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Latest Duke University Stories

2013-08-05 12:26:32

Microscopic tears in a new kind of man-made material may actually help the substance bulk up like a bodybuilder at the gym. "We've shown how normally destructive mechanical forces can be channeled to bring about stronger materials," said Duke chemist Steve Craig, who led the research. "The material responses are like Silly Putty transforming into a solid as stiff as the cap of a pen or a runny liquid transforming into soft Jell-O." Scientists could one day use the stress-induced...

2013-07-30 13:10:08

Mandating outpatient treatment for certain people with severe mental illness, while controversial, results in substantial cost savings by cutting hospitalizations and increasing outpatient care, according to a financial analysis led by researchers at Duke Medicine. The finding – focusing on a program in New York termed Assisted Outpatient Commitment, or "Kendra's Law" - provides a key piece of information in the ongoing policy debate about appropriate treatment approaches...

2013-07-26 12:10:38

Duke researchers have devised a way to quickly and easily target and tinker with any gene in the human genome. The new tool, which builds on an RNA-guided enzyme they borrowed from bacteria, is being made freely available to researchers who may now apply it to the next round of genome discovery. The new method also has obvious utility for gene therapy and for efforts to reprogram stem or adult cells into other cell types – for example, to make new neurons from skin cells....

What Peahens Want
2013-07-25 14:55:11

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Finding out what women want is a question that science may never answer. However, a team of biologists from the University of California, Davis and Duke University has gained new insight into what a typical peahen may be looking for in her mate. Peacocks are renowned for their colorful trains, which are grown during the mating season and used to attract females. But what about the train catches a female eye? To see how these...

Climate Change Harp Seals Abandon Pups
2013-07-22 15:20:51

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Duke University scientists have determined that young harp seals off the eastern coast of Canada are at a greater risk of getting stranded than adult seals due to climate change. Researchers wrote in the open-access journal PLOS ONE that declining sea ice is leaving baby harp seals stranded in greater numbers. "Stranding rates for the region's adult seals have generally not gone up as sea ice cover has declined; it's the...

2013-07-09 11:43:45

Max Scherzer leads Major League Baseball in wins. As a pitcher for the Detroit Tigers, he hasn't lost a game this season. His 6-foot, 3-inch frame is a telling example of constructal-law theory, said Duke University engineer Adrian Bejan. The theory predicts that elite pitchers will continue to be taller and thus throw faster and seems also to apply to athletes who compete in golf, hockey and boxing. Studying athletes -- since most sports are meticulous in keeping statistics -- provides...

2013-07-03 14:58:25

You might be falling in love with that new car, but you probably wouldn't pay as much for it if you could resist the feeling. Researchers at Duke University who study how the brain values things -- a field called neuroeconomics -- have found that your feelings about something and the value you put on it are calculated similarly in a specific area of the brain. The region is small area right between the eyes at the front of the brain. It's called the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, or...

Military Sonar Disrupts Behavior Of Blue Whales
2013-07-03 14:31:38

Michael Harper for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A new study has found whales do not care for the sound of the sonar used by militaries to detect submarines. Researchers from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, have observed the behavior of whales as they come into areas where sonar is being used and found these marine mammals may even avoid venturing into new feeding areas when they hear sonar. The results of this research suggest militaries should refrain from...

2013-06-28 13:14:00

Children with more genetic risks for asthma are not only more likely to develop the condition at a young age, but they are also more likely to continue to suffer with asthma into adulthood. The finding reported by Duke University researchers is one of the latest to come from a 40-year longitudinal study of New Zealanders. "We've been able to look at how newly discovered genetic risks relate to the life course of asthma at an unprecedented level of resolution," said Daniel Belsky, a...


Word of the Day
vermicular
  • Like a worm in form or movement; vermiform; tortuous or sinuous; also, writhing or wriggling.
  • Like the track or trace of a worm; appearing as if worm-eaten; vermiculate.
  • Marked with fine, close-set, wavy or tortuous lines of color; vermiculated.
  • A form of rusticated masonry which is so wrought as to appear thickly indented with worm-tracks.
This word ultimately comes from the Latin 'vermis,' worm.
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