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Latest Duke University Stories

2010-09-10 10:04:00

DURHAM, N.C., Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Parata Systems won the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce 2010 Business Excellence Award in the "Large Business" category. The Business Excellence Awards highlight the accomplishments of businesses and individuals in the Durham community. This year's awards program recognized a small, medium and large business, as well as non-profits and business leaders, for their efforts in making Durham stronger. The Chamber presented the awards at an event...

2010-08-09 14:44:50

Under the microscope, the bacteria start dividing normally, two cells become four and then eight and so on. But then individual cells begin "popping," like circus balloons being struck by darts. This phenomenon, which surprised the Duke University bioengineers who captured it on video, turns out to be an example of a more generalized occurrence that must be considered by scientists creating living, synthetic circuits out of bacteria. Even when given the same orders, no two cells will behave...

2010-07-28 13:26:23

Hormonal contraceptives change the ways captive ring-tailed lemurs relate to one another both socially and sexually, according to a Duke University study that combined analyses of hormones, genes, scent chemicals and behavior. Contraception alters the chemical cues these scent-reliant animals use to determine genetic fitness, relatedness and individuality. And, as a sort of double whammy to birth-control efforts, male lemurs were shown to be less interested in females that were treated with...

2010-07-12 13:21:20

In the record books, the swiftest sprinters tend to be of West African ancestry and the faster swimmers tend to be white. A study of the winning times by elite athletes over the past 100 years reveals two distinct trends: not only are these athletes getting faster over time, but there is a clear divide between racers in terms of body type and race. Last year, a Duke University engineer explained the first trend "“ athletes are getting faster because they are getting bigger. Adrian...

2010-07-07 16:42:53

Faced with threats such as habitat loss and climate change, thousands of rare flowering plant species worldwide may become extinct before scientists can even discover them, according to a paper published today by a trio of American and British researchers in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. "Scientists have estimated that, overall, there could be between 5 million and 50 million species, but fewer than 2 million of these species have been discovered to date," says lead author...

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2010-07-06 11:49:03

A study that examined 30 years of standardized test data from the very highest-scoring seventh graders has found that performance differences between boys and girls have narrowed considerably, but boys still outnumber girls by more than about 3-to-1 at extremely high levels of math ability and scientific reasoning. At the same time, girls slightly outnumber boys at extremely high levels of verbal reasoning and writing ability. Except for the differences at these highest levels of performance,...

2010-07-01 12:00:16

A team of researchers from Duke University and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies has found a central part in the machinery that turns plants green when they sense light. In the Rube Goldberg world of cellular mechanics, this key player turns out to be a garbage truck. Light is so essential for plants that they have two different systems to take advantage of it, explains Meng Chen, an assistant professor of biology at Duke. There's the familiar system of organelles called chloroplasts...

2010-06-30 08:30:09

The average man experiences hormone changes similar to the passive bonobo prior to competition, but a "status-striving" man undergoes changes that mirror those found in a chimpanzee, say researchers from Duke and Harvard universities. A new study published Monday June 28 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals differing hormone levels in our two closest relatives, bonobos and chimpanzees, in anticipation of competition. Chimpanzees live in male-dominated societies where...

2010-06-29 02:42:09

Even though freshwater concentrations of mercury are far greater than those found in seawater, it's the saltwater fish like tuna, mackerel and shark that end up posing a more serious health threat to humans who eat them. The answer, according to Duke University researchers, is in the seawater itself. The potentially harmful version of mercury "“ known as methylmercury -- latches onto dissolved organic matter in freshwater, while it tends to latch onto chloride -- the salt -- in...

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2010-06-25 08:11:42

For a plant, light is life. It drives everything from photosynthesis to growth and reproduction. Yet the chain of molecular events that enables light signals to control gene activity and ultimately a plant's architecture had remained in the dark. Now a team of researchers from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and Duke University have identified the courier that gives the signal to revamp the plant's gene expression pattern after photoreceptors have been activated by light. "Light is...


Word of the Day
Cthulhu
  • A gigantic fictional humanoid alien god being described with a head resembling an octopus and dragon wings and claws, around whom an insane cult developed.
  • Pertaining to the mythos of Cthulhu and additional otherworldly beings created by H. P. Lovecraft or inspired by his writings and imitators.
This word was invented in 1926 by H.P. Lovecraft for his short story, 'The Call of Cthulhu.' 'Cthulhu' may be based on the word 'chthonic,' which in Greek mythology refers to the underworld.
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