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Poison-breathing bacteria may be boon to industry, environment

Buried deep in the mud along the banks of a remote salt lake near Yosemite National Park are colonies of bacteria with an unusual property: they breathe a toxic metal to survive. Researchers from the University of Georgia discovered the bacteria on a recent field expedition to Mono Lake in California, and their experiments with this unusual organism show that it may one day become a useful tool for industry and environmental protection.

The bacteria use elements that are notoriously poisonous to humans, such as antimony and arsenic, in place of oxygen, an ability that lets them survive buried in the mud of a hot spring in this unique saline soda basin. 

UGA has applied for patents to protect these unique processes as well as the bacterium itself, and they are currently testing the bacteria's efficacy in different environments and conditions to discover how the bacteria react when they are exposed to a variety of metals simultaneously.

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New aspirin-based prodrug may prevent damage caused by chemotherapy

Researchers at the University of Georgia have developed a new prodrug that promises to reduce many of the negative side effects caused by cisplatin, a commonly prescribed chemotherapy treatment. Reducing these negative side effects will not only provide the patient with a better quality of life during and after treatment, but it may also make oncologists less hesitant to prescribe cisplatin.

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Eberhart appointed director of UGA Technology Commercialization Office

Derek Eberhart has been appointed director of the University of Georgia Technology Commercialization Office, under the Office of the Vice President for Research, effective Jan. 1, 2014. He has served as interim director since July.

Through intellectual property licensing and other efforts, TCO serves the UGA community by connecting industry with university expertise and inventions for the public good, promoting economic development, and increasing research visibility.

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UGA awards sustainability grants to fund student projects

The University of Georgia Office of Sustainability has awarded $28,000 to fund nine interdisciplinary student projects through its annual Campus Sustainability Grants Program. The program, funded by student green fees, provides financial and staff resources to implement student-initiated projects that further the university's sustainability goals.

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UGA professor named Rite Aid Professor in Community Pharmacy

Beth Phillips, a clinical professor in the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy, has been named the first Rite Aid Professor in Community Pharmacy. The college's newest professorship fosters excellence in community pharmacy practice in the clinical or tenure track. Phillips took on her new role Dec. 1.

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UGA College of Education ranks 22nd in U.S. News 2014 Best Online Programs

The University of Georgia College of Education tied for No. 22-up from No. 87-in U.S. News and World Report's 2014 Best Online Programs rankings for its master's degree programs. The overall ranking recognizes the college's programs in adult education, educational psychology, reading education and workforce education.

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UGA stem cell research uncovers importance of cell cycle

One of the biggest problems in stem cell research may not be a problem at all. Scientists have worried for years that stem cells grown in their labs were made up of many different kinds of cells, making them useless for stem cell therapies, but new research from the University of Georgia suggests they're not different cells, some are just more mature than others.

Amar Singh, postdoctoral associate in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar of Molecular Cell Biology Stephen Dalton worked together to uncover the mystery about why stem cell populations are thought to be heterogeneous, or made up of a variety of different cells. They discovered the heterogeneity, or difference among the cells, is largely determined by the cell cycle.

Their results were published Dec. 5 in the journal Stem Cell Reports.

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UGA to graduate 2,176 students at fall Commencement

Approximately 2,176 University of Georgia students will be eligible to receive degrees at the 2013 fall semester Commencement ceremonies on Dec. 13 in Stegeman Coliseum.

An estimated 1,667 students will be eligible to participate in the ceremony for undergraduates at 9:30 a.m. Amy Glennon, a UGA alumna and first female publisher of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, will be the speaker.

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UGAs lifelong learning institute receives $1 million endowment

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Georgia has received a $1 million endowment from The Bernard Osher Foundation.

UGA President Jere W. Morehead read a letter from Osher Foundation President Mary Bitterman announcing the endowment at the organization's holiday party Dec. 12.

This is the second $1 million endowment from The Bernard Osher Foundation. The first grant was received in January 2009. In November 2011, the UGA chapter received its first $1 million endowment from the foundation. The $2 million in endowments will continue to help provide the financial resources needed to achieve OLLI's mission of meeting the intellectual, social and cultural needs of mature adults through lifelong learning.