|Beetle research by Demuth and Blackmon
leads to new theory on Y chromosome loss
|UT Arlington Alumni
|You can help the next generation of Mavericks
Did the University of Texas at Arlington change your life? Do you want to help a future Maverick? Call Dr. Ignacio Nuñez, the chair of the College of Science Advisory Council. He'd love to help get you involved on campus again. The Advisory Council is issuing a challenge to each alumnus and to each member of our North Texas community who believes in our mission. The challenge: Give one day a year and $1,000 annually (that's just $83.33 a month) to benefit the students of UT Arlington. Dr. Nuñez was a first-generation college student, and UT Arlington made it possible for him to attend medical school and create a life vastly different than that of his parents. Did UT Arlington change your life too? Let's work together to help the next generation. You can contact Nuñez at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message for him at 817-272-1497.
Memorial fund created to honor Truman Black
A special fund has been created to honor the memory of Dr. Truman Black, professor of physics and beloved member of the UT Arlington family, who died on Sept. 12, 2012.
Donations to the fund may be mailed to:
Truman D. Black Scholarship Fund at The University of Texas at Arlington
Office of Development
P.O. Box 19198
Arlington, TX 76019-0198
Calendar of events
|Thursday, July 3
Last day of classes, Summer 2014 first 5-week session
|Monday, July 7
Finals exams, Summer 2014 first 5-week session
|Tuesday, July 8
First day of classes, Summer 2014 second 5-week session
|Thursday, August 7
Last day of classes, Summer 2014 second 5-week session and 11-week session
|Monday, August 11
Final exams, Summer 2014 second 5-week session
Final exams, Summer 2014 11-week session
|Thursday, August 21
First day of classes, Fall 2014 semester
|The Planetarium at
Have you been to a show
at the planetarium lately?
The facility, one of
the finest in the nation,
offers a variety of exciting
shows and programs
year-round and is
equipped with Digistar 5,
the latest in planetarium
software. The Summer
2014 show schedule begins
June 3 and will run
through August 24. See
the full schedule here.
|Keep up with the COS with Maverick Science
The 2013-14 edition of Maverick Science Magazine is here! Read Maverick Science for the latest faculty, student and alumni news. Copies are available in the Dean’s Office (Life Sciences Room 206) and in LS 112. The online version can be shared via social media and is available here.
|Follow the COS on Facebook and Twitter
Keep up with the College of Science on the popular social media sites Facebook and Twitter, and stay informed about what's going on and upcoming events in the College of Science.
|Jeffrey Demuth and Heath Blackmon
A UT Arlington research team says
their study of genetic information
from more than 4,000 beetle species
has yielded a new theory about why
some species lose their Y chromosome
and others, such as humans, hang on
to it. They call it the “fragile Y hypothesis.”
The biologists’ idea is that the
fate of the Y chromosome is heavily
influenced by how meiosis, or the
production of sperm, works in an organism.
They believe the size of an
area where X and Y genetic information
mingle or recombine can serve
as a strong clue that a species is at
risk of losing the Y chromosome during sperm production. Previous work has attributed
Y chromosome loss to the lesser importance of genes it carries.
Ph.D. student Heath Blackmon and Jeffery Demuth, associate professor of biology,
co-authored a paper published in the June issue of Genetics. Blackmon said
most previous research into sex chromosomes has occurred either in mammals or
the fruit fly. But, beetles are the most diverse group on the planet-scientists have
already described and given names to over 350,000 species.
Read more on this story here
|National Science Foundation provides grant
to help market Dasgupta's arsenic analyzer
The National Science Foundation has awarded nearly $200,000
to two UT Arlington researchers teaming with a private company
to make an affordable, environmentally friendly field analyzer
for arsenic levels in water.
The new technology was invented by Purnendu “Sandy” Dasgupta,
UT Arlington’s Jenkins Garrett Professor of Chemistry,
while working on a previous NSF grant. Aditya Das, senior research
scientist at the UT Arlington Research Institute, and Scott
Evans, president and co-founder of Texas-based technology company
Chipotle Business Group, will direct the new project along
“In developing countries indigenous groundwater arsenic contamination is a
very big problem, so it makes sense to build some way to detect this element in
water so that we can classify what water is drinkable and what is not in remote
areas,” said Das, who is also a member of the College of Engineering faculty. “Dr.
Dasgupta’s approach allows for detection of two different types of arsenic in a very
Arsenic is one of 10 chemicals the World Health Organization lists as a major
public health concern, with millions of people at risk of chronic exposure in developing
countries. Chronic exposure, which has also occurred in the U.S., can lead to
serious health problems, including fatal cancers.
Read more on this story here
|Physics researchers develop nanoparticles
that could improve gene and drug therapy
|Ali Koyman, left, and Samarendra Mohanty
UT Arlington physics researchers
may have developed a way to use
laser technology to deliver drug and
gene therapy at the cellular level
without damaging surrounding tissue.
