Yes, more than two-thirds of Earth is covered in water. But most of that ocean water is kept in the dark, and it's in those murky depths where certain microbes are believed to be trapping 15 to 45 percent of the carbon in the western North Atlantic Ocean, according to a new study. Those microbes might be found in similar amounts throughout the world. Frank Stewart, assistant professor in the School of Biological Sciences (with an appointment in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences) did not participate in the study, but does give his take on the findings. 

HealthTech focuses on the recent news that School of Biological Sciences researchers are allowing all scientists to use their new machine learning software for predicting cancer drug effectiveness. The hope is that the open source software approach, which will crowdsource research brainpower and expertise, will speed up the clinical trials process for cancer drug approval. Assistant Professor Fredrik Vannberg and Professor John McDonald contributed to the research; McDonald is also director of Tech's Integrated Cancer Research Center.

The organization known as the "world's largest general scientific society" has elected three Georgia Tech researchers as fellows for 2017. The American Association for the Advancement of Science has singled out Joshua Weitz, professor in the School of Biological Sciences; Baratunde Cola, associate professor in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering; and Mary Frank Fox, ADVANCE professor in the School of Public Policy. Weitz was honored for his research on the effects of viruses on populations and ecosystems. Weitz is also an adjunct assistant professor in the School of Physics, and director of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Quantitative Biosciences.  

Just in time for the release of a new Star Wars movie, the Luke Skywalker references abound in these three stories based on new research from a Georgia Tech team working on more responsive prostheses for amputees. There certainly is a resemblance to Skywalker's robotic hand in the prosthesis developed by College of Design researchers, which allows users to work individual fingers and control the amount of force. It enabled Jason Barnes, a musician who lost his right hand five years ago, to once again play the piano. In addition to the Mashable story, there is coverage at Engadget and Digital Trends. Minoru Shinohara, an associate professor, and lecturer Chris Fink are part of the research team; both are with the School of Biological Sciences.

This CNN video provides an up-close look at how musician Jason Barnes is able to play the piano again, thanks to an advanced right hand prosthesis provided by Georgia Tech researchers. The prosthesis allows more control and dexterity. There is also a side-by-side comparison of Barnes' prosthesis with the one Luke Skywalker uses in the Star Wars films. Minoru Shinohara, an associate professor, and lecturer Chris Fink were part of the Tech research team that designed the hand. They are both with the School of Biological Sciences.

 

The "Star Wars" theme is an ode to triumph, and there's no better way for musician Jason Barnes to show off his new prosthetic right hand than playing the song on a piano. Barnes, who lost the hand in 2012, received his prosthesis from researchers at Tech's Center for Music Technology. The prosthesis allows for greater control of individual fingers. Associate Professor Minoru Shinohara and lecturer Chris Fink were part of the design team; both are with the School of Biological Sciences.

This Medical Xpress item is a reprint of a Georgia Tech news release on the recent thought paper published in PLOS Biology by Sam Brown and Kristofer Wollein Waldetoft. They suggest that physicians should come up with alternatives for treating smaller, non-life-threatening bacterial infections in an effort to save antibiotic effectiveness for more serious infections. Brown is an associate professor in the School of Biological Sciences, and Waldetoft is a postdoctoral research assistant in Brown's lab. 

These may not be the droids you're looking for, but there's no denying the influence of "Star Wars" on pop culture. The author of this story make the argument that the film francise has also had a big impact on science and technology, including interesting experiments with brain-computer interfaces. The Luke Skywalker-style prosthetic hand that an interdisciplinary team of Georgia Tech researchers recently made for an Atlanta musician is mentioned in the story. Associate Professor Minoru Shinohara, and lecturer Chris Fink, both of the School of Biological Sciences, worked on the design for the prosthetic hand.

Should doctors who are increasingly concerned about antibiotic resistance hold off on using them to treat mild infections? Should they use alternative treatments instead, and save the stronger medicine for more serious infections? Those questions were raised in a recent essay published in PLOS Biology by Kristofer Wollein Waldetoft and Sam Brown, both with the School of Biological Sciences. In this audio report, Heather Goldstone of WCAI's Living Lab Radio interviews Waldetoft, a postdoctoral researcher. Brown is an associate professor.

Mud crabs are a favorite snack for blue crabs. But when blue crabs pee in the water while searching for food, it sends their prey a warning: Better hide or urine trouble. (Sorry, we couldn't resist.) Researchers have known that chemicals in crab urine scare mud crabs, but couldn't identify the offending chemicals — until now, thanks to a new Georgia Tech study co-led by Julia Kubanek, a professor in both the School of Biological Sciences and the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Marc Weissburg, a professor in the School of Biological Sciences. The findings could lead to better management of crab and oyster fisheries, and may even help target pollutants that upset marine life. Kubanek is also Associate Dean for Research for the College of Sciences.

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