Saturday, September 05, 2015

SwRI and UTSA researchers to advance clean emissions, explore novel antimicrobials

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(June 23, 2014) -- Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) and UTSA announce funding for two new joint research projects to advance clean emission technologies and study novel antimicrobials targeting Lyme disease. Funding through the organizations' Connecting through Research Partnerships ("Connect") program has been granted for $250,000 through August 2015 -- $125,000 for each project.

Established in 2010, the Connect program, coordinated between SwRI and the UTSA Office of the Vice President for Research, annually funds projects to stimulate inter-organizational research between the two institutions in fields such as advanced materials, chemistry and chemical engineering, energy, the environment, security and manufacturing. To date, seven projects have been funded totaling $1,230,863.

"Development of New Ruthenium Catalysts for the Low-temperature Reduction of NOx Emissions from Vehicle Exhaust" will be led by SwRI Principal Scientist Dr. Gordon J. Bartley of the Engine, Emissions and Vehicle Research Division and Assistant Professor Zachary J. Tonzetich in the UTSA Department of Chemistry.

One of the main groups of pollutants resulting from fuel combustion is the oxides of nitrogen, or NOx. Selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technologies effectively reduce NOx, but they require high operating temperatures above 200 degrees C. Future fuel economy standards will result in lower exhaust gas temperatures and limit the use of high-temperature SCR. SwRI and UTSA plan to develop a novel catalyst for low-temperature SCR to reduce emissions.

"Evaluation of Anti-Bacterial Effects of Novel Formulations that Target an Essential Metabolic Pathway of the Agent of Lyme Disease" will be led by SwRI Principal Scientist Dr. Gloria Gutierrez of the Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Division and Associate Professor of Bacterial Pathogenesis Janakiram Seshu in the UTSA Department of Biology. Seshu also is a member of the South Texas Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases Center of Excellence in Infection Genomics.

Lyme disease remains a challenge to treat with more than 300,000 new cases every year in the United States and no viable vaccine currently available. Gutierrez and Seshu expect to inhibit the mevalonate pathway – an essential metabolic pathway -- of Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterial agent of Lyme disease. This research could hinder the growth and survival of the agent of Lyme disease, and the principles can be readily used to control other infectious diseases caused by multi-drug-resistant strains of bacteria.

SwRI is an independent, nonprofit, applied research and development organization based in San Antonio with nearly 3,000 employees and an annual research volume of $592 million. Southwest Research Institute and SwRI are registered marks in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

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For more information, visit the Southwest Research Institute website or SwRI newsroom.

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Did You Know?

UTSA writes the book on all-digital libraries

As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.

At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.

Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.

With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.

Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.

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UTSA Football vs. Kansas State

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As part of National Recovery Month, a panel of substance abuse practitioners and members of the recovery community will discuss issues related to substance abuse treatment and recovery.
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The Power of Story in the Landscape of Memory and Identity

The UTSA College of Education and Human Development will host award-winning children’s author and illustrator Yuyi Morales. Morales will share personal stories that have influenced her work as an author and illustrator.
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Oct. 5, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Civic Engagement Summit

This summit is an opportunity to showcase and share the variety of community engagement activities of UTSA students, faculty, and staff. The summit is currently accepting proposals for poster presentations. The Call for Posters deadline is Friday, Sept. 11.
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