Browsing: Research

Wealth inequality increased over the past 11,000 years and was tied to the rise of animal domestication, according to an analysis by a team of international scientists, including Elizabeth Stone from Stony Brook’s Department of Anthropology. Published in Nature, the study focused on 63 archeological sites across North America, Europe, Asia and Africa, using house size as a measure of wealth. The sites included a range of economic systems – from ancient cities to hunter-gatherer communities – and spanned the past 11,000 years. “The houses that I looked at often have cuneiform tablets within them which document the inheritance, sale and exchange of…

Maria Anaya and Wilson Nieves, recently named URECA Researchers of the Month, have a lot in common. Both are passionate about research, and have had transformative summer research program experiences, both on and off campus. Both recently presented at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students ( ABRCMS) conference in Phoenix, Arizona. Both began their Stony Brook research experiences in the summer of 2016, as participants in I-STEM’s BioPREP program as well as the NIH-funded Initiative for Maximizing Student Development: Maximizing Excellence in Research for Graduate Education (IMSD-MERGE) Program administered through CIE. Both previously attended Queensborough Community College (QCC). Both are immigrants; both are first-generation college students.…

Two student teams that were mentored by Stony Brook University faculty took first and second place in the prestigious nationwide 2017 Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology. The first-place team, mentored by Associate Professor Ken-Ichi Takemaru from the Department of Pharmacological Sciences, was awarded a $100,000 scholarship to be divided among team members Arooba Ahmed of Melville, NY; Jiachen Lee of Dix Hills, NY; and Jillian Parker of Dix Hills, NY, all from the Half Hollow Hills school district. The team discovered that a specific protein not previously recognized in cell division plays a crucial role in the process and could be…

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is one of the most prestigious organizations in the American science realm. With its dedication to supporting colleges throughout the nation, the NSF continues to help advance computer science research at Stony Brook University. Professor Jie Gao is the latest Stony Brook faculty member to earn not one, but two awards from the NSF. Gao has been awarded $250,000 for the NeTS grant (Research in Networking Technology and Systems) along with $100,000 for the Algorithms for Threat Detection (ATD) grant. “We at the Computer Science Department are very proud of Jie for her exceptional work,” said Interim Department Chair Samir Das.…

While skin pigmentation is nearly 100 percent heritable, it is far more genetically complex than previously thought. According to a new study published in Cell, co-authored by Stony Brook’s Brenna Henn, the genetics of skin pigmentation become progressively complex as populations reside closer to the equator, with an increasing number of genes—known and unknown—involved, each making a smaller overall contribution. Researchers from SBU, Stanford University and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard worked closely with the KhoeSan, a group of populations indigenous to southern Africa. They found that earlier studies of the genetics of skin pigmentation are misleading because they rely on…

Materials science is a field that Jason Trelewicz has been interested in since he was a young child, when his father — an engineer — would bring him to work. In the materials lab at his father’s workplace, Trelewicz would use optical microscopes to zoom in on material surfaces, intrigued by all the distinct features he would see as light interacted with different samples. Trelewicz is now an assistant professor in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences’ Department of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering with a joint appointment in the Institute for Advanced Computational Science at Stony Brook University…

The study of objects less than a billionth of a meter, also known as “nanometers,” is a special research discipline that Materials Science and Engineering Professor Alexander Orlov has been working on for years. A major breakthrough in this field has been the emergence of a new generation of consumer products containing nanoparticles, nano-enabled biomedical devices and many other exciting developments straight out of science fiction novels. However, like many scientific breakthroughs, there is hesitation in the implementation of nanotechnology. “It is a very difficult area to describe, as you cannot see nanoparticles with the naked eye,” Orlov explained. “People…

New York Sea Grant Director Bill Wise participated in a legislative briefing, “Using Science and Outreach to Assist State and Local Decision Makers in Disaster Preparedness and Public Safety,” on November 8 in Washington, DC, which was sponsored by Congressmen Lee Zeldin (NY) and Joe Courtney (CT). Wise and others on the panel conveyed the importance of the National Sea Grant College Program (Sea Grant) to Congressional leaders. Specifically, he discussed the Coastal Storm Awareness Program (CSAP), funded with $1.8 million from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This program was initiated after Superstorm Sandy to help understand the factors that influenced…

Although filled with tropical life today, the Caribbean islands have been a hotspot of mammal extinction since the end of the last glaciation, some 12,000 years ago. Since people also arrived after that time, it has been impossible to determine whether natural changes or human influence are most responsible for these extinctions. A new study by an international team of scientists, including Stony Brook University Professor Liliana M. Dávalos, reports an analysis of the incredibly diverse “lost world” of Caribbean fossils that includes giant rodents, vampire bats, enigmatic monkeys, ground sloths, shrews and dozens of other ancient mammals. The study, published today in the Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics, reveals that the arrival of humans…

A new study published in PNAS details a new “landscape portfolio” theory that uses insights from economics to predict animal population growth and the spread of disease. The paper, co-authored by Stony Brook’s Jessica Gurevitch, PhD, a Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution in the College of Arts and Sciences, melds Harry Markowitz’s “portfolio theory” in economics with ecological landscape theory to predict population growth of living things. Population demography of plants, animals and microbes that cause diseases is central to understanding many problems in ecology, evolution and conservation biology. Scientists have had limited information on collections of living populations to understand and…

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