Discovery & Innovation

New meteor shower could light up night sky May 23 - 24

When it comes to meteor showers, most people have probably heard of the Perseid, which lights up Earth’s atmosphere every August. But come late Friday night and early Saturday morning Colorado residents may get to witness the birth of a new meteor shower when the Earth passes through the orbit of a comet named LINEAR.

CU-Boulder and JPL sign memorandum of understanding

On May 22, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Director Charles Elachi and his senior management team met with University of Colorado Boulder Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano and several other campus administrators to sign a memorandum of understanding to continue and broaden a rich tradition of collaboration on space and Earth-science efforts going back nearly 50 years. Located in Pasadena, Calif., JPL is a federally funded research and development facility managed by the California Institute of Technology for NASA.

Student-designed rover, built for NASA lab, can go to extremes

Just before midnight Saturday, one day before the final presentation, the project came to a dead stop.

The following Monday, the student aerospace engineering team was scheduled to perform a live test of their prototype land exploration rover to a high-profile client. But the microcontroller—the circuit board that commands the rover—was fried.

Stick figures of happy couple drawn in the sand

People more likely to choose a spouse with similar DNA, finds CU-Boulder study

May 19, 2014

Individuals are more genetically similar to their spouses than they are to randomly selected individuals from the same population, according to a new study from the University of Colorado Boulder.

Leslie Leinwand elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

University of Colorado Boulder biologist Leslie Leinwand has been selected as a member of the 2014 class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, which honors the leading “thinkers and doers” from each generation, including scientists, scholars, writers and artists.

Leinwand—chief scientific officer for CU-Boulder’s BioFrontiers Institute and a professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology—is an expert in cardiovascular disease.

Neanderthals were not inferior to modern humans

If you think Neanderthals were stupid and primitive, it’s time to think again.

The widely held notion that Neanderthals were dimwitted and that their inferior intelligence allowed them to be driven to extinction by the much brighter ancestors of modern humans is not supported by scientific evidence, according to a researcher at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Sample of a frog’s slimy skin predicts susceptibility to disease

A simple sample of the protective mucus layer that coats a frog’s skin can now be analyzed to determine how susceptible the frog is to disease, thanks to a technique developed by a researcher at the University of Colorado Boulder.

The same method can be used to determine what kind of probiotic skin wash might be most effective at bolstering the frog’s defenses without actually exposing the frog to disease, according to a journal article published today in the journal PLOS ONE.

CU-Boulder researchers confirm leaks from Front Range oil and gas operations

May 07, 2014

During two days of intensive airborne measurements, oil and gas operations in Colorado’s Front Range leaked nearly three times as much methane, a greenhouse gas, as predicted based on inventory estimates, and seven times as much benzene, a regulated air toxic. Emissions of other chemicals that contribute to summertime ozone pollution were about twice as high as estimates, according to the new paper, accepted for publication in the American Geophysical Union’s Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres.

Candidate probiotics

Sample of a frog’s slimy skin predicts susceptibility to disease, says CU-Boulder researcher

April 30, 2014

A simple sample of the protective mucus layer that coats a frog’s skin can now be analyzed to determine how susceptible the frog is to disease, thanks to a technique developed by a researcher at the University of Colorado Boulder.

The same method can be used to determine what kind of probiotic skin wash might be most effective at bolstering the frog’s defenses without actually exposing the frog to disease, according to a journal article published today in the journal PLOS ONE.

Atmospheric River

CU-Boulder researchers find common factors behind Greenland melt episodes in 2012, 1889

April 24, 2014

In 2012, temperatures at the summit of Greenland rose above freezing for the first time since 1889, raising questions about what led to the unusual melt episode. Now, a new analysis led by the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder shows that some of the same weather and climate factors were at play in both 1889 and 2012: heat waves thousands of miles upwind in North America, higher-than-average ocean surface temperatures south of Greenland and atmospheric rivers of warm, moist air that streamed toward Greenland’s west coast.

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