Cassandra Extavour is the author of a new study that points to a different mechanism as an ancestral process for specifying germ cells.
People spend 46.9 percent of their waking hours thinking about something other than what they’re doing, and this mind wandering typically makes them unhappy, according to research by Harvard psychologists Matthew A. Killingsworth and Daniel T. Gilbert.
New research conducted at Harvard demonstrates sharing behavior in African grey parrots.
A new Harvard study shows that people create visual images to accompany their inner speech even when they are prompted to use verbal thinking, suggesting that visual thinking is deeply ingrained in the human brain.
Behind glass cases, Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology displays ancient tools, weapons, clothing, and art — enough to jar you back into the past. But the venerable museum offered a jarring moment of another sort in its Geological Lecture Hall last month (March 20). Paleoanthropologist Leslie Aiello delivered a late-afternoon talk on diet, energy, and evolution. It was jolting to see her, slight and matronly, stand before a story-high screen filled with images of rugged early hominids on a savannah, gathered around fallen game.
After 26 years of workdays spent watching bacteria multiply, Richard Lenski has learned that evolution doesn’t always occur in steps so slow and steady that change can’t be observed.
Hairless, clawless, and largely weaponless, ancient humans used the unlikely combination of sweatiness and relentlessness to gain the upper hand over their faster, stronger, generally more dangerous animal prey, Harvard Anthropology Professor Daniel Lieberman said Thursday (April 12).
A Harvard study shows that although an optimistic outlook may help women live longer, one other possibility is that higher optimism directly impacts our biological systems.
Remnants of Neanderthal DNA in modern humans are associated with genes affecting type 2 diabetes, Crohn’s disease, lupus, biliary cirrhosis, and smoking behavior. They also concentrate in genes that influence skin and hair characteristics. At the same time, Neanderthal DNA is conspicuously low in regions of the X chromosome and testes-specific genes.
Harvard Business School social psychologist Amy Cuddy explains how tapping into our inner strength can help us make the most of life’s big challenges.
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Most of us do it every night but we don't know why. If you miss too many nights, it might kill you. We know why we eat, drink, breathe, and move around, but no one can explain why we need to sleep. What does seven or eight hours of snoozing really do for us? Van Savage at the Harvard Medical School and Geoffrey West of the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico believe they have found a good answer.
Relaxation-response techniques, such as meditation, yoga, and prayer, could reduce the need for health care services by 43 percent, according to a Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital study that looked at participants in a relaxation-response-focused training program.
For decades, scientists wondered whether there was some subtle difference between parts of the genetic code that, while different, appear to encode the same amino acid. Harvard researchers now have the answer.
Researchers have created embryonic stem cells without an embryo. This discovery of a novel reprogramming method of adult cells, without introducing external genetic material, could dramatically shift stem cell research.
Assistant professor Arkhat Abzhanov looks to birds’ relatives by way of dinosaurs — alligators — for clues to their evolution.
Research led by Hopi Hoekstra breaks new ground by uncovering links between the activity of specific genes and parenting differences across species
In a first-of-its-kind study, Harvard researchers have shown that cooked meat provides more energy than raw meat, a finding that challenges the current food labeling system and suggests humans are evolutionarily adapted to take advantage of the benefits of cooking.
Inspired by his experience in the 2005 New York Marathon, an M.D./Ph.D. student has taken a rigorous approach to calculating just how much carbohydrate a runner needs to fuel himself or herself through 26.2 miles, and what pace that runner can reasonably expect to sustain.
While recent federal guidelines enhanced the nutritional quality of school lunches, there are no standards regarding lunch period length. Many students have lunch periods that are 20 minutes or less, which can be an insufficient amount of time to eat, according to a new study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Researchers at Harvard have shown that Nodal and Lefty — two proteins linked to the regulation of asymmetry in vertebrates and the development of precursor cells for internal organs — fit a mathematical model first described by Alan Turing six decades ago.
New research challenges the notion that the small pelvic bones found in whales are evolutionary vestiges.
Experiments conducted in a Harvard lab reveal that, while sharks’ sandpaperlike skin does allow the animals to swim faster and more efficiently, the structure of some high-tech swimsuits has no effect when it comes to reducing drag as swimmers move through the water.
Research led by a Harvard professor describes in detail how termite mounds are ventilated.
A consortium led by scientists at the University of Oxford and Harvard Medical School has constructed the world’s most detailed genetic map, built from data from 30,000 African-Americans. The researchers assert that this is the most accurate and highest resolution genetic map yet.
