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UT Study Finds Fish Just Wanna Have Fun

A cichlid fish strikes a bottom-weighted thermometer that would immediately right itself. It was often struck repeatedly in bouts. Photo by Ann Hawthorne

Fish just want to have fun, according to a UT study that finds even fish “play.”

The research is published in the academic journal Ethology and can be viewed at the journal’s website.

Gordon Burghardt, a professor in the departments of Psychology and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, is known for defining “play” in a way that allows us to identify it in species not previously thought capable of play, such as wasps, reptiles and invertebrates.

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Simpson Named New JIBS Director



Dr. Michael Simpson, Professor of Materials Sciences and Engineering, Oak Ridge National Laboratory Corporate Fellow, and Group Leader of the Nanofabrication Research Laboratory Group in the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS) at ORNL, has been appointed the next director of the UT-ORNL Joint Institute for Biological Sciences (JIBS). This appointment is in addition to his role at CNMS.

Simpson, an expert in stochastic processes in gene expression, nanobiosciences, and synthetic biology, is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and is a member of the JIBS Advisory Board. His appointment begins October 20, 2014. Simpson will follow Dr. Gary Sayler as the second JIBS director. Sayler, Professor of Microbiology and Director of the Center for Environmental Biotechnology, will retire at the end of 2015.

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Distinguished Lecture Series: Securing NIH Funding and Team Science with Dr. Kathleen Dracup

The Office of Research & Engagement and the College of Nursing are pleased to announce a Distinguished Research Lecture Series presented by Dr. Kathleen Dracup, who will present two open lectures on Securing NIH Funding and Team Science. The lectures will be held Friday, November 14, 2014, from 8:30 a.m. – noon in Hodges Library, Room 213.

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NSF Accepting RAPID Proposals Related to Ebola Virus Research

(Image from

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In light of the recent cases of the Ebola virus in the United Sates, the National Science Foundation (NSF) is accepting proposals to conduct non-medical, non-clinical care research that can be used immediately to better understand how to model and understand the spread of Ebola, educate about prophylactic behaviors, and encourage the development of products, processes, and learning that can address this global challenge.

Researchers are encouraged to use the Rapid Response Research (RAPID) funding mechanism, which allows for the acceptance and reviewal of proposals that have “a severe urgency with regard to availability of, or access to data, facilities or specialized equipment, including quick-response research on natural or anthropogenic disasters and similar unanticipated events.”

For more information, read the letter from the director of the NSF, Dr. France A. Cordova and find guidance on submitting a RAPID proposal.

Researchers at ORNL Achieve Unmatched Precision in 3-D Manufacturing

ORNL researchers have demonstrated the ability to precisely control the structure and properties of 3-D printed metal parts during formation. The electron backscatter diffraction image shows variations in crystallographic orientation in a nickel-based component, achieved by controlling the 3-D printing process at the microscale. (Photo by ORNL)

The electron backscatter diffraction image shows variations in crystallographic orientation in a nickel-based component, achieved by controlling the 3-D printing process at the microscale.
(Photo by ORNL)

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have found a way to control the structure and properties of metal components during an additive manufacturing process with a heretofore unmatched precision seen by conventional manufacturing methods.

“We’re using well established metallurgical phenomena, but we’ve never been able to control the processes well enough to take advantage of them at this scale and at this level of detail,” said Suresh Babu, the University of Tennessee-ORNL Governor’s Chair for Advanced Manufacturing.

Continue reading at R&D Magazine.

Nursing Students Provide Care to Those with Mental Health Needs

UT graduate students in nursing, pharmacy, nutrition, and exercise physiology are coming together to tackle a new health challenge facing the nation—a critical need for advanced practice psychiatric mental health nurses.

The students, part of the College of Nursing program called Recovery-Based Interprofessional Distance Education (RIDE), are working as interprofessional teams to help clients at the Helen Ross McNabb Center live better. The program is funded by a three-year $1 million grant from Health Resources and Services Administration.

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