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SMU robotic arm is helping Beaumont boy make a remarkable recovery after polio-like condition
DALLAS (SMU) – A robotic arm built by mechanical engineering professor Edmond Richer at SMU's Lyle School of Engineering is delivering a stronger future for young Braden Scott, helping re-create connections between his brain [...]
Is it possible to change your personality? Yes, if you’re willing to do the work involved
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 [...]
Virtual reality brings cervical cancer surgery training to physicians
Too often, women in developing countries die of cervical cancer because there aren’t enough surgeons trained to perform a lifesaving surgery. But a low-cost surgery simulation developed by a team of SMU, UNC [...]
SMU Research with Impact
SMU’s faculty and students join forces as co-creators of knowledge that spans the arts, sciences, engineering, business and the humanities. Students become hands-on contributors to significant discoveries. In collaboration with industry, nonprofit [...]
Mild problem-solving task improves brain function after a concussion, new study suggests
Mild problem-solving task improves brain function after a concussion, new study suggests.
People who deeply grasp the pain or happiness of others also process music differently in the brain
People who deeply grasp the pain or happiness of others also process music differently in the brain
SMU physicist and her students join national laboratories, other universities in high-stakes hunt for elusive dark matter
SMU physicist Jodi Cooley is a member of the international scientific team that will use a powerful new tool to understand one of the biggest mysteries of modern physics.
WFAA Verify: Is West Texas sinking?
WFAA-TV Channel 8's Verify covered the research of SMU geophysicists Zhong Lu and Jin-Woo Kim.
SMU students share their research at SMU Research Day 2018
SMU Research Day 2018 featured posters and abstracts from 160 student entrants who have participated this academic year in faculty-led research, pursued student-led projects, or collaborated on team projects with graduate students and faculty scientists.
Fox4WARD: Knowing how our partner is feeling
Fox 4 journalist Dan Godwin interviewed SMU family psychologist Chrystyna D. Kouros about her latest research on couples.
Solving the dark energy mystery: A new sky survey assignment for a 45-year-old telescope
SMU and other members of a scientific consortium prepare for installation of the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument to survey the night sky from a mile-high mountain peak in Arizona As part of a large scientific [...]
Female students exposed briefly to charismatic career women are inspired to pursue male-dominated field
Easy, inexpensive experiment briefly sent inspiring female role models into intro to econ classes and sharply increased college female interest in the male-dominated, well-paying field of economics.
Daily Planet: Star Wars come to life in SMU chemist’s invention
Long ago, sort of, scenes from Star Wars triggered a child's imagination, so that today it's informed one of his research goals as a chemist.
Student-led protests seeking inclusive campuses are more likely to occur at selective universities
A new study found that racial or gender diversity alone doesn’t make a college campus feel inclusive. Students are more likely to initiate social justice campaigns at large, selective, public universities.
GAINcast Episode 89: How Speed Happens (with Peter Weyand)
The founder of modern sports performance training, Vern Gambetta, interviewed SMU locomotion researcher Peter Weyand about human speed and performance.
The CW33: Dark Matter Day rocks SMU’s campus
The CW33 TV interviewed SMU physics professor Jodi Cooley about the capers afoot in celebration of International Dark Matter Day.
SMU Dark Matter Day celebration culminates in a dark matter rock hunt on Halloween
SMU Dark Matter Day celebration culminates in a dark matter rock hunt on Halloween
A Total Eclipse of the First Day of School
Thousands of students, faculty and townspeople showed up on campus Monday, Aug. 22 to view the Great American Solar Eclipse at a viewing hosted by Dedman College and the SMU Physics Department.
Construction begins on international mega-science neutrino experiment
SMU is one of more than 100 institutions from around the world building hardware for a massive particle detector that could change our view of the universe.
The New York Times: Something Strange in Usain Bolt’s Stride
The New York Times covers the research of SMU locomotion expert Dr. Peter Weyand and his SMU Locomotor Performance Lab in "Bolt is the fastest sprinter ever in spite of — or because of? — an uneven stride that upends conventional wisdom."
People ForWords team named semifinalist in national XPrize competition
SMU's puzzle-solving smartphone app selected as one of eight to move to next round in $7M Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE competition For Corey Clark, deputy director for research in the SMU Guildhall game [...]
SMU and LIFT team named one of eight semifinalists for $7M Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPrize
SMU and LIFT team named one of eight semifinalists for $7M Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPrize
Does symmetry matter for speed? Study finds Usain Bolt may have asymmetrical running gait
SMU study suggests the right and left legs of world champion sprinter Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest man, may perform differently, defying current scientific assumptions about running speed.
