Exploration
Home | Stories | Awards | Contacts
View stories by Year: Category:
 
Stories

Neurons cast votes to guide decision-making - October 11, 2010
Before you push the button to cast your ballot in the voting booth your brain has already carried out an election of its own to make that action possible. New research shows that our brain accumulates evidence when faced with a choice and triggers an action once that evidence reaches a tipping point.Before you push the button to cast your ballot in the voting booth your brain has already carried out an election of its own to make that action possible. New research shows that our brain accumulates evidence when faced with a choice and triggers an action once that evidence reaches a tipping point.
Text | HTML | Flash

New type of liquid crystal promises to improve performance of digital displays - October 5, 2010
Chemists at Vanderbilt University have created a new class of liquid crystals with unique electrical properties that could improve the performance of digital displays used on everything from digital watches to flat panel televisions.Chemists at Vanderbilt University have created a new class of liquid crystals with unique electrical properties that could improve the performance of digital displays used on everything from digital watches to flat panel televisions.
Text | HTML | Flash

Newly discovered DNA repair mechanism - October 4, 2010
Researchers at Vanderbilt University, working with collaborators at Pennsylvania State University and the University of Pittsburgh, have discovered a fundamentally new way that DNA-repair enzymes detect and fix damage to the chemical bases that form the letters in the genetic code. Researchers at Vanderbilt University, working with collaborators at Pennsylvania State University and the University of Pittsburgh, have discovered a fundamentally new way that DNA-repair enzymes detect and fix damage to the chemical bases that form the letters in the genetic code.
Text | HTML | Flash

Mosquitoes use several different kinds of odor sensors to track human prey - August 31, 2010
It now appears that the malaria mosquito needs more than one family of odor sensors to sniff out its human prey. That is the implication of new research into the mosquito's sense of smell published in the Aug. 31 issue of the online, open-access journal Public Library of Science Biology.It now appears that the malaria mosquito needs more than one family of odor sensors to sniff out its human prey. That is the implication of new research into the mosquito's sense of smell published in the Aug. 31 issue of the online, open-access journal Public Library of Science Biology.
Text | HTML | Flash

Joey Barnett's research aims to give kids with heart defects a better life - July 15, 2010
Joey Barnett's research has been focused on pediatric cardiovascular abnormalities, such as heart defects and murmurs. His ultimate goal is to engineer a living heart valve made of organic tissue that will live and grow with the patient.Joey Barnett's research has been focused on pediatric cardiovascular abnormalities, such as heart defects and murmurs. His ultimate goal is to engineer a living heart valve made of organic tissue that will live and grow with the patient.
Text | HTML | Flash

Water's unexpected role in blood pressure control - July 9, 2010
Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center have shown that ordinary water — without any additives — does more than just quench thirst. It has some other unexpected, physiological effects. It increases the activity of the sympathetic — fight or flight — nervous system, which raises alertness, blood pressure and energy expenditure.Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center have shown that ordinary water — without any additives — does more than just quench thirst. It has some other unexpected, physiological effects. It increases the activity of the sympathetic — fight or flight — nervous system, which raises alertness, blood pressure and energy expenditure.
Text | HTML | Flash

Novel method of peptide synthesis promises new drugs - June 24, 2010
A team of Vanderbilt chemists has developed a novel method for chemically synthesizing peptides that promises to lower the cost and increase the availability of drugs based on natural compounds.A team of Vanderbilt chemists has developed a novel method for chemically synthesizing peptides that promises to lower the cost and increase the availability of drugs based on natural compounds.
Text | HTML | Flash

Molecular link between diabetes and schizophrenia connects food and mood - June 15, 2010
Discovery of a molecular link between impaired insulin signaling in he brain and schizophrenia-like behaviors in mice suggest new strategies for treating psychiatric and cognitive disorders that affect patients with diabetes.Discovery of a molecular link between impaired insulin signaling in he brain and schizophrenia-like behaviors in mice suggest new strategies for treating psychiatric and cognitive disorders that affect patients with diabetes.
Text | HTML | Flash

Nanosponge drug delivery system more effective than direct injection - June 1, 2010
When loaded with an anticancer drug, a delivery system based on a novel material called nanosponge is three to five times more effective at reducing tumor growth than direct injection.When loaded with an anticancer drug, a delivery system based on a novel material called nanosponge is three to five times more effective at reducing tumor growth than direct injection.
Text | HTML | Flash

How cancer cells lose their (circadian) rhythm - May 10, 2010
Unlike the current assumption that cancer cells divide uncontrollably because their circadian clocks are broken, the new study finds that cell division is uncontrolled in an immortal cell line with functioning biological clocks, suggesting that it is the link between the cell's timekeeper and the process of cell division that is disrupted, not the clock mechanism itself.Unlike the current assumption that cancer cells divide uncontrollably because their circadian clocks are broken, the new study finds that cell division is uncontrolled in an immortal cell line with functioning biological clocks, suggesting that it is the link between the cell's timekeeper and the process of cell division that is disrupted, not the clock mechanism itself.
Text | HTML | Flash

Fluorescent compounds make tumors glow - April 29, 2010
A series of novel imaging agents could light up tumors as they begin to form — before they turn deadly — and signal their transition to aggressive cancers.A series of novel imaging agents could light up tumors as they begin to form — before they turn deadly — and signal their transition to aggressive cancers.
Text | HTML | Flash

Vanderbilt physicist plays pivotal role in discovery of new super-heavy element - April 16, 2010
Vanderbilt physicist Joe Hamilton played a key role in the discovery of element 117, a new super-heavy element that has been created and identified by an international scientific team.Vanderbilt physicist Joe Hamilton played a key role in the discovery of element 117, a new super-heavy element that has been created and identified by an international scientific team.
Text | HTML | Flash

Psychopaths' brains wired to seek rewards, no matter the consequences - March 19, 2010
The brains of psychopaths appear to be wired to keep seeking a reward at any cost, new research from Vanderbilt University finds. The research uncovers the role of the brain's reward system in psychopathy and opens a new area of study for understanding what drives these individualsThe brains of psychopaths appear to be wired to keep seeking a reward at any cost, new research from Vanderbilt University finds. The research uncovers the role of the brain's reward system in psychopathy and opens a new area of study for understanding what drives these individuals
Text | HTML | Flash

Human cells exhibit foraging behavior like amoebae and bacteria - March 17, 2010
When human epithelial cells migrate in the body, they follow a pattern that single-celled organisms like amoebae and bacteria use for foraging. Because this pattern is more complex than biologists have generally assumed, incorporating it into computer models should improve their ability to predict cell motion during embryo development, bone remodeling, wound healing, infection, tumor growth and other instances that involve cell diffusion. When human epithelial cells migrate in the body, they follow a pattern that single-celled organisms like amoebae and bacteria use for foraging. Because this pattern is more complex than biologists have generally assumed, incorporating it into computer models should improve their ability to predict cell motion during embryo development, bone remodeling, wound healing, infection, tumor growth and other instances that involve cell diffusion.
Text | HTML | Flash

Gene signature may improve colon cancer treatment - March 5, 2010
A gene signature, first identified in mouse colon cancer cells, may help identify patients at risk of colon cancer recurrence, according to a recent study by Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center researchers.A gene signature, first identified in mouse colon cancer cells, may help identify patients at risk of colon cancer recurrence, according to a recent study by Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center researchers.
Text | HTML | Flash

Vanderbilt physicists play key role in measuring material hotter than the sun - March 1, 2010
Three Vanderbilt physicists are members of the scientific team that have reported creating an exotic state of matter with a temperature of four trillion degrees Celsius. It's the hottest temperature ever achieved in a laboratory and 250,000 times hotter than the heart of the sun.Three Vanderbilt physicists are members of the scientific team that have reported creating an exotic state of matter with a temperature of four trillion degrees Celsius. It's the hottest temperature ever achieved in a laboratory and 250,000 times hotter than the heart of the sun.
Text | HTML | Flash

Study could lead to new drugs to treat sleeping sickness - February 24, 2010
Knowing the structure of an enzyme essential to the protozoan parasite that causes African sleeping sickness may lead to new drugs to combat the often-fatal disease and several other related disorders that afflict millions of people around the world.Knowing the structure of an enzyme essential to the protozoan parasite that causes African sleeping sickness may lead to new drugs to combat the often-fatal disease and several other related disorders that afflict millions of people around the world.
Text | HTML | Flash

A new type of genetic variation strengthens natural selection - February 18, 2010
The unexpected discovery of a new type of genetic variation suggests that natural selection — the force that drives evolution — is both more powerful and more complex than scientists have thought. The unexpected discovery of a new type of genetic variation suggests that natural selection — the force that drives evolution — is both more powerful and more complex than scientists have thought.
Text | HTML | Flash

Scientists transplant malaria mosquito nose - February 11, 2010
Scientists at Vanderbilt and Yale universities have successfully transplanted most of the "nose” of the mosquito that spreads malaria into frog eggs and fruit flies and are employing these surrogates to combat the spread of the deadly and debilitating disease that afflicts 500 million people.Scientists at Vanderbilt and Yale universities have successfully transplanted most of the "nose” of the mosquito that spreads malaria into frog eggs and fruit flies and are employing these surrogates to combat the spread of the deadly and debilitating disease that afflicts 500 million people.
Text | HTML | Flash

Family intervention may reduce risk for depression in parents and children - February 10, 2010
Cognitive behavioral intervention for families may help prevent depression in parents with a history of depression and in their 9- to 15-year-old children, new research has found. Cognitive behavioral intervention for families may help prevent depression in parents with a history of depression and in their 9- to 15-year-old children, new research has found.
Text | HTML | Flash

Research identifies dead neuron clean-up crew in peripheral nervous system - January 29, 2010
Biochemists have identified members of the "clean-up crew" — including a protein named Jedi-1 — responsible for getting rid of the corpses of dead sensory neurons in the peripheral nervous system following apoptosis.Biochemists have identified members of the "clean-up crew" — including a protein named Jedi-1 — responsible for getting rid of the corpses of dead sensory neurons in the peripheral nervous system following apoptosis.
Text | HTML | Flash

Sequencing wasp genome sheds new light on sexual parasite - January 14, 2010
Sequencing of the wasp genome sheds new light on how nature's most successful sexual parasite works.Sequencing of the wasp genome sheds new light on how nature's most successful sexual parasite works.
Text | HTML | Flash

Studying how black holes grow - December 17, 2009
Kelly Holley-Bockelman has received a $1.1 million grant to study how supermassive black holes grow.Kelly Holley-Bockelman has received a $1.1 million grant to study how supermassive black holes grow.
Text | HTML | Flash

Research confirms graphene's exotic electrical nature - November 17, 2009
First, it was the soccer-ball-shaped molecules dubbed buckyballs. Then it was the cylindrically shaped nanotubes. Now, the hottest new material in physics and nanotechnology is graphene: a remarkably flat molecule made of carbon atoms arranged in hexagonal rings much like molecular chicken wire. First, it was the soccer-ball-shaped molecules dubbed buckyballs. Then it was the cylindrically shaped nanotubes. Now, the hottest new material in physics and nanotechnology is graphene: a remarkably flat molecule made of carbon atoms arranged in hexagonal rings much like molecular chicken wire.
Text | HTML | Flash

