Tech & Science

Technology and Science news from Boulder, Colorado

Start-Up TV Series

Start-Up TV Special

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C1N.TV’s StartUp TV series serves the International Startup community. We focus on Start-Up entrepreneurs and new technology coming in the local business community as well we visit events and meet-ups where we not only write and promote but we also take part of. On top of that we also produce videos to spotlight your business in our Start-Up TV Special which plays on cable broadcast and online here. To be a part of our Start-Up TV Special you can find our more by Downloading or PDF Here or Call us at 303-447-8531

StartUp News

 Boulder Chamber interview with John Tayer

Boulder Chamber interview with John Tayer

John Tayer and Jann Scott talk business. He explains the Business Services, Advocacy and the Economic Vitality they provide in the city of Boulder. John talks about the members who join the Chamber and ways the Boulder Chamber can connect them others to help build their business, as well he explains some of the local policies the Chamber takes a role in developing in the community and some of the networking events the Chamber hosts where business voices can be shared with others.[READ|SHARE]
Quick Books Connect - Boulder Theater Thursday May 21

Quick Books Connect - Boulder Theater Thursday May 21

Come be inspired, learn and network at QuickBooks Connect Local Boulder. You may be on your own, but you don't have to feel like it. That's why QuickBooks is bringing together small business owners for a one-time event right here in Boulder. You'll walk away with new contacts, insider tips and inspiring ideas to take your business to the next level. Tickets are just $25, but space is limited and seats will go fast.[READ|SHARE]
Jobs and Internships at Boulder Channel 1

Jobs and Internships at Boulder Channel 1

Our team is the backbone for Public television here in Boulder. We produce a nightly show called 22Boom for Educational access Channel 22 in Boulder county. On Boulder Channel 1 which is web based Television we cover local events, bands, tech, everything Boulder. We have been around since 1975 and have produced Television, newspaper and radio .[READ|SHARE]
The Future of the News Business: Startup Week Boulder

The Future of the News Business: Startup Week Boulder

Wednesday At 3:00 in Trident Coffee Shop (the oldest coffee shop in Boulder) Ben Markus, Steve Outing, Matt Sebastian, and Andrew Baron presented The Future of the News Business for Startup Week Boulder.[READ|SHARE]
2015 Boulder Startup TV Special ad package

2015 Boulder Startup TV Special ad package

Boulder Channel 1 is producing a startup TV special. The ad price sheet is in this post.[READ|SHARE]
Ebony Walker enjoying Boulder Starup Week

Ebony Walker enjoying Boulder Starup Week

I ran into Ebony Walker at Boulder Startup Weeks Educational Startup social event. Ebony was very easy to talk with, and represents some of the new entrepreneurs to the scene of education that are making a real difference.[READ|SHARE]
Fabien Dodard and Sara Smith from Victor & Spoils: Boulder Startup Week 2015

Fabien Dodard and Sara Smith from Victor & Spoils: Boulder Startup Week 2015

Boulder ad agencies gone wild .This talk was based around the idea of creative marketing, and how the best way to stand out in the incredibly competitive world of creative story telling in the chaotic internet, is by sticking to the basics. The talk was centralized around 5 main characteristics of how to tell a great story:[READ|SHARE]
Made Startup Boulder

Made Startup Boulder

I went to Made today and had a look at a new Boulder ad agency. Love the place . Made is it's name . Catapults , wild animals and the sell is their game. Oh wait ! That is what we do all day long here and Boulder Channel 1[READ|SHARE]
Pro Mountain Biker Sonya Looney Boulder Startup Week

Pro Mountain Biker Sonya Looney Boulder Startup Week

George Hardwick writes about Looney the pro Mt Biker in this blog #bsw15. When asked how she was able to pay for everything, financially, she responded with marketing. Though it was scary, Looney stepped out of her comfort zones by approaching magazines for money to run a story, and the race starters to cover her travel because she was publicizing them in a magazine.[READ|SHARE]
Survey Gizmo at Boulder Startup week

Survey Gizmo at Boulder Startup week

Gizmo Survey rolls into Boulder for startup week . Their most embarrassing moment: The night before a webinar of over 400 potential customers, Bill and Scott were awake until 4 a.m. getting the slides ready.[READ|SHARE]
George Hardwick blogging for Boulder Channel 1 Boulder Startup Week

