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Top 10 Inquiry Stories of 2016

2016 wooden block letters in front of string lights

For the University of Minnesota, the completion of 2016 marks another year of advancing knowledge, forming new partnerships and making groundbreaking discoveries.

The Inquiry blog, led by the Office of the Vice President for Research, set out to explore such strides in research and innovation when it launched more than two years ago. Its path has since woven across departments and disciplines, delving into everything from varieties of wine grapes that withstand the cold to the microscopic communities of bacteria that live inside of us.

Before we bid farewell to 2016, here’s a look back at the year’s 10 most-read Inquiry stories.


10. Research ethics — a responsibility of the University and individuals alike

As part of the ongoing effort to strengthen human research protections, a University-wide campaign promotes the principles, policies and processes that support ethical research practices.


9. Spatial tool maps state’s emerging infrastructure needs

A new tool, made through a collaboration between the U, the Office of the State Auditor and other partners, maps data to help Minnesotans determine the state's pressing infrastructure needs.

8. Research partnerships work to bring knowledge beyond U

A new pilot program, External Stakeholder Engagement, pairs U researchers with external partners to create new knowledge and put it to work in ways that benefit the community.

7. Time-saving tools for partnering with industry

The U offers a set of research agreements that faculty and staff can use to simplify and expedite the process of forming new partnerships with industry.

6. How size and lifestyle rule the plant world

Researchers have found that despite Earth’s rich diversity of plant life, relatively few combinations of traits within these plants allow them to thrive.

5. Expanding MnDRIVE research at the U

MnDRIVE leaders and advisors are exploring ways to add to the program with new areas that match U research strengths with the state’s key industries.

4. Startup contributes to growing statewide gene editing industry

B-MoGen Biotechnologies is developing advanced gene editing tools that could benefit genome research in fields like agriculture and cancer treatment.

3. Core facilities drive research forward

Core research facilities provide faculty, staff and students with the equipment, training and expertise needed to accelerate their research.

2. Picturing research: Historical labs and equipment

Take a walk back through the research spaces of yore to see some of the specialized equipment and labs that helped drive University research forward.

1. Gravitational waves rock the physics world

A U researcher was among the scientists that detected these “ripples in space” that, after 100 years, confirm Einstein's theory of relativity.

Kevin Coss

Kevin Coss

Kevin is a communications specialist with the Office of the Vice President for Research.

coss@umn.edu

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