Inconspicuous leaf beetles reveal environment's role in formation of new species - October 29, 2009
Unnoticed by the nearby residents of St. Johnsbury, Vermont, tiny leaf beetles that flit among the maple and willow trees in the area have just provided some of the clearest evidence yet that environmental factors play a major role in the formation of new species. Unnoticed by the nearby residents of St. Johnsbury, Vermont, tiny leaf beetles that flit among the maple and willow trees in the area have just provided some of the clearest evidence yet that environmental factors play a major role in the formation of new species.
Text | HTML | Flash

Antonis Rokas trims tree of life - October 8, 2009
In a sense, Antonis Rokas is an arborist: He is a member of a small cadre to scientists who are applying the growing power of genomics to untangle and correctly arrange the branches of the Tree of Life.In a sense, Antonis Rokas is an arborist: He is a member of a small cadre to scientists who are applying the growing power of genomics to untangle and correctly arrange the branches of the Tree of Life.
Text | HTML | Flash

First direct information about the prion's molecular structure reported - October 5, 2009
A collaboration between scientists at Vanderbilt University and the University of California, San Francisco has led to the first direct information about the molecular structure of prions. In addition, the study has revealed surprisingly large structural differences between natural prions and the closest synthetic analogs that scientists have created in the lab. A collaboration between scientists at Vanderbilt University and the University of California, San Francisco has led to the first direct information about the molecular structure of prions. In addition, the study has revealed surprisingly large structural differences between natural prions and the closest synthetic analogs that scientists have created in the lab.
Text | HTML | Flash

Vanderbilt astronomers participate in new search for dark energy - October 1, 2009
Vanderbilt astronomers are participating in the most ambitious attempt yet to trace the history of the universe which has seen "first light." The Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS), part of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III (SDSS-III), took its first astronomical data on the night of Sept. 14-15 at the Sloan Foundation telescope in New Mexico.Vanderbilt astronomers are participating in the most ambitious attempt yet to trace the history of the universe which has seen "first light." The Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS), part of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III (SDSS-III), took its first astronomical data on the night of Sept. 14-15 at the Sloan Foundation telescope in New Mexico.
Text | HTML | Flash

Paul Bock: the art of science - September 5, 2009
Whether biochemist Paul Bock is painting a picture or conducting research on blood coagulation, creativity is the name of the game.Whether biochemist Paul Bock is painting a picture or conducting research on blood coagulation, creativity is the name of the game.
Text | HTML | Flash

Training can increase brain's ability to multitask - August 20, 2009
Training increases brain processing speed and improves our ability to multitask, according to research from Vanderbilt University published in the journal Neuron. Training increases brain processing speed and improves our ability to multitask, according to research from Vanderbilt University published in the journal Neuron.
Text | HTML | Flash

Two Vanderbilt graduate students mingle with Nobel laureates - August 7, 2009
Every summer since 1951 a large number of Nobel laureates gather in Lindau, Switzerland, to meet with talented young scientists from around the world. In July, Vanderbilt graduate students Chris Brosey and Bryan Ringstrand attended this unique meeting and had an experience that they will remember for the rest of their lives.Every summer since 1951 a large number of Nobel laureates gather in Lindau, Switzerland, to meet with talented young scientists from around the world. In July, Vanderbilt graduate students Chris Brosey and Bryan Ringstrand attended this unique meeting and had an experience that they will remember for the rest of their lives.
Text | HTML | Flash

Brain blurs images it ignores with neural noise - August 4, 2009
Neural "noise" may cause you to miss important changes in your environment when you are concentrating on something else, new research indicates.Neural "noise" may cause you to miss important changes in your environment when you are concentrating on something else, new research indicates.
Text | HTML | Flash

Ultrasensitive detector promises improved treatment of viral respiratory infections - June 26, 2009
A Vanderbilt chemist and a biomedical engineer have teamed up to develop a respiratory virus detector that is sensitive enough to detect an infection at an early stage, takes only a few minutes to return a result and is simple enough so it can be performed in a pediatrician's office.A Vanderbilt chemist and a biomedical engineer have teamed up to develop a respiratory virus detector that is sensitive enough to detect an infection at an early stage, takes only a few minutes to return a result and is simple enough so it can be performed in a pediatrician's office.
Text | HTML | Flash

Putting a name to a face may be key to brain's facial expertise - June 25, 2009
Our tendency to see people and faces as individuals may explain why we are such experts at recognizing them, new research indicates. This approach can be learned and applied to other objects as well.Our tendency to see people and faces as individuals may explain why we are such experts at recognizing them, new research indicates. This approach can be learned and applied to other objects as well.
Text | HTML | Flash

A water snake that predicts which way fish will turn when it attacks - June 18, 2009
The tentacled snake is a small water snake from Southeast Asia with an uncanny ability: It can predict the direction that its piscine prey will turn to escape even before they begin to move.The tentacled snake is a small water snake from Southeast Asia with an uncanny ability: It can predict the direction that its piscine prey will turn to escape even before they begin to move.
Text | HTML | Flash

Creating freestanding nanoparticle films without fillers - June 9, 2009
Nanoparticle films are no longer a delicate matter: Vanderbilt physicists have found a way to make them strong enough that they don't disintegrate at the slightest touch.Nanoparticle films are no longer a delicate matter: Vanderbilt physicists have found a way to make them strong enough that they don't disintegrate at the slightest touch.
Text | HTML | Flash

New anti-malarial project aims to disrupt the mosquito's heat-seeking ability - May 15, 2009
Vanderbilt researchers have received a one-year, $100,000 grant to see if they can mess with the female malaria mosquito's heat detection apparatus.Vanderbilt researchers have received a one-year, $100,000 grant to see if they can mess with the female malaria mosquito's heat detection apparatus.
Text | HTML | Flash

The day the universe froze - May 7, 2009
Imagine a time when the entire universe froze. According to a new model for dark energy, that is essentially what happened about 11.5 billion years ago, when the universe was a quarter of the size it is today. Imagine a time when the entire universe froze. According to a new model for dark energy, that is essentially what happened about 11.5 billion years ago, when the universe was a quarter of the size it is today.
Text | HTML | Flash

Chemists synthesize key alkaloid from club moss - April 15, 2009
A team of chemists has successfully synthesized an alkaloid from club moss, enabling them to produce enough of the compound to test its anti-cancer properties and its ability to combat memory loss.A team of chemists has successfully synthesized an alkaloid from club moss, enabling them to produce enough of the compound to test its anti-cancer properties and its ability to combat memory loss.
Text | HTML | Flash

Network turns soldiers' helmets into sniper location system - March 18, 2009
Imagine a platoon of soldiers fighting in a hazardous urban environment who carry personal digital assistants that can display the location of enemy shooters in three dimensions and accurately identify the caliber and type of weapons they are firing. Engineers at Vanderbilt University's Institute for Software Integrated Systems (ISIS) have developed a system that can give soldiers just such an edge by turning their combat helmets into "smart nodes” in a wireless sensor network.Imagine a platoon of soldiers fighting in a hazardous urban environment who carry personal digital assistants that can display the location of enemy shooters in three dimensions and accurately identify the caliber and type of weapons they are firing. Engineers at Vanderbilt University's Institute for Software Integrated Systems (ISIS) have developed a system that can give soldiers just such an edge by turning their combat helmets into "smart nodes” in a wireless sensor network.
Text | HTML | Flash

World's smallest periscopes view cells from several sides at once - February 25, 2009
A team of Vanderbilt scientists have invented the world's smallest version of the periscope and are using it to look at cells and other micro-organisms from several sides at once.A team of Vanderbilt scientists have invented the world's smallest version of the periscope and are using it to look at cells and other micro-organisms from several sides at once.
Text | HTML | Flash

Echoes discovered in early visual brain areas play role in working memory - February 18, 2009
Vanderbilt University researchers have discovered that early visual areas, long believed to play no role in higher cognitive functions such as memory, retain information previously hidden from brain studies. Vanderbilt University researchers have discovered that early visual areas, long believed to play no role in higher cognitive functions such as memory, retain information previously hidden from brain studies.
Text | HTML | Flash

Robots that monitor emotional state of children with ASD - February 17, 2009
The day that robot playmates help children with autism learn the social skills that they naturally lack has come a step closer with the development of a system that allows a robot to monitor a child's emotional state.The day that robot playmates help children with autism learn the social skills that they naturally lack has come a step closer with the development of a system that allows a robot to monitor a child's emotional state.
Text | HTML | Flash

Adapting electron microscopy for nanoscale imaging of whole cells in liquid - January 27, 2009
Scientists have developed a new device for the biology-watcher's toolbox: a technique for imaging whole cells in liquid with a scanning transmission electron microscope.Scientists have developed a new device for the biology-watcher's toolbox: a technique for imaging whole cells in liquid with a scanning transmission electron microscope.
Text | HTML | Flash

Risk takers, drug abusers driven by decreased ability to process dopamine - December 30, 2008
New research fnds that novelty seekers face an uphill battle in keeping their New Year's resolutions due to the way their brains process dopamine. New research fnds that novelty seekers face an uphill battle in keeping their New Year's resolutions due to the way their brains process dopamine.
Text | HTML | Flash

The warm plasma cloak is a newly described part of Earth's space atmosphere - December 12, 2008
New insights into the organization and dynamics of the magnetosphere, the invisible shield of magnetic fields and electrically charged particles that protects Earth, including a newly identified region called the warm plasma cloak, are described in a paper published recently in the space physics section of the Journal of Geophysical Research.New insights into the organization and dynamics of the magnetosphere, the invisible shield of magnetic fields and electrically charged particles that protects Earth, including a newly identified region called the warm plasma cloak, are described in a paper published recently in the space physics section of the Journal of Geophysical Research.
Text | HTML | Flash

First 3D images obtained of core component of cell reproduction machinery - December 9, 2008
For the first time, structural biologists have managed to obtain the detailed three-dimensional structure of one of the proteins that forms the core of the complex molecular machine, called the replisome, that plant and animal cells assemble to copy their DNA as the first step in cell reproduction.For the first time, structural biologists have managed to obtain the detailed three-dimensional structure of one of the proteins that forms the core of the complex molecular machine, called the replisome, that plant and animal cells assemble to copy their DNA as the first step in cell reproduction.
Text | HTML | Flash

Life as an astronomer-in-training - November 26, 2008
Science communications major Sam Girgenti describes his experience interning with astronomer David James.Science communications major Sam Girgenti describes his experience interning with astronomer David James.
Text | HTML | Flash

Researchers recover antibodies to 1918 flu pandemic - November 11, 2008
Ninety years after the sweeping destruction of the 1918 flu pandemic, researchers at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt have recovered antibodies to the virus — from elderly survivors of the original outbreak.Ninety years after the sweeping destruction of the 1918 flu pandemic, researchers at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt have recovered antibodies to the virus — from elderly survivors of the original outbreak.
Text | HTML | Flash

Musicians use both sides of their brains more frequently than average people - October 17, 2008
Supporting what many of us who are not musically talented have often felt, new research reveals that trained musicians really do think differently than the rest of us. Supporting what many of us who are not musically talented have often felt, new research reveals that trained musicians really do think differently than the rest of us.
Text | HTML | Flash

