News

A Rescue Dog Is Now Helping to Save Other (Much Wilder) Dogs

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Where are South America’s bush dogs? A scientist looks to a Chesapeake Bay retriever for answers.

Purple reigns

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Eye-catching and nutritious, purple rice has been a part of religious and cultural ceremonies across Asia for generations. New research from Washington University in St. Louis uncovers the ways that traditional farming practices have preserved the genetic diversity of Thai purple rice.

How to make your podcast stand out in a crowded market

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Researchers are creating their own podcasts on topics ranging from exoplanets to graduate-student finances.

Like a spelling bee, but for neuroscience: WashU Brain Bee set for Feb. 16

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The 2019 St. Louis Area Brain Bee is set for 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, February 16, at Washington University’s Danforth Campus. Herzog works with undergraduate and graduate students to formulate the Brain Bee questions. He also taps into his archives, recycling questions from prior years. And for the first time, the Society for Neuroscience, which sponsors the national and international Brain Bee competitions, will provide 100 standardized questions which Herzog is free to use. The competition, open to high school and homeschool students in grades 9-12, starts with a written exam. The top 10 finishers then move on to an oral round, which resembles a spelling bee where students take turns answering questions about the brain and nervous system.

Solitary confinement is an unjust system

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In 2017, it was estimated that nearly 87,000 people across the nation are in some form of solitary confinement. This becomes a significant problem upon realizing that not only do prolonged stays in solitary confinement cause significant neurological issues, but Black and Brown persons are placed in these conditions at alarmingly disproportionate rates across the United States in comparison to white inmates.

Annual Holiday Cookie Baking and Ugly Sweater Contest

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The Strader Lab hosted the annual biology department cookie baking and ugly sweater contest. Congratulations to Sam Powers for winning both ugliest sweater and most attractive cookie. Sam graciously deferred her cookie prize to the runner up Isabelle Trier for her adorable melting snowmen cookies. The tastiest cookie prize was awarded to Amanda Ismail for her oreo balls.

Biology Professor Highlights Active Learning in Science Education

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“As an instructor, I try to teach how the topic has relevance from different approaches in biology,” said Erik Herzog, Professor of Biology at Washington University in St. Louis. Herzog teaches undergraduate biology courses at the university. His lab uses a variety of techniques to study the cellular and molecular basis of circadian rhythms, biological clocks that drive near 24-hour rhythms in living beings including animals and plants.

Girls must learn to see themselves as scientists

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"We must encourage interest in science and math subjects without surprise or foreboding and empower young girls to pursue these interests in multiple facets of their academic and extracurricular lives. If we can connect young girls’ aptitude for STEM subjects to their personal ability to succeed in these fields in the future and share our hope to increase numbers of women in STEM, they will hear how much their talents are needed."

Plant’s recycling system important in sickness and in health

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In a new publication in the journal Nature Plants, researchers [led by Richard Vierstra] in Arts & Sciences describe the effects of autophagy on metabolism in maize, commonly known as corn, an important crop that is sensitive to nitrogen deprivation.

Should Evolution Treat Our Microbes as Part of Us?

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How does evolution select the fittest “individuals” when they are ecosystems made up of hosts and their microbiomes? Joan Strassmann and other biologists debate the need to revise theories.

Biology Chair Joseph Jez elected as AAAS Fellow

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The American Association for the Advancement of Science has bestowed upon 416 of its members the lifetime honor of being an elected Fellow in recognition of their extraordinary achievements in advancing science. . .This year’s Fellows, who represent a broad swath of scientific disciplines, were selected for diverse accomplishments that include pioneering research, leadership within their field, teaching and mentoring, fostering collaborations and advancing public understanding of science.

From Lab Bench to Stage: a McDonnell International Scholar's Journey to Winning the Three Minute Thesis Competition

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Graduate student and McDonnell International Scholar Po-Cheng Lin delivers the winning presentation at the Three Minute Thesis competition held at the McDonnell Academy 7th International Symposium in Beijing, China.

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