Duke University has suffered some blows over the years as an academically prestigious school with a bad rep towards women. There was the infamous Duke lacrosse rape accusation of 2006 (which was later found to be false) and more recently, embarrassing fratboy shenanigans. Finally, some really positive news: Duke Women’s Center has created a program during the spring semester called Write(H)ers, which will train 23 students on how to be feminist bloggers. Keep reading »
When Dr. Kathleen Pryer and her team at Duke University’s herbarium discovered a new species of fern that produces spores that grow into male, female, or bisexual plants, their minds turned to–who else?–Lady Gaga. “We wanted to name this genus for Lady Gaga because of her fervent defense of equality and individual expression,” said Pryer. “And as we started to consider it, the ferns themselves gave us more reasons why it was a good choice.” One of those reasons was in the plant’s genetic code: when a graduate student discovered the sequence “GAGA” in the fern’s base pairs, it seemed only obvious that the plants would be named “Gaga germanotta” (Gaga’s real name is Stefani Germanotta) and “Gaga monstraparva” (translation: “Little monster”). “‘Born this Way’ is enormously empowering,” adds Dr. Pryer, “especially for disenfranchised people and communities like LGBT, ethnic groups, women — and scientists who study odd ferns!”
I’d just like to say that my new life goal is to have a “Born This Way” dance party at the Duke herbarium. Botanists know how to party. [Rolling Stone]
Most of us keep something of a running tally in our heads of all the people we’ve fooled around with, but few of us would ever dream of putting that information into a PowerPoint presentation. Yet that’s exactly what one graduating Duke University senior did.
And now the PowerPoint — complete with photos of each conquest — has become a viral Internet sensation. Keep reading »
The CDC has confirmed that a cure for both oral and genital herpes is in the works. Hooray! An estimated 100 million Americans have the oral herp, while 20% have the kind below the belt. There is a tiny bit of bad news, though. The new treatment being studied would force on one last outbreak, but then kill it forever with antiviral drugs already on the market. A team at Duke University has been leading the way and partnered up with Regulus Therapeutics LLC to make it happen. While they’re all optimistic, the researchers say the next step is testing out their theory on animals. Will monkeys finally make monkey business a little more safe? Let’s hope! [MSNBC via Regina Lynn] Keep reading »