The Academic Minute

Weekdays, 7:30AM and 3:56PM
  • Hosted by Lynn Pasquerella

The Academic Minute can now be found at ACADEMICMINUTE.ORG.  Below is an archive of shows from May 2015 and prior.

The Academic Minute features researchers from colleges and universities around the world, keeping listeners abreast of what's new and exciting in the academy.

Hosted by Dr. Lynn Pasquerella, President of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, The Academic Minute features a different professor each day, drawing experts from top research institutions. You'll enjoy updates on groundbreaking scientific research, an explanation of the accidental discovery of chocolate and an analysis of how social media is transforming the workplace, to name a few.

You can stay connected by following us on Twitter and liking us on Facebook.

If you have a pitch for a segment, or any questions or comments about the segment, please e-mail us.

The Academic Minute opens with a selection by WAMC contributor and renowned cellist Yehuda Hanani, who appears on Classical Music According to Yehuda during WAMC's Roundtable program. The piece is Bach's Suite No. 2 in D Minor.

Production support for The Academic Minute comes from the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

Does being happy make you healthier? Is, perhaps, the inverse also true?

Dr. Julia Boehm, assistant professor in psychology at Chapman University, is studying the correlation between mind and body.

Have the natural laws that govern the cosmos ever changed?

Dr. Jeremy Mould, professor of astrophysics and supercomputers at the Swinburne University of Technology, observes that gravity has remained unchanged for billions of years.

Metallic screws and plates have long been used in reconstructive medical procedures.

Dr. David Kaplan, professor of biomedical engineering at Tufts University, touts the potential benefit of replacing metal with silk in these surgeries.

Facial recognition technology is still in its infancy.

Dr. Megan Papesh, assistant professor of psychology at Louisiana State University, is demonstrating weakness in a system many people may assume is completely secure. 

Exposure to trauma doesn't necessarily dictate PTSD for the victim.

Dr. Norah Feeny, professor of psychology at Case Western Reserve University, is studying post-traumatic stress disorder to expand on our understanding of the affliction and potentially debunk some related myths.

Can we accurate codify why things make us laugh?

Dr. Peter McGraw of the University of Colorado Boulder draws on his work with Caleb Warren and The Humor Research Lab (HuRL) to answer the question, “What makes things humorous?”

Can leading a sedentary lifestyle contribute to depression?

Dr. Nancy Low, assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at McGill University, is studying the correlation between these two afflictions.

Nancy Low is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at McGill University, Clinician-Researcher at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), and Staff Physician in the Mood Disorders Program of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC).

In the world of science fiction, humans and robots converse freely.

Robin Read, research fellow at Plymouth University in the UK, is studying the nature by which robots communicate.

Salmonella outbreaks can be devastating.

To reduce this danger, Arun Bhunia, professor of food microbiology at Purdue University, is working on new techniques and technology that will more quickly identify the infectious strain.

Dr. Arun Bhunia is a professor of food microbiology at Purdue University. His research focuses on pathogen detection and mechanism of pathogenesis. He earned a Ph.D. in food microbiology from University of Wyoming in 1989

Apparently, you can sterilize flies too well.

In today’s Academic Minute, Daniel Hahn, assistant professor in the University of Florida’s department of entomology and nematology, discusses a new and improved fly sterilization methodology.

Dr. Dan Peppe, Baylor University - Proconsul Fossils

May 23, 2014

Of all fossils, the Proconsul is amongst the earliest ever discovered.

Dan Peppe, assistant professor of geology at Baylor University, is studying these fossils to help understand the evolution of all primates.

Many factors influence how a child understands and interprets the human body and its related physical behaviors.

Georgia Panagiotaki, lecturer in psychology at the University of East Anglia, studied a diverse pool of children to make conclusions about their bodily comprehension.

Species interaction dictates a great deal of a location's biodiversity.

Susan Kalisz, professor of biology at the University of Pittsburgh, is linking the diet of deer to the success of the animals' surrounding flora.

E-Cigarettes are rapidly gaining popularity.

Lauren Dutra, post-doctoral scholar at the University of California, San Francisco's School of Medicine, is studying the correlation between usages of these different tobacco products.

Direct trauma clearly has negative effects on the brain.

Dr. Raj Morey, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University, discusses the potential harm that may arise even from indrect exposure to explosions.

As hip hop culture expands, schools are expanding with it.

Dr. Muhammad Khalifa, assistant professor of educational administration at Michigan State University, is studying this trend.

Can math be used to better understand history?

Peter Turchin, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Connecticut, is doing just that through complex mathematical algorithms.

Dr. Phillip Sponenberg, Virginia Tech - Fainting Goats

May 14, 2014

The Latin name myotonia congenita might not mean much to you, but you've likely seen them in action.

Dr. Phillip Sponenberg, professor of pathology and genetics at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech, fills us in on one of the internet's favorite animal oddities: the fainting goat.

RNA seems like the unsung little brother of DNA and protein.

But Yehuda Ben-Shahar, assistant professor of biology at Washington University in St. Louis, is learning a great deal about their very important molecular responsibilities.

Dr. Yehuda Ben-Shahar is an assistant professor of biology at Washington University in St. Louis. His research focuses on the roles of genes, genetics, and evolution in shaping and driving specific animal behaviors. He earned a PhD from the University of Illinois in 2002.

"Big Data" is being mined to glean all sorts of information.

Bruce Peabody, professor of political science at Fairleigh Dickinson University, is studying trends as they relate to our understanding of heroism in America.

It's no secret that the presence of humans has a great effect on the environment.

Elizabeth Borer, associate professor in the Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior Department at the University of Minnesota, is conducting global experiments to better understand how plants grow.

Economic inequality and minimum wage are becoming increasingly discussed topics during these turbulent economic times.

Chris Fee, professor of English at Gettysburg College, asks what constitutes a living wage?

Dr. Christopher Fee is a professor and chair of the Department of English at Gettysburg College. Fee has published numerous articles and has given conference presentations on many interdisciplinary topics. He earned his PhD in English at the University of Glasgow.

During the 1800s, segregation was even visible in the medical arena.

King Davis, professor and director of the Institute for Urban Policy Research & Analysis at the University of Texas at Austin, is studying the medical records  from the Central Lunatic Asylum for the Colored Insane.

The amazing technology we see in science-fiction is fast becoming reality.

Radu Sporea, academic research fellow at the University of Surrey, is helping to bring some of these future-thinking inventions to life.

What's the best way to study climate change?

Paul Hearty, associate professor in the Environmental Studies department at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, is looking back in time in order to make conclusions about the future of our environment.

A University of Utah scientist is making engineering breakthroughs in the field of plasmonics using ink-jet printers.

Dr. Ajay Nahata, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Utah, is developing new technology using parts borrowed from some somewhat old technology!

Are strict police codes having unintended effects?

Dr. Lawrence Sherman, professor of criminology at the University of Cambridge, examines the nature of certain law enforcement practices.

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster is having significant consequences on our environment.

Dr. Lee Newman, associate professor at the State University of New York's College of Environment Science and Forestry, discusses phytoremediation as a potential clean-up method. 

Studying the area surrounding a cancerous tumor may provide new medical insights.

Dr. Marco Bisoffi, associate professor of biological sciences at Chapman University, is studying field cancerization to help treat the deadly disease.

Where do galaxies get their gas?

D.J. Pisano, assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at West Virginia University, is studying chemical elements present in space to unlock mysteries of the universe.

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