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UTA In The News — Friday, February 7, 2014

Friday, February 7, 2014

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A UT Arlington team exploring pigeons as a model for vertebrate evolution has uncovered that mutations and interactions among just three genes create a wide variety of color variations, Science Codex, Science Newsline, Healthy Way, Science Daily and many other websites reported. One of those genes, they also found, may be an example of a "slippery gene" more prone to evolutionary changes. John W. "Trey" Fondon, an assistant professor of biology, is co-author of a study that begins to unravel the molecular basis for the color palette of domestic pigeons breeds known as "fancy pigeons." Other co-authors include Shreyas Krishnan and Clifford Rodgers of UT Arlington. Eric T. Domyan, a post-doctoral fellow in the lab of University of Utah professor Michael D. Shapiro, is lead author.

Two billionaire sisters surfaced after details about the estate of their late father, Harold Simmons, emerged in regulatory filings and a redacted will obtained by Bloomberg News. Lisa K. Simmons, 58, and Serena Simmons Connelly, 44, control 93.8 percent of Dallas-based Contran Corp., a closely held entity that holds majority stakes in four publicly traded companies. Simmons Connelly holds an undergraduate degree from Brown University and a master’s degree in social work from The University of Texas at Arlington.

Tim Ishii, director of jazz studies and saxophone at UT Arlington, was interviewed as part of a professional big band at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, KTXD 47's Texas Daily show reported. The live band is the only in existence at a U.S. rodeo and has been playing at the annual event for more than four decades.

A UT Arlington bioengineer has received a four-year, $1.4 million National Institutes of Health grant to create a nanoparticle system to shore up arterial walls following angioplasty and stenting procedures to treat coronary arterial disease, MDT Magazine, NewsWise and many other websites reported. Kytai Nguyen, a UT Arlington associate professor of bioengineering, said the research looks to improve an established procedure like angioplasty, which opens arteries and blood vessels that are blocked. The nanoparticles would recruit stem cells to aid in the healing of the arterial walls. She is co-principal investigator with Jian Yang, a bioengineering associate professor at Penn State and a former associate professor here. The article featured Yang's work in biofluorescent polymers.

Jim Minge has put Texas Trust Credit Union on a fast-track to reaching 100,000 members and $1 billion in assets thanks in large part to a merger with Security One Federal Credit Union, the Dallas Business Journal reported. The president and CEO of TTCU says the merger made sense because of Security One’s locations, its employees and its assets. Texas Trust plans to open a branch at UT Arlington’s College Park District by early summer.

Two UT Arlington researchers have designed a micro-windmill that could ultimately power cell phone batteries and other devices, Co.Exist reported. J.-C. Chiao, electrical engineering professor, and Smitha Rao, research associate, developed the system that employs a nickel alloy on the windmill for strength and durability.