Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill Nye dons alma mater Cornellian red while presenting about his endeavors.

Science Guy Bill Nye Refuses to Let the Planet Die

Remember those rainy days in elementary school? Sitting in your assigned desk and staring at the clock, counting down the minutes until lunch. Suddenly, the door swings open and an assistant teacher wheels in the TV cart. The classroom instantly fills with excited chatter. The mood lifts.

Organized Research Expenditures Jul 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017. Source: Cornell University

By the Numbers: Science Research Spending

Ever wondered how much spending is involved in research at Cornell? A Cornell Research report gives light on spending data from 2016-2017 school year. The report broke down spending into two main categories: organized research and departmental research. Organized research, as defined by the report, “represents the research efforts funded by sponsored programs and federal and NYS appropriations and internal solicitations, including formal cost sharing.”

Research that is funded by gifts to departments and with faculty research accounts falls under departmental research, according to the report. Organized research spending accounted for 83 percent of all research spending and $985.5 million was spent in total.

Worm world | Research indicates that disabling the SET-26 gene in worms increases longevity, bringing hope that a similar effect might be seen in humans.

Gene in Worms Could Be Key to Longer Human Lifespan

Popular legend claims that drinking from the fountain of youth will keep one’s body vigorous and vivacious for years to come. Prof. Sylvia Lee, molecular biology and genetics, may have discovered such an elixir in the soils of Ithaca. Her research indicates the secret of immortality may be hidden in the genome of a worm. Lee found that Caenorhabditis elegans, a common species of soil worm, has a very similar lifespan and reproductive pattern to humans, importantly sharing hallmark features of human aging. These similarities make C. elegans a premier experimental model to reveal the mysterious mechanisms of mortality in humans.

This Bitcoin farm in Guizhou, China requires a tremendous amount of cooling power.

Cornell Tech Professor Explains Hype And Pitfalls of Cryptocurrencies

Chances are you know someone who’s mined bitcoin. However, cryptocurrencies are not everything they appear to be. Drawing the ire of governments and financial institutions alike, questions about its reliability are on the rise. Prof. Ari Juels, computer science at the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech, discussed the impact, technology and regulatory environment of cryptocurrencies. Co-director of the Initiative for CryptoCurrencies and Contracts — a collaboration between Cornell, the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, based at Cornell Tech — Juels helps lead research on blockchain technology and its applications.

Two men vape in a store in Philadelphia. Research is inconclusive on the health effects of e-cigarettes.­

E-Cigarettes: A Shiny Alternative To Smoking?

Smoking is cool again. Who would have thought? Just when many thought smoking was on the decline, with stomach-churning advertisements of charred lungs on public television and the preeminence of smoke-free environments, an alternative form of nicotine delivery is gaining popularity: high-tech e-cigarettes. One of the most popular of these is the JUUL, which accounts for 32 percent of the U.S. e-cigarette market share. The JUUL is about one-fifth the size of an iPhone and uses patented nicotine juice cartridges, called JUULpods.

Newborn clones Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua are named after the Chinese adjective “Zhōnghuá”, meaning “Chinese nation”.

Monkey Cloning Sparks Ethical Concerns, Profs say

Meet Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua, two cloned macaque monkeys. Chinese scientists first unveiled these monkeys several weeks ago, marking the first time primates have been successfully cloned with the same method that created Dolly the sheep in 1996. Just as it did then, the science research community instantly raised ethical questions and concerns about human cloning. Theoretically, human cloning could be achieved in two ways. Reproductive human cloning would entail creating a living human, identical to another person previously or currently alive.

Petri dishes containing oil producing algae strains that could soon be experimented with using Prof. David Stern's bioreactor chip.

Algal Biofuel Reactors on a Chip to Revolutionize Renewable Energy Research

Most of the world’s oil reserves are buried kilometers under the Earth’s surface. With nations worldwide slowly waking up to its ecological impacts, our newest sources of oil may lie far below Cayuga’s waters, stored in a group of green, slimy organisms: algae. Algae are valuable because the natural oils they produce are remarkably similar to diesel. Using a simple conversion process, these oils can be used in vehicles that currently operate on fossil fuels. The issue, however, is efficiency.

Prof. Johannes Lehmann, soil and crop sciences, discusses soil carbon at COP 23.

Cornell Students, Professors Participate in UN Climate Conference

Sixteen of the 17 warmest years on record have occurred since 2001. However, progress toward minimizing increases in global temperatures is slowly being made. In 2015, 198 countries signed the Paris Climate Agreement, the first major pledge by countries to limit global temperatures to 2 degrees celsius above pre-industrial levels. Now leaders and academics from around the world will be returning to the conference at which the historic agreement was signed, the 23rd Conference of the Parties in Bonn, Germany from Nov. 6 to 13.


Pollack Addresses Increasing Enrollment in Computer Science Classes

President Martha Pollack answered questions from members of Cornell’s computer science community on her academic interests and vision for the computing and information sciences department on Monday. With the number of students enrolled in computer science classes increasing every year, members in the audience raised the issue of the lack of small CS classes that encourage greater interaction between professors and students. Assuaging some of these concerns, Pollack said the CIS department has been given the authority to hire more faculty. However, she also acknowledged that this problem is faced by most institutions across the country. “The problem is everyone wants to do that and I don’t have an easy solution,” Pollack said.