Secrets to extreme adaptation found in Burmese python genome
The Burmese python’s ability to ramp up its metabolism and enlarge its organs to swallow and digest prey whole can be traced to unusually rapid evolution and specialized adaptations of its genes and the way they work, an international team of biologists says in a new paper.
Lead author Todd Castoe, an assistant professor of biology in the College of Science, and 38 co-authors from four countries sequenced and analyzed the genome of the Burmese python, or Python molurus bivittatus. Their work was published Dec. 2 by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences along with a companion paper on the sequencing and analysis of the king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah). The papers represent the first complete and annotated snake genomes.
Because snakes contain many of the same genes as other vertebrates, studying how these genes have evolved to produce such extreme and unique characteristics in snakes can eventually help explain how these genes function, including how they enable extreme feats of organ remodeling. Such knowledge may eventually be used to treat human diseases.
"We’d like to know how the snake uses genes we all have to do things that no other vertebrates can do,” Dr. Castoe says.
Co-authors on the paper from UT Arlington include Daren Card, Drew Schield, Jacobo Reyes-Velasco, Kyle Shaney, Eric Smith, Jill Castoe, and Matthew Fujita. The paper's title is “The Burmese python genome reveals the molecular basis for extreme adaptation in snakes.”
Read more about the python genome project.
Magnusson named IEEE fellow
The prestigious Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers has named Robert Magnusson as one of its 2014 fellows. He is UT Arlington’s eighth IEEE fellow.
Dr. Magnusson, professor of electrical engineering and the Texas Instruments Distinguished University Chair in Nanoelectronics, is being recognized by the IEEE for contributions to the invention of a new class of nanophotonic devices that employ light at a nanometer scale.
His devices are used as biosensors, lasers, tunable filters, and optical components. His research has applications in a variety of fields, including medicine and energy production.
“IEEE is the largest professional society in my field,” Magnusson says. “It is gratifying to be recognized by my peers for my research and commercialization efforts.”
Read more about Magnusson's honor.
New Fulbright Specialist to spread lessons abroad
Mary Lou Bond, a long-time professor and administrator in the College of Nursing, has joined the roster of the Fulbright Specialist Program, an international initiative that helps U.S. academics collaborate with universities in 140 countries.
Dr. Bond, who has held the Samuel T. Hughes Professorship and the Hazel M. Jay Professorship, is co-founder and assistant director of the Center for Hispanic Studies in Nursing and Health at UT Arlington. She was also the founding associate dean of the College of Nursing’s Ph.D. program. She recently retired from teaching full time but remains an adjunct faculty member and adviser for the Ph.D. program.
Through two- to six-week projects, specialists collaborate with professional counterparts at non-U.S. institutions in curriculum and faculty development, institutional planning, and a variety of other activities, according to the Fulbright Specialist website.
“As both a faculty member and educational administrator, I have always had the philosophy of being ‘rigorous, but not ruthless,’” Bond says. “It is my belief that along with expectations for rigor in scholarship, we also must be willing to lend that guiding hand.”
Read more about Bond's Fulbright appointment.
Anderson Cooper rescheduled for February 10 appearance
CNN anchor Anderson Cooper's appearance for the Maverick Speakers Series has been rescheduled for 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 10, 2014, at College Park Center.
Cooper's appearance on Nov. 11 was postponed due the journalist being assigned to report on the massive destruction in the Philippines caused by Typhoon Haiyan.
Individuals who held general admission and preferred tickets to the November event will be given a 48-hour exclusive "first buy" opportunity when they are contacted by email Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014.
All remaining tickets will be made available to the general public starting at 10 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014, through utatickets.com.
No general admission, preferred tickets, or standby tickets to the Nov. 11 event will be honored at the Feb. 10 program. Questions should be directed to the UTA Box Office at 2-9595.
Cooper took his background in war correspondence for Channel One News and ABC to CNN in 2001, where he reported on major breaking news stories and handled live coverage for the military conflict in Baghdad. His show, Anderson Cooper 360°, has aired on CNN since 2003. Cooper has earned many accolades throughout his career, including several Emmys, a Peabody, and two GLAAD Media awards.
