Duke University

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

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.


  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.

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.

David Pizarro black and white photo, laughing


Feelings of disgust can be a useful in navigating environmental threats. When we are disgusted, we avoid contaminated or poisonous things. But new research shows that disgust may also subconsciously influence our political and moral judgments. Psychology professor David Pizarro examines the ways disgust affects decision-making in the political realm.

Alex Granados

Duke University Junior Tom Shelbourn got his own version of culture shock when he took the Sounds of the South English class last semester.

He is from England, and when he attended a performance of the Fisk Jubilee Singers and listened to them sing  "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," he knew he'd heard the song before. But not like that.

"It's actually a chant that you will hear at every international rugby game," he said. "You will hear that song often louder than the national anthem at times."

First-place winners of Duke University's 'Rethink Education: The Innovation Challenge' Winter Forum pose for a picture. The team proposed an online database that can be shared between schools in North Carolina and India to improve STEM education.
Reema Khrais / WUNC

A high tech pen-pal system shuttling messages,  knowledge and know-how between schools in Durham and those in India. A program that would have students repair bicycles as a part of their studies. How about older students teaching younger students through video tutorials? Or paying high achieving students to tutor?

These were some of the bright ideas cooked up by Duke undergrads for the “Rethink Education: The Innovation Challenge” winter forum at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business

Nyuol Tong, Duke student and writer, from South Sudan
http://www.selfsudan.org/ / Self Sudan


When Nyuol Tong was six years old, his family was caught in the crossfire of the Sudanese Civil War. After living in Sudanese refugee camps, and Egypt, Tong made his way to the United States. 

When Nyuol reflects on his life in Sudan and Egypt, he talks about the constant shifting he had to do in order to survive. 

Duke scientists look into the brains of songbirds.

Scientists are learning fascinating things by studying songbirds. 

Rob Bixby / RobBixbyPhotography, Flickr Creative Commons

A new study from Duke University shows the importance of maintaining key species to support biodiversity. 

Researchers manipulated the populations of crabs, snails and fungus in a salt marsh in Georgia.  Brian Silliman is an associate professor of marine conservation biology at Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment.  He says each species provides an important function in preserving the marsh. 

man with glasses, stroboscopic training, in running position
Peter Friesen @NHLCanes / Carolina Hurricanes

It's pretty amazing to think that strobe lights in a club, the ones that make you kind of dizzy, could actually help our brains process images.

Duke researchers knew that they were on to something. They had done at least one other study on "stroboscopic visual conditions." So, they teamed up with some men whose livelihoods depend on visual acuity, hockey players, to test their theories out.

They designed special glasses with kind of an internal strobe light. The glasses intermittently let vision in, and then cut it off.


James Joseph grew up in the heart of Klan country in Louisiana.

He vowed to one day earn the respect of the racist leaders. Years later, he became the first ambassador to South Africa to present his credentials to Nelson Mandela. Host Frank Stasio talks to James Joseph, professor emeritus of the practice of public policy at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy.

Mandela, Mary and james Joseph shaking hands
Joseph family archives

Nelson Mandela was a global icon who had an incredible humility. And one of the interesting things I remember about my experience is that when I presented my credentials to Mandela, as the U.S. Ambassador, he invited my wife and I to have tea with him afterwards. And we were sitting there, both of us thinking, ‘How do we approach asking Mr. Mandela to take a picture with us?’

South Sudanese Writer and Duke Student, Nyuol Tong
selfsudan.org / Self Sudan

When Nyuol Tong was six years old, his family was caught in the crossfire of the Sudanese Civil War. After living in Sudanese refugee camps, and Egypt, Tong made his way to the United States. 

When Nyuol reflects on his life in Sudan and Egypt, he talks about the constant shifting he had to do in order to survive. 

Jessica Jones
Jessica Jones

Every college football season, there’s usually one team that turns out to be a surprise. This year, it’s Duke.

The Blue Devils have won ten games-- the most in school history. It’s a big turnaround for a team long overshadowed by basketball and a laughingstock of the Atlantic Coast Conference. But now, Duke is headed to the ACC championship game.

The team earned its invitation to the ACC over the weekend, after it beat UNC.  At a sports bar near campus, lifelong Duke fans Larry Goss and Bobbi Harris hugged each other with tears in their eyes.

Wesley Hogan
Christopher Sims, via CDSPorch.com

Wesley Hogan's interest in storytelling stretches back to her childhood. 

Creative Commons

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. Host Frank Stasio talks to Gavan Fitzsimons, a professor in Duke’s Fuqua School of Business.