Research Spotlights Digest

Maps showing comparison of performance of two models, WRF-Chem and InMAP A New Computer Model for Air Pollution

Scientists studying air pollution use powerful computer models to simulate how various types of pollution spread in the atmosphere. Among these models are Eulerian Chemical Transportation Models (CTMs), which are able to simulate the effectiveness of pollution-reduction efforts. This provides necessary information to policymakers and researchers who are trying to reduce illness and death rates...Read more

graphs showing plants invasion dynamics under different types of density dependence and dispersal Simulating Population Growth in Invasive Species

In order to control invasive species, we need to understand how their populations grow and spread. This process is not constant – there is a great deal of variability in the rate that species invade, and the reasons for these fluctuations are not well understood. Experimental data show that a population’s growth varies even when conditions such as weather and terrain features are stable....Read more

scans of zeolite nanosheets A New Process to Create Zeolite Nanosheets

Adsorbent or catalytic materials called zeolites are used in the chemical and petrochemical industries to separate individual molecules based on size and shape. Building nanosheets of zeolites to make thin films for membrane applications has been a time-consuming, multi-step process. However, MSI researchers and their colleagues have developed a new, one-step method of creating zeolite...Read more

graphs showing nutrient inputs of nitrogen and phosphorus for various watersheds Tracking Pollution Sources in Urban Water Systems

Maintaining the health of urban waterways is an ongoing battle. Urban areas, due to their high population densities, have a number of challenges in maintaining clean water. While sewage systems have been managed so that pollutants are largely controlled, the contribution of pollutants from other sources, such as stormwater runoff, is not yet completely understood.

In a paper that...Read more

panel discussion participants at MSI 2017 Research Exhibition 2017 Research Exhibition

MSI held the eighth annual Research Exhibition on April 25, 2017. This year, besides the judged poster session, the event included a panel discussion about careers in HPC-related fields, plus presentations by industry representatives about current and emerging technologies. Attendees were also able to take tours of MSI’s machine room....Read more

Structural Comparisons of Two Receptors for Mouse Coronavirus

Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that can cause illness in humans, other mammals, and birds. They use cell surface receptors to attach themselves to host cells. While most of them are not dangerous, causing minor illnesses such as colds, the group includes such deadly diseases as SARS and MERS. One coronavirus, mouse hepatitis virus (MHV), causes a disease in mice that has a high...Read more

pictures of potato plants affected by late blight Genetic Resistance Against Potato Blight

Late blight is a serious crop disease that affects potatoes and costs the potato industry billions of dollars annually. The responsible pathogen, Phytophthora infestans, can infect both potato foliage and the tuber. ‘Russet Burbank’, a popular processing variety of potato, lacks genetic resistance to P. infestans. But introduction of gene RB from a wild potato...Read more

graph showing top-performing zeolite structures Sweetening Natural Gas

Natural gas often contains contaminants. “Sour” gas is natural gas that contains a significant amount of hydrogen sulfide, H2S. Not only is H2S toxic enough to be fatal at concentrations as low as 1,000 ppm, but it is also very corrosive and can damage the pipelines, so it must be reduced to acceptable levels before the natural gas can be used. This is usually done with...Read more

graph of integrated model and photo of researchers at NutNet site Computer Model Links Plant Species Richness and Productivity

The relationship between vegetation productivity and species richness has been under investigation by ecologists for many years. However, scientists have not been able to develop a definitive method to determine this relationship using bivariate analysis. One reason for this may be that both productivity and richness are controlled by a wide variety of influences. MSI PI...Read more

structure of metal organic framework A New Method for Creating a Catalyst on a Metal-Organic Framework

Effective and stable catalysts are important to a wide variety of processes important to research and industry. An emerging technology is to support catalysts on materials known as metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). A MOF contains organic linkers and inorganic (metal-containing) nodes; they improve the efficiency of the catalysts they support by isolating catalytic sites one from another and are...Read more

graphs of genomic inbreeding coefficients; picture of giant panda Panda Genomics

Conservationists seeking to increase in the panda population must understand issues related to genetic diversity. Researchers are studying how these pandas are related and their levels of inbreeding and comparing these data for pandas in different geographical areas. This also assists conservationists breeding captive pandas, since it provides additional information about the pandas’ genomic...Read more

Venn diagrams of QTLs Identifying Rust Resistance Genes in Wheat

Wheat leaf rust is a fungus (Puccinia triticina) that attacks wheat and other cereal crops. It is common and destructive, affecting crops throughout the world. Researchers are studying the genetics of these crops with a goal of producing more rust-resistant cultivars.

MSI Principal Investigators James...Read more

depiction of sampling from farms Determining Influenza A Virus Infections in Subpopulations of Pigs

The influenza A virus (IAV), which causes flu, is extremely common, and affects humans, birds, and pigs. In recent years, there has been a great deal of concern about influenza viruses mutating to a form that can jump from pigs or birds and cause a human pandemic. Researchers are studying the influenza virus in hopes of being able to control future outbreaks.

Three MSI Principal...Read more

visualization of nanopipette tip and conductive flat electrode A New Method to Detect Single Molecules

Scientists are interested in being able to study individual molecules in order to determine characteristics that might not be evident when studying en masse. Being able to isolate a single molecule is tricky, but researchers during the past 20 years have been developing ways to use nanopore sensors for the task. The difficulty of this method lies with the extremely small size of the nanopores...Read more

Lifestyle patterns of the BaAka and Bantu Comparing the Gut Microbiome of Different African Populations

Investigations into the gut microbiome continue to reveal how the collections of microorganisms in the digestive system affect human health. Studies have shown that various lifestyle factors can have an influence on the gut microbiome. It seems that a Western-style diet can reduce the diversity of microorganisms in the gut, and researchers are studying the implications for our health.

...Read more