Dateline Rice for Aug. 23, 2013


What the DOJ decision means for Texas’ congressional delegation
Mark Jones, the Joseph D. Jamail Chair in Latin American Studies, professor and chair of political science and fellow in political science at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, commented on the U.S. Justice Department’s plans to challenge Republican-drawn redistricting in Texas and the move by Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst to speed his relative’s jail release.
Washington Post
Intervention to speed relative’s jail release could hurt Dewhurst politically
Dallas Morning News
KTRK-TV (A link is not available.)

Supreme Court decision prompts Houston area redistricting fights
John Alford, associate professor of political science, commented on the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision weakening the Voting Rights Act.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription required.) (This article appeared on the front of the City & State section.)

Real investors back a virtual reality
A Q-and-A with Virtuix CEO Jan Goetgeluk ’10, mentions that he received his MBA from Rice.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription required.) (This article appeared on the front of the Business section.)


How a diabetes drug slows down runaway cancer
Scientists uncovered a connection between a pair of proteins known as NEETs and reduced rates of breast cancer among women who take a diabetes drug that targets one of the proteins. Jose Onuchic, the Harry C. and Olga K. Wiess Professor of Physics and Astronomy, is quoted.
In breast cancer proliferation, NEETs are prime suspects
Medical News Today (Similar articles appeared in, [Kenya], and [Ireland.])

On Campus
Wiess College sophomore Abby Halm won a Peter Neal Memorial Scholarship for employees of the Silver Bay YMCA in Silver Bay, N.Y.

Emory, Berry make list of 41 most photogenic schools
Rice is No. 9 on’s new list of “41 scenic college campuses that were made for Instagram.”

New tech to trace fracking fluid could mean more accountability
FracEnsure, a company founded by Rice scientists, will conduct field tests of a tracer made with nano rust. Andrew Barron, the Charles W. Duncan Jr.-Welch Professor of Chemistry and professor of materials science, and his colleagues hope this tracer will settle once and for all whether oil and gas companies are damaging drinking water and, in the event of contamination, allow communities to determine who — or what — is at fault.
High Country News (Paonia, Colo.)

NASA air pollution mission to fly over Houston
Rice is partnering with a NASA multi-year airborne science mission to help scientists better understand how to measure and forecast air quality from space.
Forecasting air quality from space

Nuevas sentencias de drogas: Sirven en Texas?
Nathan Jones, the Alfred C. Glassell III Postdoctoral Fellow in Drug Policy at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, comments on the announcement by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder of new drug sentencing policies. (An English translation was not available.)


Emergency management program at TSU adds an important piece to homeland security
Rice’s establishment of its Severe Storm Prediction Education and Evaluation from Disasters Center in 2007 is mentioned in this blog on disaster preparedness of Houston-area colleges following a challenge by FEMA to urban institutions to develop such programs.
Houston Chronicle


Douglas Brinkley, professor of history and fellow in history at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, discussed the recently released Nixon tapes. (Click broadcast.)

Bob Stein, the Lena Gohlman Fox Professor of Political Science and fellow in urban politics at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, commented on the U.S. Justice Department’s challenge of Texas over the Voting Rights Act.
(A link is not available.)

Volker Rudolf, associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, discussed the recent Rice study about the sensitivity of ecosystems. (Click audio at the 11:33 mark.)


The Rice University Business Plan Competition to ring the NASDAQ stock market closing bell
Brad Burke, managing director of the Rice’s Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, and the winner of the Rice Business Plan Competition will help ring NASDAQ’s closing bell today. (This article appeared in 12 other news outlets.)

Making narrow nanoribbons the easy way
Rice researchers developed a new method to make very narrow nanoribbons from graphene. James Tour, the T.T. and W.F. Chao Chair in Chemistry and professor of mechanical engineering and materials science and of computer science, is quoted.

Open textbooks advocate circles back to tech
Richard Baraniuk, the Victor E. Cameron Professor of Engineering and founding director of Rice’s free textbook publisher OpenStax College, said he helped create it to solve a practical need for a good textbook. OpenStax College announced that its open-source books would cut textbook costs by $3.7 million during the 2013-14 academic year.
Open source meets textbook publishing — much cash freed up

Chemical engineers advance flexible organic solar cell manufacturing technology
A team of chemical engineers at Penn State and Rice utilized molecular self-assembly to create a flexible organic solar cell manufacturing process.
Chemical engineers’ research may lead to inexpensive, flexible solar cells
Controlling nanostructure and morphology may aid development of inexpensive organic solar cells

Rice writes rules for gene-therapy vectors
A Rice study details the use of computational and bioengineering methods to combine pieces of very different adeno-associated viruses to create new, benign viruses that can deliver DNA payloads to specific cells. Junghae Suh, assistant professor of bioengineering, and Jonathan Silberg, assistant professor of biochemistry and cell biology, are quoted. Graduate student Michelle Ho and undergraduates Benjamin Adler and Michael Torre are mentioned.


Selichot and scholar in residence programs
Rabbi Shira Lander, the Anna Smith Fine Senior Lecturer in Jewish studies, will present “The Direction of Prayer — Toward Jerusalem?: A Text Study” Aug. 31 at Congregation Beth Shalom in Arlington, Texas.


Trevor Cobb, the Owl’s former running back, was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.

Texas A&M chancellor on Manziel: ‘I know he’s innocent’
Rice’s season opener Aug. 31 against Texas A&M and Aggie quarterback Johnny Manziel is mentioned.
USA Today
Matt Davis to transfer from A&M
ESPN (Other stories mentioning the Owls’ opener against Texas A&M appeared in 66 news outlets and five broadcast outlets.)


About Rice News Staff

The Rice News is produced weekly by the Office of Public Affairs at Rice University.