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Life, Earth and Space

Intense look at La Brea Tar Pits explains why we have coyotes, not saber-toothed cats

Aug. 5, 2019—The most detailed study to date of ancient predators trapped in the La Brea Tar Pits is helping Americans understand why today we’re dealing with coyotes dumping over garbage cans and not saber-toothed cats ripping our arms off.

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‘Research squad’ propels student during two summer immersions

Jul. 19, 2019—Chemistry major Puxin Xuanyuan put her creativity to work this summer while splitting time between an immersion experience at a medical biotech startup in Toronto and conducting cancer-fighting research on the Vanderbilt campus.

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Computer model illuminates critical moment in Drosophila development

Jun. 19, 2019—A computer model of forces exerted by cells during development of a fertilized egg into a fruit fly larvae holds promise to help scientists understand the morphogenesis of organisms that are much more complicated. Shane Hutson, professor of physics and biological sciences and chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, said the model sought...

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Ediacaran dinner party featured plenty to eat, adequate sanitation, computer model shows

Jun. 19, 2019—“They are behaving like animals, and that’s a link between them and what we recognize as animals," says paleontologist Simon A.F. Darroch.

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Stassun appointed to Astro2020 Steering Committee

May. 22, 2019—Vanderbilt University astrophysicist Keivan Stassun, Stevenson Professor of Physics and Astronomy, was named Tuesday to the National Academies’ Decadal Survey on Astronomy and Astrophysics (Astro2020) Steering Committee.

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Life in evolution’s fast lane

May. 21, 2019—A group of budding yeasts in the genus Hanseniaspora, which is closely related to the baker’s yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, has lost large numbers of genes related to cell cycle and DNA repair processes.

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Frog fungus fights back

May. 15, 2019—Louise Rollins-Smith and colleagues have discovered a new way that a deadly fungus evades frogs' immune systems.

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Dolphin ancestor’s hearing was more like hoofed mammals than today’s sea creatures

May. 15, 2019—The team, one of the first in the world to examine the ability’s origins, used a small CT scanner to look inside a 30-million-year-old ear bone fossil from a specimen resembling Olympicetus avitus.

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The hunt is on for closest Earth-like planets

Mar. 26, 2019—The catalog identifies 1,823 stars for which TESS is sensitive enough to spot Earth-like planets just a bit larger than Earth that receive radiation from their star equivalent to what Earth receives from our sun.

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Stalagmite holds key to predicting droughts, floods for India

Mar. 25, 2019—Stalagmite records from monsoon regions such as India are vital to understanding past variability in the global climate system and the underlying reasons for this variability.

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They call it puppy love, but what is it really?

Feb. 12, 2019—Even if animals have ulterior motives for teaming up, they teach humans a lot about love, says Vanderbilt University animal biologist Patrick Abbot.

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Student pushing boundaries to impact the Earth, and people in it

Jan. 30, 2019—What is more daring—camping in a remote part of Antarctica for a month doing field research, or directing and performing in a musical revue about the environment? For Earth and Environmental Sciences major Andrew Grant, pushing boundaries to positively impact the Earth, and the people who call it home, are equally thrilling.

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