Daily Archives: September 8, 2013

Scientific discoveries this week: 9/9/13

Brain-to-Brain Interface – University of Washington
Sharing thoughts through the connecting of two brain may not be too far off. Recently, University of Washington researchers Rajesh Rao and Andrea Stocco successfully performed what is believed to be the first noninvasive human-to-human brain interface in history. Rao sent a brain signal to Stocco, who was sitting at the opposite side of the University of Washington campus, which caused Stocco to involuntarily hit the spacebar of a computer stationed in front of him. Both were hooked up to a form of magnetic stimulation, and the experiment used electrical brain recordings. Rao and Stocco plan to continue research. Stocco believes this technology could be used to help people who do not speak the same language communicate or even allow a person with disabilities to communicate his or her needs.

Campus research: Meeting demands with bacteria

With Earth’s population at a whopping 7.1 billion, resource consumption is a serious concern among the academic community. The ever-increasing demand for goods has pressured manufacturers to employ new techniques to increase production and minimize costs. Experts of all disciplines located all across the world are answering this call, with each bringing their specialties to the table. Colorado School of Mines, widely known for its contributions to the study of renewable energies, is now home to a new project. A stimulating interview, with Dr. Nanette Boyle, revealed groundwork details of this research proposal. Based in the field of synthetic biology, Dr. Boyle hopes to take advantage of cyanobacteria for the production of fuels and pharmaceuticals.

Headlines from around the world: 9/9/13

Two researchers and their pilot were rescued from an Alaskan volcano after their helicopter’s blades were covered in ice, stranding them near the volcano for more than two days. Asked about how they spent the two days pilot Sam Egli said, “We just yakked.” The researchers were working on recovering some short-term volcano monitoring equipment. Due to the freezing ice storm they were unable to produce lift and the weather didn’t clear up after that. Luckily a rescue helicopter airlifted them to safety on Friday leaving the iced chopped on Mount Mageik.

Finding the right job for you

Career day is fast approaching. For freshmen, that means just trying to figure out what all the fuss is about, for sophomores and juniors it means research and hard work into getting that internship of a lifetime, and for seniors it is the day that leads to the job all of this hard work is for. The Career Center here at Mines provides plenty of resources for students, no matter what their goals at career fair are. Among the publications, appointments, and info sessions are workshops. Workshops are one of the easiest and fastest ways to get informed and updated on career fair etiquette, proper interview attire, and the all-important resume. Just one week before career day, Fast Enterprises of Tulsa, Oklahoma gave an informative presentation entitled, “Finding the Right Job for You.”

Blue Knight Group

The Blue Knight Group is a non-profit organization dedicated to finding a use for beetle kill. Richard Dziomba, a planning commissioner for Summit County started the Blue Knight Group four years ago when trying to determine what to do with a landfill that had been filled to the brim with waste from beetle kill. It was proposed that the firing range used by the sheriff department and local police forces be used to create more room for the dead trees. Of course this would be only a temporary solution. Dziomba told the Oredigger, “So the deal was the landfill simply could not except any more wood private or public. Summit county is two-thirds wooded. How do you create fire breaks? How do you let homeowners clear the land?” He continued to say that burning excess wood has been banned in a state moratorium after a forest fire was started by forest service trying to reduce fire hazard by removing excess trees. “So needless to say, all of us commissioners are not really thrilled about burning,” said Dziomba. “You know it’s dry, and what happens if it gets out of control?”

The Randall Rumor

With the start of school, young first-year students recently packed for the year ahead. They were extra careful to pack their toothbrush, their comfiest pillows, the ten pound rock from down the road, and the number for Ghostbusters. Well, when there is something strange in your neighborhood who else are you gonna call? While Mines does not have friendly ghosts to roam the houses of students like everyone’s favorite School for Witchcraft and Wizardry, reports from on-campus residents point to a possible ghost in some of the dorms.

The Skies Above Mines: The Lack of Stars Above Mines

There are two words sure to elicit a special kind of fear in astronomers: light pollution. While weather and other natural phenomena have cut short the star gazing dreams of many astronomers, both amateur and professional, these deterrents are passing. Light pollution on the other hand is much more permanent. At the dawn of civilization, stars peppered the skies in a way that is hard to imagine outside of places like Death Valley and the heart of Africa. To our ancestors on the plains of Africa, stellar features were more than prevalent. On nights where the moon wasn’t flooding the skies with its ethereal light, the Milky Way served as a backbone to the night and stellar clouds that we can only see today with long exposure shots served as a haunting miasma to the imaginations of our past.

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