Test Strips for Cancer Detection Get Upgraded with Nanoparticle Bling

Detecting cancer could be as easy as a home pregnancy test. Platinum-coated gold nanoparticles could make cheap and simple test strip detection a reality.

The most common test strip people might think of for diagnosis is a home pregnancy test. Pregnant women have steadily increasing levels of the biomarker human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which is easily detectable in urine and a thin, colorful strip of antibodies will appear when hCG is present.

However, there's a lot more hCG in pee than there is of cancer biomarkers in blood. Identifying minute concentrations is the greatest challenge of test strips that have been developed to detect everything from cancer to infectious diseases to heart problems. The actual stripe on the paper simply isn't sensitive enough to change color for a human eye to easily see it at concentrations that make a life-changing difference.

Some nanoparticle bling could change that. And it would not greatly impact the cost of current test strips according to new research led by Xiaohu Xia (Chem). The research was published recently in Nano Letters. Read the full story.

Registration for the 11th Annual D80 Conference is now open

The D80 Conference is a dialog and celebration of our efforts to solve issues that confront the world's poorest 80 percent.

The Michigan Tech campus hosts this conference in the fall every year to give a platform to the voices of University students serving communities in need, both domestically and abroad.

Our conferences highlight service and research work done by students from Michigan Tech and elsewhere, and are open to anybody interested in development, design, and discovery for the poorest 80 percent of humanity. The public is always welcome.

The theme for the annual D80 Conference is "Connect, Collaborate, Create!" We are very excited to welcome Cathy Leslie, executive director of Engineers Without Borders-USA, as our keynote speaker.

The 2017 conference will be held Saturday, Oct. 14th in the U. J. Noblet Forestry Atrium.

Registration is now open. More information regarding the conference and registration can be found at mtu.edu/honors/D80/conference.

This year’s conference is sponsored by Michigan Tech’s D80 Center, the Sustainable Futures Institute and the Pavlis Honors College.

Announcing: QR Code Customer Service Surveys

The Office of the Vice President for Administration is rolling out a customer service survey pilot project using QR codes stationed at various locations around campus.

Look for the code at cash registers in the Campus Bookstore, University Images, Portage Lake Golf Course and the Central Ticket Office. Participate in this survey to help VP Administration better improve customer service, the Michigan Tech experience and enter yourself into a drawing for a free coffee.

For an example of the QR Code Surveys and to find more information on this and other VP Administration Initiatives, visit the Business Operations blog.

For more news from the Office of the Vice President of Administration, like and follow Michigan Tech Administration on Facebook and Twitter.

Undergraduate Research Internship Program (URIP)

The Pavlis Honors College announces the third year of the Undergraduate Research Internship Program for the 2017-18 academic year. There are two tracks for faculty mentors to consider: 

  • Faculty in Health-Related Fields are invited to identify an undergraduate research intern with any amount of prior experience — Portage Health Foundation Scholars
  • Faculty in any discipline are invited to identify an undergraduate intern that is relatively new to research or scholarship (less than 6 months) — Pavlis Young Investigators

The internship program is open to any undergraduate student on campus. Faculty are welcome to apply with students with whom they are already working. 

The program consists of a 20-week internship (mid-October through mid-March) as well as professional development activities centered in academic research and scholarship.  

The Pavlis Honors College will provide $800 in funding for the student intern, with the expectation that faculty will identify a source to match this value, resulting in a total of $1600 (or $10/hr for 8 hours per week for a period of 20 weeks). Faculty may make use of research funds, IRAD, startup packages, or consult their chairs, deans or center/institute management.

Details regarding the Undergraduate Research Internship Program (URIP) application process can be found on the Pavlis Honors College website. The deadline to submit applications is Monday, Oct. 2. The program will begin the week of Oct. 16 with a kickoff mixer for mentors and interns.

 The Pavlis Honors College also facilitates an Undergraduate Research Workshop Series that begins Wednesday (Sept. 20) with Finding a Research Mentor. A complete schedule of workshops with descriptions, dates, times and locations can be found here.

The Undergraduate Research Internship Program is made possible by generous donations from the Portage Health Foundation and with the support of the Pavlis Honors College.

Flu Clinic Today

The first of three flu vaccine clinics on the Michigan Tech Campus this fall will be held today.

The quadrivalent flu vaccine is by injection at a cost of $40 payable at the time of service. Cash, check or credit card will be accepted. Students with Michigan Tech's Consolidated Health Plan (CHP) insurance can have their flu vaccine billed to insurance with their CHP member ID card.

Employees, retirees and family members insured by Michigan Tech’s Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) plan can also have their flu vaccine billed to insurance with their BCBSM member ID card.

This does not include retirees that have Blue Cross insurance through MPSERS.

Anyone under the age of 18 cannot be vaccinated without parental permission. A spouse and/or child may attend without the employee.

