Uncovering Genetic Underpinnings of Wood Digestion
Wood is made of three tightly intertwined compounds; taking it apart is a challenge, and termites are among the few known animals that can do it. Professor Jared Leadbetter led a team of researchers from other universities, private industry, and the Department of Energy (DOE) in uncovering the genetic underpinnings and the roles of bacteria in wood digestion by "higher termites." These insects abound in tropical and subtropical ecosystems. What the team found, says Leadbetter, is "a comprehensive set of blueprints for the bacteria that help dismantle wood." This has recently become a focus of interest for those interested in developing an effective, industrial method to convert wood into ethanol. [Caltech Press Release]
Professor Rosakis Receives the 2007 D. R. Harting Award
Ares Rosakis has received the 2007 D. R. Harting Award, from the Society of Experimental Mechanics (SEM) for the "Best Paper" published in Experimental Techniques. The title of the paper is "Supershear and Sub-Rayleigh to Supershear Transition Observed in Laboratory Earthquake Experiments". Rosakis and his co-authors, Dr. Kaiwan Xia and Professor Hiroo Kanamori received this award in June 2007 at the SEM Annual Conference, Springfield, MA.
D. R. Harting Award
Robert J. McEliece Receives Claude E. Shannon Award
Professor Robert J. McEliece has been chosen to receive the IEEE Information Theory Society's highest honor, the Claude E. Shannon Award for 2004, honoring his consistent and profound contributions to the field of information theory. Professor McEliece will receive an honorarium of $10,000 and will present a talk as part of the Shannon Lecture Series at the IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory in 2004. The award is named for Claude E. Shannon, an American mathematical engineer, whose work on technical and engineering problems within the communications industry laid the groundwork for both the computer industry and telecommunications.