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Research News

  • 2017

    • Mario the Dragon Drexel University Statue

      Psychology students receive research awards from the Council on Brain Injury

      April 18, 2017

      Kayci Vickers and Jillian Tessier both recently received research awards from the Council on Brain Injury.

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    • Allison Brown (Penn State), Luke Stark (Dartmouth), Sarah Tracy (UCLA), Alexios Tsigkas (New School) field questions at the Stop Making Sense Symposium.

      Stop Making Sense: Sensory Science Meets STS

      April 06, 2017

      Drexel's STS Center, in conjunction with the Chemical Heritage Foundation and Drexel's Center for Hospitality and Sports Management, co-hosted a one-day symposium on March 10, 2017, "Stop Making Sense".

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    • STS Graduate Students Dalton George ’17, Jason Ludwig ’17, Kristy Birchard ’17, and Janine Bower ’18 at STGlobal.

      Drexel University's STS Students Present at the 2017 STGlobal Conference

      April 06, 2017

      Drexel University is a member of STGlobal Consortium. The STGlobal Consortium is a group of universities with students interested in science and technology studies (STS), science and technology policy (STP), and other related topics. It hosts an international graduate student conference is dedicated to inquiry into science and technology policy and science and technology studies.

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    • Undergraduate design labs in 3101 Market Street.

      Progress Report: Drexel’s Research Laboratory Plan Project

      March 22, 2017

      Many of the lab renovations in Drexel’s Research Laboratory Plan have been completed and are being used to further the University’s research efforts.

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    • A dyed green image of a fibers in a human hippocampus

      Treatment Window for Fragile X Likely Doesn’t Close After Childhood, Drexel Study Finds

      March 20, 2017

      A Drexel University-led study looked into human and rat brain samples and found that the biological structures potentially contributing to Fragile X syndrome are present in adult brains — something that mouse samples did not show.

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    • National Science Foundation Logo

      Physics Alumni Receive NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

      March 20, 2017

      Several Drexel Physics alumni recently received Graduate Research Fellowships from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The purpose of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program is to help ensure the vitality and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce of the United States. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) or in STEM education.

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    • Equipment for the PICO-60 experiment at SNOLAB. Courtesy of SNOLAB.

      Drexel Scientist Searches for Dark Matter

      February 28, 2017

      We all know that about 70 percent of the Earth is covered in water. That’s something you learn in elementary school. Now, imagine that 80 percent of the Earth was covered in water — but we couldn’t see it and didn’t know exactly where it was, just that there was something else out there.

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    • Sex & Gender Research Forum logo

      Let’s Talk About Sex (and Gender): Transgender Equality Activist to Speak at Drexel Research Forum

      February 24, 2017

      The 2017 Sex and Gender Research Forum will feature interdisciplinary research projects and transgender rights activist Harper Jean Tobin.

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    • Marcellus Shale gas tower

      Methane Levels Have Increased in Marcellus Shale Region Despite a Dip in Well Installation

      February 09, 2017

      Despite a slow down in the number of new natural gas wells in the Marcellus Shale region of Northeast Pennsylvania, new research led by Drexel University finds that atmospheric methane levels in the area are still increasing. Measurements of methane and other air pollutants taken three years apart in the rural areas of Pennsylvania that have been the target of natural gas development over the last decade, revealed a substantial increase from 2012 to 2015.

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    • syringe and vials

      ‘Who Needs a Flu Shot? – Not Me’
       

      February 08, 2017

      “There has been a little flu, but there will be more…we have not seen the worst of it, flu usually peaks in February,” said an article in The Philadelphia Inquirer in January. Now in February, we think – people better get their flu shots, take vitamin C and heed the public health cautions plastered across the news media. But what impact do these public health messages actually have on us? Are we going to race out and get our flu shot? According to a Drexel University communication researcher, probably not. And it’s not because we think we’re invincible, it’s because we like to think we’re immune to the influences of messages in the mass media — a communications theory termed the “third-person effect.”

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    • Ted Daeschler's Camp in Anartica

      Ted Daeschler Checks in from Antarctica

      January 17, 2017

      Ted Daeschler, PhD, recently completed an expedition to explore Antarctic rocks dating to the Devonian Period, a time that ended some 120 million years before the first dinosaurs appeared. The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University thought it would be fun to have Ted describe his odyssey in his own words - and he obliged by writing a few posts for their blog while he was on his journey.

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    • Mona Elgohail

      Mona Elgohail Receives Two NMCS Travel Awards

      January 08, 2017

      Mona Elgohail, a clinical psychology PhD student mentored by Pamela Geller, PhD, has been awarded two travel grants.

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    • iCAT+ app

      An App for Binge Eating Disorder and Bulimia

      January 03, 2017

      For the approximately 8 million Americans who suffer from binge eating disorder, help could be just a download away. Psychologists in Drexel’s Laboratory for Innovations in Health-Related Behavior Change are developing a new smartphone application that aims to tackle binge eating, and they are seeking study volunteers to test it out. The app, called iCAT+, is for patients who suffer from binge eating disorder or bulimia nervosa.

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  • 2016

    • A microscopic image of a tumor cell migrating through collagen.

