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Research Blog

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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Discoveries show value of federal support

Oct. 13, 2011—An update on federally funded projects at Vanderbilt and their impact on efforts to improve education, protect people from disease and meet our nation’s energy needs.

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Defending education and innovation in the face of the budget-cutting wave

Oct. 11, 2011—These days the news is full of stories about the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, nicknamed the Super Committee, and whether it can come up with a politically acceptable way to reduce the ballooning federal deficit. This is illustrated by some recent headlines: Super Committee Holds More Closed-Door Meetings (Huffington Post); Democrats Gloomy, Republicans...

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Dean Benbow visits the White House

Sep. 30, 2011—On Monday, Sept 26, when First Lady Michelle Obama hosted an event at the White House to announce a new program designed to make life easier for women in research careers, Peabody Dean Camilla Benbow was in the audience. Benbow had been invited in her capacity as a member of the National Science Board. The...

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Computer scientist: reveal thyself!

Sep. 16, 2011—Like the Wizard of Oz, computer scientists have largely been happy to perform their magic behind the curtain, out of public view.  However, this reticence has begun causing problems in the digital realm. “Computer scientists face the drawbacks of lacking public awareness,” wrote an international team of computer scientists in the article “Reaching Out to...

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Vanderbilt’s links to the solar neighborhood

Sep. 15, 2011—If Davy Kirkpatrick’s calculations stand up, then Vanderbilt will have solid connections to two of the Sun’s nearest stellar neighbors. One link is long standing. Barnard’s star, which is six light years away from the Sun and its second-closest neighbor, was discovered in 1916 by Vanderbilt astronomer E.E. Barnard. The second, discovered by Kirkpatrick and...

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Primer on political impacts of Sept. 11

Sep. 2, 2011—Thomas Schwartz, professor of history, recently responded to an interview request from a journalist in São Paulo, Brazil, about the lasting political impacts of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Professor Schwartz’s responses provide a concise overview of the lasting impact of a day that changed our nation. Read more about Vanderbilt remembrances of 9-11...

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Picture the intangible: the intersection of art and science

Aug. 31, 2011—Art and science are not mutually exclusive. On the contrary, these two important fields of human endeavor often draw from and inspire each other. Think Leonardo da Vinci and Benjamin Franklin. A 21st century version of this cross-fertilization currently is on display at Nashville’s gallery F. @ Scarritt Bennett, 1000 19th Ave. S. (corner of...

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Nashville innovations

Aug. 23, 2011—Last week when the Nashville Scene’s annual Innovations Issue hit the newsstands, three of its ten “forward-thinking ideas that are pushing Nashville – and the world – into the future” came from Vanderbilt. The three campus projects that impressed the Scene editors were: Digging for Drugs: Cave Chemistry. This is an effort of Associate Professor...

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