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Build Haiti back better

Apr. 21, 2011—With the beginning of the spring rains, cholera is on the rise in Haiti once again. Pioneering Haitian physician Jean William "Bill" Pape is determined to be ready. "The new vision is to build back better," Pape said during this year's Tennessee Global Health Forum hosted by the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health.

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It takes a (global) village

Apr. 21, 2011—When the residents of Lwala, Kenya, raised $900 for a one-way ticket to send Milton Ochieng' to college in the United States nearly a decade ago, they could not have envisioned that he would return to build a medical clinic in the heart of their rural village near the shores of Lake Victoria.

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Vanderbilt: Laboratory for health care reform

Apr. 15, 2011—Vanderbilt University Medical Center is a laboratory for health care reform. Increasingly, Vanderbilt researchers are applying their expertise in informatics, genomics, drug discovery, basic science and clinical medicine to the solution of critical problems in patient care. Bedside checklists and electronic “dashboards” developed at Vanderbilt, for example, enable doctors and nurses to chart in exquisite...

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Beyond knot theory

Apr. 14, 2011—I’ve always been fascinated, and occasionally frustrated, by the tendency of string, yarn, rope and wire – any thing that is long, thin and flexible – to knot and tangle. Clearly, I’m not the only one. Mathematicians have been studying knots since the early 1800’s and the field of knot theory is alive and well...

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Big Bang or Big Bounce?

Apr. 5, 2011—There is a new dark-horse entry in the cosmological sweepstakes. In the last 50 years, the Big Bang theory has gradually become the standard scientific model for how the universe began and has been written into the grade school science textbooks. That is because it has done an amazing job of explaining many of the...

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Science fair tickles the brains of participants

Mar. 28, 2011—Brain Blast 2011 featured 35 different ways to learn about the brain, guided by Vanderbilt neuroscience graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty members and other volunteers. More than 100 neuroscientists participated.

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Insights on NSF funding from agency’s deputy director

Mar. 24, 2011—The Loews Vanderbilt Hotel was bustling with scientists, engineers and research administrators March 21 and 22 when Vanderbilt University hosted its first National Science Foundation regional grants conference. More than 200 people from 55 research universities and institutes attended two days of informational sessions led by officials of the federal agency, which funds much of...

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Worm grunting on NPR

Mar. 11, 2011—“What is worm grunting?” That is one of the questions that moderator Richard Sher asked panelists last weekend in a rerun of a pre-recorded edition of “Says You!” – the popular radio game show that airs on National Public Radio. After all the guessing and wise-cracking, Sher explained that worm grunting was the practice of...

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Future of the Parable of the Lost Sheep

Mar. 3, 2011—Bob Scherrer is bicultural: Not only is he a practicing theoretical physicist, but the chairman of Vanderbilt’s physics department is also a published author of science fiction. Several years ago we did a story about his split personality. Normally, Scherrer keeps his physics and science fiction efforts separate. So far he has published eight science...

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Hal, make room for Watson

Feb. 18, 2011—Hal, make room for Watson. When it defeated two of the all-time champions of the television game Jeopardy this week, the IBM computer named Watson joined Hal 9000 in the ranks of intelligent computers in the popular culture. The characterization of Hal as portrayed in the movie “2001,” embodied the dream of computer scientists 50...

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When events conspire

Feb. 1, 2011—Have you ever had the feeling that events beyond your control are working in your favor? That certainly seems to have been the case in the extraordinary sequence of events that led Vanderbilt chemist Brian Bachmann to establish the first systematic program designed to search for novel drugs among cave microbes. The first event was...

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Scientists of the future

Feb. 1, 2011—Report after report, it seems, warns that the United States is falling behind other countries in science and technology. Where will the scientists of the future come from? Some of them will come from the School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt. Launched in 2007 as a project of the Vanderbilt Center for Science Outreach,...

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