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Latest Duke University Stories

2012-01-06 10:31:44

Kids with Pompe disease fail because of a missing enzyme, GAA, that leads to dangerous sugar build-up, which affects muscles and movement. An enzyme replacement treatment pioneered at Duke University has saved many lives, but some children with Pompe disease produce an immune reaction that blocks the benefits of the life-saving enzyme treatment. To date there has been no success in eliminating or suppressing this immune response. Now research led by Duke University Medical Center, with...

'Love Hormone' Helps Monkeys Show A Little Kindness
2012-01-06 05:18:49

Oxytocin, the "love hormone" that builds mother-baby bonds and may help us feel more connected toward one another, can also make surly monkeys treat each other a little more kindly. Administering the hormone nasally through a kid-sized nebulizer, like a gas mask, a Duke University research team has shown that it can make rhesus macaques pay more attention to each other and make choices that give another monkey a squirt of fruit juice, even when they don't get one themselves. Two...

Harp Seal Population Threatened By Melting Atlantic Ice
2012-01-05 13:46:14

Warming in the North Atlantic Ocean has lead to "significantly reduced" sea ice levels in the breeding grounds of harp seals over the past three decades, Duke University researchers have discovered. Harp seals, which according to BBC News Environment Correspondent Richard Black are "doe-eyed animals" that are "the prime target for Canada's annual seal hunt," have experienced an approximately 6% per decade decrease over the past 30-plus years, the scientists have claimed. "The kind of...

2011-12-15 12:04:55

A repository developed by Duke University engineers that they call a "materials genome" will allow scientists to stop using trail-and-error methods for combining electricity-producing materials called "thermoelectrics." Thermoelectric materials produce electricity by taking advantage of temperature differences on opposite sides of a material. They are currently being used in deep space satellites and camp coolers. But until now, scientists have not had a rational basis for combining...

2011-12-15 10:15:07

Shortcoming also may help explain how propaganda has contributed to torture and genocide A father in Louisiana bludgeoned and beheaded his disabled 7-year-old son last August because he no longer wanted to care for the boy. For most people, such a heinous act is unconscionable. But it may be that a person can become callous enough to commit human atrocities because of a failure in the part of the brain that's critical for social interaction. A new study by researchers at Duke...

2011-12-14 19:53:26

Discovery may be boon to engineers, manufacturers A stroll on the beach can mean sinking your toes into smooth sand or walking firm-footed on a surface that appears almost solid. While both properties are commonplace, exactly what it is that makes granular materials change from a flowing state to a “jammed,” or solid, state? Whether it´s sand on a beach or rice grains in a hopper, being able to predict the behavior of granular matter can help engineers and manufacturers of...

2011-12-14 19:42:38

It's easy to get in a jam. But it's much harder to explain exactly how or when it started. Scientists still aren't sure what causes clogs in flowing macroscopic particles, like corn, coffee beans and coal chunks. But new experiments by Duke physicist Robert Behringer and his colleagues suggest that when particles undergo a force called shear strain, they jam sooner than expected. The results appear in the Dec. 15 issue of Nature. Shear strain is sort of like cupping sand between your...

2011-12-13 11:23:11

Increased salinity and concentrations of trace elements in one West Virginia watershed have been tied directly to multiple surface coal mines upstream by a detailed new survey of stream chemistry. The Duke University team that conducted the study said it provides new evidence of the cumulative effects multiple mountaintop mining permits can have in a river network. "Our analysis of water samples from 23 sites along West Virginia's Upper Mud River and its tributaries shows that salinity and...

2011-12-13 01:06:50

If you're a red-headed guy with eight bulging eyes and a unibrow, size does indeed matter for getting the girl. More specifically, the bigger a male jumping spider's weapons appear to be, the more likely his rival will slink away without a fight, leaving the bigger guy a clear path to the waiting female. Duke University graduate student Cynthia Tedore, working with her dissertation advisor, visual ecologist Sönke Johnsen, wanted to know what visual signals matter most to...

2011-12-12 17:37:11

Microscopic water droplets jumping from one surface to another may hold the key to a wide array of more energy efficient products, ranging from large solar panels to compact laptop computers. Duke University engineers have developed a new way of producing thermal diodes to regulate heat by bleeding it away or keeping it in. The method solves several shortcomings of existing devices. While thermal diodes can be made from solid materials, these solid-state diodes are not nearly as...


Word of the Day
reremouse
  • A bat.
The word 'reremouse' comes from Middle English reremous, from Old English hrēremūs, hrērmūs ("bat"), equivalent to rear (“to move, shake, stir”) +‎ mouse.
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