The method eventually could
help patients suffering from genetic
conditions, cancers and neurological
In a study published recently by
the journal Nature Scientific Reports,
the team paired crystalline
magnetic carbon nanoparticles and
continuous wave near-infrared laser
beams for in what is called photothermal
delivery. Authors of the
new paper are Ali Koymen, a professor of physics; Samarendra Mohanty, an assistant
professor of physics; and Ling Gu, a researcher in Mohanty’s lab.
The new discovery grew out of previous study where Koymen and Mohanty used
a 50 to 100 milliwatt laser and the same carbon nanoparticle, which absorbs the
beam, to heat up and destroy cancer cells in the lab. The team used the new photothermal
delivery method in lab experiments to introduce impermeable dyes and
small DNA molecules into human prostate cancer and fibroblast sarcoma cells.
Read more on this story here
|Campbell honored with special award by
herpetologists at Tulsa pitviper conference
|Jonathan Campbell, right, accepts a special award from Harry W. Greene, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Cornell University.
Herpetology experts from all over the
world recently honored Jonathan Campbell,
a UT Arlington professor known for
his research on venomous snake biology,
at a conference called The Biology of
The meeting was June 4-7 in Tulsa,
Okla. It celebrated the 25th year since a
1989 Biology of Pitvipers conference at UT
Arlington, a meeting that resulted in a
landmark edition of research called
“Biology of the Pitvipers.” Campbell was
one of the organizers of the 1989 gathering
and an editor of the volume.
The organizers of this year’s event recognized
Campbell as “Honored Guest” and
presented him with an award “for outstanding contributions in herpetology and
excellence in pitviper biology.”
Read more on this story here
|Former astronaut impressed with students’
ingenuity at Bernard Harris science camp
|Dr. Bernard Harris Jr. talks with campers while
they build homemade versions of Mars landers
during the Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp
at UT Arlington on June 20.
A roomful of middle school students
from around the Metroplex
got to hear from an astronaut and
an engineer, and then got to form
teams and build their own miniature
Mars landing crafts from
household items such as straws,
bubble wrap and cotton balls. They
then tested them to see which
team’s spacecraft could land upright
closest to a target.
The occasion was the fourth day
of the two-week Exxon Mobil Bernard
Harris Summer Science Camp
at UT Arlington. Dr. Bernard Harris
Jr. - the first African-American to
walk in space - and Exxon Mobil
operations engineer Nancy Choi visited with the 48 campers and
stressed the importance of education, and the opportunities that awaited those
who study science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
Harris told the students that they have the ability and the talent to do anything
they want to do and he encouraged them to make a difference through their involvement
in science and math.
“These kids are sharp; you can see by the way they built their landers that
they’re full of ideas and creativity,” Harris said. “The camp gets them excited
about science and lets them get an idea of what college is like.”
This year marks the fifth time one of Harris’ camps have been held at UT Arlington.
Those chosen to attend the camp must write an essay on STEM, have good
grades and be members of a traditionally underserved and underrepresented population,
among other requirements.
Read a Star-Telegram
story about the camp here
|3 biology students earn awards for research
at Texas Genetics Society annual meeting
Clifford Rodgers and Alissa Hendricks
Three UT Arlington biology students
earned awards at the Texas
Genetics Society’s 41st Annual
Meeting, held April 24-26 in Waco.
Alissa Hendricks received the
award for Outstanding Undergraduate
Platform Presentation; Eldon
Prince received the Outstanding
Graduate Student Platform Presentation
award; and Clifford Rodgers received the Outstanding Undergraduate
award. All three are students in the
lab of Trey Fondon, assistant professor
Prince graduated with a Ph.D. in Quantitative Biology in May;
Hendricks and Rodgers are undergraduate students in biology.
Prince’s project was titled “The basis of rapid evolutionary
change in the canid lineage”; Hendricks’ project was titled “Why
Sex is Important: Radically Different Lifespans of Genetically
Identical Individuals Under Stress”; and Rodgers’ project was titled
“Genetic mapping and characterization of the Sox10 deletion
mutation in the domestic pigeon”.
Learn more about the Texas Genetics Society here
|Physics Ph.D. student De La Garza receives
2014-15 NASA/Texas Space Grant fellowship
|De La Garza
Jose De La Garza, a doctoral student in physics and applied
physics, has been selected as a NASA/Texas Space Grant Consortium
Fellow for the 2014-15 academic year. The fellowship consists
of a $5,000 supplemental stipend.
De La Garza just completed his first year of doctoral work and
is doing research in the lab of his faculty mentor, Yue Deng, assistant
professor of physics. He focuses on neutral wind data
analysis and simulation in order to gain further insight about the
dynamics of the upper atmosphere. He received a B.S. degree in
Engineering Physics from UT-Brownsville in spring 2012.
“It was a very happy moment for me,” De La Garza said of the
moment he learned he had been chosen as a fellow. “I felt very fortunate to be
considered as part of the NASA fellowship consortium. The fellowship will enable
me to pay for my tuition for the year 2014-15."
Learn more about the Texas Space Grant Consortium here
|Gatchel co-authors second in six-book series
on musculoskeletal pain in the workplace
|The cover of the second volume
in a six-book series co-authored
by Robert Gatchel.