Study solves mystery of how plants use sunlight to tell time via cell protein signaling
Findings of a new study solve a key mystery about the chemistry of how plants tell time so they can flower and metabolize nutrients.
SMU Guildhall and cancer researchers level up to tap human intuition of video gamers in quest to beat cancer
Video gamers have the power to beat cancer, according to cancer researchers and video game developers at Southern Methodist University, Dallas.
SMU Research Day 2017 visitors query SMU students on the details of their research
The best in SMU undergraduate and graduate research work was on full display at Research Day in the Hughes Trigg Student Center.
NCI grant funds SMU research into cancer-causing viruses that hide from the immune system
Genes common to both the human T-cell leukemia virus and high-risk human papillomaviruses activate survival mechanisms in cancer cells. An SMU lab, with National Cancer Institute funding, is hunting ways to inhibit those genes to halt the development of cancer.
Researchers test blood flow in athletes’ brains to find markers that diagnose concussions
A hard hit to the head typically prompts physicians to look for signs of a concussion based on symptoms such as forgetfulness, wobbly gait and disorientation. But symptoms such as those are subjective, says physiologist Sushmita Purkayastha, Southern Methodist University, Dallas. Now a new study aims to find noninvasive objective indicators to diagnose whether an athlete has suffered a concussion.
SMU biochemists, students probe membrane proteins that thwart cancer chemotherapies
Each semester, SMU biology professors Pia Vogel and John Wise welcome a handful of dedicated and curious students to their lab in the SMU Dedman Life Sciences building.
One of the most significant Etruscan discoveries in decades names female goddess Uni
Geohazard: Giant sinkholes near West Texas oil patch towns are growing — as new ones lurk
Two giant sinkholes that sit between two West Texas oil patch towns are growing — and two new ones appear to be lurking, say geophysicists at Southern Methodist University, Dallas. Satellite radar images reveal substantial ground movement in and around the infamous sinkholes near Wink, Texas — suggesting expansion of the two existing holes, with subsidence in two other nearby areas suggesting new ones may surface.
Early armored dino from Texas lacked cousin’s club-tail weapon, but had a nose for danger
First-ever CT scans of the early armored dinosaur Pawpawsaurus campbelli reveal that although the Texas dino lacked its cousin’s club-tail it had a sharp nose for danger.
Nearby massive star explosion 30 million years ago equaled brightness of 100 million suns
A giant star that exploded 30 million years ago in a galaxy near Earth had a radius prior to going supernova that was 200 times larger than our sun, say astrophysicists at SMU. The massive explosion, Supernova 2013j, was one of the closest to Earth in recent years. Analysis of the exploding star's light curve and color spectrum found its sudden blast hurled material from it at 10,000 kilometers a second.
SMU Research Day 2016: Students present their research to the SMU and Dallas community
SMU graduate and undergraduate students presented their research to the SMU community at the University's Research Day 2016 on Feb. 10. Sponsored by the Office of Research and Graduate Studies, the research spanned more than 20 different fields from schools across campus.
KERA: Thousands Of Vertebrate Paleontologists Descend On Dallas
Reporting for KERA News, North Texas' public media news source, journalist Kat Chow covered the 2015 annual meeting in Dallas in October of the international Society of Vertebrate Paleontology.
New fossils intensify mystery of short-lived, toothy mammals unique to ancient North Pacific
WFAA: Can Technology Help Kids Learn to Read
SMU's Dara Rossi was interviewed by the summer reading program Shelly's Summer Bookworms for Dallas TV station WFAA. Rossi is a clinical assistant professor and director of SMU's Teach for American Teacher Education Program in the Simmons School of Education and Human Development. She was asked how using technology can help young students learn to read. Rossi is an experienced educator with a strong science background, including K-12 curriculum development and administration.
Drugs behave as predicted in computer model of key protein, enabling cancer drug discovery
New model allows pharmacological researchers to dock nearly any drug and see how it behaves in P-glycoprotein, a protein in the cell associated with failure of chemotherapy.
Researchers discover new drug-like compounds that may improve odds for men battling prostate cancer
New drug-like compounds have low toxicity to noncancerous cells, but inhibit the human protein often responsible for chemotherapy failure
Fermilab experiment observes change in neutrinos from one type to another over 500 miles
Mustang Minute! Simmons researcher tests if video game motion capture can teach math
Motion capture software, popular in the world of video gaming, is being tested to see if it may be a useful tool in the classroom. Researchers know that the more engaged students are, the more [...]
