Astrocyte cells in the fruit fly brain are an on-off switch that controls when neurons can change and grow

Adaptable neurons are tied to learning and memory but also to neurological disorders. By studying fruit flies, researchers found a mechanism that controls neuroplasticity.

Sarah DeGenova Ackerman, Postdoctoral Fellow, UO Institute of Neuroscience and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Oregon • conversation
April 12, 2021 ~6 min

In fish, parents' stressful experiences influence offspring behavior via epigenetic changes

A parent's or grandparent's stressful experiences change how their offspring behave. And it turns out that moms' experiences produce different changes in kids than dads'.

Jennifer Hellmann, Assistant Professor of Biology, University of Dayton • conversation
March 30, 2021 ~5 min

Sperm from older rats passes on fewer active genes to offspring because of epigenetic changes

Male rats transfer different hereditary information to their offspring depending on their age.

Alexander Suvorov, Assistant Professor of Environmental Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst • conversation
March 16, 2021 ~5 min

Sewage-testing robots process wastewater faster to predict COVID-19 outbreaks sooner

A community's wastewater can predict coronavirus cases that haven't yet been diagnosed. The quicker that information is known, the better.

Rob Knight, Professor of Pediatrics and Computer Science and Engineering, University of California San Diego • conversation
March 11, 2021 ~5 min

Invasive tawny crazy ants have an intense craving for calcium – with implications for their spread in the US

The spread of tawny crazy ants may be driven, in part, by their need for calcium.

Ryan Reihart, Teaching Assistant and Ph.D. Candidate of Ecology, University of Dayton • conversation
Jan. 21, 2021 ~5 min

Some kindergartners are more likely to be heavy users of online tech later, according to new research

Too much screen time doesn't leave enough time for other important parts of growing up. Predicting which little kids will likely grow into heavy tech users could help target educational campaigns.

Paul L. Morgan, Eberly Fellow, Professor Education and Demography, and Director of the Center for Educational Disparities Research, Penn State • conversation
Jan. 12, 2021 ~7 min

Some kindergartners are more likely later to be heavy users of online tech, according to new research

Too much screen time doesn't leave enough time for other important parts of growing up. Predicting which little kids will likely grow into heavy tech users could help target educational campaigns.

Paul L. Morgan, Eberly Fellow, Professor Education and Demography, and Director of the Center for Educational Disparities Research, Penn State • conversation
Jan. 12, 2021 ~7 min

Curved origami offers a creative route to making robots and other mechanical devices

Curved origami isn't just elegant art. It's also a versatile way to vary the amount of force applied by robots and other machines.

Zirui Zhai, Ph.D. student in Mechanical Engineering, Arizona State University • conversation
Nov. 18, 2020 ~5 min

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