Ranavirus study finds ‘super spreaders’ of disease

There are those who spread disease, and then there are the “super spreaders.” So says a new study by researchers at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, who examined how a devastating infectious disease is passed among an amphibian population. The research,...

Integrating user-collected data in city planning

“It’s the community engagement that’s most important,” says Lily Bui, a recent graduate of MIT’s Comparative Media Studies program and a PhD candidate in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning. She has long been interested in how to engage people in...

Zika virus may persist in the vagina days after infection

The Zika virus reproduces in the vaginal tissue of pregnant mice several days after infection, according to a study by Yale researchers. From the genitals, the virus spreads and infects the fetal brain, impairing fetal development. The findings suggest that the Zika...

Designing ultrasound tools with Lego-like proteins

Ultrasound imaging is used around the world to help visualize developing babies and diagnose diseases. Sound waves bounce off the tissues, revealing their different densities and shapes. The next step in ultrasound technology is to image not just anatomy, but specific...

Spitzer Space Telescope Begins ‘Beyond’ Phase

Celebrating the spacecraft’s ability to push the boundaries of space science and technology, NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope team has dubbed the next phase of its journey “Beyond.” “Spitzer is operating well beyond the limits that were set...

Looking to saliva to gain insight on evolution

There’s no need to reinvent the genetic wheel. That’s one lesson of a new study that looks to the saliva of humans, gorillas, orangutans, macaques and African green monkeys for insights into evolution. The research, published on Aug. 25 in Scientific Reports, examined...

3-D-printed structures ‘remember’ their shapes

Engineers from MIT and Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) are using light to print three-dimensional structures that “remember” their original shapes. Even after being stretched, twisted, and bent at extreme angles, the structures —...

Breast milk sugar may protect babies against deadly infection

A type of sugar found naturally in some women’s breast milk may protect new born babies from infection with a potentially life threatening bacterium called Group B streptococcus, according to a new study from Imperial College London. These bacteria are a common...

Research sheds light (literally) on cellular forces

Mechanical forces are a critical part of essential cellular behaviors, from muscle contraction to cell division. Exactly how they generate those forces, however, isn’t entirely understood. An artificial cellular environment and a photosensitive drug have now given...

How easy is it to spot a lie?

“Who broke Grandma’s favorite vase?” As you listen to a chorus of “I don’t know” and “Not me,” how will you determine the culprit? Conventional wisdom says, divide and conquer, but what does scientific research show us...

Researchers pinpoint enzyme that triggers cell demise in ALS

Scientists from Harvard Medical School (HMS) have identified a key instigator of nerve cell damage in people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, a progressive and incurable neurodegenerative disorder. Researchers say the findings of their study, published Aug....

The first autonomous, entirely soft robot

Ateam of Harvard University researchers with expertise in 3-D printing, mechanical engineering, and microfluidics has demonstrated the first autonomous, untethered, entirely soft robot. This small, 3-D-printed robot — nicknamed the “octobot” — could pave the way for a...

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