$3.78 million awarded by Department of Defense to SMU STEM project for minority students
The 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.
1st proton collisions at the world’s largest science experiment expected to start the first or second week of June
The schedule announcement came during an international physics conference on the SMU campus from senior research scientist Albert De Roeck, a staff member at CERN and a leading scientist on one of the Large Hadron Collider's key experiments in Geneva. “It will be about another six weeks to commission the machine, and many things can still happen on the way,” said De Roeck. The LHC in early April was restarted for its second three-year run after a two-year pause to upgrade the machine to operate at higher energies. At higher energy, physicists worldwide expect to see new discoveries about the laws that govern our natural universe.
SMU’s engineering students to test new virtual reality game to practice solving hands-on infrastructure failure problems
SMU’s engineering students will help test a new virtual reality game that will someday be rolled out to classrooms everywhere to help students design, inspect and test geotechnical systems virtually. SMU will receive $80,000 in funding as part of a larger $650,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, which was awarded to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, N.Y., to develop the game, Geo Explorer.
NBC, CBS & CW33: Jurassic Jackpot — 5-Year-Old Finds Dinosaur in Mansfield
The fossil bones of a 100 million-year-old dinosaur discovered at a shopping center construction site will be studied and identified by paleontologists at Southern Methodist University's Shuler Museum of Paleontology. The bones were discovered by a Dallas Zoo employee and his young son. The fossils have been transported to SMU's Shuler research museum in the Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences. The discovery of the bones, believed to be from the family of armored dinosaurs called nodasuaridae, was covered by local TV stations NBC Channel 5, CBS Channel 11 and Channel CW 33.
The Huffington Post: 4-Year-Old Boy Finds Rare 100-Million-Year-Old Dinosaur Bones In Texas
The fossil bones of a 100 million-year-old dinosaur discovered at a shopping center construction site will be studied and identified by paleontologists at Southern Methodist University's Shuler Museum of Paleontology. The bones were discovered by a Dallas Zoo employee and his young son. The fossils have been transported to SMU's Shuler research museum in the Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences. The discovery of the bones, believed to be from the family of armored dinosaurs called nodasuaridae, was covered by journalist Dominique Mosbergen, reporting for The Huffington Post.
17 million-year-old whale fossil provides 1st exact date for East Africa’s puzzling uplift
Uplift 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.
CBS DFW 11: Too Much ‘Blue Light’ Hinders Sleep
CBS DFW Channel 11 reporter Doug Dunbar covered the blue light research of Brian Zoltowski, an assistant professor in the SMU Department of Chemistry. Zoltowski's lab was awarded $320,500 from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health to continue its research on the impact of blue light on humans and other organisms and how it can stimulate disease.
Fossil supervolcano in Italian Alps may answer deep mysteries around active supervolcanoes
There’s nothing subtle about the story told by the rocks in northern Italy’s Sesia Valley. Evidence of ancient volcanic activity is all around, says geologist and volcanologist James Quick, Southern Methodist University, Dallas. But the full story is much less obvious, said Quick, who led an international team that in 2009 announced they had discovered a 282-million-year-old fossil supervolcano in Sesia Valley.
FOX 4 DFW: SMU’s supercomputer aids in search for particles present during Big Bang
SMU physicist Thomas E. Coan talked with Fox 4 DFW reporter Dan Godwin about the neutrino, an elusive fundamental particle that scientists are working to understand using one of the most powerful physics experiments in the world. Godwin hosted Coan on the program Fox4Ward on Nov. 30, 2014. Coan and Godwin discussed neutrinos, one of the most elusive particles in the Standard Model's "particle zoo."
Jurassic climate of large swath of western U.S. was more complex than previously known
Climate 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.
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.
Key to speed? Elite sprinters are unlike other athletes — deliver forceful punch to ground
The world’s fastest sprinters have unique gait features that account for their ability to achieve fast speeds, according to two new studies from Southern Methodist University, Dallas. The new findings indicate that the secret to elite sprinting speeds lies in the distinct limb dynamics sprinters use to elevate ground forces upon foot-ground impact.
Hunt for dark matter takes physicists deep below earth’s surface, where WIMPS can’t hide
Dark matter makes up much of the universe, and surrounds us all like an invisible, clumpy soup. Physicists have hunted dark matter particles for decades, but they continue to elude observation. Now construction of a major international experiment aimed at discovering dark matter could be constructed and operational by 2018, according to the SMU scientist on the experiment known as SuperCDMS SNOLAB.
