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UGA receives $7 million NIH grant to study building blocks of life

A team of senior researchers at the University of Georgia have received a five-year $7.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to help better understand one of the most fundamental building blocks of life.

They are tiny chains of sugar molecules called glycans, and they cover the surface of every living cell in the human body-providing the necessary machinery for those cells to communicate, replicate and survive. But they're not all good. Glycans support the function of all cells, including those that cause cancer, viral and bacterial infections, diabetes and cardiovascular disorders.

This makes them an attractive target for new treatments, and the experiments supported by this grant promise to speed the development of new, more effective therapies for many of humanity's most insidious diseases and increase our understanding of the body's most basic cellular functions.

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Largest mushroom species in the Western Hemisphere spotted in Georgia

With mushroom caps that can grow as large as trashcan lids, the gigantic fungus Macrocybe titans looks like something from outer space. And it may be popping up again soon in northeast Georgia.

University of Georgia mycologists in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences found one specimen of this gigantic fungus—a species that produces the largest mushrooms in the Western Hemisphere—in the lawn of an abandoned Athens home last October.

Although the fungus is endemic to neighboring Florida, this was the first time the species had been confirmed in Georgia, said Marin Talbot Brewer, a UGA plant pathologist who mostly studies microscopic fungi that cause crop diseases.

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UGA education researchers receive $2.65 million to test new science teaching mode

A University of Georgia College of Education research team has received a $2.65 million grant from the National Science Foundation to test a new teaching model that improves science learning for middle schools educating English language learners and perhaps for all students.

Led by UGA faculty member Cory Buxton, a professor in the department of educational theory and practice, the project will further explore and demonstrate the effectiveness of the teaching and learning model he and his COE colleagues have developed over the past three years.

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College of Environment and Designs Jackson Street Building awarded LEED certification

The University of Georgia College of Environment and Design's Jackson Street Building has received LEED Gold Certification. The building is the first historic building on campus to earn the designation.

LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an independent, third party verification that indicates a building project meets standards for sustainability set by the nonprofit U.S. Green Building Council. The LEED program is a points-based system that encourages lower operating costs, waste reduction, and energy and water conservation among other criteria.

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Regents submit budget request to build proposed UGA Science Learning Center

A proposed Science Learning Center to be built on the University of Georgia’s South Campus is one of two major capital construction projects approved by the Board of Regents today for submission to the governor as part of the fiscal year 2015 budget request. The $44.7 million requested for design and construction of the approximately 122,500 square foot facility would provide modern, efficient and flexible space for undergraduate laboratory teaching in the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and math). Once completed, the project would be supplemented by $10 million in institutional funds to begin a program to modernize space where such courses are now taught in the 1960s-era Chemistry and Biological Sciences buildings, with much of that space being repurposed to support faculty research.

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U.S. News ranks UGA in top 20 public universities

The University of Georgia continues to rank well in the U.S. News & World Report's Best Colleges 2014 edition, landing at No. 20 among the nation's top public universities and No. 60 among best national universities this year. In undergraduate business programs offered nationwide, the Terry College of Business topped the competition with a first-place ranking for its insurance and risk management specialty. Its real estate program tied for third with the University of California, Berkeley, and the college rose to 27th overall, up from 31st, for best business programs.

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UGA students show record levels of interest in research

Fall enrollment numbers for courses in the University of Georgia's Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities are the largest in the history of the program. This semester, almost 20 percent more students are requesting CURO courses for individualized research opportunities. A record 234 UGA students are participating in fall semester research projects. This continues the trend in increased CURO participation.

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UGA Center receives $10.4 million grant renewal for glycobiology research

Researchers at the University of Georgia have received a five-year, $10.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to support the National Center for Biomedical Glycomics, a consortium of UGA faculty and staff working to develop new technologies for the analysis of glycans. Once thought to be relatively unimportant, scientists now recognize that glycans play critical roles in cell regulation, human health and disease progression.

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New research explores theories about aging and death in plants

According to Benjamin Franklin, "nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." But what if Franklin had it wrong—at least about death? University of Georgia ecologist Richard P. Shefferson explored this question in the Journal of Ecology in a special issue he coedited about the latest research on senescence—the physical process of aging and death—in plants and, in particular, the idea that certain plants might be immune from this seemingly universal phenomenon.

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Minority buying power up in 2013, according to UGA Multicultural Economy study

Minority groups in the U.S. will command unprecedented economic clout this year and well into the future, according to the annual Multicultural Economy report from the Selig Center for Economic Growth in the University of Georgia Terry College of Business.

The 2013 report provides a comprehensive statistical overview of the buying power (or the amount of income left after taxes, not including savings or borrowed money) of African-Americans, Asians, Native Americans and Hispanics from 1990-2018. It includes national statistics as well as breakdowns for each state.