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biological sciences

International collaboration draws new conclusions about ‘convergent evolution’ of saber-tooth cats

Jun. 26, 2020—International collaboration shows that marsupial saber-tooth cats were more closely related to possums than fearsome predators.

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Vanderbilt Undergraduate Microbiome Society donates $1K to Second Harvest Food Bank

Jun. 24, 2020—The Vanderbilt Undergraduate Microbiome Society recently made a donation of $1,000 to Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee as part of VUMS’ efforts to raise awareness about the microbiome and to better the local community.

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Unexpected mammal provides insight into the lives of ancient hominins

Jun. 11, 2020—Paleontologist and associate professor of biological sciences Larisa DeSantis finds answers about early hominin diets are with an unrelated group of mammals—tapirs.

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New discovery shows infection of the lungs can be caused by hybrid fungi

Jun. 4, 2020—A team of scientists at Vanderbilt has discovered the first known instance of a hybrid fungal species causing aspergillosis, an ensemble of different types of lung infections that often impacts immune-compromised people.

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Vanderbilt lab develops app for analyzing crowd-sourced songbird recordings

Apr. 20, 2020—With a new app from a team at Vanderbilt, birdsong researchers can better leverage crowdsourced fieldwork and audio recordings from amateur birders and citizen songbird scientists.

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Biology researchers capture shape-shifting delivery structures in body’s cellular “FedEx system”

Mar. 9, 2020—A new cellular biology study reports the first visualization of a unique shape-shifting structure in the human body which plays an important role in the timely delivery of fats and proteins. 

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Bordenstein honored by Genetics Society of America

Feb. 27, 2020—The Genetics Society of America has recognized Seth Bordenstein, an evolutionary geneticist and microbiologist at Vanderbilt, for an initiative that brings real-world scientific research into middle school, high school and college biology classes.

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Where are the quokkas? New study explains what happened to the “happiest animal in the world”

Feb. 21, 2020—The quokka, a small marsupial native to Australia, is an example of a species vulnerable to extinction in the country’s harsh surroundings. In a new study, researchers at Vanderbilt University demonstrate evidence for the dramatic decline of quokkas over the past century.

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How ants get angry: Precise “lock and key” process regulates aggression, acceptance

Feb. 3, 2020—In a new study, scientists at Vanderbilt report definitive evidence of a mechanism within ants that is responsible for unlocking aggression. The research—the first to pinpoint this mechanism and its precise role in ant biology—reports a social characteristic which could help account for their evolutionary success.

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Carter, professor of biological sciences, emeritus, has died

Nov. 22, 2019—Clint E. Carter, an emeritus professor of biological sciences whose research focused on immunology and tropical diseases, died Nov. 9. Carter is being remembered by former colleagues and students for his unfailing kindness and warmth.

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Research team sorts out drug screen false positive results

Oct. 2, 2019—Vanderbilt investigators have identified 13 previously unknown drug compounds that cause false positive screenings for amphetamines, buprenorphine (an opioid), cannabinoids and methadone.

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Faculty named to Chancellor’s Public Voices Fellowship for spring 2020

Sep. 26, 2019—Tony Capra, Lisa Fazio and Renã A.S. Robinson have been selected as Chancellor’s Public Voices Fellows for the spring 2020 semester.

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