Scientists at work: We use environmental DNA to monitor how human activities affect life in rivers and streams

Rivers are among among the most embattled ecosystems on Earth. Researchers are testing a new, inexpensive way to study river health by using eDNA to count the species that rivers harbor.

Emily S. Bernhardt, Professor of Biology, Duke University • conversation
yesterday ~9 min

Biologists identify new targets for cancer vaccines

Vaccinating against certain proteins found on cancer cells could help to enhance the T cell response to tumors.

Anne Trafton | MIT News Office • mit
Sept. 16, 2021 ~6 min

New programmable gene editing proteins found outside of CRISPR systems

Researchers find RNA-guided enzymes are more diverse and widespread than previously believed.

Jennifer Michalowski | McGovern Institute for Brain Research • mit
Sept. 15, 2021 ~6 min

Engineers grow pancreatic “organoids” that mimic the real thing

Studying these organoids could help researchers develop and test new treatments for pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest types of cancer.

Anne Trafton | MIT News Office • mit
Sept. 13, 2021 ~7 min

Massive numbers of new COVID–19 infections, not vaccines, are the main driver of new coronavirus variants

When the coronavirus copies itself, there is a chance its RNA will mutate. But new variants must jump from one host to another, and the more infections there are, the better chance this will happen.

Lee Harrison, Professor of Epidemiology, Medicine, and Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, University of Pittsburgh • conversation
Sept. 9, 2021 ~8 min

The invasive emerald ash borer has destroyed millions of trees – scientists aim to control it with tiny parasitic wasps

Biological control strategies curb pests using other species that attack the invader. A biologist explains why it can take more than a decade to develop an effective biological control program.

Kristine Grayson, Associate Professor of Biology, University of Richmond • conversation
Aug. 27, 2021 ~8 min

Scientists are using new satellite tech to find glow-in-the-dark milky seas of maritime lore

When conditions are just right in some parts of the Indian Ocean, a type of bacteria will multiply and start to glow. Satellites are helping scientists study these milky seas for the first time.

Steven D. Miller, Professor of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University • conversation
Aug. 26, 2021 ~9 min

A pivot from accounting to neuroscience

Through a summer research program at MIT, Patricia Pujols explored the neuromuscular junction, and a future in science.

Alison Gold | School of Science • mit
Aug. 26, 2021 ~8 min

Bat pups babble and bat moms use baby talk, hinting at the evolution of human language

Vocal imitation is a key part of how humans learn to speak. New research shows that bats babble to learn and use baby talk to teach, just like people do.

Ahana Aurora Fernandez, Postdoctoral Researcher in Behavioral Ecology and Bioacoustics, Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin • conversation
Aug. 19, 2021 ~10 min

Scientists harness human protein to deliver molecular medicines to cells

Made of components found in the human body, the programmable system is a step toward safer, targeted delivery of gene editing and other molecular therapeutics.

Broad Institute • mit
Aug. 19, 2021 ~8 min