      The Way You Move: Tumor Cells Move Differently Than Normal Ones

      December 20, 2016

      A new study by a Drexel biology professor determined that tumor cells can’t move the same way that normal cells do to get through tight squeezes in the body, opening up the potential for future, targeted therapies.

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    • Golden Crowned Kinglet

      Into The Trees

      November 16, 2016

      A few times a year, scientists from the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University venture to remote regions of the planet on some of the most important field trips in the name of science: collecting expeditions. The material they bring back has the potential to open new lines of research and answer limitless questions about life on Earth.

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    • Jonathan E. Spanier, PhD

      Tiny Switch

      November 15, 2016

      A bit of residual moisture helped researchers unlock the ultraviolet light-emitting potential of a material they were studying.

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    • Mario the Dragon Drexel University Statue

      STAR Scholar Q&A with Ejaz Momen and Professor Lloyd Ackert

      November 08, 2016

      Ejaz Momen, Politics '20, has a very full schedule, including an accelerated BA-JD with Drexel University’s School of Law, minors in Arabic and History, and keeping up with his favorite British television shows (imports only – no substitutions!). But in addition to all of his scholarly work, Ejaz took his first summer at Drexel University to participate in the STAR Scholars program with Lloyd Ackert, PhD.

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    • Dimetrodon

      Dimetrodon Discovery

      November 07, 2016

      A prehistoric fossil is “discovered” in the University’s collections and finally classified with its close relatives, 160 years after being dug out of the ground. Since 1845, a segment of an upper jawbone with serrated, inches-long teeth has resided on a shelf at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University under the name Bathygnathus borealism. But like many of the millions of specimens at the Academy, this 270-million-year-old fossil still had a story to tell.

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    • John Kounios, PhD

      The Thinker

      November 07, 2016

      How does a brain scientist known for discovering the neural pathway of sudden, creative insight achieve his own flashes of inspiration? It’s all about getting into the right headspace.

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    • The Ichthyosaurus somersetensis specimen at the Academy of Natural Sciences with (from L–R) Ted Daeschler, Dean Lomax and Judy Massare.

      160 Years After Its Arrival, New Ichthyosaurus identified at the Academy of Natural Sciences

      October 12, 2016

      More than 160 years after its discovery in an English quarry, an ancient, aquatic reptile specimen at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University has finally been given its own name.

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    • Yellow-faced bee. Photo by Katja Schulz

      4 Things to Know About Bees Hitting the Endangered Species List

      October 12, 2016

      For the first time, bees have been placed on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services’ Endangered Species List. Sean O’Donnell, PhD, professor in Drexel’s College of Arts and Sciences, is an expert on tropical insect ecology, focusing on bees, wasps and ants. He explains here what the addition of bees to the list means and where the prolific pollinators might go from here.

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    • Fossils discovered from the B. rex around a drawing of what the fish's head looked like.

      A New ‘King’ — New, Gigantic, Ancient Armored Fish Discovered

      October 11, 2016

      In the Arctic, a team that included scientists from the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University found fossils of a giant new species of extinct armored fish that they named Bothriolepis rex — the new king of Bothriolepis.

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    • Rheophyte Illustration

      Natural Born Mysteries

      October 05, 2016

      Until recently, the flora of the interior of Cambodia’s Cardamom region has remained largely uncatalogued. But as Cambodian and international survey teams collaborate, more and more species are coming to light.

      Such was the case for Sarcolobus cambogensis, a rheophytic shrub discovered in the Tatai River in the Koh Kong province.

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    • Drexel Physics Graduate Student Rebecca Phillipson

      Q&A: A Fellowship to Discover Black Holes’ Secrets

      October 04, 2016

      Black holes remain one of the most mysterious and intriguing objects in our universe. One of the newest celestial objects to be studied — they were only first theorized in the 20th century — black holes are areas in space that have such strong gravity that not even light can escape them.

      However, there is little known about them. We don’t even have a real picture of one. That knowledge gap is where Rebecca Phillipson comes in. A physics graduate student in the College of Arts and Sciences, Phillipson dreams of discovering more about what makes black holes work.

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    • Two Centuries of Shells image

      Two Centuries of Shells

      September 19, 2016

      Scientists and naturalists have spent more than 200 years building the Malacology Collection at the Academy of Natural Sciences, making it one of the richest and largest collections in the country, and even the world. It’s no wonder, then, that researchers from across the globe are regularly knocking on the Academy’s door, asking for access to it.

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    • Early Movent and Modern Apes: Dance Lessons with David Parsons

      Early Movement and Modern Apes: Dance Lessons with David Parsons

      September 16, 2016

      Earlier this summer, recent alumnus B. Douglas Whitmire, BA anthropology '16, was working on an independent study project with Professor Wes Shumar, PhD, when Shumar received a call from the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design.

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    • Don Charles

      Breathing Life Back Into Brooktrout Lake

      September 12, 2016

      Brooktrout lake was once teeming with the speckled fish after which it is named, but by the 1980s, it had become one of hundreds of lakes and ponds in the Adirondacks of upstate New York that were devoid of fish. The culprit: acid rain from the burning of fossil fuels.