George Hardwick blogging for Boulder Channel 1 Boulder Startup Week

#BSW15 George Hardwick is blogging for Boulder Channel 1 during Boulder Starup Week. Look for George on Twitter @BoulderCh1News #BSW15 . Also on Facebook Boulder Channel 1. Follow Geotge all day right here for his reports.[READ|SHARE]
Start-Up TV Special

Start-Up TV Special

C1N.TV's Start-Up TV series serves the International Start-Up community.[READ|SHARE]
Becky Boone F-Bombs her way across Boulder: EDITORIAL

Becky Boone F-Bombs her way across Boulder: EDITORIAL

Code for Boulder and America lacks transparency. The city got conned by pro-growthers says Jann Scott in this Boulder channel 1 editorial. Becky Boone F Bombs her way across Texas... we mean Boulder. Who is the real money behind Boone. Is there corruption. ???[READ|SHARE]
Startup Boulder week 2014: reflection

Startup Boulder week 2014: reflection

We know that is is organized by a hippie homeless guy who calls himself a vagabond. We know a group of so called investors from Boulders App world get together drink beer, have chair races and party day and night call themselves the community. But are they trustworthy ?? Are they really from Boulder or are they former college students cycling through our city playing at business?? They all seem to be new here without jobs living off of mom and dad. And that is part of the Boulder Story too[READ|SHARE]
CU develops solar toilet for third world use

CU develops solar toilet for third world use

The self-contained, waterless toilet, designed and built using a $777,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has the capability of heating human waste to a high enough temperature to sterilize human waste and create biochar, a highly porous charcoal[READ|SHARE]
CU scientists: New battery extends range and safety of electric-powered vehicles

CU scientists: New battery extends range and safety of electric-powered vehicles

“This new, low-cost chemistry has a capacity that’s nearly 10 times greater than state-of-the-art cathodes.”[READ|SHARE]
Boulder New Tech Meetup hosts 2 days of Techstars

Boulder New Tech Meetup hosts 2 days of Techstars

August in Boulder means TechStars and we have 2 nights of presentations. August 5 and 6. Monday the 5th is oversold, but Tuesday the 6th has a few open seats.[READ|SHARE]
Quickbooks Connect Boulder, May 21st 2015

Quickbooks Connect Boulder, May 21st 2015

Quickbooks Connect Local comes to Boulder and Boulder Channel 1 visits this exciting event to talk with some of the big stars of the show including Bill Rancic an American Entrepreneur who won the first season of the Apprentice, Al Ko the Vice President of Product Management at Intuit and Heather McLellan the Vice President at Intuit. The show was to help connect local entrepreneurs and start-ups in Boulder, as well as introduce some new features and apps that help make quickbooks even better. We also feature the special presentation of Cash Mobs where Bill Rancic visits local businesses[READ|SHARE]
Boulder Startup Week 2013: what we did.

Boulder Startup Week 2013: what we did.

First of all we are not exactly a start up. We are more an old school OG Boulder entrepreneurial company. That is to say Brad Feld and David Cohen didn't invent the entrepreneurial movement here in Boulder. They joined it in the 90s and capitalized on it. Yes they are modern day Gurus, but Boulder has 100's of gurus. Boulder's entreperurship started in the late 1800s during the Colorado Gold rush and it never stopped.[READ|SHARE]
Boulder  Start Up week starts up on Wednesday

Boulder Start Up week starts up on Wednesday

Boulder start Up week is developing from an elitist all white college aged "new entrepreneurial vision of neo -com American business run by wine and coffee snobs" to something that the city of Boulder has endorsed and made an official event. In it's early days BSUW was an invite, register only press censored event. Much of it was low on substance and high on partying. Don't get us wrong Boulder start Up week is still a week long drinking convention for 20 and early 30 somethings, but it now has to conform to city strict Human rights[READ|SHARE]

StartUp News

mice 1

CU-Boulder – Antioxidant Turns Old Arteries Young

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mice 2An antioxidant that targets specific cell structures—mitochondria—may be able to reverse some of the negative effects of aging on arteries, reducing the risk of heart disease, according to a new study by the University of Colorado Boulder.

When the research team gave old mice—the equivalent of 70- to 80-year-old humans—water containing an antioxidant known as MitoQ for four weeks, their arteries functioned as well as the arteries of mice with an equivalent human age of just 25 to 35 years.

The researchers believe that MitoQ affects the endothelium, a thin layer of cells that lines our blood vessels. One of the many functions of the endothelium is to help arteries dilate when necessary. As people age, the endothelium is less able to trigger dilation and this leads to a greater susceptibility to cardiovascular disease.

