News

The coronavirus might have weak spots. Machine learning could help find them.

What makes SARS-CoV-2 so infectious? The answer is in its proteins. Mary Jo Ondrechen and Penny Beuning, professors of chemistry and chemical biology, are using machine learning to investigate these proteins and begin to understand how to slow the spread of the virus.

Hospitals are bracing for a surge of COVID-19 cases. This model can help them get ready for staff and equipment shortages.

Engineering professor James Benneyan helped create a tool to calculate when hospitals might run out of essential resources, such as staff and ventilators, as COVID-19 cases peak.

Bans on large gatherings? Stay-at-home orders? Which ‘social distancing’ policies are actually working?

Bans on large gatherings. Restaurant and bar limits. School cancellations. Babak Heydari, an associate professor of mechanical and industrial engineering, found out which state policies work best to keep people at home.

Network scientists identify 40 new drugs to test against COVID-19

Researchers at Northeastern mapped the way proteins within human cells behave after a cell is hijacked by the virus to find new and existing drugs that might be able to fight COVID-19. The team is now working with other experimental researchers to begin testing those drugs.

Here’s how nanoparticles could help us get closer to a treatment for COVID-19

Northeastern chemical engineer Thomas Webster is sending nanoparticles to help the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention learn more about the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

How can we stop the spread of misinformation about COVID-19? Better math.

Rumors travel fast, just like all information on the internet. Northeastern professor Alessandro Vespignani and doctoral student Jessica Davis want to model how those rumors spread, as well as the conditions that allow for their propagation.

Physicists may have accidentally discovered a new state of matter. The possibilities are endless.

“Imagination is the limit,” says Swastik Kar, an associate professor of physics. “It could change the way we can detect and communicate signals. It could change the way we can sense things and the storage of information, and possibilities that we may not have even thought of yet.”

Who’s regulating the autonomous weapons systems that are changing the nature of warfare?

There’s little to no regulation or public debate over the use of artificial intelligence in weaponry, two Northeastern researchers found. That needs to change—and quickly, they say.

A bioengineering researcher who studies how vaping affects lung function sees a future with more blind scientists

The research of Mona Minkara, an assistant professor of bioengineering at Northeastern, could help researchers understand how vaping affects our lung function, as well as lead to better treatments for diseases such as respiratory distress syndrome. And she’s hoping to pave the way for other blind scientists.

What’s going on in your brain when you’re scared out of your mind

There isn’t one single circuit of brain activity that controls fear in humans. Ajay Satpute, an assistant professor of psychology at Northeastern, is mapping the neural activity that underlies fear in people, which can serve as the basis for tracing other emotions in the brain.