Florida's "worm grunters” collect bait worms by inadvertently imitating mole sounds - October 14, 2008
A new study concludes that mole grunting -- the practice of driving earthworms to the surface by rubbing the top of a wooden stake with a long piece of steel -- tricks earthworms into coming to the surface by mimicking the sound of a burrowing mole.A new study concludes that mole grunting -- the practice of driving earthworms to the surface by rubbing the top of a wooden stake with a long piece of steel -- tricks earthworms into coming to the surface by mimicking the sound of a burrowing mole.
Text | HTML | Flash

Surface tension drives cells in mixtures to self-segregate - October 6, 2008
What does a mixture of two different kinds of cells have in common with a mixture of oil and water? The same basic force causes both mixtures to separate into two distinct regions. That is the conclusion of a new three-dimensional computer model of the cell sorting process produced byresearchers at Vanderbilt University and the University of Waterloo.What does a mixture of two different kinds of cells have in common with a mixture of oil and water? The same basic force causes both mixtures to separate into two distinct regions. That is the conclusion of a new three-dimensional computer model of the cell sorting process produced byresearchers at Vanderbilt University and the University of Waterloo.
Text | HTML | Flash

New structural information about a destructive group of plant viruses could lead to new ways to improve crop yields. - October 1, 2008
An interdisciplinary group of scientists has obtained the first detailed information about the structure of the most destructive group of plant viruses known: flexible filamentous viruses, which account for billions of dollars in worldwide crop losses annually.An interdisciplinary group of scientists has obtained the first detailed information about the structure of the most destructive group of plant viruses known: flexible filamentous viruses, which account for billions of dollars in worldwide crop losses annually.
Text | HTML | Flash

Climb Every Mountain: Julia Velkovska - September 25, 2008
Vanderbilt physicist Julia Velkovska takes her research and her passion for rock climbing to new heights.Vanderbilt physicist Julia Velkovska takes her research and her passion for rock climbing to new heights.
Text | HTML | Flash

New nano device detects immune system cell signaling - September 9, 2008
Using a new device called a multi-trap nanophysiometer, scientists have detected previously unnoticed chemical signals that individual cells in the immune system use to communicate with each other over short distances.Using a new device called a multi-trap nanophysiometer, scientists have detected previously unnoticed chemical signals that individual cells in the immune system use to communicate with each other over short distances.
Text | HTML | Flash

Calculators okay in math class, if students already have basic skills - August 20, 2008
Calculators are useful tools in elementary mathematics classes, if students already have some basic skills, new research has found. The findings shed light on the debate about whether and when calculators should be used in the classroom.Calculators are useful tools in elementary mathematics classes, if students already have some basic skills, new research has found. The findings shed light on the debate about whether and when calculators should be used in the classroom.
Text | HTML | Flash

New insights into birth defect that causes brain malformation - August 15, 2008
The discovery that HPE, one of the most common birth defects that affects brain formation, is caused by the interaction between mutations in two different genes may make it possible to predict the risk that this malformation will develop in individual pregnancies for the first time.The discovery that HPE, one of the most common birth defects that affects brain formation, is caused by the interaction between mutations in two different genes may make it possible to predict the risk that this malformation will develop in individual pregnancies for the first time.
Text | HTML | Flash

Protein on speed linked to ADHD - July 22, 2008
Some individuals who suffer from ADHD have a variant gene that causes them to act as if they are continuously exposed to amphetamine....Some individuals who suffer from ADHD have a variant gene that causes them to act as if they are continuously exposed to amphetamine....
Text | HTML | Flash

'Mind's eye' influences visual perception - July 1, 2008
Letting your imagination run away with you may actually influence how you see the world. New research from Vanderbilt University has found for the first time that mental imagery directly impacts our visual perception.Letting your imagination run away with you may actually influence how you see the world. New research from Vanderbilt University has found for the first time that mental imagery directly impacts our visual perception.
Text | HTML | Flash

Newly formed identical twin stars reveal surprising differences - June 18, 2008
Analysis of the youngest pair of identical twin stars yet discovered has revealed surprising differences in brightness, surface temperature and size, suggesting that one formed before the other.Analysis of the youngest pair of identical twin stars yet discovered has revealed surprising differences in brightness, surface temperature and size, suggesting that one formed before the other.
Text | HTML | Flash

Commitment: a story of life, love and research - June 3, 2008
Biomedical engineers Duco and Anita Jansen are dedicated researchers and partners in life.Biomedical engineers Duco and Anita Jansen are dedicated researchers and partners in life.
Text | HTML | Flash

New evidence from earliest known human settlement in the Americas supports coastal migration theory - May 8, 2008
New evidence from the Monte Verde archaeological site in southern Chile confirms its status as the earliest known human settlement in the Americas and supports the theory that a major early migration route started in Alaska and followed the Pacific Coast down to South America.New evidence from the Monte Verde archaeological site in southern Chile confirms its status as the earliest known human settlement in the Americas and supports the theory that a major early migration route started in Alaska and followed the Pacific Coast down to South America.
Text | HTML | Flash

Linking the cochlea's curvature to the low-frequency hearing limit of many mammals - April 25, 2008
A new study establishes a direct link between the cochlea's curvature and the low frequency hearing limit of more than a dozen different mammals.A new study establishes a direct link between the cochlea's curvature and the low frequency hearing limit of more than a dozen different mammals.
Text | HTML | Flash

The capability of measuring minute amounts of insulin aids diabetes treatment - April 14, 2008
A new method that uses nanotechnology to rapidly measure minute amounts of insulin is a major step toward developing the ability to assess the health of the body's insulin-producing cells in real time. Among other potential applications, such a capability can be used to improve the efficacy of a new procedure for treating type 1 diabetes that has demonstrated the ability to free diabetics from insulin injections for several years. A new method that uses nanotechnology to rapidly measure minute amounts of insulin is a major step toward developing the ability to assess the health of the body's insulin-producing cells in real time. Among other potential applications, such a capability can be used to improve the efficacy of a new procedure for treating type 1 diabetes that has demonstrated the ability to free diabetics from insulin injections for several years.
Text | HTML | Flash

Immune system protein starves staph bacteria - March 18, 2008
Even bacteria need to eat. So one of the ways our bodies defend themselves against these foes is to "hide” their food, particularly the metals they crave. Now, a team of Vanderbilt investigators has discovered that a protein inside certain immune system cells blocks the growth of staph bacteria by sopping up manganese and zinc: findings that support the notion that binding metals to starve bacteria is a viable therapeutic option for treating localized bacterial infections. Even bacteria need to eat. So one of the ways our bodies defend themselves against these foes is to "hide” their food, particularly the metals they crave. Now, a team of Vanderbilt investigators has discovered that a protein inside certain immune system cells blocks the growth of staph bacteria by sopping up manganese and zinc: findings that support the notion that binding metals to starve bacteria is a viable therapeutic option for treating localized bacterial infections.
Text | HTML | Flash

Different use of brain areas may explain schizophrenic's memory problems - March 13, 2008
The enduring memory problems that people with schizophrenia experience may be related to differences in how their brains process information, new research has found.The enduring memory problems that people with schizophrenia experience may be related to differences in how their brains process information, new research has found.
Text | HTML | Flash

Math model identified key to controlling hospital epidemic of antibiotic-resistant bacteria - February 17, 2008
A sophisticated new mathematical model identifies controlling the way that antiobiotics are prescribed and administered as the key to control the growing epidemic of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in hospitals around the world.A sophisticated new mathematical model identifies controlling the way that antiobiotics are prescribed and administered as the key to control the growing epidemic of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in hospitals around the world.
Text | HTML | Flash

How water shrews find prey in the dark - February 7, 2008
Research reveals that water shrews possess remarkably sophisticated methods for detecting prey that allow them to catch small fish and aquatic insects as readily in the dark as in daylight.Research reveals that water shrews possess remarkably sophisticated methods for detecting prey that allow them to catch small fish and aquatic insects as readily in the dark as in daylight.
Text | HTML | Flash

Brain rewards aggression in much the same way as it does sex, food and drugs - January 31, 2008
New research from Vanderbilt University shows for the first time that the brain processes aggression as a reward—much like sex, food and drugs—offering insights into our propensity to fight and our fascination with violent sports like boxing and football.New research from Vanderbilt University shows for the first time that the brain processes aggression as a reward—much like sex, food and drugs—offering insights into our propensity to fight and our fascination with violent sports like boxing and football.
Text | HTML | Flash

The Milky Way galaxy may hold hundreds of rogue black holes - January 9, 2008
If the latest simulation of what happens when black holes merge is correct, there could be hundreds of rogue black holes, each weighing several thousand times the mass of the sun, roaming around the Milky Way galaxy.If the latest simulation of what happens when black holes merge is correct, there could be hundreds of rogue black holes, each weighing several thousand times the mass of the sun, roaming around the Milky Way galaxy.
Text | HTML | Flash

A new type of gene therapy can heal a genetic disorder in a live animal - December 18, 2007
A team of Vanderbilt researchers have demonstrated for the first time that a new type of gene therapy, called RNA interference, can heal a genetic disorder in a live animal. They have published a study that shows RNA interference can "rescue” a strain of mouse that has been genetically engineered to express a defective human hormone that interferes with normal growth. A team of Vanderbilt researchers have demonstrated for the first time that a new type of gene therapy, called RNA interference, can heal a genetic disorder in a live animal. They have published a study that shows RNA interference can "rescue” a strain of mouse that has been genetically engineered to express a defective human hormone that interferes with normal growth.
Text | HTML | Flash

Directly switching an ultrafast optical shutter with laser light - December 6, 2007
It's a rare case of all light and no heat: A new study reports that a laser can switch a film of vanadium dioxide back and forth between reflective and transparent states without heating or cooling it.It's a rare case of all light and no heat: A new study reports that a laser can switch a film of vanadium dioxide back and forth between reflective and transparent states without heating or cooling it.
Text | HTML | Flash

A new pen computer may help visually impaired study math, science - December 3, 2007
Peabody College lecturer Andy Van Schaack is applying a new digital pen technology to help visually impaired students learn science and mathematics.Peabody College lecturer Andy Van Schaack is applying a new digital pen technology to help visually impaired students learn science and mathematics.
Text | HTML | Flash

Direct evidence that bioclocks work by controlling chromosome coiling - November 21, 2007
In recent years, scientists have discovered that biological clocks help organize a dizzying array of biochemical processes in the body. Despite a number of hypotheses, exactly how these microscopic pacemakers in every cell in the body exert such a widespread influence has remained a mystery. Now, a new study provides direct evidence that biological clocks can influence the activity of a large number of different genes in an ingenious fashion, simply by causing chromosomes to coil more tightly during the day and to relax at night. In recent years, scientists have discovered that biological clocks help organize a dizzying array of biochemical processes in the body. Despite a number of hypotheses, exactly how these microscopic pacemakers in every cell in the body exert such a widespread influence has remained a mystery. Now, a new study provides direct evidence that biological clocks can influence the activity of a large number of different genes in an ingenious fashion, simply by causing chromosomes to coil more tightly during the day and to relax at night.
Text | HTML | Flash

Study provides new insights into how lasers cut living tissue - October 22, 2007
The first study of how ultraviolet lasers cut living tissue provides new insights into the complex interactions between coherent light and living tissue.The first study of how ultraviolet lasers cut living tissue provides new insights into the complex interactions between coherent light and living tissue.
Text | HTML | Flash

