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Gail Begley

Gail Begley

Teaching Professor in Biology
Rebecca Carrier

Rebecca Carrier

Affiliated Faculty, Professor for College of Engineering
Yunrong Chai

Yunrong Chai

Associate Professor
Patricia Corrigan

Patricia Corrigan

Assistant Coop Coordinator
Catherine Cosgrove

Catherine Cosgrove

Associate Co-Op Coordinator: Cell & Molecular Biology


Will the new vaccines prevent Lyme disease?

Will the new vaccines prevent Lyme disease? And when will they be available?

Cases of Lyme disease are exploding across the United States, but don’t expect a magic bullet against the tick-borne illness to arrive any time soon.

Issues with clinical trials of a new Lyme vaccine being developed by Pfizer and Valneva mean that the VLA15 vaccine is not expected to be submitted for full FDA approval until 2026—one year later than Pfizer originally anticipated.

With an as-yet unknown efficacy level and a delivery system involving three shots and a booster, the greatly anticipated Lyme vaccine—the only one currently in clinical development—may face some challenges being implemented in the general population, Northeastern University experts say.

Read more from Northeastern Global News

Photo by AP

June 08, 2023

Will NASA’s UFO Panel Reveal Any Extraterrestrial Secrets?

New NASA panel is studying UFOs, but will the US government ever tell us everything it knows

Northeastern University physics professors Jacqueline McCleary and Jonathan Blazek doubt a NASA panel studying UFO sightings will reveal evidence of extraterrestrial life in its final report this summer.

But the cosmologists say they are happy that the study of UFOs is being taken seriously by the eminent scientists on NASA’s independent panel, which held its first public meeting on May 31.

“People are seeing something, sensors are picking up something. Whether or not that something is extraterrestrial in origin is besides the point,” says McCleary, an assistant professor who uses galaxy clusters as a laboratory to explore the nature of dark matter.

“The point is, it’s a phenomenon that people are observing,” she says. “We’re scientists and policymakers. We want to know what these things are.”

Read more from Northeastern Global News

Photo by Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

June 05, 2023

What is the psychology behind Spider-Man?

What is the psychology behind Spider-Man? A professional therapist breaks down the Spider Verse and what makes Marvel’s webslinger tick

One of the best running jokes in “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” the 2018 Oscar-winning animated film, is the introduction of each new version of Marvel’s webslinger.

Led by Miles Morales, the film’s Afro-Latino protagonist, there is a multiverse worth of Spider-Men, Spider-Women and Spider-Beings that might look different but all have a similar story. Tragic loss, amazing powers and a step into the limelight as a version of Spider-Man.

The highly-anticipated sequel to “Into the Spiderverse,” “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,” is now in theaters and introduces even more multiversal versions of the character. But look under the mask and you’ll find they all have more in common than just a tragic backstory.

To figure out what makes the webslinger tick—and what’s made Spider-Man one of the most indelible characters in modern pop culture—William Sharp, a therapist and associate teaching professor of psychology at Northeastern University, put the character on his hypothetical therapist’s couch. What he found is a set of core traits that is central to the character, whether it’s Peter Parker, Miles Morales or Peter Porker (aka Spider-Ham) under the mask.

Read more from Northeastern Global News

Photo by Sony Pictures Animation

June 03, 2023

Want to know how processed your food is?

Want to know how processed your food is? There’s an algorithm for that.

Northeastern researchers have been busy trying to better understand the links between “ultra-processed foods” and human health through the university-sponsored Foodome  project.

As part of that Herculean effort, researchers with the the Center for Complex Network Research have now developed a machine learning algorithm they say accurately predicts the degree of processing in food products that make up the U.S. food supply. Their findings were published in Nature Communications in April.

The machine learning classifier, called FoodProX, uses nutritional labeling information provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies as inputs to score the level of processing in a given food product.

The algorithm works by producing an output that represents the likelihood that a respective food falls into one of the four categories that are part of the NOVA food classification system—a system developed by researchers at the University of São Paulo, Brazil, that the researchers say is “widely used in epidemiological studies.”

Read more from Northeastern Global News

Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

June 01, 2023

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