Cetacean Science Explained

Cetacean science is exciting, but it can be difficult to understand the technical language of original scientific publications.

Click on the articles below for easy-to-read, student written summaries of recently published scientific papers on cetacean evolution.

Deméré, T.A., McGowen, M.R., Berta, A., Gatesy. J. 2008. Morphological and molecular evidence for a stepwise evolutionary transition from teeth to baleen in mysticete whales. Systematic Biology 57:15–37

Fitzgerald, E.M.G. 2006. A bizarre new toothed mysticete (Cetacea) from Australia and the early evolution of baleen whales. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 273:2955-2963

Gingerich, P.D., ul-Haq, M., von Koenigswald, W., Sanders, W.J., Smith, B.H., Zalmout, I.S. 2009. New protocetid whale from the middle Eocene of Pakistan: birth on land, precocial development, and sexual dimorphism. PLoS ONE one 4: e4366. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0004366. Summary by J. Chang or Summary by R. Boessenecker.

Manger, P.R. 2006. An examination of cetacean brain structure with a novel hypothesis correlating thermogenesis to the evolution of a big brain. Biological Review 81: 293-338.

Marino, L., Butti, C., Connor, R.C., Fordyce, R.E., Herman, L.M., Hof, P.R., Lefebvre, L., Lussaeu, D., McCowan, B., Nimchinsky, E.A., Pack, A.A., Reidenberg, J.S., Reiss, D., Rendell, L., Uhen, M.D., Van der Gucht, E., Whitehead, H. 2008. A claim in search of evidence: reply to Manger's thermogenesis hypothesis of cetacean brain structure. Biological Review: 1-23.

Muizon, C. de,  Domning, D.P., Ketten, D.R. 2002. Odobenocetops peruvianus, the walrus-convergent delphinoid (Mammalia: Cetacea) from the early Pliocene of Peru. In Cenozoic mammals of land and sea, tributes to the career of Clayton E. Ray. Edited by Emry, R. E. Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology 93:185-222.


Health Literacy and Diabetes

Examines the effect of race, level of education, and health literacy as it relates to Type II diabetes among patients suffering from this condition.

Primary investigator: Karen Sheflin, D.O.


Diabetes and Health Habits

Examines the effect of access to accurate information on diabetic patients’ health habits.

Primary investigator: Sonia Rivera-Martinez, D.O.


Reliability of Palpation

Studies the impact of inter-operator reliability on assessment of diagnostic palpation in practicing osteopathic physicians.

Primary investigator: Sonia Rivera-Martinez, D.O.


Health Awareness

Researches the physician’s role in developing patient awareness and knowledge base related to the health implications of obesity, particularly with respect to physical activity and eating habits.

Primary investigator: Patricia Happel, D.O.


Nutrition and Global Health

Studies how access to nutritional information for children in Ghana villages impacts their health.

Primary investigator: Deborah Lardner, D.O.


Physician Risk Assessment Knowledge  Regarding Cancer Genetics Testing

Examines the adherence patterns of primary care physicians as it relates to clinical practice guidelines for breast and cervical cancer screening, including the effect of informational materials.

Primary investigator: Brookshield Laurent, D.O.


Interprofessional Health Education in Global Health and its Impact on Medical Education

Examines the impact of global health experiences on medical student education and their competency in tropical environments.

Primary investigator: William Blazey, D.O.


Genetic Testing in the Primary Care Setting

Studies the role of genetic testing in primary care settings and the competence of medical providers in offering these tests.

Primary investigator: William Blazey, D.O.


Effects of Ultrasound Imaging on Student Learning of Shoulder Anatomy and Landmarks

An educational research study looking at the efficacy of using musculoskeletal ultrasound to improve osteopathic medical student’s ability to palpate bony landmarks.

Primary investigator: Michael Terzella, D.O.


Ultrasound (US) as an Objective Measure for Assessment of Cervical Dysfunctions

and the Effect of Cervical High Velocity Low Amplitude

Palpatory assessment and diagnosis of the body is fundamental to osteopathic medical education and may be improved by ultrasonographic imaging. This study investigates the use of US as an instrument to assess cervical spine rotational preference as a component of somatic dysfunctions and to establish the validity of cervical segmental rotatory motion testing.

Primary investigator: Theodore Flaum, D.O.