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News 12-6-00

Flexible Displays for Electronic Ink

Last week a flexible display using electronic ink was unveiled in Cambridge, Mass., advancing the technology needed to create a changeable display screen that is portable, lightweight and easy to read as paper. Some technologists have envisioned that this technology could lead to something like a continually updated newspaper that displays information carried over the Internet.

About the stiffness and thickness of a mousepad, the prototype was created as part of a joint project between E Ink, which was founded by physicists from the Media Laboratory at MIT, and Lucent Technologies, which has created flexible plastic circuits. The core technology consists of an ink that responds to electric charges, enabling words or images to be displayed on a relatively thin screen without the need for a conventional cathode-ray tube monitor or liquid crystal display screen.

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Internet Educator of the Year Award

Classroom Connect announced the second annual Internet Educator of the Year Award. The award will go to an educator who has embraced Internet resources and technologies and successfully integrated them into the classroom. Nominations for the Internet Educator of the Year 2001 Award must be received by December 31, 2000. The awardee will be notified in January 2001.

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Student Wins Grand Prize in Peer-to-Peer Sweepstakes

Porivo Technologies, Inc., recently announced the grand prize winner of its October "Cycles for Cycles'' sweepstakes. Daniel Fung, a 19-year-old sophomore at the University of California, Berkeley, received the $2,000 grand prize, a mountain bike from Fung and other PC users across the country participated in the sweepstakes by downloading the Porivo PEER, a secure application that links PCs together in large-scale computing projects across the Internet. Two additional users won first-prize certificates worth $1,000. Porivo also announced a new sweepstakes for December, offering $10,000 in cash prizes for Porivo PEER users.

To participate in the new December sweepstakes, users can register online at and download the Porivo PEER application.

First Graduate of Online University Receives Degree

Gennie Kirch, a Roy, Utah elementary school teacher, received her Master of Arts degree in learning and technology Friday in a ceremony attended by the Governors of 11 western states. The special occasion was held in conjunction with the Western Governors' Association meeting in La Jolla and celebrates the first commencement ceremony and the first graduate of Western Governors University, an online, competency-based university. Governors is one of only a few virtual universities to achieve candidate for accreditation status and is the only competency- based university to gain that status.

Ciphergen Collaborates With Johns Hopkins

Ciphergen Biosystems, Inc. announced the start of a multi-year research collaboration with The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine aimed at the discovery of novel protein biomarkers in the field of cancer. The focus of the collaboration will be the discovery and validation of diagnostic markers that improve tumor detection, tumor classification by type, invasiveness and stage, and tumor monitoring. The protein markers currently available to address these tasks are very limited in comparison with the scope of medical needs in oncology.

As part of this multi-year collaboration, Ciphergen will provide financial support and technical assistance through its Biomarker Discovery Centers. Johns Hopkins will contribute significant resources including cancer serum samples and the clinical ex- pertise of its physicians and scientists. Ciphergen will have access to the commercial rights of the discoveries made through the collaboration with Johns Hopkins.

'Jumping DNA' Discovery Wins Award

Alka Agrawal's discovery of jumping DNA's role in creating the modern immune system, earned this year's $25,000 Young Scientists Prize, awarded by Science and Amersham Pharmacia Biotech (APBiotech). Agrawal was working on a doctorate at Yale University when she proved that genes called RAG1 and RAG2 carry out genetic reshuffling or "transposition'' reactions in a test tube. In theory, if these genes trigger transposition in living cells, too, they may be involved in harmful DNA trans- locations associated with certain cancers, Agrawal explained in her winning essay, which appears in the 1 December 2000 issue of Science.

Information about the prize and copies of the winning essays are posted on Science Online

NSF Honors 409 Junior Faculty Members

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is honoring 409 outstanding junior faculty members in science and engineering nationwide with the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) awards, NSF's most prestigious honor for junior faculty members. Awards for 2000 range in amount from $200,000 to $500,000, and in duration from four to five years. NSF established the CAREER program in 1995 to help top performing scientists and engineers early in their careers to develop simultaneously their contributions and commitment to research and to education.

For a list of individual awardees, visit

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