Life Sciences

  • Researchers reverse engineer the 'fireworks of life'

    Monday, Aug 5, 2019
    by Liz Fuller-Wright, Office of Communications

    Imagine standing in a lumberyard and being asked to build a house — without blueprints or instructions of any kind. The materials are all in front of you, but that doesn’t mean you have the first idea how to get from point A to point B.

    That was the situation facing the Princeton biologists who are building microtubules, the skeleton of the cell, from scratch.

  • Sea slugs use algae's bacterial ‘weapons factory’ in three-way symbiotic relationship

    Thursday, Jun 27, 2019
    by Catherine Zandonella, Office of the Dean for Research

    Delicate yet voracious, the sea slug Elysia rufescens grazes cow-like on bright green tufts of algae, rooting around to find the choicest bits.

    But this inch-long marine mollusk gains not only a tasty meal — it also slurps up the algae's defensive chemicals, which the slug can then deploy against its own predators.

  • How do new predators change an ecosystem? Watch the prey, say Princeton researchers

    Monday, Jun 10, 2019
    by Liz Fuller-Wright, Office of Communications

    Invading predators can devastate an ecosystem. In fact, a leading cause of extinction is the introduction of predators into an isolated system like an island or a lake. The destruction is usually blamed on the predator’s eating choices, but sometimes the key lies in the prey animals’ responses, according to an international team of researchers led by Princeton’s Robert Pringle.

  • Princeton researchers discover link between circadian clock and fat metabolism

    Thursday, May 30, 2019
    by The Department of Molecular Biology

    The enzyme Nocturnin, which governs daily tasks such as fat metabolism and energy usage, works in an entirely different way than previously thought, reported a team of researchers at Princeton University.

    The newly discovered mechanism reveals the molecular link between the enzyme's daily fluctuations and its energy-regulating role in the body, according to a study published this week in Nature Communications.  

  • Four Princeton professors elected to National Academy of Sciences

    Wednesday, May 1, 2019
    by Princeton University

    The National Academy of Sciences has elected four Princeton faculty members to join its ranks. They are among 100 new members and 25 foreign associates who were selected in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Those elected bring the total number of active members to 2,347 and the total number of foreign associates to 487. Foreign associates are nonvoting members of the academy, with citizenship outside the United States.

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