At Long Last, a Latino Literature Anthology Debuts

September 9, 2010

At least thirteen years in the making, and covering more than 400 years of writings by 201 writers, The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature, set for release on Sept. 13, is being hailed as a powerful contribution to American literary culture by authorities such as Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. and author Barbara Kingsolver.

Physics Professor Pioneers New Method to Image Vortices in Ultracold Gases

September 3, 2010

Physics professor David Hall and his group of undergraduate researchers have invented a new technique for examining the behavior of rotating matter at the coldest temperatures in the universe.

The method—which involves an apparatus that refrigerates atoms to billionths of a degree above absolute zero—enabled them to create the first-ever movies of vortex motion in individual Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs). And they developed the technique in Hall’s very own campus laboratory.

Disease Likely Not a Common Cause of Species Extinction, New Amherst Study Finds

August 25, 2010

Challenging the widespread belief that rare and endangered plants and animals are unhealthy, a new study has found they in fact harbor a lower number and diversity of disease-causing parasites than non-threatened, close relatives of the same family, according to Amherst College biology professor Michael Hood and his research team.

In the Lab

Studying Slime Mold Yields Insight into Cellular Behavior

August 19, 2010

It may sound like something out of a Far Side cartoon, but it’s serious science. Amherst College biology professor David Ratner and several of his students have spent this summer examining how Dictyostelium discoideum—a cellular slime mold—behaves. The bigger goal is to explore the research frontiers of gene expression and protein degradation. It all adds up to an intense summer research experience for students and professor alike, as well as insights into how the degradation of proteins influences the division of all cells, whether normal and healthy or mutated and malfunctioning.

In this video, Ratner, along with students Benjamin Garmezy ’11 and Elizabeth “Molly” Scott ’13, discuss their research, the altruistic qualities of the slime mold and the considerable advantages of studying science at a liberal arts college such as Amherst.

Historian’s new biography profiles a “Model Nazi”

August 11, 2010

Model Nazi, a new biography about Arthur Greiser and his cruel oversight of western Poland between 1939 and 1945, sheds light on a relatively unknown yet influential figure in Nazi Germany–the man who initiated the first mass gassing of Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe.

The book’s author, Amherst College history professor Catherine Epstein, says Greiser’s upbringing and personality has parallels to other individuals who ended up playing key roles in genocides throughout history.

Law and the Stranger Marks 20th Book in Heralded LJST Series

August 2, 2010

By Peter Rooney

The goal more than 20 years ago was both straightforward and audacious.

Not content with launching a new Amherst program, with planning the first legal studies department at a liberal arts college or with pursuing their individual research, Professor Austin Sarat and then- colleague Thomas Kearns wanted to help shape a national discussion about the place of law in the liberal arts and put their conception of interdisciplinary legal scholarship on the map in a big way.

Economics Professor: Conserving Land May Be Good for the Economy

July 8, 2010

As the Deepwater Horizon oil spill recovery effort in the Gulf of Mexico drags on, economics professor Kate Sims has some promising news for proponents of greater environmental regulation.

Professor Jonathan Friedman Receives Grant for Research of Quantum Mechanical Effects in Single-Molecule Nanomagnets and Superconducting Devices

June 2010

In the Merrill Science Center lab of Associate Professor of Physics Jonathan Friedman, you’ll find magnets consisting of only one molecule each and student researchers who custom-build much of their own equipment. With the support of a recent grant from the National Science Foundation, this summer the professor and his students are continuing their cutting-edge research of quantum mechanical effects in single-molecule nanomagnets and superconducting devices.

Something’s in the Air

June 2010

Chemistry professor Karena McKinney hopes that we will all one day breathe a little easier now that she has gotten the green light to purchase a rare, high-tech piece of machinery for her research on air pollutants.

Philosophy question? There’s an app for that

May 18, 2010

AMHERST, Mass. — The world’s leading online resource for questions about the meaning of life, ethics and other existential matters has now launched an app for mobile devices such as the iPhone and Android phones.

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