Daily Archives: April 21, 2013


EWB completes footbridge in Nicaragua

A group of Mines students, representing Engineers Without Borders-USA (EWB-USA), travelled down to Nicaragua to the small community of Los Gomez to complete a pedestrian footbridge over the frequently flooded Rio Ochomogo River. The bridge had been under construction for the preceding year. The cohort included six students, a faculty mentor, and a professional mentor, ranging in majors from civil to humanitarian to chemical engineering, all of whom donated their spring reaks to helping those less fortunate than themselves. The trip marked the 4th trip to the small community over the last year in which the team was able to finish hand mixing and pouring two concrete anchors, stringing five steel cables, and laying the decking and fencing of the 42 meter pedestrian footbridge.

Inorganic clathrate lecture

George Nolas of the Physics Department at University of South Florida has recently acquired a new lab where he will continue to synthesize and characterize single crystal clathrates.
As a physicist, his work focuses on the structural property relationship of materials with the clathrate structure. Nolas describes the clathrate structure as a cage of atoms that can be put together like building blocks along shared faces, called the framework, with an atom or molecule in the middle called the guest.

This Week in Colorado History: Mines Road Trip

This Week in 1914, all 58 members of the Colorado School of Mines class of 1914 departed “on their long trip of inspection, which takes in the biggest mills, smelters and mines of Colorado, Utah, Montana and Idaho.” They were to travel in a private car on the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad and were expected back in Golden May 18. This would give the sutdents enough time to prepare for graduation May 22. “The Colorado Transcript” argued that “it’s a safe bet they will get considerable fun as well as education out of the long journey together for the last time before scattering to the four corners of the world.”


Community Spotlight: Art on the Brix

One recent trend for young and old is creative entertainment. Offering painting classes paired with alcohol these places provide a creative experience paired with a fun, social atmosphere. Art on the Brix is one such place in Golden, located in the alley behind Indulge, next to Urban Escape Day Spa. Opened in October 2011, Art on the Brix offers guided classes that cover canvas and glass painting as well as providing open studios for local artists to work on their own projects.

Mathematical modeling in the K-12 curriculum

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS), created by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and Council of Chief State School Officers and adopted by 45 of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and four U.S. territories, outline minimum standards for K-12 student progress in English Language Arts and Mathematics. Given their prevalence in all states except Alaska, Texas, Minnesota, Virginia, and Nebraska, most educators regard them as the future of education in grades K-12.

Science and the Quran: A philosophical review

Recently, the Muslim Students Association hosted a talk by Mines Physics PhD student Abdulaziz Alaswad entitled, “From the Atom to the Galaxy; Quran and Science”. During the talk, Alaswad interpreted a number of passages in the Quran as clear evidence that the author of the Quran had knowledge of contemporary (i.e., twentieth and twenty-first century) science. This fact, he claims, is proof that God authored the Quran. There is no doubt that Alaswad is a well-spoken scientist with a special talent for explaining complicated subjects (e.g., cosmology, atomic physics) in a way that the non-specialist can understand. There is also no doubt that Alaswad has a sincere belief in a higher power. Here, I do not wish to take issue either with his scientific knowledge or his faith; I have a sincere respect for both. Rather, I would like to analyze the arguments that he presented for the claim that the author of the Quran had knowledge of contemporary science (call this claim C).

Opinion: 4-20

April 20th is a fun day every year. No matter if it’s a Monday, a Wednesday, or a Saturday. In Colorado with the recent passing of Amendment 64 this fun has often translated into consuming large amounts of marijuana in scones, banana bread, brownies, and other tasty consumables. Our society developed these drug habits out…

Scientific discoveries this week: 4/22/13

San Francisco, California
Scientists from UC San Francisco discovered that muscle repair requires the action of two types of cells known for causing inflammation and forming fat. The finding found that a immune cell called the eosinophil carries out muscle repair by clearing out cellular debris from damaged tissue and teaming up with a type of cell that can make fat to instead trigger muscle regrowth. The eosinophils move to the site of the injury and collaborate with a progenitor cell–an immature cell similar to stem cells to form new muscle fibers.The progenitor cells are well known for their role in making fat which occurs when the body experiences prolonged immobility. Eosinophils are known for fighting bacteria and parasites, like other immune cells, but they are more often thought of for their role in allergic reactions and other inflammatory reactions. The researchers are trying to determine if eosinophils and the progenitor cells are universally employed in injuries sites as a way to get rid of debris and rebuilding muscle without triggering anaphylactic shock.

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