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.

The ecstasy of working underwater

Think your work envi­ron­ment is hectic? Imagine trying to com­plete a task with an air tank strapped to your back as you get tossed around by ocean swells. Working under­water can be daunting, but these three divers wouldn’t trade it for anything.

How serious is the threat posed by new ‘superbug’?

Reports of the arrival in the U.S. of a new superbug that is resis­tant to an antibi­otic of last resort have set off alarm bells among public health offi­cials. Last year, a team led by North­eastern pro­fessor Kim Lewis dis­cov­ered teixobactin, an antibi­otic that elim­i­nates bac­teria without encoun­tering any detectable resis­tance. We asked him to explain the new superbug, how wor­ried we should be, and how it might be stopped.

PhD student to study water access and control in Uganda through interviews—and equations

Matt Simonson got his under­grad­uate degree in math and inter­na­tional studies, but wasn’t sure they could be used together. That was until he found Northeastern’s first-​​in-​​the-​​nation doc­toral pro­gram in net­work science—and now he’s using math to under­stand human rela­tion­ships and tackle global challenges.

Researchers mine Twitter to reveal Congress’ ideological divide on climate change

Senate Democ­rats are three times more likely to follow science-​​related Twitter accounts than their Repub­lican peers, according to a new study led by Northeastern’s Brian Hel­muth. The research shows the growing divide between par­ties on the issue of cli­mate change, but also pro­vides hope, says Hel­muth, pointing to indi­vid­uals who cross the aisle and bridge the gap.