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​A group of researchers have used a special camera developed by Viktor Gruev, PhD, associate professor of computer science and engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, to discover that female northern swordtail fish choose their mates based on a display that is similar to a peacock showing its feathers.MORE
Early in September, the X-Calibur mission, preparing for launch at the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility in Fort Sumner, N.M., put its pointing system through its paces to make sure all of its parts were working in programmed harmony. MORE
Ralph S. Quatrano, PhD, dean of the School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis, has announced that he will step down as dean at the end of the academic year, June 30, 2015, according to Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton. After a yearlong sabbatical beginning in July 2015, Quatrano will resume his position as the Spencer T. Olin Professor of Biology in Arts & Sciences.MORE
​​A team of researchers at Washington University in St. Louis, led by Lan Yang, PhD, the Das Family Career Development Associate Professor in Electrical & Systems Engineering, and their collaborators at Tsinghua University in China have developed a new sensor that can detect and count nanoparticles, at sizes as small as 10 nanometers, one at a time. The researchers say the sensor could potentially detect much smaller particles, viruses and small molecules.MORE
In a few days, a balloon-borne telescope sensitive to the polarization of high-energy “hard” X rays will ascend to the edge of the atmosphere above Fort Sumner, N.M., to stare fixedly at black holes and other exotic astronomical objects. It will be carried aloft by a stratospheric balloon that will expand to a sphere large enough to hold a 747 jetliner the float height of 120,000 feet, three times the height at which commercial aircraft fly and on the edge of Earth’s atmosphere. Launching the balloon is not child’s play.MORE
Scientists at Washington University in St. Louis have obtained the first experimental evidence that there are at least two fail-safe points in the bacterial cell cycle. If the fail-safes are activated, the cell is forced to exit the cell cycle forever. It then enters a zombie-like state and is unable to reproduce even under the most favorable of conditions. Drugs that trigger the fail-safes are already under development. MORE
In the Aug. 28 issue of the journal Nature, a multi-institution research network called modENCODE (the Model Organism ENCylopedia Of DNA Elements) published three major papers that map and compare the genomes and epigenomes of humans and two model organisms, the fly, D. melanogaster, and the worm, C. elegans, in unprecedented detail. The fly and worm could serve as model organisms for screening drugs and micronutrients that might alter the epigenome, which is implicated in many diseases. MORE
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