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    • Image of macropinosome fusion by Lee Dolat and Elias Spiliotis

      PhD Candidate Lee Dolat and Biology Professor Elias Spiliotis Published in Journal of Cell Biology

      September 08, 2016

      Cancers are hungry beasts, which in part sustain their uncontrolled proliferation by eating amino acids and other compounds from the interstitial fluid that bathes their surrounding tissues. Cancer cells gobble up fluid and particles by a process termed macropinocytosis, which is the internalization of extracellular material by cell membrane ruffles that close into organelles known as macropinosomes.

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    • An artist's depiction of what the Strud nursery ecosystem may have looked like, including the three different placoderm species discovered at the site and the likely plant-life there. Image by Justine Jacquot-Hameon/PLOS-One.

      ‘Nursery’ Discovered in Belgium Provides Insight into Prehistoric Fish Life

      September 02, 2016

      The discovery of a group of young, prehistoric fish fossils provides some insights into the extinct creatures’ lives — and how fish today might be similar to them.

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    • Mouse brain showing astrocytes

      One Cell, Many Roles

      August 29, 2016

      Specialized cells called astrocytes were once thought to be bit players in the central nervous system, but closer inspection suggests they have complex roles.

       

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    • Deccan Traps

      What really killed them?

      August 29, 2016

      A new theory suggests that the dinosaurs' fate was sealed by not just one, but two separate disasters around 66 million years ago.

       

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    • Credibility On Camera

      August 26, 2016

      A Drexel professor will evaluate a new body camera initiative launched by Philadelphia’s transit agency meant to reduce crime and improve officer-citizen relationships.

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    • Law of the Jungle - Image by Exel magazine

      Law of the Jungle, Ignored

      August 23, 2016

      On Equatorial Guinea’s island of Bioko, rising prosperity and lax conservation enforcement have devastated the population of primates and other animals prized by consumers as “bushmeat” delicacies. Thirteen years of data collected by a team of researchers on the island of Bioko show how ineffective the country’s lax environmental conservation laws were in stemming the growth of illegal hunting.

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    • Hubble Space Telescope - Black Hole

      Shining a Light on Black Holes

      August 22, 2016

      Astrophysicist Gordon Richards has discovered more black holes than anyone else in the universe. With assistance from a powerful new telescope being built in Chile, he plans to beat his own record.

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    • Illegal Logging in Ghana

      Vanishing

      August 22, 2016

      In Ghana, over half of all forest understory birds have vanished in just 15 years as unchecked illegal logging, economic stress and demand for African timber take their toll on the nation’s rainforests.

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    • Second Chances Illustration by Brian Stauffer

      Second Chances for First Time Offenders

      August 22, 2016

      Strict “zero tolerance” policies have led to a disturbing number of in-school arrests — about 1,600 in the School District of Philadelphia annually. Once in the justice system, youths’ life chances are diminished considerably. Psychology Professor Naomi Goldstein is working with community partners to divert students from the damaging “school-to-prison pipeline,” improving outcomes for youth and making Philadelphia a national leader in the process.

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    • Senior Vice Provost for Research Aleister Saunders.

      Q&A With Senior Vice Provost for Research Aleister Saunders

      August 11, 2016

      University research typically is a fairly insular endeavor, played out at the department level with little cross-pollination among the various disciplines. Senior Vice Provost for Research Aleister Saunders is trying to widen that view. He has been advocating a university-wide approach to research, looking for those areas where Drexel can support and encourage investigations that cut across departments and disciplines.

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    • Drexel Political Science student Allie Serdaru

      Political Science Major Explores the Inefficiencies of International Institutions

      July 27, 2016

      Allie Serdaru, Political Science'15, was reluctant to try out for a research assistant opportunity. One article later, she loves digging through data.

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    • Labidus Praedator. Photo by Dinesh Rao.

      Mountaineering Ants Use Body Heat to Warm Nests

      June 29, 2016

      Underground army ants can keep their nests — called bivouacs — warm with their body heat; this social warming may enable fragile offspring to survive in chilly mountain forests , according to Drexel University researchers.

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    • When States Come Out: Q&A with Phillip Ayoub, PhD

      June 27, 2016

      Phillip Ayoub's new book, "When States Come Out: Europe's Sexual Minorities and the Politics of Visibility", has just been published by Cambridge University Press. Ayoub's research agenda exams comparative social movements and LGBTQ politics, as well as the politics of visibility. We sat down with him to chat about "When States Come Out", the dynamics of challenging and contesting norms, and his upcoming projects.

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    • A fruit fly on a compost pile. Photo by John Tann.

      Ladykiller: Artificial Sweetener Proves Deadly for Female Flies

      June 27, 2016

      In testing multiple artificial sweeteners, a Drexel University research team found that one was particularly deadly for female fruit flies — and left males relatively untouched.

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    • A scanning electron microscope image of a diatom. Courtesy of Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization.

      Tiny Algae Ideal for Sniffing Out Nutrient Pollution in Water

      June 24, 2016

      Tiny algae, called diatoms, living in water could be key to providing a definitive and clear measure of whether streams, rivers and lakes have damaging levels of nutrients in them.

