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Today's News Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012


Curiocity: Cloud Cult on partnering with U of M ad campaign
There’s something awfully familiar about the new University of Minnesota ad campaign. The ads, which focus on the theme of illumination, features a recognizable sound — that of the Minneapolis-based indie rock band, Cloud Cult.


U administration to review pay gap
The University of Minnesota administration plans to analyze 2012 salary data for gender disparities this fall, which may lead to new review methods in the spring. The analysis, to be conducted by the University’s Office of Institutional Research, follows a June 2011 report that showed a 2.2 percent pay gap between male and female faculty members.
Minnesota Daily


University of Minnesota engineers invent new device that could increase Internet download speeds
A team of scientists and engineers at the University of Minnesota has invented a unique microscale optical device that could greatly increase the speed of downloading information online and reduce the cost of Internet transmission. "This device is similar to electromechanical relays but operates completely with light," said Mo Li, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering in the University of Minnesota's College of Science and Engineering.
Science Codex
Phys Org
United Press International

University of Minnesota demos light-powered nano-relay
The “light sail” – a spacecraft powered by the pressure of photons streaming from a handy star – might still be science fiction, but researchers in the US have demonstrated that photons can flip switches at the nano scale. The University of Minnesota research published in Nature Communications describes a nano-technology that creates relays controlled by light instead of electricity.
The Register

Plant Carbon sequestration capacity in a high CO2 world overestimated
The world's oceans absorb about 30 per cent of CO2 being emitted resulting in ocean acidification, with another 30 per cent being absorbed on land through plant biomass. The research was done by ecologists Peter Reich and Sarah Hobbie at the University of Minnesota.
Bay Area Indymedia

2 Ways to Tap Into Rising Food Demand
According to a recent study by the University of California Santa Barbara and the University of Minnesota, world food demand could rise by 100% to 110% between 2005 and 2050.
Investing Daily

Mountain Lake samples being extracted
Scientists hoping to trace 2,000 years of history and environmental change at the bottom of Mountain Lake in the Presidio began extracting samples of the lake's thick sediments this week just ahead of a long-awaited dredging next month. This week, Liam Reidy, a UC Berkeley graduate student, and Amy Myrbo, a specialist in lake ecology from the University of Minnesota, are working aboard a raft at 10 strategic spots on the lake's surface.
San Francisco Chronicle

Mothers’ CD4 cells ‘remember’ their babies
A breakthrough in understanding a mother's immune response during pregnancy suggests a new direction for treating autoimmune diseases. A study of pregnant mice, which appears in Nature, identifies regulatory CD4 cells as those responsible for suppressing maternal immune responses against the developing fetus. "Knowing this, we can design vaccines that specifically target immune suppressive T cells," said lead researcher Sing Sing Way from the University of Minnesota School of Medicine, Minneapolis.
News Medical

Business and Politics

Debates or games? Sports fans must juggle mix of politics, football, baseball
Kyle Green, a University of Minnesota instructor, feels awful that he asked his sociology class to watch all three presidential debates. He should have checked the calendar first. The fight for the hearts and minds of voters will be, in many households, a fight for the remote. "I bet there are a lot of sports fans in my class who will be facing the same dilemma that I am," said Green, a rabid sports fan.

Observers seek connection between new Vikings stadium, Downtown East
Tom Fisher, dean of the University of Minnesota’s College of Design, is not a fan of the current Metrodome stadium in Minneapolis. The 30-year-old stadium is “this big spaceship that just kind of sits there on its own,” Fisher says.
Finance and Commerce

People and Lifestyle

Family speaks out in support of marriage amendment
Professor Dale Carpenter is with the University of Minnesota law school. “If the amendment fails there’s no same sex marriage,” he said. “If the amendment passes, there’s no same sex marriage.”

The pursuit of happiness
You suffer more aches and pains. Your middle is expanding, your hairline receding, and new wrinkles seem to pop up like dandelions. Sooner or later, you're bound to get bad news from the doctor. And you're happier than you've been in years. Experts aren't sure, though theories abound, said University of Minnesota psychologist Angus W. MacDonald, who teaches a course on happiness.
Star Tribune

5 steps to being happy
In the United States, the pursuit of happiness is more than an inalienable right -- it's a national obsession. This accounts for the excess of books, blogs and motivational speakers that preach the gospel of personal contentment. "There's a fair amount of data showing that the 'happiness set point' -- the level of contentment one feels with one's life -- is to a great extent influenced by genes," started MacDonald a professor of psychology at the University of Minnesota, where he teaches the occasional course on the science of happiness.
Star Tribune

Love interrupted: Rare disease threatens dogs
Jane Heinks' beloved hunting dog, Tandy, died of blastomycosis, a rare and sometimes fatal fungal disease that infects about 60 dogs yearly in Minnesota. "There is no prevention," said Dr. Jane Armstrong, professor at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine.
Star Tribune

Commentary and Opinion

An education in creative courage
Most conferences have a topic or theme, but the WWW conference, held a couple of weeks ago at the ESRI headquarters in Redlands, California, focused on something else: what it takes to become an "outlier," to use Malcolm Gladwell's term, and have a transformative effect on our understanding of the world. Author Thomas Fischer is a professor and dean at the College of Design at the University of Minnesota.
Huff Post Blog

Updates and Events

Eh? Debate-watching party at UMD
With the Super Bowl still four months out, people need a reason to watch something together and party. So, desperate times call for desperate measures. U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and University of Minnesota Duluth students who support President Obama are having a presidential debate-watching party at 6:30 p.m. today at UMD’s Montague Hall, Room 80.
Duluth News Tribune

Mayo Clinic genomics conference explores potentials, fears
Two huge video screens overlooking the floor of Mayo Civic Center’s Taylor Arena showed a woman dressed as a fortune-teller gazing into a crystal ball and speaking to a man eager to hear about his future. The tongue-in-cheek video apparently intended to provoke thoughts about genomics among members of the audience, many of whom were high school students. But University of Minnesota law professor Susan Wolf, who was a member of a five-person panel of scientists and journalists at the arena Tuesday night, didn’t seem to appreciate the video.
Post Bulletin

UMR a finalist for innovation award
The University of Minnesota Rochester is a finalist for a 2012 Tekne Award from the Minnesota High Tech Association. UMR was recognized in the EdTech category for its innovative intelligent System for Education Assessment and Learning or iSeal. A panel of judges selected finalists for the MHTA based on the criteria of superior technology innovation and leadership.
Post Bulletin