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Duke University had a very exciting year in science in 2021. Here is a roundup of some of the science stories covered this year. Robo Dragonfly: DraBot uses air pressure, microarchitectures and self-healing hydrogels to watch for changes in pH, temperature and oil Identifying New Drug Targets for COVID-19: The coronavirus’s tangled strands of RNA could offer new ways to treat people who get infected Ghost Forests: Rising seas and inland-surging seawater are leaving behind the… read more about The Year in Science at Duke »

Fall is the perfect time to get together, reconnect, and toast to the ability to work in our labs and see each other in person. In that spirit, Duke Biology held a Fall Art and Appreciation reception, celebrating the creativity and talent of our students, postdocs, staff, and faculty. The weather was perfect for an outside gathering. We used this opportunity to see colleagues who left the department mid-pandemic, such as Jo Bernhardt, Caroline Usher, Michael Barnes, and Greg Piotrowski, and give them a safe and warm send-… read more about Art and Appreciation! »

DURHAM, N.C. -- It’s hard to know what climate change will mean for Earth’s interconnected and interdependent webs of life. But one team of researchers at Duke University says we might begin to get a glimpse of the future from just a few ounces of microbial soup. Every drop of pond water and teaspoon of soil is teeming with tens of thousands of tiny unicellular creatures called protists. They’re so abundant that they are estimated to weigh twice as much as all the animals on Earth combined. Neither animals nor plants nor… read more about Tiny Microscopic Hunters Could Be a Crystal Ball for Climate Change »

  “It was definitely not what you sign up for when you decide to go to graduate school.” In August 2020, when many were adapting to new work patterns enforced by COVID-19, Danielle Vander Horst and more than 400 other new graduate students were beginning their journeys toward a Duke Ph.D. Their first year was unlike that of any other cohort. No welcome social. No bumping into lab mates in the hallway. No finding new restaurants in a new town. “You sign up for the department, you sign… read more about In 2021, the 2020 Ph.D. Cohort Finally Experienced Duke in Person »

Midway through the fall semester, Duke has seen zero COVID transmissions traced back to the classroom. This is a result of a COVID response plan that in several ways distinguished itself from those at other universities: Masks in the classroom, full vaccination of faculty, staff and students, and heavy surveillance testing and quick turnaround of results. A month of declining and low numbers of infections shows that the response is working; Last week at the Academic Council a team of faculty experts and senior… read more about The Modeling Data Behind Duke's COVID Response Plan »

Congratulations, class of 2020!  The Biology Department would like to invite all 2020 Biology majors and their families to a Biology Meet & Greet, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Sunday, September 26 on the French Family Science Center Plaza (look for the tent). This will be an opportunity to reconnect with professors & classmates, and share what you have been up to.  This is a drop-in event, so come by at your convenience. Full schedule of Duke-wide commencement events read more about Commencement 2020 »

The Trinity College of Arts & Sciences has announced the winners of the 2021 awards for undergraduate teaching. Given each year, the awards honor exceptionally strong educators from across the college. Teaching award recipients are selected by the Arts & Sciences Council on the basis of student evaluations, teaching statements and colleague recommendations. “These four awards are bestowed by the Arts & Sciences faculty in recognition of especially outstanding teaching,” said Arts & Sciences Council Chair… read more about Arts & Sciences Teaching Awards Celebrate Excellence Across the College »

Twenty-four million. That’s how many students worldwide could drop out of school because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a paper published by the United Nations last year. The data are still coming in for fall back-to-school in North America. But parents and teachers in Kenya worried the U.N. prediction was proving all too true when the 2021 school year started there. About 250,000 girls and 125,000 boys who were in school at the start of the pandemic didn’t come back to the classroom. For girls in particular,… read more about Duke-Founded Initiative Is Helping At-Risk Girls Defy the Odds in Kenya  »