News Releases – Rice University News & Media Fri, 20 Dec 2019 21:10:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Rice University on winter break Dec. 23-Jan. 1 Fri, 20 Dec 2019 21:07:07 +0000 HOUSTON – (Dec. 20, 2019) – Rice University will be on winter break from Dec. 23 through Jan. 1 and will reopen for regular operations Jan. 2. News media with an urgent request can reach the Rice News and Media Relations representative on call at 713-348-6774, but please keep in mind that we will have limited access to our faculty experts during the holiday break.
Nightside barrier gently brakes ‘bursty’ plasma bubbles Fri, 20 Dec 2019 14:49:04 +0000 Rice space plasma physicists develop algorithms to measure the buoyancy waves that appear in thin filaments of magnetic flux on Earth’s nightside. The work adds to the Rice Convection Model that helps scientists understand space weather.
]]> image from a magnetohydrodynamic simulation by the Gamera project at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory shows bursty flows (in red and brown) in the plasma sheet. Rice University space plasma physicists developed algorithms to measure the buoyancy waves that appear in thin filaments of magnetic flux on Earth’s nightside. (Credit: Gamera/APL)
Can religion be explained by brain wiring? The faithful say no Thu, 19 Dec 2019 15:29:44 +0000 HOUSTON – (Dec. 19, 2019) – Is there a "God spot" in the brain that determines whether you’re hardwired to be religious? New research from Rice University finds that nonbelievers are more likely than the faithful to think that’s true.
Ancient events are still impacting mammals worldwide Mon, 16 Dec 2019 22:09:30 +0000 In the first study of its kind, researchers have discovered that events from 20,000 years ago or more are still impacting the diversity and distribution of mammal species worldwide.
]]> infographic depicting mammal species on three continents
How do silt and sand differ when going with the flow? Mon, 16 Dec 2019 20:00:44 +0000 Sand and silt in rivers dramatically change their means of transport at a sharp boundary between grain sizes, regardless of how fast the river flows. A universal transport algorithm developed at Rice University revealed the break and could help predict how sediments move.
]]> University postdoctoral researcher Hongbo Ma holds sand from the Mississippi River, left, and silt from China’s Yellow River. Ma led a study that showed particle size controls how sediment moves in flowing rivers changes dramatically when the grains are about 150 microns in size. (Credit: Rice University)
Hydrogels control inflammation to help healing Mon, 16 Dec 2019 15:36:23 +0000 Researchers test a sampling of synthetic, biocompatible hydrogels to see how tuning them influences the body’s inflammatory response. The hydrogels are being developed to help heal wounds, deliver drugs and treat cancer.
]]> illustration shows how effective a selection of custom-designed peptide hydrogels are in controlling inflammation. The gels developed at Rice University serve as scaffolds for new tissue and show promise for treating wounds and cancer and for delivering drugs. The hydrogels are designed to dissolve in the body as they are replaced by natural, functional tissue. (Illustration by Tania Lopez-Silva/Rice University)
Drug-resistant superbug deploys sentinels to warn of attack Fri, 13 Dec 2019 17:24:44 +0000 When Rice and UTHealth researchers finally figured out how the deadly superbug VRE quickly became resistant to a new antibiotic, the answer surprised everyone.
]]> image of vancomycin-resistant Enterococci
New prescription drug legislation ‘aggressive’ but public should demand more, says Baker Institute health economist Thu, 12 Dec 2019 18:30:30 +0000 HOUSTON -- (Dec. 12, 2019) – The House of Representatives is voting today on a bill to lower prescription drug prices. Vivian Ho, the James A. Baker III Institute Chair in Health Economics at Rice University and director of the Baker Institute's Center for Health and Biosciences, said the bill, H.R. 3, titled the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, has aggressive proposals and will "undoubtedly help to reduce drug spending for Medicare and for consumers."