People identify fearful faces before happy ones - October 19, 2007
A new study proves that the brain becomes aware of fearful faces more quickly than faces showing other emotions: a capability that may have evolved to direct attention to potential threats.A new study proves that the brain becomes aware of fearful faces more quickly than faces showing other emotions: a capability that may have evolved to direct attention to potential threats.
Text | HTML | Flash

What chimpanzees can teach us about economics - October 15, 2007
In a long standing enigma of economics and psychology, humans tend to immediately value an item they've just received more than the maximum amount they would have paid to get it to begin with. This tendency, known as the endowment effect, is something some economists consider a fluke, but new research finds that humans aren't the only ones exhibiting an endowment effect.In a long standing enigma of economics and psychology, humans tend to immediately value an item they've just received more than the maximum amount they would have paid to get it to begin with. This tendency, known as the endowment effect, is something some economists consider a fluke, but new research finds that humans aren't the only ones exhibiting an endowment effect.
Text | HTML | Flash

Developing a better drug delivery system - October 5, 2007
With the support from a $478,000, five-year CAREER grant from the National Science Foundation, Eva Harth is creating a modular, multi-functional drug delivery system that promises simultaneously to enhance the effectiveness and reduce the undesirable side-effects of a number of different drugs.With the support from a $478,000, five-year CAREER grant from the National Science Foundation, Eva Harth is creating a modular, multi-functional drug delivery system that promises simultaneously to enhance the effectiveness and reduce the undesirable side-effects of a number of different drugs.
Text | HTML | Flash

Cockroaches are morons in the morning - September 27, 2007
In its ability to learn, the cockroach is a moron in the morning and a genius in the evening. Dramatic daily variations in the cockroach's learning ability are reported in a new study performed by Vanderbilt University biologists and published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.In its ability to learn, the cockroach is a moron in the morning and a genius in the evening. Dramatic daily variations in the cockroach's learning ability are reported in a new study performed by Vanderbilt University biologists and published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Text | HTML | Flash

When proteins, antibodies and other biological molecules kiss, a new kind of biosensor can tell - September 20, 2007
A new and deceptively simple technique has been developed by chemists at Vanderbilt University that can measure the interactions between free-floating, unlabeled biological molecules including proteins, sugars, antibodies, DNA and RNA.A new and deceptively simple technique has been developed by chemists at Vanderbilt University that can measure the interactions between free-floating, unlabeled biological molecules including proteins, sugars, antibodies, DNA and RNA.
Text | HTML | Flash

Student study bolsters case for adding a rare sunflower to the endangered species list - September 11, 2007
A native species called the giant whorled sunflower was discovered in 1892 but was thought to be extinct until 1994 when it was rediscovered in Tennessee. Today, it is known to exist in only four locations in Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia. Now a series of genetic studies conducted by a Vanderbilt graduate student have significantly improved the odds that this gangly plant will make the endangered species list. A native species called the giant whorled sunflower was discovered in 1892 but was thought to be extinct until 1994 when it was rediscovered in Tennessee. Today, it is known to exist in only four locations in Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia. Now a series of genetic studies conducted by a Vanderbilt graduate student have significantly improved the odds that this gangly plant will make the endangered species list.
Text | HTML | Flash

Advance in efforts to fight malaria by tricking the mosquito's sense of smell - August 30, 2007
By mapping a specialized sensory organ that the malaria mosquito uses to zero in on its human prey, an international team of researchers has taken an important step toward developing new and improved repellants and attractants that can be used to reduce the threat of malaria, generally considered the most prevalent life-threatening disease in the world.By mapping a specialized sensory organ that the malaria mosquito uses to zero in on its human prey, an international team of researchers has taken an important step toward developing new and improved repellants and attractants that can be used to reduce the threat of malaria, generally considered the most prevalent life-threatening disease in the world.
Text | HTML | Flash

New prosthetic arm is powered by miniature rocket motor - August 20, 2007
A mechanical arm powered by a miniature rocket motor has been developed and tested by a team of mechanical engineers at Vanderbilt as part of a $30 million federal program to develop advanced prosthetic devices.A mechanical arm powered by a miniature rocket motor has been developed and tested by a team of mechanical engineers at Vanderbilt as part of a $30 million federal program to develop advanced prosthetic devices.
Text | HTML | Flash

When in doubt, brain relies on precise timing to perceive brightness - August 19, 2007
When in doubt about what we see, our brains fill in the gaps for us by first drawing the borders and then "coloring" in the surface area, new research has found. The research is the first to pinpoint the areas in the brain, and the timing of their activity, that are responsible for how we see borders and surfaces.When in doubt about what we see, our brains fill in the gaps for us by first drawing the borders and then "coloring" in the surface area, new research has found. The research is the first to pinpoint the areas in the brain, and the timing of their activity, that are responsible for how we see borders and surfaces.
Text | HTML | Flash

After 30 years defying detection a second MS gene is finally found - July 30, 2007
The genes that contribute to the unpredictable, inflammatory disease multiple sclerosis have been defying identification for more than 30 years: In that period only a single gene — out of more than 100 that have been associated with the disease — has been found to contribute strongly to the disease. Now, a new study provides solid genetic and functional evidence linking a second gene to MS. The genes that contribute to the unpredictable, inflammatory disease multiple sclerosis have been defying identification for more than 30 years: In that period only a single gene — out of more than 100 that have been associated with the disease — has been found to contribute strongly to the disease. Now, a new study provides solid genetic and functional evidence linking a second gene to MS.
Text | HTML | Flash

Earliest-known evidence of peanut, cotton and squash farming found - July 23, 2007
Anthropologists working on the slopes of the Andes in northern Peru have discovered the earliest-known evidence of peanut, cotton and squash farming dating back 5,000 to 9,000 years. Their findings provide long-sought-after evidence that some of the early development of agriculture in the New World took place at farming settlements in the Andes.Anthropologists working on the slopes of the Andes in northern Peru have discovered the earliest-known evidence of peanut, cotton and squash farming dating back 5,000 to 9,000 years. Their findings provide long-sought-after evidence that some of the early development of agriculture in the New World took place at farming settlements in the Andes.
Text | HTML | Flash

Discovery that digestion is supercharged by microscopic molecular motors - June 28, 2007
Digestion has a previously unsuspected mechanical dimension: Vanderbilt researchers have discovered that the tiny, hair-like protrusions that line the gut are filled with millions of molecular motors that produce streams of microscopic membrane sacs, called vesicles, containing enzymes for processing nutrients.Digestion has a previously unsuspected mechanical dimension: Vanderbilt researchers have discovered that the tiny, hair-like protrusions that line the gut are filled with millions of molecular motors that produce streams of microscopic membrane sacs, called vesicles, containing enzymes for processing nutrients.
Text | HTML | Flash

Research brightens prospects for using the world's smallest candles in medical applications - June 7, 2007
Researchers have removed a major obstacle that has restricted fluorescent nanotubes from a variety of medical applications, including anti-cancer treatments, by finding a method that can successfully produce large batches that are highly fluorescent.Researchers have removed a major obstacle that has restricted fluorescent nanotubes from a variety of medical applications, including anti-cancer treatments, by finding a method that can successfully produce large batches that are highly fluorescent.
Text | HTML | Flash

Keivan Stassun studies failed stars and recruits stellar minority students - May 25, 2007
As an astronomer, Keivan Stassun studies failed stars and, as the director of the Fisk-Vanderbilt Bridge Program, he actively recruits minority students for careers in astronomy and astrophysics. Meet him up close and personal in a new video.As an astronomer, Keivan Stassun studies failed stars and, as the director of the Fisk-Vanderbilt Bridge Program, he actively recruits minority students for careers in astronomy and astrophysics. Meet him up close and personal in a new video.
Text | HTML | Flash

Cosmologically speaking, diamonds may actually be forever - April 30, 2007
If you've ever wondered about the ultimate fate of the universe, Lawrence Krauss and Robert Scherrer have some good news...sort of. The two physicists show that matter as we know it will remain as the universe expands at an ever-increasing clip. That is, the current status quo between matter and its alter ego, radiation, will continue as the newly discovered force of dark energy pushes the universe apart. If you've ever wondered about the ultimate fate of the universe, Lawrence Krauss and Robert Scherrer have some good news...sort of. The two physicists show that matter as we know it will remain as the universe expands at an ever-increasing clip. That is, the current status quo between matter and its alter ego, radiation, will continue as the newly discovered force of dark energy pushes the universe apart.
Text | HTML | Flash

Learning the facts of life in a cancer laboratory - April 23, 2007
A student intern describes her experience in the laboratory of cancer researcher Lynn Matrisian where she studied the chemicals that breast cancer cells produce that degrade bone.A student intern describes her experience in the laboratory of cancer researcher Lynn Matrisian where she studied the chemicals that breast cancer cells produce that degrade bone.
Text | HTML | Flash

Racing neurons control whether we stop or go - April 18, 2007
In the children's game "red light green light," winners are able to stop, and take off running again, more quickly than their comrades. New research reveals that a similar race goes on in our brains, with impulse control being the big winner.In the children's game "red light green light," winners are able to stop, and take off running again, more quickly than their comrades. New research reveals that a similar race goes on in our brains, with impulse control being the big winner.
Text | HTML | Flash

Researchers figure out what makes a simple biological clock tick - March 26, 2007
An interdisciplinary team of researchers at Vanderbilt University have analyzed the simplest known biological clock and figured out what makes it tick. The results of their analysis are published in the March 27 issue of the journal Public Library of Science Biology. An interdisciplinary team of researchers at Vanderbilt University have analyzed the simplest known biological clock and figured out what makes it tick. The results of their analysis are published in the March 27 issue of the journal Public Library of Science Biology.
Text | HTML | Flash

The Vanderbilt connection of Nobel laureate Max Delbruck - March 23, 2007
Nobel laureate Max Delbruck was a member of the Vanderbilt physics department from 1940 to 1947. During this time he conducted fundamental studies that led to his 1969 Nobel prize and provided the foundation for modern molecular biology.Nobel laureate Max Delbruck was a member of the Vanderbilt physics department from 1940 to 1947. During this time he conducted fundamental studies that led to his 1969 Nobel prize and provided the foundation for modern molecular biology.
Text | HTML | Flash

Scientists have identified a mechanism for making cosmic gamma rays in starburst regions - March 19, 2007
A team of theoretical physicists have figured out a mechanism that can explain how cosmic gamma rays – the most energetic form of light known – can be produced in "starburst" areas of the galaxy dominated by young, hot stars.The new mechanism is described in the March 20 issue of the journal Physical Review Letters. Gamma-ray telescopes have detected this type of cosmic ray coming from starburst regions. Accepted methods for producing these energetic rays in stellar explosions and in the extreme conditions surrounding the massive black holes found at the core of many galaxies but have difficulty explaining how they can be created in starburst areas. A team of theoretical physicists have figured out a mechanism that can explain how cosmic gamma rays – the most energetic form of light known – can be produced in "starburst" areas of the galaxy dominated by young, hot stars.The new mechanism is described in the March 20 issue of the journal Physical Review Letters. Gamma-ray telescopes have detected this type of cosmic ray coming from starburst regions. Accepted methods for producing these energetic rays in stellar explosions and in the extreme conditions surrounding the massive black holes found at the core of many galaxies but have difficulty explaining how they can be created in starburst areas.
Text | HTML | Flash

