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Greta Shum


U. debate on threat posed by climate change grows hot

The threat posed to humanity by climate change is questionable, University physics professor William Happer GS '64 said in a talk Thursday at the physics department's monthly colloquium. Happer's comments came in response to anannual report on the state of climate changereleased by theUnited Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in September, with whose findings he disagreed.Two weeks earlier, Happer had shared the same views at atalk celebrating Institute for Advanced Study physicist Freeman Dyson’s 90th birthday. Happer’s criticism of the link between greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide contributing to global warming has been a point of contention among the academic community, including his peers at the University. In his Thursday discussion, titled “Why Has Global Warming Paused?”, Happer directly challenged the IPCC report that supported the link between human greenhouse gas emissions and global warming.Contrary to the report, Happer said that increased carbon dioxide emissions would not pose a problem for humanity. Over the past 15 years, temperatures have not risen as high as scientists, including himself, have predicted, Happer pointed out.

SPIDER instrument to be launched in Antarctica

A team of University physicists and engineers met with collaborators in Palestine, Texas this summer to assemble and test a telescope complex, known as SPIDER, that when launched will help scientists understand the fundamental physics of a period during the early universe.Currently, most of SPIDER has been disassembled and is on its way by boat to Antarctica.

Physicists construct SPIDER detector to study theories of universe expansion

A team of University scientists has been working with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the California Institute of Technology and the University of Toronto to build an instrument that will help cosmologists gain more insight into the expansion and homogenization of the very early universe. Physicists put on hard hats on Thursday and used a crane to hoist the instrument into a carbon fiber gondola, which will act as a sturdy frame for the device as it flies over Antarctica in the austral summer.The instrument, known as SPIDER, will be entirely built on campus and then shipped to Texas, where the finishing touches of the building process will be made in June.

U. CBE thesis proposes model for dynamics of immune system

In a collaboration across three different departments, a 2010 chemical engineering senior thesis has become a comprehensive model for the dynamics of an immune system reaction, as described in a recent article published in PLOS ONE and which was based on a 2006 study in which six subjects were hospitalized.

NASA scientist discusses Mars Rover

Mars Science Lab Project Manager and professor of geology at California Institute of Technology John Grotzinger presented new evidence of ancient habitability on Mars, based on the findings from the Curiosity rover, in a lecture on Thursday evening.

U. researchers develop technique to probe ‘missing heritability’

A new University study recently published in Nature has shown that extensive genetic mapping can be used to trace the genetic origins of even the smallest trait variations, providing support for 20th-century scientific arguments that privilege nature over nurture. The study was conducted by Joshua Bloom, a graduate student in the molecular biology department who developed the project for his Ph.D., and ecology and evolutionary biology professor Leonid Kruglyak ’87. Bloom was unavailable to comment for this article. Thuy-Lan Vo Lite ’12, who worked on the project for her senior thesis, said she enjoyed participating in the investigation of the “missing heritability,” a mystery that has existed in genetics since the 1920s. “In humans there’s this problem where even in traits that we know are heritable, we can’t really find all the genetic components to fully explain that heritability,” Lite said.