Speaker Series Recap: Fall 2017

Have you ever been curious about groundbreaking research at Tufts outside of your major, but did not know where to start? Breakthrough, the undergraduate research journal at Tufts, offers a means for students and faculty of different disciplines to connect. In addition to an online blog, Breakthrough hosts the Speaker Series, an initiative through which professors and graduate students can discuss their research and their … Continue reading Speaker Series Recap: Fall 2017

Child Development: Unraveling the Mystery with Dr. Mistry

When Dr. Jayanthi Mistry first began her career in child development research, people would tease that she would  be studying her entire life.  Yet, Jayanthi doesn’t mind — studying is something she loves. In fact, it’s precisely why she decided to become a professor. She is able  to learn and extend her education while simultaneously pursuing her own interests. According to Jayanthi, “when you become … Continue reading Child Development: Unraveling the Mystery with Dr. Mistry

Tufts Professor Receives a Boost from Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group

Regeneration of anatomy is foreign to humans, yet common in nature. When a caterpillar metamorphoses into a butterfly, it destroys its neural structure to form a new brain. A flatworm Planaria can be cut to 250 pieces, and every piece will regenerate the necessary body parts to become an independent organism. Its tail will regrow a head, while its head will regrow a tail. However, … Continue reading Tufts Professor Receives a Boost from Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group

Looking to Nature for the Next Generation of Robots (Part 2)

This research in mimicking the capabilities of tobacco hornworms has expanded to include developing a completely new generation of robots.  Modern robots are typically rigid and stiff because they are derived from early robots optimized for factory assembly lines. Professor Trimmer wants to change that.  He sees a robot that is not only soft and flexible, but also made from natural materials.  He is currently … Continue reading Looking to Nature for the Next Generation of Robots (Part 2)

Looking to Nature for the Next Generation of Robots (Part 1)

Have you ever wondered where Velcro came from, or how a Kindle screen can be read in the sunlight? A quick internet search reveals that both of these technologies were human ideas inspired by fundamental properties of nature. Ever since our ancestors had gained the ability to think in a complex manner, humans have continually studied the other multicellular organisms that surround them.  Early on, … Continue reading Looking to Nature for the Next Generation of Robots (Part 1)

Call for a Mutual Understanding of Scientific Research

Research carries unprecedented validity and authority in today’s rapidly advancing society, where we are constantly looking for the next big breakthrough or some knowledge that is completely counterintuitive to our intuitions. Each week, we hear about how there is a new treatment for a previously incurable disease or how we are at the brink of deciphering the mysteries of the brain. With a growing discrepancy … Continue reading Call for a Mutual Understanding of Scientific Research

Science, Technology, and Society: an exciting new program for Tufts

Who among us has not though “Okaaay, but I’m never going to use this in the Real World” about some topic we’re learning in school? A new co-major at Tufts called Science, Technology, and Society (STS) is encouraging students to look at how science and technology are woven into the fabric of our daily lives and, conversely, how  society’s structure affects how we approach STEM … Continue reading Science, Technology, and Society: an exciting new program for Tufts

Why is traditional altruism so ineffective?

While this question may sound like what you would hear in philosophy classes, Harvard’s Psychology Professor Joshua Greene took an experimental approach to respond, using the development of neural imaging techniques and the discovery of synaptic plasticity. By incorporating new neuroscience technology, Greene was able to embark his journey in a new field of psychology research, moral cognition, which explores the underlying cognitive mechanisms of moral … Continue reading Why is traditional altruism so ineffective?

Next step for Neuroscience: Neurobiological engineering (part 2)

Breakthrough had the privilege of listening to Dr. Jasanoff and Dr. Boyden speak at Sidney Pacific Presidential Fellows Distinguished Lecture at MIT, where they introduced the history of neuroimaging, limits and challenges of the current techniques, and the future role they hope neurobiological engineering will take in order to deepen our understanding of the brain. Part one will introduce the professors and give an overview of the history … Continue reading Next step for Neuroscience: Neurobiological engineering (part 2)

Next step for Neuroscience: Neurobiological engineering (part 1)

Breakthrough had the privilege of listening to Dr. Jasanoff and Dr. Boyden speak at Sidney Pacific Presidential Fellows Distinguished Lecture at MIT, where they introduced the history of neuroimaging, limits and challenges of the current techniques, and the future role they hope neurobiological engineering will take in order to deepen our understanding of the brain. Part one will introduce the professors and give an overview of the history … Continue reading Next step for Neuroscience: Neurobiological engineering (part 1)