Academic Minute

The feeling of gratitude can positively influence all the other factors of one's life.

Dr. Jeffrey Froh, associated professor of psychology at Hofstra University, is studying the far reaching effects that gratitude has on children.

Studying how insects metabolize and process oxygen could bring some relief for farmers hoping to protect their crops without using dangerous pesticides.

Dr. Scott Kirkton of Union College is learning a great deal about the biochemistry that triggers a grasshopper's molting process.

The clarity of one's memories is referred to as memory resolution.

Dr. Phillip Ko, a post-doctoral fellow at Vanderbilt University, is studying the sharpness of memory in order to better understand the aging of the brain, memory loss and diseases like Alzheimer's. 

Studying the DNA of the ancient Amborella flower is opening up new insights into the evolution of certain plants and animals.

The University at Buffalo's Dr. Victor Albert is looking deeply into the ancient origins of this Amborella and working to sequence its genome in order to better understand how life has developed on Earth.

Rising temperatures are threatening the biodiversity of the Arctic.

Dr. Hans Meltofte, senior scientist at Denmark's Aarhus University, describes the negative impact of climate change in this area as "already visible" and details the serious ecological consequences that are resulting.

Is there a measurable limit to the amount of self-control each person possesses?

Dr. Michael Inzlicht, associate professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, studies self-control and is helping to debunk a popular theory regarding the now widely studied topic.

A decrease in the amount of snowfall in Canada may have far reaching results.

Dr. Frederic Bouchard, post-doctoratal research fellow at Université Laval, is studying the climate models of many areas across Canada and making predictions about the ecology of the area based on his findings.

Frederic Bouchard PhD is a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Laval's Center for Northern Studies. He's published many papers focusing on the ecology of the Arctic, his main research focus.

The undersea discovery of a large seep of methane in the North Atlantic may hold the key to learning a great deal about the underwater ecosystem.

Dr. Steve Ross, research professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington's Center for Marine Science, calls the ocean floor the last great frontier on Earth. His work into the depths of the Atlantic will help scientists better understand a wide variety of things about oceanic life and beyond.

Whether you realize it or not, we use distance metaphors every day.

Dr. Thalia Wheatley, associate professor of psychological and brain sciences at Dartmouth College, scientifically deconstructs the way humans use figurative language to convey abstract ideas.

Despite all the advances in technology, Mother Nature remains our most skilled engineer.

Dr. Craig Vierra, professor and assistant chair of the University of the Pacific's College of Biological Sciences, is working on a way to replicate spider silk. 

What can we extrapolate from the cries of a baby?

Dr. Neil Johnson, professor of physics at the University of Miami, studied the patterns of children's cries and used that information to make some interesting conclusions.

Dr. Neil Johnson is a professor of physics at the University of Miami. He has published over 200 articles in a wide range of international publications and currently is the associate editor for the Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination. As a Kennedy scholar, he earned his PhD from Harvard University.

Everyone is fascinated by the possibility of supernatural phenomena.

Dr. Piers Howe, professor of psychology at the University of Melbourne, investigates the legitimacy of those who claim to have a sixth sense.

Dr. Piers Howe is a professor of psychology and senior lecturer at the University of Melbourne. His research focuses mainly on the areas of cognitive psychology and behavioral neuroscience.

About Dr. Howe

Studying the fossilized remains of animals and plants can teach us a great deal about the natural world.

In today's Academic Minute, Dr. Peter Wilf, professor of geosciences at Penn State University, traces the path of conifer fossils from New Zealand to Argentina.

Advances in biotechnologies have been vital in the analysis of the DNA of the first peoples of America.

Dr. Ripan Malhi, associate professor of anthropology at the University of Illinois, Urbana, discusses both the importance and the difficulty of this type of research.

How will your fantasy baseball team do this season?

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Dae Kwak, assistant professor of sports management at the University of Michigan, discusses the psychological impact fantasy sports advertising has on even experienced players.

Is there a formula for delivering an effective speech?

