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Media source: Cornell Research

Two red shacks on log platforms in a bay

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Designed for rural living

Small communities struggle with infrastructure ill-suited to rural life. Phoebe Sengers is improving design processes for better outcomes.
Person gesturing at a projection on a wall

Article

Latin America—Party Systems and Inequality

When citizens take the law into their own hands, what’s behind this behavior? Observing such a mob scene drove Vincent Mauro to study the question.
Pattern of six-sided shapes in oranges, yellows and black

Article

Electrons in a Strange Metal World

Why do electrons in high-temperature superconductors behave the way they do? A quantum explanation could have planetary payoffs.
Hand reaching for blueberries

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Philosophy on Main Street

Shaun Nichols, professor of philosophy and director of the cognitive science major in the College of Arts and Sciences, compares high-minded philosophical systems to the ways people approach everyday problems. Like picking wild blueberries.
Christine Bacareza Balance

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Filipino Performance Culture

Christine Bacareza Balance explores the rich milieu of the arts and of sensational politics in Filipino culture and history.
Two people study at a table, seen from above

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A Big Red Undergraduate Journal

Victoria Alkin gathered a team of students and supporters to create CURJ, a publication dedicated to research by Cornell undergraduates.
drawing of exoplanet

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Peering through alien atmospheres

Jonathan Barrientos is exploring the possibility of life on Earth-like planets beyond our solar system, called exoplanets.
Illustration of a telescope in space

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Glowing Planets and Chemical Fingerprints

Nikole Lewis will be one of the first to characterize distant exoplanets using infrared data from the newly launched James Webb Space Telescope.
Golden DNA double helix

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DNA Shredder for Gene Therapy

Ailong Ke explores the naturally occurring CRISPR-Cas3 system and its potential to treat human disease at the genetic level.
solar panel

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Transforming solar energy with solution-processed materials

Thin-film solar cells made from solution-processed crystalline materials are promising alternatives to silicon wafers, the core component that converts light into electricity in most solar panels today.
pixelated image of grey and blue texture

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New superconducting interfaces for quantum technologies

Potential applications of this research include high-performance topological quantum computers, quantum information processing, high-sensitivity sensors, and perfect spin filters.
Gloved hand holding a test tube in a lab

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Molecular Engines for Drug Synthesis

Doctoral student Sophie Bender modifies enzymes—complex, machine-like biomolecules—to create precision tools for difficult chemical reactions.
Child holding toy camera

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WARNING: Parents on Social Media

A study of "sharenting" for a Spring 2020 interdisciplinary class project changed the academic trajectories of three Cornell undergrads.
Ezinwa Osuoha

Article

A Corallary to War

Did racism and a fractured political landscape make the United States more vulnerable to COVID-19? Undergraduate researcher and McNair Scholar Ezinwa Osuoha '22 compares disease outbreaks in different nations.
Stone fireplace, lively flames

Article

Smell and situation, entangled in our brains

With an award from the National Institutes of Health, a team of Arts & Sciences researchers is investigating neurological links between smell and context—like location.
Colored oblong cells against a black background

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Mapping RNA Regulation in Human Immune Cells

With an award from the National Institutes of Health, Hojoong Kwak, molecular biology and genetics, will research mechanisms that regulate gene expression.
Michelle Wang

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Forces That Drive the DNA Highway

Motor proteins carry out vital biological processes as they travel along our DNA strands. Michelle Wang investigates the mysteries of how they move.
Glass beaker

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Highly Selective, Energy-Efficient Chemical Separations

With a CAREER award, Phillip J. Milner, Chemistry and Chemical Biology, is developing sponge-like crystalline materials known as metal-organic frameworks (MOF).
rat

Article

Looking for love, finding TNT

African pouched rats have an extraordinary talent for finding land mines. Alexander Ophir explores why they are so good at detecting explosives.
root

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Tiny spores full of promise

Eileen Tzng, an undergraduate in the Pawlowska lab, is intent on understanding the relationship between fungal spores and the bacteria they harbor.
Kyle Shen

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Engineering novel hybrid superconductors

The Shen lab leverages unique experimental capabilities to detect and investigate systems in which superconductivity may be fragile or exist only at surfaces or interfaces.
Alex Townsend

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Computing with rational functions

