Science In Mind

Globe reporter Carolyn Y. Johnson chronicles the discoveries, ideas, inventions, and people that make Boston a scientific hub.

MIT researchers are fighting extreme poverty with science

The poorest of the poor live on $1.25 or less a day. How can science help?

Science in Mind

Microbes can be used to identify individuals, Harvard team says

The latest privacy threat could come from the distinct community of microbes that live in and on your body.

Science in Mind

Rocket explosion dashes BU students’ space hopes

For three years, ambitious BU students have been working to be the first amateur group to launch a hybrid rocket into space.

Apollo-era auction brings back memory of computer science pioneer

Margaret Hamilton was a pioneer in the discipline, credited with coining the term “software engineering.”

Fire causes $1 million in damage to Belmont businesses

At least six businesses were damaged in the fire and some could be closed for months.

Science In Mind

Rare cancer cells may seed resistance to therapy

Researchers are edging closer to knowing exactly how cancers will be able to survive a drug’s onslaught.

UMass research adds wrinkle to finding gender gap solution

In a study, women felt less anxious when they were represented in greater numbers, but they still said less.

Tiny blackpoll warblers make mind-boggling migration

Researchers confirmed the small birds make incredible transoceanic flights by outfitting some of them with geolocator devices.

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Ancient Mars lake could be prime target in search for life

The lake once measured roughly the area of Lake Champlain and was more than 500 feet deep.

Papers from MIT cancer biologist’s lab retracted

The papers on how breast cancer spreads were retracted because the data were improperly patched together from different experiments.

Science in Mind

Researchers track sea turtles’ migration away from N.E.

An exhaustive four-year tagging project has for the first time given scientists a detailed look at their wanderings.

Science in Mind

In search for habitable planets, scientists rethink signs

The list of confirmed exoplanets discovered by NASA’s Kepler space telescope numbers more than 1,000 at last count.

Science In Mind

Citing Ebola, Harvard group has idea for crisis data-sharing

The group of researchers see a need for guidelines for people working disease outbreaks.

Science In Mind

Learning from Ebola, Harvard researchers suggest more open data

Nearly two decades ago, science and policy leaders gathered in Bermuda to hammer out a strategy for sharing the data from the international effort to sequence the human genome. A group of Harvard University researchers who have been sequencing the genomes of Ebola virus samples from Africa throughout the epidemic now see a need for similar guidelines for people working on disease outbreaks.

Wasp species named in honor of Bruins’ Tuukka Rask

A newly discovered wasp species from East Africa now bears the designation Thaumatodryinus tuukkaraski, a tribute to the star Bruins goalie.

New research sheds light on cancer, Alzheimer’s origins

Researchers said new findings on Alzheimer’s and cancer are the first fruits of a technique developed by Boston scientists.

Science in Mind

Faculty hiring weighted toward top schools, study finds

Top universities form a kind of insular academic club, hiring most of their faculty from others in a small, elite network.

Science in Mind

How global warming can worsen snowfalls

An MIT scientist said average snowfall could decline but big storms could be more extreme in a warming world.

Science in Mind

Theoretical support found for ‘authentic altruism’

Harvard scientists are trying to explain a quirk of human behavior more often left to philosophers and psychologists.

Harvard, Yale scientists develop technique to make GMOs safer

The scientists have developed a powerful way to prevent genetically modified organisms from escaping into the wild.

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Working toward nonsurgical pet sterilization

The LA-based nonprofit Michelson Found Animals Foundation offers a $25 million prize for the first team to come up with an effective nonsurgical sterilization technique.

MIT scientists find way to more easily map the brain

Researchers have found a controlled way to cause a tissue sample swell to roughly four and a half times its size, making it easier to excamine.

Northeastern researchers discover new antibiotic in a Maine soil sample

Experts said the soil sample, harvested from a meadow in Maine, could be a powerful tool in the race against “superbugs.”

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Keep noses under wraps to avoid colds

New research from Yale suggests there may be some truth to the old warning to bundle up to avoid catching a cold.

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The science behind the bubbly in champagne

Champagne isn’t just an elegant demonstration of physics in action; it’s also a source of new research insights.

Screen time wrong prelude to bedtime, study says

Researchers found reading on a backlit screen suppressed the sleep hormone melatonin and shifted the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle.

