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The industrial metal manganese, once scarce, is now ubiquitous in our environment. New work suggests that it addles honey bees, which often act as sentinel species for environmental contaminants, even at levels considered safe for humans.

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Six researchers at Washington University are being honored as outstanding scientists by the Academy of Science-St. Louis. University recipients are faculty members Ralph Quatrano, Jennifer K. Lodge, Samuel Achilefu, Charles M. Hohenberg, Gautam Dantas and Steven Teitelbaum (right), who received a lifetime achievement award.


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The outcome of a duel between mathematical models supports the reigning theory of the genetics of altruism. Called inclusive fitness, it says altruism is competitive if it benefits relatives carrying the same gene as the selfless individual. Attacked by a Nature article published in 2010, it is defended by Washington University evolutionary biologist David Queller.

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The Student Entrepreneurial Program (StEP) at Washington University in St. Louis kicks off its speaker program at 5 p.m. Monday, March 23, with entrepreneurial brothers Andrew and Matthew Brimer. Andrew Brimer (right), a 2013 graduate of Washington University, runs Sparo Labs. His brother, Matthew, operates a company called General Assembly in New York. The event takes place in Room 276 of the Danforth University Center and is free and open to the public. MORE
The importance of human milk in evolution and modern health; biology and race in Ferguson; and the latest research on Cahokia Mounds will be among the presentation topics as three major human biology and anthropology professional groups converge in St. Louis for their annual scientific meetings March 24-28.MORE

There are five regular polytopes (Platonic solids) in three-dimensional space and six in four-dimensional space. Only their projections can be built in our dimension-deficient world and that requires an act of imagination. Ivan Horozov, PhD, the Chauvenet Lecturer in Mathematics, is building the two most complex figures in this office in his spare time.

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​Ireland lost 1 million souls to hunger and disease during the potato famine and another million to immigration. But that’s not all, says Peter Wyse Jackson, PhD, president of the Missouri Botanical Garden and the George Engelmann Professor of Botany at Washington University in St. Louis. Ireland also lost its connection to the many plant species that sustained its people throughout the centuries. The ethnobotanist says the study of plants is more important than ever.

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Susan Killenberg McGinn
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Diana Lutz
Senior Science Editor
(314) 935-5272
dlutz@wustl.edu