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    • APSA logo

      Graham Wins APSA Grant & Ayoub Comments on Brexit

      June 23, 2016

      Erin Graham, PhD, was recently awarded a research grant from the American Political Science Association (APSA) and Phillip Ayoub, PhD, recently authored an article "Would Brexit Help LGBT People in Britain? Be Skeptical" for Washington Post political news blog The Monkey Cage.

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    • Left side view of the Hypophthalmus marginatus collected from the Suriname River.

      After Centuries of Confusion, Unique Bones Help Scientists Place Catfish

      June 08, 2016

      The Hypophthalmus catfish has long stumped scientists trying to explore its origins, but a pair of researchers from the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University finally believes their analysis of the fish’s backbone and unique swim bladder has solved the puzzle.

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    • A giant panda cooling off with a block of ice. Photo by Mingxi Li.

      Pandas Don’t Like It Hot: Temperature, Not Food is Biggest Concern for Conservation

      June 06, 2016

      China’s bamboo supply is more than enough to support giant pandas after it was discovered that they have bigger appetites than originally believed, but climate change could destroy their plentiful food source anyway.

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    • Mother-Baby Connections

      Drexel’s Postpartum Depression Clinic Is First of Its Kind in the Region

      May 24, 2016

      Mother-Baby Connections is an intensive outpatient clinic based at Drexel that provides therapy for mothers experiencing stress and postpartum depression.

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    • Chloe Silverman, PhD

      Q&A with Professor Chloe Silverman

      May 11, 2016

      Drexel University's Chloe Silverman, PhD, will serve as co-principal investigator on a recently funded grant for autism research. Silverman will work as part of a research team which includes Drexel Professors Paul Shattuck, PhD, and Collette Sosnowy, PhD, and Connie Anderson, PhD, from Towson University. This research is funded through the Organization for Autism Research.

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    • Oil Refinery

      Professor Gwen Ottinger on Air Monitoring Data

      April 21, 2016

      What's in the air in the neighborhoods closest to oil refineries? In general, according to Department of Politics Professor Gwen Ottinger, we don't know, and even when we do know, remarkably little meaningful change happens with that data.

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    • Q&A with Professor Gwen Ottinger

      April 13, 2016

      Gwen Ottinger, PhD, has an impressive research agenda based on questioning the environmental justice implications of current modes of science and technology. For her current project, she has been traveling to the San Francisco Bay Area to do social science research in communities next to oil refineries, where residents are concerned about toxic chemicals in their air. We caught up with her to ask her about her research, her workshop and the virtues of inquiry that engages with communities’ real-world problems.

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    • Images of three different synapses. Photos by Mitchell D'Rozario.

      Double Duty: Proteins Associated with Schizophrenia Hang Around Longer Than Previously Thought

      March 31, 2016

      While most scientists believe that TCF4 proteins degraded and disappeared after they assigned jobs to cells in the nervous system, a Drexel University research team discovered that the proteins were hanging around afterward and telling the cells how to do those jobs.

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    • East fork of the Bear River, one of the study sites.

      Un-Muddying Waters: Drexel Researchers Studying Climate Change in Mongolian, U.S. Rivers

      March 29, 2016

      As a part of a National Science Foundation macroecology study spanning two continents, a team of researchers from the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University will compare river systems in grassland areas of Asia and North America to see how they function and how human activity, including the effects of climate change alters that.

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    • A pair of Ceuthophilus crickets.

      Surface-Going Cave Crickets Actually More Isolated Than Cave-Dwelling Cousins

      March 16, 2016

      Although other studies on cave-dwelling creatures have found that animals that spend all of their lives in the dark of caves are more likely to be genetically isolated, a recent study on two groups of crickets found the opposite.

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    • Eciton burchellii ants, among the above-ground species that appeared to regrow the parts of the brain used for sight.

      Seeing the Light: Army Ants Evolve to Regain Sight and More in Return to Surface’s Complex Environment

      March 09, 2016

      A study of army ants revealed that some species increased their brain size, including visual brain regions, after evolving above-ground behavior. Their ancestors had lived mainly underground for nearly 60 million years. Such increases in brain capacity are a rarely-studied evolutionary phenomenon.

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    • A lit light bulb.

      Trust Your Aha! Moments, Experiments Show They’re Probably Right

      March 07, 2016

      A series of experiments showed that sudden insight may yield more correct solutions than using gradual, methodical thinking.

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    • A depiction of black holes merging and the gravitational waves that emit from them.

      Building Toward Discovery: Drexel Professor’s Role in Finding Gravitational Waves

      February 22, 2016

      Sometimes, science is about chipping away at the big questions. One Drexel physics professor recently got credit for his role in developing a big answer.

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    • Kenneth Lacovara, PhD unearthing Dreadnaughtus

      How to Build a Flexing Robotic Dinosaur Limb In Seven ‘Easy’ Steps

      February 17, 2016

      With their discovery of Dreadnoughtus schrani in 2014, a team of Drexel University researchers unearthed not only the most complete skeleton of a new species of supermassive dinosaur, but also a trove of research opportunities. One of the first of these endeavors to take shape at Drexel is an effort to better understand how the dinosaur might have moved.