Deadly ‘superbugs’ destroyed by molecular drills Thu, 12 Dec 2019 17:31:58 +0000 Motorized molecules activated by light target and drill through highly antibiotic resistant bacteria and kill them within minutes. The molecules can open bacteria to attack by drugs they previously resisted. The strategy could be applied to bacterial infections or diseases on the skin, in the lungs or in the gastrointestinal tract.
]]> illustration shows how motorized nanomachines triggered by light drill into bacteria, making a path for antibiotics. Experiments showed the bacteria became susceptible again to the antibiotic meropenem, to which it had developed resistance. (Credit: Don Thushara Galbadage/Biola University)
Rice men’s basketball to host 7th annual School House Mania Dec. 19 Thu, 12 Dec 2019 16:20:02 +0000 Rice University’s Athletics Department will host more than 3,500 local elementary schoolchildren for its seventh annual School House Mania when the Owls men’s basketball team tips off against the University of St. Thomas at 11:15 a.m. Dec. 19 at Tudor Fieldhouse.
]]> House Mania provides an educational field trip along with the fun of watching a college basketball game.
Chemists’ calculations may advance cancer prediction Thu, 12 Dec 2019 15:29:57 +0000 A computational study by Rice University chemists showed the dynamics of tumor formation don’t necessarily correlate with clinical data on lifetime cancer risks. It suggests biomarkers may someday be able to help predict when mutations in cells will turn cancer-prone cells into full-blown cancer.
]]> schematic shows a single mutation fixation process in a tissue compartment. Normal stem cells are green, and mutated cells are yellow. Rice University researchers used a discrete-state stochastic model to see how cancer-leaning mutations affected the likelihood of cells turning tissue into a tumor, and how well the model correlates with widely used calculations of cancer lifetime risks. (Credit: Hamid Teimouri/Rice University)
Rice Business Plan Competition alumni make Forbes 30 Under 30 list Wed, 11 Dec 2019 12:55:43 +0000 HOUSTON -- (Dec. 11, 2019) – The Rice Business Plan Competition, the world’s richest and largest student venture competition, had six of its recent alumni startups featured on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for 2020, an annual compilation of the most innovative and exciting young entrepreneurs in the United States and Canada.
Companies investing abroad must weigh geographic, cultural distances, says new Rice U. study Tue, 10 Dec 2019 13:45:19 +0000 HOUSTON – (Dec. 10, 2019) – A key decision companies face when expanding overseas is where to set up shop. Although businesses generally refrain from expanding to geographically and culturally distant countries, the importance of such considerations varies based on a company's size and adaptability.
Rice, Amazon report breakthrough in ‘distributed deep learning’ Mon, 09 Dec 2019 18:32:46 +0000 Computer scientists from Rice and Amazon have shown they can slash the time and resources it takes to train computers for product search.
]]> Shrivastava
Detours may make batteries better Mon, 09 Dec 2019 15:25:18 +0000 Adding atom-scale defects to battery materials may help them charge faster, theoretical models by Rice University scientists show.
]]> illustration shows a battery’s cathode undergoing phase transition from iron phosphate (FP) to lithium iron phosphate (LFP) during charging. Simulations by Rice University scientists showed that adding defects — distortions in their crystal lattices — could help batteries charge faster. (Credit: Kaiqi Yang/Rice University)
Rice University launches bold climate change initiative with Shell Mon, 09 Dec 2019 14:00:56 +0000 Rice University has launched Carbon Hub, a climate change research initiative to fundamentally change how the world uses hydrocarbons.
]]> University has launched Carbon Hub, a climate change research initiative to fundamentally change how the world uses hydrocarbons.
Why businesses need to rethink diversity training Mon, 09 Dec 2019 13:59:44 +0000 HOUSTON – (Dec. 9, 2019) – Within the past couple of years, Starbucks and Sephora have come under fire for racial insensitivity. They responded to the criticism and negative publicity by closing their stores for companywide diversity training. But does this type of training actually work? The short answer is yes, it can, but new research from Rice University finds that factors such as personality type and personal circumstances must be considered when determining what type of training to offer or how the training should be administered.
