MSI PI Gabe Chan (assistant professor, Humphrey School of Public Affairs)  has been providing insights into Excel Energy’s recent pledge to go completely carbon-free by 2050. An interview by Minnesota Public Radio can be found on their website: How Xcel Could Bring Carbon-Free Power to Minnesota.
MSI PI Susan Mantell has been named Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. She will begin her new position on January 1, 2019. Professor Mantell is a long-time MSI PI. She is currently using MSI resources to perform finite element analysis to study stress corrosion cracking in polymer components used in structural applications.
MSI PIs Sagar Goyal (professor, Veterinary Population Medicine) and Peter Bruggeman (professor, Mechanical Engineering) are leading a team studying how using cold plasma on surfaces can reduce the incidence of a virus affecting pigs. Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSv), which spreads quickly through swine barns, is extremely costly to the pork industry.
Two University of Minnesota faculty members, both MSI PIs, have been named 2018 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). They will be honored at the spring meeting of the AAAS on February 2019. The new Fellows are:
MSI PI Peter Reich (professor, Forest Resources) is a co-author on a new paper that analyzed the trait-environment relationships of plants, using a massive database containing over 26,000 plant species. This research will help scientists understand plant communities and how they are affected by factors besides temperature and precipitation, such as soil conditions and wildfires. This can provide insight into how climate change might affect plant communities in different regions.
MSI PIs Jonathan Schilling (professor, Plant and Microbial Biology) and Claudia Schmidt-Dannert (professor, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics) are investigating a process called “brown rot,” whereby fungi extract sugars from wood without breaking down the rigid material.
On Wednesday, December 5, 2018, MSI staff will perform scheduled maintenance and upgrades to various MSI systems. Primary Storage, Mesabi, and Itasca will be unavailable throughout much of the day. A global system reservation will start at 5:00 a.m. on December 5. Jobs that cannot be completed before 5:00 a.m. on December 5 will be held until after maintenance and then started once the system returns to production status. December maintenance will include:
MSI PIs Paolo Provenzano (associate professor, Biomedical Engineering; Masonic Cancer Center) and Patrick Alford (associate professor, Biomedical Engineering) have published research that shows how they stopped cancer cells from moving and spreading. The paper, published in Nature Communications, demonstrated a method that stopped two kinds of movement that cancer cells use to spread, thus stopping them.