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Steve ScarpaSeptember 26, 20226min
Recent research by Erika A. Taylor, associate professor of chemistry, suggests that the way scientists have long believed some antibiotics used to treat bacterial infections work could be incorrect. Aminoglycoside antibiotics have broad-spectrum, bacterial killing abilities and are often prescribed for childhood infections caused by Gram-negative bacterial pathogens, which can be found in E. coli, Salmonella, and V. cholera, amongst others. The stakes of the research are real, Taylor explained. Improved antibiotics would prevent needless deaths from E. coli, Salmonella and other Gram-negative bacteria. Relatively simple treatments, such as those for urinary tract infections, would be more efficient, improving people’s…

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Amy AlbertSeptember 16, 20224min
Martha “Marty” Gilmore, the George I. Seney Professor of Geology and professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences, has been awarded the 2022 Claudia J. Alexander Prize from the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) for her study of Venus’ geology. Gilmore is a Science Team Member on the DAVINCI and VERITAS missions to Venus, and the principal investigator of a Venus Flagship Mission Concept Study for the Planetary Decadal Survey. Gilmore’s work has “helped usher in a new decade of exploration of Venus with the selection of two new NASA Venus missions,” according to the AAS.…

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Steve ScarpaAugust 26, 20225min
Erika Taylor, associate professor of chemistry, didn’t have a single female science teacher during her academic career. The lack of female representation in the field had an impact on her journey. “I had to swim upstream the whole time. That is what it felt like,” Taylor said. In an effort to make sure other young women don’t feel the same way, Taylor and Meng-ju Renee Sher ‘07, assistant professor of physics, are working diligently to show girls that a life in the sciences is desirable and attainable. The Girls in Science program, a partnership between Wesleyan and the Middletown Public…

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Steve ScarpaAugust 1, 20226min
Almost every scientist has an origin story, the moment they knew a life of scientific inquiry and research was something they wanted. “All of the faculty have that story,” said Seth Redfield, professor of astronomy, at the annual poster session held at Exley Science Center on July 28. “Almost all of them involve an experience like this one.” About 200 students representing all of the University’s scientific disciplines shared the fruits of a summer spent doing research. The summer research program is hosted by the College of Integrative Sciences. Students and faculty milled around the lobby of Exley, talking to…

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Steve ScarpaJuly 28, 20226min
Tsampikos Kottos, the Lauren B. Dachs Endowed Professor of Science and Society, is passionate about the importance of sensors in our everyday lives and believes his most recent efforts will improve safety in fields as varied as aviation, biology, and food safety. “Nothing in this universe can work without sensing. The human body is an amazing sensor, starting from the brain all the way down to the toes,” Kottos said. “We are trying to learn from what nature has created.” Kottos, along with Rodion Kononchuk, postdoctoral physics research associate in Wesleyan’s Wave Transport in Complex Systems Laboratory, Professor of Physics…

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Steve ScarpaJuly 20, 20224min
A recent paper co-authored by Anna Shusterman, professor of psychology, shows that for deaf and hard of hearing children, immediate access to language is needed to develop abstract concepts, like numeracy. “Language is important in its own right, but it also serves as the foundation for many other domains, including social and cognitive development,” Shusterman wrote. Shusterman’s study was published in the June issue of the journal Child Development. Shusterman and her colleagues, Rebecca Peretz-Lange ’13 of SUNY Purchase (who wrote her senior thesis on the project), Talia Berkowitz of University of Chicago, and Emily Carrigan of University of North…

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Steve ScarpaJuly 18, 20225min
Seth Redfield’s delight couldn’t be more apparent on the day the first images from the James Webb Space Telescope came through. On July 11 NASA released images of the Carina Nebula; Stephan’s Quintet (a galaxy cluster), atmospheric readings of WASP-96b, a planet orbiting a distant star; and the Southern Ring Nebula. While the images were certainly dreamlike and breathtaking, showing the oldest documented light in the universe from 13 billion years ago, it was the events of day two that got Redfield really excited. It was then that he, and scientists across the country, would start receiving raw data from…

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Olivia DrakeMay 9, 20222min
On April 30, Wesleyan's Archaeology and Anthropology Collections hosted an open house at Exley Science Center. In addition to viewing artifacts excavated from around the world and Middletown, guests were able to tour the museums, watch demonstrations of stone tool-making and 3D scanning, and participate in a hands-on animal bone and scat identification exercise. The event was co-hosted by the Wesleyan Archaeology Program, Environmental Archaeology Laboratory, Joe Webb Peoples Museum of Natural History, and the George Brown Goode Biological Collections. (Photos by Willow Saxon '24)

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Olivia DrakeApril 11, 20228min
Every summer, Anna Fehr '23 would cherish family camping trips to the mountains in California. There, she could see something many people—especially city residents—rarely get to experience: a truly dark night sky. "I remember seeing the Milky Way and just being blown away by the sheer number of stars," she recalls. "I think I knew at the time that each star was like another sun, and it was just impossible to imagine the scope of what I could see with a naked eye. Also, my parents both have August birthdays, so we would go up to the mountains during the…

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Steve ScarpaApril 4, 20227min
It isn’t often that watching late night comedy would be considered preparation for an environmental studies senior capstone project, but that turned out to the case for Belle Brown ‘22. Regular viewing of John Oliver’s commentary on environmental issues helped inform Brown’s upcoming stand-up comedy set about the absurdities of the Monsanto Company. “Belle decided to do the comedy act as her capstone project as a way of presenting research about policy and politics related to big-agriculture in a format that might be more accessible to people. I just saw a preview, and it is hilarious as well as informative,”…

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Olivia DrakeMarch 16, 202210min
In April 2019, Middlesex County EMT Livia Cox '22 recalls responding to a medical call where she encounters an unconscious and pale-faced patient. She eyes a pill bottle in the room, and although the man is dead, she begins chest compressions anyway "with every joule of energy and every compassionate bone in me," she says. Cox had met this patient before. They've discussed his comorbid chronic physical and mental pain and substance dependency at length. A former military man, he has frequent PTSD episodes. He's been prescribed opioids to ameliorate his joint pain, but help more with his insomnia. "On…

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Olivia DrakeFebruary 9, 20225min
While scientific societies frequently approach diversity and inclusion efforts by supporting the professional development of historically underrepresented groups, data is lacking to evaluate the efficacy of these methods. As co-principal investigator I of a $701,000 National Science Foundation grant awarded to the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB), Candice Etson, assistant professor of molecular biology and biochemistry, will help establish a network of experts who will collaboratively identify evidence-based inclusion strategies in STEM. The results will be reported and disseminated in open-access training materials and publications throughout the duration of the three-year project. The project, titled "Enhancing and Developing Biology (LED-BIO) Scientific…