Duke University

Evolving a bigger brain with human DNA

The size of the human brain expanded dramatically during the course of evolution, imparting us with unique capabilities to use abstract language and do complex math. But how did the human brain get larger than that of our ...

dateFeb 19, 2015 in Biotechnology
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Genes tell story of birdsong and human speech

His office is filled with all sorts of bird books, but Duke neuroscientist Erich Jarvis didn't become an expert on the avian family tree because of any particular interest in our feathered friends. Rather, it was his fascination ...

dateDec 11, 2014 in Biotechnology
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When things get glassy, molecules go fractal

Colorful church windows, beads on a necklace and many of our favorite plastics share something in common—they all belong to a state of matter known as glasses. School children learn the difference between liquids and gases, ...

dateApr 24, 2014 in Condensed Matter
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Ferns borrowed genes to flourish in low light

During the age of the dinosaurs, the arrival of flowering plants as competitors could have spelled doom for the ancient fern lineage. Instead, ferns diversified and flourished under the new canopy—using a mysterious gene ...

dateApr 14, 2014 in Biotechnology
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Fine-tuning Stephen Hawking's theory of mass

(Phys.org) —If you want to know your body's mass, you hop on a scale and watch the needle swing. But if you want to know the mass of a region out in space, there's no cosmic equivalent—the best you can do is consult a ...

dateMar 18, 2014 in General Physics
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