Dateline Rice for Nov. 1, 2017


Microscopic defects make batteries better
High-performance electrodes for lithium-ion batteries can be improved by paying closer attention to their defects — and capitalizing on them, according to Rice materials scientist Ming Tang and chemists Song Jin at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Linsen Li at Wisconsin and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. They found that a common cathode material for lithium-ion batteries, olivine lithium iron phosphate, releases or takes in lithium ions through a much larger surface area than previously thought.
National Science Foundation

Nanoscale platform aims to control protein levels
A nanoscale antibody first found in camels combined with a protein-degrading molecule is an effective new platform to control protein levels in cells, according to Rice scientists. The technique could aid fundamental research into cellular dynamics as well as the design of synthetic gene circuits. Rice chemical and biomolecular engineer Laura Segatori, former graduate student Wenting Zhao ’14 and alumna Lara Pferdehirt ’16 invented a bifunctional recognition system they call NanoDeg that allows them to target specific proteins in a cell and strictly regulate their degradation.
National Science Foundation

The South only embraced states’ rights as it lost control of the federal government
Associate Professor of History Caleb McDaniel authored an article on White House Chief of Staff John Kelly’s comments on Robert E. Lee.
The Atlantic

Buddies for life: Easing the transition to UCLA
Graduate student Hannah Pearce discusses her experience in the University of California at Los Angeles’ Amgen Scholars Program in a Q&A.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette  (This article also appeared in more than 25 other media outlets.)

Allahu Akbar-itis
Craig Considine, lecturer in sociology, is quoted in a column discussing the motives of  the man who struck pedestrians and cyclists with a truck in New York Oct. 31.
National Review (This article also appeared in more than 10 other media outlets.)

The antidote to investor fear, a soaring marijuana stock, and who’s really using robo-advisers
Research by David Ikenberry, a former professor at Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business, is referenced.
The Globe and Mail

Mexican short film is finalist in NASA contest
“Apizaco,” which will be screened at the Houston Cinema Arts Festival Nov. 9-13, is one of 13 finalists for the CineSpace Short Film Competition organized by NASA and the Houston Cinema Arts Society. The winners will be announced at the Rice Media Center.
Yucatan Times

Sigilon Therapeutics appoints Eric Shaff to board of directors
A story on Sigilon Theraputics mentions that Omid Veiseh, assistant professor of bioengineering, is a co-founder.
Boston Business Journal

Move the Cash archives to Tulsa
Professor of History Douglas Brinkley is quoted in an op-ed on efforts by Tulsa, Okla., to move the Johnny Cash archives to the city.
Cowley Courier Traveler


As Houston rebuilds, we need amenities, not eyesores
An article on Houston’s plans to mitigate future flooding mentions recommendations issued by Jim Blackburn, a professor in the practice of environmental law and the co-director of Rice’s Severe Storm Prediction, Education and Evacuation from Disasters Center, and the Baker Institute for Public Policy. Blackburn is quoted in a story on the Houston City Council considering a proposal to build new homes in a west Houston floodplain.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This appeared in the Chronicle’s “Gray Matters” online magazine.)
2 months after Harvey, city may allow hundreds of new homes in floodplain
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required.)

Historian talks Bellaire history at Rice University
A course on the history of Bellaire, part of Rice’s Glasscock School of Continuing Studies’ new series, “City in a City: Community Identity and Houston’s Sprawl,” is reviewed.
Houston Chronicle (This article also appeared in the San Antonio Express-News.)

Fun science: This Texas couple predicts 10 emerging technologies, from space guns to 3-D-printed organs
“Soonish,” a book by Kelly Weinersmith, adjunct faculty member and the former Huxley Fellow in Ecology and Evolution, and her husband, Zach, is reviewed. Kelly Weinersmith also is quoted in an article about parasites that control their hosts’ brains.
Dallas Morning News (Subscription is required.)
Zombies are real!
True Viral News

Chromosome organization emerges from 1-D patterns
The DNA in a human cell is 2 yards long and wraps around millions of bead-like histone proteins to fit inside the cell’s nucleus. Researchers at Rice’s Center for Theoretical Biological Physics and Baylor College of Medicine showed that examining the chemical state of these proteins makes it possible to predict how an entire DNA chromosome will fold. Their findings move the field of genetics closer to the ability to predict the folded structure of entire genomes, which could someday help identify misfolding-related genetic diseases.
TMC News