Rational functions are a mainstay of computational mathematics. As a result of recent breakthroughs, however, rational functions are now poised to become a central computational mathematics tool
Blue oblong shapes (bacteria magnified)

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Moonlighting proteins

Brianna Johnson ’21, who has had her own battles with diseases caused by microscopic organisms, found a passion for trying to understand their impacts and intricacies through biological sciences research.
Books in a display case; colored cloth background

Article

There’s no syllabus for this

Supporting community-engaged learning at Cornell, Amber Haywood ’21 found a way to put her values into action.
Cells

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The vast machineries of gene regulation

Scientists had a hazy picture of the machinery that turns genes on and off. Franklin Pugh developed a sharp close-up that could change medicine.
Sky full of stars, time lapse, over palm trees

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DJs, Linnaeus, and Plantation History

Professor Tao Leigh Goffe works at the intersection of environmental humanities, science, and technology. As a researcher, writer, and DJ, she is especially interested in histories of imperialism, migration, and globalization.
hand holding fork with food on it

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The biology of hunger

Nilay Yapici, Nancy and Peter Meinig Family Investigator in the Life Sciences and assistant professor of neurobiology and behavior, investigates the mysterious brain-body connections that regulate eating behavior.
Book cover: The Practice of Citizenship

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Black activism and early American media

Studying Black Americans’ use of print media in the nineteenth century, Derrick Spires finds parallels with modern social movements.
model of a molecule

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Taming fluorine: New nano materials for drug synthesis

With support from the National Institutes of Health, Phillip J. Milner, Chemistry and Chemical Biology, is developing metal-organic frameworks—a class of porous, crystalline nanomaterials—that can stabilize volatile fluorine-containing reagents.
Lines of giant ceramic jars sunken into the earth

Article

The Emperor’s Closet—Power and Storage

Astrid Van Oyen, a classical archaeologist and assistant professor in the department of classics, explores Rome’s tumultuous transition from republic to empire through everyday objects—namely storage systems— in her recent book.
Mukoma Wa Ngugi

Article

Africans, African Americans, and the History of Slavery

In his poetry, fiction and essays, and Mukoma Wa Ngugi, associate professor of English, asks why tensions endure between Africans and African Americans despite a history of common political struggle. In this Cornell Research article, he talks about his first encounters with what it meant to be Black in the United States——in his father’s library in Kenya, reading James Baldwin and Richard Wright and issues of Ebony and Jet.

Noliwe Rooks

Article

Investigating the Lived Experience

Noliwe M. Rooks, the W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of Literature in Africana Studies and the American Studies Program, knows that the lived experience can be the spark that leads to scientific insight and award-winning scholarly writing.

Image of blue lines representing data

Article

Data-Driven Exploration of Dynamic Biological Processes

Tackling challenges in understanding biological processes require sophisticated dimension-reduction techniques that are biologically meaningful, computationally efficient, and allow uncertainty quantification, says a

People sitting on a hillside

Article

Through wind and dust

"There is something cathartic about smashing rocks on a hillside, miles away from civilization, in pursuit of fossils. Each swing of the hand-pick uncovers part of a mystery. A crack forms, then deepens, and suddenly the rock splits open—to reveal a fossil or reveal nothing. A fossil is set aside. An empty rock is tossed down the hillside. The process repeats—onto the next rock."

An overflowing garbage dumpster

Article

Sustainable Plastics

Petroleum-based polymers offer unique strength and versatility. They provide materials for affordable packaging, adhesives, building materials, computer components, and sporting and safety equipment. Durable and stable, these polymers accumulate in the environment. The creation of new plastics that can meet consumer demands without negative ecological and human health consequences is of paramount importance for global society.

Justin J. Wilson

Article

Expanding bone cancer therapy radium-223 for other cancers

Radium-223 is highly effective for treating bone metastases in patients with castration-resistant prostate cancers. Despite the therapeutic potential of radium-223, its current formulation approved by the Food and Drug Administration is effective only for patients with bone metastases. Justin J.

Thomas Hartman

Article

An Exciting Mysterious World—Spacetime

Thomas Hartman, assistant professor of physics, studies high-energy theoretical physics. His goal, he explains in this article in Cornell Research, is to bring to light the fundamental properties of nature, which derive from the subatomic world of quantum physics.