The study, published in the Journal of Physiology, was funded by the National Institute on Aging, one of the 27 institutes and centers of the National Institutes of Health and a leader in the scientific effort to understand the nature of aging.

 

Source: CU

 

Boulder Chamber - Boulder Business After Hours with John Tayer - February 19th 2014

Boulder Chamber – Boulder Business After Hours with John Tayer – February 19th 2014

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John Tayer at Boulder Chamber Business After Hours event February 19th 2014 – Boulder Chamber’s CEO talk with Jann Scott about the Chamber’s involvement in the Boulder business community including: Start-Up businesses, business services, capital investments, young professionals, Innovation Blueprint, community involvement, protecting the environment and having a thriving business community in the city. John also talks a little about his background and his role as CEO of the Boulder Chamber.

cuseal

CU develops solar toilet for third world use

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Innovative solar-powered toilet developed
by CU-Boulder ready for India unveiling

A revolutionary University of Colorado Boulder toilet fueled by the sun that is being developed to help some of the 2.5 billion people around the world lacking safe and sustainable sanitation will be unveiled in India this month.

The self-contained, waterless toilet, designed and built using a $777,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has the capability of heating human waste to a high enough temperature to sterilize human waste and create biochar, a highly porous charcoal, said project principal investigator Karl Linden, professor of environmental engineering. The biochar has a one-two punch in that it can be used to both increase crop yields and sequester carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas.

The project is part of the Gates Foundation’s “Reinvent the Toilet Challenge,” an effort to develop a next-generation toilet that can be used to disinfect liquid and solid waste while generating useful end products, both in developing and developed nations, said Linden. Since the 2012 grant, Linden and his CU-Boulder team have received an additional $1 million from the Gates Foundation for the project, which includes a team of more than a dozen faculty, research professionals and students, many working full time on the effort.

Sol-Char Toilet 2014

According to the Gates Foundation, the awards recognize researchers who are developing ways to manage human waste that will help improve the health and lives of people around the world. Unsafe methods to capture and treat human waste result in serious health problems and death – food and water tainted with pathogens from fecal matter results in the deaths of roughly 700,000 children each year.

Linden’s team is one of 16 around the world funded by the Gates “Reinvent the Toilet Challenge” since 2011. All have shipped their inventions to Delhi, where they will be on display March 20-22 for scientists, engineers and dignitaries. Other institutional winners of the grants range from Caltech to Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands and the National University of Singapore.

The CU-Boulder invention consists of eight parabolic mirrors that focus concentrated sunlight to a spot no larger than a postage stamp on a quartz-glass rod connected to eight bundles of fiber-optic cables, each consisting of thousands of intertwined, fused fibers, said Linden.  The energy generated by the sun and transferred to the fiber-optic cable system — similar in some ways to a data transmission line — can heat up the reaction chamber to over 600 degrees Fahrenheit to treat the waste material, disinfect pathogens in both feces and urine, and produce char.

“Biochar is a valuable material,” said Linden. “It has good water holding capacity and it can be used in agricultural areas to hold in nutrients and bring more stability to the soils.” A soil mixture containing 10 percent biochar can hold up to 50 percent more water and increase the availability of plant nutrients, he said. Additionally, the biochar can be burned as charcoal and provides energy comparable to that of commercial charcoal.

Most public toilets look like this

Most public toilets look like this

Linden is working closely with project co-investigators Professor R. Scott Summers of environmental engineering and Professor Alan Weimer chemical and biological engineering and a team of postdoctoral fellows, professionals, graduate students, undergraduates and a high school student.

“We are doing something that has never been done before,” said Linden. “While the idea of concentrating solar energy is not new, transmitting it flexibly to a customizable location via fiber-optic cables is the really unique aspect of this project.” The interdisciplinary project requires chemical engineers for heat transfer and solar energy work, environmental engineers for waste treatment and stabilization, mechanical engineers to build actuators and moving parts and electrical engineers to design control systems, Linden said.

Tests have shown that each of the eight fiber-optic cables can produce between 80 and 90 watts of energy, meaning the whole system can deliver up to 700 watts of energy into the reaction chamber, said Linden. In late December, tests at CU-Boulder showed the solar energy directed into the reaction chamber could easily boil water and effectively carbonize solid waste.

While the current toilet has been created to serve four to six people a day, a larger facility that could serve several households simultaneously is under design with the target of meeting a cost level of five cents a day per user set by the Gates Foundation. “We are continuously looking for ways to improve efficiency and lower costs,” he said.

