GFAP-Coronin1a Yu Wang

Retinal Corona

Image contributed by Yu Wang, a third year graduate student at Harvard Medical School. Glial cells support the proper function of neuronal cell types and are also responsible for cleaning up cell debris such as leftover neurotransmitter molecules (what neurons use to communicate with each other). Certain types of glia, called microglia, function as the first line of defense in immune-privileged places such as the … Continue reading Retinal Corona

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Enigmatic Tully Monster Finds a Home on the Tree of Life

How a 300-million-year-old mystery fossil is reshaping our understanding of what it means to be a vertebrate. by Kelsey Lucas figures by Brad Wierbowski Through murky water you spot it – a creature with a cylindrical body, tapering at each end like a football. At one end, a spade-like tail fin fans out as it slowly beats back and forth. At the other end, a … Continue reading Enigmatic Tully Monster Finds a Home on the Tree of Life

Digitally-colorized transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of Zika virus. Virus particles are colored blue. By CDC/Cynthia Goldsmith

A Tale of Two Vaccines: Zika Vaccines Show Promise in Mice

In a little over a year since it was first reported in Brazil, Zika virus has gone from a little-known member of the flavivirus genus to one of the most reported on viruses in the world. Open any newspaper and you’ll find an update on the ongoing epidemic. For the most part the news is dire – counties reporting their first Zika cases or the … Continue reading A Tale of Two Vaccines: Zika Vaccines Show Promise in Mice

Figure 1: The information Paradox.

Black Holes Have Soft Hair

by Scott Melville figures by Shannon McArdel and Michael Gerhardt You’ll never guess how Google autocompletes: “Do black holes have…” The answer: “…no hair?” This strange question has been debated by physicists for at least forty years, and today it seems we may be approaching an even stranger answer: They have soft hair. That is, at least, according to Stephen Hawking, who visited Harvard in … Continue reading Black Holes Have Soft Hair

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Sit’N Listen! Episode 8: (S&S Episode 2) Discovering Sex and Gender?

Written by Rachel Hanebutt, Michelle Frank, Jessica Cussins, Kellie Owens Advised by Amy Gilson Michelle Hello Everyone, and welcome to SIT’N Listen. SIT’N Listen is a production of Science in the News, a graduate student organization at Harvard dedicated to opening lines of communications between scientists…and, well, the rest of the world’s experts and enthusiasts. This series is a collaboration between Science in the News … Continue reading Sit’N Listen! Episode 8: (S&S Episode 2) Discovering Sex and Gender?

"Hobbitlike" ancient human

Human evolution. Discovery of fossils in Indonesia provide further evidence for “hobbit-like” ancient humans.

The 2004 discovery of a 1-meter-tall, ancient human (named Homo floresiensis, and nicknamed “the hobbit”) sparked great interest in the scientific community, but until recently only a single fossil had been found. Last month, however, scientists discovered another fossil on the Indonesian island of Flores, only 74 kilometers from the original dig. In an article published in the journal Nature, researchers described the fossil, which … Continue reading Human evolution. Discovery of fossils in Indonesia provide further evidence for “hobbit-like” ancient humans.

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The Deadly Biology of Lead Exposure

by Mary Gearing figures by Krissy Lyon Imagine being a parent in Flint, Cleveland, or another city with high lead levels, constantly wondering about the effects of lead on your children’s health. You’d keep asking the same questions: if we lived somewhere else, would they be smarter? Will they have trouble in school or later in life because of lead? The sad truth is that … Continue reading The Deadly Biology of Lead Exposure