The Duke Digest – May 10, 2013

In Today’s Issue

  • ANNOUNCEMENT: Duke’s Office of Federal Relations has moved
  • RESEARCH: Pratt Professor Takes Step Towards Do-It-Yourself Invisibility
  • Duke Students Travel to D.C. to Present Findings to FDA
  • OPINION: Sanford Professor on the Collapse of Guantanamo
  • RESEARCH: Duke Study Cited in International Nature Journal
  • Professors Offer Expertise on the Government’s Release of Health Care Data
  • OPINION: Sanford Guest Lecturer and “Too Big to Tolerate”
  • Duke MBAs Win Case Competition to Develop STEM Workforce 
  • Duke to Award More than 5,000 Degrees During Sunday’s Commencement

 

ANNOUNCEMENT: DUKE’S OFFICE OF FEDERAL RELATIONS HAS MOVED
The Duke University Office of Federal Affairs has recently moved to the American Tobacco Complex. We are now located in Suite 920 of 324 Blackwell Street. All phone numbers remain the same.

 

RESEARCH: PRATT PROFESSORS TAKE STEP TOWARD DO-IT-YOURSELF INVISIBILTY
A team of researchers from the Pratt School of Engineering have published the results of a new development in the creation of a real-life invisibility cloak. The research shows that three-dimensional printing technology can be used to create plastic cloaks that deflect microwaves and have the ability to eliminate the “shadow” cast by a highly reflective object, making it invisible.

“I would argue that essentially anyone who can spend a couple thousand dollars on a non-industry grade 3-D printer can literally make a plastic cloak overnight,” said Yaroslav Urzhumov, assistant research professor in electrical and computer engineering at Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering. “We believe this approach is a way towards optical cloaking, including visible and infrared.”

Read More:
Do-It-Yourself Invisibility With 3-D Printing (today.duke.edu)
Yaroslav Urzhumov’s Website  (duke.edu)

 

DUKE STUDENTS TRAVEL TO D.C. TO PRESENT FINDINGS TO FDA
Last month, Duke seniors presented findings on noninvasive prenatal testing at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in Washington D.C.

The students explained to government officials that noninvasive prenatal testing requires only a blood sample from a pregnant woman. Current tests, such asmniocentesis, involve extracting cells from the placenta or fluid surrounding the fetus.

Instead, with the new technology labs genetically sequence fetal, cell-free DNA from in the mother’s blood to test for certain disorders. The method can detect when a fetus does not have the normal number of chromosomes, an abnormalitythat can lead to disorders such as Down’s Syndrome.

The presentation was a final project of the Genome Sciences & Policy capstone course, which leads to students earning a certificate in the field.

Read More:
Duke Students Travel to D.C. to Present Findings to FDA (research.duke.edu)

 

OPINION: SANFORD PROFESSOR ON THE COLLAPSE OF GUANTANAMO
David Schanzer, associate professor of public policy at the Sanford School and director of the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security, writes in an opinion piece on The Huffington Post,

“The Department of Defense has requested $170 million to upgrade the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay in next year’s budget, but no amount of money will repair the government’s irrational terrorism detention policy that is collapsing even more quickly than the dilapidated facility in which the hunger striking detainees are housed.”

Schanzer argues that, in order to fix Guantanamo, President Obama will need “to take risky unilateral action and dedicate a great deal of political capital.“ Schanzer argues that doing so will strengthen our national security and end a terrorist detention system that is unsustainable.

Read More:
Guantanamo’s Collapse (sanford.duke.edu)

 

RESEARCH: DUKE STUDY CITED IN INTERNATIONAL NATURE JOURNAL
A proposed Duke University study on the changing currents and circulation patterns in the Northern Atlantic Ocean was highlighted in Natureearlier this month. The study, led by Susan Lozier, professor of poceanography at the Nicholas School of the Environment, would expand monitoring of parts of the “global conveyer belt” that stirs oceans and shapes weather and climate.