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    • New research by Drexel University and Arizona State University reveals that the burst of electricity from a stun gun can impair a person’s ability to remember and process information.

      Taser Shock Disrupts Brain Function, Has Implications for Police Interrogations

      February 04, 2016

      New research from a first-of-its-kind human study by Drexel University and Arizona State University reveals that the burst of electricity from a stun gun can impair a person’s ability to remember and process information. In a randomized control trial, participants were subjected to Taser shocks and tested for cognitive impairment. Some showed short-term declines in cognitive functioning comparable to dementia, raising serious questions about the ability of police suspects to understand their rights at the point of arrest.

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    • Scott Knowles and Richardson Dilworth

      Employee Spotlight: Scott Knowles & Richardson Dilworth

      February 04, 2016

      Professors Scott Knowles and Richardson Dilworth are reliving Drexel’s entire 125 years of existence in a new book and online oral history that will be unveiled later this year, to coincide with the anniversary of Drexel’s founding in 1891. 

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    • Asteroid in outer space

      Q+A: Can NASA Really Predict - and Divert - Harmful Asteroids?

      January 21, 2016

      The name “Planetary Defense Coordination Office” evokes such sci-fi motifs as laser canons pointed skyward and angry, space ship-riding aliens.

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    • Jennifer Stanford, PhD

      Expanding Access to Research Opportunities for STEM Undergraduates

      January 06, 2016

      "Many undergraduates nationwide do not engage in research during their education," says Jennifer Stanford, PhD, assistant professor of biology in Drexel University's College of Arts and Sciences.

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  • 2015

    • Drexel Psychology Doctoral Student Mark McCurdy and Faculty Member Brian Daly, PhD

      Marc McCurdy and Brian Daly Have Manuscript Accepted to Journal of Neuro-Oncology

      December 16, 2015

      The recent study examined the utility of the Neurological Predictor Scale (NPS) for predicting neuropsychological outcomes in survivors of childhood brain tumor.

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    • Byrd Stadium at University of Maryland

      What’s in a Name? At UMD, a Hurtful History of Segregation

      December 09, 2015

      Amidst a flurry of protests across the country – from the University of Pennsylvania to Princeton University and the University of Kentucky – by students calling for the renaming of campus buildings and programs due to racial concerns, the president of the University of Maryland has recommended that the University’s football stadium be renamed. It was research by a Drexel professor that helped to inform that decision.

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    • Kelly Joyce, PhD, and students survey SEJ members, journalists and government officials for SEJ report

      November 18, 2015

      A survey conducted by Drexel University professor and director of the Center for Science, Technology and Society, Kelly Joyce, PhD, reveals some important information regarding the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ).

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    • Did Asteroid Impact or Volcanic Eruption Kill the Dinosaurs? Probably Both, Says New Study

      October 02, 2015

      Was it an asteroid impact on Earth 66 million years ago that wiped out the dinosaurs? Or the eruption of volcanoes in India for hundreds of thousands of years? For decades, paleontologists and geologists have debated the role these two global events played in the last mass extinction.

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    • Legal and illegal logging increased more than 600 percent in Ghana during a 15-year period. Photo credit: Nicole Arcilla.

      As Demand for African Timber Soars, Birds Pay the Ultimate Price

      September 08, 2015

      A new study co-authored by scientists at Drexel University, published in the most recent issue of Biological Conservation, reveals the devastating impact of illegal logging on bird communities in the understory layer of Ghana’s Upper Guinea rain forests, one of the world's 25 “biodiversity hotspots” where the most biologically rich ecosystems are most threatened.

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    • The Way to a Woman's Heart is Through Her Stomach, Too

      August 14, 2015

      You’ve heard that romance starts in the kitchen and not in the bedroom. Well, researchers at Drexel University finally have the science to support that saying – but not the way you might think.

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    • BBPP research staff, Illidio Mebulo, collecting a sample of primate tissue in the market for genetic analysis. Credit: Javier Rivas/BBPP

      Where Commerce and Conservation Clash: Bushmeat Trade Grows with Economic Prosperity in 13-Year Study

      August 03, 2015

      The bushmeat market in the city of Malabo is bustling—more so today than it was nearly two decades ago, when Gail Hearn, PhD, began what is now one of the region’s longest continuously running studies of commercial hunting activity.  Hearn’s team has now published its comprehensive results of 13 years of daily monitoring bushmeat market activity.

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    • Shivanthi Anandan Awarded SEED Grant from Drexel ExCite Center

      July 29, 2015

      Drexel Biology is excited to announce that Dr. Shivanthi Anandan was awarded a SEED grant from Drexel's ExCITE Center.

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    • A 2014 STAR Scholar demonstrates his research.

      Non-STEM Students Equally Benefit from Undergraduate Research, Study Finds

      July 17, 2015

      Most undergraduate research programs cater to STEM majors. A team of Drexel researchers shows why that's a bad idea.