Illustration of subatomic quantum matter

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Understanding Quantum Matter Data

Eun-Ah Kim, professor of physics, has received a $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to create new data science approaches to meet the data-driven challenges of strongly correlated quantum matter (SCQM), Cornell Research reports. This project, undertaken with Kilian Q.

Sand dune under a blue sky

Article

The Ordered Patterns of Chance

Mathematician Lionel Levine researches the abelian sandpile—a mathmatical model that captures aspects of the real world but with simpler rules; in this Cornell Research article, Levine calls it a "toy universe."

Jonathan D. Culler

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The Magic of Poetry

Jonathan D. Culler, the Class of 1916 Professor of English and Comparative Literature, wants to restore the magic of literary text for ordinary readers.

Weill Cornell building

Article

Post-kidney Transplant diagnostics

Jonathon Han '21 spent his summer with nephrology patients at Weill Cornell Medical Center working to improve the diagnosis of post-transplant kidney-related diagnostics. He is profiled in a recent Cornell Research story.

Person using phone and laptop.

Article

The power of social connections

How do lobbyists influence congress, and how do we estimate the reach of social networks?
Mother and son placing food into an oven.

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How the brain controls food intake

In this Cornell Research article, Nilay Yapici shares her genetic model organism and its use in understanding food perception and fo

Malte Ziewitz, assistant professor of science and technology studies

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How citizens are affected by algorithmic systems

Assistant Professor and Mills Family Faculty Fellow Malte Ziewitz studies the changing role of governance and regulation in, of, and through digitally networked environments – the dynamics at work, the values at stake, the design options at hand. 

Frog

Article

Frogs, under attack by a lethal pathogen

Goldwin Smith Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Kelly R. Zamudio studies amphibians, especially frogs, combining field work and observation of behavior with genetics and genomics to glimpse the genetic processes underlying species traits. Recently her lab has turned that expertise to studying two virulent fungi of the genus Batrachochytrium, commonly called chytrids, that affect frogs and salamanders.

Justin Wilson

Article

Foiling cancer aggression with nontoxic metals

Justin J. Wilson, a professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, is expanding on existing chemotherapeutic treatments by investigating the biomedical application potentials of other heavy transition metals, particularly compounds of the element rhenium, in order to develop a more targeted approach to halting cancerous cell division.
Molecules

Article

Anticancer agents in regulation of metabolites

New anticancer agents are in great demand due to the heterogeneous nature of cancer and the development of resistance to existing drugs.

Helena Viramontes

Article

Prof studies forgotten communities through literature

Helena Viramontes focuses her lens on the Latino experience in the United States.
Jordan Garcia

Article

A Student’s Research Trek—with Salamanders

For most biology students, the conventional pathway toward initiating research entails pursuing questions in a research field in which they’re interested. Jordan Garcia, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, however, arrived at the subject of his PhD dissertation in a decidedly antithetical manner—by pursuing the field he found most pertinent to the questions about which he was curious.
alkali metal illustration

Article

Professor awarded grant for alkali metal research

Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology David B Collum's lab recently received a $2.79m grant from the National Institutes of Health to fund his research on alkali metals reactivity and selectivity. These metals play a vital role in academic and industiral laboratories' development of medical compounds.
Brain cross section

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Do I know you? Where have we met?

Associate Professor of Psychology, David Smith's research aimed at understanding how the brain stores information has implications ranging from recognizing teachers in the grocery store to neurodegenerative diseases.
galactic nuclei

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Stars and population stats

Cornell Research's newest enstallment of academician features takes a look at Astronomy research associate Thomas Nikola, and Developmental Sociology research assistant and lecturuer Sarah C Giroux. Both faculty incorporate active research studies in evolving fields into their teaching, bringing academic excellence to their fields.

Article

Deploying population genetics

The research of Charles Aquadro, professor of molecular biology and genetics and director of the Cornell Center for Comparative and Population Genomics, is featured in this Cornell Research story.

A population geneticist, Aquadro looks at changes in genetic variability in populations over time and space. 

Inna Zakharevich

Article

Geometric Cut-and-Paste Problems

A common approach to problem-solving is to split a problem into smaller sub-problems, solve each of the smaller problems, and assemble the answers into a solution to the original problem. This last step is often very difficult, as there are multiple ways of gluing the pieces of the solution together. The mathematical area of K-theory studies the different ways of putting such solutions back together, as well as the relations behind differently-assembled pieces. 

c elegans nematode

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What a transparent worm can reveal

This Cornell Research story focuses on the work of Jun "Kelly" Liu, professor of molecular biology and genetics, whose lab uses c. elegans nematodes to explore questions that improve the general understanding of developmental processes, stem cell biology and cellular reprogramming, and fundamental mechanisms involved in cell-cell signaling. 

