Surviving fishing gear entanglement isn’t enough for endangered right whales – females still don’t breed afterward

Even when female North Atlantic right whales survive entanglement in fishing gear, it may affect their future ability to breed, increasing the pressure on this critically endangered species.

Rob Harcourt, Professor of Marine Ecology, Macquarie University • conversation
March 13, 2024 ~10 min

Scientists develop a rapid gene-editing screen to find effects of cancer mutations

With the new technique, MIT researchers hope to identify mutations that could be targeted with new cancer therapies.

Anne Trafton | MIT News • mit
March 12, 2024 ~9 min

Exploring the cellular neighborhood

Software allows scientists to model shapeshifting proteins in native cellular environments.

Alison Biester | Department of Biology • mit
March 11, 2024 ~6 min

Rare access to hammerhead shark embryos reveals secrets of its unique head development

Because hammerhead sharks give birth to live young, studying their embryonic development is much more complicated than harvesting some eggs and watching them develop in real time.

Gareth J. Fraser, Associate Professor of Evolutionary Developmental Biology, University of Florida • conversation
March 8, 2024 ~5 min

Deciphering the cellular mechanisms behind ALS

Professor Ernest Fraenkel has decoded fundamental aspects of Huntington’s disease and glioblastoma, and is now using computation to better understand amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Michaela Jarvis | School of Engineering • mit
March 6, 2024 ~8 min

How early-stage cancer cells hide from the immune system

A new study finds precancerous colon cells turn on a gene called SOX17, which helps them evade detection and develop into more advanced tumors.

Anne Trafton | MIT News • mit
Feb. 28, 2024 ~6 min

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