News

Red wolf DNA found in mysterious Texas canines
Dec. 26, 2018

Though red wolves were declared extinct in the wild by 1980, a team of biologists has found their DNA in a group of canines living on Galveston Island off the coast of Texas. “This is a remarkable finding, as red wolves were declared extinct in this region over 35 years ago and remain critically endangered,” said Elizabeth Heppenheimer, a…

What happens if we take laboratory mice outside?
Dec. 13, 2018

Associate professor Andrea Graham and graduate student Jackie Leung drafted a kid-friendly version of their research on mice in Biomedical Science Journal for Kids.  The bodies of humans and mice have a lot in common. So scientists often use mice (Mus musculus) as a model organism (or stand-in) to mimic human diseases and…

Bridgett vonHoldt solves long-standing finch beak mystery
Nov. 20, 2018
Black-bellied seedcrackers (Pyrenestes ostrinus) can have large or small beaks on birds of the same size, a trait that had mystified researchers for years. Princeton biologist vonHoldt found that the two morphs differ in a 300,000-base-pair chunk of DNA, apparently inherited as a unit, which includes a well-known growth-factor gene.

Pacala chairs national committee calling for immediate push for CO2-removal technology
Nov. 5, 2018

The escalating effects of climate change now demand a substantial research initiative to develop and launch “negative emissions technologies” (NETs) that remove and sequester carbon dioxide directly from the air, according to a recent report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. Stephen Pacala, Princeton’s Frederick D…

Prospective graduate students get a peek inside Princeton Ph.D. programs
Oct. 26, 2018

Students interested in graduate studies at Princeton University convened on campus Oct. 4-7 for three programs designed to give them an intimate look at the University’s Ph.D. programs. The Prospective Ph.D. Preview (P3) Fall Institute,…

Bee social or buzz off: Study, led by Sarah Kocher, links genes to social behaviors, including autism
Oct. 25, 2018

Those pesky bees that come buzzing around on a muggy summer day are helping researchers reveal the genes responsible for social behaviors. A new study published this week found that the social lives of sweat bees — named for their attraction to perspiration — are linked to patterns of activity in specific genes, including ones linked to autism…

Why do mosquitoes choose us? Lindy McBride is on the case.
Oct. 25, 2018

McBride has won two large grants this month from NIH and the New York Stem Cell Foundation to support her ongoing research into disease vector mosquitoes. On Oct. 2, the National Institutes of Health announced that McBride had received one of 33 NIH Director’s New Innovator…

Cassie Stoddard wins Packard Fellowship for early-career scientists
Oct. 16, 2018

Mary Caswell "Cassie" Stoddard is one of 18 researchers to receive a Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering from The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, targeted to innovative, early-career scientists and engineers. Stoddard studies the extraordinary diversity of signals and traits in nature. Her lab investigates the evolution of…

Ant-y social: Successful ant colonies hint at how societies evolve
Oct. 3, 2018

Graduate student Chris Tokita in the Tarnita Lab worked closely with researchers from Rockefeller University to investigate ant colonies looking at the relationship between group size and social behaviors. They found that simply increasing group size, even if it doesn’t lead to division of labor, can benefit members of the group. “Our findings…

Bridgett vonHoldt: A genetic test helps determine a dog's social tendencies
Sept. 24, 2018

Pet lovers seeking a better understanding of their four-footed friends might benefit from a new genetic test for sociability in dogs. While studying the genomes of canines Bridgett vonHoldy, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, and her colleagues discovered genes in domestic dogs that are similar to those linked to hyper…