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iGEM: An Exciting Way to Merge Biology and Engineering

 The International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition is dedicated to education for students interested in the advancement of synthetic biology, in other words, taking engineering principles and applying them to natural sciences like biology.

Students in the competition explored using a gene or series of genes from E.coli bacteria to create biological devices for applications such as dissolving plastic or filtering water. In November 2014, the Duke iGEM team took part in the annual competition in Boston, proudly leaving with a gold medal on their work in 3D printing technology and DNA synthesis protocol.

Read the full story here.

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Visibly Thinking about Undergrad Research

Undergraduate research is kind of a big deal at Duke.

The grand finale of nearly 200 of this year’s undergrad projects was a giant poster session called “Visible Thinking,” hosted by the Office of Undergraduate Research Support  on April 22. This annual showcase just keeps getting bigger, louder and more crowded, which is a great testament to the involvement of undergrads in all areas of Duke’s research enterprise.

Read the full story here.

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Seeking Sustainability at Duke Campus Farm

What if you could supply everything your garden needs to produce a robust crop of veggies without buying a single bag of fertilizer? That’s a question Duke senior Anne Martin has tackled in a year-long independent study project.

“The Duke Campus Farm is a very sustainable organic farm, yet we currently have to bring in all of our soil amendments, such as fertilizers or mineral inputs, in bags from off the farm. It’s frustrating to have to rely on products when we don’t really know how they’re procured, produced or transported,” Martin said. “It’d be great to be able to produce our own organic soil amendments, on-site and cost-effectively.” 

Read the story here.

    • Anne Martin in her research plot at the Duke Campus Farm.
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How To Get Your Foot In The Door At A Research Lab

 So now you are at Duke — one of the world’s best research universities — but now what? You might be taking cool classes, but how can you take advantage of the world-class research happening here? Roughly 50 percent of Duke undergrads do so at some point. Getting involved in research as a freshman might sound intimidating (I know it did to me!), but a little luck and perseverance can get you off to a strong start. Find out more.

    • Alan working in Dr. Eroglu’s laboratory.

Alan working in Dr. Eroglu's laboratory.

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An Unexpected Direction

Jasmine Thompson is advancing the Di Giulio lab’s work to understand the environmental impacts of a former wood treatment facility that, for decades, discharged creosote and other chemicals into the nearby river. Over the summer, she used technology to evaluate how swimming performance in adult killifish is affected by early embryonic exposure to contaminated water from the site. Read the full story here.

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    • Thompson Lab
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Studying Creatures Great and Small

From whales to lemurs, senior Cassidy Pomeroy-Carter is using animal research experiences at Duke to prepare her for a future in veterinary medicine.

As a pre-veterinary student interested in working with exotic animals, Pomeroy-Carter is a biology and German double major from Vienna, Austria. She is currently working on two research projects -- one involving lemurs at the Duke Lemur Center and a second with whales at the Duke Marine Lab.

Read the full story here.

    • Cassidy Pomeroy-Carter
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Undergraduate Rocks Environmental Research

    • Ginny Isava

Ginny Isava, a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow, talks about her love of rocks and research. Read the full story here.

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Student Research Explores Designs for New HIV Vaccines

 Nisonoff, a math major and global health and chemistry minor from Emerson, N.J., is working on two projects: one project is based in theory and the other focuses on applications of the theory. His first project, funded by the Dean’s Summer Research Fellowship, uses computational equations to conceive of new HIV vaccines by studying protein structures and design. Although the lab is still working on predictions for their models, they are hoping to find an experimental collaborator who can put their predictions into action. The second project, which he will turn into a senior thesis, aims to improve computer programming that is used to make predictions about protein interactions for his vaccine project. Read the full story here.

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    • Hunter Nisonoff
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Math Junior Flips for ‘Bit Flips’

    • Paul Yang

 Paul Ziquan Yang is using mathematical techniques to eliminate errors in computer hardware. Read the full story here.

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Dancing With the Elderly, For Their Health

For senior citizens in assisted living housing, health is more than fighting disease.  Cardea Fellow and senior Miurel Price believes it can be about the joy of dance and of physical movement. Read the full story here.

    • Muriel Price
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A Summer In The Lab, Wounding Flies

Senior biology major and chemistry minor Rachel Shenker is working as a Dean’s Summer Research Fellow, trying to figure out how certain proteins affect wound-healing in flies. Read the full story here.

    • Rachel Shenker
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A Better Approach to Machine Learning

Goldman Sachs Summer Research Fellow and physics major Cathy Li is using optical systems to enhance machine learning. Read the full story here.

    • Cathy Li
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Student Studies New Processes for Gene Expression

Before biologists can understand the role of specific genes, they have to be able to determine whether those genes are "on or off." Howard Hughes Undergraduate Research Fellow Mitchell Lee is looking to make take process easier. Read the full story here.

    • Mitchell Lee
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Duke Undergrads Sink Their Teeth into Evolution Research

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Ben Schwartz and Amalia Cong, past Howard Hughes VIP participants, are studying enamel evolution in the Wall and Wray labs.  Read the story on the Duke Research Blog.

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How do Children Learn Emotions?

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Duke Psychology Undergraduates Study How Young Children Learn to Label Emotions. Read the rest of the story at Duke News.

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Blasting away glioblastomas

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Duke junior Anirudh Saraswathula studies immune-system therapy for glioblastomas. Read the rest of the story at Duke News.

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Thinking Beyond the Grave

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Duke Student Meredith Rahman Presents at Duke-UNC Bioethics Symposium. Read the rest of the story at Duke News.

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SNCURCS returns to Duke

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Nonie Arora shares a story of one of the student presenters at the State of North Carolina Undergraduate Research and Creativity Symposium, hosted by Duke on November 17, 2012.

Read the full story.

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Lab Tests for Anxiety

Student research blogger Ashley Mooney spent her summer in Portland working in a lab that testing the impact of brain injuries on anxiety levels.


Monkey Research in Platt Lab

Yavuz Acikalin is doing an independent research project with the Platt Lab that deals with monkey advertising. Read about it on the Duke Research Blog.

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