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    • Quick Take: A Paleontologist’s View of the New Horizons Pluto Flyby

      July 13, 2015

      Drexel University Professor of Paleontology and Geology Kenneth Lacovara shared this view with Alan Stern, principal investigator of the New Horizons mission, as relayed in Stern’s editorial (with Science editor Marcia McNutt) published in Science

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    • brain images show reduced cortical surface area and increased cortical thickness in Down Syndrome

      Thick Cortex Could Be Key in Down Syndrome

      June 19, 2015

      The thickness of the brain’s cerebral cortex could be a key to unlocking answers about intellectual development in youth with Down Syndrome, according to a new study led by a Drexel psychologist.

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    • wasp colony

      Do Insect Societies Share Brain Power?

      June 17, 2015

      A new Drexel study suggests that social behavior evolved very differently in the brains of social insects than in vertebrate animals such as mammals, birds and fish.

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    • swarm of army ants

      Underground Ants Can't Take the Heat

      June 15, 2015

      A new Drexel study shows underground species of army ants are much less tolerant of high temperatures than their aboveground relatives—and that could mean  climate change models lack a key element of how animal physiology could affect responses to changing environments.

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    • Why Diet Apps Fail

      May 07, 2015

      It’s actually not complicated at all. The reason most smartphone diet apps fail has nothing to do with the diet, and little to do with the app. A team of Drexel researchers is working on a solution to the real problem: getting people to stick to their diets.

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    • Has Car Culture Crashed?

      May 06, 2015

      It’s been roughly a century since we were introduced to automobiles. But, as Americans buy fewer cars, drive less and get fewer licenses as each year goes by, it’s impossible not to wonder: has America passed its driving peak?

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    • Asteroid Crash Kicked Off Mega-Volcano in the Process that Killed Dinosaurs, According to New Study

      May 06, 2015

      When an enormous asteroid struck Earth 66 million years ago, a planet-wide quake shook the magma plumbing of a massive, active volcano—radically changing the style of volcanic eruption in one of the planet’s rarest, largest lava flows. This is the sequence of events supported by a new study published last week in the Geological Society of America Bulletin by a team of scientists, including Drexel University volcanologist Loÿc Vanderkluysen and led by geologists at UC Berkeley.

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    • Drexel Snapshot: Geology Class Digs into Earth Science on Instagram

      April 23, 2015

      On a beautiful spring day, it’s not unusual for college students to ask to hold class outside. But this spring term, Ted Daeschler’s GEO 103 class, “Intro to Field Methods in Earth Science,” is all outdoors, all the time.

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    • Voxel-lesion symptom map shows areas associated with speech production (blue-green) and speech recognition (red-yellow) factors in the brain. Credit: Mirman et al., Nature Communications

      Mapping Language in the Brain

      April 16, 2015

      Aphasia, an impairment of language that often happens after stroke or other brain injury, affects about 1 in 250 people, and can make it difficult to return to work and to maintain social relationships. A new study published in the journal Nature Communications provides a detailed brain map of language impairments in aphasia following stroke.

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    • Famous Fish Fossil Goes on Display

      April 10, 2015

      A group of remarkably well-preserved fossils that demonstrate the evolutionary transition from finned to limbed animals—and that made world headlines—is heading back to Canada, but not before the fossils get a proper send-off.

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    • African Pygmy Kingfisher (Ispidina picta) photographed in Vwaza Wildlife Reserve, Malawi. Credit: Jason D. Weckstein

      Study of African Birds Reveals Hotbed of Malaria Parasite Diversity

      April 08, 2015

      A new study published this week in the journal PLOS ONE explores the scope of malaria parasite diversity in southeast African birds, and provides insight into how lifestyle characteristics of birds can influence their association with different parasite genera.

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    • Collage of brain image, lightbulb and cover of the book "The Eureka Factor". Credits: Lightbulb by lilbitgimpy CC BY-NC 3.0; Brain by Beeman et al PLOS Biology; Eureka Factor courtesy of Random House

      How to Harness the Science of Sparking Ideas

      March 30, 2015

      Drexel professor John Kounios has co-authored a new book about the science of "aha moments." It’s the first book about creativity that tells a complete and faithful story of the neuroscience written by the actual scientists who made the discoveries.

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    • Women with a tendency for excessive weight gain during development may be more susceptible to developing an eating disorder, Drexel research finds.

      Elevated Childhood Weight May Increase Susceptibility to Eating Disorders

      March 04, 2015

      A group of researchers at Drexel University, headed up by Michael Lowe, PhD, a clinical psychologist who studies the psychobiology of eating and weight regulation and a professor of psychology in Drexel’s College of Arts and Sciences, suggests that actual elevations in body mass during childhood may play a much bigger role in the development of disordered eating than previously thought.

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    • Five Things to Know about the Role of 'Place' in Asthma Research

      February 24, 2015

      A recent study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology claims that the long-held belief that asthma is more common in urban areas is not accurate.

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    • Exposing the Social Roots of Our Environmental Problems

      February 09, 2015

      From energy policy to honeybee health, climate change to disaster preparedness, Drexel social scientists are bringing important new perspectives to the nation's greatest environmental challenges.  Tim Hyland writes about the research of Drexel social scientists, including STS professors Chloe Silverman and Gwen Ottinger.

