New CUNY Led Institute to Focus on Jamaica Bay and the Rockaways
The Science and Resiliance Institute will be helmed by a consortium of seven institutions: CUNY, Columbia, Cornell, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York Sea Grant, Rutgers, Stony Brook University, Stevens Intitute of Technology and Wildlife Conservation Society. Jamaica Bay and the Rockaways were devastated by Hurricaine Sandy. The goal of the new institute is to restore their ecosystems and make their communities more resilient. The City of New York has made an initial commitment of three million dollars to the institute. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan joined Mayor Bloomberg, who announced the launch of the institute at the Riis landing in the Rockaways. The launch, including remarks from CUNY's Interim Chancellor Bill Kelly, can be seen below.
The New York Times features work by Hunter Faculty on common language acquisition skills in humans and finchesIt is generally held that language skills are innate and that the ability to string syllables together comes easily both to humans and to other species. However, in the current issue of Nature Ofer Tchernichovski , Dina Lipkind, and Olga Feher (members of the Psychology Department at Hunter College) and Primoz Lavbar (the HHMI's Janelia Farm Research Campus) publish research that counters these assumptions. Rather, they find ‘a common, stepwise pattern of acquiring vocal transitions across species.’
The researchers’ study of zebra finches, Bengalese finches, and humans found that the young in each of these species learns to string syllables together more slowly than previously thought to be the case. The finches and, surprisingly, humans follow a similar pattern when learning to string pairs of syllables together. In humans the process of learning syllable sequences takes 20-30 weeks and involves several distinct steps. The New York Times recently ran a feature on Tchernichovski et. al.'s article and the surprising parallels between birdsong and human speech.
CUNY Professor Presents her work at the American Society for Microbiology 2013 General Meeting
On May 19 Jayne Raper , Professor of Biological Sciences at Hunter College presented at a plenary session of the American Society for Microbiology 113th General Meeting held in Denver, Colorado. Dr. Raper’s talk entitled, “Good Cholesterol: Part of Innate Immunity?” was part of a session addressing the “Intricacies of Host-Microbe Co-evolution.” The video links to an ASM live interview Dr. Raper gave after her plenary in which she discusses her research on Trypanosome Lytic Factor, a form of good cholesterol that makes humans resistant to infection.
You can find out more about Dr. Raper's work HERE
Read stories from the Research Office Newswire HERE
The CUNY Nobel Science Challenge Essay Contest
CUNY undergraduate students are invited to describe, in 1000-1500 words, the scientific concepts behind the work for which one of the 2013 Nobel winners received their respective prize and the present and future significance of the research to humanity.
For more information and the submission form click HERE
The Graduate Center, Proshansky Auditorium