Duke University

This weekend, Triangle-based theater artist Mike Wiley will do several performances of his one-man play, "Dar He," at Raleigh's Little Theater. The play tells the story of the 1955 murder of Emmett Till, the 14-year-old Chicago boy, in Money, Mississippi. 

The play has taken on new resonance lately, with the killings of unarmed black teenagers such as Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. Earlier this year, producer John Biewen tagged along as Wiley presented "Dar He" in Florida, not far from where Trayvon Martin lived and died almost half a century later.

Photo: A drilling site in northeastern Louisiana.
Daniel Foster via Flickr

A Duke University study exonerates hydraulic fracturing from contaminating drinking water at sites in Pennsylvania and Texas. Instead, researchers blame faulty shale gas wells for leaking methane into the water, sometimes making it flammable.

Lt. Col. Tim Nichols
Sanford Public Policy

  

President Obama addressed the nation with a four-part plan to expand the military campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, better known as the Islamic State or ISIS.

Duke University Chapel
OZinOH / Flickr/Creative Commons

Duke University has added a question to its undergraduate application regarding sexual orientation and gender identity.

The question is an optional essay on the Duke-specific section of the Common App: a generic application used by more than 500 schools. The question allows respondents to discuss personal experiences based on their upbringing, sexual orientation, gender identity, or cultural background.

"Please, sir, I want some more," Oliver Twist famously asked in the food line at an orphanage.

Instead he got a blow to the head with a ladle.

A picture of moving boxes.
Nathan Olivier Photography / Creative Commons

Underclassmen are swarming the Triangle this week, and the flurry of moving boxes has already begun at some universities.

UNC Chapel Hill says nearly 4,000 of today's incoming freshmen were selected from a record number of 31,331 applicants.

Aside from the obvious enrollment data, UNC Chapel Hill keeps track of the most popular first names of the incoming class: 45 guys are named John, and 56 gals answer to Emily.

  

Stories shape how we think about ourselves and the world around us, and insights from science, history, and biology confirm that humans are storytelling animals. 

Teen Suicide
www.teensuicideprevention.org

A new study out of Duke University shows there is a direct correlation between mass job layoffs and a spike in suicide-related behavior among girls and African American teenagers.

Anna Gassman-Pines found when 1 percent of a state’s working population lost their jobs, suicide-related behaviors increased by 2 to 3 percentage points among girls and black adolescents in the following year. 

A composite image shows the facial differences between an ancient modern human with heavy brows and a large upper face and the more recent modern human who has rounder features and a much less prominent brow.
Robert Cieri / University of Utah

About 50,000 years ago, people started developing tools. They started making art, in caves. And they started cooperating. Simultaneously, that's when our faces went from looking like the skull on the left, to the one on the right.

A group of researchers from Duke and the University of Utah are theorizing that the correlation is not coincidence; that, in fact, the changing shape of skulls signals a change in something else that would have made cooperation more likely: A drop in male testosterone levels.

Duke Kunshan
Duke University

  

Duke Kunshan University is set to open in a few weeks. The campus near Shanghai will begin with 75 students in three graduate programs. 

Just one of Duke Kunshan’s buildings is ready, so the students will be housed in a local hotel. But when it’s finished, the city of Kunshan will have spent about $200 million constructing the campus.

Duke University will rent the campus for free, but will split $80 million in operational costs over the next six years with the city.

A chart showing the where there is a risk for CRE infections
CDC

Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) are organisms that do not respond to antibiotics. They're mostly picked up by patients while in the hospital, and have a mortality rate ranging from 48% - 71%.  What's more, between 2008 and 2012, reports of CRE jumped five-fold in the southeastern United States.

Creative Commons

Note: This is a rebroadcast from a show that aired November 7, 2013.

Think you’re avoiding the advertisements when you fast forward through using your DVR?

Think again. New research from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business shows that sometimes commercials are even more effective when you’re not paying attention.

Anne Firor Scott
Les Todd / Duke Photography

Earlier this week, President Obama awarded Chapel Hill historian Anne Firor Scott the National Humanities Medal.

She was honored "for pioneering the study of southern women. Through groundbreaking research spanning ideology, race, and class, Dr. Scott’s uncharted exploration into the lives of southern women has established women’s history as vital to our understanding of the American South."

  

After a bad end to a long-term relationship, animal behavior expert Jennifer Verdolin decided to look to the animal kingdom for new insight on dating. 

What do you think of when you hear the name Duke? That question is at the heart of a legal dispute between Duke University and the estate of John Wayne.

Fans of the late film star will recall that he went by the nickname "Duke," which his biographers have pointed out he picked up in childhood from a dog. (He preferred it to his real first name, which was Marion).

Duke University Hospital
Duke Medecine

Researchers at Duke University will become part of a national network focusing on undiagnosed diseases.

The National Institutes of Health have granted $7.2 million for geneticists at Duke to look at the rarest diseases in the world, affecting fewer than 50 patients each.

Doctor David Goldstein is one of the principle investigators for the project. He says a team at Duke has spent four years taking what used to be a purely clinical investigation and moving it into the world of genetics.

Eric Mennel

My dog. Hands down - that's the picture I'm sending to Mars. No questions asked.

