DR/TL (Didn't Read/Too Long)

Brief mentions of things going on among Duke researchers, scholars, and other enterprises
June 12, 2018

ANIMALS

IT’S A WORLD OF TRADEOFFS, PART I: Toenail fungus seems to have given up sexual reproduction in order to more effectively reproduce on your feet.

IT’S A WORLD OF TRADEOFFS, PART II: Snapping shrimp queens without rivals have smaller pincers and lay more eggs; those in colonies with multiple queens have larger pincers and lay fewer eggs.

What probably caused the four-year period of killing and land grabs among the CHIMPANZEES studied by Jane Goodall was—wait for it—top males fighting for status. You may file this under STOP THE PRESSES.

HOGFISH can “see” with their skin. With information their skin perceives, they decide what color to be. Wouldn’t you?

PEOPLE

OBESITY does not seem to be declining in American children or adolescents; in fact, obesity in children ages 2-5 seems to have increased in recent years.

Students who receive monthly SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (SNAP) benefits find their test scores vary with the timing of the benefits' arrival, implying that benefit levels are commonly not sufficient.

DUKE

Duke has begun work on a new 150,000-SQUARE-FOOT, THREE-STORY, $115-MILLION ENGINEERING BUILDING to house research, entrepreneurship, and education initiatives at the Pratt School of Engineering.

Duke Health is funding a $100-million expansion to DUKE REGIONAL HOSPITAL even though Duke does not own the hospital. The investment will increase the number of psychiatric beds and expand its emergency room facilities, among other things.

Duke has indefinitely postponed plans to build a combined heat and power plant, which would have burned natural gas; Duke will instead focus on increasing the use of biogas and other ECOLOGICALLY FRIENDLY FUELS.

To encourage diners to return the distressing amount of silverware liberated from dining places on campus, Duke instituted a FORK AMNESTY DAY.

Duke accepted a record-low 6.4 percent of its regular-decision applicants for the CLASS OF 2022.

SCHOLARSHIP

Carl Bolch Jr. and his wife, Susan Bass Bolch, will endow the new CARL AND SUSAN BOLCH JUDICIAL INSTITUTE at Duke Law School. It will be dedicated to bettering the human condition through studying and promoting the rule of law. The university and other donors will match the gift, bringing the total in support of the Bolch Judicial Institute to $20 million.

SUHANI JALOTA ’16, from Mumbai, India, has been named to the inaugural cohort of Knight-Hennessy Scholars at Stanford University. The scholarship will fund her Ph.D. in health policy at the Stanford School of Medicine.

Professors SALLIE PERMAR and GEORGIA TOMARAS from the Duke School of Medicine were among 96 new fellows elected to the American Academy of Microbiology.

Samantha Bouchal and Shomik Verma, juniors, and Pranav Warman, a sophomore, were among 211 students from 455 institutions named 2018 BARRY M. GOLDWATER SCHOLARS for 2018-19. The federally endowed program encourages students to pursue careers in mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering.

Twelve Duke students were awarded FULBRIGHT placements in 2017-18.

ADRIAN BEJAN, J.A. Jones Professor of mechanical engineering and father of the constructal theory of thermodynamics, received the 2018 Benjamin Franklin Medal, one of the nation’s highest scientific prizes.

With a grant of $15 million from the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation, the Pratt School will launch the A. JAMES CLARK SCHOLARS PROGRAM to encourage entrepreneurial thinking among engineers. It will give recipients dedicated servicelearning opportunities, leadership training, and mentorships.

MISCELLANY

The world has only 12 to 16 years’ worth of GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS left, from the start of 2016, if it wants a better-than even chance of holding warming below 1.5 degrees.

On the other hand, if we accelerate cuts to carbon emissions, we could save 153 MILLION LIVES over the next century in the 154 largest urban areas.

Remember how ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORDS were going to save all kinds of money? Nuh-uh. Savings haven't materialized.

Silver-coated copper NANOWIRES can be covered with silicone rubber and printed onto clothing, making stretchable, wearable, and inexpensive “felt” wires that may be usable for fitness and other monitoring and tracking.

PLASTIC METAMATERIALS can redirect and reflect sound waves with almost perfect efficiency.