The second volume in a six-book series on
health, disability and work and co-authored by Robert
J. Gatchel, the Nancy P. & John G. Penson Endowed
Professor in Clinical Health Psychology, was
recently published by Springer.
The second volume, The Handbook of Muskuloskeletal
Pain and Disability Disorders in the Workplace,
is set to be released by the end of the year.
Gatchel’s co-author is Izabela Schultz, a professor
of Rehabilitation Psychology at the University of
The second volume reviews and synthesizes current
conceptual research and treatment advances
across a wide range of musculoskeletal disorders;
focuses on the most effective treatments to return
workers back to occupational settings; and delves
into complexities involved in the assessment and
treatment of particular musculoskeletal pain and
The book may be purchased from the Springer website here
|Schug’s research testing water quality in
North Texas wells is focus of online report
Research by Kevin Schug, an associate professor of chemistry
and biochemistry, that aims to determine if oil and gas drilling
and gas and waste disposal generated by the work is contaminating
groundwater was the focus of a June 17 story by StateImpact
Texas, a reporting project of National Public Radio member stations.
“We can stand in a neutral case and look at this very objectively
using analytical techniques that can say whether there is or
is not an impact,” Schug says in the report.
An initial analysis of samples from 100 private water wells
near drilling sites in the Barnett Shale region of North Texas
found a third of them had seriously elevated levels of heavy metals, including
arsenic. But the metals occur naturally in soil, and a definitive link to drilling was
not made, the report states.
Read the StateImpact Texas
|Shimadzu Institute’s search for business partners is focus of FW Business Press story
The UT Arlington Shimadzu Institute for Research Technologies has been reaching out to several companies to serve as research partners – including many smaller startups and entrepreneurial ventures, the Fort Worth Business Press reported in a June 6 story.
The laboratory was established in 2012 through the support of Shimadzu Scientific Instruments and UT Arlington. The Shimadzu Center For Advanced Analytical Chemistry
includes a large number of mass spectrometers, as well as state-of-the-art supporting peripheries and other spectroscopy instrumentation. The institute was renamed Shimadzu in February to honor a $7.5 million gift from Shimadzu Scientific Instruments.
“We have seven centers with different research areas,” Joe Barrera, director of the Shimadzu Institute, said in the story. “We’re looking for research opportunities that can easily or quickly translate to market solutions. We have not only instrumentations, but companies can hire our own expertise and they can give a lot of research insight and drive some research insight for companies or small startups that don’t have that expertise.”
|Arlington State College alumnus, longtime NASA employee Jackie Fisher dies at age 75
Jackie Lynn Fisher, an Arlington State College alumnus and longtime NASA employee who played an integral part in helping land a man on the moon in 1969, died from pulmonary fibrosis on May 30 at age 75.
Mr. Fisher, a Wimberley resident, was born April 30, 1939 in Jet, Okla., to Woodford Pascal Fisher and Dorothy Berneice Kelly Fisher. After his family moved to Texas, Mr. Fisher graduated from Mexia High School in 1957. He attended Sam Houston State University, then transferred to Arlington State College, now UT Arlington, where he earned bachelor’s degrees in math and physics in 1961.
He then went to work at the Naval Air Missile Test Center in Point Mugu, Calif. The following year, Mr. Fisher accepted a position with NASA at the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, later named the Johnson Space Center. At NASA he worked in avionics and software development and witnessed history, from the earliest U.S. manned space flights in the Mercury program, to the Apollo moon missions of the 1960s and 1970s, to the Space Shuttle program, through the origins of the International Space Station. He retired from NASA in 1998.
His hobbies included genealogy, music and travel. A self-taught violinist, he took lessons during retirement to improve his technique and played for eight years in Wimberley’s Starlight Symphony Orchestra. Several of his grandchildren and a daughter-in-law took up violin-playing through his influence.
Mr. Fisher is survived by his wife of 54 years, Janice Thornton Fisher; daughter Laura Armer and her husband, Barry; son Kevin Fisher and his wife, Doreen; son Jonathan Fisher and his wife, Miki; grandchildren Justin Armer, Emma Armer, Kirby Fisher, Kyle Fisher, Lindsey Fisher, Sophia Fisher and Adrian Fisher; brother W.P. Fisher Jr.; sister Gladys Liles and her husband, George; sister Karan Plummer; sister Billie Hatfield and her husband, Gary; sister Dorothy Ordieres; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Jimmy Fisher.
A celebration of life service was held June 3 in Wimberley and a graveside service was held June 4 at Point Enterprise Cemetery near Mexia.
|Maverick Science magazine is available in print, online
The 2013-14 edition of Maverick Science Magazine is here! The magazine includes College of Science highlights from the past year and features in-depth looks at some of the College’s outstanding faculty, students and alumni.
The magazine’s online version can be shared via social media, is downloadable and is compatible with smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops. Print copies of the magazine are available in the Dean’s office (Life Science Building Room 206) or in Life Science Building Room 112.
Read the online version here