Why bacteria are beautiful, and why we need them

Nobel lau­reate Sir Richard Roberts, recently appointed Dis­tin­guished Uni­ver­sity Pro­fessor in the Col­lege of Sci­ence, dis­cussed his love for bac­teria and their sym­biosis with people on Monday after­noon at his inau­gural lec­ture, after which he con­versed with Pres­i­dent Joseph E. Aoun.

Roberts_Bacteria

When smaller is better

Assis­tant pro­fessor of phar­ma­ceu­tical sci­ences Tania Konry has devel­oped a system that effi­ciently tests for a wide range of bio­log­ical spec­i­mens. Whether you’re looking for com­plex cancer cell bio­markers in a sample or simple bac­teria in drinking water, the system costs sig­nif­i­cantly less than stan­dard approaches and spits out results in a frac­tion of the time.

Tali Konry

The next generation of electronics is a press-​​on tattoo

John A. Rogers is refor­mu­lating elec­trical cir­cuits and devices to better con­form to the human body by making them flex­ible and stretch­able. The mate­rials sci­en­tist, who spoke Thursday at North­eastern University’s Pro­files in Inno­va­tion Pres­i­den­tial Speaker Series, said the unlikely inspi­ra­tion for his pio­neering work is kids’ tem­po­rary tattoos.

Profiles in Innovation: John Rogers

Does Big Data have the flu?

In response to rev­e­la­tions of fail­ures in the Google Flu Trends’ pre­dic­tive capa­bil­i­ties, North­eastern Uni­ver­sity researchers exam­ined how Big Data can best be uti­lized for sci­en­tific gain in a report pub­lished online on Thursday in the journal Science.

bigdata2

3Qs: Who’s got your digital dossier?

North­eastern mobile sys­tems expert David Choffnes says data bro­kering, in which the data we share online is bought and sold by third par­ties, has blos­somed into a viable industry and is the reason many pop­ular apps are free. But he says the average user knows little about how their per­sonal infor­ma­tion is shared.

choffnes600

Magic and symmetry in mathematics

North­eastern Uni­ver­sity asso­ciate pro­fessor of math­e­matics Ivan Loseu was named a Sloan 2014 Research Fellow for his con­tri­bu­tions to the field of rep­re­sen­ta­tion theory, a sophis­ti­cated branch of algebra.

Ivan Loseu

The dark side of fair play

Spite is a puz­zling human behavior that seem­ingly affords no value to its owner. But new research from assis­tant pro­fessor of phi­los­ophy Rory Smead reveals that spite­ful­ness may actu­ally be the unlikely origin of the kindly act of fairness.

Rory Smead

Your face says it all? Not so fast

New research from Uni­ver­sity Dis­tin­guished Pro­fessor of Psy­chology Lisa Feldman Barrett’s lab refutes a decades-​​old belief in emo­tion science—that emo­tions are uni­ver­sally rec­og­nized across people and cultures.

Maria Gendron and Lisa Feldman Barrett

3Qs: Drug diagnosis

Chem­istry and chem­ical biology pro­fessor John R. Engen uses a novel tech­nique to ana­lyze large, com­plex bio­phar­ma­ceu­tical drugs—which could have major impli­ca­tions for health­care and its asso­ci­ated costs.

Engen600

New tools to get your smartphone up to speed

Dave Choffnes, an assis­tant pro­fessor in the Col­lege of Com­puter and Infor­ma­tion Sci­ence, is devel­oping pro­grams that incen­tivize smart­phone users to share their data in order to improve the mobile Internet expe­ri­ence while still pro­tecting their privacy.

David Choffnes

Face value

Assis­tant pro­fessor Ray­mond Fu is devel­oping facial recog­ni­tion soft­ware with appli­ca­tions ranging from adver­tising to crim­inal inves­ti­ga­tions. His research recently earned him a Young Inves­ti­gator award from the Inter­na­tional Neural Net­work Society.

Raymond Fu