NGC4945

Article

Telescopes to help decode the cosmos

As humans, we have an insatiable desire to understand the cosmos and our place in it. How did the universe begin and how did it evolve? What is the nature of dark matter and dark energy? How will it all end? “These are the most fundamental questions one can ask,” says Steve Kang Hoon Choi, Cornell Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow. “If we believe greater knowledge betters our lives, then this is what drives us to study the cosmos.”
Jessica Zarkin

Article

Whose work is it? The military or the police?

Jessica Zarkin studies the effects of violence on citizens’ perceptions and behavior in Latin America. A comparative politics PhD student in Government, Zarkin is trying to understand the connection between state institutions and citizens. Her focus is on security.
nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

Article

Bone morphogenetic protein signaling and disease origins

The research of Jun Liu, professor of molecular biology and genetics, is featured in this Cornell Research website story.

Liu studies the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling pathway, which plays critical roles in multiple developmental and homeostatic processes. Malfunction of this pathway can cause various disorders, including cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

Edmundo Paz-Soldan

Article

Let the novel speak

This Cornell Research profile explores the work of Edmundo Paz-Soldán, professor of Spanish literature in the Department of Romance Studies.

The story says that Paz-Soldán initially shied away from devoting his life to literature.

Hendryck A. Gellineau

Article

Meeting the power of chemistry

When 17-year-old Hendryck A. Gellineau applied to Cornell in 2014, he believed that having a strong understanding of biology would prepare him for medical school. Gellineau is one of the students featured in this Cornell Research story. He was also interested in drug development research and didn’t know what would help prepare him for it.

Isabel Hull

Article

Permissible war

How do nations decide when to go to war? What are the rules that govern when it is permissible to resort to war under international law? This Cornell Research profile of History Professor Isabel Hull explores her research into situations when war has been deemed permissible, specifically at what history tells us—the period 1814 to 1914 and the criteria known as jus ad bellum.

Vivekinan L. Ashok

Article

Interpreting public opinion

Vivekinan L. Ashok, a Cornell Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow, is working with Peter K. Enns, associate professor of government, and other Cornell researchers, including Suzanne Mettler,The John L.

Lipid

Article

The mysterious lipid signal

With this CAREER award, Jeremy M. Baskin, Chemistry and Chemical Biology, is developing chemical probes to study the phosphatidic acid-mediated signaling pathways that are vital to human health and wellbeing. Baskin’s group is using chemical and biochemical tools to report on and control phosphatidic acid synthesis and to study an important signaling pathway thought to be under the control of this lipid.
Peter Enns speaks at a podium

Article

Big data on political and economic will

Massive data now help us understand the effects of mass incarceration, how money controls what politicians say, and what influences political agendas.
Aditya Bhardwaj

Article

A summer research experience in India

Aditya Bhardwaj '20 spent his summer interning at a law firm in India, which sealed his decision to pursue career in law after graduation.His experience not only sealed his decision but gave him a much more thorough understanding of some of the practical elements of a law firm's operations. 

Erin S. Stache

Article

Plastics, Can’t Get Away from Using Them

If plastics are a mainstay of our lives—even with the negative impact on the environment and our health—new techniques for making them are paramount.

Article

Revisiting the Time of J.S. Bach

This Cornell Research story focuses on Bach scholar and accomplished organist/pianist, David Yearsley, who is exploring not only Bach’s music but also the music of Bach’s wife and their world.

Article

Catalysis—Focusing in to see the action

This Cornell Research story focuses on the work of Rong Ye,  one of the first Cornell Presidential Postdoctoral Fellows, who is working in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology.

Article

Bacteria and Their Hosts, Good Companions

This Cornell Research story focues on the work of Chih-chun Lin, Cornell Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow in the in the lab of Andrew G. Clark, professor of molecular biology and genetics.

Article

Unheard Voices, Made Known and Amplified

When Carole Boyce Davies, professor of Africana studies and English, first began studying African and African diaspora literature and culture, the field was dominated by male scholars and writers—both as teachers and subjects of study, according to this story on the Cornell Resarch website. Boyce Davies arrived at just the right moment to make significant contributions.