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. William Doll, visiting fellow at Case Western Reserve University, outlines a few  rules for crafting an engaging oration.

People have an affinity for things.

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Brent Plate, visiting associate professor of religious studies at Hamilton College, examines how objects can have a rich personal significance.

Smartphones are certainly convenient. But, is the use (and overuse) of these technological marvels also having harmful side effects?  

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Russell Johnson, professor at Michigan State University analyzes the negative consequences smartphone use may have on human psychology and physiology.

The extinction of a specific species is a sad reality in the animal kingdom.

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Charles Marshall, professor at the University of California’s Berkeley campus discusses the mitigating factors that can contribute to the eventual dying out of a particular species of animal.

Dr. Charles Marshall is a professor of integrated biology at the University of California Berkeley. His research specializes in how paleontological studies can inform our knowledge of life today. He earned a PhD in evolutionary biology at the University of Chicago in 1989

Could organ donation and transplants become a relic of the past?

In Today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Sina Rabbany, professor and director of bioengineering at Hofstra University, discusses new insights into how blood vessels acquire characteristics, and how they might be  used to transform how we repair damaged organs.

How you feel is influenced directly by changes in the brain.

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Russell Poldrack, professor at the University of Texas at Austin, discusses his findings of a 14 month study he conducted on his own brain.

Dr. Russell Poldrack is a professor of psychology and neurobiology, and the director of the University of Texas at Austin’s Imaging Research Center. His research primarily targets how new skills are acquired and implemented. He received his PhD in cognitive psychology from the University of Illinois in 1995.

The issue of bullying is a significant problem for some children.

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Chad Jensen, assistant professor at Brigham Young University, suggests that the type of teasing a child may experience can have some very specific results, especially when focused on a child's physical activity and ability.

Dr. Chad Jensen is an assistant professor of psychology at Brigham Young University. His research focuses on the psychological and sociological aspects of childhood and adolescent obesity. He earned a PhD from the University of Kansas in 2011.

Today's Academic Minute delves into the creative process.

There is a saying that imitation may be the most sincere form of flattery, but we sometimes view imitators as lacking creativity of their own. But as Robert Goldstone, Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Indiana University, explains, this imitation may play a crucial role in the overall creative process.

Today's Academic Minute has intergalactic ramifications!

Some close calls have raised the awareness of the threat  of asteroids potentially on a collision course with Earth. David Trilling, Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Northern Arizona University, explains what we can do if we're ever faced with such an interstellar calamity.

Today's Academic Minute takes us inside the world of professional sports.

Professional athletes are very well paid. Their skills on the field can be parlayed into huge contracts. But as Ken Sheldon, Professor of Psychology at the University of Missouri, explains, many players have trouble living up to expectations after the deal is signed.

Weather predictions indicate that some previously calm areas may begin to experience increased amounts of severe weather in the coming years.

In today's Academic Minute, Dr. Michael Bruno, Dean and Professor of Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology, discusses how new imaging technology can be utilized to help inform those who may be in the path of these severe storms.

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Gabriel Rossman of the University of California Los Angeles reveals the economic risks faced by filmmakers seeking to win Academy Awards. 

Gabriel Rossman is an associate professor of sociology at the University of California Los Angeles. His research addresses culture and mass media, especially pop music radio and Hollywood films. He earned his Ph.D. at Princeton University.

About Dr. Rossman

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Elliot Berkman of the University of Oregon reveals the limits of brain training. 

Elliot Berkman is an assistant professor of psychology and director of the Social and Affective Neuroscience Lab at the University of Oregon. The SAN Lab studies how motivational factors and neural systems influence goal pursuit. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of California Los Angeles.

About Dr. Berkman

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Nicholas Leadbeater of the University of Connecticut concludes his three-day examination of the chemistry of the show Breaking Bad. Leadbeater concludes the series with an examination of one of Walter White’s Greatest Escapes. 


In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Nicholas Leadbeater of the University of Connecticut continues his examination of the chemistry of the show Breaking Bad. Today he discusses Walter White's use of acids to make evidence disappear.