Harvard News

How do tiny termites make such massive mounds?

How do tiny termites make such massive mounds?

February 12, 2019

Termite construction projects have no architects, engineers, or foremen, yet these centimeter-sized insects build complex, long-standing, meter-sized structures all over the world. How they do it has long puzzled scientists.

Now, researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology have developed a simple model that shows how external environmental factors, such as daytime temperature variations, cause internal flows in...

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Martha Whitehead of Queen’s University chosen to lead the Harvard Library

February 12, 2019

Martha Whitehead, who has led the library at Queen’s University in Ontario, has been named to lead Harvard Library, the largest academic library in the world and the nation’s oldest.

Whitehead had been Queen’s University librarian since 2011 and vice provost since 2014.

“I’m delighted that Martha will be leading the Harvard Library,” said Provost Alan Garber. “The library is one of Harvard’s greatest jewels. Martha recognizes that it is a uniquely valuable resource to our...

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Findings from Government Department’s climate survey

February 11, 2019

The Harvard Government Department’s Climate Change Committee, formed in March last year in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations, has released its climate survey report. Within the 100-plus-page document, the survey, released Feb. 6, asked faculty, students, and staff for feedback in examining the department’s culture and making recommendations to create a more inclusive environment. 

Committee chair Steven R. Levitsky and subcommittee inclusive...

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Interaction between immune factors triggers cancer-promoting chronic inflammation

February 11, 2019

A Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) research team has identified interaction between two elements of the immune system as critical for the transformation of a protective immune response into chronic, cancer-promoting inflammation.

In their report published in PNAS, the investigators demonstrate that elevated levels of the immune factor IL-33 and regulatory T cells (Tregs), which suppress the action of tumor-fighting immune cells, set the stage for the development of skin cancer associated with chronic dermatitis and colorectal cancer in patients with colitis.

“Our research has...

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Milo Ventimiglia is feted (and roasted) at Harvard

Milo Ventimiglia is feted (and roasted) at Harvard

February 8, 2019

From bad boy to America’s TV dad, Milo Ventimiglia can now add Hasty Pudding Theatricals’ 2019 Man of the Year to his credentials.

Ventimiglia, who gained international recognition for his role as teen heartthrob Jess Mariano on the television series “Gilmore Girls,” visited Harvard to add his name to the wall at Farkas Hall and accept his pudding pot in a day of festivities that included a celebratory roast at the hall.

“This is great,” Ventimiglia said as he walked into Farkas Hall, the home of Hasty Pudding’s annual show, wearing a long coat and heavy black boots.

...

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Harvard photographer shows stillness in motion

Harvard photographer shows stillness in motion

February 8, 2019

Running, boarding, biking, shuffling (with ice underfoot) … always on the go until something slows us down. It could be the beauty of freshly fallen snow, a meditation class, or a pause in a rigorous workout. Oft forgotten unless it is purposely part of our daily routine. In yoga, we learn the practice of holding the breath. Kumbhaka is encouraged because it is believed to strengthen the diaphragm, restore energy, and cleanse the respiratory system. As assignments pile up and deadlines loom, let’s not forget to slow down, pause for the stillness, and experience Kumbhaka ...

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Harvard study captures clear picture of how evolution works in vertebrates

Harvard study captures clear picture of how evolution works in vertebrates

February 8, 2019

What happens when you put together several tons of steel plates, hundreds of mice, and a few evolutionary and molecular biologists in a rural location? You get one of the most complete pictures of vertebrate evolution. 

Led by Hopi Hoekstra, professor of organismic and evolutionary biology and molecular and cellular biology, an international team of researchers conducted a years-long study in which hundreds of mice were released into massive, custom-built outdoor enclosures to...

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President Bacow shares his vision for the future of higher ed

February 7, 2019

On one of his first trips as president of Harvard, Larry Bacow traveled to Washington, D.C., in July 2018, and there signaled that he would be a steadfast advocate for higher education.

On Thursday, Bacow was back in the nation’s capital, reaffirming his support for colleges and universities and his belief that they can help change the world, despite fears that Americans are increasingly questioning the value of a college degree.

During a panel...

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Cancer researchers come to Harvard to share findings, launch center for early detection

Cancer researchers come to Harvard to share findings, launch center for early detection

February 5, 2019

Amid alarming projections that global cancer rates will skyrocket, researchers from around the country gathered at Harvard on Monday to share their latest findings and to launch a center whose aim is to boost early detection and prevention.

By 2040, deaths due to cancer are expected to rise 60 percent in the U.S., 79 percent in China, and 106 percent in sub-Saharan Africa, according to Timothy Rebbeck, Vincent L. Gregory Jr. Professor of Cancer Prevention at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of...

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