With goals to keep the U.S. competitive in science, the National Science Foundation announced on July 18 a $54 million grant that will be used over the next five years to develop a research and education sub-facility at the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source, a sophisticated x-ray machine.
Proteins are strikingly complex macromolecules, which control every aspect of molecular function in all living organisms, making them an interesting research target. The Ando Lab studies the structure of proteins, specifically enzymes, in order to understand their function, using structural techniques like x-ray diffraction and small-angle x-ray scattering. These techniques allow for the visualization of atomic and molecular structure of proteins. Small-angle x-ray scattering is a technique used to study the structure of proteins in solution. SAXS maintains an advantage over other techniques because it allows for the understanding of the movement of proteins; however a caveat to SAXS is its lower resolution, creating the need for combinatorial approaches to studying proteins such as combining SAXS with chromatography.
Cornell will lead the Platform for the Accelerated Realization, Analysis and Discovery of Interface Materials — an effort to empower scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs to create new interface materials — following a $25 million grant from the National Science Foundation, according to a University press release Friday. PARADIM will allow users to take advantage of Cornell facilities to design new interface materials — materials that do not exist in nature and possess unprecedented properties, according to Prof. Julie Nucci, materials science and engineering. Nucci said the NSF “envisions a network of platforms” engaged in materials engineering research across the country, each with a different focus. The novel aspect of PARADIM is “to be non-serendipitous, to be deliberate” in their approach to materials design, according to Prof. Darrell Schlom, materials science and engineering. Schlom said Cornell has been a leader in the intentional design of new materials since the 1960s, and PARADIM intends “to accelerate the pace at which new materials are discovered.”
Schlom added that the University is an ideal base for one of the first two PARADIM locations.
Cornell will lead a five-year, $5 million project sponsored by the National Science Foundation, to develop a federated-cloud system known as the Aristotle Cloud Federation, according to the Center for Advanced Computing. “The goal of Aristotle is to reduce the time to science for researchers,” said David Lifka, the director of the Center for Advanced Computing and one of the principal investigators for the Aristotle project. Cloud computing is a system of computing that allows users to store and process data in third-party, internet-based data centers, enabling them to access shared resources and information on demand. According to Lifka, Aristotle will make this technology even more robust. “Rather than wait for resource availability locally, researchers can get their work done faster by sharing resources across institutional boundaries,” Lifka said.