Pinpointing the causes of prenatal cocaine exposure's lasting effects - February 5, 2007
Vanderbilt neuroscientists report that prenatal cocaine exposure in rabbits causes a long-lasting displacement of dopamine receptors in certain brain cells. Although this effect has not been assessed in cocaine-exposed children, the findings give researchers a place to start looking for the underlying causes of the subtle but disabling cognitive impairments caused by even low levels of cocaine use during pregnancy.Vanderbilt neuroscientists report that prenatal cocaine exposure in rabbits causes a long-lasting displacement of dopamine receptors in certain brain cells. Although this effect has not been assessed in cocaine-exposed children, the findings give researchers a place to start looking for the underlying causes of the subtle but disabling cognitive impairments caused by even low levels of cocaine use during pregnancy.
Text | HTML | Flash

Developing our brightest minds - January 30, 2007
A new report from Vanderbilt University reveals the complex mix of factors that create intellectual leaders like Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking. These include cognitive abilities, educational opportunities, investigative interests and old-fashioned hard work.A new report from Vanderbilt University reveals the complex mix of factors that create intellectual leaders like Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking. These include cognitive abilities, educational opportunities, investigative interests and old-fashioned hard work.
Text | HTML | Flash

Study provides theoretical basis for splash erosion formulae - January 18, 2007
Despite the importance of splash erosion, there is a lack of understanding of the fundamental processes involved in this natural phenomenon that makes it difficult for researchers to assess the reliability of the experimental data that exists. This lack is addressed by the first study to use a high-speed camera to analyze the interaction between individual rain drops and soil particles, published on Jan. 16 in the Journal of Geophysical Research. Despite the importance of splash erosion, there is a lack of understanding of the fundamental processes involved in this natural phenomenon that makes it difficult for researchers to assess the reliability of the experimental data that exists. This lack is addressed by the first study to use a high-speed camera to analyze the interaction between individual rain drops and soil particles, published on Jan. 16 in the Journal of Geophysical Research.
Text | HTML | Flash

Astrophysicist Robert Scherrer takes imaginative leaps in research, teaching...and science fiction - January 15, 2007
Science is a discipline of verifiable facts and hard mathematical calculations, but it's also a realm where imagination is key to making new advances. All scientists have to indulge their creative side, to push past the limitations of established knowledge. For most, though, science fiction writing would be a frivolous pursuit, an exercise that takes away from valuable research time. For Vanderbilt physics professor Robert Scherrer, it's a natural extension of the work he does in the classroom and the laboratory, a chance to play around with scientific concepts in novel ways. During the last five years, this regarded astrophysicist has quietly nurtured a sideline as a science fiction writer, publishing regularly in the long-running monthly Analog Science Fiction and Fact and contributing to the semiannual journal Paradox.Science is a discipline of verifiable facts and hard mathematical calculations, but it's also a realm where imagination is key to making new advances. All scientists have to indulge their creative side, to push past the limitations of established knowledge. For most, though, science fiction writing would be a frivolous pursuit, an exercise that takes away from valuable research time. For Vanderbilt physics professor Robert Scherrer, it's a natural extension of the work he does in the classroom and the laboratory, a chance to play around with scientific concepts in novel ways. During the last five years, this regarded astrophysicist has quietly nurtured a sideline as a science fiction writer, publishing regularly in the long-running monthly Analog Science Fiction and Fact and contributing to the semiannual journal Paradox.
Text | HTML | Flash

Contrary to common wisdom, scientist discovers mammals that can smell objects under water - December 20, 2006
For some time, Kenneth Catania had noticed that the star-nosed moles he studies blow a lot of bubbles as they swim around underwater. But it wasn't until recently that he really paid attention to this behavior and, when he did, he discovered that the moles were blowing bubbles in order to smell underwater objects.For some time, Kenneth Catania had noticed that the star-nosed moles he studies blow a lot of bubbles as they swim around underwater. But it wasn't until recently that he really paid attention to this behavior and, when he did, he discovered that the moles were blowing bubbles in order to smell underwater objects.
Text | HTML | Flash

New research finds that we remember faces better than other objects - December 8, 2006
Are you one of those people who never forgets a face? New research from Vanderbilt University suggests that we can remember more faces than other objects and that faces "stick" the best in our short-term memory. The reason may be that our expertise in remembering faces allows us to package them better for memory. Are you one of those people who never forgets a face? New research from Vanderbilt University suggests that we can remember more faces than other objects and that faces "stick" the best in our short-term memory. The reason may be that our expertise in remembering faces allows us to package them better for memory.
Text | HTML | Flash

Harnessing the power of the virtual world to fight cancer - November 30, 2006
Researchers from Vanderbilt and the University of Dundee in Scotland have developed a computer model of cancer cell behavior that is designed to predict a tumor's progression and to aid in formulating individual treatment plans.Researchers from Vanderbilt and the University of Dundee in Scotland have developed a computer model of cancer cell behavior that is designed to predict a tumor's progression and to aid in formulating individual treatment plans.
Text | HTML | Flash

Chemists receive award for discovering a new way to make white light - November 21, 2006
A team of Vanderbilt chemists whose work could make the light bulb pass�nd cut electricity consumption by half are among the recipients of Popular Mechanics magazine's 2006 Breakthrough Awards. A team of Vanderbilt chemists whose work could make the light bulb pass�nd cut electricity consumption by half are among the recipients of Popular Mechanics magazine's 2006 Breakthrough Awards.
Text | HTML | Flash

Time-lapse movies shed new light on the way that nerves get their outer insulating layer - November 15, 2006
The first time lapse movies of the initial stage of the process that wraps nerve fibers with an outer, insulating layer, published online on Nov. 12 in the journal Nature Neuroscience, are shedding new light on this complex process and should aid in the design of new therapies to promote this protective layer following disease or injury.The first time lapse movies of the initial stage of the process that wraps nerve fibers with an outer, insulating layer, published online on Nov. 12 in the journal Nature Neuroscience, are shedding new light on this complex process and should aid in the design of new therapies to promote this protective layer following disease or injury.
Text | HTML | Flash

Gene variant carries increased risk of autism - November 6, 2006
Researchers have identified a common gene variant that more than doubles the risk of autism. The research, led by investigators at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development, provides new insights into the genetic basis of the complex disorder. Researchers have identified a common gene variant that more than doubles the risk of autism. The research, led by investigators at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development, provides new insights into the genetic basis of the complex disorder.
Text | HTML | Flash

Researcher sheds new light on DNA evolution - October 30, 2006
The structure of DNA's double helix arose from random chemical reactions in a simmering, primordial stew. Just how nature arrived at this molecule remains one of the greatest scientific mysteries. A new study of reveals that an alternative and more stable form of DNA, called homo-DNA, is simply too bulky to store genetic information.The structure of DNA's double helix arose from random chemical reactions in a simmering, primordial stew. Just how nature arrived at this molecule remains one of the greatest scientific mysteries. A new study of reveals that an alternative and more stable form of DNA, called homo-DNA, is simply too bulky to store genetic information.
Text | HTML | Flash

Ken Catania, a neuroscientist who studies odd-looking mammals, receives MacArthur 'genius grant' - October 3, 2006
Kenneth C. Catania, a Vanderbilt University neuroscientist who studies odd-looking mammals including the star-nosed mole and the naked mole rat for clues about the workings of the human brain, has been named a MacArthur Fellow. Kenneth C. Catania, a Vanderbilt University neuroscientist who studies odd-looking mammals including the star-nosed mole and the naked mole rat for clues about the workings of the human brain, has been named a MacArthur Fellow.
Text | HTML | Flash

Dongqing Li packs medical labs into chips that fit in the palm of your hand - September 25, 2006
Dongqing Li is a leader in the field of microfluidics and his goal is to create medical labs the size of a business card that can diagnose infectious diseases and biochemical warfare agents on the scene.Dongqing Li is a leader in the field of microfluidics and his goal is to create medical labs the size of a business card that can diagnose infectious diseases and biochemical warfare agents on the scene.
Text | HTML | Flash

Constant lighting in NICUs may harm development of preterm babies' biological clocks - August 21, 2006
The practice of keeping the lights on around the clock in neonatal intensive care units may interfere with the development of premature babies' biological clocks. That is the suggestion of a new study reported in the August 21 issue of the journal Pediatric Research. The practice of keeping the lights on around the clock in neonatal intensive care units may interfere with the development of premature babies' biological clocks. That is the suggestion of a new study reported in the August 21 issue of the journal Pediatric Research.
Text | HTML | Flash

A humble aquarium fish may hold the key to treating birth defects - August 8, 2006
A humble aquarium fish may hold the key to finding therapies capable of preventing the structural birth defects that account for one out of three infant deaths in the United States today. That is one of the implications of a new study published in the journal Cell Metabolism. The paper describes a number of striking parallels between a rare but fatal human birth defect called Menkes disease and a lethal mutation in a small tropical fish called the zebrafish that has become an important animal model for studying early development. A humble aquarium fish may hold the key to finding therapies capable of preventing the structural birth defects that account for one out of three infant deaths in the United States today. That is one of the implications of a new study published in the journal Cell Metabolism. The paper describes a number of striking parallels between a rare but fatal human birth defect called Menkes disease and a lethal mutation in a small tropical fish called the zebrafish that has become an important animal model for studying early development.
Text | HTML | Flash

Radioactive crystals help identify and date ore deposits - July 28, 2006
Reddish-brown crystals of a radioactive mineral called monazite can act as microscopic clocks that allow geologists to date rock formations that have been altered by the action of high-temperature fluids, a process that frequently leads to the formation of rich ore deposits. That is the conclusion of a study performed by a team of geologists headed by John C. Ayers, professor of earth and environmental sciences at Vanderbilt University, published in the August 1 issue of the journal Geology. Reddish-brown crystals of a radioactive mineral called monazite can act as microscopic clocks that allow geologists to date rock formations that have been altered by the action of high-temperature fluids, a process that frequently leads to the formation of rich ore deposits. That is the conclusion of a study performed by a team of geologists headed by John C. Ayers, professor of earth and environmental sciences at Vanderbilt University, published in the August 1 issue of the journal Geology.
Text | HTML | Flash

Study shows girls have advantage over boys on timed tests - July 17, 2006
New research attempting to shed light on the evergreen question – just how do male and female brains differ? – has found that timing is everything. In a study involving more than 8,000 males and females ranging in age from 2 to 90, Vanderbilt researchers have discovered that females have a significant advantage over males on timed tests and tasks. New research attempting to shed light on the evergreen question – just how do male and female brains differ? – has found that timing is everything. In a study involving more than 8,000 males and females ranging in age from 2 to 90, Vanderbilt researchers have discovered that females have a significant advantage over males on timed tests and tasks.
Text | HTML | Flash