Department of Defense awards $2.6 million to SMU STEM program for minority students
The U.S. Department of Defense recently awarded the STEMPREP Program at SMU a $2.6 million grant to support its goal of increasing the number of minorities in STEM fields. STEMPREP recruits bright, science-minded minority middle school students for the two-summer classroom phase of STEMPREP, then provides high school students with summer opportunities at research labs.
Observed by Texas telescope: Light from huge explosion 12 billion years ago reaches Earth
Intense light from the enormous explosion of a star more than 12 billion years ago — shortly after the Big Bang — recently reached Earth and was visible in the sky.
Business Insider: Your Smartphone Is Destroying Your Sleep
Business Insider Science Editor Jennifer Walsh tapped the sleep expertise of SMU Assistant Professor of Chemistry Brian D. Zoltowski to explain how artificial light from our smartphones and other digital devices causes sleep deprivation. Her article, "Your Smartphone Is Destroying Your Sleep," published May 19. Zoltowski’s lab at SMU studies one of the many proteins involved in an organism’s circadian clocks. Called a photoreceptor, the protein responds to light to predict time of day and season by measuring day length.
Low IQ students learn to read at 1st-grade level after persistent, intensive instruction
The findings of a pioneering four-year educational study offer hope for thousands of children identified with intellectual disability or low IQ who have very little, if any, reading ability. The study by researchers at Southern Methodist University is the first large-scale longitudinal study of its kind to demonstrate the reading potential of students with intellectual disability or low IQ. It was funded by the U.S. Department of Education.
Richest marine reptile fossil bed along Africa’s South Atlantic coast is dated at 71.5 mya
Paleontologists at Southern Methodist University have measured the carbon isotopes in marine fossils from Bentiaba, Angola to precisely date for the first time 30 million years of sediments along Africa’s South Atlantic shoreline. They dated the richest marine reptile fossil bed along Africa's South Atlantic to 71.5 million years ago.
NOvA experiment glimpses neutrinos, one of nature’s most abundant, and elusive particles
Scientists hunting one of nature’s most elusive, yet abundant, elementary particles announced today they’ve succeeded in their first efforts to glimpse neutrinos using a detector in Minnesota. Neutrinos are generated in nature through the decay of radioactive elements and from high-energy collisions between fundamental particles, such as in the Big Bang that ignited the universe.
USA Today: Bitcoin tumbles after China crackdown
Journalists Alistair Barr and Kim Hjelmgaard with USA Today tapped the expertise of SMU Bitcoin and cybersecurity expert Tyler W. Moore, an assistant professor of computer science in the Lyle School of Engineering. Moore's expertise draws in part on his research that found that online money exchanges that trade hard currency for the rapidly emerging cyber money known as Bitcoin have a 45 percent chance of failing — often taking their customers’ money with them.
New fossil species discovered in Mozambique reveals new data on ancient mammal relatives
Chemical probe confirms that body makes its own rotten egg gas, H2S, to benefit health
A new study confirms directly what scientists previously knew only indirectly: The poisonous “rotten egg” gas hydrogen sulfide, which plays a role in cardiovascular health, is generated by our body's growing cells.
Study finds that newlyweds who are satisfied with marriage are more likely to gain weight
On average, young newlyweds who are satisfied with their marriage gain weight in the early years after they exchange vows. That's the finding of a new study on marital satisfaction and weight gain, according to psychologist Andrea L. Meltzer, lead researcher and assistant professor in the SMU Department of Psychology.
Fruit flies fed organic diets are healthier than flies fed nonorganic diets, study finds
Fruit flies fed an organic diet recorded better health outcomes than flies fed a nonorganic diet, according to a new study from Southern Methodist University, Dallas. Researchers in the lab of SMU biologist Johannes Bauer found that fruit flies raised on organic foods performed better on a variety of health tests. The flies on organic diets showed improvements on the most significant measures of health, namely fertility and longevity.
White dwarf supernovae are discovered in Virgo Cluster galaxy and in sky area “anonymous”
Light from two massive stars that exploded hundreds of millions of years ago recently reached Earth, and each event was identified as a supernova by SMU researchers. A supernova discovered Feb. 6 exploded about 450 million years ago, and a second supernova discovered Nov. 20 exploded about 230 million years ago.
