Potato plant radiation sensors could one day monitor radiation in areas surrounding power plants

What if plants in the area surrounding a nuclear reactor could act as radiation detectors, with the help of a drone?

Neal Stewart, Professor of Plant Sciences, University of Tennessee • conversation
Feb. 21, 2024 ~9 min

Hitchhiking cancer vaccine makes progress in the clinic

MIT spinout Elicio developed a vaccine based on a lymph node-targeting approach first developed at the Koch Institute. Phase 1 solid tumor clinical trial results are promising so far.

Bendta Schroeder | Koch Institute • mit
Feb. 15, 2024 ~11 min


We designed wormlike, limbless robots that navigate obstacle courses − they could be used for search and rescue one day

Robots often have a hard time navigating through debris, but robots designed based on worms and snakes could move around obstacles faster, thanks to an idea called mechanical intelligence.

Christopher Pierce, Postdoctoral Scholar in Robotics, Georgia Institute of Technology • conversation
Feb. 14, 2024 ~8 min

Wildlife selfies harm animals − even when scientists share images with warnings in the captions

The caption may say that only scientists and trained professionals should handle wild animals, but viewers remember the image, not the words.

Andrea l. DiGiorgio, Lecturer and Post Doctoral Researcher in Biological Anthropology, Princeton University • conversation
Feb. 14, 2024 ~9 min

Sugary handshakes are how cells talk to each other − understanding these name tags can clarify how the immune system works

Sugar molecules called glycans cover the surface of all cells, acting as ID cards that broadcast what they are to the rest of the body.

Kelvin Anggara, Group leader in Single molecule imaging, Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research • conversation
Feb. 8, 2024 ~8 min

Synthetic human embryos let researchers study early development while sidestepping ethical and logistical hurdles

Early human development is a complex, multistep process that’s even more complicated to study in the lab. Models made from stem cells avoid some of the trouble with using real human embryos.

Min Yang, Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington • conversation
Feb. 7, 2024 ~10 min

Studying lake deposits in Idaho could give scientists insight into ancient traces of life on Mars

While NASA rovers on the surface of Mars look for hints of life, researchers back on Earth are studying ‘echoes of life’ from ancient basins – hoping that the two sites might be similar.

Robert Patalano, Lecturer of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Bryant University • conversation
Feb. 5, 2024 ~7 min

How bats ‘leapfrog’ their way home at night - new research

Maths plays a crucial role in new research which finds that bats “leapfrog” their way home at night.

Fiona Mathews, Professor of Environmental Biology, University of Sussex • conversation
Feb. 5, 2024 ~7 min


Blood cell family trees trace how production changes with aging

Whitehead Institute Member Jonathan Weissman and collaborators developed a tool to reconstruct human cell family trees, revealing how blood cell production changes in old age.

Greta Friar | Whitehead Institute • mit
Jan. 31, 2024 ~11 min

Imaging method reveals new cells and structures in human brain tissue

A new microscopy technique that enables high-resolution imaging could one day help doctors diagnose and treat brain tumors.

Anne Trafton | MIT News • mit
Jan. 31, 2024 ~9 min

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