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    • Dreadnoughtus Schrani Highlighted in the President’s Report [VIDEO]

      February 06, 2015

      The discovery and naming of Dreadnoughtus schrani, a 65-ton, supermassive sauropod dinosaur that lived 77 million years ago, was highlighted in the 2014 Drexel University President's Report. Associate Professor Ken Lavocara, PhD, who discovered the dinosaur in Patagonia back in 2005

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    • RiverWards Team August 2014

      Mapping Perceptions of Environmental Health Risks: A Comparison of Three Philadelphia Communities

      January 27, 2015

      This past fall, Drexel researchers from the Center for Science, Technology, and Society, and the School of Public Health, in collaboration with the Clean Air Council, conducted a community survey that investigated how River Ward residents perceive environmental conditions in their neighborhood, how residents obtain information about hazards as well as community projects, and what they thought were priority issues for the River Wards district. The study, “Mapping Perceptions of Environmental Health Risks,” was funded by Drexel’s Social Science Council, which solicited applications for interdisciplinary projects that paired social scientists with faculty from other disciplines.

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    • A Nigeria-Cameroon chimp rescued from illegal animal trafficking who now lives at the Limbe Wildlife Center in Cameroon. Credit Paul Sesink Clee

      Studies of Africa's Most Endangered Chimpanzees Show Complex Evolutionary Past, Perilous Future

      January 21, 2015

      A Drexel-led team's complementary analyses of population genetics, geographical distribution and habitat use paint a new picture of the evolutionary past and potentially bleak future of the Nigeria-Cameroon Chimpanzee, already the most endangered chimp subspecies.

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    • A Year of Finding New Life on This Planet

      January 06, 2015

      In most year-in-review posts, the Drexel News Blog takes the opportunity to reflect on experiences and stories, both local and global, that they took note of over the past 12 months. But this one is about new finds that you might not have heard about - and it's remarkable how unremarked such things can be. Every month of every year, scientists continue to add pages to the catalog of life on Earth, discovering and documenting new species from the swimming to the squirmy to the photosynthetic and microscopically beautiful.

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  • 2014

    • North America: Ted Daeschler (second from right) with his team on Ellesmere Island.

      Spanning the Globe: Drexel Research Reaches Around the World in 2014

      November 11, 2014

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    • Lee Gutkind, founder of the literary magazine Creative Nonfiction, will join Drexel Nov. 3

      How to Write True Stories about Science and Society: The ‘Godfather of Creative Nonfiction’ Joins Drexel for Workshop

      October 23, 2014

      Lee Gutkind, “the ‘Godfather’ behind creative nonfiction” (Vanity Fair), will join Drexel University on Monday, Nov. 3 from 2 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. for a workshop and discussion to help faculty, students and other scholars, researchers and academics learn how to write about their research for a broad audience. The event aims to help those who have a passion to share their knowledge outside of the classroom, laboratory or institution to communicate their ideas to the public to advance knowledge and create new dialogue.

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    • Loÿc Vanderkluysen, PhD, monitors the active volcano Sinabung in Indonesia.

      Q&A: Understanding the Eruption and Rescue Efforts at Japan's Mt. Ontake

      September 30, 2014

      Drexel vulcanologist Loÿc Vanderkluysen, PhD, provides insight into the science of volcanos and what challenges remain during the ongoing rescue effort in Japan.

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    • Kenneth Lacovara, PhD (center) speaks with a crowd of community members in attendance at the Mantua Township Community Fossil Dig Day.

      A World-Class Fossil Dig, a One-of-a-Kind Community Event

      September 24, 2014

      More than a thousand residents and visitors to southern New Jersey will dig their own fossils and learn from the Drexel University paleontologist and students who conduct globally significant scientific research at Mantua Township's third annual Community Fossil Dig Day.

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    • Kenneth Lacovara, PhD, stands in his lab among the bones of the exceptionally complete dinosaur skeleton he discovered in Patagonia.

      Drexel Team Unveils Dreadnoughtus: A Gigantic, Exceptionally Complete Sauropod Dinosaur

      September 04, 2014

      A Drexel-led team has described a new dinosaur species with the most complete skeleton ever found of one of the largest animals to ever walk the Earth. At 85 feet (26 m) long and weighing about 65 tons (59,300 kg) in life, Dreadnoughtus schrani is the largest land animal for which a body mass can be accurately calculated.

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    • A northern pine snake near the edge of an asphalt road in New Jersey. Credit: Dane Ward

      Roadside Research from the New Jersey Pinelands and Coast to Coast

      August 12, 2014

      Three doctoral students from Drexel's Laboratory of Pinelands Research are presenting their work with northern pine snakes and the Pine Barrens gentian at the Ecological Society of America meeting, after doing some new roadside research during their cross-country drive to Sacramento.

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    • Researchers found that being unemployed increases your risk of death, but recessions decrease it.

      How Is It Possible that Joblessness Could Kill You, But Recessions Could Be Good For Your Health?

      July 24, 2014

      While previous studies of individuals have shown that employees who lose their jobs have a higher mortality rate, more comprehensive studies have shown, unexpectedly, that population mortality actually declines as unemployment rates increase. Researchers from Drexel University and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor set out to better understand these seemingly contradictory findings.

