• A team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh has
received a five-year, $13.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to establish a National Technology Center for Networks and Pathways. The center, to be headquartered at CMU, will focus on the development of fluorescent probe and imaging technologies. Its main purpose will be to investigate regulatory pathways and networks in living cells while they are actually occuring in order to better understand cellular-signaling networks and their potential involvement in disease.

“This award recognizes our visionary science and the collaborative strength of both universities in advancing this exciting new field,” said Mark Kamlet, senior vice-president and provost of Carnegie Mellon, in a press release. “This major grant will give us even greater capabilities to produce innovative biotechnologies that impact tomorrow’s medicine.”

• The National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC), part of the Robotics Institute in Carnegie Mellon’s School of Computer Science, unveiled its newest autonomous robotic vehicle, “Crusher,” and also displayed its predecessor, “Spinner,” in a program at NREC headquarters this past Friday. The vehicles were designed to allow American troops to operate the vehicles without actually having to be inside them.

Crusher, which weighs in at 6.5 tons, adds an NREC-developed autonomous operation capability to the base. Officials believe the vehicles funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to be six to 10 years ahead of their time. After years of extensive field testing, both are expected to influence future unmanned military vehicle design.