The dates of the clinics are:

  • Today, (Sept. 14)4-6 p.m. (MUB Ballroom)
  • Tuesday, October 34-6 p.m. (MUB Alumni Lounge B)
  • Monday, October 164-6 p.m. (MUB Alumni Lounge A)

Van Pelt and Opie Library Offers Overleaf Pro+ Accounts

The library is offering Overleaf Pro+ accounts for students, faculty and staff who would like to use a collaborative, online LaTeX/Rich Text editor for their projects—from jointly authored manuscripts to presentations or posters.
Overleaf is a real-time, cloud-based, collaborative writing and publishing tool designed to make the process of writing, editing, and producing scientific papers much quicker for authors. 
Some features include:
  • Online collaboration in Rich Text or LaTeX editing. Easily switch between either mode.
  • Real-time collaboration in your browser for sharing and editing projects with colleagues.
  • Real-time preview of projects to review your document while editing and writing—type on the left and see your finished document on the right. Find errors easily without the LaTeX log.
  • Integrated, streamlined publishing enables you to publish immediately and directly to the journal of your choice with an integrated submission system to dozens of publishers.
  • A Teaching Toolkit which helps you to quickly and easily create assignments on Overleaf to send out to students; these assignments can then be completed online on Overleaf and submitted back to you with a single click for marking and review.
  • Michigan Technological University resource portal available—including Michigan Technological University templates, FAQs and resource links.
Sign up for your Overleaf Pro+ account today and explore Overleaf’s LaTeX authoring tool, tutorials, Michigan Technological University templates, and resources at http://www.overleaf.com/edu/MTU.
For more information or questions, contact library@mtu.edu.

Computer Science Learning Center Open House Tomorrow

The CS Learning Center is holding an open house from 4 to 5 p.m. tomorrow (Sept. 15), in Rekhi 118. Stop by to see the new space and meet the coaches at our new location. Light refreshments will be served. All are welcome.

The new CS Learning Center has more windows for natural lighting, bean bags and comfy chairs for informal help sessions and all computers are equipped with dual monitors.

With the new space comes the addition of more blended learning technologies; including, a Mersive system that enables coaches and students to project the screens of their wireless devices to a 50-inch monitor and a Promethean digital whiteboard allowing coaches and students to receive email images of the 70-inch screen after a tutoring session.

The new equipment in the CS Learning Center was provided by the CTL/IT Distance Learning Grant Program with additional support from the CS Department. 

A special thanks goes to Robert Pastel (CS) for generously offering to move his lab, so the CS Learning Center could have a larger, more suitable space. 

Weight Watchers at Work

Register here for the 12-week Weight Watchers at Work session, which begins at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4 in 125 Fisher Hall for weigh-ins and 6 p.m. for the meeting.

Open to employees and retirees, participants must register online by Wednesday, Sept. 27. The fee for this 12-week session is $126.00 per participant and includes free access to Weight Watcher's premium "Online Plus" website.

Registrations will no longer be done on site—all registrations must be completed online. You will have the option of paying with a credit/debit card or TechFit. If using TechFit, choose "yes" for "Payroll Deduct".

Flexible Spending Account money (FSA) is not accepted as a method of payment. The Weight Watchers Monthly Pass is not accepted in At Work. Credit/debit cards or bank accounts will not be billed until a minimum of 15 participants have registered for the meeting.

Questions? Contact Shannon Brodeur or 7-1146.

360 Photo Requests

The Digital Services team within UMC is now able to offer 360 photos to campus. If you have a lab, facility or other space that you think would benefit from these interactive photos, email photoservices@mtu.edu with your name, the type of space, and the space location. We will coordinate shoots throughout the school year as time allows.
You can view an example 360 photo on the School of Forestry website. These photos can be viewed in modern desktop or mobile browsers and even via a VR headset set such as Google Cardboard.
360 photos are taken with a special camera, must be stored in a Flickr account, and are embeddable through our new CMS product, OU Campus.

ME-EM Graduate Seminar Speaker Today

The next event in the ME-EM Graduate Seminar Speaker Series is 4 p.m. today in EERC 103. Zhen Liu (CEE) will present "More Multidisciplinary, More Focused and More Intelligent: From Traditional Geotech to Future Infrastructure and Energy Innovation."

Another leap forward in geotechnical engineering and theories of porous materials is now possible, attributed to emerging research needs in climate change, sustainability, extreme hazards and energy. This presentation will introduce a series of concepts, ideas and applications that are proposed and attempted in Liu’s Research Group to further the state of the practice in geotechnical engineering, numerical simulation and poromechanics from three perspectives: more multidisciplinary, more focused and more intelligent.

Liu earned his PhD in civil engineering, with an emphasis in geotechnical engineering, from Case Western Reserve University. His research interests are integrated as the multiphysics simulation and innovative characterization in porous materials.

Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar

There will be an environmental engineering graduate seminar at 3 p.m. Monday (Sept. 18) in GLRC 202. 
Lathika Varanasi, a PhD Candidate in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering will present "Transformation of Dissolved Organic Matter in Ultraviolet (UV) Photolysis and UV-based Advanced Oxidation Processes." 
Jessica Daignault, a PhD Candidate in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, will present "Reducing Household Food, Energy, and Water Consumption: A Quantitative Analysis of Interventions and Impacts of Conservation."
 Click here to view more on each presentation. The public is welcome.

GMES Seminar on Runway Design in Antartica

There will be a seminar on Runway Design in Antartica at 4 p.m. today (Sept. 14) in Dow 610.
Sally Shoop, from the US Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, will present "Stress Analysis of the Phoenix Compacted Snow Runway to Support Wheeled Aircraft."
Landing wheeled aircraft on snow runways is uncommon and minimally documented. Numerical modeling was used to evaluate the design and construction of the new compacted-snow Phoenix runway in Antarctica for the first wheeled C17 aircraft landing.
Snow density from the target design and snow density of the as-built Phoenix runway structure were used to determine basic elastic parameters for use in Layered Elastic Analysis Formulation (LEAF).
LEAF is part of a software package developed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that allows for forward calculation of runway stress, strain, displacement and associated principal stress and strain based on design aircraft loading. Stress responses for the Phoenix runway were modeled for the C17, A319 and B757 aircraft. Two construction vehicles were also modeled for comparison.
This is the first time the model was used for a snow runway and it provided valuable insight for design, construction and runway performance for the first landing of the C17 on compacted snow.  The successful construction and use of the new compacted-snow Phoenix runway is significant and demonstrates the heaviest wheeled aircraft (C17) operating on a compacted snow runway. 

In the News

The Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Science BER website highlighted a recent study by Rebecca Ong (Chem) and colleagues on the consequences of drought stress on biofuel production. See here.


Medical College of Wisconsin Learns Lean From the Library
The Van Pelt and Opie Library recently hosted guests from the Medical College of Wisconsin Library in Milwaukee, who came to learn about Lean initiatives in a university setting. 
Highlights of the day included an introduction to Lean, a tour of the library by Library Director Ellen Marks, an opportunity to learn about specific Lean library initiatives and visual management, a tour of Dining Services hosted by Kathy Wardynski and a stop at the Continuous Improvement Office to meet with the director, Ruth Archer.


 Biological Sciences Seminar Today

Caryn Heldt (ChE) will present a lecture titled "When a virus and an osmolyte come together, lots can happen" at 3 p.m. today (Sept. 14) in EERC 229.

In this age of modern medicine, viral diseases continue to take the lives of millions of people. Heldt's lab is focused on the use of osmolytes to control different aspects of virus particle associations. This talk will explore the many uses of osmolytes to inactivate, purify and detect virus particles.


Café Francais Resumes Today

The Café Français resumes today and will continue its activities from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays in Walker 120C (HDMZ) every week, and is open to any level of French-speaker. 
There will be light refreshments and snacks provided. 
Contact Dany Jacob with any questions.


C-Cubed Lunch Today

C-Cubed lunches return starting today and tomorrow, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge.

All faculty and staff along with guests are invited. C-Cubed lunches are held each Thursday and Friday throughout the academic year. Here is the menu for Week One:

Today: An Indian cuisine-inspired menu

  • Butter Chicken (GF)
  • Vegetarian Butter Tofu (GF, V)
  • Matar Pulao (Rice with Peas) (GF, VE)
  • Boondi Pulao (Yogurt Sauce)
  • Warm Flatbreak (V)
  • Onion Tomato Salad (GF, VE)


  • Lake Superior Whitefish Cakes with Lemon Caper Aioli
  • Lyonnaise Potatoes (GF, V)
  • White Bean-Artichoke Cakes with Lemon Caper Aioli (V)
  • Green Salad with Thimbleberry Vinaigrette (GF,V)

V-Vegetarian, VE-Vegan, GF- Gluten Free 


Week of Wellness Event Today

Part of the Week of Wellness is the Health Fair from 4-6 p.m. today (Sept. 14) in MUB Ballroom A. Therapy dogs, nacho bar, student incentives/prizes, giveaways, free screening performed by students, free massages and more. This is a free event and all are welcome.

More information on any of the Week of Wellness events is available online.

Job Posting

Job Posting for Thursday Sept. 14, 2017 

Staff and faculty job description are available in the Human Resources Department. For more information regarding staff positions call 7-2280 or email jobs@mtu.edu.

For more information regarding faculty positions contact the academic department in which the position is posted.

Associate Systems Administrator, Information Technology. Apply online. 

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Education Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer, which includes providing equal opportunity for protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.