Dateline Rice for Jan. 10, 2018


Viruses could inspire nano drug-delivery device
By chipping away at a viral protein, Rice scientists have discovered a path toward virus-like, nanoscale devices that may be able to deliver drugs to cells. Junghae Suh, associate professor of bioengineering, and graduate student Nicole Thadani are quoted. Alumnus Christopher Dempsey ’14, a co-author, is mentioned.
Futurity (Similar articles appeared in more than 10 other media outlets.)

Trump keeps selling the false ‘environment versus economy’ line
Daniel Cohan, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, authored an op-ed. Cohan also is quoted in a story on coal power plant closures in Texas.
The Hill
Overnight Energy: Zinke removes Florida from offshore drilling plan; Dem AGs want Pruitt recused from climate rule repeal; coal exec wants regulators fired for rejecting Perry plan; EPA staffing falls to Reagan levels
The Hill
KUT-FM (Austin, Texas) (Click the audio button to listen to the broadcast.)

Saudi Arabia gloats over Iran unrest while quietly preparing for anti-government protests of its own
Jim Krane, the Wallace S. Wilson Fellow for Energy Studies at the Baker Institute, authored an op-ed on Saudi Arabia’s reaction to anti-government protests in rival Iran.

io9’s top 50 science, history and space articles of the last 10 years
An article on alumnus Zack Kopplin ’15’s campaign to abolish the “Louisiana Science Education Act” is No. 13 on a list of the top 50 science, history and space articles from the last 10 years.


Would running Oprah for president be a stroke of genius for Democrats?
Mark Jones, the Joseph D. Jamail Chair in Latin American Studies, professor of political science, fellow in political science at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and fellow at Rice’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research, is quoted in Lisa Falkenberg’s column on a potential presidential bid by Oprah Winfrey.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This article appeared in the Jan. 10 print edition with a different headline, “In search for stability, Oprah candidacy doesn’t seem so crazy.”)

Groups oppose potential question on citizenship in next census
Steve Murdock, the Allyn and Gladys Cline Professor of Sociology and director of Rice’s Hobby Center for the Study of Texas and former U.S. Census Bureau director, is quoted.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This article appeared in the Jan. 10 print edition with a different headline, “Citizenship question could cloud census.”)

Why Sessions’ war on weed won’t work
Katharine Neill Harris, the Alfred C. Glassell III Fellow in Drug Policy at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, authored an op-ed on marijuana policy.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This appeared in the Chronicle’s “Gray Matters” online magazine.)

The Trump administration could force 30,000 Salvadoran immigrants to leave Texas
A roundup of Texas news quotes Scott Sonenshein, the Henry Gardiner Symonds Professor of Management at Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business, on turnover among state employees in 2017.
Texas Standard

Poor water quality after Harvey could hurt Flower Garden Banks off Texas shore
Rice marine biologist Adrienne Correa, assistant professor of biosciences, is quoted in a story on Rice research on the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. Baker College senior Anna Knochel and graduate student Lauren Howe-Kerr are pictured.
San Antonio Express-News
Yes, Texas has coral reefs — and they deserve protection
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required.)

EIA: Daily U.S. oil output to hit 10M barrels in Q1
Ken Medlock, the James A. Baker III and Susan Baker Fellow in Energy and Resource Economics and senior director of the Center for Energy Studies at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and lecturer of economics, is mentioned in a photo cutline.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This article also appeared in the San Antonio Express-News and Oil and Gas Industry Today.)

Interview with Alex Triantaphyllis
Alumnus Alex Triantaphyllis ’06, a Democrat running for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, is interviewed.
Houston Chronicle

From the back of the start line, marathoner running to help Houstonians
Alumnus Mike Sohaskey ’93 will start at the back of the pack during the Chevron Houston Marathon and has asked his supporters to pledge dollars for each runner he passes on his way to the finish line. The funds will support Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey relief efforts.

What to see at Houston-area galleries: Jan. 11-17
“Mickalene Thomas: Waiting on a Prime-Time Star” at Rice’s Moody Center for the Arts is mentioned.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required.)


KUT-FM (Austin, Texas)
A story on flood mitigation efforts mentions a proposed coastal barrier Rice researchers have been involved with. (Click the audio button to listen to the broadcast.)

KTRK-TV (Houston)
Men’s track and field head coach Jon Warren will provide commentary on the Chevron Houston Marathon. (Click the video button to watch the broadcast.)


Dr. Linda Capuano begins as new EIA administrator
Linda Capuano took over as administrator of the Energy Information Administration in the Department of Energy Jan. 8. She most recently was a fellow in energy technology in the Center for Energy Studies at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.
Electric Energy Online (Similar articles appeared in more than 10 media outlets.)

Hope found for cheaper fuel cells
Nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes or modified graphene nanoribbons may be suitable replacements for platinum for fast oxygen reduction, the key reaction in fuel cells that transform chemical energy into electricity, according to Rice researchers. Boris Yakobson, the Karl F. Hasselmann Professor of Materials Science and NanoEngineering and professor of chemistry, and graduate student Luqing Wang are quoted, and lead author and former postdoctoral associate Xiaolong Zou is mentioned.
New Energy and Fuel (Similar articles appeared in Chem Info, Today Eco, EMT Worldwide and Naver Blog.)

