Research Magazine Articles




September 26, 2020

Writer:

Andy Read

It was the end of sophomore year in college, and I was looking for an interesting way to spend the summer and earn a little money. I stumbled across an ad for a summer job at the Ontario Science Center in Toronto that sounded fascinating—reconstructing the skeleton of a sixty-foot fin whale that had stranded the previous summer in Nova Scotia. I knew nothing about whales, but the concept of marine biology sounded pretty good to a kid who grew up in the middle of Canada.

Nobel winner Bill Kaelin, along Boston's Charles River

July 23, 2020

Writer:

Scott Huler

BILL KAELIN LIKES A PUZZLE.

Not a crossword, not a Sudoku. You won’t find Kaelin playing Words With Friends, and Board Game Night was never a staple in the Kaelin household. A puzzle demands concentration. It demands focus; it requires you to pay attention to one thing at a time.

July 22, 2020

Writer:

Scott Huler

Duke has one surprising place to look for its quick response to the COVID-19 pandemic: the Ebola outbreak of 2014-15.

A damaged and abandoned sailboat near Beaufort

July 22, 2020

Writer:

Corbie Hill

Memorial Day 2020 and Carteret County was as mobbed by tourists as Liz DeMattia has ever seen it.

Magnifying glass

February 26, 2020

Writer:

Corbie Hill

A long, low creature, looking like a cross between a coyote and an otter, moved through something akin to a mangrove swamp. It had stumpy legs and a long skull full of sharp teeth. On land, it slunk between fruiting trees in whose branches lounged the earliest monkeys. Four-tusked and hippo-like elephants trundled nearby in this lush, tropical proto-Nile ecosystem. When this creature took to the river, it shared the water with early manatees.

February 26, 2020

Writer:

Barry Yeoman

When a Duke-led research team won a $300 million federal grant to help develop an AIDS vaccine in 2005, the global situation was looking grim.

Didn't read/Too long

November 19, 2019

Writer:

Scott Huler

ANIMALS AND MICROBES

Image of children building a house of cardboard while monkeys place in box

November 13, 2019

Gummy bears. They reveal a sweet reality. Watch the video: A couple of three-year-olds are noisily negotiating a challenge cleverly arranged for them. They pull together on some ropes, thereby unsealing a big-box container and unleashing a flood of the candy treats. It doesn’t take much prodding by either partner to arrive at an equitable distribution; if one points out she’s gummy-deprived, the other will quickly correct the gummy imbalance.

August 8, 2019

Writer:

Scott Huler

For a guy who spends his time studying climate change, facing down the future of an Earth warming at an astonishing rate, under the management of a population that commonly resists even admitting its problems, Drew Shindell seems surprisingly optimistic.

A graphic of number as if in computer code

August 7, 2019

My boys have dark brown curls and mischievous smiles. They speak with clarity and confidence. They move with boundless energy but also with unexpected grace. They enjoy playing with their lovies, reading with their daddy, and dancing with me, their mommy. They were born in St. Louis, but their great-grandparents were born in Africa, Asia, and Europe. They are six and eight. They represent the best of America. And I am scared for their future.

Kristian Lum M.S. ’08, Ph.D. ’10

May 17, 2019

With the preponderance of available data has come a preponderance of concern about how the information is used and who possesses it. Kristian Lum M.S. ’08, Ph.D. ’10 counts herself among those concerned. And as lead statistician at the Human Rights Data Analysis Group, she’s in a position to help elucidate data use.

“A lot of my work touches on the ways in which data and machine learning may not work in the way you’d like or hoped,” she says.

Professor Abbas Benmanoun

May 17, 2019

How did you respond personally to the instantly notorious case, from earlier this semester, of a Duke faculty member seeming to challenge Chinese students around their speaking Chinese in a social space?

Economist Sandy Darity, teaching

May 16, 2019

Writer:

Lucas Hubbard

The clip lasts just five minutes, but little about it seems right. Sure, Sandy Darity is talking about one of his ideas to combat the racial wealth gap, but absent are his laidback nature, his ubiquitous laugh. It’s July 2018, and Darity’s the guest on Bloomberg’s What’d You Miss? His posture and movement— hunched; fidgety—reflect a man aware of the stage and of the fact that he has brought his ideas, at least briefly, to the center of it.

May 14, 2019

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Among other things, February is known as a month in which we should consider matters of the heart. Which means, in a way, every month is February for Arun Sharma ’12.

August 1, 2014

The trigger of your senses can often prompt specific memories. For Tracy, it’s a particular piece of music that brings thoughts of the place she once called home.

Produced for The Short Audio Documentary course taught by John Biewen at the Center for Documentary Studies.

July 30, 2014

Produced for the Motion Design course taught by Raquel Salvatella de Prada, assistant professor of the practice of art, art history & visual studies, and arts of the moving image.

