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Young Jong Lee, a researcher with the National Institutes of Standards and Technology, uses SDSU's new chemical imaging microscope.
Young Jong Lee, a researcher with the National Institutes of Standards and Technology, uses SDSU's new chemical imaging microscope.

Distinctive New Microscope at SDSU Allows for Groundbreaking Research

July 13th, 2018
kmwoodhouse@sdsu.edu (Kellie Woodhouse)

As a San Diego State University student in 1981, Tim Day could not have imagined that 37 years later he would be at the helm of a company that would make a truly transformative gift to the university's science enterprise.

Day is the son of SDSU President Emeritus Thomas Day and co-founder of DRS Daylight Solutions, a company that recently donated a $475,000 newly developed chemical imaging microscope called the SperoQT to SDSU's College of Sciences.

The instrument uses lasers to identify the chemical composition of a specimen, in addition to the visual markers of traditional microscopy.

Materials interact with light differently; for example, DNA and proteins each absorb light at a unique wavelength on the infrared spectrum. The microscope uses tunable infrared lasers to analyze these interactions and identify the chemical components of a sample, and build the components into a highly detailed image.

"This instrument will allow us to see this at a real, defined, chemical level that nobody else has been able to see yet. It's going to be very powerful."




 

Can Pinyon Pines Survive Climate Change?

June 27th, 2018
universe@mail.sdsu.edu (Michael Price)

Pinyon pines are an indispensable part of the American Southwest. Many Native American tribes relied upon the sustenance provided by their pine nuts--a harvest crop that remains economically important today. Woodland creatures depend upon the trees for shelter and as a food source. So it's critical for ecologists to understand how these trees will cope with warmer, drier conditions under climate change, according to San Diego State University evolutionary ecologist Lluvia Flores-Renteria. Findings from her recent studies suggest higher temperatures can interrupt the trees' reproduction, which could reduce their numbers and even lead to localized extinctions in particularly warm areas.


 

Combining Research, Instruction and Prizes is All the Buzz

June 22nd, 2018
universe@mail.sdsu.edu (Michael Price)

"Viral discovery is critical for understanding how viruses evolved inside of us and in other ecosystems, and what they mean for human and ecosystem health." Summertime in California means pleasant weather, cookouts, beach days--and mosquitoes. But how much of a danger to human health do those pests pose? That question drove Melissa Giluso's research into the viruses carried by California mosquitoes. Giluso, who graduated in May with a degree in biology from San Diego State University, is the first-ever winner of the Microbial Metagenomics Discovery Challenge, which caps off the inaugural semester of a new SDSU course focused on viral discovery research methods.


 

Summer Research a Transformative Experience for Undergrads

June 22nd, 2018
universe@mail.sdsu.edu (Kellie Woodhouse)

When Hannah Liddle walked into San Diego State University professor Byron Purse’s chemistry lab for the first time, something clicked. All of a sudden, the things she read in her textbook transformed from rote facts and abstract ideas into concrete building blocks of knowledge capable of solving big problems and answering important questions. “I knew instinctively that this is what I wanted to do,” she recalled. “I love research. I have an innate curiosity when it comes to asking the reasons why. Why something is working. Why is it not working?” Liddle, a biology senior, is working with Purse this summer to investigate new ways to detect the genetic material of germs and viruses.


 

The History of SDSU Research: Founding-1970

June 6th, 2018
universe@mail.sdsu.edu (Staff)

The seeds of San Diego State University's current research success can be traced back to the school's earliest days. Since its incarnation as a teacher-training institution known as the San Diego Normal School, the university has grown into a top public research university. Today, SDSU is an economic driver of San Diego, as well as a primary source for the region's workforce.

This is the first in a series detailing SDSU’s history in the field of research covering the following periods:
[1897 - Research a priority from the start], [1943 – Research foundation created], [1950s – More stringent requirements for faculty], [1950s – More stringent requirements for faculty], [1959 – Master’s degrees offered], [1960 – Legislation temporarily thwarts ambitions], [1963 – JFK receives honorary doctorate], [1967 – First Ph.D.], and [1968 – Mount Laguna Observatory Opens].



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