Fishing for prostaglandins uncovers their critical embryonic role - June 20, 2006
Fat-derived compounds linked to pain, inflammation, reproduction and cancer, called prostaglandins, have an important additional function: helping to choreograph intricate cell movements during early embryonic development. Vanderbilt researchers have uncovered critical new details about prostaglandins' developmental role in a study performed in zebrafish, an important animal model for development. Their findings, published earlier in the year in the journal Genes and Development, highlight how perturbations in the prostaglandin pathway may influence human development and the spread of cancer. The results also may point to new molecular targets for cancer prevention therapies. Fat-derived compounds linked to pain, inflammation, reproduction and cancer, called prostaglandins, have an important additional function: helping to choreograph intricate cell movements during early embryonic development. Vanderbilt researchers have uncovered critical new details about prostaglandins' developmental role in a study performed in zebrafish, an important animal model for development. Their findings, published earlier in the year in the journal Genes and Development, highlight how perturbations in the prostaglandin pathway may influence human development and the spread of cancer. The results also may point to new molecular targets for cancer prevention therapies.
Text | HTML | Flash

Laser technique may make better computer chips and solar cells by lowering processing temperatures - May 18, 2006
A team of researchers has achieved a long-sought scientific goal: using laser light to break specific molecular bonds. The process uses laser light, instead of heat, to strip hydrogen atoms from silicon surfaces. This is a key step in the manufacture of computer chips and solar cells, so the achievement could reduce the cost and improve the quality of a wide variety of semiconductor devices.A team of researchers has achieved a long-sought scientific goal: using laser light to break specific molecular bonds. The process uses laser light, instead of heat, to strip hydrogen atoms from silicon surfaces. This is a key step in the manufacture of computer chips and solar cells, so the achievement could reduce the cost and improve the quality of a wide variety of semiconductor devices.
Text | HTML | Flash

A new math model of the cochlea finds that its spiral shape enhances low frequency sounds - May 8, 2006
For decades, hearing experts thought that the cochlea's spiral shape was simply an efficient packing job and its shape had no effect on how this critical hearing organ functions. But a recent study by researchers at Vanderbilt and the National Institutes of Health calls this conventional wisdom into question. They have created a mathematical model of the cochlea that finds the spiral shape acts to enhance the low frequency sounds that we use to communicate with one another.For decades, hearing experts thought that the cochlea's spiral shape was simply an efficient packing job and its shape had no effect on how this critical hearing organ functions. But a recent study by researchers at Vanderbilt and the National Institutes of Health calls this conventional wisdom into question. They have created a mathematical model of the cochlea that finds the spiral shape acts to enhance the low frequency sounds that we use to communicate with one another.
Text | HTML | Flash

Elaine Sanders-Bush's road from family farm to halls of science is marked by tenacity, generosity and integrity - April 18, 2006
Elaine Sanders-Bush's journey to the top echelons of science began along the country roads in Olmstead, Ky. Her father, Thomas Lee Sanders, raised tobacco, corn and wheat, and passed on his enthusiasm for the outdoor life to his three children. Always good in science, she became fascinated with the field of pharmacology. As a post doctoral student she published the first study describing a way to chemically manipulate serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in a variety of brain functions. She has also been directly involved in the discovery that serotonin recepters can "turn on" even in absence of the neurotransmitter, that there are two different serotonin receptors and that a process called RNA editing can change the way in which these receptors function.Elaine Sanders-Bush's journey to the top echelons of science began along the country roads in Olmstead, Ky. Her father, Thomas Lee Sanders, raised tobacco, corn and wheat, and passed on his enthusiasm for the outdoor life to his three children. Always good in science, she became fascinated with the field of pharmacology. As a post doctoral student she published the first study describing a way to chemically manipulate serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in a variety of brain functions. She has also been directly involved in the discovery that serotonin recepters can "turn on" even in absence of the neurotransmitter, that there are two different serotonin receptors and that a process called RNA editing can change the way in which these receptors function.
Text | HTML | Flash

A pair of brown dwarfs provide new insights into star formation - March 15, 2006
Discovery of an eclipsing pair of brown dwarfs in the Orion Nebula has provided the first direct measurements of the mass, size and surface temperature of these failed stars, information that can help astronomers understand the general process of star formation.Discovery of an eclipsing pair of brown dwarfs in the Orion Nebula has provided the first direct measurements of the mass, size and surface temperature of these failed stars, information that can help astronomers understand the general process of star formation.
Text | HTML | Flash

Keivan Stassun actively recruits minority students for careers in astronomy - March 15, 2006
Keivan Stassun, the first person to discover an eclipsing pair of failed stars called brown dwarfs puts as much energy into recruiting minority students for careers in astronomy and astrophysics as he does studying the stars.Keivan Stassun, the first person to discover an eclipsing pair of failed stars called brown dwarfs puts as much energy into recruiting minority students for careers in astronomy and astrophysics as he does studying the stars.
Text | HTML | Flash

Development of body asymmetry: an inside story - March 10, 2006
On the outside, human beings look symmetric - our left and right sides mirror each other. Inside, it's another story. The heart and stomach are on the left and the liver and gall bladder are on the right. This "left-right asymmetry" results from a carefully choreographed developmental program scientists are just beginning to decipher. The latest step is the discovery of a new player in this developmental routine: a gene discovered in zebrafish that researchers expect will play a similar role in humans and other vertebrates. On the outside, human beings look symmetric - our left and right sides mirror each other. Inside, it's another story. The heart and stomach are on the left and the liver and gall bladder are on the right. This "left-right asymmetry" results from a carefully choreographed developmental program scientists are just beginning to decipher. The latest step is the discovery of a new player in this developmental routine: a gene discovered in zebrafish that researchers expect will play a similar role in humans and other vertebrates.
Text | HTML | Flash

New proof that adaptation promotes new species formation - February 23, 2006
A study published in the "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences" provides clear evidence supporting the proposition that natural selection drives the process of species formation in a wide variety of plants and animals.A study published in the "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences" provides clear evidence supporting the proposition that natural selection drives the process of species formation in a wide variety of plants and animals.
Text | HTML | Flash

Mapping stellar winds that affect star formation - January 10, 2006
For the past few months, Bob O'Dell has been mapping the winds blowing in the Orion Nebula, the closest stellar nursery similar to the one in which the Sun was born. New data from the Hubble Orion Heritage Program, a major observational effort by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2004 and 2005, have given the Vanderbilt astronomer the information he needs to measure the stellar winds with unprecedented detail.For the past few months, Bob O'Dell has been mapping the winds blowing in the Orion Nebula, the closest stellar nursery similar to the one in which the Sun was born. New data from the Hubble Orion Heritage Program, a major observational effort by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2004 and 2005, have given the Vanderbilt astronomer the information he needs to measure the stellar winds with unprecedented detail.
Text | HTML | Flash

Resonance: A life of music, physics and faith - January 3, 2006
Vanderbilt University professor of physics Norman Tolk feels that music and physics are related in the way that they show the fundamental order of in the universe. He also finds no contradiction between his science and his faith. He sees them both as a search for the truth, and is equally committed to their disciplines.Vanderbilt University professor of physics Norman Tolk feels that music and physics are related in the way that they show the fundamental order of in the universe. He also finds no contradiction between his science and his faith. He sees them both as a search for the truth, and is equally committed to their disciplines.
Text | HTML | Flash

Simulations show buckyballs can bind to and deform DNA - December 7, 2005
A new study published in December 2005 in Biophysical Journal raises a cautionary note regarding the safety of buckyballs when dissolved in water. It reports the results of a detailed computer simulation that finds buckyballs bind to the spirals in DNA molecules in an aqueous environment, causing the DNA to deform, potentially interfering with its biological functions and possibly causing long-term negative side effects in people and other living organisms.A new study published in December 2005 in Biophysical Journal raises a cautionary note regarding the safety of buckyballs when dissolved in water. It reports the results of a detailed computer simulation that finds buckyballs bind to the spirals in DNA molecules in an aqueous environment, causing the DNA to deform, potentially interfering with its biological functions and possibly causing long-term negative side effects in people and other living organisms.
Text | HTML | Flash

Royal massacre signals the beginning of the end of the Maya empire - November 18, 2005
Thirty-one assassinated and dismembered Maya nobles have been found in a sacred cistern at the entrance to the sprawling royal palace in the ruins of the ancient city of Cancuen, capital of one of the richest kingdoms of the Classic Maya civilization (circa A.D. 300-900), located in the Peten rain forest of Guatemala. The archeologists, who announced the gruesome discovery, believe that it records a critical moment at the beginning of the mysterious collapse of this great ancient civilization.Thirty-one assassinated and dismembered Maya nobles have been found in a sacred cistern at the entrance to the sprawling royal palace in the ruins of the ancient city of Cancuen, capital of one of the richest kingdoms of the Classic Maya civilization (circa A.D. 300-900), located in the Peten rain forest of Guatemala. The archeologists, who announced the gruesome discovery, believe that it records a critical moment at the beginning of the mysterious collapse of this great ancient civilization.
Text | HTML | Flash

Automating brain-pacemaker implantation - November 18, 2005
A system that morphs brain images significantly improves a neurosurgical technique called deep brain stimulation. DBS, also known as the brain pacemaker, is gaining popularity in the treatment of movement disorders, including tremor, rigidity, stiffness and slowed movement, caused by a variety of neurological conditions ranging from dystonia to multiple sclerosis, to Parkinson's to obsessive-compulsive disease.A system that morphs brain images significantly improves a neurosurgical technique called deep brain stimulation. DBS, also known as the brain pacemaker, is gaining popularity in the treatment of movement disorders, including tremor, rigidity, stiffness and slowed movement, caused by a variety of neurological conditions ranging from dystonia to multiple sclerosis, to Parkinson's to obsessive-compulsive disease.
Text | HTML | Flash

Probing nanotube luminescence - November 8, 2005
Nanotubes are the poster children of the nanotechnology revolution. They have a number of fantastic and novel mechanical and electrical properties. Although they also can serve as tiny light sources they have proven to be extremely inefficient. Now, the first study to measure the luminescence of individual nanotubes provides new insights into the causes of the nanotubes' optical inefficiency and suggests that substantial improvements are possible.Nanotubes are the poster children of the nanotechnology revolution. They have a number of fantastic and novel mechanical and electrical properties. Although they also can serve as tiny light sources they have proven to be extremely inefficient. Now, the first study to measure the luminescence of individual nanotubes provides new insights into the causes of the nanotubes' optical inefficiency and suggests that substantial improvements are possible.
Text | HTML | Flash

Shrinking quantum dots to produce white light - October 18, 2005
Take an LED that produces intense, blue light. Coat it with a thin layer of special microscopic beads called quantum dots. And you have what could become the successor to the venerable light bulb. The resulting hybrid LED gives off white light with a slightly yellow cast, similar to that of the incandescent lamp. The discovery that quantum dots can produce white light, as well as the rainbow of colors for which they are known, could hasten the day when incandescent and fluorescent lights are replaced by more efficient and more durable solid state lighting. Take an LED that produces intense, blue light. Coat it with a thin layer of special microscopic beads called quantum dots. And you have what could become the successor to the venerable light bulb. The resulting hybrid LED gives off white light with a slightly yellow cast, similar to that of the incandescent lamp. The discovery that quantum dots can produce white light, as well as the rainbow of colors for which they are known, could hasten the day when incandescent and fluorescent lights are replaced by more efficient and more durable solid state lighting.
Text | HTML | Flash

