This pink line of cells belongs to a fruit fly, marking the boundary between its small and large intestines. Duke cell biologist Don Fox and postdoc Jessica Sawyer are studying how cells in this zone protect the border between these two organs as the fly develops, and what happens when the border breaks down. Normally the pink boundary zone helps keep neighboring cells from dividing, but damage to the area results in tumor-like growths that invade across the organ boundary.
Liver cells are versatile workhorses, synthesizing key proteins while clearing toxins from the body. But these homebodies rarely survive outside the liver, making them challenging to study. Asli Unal, a graduate student in Jennifer West’s lab, is building synthetic homes for picky liver cells.
Each day, tens of thousands of patients on waiting lists across the United States await a simple phone call: one that says a match has been found and an organ is available for transplant. Despite a growing demand for donors, organ shortages continue to hinder many patients’ chances in receiving their potentially life-saving call.
A two-month investigation into the sudden deaths of four aye-ayes at the Duke Lemur Center has left just one plausible explanation -- avocados.
Lemur Center officials believe that a natural toxin found in avocados the animals ate the previous day set off damage to their heart muscles, resulting in death within 36 hours on Oct. 25 and 26. A fifth animal fell ill, but is now recovering.
DURHAM, N.C. -- Two Duke Health research teams will participate in a new, $170 million national initiative to delve into the intricacies of how exercise improves health and prevents disease.
Our spines don’t start out as bone. In the embryos of vertebrates, the spine begins as a rod with a core of fluid-filled sacks. This structure is called the “notochord” and provides a flexible scaffold for the trunk and a mold for the spine.
The fortified Toyota Land Cruiser slipped and bounced in the muddy hollows of the rain-drenched Mongolian steppe. The driver, a native Mongolian man named Inka who spoke little English, slowly engineered the vehicle along what just two days earlier was a dusty pair of dirt tracks.
In the back seat of the Cruiser, Duke master of science in global health students Laura Pulscher and Thomas Moore braced themselves during the ride as best they could, relaxing when Inka stopped the vehicle to ask a goat herder for directions.
When it comes to bright colors and bold patterns, the fashion industry can’t hold a candle to butterflies.
Their wings come in a dizzying array of designs and hues, from the iridescent blue bands of the morpho butterfly and the red dots of the ruby-spotted swallowtail, to the orange, black and white warning colors of the monarch.
It takes a well-trained eye to spot an irregular heartbeat in the peaks and valleys of an electrocardiogram. The same goes for identifying an extinct ape from a single fossilized tooth, or telling an original van Gogh from a fake.
But in recent years, applied mathematician Ingrid Daubechies has been training computers to churn through ECG tracings, high-resolution scans of fossils, paintings and other complex digital data and work things out automatically.