Engineering professor Mark Reed ’57 and colleagues have built the world’s first molecular version of the transistor—the device, fundamental to all integrated circuits, that can amplify or switch electrical signals. The international team crafted the transistor, described in the December 24 issue of Nature, from a single benzene molecule attached to gold contacts. The mechanism may eventually make it possible to build faster, smaller computers, cell phones, and other hardware.


The Galápagos turtle Chelonoidis elephantopus—hunted to extinction in the early nineteenth century—may live again, says evolutionary biologist Adalgisa Caccone ’86PhD. As part of the “Lazarus Project,” Caccone and her colleagues discovered that 9 tortoises among 156 in captivity in the Galápagos are close descendents of the extinct species and could be used to breed it back into existence. The study appeared in the January PLoS One.


To break the cycle of teen pregnancy, don’t forget teenage dads, notes School of Public Health graduate student Heather Sipsma. In the January 14 online issue of the American Journal of Public Health, Sipsma and her colleagues report that the “sons of adolescent fathers were 1.8 times more likely to become adolescent fathers than were sons of older fathers.”


Songbirds may be carrying overlooked baggage: the ticks that cause Lyme disease. School of Public Health postdoctoral researcher R. Jory Brinkerhoff and his colleagues found evidence that thrushes, wrens, and wood warblers are playing an underappreciated and possibly “profound” role in spreading the disease to new areas. The report appeared online in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.  

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