This is Vassar: The newsletter for Vassar College Alumnae/i and Families

Science Publications Features Vassar Scientists

In recent months research led by Vassar senior Matthew Winnick ’09, pictured, has been featured by the magazine Science News, and the leading journalScience has published a bioethics essay co-authored by Jacob Moses ’07. Winnick is majoring in both physics and earth science, while Moses, who earned his Vassar degree in science, technology, and society, is now a research assistant at the Hastings Center, a non-partisan bioethics research institution also based in New York’s Hudson Valley.

Concerned about the runoff effects from road salt usage on wintry roads, Winnick and his three co-authors researched pollution levels in four streams on or near the Vassar campus, and established the freshwater mussel Elliptio companata as an effective tool for tracking the chemistry of freshwater bodies over time.

According to the Hastings Center, the emerging field of synthetic biology "aims to create new life forms that will produce medical therapies, inexpensive biofuels, and other beneficial products." As the institute begins to explore synthetic biology's ethical implications, Vassar alumnus Jacob Moses joined two of Hastings's research scholars — including Vassar adjunct professor Erik Parens — to consider "Do We Need Synthetic Bioethics?" in an essay for the September 12, 2008, issue of Science.

February 2009

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