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  • With NSF grant, Caracoglia will test life-size buildings against simulated tornados

    “Civil and environmental engineering professor Luca Caracoglia is part of a team of researchers across nine universities who have been given a four-year, $14 million grant by the NSF to design a facility that can test tornado effects on real-life scale building models.”

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  • ‘Evaluation of the US COVID-19 Scenario Modeling Hub for informing pandemic response under uncertainty’

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    “Our ability to forecast epidemics far into the future is constrained by the many complexities of disease systems. Realistic longer-term projections may, however, be possible under well-defined scenarios that specify the future state of critical epidemic drivers. Since December 2020, the U.S. COVID-19 Scenario Modeling Hub (SMH) has convened multiple modeling teams to make months ahead projections of SARS-CoV-2 burden, totaling nearly 1.8 million national and state-level projections. Here, we find SMH performance varied widely as a function of both scenario validity and model calibration.” Find the paper and full list of authors at Nature Communications.

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  • ‘Whole genome assembly and annotation of the endangered Caribbean coral Acropora cervicornis’

    “Coral species in the genus Acropora are key ecological components of coral reefs worldwide and represent the most diverse genus of scleractinian corals. While key species of Indo-Pacific Acropora have annotated genomes, no annotated genome has been published for either of the two species of Caribbean Acropora. Here we present the first fully annotated genome of the endangered Caribbean staghorn coral, Acropora cervicornis.” Find the paper and full list of authors at G3.

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  • ‘Shotgun Kinetic Target-Guided Synthesis Approach Enables the Discovery of Small-Molecule Inhibitors’

    “Pathogenic free-living amoebae (pFLA) can cause life-threatening central nervous system (CNS) infections and warrant the investigation of new chemical agents to combat the rise of infection from these pathogens. Naegleria fowleri glucokinase (NfGlck), a key metabolic enzyme involved in generating glucose-6-phosphate, was previously identified as a potential target due to its limited sequence similarity with human Glck (HsGlck). Herein, we used our previously demonstrated multifragment kinetic target-guided synthesis (KTGS) screening strategy to identify inhibitors against pFLA glucokinases.” Find the paper and full list of authors at ACS Infectious Diseases.

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  • ‘Biochemical Activity of 17 Cancer-Associated Variants of DNA Polymerase Kappa Predicted by Electrostatic Properties’

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    “DNA damage and repair have been widely studied in relation to cancer and therapeutics. Y-family DNA polymerases can bypass DNA lesions … including some chemotherapy agents. Overexpression of the Y-family polymerase human pol kappa can result in tumorigenesis and drug resistance in cancer. This report describes the use of computational tools to predict the effects of single nucleotide polymorphism variants on pol kappa activity. Partial Order Optimum Likelihood (POOL), a machine learning method, … was used to identify amino acid residues most likely involved in catalytic activity.” Find the paper and full list of authors at Chemical Research in Toxicology.

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  • ‘Chromatin Alternates Between A and B Compartments at Kilobase Scale for Subgenic Organization’

    “Nuclear compartments are prominent features of 3D chromatin organization, but sequencing depth limitations have impeded investigation at ultra fine-scale. CTCF loops are generally studied at a finer scale, but the impact of looping on proximal interactions remains enigmatic. Here, we critically examine nuclear compartments and CTCF loop-proximal interactions using a combination of in situ Hi-C at unparalleled depth, algorithm development and biophysical modeling.” Find the paper and full list of authors at Nature Communications.

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  • ‘Kinetics and mechanism of halide exchange in reactions of CpRu(PPh₃)₂Cl with alkyl halides’

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    “Halide exchange reactions between CpRu(PPh3)2Cl (1) and CBr4, CHBr3, CBr3CO2Et or CHBr2CO2Et yielding CpRu(PPh3)2Br (3) are facile and appear to proceed by a radical pair intermediate in a second order reaction. … Density functional theory calculations on potential intermediates suggests that a pathway leading to CpRu(PPh3)(Cl)(Br) is more likely than oxidative addition, which is preferred in reactions of 1 with bromoethane.” Find the paper and full list of authors at the Royal Society of Chemistry.

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  • Murthy receives patent for dendritic cell collection

    “Devices, systems, and methods can be used for the automated production of dendritic cells (DC) from dendritic cell progenitors, such as monocytes obtained from peripheral blood, and the automated generation of immunotherapeutic products from those dendritic cells, all within a closed system. The invention makes it possible to obtain sufficient quantities of a subject’s own DC for use in preparing and characterizing vaccines, for activating and characterizing the activation state of the subject’s immune response, and to aid in preventing and/or treating cancer or infectious disease.”

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  • ‘Multiconfigurational Photodynamics Simulations Reveal the Mechanism of Photodecarbonylations of Cyclopropenones’

    “Gas-evolving photochemical reactions use light and mild conditions to access strained organic compounds irreversibly. Cyclopropenones are a class of light-responsive molecules used in bioorthogonal photoclick reactions; their excited-state decarbonylation reaction mechanisms are misunderstood due to their ultrafast (<100 femtosecond) lifetimes. We have combined multiconfigurational quantum mechanical (QM) calculations and non-adiabatic molecular dynamics (NAMD) simulations to uncover the excited-state mechanism of cyclopropenone and a photoprotected cyclooctyne-(COT)-precursor in gaseous and explicit aqueous environments.” Find the paper and full list of authors at the Royal Society of Chemistry.

