Dateline Rice for May 8, 2014


Virus programmed to unlock and kill cancer
Rice scientists created a tunable virus that only unlocks in the presence of two proteases, which can be designed to target and destroy cancer cells. Junghae Suh, assistant professor of bioengineering, is quoted.
Rice scientists target tumors with virus nanonodes for gene delivery
Bio News-Texas (This article also appeared in Counsel & Heal and Fierce Drug Delivery.)
2 keys open tunable virus that works like a safe deposit box
2-lock box delivers cancer therapy

Experts weigh big data’s benefits, pitfalls in health care delivery
Texas Health and Human Services Commissioner Kyle Janek discusses his thoughts on the cost of health care at the Baker Institute for Public Policy’s recent panel discussion.
Government Technology

Pulitzer-winning Shaw finds freedom with A Far Cry and Roomful of Teeth
Rice alumna Caroline Shaw ’04 is profiled for her music career.
Boston Globe

Supreme Court prayer ruling may spur new alliances
Since a Supreme Court ruling allowed sectarian prayers at public meetings, David Silverman, president of American Atheists, suggests joining forces with minority faiths to fight this “setback.” Anthony Pinn, the Agnes Cullen Arnold Professor of Humanities and professor of religious studies, is quoted.
Religion News Service

5 Stanford students and one alumna awarded 2014 Soros Fellowships for new Americans
Alumna Roxana Daneshjou ’09 was awarded a 2014 Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship.
World Journal


Area graduation ceremonies begin Thursday
A compilation of local university graduation ceremonies mentions that Dr. Helene Gayle, president and CEO of CARE USA, will be the commencement speaker at Rice on May 17.
Houston Chronicle

DA: Pratt’s resignation was a deal
Mark Jones, the Joseph D. Jamail Chair in Latin American Studies, professor and chair of political science and fellow in political science at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, is quoted about the resignation of Judge Denise Pratt and the Texas primary.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription required. This article appeared on the front of the City/State section.)
Dewhurst, Patrick spend debate assailing each other’s integrity
Houston Chronicle (Subscription required.)
As Gov. of Texas, would Abbott continue to stand for states’ rights?
New American
Analysis: In the legislature, race and party line up
Abbott, Davis trade sharp barbs on ethics (Subscription required. This article also appeared in Go San Angelo Standard-Times, Times Record News and Reporter News.)

Houston health sign-ups total almost 200,000
Despite a kick in health insurance sign-ups in the last month of enrollment for the Affordable Care Act, an estimated 6 million Texans are still uninsured. Vivian Ho, the James A. Baker III Institute Chair in Health Economics at the Baker Institute for Public Policy and professor of economics, is quoted.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription required.)

Rice aims to spur more Houston startups
Rice wants to bring more oil and gas startup companies to Houston. Brad Burke, managing director of the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, is quoted.
Fuel Fix

Halliburton shows off enhanced-recovery tech at OTC
Halliburton engineers have improved their understanding of the deposits oil producers drill into with the help of reservoir models. Charles McConnell, executive director of Rice University’s Energy and Environment Initiative, is cited for his comments on the harvest of oil locked in shale rock.
Fuel Fix

Saving our sons
A columnist references speaking to more than 200 young black men at Rice in an op-ed about encouraging and educating black youth.
Forward Times

PRTech Houston 2014 readies to deliver innovative small-business enterprise development conference during National Small Business Week
Stephen Klineberg, professor of sociology and co-director of Rice’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research, will be a featured speaker at the PRTech Houston 2014 Multicultural Small Business Conference and Expo May 14.
The Paper

Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence Award recipients for 2014 announced
Alumnus Kim Hill ’70 received the 2014 Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence Award.
TAMU Times


Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba will play wait-and-watch game with US market
Yan Anthea Zhang, professor of management, is quoted about Alibaba, the largest e-commerce website in China.
Washington Post
Alibaba’s IPO filing casts light on Amazon’s shortcomings
Seattle Times (This article also appeared in Columbus Monthly and
Amazon’s profit weakness highlighted by Alibaba’s IPO filing
New Hampshire Union Leader
China’s Alibaba eyes the US
Portland Press Herald