New resource for entrepreneurial students at Rice opens: LILIE
More than 200 members of the Rice community and Houston’s startup network gathered at the university Oct. 22 to celebrate a new chapter in the city’s entrepreneurship history with the opening of the Liu Idea Lab for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, or Lilie.
TMC News

J&J’s global play
An article on Johnson & Johnson’s Center for Device Innovation at the Texas Medical Center mentions operations manager Carlos Amaro formerly worked at Rice.
TMC News

‘Mickalene Thomas: Waiting on a Prime-Time Star’ at Moody Center for the Arts
“Mickalene Thomas: Waiting on a Prime-Time Star” at the Moody Center is reviewed.
Arts & Culture Texas

2018 home resource guide: Architects
Alumnus Derek Barcinski ’82 is mentioned in a roundup of top architects in Austin.
Austin Monthly

Chemistry lecturer’s science demonstrations blow up
Graduate student Nicole Behnke, who started a “Fun with Chemistry” program at Rice, is mentioned in a story on University of Texas chemistry lecturer Kate Biberdorf.
Daily Texan


‘Africa in Focus’
Elias Bongmba, the Harry and Hazel Chavanne Professor in Christian Theology and professor of religion, discussed the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation and its effect on Africa.
BBC World (Click the video button to watch the broadcast.)

KFYI-AM (Phoenix)
Nearly a quarter of Mexican immigrants who live near the California-Mexico border without legal authorization have a mental disorder, particularly depression or anxiety, according to a new study by Rice. “Mental Disorders Among Undocumented Mexican Immigrants in High-Risk Neighborhoods: Prevalence, Comorbidity and Vulnerabilities” will appear in an upcoming edition of the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. (Click the audio button to listen to the broadcast, which also aired on WTVN-AM in Columbus, Ohio.)


ISSF and IAASS support James Bridenstine as NASA administrator
The International Space Safety Foundation and the International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety are backing President Donald Trump’s nomination of Rep. James Bridenstine ’97, R.-Okla., to head NASA.
Space Safety Magazine

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma
A story on flood damage at university libraries caused by hurricanes Harvey and Irma mentions Rice’s Fondren Library did not report significant damage, and that Rice faculty helped preserve historical photos and documents at the United Orthodox Synagogues of Houston and Congregation Beth Yeshurun.
American Libraries Magazine

AMD appoints Mark Durcan to board of directors
Advanced Micro Devices named alumnus Mark Durcan ’83 to its board of directors.
Yahoo Finance (This article also appeared in more than 10 other media outlets.)

2017 student awards ceremony recap
Duncan College senior Kevin Zhang, a Donald F. and Mildred Topp Othmer National Scholarship Award winner for academic achievement in chemical engineering, is pictured.


Education for liberation: The politics of promise and reform inside and beyond America’s prisons
Alumnus Ames Grawert ’06 will participate in a panel discussion on prisoner rehabilitation Nov. 14 in Washington.
American Enterprise Institute

Edward Said Memorial Lecture at AUC
Ussama Makdisi, the Arab-American Educational Foundation Professor of Arab Studies in History and professor of history, will deliver a lecture titled “Anti-Sectarianism in the Modern Arab World” Nov. 4 in Cairo.
Al-Ahram Weekly


Rice desperately looking to get out of funk
The Rice football team carries a six-game losing streak into its Nov. 4 game against the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Owls head coach David Bailiff, center Trey Martin and defensive tackle Preston Gordon are quoted.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required.)
UAB hosts Rice looking to gain bowl eligibility
WBRC-TV (Birmingham, Ala.) (Click the video button to watch the broadcast.)

Florida schools surge in Conference USA power rankings
Rice is No. 13 in a ranking of Conference USA football teams.

State of Texas power rankings: Week 9
Rice is No. 11 in a ranking of Texas college football teams.
Frogs O’ War

Oklahoma’s Heisman hopeful Baker Mayfield could have played for the Owls
A story about University of Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield mentions he was recruited by Rice.
University Press

Under the radar
Former Rice basketball player Jeremy Jones, who now plays at Gonzaga University, is featured.
The Slipper Still Fits

Water polo ends season with fourth-place finish at Texas Division Championship
The Rice water polo team finished third at the Texas Division Championship, which it hosted.
Baylor Lariat

About Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is a senior editor in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.