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  • In every designed object, there is ‘a human being at the center’ — Lee Moreau’s new podcast explores just who design is for

    Professor of the practice of design Lee Moreau’s new podcast, “Design As,” invites leaders in the field of design to discuss contemporary issues within their discipline and interrogate just who design belongs to or serves.

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  • Developing cutting-edge testing technology for 5G Open RAN

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    “Electrical and computer engineering principal research scientist Pedram Johari is leading a $2,000,000 project awarded by the Wireless Innovation Fund to develop a digital framework for testing 5G Open RAN systems called ‘DigiRAN: High-Fidelity Digital Twins for Interoperability, Security and Performance Testing of Open RAN Systems.’ DigiRAN is a digital framework that enables diverse, low-cost and automated testing of three core components for 5G Open RAN: interoperability, performance and security.”

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  • Ostadabbas receives NSF grant to integrate AR technologies into stroke rehabilitation

    “Electrical and computer engineering associate professor Sarah Ostadabbas, in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh and Myomo, Inc., has secured a $550,000 NSF grant for their project titled ‘PFI-RP: Augmented Reality and Electroencephalography for Detecting, Assessing and Rehabilitating Visual Unilateral Neglect in Stroke Patients.’ This project aims to create a comprehensive tool for detecting, assessing and rehabilitating neglect in stroke patients. It will use augmented reality (AR) and electroencephalography (EEG) to automatically detect neglect and stimulate the affected side of the body and environment.”

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  • Improving the efficiency of medical device communication

    “Electrical and computer engineering William Lincoln Smith Professor Tommaso Melodia was awarded a patent for ‘Ultrasonic multiplexing network for implantable medical devices.'”

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  • Chowdhury and Jornet made IEEE Fellows

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    “Electrical and computer engineering professors Kaushik Chowdhury and Josep Jornet were elevated to IEEE Fellows. Chowdhury was elevated for contributions to the development of cognitive radio networks and applied machine learning for wireless systems. Jornet was recognized for contributions in terahertz communication and nanonetworking.”

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  • ‘Monolingual Disobedience, Multilingual Guilt?: An Autoethnographic Exploration of Heritage Language Maintenance During COVID-19 Lockdowns’

    “In this study I indicate that lengthened family interaction time during pandemic lockdowns can afford children significantly more exposure and opportunities to enhance their heritage language, but that this does not diminish the constant dilemma between striving to balance English acquisition and heritage language maintenance. Using autoethnography, and as a first-generation immigrant mother of a preschool-age Chinese American child, I will demonstrate how our family language policy and languaging practices evolved during the COVID19 lockdowns.”

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  • Connecting to medical devices through ultrasonic network

    “Electrical and computer engineering William Lincoln Smith Professor Tommaso Melodia was awarded a patent for ‘Internet-linked ultrasonic network for medical devices.'”

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  • With new industrial ecology textbook, Matthew Eckelman suggests we treat industry ‘more like nature’

    Associate professor of civil and environmental engineering Matthew Eckelman has co-authored “Industrial Ecology and Sustainability,” a new edition of a seminal textbook in the field of industrial ecology, which asks, “How can we make the industrial system act more like nature?”

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  • Long-term retirement care is facing imminent revolution: ‘The marketplace will demand it’

    Timothy Hoff, professor of management, healthcare systems and public policy, writes, “Long-term care in the United States is on the verge of profound change. The marketplace will demand it. More people than ever want to age in place.” With “70 million baby boomers … moving past or toward the age of 65 years [and] another 65 million Gen Xers … following them,” artificial intelligence is poised to revolutionize the field of retirement-age care.

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  • ‘Engaged and Reflexive Sociology for Environmental Health’

    “The article examines my environmental health work for nearly four decades with many environmental activists and organizations, as well as scientists and government officials. I discuss how I have merged research and advocacy, while mentoring many students and colleagues on how to do that. I discuss my efforts to conduct transdisciplinary work that crosses social sciences, environmental health science, environmental justice, social movement studies and science and technology studies, while centering that work on community-based participatory research.”

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  • Protecting wireless systems from adversarial attacks

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    “Electrical and computer engineering William Lincoln Smith Professor Tommaso Melodia, assistant professor Francesco Restuccia and assistant research professor Salvatore D’oro were awarded a patent for ‘Neural network for adversarial deep learning in wireless systems.'”

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  • ‘Context Matters: Affirmative Action, Public Health and the Use of Population-Level Data’

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    “Last June, in Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA), the Supreme Court ruled that universities could not consider race in admitting students. In support of that decision, the Court dismissed the relevance of data about the varied experiences of racial groups, insisting that admissions decisions must be based solely on the experiences and merits of individual applicants. The Court’s rejection of group-level data evinces a critical misunderstanding about the uses and limits of such data that, if applied more broadly, portends troubling implications for health equity and health policy.” Find the paper and full list of authors at Bill of Health.