Study finds Jurassic ecosystems were similar to modern: Animals flourish among lush plants
In modern ecosystems, animals flourish amid lush vegetation. An SMU study examines whether that same relationship held true 150 million years ago when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. “The assumption has been that ancient ecosystems worked just like our modern ecosystems,” says SMU paleontologist Timothy S. Myers. “We wanted to see if this was, in fact, the case.”
SMU contributes fossils, expertise to new Perot Museum in ongoing scientific collaboration
From dinosaurs to sea turtles, and from technical assistance to advisory roles, SMU faculty and students, the SMU Shuler Museum, and the SMU Innovation Gymnasium, team with the nation's new premier museum of nature and science. Fossils on loan by SMU to the new Perot Museum of Nature and Science include those of animals from an ancient sea that once covered Dallas.
100 million-year-old coelacanth discovered in Texas is new fish species from Cretaceous
A new species of coelacanth fish has been discovered in Texas. Pieces of tiny fossil skull found in Fort Worth have been identified as 100 million-year-old coelacanth bones. The new species is the youngest coelacanth to be discovered in Texas, and the only coelacanth discovered in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
New study on kingship and sainthood in Islam offers a striking new historical perspective
At the end of the sixteenth century and the turn of the first Islamic millennium, the powerful Mughal emperor Akbar declared himself the most sacred being on earth. The holiest of all saints and above the distinctions of religion, he styled himself as the messiah reborn. Yet the Mughal emperor was not alone in doing so. In this field-changing study, A. Azfar Moin explores why Muslim sovereigns during this period began to imitate the exalted nature of Sufi saints.
Texas frontier scientists who uncovered state’s fossil history had role in epic Bone Wars
In the late 1800s, furious fossil speculation across the American West escalated into a high-profile national feud called the Bone Wars.
Moving 3D computer model of key human protein is powerful new tool in fight against cancer
Powerful discovery tool is at work screening millions of drugs in the search to reverse chemotherapy drug-resistance in cancer.
Human diabetes has new research tool: Overfed fruit flies that develop insulin resistance
With Type 2 human diabetes climbing at alarming rates in the United States, researchers are seeking treatments for the disease, which has been linked to obesity and poor diet. Now biologists at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, report they have developed a new discovery tool that will help researchers better understand this deadly disease.
Ancient tree-ring records from southwest U.S. suggest today’s megafires are truly unusual
Today’s mega forest fires of the southwestern U.S. are truly unusual and exceptional in the long-term record, suggests a new study that examined hundreds of years of ancient tree ring and fire data from two distinct climate periods, says study co-author and fire anthropologist Christopher I. Roos, SMU.
Dark matter search may turn up evidence of WIMPS: SMU Researcher Q&A
Dark matter search may turn up evidence of WIMPS: SMU Researcher Q&A
SMU News: 2012 Research Day at Southern Methodist University
SMU News covered the annual 2012 Research Day on Feb. 10 where SMU graduate and undergraduate students presented results of their research studies. Sponsored by SMU's Office of Research and Graduate Studies, the event sought to foster communication between students in different programs, give students the opportunity to present their work in formats they will use as professionals, and to share with the SMU community and others the outstanding research being done at the University.
National Geographic: Andrés Ruzo, geothermal researcher
National Geographic has launched its new Explorers web site, which includes SMU doctoral student Andrés Ruzo. The Explorers site acknowledges the work of the world's scientists whose research is made possible in part through funding from National Geographic.
National Geographic: Louis Jacobs, vertebrate paleontologist
National Geographic's has launched its new Explorers web site, which includes SMU paleontologist Louis L. Jacobs. The Explorers site acknowledges the work of the world's scientists whose research is made possible in part through funding from National Geographic.
Public health insurance provides insured infants better, less costly care than private plans
In the fierce national debate over a new federal law that requires all Americans to have health insurance, it’s widely assumed that private health insurance can do a better job than public insurance. But a first-of-its-kind study of newly available government data found just the opposite for infants covered by insurance, says economist Manan Roy in SMU's Department of Economics.
CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360: Should Children Be Spanked?
Television talk show host Anderson Cooper invited SMU psychologist George W. Holden to weigh in recently on the wisdom and effectiveness of spanking as a way to discipline children. Holden, an expert in child development, has done research that provides a unique real-time look at spanking in a way that's never before been studied.
