March 2018

Developing polymers that mimic chameleon skin

Clockwise, from top left: James Cameron’s "Avatar" character, a thin butterfly cutout of a "PBzMA-bbPDMS-PBzMA" plastomer, a blue poison dart frog and a blue mint beetle.

Biological materials have complex mechanical properties that are difficult to reproduce using synthetic materials. An international team of researchers, led by UNC-Chapel Hill chemist Sergei Sheiko, has produced a biocompatible synthetic material that behaves like biological tissues and changes color when it changes shape — like chameleon skin. The research appears in the March 30 issue of Science.

UNC startup Ribometrix pioneers new technology to target RNA, unlock new disease therapies

Kevin Weeks, Kenan Distinguished Professor of Chemistry,co-founded Ribometrix with Katie Warner, a former undergraduate student. (photo by Lars Sahl)

Today, the majority of drugs and pharmaceuticals on the market that treat human disease are designed to target a specific protein. But University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill startup Ribometrix has a very different, revolutionary approach to new drug discovery that’s proving to be a breakthrough in the industry.

Students explore topics from health care to anti-apartheid activism at AAAD’s fifth annual Undergraduate Research Conference

From left to right, Bailey Nelson and Maxine Richmond with moderator Professor Kenneth Janken.

“Undergraduate students who conduct research receive notable gains — writing, speaking and leadership skills, intellectual curiosity, and the improved ability to acquire and analyze information.” That’s how Troy Blackburn, associate dean for undergraduate research in the College of Arts & Sciences, opened the fifth annual AAAD Undergraduate Research Conference.

Experiment deep underground is exploring age-old questions about formation of the universe

UNC-Chapel Hill physics and astronomy professor John Wilkerson installs the germanium detector strings into the cryostat. The machine is part of the MAJORANA Demonstrator, which is used to detect and study neutrinos at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead, South Dakota. Photo by Matthew Kapust

The excess of matter over antimatter is one of the most compelling mysteries in science, according to physicist John Wilkerson at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. If equal amounts of matter and antimatter had formed in the Big Bang more than 13 billion years ago, one should have annihilated the other. Yet …

Experiment deep underground is exploring age-old questions about formation of the universe Read More »

Caldwell family gift will encourage collaboration between American studies, Ackland Art Museum

When the Caldwell family decided they wanted to give back to UNC-Chapel Hill — a place that left a lasting impression on each of them — it made sense that their gift would revolve around American studies and the arts. Their appreciation and love for these two areas goes back to their time as Carolina students. Kate Caldwell Nevin ’99 and her father, Hacker Caldwell ’74, were …

Caldwell family gift will encourage collaboration between American studies, Ackland Art Museum Read More »

A plan and a partnership: $10 million gift supports strategic initiatives

John and Marree Townsend.2013 in NYC by Jennifer Calais Smith

John and Marree Townsend’s commitments to UNC-Chapel Hill over the years have been both plentiful and purposeful — and none more so than their most recent $10 million gift to the College of Arts & Sciences to establish the Townsend Family Strategic Initiatives Fund and the Marree Shore Townsend Fellowship in the Institute for the …

A plan and a partnership: $10 million gift supports strategic initiatives Read More »