His appearance is a part of the Maverick Speakers Series, the University's premier lecture series. In its sixth year, the Maverick Speakers Series provides a forum for today’s brightest minds to examine the people, ideas, actions, and solutions that impact the world around us.
Mobile-friendly maps make finding campus locations, parking lots easy
University Communications has released a new mobile-friendly version of the campus map website and added GPS technology.
Campus maps now will adjust to fit the screen on your phone, iPad, or other mobile device. Drop-down menus show campus destinations, parking, shuttle, and other information.
The Show My Location tool is perfect for new Mavericks, parents, friends, or other visitors to campus. Not only does it show where you are located, but also indicates the sites of nearby parking lots and garages.
Visit uta.edu/maps on your mobile device to access the new features.
Holiday reception today in Bluebonnet Ballroom
Ring in the holiday season with the annual Faculty and Staff Holiday Reception 3-5 p.m. today, Thursday, Dec. 5, in the Bluebonnet Ballroom of the E.H. Hereford University Center.
President Vistasp Karbhari is the host and featured speaker. Enjoy the festive sounds of the UT Arlington Jazz Orchestra, conducted by Tim Ishii, associate professor of music.
Holiday refreshments will be served. The reception is sponsored in part by UT Arlington Dining Services.
Space heaters prohibited on campus
The use of space heaters is strictly prohibited in any UT Arlington facility, according to the Best Management Practices of the University’s Environmental and Regulatory Management System.
Electric space heaters pose a safety risk and fire hazard by overloading building electrical circuits. They also are an inefficient means of providing heat and often result in the discomfort of occupants in nearby offices or work areas.
A weekend fire in the Chemistry Research Building was attributed to a space heater that was left on. The fire also led to damage to the campus telephone system.
Consider wearing a sweater or jacket if your work space is cooler than you like. If an area is exceedingly cold, contact Facilities Management at 2-2000 or submit a work request to have the space evaluated.
Travelers must submit documentation
For all point-to-point mileage reimbursements, University travelers must submit payment vouchers and documentation from either the traveler’s odometer reading or the University’s approved mapping service, MapQuest.
Review Procedures 2-86 (allowances and expenses for meals, lodging, miscellaneous and incidental expenses) and 2-89 (booking transportation or seeking reimbursement for transportation) for applicable reimbursement rates.
For assistance with travel-related questions, call Travel Support Services at 2-2194.
MyMav unavailable early Sunday
MyMav will be unavailable to users from 2 a.m.–2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8. The normally scheduled downtime has been extended to accommodate system updates.
One more game at buy-one, get-one ticket bargain
Take advantage of the buy-one, get-one special for the Maverick men's basketball team game against Weber State on Saturday, Dec. 7, at College Park Center.
Two general admission tickets are only $5 for the general public and $3 with a UTA student ID.
Go to utatickets.com and enter the promo code UTAB1G1. Tickets must be purchased in advance and will not be available at the games.
Chants Encounters provides musical program
The quartet Chants Encounters will perform a holiday program and lead a sing-along for the Friends of the Library at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, on the sixth floor of the Central Library.
Chants Encounters was founded in 2012 by retired UTA cello Professor Elizabeth Morrow. The group performs a variety of genres from the 1570s to the 1970s including classical, folk, pop, and original compositions. The other members of the group are music Professor Jing Ling-Tam and Associate Professor George Chave, and Andrew Leverenz, director of online communications for the Department of University Communications.
To RSVP for this event, call 2-1413 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beware of holiday cyber criminals
The Information Security Office (ISO) encourages you to be aware of seasonal scams, phishing, and malicious software distribution campaigns.
Cyber criminals send personal messages that appear to be legitimate websites that look real with logos, email, or web templates.
These phishing and malware campaigns include fake shipping/courier notifications; electronic greeting cards or links to holiday screensavers; requests for charitable contributions that appear to be from the real organization; and credit card or gift card applications or enticing discounts that lead to unfamiliar websites.
Look for signs that an email or website is not legitimate:
• Sender’s address or website address does not match the organization listed in the content of the message.