July 22, 2014

Writer:

Michael Penn

Kimberly Blackwell ’89 could have gone about anywhere to begin her career as a pioneering breast-cancer doctor. After graduating from the Mayo Medical School in 1994, she chose to come back to Duke. Now a clinical oncologist at the Duke Cancer Institute, Blackwell is regarded as one of the top breast-cancer researchers in the country.

The education of Ida Owens youtube thumbnail

April 29, 2014

In the spring of 1961, Ida Stephens Owens graduated summa cum laude from North Carolina College—now North Carolina Central University— with a major in biology. Just a few months earlier, Duke University’s board of trustees voted to integrate its graduate and professional schools. Owens came to the attention of Daniel C. Tosteson, then chair of the physiology department, who was recruiting accomplished students from black colleges to pursue advanced degrees in the sciences.

Can pills crush the pain?

April 28, 2014

Writer:

Taylor Sisk

Jeffrey Swanson, a professor in the Duke School of Medicine’s department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, offers an analogy for perceptions of mental health. “There’s this continuum between night and day, and there’s this moment, dusk, where you can’t really tell the difference between night and day.” Dusk suggests that there is no absolute of either; that it’s a question of degree.

Lawson and his colleagues implant the bioengineered blood vessel.

July 25, 2013

In a first-of-its-kind operation in the U.S., a team of Duke doctors helped create a bioengineered blood vessel and transplanted it into the arm of a patient with end-stage kidney disease.

The procedure, the first U.S. clinical trial to test the safety and effectiveness of the bioengineered blood vessel, is a milestone in the field of tissue engineering. The new vein is human cell-based product with no biological properties that would cause organ rejection.

Image of brain shaped like a heart

July 25, 2013

On the HGTV show House Hunters, prospective buyers choose from several home options. The final decision comes down not just to cost, but also to the emotional investment potential homeowners have in a particular property. That link between emotions and perceived value is powerful—and Duke researchers have discovered why.

Photos by Donn Young

May 14, 2013

Andrew Fontanella could be forgiven for wanting to be somewhere else. At six foot three, with a tousle of curly dark-brown hair that adds another inch or two, he looms above everyone else in this cramped second-floor classroom in the generically named Medical Sciences Research Building on Research Drive. It’s 11:30 on a windy Wednesday morning in March, and Fontanella keeps an eye on the clock.

May 14, 2013

1. It really is a popularity contest: Rhesus macaques that have large, strong social networks tend to belong to families of similarly amiable macaques. Not only that, but playing nice with others tends to yield greater reproductive success. A corollary shows that the most aggressive monkeys have greater reproductive success—but so do the most passive monkeys. The loser? The monkey in the middle.

May 14, 2013

Let’s face it: Warnings regarding teenage smoking are as earth-shattering as those about alcohol’s deleterious effects behind the wheel. But new research from a team of U.S., U.K., and New Zealand geneticists adds an interesting caveat to the common wisdom. It turns out that teenagers with high-risk genetic profiles for becoming heavy smokers are far more likely to become addicted to smoking and have a harder time quitting as adults than those without the same precondition.

Walking meditation: Stone labyrinth at Duke Integrative Medicine (Credit: Jon Gardiner)

February 13, 2013

Writer:

Bridget Booher

On Good Friday in 2009, Mary Ann Harrison made a phone call that changed her life.

Illustrations by Arlen Schumer

February 13, 2013

One morning last semester, a Duke undergrad peeled off from a busy day on campus to hustle to a basement office in the Sociology- Psychology Building, where scientists were waiting to peer into her brain. Within minutes the slim first-year student, chic in a black-and-white shorts set, was sitting before a computer screen in a narrow, beige room. For more than an hour, her fingers clicked answers to hundreds of questions about her tastes, behaviors, quirks, and feelings.

February 13, 2013

Birds do it. People do it. Now, Duke researchers are convinced that mice, too, can learn how to imitate songs to woo a mate. The surprising conclusion comes from a team of Duke neurobiologists who observed that male mice imitate the ultrasonic squeakings of other males. The researchers identified certain features in a mouse’s brain that are similar to the parts of the brain humans and birds use to learn vocalization, which suggests mice can pick up a tune.

February 13, 2013

As winter recedes, millions of Americans renew their pledges to eat better and exercise more. And hundreds of scientists work to discover the keys to make those efforts more successful. Here’s the latest on what Duke researchers are learning about maintaining a healthy body:

February 13, 2013

Writer:

Tim Lucas

For millennia, African lions ruled a seemingly boundless kingdom, a sprawling, unbroken stretch of savannah onethird larger than the continental U.S. But today, 75 percent of that vast savannah is gone, and humans are fast chipping away at what remains. And Stuart Pimm is worried.

February 13, 2013

In the ongoing struggle to find a better way to treat cancer, the hopes of doctors and patients have been buoyed recently by the revival of an old idea—using the body’s immune responses to attack tumors. But while immunotherapies have shown tantalizing promise, they’ve presented frustrating problems. In some cases, the immune system waged attack on healthy tissues and organs, as well.