discovery

How earthquake swarms arise

A new fault simulator maps out how interactions between pressure, friction and fluids rising through a fault zone can lead to slow-motion quakes and seismic swarms.

Predicting wildfires with CAT scans

Engineers at Stanford have used X-ray CT scans, more common in hospital labs, to study how wood catches fire. They’ve now turned that knowledge into a computer simulation to predict where fires will strike and spread.

‘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.

Scientists turn yeast cells into drug factories

Stanford engineers have genetically reprogrammed the cellular machinery of yeast to create microscopic factories that convert sugars and amino acids into plant-based drugs.

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.

To solve climate change, we must deal with heat

Almost all of the world’s energy use involves heat, from making steel to refrigerating food. Deep decarbonization without breakthroughs in thermal science and engineering seems inconceivable. Three leaders in the area highlight five important topics to explore.

Researchers develop a portable ammonia detector

This device offers a significantly faster and easier method for detecting ammonia levels in blood, which can reach dangerous levels in people with certain diseases and genetic conditions.

Studying whales with high-tech tools

With innovative tools and access to some of the most whale-friendly waters in the world, Stanford researchers aim to demystify the lives, biology and behavior of the largest creatures on Earth.