New book discusses genetic testing as disease predictor

Posted 5 years 1 month ago
250_Happe-book cover

Recent headlines concerning the actress Angelina Jolie brought renewed emphasis to the use of genetic testing. A new book by Franklin College assistant professor Kelly Happe further fleshes out the social and cultural context to the discussion of medical decision-making based on genetic testing:

Although Jolie cautioned readers that risks are different for each woman and only a fraction of breast cancers result from an inherited gene mutation, her article rekindled an ongoing debate among patients and medical experts about genetic testing and its role in modern health care.


Alumna wins Breakthrough Prize in the Life Sciences

Posted 5 years 5 months ago

Silicon Valley entrepreneurs Mark Zuckerberg, Sergey Brin and Yuri Milner jointly established a foundation to reward excellence in life sciences, the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences Foundation. And a Franklin alumna is among the 11 inaugural winners of the $3 million award:

The newly created Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences Foundation on Wednesday announces the first 11 winners of an award intended to inject excitement into the sometimes lonely, underfunded quests to understand and combat cancer, diabetes, Parkinson's disease and other maladies.

Zuckerberg, who...

Microbiology researchers publish discovery on Earth's oldest life forms

Posted 5 years 5 months ago

This is a big discovery:

University of Georgia researchers discovered important genetic clues about the history of microorganisms called archaea and the origins of life itself in the first ever study of its kind. Results of their study shed light on one of Earth's oldest life forms.

"Archaea are an ancient form of microorganisms, so everything we can learn about them could help us to answer questions about the origin of life," said William Whitman, a microbiology professor in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and co-author on the paper.

Felipe Sarmiento, lead...

Tool-using Orangutans and improving cotton at the genome level

Posted 5 years 8 months ago

A ScienceNow article in features the work of a faculty member from psychology:

Primatologist Dorothy Fragaszy of the University of Georgia in Athens says orangutans might have ideas of the sort that Gruber describes, but that’s not the most plausible explanation. Fragaszy cautions that Gruber cites only one study that discusses orangutans developing stick skills in the wild — and she says that work isn’t conclusive about when orangutans begin experimenting. “I would say [the orphans] were somewhere along the normal process of learning about [tool use], which involves...

The mechanics of physical attraction

Posted 5 years 9 months ago
Larry-Young in a blue shirt.

Lots of great speakers on campus during the last week of October. I'll talk about dance choreographer Liz Lerman next week but the deparment of psychology will also bring to campus a neuroscientist whose work identifies the neural and genetic mechanisms that underlie physical attraction, love and family bonds. The lecture, on Nov. 2 at 12:20 p.m. in room 148 of the Miller Learning Center, is free and the public invited to attend.

Larry Young is the author of "The Chemistry Between Us: Love, Sex, and the Science of Attraction" (Current, 2012). At Emory University, he is the William P...