The Duke Digest - October 17, 2012
In Today's Issue:
- Duke Researcher Shares Nobel Prize in Chemistry
- Duke Study: Coal Ash Contaminants Found in NC Waters
- Related: Vengosh to Testify on Environmental Impacts of Energy Production at October 18 Briefing
- Rep. David Price Visits Duke
- Duke in Washington Event: What the Next President Needs to Know About Countering Violent Extremism in the US
- FRONTLINE-Duke Collaboration Puts "The Choice 2012" Oral Histories Online
DUKE RESEARCHER SHARES NOBEL PRIZE IN CHEMISTRY
Robert J. Lefkowitz MD, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator who has spent his entire 39-year research career at the Duke University Medical Center, is sharing the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Brian K. Kobilka of Stanford University School of Medicine, who was a post-doctoral fellow in Lefkowitz's lab in the 1980s.
They are being recognized for their work on a class of cell surface receptors that have become the target of prescription drugs, including antihistamines, ulcer drugs and beta blockers to relieve hypertension, angina and coronary disease.
In addition to being one of the longest-serving Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators in history (36 years), Lefkowitz is famous on the Duke campus for the attention he gives to mentoring his students. His lab has produced more than 200 graduate students and post-docs, including R. Sanders "Sandy" Williams, who later became his dean at Duke, and several researchers who went on to become HHMI investigators themselves.
Robert Lefkowitz Shares Nobel Prize in Chemistry (Duke.edu)
DUKE STUDY: COAL ASH CONTAMINANTS FOUND IN NC WATERS
A Duke University-led study has found high levels of arsenic, selenium and other toxic elements in coal ash effluents and in North Carolina lakes and rivers located downstream from the settling ponds of coal-fired power plants.
Researchers collected and analyzed more than 300 water samples from 11 lakes and rivers for the study, which was published today in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Science & Technology.
“In several cases, we found contamination levels that far exceeded U.S. Environmental Protection Agency guidelines for safe drinking water and aquatic life,” said Avner Vengosh, professor of geochemistry and water quality at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment.
Some of the highest levels were found in coal ash pond effluents flowing to Mountain Island Lake, a primary drinking water source for Charlotte, and also to the French Broad River in Asheville. The study also found high contaminant levels in Hyco and Mayo lakes, two popular recreation lakes in the northern part of the state.
As reported in last week's Duke Digest, Dr. Vengosh will present his research on the water-energy nexus (coal ash, coal mining, shale gas and fracking) during a congressional briefing on Thursday. Read more in next news item.
Duke Study: Toxins Reaching N.C. Lakes, Rivers (Nicholas.Duke.edu)
Website of Dr. Avner Vengosh (Duke.edu)
RELATED: VENGOSH TO TESTIFY ON ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF ENERGY PRODUCTION AT OCTOBER 18 BRIEFING
Avner Vengosh, professor of geochemistry and water quality at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, will present expert testimony, “Environmental Consequences of Past and Future Energy Production in the United States,” at a congressional briefing in Washington, D.C., on October 18.
He is one of five experts invited to present testimony at the briefing, which will begin at 9:30 a.m. in room 2325 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
In his Oct. 18 testimony, Vengosh will review scientific evidence about water pollution from coal mining and combustion in the United States over the past century, and explain the primary environmental issues associated with shale gas drilling, which many experts believe will play an increasingly important role as a source of domestic energy in the coming century.
Vengosh to Testify on Environmental Impacts of Energy Production at October 18 Briefing (Nicholas.Duke.edu)
Abstract of Dr. Vengosh's Presentation for Thursday's Briefing (pdf)
REP. DAVID PRICE VISITS DUKE
U.S. Rep. David Price (D-NC) spent part of the day at Duke on Monday. During his visit, he spoke to the Dean's Cabinet (above) and met with leaders from Duke University Health System/School of Medicine.
The discussions mostly centered around the current political and fiscal environment and potential impacts of sequestration. Passed as part of the Budget Control Act of 2011, sequestration is a mechanism to impose automatic, across-the-board cuts to federal spending beginning in January 2013 if there is no alternative agreement to reducing the federal budget deficit.
Duke in Pictures: Rep. Price Visits Duke (Duke.edu)
DUKE IN WASHINGTON EVENT: WHAT THE NEXT PRESIDENT NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT COUNTERING VIOLENT EXTREMISM IN THE UNITED STATES
Duke University's Duke Islamic Studies Center and the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding will host an engaging discussion on countering violent extremism (CVE). Several leading experts, including Duke professor David Schanzer, will discuss the current state of counter-terrorism and homegrown extremism in the US and their recommendations moving forward.
The event will take place from 2:00-3:30pm on October 25, 2012 at the Duke in Washington office, located at 1201 New York Avenue, NW Suite 1110.
Registration information below. This event will be webcast live.
What the Next President Needs to Know About Countering Violent Extremism in the US
FRONTLINE-DUKE COLLABORATION PUTS "THE CHOICE 2012" ORAL HISTORIES ONLINE
Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy and the PBS documentary program FRONTLINE are continuing their innovative collaboration with a new project that brings to light fresh perspectives on this year’s presidential candidates.
In conjunction with “The Choice 2012,” a FRONTLINE documentary that aired Tuesday, Oct. 9, the project archives eight hours of interviews from the documentary online, providing digital access to extensive conversations with figures who have influenced the lives and policy decisions of President Barack Obama and Republican hopeful Mitt Romney.
With 25 interviews published on the program’s website, the project provides an glimpse into the backgrounds and mindsets of the presidential candidates. To make it easy to pinpoint desired content, each interview is accompanied by a transcript tagged by themes.
FRONTLINE-Sanford Collaboration Puts "The Choice 2012" Oral Histories Online (Sanford.Duke.edu)