Scientists discover slimy microbes that may help keep coral reefs healthy

The bacteria scrub out nitrogen, potentially defending against certain nutrient overloads.

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office • mit
Jan. 8, 2021 ~7 min

chemistry environment bacteria biology microbes research school-of-science oceanography-and-ocean-engineering eaps ocean-science

Pikas are adapting to climate change remarkably well, contrary to many predictions

Pikas – small cousins of rabbits – live mainly in the mountainous US west. They've been called a climate change poster species, but they're more adaptable than many people think.

Andrew Smith, Professor Emeritus of Life Sciences, Arizona State University • conversation
Jan. 7, 2021 ~8 min

climate-change mammals canada wildlife temperature mountains conservation-biology us-west

RNA molecules are masters of their own destiny

Research suggests the products of transcription — RNA molecules — regulate their own production through a feedback loop.

Eva Frederick | Whitehead Institute • mit
Jan. 5, 2021 ~8 min

physics chemistry genetics biology rna research drug-development school-of-engineering school-of-science whitehead-institute chemical-engineering

Turning microbiome research into a force for health

A diverse group of researchers is working to turn new discoveries about the trillions of microbes in the body into treatments for a range of diseases.

Zach Winn | MIT News Office • mit
Jan. 5, 2021 ~10 min

health medicine bacteria startups broad-institute microbes disease research drug-development school-of-engineering innovation-and-entrepreneurship-ie alumniae biological-engineering

Atlantic discovery: 12 new species 'hiding in the deep'

A dozen ocean species new to science could already be threatened by climate change, scientists find.

bbcnews
Dec. 28, 2020 ~4 min

climate-change environment nature marine-biology atlantic-ocean marine-conservation

Museum specimens could help fight the next pandemic – why preserving collections is crucial to future scientific discoveries

Specimen preservation means researchers don't need to reinvent the wheel each time they ask a new question, making it critical for the advancement of science. But many specimens are discarded or lost.

Bryan McLean, Assistant Professor of Biology, University of North Carolina – Greensboro • conversation
Dec. 16, 2020 ~11 min

biology museum-collections specimens reproducibility zoonotic-diseases zoonotic-viruses natural-history-collections museums natural-history

Virgin births from parthenogenesis: How females from some species can reproduce without males

Parthenogenesis, a form of reproduction in which an egg develops into an embryo without being fertilized by sperm, might be more common than you realized.

Mercedes Burns, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, University of Maryland, Baltimore County • conversation
Dec. 15, 2020 ~6 min

 reproduction  biology  eggs  wasps  lizards  sexual-reproduction  embryo  crustaceans  aphids  egg  curiosity-question

3 Questions: Phillip Sharp on the discoveries that enabled RNA vaccines for Covid-19

Curiosity-driven basic science in the 1970s laid the groundwork for today’s leading vaccines against the novel coronavirus.

School of Science • mit
Dec. 11, 2020 ~9 min

genetics covid-19 biology pandemic rna vaccines history-of-science research school-of-science faculty 3-questions koch-institute


Bitter battles between stinkbugs and carnivorous mice could hold clues for controlling human pain

Animals that regularly dine on toxic food may hold clues for designing new drugs to treat persistent pain in humans.

Lauren Koenig, PhD Candidate in Integrative Biology, Michigan State University • conversation
Dec. 9, 2020 ~9 min

desert biology mice beetles pain rodents venom carnivores predator-and-prey poison

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