Natural Sciences

Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Mark

What is the nature of the universe in which we exist? From subatomic particles to the farthest reaches of the universe, the composition of the earth to the components of individual cells, we seek to answer the universe’s—and life’s—big questions.


Balancing selection may explain genetic variation

A study by James Fry offers strong support for the balancing selection theory by examining how different strains of Drosophila melanogaster handle alcohol.

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Close up of a bed bug.

A clue to wrangling bed bugs

A University research team, led by biology professor Jack Werren has helped map the genome of the common bed bug, an important step toward eliminating the known parasite.

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Ethanol gas pump

A better fuel alternative

A team led by William Jones has developed a series of reactions that results in the selective conversion of ethanol to butanol, without producing unwanted byproducts.

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Left: Kevin McFarland, right: Steven Manly

Physics researchers win Breakthrough Prize

Steven Manly and Kevin McFarland are among the 2016 laureates of the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics. Their team’s work on neutrinos could lead to a new frontier in the study of physical sciences.

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Pedestrians on sidewalk

A most-widely cited patent

David Goldfarb is the sole owner of a popular patent that could one day lead to treatments for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, or even slow down the aging process.

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Ice Sheet

What caused the ice age?

Can the first ice sheets in the Northern Hemisphere tell us more about reverse global warming? Carmala Garzione and John Tarduno aim to find out in a new research project.

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Cat's face with equation

Bell’s Inequality is not the guidepost it was believed to be

Physicists have struggled to find a clear boundary between our everyday world and the quantum world. A new paper co-authored by Joseph Eberly may determine that Bell’s Inequality is not the guidepost to this boundary.

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Magnetic Field Illustration

Earth’s magnetic shield much older than previously thought

The best estimate of the age of Earth’s magnetic field has been 3.45 billion years. John Tarduno’s new data shows it’s 500 million years older.

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Speech Balloons

Thinking alike changes how we speak

A study, co-authored by Florian Jaeger, shows that people with similar views tend to more closely mirror, or align with, each other’s speech patterns.

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Binary System

A close call of .8 light years

Eric Mamajek and his team report that “Scholz’s star” likely passed some 70,000 years ago through our solar system’s distant cloud of comets known as the Oort Cloud.

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Visual Pathways

Imaging the brain’s recovery

A team of neuroscientists and neurosurgeons use a new imaging technique to show how the human brain heals itself following surgical removal of a brain tumor.

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Saturn's Rings

Gigantic ring system larger, heavier than Saturn’s

Astronomer Eric Mamajek and his co-author have discovered that the ring system around the Sun-like star J1407 is of enormous proportions, much larger and heavier than the ring system of Saturn.

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