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  • ‘Exploring User Perceptions of Using An LLM-Based Conversational Assistant [as a] Cooking Partner’

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    Large language models (LLMs) have the ability to help in daily tasks. “In this research, we chose cooking, a complex daily task, as a scenario to investigate people’s successful and unsatisfactory experiences while receiving assistance from an LLM-based CA, Mango Mango. We discovered that participants value the system’s ability to provide extensive information beyond the recipe, offer customized instructions based on context, and assist them in dynamically planning the task. However, they expect the system to be more adaptive to oral conversation and provide more suggestive responses to keep users actively involved.” Find the paper and authors list at ArXiv.

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  • ‘Depredation Influences Anglers’ Perceptions on Soastal Shark Management and Conservation’

    “Overfishing, habitat degradation, and climate change have caused declines in shark populations throughout the world’s oceans. … Reported increases in shark depredation within the last several years have begun to erode angler support for shark conservation, potentially undermining decades of previous work. To address these concerns, we implemented a GoM-wide online survey to characterize the impact of depredation on recreational reef fish anglers’ fishing satisfaction and perceptions of shark management and conservation.” Find the paper and full list of authors at Frontiers in Conservation Science.

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  • ‘Design and Characterization of Model Systems that Promote and Disrupt Transparency of Vertebrate Crystallins In Vitro’

    “Positioned within the eye, the lens supports vision by transmitting and focusing light onto the retina. As an adaptive glassy material, the lens is constituted primarily by densely-packed, polydisperse crystallin proteins that organize to resist aggregation and crystallization at high volume fractions, yet the details of how crystallins coordinate with one another to template and maintain this transparent microstructure remain unclear. The role of individual crystallin subtypes (α, β, and γ) and paired subtype compositions … is explored using combinations of spectrophotometry, hard-sphere simulations, and surface pressure measurements.” Find the paper and full list of authors in Advanced Science.

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  • Improving RF resonator technology

    “Electrical and computer engineering associate professor Cristian Casella and electrical engineering student Xuanyi Zhao, PhD’23, were awarded a patent for ‘Two Dimensional Rod Resonator for RF Filtering.'”

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  • Patricia Illingworth argues that legacy admissions lead to ‘inequality and injustice’

    Citing the recent end of affirmative action, Patricia Illingworth writes that, “If it is wrong for universities to give preference to alums and donors, it is wrong for alums and donors to seek those privileges.” By way of one example, she points out that, “When donors give with an eye toward future privileges for themselves or for their offspring, they may be engaging in moral licensing: doing good to do bad.” And while some philanthropy isn’t motivated by ulterior motives like these, some warrants rigorous and thoughtful critique.

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  • ‘Behind the Scenes: Uncovering TLS and Server Certificate Practice of IoT Device Vendors in the Wild’

    “IoT devices are increasingly used in consumer homes. Despite recent works in characterizing IoT TLS usage for a limited number of in-lab devices, there exists a gap in quantitatively understanding TLS behaviors from devices in the wild and server-side certificate management. To bridge this knowledge gap, we conduct a new measurement study by focusing on the practice of device vendors, through a crowdsourced dataset of network traffic. … Our study highlights potential concerns in the TLS/PKI practice by IoT device vendors.” Find the paper and full list of authors in the Proceedings of the 2023 ACM on Internet Measurement Conference. 

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  • ‘BehavIoT: Measuring Smart Home IoT Behavior Using Network-Inferred Behavior Models’

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    “Smart home IoT platforms are typically closed systems, meaning that there is poor visibility into device behavior. Understanding device behavior is important not only for determining whether devices are functioning as expected, but also can reveal implications for privacy, [security and safety]. … In this work, we demonstrate that the vast majority of IoT behavior can indeed be modeled, using a novel multi-dimensional approach that relies only on the (often encrypted) network traffic exchanged by IoT devices.” Find the paper and full list of authors in the Proceedings of the 2023 ACM on Internet Measurement Conference.

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  • ‘Detection of Sexism on Social Media With Multiple Simple Transformers’

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    “Social media platforms have become virtual communication channels, allowing users to voice their thoughts and opinions. However, this openness and features of anonymity have also given rise to the proliferation of harmful and offensive content, including sexism. This research aims at proposing a methodology and explores the use of different simple transformers. …The proposed approach has great scope for the efficient detection of sexist content on social media, aiding in the development of effective content moderation systems.” Find the paper and full list of authors at the CEUR Workshop Proceedings.

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  • ‘Localizing Traffic Differentiation’

    “Network neutrality is important for users, content providers, policymakers, and regulators interested in understanding how network providers differentiate performance. … In prior work, WeHe detects differentiation via end-to-end throughput measurements between a client and server but does not isolate the network responsible for it. Differentiation can occur anywhere on the network path between endpoints. … We present a system, WeHeY, built atop WeHe, that can localize traffic differentiation, i.e., obtain concrete evidence that the differentiation happened within the client’s ISP.” Find the paper and full list of authors in the 2023 ACM on Internet Measurement Conference proceedings.

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