Duke Digest – April 1, 2016

In today’s issue:

  • Missy Cummings Testifies Before Senate Committee
  • Connected Car Technology Visits Engineering Quad
  • Researchers Find New Class of Molecular ‘Lightbulbs’ to Enhance MRI
  • From Guns to Women’s Movement: A Conversation with Kristin Goss
  • Charlie Dunlap Weighs in on Legality of ‘Carpet-Bombing’
  • Duke Offers Admission to 2,500 High School Seniors

MISSY CUMMINGS TESTIFIES BEFORE SENATE COMMITTEE
Last week, Missy Cummings, professor of mechanical engineering and materials science and professor of electrical and computer engineering, provided testimony before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation during a hearing entitled “Hands Off: The Future of Self-Driving Cars.” Cummings joined a panel of industry experts to discuss the technological and regulatory environment of the autonomous systems.

Link to webcast of hearing (commerce.senate.gov)

CONNECTED CAR TECHNOLOGY VISITS ENGINEERING QUAD
The future of mobile satellite communications recently rolled through the engineering quad on Duke’s campus. Dubbed the “mTenna,” the flat device is about the size of your hand and can connect with satellites in any direction while on the move, providing internet connections at speeds capable of handling a terabyte of data per month. Nathan Kundtz, founder and CEO of Kymeta, the company producing the mTenna, developed the technology while completing his doctorate in the laboratory of metamaterials pioneer David Smith, professor and chair of the electrical and computer engineering department at Duke.

Kunitz brought a prototype to campus via the “Connected Car.” While on campus, Kuntz participated in a discussion with Smith and Lawrence Carin, vice provost for research at Duke, where Carin said, “This story represents everything we hope to achieve. Unbelievable research, a PhD student going into a leadership role and unbelievable technology that is o a pathway to transforming lives of people.”

Connected Car Technology Returns Home with Proud Parent (pratt.duke.edu)

RESEARCHERS FIND NEW CLASS OF MOLECULAR ‘LIGHTBULBS’ TO ENHANCE MRI
Duke University researchers have taken a major step towards realizing a new form of MRI that could record biochemical reactions in the body as they happen. The team recently reported the discovery of a new class of molecular tags that enhance MRI signals by 10,000-fold and generate detectable signals that last over an hour.

“This represents a completely new class of molecules that doesn’t look anything at all like what people thought could be made into MRI tags,” said Warren S. Warren, James B. Duke Professor and Chair of Physics at Duke, and senior author on the study. “We envision it could provide a whole new way to use MRI to learn about the biochemistry of disease.”

This research was supported by the National Science Foundation (CHE-1058727, CHE-1363008, CHE-1416268), the National Institutes of Health (1R21EB018014), the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs Breast Cancer grant (W81XWH-12-1-0159/BC112431).

New Class of Molecular ‘Lightbulbs’ Illuminate MRI (today.duke.edu)

FROM GUNS TO WOMEN’S MOVEMENT: A CONVERSATION WITH KRISTIN GOSS
Gun control, philanthropy, and women’s political movements may seem unrelated. However, for Kristin Goss, associate professor of public policy, a historical perspective reveals the truly interconnectedness and current political relevance of these issues. At a recent event at Duke in DC, Goss discussed the current state of women and politics.

Are Women the Key to a Successful Gun Control Movement? (governmentrelations.duke.edu)

CHARLIE DUNLAP WEIGHS IN ON LEGALITY OF ‘CARPET-BOMBING’
Charles Dunlap, former deputy judge advocate general of the United States Air Force and Duke Law Professor, wrote in a piece posted to War on the Rocks in which he examines what resources can be brought to bear, ethically and legally, to defeat ISIL in the wake of a lengthy media discussion of the term “carpet bomb.”

Getting the Law Right on Carpet-Bombing and Civilian Casualties (warontherocks.com)

DUKE OFFERS ADMISSION TO 2,500 HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS
More than 32,000 students applied for admission this year — the second highest number ever received — with more than 28,600 students applying under Duke’s Regular Decision program. Among the Regular Decision applicant pool, 2,501 students — 8.7 percent — will receive a notice of acceptance today inviting them to become members of the Class of 2020.

This is also the first year for the Washington Duke Scholars, a program for exceptionally talented students from around the country who are the first in their families to attend college and who have demonstrated financial need.

Duke Offers Admission to 2,500 High School Seniors (today.duke.edu)