Life Sciences

Social bacteria build shelters using the physics of fingerprint patterns
Nov. 23, 2020
Written by Catherine Zandonella, Office of the Dean for Research

Forest-dwelling bacteria known for forming slimy swarms that prey on other microbes can also cooperate to construct mushroom-like survival shelters known as fruiting bodies when food is scarce. Now a team at Princeton University has discovered the physics behind how these rod-shaped bacteria, which align…

Princeton and Mpala scholars link obesity and disease to dramatic dietary changes
Oct. 21, 2020
Written by Liz Fuller-Wright, Office of Communications

Are obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular illnesses and more the result of a “mismatch” between the meals we eat and the foods our bodies are prepared for?

The “mismatch hypothesis” argues that each of our bodies has evolved and adapted to digest the foods that our ancestors ate, and that human bodies will struggle and largely fail to…

Professor Betsy Levy Paluck and librarian Meghan Testerman awarded Data-Driven Social Science Initiative Grant to fund open database of prejudice reduction studies
Sept. 20, 2020
Written by Meghan Testerman, Behavioral Sciences Librarian with Office of Library Communications

Professor of psychology and public affairs Betsy Levy Paluck and behavioral sciences librarian Meghan Testerman were recently awarded Princeton’s Data-Driven Social Science Initiative (DDSSI) Grant for their joint proposal, “Prejudice Reduction: Creating an Open Repository of ‘What Works’ from Experimental Research.” 

A decade ago,…

Study investigates potential for gut microbiome to alter drug safety and efficacy
June 10, 2020
Written by Catherine Zandonella, Office of the Dean for Research

Researchers at Princeton University have developed a systematic approach for evaluating how the microbial community in our intestines can chemically transform, or metabolize, oral medications in ways that impact their safety and efficacy. The new methodology provides a more complete picture of how gut bacteria metabolize drugs, and could aid…

Princeton team develops ‘poisoned arrow’ to defeat antibiotic-resistant bacteria
June 3, 2020
Written by Liz Fuller-Wright, Office of Communications

Poison is lethal all on its own — as are arrows — but their combination is greater than the sum of their parts. A weapon that simultaneously attacks from within and without can take down even the strongest opponents, from E. coli to MRSA (methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus).

A team of Princeton…

Gene flow between species influences evolution in Darwin’s finches
May 7, 2020
Written by The Office of Communications

Despite the traditional view that species do not exchange genes by hybridization, a new study led by Princeton ecologists Peter and Rosemary Grant show that gene flow between closely related species is more common than previously thought. 

A team of scientists from Princeton University and Uppsala University detail their findings of…

Loners help society survive, say Princeton ecologists
March 27, 2020
Written by Liz Fuller-Wright, Office of Communications

It isn’t easy being a loner — someone who resists the pull of the crowd, who marches to their own drummer.

But loners exist across the natural world, and they might just serve a purpose, said Corina Tarnita, an associate professor of

Donia wins Moore Foundation award for aquatic symbiosis research
March 11, 2020
Written by Liz Fuller-Wright, Office of Communications

Mohamed Abou Donia is one of 15 recipients of an award from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation as part of the Symbiosis in Aquatic Systems Initiative

Researchers identify factors essential for chronic hepatitis B infection
March 10, 2020
Written by Department of Molecular Biology

A study published in the journal Nature Microbiology identified factors that the hepatitis B virus uses when establishing long-term infection in the liver. The findings could help lead to treatment strategies for chronic HBV infection, a condition that increases the risk of developing liver cancer and is responsible for almost 900,000 deaths…

Bassler receives Gruber Genetics Prize for discoveries on how bacteria communicate
Feb. 7, 2020
Written by Princeton University

Princeton geneticist Bonnie Bassler will receive the 2020 Gruber Genetics Prize for her pioneering work on how bacteria communicate with each other. In learning about the process of intercellular bacterial…