New Horizons in Science

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Newsroom 2015

Stories from New Horizons in Science 2015


The New Horizons Newsroom presents coverage of CASW's New Horizons in Science briefings by student writers and New Horizons Traveling Fellows. The Newsroom was launched with the 2013 conference.

This page presents stories written by science graduate students participating in ComSciCon-SciWri15 and covering the first day of the 2015 presentation of New Horizons in Science, which took place on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Oct. 11-12 as part of the ScienceWriters2015 conference. Special thanks to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, sponsor of ComSciCon-SciWri15, and to all who helped these writers learn firsthand about science reporting: workshop organizers, presenters and mentors, and the Newsroom editors: Lakshmi Chandrasekaran, Elizabeth Daley, Brian Hayes, Lisa Ann Marshall, A'ndrea Elyse Messer, Charlie Petit and Amanda Solliday.

Newsroom 2015

With the population on the streets aging, homelessness mimics a chronic disease

by Carla Bezold | Homelessness is like other chronic medical problems: in need of a cure. That realization came to Margot Kushel as she was working as a resident physician at San Francisco... more

Hello, is it me you're looking for? Sara Seager's quest for living worlds in space

by Vivian Hemmelder | Unlike the early explorers who sailed vast oceans to reach faraway shores, planetary scientist Sara Seager will never set foot on new lands she may discover. Her goal is to find... more

An earthlike home... far, far away

by Christina Sauer | Imagine a planet where the surface temperature is so hot that rocks melt into lava—or another where two suns dip below the horizon at dusk. Settings for a science fiction plot?... more

Blowing up biology

by Liz Droge-Young | To solve a problem, sometimes you need to consider the exact opposite of what you think you know. Take trying to see the minute details of biological units, such as neurons in the... more

Computer science shedding new light on black holes

by Grace Lindsay | When it comes to black holes, a change in perspective can make all the difference. Standing outside one of these massive objects in the universe, for instance, there's only... more

Guardians of the genome

by Steph Guerra | Evolution—the change in heritable traits over successive generations—has long served as one of the central tenets of biology. But new research indicates much can be gained from... more

Need to survive in a tough environment? There's an app for that

by Andrew Tomes | For Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Penny Chisholm, the most exciting apps will not download to your phone. Only bacteria can run them. Chisholm studies a group... more

Light-driven controls could illuminate the circuitry of the brain

by Anahita Zare | "Brain control" brings to mind an image of evil scientists hidden away in a dark lab preparing an army of zombies to do their bidding. In reality, Edward Boyden, associate professor... more

To Pluto and beyond: a journey to the outer reaches of the solar system

by Sanjay Yengul | On Jan. 19, 2006, a powerful Atlas V rocket thundered off from Florida carrying NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft. It got relatively little public attention. But its acceleration was... more

Solving a biological puzzle: why some genes never change

by Megan Litwhiler | A mysterious discovery has stumped scientists who study genetics at the cellular level for over a decade. Our genome, or collection of genes, has undergone many evolutionary... more

The last first exploration of the solar system: into the Kuiper Belt

by Kelsey Ellis | How do you make the outer space equivalent of a golf putt from New York City to a soup can in Los Angeles? For Alan Stern, it takes 11 years of lobbying, four years of planning and... more

The mighty microbes: White House initiative recognizes the huge impact of tiny bugs

by Jeff Bessen | The federal government has assembled a fast-track committee to encourage research into microorganisms, reflecting their increasingly important role in human health and the Earth’s... more

Mapping the Earth’s microbiomes: federal agencies join forces to explore the microbial world

by Cora Best | Microbes are organisms that are invisible to the naked eye. They surround us but usually go unnoticed. Now the federal government has a new focus on microbes, said Jo Handelsman,... more

Homelessness and aging: where 50 is the new 75

by Ambika Kamath | Many Americans live one paycheck away from street homelessness, and those most at risk may be older, according to new research presented at Massachusetts Institute of Technology... more

Tiny is the new huge: microthrusters for miniature satellites

by Casey Gilman | The new big thing in space is small—cubesats. A miniature satellite or cubesat is a box a few inches on a side, around a liter in volume and weighing about as much as a medium-sized... more

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