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Aulden Foltz

Researchers test nanoparticle sensors in microscopic worms

Stanford researchers are collaborating to create nanoparticles that emit light in response to a force stimulus. They hope to use these nanoparticles as sensors to study biological processes. Currently, they are testing these sensors in the digestive systems of 1 millimeter long worms called nematodes.

Q&A with Knight Fellow Jeneé Desmond-Harris

Jenée Desmond-Harris is one of this year’s John S. Knight Journalism Fellows. Desmond-Harris is focusing on investigating the best practices for journalists covering race in America. A former staff writer at Vox and editor at The Root, she freelances for many publications, including the New York Times and MSNBC. The Daily talked with Desmond-Harris about her experiences with journalism and being a JSK fellow.

Researchers examine emotional role in financial fraud

Researchers at the Stanford Center on Longevity have found in a new report that the ways in which elderly people process high-arousal emotions, such as anger and excitement, is in part responsible for their heightened susceptibility to fraud. “There’s evidence that [the elderly] are targeted, but to me that’s sort of like [wondering] why criminals rob banks,” said Laura Carstensen, professor of psychology and founding director of the Stanford Center on Longevity. “That’s where the money is.”

Researchers to revisit drug trials for major viruses

Stanford scientists have relaunched research on a previously shelved category of drugs, known as broad-spectrum antiviral drugs, in the hope that it will reveal information about new strategies to fight both difficult-to-combat viruses such as dengue and ebola, along with cancer. This research, published in Nature Chemical Biology, was headed by the two senior authors of the paper, assistant professor of genetics Michael Bassik and professor of chemistry Chaitan Khosla.

Glamorous Grad Students: James Russell

James Russell is a third year PhD candidate in cellular and molecular biology researching cell wall patterning in diatom algae. He is also the founder of Empco Holdings, which grows and sells bioluminescent algae. For this edition of our weekly feature of graduate students, The Daily talked with Russell about his research and Empco.

Stanford researchers add to Neanderthal debate

Two Stanford researchers are using mathematics to model the extinction of Neanderthals. Biology professor Marcus Feldman and applied physics Ph.D. student in William Gilpin collaborated with Kenichi Aoki of Meiji University to release a paper this past month using a measure of “culture” as the distinguishing factor between humans and Neanderthals. The new paper took an interdisciplinary approach in order to explain why humans, not Neanderthals, became the prevalent species. According to previously existing research, modern humans migrated to Europe around 45 thousand years ago. At the time, Neanderthals had already lived in Europe for hundreds of thousands of years and had established much larger populations than the migrating humans.

Stanford geologists refute coal development theory

Two Stanford geologists are disputing the decade-old explanation of the large amount of coal accumulated during the Carboniferous Period. Associate Professor Kevin Boyce and Postdoctorate Research Fellow Matthew Nelsen, collaborated with scientists across the country to release a paper this past month where they propose a new understanding of coal development. The previous hypothesis of coal accumulation focused on a temporal lag between the evolution of lignin production in woody plants and the evolution of lignin-degrading fungi to break down this new material. This would have resulted in the non-degraded lignin building up, depositing massive amounts of coal.
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