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Latest Duke University Stories

2011-05-23 22:10:59

Electrical engineers at Duke University have determined that unique man-made materials should theoretically make it possible to improve the power transfer to small devices, such as laptops or cell phones, or ultimately to larger ones, such as cars or elevators, without wires. This advance is made possible by the recent ability to fabricate exotic composite materials known as metamaterials, which are not so much a single substance, but an entire man-made structure that can be engineered to...

2011-05-20 12:54:46

Strobe-like eyewear designed to train the vision of athletes may have positive effects in some cases, according to tests run by a team of Duke University psychologists who specialize in visual perception. The eyewear has lenses that alternate between clear and opaque states, producing a strobe experience. Nearly 500 people participated in more than 1,200 training sessions and had their visual abilities tested before and after they wore the eyewear. They completed visual-motor tasks, such as...

2011-05-11 08:15:00

MILFORD, Mass., May 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Waters Corporation (NYSE: WAT) today welcomed into its Centers of Innovation Program the Proteomics Core Facility at the Duke University School of Medicine (Durham, NC). In a ceremony at Duke University, Waters recognized Associate Research Prof. M. Arthur Moseley, Director of Proteomics, for his research and support of ongoing research at the Duke University School of Medicine to bring about improvements in human health. Proteomics is a...

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2011-05-10 13:05:00

A report released in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday reveals that a controversial natural gas production technique, which is key to a century of U.S. domestic supply, is causing contamination of drinking water. Scientists from Duke University collected 68 drinking water samples that showed potentially harmful levels of methane in drinking water near drilling sites in Pennsylvania and New York. "In aquifers overlying the Marcellus and Utica shale formations...

2011-05-09 21:42:13

A study by Duke University researchers has found high levels of leaked methane in well water collected near shale-gas drilling and hydrofracking sites. The scientists collected and analyzed water samples from 68 private groundwater wells across five counties in northeastern Pennsylvania and New York. "At least some of the homeowners who claim that their wells were contaminated by shale-gas extraction appear to be right," says Robert B. Jackson, Nicholas Professor of Global Environmental...

2011-05-02 23:39:17

Lichen, those drab, fuzzy growths found on rocks and trees, aren't as cuddly and charismatic as kangaroos or intriguing as opossums, but they could be a fungal equivalent, at least evolutionarily. A Duke research team has found that lichen that seem identical in all outward appearances and produce the same internal chemicals are in fact two different species, one living in North America and one in Australia. They're an example of "convergent evolution," in which two species evolve separately...

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2011-04-29 06:35:48

Scientists have observed a "super-aggregation" of more than 300 humpback whales gorging on the largest swarm of Antarctic krill seen in more than 20 years in bays along the Western Antarctic Peninsula. The sightings, made in waters still largely ice-free deep into austral autumn, suggest the previously little-studied bays are important late-season foraging grounds for the endangered whales. But they also highlight how rapid climate change is affecting the region. The Duke University-led team...

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2011-04-28 07:35:00

Researchers have found a new clue as to why bariatric surgery is more effective for controlling glucose levels in diabetics than dietary remedies alone, helping to explain why diabetes often disappears after the surgery, even before much weight is lost. Researchers from Duke University Medical Center and St. Luke's and Roosevelt Hospital Center, Columbia University, say that facts collected from previous studies provide even more evidence that branched-chain amino acids are biomarkers that...

2011-04-20 12:53:37

Deforestation in parts of the Peruvian Amazon has increased six-fold in recent years as small-scale miners, driven by record gold prices, blast and clear more of the lowland rainforest, according to a new Duke University-led study. The study, published today in the online journal PLoS ONE, combined NASA satellite imagery spanning six years with economic analyses of gold prices and mercury imports to document the forces responsible for deforestation in Peru's biologically diverse Madre de Dios...

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2011-04-20 09:48:16

Earth has 657 more barrier islands than previously thought, according to a new global survey by researchers from Duke University and Meredith College. The researchers identified a total of 2,149 barrier islands worldwide using satellite images, topographical maps and navigational charts. The new total is significantly higher than the 1,492 islands identified in a 2001 survey conducted without the aid of publicly available satellite imagery. All told, the 2,149 barrier islands measure 20,783...


Word of the Day
attercop
  • A spider.
  • Figuratively, a peevish, testy, ill-natured person.
'Attercop' comes from the Old English 'atorcoppe,' where 'atter' means 'poison, venom' and‎ 'cop' means 'spider.' 'Coppa' is a derivative of 'cop,' top, summit, round head, or 'copp,' cup, vessel, which refers to 'the supposed venomous properties of spiders,' says the OED. 'Copp' is still found in the word 'cobweb.'
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