View of Pluto with color-coded topography as measured by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft. Purple and blue are low and yellow and red are high, and the informally named Sputnik Planitia stands out at top as a broad,  1300 km- (800 mile-) wide, 2.5 km- (1.5 mile-) deep elliptical basin, most likely the site of an ancient impact on Pluto. New Horizons data imply that deep beneath this nitrogen-ice filled basin is an ocean of dense, salty, ammonia-rich water. (Photo: P.M. Schenk LPI/JHUAPL/SwRI/NASA)

Could there be life in Pluto’s syrupy sea?

Pluto is thought to possess a subsurface ocean, which is not so much a sign of water as it is a tremendous clue that other dwarf planets in deep space also may contain similarly exotic oceans, naturally leading to the question of life, said one co-investigator with NASA’s New Horizon mission to Pluto and the […]
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Scanning Madagascar

The island of Madagascar off the coast of Africa was largely unexplored seismically until recently. The first broadband seismic images of the island help solve a longstanding mystery: why are there volcanoes far from any tectonic boundary?
7.8.2014--Professor Joe Jez working in his lab with a student.
Ashley Muehler-Sherp, Graduate Student in Plant Biology.
Photo by Joe Angeles/WUSTL Photos

Ambidextrous enzyme

Plant scientists at Washington University in St. Louis have isolated an enzyme that controls the levels of two plant hormones simultaneously, linking the molecular pathways for growth and defense. Plant scientists have long known that distinct plant hormones can interact in complex ways, but how they do so has remained mysterious.
Photo by Mary Butkus/WUSTL Photographic Services

Solving the problem

On Nov. 4-6, Washington University hosted Field of Dreams, the annual conference of the Math Alliance, an organization dedicated to increasing the number of traditionally underrepresented groups in doctoral programs in the mathematical sciences.
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WashU Expert: Expect Trump to gut environmental regulations

If a Trump administration follows his campaign rhetoric and advisers, then his most immediate and far-reaching environmental target will be domestic and international efforts to address climate change. Maxine Lipeles, director of the Interdisciplinary Environmental Clinic at the Washington University School of Law, offers her thoughts on Trump’s expected policies toward the environment.
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Gravitational waves the topic of 2016 Robert M. Walker Distinguished Lecture

Gabriela González, the spokesperson for the  science collaboration that  detected gravitational waves in spacetime passing over Earth for the first time this year, will deliver the ninth annual Robert M. Walker Distinguished Lecture at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17. The talk, hosted by the McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, will take place in Whitaker […]

WashU Expert: What about environmental regulations?

During his campaign, President-elect Trump publicly stated that he would cut back the Environmental Protection Agency and also vowed to eliminate other federal regulations in place to protect the environment. Brent Williams, the Raymond R. Tucker Distinguished I-CARES Career Development Associate Professor, shares his views on what would happen should those changes take effect.
Chickens in Ethiopian village

How the chicken crossed the Red Sea

The discarded bone of a chicken leg, still etched with teeth marks from a dinner thousands of years ago, provides some of the oldest known physical evidence for the introduction of domesticated chickens to the continent of Africa, research from Washington University in St. Louis has confirmed.
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