Science in mind

Report suggests higher pay, better mentoring for postdocs

An exhaustive national report on the state of scientific postdoctoral researchers urges a range of reforms.

Science in Mind

Moon mystery: How long did its magnetic field last?

Understanding the moon’s interior structure could help explain its ancient origins.

Boston scientists find gene mutations that are a precursor of blood cancer

The mutations markedly increase the risk of blood cancer, an important step toward developing early detection and prevention strategies.

Doctors look to personalize cancer care

Physicians and researchers have identified novel drug combinations that show promise against cancer cells that have developed a resistance to therapy.

Flawed gene may cut heart disease risk

People with a flawed gene have better heart health than those with the normal, functioning gene.

Science in Mind

Three from Mass. win $3 million Breakthrough Prizes

The prizes are aimed at honoring achievement and fostering general interest in science.

Science In Mind

Harvard researchers unravel evolution of genitalia

When the first animals scrambled out of the water to live on land, they needed a new way to reproduce.

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MIT scientist proposes asteroids as destinations before Mars

Asteroids offer appealing destinations for testing equipment and protocols as scientists prepare to send humans to Mars.

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Highest altitude settlements from ice age discovered

The human settlements date back to 12,400 years ago in the Peruvian Andes and sit more than 14,000 feet above sea level.

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Some genes may thwart disease

Our genes may not only make us susceptible to diseases, they may also protect us from them.

Stem cell research offers hope on type 1 diabetes

A procedure that creates millions of insulin-producing cells could be a paradigm shift in the treatment of type 1 diabetes.

Rare cancer recoveries could be key to wider treatments

Researchers are using an arsenal of biomedical tools to unlock the secrets of people who respond well to experimental drugs.

Nobel winner honed super-zoom microscopes at Woods Hole

Physicist Eric Betzig made regular summer pilgrimages to Woods Hole with a microscope in the back of a minivan.

Nobel winner honed super-zoom microscopes at Woods Hole

Physicist Eric Betzig made regular summer pilgrimages to Woods Hole with a microscope in the back of a minivan.

Science in Mind

MIT team suggests autism may be tied to ability to predict

MIT scientists propose a common thread that could explain many of the facets of the disorder.

Science In Mind

Haystack Observatory celebrates 50th birthday

The celebration gave a rare peek into the long history of Haystack and its future.

Ebola cases from infected travelers likely to increase as the outbreak rages on

When the first case of Ebola was diagnosed in the U.S. on Sunday, Northeastern University researcher Alessandro Vespignani was not at all surprised. For weeks, the data scientist, who designs and runs big computer simulations of infectious disease outbreaks, has been carefully tweaking a model to project the spread of the virus both in Africa and as it might be imported to other countries carried by international travelers.

Suburban science curiosity: MIT’s Haystack Observatory celebrates 50 years

WESTFORD — It’s not every resolution drafted for the Legislature that mentions the layers of Earth’s atmosphere and name-drops Einstein’s theory of general relativity. But last week, scientists and engineers gathered on a suburban hillside to celebrate the history and future of a large and little-known radio telescope housed in a dome that looks more like the one at Epcot Center than anything else, all capped off by a reading of a new Massachusetts House of Representatives resolution to wish the telescope a happy 50th birthday.

Science in Mind

Harvard-led team’s cosmic inflation discovery uncertain

New data raise doubts about what was considered smoking gun evidence in favor of the theory of cosmic inflation — the “bang” of the Big Bang.

Study suggests violence is an evolutionary adaptation

New research found that human behaviors such as feeding animals or disturbing their habitat didn’t appear to cause more killings.

Science in Mind

Analysis of DNA reaping big gains

In the space of a few short years, DNA sequencing has changed from a technology whose medical promise is largely theoretical to a regularly-used tool.

Science in mind

Don’t just photograph life’s highlights, study suggests

We underestimate the pleasure we’ll gain from rediscovering the mundane, according to a new study.

Harvard lab delves into Ebola outbreak

Working with five African colleagues who have died, scientists have analyzed the genes of the virus for new insights.

New studies erase traumatic memories in mice

A growing body of work shows that, at least in rodents, triggering brain circuits can alter remembrance.