Biology

Infant blood markers predict childhood mental health

A newfound link between levels of “bad” cholesterol at birth and subsequent childhood behavior could help identify and treat people who are prone to experiencing depression and other mental difficulties.

First-ever recording of a blue whale’s heart rate

With a lot of ingenuity and a little luck, researchers monitored the heart rate of a blue whale in the wild. The measurement suggests that blue whale hearts are operating at extremes – and may limit the whale’s size.

AI and gene-editing pioneers to discuss ethics

Two pioneering scientists who transformed the fields of artificial intelligence and gene editing discuss the impacts of their technologies and the ethics of scientific discovery leading up to a public talk later this month.

Stanford researchers lay out first genetic history of Rome

Despite extensive records of the history of Rome, little is known about the city’s population over time. A new genetic history of the Eternal City reveals a dynamic population shaped in part by political and historical events.

New theory for Neanderthal extinction

Complex disease transmission patterns could explain why it took tens of thousands of years after first contact for our ancestors to replace Neanderthals throughout Europe and Asia.

Chemical ‘vaccine’ helps plants repel pathogens

Scientists knew that plants wage chemical war against bacterial, viral and fungal infections. Now they’ve learned how to “vaccinate” tomato plants with a natural chemical to boost their defenses against a pest that makes leaves shrivel up and die.

Stress test separates tough bacteria from the tender

By scooping the guts out of bacteria and refilling them with an expansive fluid, scientists can discover whether a microbe is structurally strong or weak, gaining insights that could help fight infectious diseases or aid studies of the beneficial bacterial communities known as microbiomes.

Archaea hold clues to ancient ocean temperatures

Scientists at Stanford have identified molecules that tough microbes use to survive in warming waters, opening a window more broadly into studying conditions in ancient seas.