Nature or nurture? It seemed so simple a debate when I was younger and first learning biology. DNA and genes determined some of our traits, and the rest came from family, society, and other external factors.
There was certainly debate about the extent of what we could learn versus what we inherit as hard-coded genetic information. Well, that discussion is a lot more complicated now, as recent empirical research and discoveries show offspring can inherit traits developed by parents’ environment and experiences. Basically, what’s passed on to kids is not just in the genetic code.
The British Navy was outfitting ships for war against the upstart American colonies when Captain James Cook sailed from Plymouth Harbor in July 1776 for his third and final voyage. The mariner sought the elusive Northwest Passage via the west coast of North America, but the ensuing three-and-a-half-year expedition didn’t turn out as planned.
Much has been written about Cook, particularly … » More …
How do you walk through a building in Atlanta when you’re in a classroom in Pullman?
If you can’t be there physically, virtual reality can deliver a new level of engagement, whether it’s watching Shaun White’s snowboard whoosh inches from your head, or working collaboratively on construction projects with students from Georgia.
Virtual reality is also a rapidly growing business. There were an estimated seven million VR headsets in 2016, which is expected to balloon to 47 million by 2020.
That acceleration has pushed companies like Intel to ramp up their VR offerings, including the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. The VR technology … » More …
“I will do my part to make sure we compete and act with integrity and class.”
As a kid growing up near Cleveland, sports and devoted sports fans surrounded Patrick Chun. He became one himself, rooting for the Cavaliers, Indians, and Browns, even when they weren’t winning. Chun’s passion led him to Ohio State University and eventually to leadership in their athletic department.
But as much as he loves sports, Chun gives credit to his parents for instilling a devotion to education and a powerful work ethic. It all came together as he took the mantle of athletic director, first at … » More …
One day in a drift boat along Henry’s Fork in eastern Idaho, Kyle Smith ’07 felt the lure of the trout, fly fishing for a signature fish of the West.
“The Henry’s Fork is just about as legendary as it gets among trout fishermen,” says Smith. “I remember casting Renegades, my favorite dry fly for trout, and catching five or six rainbows in a row.”
Smith’s trip cemented itself in his memory and led him to a career in trout conservation with Trout Unlimited. It’s his unique experience, but it matches the stories of many anglers, stories of steelhead and brook trout, cutthroat and browns, … » More …
The intricate mastery of Japanese swordmaking relies on a smith’s deep understanding of fire, metal, and techniques to control both. Each unique sword shimmers with thousands of layers from the folding of the metal, a work of art in steel. That steel, though, traditionally comes from an iron-rich sand full of impurities, pounded and blended by the smith. A smith then uses a secret mix of water, clay, ash, and other ingredients over the blade as they once again plunge the sword into fire to create a keen edge. Only when the blade glows a certain color is it quenched in water.
Trekking through one of the largest unexplored rainforests in the world, La Mosquitia in Honduras, Travis King set up traps last spring to catch jaguars—or whatever other animal came into range of the cameras.
King, an environmental science graduate student at Washington State University, was one of twelve biologists conducting the first biological survey of the area known as La Ciudad Blanca or the Lost City of the Monkey God, astounding ruins first identified in 2012.
It was already familiar work for King, who has used remote-sensing camera traps and other methods to identify the behavior and distribution of elusive big cats … » More …
Eman Ibrahim started volunteering in Iraq’s first cancer support center in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil when she was 18, providing psychological support and reading to patients. It was satisfying work for the energetic young woman, if heart-wrenching at times.
Yet, when the 21-year-old Kurdish medical student from Hawler Medical University became head of the Erbil Hub center last year, she wanted to do even more to help—and that meant learning new ideas. Last July, she got her opportunity with the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program.
The highly competitive scholarship program brings 100 Iraqi college students to the United States for … » More …
If you want the facts about track and field records, ask a statistics junkie like E. Garry Hill ’69. But he might throw you with another fact, this one culled from long experience as editor of Track & Field News, announcer at the Olympics and World championships, and expert on the sport: Track and field as a spectator sport is struggling mightily.
Rows and rows of empty seats faced runners and field athletes competing at the Rio Olympics. And where can you watch big track events on TV? Hill calls it like he sees it, and he’s seen a lot since he competed for Washington … » More …
Not everyone will love a beet, but it has long been a vegetable of love.
The deep red of a beet and its earthy sweetness speak to some people, who adore the vegetable in all kinds of dishes. Beets have a lot of healthy qualities, too, and even potential chemical uses in solar panels.
That’s not to say beets don’t have detractors. That same earthiness, produced by the substance geosmin, puts off some palates.
The beet—Beta vulgaris, also known as garden beet, blood turnip, beetroot, or red beet—was cultivated in ancient Greece and Rome, but there are stories of beets in the Hanging Gardens of … » More …