Science

Arthur Ashkin, May 27, 1947. Photo courtesy Columbia University Archives

Ashkin, 96, is the oldest person ever named a Nobel laureate in any category. His achievement allowed scientists to use pressure from light to manipulate tiny organisms without damaging them, “an old dream of science fiction.”
an artistic rendering of a planet and a moon
New exomoon candidate has been observed around a star some 8,000 light-years away from Earth and is believed to be around the size of Neptune.
Yaniv Erlich holds a framed picture of his father as a teenager

Columbia computer scientist Yaniv Erlich has assembled the world's largest family tree to date. He and his father (pictured as a teenager) are among the 86 million genealogy profiles Erlich and his colleagues drew from in their study. (MyHeritage)

From 86 million genealogy profiles, researchers have amassed the largest, scientifically-vetted family tree to date, which at 13 million people, is slightly bigger than a nation the size of Cuba or Belgium. Published in the journal Science, the new dataset offers fresh insights into the last 500 years of marriage and migration in Europe and North America, and the role of genes in longevity.

Assistant Professor of Astronomy David Kipping has been named a recipient of the prestigious 2018 Sloan Research Fellowship.

Saturated fatty acids build lipids that form ‘frozen islands’ (blue) in cell membrane (green).

Columbia researchers developed a new microscopy technique that allows for the direct tracking of fatty acids after they’ve been absorbed into living cells. What the researchers found could have significant impact on both the understanding and treatment of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Biofilms are multicellular communities formed by densely-packed microbes that are often associated with persistent infections. Steep gradients of nutrients and oxygen form in these crowded structures. The human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa produces molecules called phenazines that help it to cope with the oxygen-limited conditions within biofilms. Columbia researchers have uncovered new roles for proteins of the electron transport chain that implicate them in utilization of phenazines. Illustration by Nicoletta Barolini.

Columbia University biologists have revealed a mechanism by which bacterial cells in crowded, oxygen-deprived environments access oxygen for energy production, ensuring survival of the cell. The finding could explain how some bacteria, such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P.

In Matteo Farinella's rendering of the brain, a forest of neurons spread their branches to the sky and a bright Milky Way of neurons shine down upon them. (Image courtesy of Farinella)

A neuroscientist and cartoonist, Matteo Farinella is a postdoc in Columbia's Presidential Scholars in Society and Neuroscience program. He will moderate a seminar on Monday, Nov. 20, on the role of metaphor in science and education.
In a new essay in Nature, Columbia neuroscientist Rafael Yuste joins more than two dozen researchers in calling for ethical guidelines to cover the evolving use of computer hardware and software to enhance or restore human capabilities.

A debugging tool developed by researchers at Columbia and Lehigh generates real-world test images meant to expose logic errors in deep neural networks. The darkened photo at right tricked one set of neurons into telling the car to turn into the guardrail. After catching the mistake, the tool retrains the network to fix the bug. Image Courtesy of Columbia Engineering

Researchers at Columbia and Lehigh universities have come up with a new approach to self-driving cars and other self-taught systems.

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.

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