Showing posts with label science. Show all posts
Showing posts with label science. Show all posts

Thursday, November 4, 2021

BU journal features Enríquez book on genome editing

Tomorrow, Friday, November 5, beginning at 10 a.m., the Boston University Law Review Online hosts an online symposium on the book, Rewriting Nature: The Future of Genome Editing and How to Bridge the Gap Between Law and Science.

The symposium features author Paul Enríquez, a law student of mine once upon a long time ago.  Dr. Enríquez's fascinating book was featured here on The Savory Tort in July. Here is the symposium précis (which is drawn from the book jacket):

History will mark the twenty-first century as the dawn of the age of precise genetic manipulation. Breakthroughs in genome editing are poised to enable humankind to fundamentally transform life on Earth. Those familiar with genome editing understand its potential to revolutionize civilization in ways that surpass the impact of the discovery of electricity and the development of gunpowder, the atomic bomb, or the Internet. Significant questions regarding how society should promote or hinder genome editing loom large in the horizon. And it is up to humans to decide the fate of this powerful technology. Please join the Boston University Law Review Online for a virtual and thought-provoking, interdisciplinary symposium on Rewriting Nature: The Future of Genome Editing and How to Bridge the Gap Between Law and Science (... 2021) to discuss the complex legal, scientific, policy, ethical, political, economic, and social issues concerning this emerging technology.

The book is available from Cambridge University Press and popular retailers.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Genetic manipulation will transform humankind; Enríquez book aims to keep law, science in pace

Paul Enríquez, J.D., LL.M., Ph.D. (LinkedIn, SSRN) has published a must-have book for readers interested in the cutting-edge juncture of law and science.  A superb writer, Dr. Enríquez has geared the book for general audiences, while also offering plenty of thought-provoking flesh for lawyers and scientists alike to sink their teeth into.  And that's before science accidentally turns us into zombies.

Here is the précis of Rewriting Nature: The Future of Genome Editing and How to Bridge the Gap Between Law and Science from Cambridge University Press (2021).

History will mark the twenty-first century as the dawn of the age of precise genetic manipulation. Breakthroughs in genome editing are poised to enable humankind to fundamentally transform life on Earth. Those familiar with genome editing understand its potential to revolutionize civilization in ways that surpass the impact of the discovery of electricity and the development of gunpowder, the atomic bomb, or the Internet. Significant questions regarding how society should promote or hinder genome editing loom large in the horizon. And it is up to humans to decide the fate of this powerful technology. Rewriting Nature is a compelling, thought-provoking interdisciplinary exploration of the law, science, and policy of genome editing. The book guides readers through complex legal, scientific, ethical, political, economic, and social issues concerning this emerging technology, and challenges the conventional false dichotomy often associated with science and law, which contributes to a growing divide between both fields.

Besides being a family friend, Dr. Enríquez was, many moons ago, a student in one of my law classes: a rather impertinent fact I mention only to boast.  In truth, the student already had surpassed the mentor.  Nevertheless, he generously asked my feedback on some points of constitutional law for this book.  So I weaseled my way into the acknowledgments, and you can blame me if anything is wrong in the relevant chapter.

Here is the impressive About the Author:

Paul Enríquez, J.D., LL.M., Ph.D., is an intellectual property attorney and scientist who researches and writes at the intersection of law, science, and policy. He holds doctoral degrees in law and structural and molecular biochemistry. His research on law, science, and technology, genome editing, biochemistry, and the regulation of biotechnology, has been published in numerous scientific, legal, and popular-media publications, and has been presented at national and international conferences. He currently serves as a judicial clerk at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Buy yours now in hardback, paperback, or Kindle from Amazon.

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Brood X cicadas taste terrible, but teach life lessons

A Brood X cicada that emerged early, in 2017
(Flickr by Katja Schulz CC BY 2.0)
If you're like me, the emergence of Brood X cicadas on the mid-Atlantic American seaboard induces more anxiety than is healthy.

I met Brood X face to face only once, when I was a teenager in Baltimore, Md., in 1987.  Every 17 years, the big red-eyed bugs realize that heaven is a place on earth, not under it, and they rise up with a screeching rhythm that's gonna get you.  Unlike locusts, cicadas are clumsy fliers and seem oblivious to humans as a threat.  So simply going outside invites cicadas to crash into your nicest denim jacket.

This time, the cicadas have failed to anticipate a new human threat.  People are popping cicadas onto the grill for purportedly finger-licking-worthy indulgence.  

Fried cicadas in China, 2013
(Flickr by Sharon Hahn Darlin, who didn't eat them, CC BY 2.0)
The appeal escapes me.  Persons of ordinary sensibilities are horrified by cicadas.  CBS News aptly labeled a story on Brood X, "Warning: Graphic images."  Haley Weiss is a normal person.  She wrote for The Atlantic:

Nowhere was that shellfish flavor more evident than in the oven-roasted cicada, though I was quickly distracted from that thought by the realization that the bug had exploded in my mouth like a Gusher. My tongue awash in bug guts, I reconsidered all the choices I’d made in my life that had brought me to that moment.

Oh, heads up, the FDA warns not to eat cicadas if you're allergic to shrimp.  Because that makes sense.

Well, another voice in the inexplicable camp of cicada supporters is my uncle, Tom Peri, a Baltimore biology teacher with a new video series about Brood X.  In four short installments, Buggin' Out with Mr. Peri is now available on Facebook from Notre Dame Preparatory School (NDP).  Each short installment teaches us, as Mr. Peri puts it, that cicadas "aren't the monsters you think they're going to be."  In episode 1, Mr. Peri promises us life lessons to be learned from the humble cicada, such as, "you're at your best when you're rising from a low point." 

