September 18, 2014  

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Innovation Abounds at Southern Miss

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When I travel to other parts of the state and country spreading Golden Eagle spirit, I often hear “you’re doing that at Southern Miss?” at the conclusion of one of my stories.

My answer, always with a smile, is “yes, and more.”

I love the idea of Mississippi Innovation Month. As Mississippians, one of our great qualities, humility, often works against us. Our concerns about being perceived as being too proud or boastful inhibit us from rightfully pounding our chests about our many great achievements. Innovation Month, though, is an opportunity to put those concerns aside, to show the country and the world that thought-leaders reside here. Innovators are creating a better tomorrow here. Mississippi Innovation Month is a perfect opportunity for us to say, with a polite Southern smile, “yes, we’re doing that and more in Mississippi.”

One haven for Mississippi innovation is on the campuses of our public universities. At The University of Southern Mississippi, we’re developing applicable solutions to real problems. The work being done by our faculty and student researchers will enhance the lives of your and my children and grandchildren.

As part of Mississippi Innovation Month, I took a quick look at Southern Miss research-related videos, and developed a “Top-10” list of recent innovative projects. The list, of course, is entirely subjective. I hope you’ll agree, though, that it is impressive. You can watch a short video about each project through the links below. #MSinNov

Innovative Project No. 10: Biochemical Researchers at USM Aim to Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Carbon dioxide—it's in every breath we release. But industry and fuel CO2 emissions are leading to serious environmental concerns. Southern Miss researchers are looking at how certain types of bacteria are working to keep the environment in balance.

Innovative Project No. 9: USM Researchers Publish Breakthrough Findings on Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's disease is a progressive brain disorder characterized by acute memory loss and difficulty performing day-to-day tasks, affecting mostly elderly people over 60 years in age. The disease affects an estimated 5.4 million Americans. Researchers at The University of Southern Mississippi are looking at what causes the disease and hope that recent discoveries may lead to a cure.

Innovative Project No. 8: USM Researchers Developing Affordable Malaria Treatment

Researchers at The University of Southern Mississippi are working to discover an affordable treatment for malaria, a disease that impacts hundreds of thousands of people every year.

Innovative Project No. 7: USM Develops Polymer Coatings to Sustain the Life of Stone Monuments

Researchers at USM are teaming with the National Park Service in Louisiana to help preserve stone grave markers. The project is inspired by two very different mysteries of nature.

Innovative Project No. 6: New Treatment for Auto-Immune Deficiencies Discovered by USM

It's estimated that nearly 50-million Americans have been diagnosed with auto-immune disorders. Researchers at The University of Southern Mississippi believe they've discovered a new way of treating auto-immune diseases on the cellular level.

Innovative Project No. 5: Researchers at USM Look to Suppress Breast Cancer-Causing Gene

A breast cancer research project at The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast is focused on suppressing a gene that's believed to play a role in the development of breast cancer.

Innovative Project No. 4: Oceanographers at Southern Miss Establish Ocean Weather Lab

We're all familiar with the idea of weather forecasting, which involves following weather patterns and storm models. What if you could take the same idea for atmospheric forecasting, and predict the ocean's weather?

That's the idea behind a newly created Ocean Weather Lab, located at The University of Southern Mississippi's research site at Stennis Space Center.

Innovative Project No. 3: War Fighter Helmet Developed by Researchers at USM

The successful development of technology of athletic helmet cushioning has opened up a new avenue for polymer scientists at Southern Miss.

Researchers are now testing the performance of a new helmet protection system that can be used by U.S. soldiers on the battlefield.

Innovative Project No. 2: Biofuel Research at USM Explores Alternate Fuel Resources

While the U.S. continues to rely on foreign countries for oil, there's a push here at home to find alternative fuel resources.

Researchers at The University of Southern Mississippi are participating in an international research project aimed at turning marine micro-algae into fuel.

Innovative Project No. 1: Southern Miss Researchers Developing Portable Energy Source Using Solar Cells

Researchers at The University of Southern Mississippi's School of Polymers and High Performance Materials are working to develop a portable energy source using light from the sun to produce organic solar cells.