Rigor and Relevance

Bigger IS Better
Rigor and RelevanceSpring 2012

When it comes to researching proteins, the fundamental molecules of biology, anyway. College of Arts and Science researchers have created the largest human-designed protein contain 242 amino acids, more than doubling the previous record. The super-sized protein, FLR, is a computer model of the protein that creates the amino acid histidine. Associate Professor of Chemistry [...]

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The Real Big Bang Theory
Rigor and RelevanceSpring 2012

Senior Justin Menestrina had more than a grade to worry about when he submitted his senior honors project in physics—he was also submitting his research as a paper to the very prestigious journal, Physical Review D.

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Come Out Swingin’
by Nelson Bryan, BA'73 | Rigor and RelevanceSpring 2012

Nothing stirs the ol’ juices like a good fight. Whether it’s the Thrilla in Manila, the ’Dores vs. Kentucky or a heated election, people come together over fights and contests. And that’s good. According to Steven Tepper, so it is with the arts. Tepper is an associate professor of sociology and associate director of the [...]

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Dance the Plight Away
by Anna Williams | Rigor and RelevanceSpring 2012

In the Middle Ages, people who felt disconnected from their own bodies would probably have been subject to exorcism. Today, modern medicine prescribes pills to banish such sensations from patients’ brains. Research led by Sohee Park, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of Psychology, sheds new light on this common symptom of schizo-phrenia and suggests that patients [...]

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What the Fungi Know
Fall 2011Rigor and Relevance

Behind slammed doors, most teenagers fervently wish at least once that they could belong to another family. One that was hipper, permissive, richer—somehow more in line with their needs. Turns out a group of fungi—23 genes to be exact—successfully pulled off this swap, switching families millions of years ago. The discovery of this leap by [...]

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That’s Heretical Talk!
Fall 2011Rigor and Relevance

As a speaker of English, French, Danish and German (and who reads Swedish, Norwegian, Spanish and Italian), Virginia Scott might be forgiven for thinking it’s easy to become multilingual. On the contrary:  she is dedicated to increasing awareness of how people can learn other languages. Scott, professor of French and academic director of the new [...]

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Briefs
Fall 2011Rigor and Relevance

No Tea For GOP Gary Gerstle’s essay, “Minorities, Multiculturalism and the Presidency of George W. Bush,” has attracted international media attention, including the Washington Post and Financial Times. Gerstle, James G. Stahlman Professor of American History, examines Bush-style conservatism and how it might have offered minorities “reason to rethink their traditional hostility to the GOP.” [...]

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Briefs
by Cindy Thomsen | Rigor and RelevanceSpring 2011

Your New TV is So Yesterday Think it can’t get any better than that 52-inch flat screen plasma television on your wall? Sorry—it may be passé before long, thanks to Associate Professor of Chemistry Piotr Kaszynski and graduate student Bryan Ringstrand. The two have created a new class of liquid display crystals that could make [...]

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Got Shopping on the Brain? Blame the Dopamine.
by Cindy Thomsen | Rigor and RelevanceSpring 2011

You probably know someone who just can’t resist a good deal. Chances are they’re on a first-name basis with their UPS delivery person, have a closet full of unworn clothes, and every gadget under the sun stuffed in their kitchen drawers. Two College of Arts and Science researchers, David Zald, associate professor of psychology, and [...]

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Repairs Better Than Duct Tape
by Cindy Thomsen | Rigor and RelevanceSpring 2011

Every human body is, even at conservative estimates, made up of trillions upon trillions of cells. Inside those cells is DNA, which serves as the body’s basic operating system—it keeps our hearts pumping, our lungs breathing, cells reproducing and even our hair growing. But DNA can also be damaged—by environmental toxins, radiation and medical treatments [...]

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