I am very pleased to see that some of the scientists I have worked with over the past few years are being recognized for their good work. A recent article in the New York Times mentioned the work that Jonathan Sebat, chief of the Beyster Center for Molecular Genomics of Neuropsychiatric Diseases at UCSD, has been doing in the area of unusual disruptions of chromosomes linked to certain psychiatric illnesses.

In another recent announcement, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation named the winners of its Marine Microbiology Initiative investigator awards. One of the 16 award recipients included Andy Allen, an outstanding young scientist who works with the J. Craig Venter Institute. A few years ago Andy and his team conducted ocean sampling from my boat Solutions off the coast of San Diego and they made some interesting discoveries.

I congratulate both of these researchers for their accomplishments.

* * *
A few weeks ago I received an interesting letter from Professor Bradford Orr, chair of the Department of Physics at the University of Michigan. Bradford brought me up to date with some of the important work that his department is doing in a variety of different areas, including an exploration of dark matter using a 1.4 GHz radio telescope, work on the ATLAS particle physics experiment at CERN — which observed a new particle in July 2012 consistent with the Higgs boson predicted by the Standard Model of physics — and much more. I look forward to hearing more about what the Department of Physics is up to during the course of the upcoming year.

– Bob

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