Researchers have developed a system — inspired by nature — that allows soft robots to either camouflage themselves against a background, or to make bold color displays. Such a “dynamic coloration” system could one day have a host of uses, ranging from helping doctors plan complex surgeries to acting as a visual marker to help search crews following a disaster.
Xiao-Li Meng, chair of Harvard’s Department of Statistics, has been named dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
As described in a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a research team found that by studying how drugs interact in pairs, researchers can predict how larger combinations of drugs will interact.
More than 100 faculty, students, and staff from the Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology turned out for a barbecue to celebrate the full-professor promotions of Kevin Eggan, Konrad Hochedlinger, and Amy Wagers.
A paper authored by Harvard’s Eli Visbal with colleagues from the California Institute of Technology and Tel Aviv University suggests that it may be far easier than commonly thought to peer deep into the universe’s history and observe the telltale signs of the formation of the first stars and galaxies.
Though questions persist about whether natural remedies are as effective as their pharmacological cousins, one Harvard researcher is trying to understand the economic benefits people receive by relying on such traditional cures.
A team of researchers led by James G. Anderson, the Philip S. Weld Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry, warns that a newly discovered connection between climate change and depletion of the ozone layer over the U.S. could allow more damaging ultraviolet (UV) radiation to reach the Earth’s surface, leading to increased incidence of skin cancer.
In a paper published in Neuron, Joshua Buckholtz and co-author Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg identify a biological reason for why many mental disorders share similar symptoms, a situation that makes diagnosis challenging.
Harvard physicists say they have unlocked the chemical secret that controls the “fool’s gold” of superconductivity, a “pseudogap” phase that mimics, but doesn’t have all the advantageous properties of, superconductivity.
Harvard researchers are using one of the most comprehensive fungal “family trees” ever created to unlock evolutionary secrets.
Free-market thinking now pervades most facets of everyday life. In “What Money Can’t Buy,” rock-star lecturer and philosopher Michael Sandel asks readers to consider what they really value — and whether some things shouldn’t come with a price.
The Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Harvard College announced plans to launch the systemwide effort to renew the University’s 12 undergraduate Houses. The announcement unveils Dunster as the first full House to be renewed, along with the location of “swing” housing, and the pacing for the project.
Gerald Chertavian, founder and CEO of Year Up, a national program that trains urban young adults and places them in internships, visited Harvard to celebrate the achievements of seven Year Up participants who just completed the program.
For decades, it has been the holy grail of particle physics, an elusive subatomic particle that offered the tantalizing possibility of explaining how much of the universe works. Billions of dollars have been spent in the search for it. Thousands of researchers — including dozens from Harvard — have conducted trillions of experiments as part of the hunt for its telltale signature.
Professor Martin Nowak is one of several co-authors of a paper, published in Nature on June 28,that outlines a new approach to cancer treatment that could make many cancers manageable, if not curable, by overcoming resistance to certain drug treatments.
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.