Discovery & Innovation

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.

NASA chief Bolden spends day with CU-Boulder

Rounding out a full day of touring CU-Boulder facilities and meeting with faculty, staff and students, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden spoke to a packed house on the afternoon of April 18, 2014.

Bolden acknowledged the close association CU-Boulder has with the space program, calling the university a “pipeline for talent.”

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden to visit CU-Boulder April 18

April 14, 2014

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden will give a free public talk at the University of Colorado Boulder April 18 on America’s space program and the challenges and opportunities the space agency will encounter as it moves through the 21st century.

The talk, titled “NASA’s Roadmap to Tomorrow’s Missions,” will be held at CU-Boulder’s East Stadium Club on the east side of Folsom Field from 2:45 to 3:30 p.m. The presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer session with the audience.

Reading in 3­D: Making books for visually impaired children

On most nights, Tom Yeh puts his 3­-year-­old son on his lap, opens a children's book and reads aloud. It's a much­-loved activity for both father and son as the characters are brought to life.

A year ago, while reading the children's classic Goodnight Moon, Yeh, an assistant professor in computer science, began thinking about how to make books more accessible to visually impaired preschool-­age children.

Student's passion for classics leads to treasure hunt with ancient clay tablets

When Christina Chandler transferred to the University of Colorado Boulder as an English major, her advisor pushed her to take a course in classics. It would meet a requirement, the advisor said, and it fit into her schedule.

Chandler, who didn’t think she’d be interested in the subject, was not happy. But she gave in.

Critical reviews of student artwork spark ideas

On a recent snow-free afternoon, a group of graduate students and their professor in the Department of Art and Art History gathered around two people standing in the courtyard of the Visual Arts Complex on campus. Long colorful strings stretched from one student to the other. The strings billowed and moved in the breeze as the students and professor pondered, discussed and questioned the thought process behind the artwork of Alia Pialtos, a graduate student in the ceramics program.

Chancellor DiStefano appointed to Colorado Innovation Network (COIN) advisory board

Chancellor Philip DiStefano was appointed last week to the advisory board of the Colorado Innovation Network (COIN),  that was launched by Gov. John Hickenlooper in 2011 to encourage public-private collaboration in industries expected to create new jobs.

Student-professor collaboration could result in a better-fed astronaut

As an undergrad studying ecology and evolutionary biology, Lizzie Lombardi found herself as one of the few “plant” people on a team of University of Colorado Boulder engineering students who were tasked with a lofty mission: build a robotic system that could garden in space.

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