Headlines @ U.Va.
FIVE CENTERS TO GET NANOELECTRONIC BOOST
In a push to accelerate nanoelectronics, the National Science Foundation and an industry consortium is providing $2 million to five university centers. Purdue University’s Network for Computational Nanotechnology will share the $2 million with Harvard, U.Va., the University of California-Santa Barbara and Columbia University. The money is coming from the NSF and the Nanoelectronics Research Corp., an industry consortium that is designed to provide a competitive advantage to its member companies by delivering technical talent and early research findings from universities, Purdue said. The money will be used to help tackle a critical question related to the inevitable demise of Moore’s Law — the yearly increase in transister density on integrated circuits — a general rule that is central to the evolution and success of the computer industry. (United Press International, Jan. 11)
NASA AWARDS U.VA. SOLAR SYSTEM ORIGINS GRANT
NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Solar System Division, Washington, selected U.Va. for a grant to support the Origins of Solar Systems research program. The Origins of Solar Systems program supports scientific investigations related to understanding the formation and early evolution of planetary systems, and to provide the fundamental research and analysis necessary to detect and characterize other planetary systems. The research also supports the Vision for Space Exploration, NASA’s long-term plan to return astronauts to the moon and extend exploration to Mars and beyond. The maximum grant award is $138,000. (PRNewswire, Dec. 29)
RESEARCH SHOWS ARTIFICIAL LIGHT STIMULATES BREAST CANCER GROWTH IN LAB MICE
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ National Institutes of Health issued the following press release: Results from a new study in laboratory mice show that nighttime exposure to artificial light stimulated the growth of human breast tumors by suppressing the levels of a key hormone called melatonin. The study also showed that extended periods of nighttime darkness greatly slowed the growth of these tumors. The study results might explain why female night shift workers have a higher rate of breast cancer. It also offers a promising new explanation for the epidemic rise in breast cancer incidence in industrialized countries like the United States. ... The results are published in the Dec. 1, 2005 issue of the scientific journal Cancer Research. ... “The effects we are seeing are of greatest concern to people who routinely stay in a lighted environment during times when they would prefer to be sleeping,” said Mark Rollag, Ph.D., a visiting research scientist at U.Va. and one of the study co-authors. “This is because melatonin concentrations are not elevated during a person’s normal waking hours.” (U.S. Fed News, Dec. 20)