“The great thing about the Gates Foundation is that they provide all of the teams with the resources they need,” Linden said. “The foundation is not looking for one toilet and one solution from one team. They are nurturing unique ideas and looking at what the individual teams bring overall to the knowledge base.”

Linden, who called the 16 teams a “family of researchers,” said the foundation has funded trips for CU-Boulder team members to collaborate with the other institutions in places like Switzerland, South Africa and North Carolina. “Instead of sink or swim funding, they want every team to succeed. In some ways we are like a small startup company, and it’s unlike any other project I have worked on during my career,” he said.

CU-Boulder team member Elizabeth Travis from Parker, Colo., who is working toward a master’s degree in the engineering college’s Mortenson Center in Engineering for Developing Communities, said her interest in water and hygiene made the Reinvent the Toilet project a good fit. “It is a really cool research project and a great team,” she said. “Everyone is very creative, patient and supportive, and there is a lot of innovation. It is exciting to learn from all of the team members.”

“We have a lot of excitement and energy on our team, and the Gates Foundation values that,” Linden said.  “It is one thing to do research, another to screw on nuts and bolts and make something that can make a difference. To me, that’s the fun part, and the project is a nice fit for CU-Boulder because we have a high interest in developing countries and expertise in all of the renewable energy technologies as well as sanitation.”

The CU-Boulder team is now applying for phase two of the Gates Foundation Reinvent the Toilet grant to develop a field-worthy system to deploy in a developing country based on their current design, and assess other technologies that may enhance the toilet system, including the use of high-temperature fluids that can collect, retain and deliver heat.

-CU-

stem 2

CU: Stem cells boost aging muscles

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CU-Boulder stem cell research may point
to new methods of mitigating muscle loss

New findings on why skeletal muscle stem cells stop dividing and renewing muscle mass during aging points up a unique therapeutic opportunity for managing muscle-wasting conditions in humans, says a new University of Colorado Boulder study.

According to CU-Boulder Professor Bradley Olwin, the loss of skeletal muscle mass and function as we age can lead to sarcopenia, a debilitating muscle-wasting condition that generally hits the elderly hardest. The new study indicates that altering two particular cell-signaling pathways independently in aged mice enhances muscle stem cell renewal and improves muscle regeneration.

stem cells

One cell-signaling pathway the team identified, known as p38 MAPK, appears to be a major player in making or breaking the skeletal muscle stem cell, or satellite cell, renewal process in adult mice, said Olwin of the molecular, cellular and developmental biology department. Hyperactivation of the p38 MAPK cell-signaling pathway inhibits the renewal of muscle stem cells in aged mice, perhaps because of cellular stress and inflammatory responses acquired during the aging process.

The researchers knew that obliterating the p38 MAPK pathway in the stem cells of adult mice would block the renewal of satellite cells, said Olwin. But when the team only partially shut down the activity in the cell-signaling pathway by using a specific chemical inhibitor, the adult satellite cells showed significant renewal, he said. “We showed that the level of signaling from this cellular pathway is very important to the renewal of the satellite cells in adult mice, which was a very big surprise,” said Olwin.

A paper on the subject appeared online Feb. 16 in the journal Nature Medicine.

One reason the CU-Boulder study is important is that the results could lead to the use of low-dose inhibitors, perhaps anti-inflammatory compounds, to calm the activity in the p38 MAPK cell-signaling pathway in human muscle stem cells, said Olwin.

The CU-Boulder research team also identified a second cell-signaling pathway affecting skeletal muscle renewal – a receptor known as the fibroblast growth factor receptor-1, or FGFR-1. The researchers showed when the FGFR-1 receptor protein was turned on in specially bred lab mice, the renewal of satellite cells increased significantly. “We still don’t understand how that particular mechanism works,” he said.

Another major finding of the study was that while satellite cells transplanted from young mice to other young mice showed significant renewal for up to two years, those transplanted from old mice to young mice failed. “We found definitively that satellite cells from an aged mouse are not able to maintain the ability to replenish themselves,” Olwin said. “This is likely one of the contributors to loss of muscle mass during the aging process of humans.”

Co-authors included first author and CU-Boulder postdoctoral researcher Jennifer Bernet, former CU-Boulder graduate student John K. Hall, CU-Boulder undergraduate Thomas Carter, and CU-Boulder postdoctoral researchers Jason Doles and Kathleen Kelly-Tanaka. The National Institutes of Health and the Ellison Medical Foundation funded the study.