WFAA News 8: Perry’s memory gaffe could be linked to studied health issue
WFAA news reporter Janet St. James interviewed SMU Psychology Professor Alan Brown about what caused Texas Gov. Rick Perry during a recent GOP debate to forget which departments he wanted to abolish. Brown has studied the phenomenon and has written about a book about "Tip of the Tongue" experiences. He studies how people store and retrieve information about the real world, and the manner in which these processes fail us.
SMU Geothermal Lab project: Vast clean energy source confirmed by Google.org-funded geothermal mapping
SMU faculty, students to help UNHCR clean up refugee camp water
The search for solutions to dangerous water quality issues in refugee camps is driving an SMU lab group's partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. SMU faculty and students will work in the lab and on the ground in Kenya, Uganda, Liberia and Bangladesh. The group will integrate information from other sources to develop a database that will help UNHCR planners provide safer drinking water in existing and future refugee camps.
Ancient Etruscan childbirth image unearthed at SMU’s Poggio Colla is likely a first for western art
An archaeological excavation at Poggio Colla, the site of a 2,700-year-old Etruscan settlement in Italy's Mugello Valley, has turned up a surprising and unique find: two images of a woman giving birth to a child. Researchers from the Mugello Valley Archaeological Project near Florence discovered the images on a small fragment from an ancient ceramic vessel.
Report: U.S. Economic Freedom Continues Fall; Global Average Declines
Levels of economic freedom have decreased around the globe, says SMU economist Robert Lawson, co-author on the new report Economic Freedom of the World: 2011 Annual Report. The research shows that the average economic freedom score fell to its lowest in nearly three decades, with the surprising news being that the United States in particular continues dropping, going this period from No. 6 to No. 10.
Out-of-the-blue panic attacks aren’t without warning; data show subtle changes before patients’ aware of attack
Panic attacks that seem to strike out-of-the-blue are not without warning after all, says psychologist Alicia Meuret, Southern Methodist University, Dallas.
A new study found significant physiological instability for at least one hour before patients reported feeling a panic attack, Meuret says, suggesting new treatments for panic, seizures, strokes and manic episodes.
New Texas Native: 96-million-year-old crocodile Terminonaris makes its first appearance in Texas, switches origins
Making its first appearance in Texas, a prehistoric crocodile thought to have originated in Europe now appears to have been a native of the Lone Star State.
The switch in origins for the genus known as Terminonaris is based on the identification of a well-preserved, narrow fossil snout that was discovered along the shoreline of a lake near Dallas. SMU paleontologist Thomas L. Adams identified the reptile.
Corporal punishment: Mothers’ self-recorded audio gives unique real-time view of spanking
Mothers' self-recorded audio gives SMU Psychology Department researchers a unique real-time look at spanking in a way that's never before been studied.
In a study of 37 families, mothers voluntarily recorded their evening interactions with their young children over the course of six days, including incidents of corporal punishment, in what's believed to be the first study of its kind, said SMU psychologist George W. Holden.
Youtube: Trailer of Projecto PaleoAngola documentary
SMU paleontologists Louis L. Jacobs and Michael J. Polcyn appear in a new documentary about Projecto PaleoAngola, a collaborative international scientific research program focused on the ancient life of Angola.
"The results of our fieldwork in the Cretaceous of Angola have been extraordinarily spectacular," says Jacobs. Besides the discovery of the first dinosaur of Angola the team has uncovered mosasaurs, plesiosaurs, turtles and other Cretaceous marine animals.
Tiny teeth discovered from Inner Mongolia are new species of today’s birch mouse, rare “living fossil”
Tiny fossil teeth discovered in Inner Mongolia are a new species of birch mouse, indicating its ancestors are much older than previously reported, says SMU paleontologist Yuri Kimura.
The fossils were discovered in sediments that are 17 million years old, says Kimura, who identified and named the species Sicista primus. This adds millions of years to the rodent family Sicista, she said.
3-D mapping of Guatemala’s “Head of Stone” confirms ancient Maya buildings buried beneath forest cover
An archaeological team co-led by SMU archaeologist Brigitte Kovacevich has made the first three-dimensional topographical map of ancient monumental buildings long buried under centuries of jungle at the Maya site "Head of Stone" in Guatemala.
The map puts into 3-D perspective the location and size of Head of Stone's many buildings and architectural patterns, which are typical of Maya sites.
Modern-day bamboo tool-making shines light on scarcity of Stone Age tools from prehistoric East Asia
The long-held theory that prehistoric humans in East Asia crafted tools from bamboo was devised to explain a lack of evidence for advanced prehistoric stone tool-making processes. But can complex bamboo tools even be made with simple stone tools?