There's a group of students at Duke who are trying to give me the opportunity for about $1. Time Capsule To Mars is a several-years-long project that is crowdfunding to cover much of the cost of sending a satellite time capsule to the Red Planet.

For now, they're accepting picture uploads. But they plan to expand all sorts of media.

North Carolina Air Pollution
Doug Bradley / Flickr

  

Stronger emission controls in North Carolina are closely associated with declining death rates from respiratory illnesses like asthma and emphysema, according to a Duke University study released this week. 

Medical student studying the structure of a pelvis.
University of Nottingham Medical School

A new study from Duke University suggests a chemical found in many plastics can make breast cancer cells resistant to treatment.

The report discusses the effects of BPA on Inflammatory Breast Cancer cells. It's a type of cancer found in 1-5 percent of breast cancer cases. Researchers suggest that the chemical neutralizes the effects of prescription drugs meant to keep the cancerous cell from growing.

Co-author Scott Sauer says it was important to look at the drug resistance factor, not just how the BPA interacted with the cancer itself.

A teen wearing an exoskeleton will kick off soccer's biggest event.
Walk Again Project / virtualreality.duke.edu

Earlier this year we brought you a story about the connection between a mind-controlled robotic suit and soccer's World Cup. We have updated the story at the bottom of the page.

Original story:

The upcoming World Cup is sure to go down in the history books even before the competition starts.  This year, a paralyzed teen will use a mind-controlled robotic suit to help stand, walk and make the opening kick to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

A picture of a baby olinguito.
Juan Rendon / Saving Species

Species are going extinct about 1,000 times faster than they should be because their habitat is being destroyed. That's according to new research led by Duke University.

Conservation Ecology Professor Stuart Pimm said the worse news is that nearly 90 percent of the species are unknown to scientists.

A picture of a girl smoking a cigarette.
medicaldaily.com / creative commons

People who have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are much more likely than the rest of the population to take up smoking. But a new report out today from Duke University shows that kids who are treated consistently for their ADHD with stimulant medication are less likely to take up the habit.

Lead author Scott Kollins said nicotine often becomes a comfort for young people who are socially awkward or have trouble concentrating.

“The treatment for ADHD addresses a lot of these things,” Kollins said.

UNC graduates
unc.edu

Many colleges and universities across North Carolina have added thousands of alumni.  Students from UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University were among those to turn their tassels Sunday. 

Harvard surgeon and best-selling author Atul Gawande spoke at UNC's commencement. The theme of Gawande's speech was how to find the right place to live and work after graduation.

"One thing I came to realize after college was that the search for purpose is really a search for a place, not an idea," says Gawande. 

Duke Chapel
Skip Bradley / Flickr/Creative Commons

Duke Chapel is closing to the public May 11, 2015 for a year-long restoration project. The ceiling will be worked on and the original chapel roof will be replaced. Crews will also work to restore the stained-glass windows and woodwork.

A picture of the Durham Bulls mascot with the Merge Records logo.
Merge Records

It's a big year for Merge Records. The Durham-based label is celebrating its 25th birthday with a series of events, which has included concerts, limited release recordings and a 25K run.

Mac McCaughan and Laura Ballance founded the label in Chapel Hill to promote their band, Superchunk. A quarter-century later, dozens of other celebrated artists have jumped on board, including the Grammy-winning Arcade Fire.

sfbos.org

  Jane Kim was only 33 years old when she became the nation’s first Korean-American district supervisor, representing San Francisco’s 6th District on the Board of Supervisors. Since her election in 2010, she has focused her work on homelessness, affordable housing and pedestrian safety. She speaks tonight at 5:30 pm at Duke University's Sanford School of Public Policy as part of the Connect2Politics speaker series, a program designed to promote engagement with politics among a younger audience.

Coates
The Lavin Agency

Last month, Michael Dunn was convicted of attempted murder, after firing several rounds into an SUV of young black men. Jordan Davis, a 17-year-old, was killed in the incident. Dunn is 47, and he is white. Dunn invoked the "Stand Your Ground Law" to defend his actions, and the jury was deadlocked on whether to charge him for Davis's murder. He'll face a retrial this summer.

Dan Vermeer Executive Director of the Center for Energy Development and the Global Environment
fuqua.duke.edu / Center for Energy Development and the Global Environment

    

When he graduated from college, Daniel Vermeer did not want a job. He wanted only to wander through Asia and continue learning about world religions. But his adventures led him to some unexpected destinations, including corporate America. He led water sustainability projects for Coca-Cola and advised Fortune 50 companies on their water policies. 

Gordon Lew via Flickr

Middle school students are more likely to face discipline problems when surrounded by large numbers of students who are repeating grades, according to a new study from researchers at Duke University.

The findings explain that suspensions and behavioral problems, including substance abuse, fighting and classroom disruption, escalate among students across the school community as the number of older or retained students increase.

Dancing the African Diaspora: Theories of Black Performance February 7-9 2014 Duke University
African-American Studies at Duke University / http://aaas.duke.edu

    

For centuries, countless dances were born out of the disbursement of African people.  Dancing The African Diaspora, a new conference at Duke University, explores dances by people of African descent.

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