Dateline Rice for Oct. 8, 2013


The new rankings frontier: Mentions in the media
The Faculty Media Impact Project, which seeks to quantify how often professors engage with the public through the news media, ranks social-sciences departments at 94 universities. Rice University appears at the top of the rankings. Rice President David Leebron is quoted.
Chronicle of Higher Education


Malaysia eyes Canada for $37bn LNG play
Malaysia has highlighted the risks to the growth of Australia’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry by declaring its intention to push ahead with a plan to build an LNG plant in Canada. Peter Hartley, professor of economics, is quoted in this story and others about the price of natural gas in Australia and Australia’s gas pipeline system.
The Australian (This article also appeared in Central Queensland News, Byron Shire News, Sunshine Coast Daily, Coffs Coast Advocate and more than 20 other news outlets.)
Ban on CSG to raise natural gas prices
The Australian
Call to open up pipeline access
The Australian

At super high temps, ‘white graphene’ stops rust
Rice researchers have discovered that nano-thin films of hexagonal boron nitride – also called “white graphene” – protect materials from oxidizing. Pulickel Ajayan, the Benjamin M. and Mary Greenwood Anderson Professor in Engineering and professor of mechanical engineering and materials science, of chemistry and of chemical and biomolecular engineering, and Jun Lou, associate professor of mechanical engineering and materials science, are quoted.
‘White graphene’ halts rust in high temperatures, researchers say
Science Recorder
‘White graphene’ halts rust in high temps
Product Design & Development (This article also appeared on Science Daily and e! Science News.)

When a full college scholarship really isn’t
An article about financial aid and education costs mentions Rice University.
MSN Money–when-a-full-college-scholarship-really-isnt


Weeks before election, strong voter registration numbers
Harris County has the highest number of registered voters it has seen in several years. 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, is quoted.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription required) (This article appeared on the front of the City & State section.)

Parker continues to outpace Hall in fundraising
Mayor Annise Parker continues to outpace top mayoral challenger Ben Hall in fundraising, according to campaign finance reports released Monday. Rice political scientist Mark Jones is quoted.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription required) (This article appeared on the front of the City & State section.)

Hall’s tax woes could spell trouble for campaign
Rice political scientist Mark Jones is quoted in an article about top mayoral challenger Ben Hall and his tax situation.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription required)

Five odd local spots where we’d love to see a show
A wishlist of local spots at which to watch a concert includes James Turrell’s “Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace at Rice.
Houston Press

Technology driving health care costs in Texas, researchers say
Technology, not uninsured patients, likely explains the steep rise in the cost of hospital care in Texas in recent years, according to Vivian Ho, the chair in health economics at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, a professor of economics at Rice and a professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. Ho is quoted.
Houston Business Journal (This article also appeared on Albuquerque Express, Malaysia Sun,, Cambodian Times, Dublin News and Toronto Telegraph.)


Ben Hall: Parker trying to divert from ‘real issues’ with focus on Hall’s delinquent taxes
Robert Stein, the Lena Gohlman Fox Professor of Political Science, comments on candidates for Houston Mayor.

Obama’s deferred-action immigration program working for some, not for others
Alumna Norma Torres ’13 is featured in a story about immigration reform.

How hurricanes that hit the Texas coast can float giant tanks
Jamie Padgett, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, is interviewed about the vulnerability of above-ground oil storage tanks.


Hack-proof pacemakers: Code based on heartbeat could thwart disruption
Rice researchers have designed a secure way to cut the risk that an implanted medical device such as a pacemaker, insulin pump or defibrillator could be altered remotely without authorization. Their technology would use the patient’s own heartbeat as a kind of password that could only be accessed through touch. Farinaz Koushanfar, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, is quoted; graduate student Mahmoud Rostami is mentioned.
Live Science

7 lessons from the 3rd International Architectural Education Summit
An article recaps the International Architectural Education Summit held in September. Sarah Whiting, dean of the Rice School of Architecture, is mentioned.

‘Ship in a bottle’ detects dangerous vapors
Rice University researchers combined a common mineral, zeolite, with a metallic compound based on rhenium to make an “artificial nose” that can sniff out solvent gases. Angel Martí, assistant professor of chemistry and bioengineering, is quoted.
Rhenium-based complex trapped inside zeolite can warn about dangerous fumes

Scientists use blur to sharpen DNA mapping
With high-tech optical tools and sophisticated mathematics, Rice University researchers have found a way to pinpoint the location of specific sequences along single strands of DNA, a technique that could someday help diagnose genetic diseases. Christy Landes, assistant professor of chemistry, and postdoctoral associate Jixin Chen are quoted. Undergraduate student Alberto Bremauntz and graduate students Lydia Kisley and Bo Shaung are mentioned. (This article also appeared on Health Canal.)
‘Motion blur point accumulation for imaging in nanoscale topography’ technique improves DNA mapping

‘Sustainable Houston Town Hall Meeting’ to be hosted by Rice University
Rice University’s Shell Center for Sustainability will host the “Sustainable Houston Town Hall Meeting” Oct. 8 and 9 on campus.

Astronaut Leroy Chiao: ‘Gravity’ works, if you don’t focus on the physics
Astronaut Leroy Chiao, lecturer in mechanical engineering and materials science, reviews the science in the movie “Gravity.” (This article also appeared in the Albuquerque Express and the Malaysia Sun.)

One-size-fits-all monetary policy
An article mentions the upcoming conference Eurocrisis Minefield: Mapping the Way Out set for Oct. 14 at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.
International Financing Review


Rice football helps sports dreams come true
Head football coach David Bailiff and the Rice football team welcomed kids and young adults with special needs for a chance to experience what it’s like to be a football player.

Coker says UTSA will be rested and ready for Rice
An article previews this weekend’s football game between Rice and University of Texas-San Antonio. Rice head football coach David Bailiff is mentioned.
San Antonio Express-News

Yes, it’s early, but seriously, UH and Rice could go bowling
This college football season is still early, but it’s becoming increasingly evident that both the Rice Owls and Houston Cougars are going bowling. Each team still has some obstacles to overcome, but both teams are fast approaching the needed number of wins for bowl qualification.
Houston Press


Clues to foam formation could help find oil
Rice University scientists discover two previously unknown ways bubbles form in foam as they investigate materials targeted for enhanced oil recovery.

Impact and risks of euro crisis topic at Rice’s Baker Institute Oct. 14
A panel of economists and monetary policy experts will discuss the ongoing impact and risks of the euro crisis in Europe and what it means globally and for the U.S. at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy Oct. 14. Hosted by the Baker Institute’s International Economics Program, the event is part of the institute’s 20th anniversary series.

About Rice News Staff

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