Carpathian newt (Lissotriton montandoni) isolated on white

More Research Updates


Mass Shootings: Implications for Students, Schools, Society

Since the start of the 21st century, 66 people have died and 81 have been injured in 13 incidents involving lone shooters at schools.

That’s more deaths related to school shootings than in the whole 20th century, said education professor Antonis Katsiyannis, lead author of a new study published in the Journal of Child and Family Studies that reviews the history of mass school shootings in the U.S. and uncovers some trends:

“One alarming trend is that the overwhelming majority of 21st-century shooters were adolescents, suggesting that it is now easier for them to access guns and that they more frequently suffer from mental health issues or limited conflict resolution skills.”

Carpathian newt (Lissotriton montandoni) isolated on white


Beat the Heat

Salamanders have an uncanny ability to alter their behavior and physiology in a way that makes them less susceptible to global warming than previously feared, according to new research authored by Clemson University scientists and published in Science Advances.

Studying salamanders in the southern Appalachian Mountains, a global hotspot for these fascinating amphibians, Michael Sears, associate professor of biological sciences, and Eric Riddell, who earned his doctorate in biological sciences from Clemson in 2018, project that plasticity — an individual’s capacity to change how it responds to the environment — will reduce extinction risk by up to 72 percent, especially in the core ranges. Previous predictions estimated 70 to 85 percent of this moist and humid habitat would become unsuitable for salamanders by 2080 due to rising temperatures caused by climate change. “We can now say more accurately what might occur if climatic conditions continue to deteriorate,” Sears said.

vegetablesExtreme Bacteria and Organic Veggies

Recently patented organic fertilizer developed at Clemson could rival its synthetic counterparts and provide a big boost for organic vegetable production.

The limited potency, precision and consistency of organic fertilizers has long hindered organic vegetable production. But Brian Ward, an organic vegetable specialist at Clemson’s Coastal Research and Education Center, has developed a method for using “extreme bacteria” isolated from the stomachs of cattle to produce an organic fertilizer so rich with ammonium that it rivals synthetic fertilizers.

Gut Feeling

Numerous studies have implicated the gut microbiome — our own personal collection of bacteria, archaea, fungi and viruses — in chronic diseases, immunity, digestion and even feelings of depression and anxiety.

Now, Clemson husband and wife researchers Dan and Kristi Whitehead, in a recent publication in the journal ACS Chemical Biology, have detailed the use of a small molecule to slow the growth of a specific genus of bacteria in the gut microbiome called Bacteroides, which has a peculiar link to Type 1 diabetes.