Wildfire Archaeology and the Burning American West

Sapiens Originally Posted: September 9, 2020 As I type, the American West is ablaze with more than 100 devastating wildfires. Many of these are record-setting in both size and intensity. Several, including one in my home state of Colorado, have been so intense they’ve created their own thunderstorms. Science shows that wildfires have been getting more destructive over the last several decades. The question is: Why? Are they getting worse due to climate change? Or is it due to human encroachment on once remote forests? Or, counterintuitive as it may seem, are federal wildfire suppression policies to blame? In the U.S., forest fire management policies date back to the 1880s, shortly after Yellowstone National Park was established in 1872. After a roughly 50-year period in which some [...]

By | 2020-09-10T10:26:14-07:00 September 10th, 2020|Anthropology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News|Comments Off on Wildfire Archaeology and the Burning American West

Dinosaurs’ unique bone structure helped them support their large weight

CNN Originally Posted: August 19, 2020 Some dinosaurs were so big the ground would have shaken while they walked. But how did they carry such massive loads? Dinosaurs likely had a different bone structure to mammals and birds that was uniquely capable of supporting huge weights, a new study has found. A team of paleontologists, mechanical and biomedical engineers examined the upper and lower leg bones of duck-billed hadrosaurs and sauropods, long-necked and big-bodied plant eaters, whose fossils have been found on every continent. "The structure of the trabecular, or spongy bone that forms in the interior of (the)bones we studied is unique within dinosaurs," said AnthonyFiorillo, a Southern Methodist University paleontologist and one of the authors of the study that published Wednesday in the [...]

By | 2020-09-02T10:35:23-07:00 September 2nd, 2020|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Earth Sciences, Faculty News|Comments Off on Dinosaurs’ unique bone structure helped them support their large weight

No one can predict the crises a president will face, so it’s better to vote on character (OPINION)

Dallas Morning News Originally Posted: August 30, 2020 Jeffrey A. Engel directs the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University. He wrote this column for The Dallas Morning News. (OPINION) The Dallas Morning News is publishing a multi-part series on important issues for voters to consider as they choose a president this year. This is the third installment of our What’s at Stake series, and it focuses on presidential leadership. Find the full series here. Surely you predicted the fall of the Berlin Wall? Tiananmen Square? You also expected San Francisco’s World Series earthquake, and anticipated that the Exxon Valdez would choke Alaska’s coast with oil. Of course you didn’t. Neither did President George H.W. Bush, who confronted them all during his first year in [...]

By | 2020-08-31T13:21:29-07:00 August 31st, 2020|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News, History|Comments Off on No one can predict the crises a president will face, so it’s better to vote on character (OPINION)

Contact tracing can stop COVID-19 — only if Americans allow government access to personal data

MSN Originally Posted: August 26, 2020 BY: Jo Guldi and Macabe Keiher Jo Guldi is an associate professor of history at Southern Methodist University. She teaches courses on data, text mining, and the history of capitalism. She is author of "Roads to Power: Britain Invents the Infrastructure State" and co-author, with David Armitage, of "The History Manifesto (2014)". Macabe Keliher is an assistant professor of Chinese history at Southern Methodist University. He is the author of "The Board of Rites and the Making of Qing China." Most Americans await a vaccine to end the pandemic and get us back to work. But the drama about vaccines and masks has obscured a practical answer to ending the pandemic that has already worked in other parts of the [...]

By | 2020-08-26T07:47:20-07:00 August 26th, 2020|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News, History|Comments Off on Contact tracing can stop COVID-19 — only if Americans allow government access to personal data

SMU virologist in NYT

New York Times Originally Posted: August 20, 2020 Drug Pitched to Trump for Covid-19 Comes From a Deadly Plant The chief executive of My Pillow, a Trump donor, claims oleandrin is a miracle cure for Covid-19. But no studies have shown that it is safe or effective, and the shrub it’s derived from is poisonous. An excerpt from the NYT article: So why would anyone think oleandrin could be a treatment for Covid? It’s not uncommon for plants — even poisonous ones — to generate interest as treatments for disease. Robert Harrod, a professor at Southern Methodist University, has studied oleandrin’s potential to fight a type of leukemia, for example. Although Dr. Harrod said that using oleandrin to treat the coronavirus was not yet more [...]