A new study suggests the "bamboo hypothesis" is more complicated than conceived, says SMU archaeologist Metin I. Eren. A modern-day flint knapper, Eren and colleagues replicated the crafting of bamboo knives and confirmed that it is possible to make a variety of bamboo tools with the simplest stone tools. However, rather than confirming the long-held "bamboo hypothesis," the new research shows there's more to the theory, Eren says.
Pilot study looks at women with rare Triple Negative breast cancer, which often strikes young women, minorities
Groundbreaking SMU research looks at women fighting Triple Negative Breast Cancer — an aggressive subtype striking 10 to 20 percent of women with breast cancer — typically young, African-American/Hispanic, or testing positive for BRCA1 gene mutation, says SMU psychologist Georita Frierson.
The two-year study will survey up to 60 women recently diagnosed. The study is probing patients' stress, anxiety and concerns about the psychological and social hurdles they face, said Frierson, principal investigator, who is collaborating with the University of Texas Southwestern Simmons Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center.
WFAA: North Texan finds dinosaurs in our backyards
WFAA-TV reporter Jonathan Betz covered the flying reptile research of SMU's Timothy S. Myers and the rare discovery of the bones by amateur fossil hunter Gary Byrd.
Myers identified fossilized bones discovered in Texas from a flying reptile that died 89 million years ago. The bones may be the world's earliest occurrence of the prehistoric creature known as Pteranodon, Myers says.
Flying Texas reptile: World’s oldest Pteranodon? First specimen of its kind discovered as far south as Texas
Fossilized bones discovered in Texas are from the left wing of an ancient flying reptile that died 89 million years ago — possibly the earliest occurrence of the prehistoric creature Pteranodon, says SMU paleontologist Timothy S. Myers, who identified the fossils.
If the reptile is Pteranodon, it would be the first of its kind discovered as far south as Texas.
3D digital download of giant Glen Rose dinosaur track is roadmap for saving at-risk natural history resources
Internet users now can download an exact facsimile of the huge fossil footprint of a 110 million-year-old dinosaur that is a favorite track from Texas' well-known Dinosaur Valley State Park.
SMU scientists created the digital facsimile using 3D laser technology and are making it available free to the public. The model preserves a footprint on permanent outdoor display that's being destroyed by weathering, says SMU paleontologist Thomas L. Adams.
Rodents, diverse and abundant in prehistoric Africa, shed light on human evolution
SMU's Alisa J. Winkler, an expert on rodent and rabbit fossils, says rodent fossils are proving their usefulness to scientists as they shed light on human evolution.
A new breathing therapy reduces panic and anxiety by reversing hyperventilation
A new treatment that helps people with panic disorder normalize their breathing works better to reduce panic symptoms and hyperventilation than traditional cognitive therapy, says SMU psychologist Alicia E. Meuret.
Photo: Dr. Alicia Meuret demonstrates the CART breathing technique. (Credit: Hillsman Jackson)
ABC 8: Minnesota mine could yield secrets of the universe to SMU professor
The search for mysterious dark matter at an abandoned mine in Minnesota is the subject of "Minnesota mine could yield secrets of the universe to SMU professor" aired Nov. 24 by WFAA Channel 8 in Dallas.
Journalist Jonathan Betz interviewed SMU scientist Jodi Cooley, an assistant professor of experimental particle physics in the SMU Physics Department.
Cooley is a member of the collaboration on the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS II) experiment.
BBC Radio: PaleoAngola project unearths ancient vertebrate fossils
BBC Radio covered the research in Angola of SMU paleontologists Louis L. Jacobs and Michael J. Polcyn.
Journalist Louise Redvers in August interviewed Jacobs and Polcyn, both members of the Projecto PaleoAngola team.
The PaleoAngola researchers have described Angola as a "museum in the ground" for the abundance of fossils there.
Ancient Africa mysteries: Evidence is weak for tropical rainforest 65 million years ago in Africa’s low-latitudes
Central Africa 65 million years ago was a low-elevation tropical belt, but still unknown is whether its mammals browsed and hunted under a lush rainforest canopy. More research needs to be done, says SMU paleobotanist Bonnie F. Jacobs.
A new review of the literature shows fossil pollen provide no definitive evidence for communities of rainforest trees at the beginning of the Cenozoic, says Jacobs.
Taking a new look at old digs: Trampling animals can alter muddy Paleolithic sites
Stone Age tools embedded in the ground can mislead archaeologists about a Prehistoric site's age by several thousand years, says SMU archaeologist Metin I. Eren.
