Dateline Rice for Jan. 4, 2019


Laser-cooled neutral plasma created by scientists is 50 times colder than deep space
Rice researchers have created laser-cooled neutral plasma that cools to about a millionth of a degree above absolute zero, “where the bizarre laws of quantum mechanics take over,” according to Tom Killian, professor of physics and astronomy. Graduate students Thomas Langin and Grant Gorman are mentioned.
Newsweek (Similar articles also appeared in, Space Ref, Space Daily and Courthouse News Service.)


Texas could easily generate most of its energy through wind and solar, study finds
Several articles cite a study co-authored by Daniel Cohan, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, and Brown College senior Joanna Slusarewicz that determined Texas may be able to supplant coal with wind and solar power.
Popular Mechanics
New research: Texas could ditch coal entirely for wind and solar
Futurism (this article also appeared in Infosurhoy.)
Axios (Scroll down to “3. On my screen: Zinke, Texas power, EVs.”)
‘Fox News First – San Antonio’
KUQI-TV (Corpus Christi, Texas) (This segment was re-broadcast four times.)
KLBJ-AM (Austin, Texas) (This segment was re-broadcast three additional times after appearing in yesterday’s Dateline.)

Apple’s poor sales in China spurs global instability
Haiyang Li, professor of strategic management and innovation at Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business, is quoted in an article about a possible economic slowdown in China.
U.S. News & World Report

Senate Democrats threaten to block Trump administration invite to sanctioned Russian official
Several articles mention NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine ’97. Alumnus Casey Michel authored an article in ThinkProgress.
Politico (This article also appeared in Infosurhoy.)
Politico Huddle: Shutdown standoff continues
Politico Playbook: Pelosi says no wall, while Trump allies put DACA on the table
NASA still preparing for visit by sanctioned Roscosmos chief despite ire in Washington
NASA: Roscosmos head’s US visit in keeping with historical norms
Sputnik International (this article also appeared in Space Daily and Preston Business Review.)
GLAAD asks Rice University not to host sanctioned anti-gay Russian nationalist during U.S. visit
Metro Weekly
Why did Trump’s NASA chief invite a sanctioned Russian to Houston?

Senate names new US ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina
Alumnus Eric George Nelson is featured and pictured.
Sarajevo Times

NASA wants to go back to the moon the hard way
President John F. Kennedy’s “Moon Speech” given at Rice Sept. 12, 1962, is mentioned.
Washington Examiner


Hidalgo to refuse donations from Harris County contractors
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 several articles and interviewed by KTRH.
Houston Chronicle (This article also appeared in the Jan. 4 print and more than 25 other media outlets.)
Government shutdown is like a game of chicken
KTRH-AM (Houston)
‘Los demócratas tienen ahora un poder de agenda muy fuerte’
RFI (An English translation is not available. This article also appeared in Cien Radios, Player FM and Mitre.)

‘Go List’
An article mentions that the first round of Houston District auditions for the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Competition will take place Jan. 5 at Alice Pratt Brown Hall at Rice’s Shepherd School of Music.
Houston Chronicle (This article appeared in the Jan. 4 print edition and a previous edition of Dateline when it was first posted online.)


KTRH-AM (Houston)
Bob Stein, the Lena Gohlman Fox Professor of Political Science at Rice, is interviewed.


Tropical uplift may set Earth’s thermostat
Cin-Ty Lee, professor and chair of the Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences, is quoted in an article about the long-term carbon dioxide sequestration of tropical-area mountains.

Liquid crystals shape up on demand
The research of Rafael Verduzco, an associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, and graduate student Morgan Barnes, who created a rubbery, shape-shifting material that morphs from one sophisticated form to another on demand, is featured. A Rice video is also included.
Chemistry World

Cancer cells steer a jagged path
A jagged little protein appears to be key to how cancer stem cells differentiate and enable metastasis, according to researchers at Rice’s Center for Theoretical Biological Physics and the Duke University School of Medicine. José Nelson Onuchic, the Harry C. and Olga K. Wiess Professor of Physics and Astronomy, and graduate student Federico Bocci are quoted, and Herbert Levine, the Karl F. Hasselmann Professor of Bioengineering, co-director of the Center for Theoretical Biological Physics and professor of physics and astronomy, and alumnus Marcelo Boareto are mentioned.
Technology Networks (This article also appeared in and Science Daily.)

Entrepreneur and philanthropist Ralph O’Connor, a ‘quintessential Blue Jay,’ dies at 92
An article mentions that Trustee Emeritus Ralph O’Connor died Dec. 30 at 92.
The Hub at Johns Hopkins

How the Trump administration joined the Western Hemisphere’s rogue regimes
Christopher Sabatini, nonresident fellow at the Mexico Center and the Latin America Initiative at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, co-authored an op-ed about the rift between the Trump administration and the Organization of American States’ Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
World Politics Review

Roswell Biotechnologies secures $32 million Series A funding round to revolutionize DNA sequencing through molecular electronics
James Tour, the T.T. and W.F. Chao Chair in Chemistry and a professor of computer science and of materials science and nanoengineering, is quoted.

Optical fiber ‘taking off’ on 5G, IoT and FTTH
Jun Lou, professor of materials science and nanoengineering, is quoted.

SD Symphony names Jennifer Teisinger executive director
Alumna Jennifer Teisinger is featured and pictured.
Broadway World


Organic melodies: Michael Ging
Alumnus Michael Ging is featured.
Santa Fe New Mexican

4 Anaconda high school students embark on web design, social media marketing company
Rice is mentioned.
Montana Standard


Ako Adams leads Rice past Southern Mississippi
Rice’s men’s basketball team defeated the University of Southern Mississippi 73-65 at Jan. 3 at Rice’s Tudor Fieldhouse. Player Ako Adams is pictured and player Robert Martin is mentioned. Head coach Scott Pera and player Trey Murphy III are quoted.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This article also appeared in the Jan. 4 print edition with a different headline, “Owls tighten screws to eke out C-USA win,” and it appeared in more than 25 other media outlets.)
Adams, Williams help Rice rally past S. Mississippi 73-65
Houston Chronicle (This Associated Press article also appeared in more than 50 other media outlets.)

Baylor women best UConn for first win over No. 1 team
An article mentions that Rice’s women’s basketball team defeated the University of Southern Mississippi 58-47 Jan. 3.
Houston Chronicle (This article appeared in the Jan. 4 print edition.)
Lady Eagles come up short against Rice
WDAM Online

Thompson, Aguilar ready for more success on the collegiate baseball diamond
An article mentions a baseball game between Rice and the University of Houston last season.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required.)

Houston Dash announce technical staff for 2019 NWSL season
An article mentions that former Rice women’s assistant soccer coach Brenton Saylor has joined the Houston Dynamo Academy as an assistant coach. The article also mentions that Owls player Maya Hoyer earned Conference USA Goalkeeper of the Year honors in 2017. (This article also appeared at


Next up: Ultracold simulators of super-dense stars
Rice physicists have created the world’s first laser-cooled neutral plasma, completing a 20-year quest that sets the stage for simulators that re-create exotic states of matter found inside Jupiter and white dwarf stars.

Baker Institute experts provide road map for addressing corruption in Mexico, Latin America
A study into corruption in a Mexican district government conducted by experts at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy offers guidance that could help anti-corruption agencies not only in Mexico but also throughout greater Latin America.

About Stefan De La Garza

Stefan De La Garza is a news analyst in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.