By | 2020-08-21T08:38:33-07:00 August 21st, 2020|Biology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News|Comments Off on SMU virologist in NYT

What is oleandrin, the compound touted as a possible COVID-19 treatment?

C&E Chemical and Engineering News Originally Posted: August 20, 2020 Robert Harrod, a virologist in the SMU Department of Biological Sciences, has studied oleandrin’s ability to block human T-cell leukemia virus, type 1, a retrovirus that causes fatal blood cancer, from spreading to other cells in test tubes. “Even if (oleandrin) does make it into treatment of coronavirus as a therapeutic, this is going to have to be monitored very closely by doctors,” Harrod says. “It is a very dangerous compound.” https://cen.acs.org/biological-chemistry/natural-products/oleandrin-compound-touted-possible-COVID/98/web/2020/08

By | 2020-08-21T08:13:45-07:00 August 21st, 2020|Biology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News|Comments Off on What is oleandrin, the compound touted as a possible COVID-19 treatment?

SMU creative writing professor shines spotlight on Black authors

Dallas Morning News Originally Posted: July 02, 2020 Author leads movement to fill bestseller lists with titles by Black authors Sanderia Faye is the author of Mourner’s Bench, a story about 8-year-old Sarah Jones coming to terms with the traditions of her community in 1960s Arkansas and the progressive nature of her mother, who is involved with the civil rights movement. Read More

By | 2020-07-29T11:15:47-07:00 August 3rd, 2020|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, English, Faculty News|Comments Off on SMU creative writing professor shines spotlight on Black authors

SMU Economists’ Research Details Why Some Counties Have Fared Better Than Others During The COVID-19 Pandemic

SMU Research Originally Posted: July 2, 2020 DALLAS (SMU) – The “back to the city” movement popular with Millennials has resulted in the revitalization of many urban areas, but has also made these city dwellers living in close proximity, frequently sharing rail cars and buses, more susceptible to risk during a pandemic. Population density and dependence on public transportation are just two of the factors that came into play in a new statistical study of how 3,000 U.S. counties have fared during the COVID-19 pandemic. Produced by SMU economist Klaus Desmet and his UCLA colleague Romain Wacziarg, the working paper issued by the National Bureau of Economic Research confirms some previous assumptions about the spread of COVID-19, but raises intriguing questions, such as: How have counties that more strongly support [...]

By | 2020-07-29T10:28:50-07:00 July 31st, 2020|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Economics, Faculty News|Comments Off on SMU Economists’ Research Details Why Some Counties Have Fared Better Than Others During The COVID-19 Pandemic

More colleges should be teaching human rights courses today (opinion)

Inside Higher Ed Originally Posted: July 24, 2020 Our society is under simultaneous assaults on political, cultural, economic and social norms. Many people, especially those in different generations, are polarized as we confront an accelerated pace of change against institutionalized racism, bigotry and a systemically flawed criminal justice system that for too long has targeted the marginalized because of their skin color, ethnicity, country of origin or (lower) economic standing. I am 70 years old, and I am energized and excited to witness and support a younger generation demanding its turn at changing this country into what it can and must become in order to move forward. I came of age during a similar era of historic and tumultuous times. I lived through the violence [...]

By | 2020-07-29T07:30:30-07:00 July 28th, 2020|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Embrey Human Rights Events, Events, Faculty News, History|Comments Off on More colleges should be teaching human rights courses today (opinion)

After battling impostor syndrome, a young Dallas scientist encourages more women to enter science Perot Museum paleontologist Myria Perez says failure is a part of the scientific process.

Dallas News Originally Posted: July 16, 2020 Myria Perez had no trouble finding her passions, however, she needed an extra hand along the way. When a mentor at SMU connected her with “Sea Monsters Unearthed: Life in Angola’s Ancient Seas,” those passions were connected with purpose. READ MORE

By | 2020-07-27T10:01:54-07:00 July 27th, 2020|Anthropology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Earth Sciences, Faculty News|Comments Off on After battling impostor syndrome, a young Dallas scientist encourages more women to enter science Perot Museum paleontologist Myria Perez says failure is a part of the scientific process.
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