Top ten stories of 2019!

December 5, 2019
The words "Top Ten"

From gut microbes to ultracold atoms, here are the stories that got the most attention in 2019


With the year's end in sight, we're taking one more look back. Below is the top ten list of the department's most read stories from 2019. But wait! Now's your chance to give attention to the many, many advances hiding in the shadows. Browse the full list of the department's research news here.


Emily Balskus and Vayu Maini Rekdal, authors of a new study out in Science

Gut microbes eat our medication

June 13, 2019

A concrete example of how one species of bacteria consumes levodopa, the primary treatment for Parkinson’s disease, could reveal more about how the microbiome impacts our health


A hand reaches into a chaotic mess of lasers

The coldest reaction

November 28, 2019

With ultracold chemistry, researchers get a first look at exactly what happens during a chemical reaction

Thawing ground in Alaska sends vapors into the air over mountains

No laughing matter

April 11, 2019

The warming Arctic permafrost may be releasing more nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas, than previously thought

Brian Cafferty in the lab

Storage beyond the cloud

May 1, 2019

With molecular data storage, cat videos could outlast us all

"Mindful Being" by molly rogers

The future of mind control

September 4, 2019

Why neuron-like implants could offer a better way to treat Alzheimer’s disease or post-traumatic stress disorder, control prosthetics, or even enhance cognitive abilities

Christoffer wears a navy suit over a bright blue and gray checkered shirt. He looks sideways at the camera as he presents MagLev, a thermos-sized tool with white blocks held together with thick screws and a clear

Drug dust

November 12, 2019

New technology could help law enforcement detect smaller amounts of fentanyl with a higher degree of accuracy than any other field-testing tool

Adam Cohen (left) and Yoav Adam

New vision for neuroscience

May 1, 2019

Live recordings of neural electricity could revolutionize how we see the brain

Assistant Professor Brian Liau

Learning why cancer drugs work (or don't)

April 15, 2019

Researcher Brian Liau and his team combine CRISPR gene-editing technology with chemical profiling to tease out acute myeloid leukemia mechanisms

Chemistry students dressed in suits pose for a photo on the steps of the Capitol building in the soft light of morning

Chemists head for the hill

November 8, 2019

In Washington, D.C., chemistry students advocate for green energy, sustainable chemistry, and anti-sexual harassment science legislation

Professor Ted Betley in his lab

Break it up

September 12, 2019

How an elusive catalyst makes unusual reactions happen