Biology

Healing compounds in scorpion venom

Stanford chemists have identified and synthesized two new healing compounds in scorpion venom that are effective at killing staph and tuberculosis bacteria.

Mapping microbial symbioses in forests

Data collected from over 1 million forest plots reveals patterns of where plant roots form symbiotic relationships with fungi and bacteria.

What it’s like to be a theoretical physicist

Theoretical physicist Shamit Kachru and three of his graduate students talk about the social fabric behind their research, the cycle of confusion and discovery, and the sense of awe – or the cool factor – that drives them.

Lifetime flu vaccine?

Another year, another flu vaccine because so far scientists haven’t managed to make a vaccine that protects against all strains of flu. A new approach could end that ritual and protect against deadly pandemic flu.

In search of flatworms’ regenerative powers

No one knows exactly how flatworms can rebuild their entire bodies from the tiniest sliver. Now, bioengineers and materials scientists are building new tools to study the worms’ awesome regenerative powers.

Conservation clues from scant DNA

A new approach promises cheap, rapid analysis of genetic clues in degraded and left-behind material, such as hair and commercial food products.

Tunas, sharks and ships at sea

Researchers combine maps of marine predator habitats with satellite tracks of fishing fleets to identify regions where they overlap – a step toward more effective wildlife management on the high seas.

Linking bacterial populations with health

Two people may have different bacteria living on and in them, but the challenge is knowing which differences matter for health. Statistician Susan Holmes thinks she might have some answers.

Stanford School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences —

Species evolve ways to back up life’s machinery

A new analysis of biological data reveals that every species from bacteria to primates has developed ways to bypass breakdowns in the networks of proteins vital to sustaining life.