Three Duke University undergraduates nominated for the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship have won the federally endowed award that encourages students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. Ella Gunady, Aditya Paul and Tanner Zachem are among 417 students awarded Goldwater Scholarships on Friday for the 2021-2022 academic year.  The Goldwater Scholars were chosen on the basis of academic merit from a pool of 1,242 natural science, engineering, and mathematics students nominated… read more about Three Undergraduate Scientists and Engineers Named 2022 Goldwater Scholars »

A few months ago, a biogeochemist and a theologian took a walk in Duke Gardens to talk about climate change. By the end of the walk, the two had created the framework for a new university course that will draw upon expertise from across Duke’s schools to build climate literacy among students and give them the hope and the ability to take action. Organized by biologist Emily Bernhardt, James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of Biology and chair of the department, and Norman Wirzba, Gilbert T. Rowe Distinguished Professor of… read more about Let's Talk about Climate Change: New University Course will Draw Upon Expertise from Across Duke »

DURHAM, N.C. -- Invading armies need a steady supply of fuel and armaments. That’s just as true when the invaders are cells, such as when tumor cells break away from their neighbors and spread to other parts of the body in a process called metastasis -- the most deadly part of cancer. Now, a Duke University-led study in the tiny worm C. elegans provides new insight into how invading cells amass and deploy fuel to the front lines of invasion to power their cellular break-through machinery. In a study in the… read more about Getting Fuel to an Invading Cell’s Front Line  »

Spring Break conjures up images of trips to the beach, but in 2016 Provost Sally Kornbluth had a different idea of how students could get away from the stress of the regular school year. She wanted students to have a chance to explore a subject intellectually without the pressure of grades or credits. Spring Breakthrough gives students a chance to use their week off to learn from a professor and with students outside of their major path.  They engage with a course in ways that stimulate curiosity while keeping the subject… read more about Spring Breakthrough Gives Students an Opportunity to Stretch Their Academic Interests »

DURHAM, N.C. -- Finding love in a small isolated place can be tough when everyone is a familiar face, or when half the dating pool is already out because they’re all close relatives. That’s no less true for the wild baboons of Amboseli, who live in close-knit groups of 20 to 150 at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro in Kenya. A new Duke University-led study takes an in-depth look at the various ways these monkeys keep their family and romantic lives from getting too intertwined. Drawing on 48 years of data on the family trees… read more about How Baboons Keep Healthy Family Boundaries »

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine appointed Duke Professor Charmaine Royal as co-chair of a newly formed committee addressing challenging issues surrounding the use of “race” and other population labels in human genetics research. Royal is the Robert O. Keohane Professor of African & African American Studies, Biology, Global Health, and Family Medicine & Community Health. She also serves as director of Duke’s Center on Genomics, Race, Identity, Difference and the Duke Center for Truth,… read more about Royal Named Co-Chair of National Academies Panel on Race and Genetics Research »

DURHAM, N.C. -- On one of the first mild days in February, Duke’s Emily Bernhardt and her stream ecology team donned their hip waders and ventured out to the sycamore-lined banks of New Hope Creek. Duke ecologist and biogeochemist Emily Bernhardt checks levels of dissolved oxygen in the waters of New Hope Creek. Photo by Véronique Koch, Duke UniversityThe creek snakes its way through parts of Chapel Hill and Durham before emptying into Jordan lake, the… read more about Tracking the Pulse of Our Nation’s Rivers, Like a Fitbit for Streams »

DURHAM, N.C. – Two knights stand face to face. One has a plain average-sized sword. The other has a massive fear-inducing sword stained with blood. After one quick look at it, the first knight quickly puts his average sword away, backs off to a safe distance, and runs for his life. He’ll never know that the massive fear-inducing sword was actually a plastic toy. In a new study appearing Feb. 9 in the journal Biology Letters, Jason Dinh, Ph.D. candidate in Biology at Duke University, shows that animal weapons can be a lot… read more about In Animal Battles, Cheaters Can Win »

Rachel Shahan, Ph.D., and Che-Wei Hsu, together with their collaborators, created this atlas of a plant root. The atlas was generated using a technique called single-cell RNA-sequencing, which samples gene expression from individual cells. By condensing the data to three dimensions, the result is a colorful swirl of dots (110,427 dots to be exact), with each dot representing one cell. The location of the dots represents how similar a cell is to its neighbors. Dots are grouped closer… read more about Check It Out! A Road Map for a Plant Root »

DURHAM, N.C. – If you had to guess which part of the world has the highest levels of atmospheric mercury pollution, you probably wouldn’t pick a patch of pristine Amazonian rainforest. Yet, that’s exactly where they are. In a new study appearing Jan. 28 in the journal Nature Communications, an international team of researchers show that illegal gold mining in the Peruvian Amazon is causing exceptionally high levels of atmospheric mercury pollution in the nearby Los Amigos Biological Station. One stand of old-growth… read more about Modern Day Gold Rush Turns Pristine Rainforests into Heavily Polluted Mercury Sinks  »

DURHAM, N.C. -- The tweets of a little song sparrow and its "bird brain" are a lot more complex and akin to human language than anyone realized. A new study finds that male sparrows deliberately shuffle and mix their song repertoire possibly as a way to keep it interesting for their female audience.  The research, from the lab of Stephen Nowicki, Duke University professor of biology and member of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences, and colleagues at the University of Miami, shows that singing males keep track of the… read more about Birds Shuffle And Repeat Their Tunes To Keep The Audience Listening »