Discovery & Innovation

CU-Boulder-led team takes first look at diverse life below rare tallgrass prairies

October 31, 2013

America’s once-abundant tallgrass prairies—which have all but disappeared—were home to dozens of species of grasses that could grow to the height of a man, hundreds of species of flowers, and herds of roaming bison.

For the first time, a research team led by the University of Colorado Boulder has gotten a peek at another vitally important but rarely considered community that also once called the tallgrass prairie home: the diverse assortment of microbes that thrived in the dark, rich soils beneath the grass.

National science report highlights CU-Boulder spinoff companies

October 29, 2013

A new national report highlighting the success of 100 university spinoff companies tracing their roots to federally funded research includes two companies that sprang from cutting-edge research at the University of Colorado Boulder.

‘Memory fibers’ add fourth dimension to 3D printing

Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder have successfully added a fourth dimension to their printing technology, opening up exciting possibilities for the creation and use of adaptive, composite materials in manufacturing, packaging and biomedical applications.

Capturing data from Mars

When NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft powers up on the launch pad for its journey to Mars in mid-November, one University of Colorado Boulder student will be especially pleased to see the spacecraft disappear into the heavens over Cape Canaveral, Fla.

Christopher Fowler, a doctoral student in the astrophysical and planetary sciences department, is one of scores of CU-Boulder students, faculty and other professionals involved in the $670 million Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN, or MAVEN, a NASA mission being led by CU-Boulder. Fowler’s charge is to help convert data from the MAVEN mission -- which is targeting the atmosphere of the Red Planet to understand how it went from a warm, wet planet suitable for life several billion years ago to a cold dry planet today -- to a format scientists can use.

CU-Boulder student team wows judges at premiere biology competition

When this year’s iGEM team at the University of Colorado Boulder began meeting early this year, they wanted to take what they knew about biology, and use it to build something entirely new. iGEM, or International Genetically Engineered Machine, is the top synthetic biology competition in the world and after a foundation-building first year, the CU-Boulder team wanted to make an impact in 2013.

Bugs that don't blend in can endanger larger insect community

One badly disguised bug easily becomes a snack for a bird.

But the impact reaches far beyond one poorly camouflaged insect. The bird, drawn to the insect that doesn't blend in, sticks around to eat all the other insects that live on the same plant. Those insects, in turn, are not able to feed on the leaves of the plants as they normally would.

Satellite designed and built by CU-Boulder students now in orbit

DANDE has left the planet.

A beach ball-sized satellite designed and built by a team of CU-Boulder students is now whipping around the planet in a polar orbit. Roughly 150 students have been involved in the project since 2007.

The satellite, known as the Drag and Atmospheric Neutral Density Explorer satellite, or DANDE, will investigate how atmospheric drag can affect satellite orbits.

CU, MIT breakthrough in photonics could allow for faster and faster electronics

A pair of breakthroughs in the field of silicon photonics by researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Micron Technology Inc. could allow for the trajectory of exponential improvement in microprocessors that began nearly half a century ago—known as Moore’s Law—to continue well into the future, allowing for increasingly faster electronics, from supercomputers to laptops to smartphones.

Soot suspect in mid-1800s Alps glacier retreat

September 03, 2013

Scientists have uncovered strong evidence that soot, or black carbon, sent into the air by a rapidly industrializing Europe, likely caused the abrupt retreat of mountain glaciers in the European Alps.

Chancellor’s Corner: Why change and innovation are the keys to our future

As the new academic year begins, I want to welcome all of you back to the campus community. We have an exciting year ahead – one that promises a remarkable set of changes for the campus that will transform how we do business and in a real sense, who we are.

The good news is that we’ve been on a path toward change and transformation for the last six years via the course we’ve charted with our Flagship 2030 strategic plan. And over the last year, we’ve accelerated the pace of transformation with a number of key initiatives that are altering the landscape of the university.

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