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iceIcy power lines in Paxton, Mass., on Dec. 12, 2008. (Photo by Wayne Nalbandian)

Dartmouth engineering professor and entrepreneur Victor Petrenko-along with his colleagues at Dartmouth and at Ice Engineering LLC in Lebanon, N.H.—have invented a way to cheaply and effectively keep ice off power lines. The new proprietary technology is called a variable resistance cable (VRC) de-icing system. With minor cable modifications plus some off-the-shelf electronics, the system switches the electrical resistance of a standard power line from low to high, creating heat to melt ice build-up or keep it from forming in the first place. "The system is fully customizable and is an affordable addition to the current manufacturing and installation process," says Ice Engineering Vice President Gabriel Martinez '99, Thayer '05. Click here for more.


The Neukom Institute invites applications for its Neukom Scholars Program, which provides funding to third- or fourth-year undergraduate students engaged in faculty-advised research in the development of novel computational techniques and the application of computational methods to problems in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Awards are $1,000 per term for one or two terms. Spring term proposals are due April 1. Contact Hany Farid with questions. For more information, click here.

kull Jon Kull '88 and Jared Cochran. (Photo by Joseph Mehling '69)

A group of Dartmouth researchers has found a new function for one of the proteins involved with chromosome segregation during cell division. Their finding adds to the growing knowledge about the fundamental workings of cells and contributes to understanding how cell function can go wrong, as it does with cancerous cells.The study focused on a protein called NOD, distantly related to the motor proteins that power cellular activities including intracellular transport, signaling, and cell division. Postdoctoral fellow Jared Cochran is the lead author on the study. Jon Kull '88, associate professor of chemistry, is the senior author. Natasha Mulko '07, who worked on the project for her senior honors thesis in chemistry, is also an author. Click here for more.

albertMary Albert

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has named Mary Albert, visiting professor at Thayer School of Engineering, the director of the new Ice Drilling Program Office (IDPO). The IDPO is part of NSF's Office of Polar Programs, and it is responsible for scientific leadership and oversight of ice coring and drilling activities funded by NSF. Dartmouth is collaborating with the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of New Hampshire on this effort. The IDPO will be headquartered at Thayer School. Click here for more.

lilyLily in Corinth, Vt. (Photo by Steven J.Smith)

Dartmouth is supporting a local conservation initiative by placing an easement on its 700-acre property in Corinth, Vt., located about 35 miles northwest of campus. Given to the College in the 1920s, the property is in an area with highly productive forest land prioritized for conservation by the nonprofit Orange County Headwaters Project (OCHP). President James Wright completed the transaction in December. The Upper Valley Land Trust, a regional land conservancy, holds the conservation easement. "This will enable our existing forestry-related activities to continue while providing better long-term opportunities for outdoor recreation and environmental research," says Provost Barry Scherr. Click here for more.

The United States can extend coverage to the country's uninsured without substantially increasing overall health care costs, according to a Dartmouth Atlas white paper released by The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. The paper, "An Agenda for Change-Improving Quality and Curbing Health Care Spending: Opportunities for the Congress and the Obama Administration," argues that quality and coverage can be improved without increasing capacity through means including reducing oversupply of health care services in high spending regions of the country. Click here for more.

Questions or comments about this article? We welcome your feedback.

Last Updated: 1/16/09