At the beginning of the decade, George Whitesides helped rewrite the rules of what a machine could be with the development of biologically inspired “soft robots.” Now he’s poised to rewrite them again, with help from some plastic drinking straws.
Storms common to the Midwest in summer create the same ozone-damaging chemical reactions found in polar regions in winter, according to a new Harvard study. And with extreme weather on the rise, people living in the region could face an increased risk of UV radiation.
From the moment when physicists discovered superconductors — materials that conduct electricity without resistance at extremely low temperatures — they wondered whether they might be able to develop materials that exhibit the same properties at warmer temperatures.
The key to doing so, a group of Harvard scientists say, may lie in another exotic material known as an antiferromagnet.
The kidney, made up of about a million tiny units that work to filter blood, constantly rids the body of undesired waste products to form urine. During the process, it also holds back blood cells and valuable proteins and controls the body’s fluid content.
Key to each of these units is a structure known as the glomerulus, in which so-called podocyte cells wrap themselves tightly around a tuft of capillaries. Separated by a thin membrane composed of extracellular matrix, slits are left between them to build an actual filtration barrier. The podocytes are also the target of Read more about Researchers work to create kidney filtration barrier on a chip
Regenerative medicine using human pluripotent stem cells to grow transplantable tissue outside the body carries the promise to treat a range of intractable disorders, such as diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.
In a culture flask, 45 lentil-sized globs of neurons swirl in a gentle eddy of liquid medium. These lumpy, 3-D networks of human nerve cells, called brain organoids, have generated more diverse and mature cell types than any other model system of brain tissue to date.
Scientists have increasingly turned to organoids, organ models cultured from induced pluripotent stem cells, to investigate human brain development and disease. However, most brain organoid models to date have been cultured on a scale of weeks to investigate early neural development under various conditions Read more about New vistas opening for brain disorder research
We ignore the worst estimates of climate change — catastrophic warming topping 4 or 6 degrees Celsius — at our peril, says economist Martin Weitzman.
Climate change’s uncertainty — a product of the complexity of the natural systems involved and the vagaries of human efforts at mitigation — have led not to precise forecasts of future warming, but rather a range of likely temperature increases.
Why is it that some species seem to be particularly attentive parents while others leave their young to fend for themselves? For years, scientists have believed one of the major drivers is experience — an animal raised by an attentive parent, the argument goes, is likely to be an attentive parent itself.
A Harvard study is challenging that idea, and breaking new ground by uncovering links between the activity of specific genes and parenting differences across species.
Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) researchers have identified a compound that helps protect the cells destroyed by spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), the most frequent fatal genetic disease in children under 2 years of age.