Oxygen levels link to ancient explosion of life

A team of researchers, including a faculty member and postdoctoral fellow from Washington University, found that oxygen levels appear to increase at about the same time as a three-fold increase in biodiversity during the Ordovician Period, between 445 and 485 million years ago, according to a study published Nov. 20 in Nature Geoscience.

Water world

Three Washington University in St. Louis scientists studied the great granddaddy of all photosynthetic organisms — a strain of cyanobacteria — to develop the first experimental map of that organism’s water world.

Bear or chipmunk? Engineer finds how brain encodes sounds

When you are out in the woods and hear a cracking sound, your brain needs to process quickly whether the sound is coming from, say, a bear or a chipmunk. In new research published in PLoS Biology, a biomedical engineer at Washington University in St. Louis has a new interpretation for an old observation, debunking an established theory in the process.

Cells’ mechanical memory could hold clues to cancer metastasis

In the body, cells move around to form organs during development; to heal wounds; and when they metastasize from cancerous tumors. A mechanical engineer at Washington University in St. Louis found that cells remember the properties they had in their first environment for several days after they move to another in a process called mechanical memory.

A bit of a ‘quantum magic trick’

Is there a faster way to determine a frequency? It turns out there is, in a new discovery published this week in Physical Review Letters by a collaboration between a Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Rochester.

Bouncing back

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently awarded a team of researchers at Washington University in St. Louis a five-year, $1.6 million grant to develop a combined treatment option using drug treatment and physical therapy to better restore range of motion following injury.
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