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Boston University Arts & Sciences
CAS News July 12, 2013
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CAS Study Sheds Light on Bacterial Role in Pandemic Diseases
Wolbachia bacteria evolved to infect hosts’ stem cells
Wolbachia are intracellular bacteria that infect invertebrates at pandemic levels, including insects that cause such devastating diseases as dengue fever, West Nile virus, and malaria. While Wolbachia-based technologies are emerging as promising tools for the control of the insect vectors of these deadly diseases, the processes underlying Wolbachia’s successful propagation within and across species remain elusive.

A new study by CAS researchers sheds light on some of these processes by providing evidence that Wolbachia target the ovarian stem cell niches of its hosts—a strategy previously overlooked to explain how Wolbachia thrive in nature. The study, “Evolutionarily conserved Wolbachia-encoded factors control pattern of stem-cell niche tropism in Drosophila ovaries and favor infection,” has been published in the current issue of PNAS Early Edition, available online here. Michelle Toomey, a CAS Biology PhD student, and Kanchana Panaram, a former postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biology’s Frydman Lab, are the study’s co-first authors. Read more
“I Should but I Won’t”
CAS psychologist studies children’s grasp of fairness, inequity
A study co-authored by CAS Assistant Professor of Psychology Peter Blake finds that young children endorse fairness norms related to sharing, but often act in contradiction to those norms when given a chance to share. The article, titled “I Should but I Won’t: Why Young Children Endorse Norms of Fair Sharing but Do Not Follow Them,” was published recently in the journal Plos ONE. Read more
Mall Project Was “Last Straw” in Restive Turkey
CAS prof: Shrinking liberties, overflow from Syria conflict
Although they were ignited by a plan to turn Istanbul’s last remaining green space into a giant mall, the recent protests spreading across Turkey reflect its citizens’ long-simmering resentment over government intrusion into their lives, says Jenny White. An expert on contemporary Turkish culture and politics and author of three scholarly books as well three novels set in Turkey, the CAS professor of anthropology has been blogging about the uprising, which erupted May 31 in Istanbul’s Taksim Square. Read more
Number of NSF Graduate Fellowship Recipients Hits All-Time High
This coming year, a record number of BU graduate students will be receiving NSF Graduate Research Fellowships (GRF). Six new fellowships will go to GRS students, bringing the total number of GRS fellowship recipients on campus to 18. The University total will be 29, eclipsing the previous record of 18.

Why such an influx of recipients of the prestigious fellowship, which provides a generous three-year stipend and other support to outstanding graduate students in science, technology, and engineering? There are a number of reasons, including the increasing quality of GRS PhD programs and the growing awareness among faculty members of the importance of encouraging our students to apply for the fellowships. (For information about the GRF program, go here) Read more

