Featurette

Study funded by NIH is decoding blue light’s mysterious ability to alter body’s natural clock

blue light, circadian clock, sleepless, zoltowski, nih
A study funded by the National Institutes of Health is unraveling the mystery of how blue light from residential and commercial lighting, electronic devices and outdoor lights can throw off-kilter the natural body clock of humans, plants and animals, leading to disease.

Exposure to blue light is on the increase, says chemist Brian Zoltowski, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, who leads the study. Continue reading

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Jurassic climate of large swath of western U.S. was more complex than previously known

Morrison Formation, Jurassic, ancient soil, paleosols, climate, Myers, SMUClimate over a large swath of the western U.S. was more complex during the Jurassic than previously known, according to new research from SMU.

Instead of a gradual transition from dry to wetter, chemical analysis of ancient soils reveals there was an unexpected abrupt change. Samples came from the Morrison Formation, which sprawls 13 states and Canada and which has produced dinosaur discoveries for over 100 years. Continue reading

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Asthma patients reduce symptoms, improve lung function with shallow breaths, more CO2

Asthma patients taught to habitually resist the urge to take deep breaths when experiencing symptoms were rewarded with fewer symptoms and healthier lung function, according to a new study from the Department of Psycholgoy at Southern Methodist University.

The findings are from a large clinical trial funded with a grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Continue reading

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Study will teach algebra with student-authored stories that draw on their own interests

Candace Walkington, SMU, algebra, teachingCan students learn algebra from Instagram and video games?

SMU teaching researcher Candace Walkington thinks so. Walkington’s new study, funded by the National Academy of Education, will test that idea. Students will describe how linear relationships approximate what they encounter in their everyday lives, such as how they accumulate followers in Instagram or score points in a video game over time Continue reading

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Scientists issue call to action for archaeological sites threatened by rising seas, urban development

Western%20Site%20Margin%20400x300.jpgShould global warming cause sea levels to rise as predicted in coming decades, thousands of archaeological sites in coastal areas around the world will be lost to erosion.

With no hope of saving all these sites, an SMU archaeologist and others call for scientists to assess the sites most at risk.

Photo: A site at Anacapa Island, southern California, is in danger of eroding into the ocean. (Credit: Reeder)
Continue reading

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