Flatworms muscle new eyes' wiring into their brains

Peter Reddien's lab at the Whitehead Institute takes a step forward in understanding how neural circuits could be regenerated in adults.

Eva Frederick | Whitehead Institute • mit
July 8, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: neuroscience development biology animals research school-of-science whitehead-institute

Why are scientists trying to manufacture organs in space?

Why are scientists trying to grow organs at the International Space Station? People live on Earth not in zero-gravity. A stem cell expert explains why it is useful to do these experiments in space.

Alysson R. Muotri, Professor of Pediatrics and Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of California San Diego • conversation
July 8, 2020 ~5 min

Tags:  space  biology  international-space-station  artificial-organs  microgravity  space-health  organs  experiments

How cancer drugs find their targets

Certain cancer therapeutics concentrate within cells — a finding that could change the way scientists think about drug design.

Eva Frederick | Whitehead Institute • mit
June 26, 2020 ~10 min

Tags: medicine cancer biology research drug-development school-of-science whitehead-institute koch-institute drug-delivery

Like a treasure map, brain region emphasizes reward location

The lateral septum encodes spatial information with a special emphasis on where the reward lies.

David Orenstein | Picower Institute for Learning and Memory • mit
June 23, 2020 ~4 min

Tags: neuroscience biology memory learning research school-of-science brain-and-cognitive-sciences picower-institute

Parasitic worms in your shellfish lead a creepy but popular lifestyle

Mud blister worms make their homes in the shells of oysters and other shellfish, where they weaken their hosts.

Andrew David, Assistant Professor of Biology, Clarkson University • conversation
June 3, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: biology shellfish worms calcium-carbonate aquaculture food-webs ecosystems invasive-species parasites zoology scallops abalone larvae

Antigen tests for COVID-19 are fast and easy – and could solve the coronavirus testing problem despite being somewhat inaccurate

An antigen test was given emergency use authorization by the FDA in early May. A biochemist explains how COVID-19 antigen tests work.

Eugene Wu, Associate Professor of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Richmond • conversation
May 29, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: public-health covid-19 coronavirus immune-system biology antibodies sars-cov-2 testing antibody-testing pregnancy-test false-negative


COVID-19 is eroding scientific field work – and our knowledge of how the world is changing

The COVID-19 pandemic is interrupting scientific field work across North America, leaving blank spots in important data sets and making it harder to track ecological change.

Casey Setash, PhD student in Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology, Colorado State University • conversation
May 19, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: climate-change covid-19 biology nature ecology coronavirus-2020 wildlife ducks phenology massachusetts migratory-birds colorado thoreau field-research

Third annual Science Slam becomes first virtual Research Slam

Nine biology alumni had just three minutes and one slide to awe the audience and judges.

Raleigh McElvery | Department of Biology • mit
May 12, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: chemistry biology research school-of-science alumniae special-events-and-guest-speakers academic-contests-and-competitions

HIV genome bends over backwards to help virus take over cells

Differently shaped RNA molecules allow HIV to express different genes from the same RNA sequence.

Eva Frederick | Whitehead Institute • mit
May 11, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: medicine genetics hivaids biology rna disease viruses research computer-science-and-technology algorithms whitehead-institute

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