Give Buggin' Out a try (ep. 1, 2, 3, 4), and especially share it with kids.  Maybe we can condition young minds to think differently from mine.  Then, in 2038, our only anxiety will be over which cicada food truck to choose.

An NDP upper-level science teacher with decades of classroom experience, Tom Peri won a prestigious Lead. Learn. Proclaim. Award from the National Catholic Educational Association in 2018.  He is a former headmaster of St. John’s Prospect Hall and Towson Catholic High School.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

UMass Dartmouth appoints 6 to 'Chancellor Professor,' first awarded high academic rank since 2003

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth has appointed six faculty to the rank of "Chancellor Professor," effective today.  I'm honored and humbled to be among them.  These are the university's first promotions to chancellor professor since 2003.  The number of persons who may hold the high rank is limited to ten percent of the faculty, campus-wide.  The provost's office reported, "All have demonstrated excellence in the art and practice of teaching, a record of scholarship that contributes to the advancement of knowledge, and have made outstanding contributions to the University or to their profession."  From UMass Dartmouth News, here is something of the accomplishments of my colleagues:

Electrical & Computer Engineering
Professor John R. Buck, who has received the prestigious Office of Naval Research Young Investigator award and the National Science Foundation CAREER award, is a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America, a Fulbright Scholar and a Senior Member of IEEE. His scholarship focuses on underwater acoustics, signal processing, animal bioacoustics and engineering pedagogy. Professor Buck received fifteen research grants from federal agencies. Many of his graduates have continued their research at prestigious universities and national laboratories. Professor Buck’s classes incorporate active and collaborative learning, making the students’ learning the central focus of the classroom. He was UMass Dartmouth’s inaugural winner of the Manning Prize for Excellence in Teaching for outstanding development of curricular materials and innovative assessment of student learning. Professor Buck also received the IEEE Education Society’s Mac Van Valkenburg Award, and the Faculty Federation Leo M. Sullivan Teacher of the Year Award. Professor Buck founded and led several faculty mentoring programs in the Office of Faculty Development, as well as directly mentoring several junior faculty from across the campus.

Bioengineering
Professor Qinguo Fan has made substantial leadership contributions to the College of Engineering overseeing the transformation of Textiles Department into its current form as Bioengineering. As Bioengineering chairperson, he led the development of the new undergraduate major in bioengineering, recruitment and mentoring of new faculty, major renovations to laboratories and formation of an industrial advisory board. Under his strong leadership, the BNG undergraduate program successfully completed its first ABET accreditation in Fall 2016, considered exceptional for a new program doing the ABET accreditation the first time. The Bioengineering department now offers, in addition to the Bioengineering major, a Bioengineering minor, the 4+1 BS/MS program and a Biomedical Engineering concentration. Several Bioengineering graduates have gone on to medical schools, research positions and work at medical device companies. Professor Fan’s research has primarily focused on structural color, blue light cured polymers, and conducting polymers during the last ten years. He is a co-inventor on one U.S. patent. Professor Fan is a member of the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists and the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering. Professional recognition includes receipt of the Highly Commended Award at the Literati Network Awards for Excellence for one of his research articles.

Mathematics
Professor Gottlieb has demonstrated a deep passion for incorporating research into undergraduate education. She has adopted an exploratory, discovery-based approach by using “computing for intuition” as a critical tool to learning, and has worked to engage her undergraduate students in research in computational mathematics. Her advisees have gone to have successful careers at universities and research laboratories. Professor Gottlieb is known internationally as an expert in strong-stability-preserving time discretizations and other schemes for hyperbolic equations. As PI or co-PI, she has been responsible for securing well in excess of $3.5M to support her research. In recognition of her expertise and impact on the field, Professor Gottlieb was recently elected a Fellow of the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM). Professor Gottlieb’s most significant service has been her leadership of the Center for Scientific Computing and Visualization Research (CSCVR), which she helped form and served as director (2013-2017) and co-director (2017-present). In this capacity she has worked to support, facilitate, and promote the research activities of the scientific computing group and to mentor students and junior faculty of scientific computing in a supportive, broad, and deep interdisciplinary research environment.

Estuarine & Ocean Sciences
Professor Howes played an integral role in the initial development of the marine science graduate program, an internationally recognized marine science and technology program. He has advised and funded graduate students who have gone on to pursue successful careers. Professor Howes has maintained a high level of scholarly productivity in his field, as well as produced numerous technical reports as part of the Massachusetts Estuaries Program (MEP) requirements. He has raised over $23M in extramural research funding through federal, state and municipal extramural grants and contracts. Professor Howes has also made significant contributions to his profession in the form of scientific advances, as well as practical applications that have had a major impact on coastal ecosystem health and water quality in the region.

 
Chemistry & Biochemistry
Professor Yuegang Zuo has a record of contributing to active learning and has sustained a record of graduating M.S. and Ph.D. students. He provides high quality mentorship resulting in graduate students winning external awards for their work. He has also worked with undergraduate students, who have won American Chemical Society awards. Professor Zuo has maintained a high level of scholarly publishing and is successful in attracting substantial extramural funding. He has contributed to the University and his profession serving on diverse departmental, college and university committees as well as the Faculty Senate. He has served his profession as a reviewer, editor, and meeting organizer and serves on the editorial board for seven journals and recently became the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Endocrinology Research.