Research

Groundbreaking work and published results in peer reviewed journals across disciplines.

Title

Topic

  • Changing culture to combat climate change

    As climate change continues unabated, Sara Constantino, et al., describe numerous ways in which changes to cultural expectations and social norms have the potential to promote climate action. The authors “synthesize literature on social-norm influence, measurement, and change from the perspectives of psychology, anthropology, sociology, and economics.” See the full list of authors and read their research paper, “Scaling Up Change: A Critical Review and Practical Guide to Harnessing Social Norms for Climate Action,” in Psychological Science in the Public Interest.

    Learn more

    , ,
  • ‘Neuronal temperature perception induces specific defenses that enable C. elegans to cope with… hydrogen peroxide’

    “Hydrogen peroxide is the most common reactive chemical that organisms face on the microbial battlefield. The rate with which hydrogen peroxide damages biomolecules required for life increases with temperature, yet little is known about how organisms cope with this temperature-dependent threat. Here, we show that Caenorhabditis elegans nematodes use temperature information perceived by sensory neurons to cope with the temperature-dependent threat of hydrogen peroxide. … This is the first example of a multicellular organism inducing their defenses to a chemical when they sense an inherent enhancer of the reactivity of that chemical.” Find the paper and the full list of authors at ELife…

    Learn more

  • For nonprofit hospitals, customers expect more than core services

    , ,

    When corporations increase “social responsibility” activities, customers should show increased appreciation for those companies—but this isn’t always the case. The authors of “The Value of Core and Noncore Activity Fit for Corporate Social Responsibility: An Expectation-Based Study of Nonprofit Hospitals” argue that corporate social responsibility can be understood along the axes of “core”—activities directly related to the business—and “noncore” functions—activities outside the business’s regular operations. Find the paper and the full list of authors in the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing.

    Learn more

    ,
  • ‘Critical Role of Magnetic Moments on Lattice Dynamics in YBa₂Cu₃O₆’

    , ,

    “The role of lattice dynamics in unconventional high-temperature superconductivity is still vigorously debated. Theoretical insights into this problem have long been prevented by the absence of an accurate first-principles description of the combined electronic, magnetic, and lattice degrees of freedom. Utilizing the recently constructed r2SCAN density functional that stabilizes the antiferromagnetic (AFM) state of the pristine oxide YBa2Cu3O6, we faithfully reproduce the experimental dispersion of key phonon modes.” See the full list of authors and read their research at ArXiv.

    Learn more

  • Paper presents novel method for understanding scattering of electromagnetic fields

    In this pre-print, Feiguin et al. present an alternative solution to understanding the “scattering cross-section” of electromagnetic fields, using a “time-dependent momentum-resolved” approach. This method “does not require a full set” of quantum states to solve. The authors argue that “this powerful formulation overcomes all the hurdles imposed by previous methods.” See the full list of authors and read “A time-dependent momentum-resolved scattering approach to core-level spectroscopies” at Research Square.

    Learn more

  • ‘Worm Development: Push not Pull in Gonad Morphogenesis’

    Associate Dean for Research Erin Cram has published “Worm Development: Push Not Pull in Gonad Morphogenesis,” identifying a new method through which tissue elongates in a specific form of nematode, through “pressure from proliferating germ cells confined within a tube.”

    Learn more

  • Paving the way to stronger nanowires

    Multiple fragmentation patterns are possible in nanowires. Alain Karma and PhD. candidate Nan Wang used “phase-field simulations [to] show that fragmentation of faceted nanowires with cubic crystal symmetry may occur by a finite-amplitude nonlinear instability.” These results “provide the theoretical foundation to predict nanowire stability as a function of length and surface energy in diverse applications,” including future technologies. Read their research paper “Fragmentation of faceted crystalline wires” at Physical Review Materials.

