Gazette

Bionic leaf turns sunlight into liquid fuel

Bionic leaf turns sunlight into liquid fuel

June 2, 2016

Daniel Nocera, the Patterson Rockwood Professor of Energy at Harvard University, and Pamela Silver, the Elliott T. and Onie H. Adams Professor of Biochemistry and Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School, have co-created a system that uses solar energy to split water molecules and hydrogen-eating bacteria to produce liquid fuels.

Alzheimer’s insights in single cells

Alzheimer’s insights in single cells

February 3, 2016

Building on research reported last year, Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital have succeeded in identifying the neurons that secrete the substance responsible for the plaques that build up in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients.

4D-printed structure changes shape when placed in water

4D-printed structure changes shape when placed in water

January 25, 2016

A team of scientists at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) has evolved their microscale 3-D printing technology to the fourth dimension, time.

Fighting disease on a global scale

Fighting disease on a global scale

January 7, 2014

The idea that the wave of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer breaking over the world is largely the result of wealth and inactivity is not only wrong, it’s counterproductive, says a Harvard research fellow who recently founded a nonprofit organization to fight disease.

In the past, such noncommunicable diseases have been attributed to lifestyle because of their links to high-calorie diets in wealthy, increasingly sedentary industrialized nations. But Read more about Fighting disease on a global scale

Color-coded labels, healthier food

Color-coded labels, healthier food

January 7, 2014

Using color-coded labels to mark healthier foods and then displaying them more prominently appears to have prompted customers to make more healthful long-term dining choices in their large hospital cafeteria, according to a report from Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).

In the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the MGH research team noted that the previously reported changes have Read more about Color-coded labels, healthier food

Ludwig Cancer Research awards HMS $90M

Ludwig Cancer Research awards HMS $90M

January 6, 2014

Ludwig Cancer Research, on behalf of its founder, Daniel K. Ludwig, has given Harvard Medical School (HMS) $90 million to spur innovative scientific inquiry and discovery. This grant reflects a portion of a $540 million gift divided equally among Ludwig Centers at six academic institutions throughout the United States. According to the Ludwig announcement, this new financial support is among the largest private gifts ever for cancer research.

Massachusetts is the only state to have two Ludwig Read more about Ludwig Cancer Research awards HMS $90M

Following the weather

Following the weather

January 2, 2014

From the violence of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot to Earth’s own extreme weather, Pedram Hassanzadeh is investigating atmospheric vortices, those swirling air masses that make the weather go — and sometimes make it stop.

In September, Hassanzadeh began two years as a Ziff Environmental Fellow at the Harvard University Center for the Environment. His project is an examination of how extreme weather events work and how they will be Read more about Following the weather

Saving tortoises by a hair

Saving tortoises by a hair

December 18, 2013

The whalers, buccaneers, and other seafarers who plied the Pacific in centuries past brought rats, goats, and pigs along with them, seeding the islands they came across — intentionally and unintentionally — to establish food supplies for future voyages.

While much of the destruction of Pacific island flora and fauna can be traced to those too-successful invaders, recent studies of Galapagos tortoise genetics shows that, perhaps in one case, the mariners’ resupply practices Read more about Saving tortoises by a hair

Can iPads help students learn science? Yes

Can iPads help students learn science? Yes

December 6, 2013

The scale of the universe can be difficult to comprehend. Pretend you are going to make a scale model with a basketball representing the Earth and a tennis ball as the moon. How far would you put the tennis-ball moon from the basketball Earth? Most people would place them at arms’ length from each other, but the answer may surprise you: At that scale, the balls would need to be almost 30 feet apart.

A new study by researchers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Read more about Can iPads help students learn science? Yes

Probing how the past behaved

Probing how the past behaved

November 26, 2013

You have to love a conference that includes a lecture on sex and silkworms, as well as scholarly presentations on shark tagging, lunar geology, Soviet reflexology, cotton-wool hearing aides, wave pools for surfers, 19th-century studies of monsters, the anatomy of the goat moth caterpillar, and how beer-making influenced German nationalism.

Four intensive days of such lectures, keynote addresses, and workshops marked the annual meeting, which ended Sunday, of the Read more about Probing how the past behaved