Duke Digest — September 17, 2015

In today’s issue:

  • Longtime Duke Researcher Nominated to lead FDA
  • Duke Opens New Hub of Entrepreneurial Activity in Downtown Durham
  • How Much Water is Actually Used in Fracking?
  • Like Humans, Different Dogs Have Different ‘Stress Sweet Spots’
  • Chaplain of the United States Senate To Preach at Duke Chapel

LONGTIME DUKE RESEARCHER NOMINATED TO LEAD FDA
President Obama nominated Robert Califf, a prominent cardiologist and longtime researcher at Duke University, as the next commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration on September 15.

Califf, who has long been considered a likely candidate for the top FDA job, joined the agency as a deputy commissioner in February after several decades as a researcher and administrator at Duke. He has led scores of pivotal clinical trials, been among the nation’s most cited medical authors and for years served on various FDA advisory committees.

Cardiologist and researcher Robert Califf nominated as next FDA commissioner (Washington Post)

 

DUKE OPENS NEW HUB OF ENTREPRENEURIAL ACTIVITY IN DOWNTOWN DURHAM
On Aug. 27, Duke University President Richard Brodhead, Chairman of the Board David Rubenstein, and Vice Provost Eric Toone celebrated the grand opening of The Bullpen, Duke’s new hub of entrepreneurial activity in downtown Durham. During the ceremony, the three spoke about the importance of entrepreneurship and the connections between Duke and Durham.

Rubenstein emphasized the importance of entrepreneurship to the success of the United States and the need for spaces that encourage entrepreneurship. “There are many ways to [encourage entrepreneurs]. One way is to build a facility like this where Duke students and the community can come and say, “I have an idea, I want to do something that makes the world a better place, let’s see if it works.”

Duke I&E opens The Bullpen in downtown Durham (Duke Entrepreneurship)

 

HOW MUCH WATER IS ACTUALLY USED IN FRACKING?
Fracking by the U.S. oil and gas industry has increased the burden on the nation’s water resources, but still accounts for less than 1 percent of America’s total industrial water use, according to a paper by researchers at Duke University published Sept. 15.

The paper was co-authored by Avner Vengosh, professor of geochemistry and water quality at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment, and includes data from multiple government and industry sources. Avner says it therefore “provides the first comprehensive assessment of fracking’s total water footprint, both nationally and for each of the 10 major U.S. shale gas or tight oil basins.”

Partial funding for the study came from a National Science Foundation grant.

Water demand from fracking less than 1 percent of U.S. total: study (Reuters)

 

LIKE HUMANS, DIFFERENT DOGS HAVE DIFFERENT ‘STRESS SWEET SPOTS’
People aren’t the only ones who perform better on tests or athletic events when they are just a little bit nervous — dogs do too. But in dogs as in people, the right amount of stress depends on disposition.

A new study by researchers at Duke’s Canine Cognition Center finds that a little extra stress and stimulation makes hyper dogs crack under pressure but gives mellow dogs an edge. The results will help researchers develop better tests to determine which dogs are likely to graduate from service dog training programs, for example.

This research was supported by research grants from the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research and the National Institute of Health.

Hyper Dogs’ Thinking Crumbles Under Stress (Duke Research)

 

CHAPLAIN OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE TO PREACH AT DUKE CHAPEL
Rear Adm. Barry C. Black (Ret.), chaplain of the United States Senate, will preach at Duke Chapel’s worship service Sunday, Sept. 20. Black’s sermon is titled “Making Room for Greatness” and is based on the ninth chapter of the Gospel of Mark. His sermon will be webcast live as part of the service and available afterwards on YouTube and iTunes.

“Dr. Black approaches the pulpit with humility, grace, courage and faithfulness, speaking the truth in love in the power of the Spirit,” said the Rev. Luke Powery, dean of Duke Chapel. “We anticipate with great joy his presence and preaching.”

U.S. Senate Chaplain Barry C. Black to Preach at Duke Sept. 20 (Duke Chapel)