Category Archives: Biotechnology

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Ag Research Seminars to be held Thursday

Flyer for 2013 Ag Research Seminars

NSF CREST Bioenergy Center Spring Seminar: Thermochemical Processing of Biomass

Book cover: "Thermochemical Processing of Biomass"

Dr. Robert Brown’s book, “Thermochemical Processing of Biomass”

Dr. Robert Brown of Iowa State University will speak on “Thermochemical Processing of Biomass” for the spring seminar presented by the NSF CREST Bioenergy Center.

The seminar will be held on Thursday March 28, 11:00 a.m., in the New Science Building Room 200.

Thermochemical processing uses heat and catalysts to transform biomass to fuels and biobased chemicals. Thermochemical processing includes gasification, pyrolysis, and solvolysis, each of which has its advantages and challenges.  Dr. Brown’s talk will provide an overview of these processing options along with the results of recent studies at Iowa State University.

Dr. Brown is Anson Marston Distinguished Professor of Engineering and Gary and Donna Hoover Chair in Mechanical Engineering at Iowa State University.  He is the director of ISU’s Bioeconomy Institute and the Center for Sustainable Environmental Technologies. His research focuses on the thermochemical processing of biomass and fossil fuels into energy, fuels, and chemicals.

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Engineering Distinguished Speaker Series presents bioengineering innovator/entrepreneur Mir Imran

Flyer for talk by Mir Imran

Speakers set for Spring Biology Seminar Series

Researchers from Carnegie-Mellon University, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and N.C. State University highlight the schedule for the Department of Biology’s spring seminars.

The series begins next week on Wednesday, January 30, with Dr. Teresa L. Leavens, Research Assistant Professor, North Carolina State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, speaking on the development of physiologically based pharmacokinetic models for drug delivery toward specific diseases.

The weekly seminars are held on Wednesdays in Barnes Hall, Room 224, from noon to 1 p.m.

Click here for the full schedule.

Reminder: Biofuels event at JSNN on Dec. 13

More progress on biofuels: A&T, JSNN to host conference on civic and small-scale production

Some government agencies and businesses aren’t waiting for the energy industry to start delivering on the promise of biofuels. Increasingly, in North Carolina and other states, they’re moving ahead on their own.

Their progress will be the subject of the second annual statewide conference on civic and small-scale biofuel projects, to be held next month at the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering.

The event is organized by the Biofuels Center of North Carolina and is hosted by N.C. A&T and the Joint School.  It will feature talks and case studies on smaller-scale biofuel and biomass production projects operating in North Carolina (including Charlotte, Hickory, and Raleigh), Florida, and Alabama.

Speakers will include officials of state and local government agencies, the private sector, and universities.

The conference will be held Thursday December 13, beginning at 10 a.m. It will conclude with a 3 p.m. tour of biofuel and bioproduct research and development projects at the JSNN.  There is no fee to attend.  Registration information and the full agenda are at the conference website.

The full title of the event is “Civic and Small-scale Biofuels Statewide: A Second Annual Convening of Civic, Production, and Agency Parties.”

Worth noting: Some places aren’t quite ready to move on such opportunities. A local case in point is reported in today’s edition of the News & Record.

N.C. A&T Bioenergy Center awarded $5 million to make advanced biofuel production more affordable

An interdisciplinary team of scientists and engineers at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University has launched a five-year, $5 million project to make the production of advanced biofuels more efficient and affordable.

The NSF CREST Bioenergy Center’s goal is to make biomass a more viable source of renewable energy by developing the basic science and technology that will make energy conversions more efficient and costs more affordable.

The center is conducting fundamental research toward the development of advanced thermochemical biomass conversion technology to produce liquid transportation fuels and hydrogen.

The project is funded by the National Science Foundation’s Centers of Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST) program.

The center’s research will specifically target the production of high quality synthesis gas from biomass gasification, nanocatalysts for the conversion of syngas to bioethanol, and the production of high purity hydrogen for fuel cell applications.

Continue reading

3 diverse new research projects at N.C. A&T explore blood-brain barrier, risk management, wheat bran

Three new research projects at N.C. A&T aim to explore the weakening of the blood-brain barrier in  Alzheimer’s disease patients, to apply risk management to supply chain logistics, and to find a way to make dietary fiber taste better.

The projects are the first ones funded at A&T for each of the three principal investigators. All were funded in October.  They were among 29 new or continuing projects receiving external funding during the month, totaling more than $10 million.

The complete list of projects receiving external sponsored funding in October

The projects are (click the links for one-page summaries):

  • “Brain pericyte and amyloid-beta peptide interaction,” Dr. Donghui Zhu, Department of Bioengineering, $142,000, National Institutes of Health. One hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease is a compromised blood-brain barrier  characterized by significant reductions in critically important pericyte cells on the exterior walls of endothelia.  Our long-term goal is to determine the role of brain pericytes in the development of Alzheiner’s disease and to develop drugs to preserve pericytes functioning in Alzheimer’s patients.
  • “Understanding Risks and Disruptions in Supply Chains and their Effect on Firm and Supply Chain Performance,” Dr. Mahour Mellat-Parast, Department of Applied Engineering Technology, $200,000, National Science Foundation. This project provides the first comprehensive view of managing risks and disruptions within supply chains in different industries with respect to the stage and scope of the risk. As such, it facilitates the formation and establishment of an integrative discipline (risk engineering/risk management) utilizing engineering, technology, and management foundations.
  • “Modification of Wheat and Corn Brans by Microfluidization Process,” Dr. Guibing Chen, Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies, N.C. Research Campus, $299,000, USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Numerous studies indicate that dietary fiber plays a protective role against obesity, but it’s difficult for anyone eating a typical Western diet to consumer adequate fiber.  Research is needed to improve sensory properties of high-fiber foods and to enhance the fiber ingredients’ nutritional value. We propose to modify physicochemical and nutritional properties of wheat and corn brans using a microfluidization process. This technique will significantly improve palatability and nutritional value.

5 major new research projects at N.C. A&T

An array of new research, education and community engagement projects at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University will result in new services for young victims of trauma, research on preventing colon cancer, and a new joint program in astronomy to be conducted with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  New programs in social computing and bioengineering are also under way.

Five  of the top new research projects funded recently at North Carolina A&T:

The complete list of projects receiving external sponsored funding in September

Biotech Summer Workshop next week; today is the final day for registration

Heads up, researchers using recombinant DNA technology or genetic engineering.

Also anyone who ships or receives regulated plant biological material, those involved in field releases of plant biotechnology, regulators, and interested health and safety professionals.

The Department of Animal Sciences is hosting a free Biotechnology Summer Workshop next Monday and Tuesday.

And today (Thursday July 5) is the last day to register.

The two-day workshop is a collaboration between Dr. M Worku and the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) Biotechnology Regulatory Services (BRS).

Details from the organizers:

Day 1 is presented by Dr. Worku. Day 2 is presented by USDA APHIS BRS.

There will also be an opportunity for workshop participants to have their USDA Level 2 Authentication accounts validated during Day 2 of the workshop.

Registration

Individuals interested in attending the workshop must register by July 5, 2012, via email to worku@ncat.edu. Please indicate which days you will be attending (Day 1 and/or Day 2). There is no fee to attend.

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Worku at worku@ncat.edu or 336 334-7615, extension 202.