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02-14-2006

Clarkson University Research Group Will Give Presentations at Annual APS Meeting

Two presentations of a Clarkson research team consisting of Igor Sokolov, professor of Physics; Craig Woodworth, professor of Biology; Venkatesh Subba Rao, graduate student in Physics; and Killugudi Swaminatha Iyer, research associate in Physics, have been selected by the American Institute of Physics along with 50 other presentations as work to be featured at the American Physical Society (APS) Annual Meeting to be held on March 12 - 17 in Baltimore, Md. The team's presentations were chosen from a collection of over 6,500 submitted abstracts.

The first presentation by the group deals with a potential cure for increased rigidity of old human epithelial cells. This increase was previously discovered by the Clarkson team; however, they have now shown that the greater rigidity is correlated with an increase in the density of specific cytoskeletal fibres.

"We used Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) in combination with imunofluorescence microscopy to determine the chemical nature of the fibres associated with the increased rigidity," explains Sokolov. "Having found that, we used special cytotoxic chemicals to decrease the amount of the fibres in cells, thus reducing the effects of aging."

The second presentation describes the team's study of molecular differences between the surfaces of normal and cancerous cells. "This is the first research to explore the mechanics of the cell's surface, and we have found that it is even more complex than first thought. However, because of the complexity, it leaves us with a novel approach for cancer detection where cells can be identified using the principle of physical adsorption rather than traditional biological methods," comments Sokolov. "This finding may definitely be applied for the detection of cancer."

The American Physical Society was founded in 1899 at Columbia University. It is the mission of the Society "to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics," and since its creation has been at that task. In more recent years, the activities of the Society have broadened considerably. The APS is active in public and governmental affairs, and in the international physics community. In addition, the Society conducts extensive programs in education and public outreach. The APS has 14 divisions and nine topical groups covering all areas of physics research. There are six forums that reflect the interest of its 43,000 members in broader issues, and eight sections organized by geographical region. The annual APS meeting is a central event of the society.

Clarkson University, located in Potsdam, N.Y., is a private, nationally ranked university with a reputation for developing innovative leaders in engineering, business, the sciences, health sciences and the humanities. At Clarkson, 3,000 high-ability students excel in an environment where learning is not only positive, friendly and supportive but spans the boundaries of traditional disciplines and knowledge. Faculty achieves international recognition for their research and scholarship and connects students to their leadership potential in the marketplace through dynamic, real-world problem solving.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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