Duke Digest — November 8, 2013

Duke Digest – November 8, 2013

In Today’s Issue:

  • Congressmen Visit Campus, Demo Airport Security Research
  • EVENT: New Approaches and Incentives in Drug Development Conference Nov. 22
  • Federally-Funded Research Boosts Energy Efficiency Using Metamaterials
  • Duke Research on Artificial Limbs Eyeing World Cup Debut
  • A New Iran? Duke and UNC Scholars to Webcast Public Discussion Nov. 14
  • OPINION: Professor Argues for More Access Points in Border Fencing
  • OPINION:  Professor Says Doctors Should Discuss Treatment Costs Before Prescribing
  • COMMENTARY: Is the U.S. Weakened by NSA Spying?
  • Law Professor Says Democracy, Not Individuals, Decides Moral Justness of War
  • Third-Year Law Student Discusses Upcoming White House Internship
  • Nicholas Staff, Students to Attend UN Climate Conference

 

CONGRESSMEN VISIT CAMPUS, DEMO AIRPORT SECURITY RESEARCH
Three members of the North Carolina delegation to Congress –  Reps. Richard Hudson (R-NC), George Holding (R-NC), and David Price (D-NC) – visited campus on November 6 to tour research labs and view demonstrations of federally-funded airport security research projects happening at Duke.

The Members’ visit also included a meeting with President Brodhead and Chancellor Dzau, who stressed the importance of ending the federal budget sequester and reaching a bipartisan solution to the current budget impasse.

Read More:
NC Reps Demo Federally-Funded Airport Security Research at Duke (governmentrelations.duke.edu)

 

EVENT: NEW APPROACHES AND INCENTIVES IN DRUG DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE NOV. 22
The Duke Law Center for Innovation Policy announces an inaugural conference to discuss recent developments in biopharmaceutical industry as a result of a Supreme Court ruling, escalating research costs and lack of high-impact innovation. The day-long conference, taking place on Nov. 22 at the National Academy of Sciences Building, will address questions of how well the current incentive system works for biopharmaceutical development, particularly in the context of small molecules. Should additional or alternative economic incentives, such as targeted public funding or exclusivity terms based on research risk or disease, be considered?

Read more and register for the conference here.

 

FEDERALLY-FUNDED RESEARCH BOOSTS ENERGY EFFICIENCY USING METAMATERIALS
Researchers at the Pratt School of Engineering have designed a power-harvesting device that uses inexpensive materials configured and tuned to capture microwave signals that has the efficiency similar to that of modern solar panels. The research, supported by the Army Research Office, could have practical applications in wireless and remote devices.

Read More:
Wireless Device Converts “Lost” Energy into Electric Power (pratt.duke.edu)

 

DUKE RESEARCH ON ARTIFICIAL LIMBS EYEING WORLD CUP DEBUT
Miguel Nicolelis, School of Medicine professor in neuroscience and Co-Director of Center for Neuroengineering, writes in Scientific American regarding his work in developing technologies that allow electrical signals from the brain to control robotic limbs and a potential demonstration at the opening ceremonies at the 2014 World Cup.  He says,

“This scientific demonstration of a radically new technology, undertaken with collaborators in Europe and Brazil, will convey to a global audience of billions that brain control of machines has moved from lab demos and futuristic speculation to a new era in which tools capable of bringing mobility to patients incapacitated by injury or disease may become a reality. “

Read More:
Coming Soon: Artificial Limbs Controlled by Thoughts (Scientific American)

 

A NEW IRAN? DUKE AND UNC SCHOLARS TO WEBCAST PUBLIC DISCUSSION NOV. 14
Scholars from Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will hold a panel discussion titled “A New Iran?” on Thursday, Nov. 14, at Old Chem. 011 on Duke’s West Campus. The discussion begins at 5pm and will be followed by a Q & A and will be live-streamed online from 5pm-6:30pm.   Tweet your questions and comments at #Iran.