‘Clingy’ spouses face greater health risks after partner dies Mon, 09 Dec 2019 13:17:08 +0000 HOUSTON – (Dec. 9, 2019) – "Clingy" spouses -- whether spending every waking moment with their partners  or constantly telephoning when they're not together -- are at greater risk for heart problems and poor mental health after their spouses die, according to new research from psychologists at Rice University.
Electronic map reveals ‘rules of the road’ in superconductor Fri, 06 Dec 2019 18:41:59 +0000 Using a clever technique that causes unruly crystals of iron selenide to snap into alignment, Rice University physicists have drawn a road map that reveals the quantum "rules of the road" that electrons must follow in the enigmatic superconductor.
]]> structure map for a single crystal of iron selenide
Trump shouldn’t designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorist groups, says Baker Institute expert Fri, 06 Dec 2019 14:18:58 +0000 HOUSTON -- (Dec. 6, 2019) – President Donald Trump's proposed designation of Mexico’s drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations is a double-edged sword that will not only have limited impact on the mayhem caused by those groups, but also will probably have negative effects on trade, commerce and other crucial aspects of U.S.-Mexico relations, according to a former Drug Enforcement Agency official and drug policy expert at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy.
Gulf Coast corals face catastrophe Thu, 05 Dec 2019 19:33:22 +0000 Gulf of Mexico coral reefs may only be saved by a dramatic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions beyond those called for in the Paris Agreement, according to Rice University-led research.
]]> and sponges in the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. According to research led by Rice University, Gulf of Mexico coral reefs may only be saved by a dramatic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions beyond those called for in the Paris Agreement. (Credit: National Ocean Service Image Gallery)
Patient diaries reveal propensity for epileptic seizures Wed, 04 Dec 2019 22:09:42 +0000 A Rice alumna and her statistician mentor receive the first validation of their tool to assess patients’ histories to identify periods of heightened propensity for epileptic seizures.
]]> Rice alumna and her statistician mentor receive the first validation of their tool to assess patients’ histories to identify periods of heightened propensity for epileptic seizures.
Rice physicist available to comment on Parker Solar Probe findings Wed, 04 Dec 2019 15:25:59 +0000 Today, NASA will reveal the first discoveries from the Parker Solar Probe, launched in 2018 on a seven-year mission to skim the sun’s atmosphere and send back data about the solar wind.
Baker Institute-led group to develop nationwide protocol for storing carbon Tue, 03 Dec 2019 15:13:55 +0000 HOUSTON -- (Dec. 3, 2019) – Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy has initiated a working group to develop a United States protocol for paying ranchers and farmers to store carbon in their soil. The current system for voluntary carbon transactions is broken and needs to be fixed, group founders said.
Carville, Matalin among political insiders to discuss 2020 election at Rice’s Baker Institute Tue, 03 Dec 2019 14:22:56 +0000 HOUSTON – (Dec. 3, 2019) – Leading academics, political experts and journalists from around the country will gather at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy Dec. 9 to explore the state of the 2020 presidential campaign season and what lies ahead.
Breathing? Thank volcanoes, tectonics and bacteria Mon, 02 Dec 2019 16:00:45 +0000 Earth's breathable atmosphere is key for life, and a new study suggests that the first burst of oxygen was added by a spate of volcanic eruptions brought about by tectonics.
]]> evolution of life as depicted in a mural at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California.
In hunted rainforests, termites lose their dominance Mon, 02 Dec 2019 15:44:33 +0000 Termite populations in African rainforests decline sharply when elephants and other large animals disappear. Reduced dung and deadwood after large herbivores are hunted out may harm the forest’s “ecosystem engineers.”
]]> African forest elephant photographed by Rice University graduate student Therese Lamperty in Gabon. Lamperty studied how the presence of megafauna like elephants affect insect populations in preserved and hunted forests. The study showed that termite populations in particular suffered when elephants are absent. (Credit: Therese Lamperty)
Rice Alliance to unveil new offices Dec. 5 Mon, 02 Dec 2019 13:04:01 +0000 HOUSTON -- (Dec. 2, 2019) – The Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, one of the country's premier initiatives devoted to the support of technology commercialization, entrepreneurship education and the launch of technology companies, will host a special event Dec. 5 to unveil its new offices, the 3,000-square-foot Bill and Stephanie Sick Suite.
