3Qs: A new way to battle HIV

New research from physics pro­fessor Mark Williams stands to trans­form HIV/​AIDS drug dis­covery by elu­ci­dating a long-​​held paradox about the mol­e­cules that form our first line of immune defense against the virus.

The potential pandemic

What would happen if haz­ardous bio­log­ical research acci­den­tally escaped the lab? Alessandro Vespig­nani, a North­eastern pro­fessor and world-​​renowned sta­tis­tical physi­cist, con­ducted a com­pu­ta­tional exper­i­ment to find out.

The stressed-​​out brain

Heather Bren­house, an assis­tant pro­fessor of psy­chology, has received a grant from the National Insti­tutes of Health to explore the con­nec­tion between child­hood trauma and ado­les­cent mental illness.

Dead or alive? Researchers use uncertainty to scare

Lisa Feldman Bar­rett, Uni­ver­sity Dis­tin­guished Pro­fessor of Psy­chology, and her team at the Inter­dis­ci­pli­nary Affec­tive Sci­ence Lab­o­ra­tory use the sci­ence of emo­tion to scare people at a haunted house — and raise money for charity.

Crowdfunding drug discovery

The secrecy model that dom­i­nates drug dis­covery doesn’t work for neglected trop­ical dis­eases, which affect more than 1 bil­lion people each year. Asso­ciate pro­fessor Michael Pol­lastri hopes to shift that par­a­digm with a new plat­form for secure data-​​sharing.

New research takes aim at heart’s ‘safe zone’

Backed by a $1.2 mil­lion grant from the National Insti­tutes of Health, physics pro­fessor Alain Karma is part of a research team studying how a par­tic­ular class of gene muta­tions in humans sig­nif­i­cantly increases the risk of sudden car­diac arrest by dis­turbing the heart’s elec­trical signaling.

Ancient bacteria go under the lens

Cyanobac­teria, which are respon­sible for pro­ducing a quarter of the earth’s breath­able oxygen, are nearly 3 bil­lion years old, but they’ve yet to be well under­stood on a genetic level. Asso­ciate pro­fessor Jacque­line Piret aims to change that.