Transforming troublesome seaweed into a feedstock of the future
July 17, 2024
Written by Colton Poore, Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment

Since 2011, enormous seaweed blooms have spread across the Atlantic Ocean, spanning over 5,000 miles from West Africa to the Gulf of Mexico.

Known as the Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt, the leviathan — visible from space — has wreaked havoc on environments and economies throughout the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico, where unprecedented…

‘A history of contact’: Princeton geneticists are rewriting the narrative of Neanderthals and other ancient humans
July 12, 2024
Written by Liz Fuller-Wright, Office of Communications

Ever since the first Neanderthal bones were discovered, people have wondered about these ancient hominins. How are they different from us? How much are they like us? Did our ancestors get along with them? Fight them? Love them? The recent discovery of a group called Denisovans, a Neanderthal-like group who populated Asia and Oceania, added its…

Better mixing leads to faster reactions for key chemicals
July 10, 2024
Written by Scott Lyon, Office of Engineering Communications

Pouring cream into coffee creates a show of eddies that rivals Jupiter’s roiling storms. But one clank of the spoon collapses all that black and tan chaos into a smooth, uniform brown.

It turns out there’s a lot to that mixing. For one thing, industries rely on robust mixing processes to make all kinds of material goods…

Myhrvold lab: Finding what ails thee - a new technology for fast, easy diagnosis of viral infections
June 18, 2024
Written by by Caitlin Sedwick for the Department of Molecular Biology

Imagine it’s flu season, and that tickle in the back of your throat has turned into symptoms bad enough to drive you to visit your doctor. Your physician would ideally run some tests to diagnose what pathogen is afflicting you, but unless they are at a large hospital, they may not have access to the complicated, costly tests they need. That’s…

Moore Foundation Grant will fund development of microscope to zoom in on molecules within cells
Nov. 30, 2023
Written by Wendy Plump, Department of Chemistry

In a funding venture that could be transformational for imaging single molecules within a cell, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has awarded a $3.4M grant to a collaboration between Princeton’s Departments of Chemistry and Molecular Biology.

The four-year grant supports the development of a new microscope that will enable researchers…

How eavesdropping viruses battle it out to infect us
July 26, 2023
Written by Liz Fuller-Wright, Office of Communications

Viruses, like movie villains, operate in one of two ways: chill or kill.

They can lie low, quietly infiltrating the body’s defenses, or go on the attack, making many copies of themselves that explode out of hiding and fire in all directions. Viral attacks are almost always suicide missions, ripping apart the cell that the virus has been…

Major gift from Gilbert Omenn ’61 and Martha Darling *70 names bioengineering institute
July 18, 2023
Written by Advancement Communications

Alumni Gilbert Omenn ’61 and Martha Darling *70 have made a transformational gift, as part of the Venture Forward campaign, to name a new bioengineering institute at Princeton University. The Omenn-Darling Bioengineering Institute will promote new directions in research, education and innovation at the intersection of engineering and the life…

Illuminating chromatin: Muir and MacMillan labs light the way
April 5, 2023
Written by Wendy Plump, Department of Chemistry

Studying the microbiology of any entity, be it a molecule or a dolphin, ideally means putting a spotlight as close to the source material as possible. That can be especially challenging when you’re investigating the Rube Goldberg environment of a cell’s nucleus.

But in research published this week in Nature, Princeton chemists…

Brangwynne wins the Breakthrough Prize for revolutionary view of living cells
Sept. 22, 2022
Written by Scott Lyon, Office of Engineering Communications

Princeton bioengineer Clifford Brangwynne has won the 2023 Breakthrough Prize for Life Sciences, recognizing his contributions to the study of living cells.

Brangwynne’s research has…

More possible entry points for COVID spike protein identified by Princeton scientists
Sept. 21, 2022
Written by Wendy Plump, Department of Chemistry

One of the essential factors the COVID-19 virus needs to enter a host is a receptor on a human cell — a place where the universally recognized spike protein can latch onto the cell surface, pierce it, disgorge its infectious contents, and replicate.

Without a receptor, there is no replication. Without replication, there is no infection…