    Learn more

  • Why physicists must go beyond the standard model to explain the universe

    Presented at the July 2021 Snowmass Process, this paper describes the frontier of physics theories for the next decade, presenting problems with the Standard Model of physics and the condition that the BSM (“beyond the standard model”) will need to meet. This includes the asymmetry of matter and dark matter within the universe, a reason behind the flavor structures of subatomic quarks and leptons, and “the origin of the neutrino masses.” See the full list of authors and read “TF08 Snowmass Report: BSM Model Building” at ArXiv.

    Learn more

  • When is a circle not a circle? Why coins seem to change their shape

    Rotate a circular coin, and it looks like an ellipse. In this pre-print, Jorge Morales, alongside Chaz Firestone (Johns Hopkins), address arguments made against a previous paper in which they demonstrated “perspectival similarity.” Here, they show how their critics ultimately come to agree with their own conclusions, coming down on one side of a philosophical debate dating back to the seventeenth century. Read their research paper, “Empirical evidence for perspectival similarity,” at PsyArXiv Preprints.

    Learn more

    ,
  • Radical oxygenase observed in aerobic cells

    These researchers have discovered that a radical S-adenosylmethionine oxygenase operates in aerobic cells, and not only in anaerobic environments. This process was observed in “a ribosomally synthesized, post-translationally modified peptide (RiPP),” darobactin A. See the full list of authors and read their paper, “Characterization of a Radical SAM Oxygenase for the Ether Crosslinking in Darobactin Biosynthesis,” at ACS Publications.

    Learn more

  • Deep protein analysis for single-cell samples

    Undertaking protein analysis using limited or single-cell samples “requires specialized methods that prioritize high sensitivity and minimize sample loss.” Professor Alexander Ivanov, PhD. candidates Kendall R. Johnson and Yunfan Gao, and postdoctoral researcher Michal Greguš, present new methods “in single-cell proteome-level profiling,” which offer high sensitivity rates and the potential for deep protein analysis based on individual cells. Read their research paper, “On-capillary Cell Lysis Enables Top-down Proteomic Analysis of Single Mammalian Cells by CE-MS/MS,” at ACS Publications.

    Learn more

  • ‘Mechanisms of Isoform-Specific Residue Influence on GTP-Bound HRas, KRas, and NRas’

    , ,

    “HRas, KRas, and NRas are GTPases with a common set of effectors that control many cell-signaling pathways, including proliferation through Raf kinase. Their G-domains are nearly identical in sequence, with a few isoform-specific residues that have an effect on dynamics and biochemical properties. Here, we use accelerated molecular dynamics (aMD) simulations consistent with solution x-ray scattering experiments to elucidate mechanisms through which isoform-specific residues associated with each Ras isoform affects functionally important regions connected to the active site.” Find the paper and the full list of authors at Biophysical Journal.

    Learn more

    ,
  • ‘Left Versus Right: Exploring the Effects of Chiral Threading Intercalators Using Optical Tweezers’

    ,

    Building on previous research they have conducted on “Small-molecule DNA-binding drugs,” the authors here present a study on the “the left-handed enantiomer… ΛΛ-P for short, to study the effects of chirality on DNA threading intercalation.” This paper contributes to “a better understanding of how chirality affects binding to DNA and may contribute to the development of enhanced potential cancer treatment drug designs.” Read “Left versus right: Exploring the effects of chiral threading intercalators using optical tweezers” and find the full list of authors in Biophysical Journal.

    Learn more

    ,
  • ‘Compressive Stress Drives Adhesion-Dependent Unjamming Transitions in Breast Cancer Cell Migration’

    This article examines cellular unjamming, “the collective fluidization of cell motion… linked to many biological processes, including development, wound repair, and tumor growth.” Because of the complex, linked effects between various cellular mechanisms, “the role of compressive stress in unjamming transitions during cancer progression remains unknown. Here, [the authors] investigate which mechanism dominates in a [single] dense, mechanically stressed” layer. Their findings add nuance to models of “collective cell motion in tumor development and breast cancer progression.” Find the paper and the full list of authors at Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology.

