Using high-speed cameras, Harvard researchers have shown that ant-mimicking jumping spiders don’t walk on six legs in an attempt to appear more ant-like, but instead walk with all eight and take tiny, 100-millisecond pauses to lift their front legs to make them resemble ant antennae.
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.
A Harvard study suggests a process known as synergistic epistasis enables humans to survive with an unusually high mutation rate.
New research conducted at Harvard demonstrates sharing behavior in African grey parrots.
The way proteins fold, and the good and bad effects of this molecular phenomenon, are what keeps biologist Susan L. Lindquist busy. Lindquist Ph.D. ’76, a Radcliffe Fellow this year, is an award-winning professor and researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a former director of the Whitehead Institute. She shared her insights on protein folding with an audience of 70 last week (March 5) at the fellowship program’s 34 Concord Ave. headquarters.
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.
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.
When the baby vomited again, Gail Melton knew something was seriously wrong with her second child, a son she and her husband, Doug Melton, had named ...
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.
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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).
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 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.
A Harvard team finds a rare fossil in Nova Scotia while retracing the footsteps of Alfred Romer, the paleontologist who identified a gap in the record from the period when animals first crawled out of the ocean and began to walk on four legs.
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.
Assistant professor Arkhat Abzhanov looks to birds’ relatives by way of dinosaurs — alligators — for clues to their evolution.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
New research challenges the notion that the small pelvic bones found in whales are evolutionary vestiges.
A philosophy professor’s summer of diving in Sydney Harbour has gotten him thinking about what octopus intelligence might mean.
New research led by Professor Jeff Lichtman opens a path to deeper insight on brain action behind certain behaviors.
A team at Tel Aviv University in Israel and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics has just discovered an exoplanet using a new method that relies on Einstein’s special theory of relativity.
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 ...
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.
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.
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.
The extreme winter of 2013–2014 created conditions for a Harvard grad student to expand his work on green anole lizards into study of natural selection in action.
After discovering that the complexity inherent in birdsongs results from a controllable instability in the organ used to create them, researchers at the Harvard Paulson School have developed a mimicking device.
Research led by a Harvard professor describes in detail how termite mounds are ventilated.
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.
Digitization of Harvard’s fossil insect collection produced a surprising twist: The return to Germany of hundreds of Eocene insects frozen in amber.
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.
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.
Marking Thoreau’s 200th birthday, Harvard University Herbaria will post images of more than 800 plants the author and naturalist collected, part of a larger digitization effort.
New concentration is the latest example of the University’s commitment to and pre-eminence in the promising field of stem cell research.
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.
Researchers discover how fungi developed an aerodynamic way to reduce drag on their spores so as to spread them as high and as far as possible.
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.
State wildlife biologists installed a peregrine falcon nesting platform high on Memorial Hall’s tower.
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.
Using genetic tools to implant genes that produce fluorescent proteins in the DNA of transparent C. elegans worms, Harvard scientists have been able to shed light on neuron-specific “alternative splicing,” a process that allows a single gene to produce many different proteins.
Digital technology and big data will power the next big advance in the business of farming, the head of a “digital agriculture” firm told a Harvard audience.
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.
Research led by Hopi Hoekstra breaks new ground by uncovering links between the activity of specific genes and parenting differences across species