News

Speaking creates droplets linked to disease transmission

For the first time, researchers have directly visualized how speaking produces and expels droplets of saliva into the air. These droplets can be inhaled by other people and are a primary way that respiratory infections like COVID-19 spread from person to person.

Students step up summer research, with increased support, amid pandemic’s challenges

For undergraduates in the engineering school, summer often means a chance to apply their learning in new ways, whether conducting field research, working in industry or volunteering abroad. Last summer, with the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting many of these plans, some students’ research projects took them in unexpected directions.

Engineering students honored for academic achievement

Princeton University celebrated the academic accomplishments of its students with the awarding of four undergraduate prizes to seven students, including four engineering students. While the annual prizes are typically awarded at Opening Exercises, there was no ceremony this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Conversation quickly spreads droplets inside buildings

With implications for the transmission of diseases like COVID-19, researchers have found that ordinary conversation creates a conical ‘jet-like’ airflow that quickly carries a spray of tiny droplets from a speaker’s mouth across meters of an interior space.

Algorithms uncover cancers’ hidden genetic losses and gains

Limitations in DNA sequencing technology make it difficult to detect some major mutations often linked to cancer, such as the loss or duplication of parts of chromosomes. Now, methods developed by Princeton computer scientists will allow researchers to more accurately identify these mutations in cancerous tissue, yielding a clearer picture of the evolution and spread of tumors than was previously possible.

Novel drug could be a powerful weapon in the fight against malaria and toxoplasmosis

Princeton researchers are making key contributions toward developing a promising new treatment for the widespread and devastating diseases toxoplasmosis and malaria.

Flipping light on-off turns bacteria into chemical factories

Working in E. coli, the workhorse organism for scientists to engineer metabolism, researchers developed a system that uses light to control one of the key genetic circuits needed to turn bacteria into chemical factories that produce valuable compounds such as the biofuel isobutanol.

New tools catch and release cellular targets at the flip of a light switch

A Princeton team has developed a class of light-switchable, highly adaptable molecular tools with new capabilities to control cellular activities. The antibody-like proteins, called OptoBinders, have potential applications including protein purification, the improved production of biofuels, and new types of targeted cancer therapies.

Senior thesis: Naomi Cohen-Shields explores who benefits as China cleans its air

After months of researching and analyzing China’s notorious air pollution for her Princeton senior thesis, Naomi Cohen-Shields stepped off a plane in Beijing in December 2019 to a shockingly clear sky. Her gaze fell across the unencumbered skyline of the city where the term “airpocalypse” had been coined in 2013 to describe the thick, toxic smog that enveloped China’s capital and most of the eastern half of the country.

Brangwynne named 2020 Blavatnik National Awards Laureate

Clifford Brangwynne, a biophysical engineer who transformed the way scientists see cell biology, has won the 2020 Blavatnik National Award in Life Sciences.

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