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University of Nebraska–Lincoln

In the Spotlight

Zeng elected AAAS Fellow

UNL chemistry professor Xiao Cheng Zeng is a newly elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Zeng was cited for his contributions to the field of computational and theoretical chemistry, particularly for predictions of novel structures of nanoice, silicon nanotubes and gold nanoclusters. Zeng's research focuses on computational and theoretical studies of liquids, solids, thin films, interfaces, nanotubes and nano-clusters. His research interests include computational nanotribology and modeling of atomic force microscopy.

Zeng is the Ameritas University Professor of Chemistry and a faculty member in UNL's Material Research Science and Engineering Center. This year's 471 new AAAS fellows were announced in the Oct. 26 issue of the international journal Science.

Scientists are chosen "because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications," according to AAAS.

Founded in 1848, AAAS fulfills its mission to "advance science and serve society" through its projects, programs and publications, including the journal Science. The tradition of naming AAAS fellows began in 1874.

Read more about Zeng's discoveries:
Self-assembling nano-ice
Golden nanoclusters

Nebraska Lecture features environmental change

Climate change is one of the world's most critical issues and University of Nebraska-Lincoln geoscientist Sheri Fritz will discuss the history of climate change Nov. 1 during the fall UNL Nebraska Lecture.

The campus and public are invited to the free public lecture, "Through Layers of Mud and Time: A Long-Term Perspective on Environmental Change." It's at 3:30 p.m. in the Nebraska Union auditorium, 1400 R St., with a reception following. The presentation is part of the Chancellor's Distinguished Lecture Series.

Fritz, a Willa Cather professor of geosciences and biological sciences, will explain how her research on mud that accumulates in the bottom of lakes holds clues to the history of the lake as well as the surrounding land and climate.

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Grant aids preschool literacy

Language and reading skills for rural, low-income children age 3 to 5 is the focus for a new project through the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools.

With the support of a $2.74-million, three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education, the university’s new Rural Language and Literacy Connections will support an intensive, literacy-based early learning program for about 200 Grand Island-area children annually and as many as 50 teachers and assistants who work with the children and their families.

The project will partner university researchers with educators at Head Start Child and Family Development Inc. and Grand Island Public School's early childhood programs and select local child care providers and area families, to promote and support early learning.


ANDRILL ready for second season

When the Antarctic Geological Drilling Program begins its second drilling campaign this month, scientists will be looking for a "Rosetta Stone" in their sediment cores that will tie together decades of paleoclimate research in Antarctica and the rest of the world to get a more complete picture of how the Antarctic ice sheets responded to past times of global warmth.

The target for ANDRILL scientists in this fall's Southern McMurdo Sound Project is the warmest part of the middle Miocene, a time between 14 million and 15 million years ago when the Earth was much warmer than today, and for an extended period.

Report features innovative endeavors

Read about some of the many innovative research, scholarly and creative endeavors at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the 2006-2007 Office of Research annual report.

From Antarctic geological research to the nation's first space law program, from biofuels assessment to a creative initiative that melds arts and technology, the annual report highlights some of the diverse accomplishments, advances and ongoing work by UNL faculty and students.
Annual Report

Digitizing historical newspapers

Nebraska newspaper coverage of historical events and everyday life from 1880 through 1910 is going digital -- part of a free national online database -- thanks to a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Through the Nebraska Digital Newspapers Project, about 100,000 pages of Nebraska newspapers from the period will be digitized for inclusion in the Library of Congress' national Chronicling America Web site. UNL's University Libraries is partnering with the College of Journalism and Mass Communications and the Nebraska State Historical Society on the two-year, $271,000 "We the People" grant. Nebraska is one of nine states selected in the early phases of this project, which eventually will include all 50 states. "We the People" grants recognize model projects that advance the study, teaching and understanding of American history and culture.
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Tiny robots headed for schools

A bevy of small robots will roll into the nation's schools to help children learn engineering, math, science and technology, thanks to a $3 million National Science Foundation grant to a University of Nebraska-Lincoln computer and electronics engineering team based in Omaha.

The five-year grant for the Silicon Prairie Initiative on Robotics in Information Technology Phase 2, or SPIRIT 2.0, builds on an existing NSF-funded program developed by a UNL Computer and Electronics Engineering Department team at Omaha's Peter Kiewit Institute. SPIRIT is the brainchild of Bing Chen, chair of computer and electronics engineering, who is leading development of this robotics-based curriculum to help teach math, science and technology to the nation's school children.
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Redox Biology Center earns $10.8 million

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has received a $10.8 million competitive renewal grant from the National Institutes of Health to support the Redox Biology Center through 2012.

An interdisciplinary partnership between UNL and University of Nebraska Medical Center scientists, the center was the first of its kind in the nation to focus on redox biology. Redox biology involves the study of reduction-oxidation reactions that are essential to life processes important in human health. Understanding redox processes and problems has implications for treating a wide range of diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and cardiovascular disease, as well as advancing knowledge of aging. Since its establishment in 2002 with a $10 million Center for Biomedical Research Excellence grant from NIH, the Redox Biology Center has helped Nebraska build a national reputation of excellence in redox biology research.
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Local foods presentations available

The presentations by speakers at the recent Local Food from Farms conference are available on the Web. The Aug. 7 event on UNL's East Campus was sponsored by Congressman Jeff Fortenberry and hosted by the UNL on East Campus. It drew ag producers, consumers and others interested in local food production.

Summer Research News available

The summer 2007 issue of Research News, the UNL Office of Research newsletter, is available online.

Research News is an electronic and Web-based newsletter for the UNL research community that features information to enhance the success of our research, scholarly and creative activities. The Office of Research distributes the newsletter four times a year to provide information about news, accomplishments, events, policies, procedures and research resources.

Read Research News online and sign up to receive future issues by clicking the Subscribe/Unsubscribe button.

Sicking wins top tech award

UNL civil engineer Dean Sicking has been awarded the nation's highest honor for technology for his contributions to roadside and race track safety.

The White House announced June 12 that Sicking is a recipient of the National Medal of Technology. He was one of 10 individuals and companies named National Medal of Technology Laureates for 2005, the latest year for which the award has been given. The prestigious award honors America's leading innovators. It is given to individuals, teams and companies for outstanding contributions to the nation's economic, environmental and social well-being through technology development and commercialization.
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White House awards ceremony

Pub features UNL tech development

UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman calls technology development "the bridge between faculty discoveries and the commercial marketplace." The university is expanding its efforts to turn research discoveries into fuel for Nebraska's economy.

UNL's expanded technology development efforts are featured in the spring issue of Palladian Digest. The Nebraska Alumni Association publishes the Palladian quarterly in cooperation with the UNL Office of Research. It features topics of interest to UNL alumni, friends and others.

Videos feature UNL research

Faculty research has the starring role in two new videos highlighting University of Nebraska-Lincoln's research and technology development efforts. These videos debuted at the 2007 UNL Research Fair and are available online.

From digital humanities research to nanotechnology, the Power of Imagination video features a variety of promising research by UNL faculty as well as outlining the potential for future research endeavors.

The Power of Invention video explores how technology development moves UNL faculty inventions and discoveries from the lab to the marketplace. Through partnerships with business and industry, these products of UNL research help fuel economic development.