Topics will include the history of U.S.-Iranian relations, domestic politics, human rights, President Rouhani’s notion of political power, and Iran’s rapprochement with Western countries and its implications for the region.

Read More:
A New Iran? Duke and UNC Scholars Hold Public Discussion (islamicommentary.org)

 

OPINION: PROFESSOR ARGUES FOR MORE ACCESS POINTS IN BORDER FENCING
Stephen Kelly, the associate director of the Center for Canadian Studies and former American diplomat who served in Mexico, worte in a New York Times op-ed,

“The Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the Border Patrol, has already testified that the high-security fencing built since 2006 is sufficient. Plans for more should be shelved.

As for the existing barriers, the department needs to punch more holes in them. It may seem counterintuitive to build a fence and then provide more openings. But the Border Patrol to some extent already uses existing gaps in the fence — it is not a continuous line along the entire Rio Grande Valley — to herd illegal border crossers to specific areas where they are easier to apprehend.”

Read More:
A Bend in the River (New York Times)

 

SANFORD PROFESSOR: DOCTORS SHOULD DISCUSS COSTS OF TREATMENT BEFORE PRESCRIBING
Peter Ubel, professor of business administration and public policy, wrote in a New York Times op-ed,

“If an antibiotic would cure your infection, your doctor would probably still warn you about the chance of sun sensitivity before prescribing the pill.

But even when the costs of a medical intervention might force patients to choose between paying the bill or keeping up with their mortgages, American physicians rarely discuss that serious side effect with them … Given how much attention we have been focusing on health care costs and the Affordable Care Act, now is the time to change such thinking.”

Read More:
Doctor, First Tell Me What It Costs (sanford.duke.edu)

 

COMMENTARY: IS U.S. WEAKENED BY NSA SPYING?
Bruce Jentleson, professor of public policy and political science, in a Q&A session with the over 20,000 students enrolled in his 21st Century Foreign Policy Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), addressed the recent NSA spying revelations, saying,

“I think what we’ve been doing is using the counter-terrorism reaction to 9/11 as a rationale for the ends justify the means. And I think that’s very dangerous for us, because at the end of the day it weakens our power. It weakens the willingness of other countries to share information with us. It weakens the sense that we have shared objectives.”

Read More:
Is the U.S. Weakened by NSA Spying? (sanford.duke.edu)

 

LAW PROFESSOR SAYS DEMOCRACY, NOT INDIVIDUALS, DECIDES MORAL JUSTNESS OF WAR
Charlie Dunlap, professor of the practice of law and former judge advocate general of the U.S. Air Force, responds to the question of whether soldiers are morally responsible for participating in unjust wars in the Boston Globe writing,

“More legal paralysis is not what the world needs right now. Decisions about the morality and justness of wars are rightly the product of the legal architecture the Constitution provides. The wisdom of those decisions ought to be decided in ballot boxes, legislatures, and courtrooms, not in barracks.”

Read More:
The Moral Responsbility of Volunteer Soldiers (Boston Globe)

 

THIRD-YEAR LAW STUDENT DISCUSSES UPCOMING WHITE HOUSE INTERNSHIP
Third year law student Robby Naoufal will be interning at the White House next summer. In the past, he has worked as a law clerk at the U.S. Department of Justice and is currently in Washington, D.C. as an associate at Hughes Hubbard and Reed LLP, an international law firm.

Read More:
Law student spills on interplay between school and real-world work (Duke Chronicle)

 

NICHOLAS INSTITUTE STAFF, STUDENTS TO ATTEND UN CLIMATE CONFERENCE
Climate diplomats worldwide will gather in Warsaw, Poland, Nov. 11-22 for the 19th annual United Nations Climate Change Conference. Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions will be among those at the negotiations.

Students from Duke’s United Nations Climate Negotiations Practicum course, whose faculty sponsors have been Nicholas Institute Faculty Fellow Billy Pizer and Duke Law School Professor Jonathan Wiener, will attend the conference to assist stakeholder organizations and developing country parties with their work during negotiations and blog about their experience.

Follow along with the student experiences by reading their blog here.