• Grammar in the message or website is poor.
• Format of the email or website is poor or inconsistent with what you’ve seen from the organization.
• Hovering your mouse over the links reveals web address inconsistent with the content of the message.
Remember these online safety tips:
• Never click on links in emails that you’re not expecting.
• Never open attachments in emails that you’re not expecting.
• Never provide personal information in an email or on a website unless you are confident of the source.
If you do receive suspicious email messages, contact the Information Security Office at email@example.com.
Bookstore hosts faculty/staff holiday reception, sale
The UT Arlington Bookstore hosts its annual Faculty/Staff Reception 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11. Enjoy refreshments along with up to 25 percent off selected items, including previous generations of iPads, iPods, and Mac laptops.
Staff Advisory Council holiday meeting Tuesday
Join the Staff Advisory Council for its December meeting at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10, Student Congress Chambers, E.H. Hereford University Center. Learn about the SAC's function and help make strategic plans for the new year. Bring your favorite holiday cookies or candy and canned goods to benefit Mission Arlington. All are welcome and encouraged to wear their favorite festive holiday attire.
Presentation proposals for advising conference due Monday
The UTA Advising Association (UTAAA) is accepting proposal submissions for the 17th Annual UTAAA Advising Conference, "Advising CPR: Crisis, Prevention and Recovery," on Feb. 18, 2014.
Needed are interactive, innovative, and engaging presentations that will leave conference attendees ready to aid students through any worse-case scenario and prep them for success.
Monthly buffet offered today at University Club
The University Club's monthly special today, Thursday, Dec. 5, features prime rib, chicken normandy, eggplant parmesan (vegetarian), asparagus, herb-roasted potatoes, and caramel apple pie.
Cost is $8 per person. Regular menu items will not be available.
The University Club is open 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on the ground floor in Davis Hall.
Thursday, Dec. 5
Friday, Dec. 6
Computer Science/Engineering Colloquium Hanghang Tong of City University New York presents “Optimal Dissemination on Graphs: Theory and Algorithms,” and Fei Wang of IBM's T.J. Watson Research Center discusses “Feature Engineering for Predictive Modeling with Large Scale Electronic Medical Records: Augmentation, Densification, and Selection.” Free. Noon-1:30 p.m., Tong; 2:30-3:30 p.m., Wang; Room 129, Engineering Research Building. Computer Science and Engineering.
Tuesday, Dec. 10
Wednesday, Dec. 11
Thursday, Dec. 12
(For an expanded list of events, see the UT Arlington Calendar.)
Mav men defeat Dallas Baptist after weekend loss to Texas
Senior forward Brandon Edwards scored 16 and grabbed 10 rebounds to help the men's basketball team snap a five-game losing streak by overwhelming Dallas Baptist 81-53 Tuesday night at College Park Center.
Edwards, the country's 14th-leading rebounder, recorded his sixth double-double of the season and added four blocks. Senior guard Reger Dowell, the nation's 10th-leading scorer, had 15 points.
The Mavericks improved to 3-6 after ending the program's longest skid in three years. UT Arlington looks to make it two in row Saturday night against Weber State at College Park Center. Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m.
The men’s basketball team came up short last weekend against Texas, 72-69, after leading for much of the game.
Movin' Mavs remain undefeated in intercollegiate play
The Movin’ Mavs wheelchair basketball team swept the intercollegiate competition in Whitewater, Wisc., going 5-0 in the two-day tournament last week.
The Movin’ Mavs defeated Illinois 64-47, Southwest Minnesota State 80-34, Missouri 71-37, Edinboro 53-27, and Wisconsin-Whitewater 71-66.
The Lady Mavs made history with their first intercollegiate wins over Edinboro University. Sophomore Morgan Wood put up a double-double in both games with 20 points, 11 rebounds in the first win, and 18 points, plus 13 assists in the second win.
The teams head to Columbia, Mo., for the Missouri Tournament on Friday-Saturday, Dec. 6-7.
Women's team falls to North Texas
UT Arlington women's basketball fell 70-55 to North Texas on Wednesday night after losing 79-72 to Abilene Christian last week.
