Research News

  1. Human stem cells coaxed to mimic the very early central nervous system

    The first stem cell culture method that produces a full model of the early stages of the human central nervous system has been developed by a team of engineers and biologists at U-M, the Weizmann Institute of Science, and the University of Pennsylvania. The model, which resembles all three sections of the embryonic brain and spinal cord, could shed light on developmental brain diseases.

  2. Bridge in a box: Unlocking origami’s power to produce load-bearing structures

    For the first time, load-bearing structures like bridges and shelters can be made with origami modules — versatile components that can fold compactly and adapt into different shapes. It’s an advance that could enable communities to quickly rebuild facilities and systems damaged or destroyed during natural disasters, or allow for construction in places that were previously considered impractical, including outer space.

  3. Futuristic technology reveals secrets in ancient Vesuvius Scrolls

    When Italy’s Mount Vesuvius erupted in AD 79, it buried the palatial villa of Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus, Julius Caesar’s father-in-law. These black and brittle papyri may look like charred croissants, but U-M classicist Richard Janko believes they contain lost masterpieces of literature, history, and philosophy.

  4. Michigan Minds Podcast: Purpose and mattering, featuring John Piette, professor at the U-M School of Public Health

    Purpose and mattering. They’re essential to happiness and healthiness, researchers say. But those feelings can be hard to attain, especially for individuals who may be more prone to feeling purposeless. Professor John Piette, director of the U-M Center for Managing Chronic Disease, discusses V-SPEAK, his latest project with U.S. veterans.

  5. College athlete unions: Would they be effective?

    In a first for college sports, the National Labor Relations Board recently ruled that men’s basketball players at Dartmouth College are school employees and ordered a union vote. Sports economist Richard Paulsen, assistant professor of sport management at U-M’s School of Kinesiology, discusses how unions might look for college athletes.

  6. Snakes do it faster, better: How a group of scaly, legless lizards hit the evolutionary jackpot

    A large new genetic and dietary study of snakes, from an international team led by University of Michigan biologists, suggests these legless wonders are ‘evolutionary winners.’ Massive shifts in traits associated with feeding, locomotion, and sensory processing have allowed them to be ‘evolutionarily flexible,’ researchers say.

  7. Michigan Minds podcast: For lasting fitness, prioritize moving your body — not the numbers on the scale

    Though it’s only February, many of the millions of people who resolved to lose weight in 2024 have already fled the dreaded bathroom scale. Focusing primarily (on) the numbers is not an effective way to track our progress, says clinical exercise physiologist Laura Richardson. Start thinking about how you feel, not how much you weigh.

  8. Unlocking the secrets of SuperAgers

    SuperAgers are showing us it’s possible to enjoy quality cognition as we age, says neuropsychologist Amanda Maher. She is leading U-M’s site for the SuperAging Research Initiative, one of six hubs in the U.S. and Canada studying the biological, genetic, and psychosocial factors contributing to resilient cognition.

  9. U-M Biological Station activates snowpack sensor to study changing winters

    Increasingly common rain-on-snow weather events are reducing snowpack and washing away nutrients from soils to our streams and lakes. This winter, snow science researchers at U-M’s Biological Station are tracking the snowpack at an hourly rate to get a deeper understanding of the complexities of global environmental change.