Life Sciences

Nature and Mankind

This past fall, Tufts undergraduates enrolled in BIO7: Environmental Biology were given a rather unusual assignment: “to create a video project, using open-source materials that described a current topic in environmental biology.” In this video, “Chernobyl: Nature and Mankind,” student filmmakers aim to teach other students and the general public about the 1986 nuclear disaster at Chernobyl and the environmental implications of harnessing nuclear power:

EDIT, 8/24/11: Sheril Kirshenbaum, A02, highlighted one of the class videos on her blog, Culture of Science.

See all of the videos on the Environmental Studies YouTube channel.


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The Sharewood Project

Medical students and doctors of the Tufts University School of Medicine are providing free health care to under-served communities in the Boston area through The Sharewood Project. Sharewood, located in the First Church in Malden, operates Tuesday nights from 6:30 to 9 PM and provides clinical care, case management, laboratory work, and other health care services for free and without a scheduled appointment.

Recently, the AsianBoston‘s radio station conducted an interview with representatives from the Tufts Medical School about the Project.

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Marine Biologist (G’07) Blogs from Panama

Randi Rotjan (G’07), an alum of the Tufts Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, is a marine biologist blogging for the New England Aquarium’s Global Explorers Blog. Rotjan is currently a professor of Northeastern University’s Three Seas Program in Panama, where she researches the interface between ecology, symbiosis and behavior.

In a recent post entitled “Pencils…Down!,” Rotjan explains how her marine biology students in Panama take exams. She writes:

Taking a test is not typically a fun experience. Stress. Anxiety. GRADES.
But in any class experience, test-taking is a necessary assessment of knowledge and here in Bocas del Toro, we have a different approach. A FUN approach! We feel that the best way to test fish knowledge is… to go where the fish are. Have you ever taken an underwater exam before? For us, the easiest way to learn our fish identification is to take our pencils… down!


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Puppy Pics and More

The Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University has a photo blog, complete with adorable photos of its patients and a glance into the average day for the school’s students and staff.

The blog offers readers a peek into the happenings of the vet school, not to mention a guaranteed pick-me-up after viewing the “awww”-inducing  pictures of kittens and puppies.

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Professor Maryanne Wolf: Reading is Not Natural

Maryanne Wolf is a professor of child development whose recent research has focused on the cognitive processes behind learning to read. In a recent interview with TVOParents, Wolf explains:

…reading is, in a way, a mirror to the human ability to go beyond what we were programmed to do…

Wolf’s book, Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain, “integrates psychology and archaeology, linguistics and education, history and neuroscience in a truly path-breaking look at the development of the reading brain…”

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The Antibiotics Dilemma

Tufts School of Medicine Professor Stuart Levy, a global authority on antibiotics, spoke to Dan Rather for a segment on the HDNet news program “Dan Rather Reports” on the topic of antibiotic resistance. The program originally aired Jan. 11 and airs again at noon on Jan. 15 and 16. Watch a preview of the segment below or read this overview in the Huffington Post.

The Boston Globe also recently interviewed Professor Levy about the dilemma of antibiotic resistance.

Levy is director of the Center for Adaptation Genetics and Drug Resistance in the Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology.

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Transformative Educational Partnerships for Global Health

Back in September, Associate Provost Mary Lee spoke on “Transformative Educational Partnerships for Global Health: India, Africa and the USA” at the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) annual meeting in Seattle.

You can download the slides from the presentation here.

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Honor for Ordovas, en español

On Nov. 17, Dr. Jose Ordovas — professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and director and senior scientist of the Nutrition and Genomics Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging — received the Nutrition Research Award from the University of Navarra in Spain.

Read more about the award, or watch this video — please note that both are in Spanish:

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