    Learn more

    ,
  • Structuring family businesses to last

    Edmund (Ted) Clark, executive director of the Northeastern University Center for Family Business and senior academic specialist of entrepreneurship and innovation, recently published an article titled “Your Family Business’s Resiliency Depends on Its Structure” in the Harvard Business Review. Clark presents three structural models for family-owned businesses, and “provides resilience strategies for each type of family business, to help ensure successful transitions across generations.”

    Learn more

  • When creditors’ rights are weakened, opportunists move in

    In an article from Insights @ Center for Emerging Markets, Kandarp Srinivasan, in collaboration with Radhakrishnan Gopalan and Xiumin Martin from Washington University in St. Louis, describes how “In institutional regimes with weak creditors’ rights, some company insiders might take advantage of bankruptcy rules by intentionally making their companies look less valuable. This creates problems for creditors and makes it harder for these companies to succeed in the future.”

    Learn more

  • Identifying problems before they happen in biotech products

    Biotechnology products, including many pharmaceuticals, “are produced in living organisms or cells.” But how do biotechnologists verify the quality of the host cells, and that these cells do not have harmful effects on the resulting products? The authors “take a closer look at specific analytical technologies and tools to analyze these host cell proteins.” See the full list of authors and read their research paper, “Analytical Characterization of Host Cell Proteins (HCPs),” at Chromatography Online.

    Learn more

  • Training faculty to foster inclusive classrooms

    In “Using Cognitive Psychological Principles to Foster Inclusive Learning,” Christie Chung, Associate Dean for Research, Scholarship, & Partnerships at Mills College, writes about how faculty and other academic leaders can design inclusive, yet challenging academic environments for students. Key elements include factoring in others’ perspectives, cultural competency, “Microresistance to Microaggressions,” and more.

    Learn more

  • ‘Functional Network Antagonism and Consciousness’

    ,

    This article proposes “that anticorrelations are the physiological expression of the concept of segregation, namely the brain’s capacity to show selectivity in the way areas will be functionally connected.” The perspectives presented in this paper hope to illuminate the “connectivity interactions” within the brain. The authors “believe that this link between anticorrelations and the underlying physiology will help not only to comprehend how consciousness happens, but also conceptualize effective interventions for treating consciousness disorders.” Find this paper and the full list of authors in Network Neuroscience.

    Learn more

    ,
  • ‘Displaying Geographic Variability of Peri-Urban Agriculture Environmental Impacts in the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona’

    “Peri urban agriculture (peri-UA) can supply food locally and potentially more sustainably than far-away conventional agricultural systems. It can also introduce significant environmental impacts depending on the local biophysical conditions and resources required to implement it and, on the crops managing practices, which could vary widely among growers. Sophisticated methods to account for such variability while assessing direct (on-site) and indirect (up/down stream) environmental impacts of peri-UA implementation are thus needed.” Read the paper and see the full list of authors in Science of the Total Environment.

    Learn more

  • When the devices we speak to lie to us

    In “Exploring Deceptive Design Patterns in Voice Interfaces,” the authors investigate “deceptive design practices,” user interface elements that deceive the user into performing an action they may not have intended. The authors “identify… key characteristics of voice interfaces that may enable deceptive design patterns, and surfac[e] existing and theoretical examples of such patterns.” In the results of “a scenario-based user survey with 93 participants,” the authors “found that overall, the majority of participants did not view our deceptive scenarios as problematic.” Find the paper and the full list of authors at the Association for Computing Machinery.

    Learn more

  • Olfactory poetry from Mills College professor

    Professor Carlota Caulfield appears in La Libélula Vaga with poetry titled “De la sensación olfativa de la memoria.”

    Learn more

    ,
  • ‘Associations Between Sedentary Behavior and Negative Emotions in Adolescents During Home Confinement’

    “Previous research suggests, in general, that sedentary behavior can increase negative emotions. However, the specific mechanism driving the relationship between sedentary behavior and negative emotions is still relatively unclear. Social support and sleep quality might partly explain the effect of sedentary behavior on negative emotions. Thus, the current study aimed to examine the associations between sedentary behavior and negative emotions, and to investigate if social support and sleep quality mediate such a relationship.” Read the paper and see the full list of authors in the International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology.

