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Fellow: Barnes, Jonathan C.

The human musculature consists of tightly bundled fibers that are capable of changing their size, shape, and mechanical properties upon exposure to an external stimulant in water. This design is akin to that of a densely packed stimuli-responsive hydrogel, however, the current state-of-the-art for these types of artificial materials either consists of overly complex designs… Continue Reading

Fellow: Batygin, Konstantin

Over the course of the last quarter century, astronomical surveys have unveiled an expansive field of icy debris beyond the orbit of Neptune, known as the Kuiper belt. The most distant bodies within this belt exhibit a peculiar orbital alignment, and collectively point to the existence of an additional, Neptune-like planet in the solar system…. Continue Reading

Fellow: Hsiao, Elaine

The gut microbiota is emerging as an important modulator of brain function and behavior, as several recent discoveries reveal substantial effects of the microbiome on neurophysiology, neurogenesis, blood brain barrier permeability, neuroimmunity, brain gene expression and animal behavior. Despite these findings supporting a “microbiome-gut-brain axis”, the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underlie interactions between the… Continue Reading

Fellow: Brito, Ilana

The flexible portion of a bacterium’s genome—DNA that is exchanged with other bacteria through the process of horizontal gene transfer—allows it to rapidly adapt to changing environmental conditions by incorporating novel functions. These auxiliary genes can include those that confer resistance to antibiotics, enzymes involved carbohydrate degradation, mercury-resistance or virulence genes, and catabolic genes useful… Continue Reading

Fellow: Nelson, Hosea M.

The seamless integration of synthetic catalysts into biosynthetic circuits is an inevitable feature of future scientific endeavors. In this proposal Nelson’s lab describes foundational studies aimed at achieving this goal. Specifically, they design synthetic metalloDNAzymes that are regulated by small nucleic acid molecules and that perform abiotic, transition metal-catalyzed transformations. The long-term goal of their… Continue Reading

Fellow: Huang, Pinshane

Huang proposes a new experimental program that will permit unprecedented access to structure and composition at the atomic-scale in order to uncover, study, and ultimately tailor molecular structure and interactions.

Fellow: Keplinger, Christoph M.

The biological world and the engineered world differ in terms of mechanics: human-made machines mostly rely on hard materials, such as metals, while nature makes extensive use of soft materials, with extreme examples like octopus arms. The elegance, adaptability, and efficiency of the designs found in nature inspire the creation of soft machines with unprecedented… Continue Reading

Fellow: Osburn, Magdalena R.

As a geobiologist working at the geochemistry-microbiology interface, Osburn proposes to illuminate the subterranean biome. Microbial intraterrestrials drive much of Earth’s chemical engine, but without cultivation, their metabolisms, isotope effects, and biosignatures remain obscure. Osburn will reveal these traits by merging cutting-edge techniques in microbiology, geochemistry, and engineering. By cultivating so-called microbial dark matter, she… Continue Reading

Fellow: Navon, Nir M.

Turbulence is among the most mysterious phenomena in nature, with extensive ramifications in biology, mathematics, and physics. Despite intense efforts, many aspects of turbulence remain poorly understood. For instance, we do not understand the microscopic mechanism driving the transfer of energy in turbulent cascades. Moreover, the theoretical description of classical turbulence breaks down at small… Continue Reading