Featurette

$3.78 million awarded by Department of Defense to SMU STEM project for minority students

SMU STEMPREP, Charles KnibbThe U.S. Department of Defense recently awarded the STEMPREP Project at SMU a $3.78 million grant to support its goal of increasing the number of minorities in STEM fields.

To create more diversity in STEM fields, STEMPREP, based at the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, recruits bright, science-minded middle school students. Continue reading

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Kennewick Man: genome sequence of 8,500-year-old skeleton solves scientific controversy

Scultpted bust 400x300An 8,500-year-old male skeleton discovered in 1996 in Washington State sparked bitter disputes between Native Americans, American scientists, and within the American scientific community. Earlier studies suggested he was not ancestral to Native Americans, blocking repatriation. Now his genome sequence shows Kennewick Man is more closely related to modern Native Americans than to any other population worldwide. Continue reading

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At peak fertility, women who desire to maintain body attractiveness report they eat less

SMU, Meltzer, ovulation, weight loss, women, attractivenessBiology isn’t the only reason women eat less as they near ovulation, a time when they are at their peak fertility.

Three new independent studies found that another part of the equation is a woman’s desire to maintain her body’s attractiveness, says social psychologist and assistant professor Andrea L. Meltzer, Southern Methodist University, Dallas. Continue reading

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SMU seismology team to cooperate with state, federal scientists in study of May 7 Venus, Texas earthquake

Injctn sign 400x300SMU’s seismology team was not surprised by the magnitude 4.0 earthquake that occurred near Venus, Texas, recently, having been aware of multiple smaller earthquakes identified nearby in recent months.

The team has recommended to state lawmakers a permanent regional network of monitors, supplemented by portable instruments, to deploy in a time-sensitive manner. Continue reading

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17 million-year-old whale fossil provides 1st exact date for East Africa’s puzzling uplift

Whale, fossil, kenya, Great Rift, Africa, Jacobs, WichuraUplift associated with East Africa’s Great Rift Valley and the environmental changes it produced have puzzled scientists for decades because the timing and starting elevation have been poorly constrained.

Now paleontologists have tapped a fossil from the most precisely dated beaked whale in the world — and the only stranded whale ever found so far inland on the African continent — to pinpoint a date when the mysterious elevation began. Continue reading

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SMU analysis of recent North Texas earthquake sequence reveals geologic fault, epicenters in Irving and West Dallas

Locations of seismic instruments as of Jan. 30, 2015, with revised earthquake locations in dark red. (USGS)Initial results from the seismology team at Southern Methodist University reveal that a recent series of earthquakes near old Texas Stadium in the Dallas-Fort Worth area were relatively shallow and concentrated along a narrow two-mile line that indicates a fault extending from Irving into West Dallas. SMU and the United States Geological Survey have shared an interim report with the mayors of Dallas and Irving. 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)
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