News » Archives » January 2016

Giant gas cloud boomeranging back into Milky Way

Author: Gene Stowe

This graphic shows the location of the Smith Cloud as seen from Earth, if it were visible

Since astronomers discovered the Smith Cloud, a giant gas cloud plummeting toward the Milky Way, they have been unable to determine its composition, which would hold clues as to its origin. University of Notre Dame astrophysicist Nicolas Lehner and his collaborators have now determined that the cloud contains elements similar to our sun, which means the cloud originated in the Milky Way’s outer edges and not in intergalactic space as some have speculated.

Full story

New avenues found for treatment of pathogen behind diseases including fasciitis, toxic shock syndrome

Author: William G. Gilroy

Scanning electron micrograph of red blood cell hemolysis by the Streptolysin S producing Group A Streptococcus. Credit: Shaun Lee, Dustin Higashi

One bacterial pathogen is responsible for a range of diseases, from pharyngitis and impetigo to more severe diagnoses such as toxic shock syndrome and necrotizing fasciitis (flesh eating disease), a serious bacterial skin infection that spreads quickly and kills the body’s soft tissue. The pathogen, known as Group A Streptococcus, remains a global health burden with an estimated 700 million cases reported annually, and more than half a million deaths due to severe infections.

Full story

Notre Dame expands its Rome program with purchase of a villa for new student residence

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Rome Global Gateway villa

The century-old building, quite new by Roman standards, is a city block away from the headquarters of the Notre Dame program at 15 Via Ostilia in Rome’s Rione Celio neighborhood on the slopes of the Caelian Hill. Scheduled for occupancy in the fall of 2017, it will house 100 Notre Dame students and a rector and residence hall staff.

Full story

Building a better phone

Author: Brendan O’Shaughnessy

A full-head mannequin testing wireless performance in Notre Dame’s anechoic chamber for the Wireless Institute

A yellow mannequin half-head sits on a desk in Bert Hochwald’s electrical engineering lab with a dissected cell phone rubber banded to its ear. On a nearby computer screen, colored lights reveal the electromagnetic radiation the phone projects into the half-head, which was specially made to mimic the flesh and fluids of a real human being.

Hochwald, the Freimann Chair professor at the Notre Dame Wireless Institute, and his team are leading a three-year, $1.2 million investigation into how to improve the performance of cell phones while also reducing the potentially harmful radiation the phones expose our bodies to.

Full story

Notre Dame March for Life to take place on campus

Author: Sue Lister

The 2013 March for Life in Washington, D.C.

Due to anticipated hazardous weather and travel conditions on the east coast, the University of Notre Dame will hold a March for Life event on campus Friday (Jan. 22) instead of sending students and others to Washington, D.C., to participate in the national event.

Full story

Thomson Reuters names 5 Notre Dame faculty among the top 1 percent of highly cited scholars

Author: Nina Welding

Thomson Reuters

Five University of Notre Dame faculty members — Bertrand Hochwald and J. Nicholas Laneman from the College of Engineering, Timothy Beers and Prashant Kamat from the College of Science, and Luis Gómez-Mejia from the Mendoza College of Business — have been named to the 2015 Thomson Reuters’ Highly Cited Researchers list. The list identifies the top 1 percent of the almost 9 million scholars and scientists who publish their academic findings every year, accounting for more than 2 million journal papers.

Full story

Mark McKenna appeals to Supreme Court in Apple v. Samsung dispute

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Mark McKenna

Mark P. McKenna, professor of law and associate dean for faculty development in the University of Notre Dame Law School, is among the leaders of a group of 37 law professors who filed a friend-of-the-court brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the Apple v. Samsung case, in which Samsung has appealed its patent loss to Apple in a lower federal circuit court dispute over the copying of iPhone technology.

Full story

Immigration expert: United States v. Texas case could limit executive power

Author: Mandy Kinnucan

Luis Fraga

On Tuesday (Jan. 19), the U.S. Supreme Court announced its intention to decide the fate of President Barack Obama’s immigration reform plan before the 2016 presidential election. The president’s plan to allow millions of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. to apply for programs that could allow them to extend their stay has received notable partisan backlash. The case, known as United States v. Texas, has also raised the issue of the legailty of the president’s executive actions. Luis Fraga, professor of Transformative Latino Leadership and co-director of the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame and an expert on the politics of immigration, Latinos and American politics, says reform is necessary, but could limit executive power.

Full story

Can performance brands cause a placebo effect?

Author: William G. Gilroy

Golf putt

From the middle-school child considering the premier brands of soccer shoes, to the college graduate weighing which graduate test prep course to take, a common marketing message from consumer brands is “you will perform better with us.”

Full story

Scott Merrill named 2016 Richard H. Driehaus Prize Laureate

Author: Mary Beth Zachariades

Scott Merrill, 2016 Driehaus Prize laureate

Scott Merrill, an architect known for his originality and creative application of architectural precedents, has been named the recipient of the 2016 Richard H. Driehaus Prize at the University of Notre Dame. Merrill, the 14th Driehaus Prize laureate, will be awarded the $200,000 prize and a bronze miniature of the Choregic Monument of Lysikrates during a ceremony on March 19 (Saturday) in Chicago.

Full story

Walk the Walk Week at Notre Dame: Let us march forward in love

Author: Sue Lister

Students and staff walk out of the Main Building after a midnight prayer service in honor of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday

Watch video Video

It was midnight, and the snow and wind chill made for formidable conditions, but that didn’t deter some 1,000 students, faculty, staff and guests from gathering in the University of Notre Dame’s Main Building Rotunda for a candlelight prayer service to begin the University’s Walk the Walk Week in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Full story

Historian: ‘The Revenant’ is part make-believe, part historic art

Author: Brittany Collins

Jon Coleman

The Revenant,” a movie nominated for 12 Oscars including for best picture and best actor, is a film inspired by the true story of mountain man Hugh Glass. According to the lore, Glass was severely wounded in a bear attack in the wilds of South Dakota. After his expedition party left him for dead, Glass crawled back to the Fort Kiowa trading post, looking for revenge.

Full story