New research findings show that animals trampling across muddy ground significantly disturbed stone tools at a watery archaeological site fabricated for the study. The findings suggest archaeologists should reanalyze some previous discoveries.
NSF funds research to unravel Arizona’s prehistoric puzzle: The Hohokam ceramic industry
Does it take a hierarchy of managers overseeing a working class to mass-produce a product? One answer to that question may lie in the prehistoric ceramic pottery industry of an ancient, egalitarian people who lived in what today encompasses greater metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona. The vessels were produced in mass quantities around 1000 A.D. by a people called the Hohokam, whose descendants are today's O'odham tribe of the Gila River Indian Community.
Archaeologists Sunday Eiselt, from Southern Methodist University, and J. Andrew Darling, from the Cultural Resource Management Program of the Gila River Indian Community in Arizona, have launched a unique research partnership to study the puzzling mechanics behind the pottery production.
Practicing assertiveness skills on virtual-reality “dates” may help women prevent sexual victimization
Women can choose from four avatars when using SMU's virtual reality technology to learn skills for resisting sexual coercion and rape.In a program at Southern Methodist University, young women are using virtual reality to practice how to recognize and resist unwanted sexual advances in the real world.
Texas discovery: Rare 95 million-year-old flying reptile Aetodactylus halli is new genus, species of pterosaur
A fossilized jaw discovered at a construction site in Mansfield has been identified and named Aetodactylus halli by SMU paleontologist Timothy S. Myers. Rare in North America, the winged reptile was soaring 95 million years ago over what would one day become Dallas-Fort Worth.
USGS-SMU volcano monitoring targets hazard threat to Marianas, U.S. military, commercial jets
Technology designed to detect nuclear explosions and enforce the world's nuclear test-ban treaty now will be pioneered to monitor active volcanoes in the Mariana Islands near Guam. The island of Guam soon will be the primary base for forward deployment of U.S. military forces in the Western Pacific.
The two-year, $250,000 project of the U.S. Geological Survey and Southern Methodist University will use infrasound — in addition to more conventional seismic monitoring — to "listen" for signs a volcano is about to blow.
World’s first full skeletal mount of Paluxysaurus jonesi dinosaur reveals new biology
Paluxysaurus jonesi weighed 20 tons, was 60 feet long and had a neck 26 feet long, according to the scientists who have prepared the world's first full skeletal mount of the dinosaur.
The massive Paluxysaurus jonesi, prepared for the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History in Fort Worth, was unveiled Nov. 20 when the museum opened in a new $80 million facility.
Tropical Central Africa — now The Congo Basin — was arid, treeless during Late Jurassic
The Congo Basin — with its massive, lush tropical rain forest — was far different 150 million to 200 million years ago.
At that time Africa and South America were part of the single continent Gondwana. The Congo Basin was arid, with a small amount of seasonal rainfall, and few bushes or trees populated the landscape, according to a new geochemical analysis of rare ancient soils.
The geochemical analysis provides new data for the Jurassic period, when very little is known about Central Africa's paleoclimate, says Timothy S. Myers, a paleontology doctoral student in the Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences at SMU.
Portable 3D laser technology preserves Texas dinosaur’s rare footprint
Using portable 3D laser technology, scientists have preserved electronically a rare 110 million-year-old fossilized dinosaur footprint that was previously excavated and built into the wall of a bandstand at a Texas courthouse in the 1930s.
The laser image preserves what is called a "type specimen" footprint — an original track used many years ago to describe a new species of dinosaur, says paleontologist Thomas L. Adams at SMU.
Portable 3D laser scanners capture original fossil morphology and texture, making it possible to use the data for rapid 3D prototyping in foam or resin, Adams says.
"The track is scientifically very important," says Adams. "But it's also a historical and cultural icon for Texas."
Land snail fossils suggest eastern Canary Islands wetter, cooler 50,000 years ago
Fossil land snail shells found in ancient soils on the subtropical eastern Canary Islands show that the Spanish archipelago off the northwest coast of Africa has become progressively drier over the past 50,000 years, according to new research by Yurena Yanes, a post-doctoral researcher, and Crayton J. Yapp, a geochemistry professor, both in the Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences at SMU.
The research advances understanding of the global paleoclimate during an important time in human evolution, when the transition from gathering and hunting to agriculture first occurred in the fertile Middle East, then spread to Asia, North Africa and Europe.