Just weeks after adding its millionth Web page, the online biology clearinghouse called the Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) has received a grant from the Sloan Foundation that will allow it to continue its mission of documenting every living plant and animal species on the globe.
As described in a paper in Scientific Reports, a study led by Feng Fu, a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard’s Program for Evolutionary Dynamics, found that in-group favoritism — the tendency of people to help other members of the same group — is critical in establishing high-level cooperation that ultimately benefits the whole.
Using a pair of impurities in ultra-pure, laboratory-grown diamonds, researchers have created room-temperature quantum bits and have stored information in them for nearly two seconds — an increase of nearly six orders of magnitude over the life span of earlier systems. The work, described in the June 8 issue of Science, is a critical first step in the eventual construction of a functional quantum computer, as well as a host of other potential applications.
The U.S. Supreme Court decision on Thursday upholding the basis of national health care reform is far from the last word on the topic, Harvard faculty members said, and merely raises the curtain on act two: November’s general election.
In a paper published in the June 7 issue of Nature, Associate Professor Sujoy Mukhopadhyay presents evidence that the Earth’s deep mantle incorporated gas found in the solar nebula in the first few millions of years of the solar system’s formation.
As reported on June 7 in the journal Neuron, a team of researchers led by Professor Jeff Lichtman has found that just days before birth mice undergo an explosion of neuromuscular branching. At birth, the research showed, some muscle fibers are contacted by as many as 10 nerve cells. Within days, however, all but one of those connections had been pruned away.
For decades, scientists have been stymied in their attempts to better understand proboscis anole, a small lizard whose defining feature is a horn on its nose, because it appeared to be all but extinct — until now.
In a critical step that may lead to more-effective HIV treatments, Harvard scientists have found that, in a small number of HIV patients, pre-existing mutations in the virus can cause it to develop resistance to the drugs used to slow the progression of the disease.
Eight professors were named 2012 Cabot Fellows to honor their excellent publications.
A team of researchers is using a genetically modified version of the rabies virus to create the first comprehensive list of inputs that connect directly to dopamine neurons in two regions of the brain.
Researchers have found that a parasitic flower takes large portions of its genetic code from its host, and that some genes borrowed by the flowers may even be functional. The surprising finding suggests that the process may convey some evolutionary advantage to the flowers.
A new study led by Harvard scientists shows that birds are, essentially, living dinosaurs, with skulls that are remarkably similar to those of their juvenile ancestors.
As described in an April 23 paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), graduate students Eric Morrow and Carling Hay demonstrate the use of a statistical tool called a Kalman smoother to identify “sea level fingerprints” — telltale variations in sea level rise — in a synthetic data set. Using those fingerprints, scientists can determine where glacial melting is occurring.
A decade after the start of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, studies have shown that the incidence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among troops is surprisingly low, and a Harvard researcher credits the drop, in part, to new efforts by the Army to prevent PTSD, and to ensure that those who develop the disorder receive the best treatment available.
At a Meeting of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences on May 1, 2012, the Minute honoring the life and service of the late Horace Gray Lunt II, Samuel Hazzard Cross Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Emeritus, was placed upon the records. Professor Lunt spearheaded a golden age of Slavic studies.
At a Meeting of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences on May 1, 2012, the Minute honoring the life and service of the late William von Eggers Doering, Mallinckrodt Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus, was placed upon the records. Time called Professor Doering’s synthesis of quinine “one of the greatest scientific achievements in a century.”
At a Meeting of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences on May 1, 2012, the Minute honoring the life and service of the late Oleg Grabar, Aga Khan Professor of Islamic Art, Emeritus, was placed upon the records. Professor Grabar was one of Islamic art and architecture’s most influential and insightful scholars.
Physicist Jenny Hoffman and political theorist Eric Beerbohm have won the Roslyn Abramson Award, given annually to assistant or associate professors for excellence in undergraduate teaching.
From the $40 million Hauser gift to support teaching and learning initiatives to the recent announcement of the global online platform edX, Harvard tackled the future of higher education head-on in 2011-12. As the University’s 375th anniversary draws to a close, the Gazette asked some prescient professors: “What’s the one big idea that will transform teaching and learning before Harvard celebrates its 400th?”
A landmark effort to sequence the genome of the butterfly Heliconius melpomene has revealed that it shares genes that control color patterns with two species that closely mimic its appearance — Heliconius timareta and Heliconius elevatus — suggesting that all three exchange genes as a result of occasional hybridization.
Harvard’s Center for Geographic Analysis will work with United Nations University on a system that will allow users to track and map wildlife crime, and how it is related to a host of socioeconomic factors.
Alumni, students, and leaders of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences donned hard hats and plunged shovels into the earth to mark the launch of the Old Quincy Test Project.
Harvard’s distinctive House system, a baker’s dozen of smaller communities, nurtures undergrads to find their passions, and themselves.
Two of Harvard’s leading social scientists discussed the way that humans make decisions, and whether having more choices really makes us happier.
In his new book, “Revolt: An Archaeological History of Pueblo Resistance and Revitalization in 17th Century New Mexico,” Assistant Professor of Anthropology Matthew Liebmann offers a first-of-its-kind look at how the Pueblo people lived during their brief independence from Spain.
