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Life, Earth and Space

Isler named one of ‘National Geographic’s’ first Emerging Explorers

May. 18, 2016—Observational astrophysicist Jedidah Isler, a postdoctoral fellow at Vanderbilt, has been selected as a member of the National Geographic Society's inaugural class of Emerging Explorers.

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New study supports natural causes, not alien activity, explain mystery star’s behavior

May. 9, 2016—The results of a new study make it far less likely that KIC 8462852, popularly known as Tabby’s star, is the home of industrious aliens who are gradually enclosing it in a vast shell called a Dyson sphere, a theory that went viral over the past year.

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Scientists establish first map of the sea lion brain

Apr. 27, 2016—A team of neuroscientists at Vanderbilt University has taken an important step toward uncovering the mystery behind the California sea lion's prodigious intelligence by conducting the first comprehensive study of their central nervous systems.

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CANCELED: View rare daytime astronomical event at Dyer Observatory May 9

Apr. 26, 2016—Visitors will have the unusual opportunity to safely view the planet Mercury as it transits directly across the face of the sun using Dyer Observatory’s solar telescopes.

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Three students recognized by Goldwater Foundation

Apr. 5, 2016—Three Vanderbilt students have been recognized in this year’s Goldwater Scholars competition. Marie Armbruster and Jarrod Shilts have been selected as Goldwater Scholars, and Sirui Ma has been awarded an honorable mention.

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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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