Olwin said skeletal muscle function and mass decline with age in humans beginning at roughly age 40. While there are a variety of muscle-wasting diseases — ranging from muscular dystrophy to Lou Gehrig’s disease — the condition known as sarcopenia can lead to severe muscle loss, frailty and eventual death and is leading to skyrocketing health care costs for the elderly. “If you live long enough, you’ll get it,” he said.

Olwin and his team worked closely on the research with a team from Stanford University led by Professor Helen Blau, which published a companion paper in the same issue of Nature Medicine. “We shared data with the Stanford team during the entire process and we all were very pleased with the study outcomes,” said Olwin. “This is how science should work.”

 

University of Colorado

CU study: How biochemical agents kill people

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CU-Boulder awarded DARPA cooperative agreement
to assess mechanisms of drugs and chemical agents

The University of Colorado Boulder has been awarded a cooperative agreement worth up to $14.6 million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop a new technological system to rapidly determine how drugs and biological or chemical agents exert their effects on human cells.

The project, called the Subcellular Pan-Omics for Advanced Rapid Threat Assessment, or SPARTA, will be conducted by an interdisciplinary CU-Boulder team led by Research Assistant Professor William Old of the chemistry and biochemistry department.

DARPA — an arm of the U.S. Department of Defense — wants to better understand the biochemical mechanisms at work during cellular exposures to biological or chemical agents to help prevent mortality during potential conflicts. But Old said the research effort also is expected to lead to new, broad-scale techniques to analyze cellular processes for wide societal benefit.

Will Old will be doing some very interesting research for DOD

Will Old will be doing some very interesting research for DOD

“Traditionally it takes decades to figure out how drugs affect an organism’s biology,” said Old. “Our goal is to rapidly speed up the process, identifying how these compounds work in weeks. This could lower the barriers to developing effective drugs that have minimal side effects.”

Old said the strategy is to comprehensively measure all major classes of biomolecules that respond to any cellular treatment or biological signal within milliseconds to days, which will help determine the key molecular events that mediate cellular responses. The team is developing new microfluidic devices to control and manipulate individual cell components in order to obtain subcellular resolution that will provide new insights into the functions of individual organelles and proteins within cells.

The devices will be integrated with high-end mass spectrometry instrumentation to enable molecular measurement of biological systems at an unprecedented scale.

One example illustrating the complexities of the project is the nerve gas, sarin, the function of which is already known, said Tristan McClure-Begley, a pharmacologist and analytical chemist on the project. Sarin causes a malfunction in a key cellular enzyme used to control muscles, resulting in their overstimulation.

“We know this drug causes negative effects in multiple signaling pathways, but what we lack is a comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms that lead to long-term systemic damage in individuals that survive exposure,” said McClure-Begley.

“We believe the technology developed under this program will go far beyond military and commercial applications,” said SPARTA Program Manager Emina Begovic. “We envision powerful applications of these new tools in a biomedical setting. Understanding how cells are affected by bacterial infection, for example, could lead to the development of new treatments.”

The BioFrontiers Institute already houses seven state-of-the-art mass spectrometers, located in the Proteomics and Mass Spectrometry Core Facility directed by Old. Mass spectrometers are powerful tools that can be used to identify the molecular components of a cell by measuring the mass of different molecules within a sample.

This instrumentation is critical for numerous research projects run by faculty at CU- Boulder and local companies. These projects include the search for biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease and understanding mechanisms of cancer drug resistance in metastatic melanoma, said Old.

While BioFrontiers scientists and students and local biotechnology companies already use the CU facility for biochemical and biomedical research, the purchase of two additional next-generation mass spectrometers at a cost of $2.2 million as part of the DARPA cooperative agreement will greatly enhance and speed up such research activities. BioFrontiers already has pay-per-service agreements with a number of local biotech companies for use of its equipment, including the mass spectrometry facility and a next-generation gene-sequencing facility.

“We will be one of the few institutes in the world to have two of these next-generation state-of-the-art mass spectrometers,” said Old. “This creates a perfect opportunity for us to work more with local companies and increase our number of industrial partnerships. It is especially true for pharmaceutical companies who have a lead on a compound and want to know how it works.”

“There are two avenues of commercialization by CU-Boulder that may occur under the new DARPA cooperative agreement,” said Old. In addition to pay-per-service for industrial partners using BioFrontiers facilities, the CU-Boulder team will be developing new hardware, including the new microfluidic devices to automate a large part of sample preparation.

