New Ragon Institute building opens in the heart of Kendall Square

The building will serve as a hub for research on the development of immunology-based treatments.

Zach Winn | MIT News • mit
yesterday ~7 min

Ferns and flowers bribe helpful ant defenders with nectar, but ferns developed this ability much later – our study shows why

Ferns have evolved a mutually beneficial relationship with ants, but this happened late in their evolution. A recent study shows that old dogs can learn new tricks.

Jacob S. Suissa, Assistant Professor of Plant Evolutionary Biology, University of Tennessee • conversation
June 20, 2024 ~6 min

From glowing corals to vomiting shrimp, animals have used bioluminescence to communicate for millions of years – here’s what scientists still don’t know about it

Dozens of animals, some on land but many in the ocean, can produce light within their bodies through chemical reactions. Scientists are still trying to understand when and why this trait developed.

Andrea Quattrini, Research Zoologist and Curator of Corals, Smithsonian Institution • conversation
June 14, 2024 ~10 min

With programmable pixels, novel sensor improves imaging of neural activity

New camera chip design allows for optimizing each pixel’s timing to maximize signal-to-noise ratio when tracking real-time visual indicator of neural voltage.

David Orenstein | The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory • mit
June 13, 2024 ~8 min

New technique reveals how gene transcription is coordinated in cells

By capturing short-lived RNA molecules, scientists can map relationships between genes and the regulatory elements that control them.

Anne Trafton | MIT News • mit
June 5, 2024 ~8 min

Female giraffes drove the evolution of long giraffe necks in order to feed on the most nutritious leaves, new research suggests

Giraffe necks are a hot topic among biologists. A new study contradicts an older theory that says male giraffes need long necks to fight over mates.

Douglas R. Cavener, Huck Distinguished Chair in Evolutionary Genetics and Professor of Biology, Penn State • conversation
June 5, 2024 ~7 min

Pregnancy is an engineering challenge − diagnosing and treating preterm birth requires understanding its mechanics

How and why preterm birth happens is still unclear, in part because research on pregnancy tends to focus on developmental biology.

Michelle L. Oyen, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis • conversation
June 4, 2024 ~10 min

Ten with MIT connections win 2024 Hertz Foundation Fellowships

The fellowships provide five years of funding to doctoral students in applied science, engineering, and mathematics who have “the extraordinary creativity and principled leadership necessary to tackle problems others can’t solve.”

Elizabeth Durant | Office of the Vice Chancellor • mit
June 3, 2024 ~10 min

“Rosetta Stone” of cell signaling could expedite precision cancer medicine

An atlas of human protein kinases enables scientists to map cell signaling pathways with unprecedented speed and detail.

Megan Scudellari | Koch Institute • mit
June 3, 2024 ~9 min

An AI tool for predicting protein shapes could be transformative for medicine, but it challenges science’s need for proof

Science has a need to verify results, but DeepMind’s protein prediction tool doesn’t work this way.

Sam McKee, Tutor and researcher in Philosophy of Science, Manchester Metropolitan University • conversation
May 31, 2024 ~7 min