The Office for the Arts at Harvard (OFA) and the Council on the Arts at Harvard, a standing committee of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, announced the recipients of the annual undergraduate arts prizes for 2012.
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.
Harvard researchers compiled ice and sedimentary core samples collected from dozens of locations around the world, and found evidence that while changes in Earth’s orbit may have touched off a warming trend, increases in CO2 played a far more important role in pushing the planet out of the ice age.
Harvard scientists have taken a critical step toward building a quantum computer — a device that could someday harness subatomic particles such as electrons to perform calculations far faster than the most powerful supercomputers.
Stephen Greenblatt, the John Cogan University Professor of the Humanities, was awarded the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction for “The Swerve: How the World Became Modern.”
The renovation of Harvard’s Sherman Fairchild Building may have seemed inconsequential to the casual observer because the exterior barely changed. However, as a result of a two-year project to accommodate the Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology Department (SCRB), the interior has been transformed into one of the University’s greenest and most efficient laboratory spaces.
“X-Rays of the Soul: Rorschach and the Projective Test,” at Harvard’s Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, tells the story of the projective test movement and portrays the heady confidence that science could be used to extract and access the most human parts of human beings.
Harvard University President Drew Faust announced that David Hempton will become dean of Harvard Divinity School, effective July 1. Hempton, the Alonzo L. McDonald Family Professor of Evangelical Theological Studies at the Divinity School, succeeds William A. Graham, who will step down from the post at the end of this academic year.
President of the Harvard Board of Overseers Leila Fawaz and Senior Fellow of the Harvard Corporation Robert Reischauer sat down with the Gazette recently to discuss the University’s governance, the interplay between the University’s two governing boards, and the experience of serving.
The Faculty of Arts and Sciences is launching a new video series, called "Harvard's Great Teachers," which will highlight Harvard’s world-class faculty and offer a sampling of the exciting and innovative teaching experienced by Harvard students.
Harvard College will increase financial aid for undergraduates to a record $172 million for the next academic year.
A few visitors got a first glimpse of how Old Quincy House will look after completion of the renewal process next year, thanks to a tour of a full-scale mockup of the soon-to-be-renovated accommodations.
At the March 21 meeting of the Faculty Council, its members heard reports on proposed updates to the Handbook for Students, the FAS’s plans for implementing the University’s conflict of interest policy, Harvard College admissions, and the Library.
As undergraduates turn their thoughts to life after Harvard, the Office of Career Services helps them to prepare for work and graduate school. The office acquaints students with the options available to them after graduation, from jobs and internships, to professional school, to international fellowships and travel.
After more than a decade away, Professor Eric Maskin returned to the Economics Department this semester to a warm reception — and with a Nobel Prize in tow.
At a Meeting of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences on March 6, 2012, the Minute honoring the life and service of the late Leon Kirchner, Walter Bigelow Rosen Professor of Music Emeritus, was placed upon the records. Professor Kirchner reoriented the study and practice of music beyond academic disciplines to include performance and founded the Harvard Chamber Orchestra.
At a Meeting of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences on March 6, 2012, the Minute honoring the life and service of the late Oscar Handlin, Carl M. Loeb University Professor Emeritus, was placed upon the records. Professor Handlin was the most influential and creative historian of American social life in the second half of the twentieth century.
In one of the largest studies of its kind, Harvard researchers have found that carbon records from the mid-Neoproterozoic era can be “read” as a faithful snapshot of the surface carbon cycle between 717 million and 635 million years ago, a finding that directly challenges a decades-long belief of most scientists.
Dorrit Cohn ’45, Ernest Bernbaum Professor of Literature Emeritus, died March 11. A professor of German and comparative literature, Cohn was one of three women appointed to the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in 1971.
In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers at Harvard are exploring the use of gamelike programs on smartphones to treat anxiety disorders.
A team of researchers from Harvard, MIT, and the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris have proposed a surprisingly simple explanation for magnetic anomalies that have baffled scientists since the mid-1960s, suggesting they are remnants of a massive asteroid. As described in a paper published in Science, the researchers believe an asteroid slammed into the moon 4 billion years ago, leaving behind an enormous crater and iron-rich, highly magnetic rock.
Maya Jasanoff and her faculty colleagues gathered at the Tsai Auditorium on Feb. 16 and March 7 to consider how the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) may look in a generation. The discussions were part of the Conversations @ FAS series, which this year asks some of Harvard’s leading scholars to imagine the faculty at 400.
Daniel G. Nocera, a chemist whose work is focused on developing inexpensive new energy sources, has been appointed the Patterson Rockwood Professor of Energy in Harvard’s Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Michael D. Smith, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, announced March 8.
Lizabeth Cohen, an eminent scholar of 20th-century American social and political history and interim dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study since last July, has been named dean, Harvard President Drew Faust announced March 8.
The twin epidemics of obesity and its cousin, diabetes, have been the target of numerous studies at Harvard and its affiliated hospitals and institutions. Harvard researchers have produced a dizzying array of findings on the often related problems.