All the nanotubes are fit to print Wed, 27 Nov 2019 16:56:22 +0000 Treated newsprint can be used as an inexpensive substrate for the bulk production of carbon nanotubes, according to researchers at Rice and Swansea universities.
]]> electron microscope images of raw carbon soot grown on kaolin-sized newsprint shows (a) roped single-walled carbon nanotubes, and (b) collapsed, (c) folded and (d) twisted nanotubes. (Credit: Bruce Brinson/Rice University)
Now is time to think about securing an energy system in transition, says Baker Institute expert Wed, 27 Nov 2019 12:17:22 +0000 HOUSTON -- (Nov. 27, 2019) – Using a framework based on vulnerability, risk and offsets provides valuable insights for evaluating the security of an energy system in transition, according to a new issue brief by an expert in the Center for Energy Studies at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.
11 universities recognized for outstanding entrepreneurship programs by Rice-based consortium Mon, 25 Nov 2019 16:27:10 +0000 HOUSTON – (Nov. 25, 2019) – Eleven universities with leading-edge entrepreneurship programs, along with 19 finalists, were recognized for their outstanding programs at the 2019 Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship (GCEC) conference in Stockholm. Now in its 23rd year, the GCEC conference in September was attended by more than 400 individuals from 240 top universities representing 29 countries and six continents.
Ammonia synthesis made easy with 2D catalyst Mon, 25 Nov 2019 16:02:39 +0000 Rice University researchers use their knowledge of 2D nanomaterials and develop a “green” method for the small-scale synthesis of ammonia.
]]> addition of cobalt atoms to fill vacancies in 2D molybdenum disulfide crystals enhances the material’s ability to catalyze ammonia from dinitrogen. Rice University scientists have developed a “green” method for the small-scale synthesis of ammonia that uses less energy and produces less carbon dioxide than industrial processes. (Credit: Lou Group/Rice University)
Veterans Business Battle seeks entries for 2020 competition Fri, 22 Nov 2019 17:43:13 +0000 HOUSTON – (Nov. 22, 2019) – Rice University’s business competition geared for military veterans is now accepting applications from new entrepreneurs.
Reducing gas flaring will benefit economy and environment, says Baker Institute expert Thu, 21 Nov 2019 16:57:31 +0000 HOUSTON -- (Nov. 21, 2019) – Reducing gas flaring throughout the United States would provide substantial economic and environmental benefits, according to a new issue brief by an expert in the Center for Energy Studies at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.
Small manufacturers in Houston struggling to find workers, according to new Rice report Thu, 21 Nov 2019 15:29:03 +0000 HOUSTON – (Nov. 21, 2019) – Small urban manufacturers in Houston are having a hard time recruiting qualified workers, according to a new report that provides rare insights into an often overlooked segment of the city’s economy.
US needs to maintain refugee resettlement program, Baker Institute expert says Wed, 20 Nov 2019 14:22:45 +0000 HOUSTON – (Nov. 20, 2019) – The United States needs to both maintain its refugee resettlement program and continue to provide international aid that supports countries hosting the vast majority of refugees, according to a new report from Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy.
Historic marijuana legalization vote today in Washington; expert at Rice’s Baker institute available for interviews Wed, 20 Nov 2019 13:30:34 +0000 HOUSTON -- (Nov. 20, 2019) – The House Judiciary Committee today will hold a historic vote on legislation to federally legalize marijuana. The sweeping cannabis reform bill would also expunge convictions and set aside money to help communities impacted by the war on drugs.
Houston’s Sunnyside and South Park neighborhoods’ strengths, concerns highlighted in Baker Institute survey Mon, 18 Nov 2019 13:19:56 +0000 HOUSTON – (Nov. 18, 2019) – Despite challenges, the fundamental social structure in Houston's Sunnyside and South Park neighborhoods is strong, as measured by civic participation, neighbors' shared belief in helping one another and parents' high expectations that their children will attend college, according to a new report from Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy.
