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Science & Engineering

Research reveals Rapa Nui people cultivated and managed crops

Research by an international team, including University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa geology professor Brian Popp, has shed new light on the fate of the ancient people of Rapa Nui (Easter Island). “It’s been proposed that vast forests of giant palm trees were cut down by the people of Rapa Nui leaving them among other things without canoes. With no canoes, they could no longer fish …

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Hundreds of species of fungi in deep coral ecosystems discovered by UH Mānoa botanists

Researchers from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Department of Botany have discovered hundreds of potentially new species of fungi in the deep coral ecosystem in the ʻAuʻau channel off Maui, Hawaiʻi. Mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCE) are generally found at depths between 130–500 feet and possess abundant plant (algal) life as well as new fish species. The mysteries of these reefs are only recently being revealed through technological advances …

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Giant sea spiders use their legs as gills and their guts as hearts

Sea spiders, a bizarre and ancient group of marine arthropods in the class Pycnogonida, breathe in a way not previously known to science, according to a study involving University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa researcher Amy Moran and zoology PhD student Caitlin Shishido. The study, published in the July 10 issue of Current Biology, was performed at McMurdo Station, Antarctica, while Moran and her team were there in the fall …

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UH mechanical engineering professor invents low-cost zeta potential measurement device

Sangwoo Shin

Sangwoo Shin, a University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa assistant professor in the College of Engineering‘s mechanical engineering department, and other researchers have invented a prototype for a low-cost measurement device that can simultaneously measure the zeta potential of colloidal particles and solid surfaces. The other researchers are at Princeton University in New Jersey and Unilever R&D in the United Kingdom. …

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Henke Hall demolition clears way for state-of-the-art science building

The first phase of construction of the Life Sciences building project on the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa campus begins in late June with the removal of Henke Hall, the future site of the state-of-the-art science facility scheduled to open fall 2019. Construction of the four-story, 45,000-square-foot structure will begin in late 2017 and is in step with the university’s …

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Microbiology undergraduates supported with UROP awards

Seven University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa students in the Prisic lab are recipients of Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) awards. Jaymes Lonzanida, Jae Yun Lee, Brennen Yasuda, Sasha Canovali, Anna Scheiner, Janey Guo and Mattia Walter received support for their work with Sladjana Prisic, a Department of Microbiology assistant professor. “My research experience in Dr. Prisic’s lab was overall very rewarding,” …

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UH accelerator named in top 30

XLR8UH, a public-private partnership between the University of Hawaiʻi and Sultan Ventures created to educate, mentor and invest in UH startups and entrepreneurs, has been named a top 30 U.S. accelerator in the 2017 Seed Accelerator Rankings, a part of the Seed Accelerator Rankings Project (SARP). The XLR8UH program is a four-month startup accelerator that works with UH-affiliated entrepreneurial teams …

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Mysteries of the Universe to be answered by Belle II experiment

At the beginning of the universe there were equal quantities of matter and anti-matter and yet 13.7 billion years later, the universe is completely dominated by matter. How did this happen? Asymmetries in the interactions of fundamental matter particles and their anti-matter counterparts are likely to be responsible for the matter dominance of the universe and our own existence. However, …

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Students create Star Wars simulation on world’s best hybrid visualization system

In honor of the 40th Anniversary of Star Wars, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa engineering graduate student Noel Kawano and computer science student Ryan Theriot created a 3D immersive visualization project—Star Wars Squadron and Tatooine. Users can battle with lightsabers or dogfight through a universe filled with starfighters, TIE fighters and an armada of star destroyers. The (research and fun) …

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Proposed system could provide fresh water and reduce energy costs worldwide

Many coastal regions across the world have severe drought conditions. The World Health Organization says safety and accessibility of drinking water are major concerns. A group of researchers from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and MIT says that the generation of clean drinking water and related energy cost savings might both be achieved by co-locating hydro energy storage systems …

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