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    • SugarHouse Casino

      Philadelphia’s SugarHouse Casino Does Not Contribute to Neighborhood Crime, According to New Study

      July 16, 2014

      Philadelphia’s SugarHouse Casino opened its doors in September 2010 after years of protests from community members who feared that the casino would lead to an increase in neighborhood crime. However, a new study by researchers at Drexel University and Temple University reveals that these concerns were unfounded.

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    • View of a highway from the driver's seat

      First Study Asks Autistic Adults about Driving Experiences

      June 26, 2014

      In the first pilot study asking adults on the autism spectrum about their experiences with driving, researchers at Drexel University found significant differences in self-reported driving behaviors and perceptions of driving ability in comparison to non-autistic adults. As the population of adults with autism continues growing rapidly, the survey provides a first step toward identifying whether this population has unmet needs for educational supports to empower safe driving – a key element of independent functioning in many people’s lives.

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    • You Catch (and Kill) More Flies with This Sweetener…

      June 05, 2014

      In a study that began as a sixth-grade science fair project, researchers at Drexel University have found that a popular non-nutritive sweetener, erythritol, may be an effective and human-safe insecticide.

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    • In the Drexel team's experiments, flies died after an average of 5.8 days when consuming a diet of the sweetener erythritol.

      Drexel Scientists Find Common Sweetener is a Safe Insecticide

      June 04, 2014

      In a study that began as a sixth-grade science fair project, researchers at Drexel University have found that a popular non-nutritive sweetener, erythritol, may be an effective and human-safe insecticide. Erythritol, the main component of the sweetener Truvia®, was toxic to Drosophila melanogaster fruit flies in a dose-dependent manner in the Drexel team’s study, published in PLOS ONE. The flies consumed erythritol when sugar was available and even seemed to prefer it. No other sweeteners tested had these toxic effects.

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    • A high-resolution digital image of the face of Kryptoglanis shajii

      A Tiny, Toothy Catfish with Bulldog Snout Defies Classification

      May 13, 2014

      Kryptoglanis shajii is a strange fish – and the closer scientists look, the stranger it gets. This small subterranean catfish sees the light of day and human observers only rarely, when it turns up in springs, wells and flooded rice paddies in the Western Ghats mountain region of Kerala, India. Scientists at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University have recently provided a detailed description of this fish's bizarre bone structures.

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    • The two partial limb fossils from the ancient sea turtle <i>Atlantochelys mortoni</i> fit together perfectly, leaving little room for doubt that they are from the same bone. This discovery surprised paleontologists because the two halves were discovered at least 163 years apart, defying conventional wisdom that most fossils break down after weeks or months of surface exposure.

      Paleontologists Assemble Giant Turtle Bone from Fossil Discoveries Made Centuries Apart

      March 25, 2014

      To the surprise of paleontologists, two halves of a turtle bone fit together perfectly, like puzzle pieces. The discovery linked scientists from the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University and the New Jersey State Museum with their predecessors from the 19th century, while providing new insight into one of the largest turtle species that ever lived.

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    • Fossil Find Shows Fish Hips Grew Strong Before Life's First Steps

      January 13, 2014

      The discovery of new fossil materials from the ancient fish species Tiktaalik roseae has revealed a key link in the evolution of hind limbs. The newly described, well-preserved pelves and partial pelvic fin from this 375 million-year-old transitional species between fish and the first legged animals, reveals that the evolution of hind legs actually began as enhanced hind fins, contrary to the existing theory that large hind legs developed after vertebrates transitioned to land.

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    • GPS Traffic Maps for Leatherback Turtles Show Hotspots to Prevent Accidental Fishing Deaths

      January 08, 2014

      The leatherback turtle in the Pacific Ocean is one of the most endangered animals in the world. Its population has declined by more than 90 percent since 1980. One of the greatest sources of mortality is industrial longlines that set thousands of hooks in the ocean to catch fish, but sometimes catch sea turtles as well. Using modern GPS technology, researchers are now able to predict where fisheries and turtles will interact and to reduce the unwanted capture of turtles by fishermen.

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    • Paperwasps in Different Castes Develop Different-Sized Sensory Brain Structures

      January 06, 2014

      A queen in a paperwasp colony largely stays in the dark. The worker wasps, who fly outside to seek food and building materials, see much more of the world around them. A new study led by Drexel professor Sean O'Donnell, PhD, indicates that the brain regions involved in sensory perception also develop differently in these castes, according to the different behavioral reliance on the senses.

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  • 2013

  • 2012

  • 2011

    • Drexel Academy of Natural Sciences Complete Affiliation Agreement

      October 27, 2011

      The Academy of Natural Sciences President and CEO George W. Gephart, Jr., and Drexel University President John A. Fry, joined with Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced the completion of an historic affiliation between the Academy and Drexel that will promote discovery, learning and civic engagement in the natural and environmental sciences and further enhance Philadelphia’s reputation as a leader in scientific research and education.

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    • Five-Story Biowall of Plants Serves as a Living Laboratory for Air Quality Research at Drexel

      September 29, 2011

      Drexel's new Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building features a five-story vertical wall of living plants – the largest such wall in North America and the only one at a U.S. university. Scientists and students at Drexel are studying the biowall, an active living filter that removes volatile organic compounds from the air, to get a better understanding of how it works.

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