The Daily brief: June 16, 2011

June 16, 2011, 5:00 p.m.

Genetics Prize | School of Medicine professor Ronald Davis won the Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation’s 2011 Genetics Prize, for which he will receive a gold medal and a $500,000 cash award this fall. The prize, which was established in 2001, recognizes a scientist for contributions to genetics research. Davis was chosen “for his work in the development and practical application of recombinant DNA and genomic methods to biological organisms,” according to a press release.

Fans’ Choice | Stanford Athletics opens voting on Facebook for its first annual Fans Choice Awards Monday morning. Fans will be able to choose between nominees and send write-in votes for male athlete, female athlete, newcomer, performance and game of the year, with polls open for one category each day of the week. Results will be announced June 27.

Research | A group of SLAC scientists found that putting a small sample of metallic glass, an alloy with a disorganized atomic structure, under high pressure, caused it to organize into a single crystal. The discovery could indicate why the materials, which are found in power transformers and anti-theft tags, are so tough. One shouldn’t expect the same thing to happen under anywhere near normal conditions, however – it took 25 gigapascals, or about 250,000 times the pressure of the Earth’s atmosphere at sea level, to achieve the effect.

Overheard | “China relies increasingly on the import of fuels from the Middle East. Those fuels come from the Malacca Straight, into the South China Sea. If China were to wage a war in the primary transit area for fuels, that would be an unwise decision.” – Donald Emmerson, director of the Southeast Asia Forum, on the escalating conflict between Vietnam and China over the control of oil- and natural gas-rich islands in the South China Sea, interviewed by the International Business Times.

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