Other SPARTA team members include Associate Professor Michael Stowell of the molecular, cellular and developmental biology department, Professor Y.C. Lee of the mechanical engineering department, Professor Natalie Ahn, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor in CU-Boulder’s chemistry and biochemistry department and Associate Professor Xuedong Liu of the chemistry and biochemistry department.

The team also includes Associate Professor Nichole Reisdorph of the University of Colorado School of Medicine and National Jewish Health in Denver.

BioFrontiers is a revolutionary research and teaching facility opened at CU-Boulder in 2012 to facilitate work on a wide swath of pressing societal challenges ranging from biomedical issues like cancer, heart disease and tissue engineering to the development of new biofuels. The BioFrontiers director is CU-Boulder Nobel laureate and Distinguished Professor Tom Cech, former president of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and current HHMI Medical Investigator.

The facility offers opportunities for researchers and students from multiple disciplines to collaborate on advancing human health and welfare by exploring critical frontiers of biology to further teaching, research and technology at the intersections of the life sciences, physical sciences, math, computational sciences and engineering.

-CU-

 

study2

Mining big data for performance clues as a study guide

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CU-built software uses big data to battle
forgetting with personalized content review

Computer software similar to that used by online retailers to recommend products to a shopper can help students remember the content they’ve studied, according to a new study by the University of Colorado Boulder.

The software, created by computer scientists at CU-Boulder’s Institute for Cognitive Science, works by tapping a database of past student performance to suggest what material an individual student most needs to review.

For example, the software might know that a student who forgot one particular concept but remembered another three weeks after initially learning them is likely to need to review a third concept six weeks after it was taught. When a student who fits that profile uses the software, the computer can pull up the most useful review questions.

Using computers to battle forgwtting

Using computers to battle forgwtting

“If you have two students with similar study histories for specific material, and one student couldn’t recall the answer, it’s a reasonable predictor that the other student won’t be able to either, especially when you take into consideration the different abilities of the two students,” said CU-Boulder Professor Michael Mozer, senior author of the study published in the journal Psychological Science.

The process of combing “big data” for performance clues is similar to strategies used by e-commerce sites, Mozer said.

“They know what you browsed and didn’t buy and what you browsed and bought,” Mozer said. “They measure your similarity to other people and use purchases of similar people to predict what you might want to buy. If you substitute ‘buying’ with ‘recalling,’ it’s the same thing.”

The program is rooted in theories that psychologists have developed about the nature of forgetting. Researchers know that knowledge—whether of facts, concepts or skills—slips away without review, and that spacing the review out over time is crucial to obtaining robust and durable memories.

Still, it’s uncommon for students to do the kind of extended review that favors long-term retention. Students typically review material that was presented only in the most recent unit or chapter—often in preparation for a quiz—without reviewing previous units or chapters at the same time.

This leads to rapid forgetting, even for the most motivated learners, Mozer said. For example, a recent study found that medical students forget roughly 25 to 35 percent of basic science knowledge after one year and more than 50 percent by the next year.

Over the last decade, Mozer has worked with University of California, San Diego, psychologist Harold Pashler, also a co-author of the new study, to create a computer model that could predict how spaced review affects memory. The new computer program described in the study is an effort to make practical use of that model.

Robert Lindsey, a CU-Boulder doctoral student collaborating with Mozer, built the personalized review program and then tested it in a middle school Spanish class.

For the study, Lindsey and Mozer divided the material students were learning into three groups.  For material in a “massed” group, the students were drilled only on the current chapter. For material in a “generic-spaced” group, the students were drilled on the most recent two chapters. For material in a “personalized-spaced” group, the algorithm determined what material from the entire semester each student would benefit most from reviewing.

In a cumulative test taken a month after the semester’s end, personalized-spaced review boosted remembering by 16.5 percent over massed study and by 10 percent over generic-spaced review.

In a follow-up experiment, Mozer and his colleagues compared their personalized review program to a program that randomly quizzes students on all units that have been covered so far. Preliminary results show that the personalized program also outperforms random reviews of all past material.

So far, the program has been tested only in foreign language classes, but Mozer believes the program could be helpful for improving retention in a wide range of disciplines, including math skills.

It’s not necessary to have a prior database of student behavior to implement the personalized review program. Students can begin by using the program as a traditional review tool that asks random questions, and as students answer, the computer begins to search for patterns in the answers. “It doesn’t take long to get lots and lots of data,” Mozer said.

