Bjorn Carey on Muck Rack

Bjorn Carey

Menlo Park, California
As seen in:  Popular Science, LiveScience

Science Information Officer at Stanford University. Views are my own.

Stanford chemists take step toward solving mystery of how enzymes work — Courtesy of Steven Boxer Steven Boxer Open any biology or chemistry textbook and entire chapters will be dedicated to detailing molecular processes crucial to life that are only made possible by seemingly magical proteins called enzymes. The magic is not fully understood, however, and each book will offer a somewhat different explanation for how enzymes work.

Stanford engineers climb walls using gecko-inspired climbing device — Gecko toes have the exciting ability to adhere strongly to nearly any surface and yet release with minimal effort. In an attempt to mimic those properties of the lizards, Stanford engineers have designed a controllable adhesive system that can stick to glass and support a person's weight.

Stanford biologists explore link between memory, circadian rhythms — Norman Ruby Anyone who has struggled with a foggy brain while adjusting to daylight saving time knows first-hand how an out-of-sync circadian clock can impair brain function. Now, by manipulating the circadian clocks of Siberian hamsters, Stanford scientists may have identified a brain structure that disrupts memory when circadian rhythms fall apart, as they often do in patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's.

Stanford chemists develop 'nanoreactor' for discovering new chemical reactions — Courtesy Todd Martinez In 1952, the famous Urey-Miller experiment mixed together chemicals that were present early in Earth's history, then approximately replicated the environmental conditions on the planet at that time to see if biologically relevant organic molecules would form spontaneously.

World's brightest scientists gather at Stanford — Steve Jennings/Getty Images The payoff of fundamental research is often far from scientists' minds. For instance, the GPS in smartphones would not be possible without Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity, which he published in 1916. The Breakthrough Prize aims to recognize the scientists who make these types of fundamental discoveries.

Stanford engineering students master mechaphonics by building quadcopters — Video by Kurt Hickman Caitlin Clancy gave her quadcopter one final inspection and backed away slowly. She had spent the past week designing and building the copter, mostly from scratch, and now, the moment of truth. She pulled up the flight controls on her Android phone, and the rotors started whirring.

Stanford professors turn Hawaii into a living science classroom — The second day of the fall quarter, 19 undergraduates piled into two white vans at 6:30 a.m. and began driving up the side of the largest volcano in the world, Mauna Loa on the Big Island of Hawaii. The vans climbed several thousand feet in altitude, passing through tropical forests and rain clouds before reaching the day's classroom an hour later.

How parents help toddlers catch up on language skills — Gigliola Perez and her daughter, Jaime, work to develop early language skills with Nereyda Hurtado, director of the Habla Conmigo! program developed by Stanford psychology Professor Anne Fernald. (L.A. Cicero) A conversation about the day's events can play a critical role in a toddler's language development.

Stanford Roundtable panelists discuss how to improve public understanding of climate change — The 2014 Roundtable at Stanford, 'The Climate Conversation You Haven't Heard,' took place at Maples Pavilion on Friday. Journalist Lesley Stahl moderated the event. (Photo: L.A. Cicero) Video by Kurt Hickman Recent polls have found that two-thirds of Americans believe that climate change is real and that human activity is the root cause of the current transformation of the planet.

Stanford's Maryam Mirzakhani wins Fields Medal — Maryam Mirzakhani, a professor of mathematics at Stanford, has been awarded the 2014 Fields Medal, the most prestigious honor in mathematics. Mirzakhani is the first woman to win the prize, widely regarded as the "Nobel Prize of mathematics," since it was established in 1936.
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