Biology

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.

Predicting the unpredictable

Researchers combined avalanche physics with ecosystem data to create a computational method for predicting extreme ecological events. The method may also have applications in economics and politics.

The toll of shrinking jaws on human health

The shrinking of the human jaw in modern humans is not due to genetics but is a lifestyle disease that can be proactively addressed, according to Stanford researchers.

Erasing memories to stop drug relapse

Removing memories associated with morphine use from the brains of mice enables Stanford researchers to prevent relapse and could point to a new approach for treating the opioid epidemic.

‘Regime shift’ happening in the Arctic Ocean

Stanford scientists find the growth of phytoplankton in the Arctic Ocean has increased 57 percent over just two decades, enhancing its ability to soak up carbon dioxide. While once linked to melting sea ice, the increase is now propelled by rising concentrations of tiny algae.