Life Sciences

How the fruit fly got its stripes: Researchers explore the precision of embryonic development
Jan. 31, 2019
Author
Written by Catherine Zandonella, Office of the Dean for Research

The first moments of life unfold with incredible precision. Now, using mathematical tools and the help of fruit flies, researchers at Princeton have uncovered new findings about the mechanisms behind this precision.

In a new study published in the journal Cell, the…

Habits and history determine if conservation succeeds or fails
Dec. 27, 2018
Author
Written by Morgan Kelly, Princeton Environmental Institute

The ghosts of harvesting past can haunt today's conservation efforts.

The conservation or overharvesting of a resource such as fish, timber or other wildlife often is determined by past habits and decisions related to that resource, according to a study led by researchers at Rutgers and Princeton universities that examined why…

Red wolf DNA found in mysterious Texas canines
Dec. 18, 2018
Author
Written by Liz Fuller-Wright, Office of Communications

Though red wolves were declared extinct in the wild by 1980, a team of biologists has found their DNA in a group of canines living on Galveston Island off the coast of Texas.

“This is a remarkable finding, as red wolves were declared extinct in this region over 35 years ago and remain critically endangered,” said

Hummingbirds dive to dazzle females in a highly synchronized display
Dec. 18, 2018
Author
Written by Princeton University

When it comes to flirting, animals know how to put on a show. In the bird world, males often go to great lengths to attract female attention, like peacocks shaking their tail feathers and manakins performing complex dance moves. These behaviors often stimulate multiple senses, making them hard for biologists to quantify.

Hummingbirds…

Biologists turn eavesdropping viruses into bacterial assassins
Dec. 13, 2018
Author
Written by Liz Fuller-Wright, Office of Communications

Princeton molecular biologist Bonnie Bassler and graduate student Justin Silpe have identified a virus, VP882, that can listen in on bacterial conversations — and then, in a twist like something out of a…

Researchers find a way to peel slimy biofilms like old stickers
Dec. 5, 2018
Author
Written by Adam Hadhazy for the Office of Engineering Communications

Slimy, hard-to-clean bacterial mats called biofilms cause problems ranging from medical infections to clogged drains and fouled industrial equipment. Now, researchers at Princeton have found a way to cleanly and completely peel off these notorious sludges.

By looking at the films from a mechanical engineering perspective, as well as a…

New tools illuminate mechanisms behind overlooked cellular components’ critical roles
Nov. 30, 2018
Author
Written by Adam Hadhazy for the Office of Engineering Communications

Creating new tools that harness light to probe the mysteries of cellular behavior, Princeton researchers have made discoveries about the formation of cellular components called membraneless organelles and the key role these organelles play in cells.

In two papers published Nov. 29 in the journal Cell, researchers from multiple…

Princeton geneticist solves long-standing finch beak mystery
Nov. 19, 2018
Author
Written by Liz Fuller-Wright, Office of Communications

Bridgett vonHoldt is best known for her work with dogs and wolves, so she was surprised when a bird biologist pulled her aside and said, “I really think you can help me solve this problem.” So she turned to a mystery he’d been wrestling with for more than 20 years.

“I love a good…

The arts take center stage in the entrepreneurial spotlight
Nov. 2, 2018
Author
Written by Wright Señeres, Princeton Entrepreneurship Council

At the season premiere of TigerTalks in the City — the Princeton Entrepreneurship Council’s signature panel discussion and networking series — faculty and alumni discussed the behind-the-scenes connection between entrepreneurship and the arts. 

"TigerTalks in the City: Arts…

Bee social or buzz off: Study links genes to social behaviors, including autism
Oct. 18, 2018
Author
Written by Catherine Zandonella, Office of the Dean for Research

Those pesky bees that come buzzing around on a muggy summer day are helping researchers reveal the genes responsible for social behaviors. A new study published this week found that the social lives of sweat bees — named for their attraction to perspiration — are linked to…