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Life, Earth and Space

Second-generation space telescope will usher in new era in astronomy

Mar. 28, 2016—An astrophysicist and an aerospace engineer who are members of the team developing NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope – the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, scheduled for launch in 2018 – will give a free public lecture March 31.

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Graduate students compete in fourth annual Three Minute Thesis competition

Mar. 1, 2016—Vanderbilt graduate students demonstrated that they can summarize their 80,000-word theses in less than three minutes using terms that members of the public can understand during this year's Three Minute Thesis competition.

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Update on the science of life in the universe March 3

Feb. 29, 2016—Caleb Scharf, director of astrobiology at Columbia University, will address age-old questions such as "Are we alone?" and "Where do we come from?" in a free public lecture titled "Astrobiology: The Science of Life in the Universe" March 3.

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Longest-lasting stellar eclipse discovered

Feb. 17, 2016—Astronomers have discovered an unnamed pair of stars that sets a new record for both the longest duration stellar eclipse (3.5 years) and longest period between eclipses (69 years) in a binary system.

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Gravity waves topic of Feb. 18 colloquium

Feb. 12, 2016—A team of Columbia University physicists who participated in the first detection of gravity waves will describe the monumental discovery in a free public lecture on campus Thursday, Feb. 18.

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Neanderthal DNA has subtle but significant impact on human traits

Feb. 11, 2016—The first study that directly compares Neanderthal DNA in the genomes of a significant population of adults of European ancestry with their clinical records confirms that this archaic genetic legacy has a subtle but significant impact on modern human biology.

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Growth rings on rocks provide new insights into past climates

Jan. 15, 2016—Application of new micro-analytical techniques have transformed rocks and gravel buried in a special type of soil into a rich source of data about past climates that can help scientists understand how the climate will change in the future.

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Chemist Jens Meiler receives Humboldt Foundation award

Dec. 15, 2015—Associate Professor of Chemistry Jens Meiler has received a Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Bonn, Germany.

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New detector perfect for asteroid mining

Nov. 19, 2015—A new generation of gamma-ray spectrometer being developed by researchers and students in the Fisk-Vanderbilt Master's-to-Ph.D. Bridge program is perfectly suited for detecting valuable minerals hidden within the asteroids, comets, moons and minor planets in the solar system.

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New online tool created to tackle complications of pregnancy and childbirth

Nov. 11, 2015—An interdisciplinary team of biologists and medical researchers have created a new platform, which they call GEneSTATION specifically designed to leverage the growing knowledge of human genomics and evolution to advance scientific understanding of human pregnancy and translate it into new treatments for the problems that occur when this complex process goes awry.

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Vanderbilt chemist part of major microbiome research initiative

Nov. 4, 2015—Vanderbilt chemist helps craft call for major new research initiative to increase our understanding of the invisible world of microbes that surround us.

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Rick Chappell honored for science communications contributions

Nov. 4, 2015—This December Rick Chappell, research professor of physics and past director of the Office of Science and Research Communications at Vanderbilt, will receive two awards from the American Geophysical Union recognizing his achievements in communicating science to the public and teaching and mentoring students toward careers in geophysics and space physics.

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