Frog secretions block HIV - October 5, 2005
A new weapon in the battle against HIV may come from an unusual source: tropical frogs. Investigators at Vanderbilt University Medical Center have discovered that compounds secreted by the frogs' skin are potent blockers of HIV infection. The finding dramatizes the importance of protecting declining frog populations around the world from extinction. A new weapon in the battle against HIV may come from an unusual source: tropical frogs. Investigators at Vanderbilt University Medical Center have discovered that compounds secreted by the frogs' skin are potent blockers of HIV infection. The finding dramatizes the importance of protecting declining frog populations around the world from extinction.
Text | HTML | Flash

Linking eccentricity and creativity - September 6, 2005
New research on individuals with schizotypal personalities (people characterized by odd behavior and language but who are not psychotic or schizophrenic) offers the first neurological evidence that they are more creative than either normal or fully schizophrenic individuals, and rely more heavily on the right sides of their brains than the general population to access their creativity. New research on individuals with schizotypal personalities (people characterized by odd behavior and language but who are not psychotic or schizophrenic) offers the first neurological evidence that they are more creative than either normal or fully schizophrenic individuals, and rely more heavily on the right sides of their brains than the general population to access their creativity.
Text | HTML | Flash

Gory or erotic images trigger "emotion-induced blindness" - August 11, 2005
A new psychological study finds that when people are shown erotic or gory images they frequently fail to process what they see immediately afterwards.A new psychological study finds that when people are shown erotic or gory images they frequently fail to process what they see immediately afterwards.
Text | HTML | Flash

Breakthrough in bone repair - July 29, 2005
A team of biomedical engineers has shown for the first time that it is possible to grow healthy new bone reliably in one part of the body in order to repair damaged bone at another location.A team of biomedical engineers has shown for the first time that it is possible to grow healthy new bone reliably in one part of the body in order to repair damaged bone at another location.
Text | HTML | Flash

Making mind reading a reality - July 22, 2005
A new study shows that it is possible to tell what a person is looking at by monitoring the activity in his or her brain. This feat was accomplished by using a new statistical method to analyze the output from a standard brain scanning technique and is a first step toward visual "mind reading."A new study shows that it is possible to tell what a person is looking at by monitoring the activity in his or her brain. This feat was accomplished by using a new statistical method to analyze the output from a standard brain scanning technique and is a first step toward visual "mind reading."
Text | HTML | Flash

Grand challenges to global health: A new way to fight malaria - June 28, 2005
Mosquitoes that transmit malaria parasites to humans use their sense of smell to find human targets. A new $8.5 million research project funded by the Gates Foundations will build on state-of-the-art knowledge of insects' sense of smell to identify compounds that interfere with the host-seeking behavior of mosquito hosts and test the safety and effectiveness of using these compounds in tropical Africa.Mosquitoes that transmit malaria parasites to humans use their sense of smell to find human targets. A new $8.5 million research project funded by the Gates Foundations will build on state-of-the-art knowledge of insects' sense of smell to identify compounds that interfere with the host-seeking behavior of mosquito hosts and test the safety and effectiveness of using these compounds in tropical Africa.
Text | HTML | Flash

Early detection system for respiratory virus - June 9, 2005
A chemist and a doctor who specializes in infectious childhood diseases have joined forces to create an early detection method for a respiratory virus that is the most common cause of hospitalization among children under five. The method uses quantum dots (microscopic, fluorescent beads) and could be one of the first direct medical applications of nanotechnology.A chemist and a doctor who specializes in infectious childhood diseases have joined forces to create an early detection method for a respiratory virus that is the most common cause of hospitalization among children under five. The method uses quantum dots (microscopic, fluorescent beads) and could be one of the first direct medical applications of nanotechnology.
Text | HTML | Flash

Dance of discovery - May 13, 2005
Vanderbilt associate professor of physics Vicki Greene could have been a professional ballerina, but her choice to follow the path of science has led her to the forefront of high energy physics research as part of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider project: a multi-national collaboration that has just announced it has produced the quark-gluon plasma, an exotic state of matter that has not existed since the Big Bang. Vanderbilt associate professor of physics Vicki Greene could have been a professional ballerina, but her choice to follow the path of science has led her to the forefront of high energy physics research as part of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider project: a multi-national collaboration that has just announced it has produced the quark-gluon plasma, an exotic state of matter that has not existed since the Big Bang.
Text | HTML | Flash

Timing nature's fastest optical shutter - April 6, 2005
Vanadium dioxide is nature's fastest quick-change artist: In less than the time it takes a beam of light to travel a tenth of a millimeter, it can switch from a transparent to a reflective state.Vanadium dioxide is nature's fastest quick-change artist: In less than the time it takes a beam of light to travel a tenth of a millimeter, it can switch from a transparent to a reflective state.
Text | HTML | Flash

Asking "Why?" leads undergraduate to nanocrystal research - April 1, 2005
Most undergraduates wait until their junior or even senior year to get involved in scientific research projects, but not John Jumper. The sophomore, a double major in physics and math, has already begun his second semester working in a Vanderbilt nanoscience lab . Most undergraduates wait until their junior or even senior year to get involved in scientific research projects, but not John Jumper. The sophomore, a double major in physics and math, has already begun his second semester working in a Vanderbilt nanoscience lab .
Text | HTML | Flash

Hard-wiring complex behaviors - March 18, 2005
A recent study has found that a number of surprisingly complex behaviors appear to be built into the brains of primates and provides significant new support for the proposition that this is characteristic of all primates, including humans.A recent study has found that a number of surprisingly complex behaviors appear to be built into the brains of primates and provides significant new support for the proposition that this is characteristic of all primates, including humans.
Text | HTML | Flash

Stimulating nerve cells with laser precision - March 10, 2005
Biomedical engineers and physicians at Vanderbilt University have brought the day when artificial limbs will be controlled directly by the brain considerably closer by discovering a method that uses laser light, rather than electricity, to stimulate and control nerve cells.Biomedical engineers and physicians at Vanderbilt University have brought the day when artificial limbs will be controlled directly by the brain considerably closer by discovering a method that uses laser light, rather than electricity, to stimulate and control nerve cells.
Text | HTML | Flash

Vanderbilt archaeologist unravels mysteries of mummies - February 17, 2005
Television star... archaeologist... world traveler... university professor: Meet Tiffiny Tung. When she is not in the classroom in Nashville, the assistant professor of anthropology at Vanderbilt University can likely be found in the mountains of Peru or jetting around the globe with the Discovery Channel to discover how ancient people lived and how they died.Television star... archaeologist... world traveler... university professor: Meet Tiffiny Tung. When she is not in the classroom in Nashville, the assistant professor of anthropology at Vanderbilt University can likely be found in the mountains of Peru or jetting around the globe with the Discovery Channel to discover how ancient people lived and how they died.
Text | HTML | Flash

Marsh-dwelling mole gives new meaning to the term "fast food" - February 2, 2005
The star-nosed mole gives a whole new meaning to the term "fast food." A study published this week in the journal Nature reveals that this mysterious mole has moves that can put the best magician to shame: The energetic burrower can detect small prey animals and gulp them down with a speed that is literally too fast for the human eye to follow.The star-nosed mole gives a whole new meaning to the term "fast food." A study published this week in the journal Nature reveals that this mysterious mole has moves that can put the best magician to shame: The energetic burrower can detect small prey animals and gulp them down with a speed that is literally too fast for the human eye to follow.
Text | HTML | Flash

Developing a portable detector for HIV-AIDS - January 19, 2005
A portable device similar to today's home pregnancy tests that can quickly detect the presence of infectious diseases, including HIV-AIDS and measles, as well as biological agents such as ricin and anthrax, is the object of a new joint university/industry research project.A portable device similar to today's home pregnancy tests that can quickly detect the presence of infectious diseases, including HIV-AIDS and measles, as well as biological agents such as ricin and anthrax, is the object of a new joint university/industry research project.
Text | HTML | Flash

A new twist on an old nebula - December 17, 2004
A new investigation of the Helix Nebula reveals that the object has a more complex three-dimensional structure than previously thought, one that is helping astronomers understand the death throes of stars. A new investigation of the Helix Nebula reveals that the object has a more complex three-dimensional structure than previously thought, one that is helping astronomers understand the death throes of stars.
Text | HTML | Flash

Undergraduate played key role in developing the synchronized calling network - December 17, 2004
Young engineer Efosa Ojomo presented a summary of the research that he conducted this past summer at the annual meeting of the Acoustical Society of America. He reported on the successful creation of an electronic network that can mimic the synchronous calling behavior of a number of different animals, including cicadas and frogs, with amazing fidelity. His presentation was one that the conference press officer highlighted for the media covering the meeting.Young engineer Efosa Ojomo presented a summary of the research that he conducted this past summer at the annual meeting of the Acoustical Society of America. He reported on the successful creation of an electronic network that can mimic the synchronous calling behavior of a number of different animals, including cicadas and frogs, with amazing fidelity. His presentation was one that the conference press officer highlighted for the media covering the meeting.
Text | HTML | Flash

Sensor network mimics synchronized calling by frogs, cicadas - December 17, 2004
Vanderbilt engineers have designed an electronic network with the ability to mimic the synchronized calling behavior of frogs, cicadas and other creatures that coordinate their night-time choruses.Vanderbilt engineers have designed an electronic network with the ability to mimic the synchronized calling behavior of frogs, cicadas and other creatures that coordinate their night-time choruses.
Text | HTML | Flash

The Poppy-seed bagel theorem - November 30, 2004
Vanderbilt mathematicians have come up with a new and improved way to distribute points uniformly on various types of surfaces-a procedure that has a surprising number of applications.Vanderbilt mathematicians have come up with a new and improved way to distribute points uniformly on various types of surfaces-a procedure that has a surprising number of applications.
Text | HTML | Flash

New wheels for Vanderbilt archaeology team - November 9, 2004
Next summer, when Francisco Estrada-Belli and his students head to their archeological dig deep in the Guatemalan jungle, they will be riding in style. In November, the assistant professor of anthropology received the keys to a customized "jungle ready" Tacoma pickup and a Yamaha Rhino two-person all-terrain vehicle at the Special Equipment Market Association trade show in Las Vegas.Next summer, when Francisco Estrada-Belli and his students head to their archeological dig deep in the Guatemalan jungle, they will be riding in style. In November, the assistant professor of anthropology received the keys to a customized "jungle ready" Tacoma pickup and a Yamaha Rhino two-person all-terrain vehicle at the Special Equipment Market Association trade show in Las Vegas.
Text | HTML | Flash

Psychology subjects wary rather than irrational - October 21, 2004
New research finds much of the behavior that psychologists label as irrational is actually the result of a lack of trust on the part of their human subjects.New research finds much of the behavior that psychologists label as irrational is actually the result of a lack of trust on the part of their human subjects.
Text | HTML | Flash

Testing the fitness of biological clocks - October 12, 2004
Scientists have made major advances in understanding the structure and nature of the biological clocks that regulate different biochemical processes in plants and animals. Working with blue-green algae, Vanderbilt researchers have proven that the benefit these natural pacemakers provide is directly related to the day/night cycle. This is one of the first studies in humans to see if differences in the rate that an individual's biological clock functions can help determine his or her ability to adapt to night shift work.Scientists have made major advances in understanding the structure and nature of the biological clocks that regulate different biochemical processes in plants and animals. Working with blue-green algae, Vanderbilt researchers have proven that the benefit these natural pacemakers provide is directly related to the day/night cycle. This is one of the first studies in humans to see if differences in the rate that an individual's biological clock functions can help determine his or her ability to adapt to night shift work.
Text | HTML | Flash

