Microsoft Research Blog

The Microsoft Research blog provides in-depth views and perspectives from our researchers, scientists and engineers, plus information about noteworthy events and conferences, scholarships, and fellowships designed for academic and scientific communities.

bacteria under a microscope

Scientists discover how bacteria use noise to survive stress

Mutations in the genome of an organism give rise to variations in its form and function—its phenotype. However, phenotypic variations can also arise in other ways. The random collisions of molecules constituting an organism—including its DNA and the proteins that transcribe the DNA to RNA—result in noisy gene expression that can lead to variations in behavior even in the absence of mutations. In a research paper published in Nature Communications, researchers at Microsoft Research and…

January 2019

Microsoft Research Blog

Researchers build nanoscale computational circuit boards with DNA

By Microsoft Research Human-engineered systems, from ancient irrigation networks to modern semiconductor circuitry, rely on spatial organization to guide the flow of materials and information. Living cells also use spatial organization to control and accelerate the transmission of molecular signals, for example by co-localizing the components of enzyme cascades and signaling networks. In a new paper published today by the journal Nature Nanotechnology, scientists at the University of Washington and Microsoft Research describe a method…

July 2017

Microsoft Research Blog

2017 Microsoft Research PhD scholarships support break-through projects in six countries

By Jim Pinkelman, Senior Director, Microsoft Research Since 2004, the Microsoft Research PhD Scholarship Programme in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) has supported groundbreaking PhD projects. This year we have 17 projects that span six countries, and include research areas such as computational biology, machine learning, and health science. The winning PhD projects for the 2017-2018 school academic year were selected from 33 PhD supervisor-led proposals. These PhD supervisors will collaborate with an assigned…

January 2017

Microsoft Research Blog

PhD Summer School brings top students to Cambridge

By Scarlet Schwiderski-Grosche, Senior Research Program Manager Pivoting from the Old World charm of High Tea to contemplating a dystopian AI-dominated future was among the many experiences facing more than 80 doctoral students at the PhD Summer School, held July 4–8 in Cambridge, England. Each year the Microsoft Research Cambridge Lab brings together tech luminaries and researchers with PhD students from research institutions across the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) region to learn not only about…

August 2016

Microsoft Research Blog

Predicting ocean chemistry using Microsoft Azure

By Daron Green, Deputy Director, Microsoft Research Shellfish farmer Bill Dewey remembers the first year he heard of ocean acidification, a phrase that means a change in chemistry for ocean water. It was around 2008, and Dewey worked for Taylor Shellfish, a company that farms oysters in ocean waters off the coast of Washington. That year, thousands of tiny “seed” oysters died off suddenly. Today, a cloud-based predictive system from the University of Washington (UW) and…

February 2016

Microsoft Research Blog

Announcing the Innovation Challenge: using data science to create “food resilience”

While we know that climate change will likely affect every aspect of the food system—from our ability to grow food, to the reliability of food transportation and food safety, to the dynamics of international trade in agricultural goods—we don’t yet know how to anticipate and mitigate against what may be negative changes. With this in mind, on July 24, 2015, Microsoft, in partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), will launch the Innovation…

July 2015

Microsoft Research Blog

ZooTracer: Setting a Track Record

Posted by Rob Knies People love to watch animals. That’s why zoos exist. That’s why photographic safaris command princely sums. That’s why cat videos have become an unstoppable force. Lucas Joppa loves to watch animals, too, but his motivation includes an additional dimension. A scientist in the Computational Ecology and Environmental Sciences (CEES) group at Microsoft Research Cambridge, Joppa heads the Conservation Science Research Unit, which focuses on his key interests: science, policy, and tools…

March 2014

Microsoft Research Blog

CHI 2013: an Immersive Event

Springtime in Paris this year sees the Association for Computing Machinery’s 31st Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) in full swing from April 27 through May 2, welcoming experts and students from more than 60 countries. A large contingent of researchers from Microsoft Research will be there to exchange ideas and deliver 27 papers and 12 notes covering a broad spectrum of human-computer interaction (HCI) topics, from natural user interfaces and digital arts…

April 2013

Microsoft Research Blog

U.K. Researcher Garners TR35 Accolade

By Douglas Gantenbein, Senior Writer, Microsoft News Center Pioneering research into programming biology has earned a Microsoft Research scientist a prestigious TR35 award, presented by Technology Review. Andrew Phillips, a 34-year-old scientist who leads the Biological Computation group at Microsoft Research Cambridge, received the award, given each year by Technology Review to recognize the world’s top innovators under the age of 35. The awards span energy, medicine, computing, communications, nanotechnology, and other fields. Phillips was…

August 2011

Microsoft Research Blog

The Language of Biology

By Suzanne Ross, Writer, Microsoft Research If you want to go to another country, it would behoove you to learn the language of the land. Luca Cardelli, an Italian researcher working in England, knows this lesson well. He wants to help scientists travel to an unknown country — the membranes and cells of our bodies — and feel right at home. To do this, he is developing a computer language to model the processes of…

December 2004

Microsoft Research Blog