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This new moth has an explosive way of fending off bats

Discovering a new species is always exciting, particularly one that uses an explosion of a sticky, wool-like material to defend itself.

This unique way of defeating predators involves the moth producing something resembling spider silk, earning it the affectionate nickname of “the spider moth.”

Nick Dowdy, a biology grad student from Wake Forest, first spotted one of these spider moths while studying the “anti-bat” sounds produced by tiger moths, which essentially “jam” the bats’ echolocation and mean the moth can escape.

Dowdy works in the lab of biology professor Bill Conner.

Paris climate deal falls short, U.N. expert says

While the Paris Climate Agreement is a historic step in the right direction, commitments fall short of curbing global climate change, said Wake Forest School of Law Professor John Knox who serves as the United Nations’ special rapporteur on human rights and the environment.

“This target would help the world avoid devastating consequences for the ability of the people of the world to enjoy their rights to life, health, food, water and sanitation, housing and many others.”

Raise a glass to Shakespeare

The 400th anniversary (April 23) of William Shakespeare’s death and his writings on drinking were the focus of this column which included remarks by assistant professor of English Susan Harlan, who teaches Shakespeare at Wake Forest.

Melissa Harris-Perry joins as editor-at-large

In this role, Harris-Perry will focus on the intersection of race, gender, politics, and yes, even fashion, telling the often-overlooked stories of women and girls of color right here on and across ELLE’s social platforms.

The collaboration builds on Harris-Perry’s experience as professor and founding director of the Anna Julia Cooper Center at Wake Forest University, an interdisciplinary center that supports and generates innovative research around gender and race in pursuit of a national dialogue and positive outcomes.

News Center Media Report for April 16-22

The WFU News Center Media Report for April 16-22 is now available online.

Halting LGBT rules, NC lawmakers again rebuff cities

The decision by the North Carolina legislature and Gov. Pat McCrory to overturn Charlotte’s anti-discrimination ordinance for LGBT citizens isn’t simply another skirmish in the decades-old culture war between conservatives and progressives.
It’s the latest muscle-flexing by leaders in Republican-controlled states to rebuff local governments – often large cities run by Democrats – implementing policies they disagree with or haven’t sanctioned.

“We’re increasingly seeing that the policy battleground is between the states and the localities,” said John Dinan, a politics professor and expert in state constitutions and relationships between levels of government.

Tropical birds use ‘superfast’ wing muscles to attract mates

Scientists have discovered a special muscle in two tropical bird species that allows them to move their wings at tremendous speeds. The “superfast” muscles and the movements they enable are key to courtship for male red-capped and golden-crowned manakins.

In addition to offering insights into the evolution of tropical birds, the discovery may enable scientists to uncover the physiological secrets of stronger, faster muscles.

“This could be important for developing therapies for motor disorders, particularly those characterized by decreases in muscle performance that result from diseases such as cancer and HIV,” said lead researcher Matthew Fuxjager, a biologist with Wake Forest University. “Further studies could now explore how this one muscle can create such superfast wing movements and whether male hormones, such as testosterone, play a role in regulating the muscle’s speed.”

College Choice releases 2016 ranking of the 50 Best MBA programs

College Choice, a leading authority in college and university rankings, has published a ranking of the top fifty master of business administration (MBA) programs in the United States. Wake Forest made the list at number 45.

News Center Media Report for April 9-15

The WFU News Center Media Report for April 9-15 is now available online.

Sanders’s message stands to resonate long after election

Senator Bernie Sanders is waging an improbable presidential campaign, but he won’t disappear after this election. Nor will his followers: Perhaps they’ll be called the Bernie Brigade or Sanderistas.

Sanders, who for the left wing was a consolation choice after Senator Elizabeth Warren wouldn’t run, has a message that will continue to resonate, especially among the multitudes of young supporters.

Katy Harriger, a political scientist who has studied the youth vote, thinks that Sanders has the capacity to keep them mobilized on issues such as campaign financing and economic inequality. That engagement could carry to the off-year elections, when participation of young voters traditionally drops off.

“He has tapped into something very real and has credibility with a lot of these young voters,” Harriger says.