To save threatened plants and animals, restore habitat on farms, ranches and other working lands

The Earth is losing plants and animals at rates not seen in millions of years. Ecologists explain how protecting habitat on working lands – farms, forests and ranches – can help conserve species.

Sandra Díaz, Professor of Community and Ecosystem Ecology, Universidad de Córdoba (Argentina) • conversation
Oct. 29, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: conservation conservation-of-native-species quick-reads research-brief protected-areas sixth-extinction native-species convention-on-biological-diversity


Silencing gene expression to cure complex diseases

Immuneering uses bioinformatics to develop new medicines while also helping large pharmaceutical companies improve their treatments.

Zach Winn | MIT News Office • mit
Oct. 26, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: health medicine genetics cancer startups biology rna alzheimers data disease research drug-development school-of-engineering innovation-and-entrepreneurship-ie alumniae biological-engineering

Aging chimps show social selectivity

Understanding why older chimps tend to favor small circles of meaningful, established friendships rather than seek new ones may help scientists gain a better picture of what healthy human aging should look like and what triggers this social change.

Juan Siliezar • harvard
Oct. 22, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: science-technology faculty-of-arts-and-sciences fas science juan-siliezar aging chimpanzees department-of-human-evolutionary-biology alexandra-rosati kibale-chimpanzee-project lindsey-hagberg martin-n-muller melissa-emery-thompson richard-w-wrangham zarin-machanda

A tiny circular racetrack for light can rapidly detect single molecules

An optical sensor that can detect individual molecules promises early detection of diseases and environmental contamination.

Judith Su, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Optical Sciences, University of Arizona • conversation
Oct. 22, 2020 ~5 min

Tags: engineering chemistry covid-19 photonics sars-cov-2 quick-reads research-brief sensors biochemistry biomedical-research biomedical-engineering biosensors biological-sensor



To make mini-organs grow faster, give them a squeeze

Study finds that compressing cells, and crowding their contents, can coax them to grow and divide.

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office • mit
Oct. 13, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: genetics cancer biology research cells mechanical-engineering school-of-engineering biological-engineering

Invasive species: why Britain can't eat its way out of its crayfish problem

We found that signal crayfish traps tend to catch larger males, letting the bulk of the population go free.

Eleri G. Pritchard, PhD Candidate in Freshwater Ecology, UCL • conversation
Oct. 13, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: biodiversity rivers endangered-species freshwater-biology invasive-species crustaceans

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