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'Dance Your Ph.D.' finalists announced

Ever wonder how biologists use RNA sequencing from cytoplasm to decode a cell's stress response? Or how about how astronomers use heterodyne arrays with superconducting mixers to observe the birth of stars? Rather than reading a paper about it, why not watch a dance? A ballet and a modern dance on those very topics have made it into the finals of this year's "Dance Your Ph.D." contest.

It was a tight race among this year's 21 Ph.D. dance submissions. The previous winners of the contest scored each of them on their scientific and artistic merits, and these 12 finalists made the cut. Now it's a dance-off between the sciences, including a tango based on robot collision avoidance, an acrobatic spectacle based on soil ecology, and, in one of the most meta Ph.D. dances ever, a hip-hop dance about the anthropology of hip-hop.

A panel of esteemed scientists, artists, and educators are judging the finalists now to choose the winners.

The winners—and audience favorite—will be announced on 3 November.


High pressure homogenisation for emulsions fat reduction

Saioa Alvarez

Fat is the key to emulsions like mayonnaise. So how do you make them low-fat but still creamy? Read more



Peptide in motion

Claudia Poloni

How can you build a motor so small that it runs inside a cell? Read more



Carbon nanofibers' flammability and explosion

Jiaqi Zhang

Carbon nanofibers don't tend to explode. That is, until iron gets involved. Read more



Time-critical cooperative path following of multiple multirotors UAVs

Venanzio Cichella

Dancing close to other people is easy for humans, very hard for robots. Read more



Heterodyne arrays for terahertz astronomy

Jenna Kloosterman

Stars are being born throughout the galaxy, but observing them through their soupy clouds is tricky. Read more



Studies of non-hydrodynamic processes in inertial confinement fusion implosions on OMEGA and the National Ignition Facility

Hans Rinderknecht

Get small atoms hot and crowded enough and you get fusion. But atoms behave strangely. Read more



Epigenetics of cardiac ischemia-reperfusion-injury

Ina Kirmes

A heart attack not only scars your heart. It actually scars your genome. Read more



Alterations to plant-soil feedbacks after severe tornado disturbance

Uma Nagendra

Tornadoes may not be 100% bad after all, at least for tree reproduction. Read more



Unravelling the biological role of novel, stress-induced peptides in Arabidopsis thaliana

Patrizia Tavormina

Life is stressful for plants. It turns out that extra-small proteins help them chill. Read more



The “discovery” of the Pacific: International relationships within the Spanish oceanic continent

David Manzano Cosano

In the scramble among European empires to colonize the Pacific Ocean, science played a key role. Read more



Peer support groups for substance misuse: Understanding engagement with the group

Alina Sotskova

Drug abuse recovery requires a social network. But how you interact with the network matters. Read more



Performing difference and diversity through embodiment and narrative: An ethnography of hip hop dancers in New York, Osaka, and Perth

Lucas Marie

What is hip hop culture? How is it evolving in different contexts around the world? Read more