Sumaiya Sayeed '20
by Mitchell Yeary '19
For a lot of people, genetically engineering humans are a possibility only in Gattica. Yet there are more and more technologies coming out that put us closer to that reality. One of the most recent technologies, CRISPR, emerged a few years ago as an improved way to deactivate certain genes in cells, or create “knock-out” lines (a line of cells with certain genes that don’t function). Here, I will briefly explain CRISPR and its different applications as a genomic engineering technology.
Starting with the basics, CRISPR-Cas9 as a potential genome editing system was put forth four or five years ago and was quickly leveraged so that we could start to target specific genes in the genome. There are two parts to this system. There first part is the CRISPR portion, which stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, essentially the type of DNA sequence that is recognized by the second part, a protein. When used as a genome editing technology, guide RNAs, which can bind to DNA, are built so that they match a section of whatever gene is being edited, and these are the CRISPR portion of the technology. The other necessary part of the guide RNA, is a loop on the end that forms beacon for Cas9, which is recruited to the site. Cas9, the second element in the system, ends up binding and then cutting the portion of the DNA that the guide RNA bound to in the beginning. By using guide RNA to selecting critical points in a gene, researchers can introduce mutations, and disable different genes.
By Olivia Woodford-Berry, '19
Alzheimer’s disease (AD), a condition characterized by cognitive impairment and continuous neurodegeneration, has left many researchers in the scientific community hanging in the lurch. While AD treatments are on the forefront of medical research, crucial gaps rooted in our incomplete understanding of the human mind still remain in our understanding of the disease. The constraints of modern neuroscience and modern medicine have made it difficult to develop a treatment that can address the elusive cause of this condition. However, in discovering the molecular processes that cause the degradation of neural cells, scientists also gain a more comprehensive picture of how these pathways work normally. Recent studies involving potential vaccines against AD are beginning to illuminate the molecular pathways of the disease and the possibility of reshaping its progression.
By Iman Iqbal '20
Energy healing is another one of those contemplative practices that many believe is simply unreal. It is, however, a practice that has been around for centuries and is becoming more and more prevalent today.
Energy healing falls under the broad umbrella term, energy medicine. It is a form of therapy that manipulates the energy circuits within and around us in order to help one regain balance and heal from within. It encompasses a wide variety of practices from all over the world including acupuncture, chakra balancing, reiki, crystal healing, and a myriad of other therapeutic modalities.
Sumaiya Sayeed '20
Running out of storage when you’re trying to take a picture may be a thing of the past. The high demands of storage are being mitigated with the very familiar biological component that has stored information for generations: DNA.
by Navya Baranwal '20
On May 6, 2013, Dr. Charles van der Horst was arrested by the North Carolina Capitol Police. As a practicing physician and professor in medicine, he never envisioned himself going behind bars. However, he was even more jarred by the fact that he did not see more physicians around him standing up for the rights of patients.
by Audrey Lee '16 and ScM '17
Have you ever stopped to think about how medications, such as Advil and Tylenol, were developed? Or even how the fruits and vegetables you eat were produced? The answer to these questions (and many, many others) rests in the basic scientific and medical research performed in laboratories across the nation and around the world. It is hard to imagine that some of the greatest advances in medicine were serendipitously discovered at a small laboratory benchtop. However, it is even harder to imagine what the effects of President Trump’s proposed budget cuts to basic scientific and medical research.
By Audrey Lee'16 and ScM'17
Both men and women are responsible for pregnancy. After all, it takes two to tango. Then, why is it that the responsibility of contraception often falls on women? The answer to this question is founded in the lack of successful male contraceptive tools currently available.
Elena Renken '19
In 1981, Ed Tannenbaum created the first incarnation of Recollections, a system that captures images of the people moving before its projected screen, isolates their silhouettes, and projects those figures onto the screen in real time. Each projected snapshot comes in a bright color, selected based on the instant that it was recorded by the video camera, creating vivid layers that quickly build up on top of each other — a surreal animation of anyone before the camera.
by Iman Iqbal '20
Often when people hear the word hypnotherapy, they imagine a show on Cartoon Network in which the main character is entranced by a swinging object or a swirling spiral. Although hypnosis is involved in hypnotherapy, and the patient is put into a trance of some sort, hypnotherapy is definitely not what is often portrayed in the media. And, it is certainly not magic.