Publications

2016
Generous A. Mayo Researcher Contributes to Immune System Collaboration. Discovery's Edge (Mayo Clinic's Research Magazine) [Internet]. 2016. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Mayo Clinic, along with researchers at Harvard University, Temple University, Tufts University, and Boston Children’s Hospital are collaborating on a project to discover new therapeutic responses to infection.

O'Keeffe K. What is it about this soil that protects plants from devastating disease?. Ensia Magazine [Internet]. 2016. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Figuring out why certain soils keep plant parasites at bay could be a boon for agriculture around the globe

Mika A. Circadian misalignment: the common problem you never knew you had. Huffington Post [Internet]. 2016. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Modern life is messing with our clocks

Gamboa-Varela J. DNA Damage Causing Aging or Aging Causing DNA Damage?. Natural Blogs: SciBytes [Internet]. 2016. Publisher's VersionAbstract

How will I die?

This is a question most of us have thought about. Have you ever wondered what is it about our bodies that “makes us die”? What is it in our bodies that tells our cells “that’s it folks”? Is it something that happens over time or is it just as simple as flipping a switch?

Vinal K. Getting to the bottom of TB transmission. Biodetectives [Internet]. 2016. Publisher's VersionAbstract

A surprising new finding was released recently that reports an entirely novel route of transmission for a well-known global health threat: tuberculosis (TB). As is often the case with scientific research, a line of seemingly straightforward inquiry yielded an unexpected discovery – in this case, researchers have identified a link between TB transmission and anal secretions of mongooses. Yep, you heard it here first.

Chen W. Why Freshwater Fish Are Awesome. Nautilus Magazine [Internet]. 2016. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Think of your favorite animal. Perhaps Harry Potter’s snowy owl comes to mind.  Or, maybe the lion, king of the jungle? If we were to take our thought experiment under water, you might think of the massive whale shark, or the majestic sea turtle. Perhaps not. But I bet I can guess what wouldn’t come to mind. Freshwater fish rarely, if ever, have the celebrity status of these other animals. Yet, they can be just as fascinating.

Caldwell A. The Neuroscience of Language. Neuro Transmissions YouTube Channel [Internet]. 2016. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Let’s use our words to talk about words - how does our brain process language? Join us this week as Alie dives into some of what we know about the neuroscience of language, and some of what we don’t know, too! 

Fagre A. Why Don't Bats Get Ebola? Bats Get Ebola?. Scientific American Guest Blog [Internet]. 2016. Publisher's VersionAbstract

They're infected with the virus, but it causes them no harm—and the same goes for more than 60 other pathogens they transmit to humans, often with lethal effect

Lebonville C. Why Oreos are NOT as addictive as cocaine. YouTube. 2016.Abstract

You may have heard the news that you should be seriously worried about eating Oreos...because, they're as addictive as cocaine. In this video, I try to show you what the study that inspired the news did and what is reasonable to conclude from the data. 

Freise A. It's Time for Scientists to Stop Explaining So Much. Scientific American Guest Blog [Internet]. 2016. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Research shows that more facts don't necessarily lead to changed minds, but my colleagues have a hard time accepting it

Zaringhalam M. Failure in Science Is Frequent and Inevitable--and We Should Talk More about It. Scientific American Guest Blog [Internet]. 2016. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Science has an inside secret: we fail all the time.

2015
Pan S. The Interleaving Effect: Mixing it up Boosts Learning. Scientific American Mind [Internet]. 2015. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Studying related skills or concepts in parallel is a surprisingly effective way to train your brain

Shastri A. Living in the Deep. Natural History Magazine. 2015.
Furtney M. Predicting the Next Natural Disaster. Natural History Magazine. 2015.
Hendricks R. Do metaphors make learning a piece of cake?. Learning and the Brain [Internet]. 2015. Publisher's VersionAbstract

At first glance, metaphor and science might seem to inhabit opposite ends of the things-we-learn-in-school continuum. We usually learn about metaphor through lessons on works like Langston Hughes’s Life ain’t been no crystal stair, and we associate science with topics like crystallization, the process of transferring a liquid to a solid. But metaphor is a mischief that doesn’t like to stay confined to the language arts classroom. It lurks in political discourse (the wealth gap), in music (you ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog), and – you guessed it – in education.

Droge-Young L. Blowing up biology. CASW New Horizons in Science [Internet]. 2015. Publisher's VersionAbstract

To solve a problem, sometimes you need to consider the exact opposite of what you think you know. Take trying to see the minute details of biological units, such as neurons in the brain. Instead of attempting to improve magnification on such a small scale, Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineer Edward Boyden asked, why not increase the size of the structure?

Lindsay G. Computer science shedding new light on black holes. CASW New Horizons in Science [Internet]. 2015. Publisher's VersionAbstract

When it comes to black holes, a change in perspective can make all the difference. Standing outside one of these massive objects in the universe, for instance, there's only darkness—the black hole's gravity is so strong that not even light escapes. But just inside the black hole, there may lie a blazing wall of fire, waiting to destroy whatever enters.

Sauer C. An earthlike home.. far, far away. CASW New Horizons in Science [Internet]. 2015. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Imagine a planet where the surface temperature is so hot that rocks melt into lava—or another where two suns dip below the horizon at dusk. Settings for a science fiction plot? Not to Massachusetts Institute of Technology astrophysicist and planetary scientist Sara Seager.

Guerra S. Guardians of the genome. CASW New Horizons in Science [Internet]. 2015. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Evolution—the change in heritable traits over successive generations—has long served as one of the central tenets of biology. But new research indicates much can be gained from studying regions of the genome that donot change. Termed “ultraconserved elements” or UCEs, these portions of the genome have remained unchanged for 300 to 500 million years, appearing in the same state across multiple animal species—from humans to dinosaurs to platypuses. 

Hemmelder V. Hello, is it me you're looking for? Sara Seager's quest for living worlds in space. CASW New Horizons in Science [Internet]. 2015. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Unlike the early explorers who sailed vast oceans to reach faraway shores, planetary scientist Sara Seager will never set foot on new lands she may discover. Her goal is to find habitable exoplanets, worlds that are not merely outside our solar system but many light-years away.

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