Thank you to all the students who have applied for the position of UMichigan Scientista Freshman Representative.
We are currently reviewing applications and will contact you if we need additional information. The UMichigan Executive Board will finish the review process in the next two weeks with final selection of representatives by mid-December 2013.
The UMichigan Scientista Lit Team is proud to present you with the Fall 2013 Newsletter! If you would like to be added to our e-mail list to receive a digital copy directly to your inbox, please fill out the form below. If you would like to contribute to our Newsletter, please e-mail Campus Editor & Publisher Mariam Sheikh at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your interest in our Newsletters!
Dr. Nadia Al Hasani
Nadia Al Hasani is currently director of WISE (Women in Science & Engineering) at the Petroleum Institute in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Dr. Al Hasani completed her bachelor's degree at the University of Baghdad in Engineering and holds graduate degrees from MIT (Master's) and the University of Pennsylvania (phD) both in building technology. In the past, she has held diverse positions ranging from assistant vice chancellor for academic affairs at the American University of Sharjah as well as teaching positions at the University of Pennsylvania, Miami of Florida, Notre Dame, and, of course, the University of Michigan. Dr. Hasani's research interests focus on technology and production, design through construction, cross-cultural and inter-disciplinary dialogues, and the architecture and planning of the non-Western world. Through her academic pursuits, Dr. Al Hasani has received a Research Fellow at the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Art and Architecture at MIT, a Graham Foundation Grant from Chicago, and a National ACSA Faculty Teaching Award from Washington, DC.
Dr. Al Hasani came to the UAE in 1999 with the intention of staying one year, however, she stayed for eight years. She followed her time in the UAE with a sabbatical year doing research at MIT in Harvard. Her UAE roots called her back to the country and she became the Director of the Women in Science & Engineering Program at the Petroleum Institute and a symbol of women's influence in the STEM fields in the Middle East and around the world!
By Cassi Kirkland
During my hours-long drive home from the University of Michigan, I always see hundreds of billboards plaguing the street. Most of us are so used to seeing billboards everywhere that we don’t even notice them anymore. But in Lima, Peru, one billboard is saving lives.
Lima experiences very little rainfall, and suppliers charge huge amounts of money to shipped water into the city of approximately 7.5 million. However, their morning weather often reaches a humidity level of at least 80%. In order to take advantage of all of this moisture floating around in the air, Peru’s University of Engineering and Technology teamed up with the Peruvian ad agency Mayo Publicidad.
The billboard does use electricity to power condensers in the billboard, which cools water vapor in the air. After the water vapor is condensed, it is purified through reverse osmosis and finally flows down the billboard into a storage tank. Generating about 96 liters a day, residents have access via a faucet at the bottom. The best part? It reportedly only cost about $1200 to install.
This inexpensive innovation turns a billboard from an arguably wasteful marketing attempt into something that provides an essential resource, especially in developing communities. Although it runs on electricity, other energy sources should be considered to run this relatively simple process in the future.
photos from: http://www.utec.edu.pe/noticias-utec-presenta-panel-que-genera-agua-potable.html
The Science, Technology, Engineering, and Medicine (STEM) fields have always had a woman problem as men, particularly white men, continue to dominate the tech industry. A 2011 report by the U.S. Department of Commerce found that only one in seven engineers are female. Additionally, women have seen no employment growth in STEM jobs since 2000. Leading researchers have considered a phenomenon entitled the “stereotype threat” which is the experience of anxiety or concern where a person has the potential to confirm a negative stereotype about their social group. Stereotype threats, such as “women are not good math,” compound the problem and make women less likely to venture out into the STEM world. These stressors can become detrimental to women's performance, inadvertently increasing the idea of a “woman's brain” not being as good as a “man's brain.”
This complex dilemma continues to unfold itself as more statistics come to light. Only a third of doctoral degrees in STEM are awarded to women and just 25% of STEM positions are occupied by females. Women, in addition, are more likely than men to report job dissatisfaction. These statistics have prompted many researchers to delve deep into the issue and ask valuable questions: Do women who highly value STEM process stereotype threat differently? Do learned aversions interfere with a woman's ability to positively identify with STEM? Can we teach women how to avoid these effects?
Only time and extensive research will tell if the world can change its STEM culture for the better as technology extends its reach into humanity's daily lives and the world becomes more integrated.
By Cassi Kirkland
The World Health Organization has confirmed the first outbreak of polio in Syria in 14 years. Thought to be eradicated in the region, polio’s return to Middle Eastern countries is troubling for children. Polio mainly affects children under five, leading to paralysis and sometimes death. Although the World Health Organization began a polio eradication campaign 25 years ago, polio often finds its way into vulnerable populations.
Due to the civil war, many children have gone without these vaccinations in Syria. However, Syrian officials have been open to working with the WHO on this issue, in order to stop the spread of such a debilitating disease. The campaign calls for the vaccination of over 20 million children throughout the Middle East, which will prove extremely difficult in war-stricken areas.
Perhaps the bigger issue will be finding officials to enter Syria at such a chaotic time to deliver these vaccines. Will the conflicts halt for the children of their country, or will these officials risk their lives to eradicate the outbreak? The key in stopping this outbreak is efficiency, but is that sort of massive coordination possible in an country where the government doesn’t hold full control?
Polio’s return to Syria and the rest of the Middle East raises some important ethical questions, ones that medicine and science cannot ignore. Sure, scientific research is objective, but we are responsible for using it ethically. It would be easy to ignore the outbreaks as not to risk the lives of people giving the vaccinations, be we cannot. Our ability to understand these diseases through research holds us responsible for eradicating these diseases.So, let the planning for over 50 million vaccinations begin!
11/6/2013 0 Comments
This week's edition of Leena's Life Sciences Limelight, a column dedicated to research presentations in the life sciences on our campus, focuses on a September 10, 2013 presentation delivered by Dr. John Vandermeer, Asa Gray Distinguished Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, during an EEB Department Seminar.
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