News

Traveling Across the Globe to Study a Tiny Protein

Doctoral candidate Jaylene Ollivierre works with a small bacterial protein that regulates the activity of larger DNA repair complexes in Northeastern’s DNA Damage Recognition and Tolerance Laboratory led by chemistry and chemical biology assistant professor Penny Beuning. That protein, called UmuD (pronounced yoo-myoo-d), has been studied for 20 years, Ollivierre said, “but it keeps surprising us.” […]

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Measuring Water Contamination in New Zealand

The magnitude 6.3 earthquake that struck Christchurch, New Zealand, in February 2011 is considered to be one of the island country’s most deadly and expensive disasters, killing 185 people and costing an estimated $30 million. Less than one year after the environmental disaster, Northeastern University sophomore biology and environmental science combined major Michael Orbank began helping […]

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Helping Scientific Discovery Grow

Murray Gibson, dean of the College of Science, opened the 15th annual Humic Science and Technology Conference — held last week at Northeastern — by admitting that he, like many people, didn’t know what humic substances (HS) were for most of his life. According to the International Humic Substances Society (IHSS), HS “are complex and heterogeneous […]

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Gene Sequencing At Warp Speed

One million vocalists singing the same song will sound cacophonous to an audience member if the singers belt out the tune at different tempos. “But if you’re listening to one person sing, and he changes his tempo, you’re still going to stay in tune with him,” said Meni Wanunu, an assistant professor of physics in Northeastern’s […]

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A New Approach To Analyzing Breast Cancer

Tumors are complex systems of cells, only some of which may be cancerous. Also, two samples from different areas of a single tumor are rarely identical. To gather important information about tumors, researchers must analyze very small samples because they are more likely homogenous — enriched for either normal cells or cancerous cells. Barry Karger — […]

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Study: Loss Of Rare Species Can Harm Ecosystems

Here’s another reason to cheer for the little guy. A new study co-authored by Matthew Bracken, assistant professor of biology in Northeastern’s College of Science, has found that rare species from the bottom of the food chain can have a large impact on an ecosystem’s health. The findings were published in March in the online […]

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3Qs: That’s, Like, Super Cooool

A study published in December in the Journal of Voice found that female college students have popularized a linguistic fad called “vocal fry,” which has been described as a “guttural fluttering of the vocal chords” with a “lazy, drawn-out effect.” We asked Heather Littlefield, the head adviser for the linguistics program in the College of […]

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Neal Pearlmutter Named New Director Of Linguistics Program

Janet Randall has ably directed the Linguistics Program at Northeastern for over 20 years. Under her leadership the program has grown from fewer than 10 students to more than 60, and now includes combined majors with Psychology and with English. Not only has the size grown, but also the quality of the incoming and graduating […]

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For Physics Postdoc, New Evidence of Things Not Seen

For more than two decades, Fermilab in Batavia, Ill., housed the world’s largest particle accelerator — the Tevatron Collider — which allowed scientists to study the most elementary units of matter. Last September, Fermilab shut down the Tevatron forever. International hopes of understanding some of the most fundamental mysteries of particle physics began to shift […]

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