News

Parents make a weekend of it

Parents make a weekend of it

November 11, 2014

With Cambridge in autumn’s full embrace, the families of Harvard first-year undergraduates flocked to campus for the annual Freshman Parents Weekend, Nov. 7-8.

The weekend featured activities designed to give parents a glimpse of the Harvard College experience. For most parents, this was the first time they’d been back to Harvard since dropping off their teens for the start of the academic year.

“Our daughter was happy to see us, which made us happy,” said Segun Abegunrin.

Foreshadowing feminism

Foreshadowing feminism

November 10, 2014

Decades before the Civil War, girls as young as 11 helped gather signatures on anti-slavery petitions sent on to a recalcitrant U.S. Congress. That simple act of canvassing became a crucible of activism that transformed the American political landscape, propelling generations of women into social causes after the war.

Activating a new space

Activating a new space

November 10, 2014

The activation of German artist Rebecca Horn’s installation “Flying Books Under Black Rain Painting” (2014) in the Harvard Art Museums began quietly, almost without the audience even realizing it.

One minute, the wall alongside the museums’ Prescott Street entrance was just a plain white surface two stories high, from which a mechanical “painting machine” and three hardcover books protruded.

Online hub for social science

Online hub for social science

November 10, 2014

It’s already transformed the way we communicate and consume information, and how we buy everything from hangers to homes. Now Harvard scientists hope to use the Internet to change how social scientists investigate human behavior.

Launched this year by Assistant Professor of Government Ryan Enos, the Digital Lab for the Social Sciences (DLABSS) is designed to serve as an online clearinghouse where social scientists can find study participants.

A sense of Wonder

A sense of Wonder

November 4, 2014

In a nod to her latest subject, the historian Jill Lepore made it clear that she wasn’t about to back down from a fight for justice.

“If you want to doubt that Wonder Woman is a feminist project, we’ll have to take that outside,” the David Woods Kemper ’41 Professor of American History jokingly warned a Radcliffe audience on Thursday while discussing her new book, “The Secret History of Wonder Woman.”

Rapid-fire evolution

Rapid-fire evolution

November 4, 2014

Though it’s often portrayed as a process that takes place over thousands of years, under the right circumstances the evolution of enhanced traits in a species can occur with surprising speed. Exhibit A involves green anoles.

From preschool to Harvard

From preschool to Harvard

November 4, 2014

When the trees explode into hues of crimson and gold, we know fall has arrived in New England; yet that’s only one signal of a seasonal change.

As a college freshman, the crunch of leaves under my feet in Harvard Yard reminds me of the passing of the torch, as high school seniors all over the world focus on the admissions process for the class of 2019. With the decisions by admissions committees pending, I cannot help but identify with the anxiety and fear that have become rites of passage for high school seniors everywhere.

A hidden risk

A hidden risk

November 4, 2014

It helps mothers bond with their newborns, passes critical antibodies from mother to child, and contributes to infants’ psychological well-being. The benefits of breast-feeding are well understood by many mothers.

Toward genetic editing

Toward genetic editing

November 3, 2014

As potential next-generation therapeutics and research tools, few life sciences technologies hold more promise than genome-editing proteins — molecules that can be programmed to alter specific genes to treat or perhaps cure genetic diseases.

There’s at least one catch though. Getting genome-editing proteins into cells, where they need to be to access the genome, is a major challenge, especially in live animals or human patients.