We were lucky to survive the Berlin Wall’s fall

Dallas Morning News Originally Posted: Nov. 9, 2019 Thirty years ago this week the impossible happened: the Berlin Wall fell. More accurately it was crushed by Berliners both East and West who’d had enough of the scar across their cityscape. Like crowds before them, in Leipzig and Dresden in East Germany, in Budapest and Warsaw too, demonstrators demanding change stared down soldiers and police, and won. We were lucky to survive. Crowds can be dangerous. Call that same group a mob and one immediately understands why. They spasm often without coordination or regard for their organizer’s peaceful intent, easily undone by a single protester who breaks rank to toss a brick, or by a trembling young recruit gripped by fear and too tightly gripping his [...]

By | 2019-11-11T09:31:03-08:00 November 11th, 2019|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News, History|Comments Off on We were lucky to survive the Berlin Wall’s fall

Is it possible to change your personality? Yes, if you’re willing to do the work involved

Fox 4 Originally Posted: Nov. 5, 2019 DALLAS (SMU) – Want to be more outgoing?  Or less uptight? In an interview with Fox4ward’s Dan Godwin, SMU psychology professor Nathan Hudson said that it is possible for people to change aspects of their personality.  But it will require some work on your part. You can view the video on Hudson’s website. Forbes and Psychology Today also did a piece on the research. Watch the Video  

By | 2019-11-05T09:22:31-08:00 November 5th, 2019|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News, Psychology|Comments Off on Is it possible to change your personality? Yes, if you’re willing to do the work involved

Historical data confirms recent increase in West Texas earthquakes

SMU Research Originally Posted: Nov. 4, 2019 A new analysis of historical seismic data conducted by The University of Texas at Austin, SMU and other academies has found that earthquake activity in West Texas around Pecos has increased dramatically since 2009. The study, published Nov. 4, 2019, in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, is important because it leverages old, unmined data to track seismic activity over nearly the past two decades – much further back than other studies— to show that activity has increased during the past decade in an area of the Permian Basin that is being heavily developed for oil and gas. Although researchers have generally thought that to be true, the statewide TexNet earthquake monitoring system has been gathering data [...]

By | 2019-11-05T09:21:00-08:00 November 4th, 2019|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Earth Sciences, Faculty News|Comments Off on Historical data confirms recent increase in West Texas earthquakes

New Research Study Points to Potential of Oleandrin as Therapeutic Strategy for Treatment of HTLV-1, Which Affects Between 10 Million to 15 Million Worldwide

BusinessWire Originally Posted: October 29, 2019 A 2019 research publication from Robert Harrod (Department of Biological Sciences) was cited on Businesswire. This work was the product of a collaboration with investigators at the UT-Houston M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. The paper was published in the Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals: Hutchison T., Yapindi L., Malu A., Newman R.A., Sastry K.J., & Harrod R (2019). The botanical glycoside oleandrin inhibits human T-cell leukemia virus type-1 infectivity and Env-dependent virological synapse formation. J. Antivirals & Antiretrovirals 11(2), 1-11. https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20191029005927/en/New-Research-Study-Points-Potential-Oleandrin-Therapeutic

By | 2019-10-31T08:52:22-08:00 October 31st, 2019|Biology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News|Comments Off on New Research Study Points to Potential of Oleandrin as Therapeutic Strategy for Treatment of HTLV-1, Which Affects Between 10 Million to 15 Million Worldwide

Why do birds migrate at night?

Mother Nature Network Originally Posted: September 30, 2019 While plenty of birds — such as swallows, hawks and hummingbirds — migrate during the day, the majority of land birds travel at night. Although it would seem more difficult to fly when it's dark, there are good reason for the nighttime maneuvers. "Migration at night has at least three advantages," writes Herb Wilson, a professor of biology at Colby College, in Maine Birds. "Birds do not have to worry about falcon or hawk attacks. Second, the air in the atmosphere is usually less turbulent than during the day. Lastly, the air is cooler at night. A migrating bird produces a huge amount of excess heat that needs to be released. Most of the heat is lost from [...]

By | 2019-10-21T10:11:54-08:00 October 23rd, 2019|Chemistry, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News|Comments Off on Why do birds migrate at night?

