DR/TL (Didn't Read/Too Long)

Brief mentions of things going on among Duke researchers, scholars, and other enterprises

ANIMALS AND MICROBES

The strontium isotope ratios in fish ear bones match the ratios in the sediment at the bottom of the lakes they swim in, making the bones trustworthy records of environmental strontium. Since strontium shows up in coal ash, that means scientists have a new way to measure coal-ash contamination. And now you have a fun thing to say at parties about strontium and fish ear bones. * Did you love that cute lemur video? Did you share it? Don’t. Videos of adorable lemurs acting pet-like appear to spike demand for pet lemurs. Lemurs make terrible pets, and being pets is terrible for lemurs. *

PEOPLE

Adolescents who self-harm (by, for example, cutting or burning) are three times more likely to commit violent crime than those who don’t; those who do both are also likely to have suffered maltreatment and have poorer self-control than young people who only self-harm. * A single season of high-school football, without suffering from a concussion, is still enough to cause changes in the brains of athletes. * The higher a person's blood lead levels at age eleven, the more likely he or she is to show signs of mental illness and difficult personality traits by age thirty-eight. * Into the same sad file folder place this: Childhood lead exposure damages more than intelligence. It is also linked to poor adult mental health. * Children who live in homes with all vinyl flooring or with flame-retardant chemicals in the sofa tend to have much higher concentrations of SVOCs (semivolatile organic compounds) in their blood or urine. Those compounds have been linked to cancer, obesity, neurodevelopmental delays, and other diseases. * “Red-shirting” children—holding them back a year before sending them to kindergarten—appears to benefit them significantly. Boys are held back more than girls, and white boys most of all. * Israel targeting infrastructure in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank has had enormous humanitarian costs. * 

MISCELLANY

The turnover of warm and cold ocean currents that helps drive the global climate turns out to occur not off Canada but between Greenland and Scotland, hundreds of miles east of where scientists thought it occurred. It may be changing less with climate change than was previously thought, too. * A lot more than erosion and vegetation determine how much salt marsh wetlands an estuary can support; size, shape, depth, and latitude of both an estuary and its surrounding coastline help predict ecological tipping points. * Temperature differentials between forest canopy and surrounding air turns out to predict drought accurately and quickly, allowing scientists to spread the news (via a free online map), enabling water managers to take action faster than before. *

DUKE

Mary Pat McMahon, dean of student affairs at Tufts, will replace Larry Moneta, vice president for student affairs, and become vice provost/vice president for campus life. * Duke will pay $112.5 million to the U.S. government to settle a lawsuit over faked research data. * Duke electrical engineers will work with a Durham start-up, Smiths Detection, and the University of Arizona to help design the next generation of machines that zap your luggage at airport security for the Department of Homeland Security. So if you go through faster, you can thank Duke. If something slows down, it was probably the University of Arizona. * Matt Cartmill, professor emeritus of evolutionary anthropology, has been awarded the 2019 Charles R. Darwin Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, the highest honor given by the society. *  Andrew Leon Hanna ’14 and Ruby (Lillie) Reed ’14 are part of the second cohort to be awarded the Knight-Hennessy Scholarship, which funds graduate study at Stanford. Hanna will enroll as an M.B.A. student, while Reed will attend medical school. * After years of negotiation, Duke will now begin paying Ph.D. students year-round, freeing graduate students from worrying about funding over their summers. *

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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