Lozier has proposed to set up an array of moored instruments and autonomous gliders, called the Overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic Program (OSNAP), that would  consist of two legs: a western line extending from southern Labrador to the southwest tip of Greenland, and an eastern line from Greenland to Scotland

The implications of such a study, Lozier said, would be wide-ranging, “We need to find out how water masses at high latitudes are tied to the larger Atlantic circulation. That is not only of interest to oceano¬graphers. The ocean moves such huge amounts of heat and carbon around that most everyone should care.”

Some experts say that expanding such monitoring is crucial if scientists are to improve seasonal weather and climate forecasts.

If approved by the National Science Foundation, the study would begin in July 2014.

Read More:
Oceans under surveillance (nature.com)
Susan Lozier’s Website (duke.edu)

 

PROFESSORS OFFER EXPERTISE ON THE GOVERNMENT’S RECENT RELEASE OF HEALTH CARE DATA
In the recent conversation regarding health care costs, including the federal government’s release of data showing the fees hospitals charge for common procedures, Duke faculty members have emerged as expert voices on the analysis and contextual importance of the information.

“This release helps to highlight the opaque pricing/payment system used in health care, and along with the recent Time magazine story, should increase the public awareness of this fact,” said Don Taylor, associate professor of public policy at the Sanford School, in a recent article in Politico.

Peter Ubel, Professor of Business Administration and Medicine, commenting in a story on Marketplace, said the variations in price displayed in the data have  significant impact — even after negotiating with a hospital; whether you’re billed for $10,000 or $100,000 could depend on what hospital you happened to be closest to when you had your heart attack.

Read More:
Let’s go shopping for surgery: New government data shines light on health care cost variations (marketplace.org)
Peter Ubel breaks down inflation vs. Medicare costs (peterubel.com)
Big price swings among hospitals driving costs (politico.com)
Don Taylor provides comparison, analysis of payments at UNC, Duke and Wake Med (freeforall blog)

 

OPINION: SANFORD GUEST LECTURER AND “TOO BIG TO TOLERATE”
Former Senator Ted Kaufman, visiting lecturer of public policy and senior lecturing fellow of law, participated in a panel discussion entitled “Too big to tolerate? How to right-size America’s giant banks” at the American Enterprise Institute.

In an opinion piece on Forbes.com, Mr. Kaufman discusses the panel, the passage and implementation of the Dodd-Frank bill, and how he arrived at his answer to the panel’s question. He states, “If our biggest banks are Too Big To Fail, Too Big To Prosecute, Too Big to Regulate and Too Big To Manage, they are definitely Too Big To Tolerate.”

Read More:
Are Banks Too Big to Tolerate? (sanford.duke.edu)

 

DUKE MBAS WIN CASE COMPETITION TO DEVELOP STEM WORKFORCE
Two second-year MBA students from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business took first place in a case competition that challenged teams from 70 schools to devise ways of developing diverse workforce talent in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

Crystal Moore and Erica Jones won a $35,000 scholarship for their proposal, which involved creating partnerships between historically black colleges and universities and top engineering schools, introducing a media branding campaign to promote studies in STEM fields, and collaborating with K-12 schools to create technology labs and endowed teaching positions in middle and high schools.

Read More:
Fuqua MBAs Win Case Competition (today.duke.edu)

 

DUKE TO AWARD MORE THAN 5,000 DEGREES DURING SUNDAY’S COMMENCEMENT
Duke University will award more than 5,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees during its annual commencement ceremony Sunday, May 12, in Wallace Wade Stadium.

Duke President Richard H. Brodhead will preside over the 10 a.m. ceremony and philanthropist Melinda Gates, co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will deliver the commencement address. The event is open to the public.

The event will be webcast live on Duke’s Ustream channel — www.ustream.tv/DukeUniversity. Twitter users can follow commencement and contribute to the discussion using the Twitter hashtag #Duke2013.

Read More:
Duke to Award More than 5,000 Degrees During Sunday’s Commencement (today.duke.edu)