Science Wire


September 16, 2015 | Bronx Community College

The BCC Historic Campus Will Open Its Doors October 18 as an “Open House New York” Site SEPTEMBER 16, 2015 — Bronx Community College is the country’s only community college with a campus that includes a National Historic Landmark designated by the U.S. Department of the Interior. Here’s an opportunity to find out why. On […]

Palm to Palm with an Ancient Human Relative

September 16, 2015 | The University

On September 9th, news reached humanity of a previously unknown hominin relative called Homo naledi. It was discovered in Maropeng, South Africa, about three hundred feet beyond the entrance to a cave chamber called Dinaledi (“Rising Star,” in the local Sesotho language). Getting to the species’ fossilized remains was a claustrophobic proposition. The access chute was only about eight inches wide in places, earning it nicknames like “Post Box” and “Superman Squeeze.” Because the principal investigator on the dig, Lee R. Berger, a paleoanthropologist at the University of the Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg, could not himself fit through the Post Box, he placed an advertisement on Facebook for “skinny and preferably small” cavers with “excellent archaeological/paleontological excavation skills” and a willingness “to work in cramped quarters.” Six young women were selected from among the fifty-seven respondents.

Homo Naledi, New Species in Human Lineage, Is Found in South African Cave

September 12, 2015 | Lehman College

A groundbreaking discovery in South Africa has uncovered remains of a previously unidentified species of the early human lineage — Homo naledi. Lehman College anthropology professor William Harcourt-Smith, who also co-authored the study on Homo Naledi, led the analysis of the feet of the new species, which he said are “virtually indistinguishable from those of modern humans.” […]

Lehman Professor Among the Researchers That Discovered New Human Species

September 11, 2015 | Lehman College

Among the team of researchers who announced the discovery of a new human species—Homo naledi—is William Harcourt-Smith, a professor in the Department of Anthropology at Lehman College. Dr. Harcourt-Smith lead the team that researched the new species’ feet, which he told The New York Times, were “virtually indistinguishable from those of modern humans.” This suggests that H. […]

Lessons from Killer Snails: A Q&A with Biologist Mande Holford

September 11, 2015 | The University

This Q&A features Mande Holford is Assistant Professor, Chemical Biology at City University of New York’s Hunter College. She does research into how the venom of conoidean snails can be used to help fight cancer.

Research That Holds Water

September 10, 2015 | Borough of Manhattan Community College

“I met Crystal when she was in my physics class,” says Professor Kibrewossen Tesfagiorgis. “She asked all kinds of questions, and that’s the kind of person you want in your research project”—which in his case, centers on the world’s fresh water resources, and was inspired by his childhood in Ethiopia, where “I saw people walking […]

Female cowbirds pay attention to cowbird nestling survival, study finds

September 9, 2015 | The University

Brown-headed cowbirds have a reputation for being deadbeat parents: They lay their eggs in other birds’ nests and then disappear, the story goes, leaving the care and feeding of their offspring to an unwitting foster family. A new study suggests, however, that cowbird moms pay close attention to how well their offspring do, returning to lay their eggs in the most successful host nests, and avoiding those that have failed.

Ivory May Have Driven Greenland Colonisation

September 9, 2015 | The University

Scientists have traditionally believed that the reason Greenland was colonised around 1000 CE was farming. Arable land in Scandinavia at the time must have been in short supply, this traditional view goes, so the Vikings went north in search of new lands to grow crops on. A new study, however, is challenging this view with an alternative explanation: walrus ivory.

Homo Naledi, New Species in Human Lineage, Is Found in South African Cave

September 9, 2015 | The University

Acting on a tip from spelunkers two years ago, scientists in South Africadiscovered what the cavers had only dimly glimpsed through a crack in a limestone wall deep in the Rising Star Cave: lots and lots of old bones.

Underwater Dominican Monkey Fossil Is Over One Million Years Old

September 4, 2015 | The University

A fossil of a monkey found in a water-filled sinkhole on the island of Hispaniola has been found to be over 1 million years old, revealing new information about the evolution and extinction of monkeys in the Caribbean. A study in the Journal of Human Evolution by Alfred Rosenberger of Brooklyn College and co-authors confirms that the now-extinct Hispaniola monkey, Antillothrix bernensis, lived on the island for at least one million years, only to disappear coincident with the arrival of humans in the 16th century.