Illuminating amphetamine's molecular action - August 19, 2004
A team of neuroscientists from Vanderbilt and Columbia University has clarified the action of amphetamine, an increasingly popular drug of abuse.A team of neuroscientists from Vanderbilt and Columbia University has clarified the action of amphetamine, an increasingly popular drug of abuse.
Text | HTML | Flash

Disturbing increase reported in prescribing novel antipsychotic drugs - August 16, 2004
A new study of children from low income families in Tennessee suggests that novel antipsychotic drugs are being prescribed increasingly for children with attention difficulties despite few studies of their benefits and risks when used in this fashion.A new study of children from low income families in Tennessee suggests that novel antipsychotic drugs are being prescribed increasingly for children with attention difficulties despite few studies of their benefits and risks when used in this fashion.
Text | HTML | Flash

Researchers determine structure of secret hormone that hardens insect's outer shells - August 5, 2004
Biologists have discovered the structure and genetic sequence of bursicon, the hormone responsible for the hardening and darkening of insect exoskeletons during the molting process, opening up new possibilities for targeted pest control. Bursicon was the only hormone involved in the molting process for which this information was previously unknown.Biologists have discovered the structure and genetic sequence of bursicon, the hormone responsible for the hardening and darkening of insect exoskeletons during the molting process, opening up new possibilities for targeted pest control. Bursicon was the only hormone involved in the molting process for which this information was previously unknown.
Text | HTML | Flash

Physics stars - August 4, 2004
In most years, Megan O'Grady would have been a total stand-out in the physics department, which graduates an average of nine physics majors each year. This year, however, she is sharing the limelight with a number of her classmates. Mikel Barry and Adam Bryant, also double math and physics majors, shared the department's Underwood Award, given to its top graduates. Both Barry and Bryant are headed to the University of California, Berkeley for advanced study: Barry with a Department of Defense fellowship. By virtue of adding a minor in astronomy to his physics degree, James Schlaerth, won the department's Cathey award given to the top astronomy graduate.In most years, Megan O'Grady would have been a total stand-out in the physics department, which graduates an average of nine physics majors each year. This year, however, she is sharing the limelight with a number of her classmates. Mikel Barry and Adam Bryant, also double math and physics majors, shared the department's Underwood Award, given to its top graduates. Both Barry and Bryant are headed to the University of California, Berkeley for advanced study: Barry with a Department of Defense fellowship. By virtue of adding a minor in astronomy to his physics degree, James Schlaerth, won the department's Cathey award given to the top astronomy graduate.
Text | HTML | Flash

Unique observations of a newborn star provide information on the sun's infancy - July 23, 2004
A new study has caught a newborn star similar to the sun in a fiery outburst. X-ray observations of the flare-up, which are the first of their kind, are providing new information about the early evolution of the sun and the process of planet formation.A new study has caught a newborn star similar to the sun in a fiery outburst. X-ray observations of the flare-up, which are the first of their kind, are providing new information about the early evolution of the sun and the process of planet formation.
Text | HTML | Flash

What do babies think before they start talking? - July 22, 2004
Babies as young as five months old make distinctions about categories that their parents do not, revealing new information about how language develops in humans. The research by Sue Hespos, assistant professor of psychology at Vanderbilt University, and Elizabeth Spelke, professor of psychology at Harvard University, was published in the July 22 issue of Nature.Babies as young as five months old make distinctions about categories that their parents do not, revealing new information about how language develops in humans. The research by Sue Hespos, assistant professor of psychology at Vanderbilt University, and Elizabeth Spelke, professor of psychology at Harvard University, was published in the July 22 issue of Nature.
Text | HTML | Flash

Seeing is believing, even when it's ambiguous or misleading - July 19, 2004
Seeing is believing, even when it's ambiguous or misleading. New research has found that, when judging an object's motion, the brain continues to accept ambiguous visual information even when it conflicts with more reliable tactile input. The studies provide new insights into the way in which the brain blends and balances information from different senses in its constant effort to comprehend the external environment.Seeing is believing, even when it's ambiguous or misleading. New research has found that, when judging an object's motion, the brain continues to accept ambiguous visual information even when it conflicts with more reliable tactile input. The studies provide new insights into the way in which the brain blends and balances information from different senses in its constant effort to comprehend the external environment.
Text | HTML | Flash

Dark matter and dark energy may be linked - July 1, 2004
In the last few decades, scientists have discovered that there is a lot more to the universe than meets the eye: the cosmos appears to be filled with not just one, but two invisible constituents –dark matter and dark energy – whose existence has been proposed based solely on their gravitational effects on ordinary matter and energy. Now, theoretical physicist Robert J. Scherrer has come up with a model that could cut the mystery in half by explaining dark matter and dark energy as two aspects of a single unknown force.In the last few decades, scientists have discovered that there is a lot more to the universe than meets the eye: the cosmos appears to be filled with not just one, but two invisible constituents –dark matter and dark energy – whose existence has been proposed based solely on their gravitational effects on ordinary matter and energy. Now, theoretical physicist Robert J. Scherrer has come up with a model that could cut the mystery in half by explaining dark matter and dark energy as two aspects of a single unknown force.
Text | HTML | Flash

Molly Morgan discovers her life's work in the jungle - June 9, 2004
In 2001, immediately after getting her bachelor's degree, Molly Morgan joined the graduate program in archaeology at Vanderbilt. In 2002, she worked at the excavation of the Maya royal palace at Cancu�being run by Arthur A. Demarest and acted as laboratory director at a Maya site in Northwest Belize operated by archaeologists from Texas Christian University. In 2001, immediately after getting her bachelor's degree, Molly Morgan joined the graduate program in archaeology at Vanderbilt. In 2002, she worked at the excavation of the Maya royal palace at Cancu�being run by Arthur A. Demarest and acted as laboratory director at a Maya site in Northwest Belize operated by archaeologists from Texas Christian University.
Text | HTML | Flash

Pushing back Maya origins - June 9, 2004
Two monumental fang-toothed masks, elaborate jade ritual objects and a stone monolith engraved with the portrait of a king found in the 2,500-year-old ruins of a neglected archaeological site deep in the Guatemalan jungle are shedding new light on the early development of the Maya civilization in Central America.Two monumental fang-toothed masks, elaborate jade ritual objects and a stone monolith engraved with the portrait of a king found in the 2,500-year-old ruins of a neglected archaeological site deep in the Guatemalan jungle are shedding new light on the early development of the Maya civilization in Central America.
Text | HTML | Flash

Genetic model for devastating form of paraplegia suggests new treatments - May 20, 2004
A new genetic model for a motor disorder that confines an estimated 10,000 people in the United States to walkers and wheelchairs indicates that instability in the microscopic scaffolding within a key set of nerve cells is the cause of this devastating disability.A new genetic model for a motor disorder that confines an estimated 10,000 people in the United States to walkers and wheelchairs indicates that instability in the microscopic scaffolding within a key set of nerve cells is the cause of this devastating disability.
Text | HTML | Flash

Storage sets limits on our visual hard drive - May 12, 2004
Scientists have discovered the region of the brain responsible for the old adage, "Out of sight, out of mind." The amount of information we can remember from a visual scene is extremely limited, and the source of that limit may lie in the posterior parietal cortex, a region of the brain involved in visual short-term memory, Vanderbilt psychologist Ren�arois and graduate student J. Jay Todd have found.Scientists have discovered the region of the brain responsible for the old adage, "Out of sight, out of mind." The amount of information we can remember from a visual scene is extremely limited, and the source of that limit may lie in the posterior parietal cortex, a region of the brain involved in visual short-term memory, Vanderbilt psychologist Ren�arois and graduate student J. Jay Todd have found.
Text | HTML | Flash

How Maya kings played ball - May 7, 2004
Important new stone monuments covered with historical texts dating from a period just before the collapse of the classic Maya civilization have been unearthed by archaeologists from Vanderbilt University and the Guatemalan Ministry of Culture who are excavating a thousand-year-old sacred ball court with support from the National Geographic Society.Important new stone monuments covered with historical texts dating from a period just before the collapse of the classic Maya civilization have been unearthed by archaeologists from Vanderbilt University and the Guatemalan Ministry of Culture who are excavating a thousand-year-old sacred ball court with support from the National Geographic Society.
Text | HTML | Flash

Tracing the origins of the brain's ability to track complex motions - April 13, 2004
A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences provides new support for the hypothesis that the part of the human brain which handles complex motion and is a distinctive feature of primates, evolved more than 60 million years ago, early in the course of primate evolution when our small, long-nosed, bewhiskered and hyperactive ancestors were breaking out of the understory role that they had occupied during the age of the dinosaurs.A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences provides new support for the hypothesis that the part of the human brain which handles complex motion and is a distinctive feature of primates, evolved more than 60 million years ago, early in the course of primate evolution when our small, long-nosed, bewhiskered and hyperactive ancestors were breaking out of the understory role that they had occupied during the age of the dinosaurs.
Text | HTML | Flash

"Blink" and you might miss it … but your brain won't - February 13, 2004
We are bombarded with visual stimuli while driving, shopping and watching television. New research published in the February 5 issue of Neuron reports that although we may not be aware of all that we see, our brains are registering this information.We are bombarded with visual stimuli while driving, shopping and watching television. New research published in the February 5 issue of Neuron reports that although we may not be aware of all that we see, our brains are registering this information.
Text | HTML | Flash

Anthropologist proposes link between per capita energy use and fertility rate - February 12, 2004
As world reserves of oil and natural gas dwindle over the coming decades - a prospect predicted by many energy experts - the rate at which the people in most societies around the globe have babies is likely to drop precipitously as well.As world reserves of oil and natural gas dwindle over the coming decades - a prospect predicted by many energy experts - the rate at which the people in most societies around the globe have babies is likely to drop precipitously as well.
Text | HTML | Flash

Chemists develop antioxidants 100 times more effective than vitamin E - January 28, 2004
An international team of chemists have developed a new family of antioxidants that are up to 100 times more effective than Vitamin E.An international team of chemists have developed a new family of antioxidants that are up to 100 times more effective than Vitamin E.
Text | HTML | Flash

Progress probing how mosquitoes smell - January 16, 2004
Today, we know a little bit more about one of mankind's deadliest enemies, the mosquito. Scientists have taken an important step toward understanding the mosquito's sense of smell, its primary method for picking its prey. Researchers at Vanderbilt and Yale universities have verified that the antennae of female Anopheles mosquitoes that prey on humans contain receptors that respond to one of the chemical compounds found in human sweat.Today, we know a little bit more about one of mankind's deadliest enemies, the mosquito. Scientists have taken an important step toward understanding the mosquito's sense of smell, its primary method for picking its prey. Researchers at Vanderbilt and Yale universities have verified that the antennae of female Anopheles mosquitoes that prey on humans contain receptors that respond to one of the chemical compounds found in human sweat.
Text | HTML | Flash

New device can help defend against novel biological agents - January 9, 2004
The ability to analyze and defend against novel biological agents has been strengthened by the development of a new device that can monitor the metabolism of living cells in near real time.The ability to analyze and defend against novel biological agents has been strengthened by the development of a new device that can monitor the metabolism of living cells in near real time.
Text | HTML | Flash

 
VU Home - Flash Site