Science Digest

An artist's depiction of two neutron stars colliding. (Carnegie Institution for Science)

Astronomers have for the first time witnessed a pair of dead neutron stars colliding, and have confirmed that the heaviest metals in the universe, from gold to platinum, are formed in explosions like this one spotted 130 million light-years away.

Energy harvested from evaporation can cut by half the amount of water lost to natural evaporation, researchers say.  Water-strapped cities with growing populations and energy needs could benefit most, including greater Phoenix, served by the above reservoir and irrigation system fed by the Colorado River. (Central Arizona Project)

In the first evaluation of evaporation as a renewable energy source, researchers at Columbia University find that U.S. lakes and reservoirs could generate 325 gigawatts of power, nearly 70 percent of what the United States currently produces.

Ivaylo Ivanov is studying how commensal bacteria (green) interact with intestinal tissues (pink) to activate immune cells in the gut to fight infection. Image courtesy of Ivanov.

Ivaylo Ivanov, an immunologist at Columbia who studies the role of intestinal bacteria in the body’s immune response, in collaboration with Caltech researcher Pamela Bjorkman, has received a two-year, $200,000 Innovation Fund award from the Pew Charitable Trusts. The grant will fund Ivanov’s ongoing research with Bjorkman.

Photo courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

A new study suggests that a prediction explaining the unusual brightness of some astronomical explosions, first developed by Columbia astronomers and physicists, is correct.
Nikolaus Kriegeskorte at Columbia's Zuckerman Institute organized a three-day conference that starts brings together cognitive scientists, neuroscientists and computer scientists. Kriegeskorte spoke with us about the event and his research.
In a study analyzing the genomes of 210,000 people in the United States and Britain, Columbia researchers find that the genetic variants linked to Alzheimer’s disease and heavy smoking are less frequent in people with longer lifespans, suggesting that natural selection is weeding out these unfavorable variants in both populations.
2009 solar eclipse image by NASA JAXA

Image Courtesy of NASA/JAXA

On August 21, millions of people along a path stretching from Oregon to South Carolina will bear witness as the moon slips over the entire face of the sun, obscuring its light and allowing only the glow of its outer atmosphere to mark its place in the sky.
Sebastian Will, assistant professor of physics, and a team of researchers at MIT have taken an important step toward the long-sought goal of a quantum computer, which in theory should be capable of vastly faster computations than conventional computers for certain kinds of problems.
A portrait shot of Andrew Millis
Columbia University Physics Professor Andrew Millis has been named the 2017 recipient of the Hamburg Prize for Theoretical Physics for his groundbreaking research on the electronic properties of correlated materials.
Amelia Wolf walking through a field of flowers and a mountain scenery behind her.

Amelia Wolf in the California field she used to study what effect diversity loss would have on the remaining plants.

Gardeners and nature lovers have noticed that plants are flowering earlier every year—a phenomenon generally attributed to climate change.

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