Stage at the Schwartz Center

Article

At the Heart of Humanity

For many people, theater is pure entertainment, the chance to experience some great acting or to enjoy the glitz of an extravagant production. But beneath the surface, there is another aspect to the art, one that Bruce A. Levitt and Beth F. Milles, professor and associate professor, respectively, in performing and media arts, address.

Umbutu: Interconnected, Looking Forward

Article

Umbutu: Interconnected, Looking Forward

“The world we have is a world created by humans,” says N’Dri T. Assié-Lumumba, professor of Africana Studies and Research. “So we have the capacity to create another world, to imagine that world, and to work toward it. That is the passion that guides my work.”

Image from Cornell University College of Arts and Sciences

Article

The Joy of Research

Madisen Swallow '18 says her research experience introduced her to many on-campus opportunities.
Flying Insect

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Insect Flight -- Still a Mystery

The flight capabilities of insects are nature’s solution to locomotion in air, according to Z. Jane Wang, Physics, and there are general principles of locomotion and evolution we can learn from them.

Article

A journey to Cornell for creative writing

This Cornell Research story focuses on Nneoma Ike-Njoku, a first-year MFA student in creative writing, who hails fr

Siu Sylvia Lee

Article

To stay young and disease-free longer

Lecturer Siu Sylvia Lee of the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics is conducting research on aging.
Ravi Kanbur

Article

Forms of imbalance in our world

Two major issues face humanity: justice between the generations, and justice within the current generation, according to Ravi Kanbur, Applied Economics and Management.

Article

Congressional oversight, faltering?

Although graduate student Claire Leavitt has always held a keen interest in politics, it was only toward the end of her undergraduate degree that she began envisioning a career in the sector.

Article

What is Metaphysics?

Metaphysics includes big, abstract questions about the nature of reality that can’t be fully answered or investigated empirically: questions about whether or not we have free will and the nature of consciousness; about how objects or people persist through time. Are we the same people as we were as babies? Is a table the same if you inscribe your name into its surface? And what about causation, which is so central to our thinking, on what terms does one event cause another? 

Faculty member

Article

Witches, Zombies, and Cli-Fi Mysteries

While a master’s student at SUNY Buffalo, Kristen Angierski '12 discovered her passion for eco-criticism—literary criticism that takes the natural world into account. This, paired with her love of animals and environmental politics, inspired her to pursue doctoral study in the environmental humanities.

Vivian Zayas

Article

The Influence of Relationships

“Our relationships are a source of joy and comfort, but they also bring a lot of pain,” says Vivian Zayas, associate professor of Psychology.

Author in outdoor setting

Article

Social Connectedness and Stress

Exposure to stressors can profoundly influence how individuals cope with future challenges, sometimes priming them for future stress and sometimes debilitating them. While social connectedness has emerged as a key predictor of the psychophysiological impact of stress, it's very difficult to test in a lab setting. 

Researcher in library

Article

Intriguing Human Behavior

Imagine you are watching an NBA basketball game, and you are asked to bet on the outcome of the game. Are you likely to put your money on the team with the player who appears to be unstoppable- the one who just made his last three shots and is just about to shoot again? What if that same player goes for the shot and misses, but the referee mistakenly calls a foul when there was none and allows the player a free throw. Would you expect the player to make the shot?

Mary Beth Norton in hallway

Article

It was the Year, 1774

"While other historical works on the revolution tend to skip over the year 1774," says Mary Beth Norton, "noboday has ever paused to look seriously at the events of the year 1774, to see how the American population, which previously has been quite united in opposition to Britain, divides over various issues."

Matthew Church

Article

How a Theorist Thinks

Matthew Church, a PhD student in chemistry and chemical biology, confesses in this Cornell Research story that he came to Cornell because he fell 

Kyle Lancaster

Article

Passionate explorers - a chemistry story

In the middle of the periodic table of elements, on the block that bridges the two jutting sides, is a series of elements known as transition metals. The electronic composition of transition metals makes them great catalysts for some of earth’s most life-enabling reactions. They mediate key reactions, for example, in photosynthesis and help convert nitrogen in the atmosphere so it can be used as a nutrient to sustain life.

Michael Macy

Article

The Cultures of Liberals and Conservatives