Biology

How soil fungi respond to wildfire

When wildfires swept through the North Bay in 2017, graduate student Gabriel Smith saw a unique opportunity to study how fire affected his research subject: soil fungi.

Could kelp help relieve ocean acidification?

A new analysis of California’s Monterey Bay evaluates kelp’s potential to reduce ocean acidification, the harmful fallout from climate change on marine ecosystems and the food they produce for human populations.

Forecasting ecosystem changes through DNA

The rapid, low-cost technique is the first to analyze DNA left behind in animals’ feces to map out complex networks of species interactions in a terrestrial system. It could help redefine conservation as we know it, identify otherwise hard-to-find species and guide a global effort to rewild vast areas.

Microlab tests for COVID-19 in 30 minutes

Using “lab on a chip” technology, Stanford engineers have created a microlab half the size of a credit card that can detect COVID-19 in just 30 minutes.

What’s a virus?

A virus called SARS-CoV-2 is responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic currently ravaging the globe. But what is a virus?

Pattern in whale songs predicts migration

Through the use of two advanced audio recording technologies, a collaboration of Monterey Bay researchers has found that blue whales switch from nighttime to daytime singing when they are starting to migrate.

‘Cellular compass’ guides plant stem cell division

Biologists observing the formation of leaves noticed the nuclei moved in bewildering ways. Further investigation uncovered proteins that act as compasses and motors, guiding the divisions of individual cells to create the overall pattern of the leaf.

Modeling behaviors that spread disease

In a new mathematical model, Stanford researchers have coupled disease dynamics with cultural behaviors harmful to health – such as anti-vaccination sentiment or aversion to mask-wearing – that can spread like pathogens themselves.

New way to study ocean life

Insights from an innovative rotating microscope could provide a new window into the secrets of microscopic life in the ocean and their effects on crucial planetary processes, such as carbon fixation.