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biological sciences

‘Snooze button’ on biological clocks improves cell adaptability

Feb. 17, 2013—The circadian clocks that control and influence dozens of basic biological processes have an unexpected “snooze button” that helps cells adapt to changes in their environment. A study by Vanderbilt University researchers published online Feb. 17 by the journal Nature provides compelling new evidence that at least some species can alter the way that their...

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Evidence moles can smell in stereo

Feb. 5, 2013—Neuroscientist Kenneth Catania has resolved a long-standing scientific debate by showing that the common mole can smell in stereo.

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Vanderbilt neuroscientist honored by National Academy of Sciences

Jan. 17, 2013—Kenneth Catania, Stevenson Professor of Biological Sciences at Vanderbilt University, is one of 18 scientists who have been honored by the National Academy of Sciences for their outstanding scientific achievements in a wide range of fields spanning the physical, biological and social sciences.

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Mosquitoes as involuntary bioterrorists

Nov. 29, 2012—Vanderbilt biologists have discovered that mosquitoes possess a previously unknown mechanism for destroying pathogens which takes advantage of the peculiarities of the insect’s circulatory system to increase its effectiveness.

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Despite their thick skins, alligators and crocodiles are surprisingly touchy

Nov. 8, 2012—Researchers have discovered that alligators and crocodiles possess one of the most acute senses of touch in the animal kingdom.

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Zwiebel Lab adds ants to its research repertoire

Sep. 13, 2012—After more than a decade spent successfully decoding the malaria mosquito’s sense of smell, the Zwiebel Lab has added ant olfaction to its research repertoire and has just received a major grant to pursue this new avenue for the next four years.

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Ants have an exceptionally high-def sense of smell

Sep. 10, 2012—Ants have four to five times more odor receptors than most other insects, a team of researchers have discovered.

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Vanderbilt-led team to develop ‘microbrain’ to improve drug testing

Jul. 24, 2012—Creating a device out of human cells that simulates brain chemistry is the goal of a $6.4 million grant which is part of major new federal initiative to develop a series of “organs on a chip” designed to improve the drug development process.

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What do beer, dogs and cats have in common? A tale of microbial domestication

Jul. 12, 2012—Study maps the genetic changes involved in the domestication of Aspergillus oryzae, one of the fungi used to make sake, soy sauce and miso.

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VUCast Extra: Bridging the Gap in the Sciences

Jun. 8, 2012—Vanderbilt is on track this year to become the number one producer of minority Ph.D. recipients in physics, astronomy and materials science, an area where minorities are grossly underrepresented. Watch the emotional journey of the latest doctoral graduates from the Fisk-Vanderbilt-Master’s-to-Ph.D. Bridge Program.

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Video: New, strong insect repellent discovered

Apr. 11, 2012—Vanderbilt researchers have discovered a new insect repellent compound that may be thousands of times stronger than DEET, the active ingredient currently in common mosquito repellents. This new compound is the first of its kind in the world.  

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Science comes alive for middle school students during Vanderbilt lab visit

Mar. 13, 2012—The Art2STEM students were divided into groups to participate in several hands-on activities. Some grew protein crystals and learned how to use X-rays to determine structures. Liquid nitrogen is often used to protect crystals from X-ray damage, so the students had the opportunity to observe some dramatic experiments involving liquid nitrogen and rubber objects. Some...

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