A new study finds no connection between hip width and efficient locomotion, and suggests that scientists have long approached the problem in the wrong way.
A vivid illustration of natural selection at work: Harvard scientists have found that deer mice quickly evolved lighter coloration after glaciers deposited sand dunes atop what had been much darker soil.
Evidence is mounting that Earth’s water arrived during formation, aboard meteorites and small bodies called “planetesimals.”
Harvard Stem Cell Institute researchers at Massachusetts General and Boston Children’s hospitals for the first time have used a relatively new gene-editing technique to create what could prove to be an effective technique for blocking HIV from invading and destroying patients’ immune systems.
Researchers in the Department of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School have developed a technique for unraveling these masses. Through a combination of microscopy platforms, researchers can crawl through the individual connections composing a neural network, much as Google crawls web links.
The positive effects of mindfulness meditation on pain and working memory may result from an improved ability to regulate a crucial brain wave called the alpha rhythm. This rhythm is thought to "turn down the volume" on distracting information, which suggests that a key value of meditation may be helping the brain deal with an often overstimulating world.
State wildlife biologists installed a peregrine falcon nesting platform high on Memorial Hall’s tower.
A philosophy professor’s summer of diving in Sydney Harbour has gotten him thinking about what octopus intelligence might mean.
Irene Pepperberg, best known for her work with an African grey parrot named Alex — whose intelligence was estimated as equal to that of a 6-year-old child — recently relocated her lab to Harvard, where she continues to explore the origins of intelligence by working with birds.
For the first time, researchers describe the types of cells generated in brain organoids, networks of nerve cells, and show the greater diversity, complexity, and response to stimulation developed for nine months and longer.
Using a machine-learning algorithm, researchers were able to “train” a computer to recognize the neural patterns associated with various scents, and identify whether specific odors were present in a mix of smells.
Harvard Stem Cell Institute scientists collaborating with researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have developed a “genome-editing” approach for permanently reducing cholesterol levels in mice through a single injection, a development with the potential to reduce the risk of heart attacks in humans by 40 to 90 percent.
Human embryos that are discarded every day as medical waste from in vitro fertilization (IVF) clinics could be an important source of stem cells for ...
Researchers at Harvard University and Bates College say female chimpanzees appear to treat sticks as dolls, carrying them around until they have offspring of their own. Young males engage in such behavior much less frequently.
A Graduate School of Education alumna brings her family history into the dance studio as she teaches children with disabilities the art of movement and the rewards they can reap.
Robert A. Lue, faculty director of the Harvard Ed Portal, offered his audience insight into his upcoming HarvardX course “Cell Biology: Mitochondria,” during a talk on April 21.
The Harvard Stem Cell Institute is now 10 years old. What began as an idea embracing cross-disciplinary research quickly became a generator of scientific discoveries.
Biologists at Harvard University have identified the ancient fossilized remains of a pollen-bearing bee as the first hint of orchids in the fossil record, a find they say suggests orchids are old enough to have coexisted with dinosaurs.
Harvard neuroscientist Venkatesh N. Murthy has a sunny second-floor office on Divinity Avenue, where he is a professor in Harvard’s Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology. In one corner is a set of weights and a soccer ball — both untouched in over a year, he said, because of an intensely busy schedule.
Harvard stem cell biologists have proven that it is possible to turn one type of already differentiated neuron into another inside the brain, and their findings may have enormous implications for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.
A team of researchers led by Harvard geneticist George Church at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and Harvard Medical School has made big strides toward a future in which the predominant chemical factories of the world are colonies of genetically engineered bacteria.
The Harvard Museum of Natural History opens a new marine life gallery, which uses the seas off New England as a lens for learning about marine life around the world.
Using ultra-fast MRI scans, scientists are able to track rapid oscillations in brain activity that previously would have gone undetected, a development that could open the door to understanding fast-occurring cognitive processes that once appeared off-limits to scientists.
Colonies of army ants, whose long columns and marauding habits are the stuff of natural-history legend, are usually antagonistic to each other, attacking soldiers from rival colonies in border disputes that keep the colonies separate. But new work by a researcher at the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology and colleagues at the University of Copenhagen shows that in some cases the colonies can be cooperative instead of combative.
Harvard researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have identified the root molecular cause of a variety of ills brought on by advanced age, including waning energy, failure of the heart and other organs, and metabolic disorder.
Researchers at Harvard University and the SETI Institute are proposing a new spin on the giant-impact model to match the observed composition of the moon and its relationship to Earth.