Some Personality Traits Are Easier To Change Than Others

Forbes Originally Posted: September 2019 A growing number of studies in psychology are showing that personality is more “changeable” than previously thought. Personality changes as we age; it changes as we learn new things and are exposed to new environments. But which aspects of personality might be easiest to change, and which might be most difficult? New research appearing in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology may hold the answer. A team of researchers led by Nathan Hudson of Southern Methodist University designed an experiment to test which of five core personality traits would change most over the course of a 15-week intervention. Interestingly, they found that the personality trait of “agreeableness” showed the most improvement while the trait “openness to experiences” showed the least improvement. To arrive [...]

By | 2019-10-21T10:06:33-08:00 October 21st, 2019|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News, Psychology|Comments Off on Some Personality Traits Are Easier To Change Than Others

Jill DeTemple is teaching local students and faculty nationwide how to effectively navigate hot-button topics

Dallas Morning News Originally Posted: October 17, 2019 I don’t know about you, but the sorry state of what passes for debate these days — hair-trigger anger and social media carpet-bombing — beats me into believing that thoughtful discussion about life’s toughest stuff is dead and gone. Too often, I wind up feeling timid, tentative or just plain tired-head around hot-button issues. That’s why I went back to college last week to look into what I had heard were powerful efforts by one professor and her students to revive civil discourse. I didn’t find a magic potion for what ails society, but I did come back with better ideas on how to reengage. The timing couldn’t have been better, given the hotbed of political emotions [...]

By | 2019-10-17T08:42:50-08:00 October 17th, 2019|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News, Religious Studies|Comments Off on Jill DeTemple is teaching local students and faculty nationwide how to effectively navigate hot-button topics

The (Lack of) Science Behind Time-Outs As a Tool to Discipline Children

Time Originally Posted: October 15, 2019 George Holden, chair of the Department of Psychology at Southern Methodist University was quoted in this article When Amy and Steve Unruh decided to adopt a four-year-old child from the Philippines, they anticipated challenges. They understood it would take time, as well as a great deal of love and care, for their family and its newest member to adjust. But they were committed to helping a child in need. The Unruh’s were blindsided when their adoption application was turned down. The reason, they were told, was that their parenting style was not suitable for an adopted child. “They said it was because we’ve used time-outs with our daughter,” says Amy Unruh, 43, who is a stay-at-home mom in Milton, [...]

By | 2019-10-15T09:27:35-08:00 October 15th, 2019|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News, Psychology|Comments Off on The (Lack of) Science Behind Time-Outs As a Tool to Discipline Children

12 Surprising Facts About the Legislative Branch

The History Channel Originally Posted: October 3, 2019 The executive branch enforces laws. The judicial branch interprets laws. But it is in the law-making legislative branch, says Howard Schweber, a political science professor at the University of Wisconsin, “that the people deliberate and arrive at an agreement about the common good.” When writing the U.S. Constitution, the framers built in three branches of federal government to ensure a separation of powers, and, as Article I states, “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.” “The point of the Constitution was to replace a system in which the national government could only make laws that affected states in their relations with one another,” Schweber says. [...]

By | 2019-10-07T08:35:10-08:00 October 7th, 2019|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News, History|Comments Off on 12 Surprising Facts About the Legislative Branch

New research from SMU chemist Brian D. Zoltowski

SMU Research Originally Posted: September 12, 2019 Migratory birds are known to rely on Earth's magnetic field to help them navigate the globe. And it was suspected that a protein called cryptochrome, which is sensitive to blue light, was making it possible for birds to do this. Yet many of these animals are also known to migrate at night when there isn't much light available. So it wasn't clear how cryptochrome would function under these conditions in birds. A new study led by UT Southwestern Medical Center in collaboration with SMU (Southern Methodist University), though, may have figured out the answer to that puzzle. Researchers found that cryptochromes from migratory birds have evolved a mechanism that enhances their ability to respond to light, which can [...]

By | 2019-12-04T18:46:38-08:00 September 26th, 2019|Chemistry, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News|Comments Off on New research from SMU chemist Brian D. Zoltowski
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