Flood-tolerant Rice Research Honored
Julia Bailey-Serres, a professor of genetics, and her colleagues were among the top-five finalists for a World Technology Award for research that led to the development of flood-tolerant rice.

Their research can benefit millions of rural farmers and their families in South Asia and Southeast Asia. Rice is the primary source of calories for more than half of the world’s population.

Environmental stresses, particularly water stress and disease, are the largest factors limiting rice yield.

More than 22 million hectares of rice paddies in South Asia and Southeast Asia are prone to transient flooding due to seasonal rains. As a result, rice varieties that can survive flooding in these areas are highly desired.

The 2009 World Technology Award is presented by the World Technology Network, in association with Time magazine, Fortune magazine, and Science magazine, among others.

Nominees for the awards were identified based on an intensive, global process over a period of many months. Winners were announced July 16 in New York City.

The awards honor individuals and corporations from 20 technology-related sectors viewed by their peers as being the most innovative and doing the work of the greatest likely long-term significance.

Zaera Chosen as Inaugural Fellow
Francisco Zaera, a distinguished professor of chemistry, has been selected as an inaugural Fellow of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

Zaera is an expert on surface chemistry — the study of chemical phenomena that occur at the interface of two phases — such as between a gas and a solid, or between a liquid and a solid. Research in his lab is directed toward understanding, at the molecular level, the mechanism of surface reactions.

The ACS Fellows Program was created in December 2008 to recognize members of the American Chemical Society for outstanding achievements in and contributions to science, the profession, and the society.

The 2009 ACS Fellows will be honored at a special ceremony during the ACS National Meeting in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 17.