UC to participate in Thirty Meter Telescope project

The University of California regents recently approved the university’s participation in the construction and operation of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) on the Mauna Kea mountaintop, Hawaii.  The telescope is expected to be in operation in 2022, with construction beginning this year.

UC Riverside’s Bahram Mobasher is the instrument scientist for one of the three first light instruments to be built for the TMT.  Specifically, he is leading an international science team to identify the required scientific capabilities of this instrument, to be considered at the design and construction phase.

The instrument is an Infra-red Multi-object Spectrograph (IRMS) and will be designed to perform spectroscopy of galaxies at infrared wavelengths, that is, finding out what fraction of the light of galaxies is emitted at this particular wavelength range.

“With this instrument, we could study detailed properties of the first generation of galaxies formed in the universe a few hundred million years after the Big Bang,” Mobasher said.

Glenn Hicks forming consortium on NGS

Glenn Hicks, an academic administrator and an associate research plant cell biologist in the UCR Institute for Integrative Genome Biology, is one of only 15 researchers along with UC Procurement leaders tasked with forming a consortium around next-generation DNA sequencing (NGS), a powerful method that has helped scientists gain insight into many biological processes. Campus Procurement and Contracts at UC San Francisco and the 15 researchers have secured funding of $17,000 from the UC Office of the President to set up the two-day discussion and planning meeting.

“Part of the future for our UC campuses is to figure out ways to more effectively acquire, use and share our resources across the system,” Hicks said. “NGS, like the Illumina sequencers we have at UCR, are very fundamental to biology research in the 21st century but are expensive to acquire and maintain and are in short supply. This can lead to delays in getting research results; this translates into fewer publications and grants. The benefits of a consortium are wide-ranging and will encourage UC researchers to continue to invest their research within the UC system, rather than to third parties. In this manner funding can be leveraged to enhance the standing of our research and central facilities as world-leading technology centers within one of the finest public university systems in the world.”

Many UC campuses are experiencing high demand for NGS sequencing, with more projects and grants being funded to use NGS for novel discovery and research. The goal of the consortium is to figure out how to collaboratively approach the management of NGS equipment so that the UC system is better positioned to facilitate the needs of research at a lower cost to scientists while stimulating innovation and collaboration.

The consortium meeting is expected to take place this May.

Peter Graham named associate editor of APA journal

Peter Graham, professor of philosophy and CHASS associate dean, has been named an associate editor on the inaugural editorial board of the Journal of the American Philosophical Association. The journal, published by the American Philosophical Association (APA) and Cambridge University Press, will launch in 2015. It will publish in print and online.

Graham is one of eight associate editors named to the editorial board.

The APA, founded in 1900, is one of the largest philosophical societies in the world and the only American philosophical society not devoted to a particular school or philosophical approach.

Susan Zieger Lectures at Hammer Museum

Susan Zieger, associate professor of English, presented a lecture, “Morphine, Sex, and Freedom at the Fin-De-Siècle,” on March 25 at UCLA’s Hammer Museum. Her talk coincided with the exhibit “Tea and Morphine: Women in Paris, 1880-1914.”

“At the end of the 19th century, the rise of consumer culture, a growing feminist movement, and a strange new habit called ‘morphinomania’ changed the image of the ideal Victorian woman as a paragon of moral virtue, domestic order, and self-restraint,” she explained .

Zieger’s talk examined women’s struggles against discrimination and drug addiction at the end of the 19th century.

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