Contemporary African art featured in Moody’s spring exhibition Fri, 15 Nov 2019 16:40:45 +0000 MEDIA ADVISORY Katharine Shilcutt 713-348-6760 Contemporary African art featured in Moody Center’s spring exhibition Opening Jan. 24, “Radical Revisionists” considers race, representation and the...
‘Energy in Central Europe’ to be topic at Rice’s Baker Institute Thu, 14 Nov 2019 15:40:30 +0000 HOUSTON – (Nov. 14, 2019) – Leading diplomats from Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia will visit Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy Nov. 19 to discuss their countries' current energy landscapes and describe prospects for future development.
Bottlebrushes rise up to control coatings Thu, 14 Nov 2019 14:53:50 +0000 A microscopic polymer in the form of a common kitchen implement, the bottlebrush, could give industry exquisite control over the properties of surface coatings.
]]> University graduate student Hao Mei holds a plate with a pattern of bottlebrush polymers spelling “RICE.” The microscopic polymers could give industry exquisite control over the properties of surface coatings. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)
Women in diplomacy to be topic at Rice’s Baker Institute Wed, 13 Nov 2019 19:44:56 +0000 HOUSTON – (Nov. 13, 2019) – Four female diplomats — the consuls general of Indonesia, Mexico, Norway and Spain in Houston — will headline a fireside chat at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy Nov. 21 exploring the evolving role of women in diplomacy and the critical issues facing women in public office around the world.
Nicholas Kristof, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, announced as Rice’s 2020 commencement speaker Wed, 13 Nov 2019 17:22:48 +0000 HOUSTON -- (Nov. 13, 2019) -- Nicholas Kristof, the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The New York Times renowned for his advocacy of human rights and social justice, will deliver the 2020 commencement address at Rice University.
How your scar or birthmark can affect your job interview Wed, 13 Nov 2019 16:10:40 +0000 HOUSTON – (Nov. 13, 2019) – If you’re interviewing for a job and you have a mole on your face, new research indicates you might want to say something about it – right away.
Theoretical tubulanes inspire ultrahard polymers Wed, 13 Nov 2019 15:26:28 +0000 Rice University engineers print 3D blocks based on theoretical tubulanes and find they’re nearly as hard as diamond.
Stalled weather patterns will get bigger due to climate change Tue, 12 Nov 2019 20:32:57 +0000 Climate change will increase the size of stalled high-pressure systems that can cause heat waves, droughts and other extreme weather.
]]> University researchers Ebrahim Nabizadeh (seated) and Pedram Hassanzadeh
Impeachment alert: Rice political scientist available for interviews Tue, 12 Nov 2019 19:28:38 +0000 HOUSTON – (Nov. 12, 2019) – With public hearings in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump scheduled to begin tomorrow, Rice University political scientist Paul Brace is available to discuss what to expect.
Rice’s graduate entrepreneurship program ranked No. 1 in US Tue, 12 Nov 2019 13:33:36 +0000 HOUSTON – (Nov. 12, 2019) – Rice University and its Jones Graduate School of Business have the No. 1 graduate entrepreneurship program in the U.S., according to the 2020 rankings announced today by the Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine. This marks the first time the Rice program has topped this category, its fourth time in a top 3 position nationally and the 11th year in a row the school has been ranked in the top 10. 
New study shows how male allies can combat sexism — or contribute to it Mon, 11 Nov 2019 17:19:53 +0000 HOUSTON – (Nov. 11, 2019) – Male allies can play a powerful role in combating chauvinistic behavior toward women but they can also unintentionally contribute to sexism, according to a new study from a social psychologist at Rice University.
Secretary of State Pompeo to deliver remarks at Rice’s Baker Institute Nov. 15 Mon, 11 Nov 2019 13:38:36 +0000 HOUSTON – (Nov. 11, 2019) – Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo will deliver remarks about U.S. foreign policy at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 15.