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Research Blog

Thank you for the research

Feb. 28, 2012—  Lenda Bates DuBose knew she would not survive peritoneal cancer. Yet the longtime Nashville resident and Vanderbilt graduate was grateful for the treatments that prolonged her life. She wished there was a way she could express her gratitude. After Lenda passed away in December, her daughter, Printha K. McCallum, fulfilled her mother’s wish. Below...

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Adding to the periodic table

Feb. 7, 2012—The year has gotten off to a good start for modern-day alchemists like Vanderbilt physicists Joe Hamilton and A.V. Ramayya who are engaged in the extremely challenging scientific endeavor of extending the periodic table by creating new elements. In November, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) officially added three new superheavy elements...

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The research story that keeps on giving

Jan. 20, 2012—For better or for worse, what’s posted online, stays online. That embarrassing photo, the awkward comments, your less than stellar PowerPoint? Yep, they’re still there. For those of us in the research communications business, the elephantine memory of the Internet allows our stories to continue to reach readers for years after the embargo lifts. We’ve...

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Innovations in children’s care next topic for new video chat series

Jan. 9, 2012—When the human genome was sequenced in 2003, scientists around the world turned their collective attention to discovering what roles genetic variation plays in human health and illness. Their goal: to use that knowledge to tailor disease treatment and prevention strategies based on an individual’s own DNA blueprint, a concept often called “personalized medicine.” Today,...

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Vanderbilt’s science high begins 5th year

Jan. 4, 2012—Their research papers are published in a scientific journal. They win accolades in a prestigious national science competition. And that’s before they graduate from their public high schools. These are the students of the School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt, a partnership between Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools. They attend...

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Landmark HIV prevention study Breakthrough of the Year

Dec. 22, 2011—A landmark study that found early antiretroviral therapy (ART) can reduce the risk of HIV transmission between sexual partners by 96 percent has been named Breakthrough of the Year by Science magazine. The study, conducted by the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) and led by Myron Cohen of the University of North Carolina at Chapel...

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Pushing lipids into the limelight

Dec. 6, 2011—In the world of molecular biology, lipids haven’t gotten as much respect or attention as nucleic acids and proteins even though they play a number of essential biological functions. But now this chemically diverse class of molecules is emerging into the limelight. The development of new instruments that can efficiently identify fats, waxes, sterols, membrane...

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Failure to find ‘God particle’ hints at fundamentally new physics

Nov. 21, 2011—  After the most complete search yet, the world’s largest atom smasher, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Switzerland, reported that it has not found the much vaunted Higgs particle, ruling out a large portion of the energy range where it was most expected. The Higgs particle – also dubbed the “God particle” – is...

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Seeking game-changing energy technologies

Nov. 11, 2011—“Gentlemen, we have run out of money. It’s time to start thinking.” This quote, attributed to the New Zealand physicist Ernest Rutherford, summarizes the main point of the presentation that the director of the newest federal research agency, the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E), gave on campus this week. The speaker was Arun Majumdar, the...

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Remove a polyp? There’s an app for that!

Oct. 28, 2011—SAN DIEGO, Calif. – A team of Vanderbilt University surgeons and engineers are here in the “Innovation Showcase” at TEDMed to demonstrate some of the really cool things being developed through the Vanderbilt Initiative for Surgery and Engineering (VISE). TEDMed (independent of but similar in format to TED: Ideas Worth Sharing) is an annual gathering...

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Scientists: engage the public or perish

Oct. 26, 2011—While listening to a physics colloquium titled “Science: What the Public is Thinking, What Congress is Doing, How You Can Contribute” delivered by Michael S. Lubell, professor of physics at the City College of New York and director of public affairs for the American Physical Society (APS), I couldn’t help thinking about the fable of the grasshopper...

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Microscopy method brings ‘nano-world’ into focus

Oct. 25, 2011—A new technique for imaging whole cells in liquid – with a nanometer resolution that brings into focus individual proteins and other intracellular structures – could dramatically improve the study of cancer, viral infections and brain function.

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