Rice U’s 1-step catalyst turns nitrates into water and air
Engineers at Rice’s Nanotechnology Enabled Water Treatment Center have found a catalyst that cleans toxic nitrates from drinking water by converting them into air and water. Michael Wong, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, of chemistry, of materials science and nanoengineering and of civil and environmental engineering and chair of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and the lead scientist on the study; and co-author Kim Heck, a research scientist in Wong’s lab, are quoted. Co-authors Sujin Guo, Huifeng Qian and Zhun Zhao are mentioned.
Water Online (Similar articles appeared in Environment Guru, Roero Electric, Ambiente, Rinnovabili and NewsDog.)

Nanoindentation experiments reveal porous particle size matters for assembled material toughness
Porous particles of calcium and silicate show potential as building blocks for a host of applications like self-healing materials, bone-tissue engineering, drug delivery, insulation, ceramics and construction materials, according to Rice engineers who decided to see how well they perform at the nanoscale. Rouzbeh Shahsavari, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering and of materials science and nanoengineering, is quoted. Graduate student Sung Hoon Hwang is mentioned. Rice photos are featured.
American Ceramic Society

Tiny antibiotic beads fight infections after joint replacement
An article on antibiotic beads that are implanted after joint replacement operations mentions that Antonios Mikos, the Louis Calder Professor of Bioengineering and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, participated in the development of the beads.
Infection Control Today (A similar article appeared in Health News Digest, and Newswise.)

This armor could be thinner than a hair and stronger than a diamond
The creation of bullet-resistant graphene sheets by Rice researchers is mentioned.
Military Times (This article also appeared in Army Times and Marine Corps Times.)

Israel’s Dotz Nano signs $15M distribution agreement in China
Nanomaterial invented by the lab of James Tour, the T.T. and W.F. Chao Professor of Chemistry, professor of computer science and of materials science and nanoengineering, is mentioned.

Honored physicist Steven Chu selected as AAAS president-elect
Lydia Kavraki, the Noah Harding Professor of Computer Science and professor of bioengineering, was elected to the Electorate Nominating Committee for the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
American Association for the Advancement of Science

K-12 dealmaking: Wonderschool, Frank, eSafe raise funds
Blending Education, a provider of microlearning libraries and content-driven digital education services, has formed a partnership with Rice-based publisher OpenStax, which develops open educational resources.
Edweek Market Brief

Altamira appoints Rod Fontecilla as CTO
Alumnus Rod Fontecilla ’83 was named chief technology officer at Altamira Technologies.


Personalized Media Communications announces the passing of Gerald Holtzman
Alumnus Gerald Holtzman ’68 died Jan. 8.
Digital Journal
Rest in peace, friend: Remembering Gerald Holtzman

Environmental engineering event planned
Pedro Alvarez, director of Rice’s NEWT Center and the George R. Brown Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, will give the keynote address at the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors Distinguished Lecturer Conference Feb. 2 in West Lafayette, Ind.
Purdue University News

Speech and debate team gets 2018 off to strong start
An article on the Grand Canyon University speech and debate team mentions Rice competed in the Mile High Swing tournament in Salt Lake City.
GCU Today

3 ways to use experiential learning to boost your career
Rice’s Liu Idea Lab for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is mentioned.

Ali mahanje po zraku izboljša signal telefona?
Lin Zhong, professor of electrical and computer engineering, is quoted in an article on whether raising your phone toward the sky improves signal strength.
Racunalniske Novice (An English translation is not available.)


KPRC-TV (Houston)
Rice women’s basketball players Olivia and Erica Ogwumike are featured. Coach Tina Langley is quoted. (Click the video button to watch the broadcast.)

3-year starting offensive lineman leaving Rice as grad transfer
Brown College senior Calvin Anderson will transfer after graduating in May.
NBC Sports

Stampeders’ coach Dave Dickenson named to US College Football Hall of Fame
Former Rice player Trevor Cobb ’93 was selected for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Calgary Herald

Breaking down Texans’ general manager candidates
Former Rice football player Will McClay ’89 is featured in a slideshow of candidates to become the general manager of the Houston Texans.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required.)


Baker Institute’s Capuano takes leadership of Energy Information Administration
Linda Capuano, most recently a fellow in energy technology in the Center for Energy Studies at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, has begun her service as administrator of the Energy Information Administration in the U.S. Department of Energy, the EIA announced Jan. 9. Capuano was nominated for the post by President Donald Trump Nov. 3 and confirmed by the U.S. Senate Dec. 21. EIA is the department’s statistical and analytical agency.

Baker Institute’s Medlock available to discuss natural gas price surge
Natural gas surged to 60 times the going rate in the U.S. Northeast last week as the historic “bomb cyclone” unleashed blizzard conditions and drove demand for the furnace fuel across the region. The cyclone also led to a jump in heating oil use to heat homes and fuel oil use in the power sector. Kenneth Medlock, senior director of the Center for Energy Studies at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, is available to discuss natural-gas pricing dynamics, the role of the nation’s pipeline infrastructure and the response of the power sector in the Northeast.

About Matt Wilson

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