Browsing: Stony Brook Spotlight

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Many signs are pointing to success this year for the Seawolves women’s lacrosse team — success, that is, in the form of a trip to the Final Four in pursuit of a national championship. Coming off their fourth consecutive America East title, the Seawolves enter this season having won 84 percent of their games over the last four years, the third-best mark in the nation. The team’s stellar standing has been forged during the Coach Joe Spallina era. In school history — at least on paper — there has never been a better chance for Stony Brook to win it all.…

“Jumping genes” offer a new route to understanding the nature of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the paralyzing muscular disorder also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. By inserting an amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)-linked human gene called TDP-43 into fruit flies, researchers at Stony Brook University and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory discovered a potential role for ‘transposons’ in the disease. Transposons, which are also called ‘jumping genes’ because they jump from place to place within DNA, are virus-like entities that fill most of the spaces between genes in an organism. The new research demonstrates that these transposons are no longer effectively inhibited,…

Tiny strands of fungi weave through the roots of an estimated nine out of 10 plants on Earth, an underground symbiosis in which the plant gives the fungus pre-made sugars and the fungus sends the plant basic nutrients in return. Scientists are interested in enhancing this mechanism as a way to help plants grow on nutrient-poor lands. Their success could lead to increased production of plant-based biofuels without having to compete with food crops for fertile farmland. “When fungus grows within the plant’s root system, it produces hair-like extensions all throughout the soil. These are thinner than the root hairs…

Naomi Wolf returns to the College of Arts and Sciences this semester to present “The Public Intellectual” workshops, designed to enable students and faculty to articulate their expertise when in public settings. These workshops reprise the first Public Intellectual series, adding more hands-on coaching and writing in-session. Through an invitation from Dr. Sacha Kopp, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Wolf first came to the Stony Brook campus in 2015, beginning an experiment in educating academics on how to communicate in such a way that their research can inform a broad audience — but without “dumbing down” their arguments. The collaboration…

Issuing a call to resist anti-immigration rhetoric in a Scientific American guest blog, Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. argues that immigration is essential to the pursuit of knowledge and the health of American research universities. “Our embrace of international students and faculty has given the U.S. a leg up on all other countries in the race to lead in innovation and discovery,” Stanley writes. In a strongly worded piece, Stanley states that xenophobic rhetoric and restrictive immigration policies “are undoing the compact between the United States and those seeking opportunity from around the world.” “Policy needs to be…

American historian Nancy Tomes has been awarded Columbia University’s 2017 Bancroft Prize in American History and Diplomacy, one of the most distinguished academic awards in the field of history. Tomes, Distinguished Professor in the Department of History at Stony Brook University, received this prestigious honor for her book, Remaking the American Patient: How Madison Avenue and Modern Medicine Turned Patients into Consumers (University of North Carolina Press, 2016). In the book, which spans the 20th century, Tomes questions the popular and largely unexamined idea that in order to receive quality health care, people must learn to shop for it. Understanding where…