The research was funded by the National Science Foundation and the McDonnell Foundation.

-CU-

 

University of Colorado

Ma Nature’s sky light show on the way

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Jan. 9, 2014

University of Colorado Boulder space weather experts say a powerful solar storm may cause the aurora borealis to light up as far south as Colorado and New Mexico in the coming nights.

 

Aurora borealis may dip into state
tonight, say CU-Boulder experts

 

Daniel Baker, director of CU-Boulder’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, said space weather forecasts indicate there is a good chance a coronal mass ejection tied to a large solar flare from the sun Tuesday may impact Earth today, hitting the planet’s outer magnetic shield and causing spectacular light displays tonight and perhaps tomorrow night. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration experts have estimated there is a 90 percent chance a coronal mass ejection will hit Earth today.

The aurora borealis could reach as far as New Mexico, last 4-5 nihjts

The aurora borealis could reach as far as New Mexico, last 4-5 nihjts

“The aurora borealis, or ‘false dawn of the north,’ are brilliant dancing lights in the night sky caused by intense interactions of energetic electrons with the thin gases in Earth’s upper atmosphere,” said Baker. “The aurora are most commonly seen in Alaska, northern Canada and Scandinavia when the sun sends out powerful bursts of energy that can strike Earth’s protective outer magnetic shield called the magnetosphere,” he said.

“The strong solar winds associated with the storm events generate strong electric currents when they blow by the Earth’s magnetosphere,” said LASP Research Associate Bill Peterson. “These currents become unstable and drive processes in the magnetosphere that accelerate electrons down magnetic field lines where they hit the atmosphere over the poles.”

“One can think of aurora in some ways as if the Earth’s atmosphere is a giant TV screen and the magnetosphere generates intense beams of electrons that blast down along magnetic field lines to produce the red and green light picture show,” said Baker. “If the sun produces extremely powerful energy outbursts, the aurora can move to much lower latitudes than normal and then one can see the fantastic light displays in the lower 48 states, even as low in latitude as Colorado and New Mexico.”

According to Peterson, geophysicists have been measuring magnetic activity – essentially “wiggles” on instruments measuring Earth’s magnetic field – for over a century.  The scientists have come up with a planetary magnetic index known as KP, ranging from 0 (quiet) to 9 (very active).

“The aurora is typically seen in Canada for KP less than 4,” Peterson said. “When the KP is 9, auroras can sometimes be seen as far south as Mexico City. Auroras are seen in Colorado when the KP is about 7.”

Peterson suggested those interested in seeing the northern lights or want to report sightings visithttp://www.aurorasaurus.org, a website called “Aurorasaurus” and led by the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. The site is designed as a real-time map of confirmed aurora sightings and includes a place for citizen-scientists who want to participate to report aurora sightings in their own neighborhoods.

For additional information visit NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center at http://www.swpc.noaa.gov. For more information on LASP visit http://lasp.colorado.edu/home/.

-CU-

space station

Space flight to test antibiotic’s effectiveness

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CU-Boulder to fly antibiotic experiment,
education project on ants to space station

NASA Television will provide live coverage of the launch of Orbital Sciences Corp.’s commercial Cygnus spacecraft on Tuesday, Jan. 7 from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, which will be carrying two University of Colorado Boulder payloads to the International Space Station.

The two CU-Boulder payloads — a biomedical antibiotic experiment and an educational K-12 experiment involving ant behavior in microgravity — are slated to be launched aboard Orbital Sciences Corp.’s Antares rocket at 11:55 a.m. MST. Both experiments were designed by BioServe Space Technologies, a NASA-funded center in CU-Boulder’s aerospace engineering sciences department.

space station 2

The CU-Boulder biomedical experiment was designed to test the effectiveness of antibiotics in space. Past experiments by CU-Boulder and other institutions have shown bacterial susceptibility to antibiotics is significantly reduced during spaceflight, although the reason is not yet known, said CU-Boulder Associate Professor David Klaus, principal investigator on the project.

 

Klaus said the investigation will examine changes in the gene expression of the bacteria E. coli during exposure to different concentrations of antibiotics while in the microgravity environment of space. The hope is to locate particular genes that are key to resisting antibiotics, which could lead to improved testing on Earth as well as new drug targets or new approaches to understanding antibiotic resistance in certain diseases or infections, said Klaus.

