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Latest Washington University Stories

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2011-08-07 06:35:43

A St. Louis hospital is testing a sensor network that allows vital signs to be tracked even as patients move about By Diana Lutz, Washington University in St. Louis A clinical warning system that uses wireless sensors to track the vital signs of at-risk patients is undergoing a feasibility study at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. When the full system is operational sensors will take blood oxygenation and heart-rate readings from at-risk patients once or twice a minute. The data will be...

2011-08-03 22:05:02

Human hearts respond differently than mouse hearts to two cardiovascular drugs Anyone who follows science has read enthusiastic stories about medical breakthroughs that include the standard disclaimer that the results were obtained in mice and might not carry over to humans. Much later, there might be reports that a drug has been abandoned because clinical trials turned up unforeseen side effects or responses in humans. Given the delay, most readers probably don't connect the initial success...

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2011-07-25 08:35:00

Nature of mysterious hot spot revealed by "photogeology" By Diana Lutz, Washington University in St. Louis Analysis of new images of a curious "hot spot" on the far side of the Moon reveal it to be a small volcanic province created by the upwelling of silicic magma. The unusual location of the province and the surprising composition of the lava that formed it offer tantalizing clues to the Moon's thermal history. The hot spot is a concentration of a radioactive element thorium sitting between...

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2011-06-29 08:31:44

A microlaser no bigger than a pinprick can accurately detect and count individual viruses, the particles that jumpstart cloud formation or those that contaminate the air we breathe. By Diana Lutz, Washington University in St. Louis A tiny doughnut-shaped laser is the latest marvel of silicon microminiaturization, but instead of manipulating bits it detects very small particles. Small particles play a big "” and largely unnoticed "” role in our everyday lives. Virus particles make...

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2011-06-27 09:25:00

Written in coconut DNA are two origins of cultivation, several ancient trade routes, and the history of the colonization of the Americas By Diana Lutz, Washington University in St. Louis The coconut (the fruit of the palm Cocos nucifera) is the Swiss Army knife of the plant kingdom; in one neat package it provides a high-calorie food, potable water, fiber that can be spun into rope, and a hard shell that can be turned into charcoal. What's more, until it is needed for some other purpose it...

2011-06-20 13:40:47

Picture a menacing drill sergeant, a gory slaughterhouse, a devastating scene of a natural disaster. Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have found that viewing such emotion-laden images immediately after taking a test actually enhances people's retention of the tested material. The data the researchers gathered in recent studies are the first to show that negative arousal following successful retrieval of information enhances later recall of that information. The finding is...

2011-06-13 13:31:27

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital "“ Washington University Pediatric Cancer Genome Project scientists pioneer way to find more chromosomal aberrations in tumors; results likely to advance understanding of cancer A dramatically better computer tool for finding the genetic missteps that fuel cancer has been developed by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital "“ Washington University Pediatric Cancer Genome Project investigators. Researchers are using the new algorithm to help...

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2011-06-11 09:07:15

Combining electrochemistry and photovoltaics to clean up oxidation reactions The idea is simple, says Kevin Moeller, PhD, and yet it has huge implications. All we are recommending is using photovoltaic cells (clean energy) to power electrochemical reactions (clean chemistry). Moeller is the first to admit this isn't new science. "But we hope to change the way people do this kind of chemistry by making a connection for them between two existing technologies," he says. To underscore the...

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2011-05-16 10:15:00

In two independent studies scientists have separately identified DNA on chromosome 3 that appears to be related to depression. Depression has long been suggested in studies to be influenced by genetics, with about 20 percent of the population being majorly affected by it at some point in their lives. The new studies have identified up to 90 genes within the DNA to further suggest that the risk of depression is influenced by genetics. "What's remarkable is that both groups found exactly the...

2011-05-12 22:12:16

"I have a slide that has a photo of a cornfield and a big photovoltaic array," says Robert Blankenship, a scientist who studies photosynthesis at Washington University in St. Louis. "When I give talks I often ask the audience which one is more efficient. Invariably the audience votes overwhelmingly in favor of photosynthesis. " They are wrong. This question and its surprising answer (below) is the point of departure for a provocative article published in the May 13 issue of Science. The...


Word of the Day
toccata
  • In music, a work for a keyboard-instrument, like the pianoforte or organ, originally intended to utilize and display varieties of touch: but the term has been extended so as to include many irregular works, similar to the prelude, the fantasia, and the improvisation.
This word is Italian in origin, coming from the feminine past participle of 'toccare,' to touch.
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