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UTA In The News — Thursday, June 19, 2014

Thursday, June 19, 2014

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Wind energy could be harnessed to charge cell phone

In the world of tomorrow, charging your cell phone could be a breeze, National Geographic reported. Last year electrical engineers J-C Chiao and Smitha Rao, and their University of Texas at Arlington team, developed a prototype of a wind turbine—half the size of a grain of rice—that could be integrated into future electronics.

Research could indicate drilling impact on groundwater

KERA/90.1 FM (NPR) reported on research by Kevin Schug, a UT Arlington associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, that hopes to determine if drilling for oil and gas and burying chemical waste generated by the work is contaminating groundwater. The piece initially aired on StateImpact, a reporting project of National Public Radio member stations.

NSF grant helps fund meeting of top linguists

KRLD/1080 AM (CBS Radio) interviewed Colleen Fitzgerald, professor of linguistics at UT Arlington, who is hosting the Institute on Collaborative Language Institute, an international gathering of the world’s top linguists focused on preserving endangered languages. “Our language is an essential part of being human and how we express our humanity,” Fitzgerald said. “We’ve lost part of ourselves if we don’t have a connection to our heritage language.” A National Science Foundation grant awarded to Fitzgerald funds the conference.

Research aim to help veterans with PTSD

UT Arlington researchers have successfully used a portable brain-mapping device to show limited prefrontal cortex activity among student veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder when they were asked to recall information from simple memorization tasks, Science Codex, Health Canal, Medical, News and ECN Magazine reported. The study by bioengineering professor Hanli Liu and Alexa Smith-Osborne, an associate professor of social work, and two other collaborators was published in the May 2014 edition of NeuroImage: Clinical

Developing countries at risk for exposure to arsenic

The National Science Foundation news reported that NSF funding will help two University of Texas at Arlington faculty members work with a Texas company to market a more environmentally friendly field analyzer for arsenic in water. Millions worldwide, especially in developing countries, are at risk for chronic exposure to arsenic in drinking water.

Professor says small cracks in Allen Stadium could pose future problems

KTVT/CBS 11 interviewed Simon Chao, a civil engineering associate professor at UT Arlington, about cracks in Allen ISD’s $60 million stadium that went unnoticed following early safety inspections. “One possibility is usually the cracks are very small. You cannot see even from this distance,” Chao said. He believes the cracks have been growing since that first football scrimmage and could start to impact other parts of the stadium. The district is set to release a new report Thursday that is said to contain “shortcomings in the engineering and possibly construction of the stadium.” 

Study says fragile Y chromosome influences meiosis and News reported on a UT Arlington study of genetic information from more than 4,000 beetle species, which has produced 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. 

Republicans could fear Colorado's marijuana law loosening

KTSA/550 AM (San Antonio) interviewed Allan Saxe, a UT Arlington associate professor of political science, about efforts by Dallas and Denver to host the 2016 GOP Convention. Some wonder if the legalization of marijuana in Colorado will scare some Republicans away from Denver. “On the other hand, Republicans might say ‘that’s exactly why I want to go there because we want to attract young people, a different constituency. If we go to Denver, maybe that will show that we are a young political party reaching out to new, young voters,” Saxe said. He also believes that Dallas has a good chance to host the event.

Community entities deciding on public art for sculpture trail

A committee that includes representatives from the Parks and Recreation Department, the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers, The University of Texas at Arlington and the Arlington Convention & Visitors Bureau is tasked with selecting public art for a new sculpture trail in Arlington, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

Former UTA president a finalist

Oakland University has launched the public portion of its presidential search with the first of three public interviews with finalists, the Detroit Free Press reported. The first candidate is James Spaniolo, who is the higher education adviser to Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and the former president of The University of Texas at Arlington.

Behavior suggests Muslim bashing mentioned UT Arlington student reporter Heba Said in a piece about anti-Muslim sentiment. While covering the Texas GOP convention, Said, a Muslim-American, said delegates looked at her in fear when she wore a hijab, the head-covering that some Muslim women wear. Salon called the incident an example of “right-wing Muslim bashing.”

Program participants receive chance at UTA scholarship

A Dallas student is among 50 students nationwide who have been selected to participate in the Four Star Leadership program, offering leadership training, policy debate, speech competition and scholarships, and the opportunity to engage with national and global leaders, the Celina Record reported. Retired Gen. Tommy Franks, a UT Arlington alumnus, will host the camp. Four participants who successfully complete the program will have an opportunity to receive a full-tuition scholarship to UT Arlington.