“Previous studies carried out in microgravity have shown that bacteria are able to grow in what normally would be an inhibitory concentration of the antibiotic,” said Klaus. “This investigation is aimed at characterizing the genetic basis for this response in the weightless environment of space with the intent of applying any insight gained toward combating the increasing emergence of drug-resistant pathogens here on Earth.”

Co-investigators on the project include BioServe Director Louis Stodieck, a research professor in aerospace engineering, and Shawn Levy, a researcher at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville, Ala. The research effort also involves CU-Boulder doctoral candidate Luis Zea.

Bacterial resistance to antibiotics kills 100,000 Americans every year and represents a roughly $20 billion expense to the U.S. government in excess health care costs, said Klaus. The experiments will be undertaken using spaceflight test tubes contained in the Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus, or CGBA, an automated, suitcase-sized incubator, all designed and built by BioServe.

The second experiment launching to ISS is known as Ants in Space, which examines foraging patterns based on the density of the common Pavement Ant, said BioServe Business Development Manager and Education Program Director Stefanie Countryman. “Past experiments by Professor Deborah Gordon, principal investigator on this project, have shown that some ant species have the ability to search areas collectively without individual communication. When ant densities are high, each ant thoroughly searches one small area in a circular, “random” walk, she said. When ant densities are low, each ant searches by walking in a relatively straight line, allowing it to cover more ground.

“Ants assess their own density at the rate at which they meet,” said Countryman, who said the eight individual ant habitats on ISS will be loaded with roughly 100 ants each. “The experiment examines whether in microgravity ants will use the rate at which they meet to assess density, and so use straighter paths in the larger habitat areas. The results will be compared to ground controls, which in this case will include ant habitats in hundreds of K-12 classrooms around the world.”

Countryman has previously directed BioServe K-12 education experiments involving the behavior of butterflies, ladybugs and spiders in space, reaching hundreds of thousands of students around the world in the past two decades. For the ant experiments, BioServe is partnering with the Baylor College of Medicine’s Center for Education Outreach, a longstanding BioServe partner that has developed the education curriculum guide for the experiment.

BioServe research partners on the ant project include Gordon of Stanford University and Associate Professor Michael Greene of the University of Colorado Denver. The experiment is sponsored by NASA’s National Lab Education Office as well as the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, a nonprofit group headquartered in Cape Canaveral, Fla.

Teachers interested in participating in the ant experiments may contact Countryman at countrym@colorado.edu. More information on the project for teachers and students will be online beginning in mid-January at http://www.bioedonline.org.

The flight will be the first Cygnus resupply cargo mission launched to ISS by Orbital Sciences Corp. and follows the earlier, successful launch of a Cygnus demo flight to ISS that arrived at the orbiting station Oct. 22.

In the past 25 years, BioServe has designed, built and flown microgravity life science research experiments on more than 40 space missions. BioServe has a full suite of space flight hardware, both on ISS and on the ground, which supports its own research as well as research conducted by its customers and partners. Past BioServe partners include large and small pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, universities and NASA-funded researchers.

For more information on BioServe visit http://www.colorado.edu/engineering/BioServe/index.html.

-CU-

George Hunt

Obituary: George Washington Hunt “Buzz” 1938-2013

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George Washington Hunt “Buzz” 1938-2013George Washington Hunt “Buzz” Age 75 of Longmont, Colorado, peacefully passed away in his home on December 23, 2013 of natural causes. George was born on October 12, 1938 in Bradley, California. He is survived by his former wife and Betsy, sons Chris and John. He was preceded to Heaven by his son Peter. George served as a naval officer on cruisers and destroyers he held corporate positions for eight years, and worked as an entrepreneur in the health industry. He taught small business management and accounting as an adjunct professor at a college level for five years and started a health corporation in 1991 which became very profitable. He then sold it and retired in 2004. He was also a dedicated conservationist and in turn lost a career business because he stood up for nature rather than wealth.

Mr. Hunt did lots of personal research in religions and sciences, and through the years became very involved with uncovering details of corruption and possible conspiracies in the banking industry. He was devoted to bring this knowledge to people in effort to enlighten as many ears as he could. He created an informational website called www.TheBigBadBank.com where he hosted many videos and stories about his sociological findings in his focused interests in conservation, economic and technology industries.

George was a very charitable and friendly person and always helped those in need and made many friends through doing so.

ed note: We at Boulder Channel 1 were  graced with his presence through helping him with creating his website and producing his videos which he will continue to distribute after his passing through his website and social media outlets. May his soul rest in peace.

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