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Life, Earth and Space

Measuring elements of life in Milky Way

Jan. 6, 2017—Astronomers participating in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey have announced the results of the first study that shows how the abundance of the "elements of life" varies across the Milky Way galaxy.

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Faster (cheaper) method for making big bioactive ring molecules

Dec. 12, 2016—A pair of Vanderbilt chemists have developed a faster, cheaper method for synthesizing ring molecules called cyclic depsipeptides found in antibiotics, anti-retrovirals and pesticides.

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Blood-brain barrier on a chip sheds new light on “silent killer”

Dec. 6, 2016—A new microfluidic device containing human cells that faithfully mimics the behavior of the blood-brain barrier is providing new insights into brain inflammation, the silent killer.

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Tennessine approved as name of newly discovered element

Nov. 30, 2016—Tennessee joins California to become only the second American state memorialized in the periodic table of elements.

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Each animal species hosts a unique microbial community and benefits from it

Nov. 28, 2016—A laboratory study of four animal species and their microbiota finds that each species hosts a unique community of microbes that can significantly improve its health and fitness.

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‘Origami’ rapid malaria test receives Grand Challenges Explorations grant

Nov. 15, 2016—A novel "origami" rapid diagnostic test for malaria has received a $100,000 Grand Challenges Explorations grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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Bioluminescent sensor causes brain cells to glow in the dark

Oct. 27, 2016—A team of Vanderbilt scientists have genetically modified luciferase, the enzyme that produces bioluminescence, so that it acts as an optical sensor that records activity in brain cells.

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Building stronger, more diverse pipeline of future faculty is aim of new postdoctoral program

Oct. 24, 2016—An ambitious postdoctoral training initiative designed to prepare recently graduated doctorates for competitive academic careers will launch later this year, Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos announced Oct. 24.

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Vanderbilt physicists Keivan Stassun and Kalman Varga elected APS fellows

Oct. 18, 2016—Two Vanderbilt physicists, Keivan Stassun and Kalman Varga, have been elected fellows of the American Physical Society.

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New faculty: Suzana Herculano-Houzel examines the evolution of the brain

Oct. 17, 2016—New Associate Professor of Psychology Suzana Herculano-Houzel produced the first accurate count of the number of neurons in the human brain—86 billion, making it simply an enlarged primate brain.

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Noted algebraist Bjarni Jónsson dies

Oct. 12, 2016—Bjarni Jónsson, Vanderbilt’s first Distinguished Professor of Mathematics, died Sept. 30 at the age of 96.

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Emeritus Professor of Chemistry Mark Jones has died

Oct. 11, 2016—Vanderbilt Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus, Mark M. Jones died Oct. 7 at 88 after an accident and brief illness.

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