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Life, Earth and Space

Reverse engineering mysterious 500 million-year-old fossils that confound our tree of life

Jun. 21, 2017—In "The Conversation," Vanderbilt paleontologist Simon Darroch explains how computational fluid dynamics can help researchers understand some of the earliest life on Earth.

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Wet and stormy weather lashed California coast…8,200 years ago

Jun. 20, 2017—A study of stalagmite records from the White Moon Cave in the Santa Cruz Mountains finds the California coast was lashed by exceptionally wet and stormy weather for 150 years...8,200 years ago.

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Vanderbilt evolutionary biologist makes finals of a national award for young scientists

Jun. 6, 2017—Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor in Biological Sciences Antonis Rokas has been selected as a finalist for the $250,000 Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists

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Astronomers discover exoplanet hotter than most stars

Jun. 5, 2017—Astronomers at Vanderbilt and Ohio State have discovered a planet like Jupiter zipping around its host star every day, boiling at temperatures hotter than most stars with a giant cometary tail.

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Climate change took away ancient animals’ food supply; holds implications for today’s wildlife

Jun. 2, 2017—Analysis suggests that climate change had a significant impact on megafauna diets and was a primary factor in their extinction.

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Vanderbilt researchers studying Bangladesh for harbinger of climate change impact

Jun. 2, 2017—An island off the nation's coast demonstrates land use mismanagement can be far more damaging than rising sea levels.

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Life in the Precambrian may have been much livelier than previously thought

May. 18, 2017—An interdisciplinary study suggests the strange creatures that lived in the Garden of the Ediacaran more than 540 million years ago may have been much more dynamic than experts have thought.

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Puffy planet provides opportunity for testing alien worlds for signs of life

May. 18, 2017—Astronomers from Vanderbilt, Lehigh and Ohio State universities have discovered a “puffy planet" with the density of Styrofoam that is an excellent test-bed for probing exoplanets for signs of life.

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Wisecaver named Vanderbilt ‘Postdoc of the Year’

Apr. 21, 2017—Accomplished postdocs and faculty "Mentor of the Year" honored at annual Vanderbilt Postdoctoral Association and Shared Resources Symposium April 19.

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The tale teeth tell about the legendary man-eating lions of Tsavo

Apr. 19, 2017—Analysis of the microscopic wear on the teeth of three man-eating lions reveals that painful dental disease may have been what drove the cats to hunt humans instead of larger prey.

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New method for tapping vast plant pharmacopeia to make more effective drugs

Apr. 14, 2017—Geneticists have developed an effective new method for identifying the genes that produce the chemicals plants use to protect themselves from predators, which are an important natural drug source.

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Forget sponges: the earliest animals were marine jellies

Apr. 10, 2017—A powerful new method has been devised to settle contentious phylogenetic tree-of-life issues. such as "What is the oldest branch of the animal family tree?"

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