Seniors Desherra Nwanguma and Briana Walker each scored 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds against North Texas.
Against Abilene Christian, Walker had a double-double by the end of the first half with 27 points and 12 rebounds, and finished the game with a career-high 32 points and 15 boards.
The Mavericks (0-8) play Northern Arizona in Flagstaff on Saturday, Dec. 14.
Thursday, Dec. 5
Faculty and Staff Holiday Reception Share the spirit of the holidays. UTA Jazz Orchestra conducted by Tim Ishii. Holiday refreshments. 3-5 p.m., Bluebonnet Ballroom, E.H. Hereford University Center. Office of the President.
Friday, Dec. 6
UT Arlington Day at Christkindl Market An enchanting family market in the tradition of holiday markets in Germany featuring authentic German cuisine, beverages, entertainment, arts, crafts, and gifts. The UT Arlington Jazz Orchestra performs at 5:40 p.m. and 7 p.m. To receive 10 Christkindl dollars for food and beverage, show your ID Monday-Friday, Dec. 2-6, at University Communications, Room 408, Davis Hall. Free admission and parking. Noon-10 p.m., Rangers Ballpark. Christkindl Market, CollegeTown.
Friends of the Library Chants Encounters quartet performs Books and Carols with a sing-along and reception. Free. 7:30 p.m., sixth floor parlor, Central Library. Friends of the Library.
Dance Ensemble fall concert "Ideas in Motion: Awaken." General admission $7; $5 with student ID. 8 p.m., Main Stage Theatre, Fine Arts Building. Also 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7. Dance Ensemble.
Saturday, Dec. 7
Holiday Lights Bring the family and friends. Free. 6 p.m., Founders Plaza at the Levitt Pavilion, downtown Arlington. Holiday Lights Parade.
Sunday, Dec. 8
Opening Reception 'Back to the Moon for Good' Kick off the newest Planetarium show with a lecture about the moon, a raffle for a telescope, and a display of cool moon artifacts. $4 children and seniors, $6 adults. Noon-3 p.m. Planetarium.
Men's Basketball Mavericks vs. Cal State Bakersfield, 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21; vs. Arkansas State, 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014; vs. Arkansas-Little Rock, 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014; and vs. Louisiana-Monroe, noon Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014. Tickets $5. All at College Park Center. Athletics.
Women's Basketball Mavericks vs. Texas A&M Corpus Christi, 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21; vs. Arkansas State, 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014; vs. Louisiana-Monroe, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014. Tickets $5. All at College Park Center. Athletics.
Visual Resource Commons and Gallery The Jonathan A. Campbell and Tanya G. Dowdey African Art Collection is a multi-dimensional collection of 11th-20th century art and artifacts. Free. 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, Suite 2109, Fine Arts Building. Art and Art History.
MavsArt View artwork created by UT Arlington students, staff, and faculty. Free. First floor, Central Library. Through Sunday, Dec. 8. MavsArt.
Special Collections: Howdy, Mr. President! A Fort Worth Perspective of JFK Photos of President John F. Kennedy's visit to Fort Worth in November 1963 are from the historic Fort Worth Star-Telegram Collection in Special Collections. Gallery hours 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Mondays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, sixth floor, Central Library. Through Feb. 8, 2014. UT Arlington Library, Special Collections.
The Maverick Lens: Views from the Library This annual photo exhibit reflects the diversity of learning, living, and working at UT Arlington. See also "50 Years of Views." 8 a.m.-7 p.m., sixth floor parlor, Central Library. Through March 5, 2014. UT Arlington Library.
Mindful Moments Learn techniques to help deal effectively with stress. Free. 12:15-12:45 p.m. Fridays, Room 310, Ransom Hall. Health Services.
Planetarium The holiday schedule runs through Sunday, Dec. 22, with Season of Light; Holiday Music Magic; Back to the Moon for Good; One World, One Sky: Big Bird's Adventure; Pink Floyd; and Spacepark 360. Planetarium.
(For an expanded list of events, see the UT Arlington Calendar.)