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BTN LiveBIG: Ohio State alumna puts 'heart' into medical research

A series that covers the true revolutionaries, Game Changers explores how innovators from Big Ten universities — students, faculty and alums — are inventing or reinventing their chosen fields. Louis Pasteur. Jonas Salk. Kristin Comella? It’s perhaps a bit premature to say that this Ohio State graduate should be mentioned in the same breath as those giants of medical science. But the work she’s doing with stem-cell therapies just might end up having an impact on the same scale. Comella currently serves as chief scientific officer at Bioheart Inc., which is focused on discovering and developing stem-cell therapies for the

BTN LiveBIG: Michigan State professor 'powers up' efforts to promote kids' nutrition

A series that covers the true revolutionaries, Game Changers explores how innovators from Big Ten universities — students, faculty and alums — are inventing or reinventing their chosen fields. The causes of childhood obesity in America are numerous. As most parents are aware, steering kids toward healthy food options is a never-ending battle. Michigan State professor Lorraine Weatherspoon looked at the problem and helped shed light on something many parents may have missed: how unhealthy foods are being marketed to kids through online computer games. This isn’t about changing the symbols in “Candy Crush” to carrots and broccoli and calling

BTN LiveBIG: Illinois alumna’s innovative work creates new field of scientific research

A series that covers the true revolutionaries, Game Changers explores how innovators from Big Ten universities — students, faculty and alums — are inventing or reinventing their chosen fields. Dr. Mary-Dell Chilton’s groundbreaking work with genetic engineering in plants started with what seemed to her like a ludicrous theory: that particular species of bacteria could attach to plant genomes and proceed to spread DNA to them. “There was a student in the class that I taught who once told me about agrobacterium and crown gall tumors,” Chilton said. “People had the idea that there might be gene transfer from the

BTN LiveBIG: Northwestern makes potential breakthrough in laser science

A series that covers the true revolutionaries, Game Changers explores how innovators from Big Ten universities — students, faculty and alums — are inventing or reinventing their chosen fields. Scientists at Northwestern University have discovered what they believe to be the first liquid nanoscale laser. For those in the scientific community, it represents a potentially major breakthrough that could alter their fundamental understanding of how light functions on a nano scale. For the rest of us, it may be the most significant development in lasers since Dr. Evil harnessed them to his hench-sharks in the Austin Powers movies. “Technologically, it’s

BTN LiveBIG: Wisconsin grads put their 'Stamp' on mobile technology

A series that covers the true revolutionaries, Game Changers explores how innovators from Big Ten universities — students, faculty and alums — are inventing or reinventing their chosen fields. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuS4wOw2DXk%5D Just five years ago, they were three fresh-faced graduate students in Madison, entering their project in the University of Wisconsin’s Climate Leader Challenge (now called Global Stewards Sustainability Prize), a program run by the school’s Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment. Today, Claus Moberg, Jami Morton and Matt Luedke are among the most celebrated young entrepreneurs in the country. Their company, SnowShoe, is changing the way the physical

BTN LiveBIG: Rutgers grad revolutionizes communication in chemistry

A series that covers the true revolutionaries, Game Changers explores how innovators from Big Ten universities — students, faculty and alums — are inventing or reinventing their chosen fields. It’s a tall order: Come up with a platform that dramatically changes the manner in which students, professors and computers communicate; fuses chemistry and digital design so people visualize molecules in a whole new way; and is accessible anywhere, on any device. That’s exactly what Rutgers University alum Kevin Theisen accomplished when he founded iChemLabs, a software company that allows users to virtually mock up complex chemical structures. Growing up in

BTN LiveBIG: Nebraska grads create multimedia tech to improve sports teams’ performances

A series that covers the true revolutionaries, Game Changers explores how innovators from Big Ten universities — students, faculty and alums — are inventing or reinventing their chosen fields. What started out as a way to help the Nebraska football team better film their practices has turned into a worldwide business venture for a trio of UNL grads. For David Graff and his Cornhusker cohorts, the goal was to find a way to mix their love of sports and technology. What resulted was a business venture called Hudl — today, the fastest-growing company in the state of Nebraska, with more

BTN LiveBIG: Michigan State professor battles malaria scourge in Africa

A series that covers the true revolutionaries, Game Changers explores how innovators from Big Ten universities — students, faculty and alums — are inventing or reinventing their chosen fields. Someday, the scourge of malaria among African children will be more or less wiped out. And when that day comes, there’s a good chance we’ll have Michigan State professor Terrie Taylor to thank. For nearly three decades, she’s spent six months a year in Malawi treating the overwhelming number of kids who have the mosquito-borne blood disease. During most of that time, it was a struggle. But new discoveries stemming from

BTN LiveBIG: Minnesota researchers find a key to improving computer processing power

A series that covers the true revolutionaries, Game Changers explores how innovators from Big Ten universities — students, faculty and alums — are inventing or reinventing their chosen fields. Whether it’s a desktop PC or a mobile device, any computer you use is powered by processors that communicate with each other. And most improvements in computing efficiency and performance are fundamentally about making those processors send and receive messages faster. Researchers at the University of Minnesota have found a new way to potentially speed up that communication using black phosphorus, a crystalline material that’s plentiful, versatile and easy to develop.

BTN LiveBig: Nebraska ecology professor connects contagions to climate change

A series that covers the true revolutionaries, Game Changers explores how innovators from Big Ten universities — students, faculty and alums — are inventing or reinventing their chosen fields. When new and potentially catastrophic contagious diseases like West Nile Virus and swine flu periodically emerge, research scientists and medical practitioners alike scramble to figure out the best ways to contain and end these epidemics. However, discussions about how these illnesses start and spread have generally ignored the issue of climate change. Until now. Daniel Brooks, an ecology professor and senior research fellow at the University of Nebraska, has spent the