    Learn more

  • Antibiotic accumulates in patients with obesity

    When taking vancomycin—an antibiotic—current medical guidance suggests “early and frequent… monitoring in patients with obesity.” This study sought to evaluate the accumulation of this drug in patients with a high body mass index, concluding that dangerous levels of accumulation can occur. “Clinicians should use frequent monitoring of vancomycin ,” they write, “and use caution when interpreting early concentrations in patients with obesity.” See the full list of authors and read their research, “Evaluation of Vancomycin Accumulation in Patients With Obesity,” in Open Forum Infectious Diseases.

    Learn more

  • Could Bayesian analysis improve antibiotic expedience?

    This study looks at the time it took to make vancomycin (a Staphylococcus aureus antibiotic) area-under-the-curve estimations, comparing Bayesian analysis with more traditional pharmacokinetic software. They conclude that, “Without EHR [electronic health record] integration, Bayesian software was more time-consuming to assess vancomycin dosing than PK [pharmacokinetic] equations.” See the full list of authors and read their research, “Vancomycin Area under the Concentration-Time Curve Estimation Using Bayesian Modeling versus First-Order Pharmacokinetic Equations: A Quasi-Experimental Study,” in the journal Antibiotics.

    Learn more

  • How diversifying academic leadership diversifies institutions

    Christie Chung, Associate Dean of Research, Scholarship, and Partnerships at Mills, writes here about the importance of diversifying academic leadership, and the knock-on effects this can have on an altogether more diverse campus culture. Chung argues that “Creating a more inclusive discipline” takes four qualities, which she elaborates upon in this article, titled “Diversifying leadership through impactful practices.”

    Learn more

  • Combating bias in early childhood educators

    Urbani, et al., argue that pre-school and serve as an on-ramp to two results: inclusive education on the one hand, and the “school-to-prison nexus” on the other. To support the latter and mitigate the former, they demonstrate how developing a “critical consciousness, particularly around the intersections of race and disability,” in early childhood educators, and early classrooms, is crucial to making pre-school a welcome, inclusive environment for all students. See the full list of authors and read their research paper, “Building the on-ramp to inclusion: Developing critical consciousness in future early childhood educators,” at Research Connections.

    Learn more

  • Shattering the Standard Model: A next-generation particle collider

    ,

    The authors propose a “novel muon-proton and muon-nucleus collider facility” that would operate at the tera-electronvolt scale. Such a collider would allow study of difficult-to-observe particles like the Higgs-Boson, and to look beyond the Standard Model of physics towards leptoquarks. See the full list of authors and read their research paper, “Physics potential of TeV scale Muon-Ion Collider for deep inelastic scattering measurements, and probing Z′ bosons in models that violate lepton flavor universality,” at ArXiv.

    Learn more

  • ‘Mechanism of Halide Exchange in Reactions of CpRu(PPh3)2Cl With Haloalkanes’

    ,

    “Kinetic measurements of the reaction between CpRu(PPh3)2Cl (1a) and 1-bromobutane reveal a nearly first order dependence on the concentration of haloalkane and a negative entropy of activation, ΔS† < 0. The rate of halide exchange … is two orders of magnitude lower than the rate of phosphine dissociation. … DFT calculations are consistent with either oxidative addition or σ-bond metathesis as lower energy pathways than single electron transfer and formation of a radical pair.” Find the paper and the full list of authors in the New Journal of Chemistry.

    Learn more

  • How to predict popularity using network science

    Researchers have developed a method to “to predict the popularity dynamics of individual items within a complex evolving system.” The results offer illuminations on the functioning of the attention ecomony, social media trends, and everything ” from marketing and traffic control to policy making and risk management.” In contrast to other studies, this model offers a “capability of modeling the arrival process of popularity and [a] remarkable power at predicting the popularity of individual items.” See the full list of authors and read their research paper, “Modeling and Predicting Popularity Dynamics via Reinforced Poisson Processes,” at ArXiv.

    Learn more