A hydrogel that knows when to go (w/video)
Rice University bioengineers have created a hydrogel that instantly turns from liquid to semisolid at close to body temperature – and then degrades at precisely the right pace. Antonio Mikos, the Louis Calder Professor of Bioengineering and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and graduate student Brendan Watson are quoted. Paul Engel, chair of Rice’s Department of Chemistry, and F. Kurtis Kasper, a senior faculty fellow in bioengineering, are mentioned. (This article also appeared in Science Codex and 13 other publications.)
Novel thermogelling hydrogel for delivery of stem cells
Now, hydrogel that degrades as new bone tissue forms
Financial Express (This article also appeared in Business Standard.)
Photos of the day: ‘Smart’ hydrogel makes room for bone
Medical Design Technology
Hydrogel that degrades as new bone tissues are formed (This article also appeared in,, Newstrack India and

Glutamine ratio is key indictor of tumor aggression in ovarian cancer, study finds
Rice researchers studied ovarian cancer cells to determine if they can metastasize, or spread, to other parts of the body. Deepak Nagrath, assistant professor in chemical and biomolecular engineering, is quoted.
Study shows how ovarian cancer metabolism changes between early, late stages
Medical News Today

Energy-subsidy reform can cut carbon emissions
Jim Krane, the Wallace S. Wilson Fellow for Energy Studies at the Baker Institute for Public Policy, is featured for his recent paper on “Navigating the Perils of Energy-Subsidy Reform in Exporting Countries.”
Daily Fusion

Fluoride finally has a use: It makes awesome flexible batteries!
Rice chemists created a flexible material with the high energy of a battery or supercapacitor. James Tour, the T.T. and W.F. Chao Chair in Chemistry and professor of mechanical engineering and materials science and of computer science, and Rice postdoctoral researcher Yang Yang are quoted.
Natural News


American Academy of Environmental Engineers & Scientists presents engineering excellence awards
A team from Rice’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering received the grand prize for its research on “superbugs” at the Excellence in Environmental Engineering & Science competition.
Better Roads

Who is playing in our sandbox?
New research from Rice and the University of South Carolina found that the sand needed to rebuild the Mississippi River Delta will stay constant for centuries. Jeffrey Nittrouer, assistant professor of Earth science, is quoted. (Baton Rouge, La.)

Europe shale can ease need for Russia gas, minister says
Technology may help extract shale gas in Europe. Edward Djerejian, founding director of Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, is quoted.
Hellenic Shipping News

Cutting the cost of college one step at a time
Rice’s OpenStax College is featured.

Organist Ken Cowan to perform May 18 – Brevard, N.C.
Ken Cowan, associate professor of organ at Rice’s Shepherd School of Music, will perform at Brevard-Davidson River Presbyterian Church.
Transylvania Times

Retired U of L College of Business Dean Charlie Moyer: Jim Ramsey will go down as a great university president
The TheraBracelet team from University of Louisville received $105,500 at the Rice Business Plan Competition.
Insider Louisville

CSU alumna creates Dam Good Tacos
Alumnus Michael Falco ’06 is featured for the taco restaurant he co-founded.
Collegian Central


Teykl paces No. 14 Owls to win over HBU
Rice baseball won against Houston Baptist University 6-1 at Reckling Park.
Houston Chronicle
Manny happy returns; Rice Owls baseball defeat HBU 6-1

UTSA’s resident ‘bull in a china closet’ takes aim at Rice
Rice baseball will play University of Texas at San Antonio May 9-11 in San Antonio.
San Antonio Express-News

Pollard inks NLI to join 2014 Rice University class
Nevada basketball player Nate Pollard signed a National Letter of Intent to play for Rice. Head basketball coach Mike Rhoades is quoted.
Bellaire Examiner (This article also appeared in Memorial Examiner and Sugar Land Sun.)


Mexican energy reform threatened by organized criminal groups, Baker Institute expert says
Mexico’s budding energy reform is being threatened by organized criminal groups and requires focused action by the Mexican government, according to Tony Payan, a fellow for Mexico studies at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and director of the Baker Institute’s Mexico Center.

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