The ecosystems ecologist, a wonderer at heart

Asso­ciate pro­fessor Jen­nifer Bowen, a new fac­ulty member at Northeastern’s Marine Sci­ence Center, studies the inter­con­nect­ed­ness between human activity and some of the world’s tiniest inhabitants—microbes—nestled in marine environments.

3Qs: Why Samsung Galaxy Note 7s are igniting and how to deal with the recall

Fed­eral reg­u­la­tors yes­terday announced a formal recall of some 1 mil­lion Sam­sung Galaxy Note 7 smart­phones after reports of the devices over­heating and igniting. North­eastern research pro­fessor K.M. Abraham, an expert on lithium-​​ion bat­tery tech­nology, explains the phe­nom­enon and how to respond to it.

Fear not: The number of locally transmitted cases of Zika in US to be very small

North­eastern researchers project the prob­a­bility of locally trans­mitted Zika cases out­side of Florida to be extremely low, ‘just one or two.’ Much of the U.S. has no mos­qui­toes with Zika and will remain unaffected.

See what all the buzz is about for these bee-​​keeper co-​​ops

Made­line Car­penter and Peter Kilian are on co-​​op at Best Bees Com­pany, where the biology majors have some extra­or­di­nary work­mates: thou­sands and thou­sands of honey bees. Our staff pho­tog­ra­pher joined the stu­dents for a day and offers this behind-​​the-​​scenes look.

Chew on this: How we believe our meat is raised can influence how it tastes

New research from North­eastern psy­chology pro­fessor Lisa Feldman Bar­rett shows that our beliefs about how farm ani­mals are raised—whether on “fac­tory farms” or in more humane conditions—can shape our meat-​​eating expe­ri­ence, from how we think it smells and tastes to how much we’d be willing to pay for it. “We show that what you feel very directly influ­ences not only how you inter­pret what you see but also very lit­er­ally what you see,” Bar­rett said.

Research sheds new light on proton behavior, draws praise from science community

A dis­covery by a research team led by Northeastern’s Paul Cham­pion upends the under­standing held for cen­turies of pro­tons’ behavior. The researchers—using an ultra­fast pulsed laser system designed at Northeastern—have revealed that pro­tons actu­ally tunnel through ther­mo­dy­namic bar­riers rather than travel over them. Sci­ence mag­a­zine, struck by the results, high­lighted the research in its “Editor’s Choice” column.

3Qs: Why better infrastructure could solve Rio’s water problems

The Olympic sailing com­pe­ti­tion began on Monday in Rio de Janeiro’s Gua­n­abara Bay, the site of exten­sive water pol­lu­tion that offi­cials have warned is a health risk for the ath­letes. Here, Geoff Trussell, director of Northeastern’s Marine Sci­ence Center, explains how bad the pol­lu­tion can be for the aquatic ecosystem and what needs to be done to fix the problem.

Underreporting of Zika is rife; researchers project epidemic’s spread

A team led by North­eastern pro­fessor Alessandro Vespig­nani responded to a “call to arms” to model the spread of the Zika virus, revealing the dis­parity between the number of reported cases and the number of pro­jected cases of this largely asymp­to­matic dis­ease. The results will help coun­tries in the Amer­icas plan a response.

Northeastern receives $9M grant to fast track the discovery of new antibiotics

A team led by Uni­ver­sity Dis­tin­guished Pro­fessor of Biology Kim Lewis received a five-​​year, $9 mil­lion grant from the National Insti­tute of Health’s National Insti­tute of Allergy and Infec­tious Dis­eases to launch a novel plat­form for devel­oping antibi­otics that kill pathogens without encoun­tering resistance.

Comfort dogs bring healing in times of tragedy

Twelve golden retrievers recently arrived in Orlando to bring com­fort to the sur­vivors and those grieving after the mass shooting at the gay night­club Pulse. Here, Northeastern’s Lisa Feldman Bar­rett, who spe­cial­izes in the psy­chology of emo­tion, explains how dogs help bring our ner­vous sys­tems back into bal­ance and, at least tem­porarily, make us feel safe.

Marine Science Center works to protect oceans’ ‘vital role in sustaining life on Earth’

In honor of World Oceans Day, we spoke with Marine Sci­ence Center director Geoff Trussell about ocean con­ser­va­tion and what the MSC is doing to help pro­tect our marine ecosystem.