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An astrophysicist at Washington University in St. Louis is among the team hunting for an elusive particle called a WIMP, that may be the fundamental particle of dark matter. To catch this notoriously wily particle they have built a detector consisting of a large vat of xenon in a deep chamber of a played-out gold mine in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

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​A team of biomedical engineers in the School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis, led by Lihong Wang​, PhD, the Gene K. Beare Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering, has developed the world’s fastest receive-only 2-D camera, a device that can capture events up to 100 billion frames per second.​MORE
American presidents spend their time in office trying to carve out a prominent place in the nation’s collective memory, but most are destined to be forgotten within 50-to-100 years of their serving as president, suggests a study on presidential name recall released Nov. 27 by the journal Science.MORE

Three faculty members at Washington University in St. Louis have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society. They are Mary C. Dinauer, MD, PhD, David M. Holtzman, MD, and Robert G. Kranz, PhD.

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An archaeology dig on the “roof of the world” has yielded evidence that humans figured out much earlier than previously known how to survive year-round in farming and grazing settlements in extreme high-altitude regions of the Tibetan Plateau, finds research released in the journal Science. MORE
Scientists have mostly ignored mRNA, the molecule that ferries information from DNA to the cellular machines that make proteins, because these DNA transcripts are ephemeral and soon destroyed. But mRNA can be just as important as DNA scientists at Washington University in St. Louis say. They found that oxidized messenger RNA jams the cellular machines that make protein. The failure to clear the jams and chew up bad messengers is associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's. MORE

Washington University in St. Louis has been awarded a grant from the Amgen Foundation that will provide hands-on laboratory experience to undergraduate students through the Amgen Scholars Program. This marks the fifth year that Washington University is participating in the program.

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Susan Killenberg McGinn
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dlutz@wustl.edu