History Department Wins Mellon Grant for Seminar on “Reinterpreting the Twentieth Century”
Led by professors Brooke Blower, Jonathan Zatlin, Andrew Bacevich, and Bruce Schulman, the History Department has won a prestigious Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant to support the John E. Sawyer Seminar during academic year 2014/15. The grant will support a year-long program, “Reinterpreting the Twentieth Century,” that will convene a series of eight guest lectures, followed by intensive lunch-time workshops, as well as a postdoctoral fellowship, a graduate fellowship, and an associated course. Read more
A Brief History of BU’s Science & Mathematics Education Center
The end of June brought with it the closing of BU’s Science & Mathematics Education Center (SMEC). Inspired in part as a response to the landmark 1983 report on education, “A Nation at Risk,” the center was created to address national demand for better science and mathematics education. For more than twenty years, SMEC admirably filled this role, bringing together BU’s top research scientists and education professionals to develop a series of innovative new approaches to teaching STEM subjects. Read more
CAS Psychology Lecturer Michael Fleming Remembered
Over the course of what colleagues describe as a legendary career, Michael Z. Fleming taught a wide range of courses—from personality theory, abnormal psychology, and counseling to forensic psychology and ethics in psychology. Fleming (CAS’66, GRS’71), whose career at BU spanned four decades, died earlier this year after a long illness. Read more
Kolaczyk Helps National Orgs Establish Lingzi Lu Scholarship
Professor of Mathematics & Statistics Eric Kolaczyk worked with the executive bodies of the American Statistical Association (ASA) and the International Chinese Statistical Association (ICSA) to set up a memorial fund in honor of Lingzi Lu, a student in the department who died tragically in the Boston Marathon bombing. The goal was to establish a scholarship at the national level, within the statistics community, that would remember her in an appropriate manner. Boston University set up a scholarship fund in her name earlier this year. The ASA-ICSA fund is intended to honor Lingzi Lu by helping current and recent master’s students in statistics to attend the ASA’s annual Conference on Statistical Practice, which is quickly becoming the primary conference for practicing statisticians to meet and network. A formal announcement of the award may be found on the ASA home page.
Features
A 16-Year-Old Takes On a Disease of the Elderly
For CAS student, ending Alzheimer’s disease is personal
During spring break, when many students were sunning themselves on beaches or catching up on sleep, Max Wallack traveled to Los Angeles to deliver a poster presentation at the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry’s annual conference. His subject was the role that ACE inhibitors—a class of drugs used to treat cardiovascular disease—could play in preventing Alzheimer’s disease. Heady stuff, especially when you consider that CAS sophomore Wallack is just 16. For the past two years, Wallack has been working in the Laboratory of Molecular Psychiatry in Aging at BU’s Alzheimer’s Disease Center (ADC). Read more
Academic Boundaries Dissolve at Center for Nanoscience & Nanobiotechnology
The Center for Nanoscience & Nanobiotechnology is a hub of interdisciplinary research and learning at BU. This video showcases the great work being done at the center, including research by CAS biology, chemistry, and physics students and professors. One of the center’s key strengths is the cross-disciplinary learning that it fosters, priming the pump for new breakthroughs in the biomedical and health sectors. Watch the video
more news
Faculty Meetings & Deadlines
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AUG
All-BU New Faculty Orientation
27
AUG
Chairs and Directors Orientation
Faculty Meetings
Faculty News

University Press of Colorado has published a book by Assistant Professor of Archaeology David Carballo titled Cooperative and Collective Action: Archaeological Perspectives. From the publisher: “Past archaeological literature on cooperation theory has emphasized competition’s role in cultural evolution. As a result, bottom-up possibilities for group cooperation have been under-theorized in favor of models stressing top-down leadership, and evidence from a range of disciplines has demonstrated that humans effectively sustain cooperative undertakings through a number of social norms and institutions. Cooperation and Collective Action is the first volume to focus on the use of archaeological evidence to understand cooperation and collective action.” Read more

Assistant Professor of Mathematics & Statistics Sam Isaacson has been awarded a CAREER Award in Mathematics by the National Science Foundation. It is a prestigious five-year grant, given annually to the top 20–30 tenure-track mathematicians nationally. This award will fund the development of new numerical methods for simulating how proteins and mRNAs move about and interact within cells. These new methods are designed to allow the study of cellular processes, such as gene expression and signal transduction, in realistic three-dimensional models of the cellular space. Read more

The Association for the Study of Food and Society has chosen Professor of Anthropology Merry White’s book Coffee Life in Japan as one of the two best publications of 2013. Coffee Life traces Japan’s coffee craze from the turn of the twentieth century, when Japan helped to launch the Brazilian coffee industry, to the present day. Read more about the book here in the CAS faculty bookshelf.

this month's accolades
Student News

Sam Shupe, a second-year PhD student in the American & New England Studies Program (AMNESP), participated in the International Cycling History Conference in Lisbon, Portugal, in May 2013, where his paper—“Racing to the Suburb: Bicycle Culture in Portland and Deering, Maine, 1880–1900”—won the “Young Researcher Award.” His prize was a Portuguese folding bicycle. After flying back to Boston and taking the shuttle to South Station, he rode his new bike home to Allston.

Keep us in the loop
We want to hear your news! Announcements about upcoming events, new faculty book publications, social media/student announcements, and news items can be submitted online. If you prefer, you can send news items to cascom@bu.edu, or call Patrick Farrell at 617-358-1185. For all matters regarding your alumni, please contact Director of Alumni Events & Programming Susan Richardson at 617-358-6937.

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