News

The old, made new

The old, made new

December 18, 2014

The Harvard Semitic Museum opened at its Divinity Avenue location in 1903 on land bought for a dollar from a benefactor.

The sturdy, granite-trimmed, brick building was at the edge of a Cambridge demi-wilderness called Norton Woods. It was next to a residence that has since been moved to Ware Street. Further down was a boardinghouse for immigrant Irishwomen, who cleaned and made beds in Harvard dormitories.

A cost of culture

A cost of culture

December 11, 2014

The ability to adopt new behaviors and ideas — whether learned or invented — has helped humans develop everything from stone tools and agriculture to revolutionary communications technologies like the World Wide Web. But new research shows that this ability may come with a very real cost, in an increased exposure to potentially deadly diseases.

Creating ‘genomic origami’

Creating ‘genomic origami’

December 11, 2014

In a triumph for cell biology, researchers have assembled the first high-resolution, 3-D maps of entire folded genomes and found a structural basis for gene regulation, a kind of “genomic origami” that allows the same genome to produce different types of cells. The research appears online Thursday in the journal Cell.

Reproductive strategies

Reproductive strategies

December 10, 2014

It’s a cliché to say it takes a village to raise a child, but it’s a cliché some creatures have taken to heart.

A handful of animals, including ants, bees, termites, and some birds, are what scientists call “eusocial.” That is, they live in tight-knit groups in which some individuals give up some of their reproductive capacity to care for the offspring of others.

Leverett’s evolution

Leverett’s evolution

December 9, 2014

Leverett House’s McKinlock Hall reopened to students at the beginning of the academic year after 15 months of reconstruction. McKinlock is the second completed project in the House renewal initiative, which is one of the largest and most ambitious capital improvement campaigns in Harvard College history and a major campaign priority.