Get to know your fellow AAAS members through profiles, special features and our 5 Things About Me series.

  • August 20, 2015

    AAAS Fellow Daniel Cosgrove faced a dilemma in 1992 while studying plant cell walls. The data were just not adding up.

    He and his team were investigating the structure of plant cell walls, looking for an enzyme that was believed to be responsible for loosening the cell wall, enabling plants to grow into long blades of grass or towering redwoods.

    What they found, however, was not an enzyme at all. It was a protein, which they named expansin, that loosens the connections between some cellulose microfibrils. »

  • August 18, 2015

    Vikrant Sharma will be a high school sophomore in a few weeks, but he’s already making big strides in computer science. He developed a novel machine learning algorithm and presented this work at the AAAS Pacific meeting. Read on to learn what he thinks about artificial intelligence, global warming, and Richard Feynman. 

  • August 12, 2015

    As world energy consumption grows, the business of bioenergy is expected to boom, and along with it a workforce of trained experts prepared to bring it to market. Yet to date, only a handful of universities and colleges offer bioenergy programs or degrees—and the scope of the curriculum varies widely among institutions.

    AAAS member Kimi Grzyb, a doctoral candidate at Oregon State University (OSU), is working to change that. »

  • July 20, 2015

    Poets have called it the tree of life. To some healers it is a spirit offering or sacred medicine. In Latin, its name means “cake” –- an apt description perhaps, given the recent celebrity trend to consume it in smoothies.

    Consider the placenta. 

    “It’s a confusing thing for most people to understand what on earth this weird blob of tissue is that comes out after the baby,” says researcher Jessica Hebert. “Think of this: It’s the only temporary organ that humans make and it’s responsible for transporting blood and nutrients and waste to and from the baby.” »

  • July 7, 2015

    Physicists Neil deGrasse Tyson and Brian Greene, well-known for their efforts to bring physics to the masses via television and new media, may soon have another “popularizer” amongst their ranks. Meet theoretical physicist and AAAS member Mark G. Jackson, who recently traded in equations and theorems to devote himself to promoting physics and research on a global scale. »