The 3rd Annual Sustainable Energy and Design Conference

September 4, 2015 | Bronx Community College

The Center for Sustainable Energy at Bronx Community College-CUNY Presents: This year’s SED Conference will focus on the two essentials of New York City life that consume the most energy and so pose the greatest challenge to sustainability: the buildings in which we live and work and the transportation on which we ride. Policy makers, industry leaders and educators will […]

Biology Professor Tony Wilson and International Research Team Unravel the Genetic Basis of Male Pregnancy

September 3, 2015 | Brooklyn College

BROOKLYN, NY– Seahorses have a unique mode of reproduction: male pregnancy, which closely resembles the pregnancy of female mammals, including humans. Brooklyn CollegeBiology Professor Tony Wilson and an international team of researchers have taken a major step toward answering the question of whether the structures of complex reproductive systems—like the seahorse’s—reflect a common genetic architecture. The […]

Kingsborough Community College Holds its First Paramedic Program Graduation Ceremony

September 1, 2015 | Kingsborough Community College

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams Declares Kingsborough Paramedic Program Day in the Borough of Brooklyn Kingsborough Community College held its first Graduation Ceremony last week for nineteen students in its Paramedic Program. Launched in 2013, the program is the first college-based paramedic program in Brooklyn. The graduates were accompanied by family and friends who were […]

CCNY’S George John awarded Fulbright-Nehru Excellence Fellowship

August 31, 2015 | City College

Dr. George John, professor of chemistry at The City College of New York, has received a 2015-2016 Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Fellowship. He will spend four months in India teaching and conducting research on a project titled “Introducing Materials Science to Managers through Biomimicry” at the LM Thapar School of Management, in Dera Bassi.

Kingsborough Community College Professor Receives the Distinguished Carski Foundation Undergraduate Teaching Award

August 31, 2015 | Kingsborough Community College

Kingsborough Community College (KCC) Professor and Biological Sciences Department Chairperson Loretta Brancaccio-Taras was recently named as the recipient of the 2016 Carski Foundation Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award from the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). Professor Brancaccio-Taras, a renowned undergraduate biology educator and national leader in biology education reform, will present the Carski Award lecture at […]

City Tech students ready to compete in solar home decathlon

August 31, 2015 | The University

Students from New York City College of Technology (City Tech) held a send-off party at the Brooklyn Navy Yard on Thursday for a solar home they built, which will be shipped to California and entered into the 2015 Solar Decathlon International Competition in October.

Macaulay Students Descend on Freshkills Park for 2015 BioBlitz

August 26, 2015 | Macaulay Honors College

FRESHKILLS PARK HOSTS MACAULAY HONORS COLLEGE 2015 BIOBLITZ   (Aug. 27, 2015, New York, NY) – Hundreds of students, nature lovers and scientists will participate in the 2015 Macaulay Honors College Freshkills Park BioBlitz on August 29 and August 30. BioBlitz is a 24-hour biological inventory whose goal is to find as many species of […]

Rare Nautilus Spotted for First Time in 30 Years

August 26, 2015 | The University

In early August, biologist Peter Ward returned from the South Pacific with news that he encountered an old friend, one he hadn’t seen in over three decades. The University of Washington professor had seen what he considers one of the world’s rarest animals, a remote encounter that may become even more infrequent if illegal fishing practices continue.

Eleven Student Researchers Present STEM Findings

August 26, 2015 | Borough of Manhattan Community College

Eleven BMCC students took their turn at the front of a darkened classroom in Fiterman Hall on August 19, pointing to graphs and other visuals on a large, illuminated screen. The students were summarizing their research findings and year-long projects ranging in focus from metal-tolerant bacteria to suspension bridge dynamics. The students completed their projects […]

Octopuses seen throwing things may be using shells as weapons

August 24, 2015 | The University

Octopuses have been recorded gathering up armfuls of debris – and remember, they have eight arms – before taking pot shots at one another. Whether it’s a case of “get off my turf” or merely “oops, didn’t mean to hit you” is still a puzzle.