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Apr. 6, 2011

Vol. 111, No. 10


FYI: Findings

Published in the April 6, 2011, issue

Steven Veach

A movable ’beest    A proposed road project in northern Tanzania could disrupt the migration of Serengeti wildebeest and cut the animal’s population by a third in the next century, according to a study by ecology and evolutionary biology professor Andrew Dobson and colleagues from four universities in the United States and Canada. The paper, published in the journal PLoS ONE Jan. 25, used computer models to simulate changes in wildebeest migration, “a rare and spectacular example of a once-common biological phenomenon.”  

Curbing cancer’s spread   A research team led by molecular biology professor Yibin Kang has identified a biological signaling mechanism that enables breast cancer to spread to bone, according to a paper published in Cancer Cell Feb. 15. In a review article that accompanied the study, researchers from the Baylor College of Medicine wrote that the new findings could aid the development of drugs to block bone metastasis, which affects 70 percent of ­breast-cancer patients.

Paying off?   Attending a highly ­selective college may bring a sizable return in future earnings. But when Alan Krueger, professor of economics and public affairs, and Stacy Dale *96 of Mathematica ­Policy Research controlled for certain characteristics, like the colleges that students applied to, the researchers found an earnings return that is ­“generally indistinguishable from zero.” There were notable exceptions — black, ­Hispanic, and first-generation college graduates at elite schools still appear to see a boost in earnings. Krueger and Dale, who published related findings in 2002, drew on surveys of alumni from 27 universities, including ­Princeton.  
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CURRENT ISSUE: Apr. 6, 2011