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Latest Washington University Stories

4e902ac1d7a37f66f436e5bebbdda6611
2010-02-26 10:40:00

Since at least the days of Socrates, humans have been advised to "know thyself." And through all the years, many, including many personality and social psychologists, have believed the individual is the best judge of his or her own personality. Now a psychologist at Washington University in St. Louis has shown that we are not the know-it-alls that we think we are. Simine Vazire, Ph.D., Washington University assistant professor of psychology in Arts & Sciences, has found that the...

72e527cf1bf28155e3a797b4d0b8438c1
2010-02-25 14:47:35

A domestic ecological mystery Stories of environmental damage and their consequences always seem to take place far away and in another country, usually a tropical one with lush rainforests and poison dart frogs. In fact, similar stories starring familiar animals are unfolding all the time in our own backyards "” including gripping tales of diseases jumping from animal hosts to people when ecosystems are disrupted. This time we're not talking hemorrhagic fever and the rainforest. We're...

0df24516bdf7d6ef302adb26c513c68b1
2010-02-09 08:00:00

The first head-to-head comparison of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies produced from plants versus the same antibodies produced from mammalian cells has shown that plant-produced antibodies can fight infection equally well. Scientists from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Arizona State University conducted the comparison as a test of the potential for treating disease in developing nations with the significantly less expensive plant-based production technique. The...

03bd0e1527ed1d21201ef0e313446c2b
2010-02-07 11:02:20

In a study presented Saturday at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's (SMFM) annual meeting, The Pregnancy Meeting â“ž¢, in Chicago, researchers unveiled findings that show that there is an increased risk of intrauterine fetal death (IUFD), commonly known as stillbirth, in women who have fibroids. IUFD, or still birth, is rare and affects only six to seven out of every thousand births. The study, conducted by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis,...

532a3335b1492bc9bc8101341c93ae04
2010-02-04 14:36:12

Molecular biology of drought tolerance comes into focus Recent work at Washington University in St. Louis sheds light on one of the most important events in earth-history, the conquest of land by plants 480 million years ago. No would-be colonizer could have survived on dry land without the ability to deal with dehydration, a major threat for organisms accustomed to soaking in water. Clues to how the first land plants managed to avoid drying out might be provided by bryophytes, a group that...

364eda448a75ed70c611147e594a4e061
2009-12-18 14:00:00

Nanotechnology has already made it to the shelves of your local pharmacy and grocery: nanoparticles are found in anti-odor socks, makeup, makeup remover, sunscreen, anti-graffiti paint, home pregnancy tests, plastic beer bottles, anti-bacterial doorknobs, plastic bags for storing vegetables, and more than 800 other products. How safe are these products and the flood of new ones about to spill out of labs across the world? A group of researchers at Washington University is devising instruments...

2009-12-09 01:18:33

An international group of anthropologists offers a new theory about the diffusion of maize to the Southwestern United States and the impact it had. Published the week of Dec. 7 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study, co-authored by Gayle Fritz, Ph.D., professor of anthropology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, and colleagues*, suggests that maize was passed from group to group of Southwestern hunter-gatherers. These people took advantage...

9ba86059dca887afedc3c4a7dd4b2d38
2009-12-07 11:25:00

Washington University physicists are closing in on the origin of cosmic rays A thin rain of charged particles continually bombards our atmosphere from outer space. The mysterious particles were first detected 100 years ago but until 10 years ago when a new type of telescope began to come online physicists weren't sure where the "cosmic rays" came from or how they were generated. They suspected the particles were accelerated by supernova shockwaves, but suspicions aren't proof. Imaging...

f05d7780d357bea83ccd048f3b44ab14
2009-12-07 08:43:09

A mathematical model of a simple circuit in a chicken brain raises fundamental questions about our understanding of neural circuitry The Web site Neuroanthropology asks visitors to complete this quote, "One of the difficulties in understanding the brain is "¦". In addition to the typical facetious remarks, such as "so few of us seem to have one" and "the damn thing is smart enough to realize what you are doing, and contrary enough to change the way it reacts just to spite...

2009-12-05 14:28:43

New study shows research participants are wary of high-paying experiments The findings from a study published this month by the journal Social Science and Medicine have implications for informed consent in human subjects research and the debate over research participation incentives. Cynthia Cryder, assistant professor of Marketing at the Olin Business School, Washington University in St. Louis, is the lead author of the study, "Informative Inducement: Study Payment as a Signal of Risk". Her...


Word of the Day
humgruffin
  • A terrible or repulsive person.
Regarding the etymology of 'humgruffin,' the OED says (rather unhelpfully) that it's a 'made-up word.' We might guess that 'hum' comes from 'humbug' or possibly 'hum' meaning 'a disagreeable smell,' while 'gruffin' could be a combination of 'gruff' and 'griffin.'