases were incurable. There is good news, however. Over the past 20 years, advancements in the disease’s treatment have been consistent.


Researchers Study the Influence of Social Media on Memory

You probably remember that embarrassing photo you posted on Facebook last summer or the one in your family photo album with your two front teeth missing. Ever wonder why? It might have something to do with the way these memories were shared. A recent study by Prof. Qi Wang, human development,  reveals that posting personal events on social media make those events significantly easier to recall. Wang is interested in studying social cognition, specifically how memories and personal experiences help shape an individual’s identity.


DEEP DIVES | Autopsy: An Underused Resource

The room in which I learned the most this past summer might surprise you. It was not a room in a library, an office, or a classroom filled with books and papers. Rather, it was in a room in a hospital basement connecting to a morgue with human bodies and organ specimens. In this room, I saw two autopsies. An autopsy is a postmortem examination to discover the cause of death or the extent of disease in the deceased individual.