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.

Influence of Young Scholars Program reverberates through time

As a rising high school senior, assis­tant pro­fessor Matthew Eck­elman, spent a summer at North­eastern sim­u­lating earth­quakes on a shaker table to eval­uate the sta­bility of land­fill liner sys­tems. Twenty-​​one years later, he’s come full circle, hosting young scholars in his lab, guiding them toward STEM careers.

3Qs: The cat-​​and-​​mouse game of blocking digital ads

If you were using Face­book on a desktop last week, you may have noticed that your ad-​​blocking soft­ware was being blocked. That was a move by Face­book. We asked two North­eastern pro­fes­sors to explain how new strate­gies and tech­nolo­gies are changing the dig­ital land­scape for users, con­tent providers, and advertisers.

What’s that bruise on Michael Phelps’ shoulder?

From cir­cular bruises, to col­orful tapes, to one-​​arm sleeves, Olympic ath­letes have been sporting some unique mark­ings and add-​​ons during the Rio de Janeiro Games. We asked a group of pro­fes­sors to explain what you’ve been seeing, with a par­tic­ular focus on the sci­ence behind it.

3Qs: What is greatness—and how do you achieve it?

More than 11,000 ath­letes are com­peting at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, show­casing their supe­rior skill in nearly 40 dif­ferent sports. We asked Rachel Rodgers, asso­ciate pro­fessor in the Depart­ment of Applied Psy­chology, to define the con­cept of great­ness and explain how everyday people might tap into their own great­ness, regard­less of wealth, fame, or skill set.

Researchers find that Android apps can secretly track users’ whereabouts

New research led by North­eastern pro­fessor Gue­vara Noubir reveals that some Android apps may auto­mat­i­cally transmit sen­si­tive infor­ma­tion, such as the routes you travel, through the phone’s built-​​in sen­sors. A mali­cious devel­oper, he says, “can infer where you live, where you’ve been, where you are going.”

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.

The life and career of an engineering ‘genius’

Beaten by the KGB, branded an anti-​​Soviet activist, and black­balled from acad­emia, Alexander Gorlov fled the Soviet Union, immi­grating to America, where he joined the North­eastern fac­ulty in 1976. Gorlov died in June at the age of 85, leaving behind an impres­sive legacy of inven­tion and cre­ativity, including a tur­bine that gar­nered him inter­na­tional acclaim.