Neha Panigrahy


UMN scientists are using fecal matter (yes, really) to treat diseases

University of Minnesota researchers who have successfully treated a gastrointestinal infection with fecal transplants hope to use the method to treat diseases and conditions like obesity and autism. Fecal microbiota transplantation replaces the good bacteria in the gut with minimal risk of repeat infection.

UMN researchers invent “super sponge” to help clean up mercury

University of Minnesota researchers have created a sponge that can absorb toxic mercury from wastewater in minutes. The breakthrough comes as mercury concentrations in water have increased slightly the last few years after a thirty-year decrease in Minnesotan waters.

UMN holds conference for informed consent, ethics in research

At a national conference in early March, the University of Minnesota reaffirmed its goals to bolster ethical recruitment strategies, informed consent practices and research monitoring. The University has held a conference annually to dicuss challenges in human research, after Dan Markingson — a St.

UMN opens new 10,000 square feet, state-of-the-art engineering labs

Three new lab spaces with 3D printers and water jet cutters opened at the University of Minnesota Thursday with hopes of giving engineering students first-hand experience with state-of-the-art equipment. The $2 million, 10,000 square-foot Anderson Innovation Lab consists of three different spaces, two in the Mechanical Engineering Building and one in the Civil Engineering Building.

UMN scientists developing new method to break down drugs in wastewater

University of Minnesota researchers are developing a way to better predict how drugs break down in wastewater. Scientists from the Wackett Lab are using a predictive methods to determine the correct enzymes that break down pharmaceuticals in water. In the past, wastewater has been treated for naturally occurring chemicals, which are digested by microbes.

UMN is nearly halfway toward its goal of cutting campus carbon emissions

The University of Minnesota is halfway to meeting its goal of reducing campus carbon emissions 50 percent by 2020 — a benchmark the school first outlined in 2008. Recycling office furniture, replacing lights in parking garages and planting gardens on roofs helped reduce the school’s nearly 640,000 metric tons of emissions in 2008 to 492,121 metric tons in 2016. In 2008, former University President Robert Bruininks signed the American Universities and Colleges Presidents Climate Commitment to achieve carbon neutrality across all the University’s campuses by 2050. The agreement garnered signatures from universities around the country, like the University of Illinois and Ohio State University. “The U is committed to energy conservation regardless of what is happening nationally,” said Shane Stennes, director of sustainability at the University. In order to achieve the goal, sustainability committees were created in 2010 on all of the school’s campuses and the “It All Adds Up Campaign” was expanded to include waste reduction. The Climate Action Plan was released the next year in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the next decade. Stennes said the Twin Cities campus’ sustainability committee has outlined strategies to reduce energy consumption by 2050: Creating a combined power and heat plant, tuning up buildings’ systems, implementing green building standards for new construction and reducing laboratory energy. The main goal of the sustainability committee is to have a cleaner source of energy, Stennes said. Some of the steps taken are installation of LED lights rather than HPS in parking ramps across the University.

UMN startup receives $7 million to create drug for cancer treatment

A startup company run by University of Minnesota scientists is developing a drug that could transform how cancer is treated. ApoGen Biotechnologies is working on a method to block enzymes that induce mutations in tumors, allowing traditional treatments to be more effective.

UMN scientists’ drug could prevent blood loss in traumatic injuries

A drug that could help first-responders prevent blood loss during traumatic injuries will soon undergo trials at the University of Minnesota. Scientists from the University’s Duluth and Twin Cities campuses are researching Beta-hydroxybutyrate and melatonin — commonly referred to as BHB/M — a drug therapy that helps slow blood flow, extending survival time for those in accidents. Researchers are hoping to commercialize the drug to be used in emergency medical settings. “Blood loss therapy is in critical need because there has been no advancement in 100 years,” said Dr. Lester Drewes, a principal investigator of the drug research. Normally, glucose helps coagulate blood.